Issue Zero - The Find Magazine

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ISSUE zero Arts The Beatdoctor, Blue Scholars, C-Rayz Walz, Elk, Giant Panda, Klashnekoff Kosha Dillz, Lucamaleonte, Replife, Roxanne Shante, Shad, Son of Ran

THREE | Introduction FOUR | In The Spotlight Son of Ran SIX | Review Replife – The Unclosed Mind SEVEN | Review C-Rayz Walz & Kosha Dillz – Freestyle vs. Written EIGHT | Introducing... Kosha Dillz NINE | Review Shad – The Old Prince TEN | Review Blue Scholars – Bayani ELEVEN | Article Criminals Or Pioneers? THIRTEEN | Old School Review Roxanne Shante – Bad Sister FOURTEEN | New School Review Giant Panda – Electric Laser FIFTEEN | Article Blank Walls, Blank Minds SEVENTEEN | Art Focus Interview Lucamaleonte NINETEEN | Art Focus Interview ELK TWENTY-ONE | International Review Klashnekoff – The Sagas Of TWENTY-TWO | International Interview Arts The Beatdoctor TWENTY-THREE | Recommendation Of The Month TWENTY-FOUR | The Message

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Introducing… “Without no further ado, I lend a product of my mind, And I present to you; The Find...” I am proud to introduce this first issue of The Find Magazine. We have been working on this for quite a while and I am sure everybody who worked on this is satisfied with the result. I want to dedicate the first words of this magazine to everyone who put their effort in this, because I never expected to get this much support. Lots of people offered their help which resulted in one talented team of writers, experts and designers. So thanks to everyone, especially the people from Stencil Revolution, The Urban Block, visitors of Musical Schizophrenia and all artists who took time for an interview. We all learned a lot by making this issue, so we can guarantee lots of improvements for the next issue, which drops next month. With this magazine we want to support artists that should get more recognition. We hear a lot about a beef between Soulja Boy and Ice T, the anticipated ‘Tha Carter 3’ and a crying Young Buck, but where’s Ohmega Watts? Sage Francis? Blue Scholars? Shad? Giant Panda? People Under The Stairs? Y Society? Hocus Pocus? The Procussions? Lightheaded? J. Rawls? The Sound Providers? Or maybe Panacea? No, none of these (randomly selected) artists get the recognition they should get. The Find Magazine will place artists like this in the spotlight, without getting any profit, without any input from advertisers, without getting any advantages; we all just have the same passion of sharing great music and increasing people’s knowledge about Hip Hop. Lots of people tell us Hip Hop sucks, we will prove the opposite. The Find, inspired by Ohmega Watts’ debut album, refers to digging in the crates. Our magazine is like a virtual crate; open it and we are sure you’ll find a personal classic, an album which is unknown to you but which turns out really great or music which fits your musical taste perfectly.

Editorial Heaps


Andrew Lonczak Brian Pollock CrimzonFear Debo7 Heaps Nofrillz R.M. London Sherpa ZeeZee

Design Pishoo


Arts The Beatdoctor Blue Scholars C-Rayz Walz Elk Giant Panda Klashnekoff Kosha Dillz Lucamaleonte Replife Roxanne Shante Shad Son of Ran

Stay Thirsty, Heaps Chief Editor Page 3

In The Spotlight...

Son of Ran

Son of Ran To start off the interview, for those who are unfortunate, can you explain who you are and what you do? Whattup world? My name is Randy Tolentino and many people know me as the Son of Ran. I aim to set an example of a strong believer in God, a faithful husband to my beautiful wife Khristine, a good son, a loving brother, a kuya, a cousin... In my spare time I’m an emcee. I rep Sky City, Messanger Music fams, PnoyApparel, along with Orisue and Acrylick clothing. Basically I get an instrumental from any one of my many producers, I sit there, black out... and wake up with an album. I write and record all songs out of my crib, based on the life and experiences we go through.

“I aim to set an example of a strong believer in God”

So I read that you were brought up in Japan, how was that? Do you feel that it was a positive experience in your life? Oh yes, definitely. Being raised in Japan was such a benefit for myself and my family as well. It took me out of San Diego during my adolescence, a time when SD was going through a lot of chaos and gang violence. And living in a smaller community meant developing a healthier relationship with my immediate family. I was there for 7 years total... It was a great experience. How long have you been into Hip Hop? And how long have you been writing rhymes? Hip hop was in us since the early 80’s. I was born in the same year the Gorilla put a fist up (1980). Beginning at the age of 4, I spent long afternoons trying to memorize artists like LL Cool J, Page 4

RUN DMC, Beastie Boys - later turning to NWA, Eazy E, House of Pain, Souls of Mischief, Bone, and Pac... any sorta ‘rap’. Like most artists, I ran the gauntlet of elements going from ‘breakdancing’ in middle school, to graffiti in high school. It wasn’t until I moved back to the states for college in 1999 that I officially began writing rhymes. Seeing my cousin John and his crew at the time (Young Guns/Dope Poets Society) really sparked the passion in me. Things haven’t been the same, since. What was your first bought Hip Hop album as a kid? The first album I bought? Haha well I didn’t have money until my later years in elementary... it must’ve been Beastie Boys’ License to Ill... with the sketching of a plane’s tail on the front. “Here’s a little story/ I got to tell about three bad brothers/ you know so well...” When you pick up a pad and pen, what influences your writing? I truly get all of my inspiration from several components. My God, my Life, love, my future, and the collective human experience. When I examine these particular aspects, my approach is endless and my writing uncovers its own destiny. It’s something I almost have no control over I just have to give it time and a beat to get me goin. Most of the time, the music will hollar at you. The streets call you out. That’s why when I met the Messangers and heard their sound for the very first time, it was over. I told their business manager Brandon - call it an album, consider it cake.

“My writing uncovers its own destiny”

“I appreciate the cats who reach out and try to grasp what I do via music and artistry”

and I appreciate the cats who reach out and try to grasp what I do via music and artistry. I’d like to give special thanks to God, my parents, my siblings Fred and Arrin, Mel and Glenn, Linds and Marlon, my SD cousins and the extended fams. The Greatest of my love goes out to my beautiful and understanding wife. Thanks to the Dancel What is currently in heavy rotation in your iPod/ family, Leary family, Lonzons, Carinos... Rossi computer? and Dixie my babies, the Messangers (Brandon, Damn, I recently bought an MP3 player and Mark and Jojo), F. Joachim, Evade beats, Genome, started uploading several albums to it, including: Cypher Ops and DJ Virus forever, Stat King Cole, Jason Mraz, Colby Caillat, Flo Rida, Maroon 5. the Maestronaut, PnoyApparel fams, Orisue Crew, I always have Aesop Rock in the ride, as well as Acrylick Clothing. Nas... Special shout goes out to Electric Shockers, Ryo, “That album is due to drop at the IllWill, Ed, Phil, Mark, Jeff, Dean... Genelec and very end of summer or early fall...” Memphis Reigns, Rob Grimes, Yung Lyricist, Sky In addition to the Street Runners album, do you City Familia, Full Clips DJ’s... Manny Pac! Jah have any other projects you are working on that Congo,, HeavyRotation with Marliyou want to announce? Any new solo stuff for crav- no, my boy Von, and last but not least, my boy Gil ing fans? for making the best damn clam chowder I’ll ever I’m currently finishing the Incoming Message alhave in this life. bum with the mighty Messangers Music fam. That If I forgot you, no I didn’t... Get the album ya’ll! album is due to drop at the very end of summer Incoming Message 2008.... and I’m out. or early fall for all the back-to-school cats dying for ill music. I also have a couple of shirts coming Words by Optimus Prime of www.thetrolleystop. out from, with some super-fresh Incoming Message, In Stores Soon designs... They’re gonna be sick, I’m excited for for more information check http://www.myspace. that. Aside from this album, I don’t plan on docom/skycityallstars ing a lot of writing/recording in 2008. I’m getting married in December so I’m focusing my attention on our planning. In addition to the wedding, I’m applying for HomeLand Security...

Son of Ran

I’ve always wondered, what made you choose the name Son of Ran? Back when I used to write (graffiti) I used the name R-son... or Arson. When I began emceeing in my freshman year of college, I manipulated it Ranson. Finally, switching it to Son of Ran. To me, it meant that if I were to take this music career seriously, I had to treat it as if it were my own seed; my own son. I’d have to teach it to be righteous, progressive, and clean music. And from there I developed my approach in hip hop.

In The Spotlight...

If you were able to collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would it be? I always felt like I wanted a real shot with Genelec and Memphis Reigns. A real album. Other than that, shoot... I’d humbly ask Planet Asia to cut a gem with me (his voice is the illest), also Pep Love because his flow is impeccable. I’d also wanna get down with John Legend for soulful purposes. Who else... Typical Cats!

“if I were to take this music career seriously, I had to treat it as if it were my own seed”

And with that I would like to say, once again, thank you for the opportunity, it means a lot to me and your fans. Any last thoughts or shout outs? Aye man, thank YOU. I never take this for granted Page 5



Replife The Unclosed Mind Futuristica Music

Sometimes we struggle to find a place for things. By that I mean we struggle to put things into a type, We will think on it for quite a while. Weighing up all of the pros & cons of labelling something in a certain way. Trying to recognise the consequences, no matter how trivial, of the decision we are about to make. Yet we seldom stop to consider another possibiity. Why should we be trying to put something into that metaphorical ‘box’ in the 1st place? I tend to title my ipod playlists according to the type of music it contains. While listening to Replife’s ‘The Unclosed Mind ‘(perfect title) via iTunes, I found myself trying to group different tracks on the album under different playlists. Until finally I came to the same conclusion I refer to above. Case in point. The 1st & 2nd tracks on the album, Spirit & Change 4 A Dolla, are a perfect draw for the listener as they have enough of a Hip Hop element to keep the heads nodding while adding Nu-Jazzesq basslines & synths to proceedings. Then the uptempo Emerald City, uses its ‘sharp’ bass tones to great effect. From that to the heavy latin influence shown on Pangea with its nice bounce. Then tracks like Away, Elevation & Heavy Jazz/Trip Hop of Out of Soul (complete with spoken word prose) only add to an already intriguing tracklist. As for my stand out on this one. The last track on the album, R U Page 6

Ready, with it’s smooth, almost Tony Dofatish (you must remember some of his beats for Heavy D) appeal is an unexpected end to an unexpected longplayer. This is definitely my vote for most interesting Hip Hop-album of the year so far. Now that may sound like i’m trying to find a nice way of saying it’s no good. Well, i’m not. It is a very refreshing album, which is sometimes needed across all genres. Rep is a talented MC, poet & muse and he utilises his repertoire to great effect. So while i’m listening to my second favourite track on the album -The Left Side Of Things, which even if it’s the most conventional track on the album still manages to flip an often used sample, remember that different is exactly that, different. Different, warrants investigation and as Replife demonstrates, you’ll like what you’ll find. Words by Nofrillz

Information Replife: danielgraykontarisreplife Buy:

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Othello - Elevator Music A solo-album by Othello, member of the group Lightheaded. A great record with jazzy beats, a mellow vibe and ‘real talk’ from Othello.


REVIEW C-Rayz Walz & Kosha Dillz Freestyle vs. Written Modular Moods

drop causing you to rewind anyway. Another song with an unseen twist is “Bong Bong” in which they swap perspectives and rap as if they were each other, this song is fun because at some points they take jabs at each other and you can tell they’re really enjoying themselves. For the most part the rest of the songs are the standard songs about life, growing up, and making money in this world. Two songs that step out the normal rap mold but are more serious are “Evolution of a Fan” and “March to the Death”, the latter of which is my favorite which I’ll be playing for long to come, long after the novelty of the concept wears off and really elevates this album for me. This album is entertaining and somewhat original, which is something special for a genre over 3 decades old, but I have to say when I think freestyle or written these guys don’t come to mind, when thinking of dream collabs. With that said, they did a good job on the album, the concept instantly gives it at least some replay value, so when combined with the above average talent of both of these veteran artists it all falls into place well. So if you’re at all intrigued by the concept of this album go out and get it but if your not impressed with the concept, either because you’ve seen it before or want it done by better emcee’s you might want to pass and just I-tunes “March to the Death”.

Information C-Rayz Walz: crayzwalz Kosha Dillz: freestylevswritten Buy:

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Demigod Apathy; underground hip hop at its best! The album has a very nice vibe, great productions and even better lyricism.


Words by Debo7 Page 7

C-Rayz Walz & Kosha Dillz

C Rayz(freestyle) and Kosha( Written) have presented us with a remarkable experimental concept that you can only hope to see from the indie/mixtape scene, the concept of “Freestyle vs. Written” is plainly stated in the title. What’s not stated is how well they have managed to pull this off so that it sounds professional and not just like two artist having fun, which is one of the many facets that come off in the album. You really get the feeling as you listen that they love the concept and want to make something enjoyable. The album starts off with a beat that’s reminiscent to the beginning of a movie and how I think all lesser known artist should start their albums, with an introduction on who they are. Nothing really stands out but it sets a nice bar for the album lyrically that the artists make sure never to sink below. The next track proceeds to go over back-story to how the album came into fruition, and while an alright song it probably would have been better served as explained in an interlude. Aside from the freestyle vs. written aspect of this album, that if poorly executed would have come off as gimmicky as its mainstream cousins “vs.” LP’s, there also a lot of creativity in some of the songs. One that I have trouble finding a past comparison for is the song “Holiday” which is cool, funny, and original; it won’t ‘wow’ you lyrically but nothing on this album really makes your jaw

Introducing... Kosha Dillz

Kosha Dillz


Kosha Dillz I live a clean and healthy life that inlcudes hip hop to elevate my status in the physical. I represent a struggle within, for kids out there that never really fit in; I represent Jewish people in a way never seen before; I represent the battle emcee who always repped but never really got recognized; I have been putting in work for a long time and now it’s time to shine! Q: ‘Freestyle vs. Written’ will be your first official release. Why did you choose to work on a collaboration with C-Rayz & Kentron, instead of a very own debut-release? A: The label thought it would be a great idea to introduce me to the public by a project together with C-Rayz and Kentron. I have recorded tons of solo material as well, but this will be the first store release. I think it’s a dope project and I am proud of the way it was executed, it’ll defintely set up eyes and ears for my solo-project.

“It’s an amazing step to cultural unification”

Q: Freestyle vs. Written is a very interesting concept, who came up with the idea? A: I did. I know C-Rayz is amazing at freestyling and I wanted to test his creativity level. I stepped to him with the idea and it became something next level. At first it was a EP, but after we completed an EP in 7 hours, we decided to expand it to a full-length album. Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about the realization of the album? A: I realized we can’t get C-Rayz Walz in a room with us for a span of weeks; C-Rayz can’t sit still and he can’t meet me often, so we blasted it out quickly. ‘Freestyle vs Written’ explains the unification of two different backgrounds. Black and Jewish, freestyle and written, similiar journeys. Its an amazing step to cultural unification. I still suffer form racism all the time. People who freestyle get accused of spitting writtens all the time. You see where it elevates too? That’s how ill it is.

“I still suffer fROm racism all the time”

Q: And why is this album together with C-Rayz, can you tell me something about how you guys hooked up? Page 8

A:He has a street credibility and is one of the most insane people NYC Underground has to offer. I used to be twisted all the time and C-Rayz sort of stuck up for me in bad times as did Poison Pen. In 2006 I stepped to him and gave him some of my work, that’s how we met.

“I can’t believe people want to hear my music”

Q: Lots of people where able to download the leak of your album way before the release. What are your thoughts on that? A: Dope! I can’t believe people want to hear my music. I hope they support it when it comes out though. There will be some new free stuff they can’t get now, so it’s all good.

“You have a chance to be honest and still earn a living; That’s a great thing!”

Q: A very cliché question, but I still want to ask you this: what do you think of Hip Hop nowadays? A: I think it’s great that you can say whatever you want and make money with it. I think it’s a billion dollar industry and I’m only looking for a piece of it. I think you have a chance to be honest now and still earn a living; That’s a great thing! Words by Heaps ’Freestyle vs. Written’ by Kosha Dillz & C-Rayz Walz will drop august 7th. More Info:

REVIEW Shad The Old Prince Canada Black Box

preachy. One of the more memorable tracks on the album is when he flips the normal rampant materialism which is normally associated with hip-hop on its head. I’ve heard it done before but he has a funny and creative twist at the end that sets his delivery apart from others that have been done in the past. However, each track carries a strong message that you’re unlikely to get from most other mainstream artists or those who are just trying to break through to the top. You can also expect a level of introspectiveness in some of the tracks that goes well beyond the talking points which are normally associated with the conscious artist who tends to stray from personal experiences and revel in the hypothetical. As in songs like “What We All Want” and “I Heard You Had Voice Like An Angel”, he really opens up a window into Shad. All of the tracks vary in both production and topic enough so that you never feel as if you’ve heard the same track twice. This album is not a classic and it will probably not be in your player years from now. I have no doubt that his next album will surpass this album in every way. With that said, I can safely recommend this album as a buy to everyone except for those people who need storytelling or hard punch lines to complete their listening experience.

Information Shad: http://www.myspace. com/shad Buy: Itunes

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Classified is, like Shad, a rapper from Canada. With the release of ‘Hitch Hikin’ Music’ and ‘Boy-Cott-In The Industry’, Classified did not only gain lots of respect in the Canadian rap-scene, but also worldwide.


Words by Debo7


Shad’s sophomore album “The Old Prince” dismisses any fear of the well received responses to his debut album going to his head, throughout this whole album he’s consistently above average and sometimes he even ascends into excellence. This album does not adhere to a central theme that all songs revolves around; though the sentiment that the music industry stifles creativity is expressed throughout LP; but this is a long ways away from being a focal point. This style is a positive when you either don’t have a compelling theme in mind that you could base the album on or you just want the freedom to do any type of song with the only stipulation being good music. So while I understand why he didn’t spend more time on the old prince concept after hearing the intriguing intro at the beginning of the album; I must say I was a bit disappointed. The effort invested into every song is unmistakable. On the first song, he states that he approaches it like a hobby; however, do not make the mistake in thinking that he does not take it seriously. In the lyrics on all of his songs he conveys a message that is very well thought out; while making a legit effort to be entertaining and flow with the beat. Lines like - “And you need more than beats for a dope track/even with more hooks than a coat rack”; are generously sprinkled throughout this album, and allows it to be opinionated without crossing the line of being no longer fun to listen to due to sounding too

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Blue Scholars

Blue Scholars Bayani Massline Media

“Bayani” is not an English word. Rather, it’s a word with Filipino and Persian origins, meaning both “heroes” and “the Word”. A more fitting title could not be applied to Blue Scholars’ second major label release. This duo from Seattle, Washington formed because of similarities with one another. Both Geologic (emcee) and Sabzi (producer) have parents who have immigrated to the United States. This allows and provides for a unique cultural and historical perspective of both past cultures and present happenings and lifestyles. These cultural influences are omnipresent throughout “Bayani”, as the album starts with a chanted healing prayer. The album then goes on, carries through anti-war sentiments, a song fitting to rally troops (somewhat contradictory, but that’s alright), immigrant stories, and odes to Seattle. The tracks are streamlined seamlessly, and the album closes with an tribute to Seattle’s public transportation with “Joe Metro”. The reason this album is so well done is three-fold. First, while Geologic has a slightly monotone flow which may take some getting used to, it’s his ability to ride Sabzi’s beats perfectly that really sets him apart. His breath control, especially in certain sections, is impeccable. He has the ability to construct any sort of mood he’d like, whether it’s completely introspective or to annihilate your own thoughts and opinions to get his point across about a social or political issue. Page 10

Secondly, the other half of the duo, while relatively quiet personally, is certainly impossible to go unnoticed on this disc. Sabzi creates such lush soundscapes on each and every song, using a variety of different instruments and trademark sounds such as blaring horns, flute ensembles, soothing piano loops, blaring horns, and extra crisp drums. Third, it’s the chemistry between these two that is absolutely undeniable. That is the most (if not one of the most) important factors in a successful duo. It really is difficult to tell who benefits more from the other; whether it’s Geologic for Sabzi lacing him with incredible instrumentals, or Sabzi, for having someone who’s able to take those instrumentals and take them to the next level. Honestly, this album is an experience. It clocks in at just about one hour exactly, and for you to listen properly, it needs to be taken into a quiet room and listened to in it’s entirely. It might take you three or four listens for it to finally click, but once it’s clicked, it’s easy to see why these heroes deserve a medal of honor. Words by Andrew Lonczak

Information Blue Scholars bluescholars Buy:

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Common Market - Common Market Producer Sabzi from Blue Scholars released an album together with RA Scion under the name of Common Market. RA’s lyrical skills and Sabzi’s solid productions make this a very great album.


Bootleg Blogs:

Criminals or Pioneers? Three days before Lil’ Wayne releases his sixth full length album, “Tha Carter III” a leak hits the internet, and within hours it is plastered on countless blogs, file sharing websites, and torrents. 2 months before their group’s debut release, eMC’s (Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth, and Stricklin) “The Show” was made available to anyone who knows where to find it on an endless stream of blogger accounts associated with the blogspot and wordpress monicker. On one of the most popular “bootlegging blog” sites there has already been a total of 600+ albums uploaded since opening day of the new year-- 320 albums uploaded in February alone. From Pete Rock’s new record to Nicolay and Kay’s latest collobaration, from Edo G and the Bulldog’s debut release to a rare Living Legend’s album-- this blog has a mom and pop record shop sized database of new, old, and rare hip hop records. Are these the people that are slowly killing record sales?

around 260 albums since the beginning of the year. 25 of them being new releases from 2008.” A handful of the questioned students said they download. A majority of the students frequented numerous blogs that host these free albums. While artists like Ghostface Killah, who made a video on tour for his “fans” that expressed his disgust for the lack of sales from his new “Big Doe Rehab” release, and Torae, who recently wrote a blog on HipHopDx expressing his discontent with file sharing and bootlegging, whine and express their anger towards their fans and lack of record sales, there are established artists like Murs and Louis Logic who appreciate and encourage the rapid sharing of their music.

“Are these blog-bootleggers doing the industry a service?”

Which brings me to the big question: Are these blog-bootleggers doing the industry a service? Are they helping the artists, or hurting them? Are they “I could type in just about any hip criminals, or digital pioneers? hop album ever created and a find a I got in touch with, Krooked1, one of the main download link within minutes.” contributors of HipHopBootleggers, the most popWhile file sharing websites such as Zshare, ular hip hop album download blog on the internet Rapidshare, Megaupload, Mediafire rise in poputhat has received an amazing 1.5 million hits larity between the online music community, new since the summer of 2006, and asked him that album releases continue to zoom back and forth very question, he confidentally told me: “Well, between broadband connections and onto the hard if you look at hip hop at the moment the record drives of rabid music fans around the globe at labels do not do enough to get their artists the no cost. At this very moment I could type in just promotion they want and need. We get artists askabout any hip hop album ever created and a find a ing US to promote them, and they even resort to download link within minutes. A searching method sending there albums to us to post. I don’t think that has become extremely easy for internet surfwe’re doing anything wrong. If it wasn’t for the iners to use and manipulate. ternet a lot of people would not know about what Recently, at my college campus, I asked a few has been released, or what is due to be released. random students how much illegal downloading Yes, we are doing a service to the artists who do they have done within the past month. Twenty out not get what they deserve (promotion wise). If you of twenty students said they had illegally downare signed to a record label, your album is about loaded a song or more, while twelve of the twenty to come out, and the label is not doing shit about students questioned said they illegally downloaded it before its release-- what is that? What is the artone full album or more. Kris Lekos, an avid indie ist to do at that point to get their name out? Yea, rock and electronica fan equipped with two 30 we put it online, but if we like what we hear we gigabyte mp3 players, said he has “downloaded will purchase. Artists moan about their shit getting Page 11

leaked on the net-- they should just not send it to the press.” The press-- magazines, websites, blogs, and newsletters-- who dedicate themselves to industry news and artist promotion are also apart of this new wave of free download blogs. Numerous interns, album reviewers, and staff, who handle the incoming music that is sent for promotional use, also have their own blog websites where they upload unreleased songs and albums to the public for free. But, are they really doing anything wrong? Or are these un-paid music fans providing artists and labels with a brand new kind of free promotional service that is giving them a leg up? Despite what the RIAA and a handful of artists and labels believe, these bloggers ARE doing a service to the artist and consumer. By providing a free download, the blogs allow the consumer to hear the music before its release date and gives the consumer a chance to hear the product before they exchange their hard earned cash. With a mu sic industry that is flooded with myspace rappers, netcees, bedroom singers, and wannabe garage rockers that all have an album for sale, the blogs provide a free “listening experience” that weeds out the garbage and puts the best music into the hands of the buyer. Which means, there should be no complaints about the free promotion as long as you’re making great music that is actually worth a purchase, right?

“Blog posts can triple future album sales...”

Do you not believe me? The very night I wrote this article I found a recent study at NYU: Blog posts can triple future album sales, according to a new study from researchers at New York University. NYU Stern professor Vasant Dhar and former student Elaine Chang sampled 108 albums released between January and March of 2007 to determine the impact of blog chatter on record sales. Using sales rankings, albums were tracked four weeks before and four weeks after release. Researchers found that when an album got mention in more than 40 legitimate blog posts, sales were three times the average. If those albums were associated with major labels, sales jumped five times the average. Albums that got more than 250 blog mentions saw sales increases of six times the average. The number of MySpace friends the artist had also improved album sales, but researchers said there was a weaker correlation than with blog chatter. Page 12

“For indie acts more exposure takes priority over sales...”

Now what do you think of HHB? Instead of going after college students and innocent internet surfers it’s about time that the artists, labels, and industry suits ride the wave of change. Instead of grasping at old trends and continuing to do things the “old fashioned way” it is time to set new trends and not be so afraid of going outside the creative boundaries that have been set for over 25 years. You are nitpicking at the people who actually love your music, rather than nitpicking and manuevering around the mistakes that were made by the industry when a little company by the name of Napster emerged from the cyber-womb. Are these blogs and bloggers criminals or digipioneers? Embassy the Hitmaker, a producer on the rise that recently worked with Murs on an independent project that was massively bootlegged, summed it up best: “For indie acts more exposure takes priority over sales because touring is where the bread is at, but i dont blame them (the bloggers). This is an issue the indsutry brought upon itself and it has to live with the consequences until a solution arises.” Until that solution emerges and the brains of the industry finally come together and morph with the current trends and shifts, there is only one thing that we as music fans can do... Support the artists. Buy the records if you like them. Support their live show when they come to your city. The rest is in their hands. Words by R.M. London

Reprise Records

The vocals on “Gotta Get Paid” are way too low. With the exception of those few songs this is a very enjoyable album. If your more into modern production and shutter at the sound of a beat older than 1991, this most likely will not be your cup of tea. If you are into old school beats and rhymes, this is definitely something you would want to add to your collection.

Information Roxanne Shante: roxanneshantemusic Buy: Itunes

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Words by CrimzonFear

MC Lyte, another female MC from New York. Not everyone likes rapping women, but if you do, you should definitely check out MC Lyte.


Roxanne Shante

Roxanne Shante was part of the almighty Juice Crew collective that pumped out many classics during the Mid 80’s to early 90’s. With heavyhitters like Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, and Criag G it’s kinda hard to shine with a group of such talented MC’s. With only one guest apperance (Craig G), Roxanne is all by herself on this release with the majority of them being produced by Marley Marl. If you listen to her early singles her flow was very choppy which didn’t go well with her high-pitched voice. But on ‘Bad Sister’ Roxanne comes with an improved flow and more confidence to back up her battle-rhymes on songs like “Have a Nice Day”. Who do female MC’s send there royalty checks to now 5-10 year from now? Lil Mama? Trina? Remy Martin? Jean Grae and Tiye Pheonix better start getting some airplay because the female MC is getting discredited faster than the Bush Administration. Roxanne, like most of her peers during her era, had versality by putting a story together on a track like ‘Fatal Attraction’. Her opinion on ‘players’ on the track ‘What’s on Your Mind’ or a track about female empowerment as seen on “Independent women”. For this album to be perfect every song would at least have to be decent, but lackluster performances on “Let’s Rock Y’all” and “Go on Girl” put a dent in the Bad Sistas armor. The production quality is also poor on some songs; especailly on the last track.

Old School Review

Roxanne Shante Bad Sister

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New School Review

Giant Panda

Giant Panda Electric Laser Tres Records

I’ve been a fan of Giant Panda ever since I discovered them through Thes One (who gets down on the beats for them occasionally). Their latest release Electric Laser dropped this year and I can definitely give it the seal of approval. The album starts with some spacey video-gameish sounds swirling back and forth in your speakers and drops into a heavy break which morphs into the first track ‘Justin Case’. As the album title would suggest it is on the electro tip, however it is not leaned on that heavily as other hipster releases you might hear this year. The funk and soul formula is not strayed from too far, so don’t expect a Pharrell/Kanye/Cool Kids cheesefest. The vibes bounce around from laidback chill tracks (AIM, Let It Go) to native tongue sounding house influenced (Pops) to the synth-laced tracks (Speakers Pop). The melodies don’t jump out and grab you right away, but the saving grace for this LP is the crisp drums (The Thes-One influence is very evident). It is actually a very short listen at only 13 songs, which means there is almost no filler at all here. I thought the overall vibe was pretty chill and the use of synth/laser/64-bit sounds was used sparingly and came off sounding fresh. The thing that is also really dope about this album is there are some party jams tucked away in there once you get passed the obvious club-targeted Speakers Pop. I was feeling the tracks ‘Do The Robot In Cyberspace’ and ‘Pops’, but the Page 14

lyrics seemed out of place and corny. Rapping about your gay Dad, really? I understand ‘Do The Robot in Cyberspace’ is intended to be a fun track, but Chikaramanga on the hook was a definite miss. Despite the albums faults, I can’t say enough about the beats because they’re really raw and just plain shine. I can see this album staying in the rotation if not visited upon later on.

Information Giant Panda: Buy: Itunes

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Words by Brian Pollock

Speech Defect is a group from Kicksville, Sweden. Their music is really similiar to friends and colleagues Ugly Duckling but also to the music of Giant Panda. Funny lyrics, nice productions, no cursing or tough talk, just great ‘feel-good hip hop’.



In fact, they do quite the opposite. They are the chisel to a sculptor, or the brush to a painter. They are tools of creation, not destruction. The antigraffiti coalition “Graffiti Hurts” claims a good way to prevent graffiti on a wall is to paint a mural on it. Why is this? Why do graffiti artists rarely hit up murals? The reason is simple. It is because murals Considering he was alive today, what if the renais- increase value of an area through art, and street sance artist Sandro Boticelli were to paint a gorartists appreciate this. All we want is something to geous six-foot tall portrayal of the Madonna and look at. Child in a dingy old alley without permission? The very act of graffiti is an art form in itself. Would this still be considered vandalism? Can you Creating just one piece entails a cocktail mix of imagine the pity of removing such a marvel? It stealth, intelligence, innovation, planning and very makes me sick to my stomach even thinking about often improvisation. Even people who idly obit. Still, there are thousands of similar situations serve the completed art receive a reflection of the worldwide when awe striking graffiti is disposed of adrenaline which must have been present at the and exchanged for a blank void. Is the beauty of time of creation. Traditional artists do not worry street art not recognized by modern society simply about scaling walls or gaining access through because of its illegality and subversive nature? drainpipes. They do not worry about getting arrestIn a world that discourages self-expression, the ed or broadsided by subway trains. It is through chances of being heard are slim. Ask any graffiti these extra complications and challenges we are writer and they will tell you that street art’s artistic free to witness great artistry and allure. Somemerit and value far transcend the proclamations of times the genius of graffiti lies not in its aesthetic any possible law. Graffiti is art. appeal, but instead in something as subtle as its Unfortunately, it is an art that is misunderstood. placement. Using the environment as an unlimited The government crowns graffiti with the definition canvas, we are able to perceive something that on “etching, painting, covering or otherwise placing traditional canvas art is impossible. a mark upon public or private property, with the An excellent example of these possibilities was intent to damage such property.” (Combating Graf- displayed on the main page of Wooster Collective. fiti.) This is an incorrect allegation that contrib(Schiller and Schiller) Amidst what is left of Brighutes much of the animosity placed against graffiti ton’s west pier, stands a rust coated pole coiled writers. If there is intent to damage something, with barbed wire around the top. Directly under there is intent to decrease its value. Most street the circling coil is a solemn and very simple single artists have little desire to do this. If anything, layer stencil of Christ’s face, using the barbed wire their graffiti increases value through its raw voice, present to symbolize the crown of thorns present power, beauty and exposure of cultural passions at crucifixion. This binding marriage between enviand anguish. As a genuine graffiti artist, I can tell ronment and art is a key element specific to urban you that I have absolutely no intention of “damart, a unique quality shared by no other genre. aging property”. If I wanted to do that, I would Like anything displayed in an art museum, hold up a match before I sprayed. Spray cans graffiti shares many of the same attributes and alone are not capable of damage. common misunderstandings. Graffiti instills many emotions and reasonings that vary among individuals. Most often these feelings are negative, spawning frustration, confusion and agitation when the graffiti writer’s motives and perceptions behind his or her work are not fully interpretable. Many good works of art are misjudged, written off and dismissed when the poetic and aesthetic creativity cannot be understood. Frustration over determining artists’ hidden meaning has long been synonymous with gallery art as well. Just because you do not understand

the motivation behind the writing on the wall doesn’t mean that work should be immediately dismissed, or that it is worthless rubbish. Visitors to modern art museums often become agitated when there is no information provided concerning the ‘meaning’ of the work. It would not be uncommon for a visitor to step back from an art composition as intense as Adolph Gottlieb’s “Man Looking at Woman” and struggle to decipher the message Gottlieb was trying to convey. Because of this many visitors to modern art galleries have expressed attitudes of exclusion, frustration and confusion. These are the very same feelings which are expressed when graffiti is present, which lays out the idea that graffiti has a solid argument backing it for being categorized as a modern art. At the center of these misunderstandings and dismissals is the pioneering cornerstone of graffiti, the tag. Tags are a primitive form of signature, a stylized equivalent of writing “I was here”. Taggers have been accused of being selfish vandals, defiling pristine walls with vulgar marks and scribbles. Online blogger “Mazman” describes tagging as “ugly vandalism scrawled by the artistically uninspired.” (“Copping a Spray...”) However, this accusation is incorrect. Like any form of art, tags have the potential to be unique and breathtaking. Looking at their typography we can tell if someone has adequate knowledge of letter structure and manipulation. We can see style, form and technique. Good tags can often border calligraphy in their discipline. From composition, balance, line width, consistency and technique, there is much to appreciate. A lot can be said by simply analyzing a signature. Be it on a receipt or on a wall, the basic properties remain the same. If this is not considered art, I do not know what is. To say that graffiti is ugly and that it is not art goes beyond the fringes of ignorance and ventures into hypocrisy. Business owners selling products ranging from shoes to candy bars constantly use the lure of graffiti to reach consumers. The tragic comedy of buffing urban art and replacing it with an advertisement for t-shirts boasting graffiti designs is now a mind-boggling reality. Advertising companies would not employ the style of graffiti to reach consumers if it were unsightly or not considered art. However, this is not to say that there is no unsightly graffiti. Even in my eyes there is plenty of sub par graffiti. Does this go against my argument that graffiti is art? No, it does not. However unsightly it may be, I respect these amateurish scribbles and their artists for simply performing the act, which as stated is a challenging form

of art in itself. In fact, I would rather see a sorry looking cartoon phallus scrawled on the wall than nothing at all. However, amateur graffiti art is not the main focus of this essay. This is about all of the Boticellis, Raphaels, and Michaelangelos whose masterpieces are continuously buffed by people who fail to understand their merit. Society will continue to thrash in it’s plethora of clashing beliefs, but fortunately, the battle for the streets will rage on. Words by Sherpa

Name: Lucamaleonte Age: 25 years Hometown: Rome, Italy Specialty: Stencil Art Homepage: My first meeting of the ‘Stencil Gods’ was with Lucamaleonte, whom I chose by the sheer scale of his work – his enormous wall pieces mercilessly jump out and grab you by the eye and his smaller pieces are of such fine detail that my fingers hurt just by looking at them! With my 2nd language being Italian and his 2nd language being English, communicating was for us like being two kids in the back of a truck on a bumpy road – both painful and fun. I strongly recommend you go check out his work. Without further ado, I present; Lucamaleonte!

“communicating was for us like being two kids in the back of a truck on a bumpy road.”

Art Focus Interview: Stencil Art


Q: Are friends and family important to you? A: Yes. I always show my work to my friends and my family before exposing them to the public. Q: When did you start making stencils? A: I started making stencils in 2000 - that is, eight years ago. Q: why did you make your first stencil? A: To create stickers that would last longer than stickers done with only markers.

Stencils gave me clean looking stickers which had great impact when seen on the street. Q: Why do you stencil now? A: Because stenciling is one of the most enjoyableand satisfying things for me to do.

Q: Did you go to art school? A: No, I did everything myself, I first studied at scientific college, and then I graduated in painting and fine art restoration this year.

Q: Who or what is the greatest influence on your art? A: “old school” fine art, especially the great European painters of 14, 15 and 16 hundreds. I always keep an eye on the hyper-realistic artists. Q: Are you involved in any sports/hobbies/interests? Which? A: My interests are in studying art, reading (a lot of!) books and graphic novels, drawing, trekking, climbing, and of course cutting stencils - did I say this before? Q: What would you most like to do before it’s too late? A: I do everything too late! I’d like to travel and being inspired by different realities. All of my last stencils were cut of pictures taken in other countries. Q: If I was to meet you in person, what one word would describe you? A: ‘Serious’, I think.

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“I always keep an eye on the hyperrealistic artists.”

Art Focus Interview: Stencil Art


Q: What is your favorite format to stencil (large/ small/canvas/street) and why? A: My favorite format changes with the moment sometimes I prefer little stencils with lots of small details, while at other times I prefer large stencils with lots of large and small details. I don’t like to paint directly on the streets - I prefer to make posters or stickers, it’s much more fun for me.

“I don’t like to paint directly on the streets”

Q: What do you hope to achieve with your stenciling career? A: I don’t hope anything. I’d like to start living with my art, and to never get bored with this technique, To always improve my skills. Q: Do you make your living only by your art? A: This is the way that I’m living at the moment, yet since I am still living at home, everything is still easy for me. I’d like to live only by my art, without the help of my family. about myself to the world.

“When I cut stencils I always think about the moment when I’ll take off the last layer, that’s always the best moment for me” Q: What do you do to help make the hard work of stenciling easier for you? A: When I cut stencils I always think about the moment when I’ll take off the last layer of stencil Page 18

that I have just painted – that’s always the best moment for me; the moment when you realize what you have done. Q: Is there anything else you want to say? A: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk Words by ZeeZee

My second meeting was with E.L.K, whom I chose for his head-bursting technicality and shameless eye assaulting use of color that, when thrust upon the observer in its’ unashamed essentiality, rarely fails to draw an approving voice. Although we had some internet connection failures during our session, I retired from my experience grateful for the virtue of patience and the subsequent reward of spiritual enlightenment bestowed upon me (a lowly neophyte) by one of the true self established Stencil Gods. Read on and share my experience with E.L.K Q: At what age did you start making stencils? A: I made my first stencil when i was 24, but I didn’t get into it seriously until i was 26.

Q: Why did you make your first stencil? A: Basically I just needed a creative outlet that didn’t involve getting trashed and spending heaps of money.

Art Focus Interview: Stencil Art

Name: ELK Age: 29 Hometown: Canberra, Australia Specialty: Stencil Art Homepage:

“The person that has inspired me most is an artist named George Gittoes”

Q: Who or what is the greatest influence on your art? A: I have to give credit to artists like Logan hicks, Adam 5100, Klingatron, Koleszar, seeing the quality of there work has inspired me to better myself as an artist. The person that has inspired me most is an artist named George Gittoes. I remember being dragged to a lot of exhibitions in high school and his was the only one that stood out. He is a war artist from Australia. I’ve always found it amazing that instead of painting landscapes from the safety of his lounge room, he actually goes outside of his comfort zone and creates from the most fucked up places in the world. Q: What would you most like to do before it’s too late? A: I’d like to experience as much of the world as I can while I’m here. Q: If anarchy is 1 and strict conformity is 5, where would your art be? A: Regarding technique, definitely a 5, I think strictly inside the square - that’s what appeals to me most about stencil art is that I have more control over the outcome. As for subject matter it’s probably about 2, as much as I want people to like is what I do. I won’t Page 19



Q: Why do you stencil now? A: I’ve been a full time stencil artist as of 5 months ago… and because i love it.

Art Focus Interview: Stencil Art


be doing Che T-shirts in a hurry!

“I like to find beauty in things that aren’t particularly that attractive”

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? A: I’ve got some work coming up in the Melbourne stencil festival this august. (August 1-8, 2008. See for details) Words by ZeeZee

Q: What do you look for when choosing a subject? A: I like to find beauty in things that aren’t particularly that attractive, I like irony. Q: What is the best thing or best way to help you get into your ‘hard work stenciling?’ groove? A: At the drive in/ caffeine. Q: What is the longest time it has taken you to produce one quality stencil, and was it worth it? A: Somewhere between 150 and 200 hours. Sometimes it (the work) makes you question “why do I do this?”, but in the end it’s always worth it.

“I recently won most popular piece at the Melbourne stencil festival poster”

Q: What is the most amazing experience you have had as an artist? A: I recently won most popular piece at the Melbourne stencil festival poster competition, it really made me feel like this hard work is starting to pay off. Q: What is the best advice you can give to someone just starting out to make stencils? A: Evolve your own style & be nice to people. Page 20

Kemet Entertainment society with sociologically driven lyrics and the album is truly soulful, with production by a tight group of some of the UKs finest producers (Lewis Parker, Joe Budha etc) ) and no “famous guest appearances” reminiscent of a certain other album. The lyrics of the album are complex and intricate like a puzzle being placed together, they form to create a harmonious, fluid album, an album that you know a lot of effort went in to, just listening to this LP you can imagine k-lash scribbling raps down, re-writing, shifting lines, re-writing, adding parts, taking away, stopping for a joint and getting in the zone once again, this is one of the finest Hip Hop albums to come out of the UK. Words by MeGa

Information Klasnekoff: Buy:

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KYZA is a hip-hop MC from London. He was a member of well-known UK hiphop crew Terra Firma, until he left due to disagreements with the crew’s founder Klashnekoff.



Darren Kandler aka “Klashnekoff” says his peers reacted negatively when they found out of his love of Hip Hop and the fact he wanted to pursue a career in this art form; they felt he should be performing on the grime circuit as they were all grime heads. They wanted him to give his talents to grime as they knew he was a heavily talented artist, whilst UK hip hop was still being frowned upon by some quarters… 4 years on from “Sagas of” Klashnekoff is one of the premier UK hip hop artists, he has gone on to release two mixtapes another album with Joe Budha and a mixtape with his group “Terra Firma” cementing his place amongst the greatest the UK has to offer. The album is 14 tracks long but is filled with skits, 4 in total with another one minute skit leading in to the track ‘parrowdice’. This is a negative to the album, as it breaks up the flow somewhat, though they do give a vibe as to what k-lash is trying to achieve, with many of the skits pertaining to his Jamaican roots, racism and politics. As for the tracks? There is no filler to be found here, and they cover a wide range of emotions, which is perhaps something UK emcees have failed to do in the past, from the aggressive lead single “Its Murda” to the heartfealt “Son of Niah” which touches on his love for his dead father. The theme running through this album is of hope in a remorseless

International Review

Klashnekoff Saga’s Of

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International Interview

The Beatdoctor

‘They were watching me work “like a medical program on television”.’ Arts The Beatdoctor, a skilled producer from Holland, released his first album ‘Transitions’ in 2007. Today, more than a year later, Arts’ new EP ‘Progressions’ released on Beats Broke Records. Next to that, a new album is coming in the near future and he will focus on more experiments with his live-band. Reasons enough to talk to him and put him in this month’s spotlight. ‘I honestly don’t know where I’ll end up this time.’ Sometimes you just can’t put a label on an artist; Arts The Beatdoctor is one of them. Transitions is a beautiful combination of jazz, hip hop and even a little bit of soul. He puts jazz into his music by using lots of samples, which is an important ingredient for his music. ‘The album that really showed me the possibilities of sampling was DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing”. At the time I honestly didn’t have a clue how he made his tracks, but I got very interested after hearing it.’ Arts’ way of using samples can be defined as unique. Lots of artists just sample an already perfect sound, but Arts chooses to use a ‘bad’ sample which he fixes into something better. ‘It’s not about spending days and days looking for the perfect sample to loop, but investing that time in combining whatever you can find into something good. This makes you less dependable on the samples, which for me is proof that my songs are “my” creations instead of an easy remake of an already good track.’ The name ‘Arts’, dutch word for doctor, refers to his way of using samples and loops. The name originally came from his practice of spending hours on tweaking samples and effects, and building complete compositions from simple basic sketches. ‘From rappers and other people coming to my studio I often heard they couldn’t follow which exotic stuff I was doing while they were watching me work “like a medical program on television”.’ Speaking of rappers, Arts has some great guests on his first album. All of them are Dutch, so they may not be really familiar to interPage 22

national listeners. Some might know Pete Philly though, who’s not unknown in the international hip hop-scene. ‘I always said Pete Philly was on the top of my list to work with, even if I could pick anyone worldwide. We haven’t recorded anything new yet but I don’t rule out the chance of doing new tracks in the future. I am working with some different artists at the moment too - but details about that will be kept until later.’ The album ‘Transitions’ is kind of a conceptalbum. It consists of fifteen tracks, but because of the smooth transitions and fades, it gives you the feeling you’re listening to one long ‘mix’ instead of multiple tracks. But what about Progressions and his upcoming album? ‘Progressions is a fun project after the “serious” Transitions. Not so much that the tracks are more happy-sounding (maybe a bit heavier), but in the way that instead of spending months in making every little detail perfect and working on the overall story and picture, I just threw together some songs that were fun to make. This EP marks a little change from Transitions; a higher sound quality standard, and more electronic sounds without losing soul. I’d like to continue that route for my next album, but I honestly don’t know where I’ll end up this time.’ Words by Heaps Check out ‘Progressions’ on (US) or (Europe) More info:

does with well-choosen samples and loops, and I know his project with the japanese Nujabes on the ‘Hyde Out Sound Lab’ compilation. On the album it’s good to have a DJ like Ryow, because it wouldn’t be the same without his scratches and cuts. I could throw in a lame metaphore to make my point, but I won’t. DJ Ryow really adds extra value to this group, no doubt about that. The album by ShinSight Trio is one of the best albums I discovered this year. I wouldn’t label this as a classic or something, but definitely one of my favourite albums at the moment. Words By Heaps Buy ‘Shallow Nights, Blurry Moon’ at Amazon, Cduniverse or at your local recordstore.

ShinSight Trio

It’s always nice to find out about music you never heard of before, but what turns out amazing. The ShinSight Trio is one of them. It’s a group consisting of a lyricist, DJ and producer. Someone recom mended their album ‘Shallow Nights, Blurry Moon’ to me and I like this album from hearing thefirst tone on the intro. Skilled lyricism, amazing productions and to make it even better it, great turntablism. But, what’s maybe even more important, is to say who are in this trio. One of my favourite producer is part of this group; the japanese Shin-Ski. You might know him for some remixes he did for several artists. For example, he did remixes for Art Offical, Pismo, The Procussions, Time Machine and Funky DL. Not only his remixes are pretty great, but his productions in general are topnotch. Personally, I am a big fan of jazzy Hip Hop and Shin-Ski is definitely one of the best producers, jazzy hip hop-wise. Not only his work in this group can be concidered as masterpiece, also his soloalbum ‘Shattered Soul On A Pastel Sky’ can be defined as a beautiful release. So don’t hesitate, visit your local recordstore and buy his music! Another member in this group is Insight, a skilled lyricist who you might know of his work with Damu The Fudgemunk as Y Society. They released their album ‘Travel At Your Own Pace’ in 2007 and critics claimed this is one of the best releases of 2007 – they are totally right about that. Insight is a rapper but a producer and DJ as well. Personally, I like his lyrical skills better than his productions, although he did a great job on his remix-album ‘Cents’, where he remixed tracks by Common. Insight’s flow is one of the most positive things about him, but he’s lyrically skilled as well. Other rappers prefer to talk about tough life, weapons and drugs, Insight chooses to ‘stay true to the art’ and uses metaphors and wordplay instead. I am sure lots of people are familiar with his music by his solo-work or by his participation in several collaborations like ShinSight Trio and Y Society. If you don’t know this guy at all, check out ‘Shallow Nights, Blurry Moon’ by ShinSight Trio, ‘The Blast Radius’, solo-album by Sight or my personal classic ‘Travel At Your Own Pace’, a collaboration with producer/Damu. DJ Ryow is the other member of ShinSight Trio. I am not really familiar with his music, I only know his turntablism on the ShinSight-album, which he

Recommendation Of The Month

ShinSight Trio

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