Monday, December 5, 2011
I was listening to jams on my ipod on my way to work and this made me smile and laugh out loud, "And I work to get my loot, shoot. I'm turning heads like a handicapped prostitute." - Masta Ace
So here it is, enjoy this jam off an amazing LP "Slaughtahouse".
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I have been out of the loop for a little bit but I"m back with a great update. I've been offline for a while with a new job, schedule and still training and competing with weightlifting. Back on track here with a new video by Hubbs (directed by Antuks) titled Cross My Heart. This is a really good jam and shot very well throughout the Pittsburgh area. And it doesn't hurt having the company of a beautiful woman in the process. Here it is...
Saturday, October 1, 2011
I am making my hip hop video debut on the video for Jobs off the LP The Poet Tree of Life 2011 . Was very proud to be a part of it, I really dig the video. I've been a fan of Lone Catalysts and J Sands for quite sometime, was cool to be involved. Here it is...
Friday, September 16, 2011
In the world of music, conflict comes with the territory. It makes sense, it's ultra competitive and the ultimate weapon you posess is your voice. In sport, athletes talk trash all the time to their competitors. It's the nature of competition and one's journey to be the best. We are afforded the right of freedom of speech in the United States of America and I feel too many people do not take advantage of this. With that being said I introduce you to a talented and aggressive artist that I have featured on this blog before and he's backing up his answers to a previous feature with an honest song about his feelings on Wiz Khalifa. I will let you appreciate the track on your own and encourage you to support Amuck if you like what you hear and voice your opinions.
"like" Amuck on Facebook:
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tyler The Creator won the 2011 MTV Music Award for Best New Artist. This is definitely an important moment for any artist who is newer to the industry and looking to leave their mark. Obviously this is a good thing for Tyler and his crew (OFWGKTA)., but I feel this win represents a major victory for music of all genres as well.
I do not respect MTV for its direction for the past 20+ years. The ridiculous reality show dominant network has really steered away from its original mission to provide an outlet for music videos and news. It has preyed on the youth by showing mindless programming and shows with almost zero substance. With that being said, it would be ignorant not to recognize the influence MTV has on our popular culture. Which makes it that more surprising that they gave the nod to Tyler The Creator for an award where the other nominees had so much more support from the network as well as other mainstream radio and major label backing. I truly feel this moment represented so much more than one person and one award. This was not only on a national stage but a world stage. And an independent artist just walked out on stage and said..”Fuck the system.” Staying completely within his image and music, Tyler just put his stamp on something that I would consider the music industry going through a phase of equilibrium.
There is a reason why I am writing about him, there is a reason why you are reading this and there is a reason why we are listening to him. He is different, entertaining, crazy, vulnerable, unstable, raw and refreshingly off. Tyler The Creator is doing everything on his terms. He’s producing a lot of his own music, making his own beats, writing his own songs, even making his own videos. There are thousands of people just like him making music all over the country. There are rock bands, mc’s, open mic singers every night “grinding” to perfect their craft in hopes of reaching as many people as they can who just might dig their music. There are musicians recording their own music, self promoting their acts and hoping to make it to a larger level. This award for Tyler goes out to all of you who are in your house studios and your garage making the best music you can. This award just kicked the crap out of major label investments and musicians under mainstream management teams. Tyler isn’t a part of Roc-A-Fella Records, he isn’t managed by Chris Lighty and isn’t on Tour sponsored by Coca-Cola. Tyler is represented by Tyler. Period.
I feel that in all aspects of life that no matter what is going on, everything returns to a certain level of simplicity. I feel like we have reached one of those moments. It’s about the music. In an industry that is just that, music, often times it’s everything but the music that is being made. It’s a new time we are reaching and I feel it’s an exciting one. Music software needed to record and produce music is cheaper than ever and much more accessible. People are taking responsibility to have control over their music by making it themselves and artists are teaming up to do features on each other’s albums. It’s becoming more about the music and less about the name that’s on the music cover. I feel this is an exciting time for music and I really feel MTV wasn’t just recognizing Tyler The Creator, they were recognizing everyone who is out there doing it on their own. They just showed people that you don’t have to have a large advance from Warner Bros. and regular radio play to be relevant in the music scene. People are casting their votes by downloading albums that are available by the artist for free, and purchasing songs they want to listen to, not what radio stations or tv is feeding them. People are stepping up and saying we like what we like. It’s refreshing.
This goes out to all the musicians working hard and playing live shows, making their own music and giving it everything they have. It is worth it, people are listening and more importantly if you are proud of your work then that is all that truly counts at the end of the day. I will end this piece with a quote from J Sands, “The best advice I ever got in life is don’t stop.”
Friday, September 9, 2011
Free Download of my mixtape inspired by previous entries of streamed songs that were compiled to get you reved up in the weightroom. You will need .rar archive to unzip the mp3's. It's free and you can get here http://www.win-rar.com/website/index.php?id=start&L=0
1. Pusha T featuring Tyler The Creator- Trouble On My Mind
2. Beatnuts- Reign Of The Tec
3. House Of Pain Feat. B-Real- Put Your Head Out
4. J Sands- Manifest
5. MC Lyte- 10% Diss
6. Wu-Tang Clan- 16th Chamber ODB Special
7. Immortal Technique- 3rd World
8. Allen Iverson- 40 Bars
9. Fort Minor- Dedicated
10.Nas- N.Y. State Of Mind
11.RUN-DMC- Beats To The Rhymes
12.Tha Dogg Pound- I Fears No One
13.Ghostface Killah- Assassination Day
14.Spice 1- Born 2 Die
15.Wu-Tang Clan- Protect Ya Neck
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I am way more than fashionably late to this party, but I'm here to showcase a solid LP by APEX titled Sound Travel. All production is done by the very talented Czientist. This is APEX's third full length album and it definitely takes you on a journey to say the least with some very original sound combined with great lyrical flow. Great features by DJ Vex, Varsity Squad, Verbs, Roscoe Wiki of Commonwealth Family, Vaig Miss Simone, Ayatollah Jaxx and others. Download the album at:
You can also download APEX debut release Face The Musik on iTunes:
Their sophomore release Struggle City on iTunes:
APEX on Facebook:
APEX on Twitter:
APEX on Bandcamp:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
photography by Emily Boarts
Pittsburgh music fans definitely got an early Christmas present this summer with the release of Asymmetry from Amuck. This is a very aggressive album that reengergizes your senses and feelings towards music in 2011. This is a hard hitting release with some talented features. Great production by Sikes on all tracks with the exception of Amalgamate which was produced by Kiltervision, Amuck and Sikes. Pearl Dragon, Kiltervision and Onry Ozzborn brought some great vocals as solid features on the album. Amuck's genuine and dynamic lyrical ability make this refreshing becasue this is the music these men wanted to make at the end of the day. No one is telling these talented artists what to do or what to put out. That fact along with music that inspires me is why I definitely put my stamp on this EP. I was able to sit down and talk to Amuck about Asymmetry and dig deeper into this effort.
Cosmological Poise is a strong opener for the EP, what was the choice to place this as the opener?
It’s funny; this was actually a beat that Sikes made for me a whopping three years ago. I wrote some stuff for it and it almost made the Improbabilities disc, but it just felt too contrived and it ended up getting scrapped.
A little while later I heard the Big Boi track “Feel Me”, which is the intro to the “Sir Lucious Left Foot” LP. It totally blew me out of the water. Even though it was only a few minutes long, I found that it had more longevity and replay value than any other track on the disc (which says a lot because it’s a great disc). I was inspired and I wanted to set the kind of tone on my next album that would leave people saying, “Damn...and that was just the intro!”
So I went back to that beat with the proper mindset and this time around I was able to do it justice. I knew there was a reason that the beat stuck with me for three years, and hopefully it sticks with my listeners for much longer than that.
Couldn’t help but notice the lines in Divergence of Character where you call out Wiz Khalifa. Can you elaborate a little more on your reasoning for doing so?
I think his music is terrible. I actually think that a lot of people around here feel the same way but are afraid to express it. They’re afraid because Pittsburgh doesn’t have any other mainstream “Rap Stars”, so they feel like if they don’t support the local guy they are doing a disservice to the city. The reality is that they are doing a bigger disservice to the city by supporting him. It perpetuates this idea that we (Pittsburgers) will gladly eat up whatever runny, steamy pile of elephant shit the big labels want to drop on us, given that the runny, steamy pile of elephant shit happens to come in black and yellow wrapping paper. It’s exploitation at its finest.
In my experiences, whenever Wiz Khalifa is criticized, there’s always that one guy in the room that goes to bat for him by saying “Yeah, but he seems like a really chill dude”. I fell into that category, deterred from the attack because he seems like a perfectly harmless, mouth-breathing, stoned-out stick-bug of a man. He’s certainly not messing with me, so why should I mess with him? Nobody likes a bully.
But that is crooked logic. He could be the most “chill”, well-intended guy on the planet in real life, but it bears no relevance on the fact that his music is unintelligent, cookie-cutter garbage. If this guy was from a city that had a shitty football team, he’d be bussing tables at Denny’s, and that’s the honest-to-God truth. I’m not going to dedicate my career to trying to expose him, music is a subjective animal and people can listen to whatever they please for whatever reason they please…but at the same time, I’m done tiptoeing around my feelings on the matter. I think that Wiz Khalifa has no talent what-so-ever and I’m throwing it out there.
I feel most people who work their jobs they might not be passionate about can really relate to 99%. Was there anything specific that sparked you to write that song?
I think that in general, the working class is preconditioned to eat shit and like it. There is such a perverse, unhealthy fixation with obtaining wealth in this country and it brainwashes people – the guys at the bottom don’t complain about working conditions or wages because they think that if they are obedient for long enough that they can move up and become the guys at the top. This means that workers empathize more with their superiors than their peers, and the superiors use this disconnect to their advantage and string them along. Any worker who’s adopted that sort of self-deprecating mindset is unlikely to unionize or rally for change because they’ve been stripped of the self-confidence it would require to do so. Everyone’s so caught up with the pipe dream of becoming rich that they’re distracted from the reality that they’re poor.
The sour reality is that in the bigger picture, we are ALL the guys on the bottom. We are fighting amongst ourselves over table scraps in a system where one percent of the nation owns and controls everything. It’s a very clever, very intentional diversion, and sadly it’s one that’s been working the last hundred years and it’s about to get a lot worse. They don’t share our struggles; issues like the affordability of healthcare, quality of public education and reliability of public transportation are totally immaterial to them. In fact, they are actively coming up with new ways to minimize the paltry morsels of funds that we do have to work with now. But the end of the day, there are way more of us than there are of them, and the eventual realization of this fact will shake the very foundations of this country.
Amalgamate has some aggressive lyrics from Onry Ozzborn and Kiltervision that fit well with your style. How do you feel the features you did with them as well as Pearl Dragon turned out for Asymmetry?
I have the utmost respect for Onry’s body of work, from Old Dominion to Grayskul to Darktime Sunshine. It was a real pleasure to be able to collaborate with him. He came out of left field with his verse; it was very unorthodox and it really challenged me as a lyricist. I think that while we come from slightly different realms musically, we have a strong common denominator in the fact that we take a lot of pride in defying people’s expectations and keeping our sound unpredictable. We have both carved out distinctions for ourselves and were not going to be confused with any other artists or groups out there.
Add my life-long friend Kiltervision to the mix for “Amalgamate” and that’s all she wrote. I’ve worked with him a lot in the past and I never hesitate to get him on a track because he’s a guy that always delivers. I was very impressed with what they both brought to the table and I’m very proud of the way that song turned out.
I also had a blast working with Pearl Dragon and I think that our styles really complement one another. My verses in “Divergence of Character” are pretty explosive and abrasive, and he was able to keep that in-check by laying down a hook that was very smooth and subdued. I think the guy has a great creative instinct and I would love to sit down and work on something more involved with him in the future. We have great chemistry. Now that we’ve got a taste of how Pearl get’s down in Amuck’s world, what would the result be if Amuck got down on a Champagne Champagne record? That’s a prospect that I find very, very interesting.
I truly feel you hit a homerun with Anglerfish, can you express the emotions that went into this song. It really seems to take you somewhere mentally when you do this song live.
I was in an abysmal, abysmal mood one day and I wanted nothing more than to chew someone’s face off. Rather than actually chew someone’s face off and spend significant time in prison, I wrote a song called “Anglerfish”. It’s an ugly, un-nerving and brutal stream of consciousness where I run down any and everything from mild irritations to the banes of my existence.
I’m not someone that promotes pessimism in my personal life, but I do have negative feelings and the difference between me and a lot of people is that I don’t hide them. I embrace them, make art out of them, and get the hell over them. I’ve always felt it’s important to be transparent with your emotions, good or bad. I’m sure that there are people that think my song is “angsty” or a bad influence or whatever, but those are the same people who will probably pour tens of thousands of dollars into psychiatric help over the course of their lives because they never learned how to properly express themselves.
Download Asymmetry EP:
Like @Amuck's Facebook Page:
Monday, August 1, 2011
2011 Pennsylvania State Weightlifting Championships was a major success! Pittsburgh Barbell club brought home gold medals with 94 kg Champion "Killa Cam" Cameron Davidson, 105 kg Champion Anton Lushenko "The Sneaky Fucking Russian", 105+ Champion Michael George, who is not an 80's icon from the group Wham. The strong mofos from Pendragon Weightlifting Club made up of, Mike Cerbus, Michael Kreatsoulas and Phillip Schneider made the trip and put up an impressive performances. And Samantha Wright from New Jersey qualified for the American Open with her first meet under her belt as did Cameron Davidson. Here are some jams to keep the PR's flying!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
More jams to get you pumped on your PR attempts. Showing some love today to Kevin Cornell and the rest of the guys at California Strength. My teammate and good friend from Pittsburgh Barbell Club has spent the summer working his ass off with Glenn Pendlay and some very tough weightlifters. Congratulations to National Champion Jon North with his gold medal performance this past weekend in Iowa. Jon is actually a talented beat boxer for real! Keep working hard guys. Maybe blast some of these during one of your sessions.
Come celebrate HUBBS's birthday, as he will also be releasing and performing tracks from his new mixtape, PRESENT FUTURE, which features Shad Black, APEX, Pablo Neruda, Varsity Squad, Shad Ali, Lil' Tone, and B. Pro.. Production from HUBBS and Nysceworkk. Mixed by Hitt of MCM. Performers for the night include Reazon, Pablo Neruda, Shad Ali, and HUBBS, who will also be performing tracks from his acclaimed, debut mixtape, MODERN VINTAGE.
PRESENT FUTURE will be released via web download on July 22nd.
$5 cover, 21 to drink.
Soul II Sole's DJ Drastik, and Nysceworkk on the 1's and 2's.
Friday, July 15, 2011
We're going here today for the jam that is usually a Friday Feel Good Jam. We all know sometimes shit isn't always peachy. So we're letting Tyler spit some aggressive verbage and break in the weekend.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
DJ B-Tips has been establishing himself as one of the stronger dj's on the music scene in the city of Pittsburgh over the last few years and this truely seems to be just the beginning. Contributing to wear and tear to just about every dance floor in the city , Tips has been lighting up music venues as the DJ for the bands Basick Sickness, MH the Verb and now teaming up with producer Longarms from Miami to form the group Tranquilizers. He has opened up for Snoop, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, Bone Thugs N Harmony, DJ Tina T, Paul Wall and others. His catalog contains:
1-The Unquenchable Thirst (2007)
2-The New Style (2008)
3-Learner's Permit (2009)
4-Got Some (2009)
5-Operator's License (2010)
6-Jaguar Milk (2011)
I got a chance to catch up with this DJ/Producer who grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to let us know what's good.
What are your earliest memories of music?
I grew up outside Detroit and had incredible radio stations and disc jockeys all around me. At the time I didn't realize how good I had it listening to ghettotech, nu-funk, classic house, and disco music by people like Magic Mojo and DJ Marquis. Since then I've gotten the opportunity to learn more about how Southeast Michigan fits into the big picture of music through a good friend named Carleton Gholz who actually teaches and writes about this topic. I used to have a little plastic turntable and I still remember/have most of the records I had: Mr. Rogers' neighborhood, me and my arrow, the smurf's all star show. I remember making a mixtape using the turntable and playing the records at different speeds and scratching them before the age of 7.
Tell us what it was like growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ann Arbor is a great place to be from. It's really interesting to me how I left before I started DJing and never got to connect with some of the fantastic musicians who call it home like DJ Benzi, Charles Tillinghas, or Shigeto, who's real name is Zach Saginaw. I hope to bridge this gap soon because there is some really excellent work coming out of this town.
You're not just talented on the turntables but you were a classically trained pianist and can play guitar very well. Share with us your instrument background.
I actually have more vocal training than I have in guitar, bass (I can play standup and electric) or piano. When you begin composing music electronically, you are limited primarily by your imagination, and only secondarily by budget. I hope that all the lessons pay off when people hear my E.P. and recognize that we're not messing around!
With that being said, what made you transition into becoming a DJ?
I was gifted with a super forgiving crowd to learn from in the beginning; my fraternity at Pitt (ZBT). I really struggled as a DJ until I reached out to DJ Bonics, who is not only one of my all time favorite DJ's, but someone I'm blessed to count among my best friends. The first time he came over to help me I was really nervous because he was a big celebrity. I read on his myspace that he liked the movie Old Boy, which I'm also a fan of, so I set the dvd case up on my mantle in the hope that he would see it. That's a really embarrassing story. He didn't notice but he did teach me how to hold the crossfader and suggested I get Serato instead of Torq.
Which other DJ’s did you reach out to and learn from?
Nugget, Mcfly, Zimmie, Digital Dave, Strobe, Keebs, and Petey C are some of the guys that are really killing it in Pittsburgh right now as club DJs. When I'm not playing a show, I go out to hear music, and I bring something to write down ideas I get from whoever's playing. I was just in Belize and wrote down the names of Dancehall songs for 3 hours. I also learn from Youtube, Qbert teaches me new scratch patterns when I'm feeling adventurous.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
DJ AM, Z-Trip, DJ Riz, Neil Armstrong, Deadmau5, Prince, Premier, Dilla, Diplo, Trent, Kurt, Pretty Lights, The Beatles. I'm influenced by people that can take an ocean of incredible experience and can distill it into a single gulp for their audience.
I have seen you perform in many different environments and adapt to many different musical interests by changing gears very well. How much of that is instinct and how much of that is preparation?
My taste in music is super eclectic and I think yours should be too. Seriously though my preparation for a standard club gig is typically to acquire and organize new music, and maybe to think a little bit about how I might integrate these songs. For an opening set where I'm only playing an hour or less I might decide on what I'm going to play in advance so that I can connect semantic and melodic ideas in a more intelligent manner. Typically I will record these and make them available the same night.
So far what are your most memorable moments performing?
Opening for Snoop Dogg in April I had a crowd of over 1400 singing Biz Markie's "Just a Friend."
You are a member of the groups Tranquilizerz, Basick Sickness and MH The Verb . Explain the challenges for you of being apart of three different groups that all have different sounds.
I need to experiment with new forms so I'm a part of Tranquilizerz, I love soulful Hip Hop music so I perform with MH The Verb, and every once in a while I need to let the mayhem wash over me so I make noise with Basick Sickness. Seriously though I could write paragraphs on each of the projects, let it suffice to say that I'm deeply involved in all three, and none are contingency plans. I fully believe in the ability of all three projects to move on to the next level at any point in time. I would be in a bit of a bind if that happened but it would be an exciting bind.
What is the next step for B-Tips?
The big news right now is the E.P. released on 6/25 for Tranquilizerz called "Jaguar Milk." I'm also working on an exciting collaboration with a talented singer from L.A. named Menaga, Miss. I released a promotional mix this week and will have another mix out called "Moombahdisco Madness Vol. 1" this month. Additionally I hosted Pittsburgh's first moombahton party recently which is called Moombahton Bassment.
Thanks a lot B-Tips, I'm very excited to see everything comes together for you and I'm sure you have a lot of eyes on you as well with this new release. I wish you the best of luck in everything and keep challenging yourself every step of the way my man! You can contact DJ B-Tips for booking or just general support @:
Isaac B Tips Goldszer
734 709 6923
Monday, July 11, 2011
Back with more head jerking jams that will accompany your pr's this week!! I would like to give a big shout out to "Iron" Mike Nackoul who won the B session at Junior World Weightlifting Championshps in Malaysia placing him 7th overall! Dave Sneberger winning the Pan Am Master's title in Savannah, GA! Congratulations to Big John Dennis for winning the MHP Liberty Strongman Classic on July 4th in Philadelphia and achieving his Pro Card. And good luck to Kevin Cornell as he goes to U.S. Nationals in Iowa. Pittsburgh is going strong!!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Showing some love on this shitty Saturday morning to Kool Keith. He's had the ability to really take your mind on a different ride through his music over the years. From his beginnings with the Ultramagnetic Mc's to his side projects with Dr. Octogon and Dr. Doom, he's definitely got a special place with me for sure. So enjoy some wonderfulness that is Kool Keith.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Quasimoto is the alter-ego of producer Madlib. He essentially changes the speed and pitch of his own voice to come up with the sound that we know as Quasimoto. Peanut Butter Wolf, DJ and owner of Stones Throw Records, really liked the concept and put out more tracks. Here are a few of my favorite jams from "Lord Quas".
Quasimoto on facebook:
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I catch up with this hungry emcee who has been a staple in hip hop scene in the city of Pittsburgh over the past several years. Let's go...
Where did you grow up and what kind of things were you into as a kid?
I grew up in the central North Side area of Pittsburgh, Pa. I was a pretty good kid but I definitely had a bad side. I didn't get in alot of trouble as a kid but i did have instances of destroying public property and whatnot.I guess I was a typical kid outside of having alot of family responsibility from a young age. I definitely watched alot of television as a kid and I think its bled into my colorful personality. I was big into Ninja Turtles, WWF, Power Rangers, and the Ghostbusters. Not much has changed.
What were your earliest music memories?
My father had a studio in our basement when I was a kid. I remember all of the posters on the walls and ceiling and all of the equipment that I wasn't allowed to play with. I can also remember sneaking with my older brother and his friends to listen to The Chronic which was not very kid friendly. I really got to witness music from the ground up with a studio in the house. If i knew where i'd be now i would have paid more attention back then.
What artists or groups really inspired you?
I'm inspired by more artists than i can really think of offhand. But off the top of my head I'd say I'm most inspired by: Nas, Dj Quik, Big Pun, Tha Dogg Pound, 1996-2000 Cash Money, J. Dilla, Eminem, Jay-Z, and K-Rino among others.
When was the moment that you decided to persue a music career?
The day I realized I could get on stage and outperform someone with more acclaim than myself. I wrote lyrics since around 11 or 12 years old but I never recorded a song or actually attempted to put my raps into people's ears until i was 17. I started to realize my ability shortly before this after seeing artists like Charon Don, Strict Flow, and The Roots perform.
Did you have any music mentors or anyone that worked with you in the beginning?
No, not really. Charon Don has always been a positive influence on me but we didn't always chop it up especially back then. One of the big things I experienced in the city was alot of the older guys weren't really open to help teach the younger cats something. People just in it for the status and thats all fine by me.I know as i get older, if i'm in position to i will always help out the next in line as much as i can.
I still gotta respect those who looked out for me when i was coming up. Peace to Charon, Dos Noun, Verbal Tec, Dj Big Phil, Drake Steelz & everybody else out there that showed respect from the gate.
Do you feel you can grow as a person and as a hip-hop artist in Pittsburgh?
Yes. It's just up to us as artists to take control of our music and ideas. Small-Town-Mentality has kept Pittsburgh very low when it comes to entertainment and we're all witnessing the beginnings of a change in that department.It's up to us as artists to keep innovating and finding new ways to grow, not only as artists but as human beings.
What are your feelings on the current state of hip-hop music?
The state of music itself is pretty good. I love music and I still feel like alot of quality music is being produced on a commercial and independent level. The state of the music business is a complete joke and it makes the concept of making music so much harder to live with.I'm not mad at the music itself but i'm definitely mad at the people in charge and some of the fans.
There is no more neutrality in radio/tv so the playlists are all slighted and the industry is falling apart at the seams. Until artists boycott major labels and take control of themselves or the labels destroy and rebuild the system, things will continue to crash. It's not very easy to see which direction things are going in at this point.
What are some things that Kid A is into off the stage?
Im a football nerd so see me on Sunday!! My fantasy teams struggled last year from me having shows on draft days and me just being lazy with it but this year its on!! I'm a huge music fan so I try to keep up with whats out to a degree. Can't let new music flood your creative process but I like to keep up with thats good and new. Every year I lose more faith in the MC's I once prayed to and now its time to find other artists out there to relate to.
Please tell us what to expect from you in the near future?
I am about to release my first full-length project of all original material entitled Blunt Guts & Glory at the end of May. Its been years in the making and at this point i just want to release it to get the weight off of my shoulders. It will never sound like i wanted it to but the project itself has been very instrumental in my growth and is a perfect segway into the next chapters.
I've been working on my project with extra-phenomenal Dj Buscrates which is very important to me. I've slacked on it a little just to get #BGG out because I've been sitting on alot of the songs for awhile, but I cant wait to release that one. In addition to those, I am also working on projects with producers James Moore & Dj Thermos, among others. Right now the plan is to really take advantage of 2011 and get out as much music as possible.
What are some of your goals?
I really want to release this music for everyone's ears so I can really gauge what I am able to be as an artist. I want to tour the world, numerous times, so I really want to make progress on that. I also want to continue to create music for myself and others until I have none left in me. If i can impress a few people in my lifetime i'd be happy with that.
What has been your most memorable moment as an emcee?
I don't really feel like I have a set memorable moment, but I've had many. Anything involving a packed crowd is a memorable experience for me. Opening for Tech N9ne was great and definitely a top moment. Also my first big opening gig for Aesop Rock even though I was very young at the time. Recently opening for Method Man & Redman, and also Wu-Tang Clan were huge and a great experience on all levels.
What was the motivation to go with the name Kid. A?
Rap names suck! It actually took me a long time to get to such a simple conclusion. For years I went as EMS(Everything Makes Sense) and while I'll still go by it, I never cared for it. I was always thinking of a better name but never could think of anything that I really liked myself. One day I was listening to Radiohead's album of the same name and it just kind of hit me.
My first name is Aarie so I'm used to people calling me A, and my mom & family have always called me Kid so I just ran with it. It sucks to get thrown into the list with other Kid's, Young's and Lil's but i feel like mine means a little more than the average Young Slappa.
For bookings & collaboration info, email thekidA586@gmail.com. For music and updates please go to:
Also check out the Kid A facebook page and follow the ever-so-trendy twitter account @A412Kid.
Special shouts to Michael for the interview and the respect. Much love to Buscrates, Proseed, Varsity Squad, Shindiggaz, Ayatollah Jaxx and all my other comrades around the city and beyond. Positivity and Prosperity!!!
Thanks a lot Kid A for helping me put this together and you got many people out there excited to hear new music from you. I wish you peace, hapiness and success my man.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
New Video from Apex directed by Tom Larkin with production by Czientist and guest appearance by Varsity Squad. Move back is off their upcoming album Sound Travel due out 7.24.11. Check it out.
I revist with HUBBS after his debut mixtape, Modern Vintage , has become a large success.
So HUBBS, what’s up, what have you been up to since the February release of Modern Vintage?
DJ MG what’s good man, thanks for having me again. It’s been quite an adventure since I dropped Modern Vintage back in February. I’ve had extreme highs and extreme lows, which include seeing an overwhelming amount of love and support from everyone who came across the mixtape, to the passing of my father in March. This all of course, began with the Steelers Superbowl loss [sarcastic laugh]. But through the joy and pain, it all has brought me to a good place and state of mind, which I am currently in. Which allows me to continue to be creative, as I work on my next project, Present Future, which will be released in July. Other than that, just making my footprint in the local hip-hop scene, and establishing rapport with those who share the same artistic passion as me. And of course, I’ve been in the lab, not only working on Present Future, but also current tracks that I’ve been releasing, such as “Come Home,” “Mini Ripp,” along with the N.E.R.D. freestyle and the Kanye freestyle I just put out. I did a show last month too, at Envy in Garfield, which was ill. Just tryna stay active and consistent.
So how do you feel about the feedback from Modern Vintage?
The feedback was incredible man. People were blown away not only by the track selection, as a tribute to the 90’s, but also the authenticity and detail of the rhymes. I put everything into that project, it was very personal. I think that went over well with the listeners. I’m amazed by how far it reached. I had people hittin me from Cali, NYC, Atlanta, London, Philly, and several other places, all showing love for Modern Vintage. There are still MANY people out here who have yet to hear it, which is unfortunate, but I feel gratified by the positive feedback I’ve gotten from some of the respectable hands that it has come across, which include those who carry the cd. You can currently get copies at Time Bomb in East Liberty, Soul II Sole on the Southside, Stedaford’s on the Northside, and Upbeat Records in Wilkinsburg. The internet download is still available of course, at DatPiff.com.
So tell us about Present Future, and what we can expect from this project.
Present Future describes the position that I believe myself to currently be in. With the passion, creativity, and ability that I bring to the game, I feel that I can have a solid impact, along with all the others who are contributing and succeeding in the local scene, in carrying on the future of this music. I also have always been told that I am ahead of my time, or beyond my years. I’ve always had a strong influence from elders, like my brother Alim and his peers. Like I said on Summer Snow.. “I’m so 20/20, that means my vision’s clear/and I’m ahead of my time, so that’s my present year.” That line best describes this project. In short, I am presently in the future [laughs]. Musically, it will still feature a sound that reflects the raw essence of hip-hop, but it will be coupled with a modern and even futuristic and eclectic sound, from a production standpoint. I will be playing a key role in the production too, by the way. I’ve been giving a lot of energy to that side of it so far, with the help of Nysceworkk, Hitt of MCM, and a few others. The rhymes will continue to reflect the everyday instances, topics, and experiences of life, as well as typical HUBBS bravado and wit. No freestyles on this mixtape, ALL original tracks, with features from Pablo Neruda, Abso Blair (winner of Pittsburgh ANTUKS Cypher Best Bars Contest), and a few others. It’ll be released on July 23rd, at my birthday party/show, which will feature a live HUBBS performance that will feature some other artists that I’ve been working with. The location is to be later disclosed.
What are some key things you have learned along this process?
Man, I’ve learned a lot. First, I’ve learned that you HAVE to be humble, which is something that comes natural to me. You have to realize that there are A LOT of other talented artists out here, and a lot of cats putting in serious work. You have to realize that it is a process, which will not come easy, even with talent. Attitude is everything. Everyone is not gonna kiss your ass, and praise you. Expecting that, leads to disappointment and bitterness, which you see a lot in the game. Expectations can kill you. You can’t even expect all your friends or close people to support you, even though most will. Gotta just focus on the music. I’ve also learned how important promotion is. Gotta use every possible outlet to get your music out. It costs, but it makes a serious impact on establishing and also maintaining buzz. Present Future itself, will display my growth as an artist, and represent much of what I continue to learn.
Well HUBBS, I thank you for checking in with us again, and we look forward to the release of Present Future. Any shoutouts?
No doubt man, and yes, I wanna give a shoutout to everyone who genuinely has my best interest at heart, and has a sincere desire to see me succeed. The love is much appreciated, and critical to my success. Shoutout to all the naysayers, keep doing your job as well. Without you all, many of the great people of this world would’ve never come to be. Keep it up [chuckles]. Shout to my family, my mom, brother Alim, my two sons Deshawn and Deston, and R.I.P. to my pops, Lawrence Hubbard. Love you pops! My cousin Vince out in Cali, Kenya in ATL, and all my other cousins, aunts, uncles, and family members. Peace to my man CP, and my dude Epps. Ya’ll been right at the core. Mike Hutty, K. Hammond, P. Neru , my “snerdy lady”, Dennis up in Harlem, Kyle, J. Coleman, Myles, my man Keith, J. Brock, Matt Russ, MyyaG, Shaking, Paul Dang, Ray Jeez, Nick, Dom, Protho, Twon, C. Crawf, Arch, Andy Black, the Schifino family, Akida, Marques Ham,“D” and “B” Johnson, Nate, Eddie B., Varro, Shawn, Krystal, Motor of Taylor Gang, Bruce Green, Craig G, Anth, Ricketts, J. Nunley, Nico, Joe Ceph, Hitt, Nickbe and everyone over at MCM, my man Nysceworkk, the whole PH, Fife up on the Hill, and everyone else holdin me down up there. Shout to my dude DJ Drastik over at Soul II Sole, Brick and KT over at Timebomb, T. Bangs, Image, Lil’ Tone, Abso, Envy, RepPghHipHop.com, Thepittsburghscene.com, Chux Beta, and all the other outlets and artists that have helped me get the music out. Peace to everyone I forgot.. much love from HUBBS! And as always, shoutout to my dude DJ MG and the Hip Hop Haven.
New and Unreleased Music from HUBBS:
“Come Home”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Ahdx5pqTk
“Mini Ripp”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM3M0zReYTo&feature=related
“Kanye West Freestyle”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWj6eYn88h4
“N.E.R.D. Freestyle”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1J3qzWqXZk&feature=related
“NWA ‘Appetite for Destruction’ Freestyle”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zysl0oM5y0M&feature=related
MODERN VINTAGE Download: http://www.datpiff.com/Hubbs-Modern-Vintage mixtape.201892.html%20
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/itshubbs
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
To say Amuck is creating a buzz in the city of Pittsburgh is a major understatement. He has been steadily improving as an artist since 2007 with his release of Starving Artist. I'm excited to announce that Amuck has a couple of shows coming up at Altar Bar in the Strip District. On Tuesday May 10th he is rocking with AWOLNATION as part of an event sponsored by 105.9 the X. Admission is free to this show. On Thursday May 12th Amuck is on the ticket with Hed PE & Mushroomhead. Tickets for the show will $20 and you can contact me @ MikeyG80_13@hotmail.com or Amuck @ Amuck412@gmail.com. We promote the artist getting as much of the cut as they can. I had the pleasure of catching up with Amuck and exploring what's been in the works with him as of recent. So here you go ...
How well do you feel you fit in with the acts you'll be sharing the stage with in your upcoming shows?
I'm not sure I've ever played a show where I truly "fit in," and I think that's a good thing, but there are certainly elements of both bills that could be advantageous for my act. Awolnation is actually a pretty good match-up for me because we both have strong undercurrents of Hip-hop, Rock and Electronica in our music. I may have more of a foundation in Hip-hop than he does, but I think that at the end of the day his fans are eclectic individuals who thirst for material that is high-energy yet obscure, and I think that makes me the perfect man for the job.
The Hed PE/Mushroomhead show is a little bit more slippery of a slope. Both of these bands have carved a pretty precise demographic of fans for themselves, and when you get those fans together in the same venue, you have to expect a lot of testosterone, angst and bravado. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just something that will be in the foreground of my mind when I hit the stage. These people might be a little apprehensive about me at first because I'm not what they're used to - my goal is that, by the end of my set, I earn the respect of every person in the audience by leaving everything I have out there. I think it will be a case of raw-passion transcending any preconceived notion, and I anticipate gaining a whole slew of new Amuck fans with this performance.
What can we expect to hear from you at these shows?
I'll be performing a lot of songs from my latest release "Improbabilities", and there MIGHT even be some special guests in the house to rock some of those songs with me. My producer Sikes will also be helping me out with some hype-man duty - he's an unreal artist and performer and he's the one guy I trust to have my back when I pick up a microphone. And I may or may not have some never-before-heard jams to unleash upon the Altar Bar..but my attorney has advised me not to speak on the matter any further at this time.
So to paraphrase: Rhymes, beats, and explosions.
Can you tell us about the progress you're making on your new album that you're currently working on?
Things are going swimmingly. I'm more excited about this new album than anything I've done in the past; it's like "Improbabilities" on anabolic steroids. I got work with Onry Ozzborn of Grayskul/Darktimesunshine fame and my best friend Kiltervision in the same track. I'm working with musicians from some of my favorite homegrown hardcore, punk and indie outfits to give the beats a "full band" kind of feel. DJ Gajamagic (currently of Champagne Champagne, formerly of The Blood Brothers) is chipping in on some production, which is totally surreal because his music was a monumental influence on me in high school. It really feels like everything is coming full-circle.
I'm more on point with my lyrics and concepts than ever before, and I can't wait to get this album into people's hands. Unfortunately, there is no set timetable for a release date at the moment..but if I had to guess, I would tell fans to be on the lookout for it to drop late 2011/early 2012.
Amuck-The Unfettered Ones by Amuck
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Friday, April 22, 2011
Giving some love to one of my favorite hip hop artists, the mighty Mos Def. We're going to spend this friday banging along to some of my favorite bangers from Mos Def. Get down.
Madlib hit one out of the park with this beat!
Can Never forget Black Star
Have a great Easter weekend for those who celebrate.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Deltron 3030 is in the studio finishing their second album Deltron Event II. The group consists of producer Dan the Automator, emcee Del tha Funkee Homosapien (known as Deltron Zero for the project) and DJ Kid Koala. The production for Deltron Event II started in 2006. For many different reasons it was simply never finished. Their debut album Deltron 3030 , which was released in 2000, was a brilliant piece and remains one of my all time favorite hip-hop albums. I'm extremely excited to check this out when it is finished. There has been no release date released. Here is a video clip of Del in the studio laying down a verse for the project.
I"m really digging the Odd Future crew who's full name is Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA). These guys are from Los Angeles, California and bring some serious craziness to the game. I dig it and here are some more vids. (I entered in the video for Tyler The Creator's Yonkers below on it's own.)
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Here are the samples used on one of the greatest hip-hop albums in history and one of my favorite albums, Liquid Swords by Gza.
1. Liquid Swords
Dialogue from Shogun Assassin
2. Duel of the Iron Mic
Dialogue from Shogun Assassin
3. Living in the World Today
Dialogue from Dragon on Fire
5. Cold World
Dialogue from Shogun Assassin
7. 4th Chamber
Willie Mitchell- Groovin (See above Liquid Swords)
Dialogue from Shogun Assassin
Dialogue from Shaolin Vs Lama
9. Hell's Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304
10. Investigative Reports
12. I Gotcha Back
Dialogue from Shogun Assassin
13. B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
Monday, March 28, 2011
My boy Alex recommended this track to me and posted it up on his facebook page. I have been bumping it ever since, love it. Here is for you to bump it hard as well! This is a single, 99 Names from the album Snake-Eyes.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Basick Sickness is a strong group from Pittsburgh, PA really making a name for themselves. This is the only non pure hip hop group that I report on in this blog. I truely put my stamp on these guys. Here is their newest video "Inches".
Show support and hit them up on Facebook:
Today's Friday Feel Good Jam comes with a story. The Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio is one of the biggest fitness expos in the world. As I'm making my way around all the various booths with ultra long lines, I notice one table where there isn't a soul. As I get closer I notice it's hip-hop pioneer Melle Mel. I get excited and make my way over. He was signing 8x10 photos of himself for a supplement company. As I get over to the table I just reacted and rapped the verse, "Melle Mel with the clientele, I'm gonna rock your chime and ring your bell!!". He jumps out of his seat with his hand over his mouth and just yells,"OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! You did not, haha. You just made my day brotha!!" He then signed a picture for me and I paid my respects and we talked briefly. :-). I feel pretty fortunate at least for one time I got to spit a verse to a legend. And that verse is actually from today's Friday Feel Good Jam- Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five- Freedom.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
This is a breath of fresh air, I highly recommend to give this a listen. Great album to bump with spring right around the corner. I could just sit on the front porch on a sunny day with a light breeze hitting me vibing to this. Very soulful content with production work to match by Orlando Buscrates Marshall. Iman's style and delivery reminds me of R & B sensation Amel Larrieux. Here is the link to purchase the album and listen to individual songs.
All Production by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble
Album Artwork by: Dr. Foo
"Float Away" mixed by Real Soon
creditsreleased 30 November 2010
Iman Williams, BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble, Velben, Porsche Smith:
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You're getting another exclusive people!! New track from APEX feat. Roscoe Wiki "All Of Me" produced by Czientist off the upcoming project Sound Travel which is tenatively scheduled to release on 7-24-11.
APEX Ft Rosco Wiki of the Common Wealth Family "All Of Me" Prod by Czientist by APEXonline
Click below for free download:
To download the debut album Face The Musik on iTunes, click below!
To download the sophomore album Struggle City on iTunes, click below!
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Keep up the great work APEX we'll be listening. You can also check back here for upcoming shows and appearances.