Radius- Time Travel is Real (A Prelude to Japan)

Producer/DJ Radius celebrates his life as a traveling man with his latest release, Time Travel is Real (A Prelude to Japan).

Def Dee- Deja Vu (album)

Read our review of Def Dee's latest full length project, the Deja Vu LP.

The Hurt Project- The Shady Bear Sessions (single/EP)

Listen as the band The Hurt Project blend classic and contemporary blues with their newly released "The Shady Bear Sessions" single/EP.

ADaD- In Search of The UNSEEN: ADaD x Madlib

A brand new set of dope beats and razor sharp rhymes from Chi-town wordsmith ADaD on the recently released In Search of the UNSEEN... project.

D.A.C. Beats- Beach Mu$ic EP

Listen to producer/beatmaker D.A.C Beats' newly released instrumental project, the Beach Mu$ic EP.

Hezekiah- Can I Live

Soulful new single from Hezekiah's upcoming album Dreams Don't Chase Themselves

Ju-Ar- Day Out (album)

Check out the new Day Out instrumental project from producer/beatmaker Ju-Ar.

Qwill & The Soul Review- Ghost

Enjoy this brand new bluesy soul single from Qwill & The Soul Review

Midnight Runners- Free single!

Download a free copy of the new single "Nights of Pleasure" from duo's upcoming EP Odyssey

Jurassic 5 & The Word of Mouth Reunion Tour

This summer, a reunited Jurassic 5 will embark on a worldwide tour, with special appearances by Dilated Peoples, Ugly Duckling, Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, & The World Famous Beat Junkies!

Lyric Jones- Love's Trail Mix (EP)

Lyric Jones tackles issues of love, lust, infatuation and everything in between on her latest project, "The Love's Trail Mix (EP)"

LIVE45's | Nif Monroe & Lashawn's Way- Love to Love Ya (single)

Some raw and bluesy, authentic Southern hip-hop music from Tennessee wordsmiths Nif Monroe and Lashawn's Way. The track is called "Love to Love Ya" and it's from the pairing upcoming collaborative project Trill By Nature. Nothing but real live, down-south spittin' over a throwback funk track provided by producer Kartel Kush. I'll admit, these are all new names to me (which says a lot about my hermit-like status considering that we're all Tennessee residents), but I'm diggin' what I'm hearing so far. Dope work all around.

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LIVE45's | Weaze Buck- Filthy Simplicity (single)

Bluesy, introspective, and defiant sounds from a rising Philly artist by the name of Weaze Buck. Dope work. 

REVIEW | Radius- Time Travel Is Real (A Prelude to Japan) (album)

With recent trips across the U.S. behind him, and an excursion to Japan shining on the horizon, producer/D.J. Radius decided to release a brand new project to celebrate his traveling man lifestyle. On Time Travel Is Real (A Prelude To Japan), Radius has put together an album that seems to draw as heavily from spiritual jazz and electronic music influences as it does from hip-hop. No track exemplifies this melding of sound better than the album standout "Melanin Starburst". Broken beat rhythms blend in time with cosmic horns and synthesizers to cook up a sound that would most likely be celebrated by jazz experimenters like Joe Zawinul and Marc Moulin if either were still here to enjoy it. Clocking in at a little over 5 minutes, "Melanin Starburst" is an expanding and druggy affair that's best enjoyed with some really good speakers (or a really nice pair of headphones). Listening to entire sections of sound rise and then melt away becomes an almost visual experience in the right setting. On another single entitled "One For Ferguson (Healing Factor)Radius channels the atmospheric and somewhat stark tone that many Japanese beatmakers are known for. The mood of the track is more acid jazz than straight-up-and-down hip hop, but Radius keeps things raw by making use of crunchy 12-bit drums, somber instruments, and cutting commentary via a soundbyte from the late great Richard Pryor.  And while the previously mentioned songs may cast Time Travel Is Real (A Prelude To Japan) in a stern light, Radius offsets the album's weightier jazz moments by injecting brighter elements that feel inspirational. On the tracks "Bullet Trains Will Leave Me Broke" and "Time Traveling 101 (Oahu to Osaka)" Radius' arrangements fell open and spontaneous, as if they were recorded in one-take by 3 or 4 musicians just vibin' in the studio. And on the album's closer, a funky electro number entitled "All Respects To Sonotheque"Radius trades in sweeping 70's jazz for top heavy 80's analog synthesizers and drum kits and emerges with a upbeat instrumental that seems to end the LP on a "to be continued..." note. All in all Time Travel Is Real (A Prelude To Japan) is a great work in experimental music and showcases the sort of unrestricted musical freedom that makes independent music so engaging. Great work Radius, and safe travels.

VIDEO | Third Coast Kings- Birds & Bees

Good times, good people, and good music take center stage on the new "Birds & Bees" video from the deep-funk & soul outfit Third Coast Kings. The video and single are from the band's recently released sophomore album West Grand Boulevard.

NEW RELEASE | Jeepz- Duende (album)

Producer/beatmaker Jeepz returns with a brand new selection of soulful, sample heavy beats with his most recent outing, Duende. On this go-round, Jeepz keeps the sound and vibes heavy with a steady stream of  beats that seem to be built from hard & heavy soul cuts from the late 60's and early 70's. Imagine Isaac Hayes-era Stax Records soul as re-edited by early 90's Large Professor and you're in the ballpark. Standouts include "Get.It.How.You.Live.It", "A.Little.Closer", the celebratory sounding "Coast.Life" and the trip-through-drumbreaks" anthem "House.Of.Paint"*.
*  Jeepzif you're reading this...while I love "It's a New Day" I wouldn't have been mad at cha if you had let that "Impeach the President" break ride out for juuust a little bit longer. 

BLENDS | Beat Haus Radio- Beat Haus Radio 3 (feat. Kev Brown & Hassaan Mackey)

Recently Kev Brown headed up to NYC to take part in a "meet & greet"/listening party type of affair for one of his upcoming releases. Prior to hitting up the venue, the Low Budget (?*) representer stopped by the "Beat Haus Radio" studios to talk shop with show host Fresh Daily. After a nice introductory mix set from DJ Jester, Kev spoke about his past work, ran down the list of some of his more recent projects, and even played a couple of beats live on-air for the people. Along for the ride was fellow Low Budget Crew member Hassaan Mackey, who also fired up his trusty MPC  and played a few beats of his own design. All killer/no filler mix here peoples. Enjoy!
* I recently read a post on Kev Brown's face book saying "Low Budget is no more.." or something to that effect. This post just reminded me that I need to get the full story on that. 

LIVE45's | DJ Cozmos- The Morning After (instrumental)

Get into this soaring groove from DJ Cozmos, who turns a classic cut from Frankie Beverly & Maze into a brand new headphone masterpiece.  Really lives up to, and even expands on, the original's laid back vibe. Dope work.

REVIEW | Def Dee- Deja Vu (album)

Def Dee follows his acclaimed 2013 debut album 33 and a Third with another producer-centered album entitled Deja Vu. For his sophomore effort, the Seattle-based trackmaster creates a tight batch of neck snappin' beats that's deeply entrenched in the straight-from-the-crates, throwback sound of hip hop's not too distant past. Though the familiar opening horns of "Place Your Bet" may spark a sense of nostalgia in some listeners, Def Dee quickly kills any fears that the album's title is simply code for "rehashing the past" when the rest of the track's elements come crashing to the forefront. In an instant, a carefully orchestrated firestorm of sounds explodes out of the listener's speakers, held together with thumpin kick drums and tight snares. For fans expecting heavily filtered, extended jazz loops and crunchy lo-fi drum breaks, "Place Your Bet" acts as a sort of warning shot, heralding the energy level of tracks to come. The overall sound and feel of Deja Vu has less in common with the dense, lo-fi funk of label mates Damu the Fudgemunk and Klaus Layer and more in common with the finely chopped, dusty-meets-digital hip hop sound made famous by producers like Hi-Tek, Chief Xcel and fellow Seattleite (?) Jake One. Which isn't to say that those fans won't enjoy this album. On "C'Mon NowDef Dee creates a monsterous neck-snappin', head noddin' beat that is the perfect blend of an old-school hip hop jam and a spacey nu-school funk joint. Another standout cut is the powerful yet understated "I'm Ghetto" instrumental.. With only a couple of chopped up samples, a few electronic effects, and a master's understanding of restraint, the rising young producer creates a really soulful track that's just begging to remixed with vocals (cough..cough..Vursatyl... cough). Other highlights include the Roc Marciano assisted track "Marciano", the jazzy guitar laced cut "Pay More Attention", and the low-end heavy march of "Toss N Turn" featuring One Be Lo. Honestly, the whole album is bumpin' and I'm hard pressed to point out any missteps. On the whole, Deja Vu is a solid follow up to  Def Dee's debut full length album and clearly shows what Def Dee brings to the talented line up that makes up Redefinition Records' roster of artists.

LIVE45's | Damani Nkosi- Rich (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid & Bad Lucc)

Cali-based emcee Damani Nkosi takes a minute to let the world know that being "rich" is more than just a massive collection of money and objects on his new single "Rich". Get into some wise words being spoken over a laid back, organ-driven groove. Along for the ride are Chi-town singer BJ the Chicago Kid and fellow Dubb Union representer Bad Lucc. Dopeness ....dig the sounds.

NEW RELEASE | Jah Orah & KD Assassin- Used To Be Bobby & Darrick (album)

Considering just how well emcees KD Assassin and Jah Orah work together as a rhyme duo, it's hard to believe that this new Used To Be Bobby & Darrick album is their first collaborative effort. The two St. Louis residents drop a steady barrage of forward-thinking, razor's edge rhymes while making sure that their every effort is paired with an eclectic collection of head-nod beats. Stand out tracks include the ground-stomping "This Crazy Town (Hard Times)", the soulful boom-bap masterpiece "Stay" (featuring the frequent collaborator MC923 and the legendary Aceyalone), and the lively rallying call of  "Used to Be Bobby & Darrick". From start to finish, Used To Be Bobby & Darrick is dope project with a wide array of sounds and influences that remains cohesive and focused throughout. Press play and enjoy peoples!

NEW RELEASE | Jewbei- Jewbei Does Sean Price (EP)

Producer/beatmaker Jewbei releases the latest offering in his " Jewbei Does..." remix series with the newly released Jewbei Does Sean Price. I'll readily admit that I'm only just now discovering this series but I'm giving this isht two big thumbs up. Hell, the remix of the Roc Marciano/Sean Price track "Snow" is worth the price of admission alone. Dope stuff yall. Dig the sounds.

REVIEW | The Hurt Project- The Shady Bear Sessions (single/EP)

While I won't begin to present myself as some sort of authority on the subject of blues music, I do consider myself a fan that's familiar enough to recognize good blues music when I hear it.  The sound has been a part of my life for as long as I can recall.  In fact, some of my sweetest memories of growing up in the Carolinas are connected to songs by artists like Little Milton, Bobby Blue Bland and pretty much anything and everything released by Malaco Records. So, while I'm by no means an expert on the subject, I'll concede that I do know a lil' bit. Take this new The Shady Bear Sessions single/EP from the group The Hurt Project for example. I know that it's a fantastic  slice of modern electric blues as served by dedicated students of the craft. The set opens with an amazing original number entitled "Up In Smoke" that pits lead singer Jasmin Lloyd's beautifully clear and powerful vocals against a smoky backdrop filled with lamenting harmonica notes, dusty drums and fiery electric guitar riffs that almost steals the show. After blowing the listener away with such a soul-stirring performance, the band ramp things up with a raw-edged heater entitled "Hello Misery". Everything about this track is hitting, from Jasmin Lloyd's  rousing vocals that grow larger and larger as the track progresses, to the bands impassioned playing when their leading lady takes a break from the spotlight (peep the interplay between guitarist Marlon Hurt and drummer Paul Wohlmaker at the 2:16 mark). This is just good music, from start to finish and I truly can't wait to hear more from this band. Check out The Hurt Project's The Shady Bear Sessions below to get your weekly soul and blues music fix. Dig the sounds.

NewRelease | ADaD & Khaibeat- Apollo (album)

Brand new project from emcee ADaD and producer Khaibeat.  The Chicago-based wordsmith teams up with a talented young beatmaker out of Spain to give the people a dope 4 track project entitled Apollo. You can stream 3 of the 4 tracks, right now, over on Soundcloud (here).  Or you can purchase all 4 tracks for the low, low price of $1 over on Bandcamp (here). Come on son!....show love and buy the album ASAP.

AWAR & Vanderslice- The Winning Team (album review)

The duo of producer Vanderslice and lyricist AWAR create a dark and gritty opus with their latest collaboration, a full-length album entitled The Winning Team. The two man team have a knack for creating eardrum pounding, grimey hip hop music that attacks its listeners with the intensity of a melee attack on a battlefield. As an emcee, AWAR succeeds in keeping things interesting by assailing the microphone with razor sharp rhymes and fully fleshed-out concepts. On one of the album's opening tracks, a hard-hitting offering entitled "Rotten Apple"AWAR taps into something ravenous and lets loose a visceral assault that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Vanderslice backs his man up with a stark beat that sounds like the tense opening track of an Italian horror flick. The duo effortlessly keep that aggressive "New York shit" vibe flowing over the course of the album with tracks like "Orange Boxcutter 2", "Broad Daylight" and "High Grade". But the fellas also seem to realize that no matter how much their fans may want to hear hardcore beats and rhymes, a memorable album manages to do more than just repeat the same formula from start to finish. In response, the team switches things up a bit on tracks like the R&B tinged "Cloud 9" (featuring the ever soulful LaToiya Williams) and the "hold-ya-head-up" anthem "Ready for the World". Another factor that works in  the album's favor is the fact that the guest artists and producers that are featured on project tend to mesh well with the duo's sound. Two of the best examples of this are the tracks "Reincarnation" (which was produced by West-coast based beatmaker Trox ) and the title cut "The Winning Team" (which features guest verses from emcee/producer Has Lo).  Overall, The Winning Team lives up to it's name and comes across as a well sculpted offering from a winning duo. The album is a shining example of why AWAR and Vanderslice are held in esteem when it comes to hardcore, street level hip hop music that bangs. Yet it also showcases two artists who recognize the importance of challenging yourself, your music and your fans. Dope work peoples...don't sleep.

Live45's | Engelwood- Only For You (instrumental)

Check out this free spacey soul instrumental from producer Engelwood. And if you dig what you're hearing, pick up a copy of his recently released Tre project