Naj Murph – House-A-Rest (mixtape)

I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from or about Naj Murph in a while. He’s been on house arrest for the last eight months.

During his down time he wrote and recorded some songs and is now presenting them as a mixtape called “House-A-Rest.” If you’ve ever listened to Naj, then you know dude can rap and makes good music. If you’ve never listened to him, give this shot. He accurately describes what he’s on when on “Young & Dangerous” when he raps “I don’t make trap music, backpack music or sap music/I make I’m going through a lot of shit right now and you might get slapped music.”

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Runway Richie – “Keep Getting It” (video)

Live by the knife. Die by the gun.

Runway Richie’s new video for “Keep Getting It” takes us on a journey through Atlanta’s slums as one young man lets his thirst for riches get the best of him. I enjoy most of Richie’s music and I’ve got to host more than a few shows where he’s performed. This is probably my favorite song of his, glad that it got a Motion Family video treatment.

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Trouble – “Pocket Full of Dead Dudes” (video)

Hardest Trouble song you’ve probably heard in a minute. Got a chance to chop it up with him not too long ago. Says he’s getting back to the kind of music he was making on December 17th.

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Migos – “Handsome and Wealthy”

Everybody’s favorite Migos song from No Label II gets a video.

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J.I.D x 6LACK feat. India Shawn “Mourning Star”

Been meaning to keep up with more of J.I.D.’s output but he’s really doing quite a bit these days, s forgive me for not doing my part in sharing his shit. His latest endeavor is about to be a collaborative EP with 6LACK (who’ve been playing quite a bit over on ABL Radio) called International Sad Boyz. “Mourning Star” is the first clip from it and it features India Shawn.

Produced by Patrick “Phreddy” Hanafin

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ICYMI: Vh1′s #ATLRise Documentary Is Now Online

Vh1′s ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise In the Rap Game is man…

My eyes tear up a little bit just thinking about it. Watching it feels like my entire life was flashed in front of my eyes. I got to witness just about everything covered in this documentary with my own eyes as child, fan, student, intern and journalist. I mean, from writing my first elementary school book report on Andrew Young to learning the words to Kris Kross’ “Jump” to seeing Outkast on Rap City for the first time to staying up to watch American Rap Makers to interning at Hot 97.5 when Chris Lova Lova was turning into Ludacris to being at Future’s first mixtape listening party at Magic City…it really feels like I was a part of all of this history and it was almost surreal being actually included in it. Can’t lie, I’m getting emotional just sitting here typing this post.

This story was told so beautifully. Now, I’ve heard slight whispers and complaints about some names and eras being left out. Like Youngbloodz, Ear Wax Records, the Snap Movement, etc. But, anybody that actually watches this documentary before trying to criticize it (which is where most of the criticism has come from…people who haven’t even seen it) has to appreciate it even if you or some of your folks feel “left out.” Fitting 34 years of history into 90 minutes is a task.

I’m also hoping that this documentary will inspire dozens of others to pick up cameras and document the city’s history. There are plenty more stories to be told. Documentaries like this are the reason I love what I do. I’ve always stressed that Atlanta is more than small amount of stuff you see on TV or hear on the radio 238 times a day. So glad that the pioneers got a chance to shine and share their stories.

Also, if you live in the Atlanta area, there is an accompanying photo gallery exhibit on display at the Rialto Theatre downtown featuring photos of all of the documentary’s participants. Go check it out.

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You Really Should Buy Pretty Ken’s “Behind The Music” Album

Pretty Ken is a name that you may or may not know. I don’t want to type too much about him here, rather, I think you should listen to the radio interview I did with him for my show Recognize Real on ABL Radio. It covers everything from his Dungeon Family roots to him creating the Attic Crew (Youngbloods, Jim Crow, Playboy Tre, etc). Continue reading

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Two-9 Covers Creative Loafing

Hip Hop collective Two-9 is on the cover of Creative Loafing this week and writer Gavin Godfrey offers a look inside the group that many people still recognize as a logo on a t-shirt or a group who gets name dropped by “cool” people when trying to sound “cool.”

None of that is their fault though. The camp is pretty quiet about themselves when they aren’t rapping. I was hired to write their bio last year and wound up learning things about them that they don’t really talk about in their music. Continue reading

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Day 1 Radio: The Chaka Zulu (Disturbing Tha Peace) Episode

On the latest episode of Day 1 Radio, me and BP held it down and chopped it up with Disturbing Tha Peace co-founder Chaka Zulu. We got a chance to talk to him about everything from his days running Hot 97.5 (now Hot 107.9) to working at Def Jam during their late-90s take over and what he is up to managing Ludacris and Big KRIT. A lot of history in this talk, you want to listen.

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Raury – Indigo Child (Album)

After months and months of “where is the rest of the music at” questions, Raury dropped his much-anticipated, but even more necessary, debut Indigo Child earlier this week. I’m no longer in the business of writing instant reviews on albums the day they come out to beat the rest of the internet, hence, the delayed (a WHOLE three days) posting of the project here.

If you had a chance to attend Raurfest a couple of months ago, you were probably one of the many who walked a more confused than intrigued because he basically did covers of artists he felt inspired by. Indigo Child is a continuation of that, but not in such a blatant way.

On moments throughout, you can hear that he’s obviously influenced by the same gang of people who have been co-signing him (Coldplay, Andre 3000, Kid Cudi). But where those artist use their songs to ask questions like “why did this happen to me/us?” Raury comes with “is this about to happen to me?” because shit…he’s 18. The best example of this is on “Woodcrest Manor,” a song about how things and feelings eventually fade away.

Which is ironic, because it seems like before most people are even giving themselves a chance to enjoy the music…they’re already debating on how long Raury will be around and if he will live up to the “hype” or if they will even like him by this time next year. Judging from how this album sounds, Raury should be able to top this with whatever he chooses to follow up with, easily.

That’s not to say that Indigo Child isn’t good, because it is. But you can tell that he’s made an album that is the soundtrack to his life up to this point, with vocal and production skills that probably haven’t even reached their full potential yet. What’s even more encouraging is that Raury was able to make an album about himself without always talking about “himself.” You know…like how new artists assume the world want to hear about their problems as…a new artist. Here, Raury kept it simple and wrote songs about freedom, love and the very real world around them, which is something that just about everybody can relate to.

Sonically, it reminds me heavily of Cody ChesnuTT’s The Headphone Masterpiece. But where Cody opted to give you two albums worth of material that you either cherished or forgot about soon after, Raury gives us 13-tracks in just over 40 minutes, making you want to go back and listen to see if you missed anything without it feeling like a chore.

But yeah, that’s about it though. My favorite song on here is probably “Woodcrest Manor.” If you want to learn more about him, peep the interview I did with him for Recognize Real on ABLRadio.com

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