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What’s crackin’ everybody? Last weekend was crazy in LA with the NBA Allstar Game. The people were incredible, parties were amazing but most importantly the music was dope. But before we move further let us say R.I.P. to Troy ‘Escalade’ Jackson, who passed away last weekend while in Cali. Not familiar with The Esclade? He was a legendary streetballer from Queens, NY who made it big time via The AND 1 mixtape circuit. He was the younger brother of former NBA and current ESPN Analyst Mark Jackson. Escalade was a giant at 6’10 but was a cool, intelligent and a very well spoken bball aficionado. His skills on the court, for a big man, were second to none. Google or youtube him in your spare time. Thank you, Escalade. Your skills were fresh and fearless. I hope your ride home was as smooth as your game on the court. 

We start this week off with the hot remix “Mine Is Yours” by indie rock band Cold War Kids. It features The Cool Kids’ own Mickey Rocks. Now it’s not what you’re thinking. The Chicago-based genius production duo, The  Blended Babies, stepped in to deliver a top notch remix. They really did The Cold War Kids a ‘flavor’ by flipping an already delicious sounding song into a tasty treat for the eardrums. Mickey turns into his alter ego, Sir Michael Rocks, and really delivers lyrically. Not sure if this is an “official” remix for The Cold War Kids? Sometimes rock bands can get “jelly” when hip hop artist remix their records and make them sound hotter. The “Mine Is Yours” remix featuring Sir Michael Rocks is definitely must hear music.

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Next up, the homie Papoose steps in with a new club heat rock “Party Bout to Pop.” The surefire BedStuy Brooklyn spitter has had NYC in the palm of his hands since officially storming the hip-hop scene in ’04. I heard this record on the radio en route to a party, in the party and in the AM leaving the party. Definitely something the ladies will move to which means fellas will grind too. Lyrically, this is light work for Pap. If you’re familiar with his work, you know his “Law Library” series is a masterpiece that got him the attention of even famed Harvard professors.

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Pusha T released a dope cut to the blogisphere and DJs alike last week called My God.” This track isn’t for the tight jean wearers. The ladies that can rock to this appreciate that hard shit. This is some straight up 1 MC plus 1 Mic equals spit! Hit Boy is in the freshman class of new producers in this modern school of hip-hop. He really delivers on this for Pusha. The drums are like a call to arms military style cadence with a cannon blast for the baseline. Pusha gets on this track with his usual King of VA swag that made classics like “Grindin memorable. He’s under the G.O.O.D. Music umbrella now and like Carmelo with Knicks, its a new beginning.

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Next up REKS teams up with Styles P to give us “Why Cry.” Alchemist is the mad scientist behind this toxic beat. Al is a legend for the contributions he’s given to hip hop game. When not in lab he backs Eminem as his DJ. REKS is yet another next level rhyme spitter who hails from New England, brought to you by my man Statik Selektah. Styles P needs no intro. If your not familiar with REKS you need to listen to this record and google. You won’t here this in the club. This is for hip hop radio, mixtapes and blogs that appreciate greatness wrapped in rhyme over a dope track.

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Finally we have uptown’s own Outasight with “It’s Like That.” This kid’s rise in the underground NY rap scene has been invisible to most. He is living proof of “it’s who you know when you’re trying to get on”. Outa sight gravitates between the cavernous music scenes in Gotham and has attracted a cult-like following. His talent and marketing prowess though is what got him his deal at Warner right before the New Year. Cook Classics delivers a scrumptious beat for OS to preside over. He’s definitely getting at his doubters on this but in colorful and witty way. Enjoy! Until we read again…

Brandon ‘TNT’ West 

Producer, A&R, Promoter

Holla at him @tnt718

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