Hurricane Sandy hit New York hard, as well as our neighbors all around us. As we discussed on our Hurricane Sandy Aftermath episode of The NY Hip Hop Report, this obviously affected those involved in the entertainment business, not only on a personal level, but on a business-level as well. Venues closed, performances had to be canceled, people weren’t out and about, and material that was released by local musicians during these tough times, might have been overlooked by the very audience they normally appeal to, fellow New York-area hip hop heads.
At Birthplace Magazine, we noticed this, and many of the submissions we received during the two weeks following Sandy, we flagged for review, but had to walk away from, as the issues of the day were more pressing.
Now that we’ve gotten a bit back to normal, we thought we’d go through our inbox from around the time the storm hit, and shortly thereafter, and share with you, many who were also a bit distracted after the storm, some of the good stuff we have been unknowingly sitting on, in one fell swoop.
We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and continue to look for ways to help, and ways to spread the word. In the meantime, here’s a recap of some of the music that came out right around the time that Sandy blew into town. We hope, as music often has the ability to do, it serves as a nice distraction.
– Manny Faces & Steven Ortiz
ACTION BRONSON VIDEO: THE SYMBOL
Fresh off his new deal with Vice Records, Action Bronson drops the video for “The Symbol” directed by the supremely talented Rik Cordero. Action Bronson seems to be having a blast in this entertaining throwback to cheesy exploitation movies of the ’70s. This first single off the Action Bronson/Alchemist collaboration, Rare Chandeliers mixtape is a head nodder for sure.
STYLES P VIDEO: ARAAB STYLES
Sometimes surprises us how Styles P stays so consistently good after all these years. Dropping another street tale, this video for “Araab Styles” is the accompaniment to the AraabMuzik produced single off The World’s Most Hardest MC Project. This is a classic ‘don’t mess around with my money’ video, but what makes it convincing is that Styles P is Still. Just. So. Hard.
KONCEPT VIDEO: WATCH THE SKY FALL FT. ROYCE DA 5’9″
The Marco Polo-produced “Watch The Sky Fall” is a contemplative head-nodder, brought to live in the Pace Rivers-directed video with a clever cinematic flip on things. Worth the listen, worth the watch and just another solidly dope notch on Koncept’s belt.
SAIGON VIDEO: RELAFRIENDSHIP
Sai-Giddy smooths it out on “Relafriendship,” taking us through the real talk about having to hold back feelings about the object of his homie-lover-friend fantasy. Friend-zone status, most of us have been there. Off Saigon’s Greatest Story Never Told 2: Bread and Circuses, currently on sale.
COLLETTE VIDEO: MATERIAL STAR (JUNETEENTH REMIX) FT. AKIL DASAN
We don’t get to feature too much R&B goodness on our e-pages. Occasionally, a nice R&B joint with a nice R&B feature can work it’s way in, which lightens up the hip hop-heavy vibe around here, and it’s shame we can’t cover it. Of course, when both the singer AND the featured artist decide to spit cool 16s, it suddenly enters our editorial jurisdiction, and when the joint is the super-smooth and sparkly “Material Star” and the artists are Collette and Akil Dasan, well, we’re glad Sandy didn’t make us miss this one. Off Collette’s Juneteenth Revolution, due out December 4.
KON BOOGIE: JACKIN’ 4 BEATS – ROUND 4: KANYE WEST
Instead of jackin’ for beats all willy nilly, Kon Boogie decided to theme his Jackin’ releases, spitting over tracks grouped together by producer. Starting his free, 5-part series with tracks by legendary producer J Dilla, Kon followed up with Hi-Tek and Nottz, before branching out a bit more mainstream, but no less sonically appealing, Kanye West. Check out Round 4 below, and keep up with all things Kon Boogie over at, fittingly, www.KonBoogie.com.
IRON SOLOMON: KILLER MIXTAPE
The respected and lyrically dangerous Iron Solomon, in conjunction with DJ Green Lantern an 2DopeBoyz, drops Killer, a 16-track mixtape featuring a couple tough features (Saigon, Emilio Rojas, Meyhem Lauren), thumping boom-bap and fiercely-delivered vocal grime. Catch the stream and download over at 2DopeBoyz.
DREW HUDSON: I’M JUST SAYING VIDEO
Got around to checking a submission from Drew Hudson, who was previously not on our radar. This OutBox Multimedia-directed video is a hodgepodge of imagery, matching the grungy and thought-provoking speech spit by Drew Hudson. Always good to hear an artist who has more on his mind than money, cars and hoes, I’m just saying…
JOEY BADA$$ VIDEO: FROMDATOMB$ FEATURING CHUCK STRANGERS
The DITC crew vibe of “Fromdatomb$” is indicative of the vibe that has grown Brooklyn teen Joey Bada$$’s buzz over that past year. A young, old-soul, Joey Bada$$ seems to have found the sweet spot of constructing music that perfectly appeals to old heads and new jacks, lyrically and musically. If you still haven’t drank the proverbial Kool-Aid, “Fromdatomb$” will certainly quench your thirst. From his outstanding 1999 mixtape.
REBEL DIAZ VIDEO: REVOLUTION HAS COME
Rebel Diaz always comes through with thoughtful and fiery rap rhetoric aimed at getting across a message many blissfully tend to ignore. Coupled with the good work the group does with their Bronx-based Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, Rebel Diaz has become one of the NY-area’s elite politically- and socially-minded hip hop groups.
Listen to the archive of the Sunday, 11/18 episode of THE NY HIP HOP REPORT, as Birthplace Magazine’s Manny Faces and Steve Ortiz discuss the items and artists in this article.