Monday, October 30, 2006

KRS-1, Channel Live & Mad Lion "Happy Verse Day" (1997)

Yet another late-90's KRS indie joint, this one made the rounds on a number of mixtapes. This cut showcased the later incarnation of the BDP family (Channel Live, Mad Lion), and while it's not as strong as say, "Free Mumia", it's a solid battle cut from the assembled crew:

KRS-1, Channel Live & Mad Lion "Happy Verse Day" 12"

The cut maintains its intensity throughout; it's pretty much a free-for-all, with Channel Live kicking it off, and Mad Lion's appearances functioning more like bookends to the more accomplished MC's rhymes. I've always felt like the beat held the song back a little; it's definately solid, but fairly repetitive and doesn't bang like a lot of other KRS records at the time.

This 12" release features a Trackmasterz Mix, which is essentially code for "the acapella over a *really* familiar sample you've heard 100 times already". I'm probably giving this a much more negative review than it deserves; it's much tighter than, say, Gunplay, and ultimately essential if it's not already a part of your KRS collection.

Includes Vocal (dirty and clean), Instrumental, and Trackmasterz mix.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kapone "Who's Blowing Up Far Rockaway Queens" (1994)

This was one of a small group of records in my collection that I was convinced no one else knew about...'til I saw it on Vinyl Addicts. Since I started this blog up, I've tried to avoid posting records that I knew were available elsewhere, as I'd rather try to complement the work other people are putting in, rather than ignore/overlap/overrun it. However, since the audio has been down for a while (and I don't think the complete 12" was ever up), and since it's a dope record that isn't too easy to track down, here it is:

This is one of the first true "indie" records I came across (in '95), and it helped convinced me to snatch up pretty much every indie record I came across for the next few years (much to the delight of my credit card companies). If you haven't heard this cut, it's raw as f*ck...true NYC-indie-banger. A simple stomping drum break complemented by some strings samples, while Kapone (yeah, I didn't know either) rhymes about where he's from. The vocals aren't mixed so well, which just adds to the cut's rawness factor, its main appeal.

The flip-side contains a few curious cuts; I never really felt them, but I know some heads might. "Never Slumber" might work with another MC, but after hearing "Who's Blowing Up Far Rockaway", the beat on "Never Slumber" was waaay too happy for my taste. "In the Mix" is more of what you'd want to hear from Kapone; dark, banging beat playing the back while Kapone rips some thug shit.

Includes the three cuts mentioned, as well as the instrumentals for "Who's Blowing Up" and "Never Slumber".

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thrust "Emcee" (1998)

I don't know too much about Thrust, beyond the fact that he's obviously embedded in the Toronto scene, which for my cash was one of the better scenes of the mid/late 90's. The only 12" of his that I've tracked down so far is this one:

The thing that drew me to this record (and the reason it still gets play) is the beat on the flip-side, "Emcee Pt. 2". Thrust himself is solid lyrically ("je suis fatigue/of all these kids who can't spray"); his flow is mad disjointed on this cut, but the casualness of it works with the beat. The instrumental has a thick snare, a number of well-put together samples, but it's the main guitar sample that is ill as f*ck. Dope head-nod ish.

Includes "Emcee", "Emcee Pt. 2", and the instrumentals.

***Just discovered that Thrust had an EP out in '96 on Knowledge of Self produced by Frankenstein, the "Past, Present, Future" EP...anyone have this/heard it?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Trip-hop Joints: Morcheeba "Never an Easy Way"

I discovered Morcheeba a little late (right after the release of their second album), but I couldn't get enough of their early material. As far as trip-hop classics go, I figure you can stick with Massive Attack, Portishead, and Morcheeba; but hell, I'm not British, so ultimately I'm unqualified to annoint 'em (no, I didn't "forget" Tricky). Personally, I find Morcheeba's material past the second album practically unlistenable, so here's a nice dark twelve from their first record, "Who Can You Trust?":

Morcheeba twelves always had extra beats and remixes on 'em, which made them worth tracking down and paying the import prices for. On "Never an Easy Way", the extra beat is "Baby Sitar" (Drummer of Your Dream Mix), which rocks - guess - a dope sitar (sample?). Tight track, very listenable at 3 minutes long.

There are several versions of "Never an Easy Way", neither of which are big departures from the album version; essentially, it's an extended version ("Long Mix") and an abbreviated one ("Apocalypso Mix"). Oh, and there's an instrumental version ("Diabolical Beats"). Fresh for '96...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Finsta & Bundy "Sunnyside" (1993)

Finsta & Bundy were one time affiliates of Black Moon, and it shows on this particular 12". This was their first single released on Big Willie Records, a company out of London, which eventually became Tape Kingz.

Finsta & Bundy "Sunnyside" 12"

Finsta's production is very reminiscent of Da Beatminerz. The Black Moon influence is also very apparent in both of their flows. I can't help but think of Buckshot or Smif-N-Wessun when I listen to the both of them.

Finsta & Bundy never officially put out an album, but throughout the years, they have released a number of 12". For those interested, Finsta is set to release his solo album titled "AFC3 (A Finsta Creation)" in the very near furture.

* Sorry for the lack of an actual picture.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jungle Brothers "40 Below Trooper" (1993)

The JB's will probably go down as the most underrated member of the Native Tongues; I know the "extended version" runs deep, but when you focus on the Big 3 (Tribe, De La, JB's), can you honestly take a JB's album over Tribe or De La's best? Their late-90's offerings (post-"How Ya Want It" and -"Brain") didn't help their reputation, either. That being said, I still can't get enough of this '93 single, still one of my favorites:

Most heads are at least familiar with "40 Below Trooper", but it hasn't received near as much play over the years as other '93 bangers, making it a virtual sure-shot for early-90's sets. The beat is still bouncy as f*ck after all these years, and if the b-boys/girls at your party can't get off to this, the party is f*ckin' w-a-c-k. Probably as hype as a JB's cut can get.

The twelve also includes a remix, the "Heartbeat Mix", which strips the beat down to its essentials, paring down the break and samples. Can't say I prefer it, but due to its sparser nature, it does kick a little harder. Also includes "All I Want Is You", and the instrumentals for "40 Below Trooper" and "All I Want...".

Saturday, October 21, 2006

...filled requests, ups and blog updates...

Big thanks to everyone who's been filling requests and upping random records in the C-box (particularly Andyman & Klay Doe, good lookin' out) of this post, these links are still good, but don't expect them to last forever. Here's what you might have missed in the last few weeks:

Instrumental Albums
Black Moon "Enta Da Stage" upped by Andyman187
Lord Finesse "The Awakening"upped by Swann
Lootpack "Soundpieces Da Antidote" upped by Swann
Diamond D "Stunts, Blunts, & Hip-hop" upped by Andyman187

The Planets "The Opening" upped by Lasos
Jigmastas "Lyrical Fluctuation" upped by Klay Doe
Black Sheep "Similak Child (Homogenized mixes)" upped by djespionage
Grassrootz "Uncharted Regionz" upped by Klay Doe
Network Reps "Dos Collabo" upped by djespionage
Cactus Jack "Act Like What You Say" upped by stiefel
Lootpack "Whenimondamic" 12" upped by djespionage
Lootpack "The Anthem" 12" upped by djespionage

Then, there's been a number of heads that have stopped by to get the word out regarding blog's a brief description of some other spots worth checking...

Blog updates:
* Timz N Hood Chek: a lot of dope (mostly new) albums
* This Is Tomorrow: hip-hop and original samples
* World Trade Centre London: Dope UK-centered music and media blog
* Exploration of Music: Substantive hip-hop music and culture blog
* Revolution & Swing: Albums; Hip-hop, R&B, Soundtracks
* Subsurface: Good reviews; new site, but provocative
* Vinyl Addicts: Vinyl Addicts are back!! Although the site is completely re-designed, and appears to be more of a "Diggers with Grattitude" Part 2 than the original Vinyl Addicts (it seems to me that "Diggers..." are more about writing/discussing the music, which is cool, but can end up reinforcing some of the elitism that's irritating about vinyl culture). I'm optimistic, though...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dr. Becket "Bad Mutha F#%!a" (2000)

This Dr. Becket record is another one that hss just about everything going for it. First of all, there's the academic-sounding name ("Dr. Becket") paired with the song title ("Bad Mutha F*cka"); I find the contrast ill. On the flipside, it features a guest spot by a dope underground MC (in this case, El Da Sensei).

"Bad Mutha F#cka" remains the standout cut, though, featuring a short Lord Finesse vocal sample ("I'm a bad mutha fucka") that anchors Dr. Becket's shit-talking. The beat is dope/solid; it's consistent with Becket's own swagger, as the sample moves up and then back down an octave. Becket is f*ckin' dope, with both lyrics and delivery:

Recite/to make loot/since the days of flight suits
My mic shoots/these wack MC's down/like state troops
over breaks, loops, bass, flutes/fuck it, over sticks
I throw scripts like bricks/split wigs/chill with chicks with big tits

The delivery is flawless, and by the time the chorus kicks in with Lord Finesse proclaiming "I'm a bad mutha fucka", Becket has definately established himself as just that. The second verse is delivered by RM, who isn't quite as overwhelming as Becket; Becket just kills this cut.

The b-side "Creativity" is more laid-back, featuring El Da Sensei and K-Skills. Again, I think Becket is the dominant MC here, but just not feeling the beat as much (although there's something DJ Spinna-ish about it).

Includes instrumentals and acapellas for both cuts. Anyone know what happened to Dr. Becket?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Missin' Linx "What It Is" (2000)

I've been a fan of Problemz since I heard "Bring the Noize" off DJ Honda's first full-length; Black Attack ("Correct Technique") had some solid indie shit; and al-Tariq is well-known for his work with the Beatnuts. You have to figure the three of the joining up in an underground super-group would make some noise; unfortunately, it made little, despite being released on Loud (via Stimulated). This track was probably my favorite joint they put together, and is one of those rare cuts you can nod your head to, dissect lyrics, and play out.

Both "What It Is" and the flip-side "Family Ties" (with Freddie Foxxx) ended up on the EP ("Exhibit A"); I find the main appeal of this twelve to be the instrumental, specifically for Necro's beat, "What It Is". As wack as Necro can be on the mic, he can be dope on the production...and the bassline-focused beat here is bouncy and addictive as hell. Problemz casually rips the beat:

The long-awaited, highly-anticipated debut
from the crew that was missin' in action for a few
Now we back: Big Black, verbal attack
the great one who never fake one and that's a fact
Is there a problem? 'Cause if so, I got the remedy
Remember me? From heads will get flown - like J-F Kennedy

Includes both cuts mentioned, and instrumentals.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mr. Complex "I'm Rhymin'" (1995)

My intro to Mr. Complex was "Visualize/Why Don't Cha" on Rawshack in '97; I was lucky enough to run into this earlier record (and Mr. Complex's debut, I believe) soon after. One curious thing about the label which I've never deciphered is the fact that Pharoah Monche's name appears in parenthesis below the title cut, as Pharoah does not appear anywhere on the cut.

Mr. Complex "I'm Rhymin'" 12"

There's three tracks on here: "I'm Rhymin'", "Against the Grain", and "Feel Me". I personally prefer the production on Mr. Complex's follow-up twelve on Rawshack; strictly from an instrumental-point-of-view, "Feel Me" is my joint here. "I'm Rhymin'" and "Against the Grain" rock classic drum breaks that definately snap; the other samples don't quite work to me (although the piano on "I'm Rhymin" is a good touch).

Lyrically, though, Complex is in a category of his own, as he explains in "Against the Grain":

...this song right here is about nothin'...
...but it's the way that i say nothin' that makes it somethin'...

Definately worth a listen; if you're into creative wordplay with delivery that still respects timing, you might really dig Complex. Includes the instrumental and acapella for "I'm Rhymin"; and instrumentals for the other two cuts.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dr. Oop "Deep Impact" (1998)

This twelve from Dr. Oop (aka Droop Capone) was just cool. The fact that it was released on PUTS Records makes it a virtual sure-shot, and it doesn't disappoint:

My favorite joint has always been the title cut, "Deep Impact". The stuttering beat bangs its snares against a nice bassline and organ stabs, while Droop drops some thoughtful shit:

Is it all for nothin'? Am I workin' for nathan?
Can a righteous man achieve major-league communication
in the god-forsaken nation where I'm held back
as I attack with the kick-back: Deep Impact

I'll give props to any verse that uses the word "nathan", so 'nuff respect Droop. The whole cut is thorough, lyrically, and even if you're not with Droop for every line, he never stops entertaining:

Rhymes in my brain, I'm for freedom like Mumia
Abu-Jamal, that's why I couldn't kill Petu-nia
the Pig and eat 'er, I used to swig gin by the liter
Now I'm like the black Saint Peter

Check this shit out and celebrate the day you heard a Mumia Abu-Jamal, Petunia Pig, and St. Peter reference within 4 bars of each other (maybe with some gin?). There's more, though; "Just the Three of Us" predictably drops the "Just the Two of Us" chorus/melody, but the beat rides on a chill-as-f*ck piano loop and rolling drum loop. Droop is joined by PUTS to complete the "3 of us theme"; shit is tight.

The b-side contains two additional cuts, "Crunch Time" and "Supa Drupa"; instrumentals for all cuts are includes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mental Giants/Cold Crush Brothers 12" (1995)

Here's a dose of some dope mid-90's Chicago hip-hop. Mental Giants consisted of DJ Parker Lee and MC Akbar, who both hold their own weight on these tracks. This 12", though, is more about DJ Parker Lee than the Mental Giants, as it shares the B-side with the Cold Crush Brothers (with P-Lee on production). It's never bad to hear Cold Crush on a track (anyone going to diss Cold Crush?), but 1979-era lyrical sophistication doesn't necessarily translate well to 1995 delivery...Parker Lee's production carries their tracks, though:

The gem on this record is the Mental Giants' "Hustler's Hymn." An ILL bassline runs the track, and Akbar's rhyme style is so tight here you'll wonder why you never heard (more) of him. The verses run into a chant-along chorus that works, and the lyrics take a conversational tone, observant of life in the city without the "finger-on-the-trigger" perspective so common in NYC thug shit. Highly recommended.

"Uptown Drifter" is much thicker...hard-rock head-nod material. "AK's Groove" is all about Akbar, with a simple break-based beat playing the background, as the cut opens via acapella. "Parker Lee's Groove" is an instrumental jam, that rocks a grimey break that sounds almost like a lost Easy Mo Bee beat.

On the flipside, you'll find the Cold Crush Brothers' "Can't Do Me Nada" (instrumental included as well). The only thing I can really praise about this cut is the Parker Lee beat; specifically, the sampled chorus. Yeah, and when you're rocking it, and someone asks you who the wack MC on the mic is, you can respond "you don't know Cold fuckin' Crush?" accusingly. Also includes "Ya Can't Fade Me" by Cold Crush as well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nice & Smooth "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow" (1991)

I don't know about you, but this song never gets old to me. I know there's some dispute over "best all-time Nice & Smooth cut" ("Hip-hop Junkies" being a reasonable nomination); it may be too obvious, but this is my definitive pick. This twelve (B-side pictured) also includes "Hip-hop Junkies" and its remix, so I can't see another Nice & Smooth 12" getting over on it:

Besides the album version of "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow", you get the "Original" mix, where the only variation is the drum loop. I find that the Original lacks the head-nodding thoroughness of the LP version, though. For all those acapella hunters, there's an acapella here...although you still have to deal with the "Fast Car" guitar loop underneath it. Add your own break/program your own drums.

The "Stay Faithful" remix slows it down, loses the Tracey Chapman sample, and drops it heavy. The only instrumental for "Sometimes I Rhyme" slow that appears on the twelve is this remix's version. Also includes the original version of "Hip-hop Junkies", and the Spanish Fly Remix.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Diamond D "Sally Got a One-Track Mind (Promo)" (1993)

Back to the era when Diamond was relatively unknown; a lot of kids thought they were the only ones who had figured out that "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-hop" was incredible f*ckin' dope. Diamond 12" typically had extra goodies on 'em, but the "Sally Got a One-track Mind" promo stands out with a number of gems:

The original version with instrumental appears here (as it does on the regular 12"), it's the Showbiz remix that makes this unique. I don't think Diamond's original can be improved (that bassline is classic); Showbiz's beat creates a completely different vibe. Think lots of horns. The instrumental also appears on the flipside.

There's also a remix of "Best Kept Secret" (produced by Diamond, mixed by Diamond and the 45 King - whatever that implies). Again, don't know if it improves on the original, but it does give a different take on it. It's ultimately sparser, with a more traditional, straightforward drum loop. Yeah, and the flute is gone, and there are more horns. If you're constantly asking yourself what happened to all the horns in production, maybe they're here.

Rounding up the cuts on the this twelve is the "Sally Got a..." 2-track beat-down, essentially Showbiz's beat without all the horns. Includes all the cuts mentioned: "Sally" (edited LP mix) & instrumental, "Sally" (Showbiz remix) & instrumental, "Sally" (2 track beat-down), and "Best Kept Secret" (remix).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nas “N.Y. State of Mind pt.II (Remix)” (1999?)

I didn’t know about this remix until I heard it on one of the Hip-Hop’s VINYL HEAVEN Internet Radio Shows. After considering the fact that it’s kind of hard to find, I decided to post it for all the 12” Inchers visitors who haven’t had the opportunity of give it a listen. Don’t know who did the beat for this white label (it sounds like a Vinyl Reanimators production). If someone has some info, you can leave your comments on the C-Box or the comments section.

"N.Y. State of Mind pt.II (Remix)”*

This remix has a darker vibe than the Dj Premier version, it almost sounds like they took the sample from a Mafia movie. As for the lyrics, they’re the same as the LP version. Even though I think Primo’s version is better produced, this remix is dope enough to be added to your Nas collection.

*Instrumental Included/Not the actual label.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mike Zoot "Untitled 2x12" (1997)

This monster (15 tracks, with instrumentals and clean versions) release by Mike Zoot piqued (and ultimately diminished) my interest in his music. This 2x12" followed "High Drama" and "Service" 12", and as far as I know, was a Japan release. Considering the dopeness that was the "High Drama" (and to a slightly lessor extent, "Service") 12", obtaining this record was my mission for a few months. I think I it was one of the first records I ordered from Sandbox Automatic, and I was sure it end up as one of the most treasured records in the crate. I mean, look at who Mike Zoot has on production: DJ Spinna, Showbiz, Shawn J. Period, Buckwild, Baby Paul, and ShaSelf. And the guest MC list: Royal Flush, Mos Def, and the Jigmastas.

My disappointment with this release lies with the beats Mike Zoot was thrown. Particularly Showbiz, Shawn J. Period and Buckwild. The original "High Drama" was so crucial, but Shawn J. Period's beat on "High Drama Pt. 3" sounded like a 3-year-old playing with a keyboard. Showbiz hooks up a minimalist beat with an bassline so average, it sounds like a cousin of Shawn J.'s beat.

Questionable efforts by some of the producers aside, there's some dope shit on this 12. Fans of DJ Spinna will probably dig "Scene", as it is mos definately vintage Spinna. Mike Zoot, to his credit, is consistent throughout the record(s), and "Scene" finds him in typical form: " you can keep it real, I keep it clever". Royal Flush turns in a solid guest verse on "Turn Pt. II", "Massive" is a dope 'story-of-my-life-and-crew' joint.

Includes the following cuts, with instrumentals for each:
"Scene", "The Unfrontin' Funk Su'in", "Turn Pt. II", "Live + Stink", "Bassickl'y", "Massive", and "High Drama Pt. III".

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jedi Mind Tricks "The Amber Probe EP" (1996)

It seems to me that most people either love 'em or hate 'em...myself, I'm in the middle. I honestly find most of their stuff pretty much unlistenable due to Vinnie Paz' rhyme style. This record - their first - deserves mentioning, though, as it is embedded in that early wave of indie records, and JMT has obviously made a name for themselves:

Beats on this record are less polished than JMT's more recent shit, but all-in-all, a solid indie record. The conspiracy theory/apocalyptic vision of JMT doesn't bother me; hell, I think a lot of people could use more abstraction and theory. The problem I have is that when I listen to a song, I can't tell from the lyrics whether it's "Books of Blood: The Coming of Tan" or "Communion: The Crop Circle Thesis". Either I'm not as smart as I think I am, or these cuts are so abstract and fragmented that they lack a coherent narrative, and end up being as sensible as "They Want EFX" or "Mic Checka". Although it could be a little of both.

If you happen to be a JMT fan, though, and haven't heard where it started, you'll enjoy this. Includes "Neva Antiquated" (vocal and instrumental), "Neva Antiquated Remix" (vocal and instrumental), "Books of Blood: The Coming of Tan", and "Communion: The Crop Circle Thesis".

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ruthless Bastards "Murder We Wrote" (1997)

Staten's Ruthless Bastards dropped this twelve that was quintessential NYC thug shit in '97. Although you'll notice from a quick glance at the label that RNS (usually considered the underrated Wu producer) handled production on the ridiculously-titled "Murder We Wrote", flip immediately to the B-side, and the self-titled cut "Ruthless Bastards".

I've always had a weakness for minor-key piano loops, and "Ruthless Bastards" runs on one. Beyond that, though, the MC's deliver on this track...brutal, aggressive delivery that takes advantage of the dark mood to paint an image of streets run by...well, ruthless bastards:

(check it) These cold days, got me in a physical rage
Walkin' through the dark path of this invisible maze
My individual is criminal, but lyrical plays
a big part of my life in its critical stage

Lots of energy from the lyricists on this track (and they are lyricists); verses are stacked on top of each other, and there's not an MC on the track that made me wish I was listening to a chorus instead. Also includes the best peroxide reference I've heard: "I'm like peroxide, 'cause I stay bubblin' in the cut".

Includes dirty/clean/instrumental/acapella for both "Murder We Wrote" and "Ruthless Bastards".

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mike Zoot feat. Mos Def "High Drama" (1997)

Everything about this record was right: Released at the peak of the wave of indie records, hot guest MC, ill beat by a producer about to enter his prime. Mike Zoot was in a way the perfect indie MC, from a marketing standpoint (not that marketers give/gave that kind of a fuck). He was New York, but definately had his own style of quirky rhymes, worked with a variety of producers in the underground, and was defiantly indie in a way Rawkus only pretended to be. This record with Mos Def was his gem:

The first thing you might notice about "High Drama" is how good Mos Def and Mike Zoot sound on a track together; the rhyme styles mesh pretty well (although there's not much back-and-forth). This is definately Mos Def in "Universal Magnetic" form; some of my peoples at the time thought that "whether you speak Japanese/or goonie-goo-goo" shit was w-a-c-k, but I dug Mos Def's creative sensibilities at the time. Both MC's stick pretty tight to the theme of High Drama; there were so many "f*ck the fake gangstas"-cuts out at the time, it was good to see a different take on it. Oh, yeah, and did I mention Hi-Tek hooked up this beat? Classic.

The B-side contains "Service", which happens to be #2 on my Mike Zoot list. First of all, there's the vicious beat, perfectly paired with the Large Professor vocal sample (love how the beat drops in, with the snare pounding the vocals). It's one of those things that's irritated the hell out of you countless times: "A wack n*gga rhyming kills a raw beat". It's obviously annoyed Mike Zoot as well, enough to make a dope cut out of it. This is/was Mike Zoot's appeal (I almost wrote "genius") at the time...the music was so down-to-earth. He obviously loved hip-hop (I get almost the same vibe from J-Live's stuff), and was making shit for other people who felt the same, regardless of what thugs or marketers thought about it.

Includes "High Drama" clean, dirty, instrumental, and accapella; "Service" clean, dirty, and instrumental; and the clean version of "Turn".

Sunday, October 01, 2006 the meantime...

I've been on a bit of a hiatus; time to burn and post has been disappearing the past few weeks. I'll be back on it shortly, but in the meantime, I wanted to remind y'all to check the ups that have been dropped in the C-box, as well as some new/old blogs that are dropping some dope music:

* In 12's we trust
nedd2's upped a lot of requests in the last three weeks, and started up his own 12" blog, which promises to have lots of ill shit. Definately stop by this one.

* masscorporation
Just started up, but already some dope instrumental albums up

* Underground Archives
Some hard-to-find Nas, Wu-Tang's pre-36 chambers demo tape

* BalMarghinal
For those of you looking for downtempo, this blog is a great place to start (also check out the links). This blog recently moved to a member-only site (due to some fucker going after their links), but there's still a lot of dope music up.

The blogs linked still remain highly recommended. If you've got a favorite blog that doesn't appear anywhere on this page, feel free to share the link...