Gimme A Mic :: A.G. & Party Arty

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Rest in peace to the late Party Arty, who left us in 2008. Live From The Balcony is a joint project by DITC crew representative A.G. and Party Arty, which is being released exclusively on vinyl and limited to 300 copies worldwide. While I respect the conviction, I really don’t understand this trend. I love hip-hop more than the next man, but I don’t see copping this just to have it when everything I own is streaming on Spotify. Hopefully, this drops on vinyl as well as other sources on the April 15th release date. For now, take a listen and get your pre-order in RIGHT HERE.

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Flex [Video] :: Ingrid f. Sevyn Streeter

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I posted one song from Ingrid not long ago after discovering her through Elle.com’s article about Beyonce’s new crop of signees on Parkwood Entertainment and she’s now followed up with a way better song and visual. Sevyn Streeter brings some vocals for the chorus while Ingrid stays true to that Houston sound injected with a woman’s touch. Dope.

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Mr. 2 Face :: Action Bronson f. Meyhem Lauren & Jah Tiger

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Action Bronson is getting ready to drop the mixtape Blue Chips 7000 on our heads any day now, so this is the first offering from that project. The Supercat “Dolly My Baby” flip is amazing. As evidenced on “Jerk Chicken” with Maffew Ragazino, Action does well over reggae sounds. Meyhem Lauren is also along for the ride and preparing to drop Piatto D’oro by the end of the month.

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Glorious Thugs :: Flatbush Zombies

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While this track was missing off of their recent 3001: A LAced Odyssey LP, it’s easily my favorite Flatbush Zombies record of late. While it’s easy to group these guys in with “new” rap, their music is well worth a second look, as their influences and attention to detail set their work far apart from many of their lesser-talented rap contemporaries. Check the “Notorious Thugs” flip on this one and tell me it’s not fire.

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Double Pedigree :: Ingrid

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Rapper/singer Ingrid’s H-Town bounce isn’t your typical ride. Though she was once a neighbor to the Knowles family, it was never a relationship she expected to get anything out of, according to her recent interview for Elle. However, her influence on Bey’s more recent music can be heard ever since she was asked to collaborate on 2013’s Beyoncé, which eventually turned into her signing to the diva’s Parkwood Entertainment imprint.

“Double Pedigree” is a great introduction into the mind of the artist and what I imagine she wants to make available to young listeners who want and need powerful voices to ring out in hip-hop with something of substance to say behind the bravado and beats. Starting with Dutch Rebelle and now with Ingrid, Front-Free is really looking at upcoming female MCs to set the trend and make rap an open forum for powerful young women who also get busy on the mic, because male or female…bars matter…but most importantly, women have been an integral part of hip-hop culture from the beginning and unfortunately, they face an uphill battle toeing the line between being taken seriously and being asked to portray certain images that may not be what they’re about. Big salute to women on the mic.

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Making A Murderer :: Black Thought f. Styles P (Prod. By 9th Wonder)

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I gotta admit I was not prepared for new Thought music today, but here we are. When you throw in a feature from Styles P and production by 9th Wonder…

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I’ve come to the realization…for like the millionth time…that Black Thought is quite easily top five dead or alive, which is a tremendous feat for someone who’s technically never released a solo album. While I believe there’s something to be said for an artist putting together a solo LP before certain kudos can be given to them as a solo MC, but I think Thought qualifies as a special case. Styles is no slouch either on this and no disrespect to him, but this one Thought verse could have been followed by 9th letting the beat ride out and I’d still be one satisfied citizen. Enjoy. This takes it back to what it was like when MCs actually spit bars worth rewinding to hear again, all while making the ugliest face imaginable.

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Maintain (Fvck How You Feel) :: Havoc f. Alchemist

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Two of the greatest producers in hip-hop history (and certainly two names on my personal short list) link up for The Silent Partner, a collaborative album set to drop May 20th. “Maintain” is the first joint to be released from it and sounds exactly how you would expect these two to sound sans Prodigy. Cormega, Method Man and P are set to appear elsewhere on the project, however. Enjoy.

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