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Everybody DownThere's a strong, vibrant formal tradition in hip hop: the story rhyme. Rather than the bragging and boasting of many raps, in a story rhyme the MC presents a narrative-- a street update of Ovid or Homer if you want to get hifalutin about it. Traced back by some to The Message by Melle Mel, few would dispute that it reached some sort of a peak with Slick Rick's first album, and was carried forward by the likes of Biggie and Eminem. It also had a profound influence on rap in the UK, with artists like Roots Manuva using the form to represent themselves and their city in a myriad of new ways.1. Marshall Law
2. The Truth
3. Lonely Daze
5. The Beigeness
6. Theme From Becky
8. The Heist
9. To The Victor The Spoils
11. A Hammer
12. Happy End$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Illmatic XXRanked 400/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
20th Anniversary Of One Of Hip Hop's Most Celebrated Albums
In 2014, Legacy Recordings will
release Nas' seminal debut album as an
expanded 20th anniversary edition titled,
Illmatic XX. Long considered one of the
greatest Hip Hop albums of all time, Illmatic
is a densely textured, deeply lyrical portrait of
life in the US's largest public housing project,
Queensbridge. Upon release, the record
signaled the resurgence of the moribund New
York hip-hop scene and helped pave the way
for Biggie Smalls, Jay Z and a new generation
of New York rappers.
Illmatic XX is the ultimate fan experience
and features new liner notes by longtime
friend, Sacha Jenkins (Ego Trip), previously
unseen and rare photographs, and a personal note
2014 is the year of Illmatic XX!1. The Genesis (Explicit Album Version)
2. N.Y. State of Mind
3. Life's a Bitch
4. The World Is Yours (Explicit Album Version)
5. Halftime (Explicit Album Version)
6. Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)
7. One Love (Explicit Album Version)
8. One Time 4 Your Mind (Explicit Album Version)
9. Represent (Explicit Album Version)
10. It Ain't Hard to Tell$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Enter The Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers)Ranked 386/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Along with Dr. Dre's The Chronic, the Wu-Tang Clan's debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), was one of the most influential rap albums of the '90s. Its spare yet atmospheric production -- courtesy of RZA -- mapped out the sonic blueprint that countless other hardcore rappers would follow for years to come. It laid the groundwork for the rebirth of New York hip-hop in the hardcore age, paving the way for everybody from Biggie and Jay-Z to Nas and Mobb Deep. Moreover, it introduced a colorful cast of hugely talented MCs, some of whom ranked among the best and most unique individual rappers of the decade. Some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style, which made for an album of tremendous variety and consistency. Every track on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed with fresh, inventive rhymes, which are filled with martial arts metaphors, pop culture references (everything from Voltron to Lucky Charms cereal commercials to Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were), bizarre threats of violence, and a truly twisted sense of humor. Their off-kilter menace is really brought to life, however, by the eerie, lo-fi production, which helped bring the raw sound of the underground into mainstream hip-hop. Starting with a foundation of hard, gritty beats and dialogue samples from kung fu movies, RZA kept things minimalistic, but added just enough minor-key piano, strings, or muted horns to create a background ambience that works like the soundtrack to a surreal nightmare. There was nothing like it in the hip-hop world at the time, and even after years of imitation, Enter the Wu-Tang still sounds fresh and original. Subsequent group and solo projects would refine and deepen this template, but collectively, the Wu have never been quite this tight again. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide1. Bring Da Ruckus
2. Shame On A Nigga
3. Clan In Da Front
4. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
5. Can It Be All So Simple/Intermission
6. Mystery Of Chessboxin'
7. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit
9. Method Man
10. Protect Ya Neck
12. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2
13. Conclusion$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The soundtrack from the 1998 debut film from hip-hop visionary Hype Williams. The album showcases the talent of hip-hop's heavyweights in the post Biggie/2Pac mass-consumption era of hip-hop. The songs on the album reflect the central theme of the film, the paper chase from the disenfranchised
point of view and the treacherous road to the riches tha tensues. Hip-Hop heavyweights Jay-Z, DMX,the Wu-Tang Clan, D'Angelo and many more all lend
their talent to the soundtrack.1. No Way In, No Way Out - Lady
2. Devil's Pie - D'Angelo
3. Grand Finale - DMX, Method Man, Nas & Ja Rule
4. Never Dreamed You Leave In Summer - Jerome
5. What About - Sparkle
6. Two Sides - Hot Totti
7. Movin' Out - Mya
8. Top Shotter - DMX, Sean Paul & Mr. Vegas
9. Story To Tell - Ja Rule
10. Crew Love - Jay-Z
11. Sometimes - Noreaga
12. We All Can Get It On - Drag-On
13. Militia Remix - Gang Starr
14. Windpipe - Wu Tang Clan
15. Pre-Game - Sauce Money
16. Tommy's Theme - Made Men
17. Some Niggaz - Half-A-Mil
18. I Wanna Live - Braveheart$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The King & IThe King & I is a duets album that will take listeners through a unique journey of Faith and Biggie's relationship. The album features un-released Biggie vocals and is packed with original productions by DJ Premier, Just Blaze, Stevie J, Salaam Remi, Chucky Thompson, Puff Daddy and more. The album also features guest artist Lil' Cease, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Styles P, Sheek Louch (founders of The L.O.X. hip hop group), 112, and a first time collaboration with legendary hip hop artist Lil' Kim.
The narrative of The King & I is compelling, compassionate, and offers a very personal glimpse into the love life of two of the biggest Hip Hop & R&B artists of all time.LP 1
1. A Billion
3. Beautiful (Interlude)
4. Can't Get Enough
5. Don't Test Me
6. Tryna Get By
7. The Reason
8. I Don't Want It (feat. Lil' Cease)
9. I Got Married (Interlude) [feat. Mama Wallace]
10. Wife Commandments
11. We Just Clicked (Interlude) [feat. Mama Wallace]
12. A Little Romance
13. The Baddest (Interlude)
14. Fool For You
1. Crazy (Interlude) [feat. 112 & Mama Wallace]
2. Got Me Twisted
3. When We Party (feat. Snoop Dogg)
4. Somebody Knows (feat. Busta Rhymes)
5. Take Me There (feat. Sheek Louch & Styles P)
6. One In The Same
7. I Wish (Interlude) [feat. Kevin McCall & Chyna Tahjere]
8. Lovin You For Life (feat. Lil' Kim)
9. NYC (feat. Jadakiss)
10. It Was Worth It$31.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Return Of The CoolBuzzing Walterboro, SC rapper Nick Grant will unveil his full-length debut project, Return of The Cool. The album boasts 12 new tracks, including the latest single "Luxury Vintage Rap," "Get Up" (feat. WatchTheDuck), "The Sing Along" (feat. Rico Barrino), and more.
Offering a glimpse at the MC's fiery and fresh style, "Luxury Vintage Rap" highlights his wise and wicked wordplay over nineties-style production. With a bulletproof cadence, he serves up slick, sizzling, and scorching bars such as, "I'm cut from Biggie's Gucci sweater cloth."
Growing up in the tiny town of Walterboro, SC, Nick Grant found a window to a much bigger world through hip-hop as a kid. He obsessed over classics by Jay-Z, 2Pac, Nas, OutKast, and A Tribe Called Quest, while writing countless rhymes of his own. In 2014, he inked a deal with Culture Republic-run by music industry veterans Jason Geter, Chaka Zulu and Bernard Parks, Jr. February 2016 saw him unleash his '88 mixtape featuring collaborations with the likes of Killer Mike and Big K.R.I.T. Soon, he was garnering praise from Vibe, XXL, HipHopDX, Pigeons and Planes, and more in addition to lighting up the 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher as well as Funk Master Flex's Hot 97 radio show and Sway in the Morning. In 2017, Grant harks back to rap's revolutionary era over two decades ago, while bringing a decidedly modern heat of his own. With an impressive production line-up that includes Organized Noize Productions, Karriem Riggins, and DJ Khalil. Get ready for the Return of the Cool.1. Sometimes (feat. Dominic Gordon)
4. All of You (feat. B. Hess)
5. The Sing Along (feat. Ricco Barrino)
6. Gotta Be (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
7. PPIP (feat. Miloh Smith)
8. Get Up (feat. WatchTheDuck)
9. Callin' (feat. Jori)
10. Get Down
11. Return of the Cool (feat. B. Hess)
12. Luxury Vintage Rap$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Soy SauceNacional Records is excited to announce the vinyl release of Mexican Institute of Sound's (M.I.S.) critically acclaimed,
DJ-favorite albums 'Politico,' 'Pinata,' 'Mejico Maxico and 'Soy Sauce.'
Their third album traverses Camilo Lara's wild musical imagination with a witty sense of humor for good effect - whether it's converting the traditional sounds of cumbia to a full on electronic dance track, paying tribute to J Dilla and Biggie with Mexican sonidos, or singing a love song as if Serge Gainsbourg had spent time in the Mayan jungle. Special guests include Ad-Rock (Beastie Boys), Mexican pop star Paty Cantu, Joselo Rangel (CafÉ Tacuba), and Brazilian singer Pat C.
M.I.S. tours the world performing at major festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, with a wide range of
high-profile television and videogame uses, including HBO 'Entourage' & 'East Bound & Down,' as well as
'Californication' and videogames like EA Sports' 'FIFA' and the new 'Grand Theft Auto V', for which he curated
one of the radio stations 'East Los FM.'
The sound of old Mexican cumbias, boleros and mariachi tunes scrambled with samples, effects and beats.
- NEW YORK TIMES
Camilo Lara works the electro-dance scene like the James Murphy [LCD Soundsystem] of Latin America.
Think Hot Chip visiting the Buena Vista Social Club; think traditional samples with bells and beats; think a
sweaty indie-dance party. - CMJ1. Cumbia
3. Yo Digo Baila
4. White Stripes
5. Hiedra Venenosa
6. Te Quiero Mucho
8. Comite Culificador Part 1
9. Comite Culificador Part 2
10. Karate Kid 2
12. Sinfonia Agridulce
14. Chiflideur$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Uptown SpecialUptown Special, the fourth album by producer-songwriter-musician Mark Ronson, is a tale of several cities, a wide range of collaborators, and a road trip deep into the American South. However the story of Ronson's latest project really starts back when he was New York's hottest DJ.
In the late 1990s into the early 2000s the New York club scene was percolating with booming hip-hop and glitzy R&B. In those days before he emerged as a multi-talented musical force Ronson manned the turntables of many great parties. "It was a fun time to be playing music," he says. "At clubs like Cheetah you didn't have to play a hip hop record until 1a.m. You could play early '80s classics by Chaka Khan, Boz Scaggs and Michael Jackson and rock the crowd. I'd play Steely Dan's 'Black Cow' at 11:30 and it world work. Then, at 1am you'd play 'Hypnotize' by Biggie and the crowd would go wild. I come back to those memories."
This mix of vintage R&B and pop with contemporary hip-hop is what made Ronson a star DJ. "I never get tired of hearing records like Earth, Wind & Fire's 'Can't Hide Love' next to 'Rock the Boat' by Aaliyah," says Ronson. "I wanted this record to feel like hearing that kind of musical mix on great New York club night."
Uptown Special has all of the flavor of a night with Mark rocking the ones and twos with funk, soul, and psychedelic pop in a style that echoes classic productions by Quincy Jones and Steely Dan, and funneled through its creators sophisticated understanding of arrangement and melody. Of his three previous albums Mark feels like Uptown Special is closest in spirit to his 2003 debut, Here Comes the Fuzz, which came directly out his DJ experience. "The difference," Mark says "is I was reaching for things musically I wasn't quite ready to execute. With all the experience I've gained over the years I had the maturity and knowledge to really pull this together."
The first single, "Uptown Funk," features GRAMMY® award-winning superstar Bruno Mars on vocals and drums, who sings with passion and plays drums with fire that will bring funk back on the radio. Joining Mars on the track is Mark on guitar, Mars' bassist Jamareo Artis and Jeff Brasker on keys. Mark produced Mars' massive hit single, "Locked Out of Heaven," where they developed a close musical kinship. "As a live performer no one out here now puts on a show like Bruno," says Mark. "This record has that same intensity. When you hear him sing you are always aware of how much he puts into a performance." Mark was so taken with the single's power that it inspired the album's title.
Though Ronson is now based out of London, most of Uptown Special was recorded in the United States with stops in Los Angeles, Memphis and Mississippi. Most of the music was recorded with live musicians with Mark anchoring the sessions on guitar, while surrounded by a complimentary mix of gifted young players and R&B vets. Several musicians, who worked with Mark on his historic production of Amy Winehouse's multi-platinum Back To Black and his own breakthrough album, 2007's Version, rejoined him for this album, including drummer Homer Steinweiss, bassist Nick Movshan and guitarist Tommy Brenneck. Also making guest appearances on 'Uptown Special' are bassist Willie Weeks (who played on Stevie Wonder's classic Innervisions) guitarist Carlos Alomar (who created the familiar guitar riff on David Bowie's "Fame") and drummer Steve Jordan (member of the John Mayer Trio).
Mark Ronson's Uptown Special is a unique blend. It's an album with a serious literary pedigree matched to down home greasy funk. It features a progressive pop vocalist from Australia and one reared in Mississippi, the spiritual root of American music. Hot young contemporary players dominate while some tracks are spiced with legendary musicians. It's a mix that reflects the musical taste and life experience of its creator.1. Uptown's First Finale
2. Summer Breaking
3. Feel Right
4. Uptown Funk
5. I Can't Lose
7. Crack In The Pearl
8. In Case Of Fire
9. Leaving Los Feliz
10. Heavy And Rolling
11. Crack In The Pearl pt. II$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BirthdaysIn this frantic Twitterworld, where all the genres of music are either mating with other genres, feeding on the past or searching for the next trending wave, Keaton Henson personifies the moment when time stops still. It's the almost shocking sound of one man and his gently stoked electric guitar, which flicks like the embers of a fire, as the singer's voice glows in the reflected light, safe in his panic room.
Crippled by anxiety since childhood, to the point that he rarely goes out or plays live, the wondrously bearded Keaton is the archetypal tortured recluse who channels his emotions not into shopping or clubbing but his art: he's a skilled illustrator too, of bare-boned drawings that are as starkly delineated as his guitar-playing.
Birthdays follows 2012's cult debut album Dear..., and for its first half, Henson avoids slipping into post-dubstep, chillwave or hiring Skrillex in order to fit in.
But there is change underfoot. Dear featured one drum track, so the subtle beat behind The Best Today is no biggie. But half way through the following Don't Swim, it's like an ember has landed in your lap. The song's sudden electrical charge, which persists through the following, thunderous Kronos, is the sound of Henson wrenched from his comfort zone. Birthdays' second track suggests he's even reached Paris.
In fact, the whole album was recorded in California by American producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The Strokes). And various guests, including Jesca Hoop on ghostly backing vocals, have chipped in. Birthdays' second half takes Heaton closer to Jeff Buckley's turf: the unforced vibrato, the goosepimply effect and romantic hunger. But it's a subtle shift, and the instrumentation only partially reconfigures the secluded spell.
Beekeeper's occasional bouts of rock doesn't drown out the soft peals of banjo, while the swell of French horns, martial drum and Henson's fluttering voice in Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us sounds like he's still in his bedroom. Up there, warmed by the fire, he's cloistered away from Twitter and all the other evils of this parish. There's no better way to shut out the din than by putting this record on.
This LP also includes a CD of the album.1. Teach Me
2. 10am Gare du Nord
4. Lying to You
5. The Best Today
6. Don't Swim
9. Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us
10. In the Morning$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC
Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.
DragonFly Black & DragonFly Red
AudioQuest is truly pleased to introduce two dramatic
steps forward-two new DragonFlys with unprecedented
audio quality and even higher performance-to-cost ratios-and,
drum roll, they work with Apple and Android™ phones!
Yes, that last point is a biggie. From the day that the original
DragonFly came out, we got requests for a DragonFly-quality
DAC to use with smartphones. Finally, thanks to newly
available parts, power draw is now well within what any
phone will authorize.
We've been busy for years making this new generation of
DragonFlys possible. AudioQuest worked alongside Microchip
Technology to develop a new high-performance, full-speed
USB microcontroller (a DAC's input processor) that delivers
improved signal-to-noise ratio and significantly lower power
consumption. Drawing 77% less current than the DragonFly
v1.2's microcontroller, the new Microchip MX microcontroller
enables true compatibility with Apple and Android smartphones
and tablets. For use with Apple iOS devices, Apple's
Lightning-to-USB Camera Adaptor is required; for use with
Android devices, a Made for Android (OTG) adaptor, such as
our DragonTail USB Adaptor For Android Devices, is required.
We hesitate to brag about specific electronic parts in the
DragonFlys because the implementation of those parts is
as crucial as their quality. Please don't make the mistake of
thinking that DACs with the same microcontroller or primary
processor all sound alike! Depending on the circuit design,
control of noise, power supply regulation, quality of the many
passive parts, etc., a supposedly "lesser" DAC chip can easily
outperform a "better" DAC chip in a different DAC.
Also, as with cameras and their previous race to have more
pixels than the other guy, playing the numbers game can
distract and deceive. While the DAC chips in both the Black
and Red DragonFlys have great capability, we have chosen
to limit DragonFly Red and Black processing to 24-bit/96kHz.
This makes using the DragonFlys as simple as it's always been,
fully compatible with PCs, etc., without having to download
and install new drivers. Though maybe more importantly,
faster processing can mean more noise, so while playing
24/192 files with some of the best component DACs does offer
sonic advantages, many DACs actually sound better when
the computer down-samples a 24/192 file to 24/96 before
sending the data to the DAC. Our point is that AudioQuest
plays a music-quality game first and foremost. DragonFlys
are designed to be the-best-they-can-be Emotional Transportation
for your music, whether Spotify, YouTube videos, Tidal,
ripped CDs, or state-of-the-art Hi-Res files.
Back to bragging about our internals: The new DragonFly
models also incorporate improved 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC
chips-the 9010 in Black and the higher-performance 9016
in Red-both of which employ minimum-phase filtering for
naturally detailed, more authentic sound. While DragonFly
Black uses the same high-quality headphone amp and analog
volume control found in the DragonFly 1.2, DragonFly Red
includes the latest ESS headphone amp and a bit-perfect
digital volume control that resides on the 9016 DAC chip
itself-a sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum
fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio.
Those of you who remember how we bragged about the
DragonFly v1.0 and v1.2 having an analog volume control
might now be going "huh?" Good question! It's a matter of
capabilities. The earlier DragonFlys and the Black feature
an analog volume control because that's a better-sounding
approach than most digital volume controls, which cut off
bits in order to reduce the volume. However, when a digital
volume control, as in the new DragonFly Red, doesn't
compromise the signal, doesn't reduce finesse and subtlety
and low-level detail, then a bit-perfect digital volume control
is superior. Once more, it's not about a particular part or
sample rate or buzz word-it's about honoring the quality of
the resulting sound above all else.
DragonFly Black outputs 1.2 volts-enough power to capably
drive all preamplifier input circuits and all reasonably
efficient headphones. Meanwhile, with its higher 2.1-volt
output, DragonFly Red is compatible with an even wider
range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency
models. For reference, DragonFly 1.0 and 1.2 featured
The difference in maximum output between DF Black and DF
Red is essentially irrelevant with our NightHawk headphones,
as they can be easily driven by either model, but Red's
higher output is an important advantage with some of the
more inefficient headphones on the market. However, the
difference in sound quality between the two new models
is always meaningful, and is important whether feeding
headphones or the Aux input of an audio system. At the same
volume, Red has much more "torque," "grip," and "muscle"
than Black. Red simply sounds cleaner and clearer overall,
enabling a larger soundstage with each instrument or voice
more nearly in its own space.
And, more good news: The new DragonFlys are software
upgradeable through complimentary Windows and OS X
desktop applications. As new developments arise in music
player applications, streaming protocols, or other associated
software, DragonFly users will be able to incorporate those
updates into their existing devices.
DragonFly Black for only $99, with better sound than any
previous DragonFly for less money than any previous
DragonFly, and DragonFly Red with much better sound at
only $199-and both compatible with phones-how much
good news can you stand?!$99.95USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp (2 Versions Available) Buy Now