Friday, July 31, 2015

Like a Version Presents: Mark Ronson, Kevin Parker & The Uptown Special - "Sat By The Ocean" (Queens of The Stone Age)

London-based music producer Mark Ronson simply has NO BOUNDS; we're talking about the fearless genre-blending visionary who single-handedly spearheaded Amy Winehouse & The Dap-Kings' 21st century Doo-Wop revival, or revamped "New-Wop" sound, produced Lily Allen's early Reggae/Dancehall-indebted hits, and has since worked with everyone from Duran Duran to Billy Joel-sampling Rap-singer Action Bronson. Ronson's own New-Wop-indebted Uptown Special is quite easily one of the year's greatest mainstream success stories and arguably, an "underground sleeper," due in part to the assistance of Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker and Miike Snow multi-instrumentalist Andrew Wyatt. Mark Ronson recently decided to re-team with buddies Parker and Wyatt for the first time since recording Uptown Special, along with guitarist Kirin J. Callinan and Jay Bratten on Moog synthesizer, to record a live in-studio cover of Queens of The Stone Age's rockin' and rollin' live stand-out and second proper ...Like Clockwork single, "I Sat By The Ocean."

Mark Ronson & The Uptown Special recorded their spirited Psych-Rock leaning QOTSA cover for Australian radio station Triple J's rather inventive Like a Version segment, wherein "every Friday morning, a musician or band comes into the studio to play one of their own songs and a cover of a song they love." Ronson alluded to his first encounter with Bronson's ripping "Baby Blue" guitarist during a brief mid-session interview: "[Kirin] had the 19 pedals, and I was like, 'something tells me this guy's not gonna play "Crazy In Love."' Then, following a few disjointed spoken-word allusions to Eminem's rap-along 8 Mile anthem "Lose Yourself," "the sextet begin in jazzier territory than the studio version – think "Riders of The Storm"-era Doors – before transitioning into the track's cosmic-funk riffs," Rolling Stone scribed, a fitting description of Ronson's Kevin Parker-assisted non-"Uptown Funk" single, "Daffodils." Mark Ronson's latest studio album, the aforementioned Uptown Special, should rightfully, already be in heavy rotation in your car stereo and if not, I suggest you come out from under your rock!!! (ha)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

G.O.O.D. Music Signee & Former American Apparel Kacy Hill Announces Proper "Experience"-featuring Debut, Bloo EP (The FADER)

"Last year on the Yeezus tour, someone gave Kanye West a single to listen to: It was "Experience," by Kacy Hill, a 20-year-old singer who happened to be one of his back-up dancers. Kanye met with Hill after his Atlantic City show, and immediately signed her to his label, G.O.O.D. Music," NY Mag eloquently transcribed within their 'Top 10 New Female Musicians to See This Summer' featurette. While, as DJ Booth adversely points out, "Experience" was initially released back in December 2013 to little fanfare, only to be re-released on G.O.O.D. Music nearly a year later; "Experience" still remains Hill's lone Futuristic Indie Pop/R&B-reminiscent piece of work, although, now it's set to be included within her forthcoming proper debut, Bloo EP. Kacy Hill's G.O.O.D. Music/Very G.O.O.D. Beats label-mates and arsenal of possible collaborators now includes the likes of talented industry-worn artists and producers such as John Legend, Big Sean, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Pusha T, Evian Christ, Hudson Mohawke, and veteran emcee Q-Tip.

"Bloo is a compilation of a few songs I've written over the past year, inspired by the necessity of finding happiness in the people I choose to surround myself with," Kacy Hill wrote in a recent email to The FADER, who announced Bloo EP's tentative Fall release just yesterday. "It is a calm introduction to what I would like to accomplish musically, transitioning from the sound of "Experience" to more refined song-writing," Hill continued. Formerly a Phoenix-based American Apparel model, Kacy Hill initially met "Experience" video director Stephen Garnett after he reached out to her via Instagram in hopes to do an informal photo shoot together; "I was singing to myself [on set] and he told me he wanted to start some sort of music project and asked me if I'd be on board." Hill was then, in turn introduced to "Experience" beat producer Jaylien Wesley, which was eventually passed on to G.O.O.D. Music and self-proclaimed "greatest living rock star on the planet," Mr. West... and the rest, as they say, is history! The FADER additionally notes that Kacy Hill's proper debut, Bloo EP is "expected to arrive early this fall" and are currently offering her spacy, atmospheric track that started it all, "Experience," as a FREE download for a limited time.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

El-P Premiers Fantastic Four Closing Credits Instrumental, "Another Body" on Beats 1 WRTJ Online Radio Show (Mass Appeal Records?)

Not only have veteran rapper-producers Killer Mike & El-P become something of long-overdue "Hip-Hop royalty," their now-infamous handgun and fist Run The Jewels (RTJ) hashtag-friendly logo has become forever immortalized on a batch of limited-run Marvel comic book covers. "One of my heroes, @therealelp, made a incredible instrumental piece for our end credits. I couldn't be any more excited," Fantastic Four re-boot director @joshuatrank exuberantly Tweeted nearly one month ago, forever cementing RTJ's legacy within The Marvel Universe; that very track, now titled "Another Body," was unveiled over this past weekend. First, in the form of a painfully brief 20-second snippet. Then, it was premiered on El-P & Killer Mike's Beats 1 online WRTJ radio show and now, it has been strategically leaked to The Internet in its full-length form. '"another body" produced by me with [co-production] by the gawd, @littleshalimar and expertly mixed by the lord, @joeyraia," @therealelp Tweeted in conjunction with the track's unofficial Saturday night debut. It's a gradually ascending and self-destructive spacey instrumental Hip-Hop track with subtle stylistic undertones of both Fantastic Four composer Philip Glass and master-beatsmith J Dilla.

El-P's nearly 6-minute brooding instrumental track, "Another Body," composed along with frequent in-studio collaborator Little Shalimar, will seemingly become available prior to Fantastic Four's upcoming August 7th theatrical release and "will be available for purchase soon in HI-FIDELITY SUPER AUDIO FIFELITY SCHMELITY!!!" El-P has additionally been logging studio time with a wide array of his producer-buddies including BOOTS, The Alchemist, Dan The Automator, Zola Jesus, Just Blaze, Baauer, Geoff Barrow, and newly-drafted Massive Attack. Run The Jewels' all-star crew has been feverishly working around the clock on an entirely cat sounds-composed Kickstarter-funded remix album of last year's Run The Jewels 2 (tentatively titled Meow The Jewels) with 100% of the profits collected to produce the $45,100 album going to charities benefiting victims of police brutality. "Meow The Jewels will be released to everyone for free as well as on limited deluxe edition vinyl," according to El-P and while an exact release date is still currently up in the air, "but if all goes right, it [will] drop in September."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Keeping Up with The Reinsteins: Despot Welcomes Fans Into His Childhood Queens Home for "First" Music Video, "House of Bricks" (E*VAX-directed)

Despite, or maybe even because of, the fact that critically-acclaimed Queens emcee Despot has yet to release his oft-delayed, nearly 10 years in-the-making debut, We're All Excited, he's somehow still able to "rub shoulders" and get a casual Sunday brunch with industry heavyweights like Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig and 21-22 Jump Street leading man, Jonah Hill. Fresh on the heels of his recent Evan "E*VAX" Mast-produced lead single lifted from his seemingly soon forthcoming album, Despot has unleashed his "first" proper music video for "House of Bricks;" although, he's previously appeared on film alongside Mr. Muthaf**kin' eXquire, Das Racist, Vampire Weekend, a pre-Run The Jewels El-P & Killer Mike, Sky Ferreira, Chromeo, and Santigold. "Me and Evan [Mast] have been talking about this album since I met him, so we have hypothetically been working on this album for close to 10 years... Most of the delay has just been me deciding that I don't like the songs that I'm making most of the time," Despot recently revealed to The FADER concerning his almost jokingly, habitually delayed album, We're All Excited or the Chinese Democracy of Hip-Hop.

Sonically, Despot's 5-star rated Evan Mast-produced/directed "House of Bricks" sounds vaguely similar to his full-time experimental Psych-Rock and Hip-Hop blending band RATATAT, while making a couple clever lyrical allusions to classic children's nursery rhyme, The Three Little Pigs. E*VAX's FADER-premiered video treatment manages to work in a clever bird's-eye panoramic shot of Despot's iced out cityscape ring formerly showcased on "House of Bricks"' single cover; from that point onward, it almost evokes an uncensored Keeping Up with The Kardashians or even The Osbournes-style look into Alec Reinstein aka Despot's surprisingly "average" family and everyday home life. "I felt like it was a good kind of introduction because I never made a video... which is weird, because I've been putting out music for fifteen years or something," Reinstein further described to The FADER regarding their overall approach to filming "House of Bricks." Its brief contained PERFECT BRANCH-penned video description additionally details that Despot's "Mom, Dad, Jacob, [iguana] Rex & [falcon] Prince" all co-star within Mast's reality show-style production. "House of Bricks'" instant widely-acclaimed success has apparently helped "grease the gears" for Despot & E*VAX to finally attempt to finish recording and release We're All Excited, which Despot himself honestly says "feels like [is] getting closer" to completion.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rare Chandeliers Collaborators Action Bronson, The Alchemist & Oh No (aka Gangrene) Nearly Demolish Simon Rex's Rental Car in "Driving Gloves"

"I'm the epitome of all fly sh*t — jacket to the shoe sole / Two shooters, Flanagan, Caruso / Fly girl stuffed the drug in her caboose-o / "I see Bronson in the chartreuse coupe mo" / My eyes sparkle like a diva's mirror," charismatic sharp-tongued emcee Action Bronson effortlessly rhymes atop producer Tommy Mas' thumping James Bond-esque "Driving Gloves" beat; similar to a Jaylib-style double rapper-producer Underground Hip-Hop pairing, The Alchemist & Oh No are currently preparing to release their third full-length Gangrene album since initially forming back in 2007. "You Disgust Me begins where Vodka & Ayahuasca [2012] left off, with Al and Oh lyrically vandalizing the minds of the masses over gritty, Psychedelic Jazz, Rock, and Fusion-tinged beats," reads a recent Mass Appeal Records press release, which effectively describes Mas' brooding, Surfaris "Wipe Out"-leaning production work. Esteemed Hip-Hop music video and commercial director Jason Goldwatch described his recent work with Alchemist & Oh No as, "[we're] making songs for videos, instead of the other way around;" leading me to believe that "Driving Gloves" could just be the first of what could eventually become an album's-worth of videos to accompany You Disgust Me.

Goldwatch enlists his typically used techniques throughout "Driving Gloves'" treatment fish-eye lenses, over saturated film, tight camera angles, jarring action shots, high-speed chases, etc. It additionally co-stars Action Bronson cohort and Mickey Avalon affiliate Dirt Nasty aka ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex who plays "Gary, the whitest guy in town." Bronson, Alchemist & Oh No roll up onto Gary's Enterprise lot and forcefully heist... er, rent a 90's Dodge Neon and screech off the premise without Rex's consent. Jason Goldwatch seemingly mounted a few GoPro cams onto their Neon's dash and windshield as Oh No recklessly races down a narrow alleyway while Alchemist & Bronson rapidly rip and shred apart the car's interior and somehow, graffiti expletives across its exterior while still in motion. "Lumberjack rumble in the jungle / Live from the bungalow where I package a rap bundle / Straight funnel, sugar cakes, I'mma bumble / bee that'll sting you and flee without a rumble," Alchemist swiftly rhymes atop Tommy Mas' thumping percussion-led beat during his mid-song verse, metal bat in one hand and spray cans clenched in the other. "Doing speeds like I'm in a Maserati... but I'm really in a Mazda getting high with a hottie" Oh No raps as Gangrene roll back up onto Enterprise's lot with the now nearly demolished Dodge Neon and disappear off into the distance. Gangrene's all-star feature-heavy third album, You Disgust Me will be unleashed upon the terribly unsuspecting world this upcoming August 7th on Nas-owned Mass Appeal Records.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Madlib Recruits Future Islands Frontman Sam Herring aka Hemlock Ernst for 6-track Trouble Knows Me EP (Rappcats/Now-Again Records)

"HOW DO YOU DO? HI MATT. SORRY FOR [BEING] LATE. I AM MAIKO. MUNGUNI'S AGENT. THE VINYL I WANT WAS DECIDED. WHICH PICTURE OF MUNGUNI'S DO YOU WISH FOR?" read a rather interesting hand-drawn Instagram message I received from Japanese artist @munguni's agent early Friday morning. "I WANT MADLIB'S NEW EP. 'THE UNNAMED' OUT JULY 18 ON RAPPCATS' POP UP STORE," Maiko specifically requested in exchange for a custom-designed piece of original artwork. Miraculously, I was somehow able to score two screen-printed copies of Trouble Knows Me EP from Rappcats' first limited small batch pressing, which reportedly sold out in just under an hour. Egon & Rappcats then hosted a special one night only live screen-printing pop-up event with Hit & Run following Madlib's Friday night show at Chicago's own The Mid; a second similar event was additionally held yesterday (Saturday, July 18th) at a Los Angeles Rappcats pop-up shop from 12 noon to 4PM Trouble Knows Me EP pre-orders are currently being taken and are expected to ship by September 1st. It's since been revealed that the mysterious "unnamed emcee" rhyming at top Madlib's dusty neck-snapping beats is in fact Future Islands frontman and amateur rapper Sam Herring aka Hemlock Ernst; rather than Snoop Dogg or Zamrock-centric collaborator Mos Def, as I had previously speculated.

Herring has only rapped on a handful of select tracks thus far alongside Gangrene, Earl Sweatshirt, Scallops Hotel, Du Blonde, and Rapdragons, as well as at a number of apparent 8 Mile-style Underground Hip-Hop cyphers. Madlib & Sam Herring's premier Trouble Knows Me EP consists of "three rap tracks + three instrumentals on Side A; flipside has instrumentals of the rap tracks." Jeff Jank & Gustavo Eandi designed some 15-20 unique variations of their "bats & razor blades"-centric Trouble Knows Me cover image, each of which will almost instantly become one-of-a-kind pieces of art when hand screen-printed by Hit & Run. Madlib & Sam Herring aka Trouble Knows Me aka SamLib aka MadRing's inaugural self-titled lead single, "Trouble Knows Me" is cleverly anchored beneath a dusty "soulful, brass-driven groove sampled from Sunny & The Sunliners' "Should I Take You Home,'" as noted by diligent Rolling Stone staff writer Ryan Reed upon the track's Friday release. It's currently unclear whether Trouble Knows Me EP is just a one-off or merely the first in a long line of possible SamLib collaborations (fingers crossed). I would almost assume the latter, simply based on the nature of Rappcats' previously-released three EP roll-out leading up to Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's critically-acclaimed PiƱata full-length... and because let's face it, Madlib honestly wouldn't waste his time recording a mere 3-track EP + 3 companion instrumentals with such a strong new-found collaborator!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

indie's travelling wilburys: BEAK> "Alter Ego" KAEB Enlist Jonwayne for Self-destructive "There's No One" Boiler Room Clip (Invada Records)

Portishead mastermind Geoff Barrow has spent the majority of the last six months to a year of his life tediously constructing Hip-Hop beats along with fellow Quakers producer Katalyst for inclusion on new-found collaborator Guilty Simpson's forthcoming DETROIT'S SON record, but he's currently readying a quick-strike 4-track EP with his other, other Krautrock-inspired band, BEAK> and their "alter ego," KAEB (or BEAK> backwards). Barrow and Bristol-based bandmates Billy Fuller and Matt Williams have released two full-length albums and a few miscellaneous projects since forming BEAK> back in 2009, but KAEB was just recently "formed" as an outlet to be used specifically for recording collaborations; as such with "There's No One," which was "written and filmed in one take [one day last year] at Invada Studios Bristol as part of the 4-track BEAK-KAEB EP," reads an Invada Records-sanctioned press release.

It features the sharp-tongued vocal talents of Quakers' former Stones Throw label-mate, Jonwayne. Although it seems to have likely been filmed prior to @jonwayne's drastic weight loss and lifestyle change, the recently "retired" rapper still half-jokingly Tweeted: "watch me don a fat suit and do my best Jim Morrison," rather effectively describing "There's No One"'s self-destructive, stark 6-minute black-and-white clip. Filmed live in-studio at Boiler Room, "There's No One" is the third consecutive music video released of four planned clips lifted from BEAK/KAEB's split EP, which is currently available for pre-order and "due to ship ahead of release [at the] end of July 2015" on Invada Records. It's largely unclear whether BEAK-KAEB EP is a one-off release or merely part one of an ongoing multi-volume series, which could likely feature the highly revered rhyming talents of veteran emcees Guilty Simpson, M.E.D. Aloe Blacc, Frank Nitty, and additional affiliates of Barrow's 30-member Quakers collective.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Despot & RATATAT Producer E*VAX Unleash Triumphant Return-to-Form, "House of Bricks" (We're All Excited "Debut?")

"Local man who never does anything quietly releases single on a Sunday afternoon," @despotroast half-jokingly Tweeted this past Sunday afternoon, but truth is: 33-year-old rhyming Queens native Alec Reinstein was initially signed to El-P's now-dissolved label Def Jux from 2004-10 and has been actively working, scrapping, and repeatedly re-working his "debut" album, either titled We're All Excited, Hooray for Me, or Jerry, ever since to no avail. Despot has almost made an intern "career" out of recording nearly flawless guest verses for his friends, having recorded with everyone from Vampire Weekend to Meyhem Lauren. His latest single, "House of Bricks," which totals just about less than five overall releases, was produced by RATATAT multi-instrumentalist Evan "E*VAX" Mast and seems to date back to about August 2012 in it's earliest incarnation; Despot performed the track, then titled "House Made of Bricks," live in-studio on Seattle's own 90.3 KEXP along with sharp-tongued buddies Mr. Muthaf*ckin' eXquire, Killer Mike & El-P. Thankfully, it's since morphed into something a little less brooding "Come with Me"-esque and arguably more Boom-Bap-infused, RATATAT-leaning Electro/Psych-Rock hybrid jam.

21 Jump Street actor and apparent Hip-Hop aficionado @JonahHill even Tweeted, "the homie @despotroast released a new single and it's [fire]! Produced by the other homie E*vax from RATATAT" upon "House of Bricks"' sudden weekend release, which has since been Retweeted by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, frequent collaborators RATATAT, True Panther Sounds, Heems, and ILOVEMAKONNEN. "Jerry is the name of the pretty much full-album I just finished with RATATAT last June. Evan [Mast] from RATATAT was forcing me to make an album so he was like, "How about I make a beat on the bus everyday and you write a song to it," Despot candidly revealed to Street Carnage way back in 2009, on one of at least three albums he's completed and scrapped. "I have finally reached the point where an album just needs to happen as soon as possible. I'm tired of talking when the album will come out because I don't know when it will come out," he continued. However, it's been some six years now, and Despot's proper "debut" album still has yet to fully materialize. And even with the wide-release of "House of Bricks," there's still no sure-fire signs we're any closer to actually hearing Jerry, We're All Excited, Hooray for Me, or Despot's very own Hip-Hop Chinese Democracy (ha).

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Alchemist & Oh No Return with Third Gangrene Album, You Disgust Me; Stereogum Premiers "Hot Pillow" (Mass Appeal Records)

"Fresh off the heels of compiling a musically diverse compilation for GTAV's Welcome to Los Santos, The Alchemist and Oh No are back, bringing their Gangrene noise on a whole other level with the release of their long-awaited third full-length record You Disgust Me," Gangrene's Nas-fronted label, Mass Appeal Records described in the Hip-Hop duo's latest Soundcloud press release. "You Disgust Me begins where Vodka & Ayahuasca left off, with Al and Oh lyrically vandalizing the minds of the masses over gritty, Psychedelic Jazz, Rock and Fusion-tinged beats;" not limited to, but including samples of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention and 1960-70's Dutch Blues-Rock band, Shocking Blue. Frequent collaborators Action Bronson and Evidence appear alongside Gangrene new-comers Sean Price, veteran emcee Havoc of Mobb Deep, Your Old Droog, Fashawn, and Chuck Stranglers... although we still have yet to hear that long-rumored Action Bronson-"killing" Scott Caan & Alchemist Whooliganz reunion collaborative track (ha).

Anchored around Gangrene's newly-minted mantra: "Drink, smoke, light one up, pass me a cup of that good sh*t," Stereogum-premiered bonus track "Hot Pillow" is expertly built amidst a barrage of disoriented samples, including ones culled from Zappa's Joe's Garage and Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz" (1969). Although it has yet to be released as of yet, director Jason Goldwatch has been editing the music video for Bronson-featuring single, "Driving Gloves" since around January; "me and my GANGRENE brothers @Alchemist and @ohnothedisrupt are making songs for videos, instead of the other way around..." which leads me to believe, we'll eventually have an album's-worth of clever, artistic-leaning videos on our hands. Gangrene's third proper album, You Disgust Me will see a world-wide release this upcoming August 7th, ahead of which you can pick up the first two installments of Alchemist's archival instrumental series, Israeli Salad and literally just-released do-it-yourself Retarted Alligator Beats.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DETROIT'S SON: Guilty Simpson Talks "Lost" J Dilla Album, Oh No, Radiohead, OJ Simpson 2, Random Axe (The Witzard Interview)

"For a while now, Guilty Simpson has been working on a new album with Katalyst of Quakers, the 30+ member rap supergroup who came out on Stones Throw a couple years ago. Expect an album soon. Until then, here's one fresh from the lab – "Vanguard Organization,"' reads Stones Throw's latest press release uploaded earlier today; a mere uncanny, perfectly-timed coincidence, Stones Throw have unleashed Guilty Simpson's "Vanguard Organization," which he self-describes as "a throw-away cut [that] isn't on the album," as I've concurrently been piecing together an all-inclusive 15-question interview for this very site. The Detroit native whose actively preparing his second full-length for Stones Throw, DETROIT'S SON, candidly covers everything from his "lost" 2005 album recorded with J Dilla, being mentioned in the same sentence as Radiohead, the current status of OJ Simpson 2 and Random Axe 2, working with elusive emcee Jay Electronica, his upcoming Quakers-produced album, and much, much more concerning his 24-year and counting Hip-Hop career.

(1) What would you say are some of your favorite memories of working with J Dilla having recorded "Take Notice," "Serious as Your Life," Jaylib's "Strapped," etc. together? I was also wondering: what ever happened to your rumored 2005 Dilla-produced Stones Throw album?

Smoking & cracking jokes regular stuff. Talking about plans to take the rap game by storm. It was broken up (the album) and what was completed, many heard: "Man's World," "Take Notice," "Stress," "Clap Your Hands" all were going to be on The Verdict... or a part of The Verdict in some form. "Stress" & "Man's World" samples were impossible to get cleared, so maybe not those.

* Editor's Note: "Stress" and "Man's World" likely would not have appeared on The Verdict because of the hefty price tags attached to their sample sources; Wendy Carlos' 1975 Modern Classical cover of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" and Track #28 from Dilla's "Beat CD '05 #2" (formally untitled), which in turn sampled James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," respectively.

(2) Your upcoming album DETROIT'S SON was entirely produced by Quakers aka Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame, correct? How did this interesting collaboration initially come to fruition?

It's Katalyst [Ashley Anderson] and Geoff Barrow that produced my album. I met Katalyst in Australia and we had dope studio chemistry. Me & Phat Kat did features for the Quakers album & later, I found out they were on Stones Throw. When I met with Stones Throw, their name came up & it made sense because I really like their production. Now, here we are.

(3) I'm just curious... did you guys ever get any kind of reaction or any form of contact from Radiohead after Geoff Barrow expertly sampled their track "Fitter Happier" on your similarly-titled "Fitta Happier?"

Nope, I didn't. They're dope [though] I'm just glad people loved the track. Always good to rock with M.E.D. that's my dog right there.

(4) So, I know you previously mentioned in a couple Tweets that your new album, DETROIT'S SON is completely recorded, but when can we expect to see it released? Will there be any sorts of singles, music videos, mixtapes, or anything like that released leading up until then? And are you able to reveal any of its featured artists?

I'm thinking August will actually be when it's released. I won't put out a mixtape, but there will be unreleased songs coming out that aren't on the album. My album features Steve Spacek, Cysion, Elzhi, Phat Kat, and Fat Ray. I will definitely have visuals for quite a few songs on the album.

(5) What exactly was your involvement with recording Jay Electronica's "Get 'Em" alongside Mr. Porter? Have you and Jay Elect recorded any additional tracks together and what do you know about the status of his fabled "Act II: Patents of Nobility?"

I was there in the studio with Mr. Porter when he made it, he's a good friend. Actually, that was a Runyon Ave. song, not Jay Elect's song. Not sure what's up with his album, but I know he's very talented & Hip-Hop needs to hear him. We were actually supposed to do an album together years ago, but at the time, my schedule was crazy and we kept missing the opportunities. Hate [that] it never happened.

(6) I'm a huge fan of your Oh No-produced Ghettodes remix album compiled of samples mined from Now-Again Records' back catalog and I actually managed to track down a CD promo copy recently ha. How did your working relationship with Oh No initially come about? Do you two happen to have any additional material currently in-the-works?

Well, I met Oh No through Dilla, so we go back some years now. But he would always kill the remixes of my projects like Ghettodes and OJ Simpson. We always talked about working [together] and I even did music with Gangrene, so that's like family. I respect what he does. We plan on working [together] real soon.

(7) And what about your long-teased OJ Simpson remix album recorded with Madlib's little brother, Oh No? I remember Stones Throw quietly "leaked" a lone "Ultimate Athletes" (Ultimate Heights Remix) a few years back.

Yeah, fam, that's old now! I've been bumping those remixes for the last 3 years! Not sure if they'll ever release it, but they should. Oh No is incredible.

(8) Now, I've heard rumors about its existence for a few years now, but can you either confirm or deny that you've in fact recorded "OJ Simpson 2" with Madlib? If so, when might that ultimately see a proper release?

I haven't recorded yet, but we've made contact and have been talking about it. I'm hoping to start on that when I'm [done] with Random [Axe].

(9) Do you have any plans to re-enter the studio with Sean Price and rapper-producer Black Milk for another Random Axe album? In my opinion, your self-titled 2011 album is one of the strongest in your collective discographies!

That's in-the-works right now. Black Milk even sent the first batch of beats. I'm already writing, it is on the way!!

(10) What would you say are a few of your personal favorite temporarily shelved or as-yet-unreleased albums, projects, tracks, features, etc. that you're most eager to share with your trusty fan-base?

I have a song over a Pete Rock track that I'd love the world to hear. Not sure if it'll ever see light, but it should. I wrote that track from the heart.

(11) I know the year's only about half-way through at this point, but what would you say have been a few of your personal favorite Hip-Hop albums of 2015 (so far) and why? How about non-Hip-Hop albums, as well?

Right now, all I'm listening to is beats. DETROIT'S SON is my favorite album. And I'm in a time capsule, bro – I'm still listening to The Commodores ha! I'm really into my own wave right now. I mostly listen to Jazz, when I'm not into my own stuff. Mainly Bob James. Anything Bob James will make me listen.

(12) I was recently over in Europe... well, Poland, to be exact for two weeks and I know you were overseas a little while ago, too; if I remember correctly, you were looking for some new beats or producers. Did you end up discovering any up-and-coming European producers you could see yourself working with?

I'm always finding producers everywhere I go. It's a lot of talent over there that are making music the right way. I respect that.

(13) Guilty, I know you’ve been actively rapping in and around Detroit for nearly 24 years now, but you waited until 2008 to finally put out your first proper album, Ode to The Ghetto. I would be very intrigued to learn what made you wait so long and what finally prompted you to release your critically-acclaimed "debut?"

Well, this was before "The Internet Boom," I was rapping to stay out of trouble. Many times, my fans believed more than I did. I was busy learning the craft. It's hard to imagine that these days because so many [rappers] literally blow up overnight. Didn't help that I don't do radio music.

(14) While many people (or even avid fans) may not know it, your birth name’s actually Byron Simpson, correct? How did you initially end up getting the nickname "Guilty" and what does it really mean or signify to you?

It fit because I was bad. We were running around trying to be tough so the name worked. But really it means the way I'm viewed by people that don't know me. And how I can take your negative title and make it a positive. Like N**__R. "Like yeah, that guy you called "shady" is doing better than you."

(15) I interviewed my buddy and Lions mastermind Dan Ubick aka Connie Price a couple months back and he graciously mailed me a promo copy of The Keystones' pre-album Lucas High EP. What can you tell me about the creation of your track recorded with Connie Price & The Keystones along with veteran emcee Percee P, "Four Pound?" Could you see yourself ever recording a full-length LP with Mr. Ubick?

Dope pimp track!! I like that track a lot. He just reached me through email, but that track stands out. Some features stay with you and that's one. Always good to work with Percee. I'm always down to work... tell him to get at me!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Titus Andronicus Unleash 6 Previously Unreleased The Most Lamentable Tragedy Tracks Within "The Magic Morning" Short Film (Merge Records +@)

"'The Magic Morning" was written and directed by +@uteur Patrick Stickles in a display of artistic hubris that no buzz band today could begin to attempt... WATCH "Our Hero" awake to a world of wonder! GASP at the shocking secret of "The Lookalike!" MARVEL at the mysterious transformative powers of the Vernal Equinox! DANCE to those which are already being called "[Titus Andronicus'] Greatest Hits Yet," reads a rather in-depth press release recently uploaded to Titus Andronicus' punked out webpage. "UNDERSTAND the underlying themes and motifs that elevate [The Most Lamentable Tragedy] far beyond the petty constraints of a mere "Rock album" and into the realm of that which the German philosopher K.F.E. Trahndorff first called, in 1827, Gesamtkunstwerk ("total art"—look it up)," +@ continued. The New Jersey-based Heartland Punk Rock band are of course referring to their soon forthcoming 29-track modern day Rock opera; tediously assembled over the course of the past 3-4 years, TMLT is expected to contain equal parts of The Who's magnum opus, Tommy and The Clash's 3LP genre-blending Sandinista! album.

Uncannily bewhiskered frontman Patrick Stickles and director of photography/editor Ray Conception's Thriller-length "The Magic Morning" short film, alternately known as Act II: "Beside Himself," single-handedly encompasses tracks #7-12 or Side B of The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Titus Andronicus have somehow managed to compact six full-length album tracks throughout the film's 15-minute duration: "The Magic Morning" (Interlude), "Lookalike," a cover of Daniel Johnson's "I Had Lost My Mind," "Mr. E. Mann," "Fired Up," and previously released single, "Dimed Out." It's one Hell of a glorious sh*t-storm of hyper-compacted storytelling accented by an awkward tighty whities-divided showdown between a bearded and clean-shaven Stickles, sporadic half-assed dance routines, intentionally shaky camera work, and a ruthless 1-2-3-4-5-6 punch of gritty Punk Rock opera stylings. Ahead of it's soon impending July 28th release, Titus Andronicus have unveiled the proper follow-up to their Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape, Vol. 1 (2012) and a 22-track complimentary warm-up piece to The Most Lamentable Tragedy; Sorry About The Delay aka "Mixtape Vol. 2A" is composed of a wide array of unpolished material including rehearsal takes, 7-inch versions, assorted demos, alternate mixtape mixes, and two experimental Lil' Wayne-referencing intro/outros. The Most Lamentable Tragedy, which has already been humbly self-described as "the most feverishly/breathlessly discussed Rock N Roll record of 2015" is now conveniently available for pre-order in a number of select formats.