Minnie Riperton – Here We Go

Breaks, Beats & Samples

Minnie Riperton
Here We Go
Love Lives Forever
Capitol Records

Although she died aged on 31, Minnie Riperton’s music catalog was quite extensive & admired. It contains numerous heavily used samples, but this particular track ‘Here We Go’ isn’t in that category. It’s a very mellow string (probably harp) sample & it has the vocals isolated. Additional vocals on this track itself are supplied by Peabo Bryson.

To my recollection this track was first sampled in 1995. Noteworthy users include: A rapper/producer from a Bronx collective & a collaboration by two allied solo wordsmiths.

Rakim performs new track ‘King’s Paradise’ for season 2 of Luke Cage


King’s Paradise
Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 2
Marvel & ABC Studios

As expected, to coincide with the release of the 2nd season of Marvel action hero ‘Luke Cage’, a soundtrack for the television series has also dropped. The legendary Rakim has recorded a track especially for the show entitled ‘King’s Paradise’. Filmed at the fictional ‘Harlem’s Paradise’ nightclub, the rapper actually performs the track in the season finale (Episode 13).

‘King’s Paradise’ was produced by Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Together they composed the entire music score for the season 2 soundtrack, just as they did for season 1.

This visual is for promotional purposes & is only a short preview. A full version of the audio can be found on the soundtrack. The new season of Luke Cage is available for streaming on Netflix as of today (June 22nd).

Redman – I Love Hip Hop

I Love Hip Hop
Riveting Music/Riveting Entertainment

Using the chorus from Cypress Hill’s ‘Hand On The Pump’, Redman shows that Hip Hop from the 90’s era still has a place in this day & time. The visual is a humorous skit where Redman is a janitor in a club. He’s working for a boss who clearly dislikes him & eventually ends up firing him! In-between the drama of the day, Reggie imagines he is rocking the mic at a show, but in reality we know what he’s capable of. He’s been doing this for over 2 decades. It seems like we’ve been waiting decades for his promised album ‘Muddy Waters Too’. Word has it now that the aforementioned project will not drop until 2019.

For now, Redman’s message is clear: “I Love Hip Hop”!!!

Preview, buy & download ‘I Love Hip Hop’ @ iTunes here

A.G. – The Taste Of AMBrosia

Album Release

The Taste Of AMBrosia
Megatron Bronx/Slice Of Spice
Release date: June 22nd

As a veteran rapper in the game, Andre the Giant is giving us some mature rap which has the ‘The Taste Of AMBrosia’. AMBrosia combines the food of the mythical Gods with the initials of A.G.’s government name.

Mainly known for his rhymes as a part of the duo Showbiz & A.G., he’s continuing to expand his solo catalog. Lyrically the vibe is retrospective of the past yet observant of today’s social issues, all as A.G. sees them. Subject matters covered range from the street stories, government politics & the music industry (from a Hip Hop point of view). For the majority of the album there’s very much a mellow, jazzy flava to the beats. There’s no Showbiz involvement on this project, but fellow D.I.T.C. rapper/producer Diamond D appears & provides beats on the album.

Andre the Giant continues to grow with his brand of grown folks Hip Hop.

1. Night Of Fire (feat. President Ella)
2. Everything Is Backwards
3. Magical World
4. What You Talking Bout (feat. Diamond D)
5. Losing My Mind (feat. Frank Vocals)
6. Fort Apache (feat. Priest Da Beast & Draf)
7. Marcus Garvey (Interlude)
8. The Bronx (feat. Diamond D & A Bless)
9. Have It Your Way (feat. Cassandra The Goddess & Whispers)
10. Price Of Fame
11.Dead Presidents (feat. Draf)
12. Childs Play (feat. A Bless & Bugz)

Preview, buy & download @ iTunes here

Stream, purchase & download @ Bandcamp here

Westside Gunn – Supreme Blientele

Album Release

Westside Gunn
Supreme Blientele
Griselda Records
Release date: June 22nd

Although the wrestling themes are evident in some of the track titles, the provisional title of the album itself has changed. ‘Chris Benoit’ has now become ‘Supreme Blientele’ & has been released on Westside’s own label.

For those familiar with Westside Gunn & his usual rhyme partner & brother Conway, the grimy aggressiveness is in full effect with plenty of gun & crime talk. This has been added to with a big name list of guest rappers including: Busta Rhymes, Roc Marciano, Elzhi, Jadakiss & of course Gunn’s brother Conway. Themed around slow paced boom bap, the production is also handled by some big names such as Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, Alchemist & Static Selektah among others.

Oh yeah, if anybody knows what ‘Blientele’ means then please let everybody else know. Perhaps we can figure it out as we listen to the album.

1. Big Homie Arn
2. GODS Don’t Bleed (feat. Benny & Jadakiss)
3. Dean Malenko
4. Brutus (feat. Benny & Conway)
5. Amherst Station
6. RVD (feat. Keisha Plum)
7. Elizabeth
8. MEAN Gene
9. Stefflon Don
10. SaBu
11. Brossface Brippler (feat. Benny & Busta Rhymes)
12. Spanish Jesus (feat. CRIMEAPPLE)
13. The Steiners (feat. Elzhi)
14. Ric Martel (feat. Roc Marciano)
15. Westside
16. Wrestlemania 20 (feat. Anderson .Paak)
17. AA Outro (feat. AA Rashid)

Preview, buy & download @ iTunes here


Album Release

Mass Appeal Records LLC, / Def Jam Recordings
Release date: June 15th

It’s been 6 years since the release of Nas’ last album ‘Life Is Good’, so the announcement that his 11th studio project was imminent left all eagerly anticipating it.

Only 7 tracks??? Well, that’s down to executive producer Kanye West. He’s currently overseeing a set of projects for other artists with a similar track quantity. ‘Ye is also responsible for all of the beats, with additional aid from numerous other producers.

The sound is sparse & almost demo sounding. A combination of sung hooks, chopped up melodic piano samples & simple drum patterns set the backdrop. It’s clearly an attempt to attract a younger & wider audience, while at the same time keep his loyal fans pleased. Does it work? Opinion is ‘very’ divided. Lyrically it’s trademark Nas. In typical fashion he covers all angles of his life affecting him, personal & the current social/political climate.

There was a slight delay in the release of the album for streaming to the public. Distributors Def Jam Recordings jokingly posted up a picture of Nas via Instagram, seemingly struggling to upload the album to the internet. Surely that’s the job of the record company staff right? Streaming at the time was limited to live recorded footage via Mass Appeal’s YouTube channel. This was recorded at the album’s open air listening party in Queensbridge the night before. The issue has since been rectified & the album is now available on iTunes/Apple Music & Tidal.

The album cover, which contains no text or a definitive reason as to why it was used, has an interesting story behind it. The picture was taken by photographer & journalist Mary Ellen Mark. It’s part of an article from 1988 called ‘The War Zone’ by reporter Jim Atkinson. The story explored the disadvantaged neighborhood of South Dallas, where poverty, drugs & violence were a part of day to day life.

Atkinson wrote: “Ten years ago this was a working-class neighborhood’ now criminals dominate the area,”. “Kids learn to play by watching the police, prostitutes work to support their habit, and families try desperately to stay together.”

This album, which is really an EP, will not please all. At the same time it has the potential to gain Nas a wider listening audience. Either way the lyrical content & flow is evidently still strong.

Whatever your view of ‘NASIR’, Escobar season has returned because “Nas Album Done”.
(Rashad Unique)

1. Not For Radio (feat. Puff Daddy & 070 Shake)
2. Cops Shot The Kid
3. White Label
4. Bonjour (feat. Tony Williams)
5. Everything (feat. The-Dream)
6. Adam And Eve (feat. The-Dream)
7. Simple Things

Preview, buy & download @ iTunes here

Purchase the ‘NASIR’ album on vinyl or CD @ the official ‘Nas’ store here. ‘Nasir’ hoodies, short & long sleeved t-shirts also available. All purchases come with a complimentary digital version of the album.

Apollo Brown & Locksmith – No Question

Album Release

Apollo Brown & Locksmith
No Question
Mello Music Group
Release date: June 15th

The current trend in Hip Hop is to release albums with fewer tracks than normal. In reality that makes it an EP, but if that means quality over quantity we can argue & be pedantic, or not, after listening!

Apollo Brown’s production never fails to bring quality, regardless of who provides the vocals. He likes his high profile collabo’s, but this time around Richmond, California’s ‘Locksmith’ gets his chance to profile his rap skills. He’s been around dropping mixtapes & albums since 2010 and this project raises his profile.

If jazzy grooves, thumpin’ bass & thoughtful rhymes are your thing there’s ‘No Question’ this is for you.

1. Just Ask
2. Advice To My Younger Self
3. No Question
4. Between The Raindrops
5. Litmus
6. Slow Down
7. In My Element (feat. DJ Los)
8. Wake Up


Stream, purchase & buy @ Bamdcamp here