Single You Out: Local-Mu12 (The 17th x Fokis x Broadway Barrett) – Unhappy

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Local Mu-12 is readying their debut album and this is the first single from the project.   This particular cut features The 17th, Fokis, and Broadway Barrett.  The 17th laces the beat which sounds as if I was walking through an evil carnival.  I am a huge fan of the crews’ body of work and really am looking forward to what they have to offer a full length project.  The camp has so many diverse styles and embodies the talent level that you can find in today’s music scene.    This cut may be entitled ‘Unhappy’ but it certainly brought a smile to this mug. I hope you enjoy…

Single You Out: Punchline – Dream Chasing (Ft. Niyah, Fokis, The 17th & Asha)

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Punchline brings us a new and dope cut to enjoy bringing alongside label mates Fokis and The 17th  among others to showcase their talents.  The song has a great vibe and really got me in the mood to post some doper material I have been put on to as of late.  One of the things that is subtle and may go unnoticed is the added vocal touches in the background.  The devil is in the details and that puts this track just up one more notch.

Top 50 Songs (2012)

Disclaimer:  It is hard and challenging to pick 50 tracks from the thousands upon thousands that dropped this year.  It is merely an attempt to list my favorite cuts of 2012.  Click the links to listen to the song!  I think it’s a great list.  There were a lot of great songs crafted this year and I know I left off some good ones.  I listened to 5,000+ tracks from 2012 alone this year, so as an artist, if you made this list you know you are on the forefront of my iTunes!

1. Megatron MindstateSpit Gemz, Shaz Illyork, and DJ Brans brought the banger of the year early on in 2012. For me this track just set a standard that could not be surpassed. The beat was epic and the rhymes intermingled the streets with theology to provide a brief but concentrated delivery of dope.

2. Tragedy TextRP from the Loyalty Digital game me the chills literally with this track about texting and driving and anyone who can provoke that type of response deserves to be acknowledged.  One of the great conceptual songs in the last five years.

3. The Greatest Mother EverRashid Hadee provides one of the great sarcastic songs of our lifetime with this joint.

4. Little Bunny RabbitLocksmith does angst so well.  He raps with a chip on his shoulder and delivers devastation to and and all in his path, in part to his little buddy.

5. Lo Siento AmigoDub Sonata x Double AB brought a lot of flavor and context to this joint.   Dub Sonata conjures a little latin boom bap and Double AB continues to be one of the best story telling emcees in the game, narrating a tale of romance, deception, and karma.

6. Local Artist – I could have honestly used any on the cuts off of The 17ths FREE EP.  It’s a damn great EP and you can listen to it through and through.   But this cut puts the listener in the shoes of your “local artist” and his life.

7. Under Their Radar, Over Their HeadsIllmaculate has always delivered dope bars but the production on this joint combined with the lyricism made this a sure shot for out Top 10.

8. Heaven – While this is not on any particular album, Mike Beatz provides an amazing banger for the fans and the visuals from the video give you that serial killer feel.  I can’t wait to hear more from this man in 2013.

9. How Do I SurviveEmilio Lopez and Falside link up for another banger that just makes the listener get out of the seat and get amped.

10. Dirt In The GroundPremrock’s reworking of Tom Waits music is impressive and this joint is the closing cut.  It’s very innovative and poignant.

11. Rare FlowSerge Severe and Jon Belz bring you that rare Portland air with this ‘rare flow’ over Terminill production.

12. J.O.Y.Copywrite features Torae and Jason Rose for this outstandingly soulful song.

13. My CondolencesSnake Hollywood released this beast of a track towards the end of the year and it instantly bypassed 95% of the other tracks out there.  Really dope rhymes.

14. Yesterday’s GoneSwerve and Co$$ define soul in hip hop with this track.  Just something to put you at ease.

15. 3AMJournalist 103 is prone to drop a gem on em’ and this is one of my favorite tracks from his most recent album.

16. Burn It DownGotham Green and Quickiemart bring you a track to tear the club up.  A 1940s club that is because this joint bumps with a nostalgic vibe.  Very unique.

17. Waiting In VeinMayhem drops one of the best storytelling joints this year.   You will just have to listen to this one and follow along.

18. Problem SolverVinnie Paz brings in the legend, Scarface for this song off of his most recent album.

19.  Futuristic – When is ‘The Wolves’ project going to drop because this collaborative deal between Shabaam Sahdeeq, Eddie B., and Harry Fraud is type ill.

20. Check My ResumeSubstantial rocking over some Oddisee beats is the sure shot.

21. Don’t HateOf Mice and Musicians are trying to convince the listener they are doing it for their benefit…so don’t hate.  Also, this is off of a great album so make sure you cop that!

22. Big BroFatal Lucciauno dropped a real raw ass album and this song is the crem de la crem.

23. Sorry Alias & Fakts One apologize for the vicious cycle on this joint but not their dope music.

24. Mr. Governor – The duo of Soul Khan and Akie Bermiss again deliver a dope song with this conscious cut.

25. Drowning ManCas Metah and Wonder Brown  offer a Christian message in the form of dope hip hop rhythm accompanied by Copywrite and Elias.

26. Digi Box – C-Rayz Walz pays homage to the hip hop internet scene.

27. Rock To The RhythmRuste Juxx and The Arcitype drop thisself explanatory joint but in the illest, and most high energy way possible.

28. Price & Shining Armor – When Sean Price and Ruste Juxx combine, it’s nothing but a win for everybody.

29. UnfukwitableRed Eye and company rock over a DJ Bless beat making this the best posse cut of the year.  Hands down.

30. SushiRas Kass is my all-time favorite emcee and he shows and proves his place in history once again with this track.

31. Monte CarloKing Mez and producer Commissioner Gordon once again combine for this audio masterpiece.

32. Jansport StringsSkyzoo and the horns are a formidable combination.

33.  Above The SkyApollo The Great is one of the best surprises this year to me.  His album is immaculate and this track is one of my favorites.

34. Terminate On Site – CF drops another tough joint.  Last year he brought ‘that fire’, and this year he ‘terminates on site’.

35.  Humid NightsJR&PH7 link up with The Kid Daytona for a soulful joint off their most recent project.

36.  SuccessThe Audible Doctor  and Chaundon showcase their verbals over the former’s tightest productions.

37. Walk With The Lions – When Swedish producer Pause Beats comes out with his album in 2013 you will recognize.  A lot of talent on this track.

38. Knob CreekJustMe, Marcus Wilkerson, and Sheisty Khrist give you a spiritual, soulful and bluesy vibe that this liste needed.

39.  Rabbit Season – Craig G is an OG.  He deosn’t care about end of the year accolades but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve them.  He once again shows these youngsters how it is done…proper.  Kids….go get your shine box!

40.  the Last Great – This is the title track off of MaLLy & The Sundance Kid’s album from this year.  It’s such a different sound and the two work great together.

41. Blame The LabelThe Narcicyst asks you to take a leap of faith with him which is easy when he drops an infectious track like this!

42.  UnlearnReks and Numonics kill the game with this track.  These are two of my favorites in their selected fields.  You can’t listen to this without stopping what you are doing and paying attention to the music,.

43.  Appreciation – Speaking of ill combinations, Donnie Darko  and DJ Bless continue their run with one of the best track this year.  Darko has a lot of power in his voice and Bless in his beats.

44. Sandstorms – This list needed another ill posse cut and who better to deliver than Blacastan, Emilio Lopez, Outerspace, and V-Zilla?  No One.

45. Holy Smokes – You don’t remember Mr. Complex do you?  Well, I personally think he is one of the most interesting emcees in the game.  A great talent with a great sense of humor.

46. People  – Falside ain’t right for this as he asserts his force on this Juan Deuce track featuring Romen Rok.  Real ill!

47. The First 48Apollo Brown and OC brought you one of the illest albums this year and this song typifies that release.  Dope beats and rhymes.

48.  You Know Who You AreOddisee is a unique talent with an old soul.  A producer extraordinaire with great lyrical ability.

49.  Balcony – Are you down with the Mission? The Black Opera.  You are either with us or against us.

50.  Time 2 Roll – The Red Giants are not only smooth but also extremely dope and don’t tell me Jermiside can’t flow.  This is ill lyricism and ability!

Top 5 EPs (2012)

This was a tough category.  There were so many dope, short projects that were offered up this year that it was really hard to narrow it down to my favorites.  I just kept the one ruling principle in mind as to who made the dopes music.  With that being kept in mind there were some dope artists left off…most notably The Brown Bag AllStars.  That crew put out a ton of dope EPs this year and surely some of them would have made a Top 10, just not the Top 5.  I simply couldn’t let got of these joints.

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#1 -The 17th – Free Music EP

The 17th gave us ‘FREE Music’ but not only that, he gave us some remarkable music.  This EP is close to flawless as they come.  You get eight tracks jam packed with flavor, great concept, flows, production, and delivery.  Another remarkable aspect is that much of the EP is his from beginning to end.  He of course is the lead emcee, but also the producer for the bulk of the tracks as well.

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#2 – Serge Severe x Terminill – Service Without A Smile

Serge Severe and Terminilllinked up for  a superlative effort on Service Without A Smile.  The two really played off of each other’s strengths and this proved to be one of the illest producer/emcee combos of 2012.

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#3 – Nefew x Shakes x Nottz – For Hip Hop

Speaking of ill producer/emcee combos, how about this one?  Swiss-American hip-hop group, Nefew, Virginia emcee Shakes, and super producer Nottz link up for for this five track EP.   You can’t go wrong with this joint!

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#4 – Mayday – Thrift Store Halos

MayDay has a sound all unto themselves.  They have have great production to back them up on Thrift Store Halos and their melodies, rhymes, and guest shots throughout make this one a clear winner for 2012.

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#5 – The Narcicyst – Leap Of Faith

The Narcicyst comes back in 2012 with a lyrical fury from Dubai.  Ok, a lyrical fury may be a bit extreme but his world observations set to rhythm set him apart from the pack this year.

Single You Out: RP x Stryfe x The 17th – Great Lyrical Shape

This is the camp right now!  Local Mu-12 is killing from every angle right now.  They are dropping at least one dope joint a week.  This joint is no less dope than all of the others.   All three of the emcees hit their mark with their verses over a rock/hiphop fused production from Real McKoy.

This is a single from their Labor Day album that has yet to be released.

The 17th – Free Music EP (2012)

Artist: The 17th

Album: The Free Music EP

Source: Artist

Tracklisting:

1. Intro
2. No Name (ft. My Son)
3. Rubbish (ft. Spoke In Wordz x Fokis)
4. Local Artist
5. Vacation
6. The Product
7. Asshole
8. My Drug

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Where to start?  How about this…The 17th brings you the best EP of 2012 thus far…for FREE.  I would not dare to joke when it comes to musical taste and sending this project in your direction.  This EP simply is one of the most complete packages this year.  Rarely do I have an “Oh Shit!” moment when it comes to listening to music these days, but this guy made me say that exact phrase several times throughout this eight track project.

Right after the Intro, about thirty seconds into the track, No Name, I knew that The 17th was onto not only to something fresh, but also exciting.  The production is really astonishing.   The way the kids voices are used to antagonize and respond was nothing short of genius.  That work behind the boards was done by Clockwork, whom I later became aware has passed away (RIP).  The 17th, in his bars, points out all the misconceptions and stereotypes he has been confronted with.

We’ve talked about the tracks, Rubbish and Local Artist previously but they still remain heavy highlights on this short EP.  I especially appreciate Local Artist because of how he portrays the woes, hustle, and lifestyle of being a local hip hop artist.  But he also has a warning (or suggestions) for those who claim to be ‘artists’

Shit look where my town’s at / I haven’t gotta gun, it’s just my hand in a brown bag / Before you speak, learn how to breathe and pronounce raps / Otherwise you ain’t seeing shit like it’s on a brown rag / You couldn’t hold cheese if you was a mouse trap / You can’t  make shit fresh if you was a house cat / Don’t let me catch you out in the town alone with out gas / Or you’ll be screaming for your homies like Al Scratch

The Product showcases The 17th’s storytelling ability on all three verses. The track’s  basis is how we are each made, in part, as a product of our environments.   The second verse in particular is especially dope, yet unnerving.  It gets inside the mind of a terrorist on an airplane getting ready to crash.  The production which is done by the 17th himself is straight out of the movie The Omen.  He’s on some kill Damian type movement with this track.  This is hip hop with an evil intention.

In a genre where it gets harder and harder each day to stand out, The 17th sets himself light years apart from the rest of the field.   Not only do his rhymes create this kind of differentiation, it’s also his ability to produce.  He produced six of the eight tracks on this EP and his ear for  creating beats is on par with some of the best.  But along with beats and lyrics, there is something intangible, that I can’t point my finger on to describe to you.  The word that comes closest to mind is simply…special.