With their first single off the upcoming LP, Haverhill, Massachusetts-based rap group EXP (The Expendables) drop their Arcitype remix of their 2015 joint “Miles Above.” The single features a verse from the late, great rap legend Sean Price. Producer The Arcitype laces the beat with rippling synths, wobbly piano notes and thumping bass for the Mass emcees and P to showcase their talents. The song was originally featured on EXP’s Project Mayhem album. “We felt that the song and project didn’t receive proper promotion, so we decided to make a new, updated version.” The result is a reintroduction for the group, giving the listener a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming album. EXP is a collective of locals forming back in 2010 that include the MC’s JK, Sha-Elemental, Dirt Rustle and G.I. Jonez.

Check out the track here:

http://hyperurl.co/9ne8ql

The EXP drop their full length LP, Full Circle on Nov 27th.

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By Alex P80 Parks

“I really want the tape to play like a guided tour through the Soviet Union”- DJ Manipulator

Just in time for the frigid weather, Manipulator drops his cold-war concept instrumental project, The Soviet Tape. The Massachusetts-based producer and resident in-house DJ for Boston’s Nightworks drops his latest beat tape, bringing together Russian sound bytes, unique samples, and plenty of sick scratching over 14 tracks. The Soviet Tape shows off Manipulator’s skills as loop digger, melody composer, beat creator and DJ on every joint. Manip provides plenty of dope slices and scratches on every track, showcasing his precision on the 1’s and 2’s in addition to his prolific beat arrangements.

Layers of guitar riffs, synths and subtle effects ooze over the multiple percussion elements, often sparking catchy melodies and evoking a playful mood at times. Never afraid to take the risk sonically, Manipulator incorporates a wide array of genres, only adding to the texture of his beats.

Kalinka” sets it off with traditional Russian strings loops, drums and handclaps with visions of Russian natives dancing the Kazatsky or the Kalinka, both traditional Russian dances. The grand nature of “The City” plays large with piano and organ loops, chopped vocal snippets and plenty of low end thump to rattle the ground all the way from Kazan to the frozen tundra. Place your bets on “Durak” (a common Russian card game) as Manipulator brings GZA and Party Arty vocal scratches over a rumbling, menacing piano loop. Take another risk with “Russian Roulette” and it’s carnival/bazaar vibe, as Manip flexes some skills on the cross fader as the sounds move from ear to ear. The fictional Russian antagonist from Rocky IV, “Ivan Drago,” appears in the form of 1,2 jabs on the snares and gut punches from the bass. Manipulator blacks out on “Moscow Mule” with insane scratching and some crazy percussion with a haunting vocal loop hovering over it all. “Boris Godunov” brings the opera with echoing female vocals, Soviet melodies and booming drums throughout. “Groza” storms in with its prominent bass groove delivering a head-nodding clinic full of crisp drums and subtle melodic layers. Setting the tone with a creepy choral sample, “Transylvania” packs the eerie effects to close out the spooky holiday season. “St. Petersburg” provides the opulence and regal vibes courtesy of wind chimes, upbeat synths and some clean drums mirroring the lavish castles in the former Russian Czar’s home city. The guitar notes and gorgeous chopped vocal loops on “Bolshoi Russian Suplex” with a few aptly placed Zangief sound bytes provide one of the standout beats on the tape full of top-notch tracks. “Konets” (appropriately translating to “ending” in Russian) wraps up the instrumental album with slick, short guitar riffs over wobbling synths and ticking percussion, the vocal loops echoing in the distance.

The Soviet Tape certainly plays like a journey through 80’s era Cold War Russia, covering traditional ideas and customs but also adding some pop culture references as well. A refreshing and enjoyable 26 min that spans from Siberia to Moscow, Manipulator captures the essence and spirit of the era, injecting a thunderous beat and hip hop spirit into each sample and sound byte.

Preorder the tape now here:

http://djmanipulator.bandcamp.com/album/the-soviet-tape

By Alex P80 Parks

Drawing inspiration from the 2010 documentary of the same name, Crackhouse USA finds the Niagara Falls emcee connecting with Massachusetts rising producer Michaelangelo for a brief glimpse into the harsh realities of the present-day traphouse coupled with the lingering effects of the 80’s crack epidemic. The Diadora Don provides his boisterous vocals over 6 finely-crafted soundscapes that range in mood from bleak and desperate to hopeful and nostalgic.

Jamal himself was quick to make sure Crackhouse USA isn’t dismissed as merely an album, but characterized as more of a concept; a companion to a way of life. He provides the context from his own background of hustling and pursuing that lifestyle early on.

Jamal Gasol: “I don’t really consider this to be an album, but more like a soundtrack for the street lifestyle. All street shit to go with the vibe I got from the film.”

From the jump on the ominous “Time Is Changing” Michaelangelo uses what sounds like an 80’s horror movie piano loop along with crisp snares. Flee Lord drops by with a raw feature verse on the groove of “Str8 Drop.” On the swaying “Trenches,” Jamal’s confident flow and blunt depictions of hustling maneuvers pairs nicely with Michaelangelo’s haunting loops and often enigmatic production.

Peep the video for “Trenches” here:

Jamal speaks on the inspiration behind watching the doc: “I felt like I was watching the old me. Couple homies in the trap house tryna get it, but at the same time I understood what I signed up for so we knew what comes with it.”

Michaelangelo really brings it back with the trembling xylo loop that echoes on “Oil Base” which features Jamal’s hometown partner in crime, John Creasy. On “Igpay Atinlay” Jamal stays dropping jewels as he opens with:

“A wise man once said nothin at all

I speak Piglatin in all my calls

Everybody wanna be the boss, but me

I just want my girl to accept me and all my flaws.”

The EP wraps with the fittingly triumphant “Godly” with its grand, blaring horns, a tense strings loop and thumping bass. Mr. 31 unleashes assured verses full of brash bars, fully in-pocket.

Gasol on choosing the lifestyle: “I honestly have respect for people who made that choice when there was none left. But if you do got other choices, take that chance cause the streets ain’t for everybody. The streets ain’t a myth.”

Whether he’s breaking down the slick nuances of the hustler, or the tragedies of the streets, Jamal Gasol has a knack for his honesty and his direct delivery. Michaelangelo stretches a sonic canvas that captures some of the hopelessness and depravity of the fiends and the living conditions of those crackhouses, yet also provides some throwback uptempo vibes to adequately vary the short ride. He pulls some great samples for Jamal Gasol to spit on, ensuring plenty of head-nodding.

Cop the EP available at midnight here:

https://jamalgasol.bandcamp.com/album/crackhouse-usa

By Alex P80 Parks

The Duck Down/BCC affiliated, Brooklyn emcee known for clever wordplay teams up with LA producer and DJ, Tone Spliff. Rustee Juxx provides a plethora of creative punchlines while Tone Spliff supplies plenty of booming drums and slick cuts on the 9 track project.

Ruste’s raspy delivery and street flow have been a staple in hip hop ever since Juxx was rockin Crown Heights over 20 years ago, catching the ear of the now late, great Sean Price. On the left coast, Tone Spliff continuously stays working with some of the game’s best lyricists, putting out some excellent beats and projects.

On the title track, Tone brings in a darker mood with murky loops straight out a murder scene. Big Twins comes through with one of the grimiest voices in the game, partnering with Juxx to deliver a lesson in gritty rhymes on “24K,” a highlight on the project. Tone chops light piano notes on “Take Precaution,” as Juxx gives plenty of warnings to prospective emcees and anyone in doubt. Tone provides crazy scratch hooks with some ill and notable lines on every joint. “For Every Shell” is another standout track featuring short chopped loops paired with heavy drums and open hi hats. Juxx comes correct with his energetic delivery.

Check out the video here:

“How Itz Done” feat King Magnetic and Ill Conscious sports a chopped doo wop vocal sample as the three emcees two-step over the bouncing beat. Tone brings the impending doom on “Sucka Free” as Juxx and UG (of Cella Dwellas) spit menacing lyrics. On “Style” feat Recognize Ali and Ren Thomas, Rec Ali starts off delivering the shots, followed by Ren and his vicious flow, with Ruste bodying the track and Tone wrapping it all up with cuts echoing into the distance.

A dope project pairing Ruste’s no nonsense bars with Tone Spliff’s sharp beats, always full of big drums. Ruste Juxx provides such venomous and spirited flows, one can essentially hear the spit dripping from the mic. Tone has scratch hooks for days, always getting the perfect line to cut up. The two make a logical pairing and create a dope project for any fans looking for no nonsense bar work over solid production with some ill scratches throughout.

Cop the album here:

http://tonespliff.bandcamp.com/album/magma-pre-order

By Alex P80 Parks

Scvtterbrvin focuses his visceral rhymes across a range of surreal, nervous and mind-warping soundscapes from some of the underground’s most active producers with his latest project, the 10 track The Acid Atheist. Currently residing on the East Coast, the San Diego-bred, former battle rapper stretches his syllables, using a delayed cadence. The project upholds much of the trippy aesthetics with dusty psychedelic samples and tense/anxious moods throughout. Scvtterbrvin’s content often pushes the shock value envelope but he does so without forcing it. On Acid Atheist, Scvtterbrvin often comes across as almost comically brooding, yet he seems to maintain a level of humility, staying grounded and avoiding boastful lines.

DRHH caught up with Scvtterbrvin to find out about his battling background and how the new album came together.

SCVTTERBRVIN: “I originally started battling just to put in work and pay my dues. I didn’t want to be one of them producers that just starts rapping out of nowhere and drops an album. I wanted to be on the frontline and draw blood. I got into a lot of random battles around Southern California. I Eventually ended up battling on GrindTime, the Red Bull EmSee competition and King of The Dot.

DRHH: How is your approach to rhyming on an album different than battling?

SCVTTERBRVIN: “In rap battles I’m targeting one person and trying to show everybody I’m the better rapper. It’s a lot more ego tripping. When it comes to recording I try to still have the same energy but channel it to fighting a greater evil. It becomes more about destroying the status quo than another rapper.

On the opener, “Born To Chill” Scvtter delivers measured rhymes over a daring strings and horns sample that echoes.  On “Rick Sanchez,” he spits over jazzy piano and flute loops courtesy of Infinity Gauntlet. On “Subliminal projection” feat Odessa Kane producer Evilldewer provides a juxtaposing beat that’s hopeful and light but still provides an edge as both emcees bring fiery verses.

DRHH: What was different for you about putting this project together?

SCVTTERBRVIN: “Going into this project I needed to drop a higher dosage of music for the people. I usually just put out EPs with 1 producer. This one is 10 songs with all different producers from different places. I wanted to mesh my style with producers I never worked with before. I feel like if you’ve never heard of me this is the perfect album to start with to see if you want to plug in to the RLK (Red Lotus Klan) matrix... When I first started trying to rap I was able to freestyle alright but I couldn’t understand how to write rhymes in a 16 bar format. One night I was on acid watching a Rakim interview. He was describing how he wrote his raps and after that I was locked in. I seen exactly what he was talking about and everything connected for me. Shoutout to the God, Rakim Allah.

DRHH: How’d the title come about?

SCVTTERBRVIN: “Originally my rap name was “Scatter Brain The Acid Atheist”. I stopped using it after a while because promoters were scared to put my full name on the flyer. I decided to name this new album The Acid Atheist to remind people I’m still here. The rap game is full of nothing but cocaine and alcohol so I decided to bring LSD to the party.

On the “Cutting Room Floor” producer JLVSN creates a jarring, anxiety-inducing beat, as if someone was laying on the horn in the car behind you. Producer Grimm Doza puts down some compressed drums with short chopped flutes on “Nolan Ryan vs Robin Ventura” as Scvtterbrvin snarls his way over the beat with creative metaphors and some clever wordplay. Check out “Gator Rogowski” produced by Won87 here:

Evilldewer provides a more cosmic beat on “Cloak and Dagger.” A standout joint, with the ghostly strings loops, “Luxury Ambulance;” Producer Ali Kharmicel conjures up film noir score bits with visions of Scvtterbrvin peering over his ouija board, as he respectfully borrows an infamous Guru line from “Soliloquy of Chaos” for the hook. Another standout track that fits in with the uncertain mood of the entire project,”Epilogue Editor;” Producer Wazasnics creates some tension with rising strings over crunchy drums, as Scvtterbrvin carefully places his metered bars. Check out “Loko Haram” feat Obnoxious produced by The Historian here:

On The Acid Atheist, Scvtterbrvin provides the hazy trails with plenty of moody avant garde beats to fuel the creative imagery and clever wordplay. Scvtterbrvin definitely delivers to the niche underground heads looking for sample-based beats and darker, psychedelic vibes.

Cop the album available here:

http://scvtterbrvin.bandcamp.com/album/the-acid-atheist-3

Delivering the first video from his upcoming LP, Lake Water, the Alabama emcee makes sure the water is murky, at best in “I’m So.” With a bouncing beat full of dusty loops from producer Ed Glorious, SeKwence and guest rhyme partner Lord Juco spit laid back verses packed with heart and creativity. The visuals display a montage of clips of the epic standoff scene from The Devil’s Rejects, which features the late Sid Haig in his glory.

Check the video exclusively here at DRHH:

This single will be available later this week. Get ready for Lake Water, coming Jan 27th, 2020 from SeKwence.

Delivering brand new visuals to accompany the Skulloton album release today, Oak and Insight combine forces on their latest single, “Dummy.” In the video, Oak is seen brushing off the annoying clowns that seem to hover and lurk from the studios to the bars and even at the shows. Oak breaks down the foolery of such dummies over a bouncing Insight beat with piano loops and chopped organs. On “Dummy” Oak Lonetree keeps it tongue and cheek overall but serves up some good advice and drops a few gems as well.

Peep the video here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N9H2k99tP5I&feature=youtu.be

And cop the brand new album, Skulloton, available today here:

https://music.apple.com/us/album/skulloton/1480893265