Monday, August 16, 2010

Stik Figa & D/Will - Alive & Well Album Review

Alive & Well is a more upbeat but blander sequel to Stik Figa & D/Will's first LP. Although the album fails to overpass hellogoodbye it offers a few notable cuts such as Alive, The Down, and Well..., a jazz influenced track. The best moment of the album comes when IZMORE, who appears on Rich the Factor's new mixtape, rips the record's standout song, Pressure. The most lacking element of Alive & Well is D/Will's production which hasn't differed from last year's project. Hopefully Stik's upcoming project with Washington DC emcee/producer, Oddisee will pack a bigger punch.

Mistah FAB - F*ck The World (Video)

One of the best FAB songs in recent history.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RIP JP (Tha Mex)

Via The Pitch: Local rapper JP (Tha Mex) died on Sunday morning. JP -- whose real name was John P. Garcia -- was shot and killed on Cesar Chavez and Mercier, around 4AM. According to Fox 4 KC, witnesses said that following the gunshots, the suspect vehicle raced down a dead end street and ripped through a nearby fence to escape. Police are looking for a white Ford Crown Victoria with Kansas plates, and front end damage.
Garcia had just cut a music video for a track from his debut album, In My City, with Rich the Factor and Lil Scrappy last week. Watch it after the jump.


Young Boss - Do Da Fool (Video)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laroo & Kafani - Take a Shot (Video)

Live by Night out now.

Mega Ran (Random) - Exclusive Interview & MP3s

Dream Master MP3

The Rock MP3

Robot City MP3

What was you're upbringing like in Philly?

MR: I wasn't raised on a bad block, but round here dope fiends would snatch your lawn chairs if you didnt have em padlocked...haha, that's from an old song. I was raised by my mom in a part of town called West Oak Lane, on the Northwest side. It used to be considered the nice part of the city, but with time, things got a little rough out there. I saw a lot, from drugs to crime, even murder. But the block gave me a lot of the strength and perseverance I needed to apply to the music business. I'm always Philly, no matter where I go.

CHH: Why did you choose to move to Arizona? And in your opinion how do the two rap scenes compare?

MR: I moved to AZ in 2006 after a really bad winter in Philly. I can't really credit it to anything else. It was a really impulsive move. I didn't expect to stay here this long, but things just worked out really well professionally, personally and musically. It seemed to be a good fit.
It's hard to make a comparison, but the scenes are almost day and night. Both scenes are very competitive, but Philly is so much more stuck in its ways. They aren't as receptive to something that's different. Phoenix's scene is still in it's infancy, and everyone here is from somewhere else, so there is no real AZ sound. That makes people more likely to pay attention and give props to an artist who has the heart to do something different.

CHH: Do you consider yourself a Nerdcore artist?

MR: Yes and no. I made Mega Ran before I knew what Nerdcore was. Prior to that, I made what people called conscious rap. Prior to that, not a lot of people know but I made gospel rap. So when I make a song or album with that theme, people will classify me there. It just so happened that making rap music with nerdy themes is what made me somewhat famous so now I'm Nerdcore. That's cool. I can't control what labels people throw on me, but I'd rather just be considered an artist.. because then it won't be so surprising when I make my country western album, haha. But really, I have a lot of great friends and fans in the Nerdcore community and I appreciate that. I'm where I could never get to be in high school: I can hang with the cool kids and the nerds of the music business and fit in on both levels.

CHH: Were you the first to Rap over video game inspired beats? How did that idea come about?

MR: No way! People had done it before but the first person I heard to do this over a whole album was YTCracker he made an album called Nerdrap Entertainment System using Nintendo beats. I thought it was a cool concept and it inspired me to use my favorite game, Mega Man for a whole album. This worked out well and Capcom contacted me and gave me their blessing to continue making music with their samples. Since then I've traveled to Comic Con, and other video game conventions all over the place performing. It's a pretty amazing story.

CHH: What video games gave you inspiration growing up?

MR: I really loved the Super Mario games, the color and the imagination that went into them. Mega Man of course. Zelda, Final Fantasy, and so on.

CHH: How did you make so many connections in the video game industry as a rapper?

MR: Well, being a rapper and gamer I always wanted to travel to these gaming events and in the midst of that I've been fortunate enough to meet a lot of gaming insiders. The Capcom arrangement has been key to that. It's really strange how it happened. I didn't think there were many fans of gaming who liked Hip Hop as well but it's worked out pretty good for me so far.

CHH: Do you rap full time? Weren't you previously a teacher?

: I do, I recently started teaching again. Long story but I do believe that I put a full time effort into both. I don't know how long I can do both but I love the fans and I love the kids so I don't want to let either of them down.
CHH: You have a great talent for freestyling? Is there a secret to it?

MR: Freestyle
is just like any other skill. You have to practice it. I mean rapping in the shower, on the bus, in the car, whenever you can. Then eventually it comes naturally. It comes from being around really talented rappers coming up in Philly; RAHM Nation label mates, Ohene, Storyville, G, and I would freestyle and battle for fun. And if you weren't good you just got embarrassed so there wasn't much choice but to get better.

CHH: What do you have out now and what are you currently working on?

MR: Right now myself and K-Murdock have an album out called Forever Famicom. It's been getting some great reviews. You can stream the whole album or cop a physical CD or download for as low as $8 at Bandcamp.
I have several solo records out now, each with a different mood:
The 8th Day - those are all on iTunes.

The future is even more busy. Working on about 3 different projects at once. I'm working on a project with a Phoenix emcee/producer named Span Phly, and another videogame themed project based on one of my favorite games of all time, I won't spoil the surprise yet. Then sometime late next year I'll release my next solo record called Language Arts. Right now the present is looking great so I don't even want to think past that and miss out. 2010 has been awesome. Get that Forever Famicom album!

Sunday, August 1, 2010