Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Damian Lillard Is Spitting Bars In The Offseason

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The NBA off-season is a long and painful time for basketball fans everywhere. However, this year has easily been one of the most entertaining breaks we’ve seen in quite some time. There’s been more attention than ever paid to the summer league, and there’s no small amount of gossip about the trouble in paradise between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. But not every NBA star is staying in the news for drama. Some of them are actually being productive in their time off by pursuing artistic endeavors.

Oaktown sensation, Damian Lillard surprised a lot of people last year when he dropped his debut album, The Letter O, to a healthy amount of critical acclaim. The album featured a ton of quality guest stars including the likes of Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, and Raphael Saadiq. He followed it up with another well-received record, B4td Reloaded. The verse he briefly dropped in the State Farm commercial belies his actual talent as a lyricist, and the more you hear from him, the more you have to recognize that he’s actually pretty good.

Lillard is hardly the first NBA star to make his own stab at a rap career. Shaquille O’Neal went platinum with his debut, Shaq Diesel, but that was more on the strength Shaq’s superstardom rather than his actual rapping abilities. And never forget that legendary 1994 compilation, B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, which featured a host of NBA talent. The 1994 record was the apex of the crossover of hip-hop and basketball and featured the likes of Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, the late Malik Sealy (RIP), J.R. Rider, Cedric Ceballos, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, and, of course, Shaq. It’s actually not bad at all and pairs the ballers with ’90s rap icons like Sadat X from Brand Nubian and Warren G at the height of his fame. It’s a fascinating time-capsule that’s well worth re-visiting if you’re looking for something nostalgic to bump on your way to the next pick-up game. Sadly, the idea of players having something to say on record would be sullied by the questionable musical efforts of Allen Iverson, Metta World Peace, and Kobe Bryant.

But unlike most ballers looking to moonlight in the rap game, Lillard actually has bars. It’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves off the court in addition to the praise he gets for his play. If only they’d put him on an All-Star team. It’s become a trend to snub Lillard, who’s the first player to score more than 25 points a game and be overlooked in consecutive years since 1986. Anyone that’s listened to his track “They Sleep” knows that he doesn’t take this lightly. That mean’s he’s just going to play even harder when the season starts up. If anything, it’s plenty of material for another album, and we can’t wait to see what he does when the season starts back this fall.

The future is looking bright for both Lillard and for the Trailblazers. Last year many experts picked either Portland or the Utah Jazz to win the division, and the Northwest ended up sending three different teams to the playoffs. Of course, now that Utah has parted ways with star small forward Gordon Hayward, the only thing standing in Lillard’s way are the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Lillard looking to finally cement his place as a true All-Star in the NBA, the Blazers are a team to watch out for.

Dame will also be contributing some jams to NBA 2k18 to help lend even more authenticity to the already impeccably curated collection. The game will include “Wasatch Front,” a standout song from The Letter O, in addition to a new song called “Shot Clock” that you can unlock in the “My Player” mode. It’s a cool tribute by the best basketball simulation to the best rapper in the sport. NBA 2k18 will drop September 19 and we’re looking forward to balling out with Lillard to the tune of his own music.

Best Producer on The M.I.C.?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

When Diamond D said he was the best producer on the mic, we kinda agreed with him. Sometimes that self-proclamation just sells itself. When you hear “King of Pop” we all think of just one person. Over the years, many producers have taken a stab at rhyming. DJ Premier started as a rapper before he met Guru. The Alchemist and his buddy Scott Caan were The Whooliganz before ALC became a household name. Today, you have many multi-talented artists who do both very well. Black Milk is a perfect example. El-P another one. Roc Marciano and MF Doom handle most of their production too. This isn’t anything new in hip-hop, the God Rakim did many of his own beats. Legends like Large Professor, Erick Sermon, RZA, Lord Finesse or Havoc have always been equally talented on both ends.

But this poll is about picking just one. Who is the best producer on the mic? Now before you vote, understand, this list could have been as long as Schindler’s if I included everyone. The reality is, this comes down to maybe just a few guys when you truly think about it. And I’m willing to bet whoever you think should be added, isn’t better than the few guys I’m thinking about. It’s not that I don’t recognize many of the newer cats putting in work, but for this poll I went with guys who have been holding it down for decades, not just a few summers. These are guys with healthy track records, impressive catalogs and classics tracks under the belt. These aren’t artists who got a little too drunk one night and spit 16 bars. These are producers/rappers who truly have mastered the art of both. They are the Bo Jacksons of hip-hop.

Remember, you aren’t picking your FAVORITE producer or your FAVORITE rapper in this poll. You’re picking the extremely talented producer who you feel is the BEST rapper in this poll. Essentially, the best producer on the mic!

There can only be one, so who’s it gonna be?

[poll id=”30″]

Take It Personal – Episode 7: Passing The Torch

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

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Episode 7 might sound more like Drink Champs cuz we were highly intoxicated while recording this, but the music, like always, is on point Phife. We don’t necessarily have a theme this show, but we do focus on MC’s making dope music these days. It’s our passing of the torch episode, so-to-speak. We got joints from Your Old Droog, Nick Grant, Apathy, Killer Mike, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano and Milano Constantine to name a few. And it wouldn’t feel right dropping this show on March 9th without paying homage to Biggie, so keep it locked as we try to entertain you once again on Take It Personal.

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Philaflava: It Was In The Fuckin’ Movies

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

In January, we’re doing a themed soundtrack episode on Take It Personal, so it only made sense to share with you some of the amazing work TheBigSleep has been putting in on the Philaflava forums lately. Hip-Hop soundtracks have always been important releases. Many created with little association to the actual film, some monumental to the films and it’s critical moments. Today we bring you the first 4 compilations in the series that showcases just that. –Philaflava

01. Grand Wizard Theodore – Subway Theme [Scratch Mix] (Wild Style)
02. Ollie & Jerry – Breakin’ …There’s No Stoppin’ Us (Breakin’)
03. The Treacherous Three – Santa’s Rap (Beat Street)
04. Beastie Boys – She’s On It (Krush Groove)
05. Run-D.M.C. – Krush Groovin’ ft. The Fat Boys, Sheila E., & Kurtis Blow (Krush Groove)
06. Ice-T – Colors (Colors)
07. Beastie Boys – Desperado [Live] (Tougher Than Leather)
08. Flavor Flav – I Can’t Do Nothin’ for You, Man (House Party)
09. Kid ‘N Play – Kid vs. Play: The Battle (House Party)
10. 2 Live Crew – In the Dust (New Jack City)
11. Kam – Every Single Weekend (Boyz N the Hood)
12. Grand Puba – Fat Rat (Strictly Business)
13. Leaders of the New School – Shining Star (Strictly Business)
14. Naughty by Nature – Uptown Anthem (Juice)
15. Big Daddy Kane – Nuff Respect (Juice)
16. Cypress Hill – Shoot ‘Em Up (Juice)
17. Main Source – Fakin’ the Funk ft. Neek the Exotic (White Men Can’t Jump)
18. Dr. Dre – Deep Cover ft. Snoop Dogg (Deep Cover)

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Take It Personal now available on iTunes

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

take-it-personal

Our show is now available for download on iTunes. You can subscribe and download here. There are now 5 different ways you can listen to our show.

You can now find us on Stitcher.

You can always listen to us on Soundcloud as well.

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We appreciate all the support on this. Please like, share, subscribe and continue to check in, as we continue to make these shows for you.

An “Unfiltered” Interview with Director Deezy Miaci

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

deezy

photo courtesy of Deezy Miaci

Deezy Miaci is a director from Detroit living in Houston, Texas. He is beyond a conventional videographer, who just creates visuals to accompany songs resulting in incongruent marriages of graphics and sounds. Instead, Deezy is a documentarian who taps into the spirit of the neighborhoods belonging to the artists he shoots, producing motion pictures that convey the very essence of the artists along with the mud from which they’ve surfaced.

Deezy’s films are not easy to digest. Most are gut-wrenching. However, he transcends the typical “hood video” and in surpassing the status quo, Deezy’s depictions of the artists he shoots are so intimately potent that his projects sometimes come off as brief memoirs of his subjects.

Deezy declares, “I am not driven only by money,” and it is this peculiarity which has permitted Deezy to be a voice for independent artists who are without large production budgets. Deezy went on, “I like genuine good music about the streets, family, or anything with some type of message for somebody.” And whether these gloomy accounts in Deezy’s films enlighten his viewers or give them mental overcast, he tailors many of the artists’ narratives he shoots with statistics on incarceration and death. Deezy professed

I was incarcerated from 2007 to 2012. By me knowing how the system is and how it is designed, I make sure I shed light on that for anybody that is watching my videos. It is not to put the system down. It is to keep my viewers aware of the statistics so they don’t become a part of it… I want to make sure that they know that in no type of way am I trying to glorify that.

In my conversation with Deezy, we discussed his work flow and creative process. Tragically, in a humorous sort of way, he also indicated that he never wanted to be a videographer. And thereafter he talked a bit about three of his most vivid videos. Finally, Deezy shared some of his efforts as a diplomat for the streets, in trying to unify parts of Houston for the purpose of successfully impacting the music industry on a level greater than just local acclaim and according to Deezy, it’s working.

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T.R.O.Y. x Ras Beats Giveaway Soon

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

If you downloaded the latest Sounds Like The 90s, you’ll know that two of the joints came courtesy of Ras Beats. His latest release, Control Your Own features MC heavyweights Roc Marciano, O.C., Elzhi (Slum Village), A.G. (D.I.T.C.), Rasheed Chappell, Blacastan (A.O.T.P.), Breeze Brewin and more. From the Slick talkin Wit No Pressure, the thought-provoking lyrics of Knowledge Of Self, the instrumental anthem Queens to the dedication record God Bless, the album has the versatility of hip hop at it’s best.

Embracing the independent spirit, Control Your Own is a project following its own direction and rules. Check out the video and audio below and don’t sleep on one of the finer releases of 2016. In a few days we’ll have the giveaway info for you, so you can earn a chance at winning  the album. And we’ll we’re on that indie hip-hop tip, both Ka’s Honor Killed the Samurai and MarQ Spekt & Blockhead‘s Keep Playing are must owns as well. Hip-hop has been good to us this year, for a change. –Philaflava

1.Control Your Own                                                                          
2.Wit No Pressure Feat. Roc Marciano
3.Study Feat. Blacastan & Rasheed Chappell
4.Shoebox Feat. JBiz
5.Let It Be Feat. Masta Ace
6.Front Line Feat. Fev
7.Knowledge Of Self Feat. O.C. & Elzhi
8.Anticipation Feat. Kool Sphere
9.Queens
10.Survive Feat. Sadat X
11.Bust The Science Feat. Sureshot La Rock
12.Against The Wall Feat. Sub-Con & Breeze Brewin
13.God Bless Feat. JBiz & A.G.
14.Hero

Michael “The Mac” Robinson: 25 Years Later

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

 

Twenty five years ago today, Vallejo, CA artist Michael Robinson, a.k.a. The Mac was shot dead in his parked car, while talking with his then pregnant girlfriend. He had just turned twenty years old. The murder was later said to be a case of mistaken identity. And with that, The Mac became the first well known rap artist in the Bay Area to be killed, July 22nd, 1991. The daughter he never got to meet, Reina, was born not long after.

(Pictured above with The Fresh Prince.)

Robinson’s sadly limited contributions to hip hop music include ’88’s The Game is Thick EP and ’90’s Enuff of Tis Sh-t EP, both of which helped start off his mentor and (fellow Vallejo artist) producer Khayree’s short lived Strictly Business label. In turn The Mac quickly became a mentor to Andre Hicks, a.k.a. Mac Dre, who, later in his career, made an album titled The Game is Thick Part II, shortly before his own demise.

To pay respects to others or simply to see a timeline of deaths of people involved with “the game”, please visit They Reminisce, where you can click to sort by name, date, or cause.

Peace,

— The Big Sleep

Follow us on Instagram @Philaflava

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

If you don’t know, now you know. Check us out as we take you on a trip to memory lane, T.R.O.Y. style of course.

Click here or simply follow us @Philaflava

https://www.instagram.com/philaflava/

Flicks Watched By Hip Hop

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Though there have been a few others like it, its typically less favored brother Notorious comes to mind, now following the success of last year’s Straight Outta Compton, the rush has been on to create more rap biopics. But before we’re bombarded with whatever makes it out of development hell next, let’s take a look back at what helped get us here:

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