I was asked to pick an artist whose work in 2019 was among the most compelling. Of course, Tree had an incredible 2019 with three sterling releases, most of which showcased his glorious take on Soul Trap, stuttering high hats over colorful soul samples, street wisdom and deep memories, half-sung, half-rapped in a gravely tone. Tree’s bare and visual rhymes place him amongst the most memorable rappers of recent memory and we can’t wait to see what he does next. Read my end-of-year feature with Tree for OkayPlayer HERE.
“Verbal Intercourse” contains one of the best guest verses of all time courtesy of a young Nasir. His verse is so swift; sneeze and you’re 3 lines behind. His voice has never sounded as good either, and the company on the track—a ferocious Ghost and an uncanny Rae— remain forever unmatched. Taken from an interview I did with Rae years ago, here’s how “Verbal Intercourse” came to be.
I spoke with EL-P a few years ago and asked him about all kinds of early Co Flow history, including how their legacy started with “Juvenile Technique.”
“The head burner cookin’, emanate thought and grab my phallus
Please, I pump kinetics with unintentional malice
Wanna battle one of us is endin’ up in God’s palace…”
Read how it all went down HERE for POW.
Super fun and endearing community event that I was honored to be a part of. PB Wolf is THAT DUDE, the venerable one, the local hero, and being able to go through and geek off his ephemera and souvenirs was a rad experience. Made more fun because Demone Carter (Dem One) joined us for fernet and scotch beforehand, and the lecture hall was at capacity on a Thursday night, spilling out into the hall at one point. Many thanks to SJSU’s Hip-Hop History Month series, Dan Diggs, Elizabeth, Nancy, and of course, C. Manak .
We got some local love a few months back (which feels like another dimension and lifetime ago…) but since then, our humble podcast has made some strides through the last couple years.
My dudes continue to anchor the show; Nate’s increasing technical skillset and attentive edits along with Demone’s acumen to connect with listeners and lead a program in natural, professional ways continues to be so much fun (and I learn a lot from them both). We’re available anywhere one finds podcasts these days BUT also recently got onboard with the PANTHEON PODCASTS familia. Check out the aforementioned local press HERE and, if I may be so bold, peep our list of guests and (please) click away:
Kool Keith, The Last Poets, Little Brother, Oliver Wang, Koreatown Oddity, Roxanne Shante, Fatlip (Pharcyde), Easy Mo Bee, Elzhi, Percee P, Blockhead, Jake One, Jeff Weiss, Apani B. Fly, Apollo Brown, Gift of Gab, Slug (of Atmosphere), Small Pro, J-Live, Count Bass D, Prince Paul, Billy Woods, Beans, MAVI, R.A.P. Ferreira, Curly Castro, Mr. Len, J-Zone, Del The Funkee Homosapien, Ras Kass, DJ Platurn, DJ Premier, Prince Markie Dee, Akinyele, Edgewize, Che Noir, Rhys Langston, Armand Hammer, Nate Patrin, Fat Tony, Crate 808, Yeshua (Dapoed), MC Tree, Adam Mansbach, Evidence, Elucid, Hanif Abdurraqib, Animoss, DJ Preservation, Psycho Les, Uncommon NASA, Ben Merlis, Open Mike Eagle, Nappy Nina, Tajai (Souls of Mischief), Shawn Setaro, Homeboy Sandman, Nathaniel Friedman, Jazz (UN Gang), DJ Cutso, Big Hongry, Don Will, DJ Eclipse, Chris Crack, Brian Coleman, Paul Thompson, Frukwan, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Jon Sklute, Dean Van Nguyen, Daringer, RAPZINES, Gifted Gab, Vic Spencer, Ohbliv, JJ Fad, One Be Lo, Faith Newman, Kenny Segal, Jose Rojo, Controller 7, Son Raw, DJ Numark, DJ Q-Bert, Domino (Hieroglyphics), Soren Baker, Zilla Rocca, Adisa Banjoko, Traxamillion, Ant (of Atmosphere), Adrian Quesdada (of Black Panthers/Brownout), Evidence, Myka 9, Camp Lo, Amp Live and moooooooooore…
This is from about 6 months back but is important for a couple personal reasons: 1) The caliber of writers who made the BBC’s radar on this extensive project is, at worst, for me, flattering to be mentioned amongst them and 2) I got to mention “I Am, I Be” without having to justify its greatness. Every “greatest” rap list has the same rotation of 5-8 albums, so it was nice to see people get personal. Read the whole (very thoughtful) and huge article/project HERE.
My dude, the Philippine Guillotine, DJ Basura, recently reupped his classic mix from years ago and we’re glad he did. If you missed Filipino Folkways the first time here’s your chance to catchup on these exuberant and obscure records. Balahibo, Cora Adajar and the Mammals, Vilma Valera, Boy Mondragon, Tirso Cruz III… all so good. Bravo Basura!
Peep the fire mix HERE.