Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up Feat. Action Bronson & The Alchemist, Almost Elijah, CRASHprez & knowsthetime, ialive, Mikal kHill, Pecue, Rolled Gold & Teek Hall (Nov. 2019 Edition)

ARTWORK BY: Ed Ptskor (@edpiskorcartoonist)

It's been a while, but The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up column is back! Over the course of the past month or so, there have been a plethora of solid Hip-Hop EP's released online; a quick, concise 30-minutes or less format that's seemingly, replaced the mixtape/"street album" format of years passed to become your favorite underground rapper/producer's go-to promotional tool. Here, for this latest edition of The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up, we'll be profiling eight EP's released throughout November 2019 and maybe, a couple from a month or so prior, as well. Featured below, in no particular order, are EP's from the likes of Action Bronson & The Alchemist, Almost Elijah, CRASHprez & knowsthetime, ialive, Mikah kHill, Pecue, Rolled Gold, and Teek Hall. Along with a brief write-up on each release, you'll find a select track from each EP, as well purchase links to buy or stream online. If this one goes well, we'll plan to publish an edition of The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up each month or so. ARTISTS: please, feel free to submit your current or upcoming EP's to for consideration within upcoming installments (fingers crossed!) of The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up. Happy Thanksgiving to you, all of our trusty readers!!!


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Turkey Day & EP Enthusiast

I. Action Bronson & The Alchemist - LAMB OVER RICE EP (ALC Laboratories)

Bam Bam Baklava AKA America's #1 Rap-Singer AKA Action Bronson has returned with his first proper long-form musically-minded release since 2018's WHITE BRONCO. LAMB OVER RICE EP was fully produced by his long-time friend, cohort, and frequent collaborator, The Alchemist. It's Bronson & Alc's first proper multi-track collaboration since their critically-acclaimed 2012 mixtape/album, Rare Chandeliers. Additionally, LAMB OVER RICE was mixed by revered mid-90's engineer Eddie "Engineer Extraordinaire" Sancho, who's worked with Hip-Hop heavyweights, such as Black Moon, Dilated Peoples, Gang Starr, JAY-Z, Jeru The Damja, KRS-One, Mos Def, Nas, and Rakim. Plus, in more recent years, Eddie S. has mixed records for Alchemist, Benny The Butcher, Blu & Exile, Meyhem Lauren, LImp Bizkit, Roc Marciano, ScHoolboy Q, and Wiz Khalifa. LAMB OVER RICE even features a #VERYRARE occurrence of The Alchemist rapping on EP closer, "Arnold & Danny," alongside Bronson. To celebrate the new EP's release, Alchemist & Action Bronson even released a special vinyl version of Rare Chandeliers on standard black, salmon, and cream-colored vinyl on ALC Laboratories, which sold out within a matter of minutes.

II. Almost Elijah - Halcyon Wonders EP

"Almost Elijah is the light-and-large-hearted, poetic Folk acoustic project of childhood friends, Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo & John "Johnny" Paluszek formed in 2015," according to their Facebook About section. We've, of course, written about AllOne on a number of occasions here at The Witzard; most memorably, for his Dope KNife-produced True Crime/30 Poems In 30 Days-inspired EP, Dusty Dossiers, released as part of Fake Four, Inc.'s 2017 FREECEMBER imitative. It appears as though AllOne's output with Almost Elijah is a bit more Indie Folk/Conscious Hip-Hop-based, leaning a bit more on the stripped down Bright Eyes/WHY?-esque end of the musical spectrum. AllOne & Johnny Paluszek have returned with their second collaborative release as Almost Elijah, Halcyon Wonders EP. It's the follow-up to their 2016 debut For A Year EP and it appears as though Halcyon Wonders was released digitally (aside from Bandcamp) this past August. Almost Elijah themselves describe Halycon Wonders as: "Indie Folk anthems to bygone days and reminiscent illustrations of a youthful life lived with a fierce appetite for vivid adventure. Basking in the halo-glow of revelation brought about by the awe-inspiring discoveries that come about only from richly, hungrily-lived experience. As much ebullient nostalgia as it is a decisive and insistent goodbye letter to origin stories in favor of progress and future-craving."

III. CRASHprez & knowsthetime - I'ma Die Anyway EP

CRASHprez AKA Michael Penn II is an emcee and a Vinyl Me, Please staff writer "known for his Twitter fingers." MPII, also, has affiliations to #INVOICEBOYZ and defprez with defcee & knowsthetime. Here, on The Witzard, we've previously showcased defprez's SUNDAY NO.1 EP, as well as defcee's knowsthetime-produced Summer Courses EP. defprez, also, released their second collaborative offering, fittingly titled SUNDAY NO.2 this past August and, supposedly, there's a new defcee (Adam Levin) album fully produced by knowsthetime (Ian Carroll) dropping relatively soon. Now, CRASHprez has returned with his first long-form project since 2015's more perfect. entitled I'ma Die Anyway. It's being billed as "a re-introduction to CRASHprez" and is, again, fully produced by knowsthetime. I'ma Die Anyway EP was Executive Produced by both CRASHprez & knowsthetime with Mixing & Mastering by Daniel Kaplan (Groupthink,) Art Direction by Clay Conder, "Outfit Styling by Ian Carroll (he told me to put that there,)" and a lone feature from TADJ on "Babylon Bounce," courtesy of Ca$houtboyz. CRASHprez and his team are currently putting the finishing touches on a visual accompaniment/music video for I'ma Die Anyway EP opener "THE NERVE!" as well as a planned post-release Midwest tour with option for additional spot dates, as well.

IV. ialive - ODD ORTS EP (Cold Rhymes Records)

Philly-based emcee, producer, and multi-instrumentalist ialive has had quite the busy year: he released his phenomenal third solo album, Don't Do Nothing, appeared alongside partner-in-rhyme Darko The Super on The Hell Hole Store's third joint album, Three The Hard Way, dropped The Custodian of Records-produced "INTERVALS," and made appearances on releases from andrew, Height Keech with Hemlock Ernst, Goldzilla, PT Burnem & MISTER, and hectic zeniths. As if that wasn't enough high-quality music for 2019, ialive has returned once again before year's end with his ODD ORTS EP. ialive himself has described ODD ORTS as "a collection of tracks ranging from 2016-2018 that have managed to evade release. They are individual songs that were made without ties to full projects or intentions." ODD ORTS EP's first four tracks were produced by ialive with two additional remixes produced by Juan Cosby of Grasshopper Juice Records and The Witzard mainstay Unsung with mixing by mixed by Zach Goldstein at Kawarisoundand mastering by C$ BURNS. Additionally, there's a live music video for ODD ORTS stand-out "Stone Soup," as directed by ialive's frequent collaborator, Bob Sweeney.

V. Mikal kHill - terminal. EP (NOFRIENDS Music)

Mikal kHill is a Boone, North Carolina-based emcee, musician, and active member of TroubleShooters, Two Weeks Notice, ThoughtCriminals, and NOFRIENDS Family. Over the years, kHill has collaborated with the likes of ceschi, Mega Ran & K-Murdock, Jesse Dangerously, Dope KNife & Miggs Son Daddy AKA Happy Thoughts, cecilnick of Autocorrect/Silfur, and Tribe One. Mikal kHill's latest release, terminal. was completely produced by frequent sole collaborator, DJ Pain 1 with additional synths on "the word was good." by Moses Andrews III, and Mixing & Mastering by cecilnick of Autocorrect. terminal. "talks about everything from my bout with testicular cancer, to growing up in poverty, to my marriage and children, It's a really personal release," Mikal kHill (@mikalkhill) recently told The Witzard, via Twitter Messenger. Mikal kHill's terminal. EP is currently available to purchase, stream, or download on digital streaming platforms with a number of exclusive pin/T-shirt/EP packages available to purchase on Bandcamp.

VI. Pecue - Shining EP (Pecue Design)

"KEEP SHINING - My work is rooted culture, creativity, and forward-thinking. I'm still inspired by the things that motivated to get interested in art and design: music, environment, and a drive to create something that influences and contributes to culture," reads the site description atop of Patrick "Pat" Quinn AKA Pecue is a graphic/visual artist and producer hailing from Philly/Florida. Pecue, actually, designed the top-billing poster for The Witzard's Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Part I AKA PB30; featuring a visual representation of one of my personal favorite Beasties lines: "I'ma Die Harder... like my kid, Bruce Willis!!!" Since the top of the year, Pecue has self-released two EP's, '96 Native and Younger Days EP, as well as remixes of classics by A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and Busta Rhymes. Now, Pecue has returned with his third EP of 2019, Shining, which seems to harken back to the "KEEP SHINING" mantra from atop his site. Shining consist of eight instrumental Hip-Hop tracks with only added vocal samples and EP artwork designed by Pecue himself.

VII. Rolled Gold - Down Thataways EP

Rolled Gold has returned with his latest release, Down Thataways, his latest in a series of self-produced, composed, engineered, and mixed projects of 2019. Down Thataways EP was preceded by A Different Cloth, Vol. 1-3 and "What I Can't Do" (Boogieman Dela Remix.) For Down Thataways, Rolled Gold has enlisted the talents of frequent collaborators Uncle Crimson, Ray Bailey, and Tylar Montgomery and his brother, Samuel Metz. We've done plenty of features here at The Witzard on Rolled Gold's music and anyone who's hip to great independently released music should be well aware of Harry Metz, at this point. His body of work is phenomenal and this year has, in my humble opinion, been his best year yet. I could say a bunch of great things about Rolled Gold's music (which are extremely well-deserved) but, at this point, I would rather just let his music speak for itself. Down Thataways and Rolled Gold's full discography, dating back as far as 2016, is now available to purchase, stream, or download on Bandcamp.

VIII. Teek Hall - Black Phillip EP

Teek Hall is a Mesa, Arizona-based emcee, podcaster, and wrestling, comics, Anime and video games aficionado. Teek is a co-host of The Mat Mania Podcast, is the host of Teek's Takes, and was deemed "Best Rapper" of 2019 by The Phoenix New Times. Teek Hall has affiliations with Soulspazm, Witching Hour, Wax Society, and Trevor Lang and often goes by the nicknames Black Phillip, Teek The Villain, Lord Vader, and MADVADER. Just this past Halloween, Teek returned with his latest release, The Black Phillip EP; fully produced by Sumo Corleone with Artwork, GFX & Video by Trevor Lang, and features from G1 to The Rescue & Widowmaker. Teek Hall's Bandcamp page explains, "Teek Hall joins forces with Sumo Corleone to bring you The Black Phillip EP inspired by the film The Witch. This is a dark and spooky project just in time for Halloween that touches on some personal hardships in Teek Hall's life, as well as proving why he is a G.O.A.T. in Rap/Hip-Hop music."

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