MP3: The Alchemist - That'll Work (feat. Three 6 Mafia & Juvenile)

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Check out this extremely untypical post from your good friends at Funkadelic Freestyles: new music from The Alchemist, one of the most incredible beatmakers on the West Coast. I was sincerely shocked when I read the artists featured, and extremely elated after my initial listen. What's the last time we've heard from Juvenile? Did anyone actually listen to Three 6 Mafia's newest album? Forget what you heard; this song will WIN in the club. In fact, DJ Jerome Baker III, I'm looking at you, buddy. The Alchemist's Chemical Warfare album coming soon...

INTERVIEW: Mike Posner

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Two weeks ago, I was personally acquainted with the producer/singer Mike Posner - the new golden boy out of Duke University. Although I can't stand his school's basketball team, Mike is a pretty cool dude with an incredible talent. He officially signed with elitaste not too long ago, and the news was made official today as Mr. Weisman posted my exclusive interview. Take a look at the excerpt, head over to the homebase, and pick up the mp3 of Mike's appearance on Mark Ronson's East Village Radio show from last Friday.

MP3: G*Two x Hassani Kwess x kaZ x Lyriciss - Coolin'

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New joint from some of the young stars in the DC metro area, with a particular message on how to stay cool in this hot ass weather (at least that's what I got). I'm only up on two of these cats (G*Two & Lyriciss), so you'll have to make your own opinion on the others. I will say this: that's a crucial usage of that sample. 

MP3: Tiara Wiles - Take It Off

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And now, for a quick change of pace: new music from the Pittsburgh singer Tiara Wiles, who you may or may not remember from track one of A Rosenberg Oddisee, the EP put together by NYC radio host Peter Rosenberg and DC producer Oddisee. Her management has been sending along tracks from Phinding Pharrell, her latest project over instrumentals from Pharrell's (increasingly relevant) album In My Mind. I finally took a listen and I do have to say that I'm quite impressed - she certainly has that futuristic vibe that has been used to describe female artists like Janelle Monae and Muhsinah. Tiara has a new mixtape, Spaceship Cadillac, dropping this summer. She'll also be performing at Howard University's graduation here in DC on May 9th. As a bonus, pick up the first three joints from Phinding Pharrell while you're here.


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Last fall, we tried to incorporate a new half hour segment onto the radio show called Markyland, starring DC's own and SRC/Universal's hip-hop artist Marky. We had a few great episodes until the semester break, and by then, it seemed as if Marky had disappeared. I made some phone calls and all I kept hearing was: "he's in the studio." Just last week, Marky reached out to me so we could discuss his new mini-album, Nothing Is 43ver, featuring production from AB The Producer & Judah. I gladly obliged, and invited him to GWU for my first in the new series of "Dorm Room Interviews." Unfortunately, the lighting on the majority of the video didn't turn out so hot, so I figured I'd transcribe it instead. Don't forget to download Nothing Is 43ver down at the bottom of the post.

Let’s talk about the theme of the project – there’s a lot of emotional anthems and you’re really bearing your soul. 

It’s real theatrical and in-depth. It’s another side of me; like I always say, it’s my twin brother. When I go through different things that are behind the scenes that people may not know about – they just see the glamour and glitz and they don’t see the struggle. When I record, usually I make the songs for me. In this case, folks were telling me, “people want to hear this, blogs want to hear this.” I feel like people needed to hear that, just to show another side, so it’s a win-win. It’s definitely another theatrical look at me and as an artist.

jben.ok: You have the lead single off the album, “Delusional,” out now. Usually when you have a lead single, you’re trying to go for club play…

Marky: Actually…I didn’t want to call [Nothing Is 43ver] an album – I call it a mini-album. I didn’t want to call it a mixtape because the internet is just flooded with mixtapes. But you’re right; I didn’t want to go after the radio. My reason for putting “Delusional” out is for the people that liked “Sheila.” If you don’t like “Delusional,” that this whole thing isn’t for you. I just want the people that want to listen [to me].

I see the single as a way to express the many misconceptions people have of you as an artist…

You can [interpret] it that way. My whole purpose when I was making this song was that when you’re an artist and you’re not knowing, when you’re not speculating, you get delusional. It’s the same thing and it fits every perspective [for the song].

There’s also a song on the project called “Reagan National.” That one really speaks to me because I know about how much traveling you do.

It’s the best part of being an artist. It just lets you know that there’s a broader world than the people who are stuck in a box; the people in your neighborhood or the people that you’re used to. I’m a protégé of my imagination so my music speaks for that. I get influenced to make a [song like] “Sheila” or “City On My Back” when I go see people in different cities. Traveling is fun.

Do you do a lot of your recording in St. Louis and Atlanta? Or do you mainly record at the studio in your home?

I record in my studio. Sometimes I save it, take it back with me – I’ll be mixing on the plane, I do whatever.

You were on a bit of hiatus just a few months ago. What was the winter hibernation about?

Mainly because besides working on my album, I was taking care of priorities at my label. It’s time to get focused and buckle down, realize what’s important in my life and music. When I went to present what I had to present, I came correct. I wasn’t half-stepping. At the same time, I was plotting. I’m a critical thinker so I always have something up my sleeve. I wasn’t chilling out; I was just working hard. It’s also about becoming a staple at Universal – which is happening right now.

Tell me about your label situation. Are they encouraged by what you’re putting out right now?

They love it. I have close relationships with my label now because of this project. They see how aggressive I was with it and how on point I was with it. I strategized every move; I went about it doing it all by myself. That struck a chord with the older guys who said, “I remember when I was younger…” I’m the 401k; whatever you do I’m trying to match it. My bank account isn’t what Universal Records’ bank account is, but I’m trying to show them that I believe in myself so that I’m a great investment.

Then you have the imprint label, Studio 43. It’s expanding – Kenny Burns just signed X.O. and Outasight. What’s in the plans? A compilation album?

[The compilation album] might go down. I’m not sure what [Kenny’s] vision is on his side, but that’s a good idea.

X.O. has really become a voice for the neighborhoods and the streets here in DC. How crucial is it for X.O. to be on the roster now?

I think it’s a good look. It’s like TNT gave the same vibe; it’s like this historic, monumental vibe they brought with them. You had no choice to respect them; they’re legends. With X.O., it’s a whole ‘nother avenue. He has the ears of the youngins running wild. It’s all about how they structure it, but I think it’s going to work out.

There’s a new Studio 43 video campaign out with your song “When Amazing Happens,” on which you sampled the NBA Playoffs theme. It was a tough season for your hometown Washington Wizards, so who are you riding with in the playoffs?

I’m gonna say the Celtics. I’m not even saying just because [jben.ok is a HUGE Boston fan]. They’re solid, real solid.

I’m just glad you’re not riding for Lebron. Everyone’s riding for Lebron.

Lebron is a man playing amongst boys. Right now, I think Kobe’s the only guy who can take the game into his hands, but I think Lebron is becoming that.

Let me switch gears for a minute and talk about something slightly controversial. There was a situation a few months ago with an artist from the area named Woosie. He had some negative things to say about you and Kenny, but when you were at Love [Nightclub] with him and Wale, he completely flipped and acted as if he never said those things.

I do my MarkylandTV show…that show was last year, it was the Welcome To DC show. Wale invited me out to his set and basically, [Woosie] wanted to rock with us that night. I let Woosie come out and invited everybody out. The clip you've seen was already on the internet before [Woosie’s] web interview came out. Mind you then, he wasn’t even rapping. He flip-flopped. It’s the whole World Star Hip Hop thing – it’s all fabricated. It ain’t no guys; these dudes are little boys in a ring.

We’ve learned about the mini-album, but the real album is coming out soon. Tell us about the production, the features, and what we can expect overall.

First we’ve got to drop the first single. Number one, number two single in the country, best new artist – it’s going to be the first time that’s ever happened, I promise you that. The debut album will probably hit stores next year at some time. I’m in no rush and I want to touch as many people as possible. When the single comes out, I want to go campaign trail across the nation. I want to make people feel like they’re apart of me like, “that’s my cousin, I have to go support him.” As far as features go, we’re working on that right now. We’ve got a girl signed to SRC named Melanie Fiona – I’m trying to work with her. I also want to work with Joss Stone. I really don’t want to feature rappers mainly because I like to hold my own.

MP3: Southeast Slim - Shake Ya Plaits (feat. Wale & UCB)

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As far as I know, this song right here is a Funkadelic Freestyles x elitaste exclusive. I just got off the phone with Southeast Slim, the DC native, who assured me that his winter hiatus was simply preparation for the hot summer to come. When you press play on "Shake Ya Plaits," the Wale and UCB-assisted record, you'll clearly understand. Slim tells me this joint will hit the radio next week, but for now it's an internet exclusive. And how - dare I say - ironic is Wale's line "and local radio don't like me?" Get on your street team ish and push this record!

VIDEO: The Foreign Exchange - Take Off The Blues (feat. Darien Brockington)

Here's the second video from The Foreign Exchange's second album, Leave It All Behind. The song is "Take Off The Blues," one of my favorites on the record and definitely a joint that deserved video treatment. Phonte and Nicolay spent last night and this morning rallying their fans to attract 2,000 followers to their Twitter page and rewarding them with the video once the feat had been accomplished. There's no use for you not to be following the duo, if you haven't been already. "Take Off The Blues" is directed by Matt Koza, and features an interlude "surprise" near the end. 

DOWNLOAD: Benji - Same S#!* Different Day

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Today's the day - 4/20 and my birthday. To me it's rather uneventful seeing as that I had a quiz this morning and I'll have a review session this afternoon, but to the rest of y'all, have fun celebrating. Before the Real Mango Juice mixtape drops this afternoon and DJ MAF drops his Duty Free EP, Benji decided to bring y'all his first solo album early and FREE. Same S#!* Different Day is actually an almixtapbum, sponsored by Rocksmith Clothing. Take a listen and kick back; tracklist below.

1. Empire
2. In The Bed (feat. Mary)
3. 9 To 5
4. Right Now
5. D.M.V. (D.C., Maryland, Virginia)
6. Get That Paper
7. Where I'm From (Washington, D.C.)
8. 2 Chill
9. The Bartender Story Pt. 1
10. N.B.H. (Ni**as Be Hatin)
11. The Bartender Story Pt. 2
12. It's Gotta Be The Shoes (feat. Toney Nightmare and Paid_($)_Paul)
13. Who's Next...? (feat. Toney Nightmare and Mr. Impact)

MP3: Raheem DeVaughn, yU, Laelo Hood, Oddisee, Tabi Bonney, Grizz, & Draus - Clock's Tickin'

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We're back off of hiatus featuring spectacular sounds from the DMV's top talent with a project that literally came out of nowhere. Early this morning, my good friend Spirit Equality tweeted this all-star posse cut featuring yU from Diamond District, the political emcee Laelo Hood, Oddisee from Diamond District, the incomparable Tabi Bonney, Grizz from The PackageDraus from Wasteland Mob, and the R&B superstar Raheem DeVaughn on the hook. Choppe Chop laced the beat and Theory from The Package laid down the final mixing. I'm super excited about this one - and you should be, too. Let's hope we see more projects like this in the future.

UPDATE: I changed the post title to give equal billing to all the artists (it's not Grizz's song, per say). Shouts to Spirit who cleared it up as he's dubbed the team "The Bum Rush The Boards All Stars." 

4.14.09: FF 039 - How Many Days Till 420?

There's no guest tonight, but I have a few things in mind: janked-out mad libs, DJ MAF premiering his new Kid Cudi remix, DJ Jerome Baker III killin' it, and talk about 420. This year I'm going public with it - my birthday is on April 20th. Jay Promo's is on the 23rd. You'll probably see us in the streets this weekend; "I'm just sayin.'"

FF 039
Hosted by jben.ok, Jay Promo, King Carter, & Akhil
With Jerome Baker III & Unkle Scooty
8-10pm EST
WRGW Radio @ The George Washington University
LIVE on GWRADIO.COM and campus channel 22

LISTEN (Live @ 8pm): FF 039 - How Many Days Till 420?

DOWNLOAD: Diamond District - In The Ruff

Well folks, the day has come. DC's own Oddisee presents his new group Diamond District, featuring X.O. and yU, and their new album In The Ruff. I'll be quick because I'm on a janky school PC that sucks for Blogger. This is, in my opinion, the strongest hip-hop release of 2009 so far. All of the production is handled by Oddisee and the rhymes are split evenly between the three. Tell ALL your friends - in the words of Low Budget, "it's still real."

00 Intro
01 Streets Wont Let Me Chill
02 Who I Be
03 Back To Basics
04 I Mean Business
05 Get In Line
06 In The Ruff
07 The Shining (Produced by Dunc)
08 The District
09 Make It Clear
10 Off The Late Night (Produced by Slim kat 78)
11 Let Me Explain
12 First Time

VIDEO: Wale - The Attention Deficit Tour in Maine Pt. 2

On Saturday I posted our first exclusive video from Wale's Attention: Deficit tour that is most likely coming to a city near you. Part 2 features Wale recording his verse for the new Chester French mixtape, Jacques Jams Vol. 1: Endurance (which is a banger), more behind-the-scenes from the tour bus, and two exclusive jams from the stop in Portland, Maine. The show in Portland was in a very small space - meaning that it turned out to be more like Wale & UCB: Unplugged. In fact, Wale even told Tre before they went on that he wanted to perform similar to a true DC go-go. Be sure to check out Part 1 if you haven't already, and my apologies with the embedding - we can't embed HD videos without a Vimeo Plus account (which we don't have yet), so I made this one regular quality. If you're having trouble viewing Part 1, just watch it here.

VIDEO: Wale - The Attention Deficit Tour in Maine Pt. 1

Last weekend, I ventured up to my home state of Maine with my WRGW Radio coworker dj raph for two shows on Wale's Attention: Deficit Tour. It wasn't my first time seeing Wale's live show, but it's definitely been awhile since I've seen him perform. It's probably pretty important to mention that we had full-access to Wale and UCB and their tour bus; providing y'all with exclusive footage on behalf of elitaste and Funkadelic Freestyles.

In part one, check out behind the scenes from the bus, Colin Munroe performing "Will I Stay," and a montage of hits from the DC ambassador. My apologies for the delay; my computer broke so I had to upload everything on raph's joint. Stay tuned for part two on Monday.

MP3: R.E.U.B. - When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong

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VA's own R.E.U.B. sent me this new joint - "When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong" - off his new album The Black Rapper Show. Consider this one an indictment on the industry, which is struggling just as much as everything else in this country. Please don't sleep on R.E.U.B.; he's one of those rare diamonds in the rough on the indie circuit. And be sure to visit his MySpace, where you can preview his earlier work. Shouts to FF's unofficial photographer and producer Ajani Truth!

MP3: Diamond District (Oddisee, X.O., & YU) - I Mean Business

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Here's the second pre-release off the new Diamond District project, In The Ruff, featuring Oddisee, X.O., and YU. Oddisee was in-studio last night to discuss the album, which will be available for free download on April 14th. I can say that I've listened to In The Ruff twice already, and if the people listen, it has the potential to change indie hip-hop as we know it. We'll be posting the Oddisee podcast soon (before I go to Maine - promise) just so you guys can get an idea of the mastermind (O) behind Diamond District.

MP3: Kev Brown - Hennessy Pt. 3 (feat. Kenn Starr & Raheem DeVaughn)

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Low Budget is back! The classic collective from Washington, DC and the surrounding area looks to be returning in full effect with new projects from Oddisee, Kev Brown, and Kenn Starr on the way. First off, here's an exclusive from Kev's new Random Joints EP with part three of the "Hennessy" series which began on Kev's album I Do What I Do with Kenn Starr on part one and Chronkite, Eric Roberson, & Wayna on part two. Well, you can catch Kenn Starr on this new installment with special guest Raheem DeVaughn and back-up vocals from Eric and Wayna. Plus, enjoy a bonus from the Random Joints EP, courtesy of Kenn Starr

MP3: Georgia Anne Muldrow - Mr. President

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Georgia Anne Muldrow has always been an artist that has intrigued me, with her experimental sounds and "out there" style of recording. The Dudley Perkins collaborator and former Stones Throw signee is back with a new album and a new record label. Georgia Anne Muldrow presents...Ms One will be in stores May 19th on E1 Music (formerly Koch Entertainment). Here's the next pre-release single off the album, "Mr. President," courtesy of Paul Selby. Be sure to check out the first pre-release single that was all over the internets, "2 MC's (feat. Big Pooh & Black Milk)," below as an added bonus.