Photos & Words by A. Starr | SMUTLIFE
Friday night we had the privilege of attending DJ Premier’s “Live From Headqcourterz” show on HipHopNation at the Sirius/XM stronghold as he revealed his annual Top 25 Hip Hop Albums of 2011. As usual, his list is always beyond impressive and equally thorough. In attendance was the usual crew of uncaged mad men that seem to coincide at a heightened level of comedic bliss – Panchi (NYGz), the Biggest G – Gordon, Keebz on the 60! (and the 20), and of course Mr. Ron Mills who we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time.
Below are some images from the festivities. Great show P!!! And much love for the SMUTLIFE plug fellas!!! Support REAL HIP HOP being done properly!!!
Words by Steve DiLodovico | Smutlife
Doap Nixon is the quintessential Philly MC: rough and gritty with a propensity for uninhibited realism and an ability to murder the English language with the sickest slang. Doap is a Pharaoh; part of a collective of heavy-hitters like Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Apathy, Esoteric, Reef the Lost Cauze, Jus Allah and a cadre of fire-breathing MCs and murderous producers. Doap specializes in that special, Illadelph brand of Murder Music. Fight Music. He is driven and, quite simply, kid knows no other way than to bring the real and let the fallout rest where it may.
To many uneducated Hip Hop fans, Doap is an unknown factor, and it is easy to consider him a new artist. Not true. Kid’s been on his grind for years and, in doing so, has honed a smooth craft that is naturally and organically steeped in realism and brutal truth. Gray Poupon, he’s second proper full-length release is the realization and culmination of years of work. The album has existed, in one form or another, for a few years now. It is only due to the same, tired old legal bullshit from shady record labels that Gray Poupon is just now seeing the light of day. It’s been a long, sometimes arduous journey for Doap, but no obstacle has stopped him. In fact, kid is so motivated that when I caught up with him he was already in the lab constructed his next round of bangers. You can’t hold him down. Read more
Words & Interview by Steve DiLodovico | Smutlife
The time of kings is upon us; a time of tyrannical, iron-fisted giants seething with violent vocabulary and pitiless rule. It’s a time of shrapnel-laced rhymes and operatic soundscapes that carry harbingers of utter devastation with each visceral flow. And the two orators responsible for this apocalyptic nightmare, The Cult Leader and the Genocidal General, are armed with an arsenal of sinister metaphor and a righteous, unquenchable thirst for blood as they stand on the eve of the unleashing of pure hell. Heavy Metal Kings is the manifesto; an aural obliteration of biblical proportions authored by two MCs at the top of their game: Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz.
“I love the record; it’s an incredible record,” says Bill, reflecting on the finally-completed Heavy Metal Kings LP that teams up the Brooklyn-bred Bill with Illadelphia’s own Vinnie Paz. “I am real psyched about this record; very excited about it. It’s everything that we expected it to be and more, which is really dope.” Read more
Words & Interview by Steve DiLodovico | Smutlife
Outer Space is a rarity among Hip Hop acts: for well over a decade both Planetary and Crypt the Warchild have found the elusive formula known as consistency. They have steadily released joints ripe with solid, rugged beats and rhymes that are as murderous as the Philadelphia streets which inspired them. Outer Space make albums. Not MySpace singles, not YouTube videos, but full-on albums. It is a testament to their long-standing devotion to the art and the fact that they will not give up. Ever.
SL: What’s up with Brother’s Keeper?
Planet: The album’s basically done. Psycho Les gave us two beats that we were waiting on, 7L gave us a beat and we’re doing that with Sick Jacken. Less features this time, though. We’re looking to have it out by March of 2011. It’s gonna be some heartfelt shit. There’s a lot of topics on this record; we did some storytelling, some fictional stuff, which we never do. Read more
Words & Interview by Steve DiLodovico
Stress is all over the place. Hyper doesn’t even begin to describe him. Holding a conversation with him is like trying to catch a blur that is constantly in motion. His tattooed frame alternately sits, stands, jumps and moves in emphatic waves of uncontainable energy. That’s what the kid is: a vibrant ball of perpetual motion and energy. Get him talking about music and watch him go off. Stress is a man of many talents. He’s a producer (beyond the confines of a mere “beat-maker:” he produces music), a DJ, a photographer with a savagely keen eye (check out a recent piece in Urban Ink for Stress’s coverage of the most recent Black ‘N’ Blue Bowl for further proof) and much more. He is the owner of Pass & Stow in Bristol PA, a shop that specializes in urban gear, music, sneakers, art and just about anything else you can think of relating to music. He led the SubHoodz back in the day. He runs a label with long-time collaborator and SubHoodz cohort Harry “Hav” Robbins called Krush Unit, and has worked with wide array of diverse artists. Everything the kid has and has done has been because of music.
Stress is entrenched in music. His life revolves around it and is, many ways, defined by it. His devotion is evident: one look at the walls in his home-based ChopShop Studios tells the story of a life. In the way that stained glass windows in a church tell biblical stories, Stress’s walls describe his life in music. Artwork bearing names like the Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Murphy’s Law adorn the hallowed walls of ChopShop and they give testament to Stress’s life like bible stories. And, sandwiched in between Philadelphia Eagles artifacts and framed album cover art rests Stress’s gold record, given to him for the remix work he did with Gym Class Heroes and Ghostface Killah.
Smutlife spent a day out at Stress’s Langhorne PA headquarters. We were joined by producer on the come-up (and younger brother of Stress) Sev-One and when we weren’t telling “back in the day” stories about the Hardcore and Hip Hop scenes of the ‘80s, we managed to spend some time talking about what it is that Stress does and why he’s been able to make great music on such a consistent basis. Read more
Written by Steve DiLodovico | Philadelphia Indie Music Examiner
Philadelphia’s deadliest crew has been killing it steadily for close to twenty years now. Saturday night the Jedi Mind Tricks squad invaded West Chester PA’s premier spot for live music: The Note. It was a homecoming of sorts for JMT as the Philadelphia-based group packed in friends and family for a one-night, sold out performance that was explosive.
Fellow Enemy Soil labelmates and long-time Jedi Mind Tricks/Army of the Pharaohs collaborators Outer Space opened the show with a quick set that was full of the duo’s trademark rapid-fire, tag-team precision. Rappers Planetary and Crypt the Warchild led the crowd through their rugged street-rap and represented North Philly with concentrated doses fire.
Then came time for Jedi Mind Tricks. Jus Allah, Crypt, DJ Kwestion and the indomitable Vinnie Paz walked onto the stage and surveyed a scene of raised hands and expectant faces. Their arrival was met with vociferous howls of welcome and anticipation. Within seconds Kwestion dropped in a thunderous beat and Vinnie Paz took his place as one of the most dynamic frontmen in Hip Hop.