Monday, April 30, 2012

The Level Heads: "Feel It In Your Soul" (Video) + Current Affairs EP Album Release Announcement

The Level Heads had an opening slot at the Cabooze not too long ago, and here is some video of the group performing "Feel It In Your Soul" during that show.

The Level Heads are also releasing their new Current Affairs EP on on Friday May 11, through a album release party at the Fine Line in Minneapolis. Check the flyer below for more information, and if you haven't heard "No Sleep," the single from the upcoming EP yet, check it out here.

Watch a Trailer for an Upcoming Documentary on Astronautalis

Astronautalis just announced that he will be the focus of a forthcoming documentary made by Hello My Name Is... Watch the trailer for the documentary above and be on the lookout for tons of cameos from other local artists. I'll be sure to provide additional information on the documentary as it becomes available.

30 Reasons to Attend Soundset 2012 (Video)

In case you were still undecided about Soundset 2012, Rhymesayers put together 30 reasons to attend the late-May hip-hop festival. Personally, I only need 5 reasons:
  1. Soundset 2008
  2. Soundset 2009
  3. Soundset 2010
  4. Soundset 2011
  5. The lineup for Soundset 2012
I've been to every Soundset, and it's one of the Twin Cities' best music days of the year, every year. Furthermore, in terms of hip-hop, it's arguably the best bang for your buck of any single-day event in the entire world. If you're still not convinced, you probably shouldn't even both going.

Knox: "Conviction ft. Wahwahtay Benais, G Malicious, T.O.N.Y., Baby Shel & Tall Paul" (Music Video)

Minneapolis rapper Knox dropped his free album Martyr Music back in February. His video for "Breathe" has been doing big numbers on YouTube and now he's back with some more visuals with the posse track "Conviction." If you haven't check it out yet, you can stream Martyr Music after the jump. Congrats the Knox for also snagging a spot on the MayDay Hip-Hop & Art Festival lineup.

Mastermind: "Stay Scheming" + Dreams and Demons (Mixtape)

St. Paul's Master Mind has been hitting us with sporadic leaks in preparation for his upcoming mixtape Master Mind is DenMark Vesey: ICFS, Vol. 1. This one is a beat jack of the Rick Ross track "Stay Scheming." Hit the jump to check out his mixtape Dreams and Demons.

Big Zach Presents: The Green Sleeve Sampler

As promised, last Friday Big Zach dropped his Green Sleeve Sampler, which features music from many of Zach's projects and more. Included in this compilation are More Than Lights, Traditional Methods, Kanser, Duenday, Dalia and more. Stream it after the jump of head over to Bandcamp to download the entire thing for only $6.

Vision the Kid: The Comedown (EP)

Check out The Comedown, the new EP from Vision the Kid, a Minneapolis rapper via Milwaukee. The 5-song EP has features from Ecid and K.Raydio, and can be purchased from Bandcamp for the name your price method. Stream the entire project after the jump.

Vision the Kid: The Comedown (EP)

Tomorrow Genius: Nice Thing$ (Mixtape)

Tomorrow Genius made his introduction to the local rap scene in a big way. His big break was his collaboration with Plain Ole Bill and Brother Ali, the single "Let Em Through", which he also performed to a sold out First Avenue at the Get Cryphy 4 Year Anniversary. The young rapper got a big look shortly thereafter when it wan announced he would be performing on the Fifth Element stage at Soundset 2012. Now, here is his mixtape Nice Thing$, which can be streamed or downloaded via Dat Piff.

Tomorrow Genius: Nice Thing$ (Mixtape)

Psalm One: "Night Games ft. Thaione Davis" (Music Video)

Here's another new video from Psalm One. This one features Thaione Davis and members of the Chicago Outfit Roller Derby team.

PREVIOUSLY - Psalm One: "Open Relationship ft. R.A. the Rugged Man" (Music Video)

House Shoes: The Makings, Pt. 1 (Mix)

House Shoes is one of Detroit's foremost musical ambassadors, with a track record that runs from Dilla to the Detroit artists of today like Danny Brown. He recent shared a mix compiling collaborations with the wide variety of Detroit artists he's worked with. Check it out after the jump. Thanks to Ego Trip.

Friday, April 27, 2012

MaLLy & the Sundance Kid: "Shine" (Music Video)

Here's the second big local music video of the day. MaLLy and the Sundance Kid's single "Shine" came out one month ago, and now here are some visuals of MaLLy rapping around Minneapolis to accompany the song. The Last Great... is coming out on May 15.

MaLLy with DJ Last Word
The Last Great... Album Release Party
Friday, May 18
7th Street Entry
with The Tribe & Big Cats, 925ve and DJ Jimmy 2 Times
Facebook RSVP

I Self Devine: "Exist to Remain" (Music Video)

Here is the first music video from I Self Devine's upcoming album The Sound Of Low Class Amerika.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Traditional Methods: "Dreams Get Brighter" (Prod. Big Jess)

OG Twin Cities hip-hop group Traditional Methods (Sarah White, Shiz and Big Zach) have reunited for a track to be released on Big Zach's upcoming compilation The Green Sleeve Sampler. Look out for the sampler to be released tomorrow through No Static Records. For now, check out this track, produced by Big Jess. Jess also let me know he's working with Traditional Methods on some more new songs which may evolve into a full blown project, so stay on the lookout for any updates regarding the group.

DOWNLOAD - Traditional Methods: "Dreams Get Brighter"

MaLLy & Last Word: "Cloud Culture" (Live at Fifth Element)

While we're on the topic of posting Record Store Day performances, here is some video of MaLLy with DJ Last Word performing "Cloud Culture" at Fifth Element last Saturday. The Last Great... will be in released on May 15.

MaLLy with DJ Last Word
The Last Great... Album Release Party
Friday, May 18
7th Street Entry
with The Tribe & Big Cats, 925ve and DJ Jimmy 2 Times
Facebook RSVP

Auddio Draggons Performance at Fifth Element from Record Store Day

I stopped by Fifth Element last Saturday for Record Store Day and caught about half of Auddio Draggons' set and they sounded terrific. Their album Magnate is available right now exclusively through Fifth Element. You can also catch them performing at Soundset in late May.

DJ Juls’ Presents: The Very Best of M.anifest (Mixtape)

OkayPlayer subsidiary OkayAfrica recently shared a mixtape put together by DJ Juls featuring local rapper M.anifest. The mixtape plays as one long song, but is a great career-spanning showcase of the emcee's substantial talents. Stream or download the project below.

Beats By Dre Presents Doomtree (Video)

Doomtree is making moves on the Year of the Endorsement Deal (© Lazerbeak) with this new feature from Dr. Dre's headphones company. Check out the video above.

K.Raydio: "The Way It Goes" (Music Video)

K.Raydio's "The Way It Goes" came out last month and now the song gets some visuals to accompany it. The Big Cats! produced track, which can still be purchased for $1 from K.Raydio's Bandcamp.

Mike Dreams: "We The Ones" (Music Video)

Here is the official music video for Mike Dreams' single "We The Ones." The song was produced by Gmo and will be on Mike Dreams' upcoming album Millennial.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Villa Rosa: "Rocketship"

In celebration of Villa Rosa's opening spot for Ghostface Killah at the Cabooze tonight, the duo released a new track, the 4/20-inspired "Rocketship." The track creeps along with some reggae-inspired chord progressions and spacey synths, while Muja and Maria Isa swap verses. Stream it below, and check out Villa Rosa's recent feature in the MN Daily. Peace to Jon Jon.

Non Grata: "Hungry, Happy, Sleepy ft. Niles Miller" (Music Video)

Non Grata is a local group comprised of Big Dylan, Yakub, and producer Maxx Appeal. "Hungry, Happy, Sleep" is their new 4/20 inspried song featuring Niles Miller, a MN native currently holed up in Brooklyn.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doomtree: Spotify Session

A while back Doomtree stopped at the Spotify office in New York City while on tour in support of No Kings. They recorded a brief set including live performances of "Bolt Cutter," "String Theory," and "Team the Best Team," along with some commentary on each song. Follow the link below to check out the session (you must have the Spotify application downloaded to listen).

Doomtree: Spotify Session

In addition, just yesterday it was announced Doomtree will be performing at this summer's Rock the Garden, becoming the first hip-hop act to play the event. They will also be playing on Saturday at Lollapalooza. Congrats to the crew on the big gigs. Presents: Wag Out! The Mixtape

To say Minneapolis' Wag movement is starting to reach any sort of niche cultural significance would be selling it short. Franz Diego is hosting multiple parties per month at Minneapolis venues. The term is reliably blowing up on my Twitter timeline. And now, is releasing a free mixtape featuring music from all sorts of artists associated with the Wag scene: Illuminous 3, Greg Grease, The Usual SuspectS, P.O.S., Mike Mictlan, Spyder Baybie Raw Dog, Lizzo, Yakub, Audio Perm, Mike Frey and more. Hit the jump to see the entire tracklist and download the free mixtape.

Finale & Apollo Brown: "Protocol"

I was pretty big on Detroit rapper Finale back in 2009 when he released his solo debut A Pipe Dream and a Promise. At the time, Finale was establishing himself as one of the most promising new stars in the rising Detroit scene. However, he faded off my radar — and apparently most people's radar, confirmed by a Google search — until I saw this new song posted by Above Ground Magazine. Finale recently linked with Detroit producer Apollo Brown for a song on the Mello Music Group compilation album Self Sacrifice, check it out below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Self Devine: "New Shoe Smell" (Music Video)

The music video for I Self's ode to the shoe fanatics was released today. The song was featured on The Shining Path, the final mixtape in I Self's Culture Series. The mixtape was available for free as a bonus when you pre-order his upcoming album The Sound Of Low Class Amerika.

Previously - I Self Devine: "The Origin of Urban Crisis"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Junkyard Empire: Butt Naked in the Matrix (EP) + "Sabotage" (Music Video)

Junkyard Empire's new EP Butt Naked in the Matrix is now here for your listening pleasure. The 9-song EP finds the band chasing a heavier, angrier sound than their previous releases, utilizing sounds of hard rock and distorted electronic backing tracks. You can stream the entire EP after the junp, or head to Bandcamp to purchase the project with the name your own price method. Their music video for "Sabotage" can be viewed below, as well.

Get Ready For Record Store Day at Fifth Element

The wonderful day that is Record Store Day (Saturday, 4/21) is fast approaching, and Fifth Element has plenty of cool deals and events happening, as I detailed in this previous post. Here are a couple of additional videos to increase your excitement. Up above is the good fellas from Get Cryphy crate digging for their special DJ set using only used vinyl from FE. The video below highlights the 5 CDs for $10 deal for all Rhymesayers titles.

Watch Doomtree Roam the Streets of Austin During SXSW (Video)

Doomtree continues their media takeover as Spin Magazine just released a video of the crew roaming the Austin streets during SXSW. The dideo is also sponsored by Absolut Vodka, which is necessary to mention, as Lazerbeak has declared 2012 the year of the endorsement deal.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Junkyard Empire: "The Oldest Thing You Know"

I missed this song when it first came out, but revolutionary band Junkyard Empire will be releasing their EP Butt Naked in the Matrix on Sunday. Here is the lead single to that project.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Soundtown Music Festival Lineup Announced

Last year's inaugural SoundTown Music Festival in Somerset, WI was a delightful experience, despite being a little underwhelming. The festival itself was well-executed. The event is very affordable and in close proximity to the Twin Cities. Last year featured a good mix of national and local artists, bolstered by headliners The Flaming Lips. Decent camping area. Plenty of good food and beer. Other attractions, such as tubing on the Apple River, to keep festival attendees busy. The one catch was that it was severely under-attended. While the small crowds made the fan experience very comfortable and pleasant (almost too much so), it didn't necessarily instill confidence in the sustainability of the festival. However, the festival management maintained that they had their sights set on the long term prospects of the event. Now, with SoundTown in its second year, it's reassuring to see that they are holding true to their promise, and taking the next step towards making it a festival with staying power.

This year's SoundTown is happening on July 27-28 in Somerset, WI. The lineup was announced this morning, and it features more prominent national artists than last year, in addition to the strong contingent of local performers. The big names on the bill are Weezer, Florence + The Machine, Jane's Addiction (fresh from their venue-opening concert at new and troubled local venue The Brick), Common, Girl Talk, Mayer Hawthorne and more.

As for the hip-hop acts booked so far, the festival kept things consistent with last year and went for quality over quantity. Confirmed acts thus far are Common, along with locals MaLLy and More Than Lights. It would be nice to see some more acts make the bill, especially considering the multitude of immensely talented artists who call the Twin Cities home.

Check this link for ticket information for the festival.

Continue reading to see the rest of the lineup. I will update the list as more performers get announced.

Danny Brown Interview at SXSW 2012 (Video)

Here is a brief but insightful interview with Danny Brown at SXSW 2012. He speaks on listening to new music in the internet age, how he got signed to Fools Gold and the creative freedom that the label provides him, and his influences, from Nas to Dr. Seuss.

Catch Danny Brown at Soundset 2012.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bassnectar: "Vava Voom ft. Lupe Fiasco" (Music Video)

Check out the video for Bassnectar's recent collaboration with Soundset 2012 performer Lupe Fiasco.

[Via Rolling Stone]

Kill the Vultures: "Walk On Water" (Live on MN Original)

Crescent Moon and Anatomy, better known as Kill the Vultures, recently performed for the Twin Cities Public Television series MN Original. The stripped down performance suits the duo's intently focused demeanor when playing live. Watch them do "Walk On Water" from their terrific 2009 album Ecce Beast.

Katrah-Quey: I Heart Esperanza (EP)

Quickly following up on last month's instrumental album A Mind With No CeilingKatrah-Quey is back with yet another project, I Heart Esperanza. The 8-song EP is available through Bandcamp for only $1, and features the likes of K.Raydio, 925ve and more. Stream the EP after the jump or head over to Bandcamp to purchase the entire project.

Eighty H2O: "Lock and Load" (Prod. Cory Grindberg)

Northeast Minneapolis rapper Eighty H2O just put out a new song produced by Cory Grindberg of Audio Perm. Find out more about Eighty H2O and download his project Just Another Northeast Story at his personal website.

Ab-Soul: “Terrorist Threats ft. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko”

Detroit native and Soundset 2012 performer Danny Brown joins TDE/Black Hippy member Ab-Soul and  Jhene Aiko for a new track. Download it by following the link below.

Ab-Soul: “Terrorist Threats ft. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko”

Sound of the City 8 (Compilation Mixtape)

Another month, another Sound of the City mixtape, courtesy of 4Seen Magazine and Big Ten Entertainment. This one features contributions from Franz Diego, Metasota, I Self Devine, Akrite, Mike Dreams, MaLLy, Ceewhy, Greg Grease, Mike the Martyr and more. Stream or download it after the jump.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Level Heads: "No Sleep"

It's been a while since we've heard new music from local rapper Lipset and his producer comrade Lokes, now formally know as The Level Heads. Good to have them back. "No Sleep" is a track that will be on their forthcoming EP, Current Affairs: The Alien Project. The Level Heads will also be performing Thursday, April 19 at the Cabooze, details below.

The Level Heads
4/19 at The Cabooze
w/ The Thundertones, The Premiums and Goulash
18+ // Doors 8pm // Tickets at the door // Link

Auddio Draggon (Mr. Gene Poole & Xilam Balam): "Storm Front"

Auddio Draggon is composed of two original Headshot members: Xilam Balam (Los Nativos) and Mr. Gene Poole. They'll be performing at Soundset 2012 this year on the Fifth Element stage. But before that, their debut album Magnate is coming out on Saturday, April 21 (also known as Record Store Day). You can pre-order the album for the low price of $4.99 through Fifth Element. Auddio Draggon will also perform at Fifth Element on RSD to celebrate the release of the album. Check out the song "Storm Front" below and read a preview of the album through the Fifth Element blog.

Auddio Draggon: "Storm Front"

Download the Free Compilation Album, The Best Love is Free, Vol. 3

Perhaps you remember the TBLIF cypher video I posted back in February, promoting the concert event of the same name. If you attended the show, odds are you also received this free compilation album featuring many of the finest artists from around the Twin Cities. It took a while, but the album is now available for free online too. Hit the jump below to stream of download the 23-song album.

Big Dylan: "Based Freestyle"

Big Dylan recently let loose a freestyle over a Lil B instrumental. Download or stream the track below.

Big Dylan: "Based Freestyle"

Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz: "Mercy"

I'm tardy to the party, my apologies. If you don't know already, "Mercy" is the first single to the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music album. This track features Kanye, Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz. Other guests rumored to be on the album include Jay Electronica and Frank Ocean. Stream "Mercy" below or purchase it via iTunes.

I Self Devine Speaks About The Shining Path (Video)

On the first Thursday of the month from January to March, were were treated to three wonderful and free mixtapes from I Self Devine, as part of his Culture Series, leading up to the May release of his album, The Sound Of Low Class Amerika. However, you may recall that the Culture Series was supposed to include a fourth mixtape, and that it wasn't released last week. That's because this last mixtape, The Shining Path, is available for free exclusively to those who pre-order the album via Fifth Element. So place your pre-orders and then watch the video above, which features I Self discussing the mixtape.

Mike Dreams: "The Lights, The Life (Mike Dreams Dubstep Remix)" + "Wanna Be A Baller (From A Little Brother's Eyes)"

Mike Dreams recently hit me with two new songs. The first is a dubstep remix of "The Lights, The Life." Mike stumbled upon some dubstep producer who goes by the same moniker that he uses, so they connected and the dubstep Mike Dreams remixed local rapper Mike Dreams' single.

The second song, "Wanna Be A Baller (From A Little Brother's Eyes)," is a heartfelt track Mike recorded about his older brother, who was tragically shot to death after being robbed at gunpoint six years ago. The song will be on Youngin From ‘88, the precursor mixtape to Mike's upcoming album Millennial.

ICE ROD: April Fools' Day Chat Roulette Freestyle Rap Concert (Video)

I posted one of Ice Rod's previous Chatroulette rap concerts, which appear to be a semi-regular event at the Turf Club in Saint Paul. He recently did another one on April Fools' Day (naturally), so of course I'm going to share it with you; this stuff is too good.

Via YouTube:
Live footage from a 2 hour set April 1st 2012 at the Turf Club St Paul MN. ICE ROD (Michael Gaughan) sets up the stage to look like a dorm room (with "Bob Marley" and "Pulp Fiction" posters, a snowboard, etc) and uses a small inconspicuous microphone sits on the bed, goes on the chat roulette website and free-style raps to the people on the computer. The whole show is improvised and one of the goals is to entertain the other person on the screen with a specialized rap for them. ICE ROD will lyrically describe visuals of that person, and also invites them to give a topic, engage in conversation, etc. The chat-partner is led to believe that ICE ROD is just a 22 year old kid in a dorm room, and they are having a private one on one rap session, while in reality it is a facade, set up in a crowded music venue, and the computer screen is projected so the crowd can see what the raps are referencing and also see / hear the chat-partner's reactions. Audience members are welcome to come on stage and act as "dorm neighbors, RA's etc." and sometimes the web cam is swiveled to reveal to the chat-partner that they are in fact in front of a crowd.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blueprint: "Go Hard Or Go Home" (Music Video)

After giving us a teaser, Print guides us through a day in his life while creating Adventures In Counter-Culture. The video for "Go Hard Or Go Home" was self-directed by Blueprint, watch it above.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Self Devine: "The Origin Of Urban Crisis" + Album Pre-Order

I Self Devine's highly anticipated LP, The Sound Of Low Class Amerika, will be released on May 8. You can now pre-order the album on CD or vinyl from Fifth Element, and you will get an exclusive mixtape,  The Shining Path. Below is the first single from the album, "The Origin Of Urban Crisis."

I Self Devine
The Sound Of Low Class Amerika album release party
7th Street Entry
May 4
featuring I-Rule, MaLLY, Audio Perm, and DJs Jimmy 2 Times and Just 9
Facebook RSVP // Tickets

Muja Messiah: "Dance With the Devil ft. Maria Isa" (Prod. Mike the Martyr)

Villa Rosa strike again with this new cut produced by Mike the Martyr. It was featured on Rock the Dub's  six-year anniversary mix, The Sixth Sense #iseedubpeople. Thanks to Jon Jon on sending the track my way. Stream/download it below.

Doomtree: Snow Kings Tour Recap (Video)

Doomtree finished up their massive No Kings tour by hitting some venues in Colorado for the Snow Kings mini-tour. Check out the video recap of those dates. The group will be hitting Europe in a little while to perform some headlining shows, some festival dates, and some opening slots for Yelawolf. You can check those dates at the latest Tuesdays with Lazerbeak post.

Sean Anonymous: "Name Droppin" (Music Video)

Check out the very clever video for Sean Anonymous' "Name Droppin." Keep in mind that Sean's solo EP, Anonymo, is still on the way.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Franz Diego & J-Hard: "Bike Song" (Music Video)

Franz Diego and J-Hard really held it down for Southside Minneapolis with their recent release Sense of Self. Check out the Greg Grease-directed video for "Bike Song" above. The visuals fit the laid back spirit of the song wonderfully.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Toki Wright: FADERS (Mixtape)

Last night Toki Wright held his FADERS mixtape release party at the Fineline. Now the tape is available for fans to stream or purchase online. Hit the jump to check out his latest work.