Masta Ace is making 'A Breukelen Story' all about Marco Polo… • Word Is Bond

Masta Ace & Marco Polo is teaming up to bring you A Breukelen Story, where the concept for the album is about the Canadian’s move to Brooklyn from Toronto – back in the early 2000s.

For their introduction to the album, the duo linked up with Boot Camp Clik’s own Smif-N-Wessun – who comes in on the hook for the song, ‘Brooklyn’. In an interview with Complex, Ace says it’s a tribute in a positive way to his hometown.

“This song is an ode to my birthplace…. Brooklyn… originally named Breukelen after the city in Holland… the video depicts the beauty and essence of my city and Director Parris Stewart captures it perfectly!”

‘Breukelen’ is ‘Brooklyn’ in Dutch. The Dutch settled in the town and gave it the name (similar to the name of the town in Holland) in the 17th century.

This isnt the first time we’ve seen Ace and Polo link up to do music. Ace appeared on Polo’s ‘Nostalgia’ track (in which the video was shot in Brooklyn) from his 2007’s Port Authority album, and in 2011 they did a song called I Refuse (feat. eMC partner Wordsworth) for Russell Peters’ stand up comedy gig on DVD.

The album is set for a November 9th release on Fat Beats, which you can now pre-order. Tracklisting below.

1. Kings
2. Dad’s Talk (Skit)
3. Breukelen “Brooklyn” feat. Smif-N-Wessun
4. Get Shot
5. Still Love Her feat. Pearl Gates
6. Man Law feat. Styles P
7. You & I
8. Gotta Go (Skit)
9. Sunken Place feat. Pav Bundy
10. Corporal Punishment feat. Elzhi
11. Landlord Of The Flies (Skit)
12. Count Em Up feat. Lil Fame
13. American Me
14. The Cutting Room (Skit)
15. God Bodies feat. Trini Boy
16. Wanna Be f. Marlon Craft
17. Three feat. eMC
18. The Fight Song feat. Pharoahe Monch
19. Mom’s Talk (Skit)

 

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BONUS: Apollo Brown & Joell Oritz – Timberlan'd Up (remix feat. Royce Da 5'9 & KXNG Crooked) • Word Is Bond

So Joell Ortiz & Apollo Brown have linked up to bring you an album called Mona Lisa, which is due for an October 26th release. After three singles released to the masses, the duo brings you a bonus track which features an additional two members of the Slaughterhouse members (Royce Da 5’9 & KXNG Crooked).

Not too long ago, the rumors about the Slaughterhouse split has been made public. We’ve seen Joe Budden & Eminem go at it online, and then Crooked & Royce spoke about it – but we never heard Joell talk about it until recently on the final single ‘Reflection‘ when he came to the conclusion that..

“Headphones, dead in a zone like Rick and Michonne
I’m feelin’ better on my own
Took a sec for me to accept that next time I’m on the road won’t be no Crook,
won’t be no Royce, won’t be no Joe..”

Even though seeing them them getting back together to finish the Glass House album will never happen, it’s good to hear at least 3/4 of Slaughterhouse rip into an Apollo Brown beat – and that’s a bonus we can grab as a free download.

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There is a Jean-Michel Basquiat musical in the works… • Word Is Bond

A Broadway music focused on the life and works of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century is currently in production by Jon Batiste. Batiste, who’s currently the bandleader & musical director for the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, will be showcasing the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1980s New York – from the time he started writing graffiti to the time he became an inspiring figure post-pop art before his works changed the game in the art world.

According to producers Alan D. Marks & Barbara Marks, the show’s development team will be working closely with the Basquiat Estate, and has secured the rights to his artwork and personal archives.  Set Tony winner John Doyle will be the director of the piece.

“Over the years, many people have approached us about telling our brother’s story on stage, but having discussed this project with the Marks over many months, our interest was piqued once we understood that their approach to telling our brother’s story treats his life, his art and his legacy with respect and passion,” said Basquiat’s sisters Lisane and Jeanine in a statement. “With Jon Batiste and John Doyle leading the creative team, we are thrilled with the possibilities. We cannot wait to begin the developmental process. Broadway is a new world for us, and we looking forward to sharing our brother’s life and art.”

So far, according to OKP, the crew got Motown’s own Eric LaJuan Summers to play the prolific artist.

Basquiat started writing as SAMO with another member in the LES in the late 70s. In the early 80s, his career catapulted to various heights with doing tv appearances and being featured in Blondie’s ‘Rapture‘ video (instead of Grandmaster Flash), doing collaborations with Andy Warhol, having his very first art show with Lee Quinones (The Time Square Show) and then having his work shown internationally in Italy, and plenty more.

His work uses ‘suggestive dichotomies’ like wealth/poverty, intergration/segregation, inner vs outer experience, with social commentary in the pieces to address issues like racism, politics, class struggle, etc.

As reflected in JAY Z & Skyzoo‘s works, Basquiat’s work has managed to have influenced hiphop music. As Detroit’s beatsmith Apollo Brown tells XXL in regards to the song, ‘Basquiat On The Draw’ from the 2016 collabo with Sky on The Easy Truth:

“Jean Michel stayed absolutely true to himself. Just like us, he made the type of art he wanted to make, even if it was the less popular choice at the time. Look at the impact of his work now though! There’s always a niche audience for what you create, and always a group of people who understand your vision. We, as hip hop artists prove this everyday.”

The first reading of the forthcoming production is scheduled for June 24th 2019.

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Check Prof out at a venue near you as he delivers his 'Eulogy'… • Word Is Bond

Prof just delivered his ‘Eulogy‘, through the help of Will Moses and Tomas Aksamit that directed the new visuals. The video paints a stunning backdrop for the lush audio. Speaking about the track and the visuals, Prof says, “We live in heaven right now. Don’t ignore the signs. This is my eulogy.”

Aside from his Rhymesayers’ brother Atmosphere being on tour, Prof will be heading out on his in a little over a week for his Pookie Baby album. Go ahead and make arrangements now so you can see yourself at one of these venues below.

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Mello Music Group to celebrate ten years with 'special' re-releases • Word Is Bond

Over the course of 2018-2019, to celebrate their upcoming tenth anniversary, Mello Music Group will be releasing special Audiophile Editions of their classic titles. The Mello Signature Series will be pressed on double LPs, limited to 300 copies of each title, on 180 gram black vinyl, with special gatefold packaging, including liner note stories from Mello about the creation of each title. Available exclusively at Fat Beats.

Limited to 300 copies of each title, on 180 gram black vinyl, with special gatefold packaging, including liner note stories from Mello Music Group about the creation of each title.

So for the first release, they’ll be unleashing Diamond District‘s (Oddisee, X.O., yU) 2009 release of the In The Ruff album, which is scheduled for a 11/9 release, but pre-order is now available.

In 2009 Mello Music Group had released just four records (101, Mental Liberation, New Money, and Black & Read All Over). Diamond District “In The Ruff” was the fifth record and the first to garner national attention. It was the moment we felt like a bonafide record label.

Oddisee had crafted a brilliant group album that was timely in multiple ways: a DMV album riding the appeal of HBO’s The Wire that had just concluded its fifth and final season; giving the album away free first in a time when people still looked at you funny for even having a free song; and touching on the nostalgia for golden era Pete Rock, Marley Marl style sounds and Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul styled groups. The record was an indie hit. “Streets Won’t Let Me Chill”, “Who I Be”, and “I Mean Business” all struck chords as singles, but the album itself was a complete front to back masterpiece helmed by Oddisee who produced, arranged, mixed, mastered, and rapped on the whole thing. yU offered philosopher king’s poetry to the album, while Uptown XO brought the street sensibility to the project. iTunes named it to their best rap of 2009 list. NPR included the vinyl on their best of 2009 along with calling the trio a DC Supergroup. In a time of Blog Supremacy, OkayPlayer, 2DopeBoyz, NahRight, and Potholes In My Blog pegged the record as a best of. For myself, a Little Brother mega-fan, Phonte’s praise rang loudest.

The entire music world felt open after “In The Ruff” laid a concrete foundation for Oddisee and Mello Music. The new audiophile edition of course made sense to do with Fat Beats who put out the original vinyl edition with us. The cover art from J. William Washington, aka Brutha Brub is as iconic today as it was then, highlighting the DMV (Maryland, DC, Virginia) map that shaped the album’s sensibility and sound. After almost a decade of being out of print, we are excited to present the new 180g audiophile edition as part of the Mello Signature Series.

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Black Moon's 'Enta Da Stage' 25th Anniversary Show at SOBs! • Word Is Bond

In the words on DJ Evil Dee (linear notes):

“This album was done on blunted terms. Anyone who is offended by the contents of the album, FUCK YOU. Nuff said.”

In the 90s, Black Moon was basically EVERYTHING hiphop fans wanted to be like.

The idea of having huge crews in your music videos was something unheard of until Black Moon stepped on the scene. Despite the main people involved can be at least 3-5 on average, you wouldn’t have known that especially when you see at least 20-30 heads in one music video. The west coast artists wasn’t doing that in music videos at the time.

Black Moon’s debut album Enta Da Stage will be turning 25 on the 19th of this month. To celebrate their quarter-century-old album, they’re having a celebration over at SOBs in New York, with the help from Move Forward Music & Funk Flex on the decks. Tickets are now available for purchase.

This album alone introduced to the world the Boot Camp Clik.

It also did a lot for Buckshot, 5ft, and DJ Evil Dee – who saw their early beginnings in high school. They eventually linked up with Mr. Walt and dropped this album on Nervous Recordings in ’92 (Walt & Dee are brothers who became infamous on the production as Da Beatminerz). First single came from this album was ‘Who Got Da Props?’ All the while, Buckshot was trying to get people to take him seriously as a manager at the age of 18 – under being 5’6. He met Dru Ha at the label and the two formed a management company called ‘Duck Down Management’ – which later became Duck Down Records. For Buckshot, it was a really hard time for him personally.

When they dropped the video for the single in late ’92, what was to follow in the later years was unexpected: the fashion sense of dressing in baggy clothes and the 6″ boots; the idea of having more than 15 people as a part of your crew in your music videos (as stated above), the grittiness in the rhymes – especially the location of the music videos to match, the overlaying of jazz samples and production being dark (thanks to DJ Evil Dee) and – the term ‘backpack rap’. In this video, Buckshot, 5ft, and a few others are the more notables that are wearing them while wildin’ out.

“Booming like a speaker with my 100 dollar sneakers
Baggy black jeans, knapsack, and my beeper…”

They’ve dropped four singles, but two of them have been came hits – Who Got Da Props? and ‘I Got Cha Opin’ (remix). The remix itself was given life with a video (above), new lyrics, and new music – everything that the original didn’t have.

That changed in 2013 when Eminem remade the original, titling it Don‘t Front. It was him paying homage to the crew that showed him love during his early beginnings, which in turn let the world know who he would’ve signed to if he didn’t sign with Dre.

According to AllMusic‘s Vincent Thomas (at the time), this album played a huge role in re-emergence of NY street hiphop, setting the precedence for the west coast dominance to end.

“It set the tone for much of the hip hop to follow. Biggie Smalls suicidal thoughts and Noreaga’s boisterous thuggery both have their roots here. The album marked a turning point in hip hop.”

Even though the album was huge in popularity, the sales unfortunately didnt match, selling a little over 350,000 copies. Despite that fact, it’s still one of the most prominent hiphop albums of today’s time, again – opening up avenues to albums like Nas’s Illmatic, Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers, Biggie’s Ready To Die, Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, (and so forth) to ‘enta da stage’.

Congratulations to the crew that heavily influenced NY rap in the 90s, and happy 25th!

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The Killuminati Conspiracy Theory Continues (part 2) – Suge J Knight • Word Is Bond

A little over eight years ago, one of our older writers wrote this compelling piece that got folks talking about Tupac Shakur speaking about the Illuminati. The difference was that the opinion piece took the opposite position that most people was taking. The end result was it became one of our most read (and retweeted) articles that year.

So in between then and today, two years later Afeni Shakur goes after Death Row Records for the second time (which ends up getting bought by eOne) because they breached the contract about getting paid in royalties and getting unreleased music. According to her, she was owed about seven figures. In 2016, Shakur died from a heart attack, and her legal representatives took over the suit. Five years later – and a few days ago – the estate won their case with getting the unreleased music, but not as much money Shakur sought to get.

Suge Knight was once considered as one of the most dangerous men in the industry running Death Row. From all the stories that guests have spoke about on VLAD TV, you can see understand how he has a stronghold on a number of those who worked at the label. Knight got into some serious trouble with killing Terry Carter at a music video shoot, and a few days ago he gets sentenced for 28 years behind bars.

Knight’s son (who also carries his name) decides to drop a loaded bomb that reignites the rumors that Pac is alive and well. There have been theories in the past that he’s living in Cuba, but according to Knight,s son, Suge – he’s alive and breathing in Malaysia, and he’s been kicking it with a few heads of today’s music industry.

According to Suge’s instagram posts, it seems like now he’s being targeted.

Considering all that has happened, why did he decide to bring this questionable theory back into the public conversation – after it has been dead for so many years? Whether or not this ‘idea’ of him being alive and older (as seen in these pictures) has yet to be seen as accurate, the fact that there’s an actual corpse that was seen by many should be enough to put this whole idea to rest.

What about the authenticity of these pictures? Who has taken them? Why are they now being in the public eye, and no one else has seen them? In the comments from the pages, fans are even questioning if they’re even photoshopped – and why the hell are they blurry?

And what about these … ‘sightings‘? And also, didn’t Pac die in the arms of a cop trying to save him?

This whole ordeal shouldn’t have been brought up without any credible sources. Unless one or a couple of people are willing to come to the plate and say that this is actually real, and have more recent pictures that doesn’t look like they’ve been washed up with waterpaint, then the conversation should be laid dead to rest – just like Pac.



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Tupac Shakur's Estate Awarded Unreleased Music & Royalties • Word Is Bond

The estate of the late Tupac Shakur has recently settled a five-year-lawsuit with Entertainment One (eOne) – who purchased Death Row Records a few years back.

According to TMZ, the estate has filed documents earlier this week stating that the two sides came to agreement to settle. Sources that knew about the deal made known that there was a six-figure payout made that will go to the estate, and that there’s a bunch of unreleased music from Pac that will be given to them.

The music that will be given to the estate will include more than enough master recordings for at least two albums, and probably enough music for at least three albums.

‘Pac’s mother, Afeni Shakur sued Death Row back in 2013 over royalties owed to the late rapper. At the time, according to her, she was owed seven figures. When she passed away in 2016, her lawyers took over the lawsuit.

As of yet it is unknown when all of this is supposed to take place.

 

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Pharoahe Monch: New Album, Organized Konfusion, & more… • Word Is Bond

We were late on this, but better late than never, right?

It’s been a little over four years since we’ve had a full length album from Pharoahe Monch. We’ve seen him go overseas back in March, then dropped a verse over the summer on a Wu remix track called ‘Pearl Harbor’ (s/o AFH) – so the great thing is he’s staying busy. Fans have been wondering when he’s going to drop another album, and thanks to the interview he did with Take It Personal Radio, we have information on what the album will sound like.

“It’s pretty insane. I’m looking at the collective of records, and I’m thinking it’s one of my best projects ever,” Monch says to DJ Philaflava and Kevlar, with DJ 360 taking full control on the music-side of things with his tribute. “It’s the hardest project ever.”

“It’s the darkest project ever, and it’s the hardest,” Monch continues. “The bars are somewhere in between Extinction Agenda (Stress) and Internal Affairs.”

According to Monch, this album is something he’s been wanting to work on for eight years. He’s letting Lee Stone take full control of production duties – which goes back to his IA days. Nottz has production on the album already. Details include that there will be songs on there that doesn’t have choruses and it’s bar-heavy.

But there’s something about this album that most fans will find somewhat shocking – it will be heavy rock-influenced. Monch grew up being a major fan of rock & roll music.

“I’m a huge (Led) Zepplin fan, but I would say that the record will feel a little more like (Black) Sabbath,” Monch says.

Aside from news about another album, the question came up about whether or not he and Prince Po will get back in the studio and make another album as Organized Konfusion. The last time they’ve linked up as OK was for Marco Polo’s 2013 joint, ‘3-0-Clock‘.

“I just sent him (Po) a beat that he loves… that’s where we’re at with it right now,” Monch says. “It just gotta be super organic. As long as it’s that, I don’t care what the vibe is…” 

Check out the soundcloud below. The interview starts a little after the 1:16:00 mark. The interview details everything – everything that a fan wants to know. This is a no-holds- barred interview, as well as an astounding tribute mix put together by 360.



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Little Brother reunited at Art Of Cool festival over the weekend… • Word Is Bond

For their first time in almost 10 years, Little Brother got back together for one night at the Art Of Cool‘s 5th festival event in Durham, North Carolina.

According to the city’s twitter page, they managed to make the reunion happen a few hours before the show. Initially, 9th Wonder was the only member out of the trio that was on the bill (95 Live w/DJ Spinderella), but no one expected Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte to appear as special guests.

The group hasn’t released anything since Leftback in 2010 (sans 9th), and (as a trio), Getback since 2007 – which the world saw Pooh and Phonte part ways from their longtime producer.

Phonte has been the only person that spoke on the possibility of an LB reunion in the past. Speaking with Andreas Hale back in March, he wasn’t for it at first, but when the passing of Phife Dawg happened – and witnessing The Revolution reunite for a show in Minneapolis ( w/o Prince [RIP]), he then reconsidered it while reflecting on the idea in a separate interview during The Combat Jack Show.

“There’s one thing to say that I have the option to not do this,” said Phonte. “I can either take it or leave it,” he said. “It’s another thing when that option no longer exists. So, it definitely made me think a lot about wanting, if nothing else, to just put a period at the end of the sentence, to end it properly.”

There’s no new update on what this surprise will mean going forward for them.



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