‘NY Loves Dilla’ at Inaugural Event Hosted by Ma Dukes


Words by Korby Benoit

Since my earliest experiences listening to acts like Run DMC, The Fat Boys and UTFO the sound of hip-hop always made sense to me.  No one had to explain it to me or tell me that this was the “cool” music to listen to. Hip-hop has provided my musical foundation and my entry into the world of the arts.

In the spring of 1996, I was a high school student attending the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. By that time, I was a hip-hop geek who took great pride in his TDK and Maxell cassette collection of rap radio shows. I used to record Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito, The Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth, and DJ Evil Dee on Hot 97. Nevertheless, it was another Hot 97 show that introduced me to James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a. Jay Dee the artist later known as J Dilla. Future Flavors was the show and it was hosted by two of the genre’s most important and influential producers, Marley Marl and Pete Rock.

As I recall, at some point during their mix, Marley and Pete got on the mic to announce they were about to play a remix by Jay Dee. While I don’t remember if this was a remix for De La Soul, Busta Rhymes or Keith Murray, I do remember the level of excitement in the voices of the two hosts. I remember enjoying the song and like hip-hop itself, the sound just spoke to me. Yet this time in a way that was a little different; The sound was more melodic and the bass groove was simply groovier than anything I’d ever heard. At the time, it sounded like hip-hop from the future. Later I learned that Dilla was also responsible for Pharcyde’s “Runnin,” which was already one of my favorite songs in their catalog. It was evident that the producer had emerged with a new sound that rap luminaries and fans loved and longed for.

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Throwback Thursday: Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Mama Zap at Giant Step SummerStage 2001


With the madness of the holidays behind us and Mother Nature giving us some weather related blues, we thought it would be a nice vacation for the soul to take this Throwback Thursday to revisit a particularly hot and humid summer night with Erykah Badu at Central Park.

There’s something special about summertime in New York. The city slows down and everyone’s a bit more carefree. It’s late in the season, and the long, sweltering days make us hesitant to venture from our little slice of heaven we’ve found in the closest air conditioning. It was a show not to be missed though, and everyone knew the promise of the night would be worth the heaviness in the air. It was August 6, 2001 and those that faced the above and underground temperatures made it to one of the city’s favorite escapes for the SummerStage concert series.

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Video: Talib Kweli – “Outstanding” ft. Ryan Leslie


With a new album called Prisoner of Conscious coming soon, Talib Kweli recently released a video for his most recent single, “Outstanding” featuring Ryan Leslie both singing and rapping. The video for the pop-leaning tune shows the gentlemen living large and partying in a giant home nestled amongst the trees. With beautiful women, of course.

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Union – “Time Leak” ft. Talib Kweli


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Union has dropped a triangle shaped single for their cosmic electronic “Time Leak” featuring Talib Kweli. The futuristic video above features a bluish lab with a noded up hot bald chick grooving on display.

Look out for their debut album also featuring MF Doom, Elzhi, and Guilty Simpson, to release later this year!

Purchase “Time Leak” (12″ Neon Triangle) on Fat Beats

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Video: DJ Shadow – “Border Crossing” + New Release


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When we look at DJ Shadow’s new video for “Border Crossing,” we feel like we might have teleported into a psychedelic version of M.A.S.H. The video and track release at an interesting political time for the United States, with an urgent, throbbing focus on immigration.

For those still not up on game, DJ Shadow also released his most recent album a few days ago, The Less You Know, The Better. The album spans an array of moods and genres it seems, including appearances from Tom Vek, Little Dragon, Talib Kweli & Posdnuos.

Purchase The Less You Know, The Better on iTunes | Amazon

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