Free Download:Braille-Native Lungs

braille-native lungs

One of the hardest working men in the Hip-Hop scene is back with the album of his career. Braille has been a staple in the underground scene since way before we started this website, and with Native Lungs, he shows us why he is still the man. Its honest, intense, and deep every single moment, and like the rest of the music on Humble Beast (the label that Braille himself helped start) it is leaps and bounds ahead of its peers. If you dont like Hip-Hop that makes you think, dont download this. If you dont like emcees who talk about their struggles and stand for good, then dont download this.

If you like rap, dont download this.

If you love HIP-HOP, then why are you still reading this. the link is down there

Check out the video for the first single “Feel It”

Download Native Lungs by Braille

While you are waiting for the download to finish, watch the making of Native Lungs in the videos below




Playdough Interview

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So, I’m a blessed guy. When I was growing up and first getting into hip-hop, two of my favorite artists where Playdough and Pigeon John.   I interviewed  Pigeon a few years back, but I was really excited to pick Playdough’s brain finally.  Playdough has been around for a long time, first performing in the folk/hip-hop duo Ill Harmonics (of which I saw twice, be jealous).   At the same time, and also currently, he performed as one of the 10 emcees in Deepspace5.  After a few years, Playdough finally went solo, and dropped two massive LPs before seemingly disappearing from the scene. Then suddenly in 2010, it seemed like you couldn’t listen to anything good, hip-hop wise, without hearing Playdough‘s name.  2011 is the coming of his finest work yet, Hotdoggin, and it appears that Playdough hasn’t missed a beat. Enjoy learning more about this amazing emcee and artist.

ONE21Music:How did you get started in hip-hop?
Playdough:I fell in love with Hip-Hop when I was in grade school. I had to do a sock puppet skit for my class and I made mine a rap. My teachers were bugging out and I got such a good grade that I felt like I was on to something. From then on I was rapping.

ONE21:You started out in Ill Harmonics, and are currently on the roster of Deepspace5, how does your work in these groups differ from your work as a solo artist? Do you think you work in both groups influence what you do today as an artist?

Playdough:My work in both groups definitely influences what I do as a solo artist, or maybe it’s the other way around. With ill harmonics I really got to explore doing music and song structure and the value of live instrumentation. With Deepspace5 there’s always an unspoken feeling of trying to shine on a track with dudes that are 10 times better than me in 10 different ways and do things that I can’t do. It’s healthy and fun. As a solo artist I can combine what I’ve learned from both crews and add some things that don’t necessarily fit into those projects. The live instrumentation and musicality of ill harmonics combined with the hard bars of Deepspace5.

ONE21:You are a Texas boy right? Does your location influence your writing style?
Playdough: I live in Dallas. I was definitely influenced by some more southern style drums and felt I could rhyme a little different on those beats then what people were used to hearing me do. There’s a handful of tracks like that on this album.

ONE21:We love Lonely Superstar (it was featured on our Essential 100 list), what was it like putting that album together? Were you happy with the end result?
Playdough:I was very happy with how that album turned out. It was really a lot of ideas, verses and songs that I had been writing or at least working on since I was a teenager. Some were just me experimenting in the studio and really getting to enjoy the fact that I was working on the solo project that I’d wanted to do for so long. Other songs like “Mr. Mike R. Fone” were poems that I had written when I was learning about rhyming and writing. Looking back there are certain lines that seem a little silly but I think any artist looking back at their earlier work has things that they would have done a little differently. You just grow and learn. Overall I’m blessed that the album was so well received. It literally took me all over the world and helped lay the foundation for what I’m doing today.

ONE21:It has been several years since we have heard from you as far as new music goes, what have you been up to?
Playdough:I’m a family man. I love my family and being a dad. When Don’t Drink the Water came out my son was a baby. I stopped going on the road as much because I really wanted to be there for him and my family in a time that I thought was crucial for me to make sure my son had his Dad around. During that time I was writing, producing and recording new material. In the past year I’ve released 3 solo projects and a Deepspace5 album. The whole time people didn’t have new Playdough material but I was busy making it, I just wanted to be strategic about releasing it so it’s all come out within this past year.

ONE21:Last year you released two albums for free (The Bible Bus Mixtape and Writer Dye, both of which made our end of the year “Best Of” lists), how did those projects come together? Why release them for free?
Playdough:For the Bible Bus Mixtape I used other artists beats that I’d always wanted to rhyme over. The other beats were either B sides or songs that I’d collected from different compilations or situations that the general public hadn’t gotten to hear. Some were originally for Hotdoggin but got cut earlier in the process so I used them for the mixtape.
Writer Dye came about because I had the idea to use other bands lyrics and turn them into hooks for a hip-hop album. For Beats Sake did all the production on that one. I wanted to do another free release to follow Bible Bus and I figured since I was using other people’s lyrics that it made sense for me to use that project as the next freebie.
I put them both out for free because it had been so long since I’d released any solo material that I wanted to let the world know I’m still here and still growing as an artist. My fans have followed me and supported me for a while but I wanted to introduce myself to people that may not be familiar with my work. If I made it free then they had nothing to lose in giving it a listen. The hope was that the two freebies would get everyone excited about my next official studio album Hotdoggin.

ONE21:That brings us to Hotdoggin, how did this album together?
Playdough:I’ve been working on this album for a long time. I wanted to show people that I’m more versatile than some of my past solo projects have shown me to be. I made beats, bought beats, wrote hooks, bridges, choruses and then rewrote some, added live instrumentation and really tried to stretch myself.

ONE21:Is there an overall theme in Hotdoggin? What were some of then ideas you were trying to express in the songs?
Playdough:There’s no official theme. I intentionally wrote songs in good times, tough times, regretful and disappointing times of my life to convey the emotions that we all experience in life. The contrast of the day to day. So it’s really about putting all of me in the music and comparing that to a hotdog being made out of everything. It’s a flawed man who loves God, his family and life and wants to offer something of use to the LORD and the listener.

ONE21:What is the title track about?
Playdough:Putting everything I have into my music. Just like a hotdog is all parts of whatever animal a hotdog is made from. My music is all parts of me whether they be mistakes or victories, regrets or success. Hoping we can learn from it all. I know people are just like me so I wanted them to know I’m just like them. We’re human, I’m just really good at rapping. It’s also meant to be a light hearted song that allows me to show off a little bit of word play.

ONE21:Who is Harry Krum?
Playdough:That’s a great question. He does a lot of my production and has always been my go to producer. He also handles my booking and other day to day business dealings.

ONE21:How much control do you have over the beats on your projects? Has your involvement in that process changed over the years?
Playdough:100% control. I’ve always maintained that. Even when labels would try to accomplish an agenda that was different from mine, it’s always come down to me.
ONE21: What is your writing process as far as coming up with beats? There are alot of layers in your songs, so how long does it usually take you to create a song?
Playdough:I’m a pretty fast writer. Sometimes the hook just hits me and I can’t stop. Other times I may write a verse and lay a rough vocal to see if it’s worth persuing and go back later to fill in the gaps.

Some beats are done when I hear them. If I add additional instrumentation it varies. I’ll have players lay parts down and then go back and sample the new parts to chop them and use my MPC to replay them.

ONE21:Hotdoggin is out, so what is the next step for Playdough?
Playdough:I’ll be touring and supporting this album on the road. Working on new music at some point but I’m not thinking too hard about the next music I make just yet. I’ll be working this album for a while.

For the next part of the interview, I asked Playdough: some more genreal “survey” questions on a few topics that are near and dear to our heart

ONE21:Why hip-hop?
Playdough:Hip-Hop is the only music that ever inspired me enough to give it a shot. Hip-Hop isn’t just the music I chose to do, it’s my culture and everything I know. I’m in it, I live it and I love it so even if I tried to do something else it would still come out as Hip-Hop in some way.

ONE21:Whats good in music right now?
Playdough:You tell me. I’ve been working so hard I feel like my head’s been in the sand a little. I like the classic stuff, hip-hop and classic rock. I also like anything Jack White, Paris Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, The Black Keys, PacDiv, J. Cole, Coldplay and all the usuals. Anything with good writing and soul.

ONE21: What would be your dream project?
Playdough: I’d love to work with Jack White. Just vibe out and see where it goes.

ONE21:Is the digital age of music one that helps or hinders the artist?
Playdough:That question can only be answered when you’re comparing the way artist’s sales were and what they are now. If you just take the way things are right now for what they are then digital is great for artists. It’s a whole new world.

ONE21:Who is Jesus to you?
Playdough::This shouldn’t be a hard question to answer but it is. I guess it’s kind of hard to put into words because He’s so much to me that I don’t want to sound cliche and say He’s my life, though He is. He’s my hope, my future, my ransom and my example. In Him I live, move and have my being. He’s my reason.

Shad Posts New Music Video

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Below is the latest music video from Canadian emcee Shad with the song “We, Myself, & I”. This is the third video to come from Shad‘s latest album, TSOL, which was released in Canada earlier this year and will hit stateside October 5th, 2010.

I watch and listen to a ton of hip-hop and rap for this website, and admittedly I dont post alot of it. I am a huge fan of the genre, and since its core element is words, the potentially for this music to be used for the Kingdom is staggering. However, more often I see artists trying to make their songs into pop, turn the focus inward, or worse yet not utilize their music as an art form rather than a formula. That last sentence may be a little convoluted, but if you are reading this and listen to hip-hop the way I do I think you will understand.

The point is that I see none of these trappings in Shad. He is fun, honest, socially aware, intelligent, and most of all seems to not be confused with his role as a believer and a rapper. Shad‘s stuff is not ministry focused, but rather he just speaks earnestly about the world around him, and lets God shine through. Enjoy!

We Myself, & I

as a bonus I decided to post the other two music videos from Shad‘s upcoming TSOL, in the hopes that you will go pick it up on October 5th!

Rose Garden

Yaa I Get It

Free Download: Jerrell Johnson-Peanut Butter & Jealousy

jerrell-johnson-peanut-butter-and-jealousy-mixtape

This was a late comer this week. Jerrell Johnson is an ex battle rapper turned believer with alot to say through his art. If you have ver downloaded anything from this website, you will you I always try to find quality stuff for you guys, and this is no different. Peanut Butter & Jealousy may seem silly, or hipster from the first look, but there is so much depth to this release.

First and foremost, the beats are awesome; smooth, jazzy, interesting. It reminds me alot of DJ Shadow or Tribe Called Quest. Jerell‘s voice is pleasant, smooth, and fluid. What makes this one special is that Mr. Johnson has a a lot of quality stuff to talk about. There are very few songs on here that dont have some kind of directed message. He is trying to reach out to the youth of America and let them know that God loves them, and that the chaos around them is all part of the plan.

If you are into smooth, substantial hip-hop, you will love this!

Download Jerrell Johnson-Peanut Butter & Jealousy

Deepspace5 Announce New Album/Release Music Video

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The underground hip-hop supergroup known as Deepspace5 (members include: manCHILD and Dust of Mars Ill fame, Playdough, Sev Statik, Beat Rabbi, Freddie Bruno, Sivion, sintax.the.terrific, Manwell?, and Listener) announced recently that they would be releasing a new album, The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be through Mega Royal Records, April 27th, 2010. They also made the first single off that album “From The Outside” into a really cool music video, which you can see below. ENJOY!!

Sho Baraka Readies New Album

Below is the tracklisting and album artwork from Reach Records hip-hop artist Sho Baraka‘s upcoming, March 30th 2010, release entitled Lions & Liars.

shobaraka lions and liars

1. Extinction Intro
2. Lion’s Anthem
3. Famous ft. Erica Cumbo
4. Shut Us Down ft. Lecrae, After Edmund
5. We Can Be More ft. J.R.
6. Mercy On Me ft. Chinua Hawk
7. I’m Black (A word from Tom Ason)
8. My Life (Nice Aim) ft. PRo
9. Me, Myself and I
10. Liar’s Anthem
11. BOYS!!! (A word from Propaganda)
12. Revolutionary Died ft. Trip Lee
13. Oh Well
14. The Rising ft. Trip Lee, Erica Cumbo
15. I.T.W.N.O.I. ft. Tedashii, R-Swift, Benjah, Honey LaRochelle
16. Half of Me ft. McKendree Augustas, Muche
17. 4ever Is 2morrow ft. JAMM
Bonus:
18. Word
19. Kobe Bryant On ‘Em ft. K-Drama
20. Feel So Alone ft. BenJah, Miss LuLu, Conviction
21. I See The Lord (Remix) ft. Quiana Fields

for more new releases, please check out our ALBUM RELEASE DATES page to stay up to date on all the new music coming out

Yunek Posts New Music Video

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Below is the latest music video from R&B/hip-hop artist Yunek with her song “Straddle The Fence”. The video and the song deal with the duality of loving God and truely meaning it, but at the same time getting continually sucked into life choices that don’t reflect Him. Video is really well made, and I’m kind of digging the song…hope we hear more from Yunek soon….ENJOY!

Rhema Soul Ready New Album

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for hip-hop group Rhema Soul‘s upcoming, March 30th, 2010 release entitled Fingerprints. Rhema Soul‘s first album was a free album on our website for a time, and if Fingerprints is anything like it, then expect some bangin’ beats, and some real TRUTH.

RS-Fingerprints-PRINT Layout.indd

1. Intro
2. Neva Lay Low
3. Fly Away
4. Champion
5. Boom Box
6. Let Me Live
7. Sky’s Not the Limit ft. Eddienigma
8. Spotlight
9. Shorty’s Lost ft. G-Styles
10. Why’s It Gotta Be So Hard
11. Blow Your Whistle
12. My Beat Go ft. G-Stlyes
13. Fingerprints
14. I Hope
15. Save Me

for more new releases, please check out our ALBUM RELEASE DATES page to stay up to date on all the new music coming out

Alan C. Duncan Posts New Music Video

Alan C Duncan

Below is a new music video from Alan C. Duncan with his song “Fresh Air”. Very upbeat, interesting little tune indeed, ENJOY!

The Remnant Post New Music Video

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Here is the latest music video from underground hip-hop trio The Remnant with their song “Know This”. If you are a fan of Q-Tip, Jurassic 5, Playdough, or any other kind of jazzy rap, then you will love this. Man, I am totally into the way this video is shot…ENJOY!!