For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

West Coast Hip Hop veterans release a video for a new upcoming project. “The Cloaks” are Awol One (ShapeShifterz | Mass Men) & Gel Roc (EX2 | Mass Men) with producer Awkward (Machina Muerte). All scratches by DJ D-Styles (Invisibl Skratch Piklz | Low End Theory)

Rule by Secrecy – Feat. Stereo13 (ShapeShifterz | Head Dress)

Shot/Directed by Matty B & Daniel Phillips

Backdrop Mural; Life Seen Differently (Biser | Elika | Pang | Gel | Awol | Jester | Oliver | Exist) at Nastie Garage (Pomona, CA.)

P & C 2013 Abolano Records

For booking & more information;

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The Underdog Makes His Way

September 13, 2013

We love underdogs. Whether it’s a boxer winning a title bout against all odds, a small business that strikes a million dollar deal, or in the case of current NASA news, a little spacecraft that made its way out of the Solar System. Voyager 1 is the first man-made creation to make it through to the other side of space. This was an achievement 36 years in the making. Although it’s traveled billions of miles through space without crashing, burning up or both, it’s not done yet. Apparently, if it makes it to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, another 40,000 years would have passed. Beyond the mind-boggling science that makes this an inspirational feat for humankind, there’s another, amazingly touching story here as well. The fact that the music of Blind Willie Johnson is on that spaceship representing the inhabitants of planet Earth.

Folklore has it that as a child, little Willie was blinded by his stepmother who threw lye in his face as retribution for his father’s misdeeds. Despite this horrendous affliction, the blinded child mastered playing a cigar box guitar. As an adult, it’s said that he preached and played music for money on the corner streets of a rural town in Texas. His one-of-a-kind gravelly voice caught the attention of scouts from Columbia Records, who made recordings of Johnson singing his powerful hymns about struggle, faith and redemption, which were released on the 78 shellac record format of the 1920s.

Although his music was available nationally, Johnson was likely paid modestly for his art. At middle age, he died after contracting pneumonia; the aftermath of a house fire. He apparently had no where else to go, so he slept on a water-soaked bed. He became ill, was refused treatment at a local hospital and died a pauper. Decades later, his music went on to influence countless rock and roll stars. However, the posthumous redemption wasn’t done there. In 1972, as part of NASA’s Voyager mission, a gold record was pressed and placed into the capsule with visual instructions on how to play the analog recordings which contained various sounds from Earth. This was done in case the capsule were to be discovered by intelligent life in the distant future; this way, they could learn about our planet and its people. Among those recordings are animal noises, atmospheric sounds, and orchestras playing Bach and Mozart. One of the tracks is Blind Willie Johnson’s “Cold Was The Ground, Dark Was The Night,” which was meant to symbolize the immense loneliness that we can all at times feel as humans.

The story about an amazing talent, who seems to have been wronged in many ways during life, yet, becomes a representative for the struggles of human existence, is the ultimate tale of the underdog prevailing. Upon hearing of Voyager 1’s breach into interstellar space, a celebration seems in order for the life and music of Mr. Johnson.

by I. Vasquetelle


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BEN SHARPA- 4DLS (4TH DENSITY LIGHT SHOW) The Ascension Agenda-Jarring Effects


“4th Density Light Show” is the latest effort released by South African Hip Hop pioneer Ben Sharpa. Sharpa has been on the scene for a minute consistently creating sonically charged music while growing experimentally as an artist. This newest LP combines Hip Hop with elements of UK Grime, Dubstep and Dub as well as mixing in ambient sounds. Production was done by the duo named Pure Solid and they do come correct on this 13-track manifesto.

The “Intro” sets it off with a basic understanding of what’s in store for the rest of your listening experience. The second track is where the fun starts with “Initiate Sequence” which sounds like a track Optimus Prime would freestyle to. A very prodding and methodically technical track only made much better by Ben Sharpa’s lyrical prowess. One of the best tracks is “Heroes” where the envelope is pushed audibly and Sharpa goes on a military type lyrical rant like:

My folks would just stand agape and watch me in amazement/

As I dropped quotes sharp as laser-swords from age 10/

But no, it didn’t stop there, see, my teachers soon discovered it/

The rare word skills secretly sought after by the government !!!

Just a small sample of Ben’s genius, 4DLS is riddled with lyrical gems and the production is supreme. Many of Ben’s lyrics are those of self reflection and experiences of his world coupled with politically charged mantras and distrust in the workings of the music industry but, “4DLS” injects positivity and spirituality as well, sort of like “Yin and Yang”. Other notable tracks include “Oscillate”, “Impossible Possible”, “The Ascension Agenda”, “It’s On You” and “Look Up”.

To call this album “different” or “unique” would be cliché since EVERYBODY wants to be different. All you need to know is that this LP is DOPE and worth every penny.  With the industry becoming ever increasingly bland, it would behoove those looking to step out of the repetitious meanderings of the industry to cop this ASAP! Please support Ben Sharpa and Pure Solid by hitting up . Bless CyPhEr777

Heroes – Ben Sharpa & Pure Solid

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Most do not realize that emcees/lyricists are poets. For some strange reason, that connection is rarely made if ever. “Inscribed Between the Linez” is Quest “the Unborn Child” reintroducing himself using a different medium. This artists is by-passing the mic to relay his cryptic style and, takes to good ol’ pen and paper (with some help digitally) to share a piece of himself with the world. With just over 15 poems based on personal experiences, trials, tribulations and self realization, “Inscribed” will get you hooked from the beginning. Included is superb photography and each page contains relatable artwork to coincide with each poem. Quest “the Unborn Child” is an extremely gifted young poet who with his words, is opening up his mind and exposing a new but raw literary art form to a new generation of readers. This book and the contents within “Inscribed Between the Linez”, is a MUST have!!! Bless CyPhEr777

Support Quest and purchase the book here:

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In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound began bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Buried beneath 50 solid inches of annual snow, Minneapolis made a Sound quite different than what the pop world foresaw. It issued forth as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. Never known for sizable African-American populations, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in fact harbored a tight-knit community of musicians working feverishly through the late ’70s and early ’80s toward a radical manipulation of American dance music, coating futuristic funk with the glamorous sheen of guitar rock. Synthetic ebony and ivory met electricity, with sexed-up results sent shockingly across the pop heavens like violet lightning.

On 4 LPs or 2 CDs, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound-the Numero Group’s breathlessly anticipated 50th mainline release-chronicles the scene’s first steps, false starts, and follow-throughs, sourcing the life’s work of known quantities and shadowy figures alike. In the beginning, there was Purple Haze, whose billing as Haze on two obscure albums left the color purple to their city’s incipient sound. Pepé Willie’s 94 East project gave local prodigy Prince Rogers Nelson an early chance to row along with the crew. From there, the story courses past Jimmy Jam Harris’ extroverted Philly throwback Mind & Matter collective, to Terry Lewis and Flyte Tyme, flamboyant precursor to Morris Day’s The Time. Unearthing basement demos by Prince’s childhood sidekick/departed bassist André Cymone, plus deep cuts from legend-about-town Alexander O’Neal, Numero 050 gathers relentlessly as the sprawling, nonfiction prequel to Purple Rain’s cultural takeover.

Surpassing 30,000 words, our hardbound, full-color book companion to Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is a gorgeous, exhaustively detailed, and insight-rich guided tour across two hours of music and a decade of North Star history. Inside, dozens of supporting characters and combos seed clouds for the meteoric rise of a genre formerly known mostly as Prince’s-not to mention unheard product from his top collaborators and fiercest competitors. In game-changing sound and image-rich splendor, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound clears a crowded stage, ushering in unsung Twin Cities future-funk talent, to bask for a spotlit moment, out of that persistent violet shadow, and to shine. -Courtesy of Biz3

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