Old Music

nas illmatic xx.jpg

Nothing like some vintage Nas to start the day. As you may have noticed, the upcoming 20th Anniversary Illmatic XX LP contains a second disc full of old treasures, and today we’re treated to this rare Nas freestyle on the legendary Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show from October 28, 1993 (yes, pre-Illmatic). Appearing alongside Grand Wizard, a young Nasir speaks about his upcoming debut album before waxing poetic. Jump to the 8-minute mark to hear him spit over Black Moon’s “How Many MC’s…”

Available to pre-order on iTunes, Illmatic XX drops April 15. Check out the tracklisting here.

Stream after the jump…


North Carolina has been hit with the same damn snow/ice blizzard that we’re getting today in NYC. And here’s how the Durham Academy’s principal and vice principal informed the kids and parents that they could stay home…

Snow days are the holy grail of school truancy…not only do you get to skip class, without punishment, but all your friends are available too, and there’s snow on the ground to dive into…Good times. However…if my principal of my grade school had announced our school cancellation by posting a youtube of him and the vice-principal rapping along to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”…I might have braved today’s blizzard just to go to the school and tag them right in the back of the head with an Ice Ice iceball.

In adulthood I can appreciate the corny cuteness though.

But what school administrators rock $600 Ralph Lauren Olympic Opening Ceremony sweaters?!?
Smh…private school.

Here’s how it’s looking in my neck of the woods this morning…
After the jump


Our friend Chairman Mao has a dope new reggae mix for the latest installment of his “Across 135th Street” mix series. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Mao delivers a wide selection of UK covers of classic riddims. This one is for the diggers.

RBMA Radio:

With Cupid poised to set couples across the universe in his crosshairs and morph every object in sight (whether desirable or otherwise) heart-shaped, the theme of the latest episode of “Across 135th Street” turns to the fantastic and romantic. This in the form of a plethora of lovers rock style reggae cover versions of big tunes from the 70s and 80s soul/disco/funk canon. Listen in as host Chairman Jefferson Mao delves into his covers crates, serving up a program whose sweetness shall be your weakness – whether you’re all up in the throes of affection or just watching from the sidelines. From Barry Biggs’ rendition of Evelyn (I Came to Bring the) “Champagne” King’s “Love Come Down” and Dee (not to be confused with Dee Dee) Sharp’s take on Keni Burke’s “Risin’ to the Top” through Yvonne Archer’s sweet rework of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody,” Mystic Harmony re-route of the Jones Girls’ Philly favorite “Nights Over Egypt” via London, and Misses Misty’s “Mellow Mellow” treatment of a Chi-City steppers classic, it’s all love, people.

Listen to the mix below…


wu-tang clan yall been warned

Here’s a real treat for all you Wu-Tang heads. Back in 2001, the Clan shot a video for “Y’all Been Warned,” a single off their fourth album Iron Flag, but it unfortunately never saw the light of day — until now, that is. 13 years later, Sugar Factory Films brings us the lost video. Better late than never, I suppose.

Watch the lost video for “Y’all Been Warned” below…


kanye west old footage

Shouts to Erika for killing it with The College Dropout 10th anniversary coverage over on Billboard. In addition to putting together an oral history of Kanye’s debut album, featuring insight and commentary from 26 collaborators including Dame Dash and No I.D., Erika also sat down with Coodie Simmons and Chike Oza, two directors who worked with Ye early on, to show us some never-before-seen footage from The College Dropout era.

As Coodie and Chike walk us through the old clips, we get to see Kanye rapping “Never Let Me Down” for Pharrell in the studio (and Pharrell’s priceless reaction), almost getting into a fight with an angry rapper and having the wires cut out of his mouth following his car accident. Don’t miss the prophetic moment at the end where Kanye says in a speech, “the only reason I make tracks at this point is to have enough money to pay for my t-shirts.”

Head on over to Billboard to read Coodie and Chike’s additional commentary on Kanye’s College Dropout music videos.

Watch after the jump…


big pun mister cee

Like he always does about this time, Mister Cee dedicates today’s “Throwback at Noon” Hot 97 mix to the venerable Big Pun, who passed away 14 years ago to this day. Along with Big Pun’s son Chris Rivers releasing a freestyle over the Capital Punishment-cut “Beware,” Cipha Sounds and Bodega Bamz also took time to remember the late, great Christopher Rios in the clip below.

Continue after the jump…


bob marley mister cee

Hot 97′s Mister Cee dedicated today’s Throwback at Noon mix to the late, great Bob Marley. Today marks what would have been the reggae legend’s 69th birthday, and in honor, Cee compiles some of his best material into this 45-minute mix. Sounds like the perfect smoke break to me.

Stream Mister Cee’s mix, plus Stephen Marley’s new track “Thorn or a Rose” featuring Black Thought, below…


kanye west a-trak

Long before he founded Fool’s Gold Records and was making EPs with Cam’ron and Lex Luger, A-Trak was Kanye West’s tour DJ. With The College Dropout‘s 10th anniversary fast approaching, A-Trak decided to let loose this vintage footage from the accompanying tour back in 2004. We get a peek at the “private jet lifestyle,” behind the scenes of “The New Workout Plan” video shoot and a fresh-faced Kanye and A-Trak going shopping. Common, John Legend, GLC, Consequence and Really Doe all feature in the clip, too.

Don’t miss out on Billboard’s excellent oral history of The College Dropout, featuring insight from 26 key players, including Dame Dash, No I.D., Talib Kweli and many more.

Watch after the jump…


nas illmatic xx

As we all know, April 19, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of undoubtedly one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time: Nas’ Illmatic. Today, Mr. Jones has revealed his plans to honor his seminal debut album.

On April 15 — four days before its birthday — Nas will release a double-disc edition titled Illmatic XX, which includes a remastered version of the original album, plus rare remixes, an unreleased song (“I’m a Villain”) and a never-before-heard freestyle on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show from ’93. Illmatic XX is available to pre-order on iTunes now.

Nas will accompany the album by releasing a documentary later this year called Time Is Illmatic. The feature-length film “delves into the making of Illmatic; the social conditions that created it; and the music legacy passed down from Nas’ Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara.”

What’s more, Nas will also be touring the U.S. and performing Illmatic in its entirety. The tour kicks off this spring with performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Coachella. The full schedule will be announced soon.

Check out the Illmatic XX tracklisting below…


Lana Del Rey, at Versace 2013

Lana Del Rey, at Versace 2013

The upcoming Disney movie Maleficent, which tells the story of why the wicked witch got to be so unpleasant, features a Lana Del Rey remake of the sappy happy “Once Upon a Dream” theme from Disney’s original 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty. And like the chopped and screwed version of a children’s sing-a-long, LDR turns this love song very dark and trippy and downright sinister. Just our steeze.

Check out the Maleficent trailer (starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning) with Lana Del Rey’s dark “Once Upon A Dream”…
And compare it with the original…
After the jump

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