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25 Facts on Tone Chop and Frost Gamble – Respect is Earned Not Given

• August 3, 2017

Tone Chop and Frost Gamble - Respect is Earned Not Given 25 Facts

Tone Chop and Frost Gamble – Respect is Earned Not Given 25 Facts

It’s that time again, and Tone Chop and Frost Gamble are the 1st ever artists to give us two sets of 25 facts. Respect is Earned Not Given is the upcoming album, and here are 25 facts about the project. Enjoy.

PRE-ORDER | Respect is Earned Not Given

1. Chop had the title ‘Respect is Earned Not Given’ in mind for about a year prior. “I feel like you should have to earn your respect on the mic lyrically. Rappers got it too easy these days because of social media and whatnot.”
2. It was always a dream of Chop’s to do a song with Kool G. Rap. “I feel so blessed Frost made it happen. Walk the Walk featuring Kool G. Rap is out now and is catching fire as we speak!”
3. One of Chop’s favorite tracks on the album is ‘Beat Knocking’. “It’s simple and catchy but still dope lyrically and the beat makes me wanna keep writing verses to it.”
4. We both stepped our game up on this album. As much as we love the Veteran EP, this project is just better in all areas.
5. Chop wrote the album intro using ALL of the song titles from the 2016 Veteran EP.
6. “Inspiration” and “It’s Hip Hop” lyrics were actually written to Jay-Z‘s “Momma Loves Me” instrumental, then sent to Frost. He produced a whole new beat for each, gave them the final touches needed, and I think they both came out great.

Tone Chop - Respect is Earned Not Given

Tone Chop – Respect is Earned Not Given

7. DJ Waxamillion – who does the cuts on “Slow Flow” – has been a friend of ours for over 30 years and has been DJing in upstate NY that whole time.
8. If Chop could be anything else in the world, he would be a superhero… to save Hip Hop from the terrible state it’s currently in !
9. Bigga Haitian – featured on World Struggle – is a pioneer and legend of the Haitian reggae scene. Wyclef Jean cites him as an influence, and it was an honor to get him on this album.
10. “Bing Stories” is based on true events. “Bing” is short for Binghamton, NY – our hometown.
11. Frost began working with Tragedy Khadafi in 2016, for his forthcoming compilation project “I Missed My Bus” – which led to his feature on “Here I Go”. Now, Tragedy and Frost are working on a full album together.
12. White Rhino, featured on “Guillotine Chop”, is an up-and-coming Canadian MC who Frost has been mentoring for some time. Look for more collaborations in the future!
13. “Guillotine Chop” is also the 1st time that we have worked with Planet Asia, but not the last!

Frost Gamble - Respect is Earned Not given

Frost Gamble – Respect is Earned Not given

14. “See You Again” is also a true story of a beautiful life lost, one that was very personal and difficult for Chop to share.
15. “Get Beat Down” was made to be fight music, listen to it if you need to get pumped up before a challenge!
16. Respect Is Earned Not Given’s release is the first time that our physical CDs will be sold through global distribution. Cop one!
17. The samples used on the album were drawn from a wide variety of genres – soul, funk, r&b, prog rock, jazz and more were all incorporated.
18. Chop is known as “The Bing King”, for being a pioneer and legend in the upstate NY Hip Hop scene for three decades.
19. We have an animated video for “Bing Stories” that will drop in a few weeks – shout to Dion Johnson who did an amazing job with it.
20. The album cover is a digital photo (by Brett Enquist) of a canvas painted by Winnipeg graffiti OG Zed-One.

Tone Chop and Frost Gamble - Respect is Earned Not Given

Tone Chop and Frost Gamble – Respect is Earned Not Given

21. Chop & Frost recorded nearly 30 songs in preparation for this album, then selected the best and most cohesive for the final 14. We are very proud of what we turned in!
22. DNA, the world’s most viewed battle rapper, is featured on “In the Streets” – a reflection on how battle rap has changed over the years. DNA has rhymed on a few Tone Chop beats before (yes, Chop makes beats too!)
23. The Veteran EP was Chop & Frost’s first release to achieve international and satellite radio spins.
24. Chop, Frost, ZotheJerk and White Rhino are casually known as “the Nostalgia Clic”, for focusing on the traditional elements of Hip Hop and lyricism.
25. Hip Hop Kings has been a great supporter of Chop & Frost – and we appreciate it very much!!

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25 Facts on ExP RemarkableUnremarkable

• July 17, 2017
ExP RemarkableUnremarkable

ExP RemarkableUnremarkable

West Yorkshire rapper ExP has just released his latest album RemarkableUnremarkable. Make sure you download from Bandcamp (HERE). You can read the 25 Facts on ExP RemarkableUnremarkable below.

1) 90% of the album was recorded sitting down

2) Track 3 “Sex Panther” had a verse cut cos I was just rambling about misogyny in rap a bit too much

3) Track 8 “The Brain” was a beat I originally recorded and filmed WY MC Sandy Minto for a studio promo vid but then decided I wanted to use it instead.

4) …same for Track 9 “We Don’t Do That” but swap Sandy Minto with Eskar!!!

5) I wrote about 8 or 9 verses for Track 14 “We Can Do It Together” before settling on those 4. It nearly went a very different direction indeed…!

6) I wrote Track 6 “Meh” for a laugh in 2011 and did the video with Paul Cockcroft in about half an hour. I had to re-record the whole thing as I couldn’t successfully splice “2017” into the date bit…

7) There are 31 verses on this album

8) There’s a bonus track on the cd and digital (but not vinyl) which is a reprise of Track 7 “Trivia

9) Most of this album was written on a Monday night between 11pm and 3am

10) The house in the artwork originally had solar panels on but after a legal battle with mis-sold panels from a dodgy company I had them removed from my real house AND the artwork house.

11) The artist, Martin Lovegrove, also did the artwork for Tough Crowd’s 7″ “Manners”

12) I drew my original idea for the artwork on MS Paint

13) There’s a version of the artwork where “Unremarkable” is mirrored so as to actually look like it was reflected in water but it didn’t look right

14) I sampled John Travolta for Track 11 “Ode to the Internet”



15) I was going to work with a photographer to recreate the artwork but we didn’t bother.

16) The photograph used in the booklet was just the photographer (Kate Love) getting a few initial shots to test the light. The rest were taken in front of speed camera signs but weren’t required in the end.

17) I got the booklets printed by a different company than the people who did the CD to save cash cos I’m tight

18) This is my second album and my first for 11 years. The first is fucking awful.

19) Chief Wigz was one of the first people to hear this album in full. Followed by Lunar C and Hashfinger.

20) Steve Ling did a great guitar riff on Track 11 “Ode To The Internet” but I had to remove it as it messed with the rhythm of the vocal…

21) The speed camera logo throughout the artwork can be see on the artwork for Flame Griller albums I and II

22) I think the “remarkable” version of me in the artwork looks nowt like me and the “unremarkable” is bob on which says a lot

23) There is a version of the artwork with a pink limo outside the “Cream” club

24) Track 10 “Stick in the Mud” (the next single) was produced at a much slower speed and it was an accident I recorded it as “fast” as it is. Tried to redo it at original speed and it sounded crap.

25) Track 14 has made a few people cry. Watch out!

We hope you enjoyed the 25 Facts on ExP RemarkableUnremarkable. Please remember to download the album today from Bandcamp. Also watch out for the next single “Stick in the Mud” coming soon!

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Damian Lillard Gets More Love As An Amateur Rapper

• July 17, 2017
Damian Lillard Gets More Love As An Amateur Rapper

Damian Lillard Gets More Love As An Amateur Rapper

Damian Lillard is best known as the point guard for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. But his passion for hip-hop has been documented since he first entered professional sports, and in the last year or two it’s become pretty definitive: he’s the best rapper the NBA has ever had.

That’s not saying much, frankly. A lot of NBA athletes have tried hip-hop, and while some have been better than others there’s not much star power in the league’s history. Lillard is different, and some of the biggest stars in the genre have started to take notice. Most notably, Lil Wayne offered praise for Lillard after collaborating on his 2016 album. He basically explained that a lot of the time when athletes try to rap they attempt to take on the persona of a stereotypical rapper, whereas Lillard is just being himself.

In a way, that same album, “The Letter O,” may have been Lillard’s crowning achievement of the last year, despite playing for a solid NBA team and performing at an All-Star level. At the beginning of the season, the Trail Blazers were tabbed among the favorites for the Northwest Division, which would have made them one of the stronger teams in the league. But they wound up falling short of expectations, squeaking into the playoffs only to be thrashed by the Golden State Warriors.

That’s no indictment of Lillard’s play or even the team’s potential. But it was by some standards a disappointing outcome, whereas Lillard had unprecedented success (for an NBA player) on the hip-hop circuit. “The Letter O,” for which he went by the name “Dame D.O.L.L.A,” got good to great reviews across the board, and generated a lot of attention on social media—not to mention among Lillard’s NBA brethren.

And now, several months after the album’s release and the initial reception, Lillard is getting even more love as an amateur rapper. The NBA star had actually compared Kendrick Lamar to Tupac, and as Lamar was doing publicity for his own new album “DAMN,” he was asked about the comparison. He not only accepted it (while acknowledging that status as “the next Pac” is out of his control), but specifically noted that he appreciates Damian Lillard as a student of hip-hop. That’s not the kind of recognition athletes delving into music typically get.

Altogether, this is getting kind of exciting for Lillard and his fans. Naturally he has a pretty significant advantage over other talented amateurs, because he has a big name and the ability to get his music out there with ease. But that doesn’t mean his music isn’t great. Lillard is somehow finding the time to carry a part-time hip-hop career even as he maintains his status as one of the NBA’s better point guards, and he’s just getting started. If he keeps it up, and if he keeps getting love from the elite figures in the industry, he could actually be going places in music.

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JR x PH7 – 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

• June 23, 2017
JR x PH7 - 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

JR x PH7 – 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

We’ve got a brand new exclusive for you. JR x PH7 have released their latest album “Coral Cadavers”. We linked up and present 25 facts on Coral Cadavers.

We hope you enjoy the 25 facts on Coral Cadavers. Make sure you download the album HERE >>

The first track we ever recorded with St. Joe Louis in 2010 was called “New High” and was released as a 7inch single on Personal Records from Vienna, Austria. The sequel “New High” pt2 is on Coral Cadavers.

The still unreleased remix to “New High” pt. II features Michael Christmas.

Two of the features on CC we have actually worked with before. Roc Marciano and Phonte were also on our The Good Life album.

All cuts on the record are done by Cutz Penza. He has been down with us for a minute, but neither Pete nor I have actually ever met him in person.

All artwork is done by Sebo Sellout who has been doing our graphic design since our debut album in 2009. For CC we were heavily inspired by classic Swiss design.

Sebo Sellout is also our go to guy for hard to find samples as he has one of the deepest, qualitative exceptional record collections I have seen.

We have done 4 music videos for the album. All shot together with our homie Ingo Leffin within a 5 day trip to New Jersey last year. On the set of DuckDuck Goose we actually accidentally trashed a camera.

Tommie Chase of St. Joe Louis is also drummer in a two piece band called “The Hard Year”.

JR x PH7 - 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

JR x PH7 – 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

Elete of St. Joe Louis is actually an actor/model and has been living in LA for more than 2 years.

Our favorite track on CC is the psychedelic track “Feels Right”.

On that track the Danish composer team Kaae&Batz played live synths who also happen to be the score composers for the Netflix Original Series “Bordertown”.

Other live instrumentation on the album comes from Marvin Beranek.

The sample of the album’s title track actually comes from the label StereoRoyal for which JR works as part of his day job.

Koolade, who remixed “Driven” feat. Roc Marciano also produced one of JR’s all-time favorite hiphop songs in Masta Ace “Beautiful”.

From the first day we started working on CC til its release it almost took 3 years. Good things take time.

We recorded a total of 18 tracks for the album, 15 made the cut.

The other three will see the light of day after the album release along with other bonus material.

JR x PH7 - 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

JR x PH7 – 25 Facts on Coral Cadavers

According to Michael Cardigan, Coral Cadavers is a “neo-noir psychological thriller about a woman’s descent into moral ambiguities against the backdrop of Los Angeles.”

PH7 is an electrical engineer

JR used to be a professional basketball player

Tommie Chase still thinks he can take me (JR) on the basketball court.

The album is released on Dutch imprint Below System Records who we have been working with already for “Noir” and “The South Sac Mack” with Chuuwee.

A Coral Cadavers European tour for the second half of 2017 is in the making.

The vinyl for Coral Cadavers is limited to only 300 copies.

There exist three different master versions of the album. 2 of them will never see the light of day though.

Coral Cadavers is JR&PH7’s fifth full length album release, features 15 songs which makes the total number of songs now in JR&PH7’s discography now 150.

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Koncept 14 Hours Ahead – 29 Facts

• June 14, 2017
koncept 14 hours ahead

koncept 14 hours ahead

We usually share 25 tracks, but Koncept drops some serious knowledge regarding his latest album “14 Hours Ahead”. Enjoy the Koncept 14 Hours Ahead 29 facts!

DOWNLOAD | Koncept 14 Hours Ahead from iTunes

1 – I flew to Seoul, South Korea from LAX airport in California the night of Thanksgiving. I spent it with my LA family, ate a bunch of turkey and mashed potatoes, and drank some wine, and then headed to the airport.

2 – I was only supposed to be in Seoul for only 2 weeks to play some shows and be in the studio. I’ve been here in Asia now for 6 months.

3 – This album is one of the main reasons that made my decision to stay here.

4 – I’m Irish, German, Mexican and Hungarian.

5 – I never expected to live in Asia.

6 – I don’t speak Korean yet, but I am learning. I try to learn at least one sentence a day.

7 – I don’t eat seafood. I’m not allergic, I just didn’t grow up eating it, and I’m just not into it. Although, I should just tell people that I’m allergic so I’m not always looked at like there’s something wrong with me when I tell people.
“Wait, like you don’t east shrimp? Salmon?”

Koncept - 14 Hours Ahead - 29 Facts

Koncept – 14 Hours Ahead – 29 Facts

8 – Some songs on this album were recorded in Brooklyn at Optiks’ apartment. Some songs were recorded in the apartment where I used to live in Manhattan. Some songs were recorded in LA at Tenacity‘s studio aka The Labrynth. Sometimes he engineered them, and sometimes he’d go to sleep and I would record myself all night. Some songs were recorded in my studio that I had in Warwick, NY while visiting family and taking a break from chaos. A couple songs were recorded in Seoul, South Korea.

9 – Tenacity was supposed to be on the beat for Evicted before it evolved into the song it currently is, but we drank too much whiskey the night we first started working on it.

10 – The idea of title “14 Hours Ahead” originally came from the time difference of New York and Seoul, South Korea where I am currently residing.

11 – It’s so much more than that though. It’s being ahead of yourself. Knowing where you’re going to be, knowing what you’ll achieve. Living and working for your future. Manifesting your life.

12 – Most of my clothes and belongings are still in LA. 14 Hours Behind Me. Does someone want to bring some stuff to me?

13 – I miss the taco truck lady at my favorite spot in Korea town in LA. It’s at 8th Street and S. Serrano. Can someone bring me some tacos too?

14 – It’s hard to find a pair of size 11 sneakers in Korea. Size 290 out here.

15 – I designed the artwork for the album. Rob Taylor took the photo of me. Sasha Amesiu helped with some of the photoshop work.

16 – “Photoshop? You weren’t really holding onto that wing outside of the plane?”

17 – The cover art that is being used is the 3rd cover that I had designed to be the official cover. I blame one not working on the very cold weather at the time, and the other… well, it just wasn’t perfect. I’ll post it on my instagram soon. —–> @champagnekonny

Koncept - 14 Hours Ahead - 29 Facts

Koncept – 14 Hours Ahead – 29 Facts

18 – We shot the video for “Understand Me” in Los Angeles before knowing that it was going to be on this album. Shouts to DJ TJ.

19 – It’s the only video for this album that is shot in the states. The rest of the videos are shot all around Asia.

20 – The music video for the song “Overboard” (which will be out in a few weeks) was shot in Thailand.

21 – I had shot a completely different video for that song in Seoul, which is great too, but once I got to Thailand I knew I had to reshoot it on the beautiful island that I was on.

22 – Drake wanted to be on 14 Hours Ahead, I felt he didn’t fit on the project.

23 – My exes inspired some of the songs on this album. Still Drake did not fit this album. Maybe the next though.

21 – I lost a few good friends in 2016. They also inspired some of these songs.

22 – I’ll never again avoid a red flag.

23 – Is there a pun on that last one? Check the track list….. Listen to it.

23 – I had a couple friends let me stay on their couch while I worked to accomplish my goals. I’ll forever be grateful for them. I will buy them a pool in the near future.

24 – I don’t plan on telling them when the pool is going to arrive at their doorstep.

25 – If they live in an apartment, I will make sure to get them a customized pool that fits. And that they can still do a backstroke in.

26 – Hug Someone was recorded in LA right before I flew to Korea. It was a few days after Trump was elected. The US felt like chaos. I was seeing people lose their minds all around me. Even people and reasons that had nothing to do with the Presidency. Just life in general. I felt like people just needed a hug. Maybe it could help. Even if just a little bit. It would at least be a step in the right direction.

27 – Ryan and I met while I was on tour in the UK about 5 years ago in Leeds. He had interviewed me before the show. We became friends instantly. The next time I was touring the UK we had a crazy night that resulted in someone falling asleep at the after party and him getting “Human Jenga’d”. Human Jenga is when you pile everything you can find on top of a person that is passed out. I think he even had a microwave on top of him. haha

28 – I just want to thank you for reading this, and listening to my music. My album is out now, and I really hope you take the time to listen. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to write to me on any of my social media pages, and I will respond to you. I would love to hear your thoughts on the music, and how it makes you feel. Much love.

29 – Believe in yourself. Work for what you want, and get what you deserve. You can.

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Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff Kick Off Their Comeback Tour

• May 23, 2017
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

90s Hip-hop royalty Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff (formerly known to the world as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) will take to the stages of the world again, no less than 22 years after their last studio collaboration.

In the early hours of the 24th April 2017, Will Smith shook the world with a surprise Facebook announcement, reaching an audience of 2.1 million, with not just one, but two shows in the pipeline, locked and loaded by his booking agent for the upcoming festival season. MTV Summer Blast in Croatia and Livewire Festival in Blackpool, UK are just the first of many forthcoming gigs for the iconic due, who dropped unforgettable classics such as ‘Summertime’, ‘Boom Shake the Room’, ‘Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble’ and ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’.

Alongside their string of studio successes, their infiltration into the pop-culture sphere began with TV show ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’, which saw the pair star alongside each other in what went on to become a massive cultural cornerstone for American comedy, as well as the audience who grew up with it. By bringing hip-hop to into the mainstream with huge success, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s careers were launched into the stratosphere.

From small screen to big screen, Will Smith landed numerous starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters including ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, ‘Independence Day’, ‘Men in Black’ and ‘I Am Legend’ to name just a few, juggling acting commitments with solo album productions up until 2005.

In the meantime, DJ Jazzy Jeff was becoming a serious force in the world of music with his production company ‘A Touch of Jazz’, working closely with the likes of Jill Scott, Eminem, Eric Roberson, The Roots, Mac Miller and more. Not to mention, Jeff has been a touring DJ since his career began, showcasing his phenomenal talent behind the decks all around the world.

Now, after many years apart and busy schedules that have seldom coincided, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff are finally reuniting to give the people what they want! Will Smith’s booking agency is now taking requests and offers for ‘Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’ appearances for 2017/2018.

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Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running Album Breakdown

• May 13, 2017
Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Runnings Album Breakdown

Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running Album Breakdown

You’re in for a treat. In our popular 25 facts series we get some unique and exclusive facts on the rappers themselves. Both Eskar and Irn Mnky have agreed to give us a track-by-track breakdown on the recent album Silent Running. Here is the Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running album breakdown.

DOWNLOAD | Eskar and Irn Mnky – Silent Running

Track 01 Remember

Irn Mnky : Built around a section from “Easy as Pie” by the Purify Brothers and Ben Moore. Han’s secret island welcoming from Enter The Dragon opens the album.

Eskar : Remember when Hip Hop was fun and all about the love? When you could say whatever you wanted, without being judged or ridiculed? When cats didn’t have to front like the biggest baddest gangster with a truck load of weaponry to make something of themselves? Me too, they were the day’s. For me, this track embodies Hip Hop’s feeling of youth.

Track 02 Privileged Life

Irn Mnky : Began as an acoustic jam over a raw beat and slowly transformed into this version. A killer hook delivered by Krankit finished the job.

Eskar : Without doubt the deepest and most personal track I have made. I was scared to put this track out into such a judgemental world. It’s worked out in my favour, like therapy.

Track 03  Rock The Auditorium

Irn Mnky : Built around a vocal snippet from “Droppin em” by LL Cool J from the “Walking with a Panther” album. Guitars added last. Great heavy raw sounding track.

Eskar : People keep telling me that I shouldn’t rap so fast, so I decided to speed it up. Some of my best flows conceived  are  on this gem.

Track 04 Jpeg

Irn Mnky : Sax and trumpet samples from a record given to me by Mega Mouth (with a great cover). Shirley on the hook.

Eskar: Keep that 3rd eye open, thats all I’m saying…

Track 05 Missing Peace’s

Irn Mnky : A small section of “Smiling Faces” by The Undisputed Truth. Lowered, looped and filtered on the S2000. See if you can spot it.

Eskar : There is a big difference between arrogance and self believe. A statement on those who deliberately ignore those who go all in for small returns.

 Track 06 Wasabi

Irn Mnky : Oriental samples meet Kes. We liked the clash of broad Yorkshire and the oriental soundscape.

Eskar : I love the intricacy of using one long rhyming scheme throughout this whole song. Serious flows, punchlines and metaphors – it’s clever s**t.

Track 07 Maverick

Irn Mnky : Created from sections of “Whatcha see is whatcha get” by The Dramatics. The track was called “Dramatik” until we changed the name.

Eskar: I have never had a crew, a hype man, or anyone who really stands by me though my musical process. That’s the way it should be… I do it on my own! This is one of those tunes that screams “yeah, I got this”.

Track 08 Outsider

Irn Mnky : Yep it’s Randy Newman. Eskar had the lyrics done and this was made to fit them. There is a special version of it on the vinyl release.

Eskar : After all the controversy with Brexit and the Donald Trump election, I had to make some kind of statement. Migrants are human too, no less worthy to any society than you or me!

Track 09 Malevolent

Irn Mnky : The melody may sound familiar – it’s a 70’s version of “I can sing a Rainbow” – twisted up to sound dark.

Eskar : I have always been attracted to the darker things in life, I think that comes out in this one… I enjoyed watching videos about satanic rituals and exorcisms to get the influence for writing Malevolent. It was in a devilish video where I found the sample for the hook.

Track 10 Sonata

Irn Mnky : The first track we demo’d for Silent Running and the last to be finished. Russian DJ Mr And-7 provided the cuts. Sub bass direct from the S3000XL I recall.

Eskar : An artist who I thought I was cool with was chatting some s**t about me. As a way to vent I implied that the dude looks a certain way. After a few weeks I decided I was not going to release the track with that bar on, I did respect the dude to some extent. Soon after I heard that his crew had been snooping into my files at the studio and heard the bar. Here it is in it’s original form – enjoy!

Track 11 Counting Sheep

Irn Mnky : War – What is it good for?

Eskar : Wake up sheeple!

Track 12 Dreamin

Irn Mnky : I first heard the soul singer “Swamp Dogg” a couple of years ago via a random charity shop find – he’s amazing. Check him out.  The track is built from parts of this gem…

Eskar : Li[f[e is just a li[]e if your not giving an [f]

Track 13 LOL

Irn Mnky : Track built around guitar sounds taken from a few tracks by the same solo artist – I best leave this one at that.

Eskar : Lets all say that we’re laughing even though we’re not… If there is one thing that I hate, it’s this generation built on false online identities. LOL.

Track 14 Lost

Irn Mnky : The cousin of “Privileged Life”. Krankit delivered again after Eskar and myself created a demo vocal (that will never be heard).

Eskar : It must be no surprise that I am one emotional being when it comes to relationships. I originally wanted to sing the hook on this but can’t sing for s**t. Krankit saved the day!

Track 15 Wait

Irn Mnky : I was watching the Columbo episode “Lady in Waiting” and heard the mad strings in the soundtrack. Made the beat shortly after and we recorded it the next day.

Eskar : I heard this beat and got all tingly inside. I could not WAIT to get this one down so it was written and recorded in the time it takes Irn Mnky to tie his shoelace. Bare in mind he’s a velcro kinda guy and can’t tie shoelaces too good…

Track 16 FluteJam

Irn Mnky :  20 MC’s, 1 DJ and over 15 minutes long. A serious amount of work that went into it, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I think about it. All the different vibes each person brought to the track made it 100% worthwhile.

Eskar : An official world record breaking track with some of the best rappers in the country, nuff said.

Track 17 Osiris

Irn Mnky : We met up with Marc7 while Jurassic 5 were in Manchester on the last tour. esSDee had a studio reserved and we recorded it all before the gig. The original mix is on the “Soylent Green” album we made last year.

Eskar : A dream come true, not many 21 year old rappers from Huddersfield could say they did a classic single with a true Hip Hop icon they grew up listening too.

We hope you enjoyed the Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running album breakdown.

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Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

• May 1, 2017
Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

In our popular and exclusive 25 facts series, we’ve linked with Mike Melinoe ahead of his latest project “A Night With Hanabi” which is released tomorrow. Enjoy Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

1. A Night With, Hanabi really is a collaborative project from Blue Alley Records and Mike Melinoe.
2. Hanabi means ‘fireworks’ in Japanese.
3. Mike Melinoe and Blue Alley Records just turned this album in Sunday.
4. We started working on “A Night With, Hanabi” in October of 2016.
5. Mike Melinoe handled all of the artwork, for the EP. Which is an actual painting, I painted a week before the release date.
6. None of the beats on “A Night With, Hanabi” has samples!
7. This project is mainly about Mike Melinoe, overcoming fears within on acid with a female interests.
8. Lonely Iris is one of my favorites. It’s truly dives into my currently feelings today, with the injustice system and police brutality.
9. In 5.0, when the chorus begins, the rodeo I’m speaking of is an analogy; of the constant discussion of other artists having a similar sound and effort towards creativity. While, I tend to create my lane with the classic effect of a 5.0 mustang.

Mike Melinoe

Mike Melinoe

10. This is an EP, not an album.
11. Originally, the EP had 8 songs. We added Tokyo and was thinking of putting two tracks as one. Instead we gave it, as so.
12. Blue Alley Records executive produced the project.
13. A Night With Hanabi, is a quick listen.
14. A Night With Hanabi, starts off with “Neighborhood Goat”, because I wanted to set the tone for the future.
15. After making “A Night With Hanabi”, meditation began to mean more for my spirit.
16. Videos are coming.
17. This particular project, melodically, was inspired by Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Andre 3000.
18. Some tracks have a RAW effect on the vocals, for a reason.
19. A Night With Hanabi, will open a load of doors. Mainly, because of the melodic content and stories. I opened up more with a direction, artistically and with the visuals to come.
20. We delayed the EP a few times, due to timing and proper execution on production.

Mike Melinoe - A Night with Hanabi

Mike Melinoe – A Night with Hanabi

21. Moises is a genius.
22. Dead Cellphones is a favorite. It talks about relationships and how the female can expose that she’s disinterested by default and misconceptions, throughout the troubles at hand. Which ultimately will make someone leave.
23. Tokyo was the last song turned in.
24. All of the production was switched at least, two or three times before the final versions.
25. A Night With Hanabi, will change, the people involved, life. I thank them all.

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ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

• March 29, 2017
Black Beach 25 Facts

Black Beach 25 Facts

In our latest 25 facts series, we are honoured to share the thoughts of ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble. This is the Black Beach 25 Facts Hip-Hop Kings exclusive.

PRE-ORDER | ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach

1. The album recording process began at Mr. Porter’s old studio in Detroit – where Eminem’s “Infinite” was first written.

2. The track “Keep Me Safe” was originally intended for Frost Gamble’s “Jackpot EP” with Canadian producer/musician S.One.

3. Frost used a mix of vintage and modern equipment to craft the beats, from the Akai S900 of the 1980s to modern software and plugins from Reaper and Waves.

4. The intro “Welcome to Black Beach” samples an old minstrel show routine, and ironically touches on many of the topics on the album – such as mis-leadership, corruption, systemic racism and fear.

5. Zo and Frost first “met” by speaking on a radio podcast – Zo was the host, and Frost being interviewed, having just dropped his Handpicked album (in 2014).

Frost Gamble - Black Beach 25 Facts

Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

6. Zo and Frost have released two commercial singles previously – Family First (2015) and Honey (2016). Black Beach is the duo’s first full album together.

7. Zo met Boldy James almost 13 years ago ironically at a studio on 8 mile in Detroit.

8. During the filming of 8 Mile, Zo was able to connect with Big Proof – R.I.P. – and was asked to work on a mixtape called “a Bunch of Black Folks”.

9. Black Beach was recorded in 3 States: Michigan, Kansas, and Ohio

10. KEM is an acronym for “Kill Everything Moving”

11. Zo and Frost are so similar in lifestyles they call each other twin.

12. It takes Zo 15 minutes to write full songs, concept, verses, and chorus.

Zothejerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

Zothejerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

13. 70% of Black Beach was changed in the last 3 weeks before the album was turned in.

14. Zo freestyled Etch-a-Sketch in one take.

15. Most of the verses on “Black Beach” were recorded in one take.

16. Keep Me Safe features Frost’s son and Zo’s sons.

17. While recording “Black Beach” Zo became a Cisco Certified CCNA.

18. Zo uses a K2, UA Neve, and Apollo MK Twin Quad in his vocal chain.

19. The soundbites on Loyal Victims are never before heard or seen interviews with Von Derrit Myers’ grandmother. These were shot by Zo in Ferguson at the 1 year anniversary of Von Derrit Myers’ death.

ZotheJerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

ZotheJerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

20. Zo earned the nickname Jerk in Detroit due to his straight forward no nonsense attitude and terrible lack of tact!

21. Black Beach was written and recorded as Zo transitioned from Kansas to Ohio, sometimes being recorded in hotels.

22. Zo wrote most of “Black Beach” while working as a Network Engineer.

23. Zo and Frost have only been in the studio together physically in Detroit.

24. Zo took Frost to his block Montrose in Detroit so Frost could experience the beauty of Detroit and fuel their creativity while recording Black Beach.

25. Zo & Frost recorded two albums worth of material preparing for this release – picking only their favorite tracks for the final project.

We hope you enjoyed the Black Beach 25 Facts piece. The official video for Smoke Screen is on the YouTube player below.

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Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper 25 Facts

• January 21, 2017
Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

In our popular 25 facts series, we have a brand new exclusive to share which is Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 facts about the latest project from the UKHH MC.

1. The title concept for the album came from the comic book character Old man Logan. I grew a beard which was full of grey and being an old artist battling through the scene, Old Man Rapper was born.

2. The album was going to be called ‘The Capricious Administration’ but after the beard and me being a massive Marvel fan, Old Man Rapper got the nod. I think we’ll save that title for another day.

3. The search for beats for this album started with me getting a banger from Mr Green. I linked with him at an R.A. The Rugged man show at JazzCafe and we discussed doing another track after he had a beat on VerbalVision. Once I got this beat, I knew we had something dope.

4. I nagged the granny out of Apollo Brown to get some of his production on the album and he finally replied just before he got married. He said I was lucky he had some down time before the wedding and would do me a deal on a couple of beats. I got lucky on the timing for that one.

5. The artwork was done by my man Greg Blackman. He super imposed my head onto his body for the outline image and came through with a sick piece of artwork.

6. Micall Parknsun hit me up about jumping on one of the Apollo Brown beats (who wouldn’t want to get involved with that) and when I explained the concept for N16 6AH, he got involved and came through with a dope 16.

7. I hit up Journalist103 and Reks to feature on N16 6AH with me and Parky as I wanted a UK/US mix and I knew these 2 emcees would come with those gutter bars. I wanted that balance of styles to finish of the album and hit home hard with the message in that song.

8. Originally there were 17 tracks lined up for the album but after discussing the content with Dj Stix, I decided to put out the best music possible and cut that down to the 12 final tracks.

9. The writing process for me can take anything from a few hours to a few months. Sometimes bars come easy like on the 77 and Don’t Try To Tell Me, I did those in 2-3 hours, yet when I wrote Begging by the Station, that took a few months. Sometimes it’s about being in the mood and the words just flow, other times I just get stuck on one line and can’t get through it.

10. I try to always keep the content as real as possible, with subjects that have a message and give the listener something to think about and digest in my songs. Nearly all my tracks have that, though I do sometimes just throw down bars.

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

11. The inspiration for Dickensian Times came to me after going to a few local shows and seeing the sick talent we have performing to empty crowds and for little or no money. Talking to the peoples who run the events and how they are struggling to keep the local nights alive.

12. Dj Stix does all my mixes and arrangements for nearly everything i do. On this album apart from the Richy Spitz tracks and the 2 Apollo Brown joints, he did the arrangements, mixes and cuts on everything else. The geezer is super talented and deserves massive respect for helping me put out all of my projects.

13. I am working with Hour25 Records to push the promotion and work on videos for this album. Our first idea is to use Dj Stix son to act as me as a kid in the video for 77.

14. The track ‘First Time’ was originally called ‘The Cell’ but after getting the Sultan Mir beat and the sample actually says first time, it linked well with the lyric that ‘the first time I heard it/first time I should of swerved it. I relation to people struggling to deal with mental health issues.

15. Audio Animals mastered to whole album and after getting samples from a bunch of dope heads, their work really stood above the rest and added that heat on the album.

16. Micall Parknsun not only dropped bars on N16 6AH, he also produced 77.

17. I originally wanted to feature a couple more emcee’s through the album and had in mind to get in touch with Vinnie Paz, Dat Kid and KingMagnetic but when I started writing, I couldn’t stop so it never happened. Maybe on future projects.

18. This will be the first album that I put out on vinyl and there will be a limited run of splatter vinyl coming mid February.

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

19. I originally had a batch of 8 beats to choose from Apollo Brown, but I could only afford 2!

20. Blacastan an american rapper and graff artist, did the artwork for the free sticker you get when you buy the CD or limited splatter Vinyl.

21. This album was nominated for album of the year at Wordplay Magazine. Even though it didn’t win, as an independent artist it was dope to be one of the nominees.

22. ‘Rock Queen’ is dedicated to my beautiful fiancee who constantly puts up with me chatting rubbish about hip hop.

23. Dj Stix was due to come through with some production on the album but with a busy family life and limited time spent doing all the mixes and cuts, we will save those bangers for the next project.

24. The inspiration for ‘Average at Best’ was in response to a so called hip hop friend who said my music was average at best. Talk about trying to knock you down as an independent artist, when it’s tough enough out here.

25. The vocal cut on the hook ‘we in hear with Verbal skillz ya’ll’ on the title track Old Man Rapper, is none other than iLL BiLL. We took that sample from his lyrics my track ‘MurderRap’ from ‘VerbalVision’ and Dj Stix tore that took right up!!

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