Dave Ghetto – Love Life? (CD) (2005) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

Dave Ghetto - Love Life

New on Counterflow. Riding on the Plantlife wave of appreciation comes emcee Dave Ghetto. ‘Love Life?’ is straight out of the early Mos Def’ school (around the time of ‘Universal Magnetic’) but with an rnb influence. Heads that be down with early Mos who also dig Plantlife will love this album, a choice selection of boombeat soulful head knod tracks alongside more live sounding jams. Thirteen tracks with vocal guest spots from Phonte (Little Brother), Mystic, Basic Vocab, Cee-Lo Green, Fantab, Fel Sweetenberg, L Dorado, Yan Zarah and Plantlife’s Jack Splash & Dena Deadly. Quality material.

The world is a ghetto, just like the 70s band War used to say. We live in a global neighborhood where there are more ghettos in the world than upper-class enclaves, sleepy suburban tract homes and middle-class row houses combined. Dave Ghetto repping Camden, New Jersey brings forth his solo debut. “Love Life?” is warm and filled with real soul while still keeping the subject matter raw and gritty much like the city that produced this witty wordsmith. The musical backdrop and features are provided by Tony Galvin, Denaun Porter (D12), 9th Wonder, Square, Cee-Lo Green, Phonte of Little Brother, Mystic, YahZarah , each bringing their talents adding to the classic sound of “Love Life?” as a whole cohesive unit. His album is already being compared to many classics, reconfirmed by many features in magazines. “Love Life?” caters to EVERYONE. This album is not targeted to one niche, IT IS MUSIC and already getting huge acclaim: • “Dave Ghetto is street, lyrical, floetic, and brings me home to the game naturally” – Fat Joe • “DG brings me back to the HIP HOP I love to produce, Heads will be bobing.” – Just Blaze • “Dave Ghetto is simply the truth…this is what hip hop needs…dope beat wit dope lyrics…this went into my rotation from day 1” – DJ Jazzy Jeff • “Dave Ghetto is one of the flyest emcees I know. Some rappers (like Jigga & Mos) are just soooo natural and Dave is definitely one of those emcees. Whether he’s uplifting the young cats with one of his classic stories or just making a party jam he’s always so finesse about it. I wish hip hop had more emcees like Dave!!!” – Jack Splash of Plantlife • “Dave is part of what’s good with Hip-Hop. It’s been a long time coming but he has arrived with styles that remind me why I love this craft.” – Mystic

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Kutmasta Kurt Presents: Masters Of Illusion – Masters Of Illusion (CD) (2000) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

Kutmasta Kurt - Masters of Illusion Front

Masters of Illusion is the self-titled debut album by American hip hop group Masters of Illusion (producer Kutmasta Kurt and rappers Kool Keith & Motion Man), released in 2000. The album features no guest emcees, but does feature DJ cuts/scratches by DJ Revolution, DJ Babu and DJ Rhettmatic.

San Francisco’s KutMasta Kurt is most renowned for being the sound provider for Kool Keith’s numerous aliases, Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom, and Black Elvis. However, if his stock was measured solely by the amount of requests for remixes that he receives, then Kurt’s NASDAQ rating would make any Fortune 500 company blush (his portfolio includes the Beastie Boys and Dilated Peoples, among many others). For his debut, Masters of Illusion, Kurt does not stray far for lyrical reinforcement, plucking dysfunctional associates Kool Keith and independent circuit vet Motion Man. While many will not subscribe to their misogynistic, bugged-out rhetoric, the backpacking element this triumvirate caters to will undoubtedly become smitten with the guilty pleasures they provide. Kurt saturates Masters of Illusion with a host of minimalist grooves, exemplified by the tribal drums of “Urban Legends” and the oriental-flavored “We All Over.” Yet, it is Kurt’s array of sinister keyboard stabs (“Masters of Illusion”) and sublime organ samples (“Partna’s Confused”), in turn spliced and juggled by DJ Revolution, that exhibit the true depth of his diverse production. Though the producer-based compilation has become hip-hop’s latest rage (Pete Rock, DJ Muggs, Prince Paul, Easy Mo Bee, and Dame Grease), this underground supergroup’s well-formed chemistry distinguishes Masters of Illusion from the accessories in an overcrowded format.

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Madrok – Knowledge To Noise (1992) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

Alex Henderson@allmusic: ”Although Madrok came out of the Southern California rap scene of the late ’80s, it would have been easy to mistake his debut album, Knowledge to Noise, for the work of an East Coast rapper. Like so many MCs coming out of New York and Philadelphia at the time, Madrok favors a complex, cerebral style of rapping and places a lot of emphasis on technique. The impressive flow that he brings to tunes like “The Dopesmith,” “Crazy Mental,” “Fruit of Diligence,” and “Checkmate!” reminds one of Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and yet, it’s clear that Madrok is very much his own man. The CD had a gem of a single in “Skin Tight,” a hip-hop remake of the Ohio Players’ 1974 hit that features some of the Players themselves. On the whole, Knowledge to Noise is very much a hardcore rap effort and offers little in the way of R&B or pop embellishments, but “Skin Tight” had considerable R&B appeal and should have been warmly embraced by radio. It was certainly one of 1992’s best rap singles, but unfortunately, it fell through the cracks, as did the album itself.”

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The Primeridian – Da AllNighta (CD) (2005) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

All Natural’s latest release, The Primeridian’s “Da All Nighta”, sticks to the label’s familiar, time-tested recipe: smart, savvy, and soulful. In this follow-up to their debut, 2001’s “I’ll Meet You in Greenwich”, the Windy City duo achieves a refreshing level of intelligence and maturity. “Grown-ass man music”, if you will. And while they might have aged a little TOO well, their unique style is a respectable change of pace from today’s overdone, plastic hip-hop scene.

The Primeridan, comprised of double-threat emcee/producers Jaime Roundtree (Tree the Scarecrow) and Simeon Viltz (See-Me-On aka V), pay their respects to the lost art of musicianship, injecting their own live instrumentation into the usual production techniques. This gives the album an organic feel that’s palpable throughout.

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