VIDEO: Kanye West - Homecoming (feat. Chris Martin)

Exactly as I imagined it. Except for the silhouettes. 

3.31.08: AC and His New Soul

A few days ago I heard a Staten Island rapper had "sampled" that song from the Macbook Air commercials, "New Soul" by Yael Naim. Instantly, I thought "why?" 

Hmm, yeah. Thanks to AC, Staten's own, I have my answer. Oh, and did I mention he's calling in to FF tomorrow night? 

VIDEO: The Roots NYC Jam Session

I'm not really sure who over at OKP is producing these, but they're a great watch. Thought's still a beast, by the way.

Peace to OnSmash and Nah Right...

LIVE VIDEO: Jay Electronica & Just Blaze in NYC

Eh, I can't get the embed to work. 
Jay Electronica is performing live tonight with Mos Def at Nokia Theatre in NYC.
Just Blaze decided to document the preparation, and there's a live video over at the megatrondon blog.


Photo courtesy URB Magazine

VIDEO: L.G. Project & Guilty Simpson - Trusted (Lying Bitch)

As we gain popularity, we start to get the new exclusives. 
I got this one sent to me from the homie Dean over in the UK who's making music as Lidget Green Project
When I first heard the song, I thought, "nah, no way this shit can be real. It's too dope!"
I was wrong, those are actually Guilty's verses. And L.G. Project's got another single coming, this one with Craig G. Can you say sweeeeeet? 

And the video, it's a movie-mashup type ala Che Grand's ZFTP Theatre.

INTERVIEW: Torae & Marco Polo Pt. 2

Torae and Marco Polo at DC's Club Five

Right after I apologized for not preparing an interview for Marco Polo, Torae decided to take over the Q&A. This time, there was more room for humor as the two friends covered Marco's "smoking problem," his recent album Port Authority, and more on the Double Barrel LP.

Torae: Marco, why do you smoke so much?
Marco Polo: Um, because that's all I have left.

(I remind  the NY natives they can say whatever they want. We're uncensored after 8pm, for your information.)

T: Marco, why do your beats have that crazy knock the way they do?
MP: Because I have a lot of pent-up anger and frustration in my life.

T: Were you satisfied with the success of how Port Authority did into the stores and into the people?
MP: Absolutely not in the stores but for the people, yes. I feel like it reached the right people, I feel like people know me now because of that album if you hadn't heard of me and got the album you got the idea of what I'm bringing to the table as a producer and as an artist. So in that respect I was happy. Did I sell a lot of CDs and was the distribution good and all that other industry bullshit? No, but it's all good and you keep it moving and make new music.

T: No doubt. A lot of people say that you work with old rappers or old school artists. Why did you decide to work with the artists you did on Port Authority?
MP: I don't work with old artists or old school artists, I work with dope artists. So fuck all that bullshit, I work with people I want to work with. Anyone that's on my record I feel is relevant today, whether they were relevant ten years or now they're dope artists and we brought the best out of each other when we collaborated. That's my whole philosophy. 

T: I'm gonna cheat a little bit. I know you're working on Port Authority 2 kinda putting ideas together. Are you gonna work with new artists or are you gonna still keep it to the original vein of the first Port Authority album?
MP: I'm definitely not trying to reveal any names but you can expect some repeat appearances and definitely some new appearances but still keeping it in the same realm. Just some hip hop shit, I'm ain't with all that fucking new trendy hip hop bullshit. I make hip hop and that's just what I'm trying to focus on. Keep the same formula for any fans checking for it, you it's gonna be the same shit just bigger and better. More boom-bapping, angrier. It's gonna be shorter than the first one that's for sure. That's all I can really say at this point.

T: As far as new producers are concerned, you definitely high up there in the ranks of one of the dopest new producers out there. Explain to the people why you decided to work with Torae on the full-length LP when you could have worked with any other artist out there?
MP: I mean really having Torae around is good protection being a small dude in New York and that was the main...(Laughs) Nah, I'm just kidding. Yo, Torae's a beast on the real, his work ethic is crazy. As producer in the studio it's really important to be able to express ideas and to work with people that are open to suggestions. I think with me and him working in the lab, you know it's a two-way street. I bring the best out of him, he brings the best out of me. It's important to be able to make the best product and there's no egos involved when I work with Tor. We're just trying to make the best product possible and these days it's rare, especially with new artists, to have a lot of buzz like Torae to be grounded and to be able to do that. He has that humility in his life. He just wants to work hard and that's what I'm trying to do as well. I don't want no other bullshit, I just wanna make music. That's what we're about.

A big thanks goes out to Tor and Marco, two dudes making real, quality hip hop. Again, a reminder to go cop Torae's Daily Conversation and Marco Polo's Port Authority

INTERVIEW: Torae & Marco Polo Pt. 1

Tonight, at the last minute, I ran a few blocks up to Club Five with the homie Nyadenya. Five was hosting the Beatdown Producer Showcase, with appearances from Kev Brown, Best Kept Secret, and Marco Polo. After thinking we weren't getting it in, NYC emcee Torae meets us at the door and shows us upstairs. On my left, on my right; dope emcees and producers. After prepping the merch table, Tor and I sit down for a brief interview, which quickly turned into another interview...

jben.ok: Alright, man. Let's get right into it. You've been in the game for quite a long time. Is it purely my fault I just found out about you last year, or have you actually been hiding under a rock?
Torae: Last year was me coming out of the cocoon, you know what I'm saying, it was my birth. After a lot of years of grinding and hard work it finally materialized about last year, so you and the rest of the world you just got up on me.

J: Well the record is Daily Conversation, it's been out for a little while now. Just to clarify, is it an album or a mixtape?
T: Yes (laughs)

J: How did you choose Fat Beats as a distributor and are you planning on looking for a bigger deal?
T: Well, right now I'm really loving Fat Beats as a distributor. I decided to go with them after we put out the 12 inch and I saw how the business was and I saw they was straight up guys. I mean, like with the indie game pretty much everybody's gonna do the same thing as far as getting your record out there to the certain degree.So you gotta find people you got good relationships with, people that's personable and people you can sit down and talk to and get answers, so that's why I decided to go with Fat Beats. So right now, Fat Beats is good as a distributor, but of course we're always looking to get better.

J: Alright, with guests like Chaundon and 9th Wonder on Daily Conversation, are you at all affiliated with Justus League? If so, might we be hearing you on any Little Brother records anytime soon?
T: Yeah, yeah, J League is definitely the fam, shout out to the whole League. I was actually just out with Scudda and Dho last weekend, and Pooh and Tay too. Yeah, we working on something. I know Pooh got a record coming out, so you gonna hear me on his album. And you know, I got a Little Brother trick up my sleeve too. Justus League is the whole fam. Khrysis did like three joints on my album, and those are my people. I'm on 9th's album, that's love right there.

J: A lot of big collaborations. You've got the JL/LB connection, and sitting right next to me is Marco Polo spinning tonight. Let's talk about collabs real quick, how did you get together with Marco?
T: Marco and I actually met in the studio when we came into work on the eMC album. We met doing the skit; we just had a good kinship, a good connection. And right here, is my man Marco right here. (Marco Polo sits down next to Tor, suggests we move upstairs because the soundcheck is so damn loud.) This is my brother, my white brother. The end result is gonna be a crazy album for the people.

J: You touched on eMC a little bit. eMC dropped a crazy album with The Show...
T: Yeah, The Show is dope. I was there for a lot of the recording of the record and a lot of writing. You know, eMC is our big brothers, we about to go out to Europe with those brothers for a month. Make sure y'all go pick up The Show. Support that real hip hop shit, support Masta Ace. He's a legend and still relevant to this day. Of course, Punch and Word and Strick. Make sure y'all go support good hip hop music, word up.

J: Alright, well Skyzoo and DJ Premier show up on a few joints off the record. How'd you get together with Primo?
T: Preem just being a good DJ, all real DJs keep their ears to the street and Preem had his ears to the streets, he knew what was bubbling in the underground, which was Skyzoo and myself. He reached out to both of us and expressed he wanted to work on the record, of course we jumped on the opportunity to work on the record with Primo. Initially it was gonna be two separate records, but due to time constraints we had to mix it up and to do it together. The end result is "Click" and "Get It Done," I couldn't ask for anything better.

J: And one more artist, Tanya Morgan, they just dropped the Tanya Morgan Is A Rap Group Mixtape. What's it like working with TM, independent artists coming up big?
T: I mean, I respect their grind. They out there, they make sure they get their tours booked, they make sure they get their records out there, so I definitely respect the grind of TM. Von Pea is ill, he's got one of the illest voices to me in hip hop. I ain't even gonna talk about the lyrics because lyrically all of them are stupid. I can't wait till they get on a bigger platform so more people know about them. Yeah, definitely shout out to TM, those are my dudes.

J: Alright, well we're a DC radio show but we hear about NYC hip hop all the time and what it is and what it isn't. Are you bringing NY back or just bringing it a new perspective?
T: I don't know what bringing it back means. All I'm doing is putting out music that I feel. I grew up, listening to a certain type of music, a certain sound, and it invoked a certain emotion out of me. What I'm trying to do is pull that emotion out of the listening today.

J: Alright, we're gonna wrap it up here. Daily Conversation is in stores now and on iTunes. If you had one song on the album that you're most proud of on the record, which one would it be?
T: Wow, that's a great question, I don't think I've ever been asked that. All of the songs touch me in so many different ways. I'ma have to go with my top 3: "Get It Done" was the record that opened up a lot of eyes and ears. "Click," just because that's one of my all time favorites. I love the swing on that, I love the horns on that. I think me and Sky approached it crazily, as well as Preem. And "Tayler Made" would probably be the third one and that's just because it's dedicated to my daughter. I love her to death, shout out to Tay Tay, Nicholas what up!

J: So what's next for Torae?
T: Next is Marco Polo, we're in the lab right now cooking up something marvelous. We're about 60-70 percent done with the LP, titled Double Barrel. And that's it, that's what gonna be next....

Part 2 is coming later tonight with Torae interviewing Marco Polo.

LEAKED!: The Roots - Rising Up (feat. Wale & Chrisette Michelle)

Couldn't say it much better, 'Riq.

No mp3, because I'm waiting for the album. 
Search google if ya gotta.

VIDEO: The Roots Philly Listening Party

Dope little video from the recent listening party for The Roots tenth album, Rising Down, out April 29th on Def Jam. 
Watch for Black Thought at the end. Absolutely hilarious.

Video swiped from the new OKP blog, found here.

DOWNLOAD: 45 King vs. Wale (And Two Others)

I gotta check elitaste more often. 
Scion A/V, known for their dope mixtapes and goodies, bring us this new one featuring veteran hip-hop producer 45 King. (See "Stan")
6 tracks. 3 rappers. Guess who one of them is? 

Wale's gone from name-checking Alexander Ovechkin and Eric Lindros to Luc Longely and Manute Bol. Plus I'm almost positive he says "Muhsinah," in reference to the DC-area singer/producer. I could be very wrong, though.
Also featured: Toronto resident 4th Pyramid and NYC's Pase Rock.


1. 45 King vs. Wale – Roof 90 bpm
2. 45 King vs. Wale – Roof (DJ Ayres Remix) 111 bpm
3. 45 King vs. Wale – Strings 100 bpm
4. 45 King vs. Wale – Strings (In Flagranti Remix)-126 bpm
5. 45 King vs. Pase Rock –The 900 Number (2k8) 107-bpm
6. 45 King vs. Pase Rock – The 900 Number (2k8) (Eli Escobar Remix)-123 bpm
7. 45 King vs. 4th Pyramid – P-Y-R-A-M-I-D 115 bpm
8. 45 King vs. 4th Pyramid – P-Y-R-A-M-I-D (Sammy Bananas Remix) 123 bpm

3.25.08: FF 010

FF 010
Hosted by Nyadenya
8-10pm EST
WRGW Radio (The Official Campus Radio Station of The George Washington University)

I'm tired of changing plans. I want to apologize to our audience and I do hope we get back on track soon. I'll be sure to announce the Nicolay & Kay giveaway soon, but for tonight, you will not be hearing my voice on the radio waves. "...politics as us-u-al."

VIDEO: Guilty Simpson - Get Riches

I'm a little late on this one, but I've gotta say it's a pretty tight video. Featuring and produced by Mr. Porter.

Guilty Simpson's LP Ode to the Ghetto drops today. Figure out the best place to cop it on the Stones Throw website.

3.24.08: XM/Sirius Merger OK'ed, Not Official

Now that would be a dope logo, wouldn't it?

Over a year ago today, satellite radio subscribers first caught wind of a proposed Sirius/XM merger. Politicians screamed "noooo!" while consumers have patiently awaited the potentially frightening subscription costs. Although the U.S. Justice Department approved the merger this afternoon, there's still no answers on what subscribers will have to pay.

However, the companies said last year that they would be willing to offer a so-called "a la carte" price plan where consumers could pick certain packages ranging from $6.99 a month to $16.99 a month. The two companies have also maintained that a combined service offering the best of both companies' offerings will cost less than the $25.90 a month that a consumer would currently have to pay to subscribe to both Sirius and XM.

And one more thing: the FCC still has to approve the merger.

But the Federal Communications Commission must also approve the deal. The FCC has yet to make a decision on the merger and it could decide to place conditions on the deal. A spokesperson for the FCC was not immediately available for comment.

So why make this post? In case you didn't know, this blog is named after a weekly college radio program started by on-air personality/rapper The Great White Mark, who is now employed across town at the XM Radio headquarters. And ironically, Funkadelic Freestyles' newest host, myself, has a subscription to Sirius. That doesn't really mean anything, (and it's really not that ironic, duh), other than I can personally say I support the merger. And one day, perhaps I'd like to see myself sitting in front of a XM/Sirius microphone. 

Quotes swiped from

The Official A3C Mixtape

This past weekend the city of Atlanta, GA hosted the three-day A3C Festival, one of the biggest and best independent hip-hop festivals of 2008 so far. I was scheduled to head down south for that very event a few weeks ago, but plans changed and I rested my loins (anyone still use that term?) back home. From what I've heard, everything went incredibly well. 

Obvious highlight of the weekend? The Juice Crew reunion. Wooooow. (Minus Big Daddy Kane with a blood pressure problem. Get better, king.)

Once I get some more pictures (early shouts to Andy at FPM), I'll get them up here for y'all. Until then, download the official A3C mixtape, presented by HipHopDX and mixed by DJ Wristpect. Not your standard internet mixtape, this one's a worthwhile listen.

1. Holly Weerd – Weerdo
2. B.o.B - Haters Everywhere f. Wes Fif
3. Wale - Nike Boots (rmx) f. Lil Wayne
4. Re-Up Gang - 20k Money Making Brothers…
5. The Fresh - A Love Story
6. Little Brother - Good Clothes (prod. Illmind)
7. Tanya Morgan - Walk My Way (Dream On)
8. Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean pt.1
9. Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean pt.2
10. John Robinson - I Am Not 4 Sale
11. The AB’s - Boom Box
12. Proton - Mighty Cold (Go On…)
13. Guilty Simpson - Getting Riches (prod. Mr. Porter)
14. Binkis - Badwire pt.1
15. Binkis - Badwire pt.2
16. Akrobatik - A to the K f. B-Real
17. Insight - Strategy f. Edo G
18. Hangar 18 - The West Wing
19. C.R.A.C. (Blu & Ta’Raach) - Love Don’t
20. Public Enemy - Check What You’re Listening To
21. Nobody Famous - Grind Hustle
22. The Smile Rays – Chicken
23. Del the Funky Homosapien- Bubble Pop
24. Wale - W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.
25. James Pants - On the Floor f. Griplayz
26. Aceyalone – Supahero
27. Hangar 18 - Go Git That

Thanks to 2dopeboyz and HipHopDX

3.19.08: New Nikki Jean

Ms. Nikki chillin' with Talib Kweli last weekend at SXSW

Good afternoon, folks. Stumbled upon this one last night but last night was the nationally-televised Celtics-Rockets match-up, so I was a little preoccupied. It appears FF fan Nikki Jean put up 6 brand new songs on her MySpace last night, but they weren't there for long. Luckily, OKP BannedWidth threw them into a zip file and made them available FOREVER. Well, at least until his zshare link runs out. 

Here's a new link with the same songs. Enjoy...will jben.ok head to A3C? Official post and more details on Atlanta's 3-day independent hip-hop festival coming tomorrow...Until then, don't forget to download the Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group mixtape. (Two posts below)

3.18.08: Rising Up...

Photo courtesy of OKP and Robert Adam Mayer

Interesting news from ginny over at OKP. Could the Wale-featured "Rising Up" be a video/single off Rising Down, the tenth album from The Roots

"One of the snips is 'Rising Up,' a song the band has been playing live since late last year, which features Chrisette Michelle on the chorus and Wale sandwiched between two Black Thought verses. Word is they are shooting a video for that track as well and will be considered a 'single.'" 

I'm geeked. Head over to ?uesto's MySpace for a snippet around the :35 second mark. And might you be wondering how The Roots and Wale linked up? The link below might provide some helpful information.

DOWNLOAD: Tanya Morgan Is A Rap Group

Donwill, Von Pea, & Ilyas

It's finally here. Get to downloading.
Shouts to OKP, MySpace, XM, and DJ Soul.

(I'm currently using the Nah Right link, zshare is fucked up at the moment.)

And...if you're in the DMV this weekend, go out to Baltimore and check out Tanya Morgan with friends Mash Comp, Shameless Plug, and Haj (as Dumhi) at the Turntable Club. More info here.

Update 3: And the winner is...........

It started with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, survived Death Row Records, 50, Eminem and a slue of others. But its a new day at Interscope Records as they are proud to celebrate the signing of none other than DCs own Wale!

Excerpt from announcement (courtesy of, shouts to Dan Weisman)

"Wale signed a production deal with DJ-turned-producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Christina Aguilera) in June of 2007 after impressing him on Ronson’s European tour. Following an intense, six-month bidding war, Wale signed to a joint venture between Allido Records and Interscope, saying Jimmy Iovine, Luke Wood and the whole Interscope staff understood his vision better than anyone else."

“Look at their track record,” said Wale via phone on his way to perform at a Justice concert in DC. “Dre, Eminem, 50, Pharrell, Timbaland, Black Eyed Peas, Soulja Boy…the list goes on.”

“This is the best possible situation we could ask for,” says Daniel Weisman, Wale’s manager. “We waited and kept grinding until someone came with something we felt reflected the work we’ve put in; Interscope got it.”

Mark Ronson will executive produce Wale’s untitled debut album and contribute production to the project due out in fall. Other tentative contributors include past Wale-collaborators Osinachi (“Nike Boots”) and Best Kept Secret (“Back In The Go Go”), along with Just Blaze, Pharrell, Kanye West, 9th Wonder, Justice and DJ Toomp.

Big Things Coming outta DC. Yo Wale don't forget us homie!


UPDATE 2/MP3: Wale!!!

Remember when?

Damn, Hi-Fi beat me to it.
Apparently Wale's making the label deal announcement tonight (!) as evident from a hilarious AIM convo from Just Blaze's blog.
UPDATE: Wale officially announced his deal with Interscope on DC's WKYS 93.9

Also, Pusha T shows up on the official, mixed version of "Back In The Go-Go," already with the great Bun B.

Congrats, family.

Head over to the Elitaste for the official press release.

Update : D.C. Stand Up!

Tonight we celebrate! DC's own Wale is making a career changing announcement tonight . Tonight on a yet released radio station (all my intelligence points to 93.9 WKYS) Wale will formally announce that he has signed a record deal. All we know as of now is that its going to be huge and Wale's mother is the only one that knows ( she doesn't have a blog does she?). So stay Tuned. Much love to Wale and the whole DMV!

NYC: Che's 99Cent Store Party

Che, Spec, Elucid, Sankofa, TM. For 99 cents?!

New Yorkers! Do yourself a favor and make it out to Che Grand's 99Cent Store Party tomorrow night (3.12.08) for a stacked lineup.
DJ Brainchild on the 1s and 2s case you missed the point, you can get in for under a dollar. All you gotta do is RSVP at GRAND99CENTPARTY@GMAIL.COM
(If you don't, you pay 5 dollars. And you're fucking lazy.)

P.S. 2 things
1. Thanks to Che for coming through last Friday. If you didn't listen, you're stupid. Look for some archived audio of Che's Zimbabwe for the Public mix and our short interview. (Click the blog)
2. I know, I know. Where the eff are all the updates? It's been a busy week for me, family. I've gotta get the passing grades on these midterms if I wanna stay in school, and if y'all want to continue hearing me on the radio. (I BRING YOU DOPE ARTISTS!) Next week, (my spring break), I promise updates at least once a day. And if I head to Atlanta with Che (a potential Loud Minority/FF joint production) y'all will be showered with exclusives. 

3.7.08: FF LIVE Special Edition

Che Grand

Tune in tonight from 8-10pm EST
LIVE DJ Set and Interview with Brooklyn resident/emcee Che Grand

Call in 202-994-WRGW to ask Che a question

VIDEO: The Roots - Get Busy (feat. Dice Raw, Peedi Peedi, and DJ Jazzy Jeff)

Feel better, Dan.

Update : Gangs All Here

Jamal "Gravy" Woolard

It's Official The cast of the long awaited Notorious B.I.G bio-pic has been announced. After looking at the likes of Beanie Sigel, Guerilla Black and even Sean Kingston (what?!) Producers, along with Biggie's mother have decided on Jamal Woolard AKA fellow Brooklyn rapper Gravy (Top Left). Those of you familiar with Gravy remember that he was shot after recording an interview with Funkmaster Flex at Hot 97 last year. Rounding out the cast includes Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher, Glory Road) as Diddy, Anthony Mackie (Papa Doc from 8mile, Ruffin from We are Marshall) as Tupac, The beautiful and ageless Angela Bassett as the late rappers mother Voletta Wallace. Naturi Naughton (3lw) has also been signed to play an unspecified role at the time (possibly Lil' Kim?). Filming for the movie starts this month in the NYC so keep a look out. It is being directed by George Tillman (Chi Town Stand up!) who directed
Barbershop 1&2 as well as Soul Food and a host of others.

3.4.08: FF LIVE


We're live on air, 7-10pm EST
LISTENlive at

Che Grand is coming through FRIDAY 8-10pm EST
We're doing a little FF Rewind with the Wale interview from September 07.
Brand new exclusives at 8.
Crank It or Spank It Episode 2.
Nyadenya's live phone interview with Boston emcee Reks.


"White Seats Black Piping.."

nice to see everyone again...

yea, before you tell me its old news, heres the full version. enjoy.

VIDEO: Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul?

?uesto got geeked enough to convince Cee-Lo to leak this online. It's so dope that he knows all the words already.
(This is NOT an official video for the song, btw)

MP3: Fat Joe - Thank God For That White

"Primo said yes?! Now I can take my number off my MySpace..."

The most recent work from DJ Premier? The typical Big Shug-Term-NYGz raw material. Nothing wrong with that. 
But Fat Joe and Primo did another track together. And it's fire.
Not the Sirius rip. Updated CDQ.