CAREER CROOKS - Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing
Career Crooks is the culmination of the longtime collaborative relationship between Zilla Rocca & Small Professor. "Good Luck With That" is the kind of brilliance that could only be born out of that specific type of familiarity. Small Professor's production is the spiritual cousin of RZA's work on "Cuban Linx" at times, harnessing the moody atmosphere that breathed life into that project, but simultaneously feels like twilight in Philadelphia. An undeniable declaration of one's own art.
Since receiving critical acclaim for their debut LP Good Luck With That, an album which was praised for the duo's classic east coast touch, and secured a spot on Bandcamp's 10
Best New Hip Hop Releases of 2017, Career Crooks (producer Small Professor and rapper Zilla Rocca) are back to prove that no idea is original. The two have kept busy throughout
2017, not only performing alongside Busdriver, Billy Woods, Quelle Chris, Elucid, and B Dolan, and releasing their LP, but also gearing up for their new air tight collection of
remixes, titled Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing.
The new single "Crook With a Deal", is a reworking of the 50 Cent and Mad Rapper classic "How to Rob", targeting indie rappers like Open Mike Eagle and Run The Jewels. The album
also features five in-house remixes from Small Pro and Zilla Rocca, draped in styles inspired by the likes of DITC and the Beastie Boys. Canadian MPC champ FreshKils also makes
an appearance and flips the fan favorite "Steve Martin" into a soundtrack for a car chase outside a Chemical Brothers show. Other remix features include DJ Manipulator, Willy,
Shane Great, Rolled Gold Beats, and John Morrison
The twelve track LP moves as fast as a cat with its tail on fire and maintains its own vibe while paying homage to that which has come before it. The group's primary sound encompasses
"...raw '90s flows while still maintaining a modern edge" (Philip Mylnar, Bandcamp.com).
HMLT x Kei-Li x Joyia - WEDNESDAY EP
HMLT, (pronounced "Hamlet") are a Toronto based RnB duo, comprised of brothers Corey and Taylor Wong. The two have been honing their soulful craft for some time, establishing themselves with previous releases while performing steadily throughout Toronto. Their most recent release, Wednesday EP, is a collaborative project with fellow Toronto RnB artists Kei-Li and Joiya.
Every Wednesday HMLT would pick up Kei-Li down the road. As they rolled through the backwoods, Joyia would anxiously await their arrival at "Wong Way Studios". With Kei-li and his overly heavy swing, Joyia's angelic whisper, and HMLT's unwavering loyalty to Ableton, together they bound their unique and special powers, creating what would be known as the Wednesday EP.
OBUXUM - H.E.R
OBUXUM is a Toronto based Somali-Canadian producer and beat maker, whose lush and characteristic sound celebrates story telling.
She has made her presence known with notable festival performances at Wavelength Festival, Kazoo! Fest, Electric Eclectics, and Venus Fest. NOW Magazine also recently included her in their list of Toronto electronic musicians to watch in 2018.
OBUXUM's latest EP, H.E.R., released via URBNET in 2018, embodies her inspirations and reflections, to the feel of a rhythmic pulse. She tells her un-silenced story of what it is to navigate this world as a Somali-Canadian womxn.
"The blk, brwn, and indigenous womxn have inspired me endlessly to remain courageous, daring and bold. That's what she represents".
H.E.R. exemplifies OBUXUM's progression as an artist, by building on her previous works, Luul, ITIYAMA, and 2991. The record carries through an alternative blend of hip-hop and electronics, creating a raw and unnameable vibe.
MOKA ONLY - CONCERT FOR ONE INSTRUMENTALS
Moka Only has released an instrumental version of his latest LP, Concert For One, via URBNET. Concert For One (Instrumentals) is set for
digital release on July 6th 2018 and as a limited edition vinyl on August 17th 2018. The self-produced record is packed with stand-alone
characteristic beats, proving that the beats themselves have just as much story as the vocals.
"In this stage of my life there is much more reflection and contemplation, and I really feel that I was very open and unguarded on this
album. As much as I love all the completed songs with the vocals, the beats on here hold enough detail to speak on their own."
Concert For One (Instrumentals) will be available on digital/cassette on July 6th 2018 via URBNET shop and August 17th on vinyl LP through
Fat Beats Distribution.
MOKA ONLY - CONCERT FOR ONE
Moka Only's latest album Concert for One, is set for release on September 1st 2017 via URBNET. As the follow up to his 2016 '12 for 12' opus, Concert for One delivers with such admirable tenacity, something that fans are accustomed to from the powerhouse artist. Notably so, this full-length twenty-track album features a guest collaboration from Detroit's own Dank (from Frank n Dank), and artwork from Montreal's Vanessa Malo (Instagram: @vnilla_art). Concert for One is available now on vinyl, CD, and cassette
EYTREG - One's Hidden Agony
Teppei Sano, or EYTREG (8-reg), as he is better known by in the music world, is a Japanese beat maker, born and raised in Niigata, Japan. He currently resides in Toyko,
and has actively been releasing music since 2015, including a 28-track retrospective compilation with Inner Ocean Records, and as part of Fuzzy Scope's "Earwax Shelf Life"
project. EYTREG's music is an extraction of jazz, soul, RnB, and trap music, with inspiration and cues from legendary hip-hop predecessors. His unique method of
restructuring these genres and sounds results in the innovative creation of something that is his very own.
CHESS CLUB - These Flowers Are For You
Hip Hop has not traditionally thrived in St. John's, Newfoundland, but for the individual members of ChessClub (Andrew Lahey, Matthew Murphy, James Piercey and producer Adrian Gagnon), who grew up there, hip-hop is how they found each other. The four piece now call Toronto home, and with fifteen years of collective writing, musings, and perhaps a few rebirths, ChessClub are all too ready to release their sophomore album, These Flowers Are For You.
ELAQUENT - CELEBRATE LIFE!
Elaquent kicks off 2018 with his latest EP, Celebrate Life! The six-track record is set for release on March 2nd 2018, via URBNET, and is available for pre-order through the URBNET shop. Celebrate Life! is born out of reflection and graciousness, as expressed by Elaquent,
"Life sucks sometimes. With all the depressing things that happen throughout the world, to people you know, to yourself even, it's important to take a moment and appreciate the beautiful things the world has to offer, to prevent from going crazy. Stay positive, celebrate life".
Celebrate Life! features collaborations with notable producers K, Le Maestro and Dibiase, and will be made available via digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl.
MOKA ONLY - Martian XMAS 2017
mx2017. This season marks my 13th edition of martian xmas. Crazy, and with my schedule this fall it's a wonder that I was able to pull it off.
I've been going back through previous editions and listening to the evolution of martian albums over the years. Many of the earlier ones had a
lot more silliness in the lyrics and over the years that silliness switched from the lyrics into the dialog samples and bits moreso. This year's
martian is a real mixed bag. Eclectic. In addition to all the newly crafted tracks, I was able to comb the vaults and found a few extra leftovers
from the last two years as well and, I was able to do some edits to bring them 'up to date', so to speak. Dave Psy made a new contribution but, I
couldn't seem to make it work within the context of the album. Jingbell of Yaggfu front was slated to make an appearance too but, I simply ran out
of time. You may notice that this time around there are some tracks that are more topical than the usual random fare such as 'timepieces',
'astromartian' and 'dress better'. I don't feel it was an intentional effort to focus on clearer subject matter, just a natural progression.
All in all, I'm happy with the outcome of this project and, I hope you will be too. Til next time... The Martian' aka Kareem Serene, aka Moke.
Ill Sugi has been DJ'ing in Tokyo since 2006, and has gained in international popularity, particularly throughout Europe and North America. In addition to working with prominent artists in Japan, such as Budamunk on the 2016 URBNET release of "Spirit of the Golden Era", Ill Sugi has also worked with many talented artists and producers overseas. In 2013 he released "Stiff Fingers" LP via the established record shop Jazzy Sport in Japan. More recently, in 2015 he collaborated with the prestigious beat label Radio Juicy, in releasing LP City Mind with Bugseed, and produced "Universal Language", a full length release from San Fransisco's Dregs One
DAN-E-O - DEAR HIP-HOP: 20 YEARS LATER
On November 5, 1996, Toronto-based label, Beat Factory released the seminal Canadian hip-hop compilation, Rap Essentials Volume One. Helping to further energize the already-established careers of such north-of-the-border lyrical heavyweights as Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Ghetto Concept and Rascalz, the album is also credited for launching the career of Scarborough lyricist, Dan-e-o.
With his featured single, "Dear Hip Hop", Dan-e-o immediately cemented himself as one of Canada's premier MCs. A quasi-love letter to the music and culture he adores, the Scam-produced single has stood the test of time and has garnered itself "classic" status in the annals of Canadian hip-hop history.
Dear Hip Hop: 20 Years Later is a unique combination of re-mastered gems recorded during the mid-90's and brand new golden era-esque bangers, which include "Rap Essentials", an ode to the compilation that started it all with alumni, Mathematik and Deuce Deuce of Concrete Mob and a symbolic tribute to J Dilla entitled "Spit' featuring the late legend's brother, Illa J.
DFF3 - SMALL WORLD (Produced by. LATE NIGHT RADIO)
Def3 returns to the limelight with his highly anticipated follow up record, "Small World", set for release on Friday July 21st via URBNET. In addition to being produced by Late Night Radio, one of Colorado's most prolific electronic producers, known for his innovative and funky cuts, Small World features a few more friends of hip hop, such as Masta Ace, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mystic, and Skratch Bastid to name a few. Small World will be available via digital, cassette, CD, and vinyl.
AUXX - 23/09
Auxx's latest accomplishment 23/09 is no light feat; Sterling deals with a heavy hand of mixed experiences, and he encompasses raw themes into his music to produce a multi-faceted sound. "The day I'd officially moved to a new city, was the same day I'd later found out a family member passed away. It inspired me to question and explore unexpectedness, danger and mortality, the key foundations to curating the album, 23/09". Rather than tribute, I decided to write a project that explores this phase of surrealism through the musical genres and styles I have been closely familiar with - from the statements and sinister atmospheres on "Black Wings", to tracks such as "Lilith" - representing the closure of consciousness, knowing of its surrealism and unfamiliar outcome."
MR.BRADY SPEECHLESS (instrumentals)
For many years, Mr. Brady has been a staple in the hip-hop game, and has consistently found ways to reinvent himself and stay relevant. Many know Mr. Brady solely as an Emcee from albums such as Dirty, released via Battle Axe Records, or from his work with super collective Deep Rooted. What many fans might not know is that this multi-talented artist also uses his abilities to create the roots of his art. With just about every release of his own, Mr. Brady holds the feat of handling a majority of the production, which is what lead to the inevitable and much welcomed release of his instrumental studio album, Speechless.
PREM ROCK & FRESH KILS - LEAVE IN TACT The Remix Collection
Following the accolades of "Leave in Tact", which included feats of an extended stay on the couch of the CMJ charts, and reached ears from Boise to Berlin, and Crown Heights to Copenhagen, the North American tag-team PremRock and Fresh Kils, have successfully corralled the best and brightest in hip-hop, to help re- imagine choice cuts from their debut record.
The wildly impressive list of heavy hitters adding their signature flair to the project includes the likes of Mello Music Group's in house wizard, L'Orange (Kool Keith, Mr.Lif), seminal favourites Chicago's Maker (Qwel, Glue), Blockhead (Aesop Rock), Willie Green (billy woods, Open Mike Eagle), Elaquent, 2oolman (A Tribe Called Red), and veteran of The Six, Junia T.
"The Remix Collection" boasts a strong addition to the pair's already robust resume, and as they set their sights on another ambitious tour with contemporaries' billy woods and Henry Canyons, their prospects only continue to grow.
If you missed "Leave in Tact" due to the avalanche of the election fallout, or perhaps because of the shared release date with a comeback album from the greatest group of all time, you are forgiven, but do take this chance to catch up.
DAVEPSY Extended Playpen (Produced by Moka Only)
Seattle based rapper davepsy [The Oddities/The Nope] teams up with Vancouver's Moka Only on a new 14 track LP entitled "Extended Playpen". The album is produced entirely by Moka Only and contains guest features from 10isee Williams, Blu & Ahmed.
"I called Moka and said I was ready to do a solo project, and I wanted him to produce it, all the way. Give me the 'Pete Rock treatment', so to speak. I really wanted him to be in on the whole thing. This was a challenge, being that we never actually got in a room together for any of this (unlike The Nope albums, which were all recorded together at Moke's studio). He would send me beats, I'd write and record, then send him vox back to mix. These tracks were all recorded between December 2015 and December 2016. The content ranges from the writing process, to societal ills, to wordplay cuz it's good, to dropping inhibitions and chasing dreams, thinking positive, sex, grocery shopping, parenting, and just doing art to make life a little bit easier, and more colorful. Oddly enough(dot com), none of the songs are about my dad, but he was most definitely a catalyst. My solo cuts at the beginning and end of the record are probably the most personal of the bunch. Some of the content is straightforward--plenty of it is inside, cryptic. Moka whooped up some real goodies for me to blabber over. Producer of the year after year, after year. He's the hardest trooper for this rap sh*t, and it shows with every release." - davepsy
BUDAMUNK & ILL SUGI - SPIRIT OF THE GOLDEN ERA
URBNET proudly signs Japanese beat maker/producer duo BudaMunk & ill Sugi and launches their new album Spirit of the Golden Era on March 25th, 2016. The release will be available on limited edition cassette and digital download.
The 90s were, in many ways, the golden era of HipHop music -- a time when its expression was still pure and raw. BudaMunk is one of the rightful heirs to that golden era, and together with the younger Nasty Ill Brother Sugi (who has also studied HipHop's lineage) the two artists form an intergenerational sound that honors the soul of HipHop's remix legacy. Excavating beats from the dusty depths of HipHop's past, the duo refashioned forgotten beat-styles (like the "boom bap") to vibrate once again in a manner that is very different from contemporary offshoots of the sound. The "boom bap" was never truly gone-it just fell out of style. But it has returned and found a new home in the aesthetic spirit, vision and composition of BudaMunk and Ill.Sugi. These beats will surely put the diaphrams of your audio equipment to work!
BREVNER - BREVNER EP
With the few successes of Vancouver's remote hip-hop scene fading away into history, Matt Brevner's arrival in marked the start of a new generation of game changers for the city. Shaped by his Trinidadian and Japanese roots, Brevner's gritty honesty, matched by his consistent hustle, set a new standard for the underground.
MYKA 9 & FACTOR - Famous Future Time Travel
Famous Future Time Travel is Myka 9 & Factor's latest collaboration and debut UBRNET release. Famous Future Time Travel could be the duo's best work yet, with a banging and fresh West Coast hip hop feel. This hip hop duo's last joint-effort, on the critically acclaimed album Sovereign Soul, hit #1 on the CMJ Charts. No doubt Famous Future Time Travel will soon boast the same.
Myka9 is a rapper and producer from Los Angeles, California and co-founder of the legendary hip hop crew, Freestyle Fellowship. Myka 9 has been bringing innovation and his dope skills to the world of hip hop for over two and half decades. Whether Myka 9 is snarling, scatting or singing into the mic, he is always delivering hot and clever lyrics in his signature jazz-influenced style.
Factor Chandelier is a Saskatoon-based producer who started out as a DJ in 1998 and is now one of Canada's most notable independent hip hop producers. Known for his distinct style and progressive beats, Factor is in-demand and prolific, having an impressive array of both solo and collaborative projects in his discography.
Famous Future Time Travel is available May 19th, 2015 on CD, limited edition cassette and digital download on the URBNET Shop!