Estee Nack : TLC Freestyle


 If you’re looking for that realness delivered with a hefty helping of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding then a close listen to Tragic Allies’ back catalogue is essential; from their heavyweight début The Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil to last year’s Tragedy Khadafi collab Golden Era Music Sciencesthe crew have constantly penned intelligent bars over hard breaks; and as Estee Nack prepares to release his upcoming Purpose-produced full-length via Illadrenaline, the Massachusetts rhymer has kept sword sharp with Soundcloud drops that display his righteous lyrical position. His latest free finds him firing darts over TLC’s Creep instrumental; speaking on originality before singing his way to the conclusion with intonations reminiscent of Time To Ponder‘s mellow vocal melodies; if this quick rhyme is anything to go by, that solo LP is guna be huge.

Keep up with Nack’s new music via his website, here, and follow him on twitter here.



Surg & Hellfire : Live & Learn


After growing up together in Trenton, New Jersey, life took Surg and Hellfire on separate paths. The seeds they’d planted as teenagers rapping in the early 90’s wouldn’t begin to bloom again until ’08; but when they did, the duo’s original plan for a one or two song collab quickly grew into sixty bangers that would become their first two LP’s. Their 2012 sophomore release Live & Learn was a masterclass in heavy drum work and ill wordplay, Hellfire’s beats propel twenty tracks of that raw, uncut boom bap strengthened by Surg’s forceful flows; and like Moment Of Truth every tune is as dope as the last, imbued with an evident respect for tradition. I would list the highlights but I’d be here for days; Live & Learn is the sound of hours hard at work in the lab, the manifestation of a lifetime dedicated to Hip Hop culture that embodies the ‘by fans, for fans’ attitude, check it out asap.

Get it here.


Ugly Heroes EP


Apollo Brown, Red Pill and Verbal Kent are back at it on this follow up to their 2013 self titled début for Mello Music Group. If you caught Brown’s recent Rhythm Roulette you already know his soul sample game is untouchable right now, and on this new EP he continues to perfect the format he laid out on Thirty Eight. Features are kept to a minimum, with massive bars from Murs on Good Things Die, Biggie cuts from DJ Eclipse over Brown’s soul flips on Ugly, and ill production from Oddisee on Low Seretonin. While the highlights come in abundance, the instantly re-playable combo of Legit Worthless and Naysayers & Playmakers immediately provides two huge anthems, meaning it might take you some time to fully digest the rest of the EP; but once you do, the rock-solid skills displayed by this talented crew will leave you fiending for a new full-length.

Buy it here.


DJ Mitsu The Beats : Celebration Of Jay


For years Mitsu The Beats has been flying the flag for independent Hip Hop in his native country of Japan, making beautifully arranged instrumentals that are notoriously hard to cop on vinyl as he expands upon the jazz-laden loops Nujabes brought to prominence. This loving tribute to J Dilla marks the first time Mitsu has made his tunes available on an easy to buy platform like bandcamp, opening his music up to a wider audience outside of record collector circles and sample-hungry beat  junkies.

It’s Dilla’s essence that seems to provide the main inspiration as Mitsu evokes the chilled, uplifting feeling that radiated from Jay’s music; moving beyond the realms of the obvious by cutting back on the un-quantized kicks and heavy swing that would characterize a more overt tribute. Speaking on Dilla’s innovative Fantastic Volume 2 and Welcome To Detroit albums, Mitsu states; ‘I have never been influenced so much by music in my life, and probably never will be.’ This heavy respect can be felt throughout as his intention ‘to dedicate an album for him in order to reflect on my present self’ manifests in every essential track, making Celebration Of Jay one of the classier odes to the SV sample king.

Buy it here.