Nothing worse than seeing the names of rapper’s on the back of a hip-hop album and thinking to yourself, ‘Sweet! Looking forward to hearing this dude rap on this shit!’ Then you get home and it turns out that the ‘feature’ is just the MC in question performing the hook and doing a shout-out at the end of the song. Please note this list excludes the excellent hook work from Greg Nice, since that guy can turn a house party into a concert with his hooks.
Complex compiled a list of who Rap InternetS consider their favorite rapper dudes (and dames, as it turns out). I did my duty as a CRC representative and explained why KGR is the nicest on mic devices and all that stuff, because clearly no one else was going to.
Written and hosted by Phillip “The Jogging Blogger” Mlynar.
June 18th was a monumental date in hip-hop history — it was the day when all the Yeezus reviews came out. They involved lots of great commentary on the parameters of genius and musings about just how much of a genius Kanye West is. Unfortunately, they were also all really wrong. So the Unkut braintrust decided to review Yeezus in the only scientifically accurate way possible – in the form of a pub quiz. (more…)
Released just a week after the one year anniversary of Nas’ Illmatic, Mobb Deep’s Loud debut, The Infamous, is nothing short of a masterpiece. Although historically, Illmatic has been held to the standard as the best rap album of all time, it’s fair to consider The Infamous as the equivalent of Da Vinci’s Virgin and Child with St. Anne, to his former Mona Lisa.. Illmatic. Imagine younger, mischievous twin brothers to your high school’s star quarterback/prom king.. that’s them Mobb Deep boys Hav and P, compared to Esco (yes, even though Nas was wavin’ automatic guns at Nuns). Well enough of the analogies, we’ll leave that to our words and their raps, as featured in today’s special edition of Rewind Wednesdays.
More Food Rap action from Phillip “Millitainment” Mlynar:
Roc Marciano’s Reloaded is here! It’s a brilliant record, a shoe-in for top-spot on any sane end-of-year album poll, and, just like its predecessor Marcberg, it brims with references to food and fine dining. (It has also inexplicably made Roc Marcy somewhat trendy for a brief moment, but we’re sure the normal order of the Internet will be restored the next time Kendrick Lamar sharts on a song or something.) So just like 2010’s worldwide viral phenomenon post, The Unkut Guide To Marcberg Food References, here’s a rummage through Roc Marcy’s Reloaded pantry. Now go ‘head and blacken that tipalia! (more…)
Earlier this summer, Kool Keith was standing up at a dive bar in Midtown Manhattan nursing a glass of chardonnay in his hand. I was there to interview Keith, which turned out to be a process that largely involved listening to a bunch of lengthy speeches phrased in the rapper’s own kooky way. At one point Keith mentioned Godfather Don, and I managed to ask him what happened to the cult producer and rapper. Keith obliged with an answer that involved “night-time gangster jazz,” Chinese food, and a kennel of rappers. (more…)
In terms of lyrical masterpieces, that is masterfully and undisputedly achieved with “Bust These Lyrics”. A very strong argument could be made for this being the most lyrical song of T La Rock’s career. Before I defend that theory I have to recognize the rugged production. The drums are like a jackhammer at half-speed. The sampled pieces from the intro of “It’s Yours” and the repeated vocal sample infused into the beat can be symbolic of the screams and yelps of the competition as T La Rock verbal assaults relentlessly. All of these theories are adequately explained in the hook, “Hard Rapping, Funky Beats, Def Scratching, No Gimmicks/Put your ears to the speakers and bust these lyrics!” (more…)
I seem to be having a bad run of pissing-off Double-O and Naledge from Kidz In The Hall in recent years. First I accused them of the crime of Hipster Rap, to which they responded on an UGHH.com video, and now it seems that I’ve thrown them under the bus again in my latest guest post for XXL:
I’m assuming ‘lol’ is some kind of code for ‘we’re going to get our bodyguard to put you in a yoke when we find you’, although that may be considered bad karma since the same thing happened to Double-O at that nightclub in Tempe, AZ back in 2008. Since I’ll be living in a cardboard box somewhere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, I’m sure the money I might make from any resulting lawsuit will come in handy for when I need to buy myself a couple of Ghetto Big Macs. (more…)
There was only one rap album that mattered in 2010 – and it wasn’t by anyone who felt the need to show their dark twisted appendage to the world. That project, Roc Marciano‘s Marcberg, was critically untouchable, the most unadulterated example of the potency of New York rap in a good half decade, and even ended with a good old fashioned shout-out track. More importantly, it contained the most comprehensive batch of food references since an Ironman-era Ghostface was found being seduced by a temptress’s baked macaroni and turkey wings and lauding the virtues of a fish and salad-based diet. Whether used figuratively, literally or descriptively, there’s not a track on the album where Roc Marcy doesn’t get gastronomical. So in the grand tradition of the Dean & Deluca Cookbook’s Master List of Dried Legumes, here’s the complete guide to the food references liberally sprinkled throughout Marcberg’s grand grooves. Enjoy shrimp! (more…)
Last year Timeless Truth created a watershed moment for Hip-Hop, for ‘Lo heads and for NYC in general. Their ‘Priceless’ video shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge brought together a few dozen hardbody collectors of the lifestyle and more importantly it was the first time I had ever politicked with Thirstin’ Howl the 3rd on some brotherhood shit. Of course I knew of Thirst since he was in the streets. Everyone knew of each other, Decepticons, Lo-Lifes, A-Team, and there was an uneasy peace that existed to this day. (more…)
I learned some crazy shit doing my thing in New York City over the past forty years. Basically, the world is a huge place, but the people that vibe along the same frequency is the smaller subset and y’all will always find each other. That is what used to happen at record stores when you would go there on a Tuesday and meet up with other hip-Hop heads who were trying to copp that same release dropping that day.
I was on the Jamaica Ave strip with a bunch of my homies doing some shit called ‘Sneaker Fiends Unite!’ We travel around the city looking for kicks comeups and peeping how gentrification changes the urban landscape. At a store on the strip this husky dude told me that my ‘Lo scarf was official. I gave him some dap for recognizing that shit. Real recognize real always. Dude said he had some pieces to deal. This is the language that collectors use when they are selling and swapping I.T.’s (items). We exchanged maths and kept it moving.
Later that night when I got back to the lab and started uploading the video footage I had made that afternoon I stopped by UnKut for a minute to just check in on the old head rap scene. If you don’t cut your NahRight or 2DopeBoyz with some UnKut shit you will get rap diabetes from all the saccharine in the game right now. Funny story, true story is that very day Robbie had a drop on his page featuring the dude that I politicked with in that sneaker store – Meyhem Lauren (more…)
My peoples, Timeless Truth, were invited to Fat Beats last week to record some video for U.K. superstar DJ Sarah Love. Timeless Truth always represents the Polo Ralph Lauren lifestyle to the fullest. It is deeper than just getting dipped and making sure you are color coordinated. Its about your presentation to attain the lavish lifestyle through rhyme or crime. (more…)
Welcome new contributor Max Angeles to the team. I don’t know much about her other than the fact that she fux with ‘Anchorman’, Tragedy records and almost died of alcohol poisoning last week. Sounds like a born Unkut Dot Com trooper…
Let me just say a few things about working at the Fat Beats store – I remember interning for them as early as when they had moved out the second floor of XTRA LARGE and into a well established hip hop institution on Melrose in LA.
Fat Beats LA had a much more rustic, garage studio feel to it. With limited edition posters of albums and artists plastered on every corner prompting all kinds of tourists to just whip out their cameras and take mad pictures. That shit was always annoying to me. We tagged our labels and arranged EP’s and LP’s our own way. regulars and real hip hop heads knew how to navigate throughout the store. If you saw a RZA single, you’d most likely find 4th Disciple in its vicinity. That’s how it worked. The ones who didn’t get it, were usually the ones that didn’t know who House Shoes, Rhettmatic, or DJ Soup was. (more…)
Dallas Penn contributes this drop in the first of a series of guest spots while his site is on hiatus:
Fat Beats was like your older uncle who you didn’t visit as often so that when you got the news of his death it was from the other folks who still brought him his wine and shit.
You had great times at Fat Beats tho’ and those memories will last forever. Hip-Hop, like the rest of America which it represents has gone Best Buy big box pop. Fat Beats, Bondy‘s and Beat Street are only to be references in your favorite rapper’s verse of nostalgia. (more…)
UK-based producer Mark B decided that where better than Unkut Dot Com to host the online premier of this radio documentary he made for Radio One. Here’s the story behind the project:
In the cold harsh winter of 2002 UK producer Mark B was approached by BBC‘s Radio One team do a short documentary based around the art & knowledge of record collecting from a hip-hop perspective. Already aware of the global coverage & support of Radio One with the success of the Mark B & BladeUnknown LP (2000) he jumped at the opportunity to take a break from the studio & touring to further his skills & learn the art of producing a radio documentary. (more…)
Mourn you ’til I join you? Not in the spit-on-the-grave world of rap. Guru‘s passing has shown once more than when it comes to death, hip-hop has no idea how to handle itself with dignity and grace. Being a legendary rapper and part of one of hip-hop’s most beloved groups didn’t stop the ex-Gang Starr man from being pronounced dead on Twitter when he wasn’t, having a soap-opera-style drama unfold in the wake of his death, and seeing his life ‘celebrated’ by a stream of rubbish, pixelated YouTube videos. But that’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to hip-hop deaths. Why? Here’s five starters… (more…)
Here’s another sure-shot from Phillip ‘Half-A-Mil’ Mlynar, who has managed to track down someone so obscure that even Lace Da Booms was like, ‘Oh, snap!’.
Over a decade on from its 1998 release, Scaramanga‘s Seven Eyes, Seven Horns album now sounds like one of the purest statements from the mid-to-late-’90s indie rap scene. Poster boys Mos Def and Talib Kweli quickly came to drop the anti-commercial stance they wore as a badge in favor of attempting to become fixtures in the mainstream firmament themselves. El-P headed left-field with his Def Jux endeavor. A litany of random – and randomly-named – emcees chilled into obscurity after dropping one-off dope 12-inches. But listening to Scara spitting street scriptures over a batch of raw beats sounds like everything the movement was meant to be: Uncompromising and uncut hip-hop that didn’t once think to even cock a glance at the pop charts, let alone dream of becoming a household name.
A large part of the album’s success is down to the lesser-heralded Scholarwise, who provided the majority of beats on the project (at least on the preferable 12-track-long vinyl version), as well as the occasional chorus rap and guest verse. Intermingled with assists from Godfather Don, Goldfinghaz and D.I.T.C‘s Showbiz, Scholar’s production doesn’t just stand up to par – it defines the vibe of the album. His preference for sparse, gritty beats buoyed the Scaramanga persona, with the emcee in fine fettle reminiscing about pearl Fila suits and dropping references to Queens crack kingpins Fat Cat and Montana (all while avoiding any of the science-text-book references that blight Sir Menelik songs).
Currently at work on a new E.P. project that should see release before the summer’s out, here’s Scholar’s rap reminisce…
Phillip: When did you start making hip-hop music?
Scholarwise: Well my first crew was The Underground Brigade, back in the late-’80s. That was the crew of dudes I grew up around the way with. I was born in Brooklyn, I came up on Long Island, and pretty much lived in Hempstead, which is where Public Enemy are from. Hempstead is where 510 South Franklin [Studios] is, so being young and hungry at the time and reading the back of album and liner notes, we found out that Public Enemy’s business address was 510 South Franklin Avenue.
One day we just rolled up there and that’s how I met my mentor, Paul Shabazz. He was doing R&B at the time – and still does – and it’s crazy ‘cos the way 510 South Franklin is situated, the Bomb Squad was upstairs and Paul rented a studio from Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadler. Paul had a band and that’s where they rehearsed. When we rolled up there Public Enemy was in full swing and 510 was a hub of activity. We posted outside, and there happened to be a Public Enemy tour bus outside. It was like dumb luck! (more…)
The other night BFred – who threw me that guest week over at XXL way back when and currently holds it down over at Complex – assembled the opinions of a bunch of rap bloggers and assorted hacks regarding the new Eminem song. The surprising thing about the end result is that my score wasn’t the lowest, although that may explain why I only received one Twitter jab from a cracker groupie while Noz received a couple of love letters via email. Remind me to award 0.5/5 next time.
Phillip Mlynar isn’t Australian, doesn’t roam a post-apocalyptic wasteland searching for fuel and may not even own a dog. But ask him the timeless question, ‘U mad, doggie?’ and he’ll reply, ‘Yes, I am.’ Fresh from his stint of yelling ‘Eff you and Your Heroes‘ like this was a listening session for the first Lench Mob tape, Phillip is back to vent his frustrations about the current state of the rap game. (more…)
Here’s a guest drop from Phillip Mlynar, who was the Deputy Editor at Hip Hop Connection magazine before people stopped buying rap magazines.
Talking about rappers whose fanatical fan worship bore no relation to their actual talent or recorded output used to be easy. Someone would say that 2 Pac was the greatest ever rapper. Someone who’d listened to more than three rap records in their life would counter by pointing out the patchy nature of his music, and how he was prolific in the sense of hopelessly lacking any sense of quality control. They’d be hit back by someone talking about how Afeni’s son was the hip-hop generation’s James Dean and how his whole thug life aura and rapist-without-a-pause mentality was bigger than music and all of that. Then someone would mention “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and everyone would shake hands and move happily on.
These days though there’s a slew of rappers and rap chaps whose publicity, fan worship, and reputation makes ‘Pac looks positively underrated. Here are the five leading exponents… (more…)