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The placement of DAS EFX in Hip-Hop history is an interesting one. They started off being inspired by Hip-Hop itself and after just one album, inspired several of their peers in the years after. So much so, that it could be said that while DAS EFX has a place in Hip-Hop history, they maybe deserve a larger pedestal and more recognition as a highly …
 
Digable Planets weren't the first Hip-Hop group to use Jazz as a foundation for their Hip-Hop musical explorations, but there aren't many artists that took the essence of Jazz as seriously as Butterfly, Doodlebug & Ladybug Mecca did in their brief but beautiful two album stretch. We get into their story and the music that offers so much, the more y…
 
In Episode 4 of The Beauty of Independence I chat with LaLion - The King of Consistency. From his early days in the Seattle Rock scene, his decision to pursue hip hop alone, and his grind to surpass 20 million Spotify streams & over 200,000 monthly listeners, LaLion's dedication is absolutely immense. His content is just as powerful, and this story…
 
The Pharcyde was another significant member of the "Alternative" Hip-Hop scene of the early/mid-90s, with back-to-back classics right out of the gate. But behind the scenes, the group bond wasn't the tightest. And once that thin ice broke, it immediately messed up the very acute alchemy they had in the beginning. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - …
 
In Episode 3 of The Beauty of Independence, I catch up with C-Scripture - the rapper who's story will entrance and motivate you. From having to save up 10 years just to buy his first microphone, to walking 20+kms just to make it to a studio to record, C-Scripture is proof of how powerful the passion can be as a driving source for artistry. A rapper…
 
The term "Stimulus Package" has been implemented in two ways in recent years. The first, the money people have received during the pandemic. The second? When mainstream artists hop on lesser-known artists' songs, giving the lesser-known artist a listenership they have never gotten before, and sometimes, may never get again. We discuss the second de…
 
In episode 2 of The Beauty of Independence I catch up with Dell Nellson - Poet, Musician, Thinker. Dell dives deep into his poetic process, the pain and emotion behind the words he conjures, the connection between hip hop and poetry, and drops gem after gem about topics like social media, friendship, and social injustice and systemic oppression. De…
 
It's time for another Bites session! In this edition, we talk about Politics in Hip-Hop, the death of DatPiff & whether Streaming is the sole culprit for the dilution of modern music. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:38) Political Hip-Hop - (17:56) The Death of DatPiff - (35:11) Streaming & The Dilution of Music - (55:02) Lighter Note - (1:20:…
 
Welcome to Episode 1 of "The Beauty of Independence" - We check in with Cal Scruby - Comedy writer, videographer, mixing engineer, fashion inspiration and part-time rapper. The only man to reference Kirby and Britney Spears in the same verse. We discuss mental health stigma, the challenges and benefits of being an independent artist, and the societ…
 
Wyclef, Pras & Lauryn. Fugees were a trio bursting with youthful energy and creative flavour. Their first album was boastful and raw, their second album showed all three at their creative peaks. But behind the scenes, a mixture of label issues and personal back & forth (to put it lightly) put a timer on their lifespan as a trio. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly …
 
With the unfortunate passing of Shock G, we thought this was a good time as any to collectively get into his brainchild, Digital Underground and gain a new understanding of why Shock G was one of the most unique personalities in music history. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup: (1:44) Topic Intro/Ben's Research House: (17:22) Sex Packets: (26:23) So…
 
Death is inevitable, but it is always something that warrants a bigger conversation when we see a Hip-Hop artist die in their 20s. There's a systemic issue here and a broader issue with how society treats certain people. We try to dig into these issues in the only way we can: Existentially. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:18) Topic Intro - (1…
 
It's time for some more "Contemporary Cool" and for this one, we went far and wide with our picks. Nas & Damian Marley's "Distant Relatives", Azealia Banks' "Fantasea", Apollo Brown & Boog Brown's "Brown Study" & Jay Rock's "90059". TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:40) Distant Relatives - (19:27) Fantasea - (32:52) Brown Study - (46:00) 90059 …
 
Ladies & Gentlemen, DITD is two years old! We started this podcast two years ago as of the 11th and 105 episodes later, with NO OFF WEEK, we're still going and getting better. For this episode we reflect on the passing of DMX, reflect on ourselves, why we do what we do, compare work ethics and finish off with a couple of games that we hope you'll e…
 
After a month of celebrating women, we had to take some time to recognise women in the hurdles they face. Prepare for some necessary existential conversations that all come down to a lack of attention to the overall problems that we collectively have allowed to snowball so big that we don't even see the issue as abnormal. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music R…
 
We usually don't do artists this early but Ben thinks she's actually retired so here we are. But with that aside, Nicki Minaj, as the most commercially successful female Hip-Hop artist is a fascinating case study. Along with her pre-album history that is rarely harped on, Nicki has shown a genuine elevation in her artistry whilst also being one of …
 
Eve is an interesting career to look at retrospectively. Unlike some of the other women we've covered so far, she didn't really pioneer in everything. But in her own way, she had a solid career, with a classic album and is a great rapper that have hanged with the best. And in something we'll talk about after March ends, that should be enough for pe…
 
MC Lyte is undeniably one of the most influential artists in Hip-Hop history. Your favourite female's favourite female. From Ms Lauryn Hill to Missy, to Kim. MC Lyte dabbled in many subjects and explored them with textbook confidence, an unmistakable voice and a matter-of-fact attitude. It's easy to say that her steadfast ways jeopardised her caree…
 
Mary J Blige is one of the most influential artists of the past 30 years. Her catalogue is one of the most consistent and has nearly no dip in quality. We go through eleven of her albums and how they form one of the tightest "full circles" for an artist we have done so far. Strap in, foot is firmly on the gas for this one. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music …
 
Happy Women's History month one and all! If you have been a listener since last year, you know that since then we decided to dedicate the month of March to the women and this year we are doing it again. Up first, the first woman in Hip-Hop to go platinum, Da Brat. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:27) Topic Intro/Ben's Research House - (21:00) …
 
The rare DITD episode that sticks to the reason we started the podcast in the first place. Around the time of our ATCQ retrospective late last year, we had a conversation off wax about sampling and how it took a dip after the landmark Biz Markie case. Ben got inspired and got some numbers on sampling and how much the frequency of artists getting sa…
 
Welcome to "Contemporary Cool", a new DITD series where we pick two contemporary albums each and talk about them in any way the albums warrant. In Vol. 1, we talk about the historically hated "Lasers" by Lupe Fiasco, the cultural reset that Skepta's "Konnichiwa" had on UK Rap/Grime, was Rocky's "TESTING" underrated? And Joey Bada$$' "ALL-AMERIKKKAN…
 
It's time for part 2 of our MF DOOM retrospective. This time, we look into his many collaboration projects. Some feature him heavily, some have him completely in the background but somehow, someway, the DOOM essence is always prevalent. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (2:24) Topic Intro/Ben's Research House - (19:30) Mf EP - (30:04) Madvillainy …
 
For this retrospective, we're doing something a little different from the usual. We're going to look at five solo projects from MF DOOM but instead of looking at the albums from our usual angles, we're going to look at it from the perspective of his aliases and the world he built using those aliases. If you're a DOOM noob like Charlie is in this ep…
 
On Volume 7 of DITD Bites: Why do people not do their due diligence when they claim to love something? Are Video Games more influential on the youth compared to music? And why are hot takes so prevalent in day-to-day Hip-Hop conversation? TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (2:35) Due Diligence - (19:29) Video Games & Youth Culture - (41:40) Hot Tak…
 
J Dilla is the patron saint of Hip-Hop production. The man that took a simple MPC and unlocked its true potential, making some of the greatest beats of All-Time, a seemingly endless vault and two classic albums in is last days. We go through five Dilla albums, varying in quality and shines a light on a little talked about the duality that Dilla hol…
 
It's time for part 2 of our retrospective on A Tribe Called Quest. Going through their albums "Beats, Rhymes & Life, "The Love Movement" & We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service". We also get a little into their backstory mid-career & their legacy. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:47) Topic Intro/Ben's Research House - (10:33) Beats, …
 
On the first DITD episode of 2021: A retrospective on objectively a Top 2 Hip-Hop group of All-Time, A Tribe Called Quest. This is part 1 where we get into their first three albums. All classics in their own unique way. TIMESTAMPS: Music Roundup - (1:40) Topic Intro/Ben's Research House - (16:03) PIT&TPOR - (30:59) The Low End Theory - (44:20) Midn…
 
It's the end of the year, so it's time to get reflective. Ben, Charlie and the rest of the 5EPN come through for this two-hour special, reviewing their 2020. Be sure to give the other shows under the network a spin. Thanks for rocking with us this year and we'll see you on the other side. TIMESTAMPS: Same 12 Notes - (4:12) "What's Good?" - (42:00) …
 
It's time for another edition of "DITD Bites" to end 2020 on! In this one, we talk about disrespecting Kid Cudi, the relationship between Journalism & "Hip-Hop Twitter" and since it's our last recording of the year, (5EPN Special dropping 31st Dec) we give our Top 5 DITD episodes of this year & guess each other's Top 5. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Rou…
 
After three weeks of consuming all of Jay-Z's (solo) catalogue, we finally reach the last third of our Jay-Z retrospective and this is the most fun, the most confusing and the most enlightening stretch, all at the same time. We get into the masterpiece* that is "Kingdom Come", all the way to the future classic "4:44". TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Round…
 
The Jay-Z retrospective continues with part 2. In this ep, we go from "The Dynasty" to "The Black Album" and it's from here that we start to notice patterns in Jay's methods, how he attempts to break those patterns (with varying results) and how if his career truly ended, it would've been a solid catalog. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (1:25) T…
 
It is finally here. Noted Jay-Z scholar, Ben. And Charlie, just along for the ride, finally get into the (just music) retrospective of Jay-Z. In the first of three parts, we tackle his late 90s output, from "Reasonable Doubt" to "Vol. 3", discussing how a weak commercial result for his debut set a tone for what came after it. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Mus…
 
This is probably the most free-flowing episode we have ever done. What began as a simple episode about artists falling off became a wide ranging conversation about falling off in the Social Media age where it's... Kind of, impossible to fall off??? It's so free-flowing we're not even going to add super-specific timestamps because why perform such a…
 
The list of people that Pete Rock has worked with over the decades is astonishing. The list gets even crazier when you peep the artists he's remixed! But when you get into his solo work, you not only get a glimpse at how many fire rappers he can get to go over his beats, but you also see Pete Rock dipping into his often forgotten rapping ability! P…
 
It's time for another Volume of DITD Bites! This time we talk about the place Hip-Hop has in a "Post-Truth" world, how to go about removing an artist from your listening habits and jumping at the chance to shit on The Grammys once again. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Roundup - (2:28) Hip-Hop & "Post-Truth" - (19:06) How to 'cancel' - (44:10) Grammys con…
 
Kano was a lyrical prodigy from day 1. Everyone knew he had the talent and he could've easily cashed in and spat all the bars known to man. But he decided very early in his career that he wanted to be an album artist. This gave him the room to experiment and while the results vary in quality, it is now clear that he's put in the work to become a be…
 
Continuing our #UKBHM miniseries, we go to an artist that has been doing it for over 20 years, evolving every facet of his artistry, even though his style was unique from day 1. Roots Manuva takes his earthy London voice, laces it with patios, writes dense, poetic bars and drops it all on Hip-Hop/Dub Reggae beats with electronic elements. Wacky rig…
 
"I'm that same little girl that grew up next door to you / Went through all the things a teenage girl goes through" Ms Dyamite's debut album "A Little Deeper" made two waves. The first was immediate: The critical & commercial praise, making her a unique voice in UK music. Just from the first lyrics on her breakout song "Dy-Na-Mi-Tee", you knew she …
 
Dizzee Rascal was a trailblazer & early champion of UK Rap and the genre that would eventually be known as Grime. But Dizzee didn't just stop with what Charlie calls the "Illmatic of Grime/UK Rap", he sought to push boundaries, help sow the seeds of making rapping mainstream and even collab with US Hip-Hop legends YEARS before it became common prac…
 
It's October, which means it's UK Black History Month! We decided to celebrate with five retrospectives on five legends of UK Black Music. We begin in the true roots of UK Hip-Hop, a bridge between the Windrush Generation, their children and their children's children, all through the prism of music. We begin our celebration with the Godfather of UK…
 
Big Sean has been one of the biggest rap stars in the past decade. Regardless if you think his bars are corny or whatever. Sean's status is solidified. But listening back to his work; from the objectively cringe but subjectively funny "Finally Famous" & "Hall of Fame", to the more mature "I Decided" & "Detroit 2". A lot of opinions change, a lot of…
 
Another Bites session is in full effect ladies & gentlemen! Three topics on deck for this one. First: Mashups. Why they're so cool as a concept but also why they're not seen as events more. Second, TDE. As of recording, TDE is seemingly holding some of their artists back when their new albums are ready to go. Let's ponder why. And lastly. Past Kany…
 
Capone-N-Noreaga is that duo that you've heard of but rare that you've listened to their work post-War Report. (Depends on your age, of course.) But the story behind the duo is one of loyalty, keeping each other in the loop no matter what and doing a decent job at evolving as artists whilst keeping their unique style & motifs. We get into their alb…
 
Nas' new album "King's Disease" is an interesting piece of work from someone that has nothing really to prove. The themes, whilst widespread, are very surface level. Black excellence, money, cars, all wrapped up in his new package the 'King's Disease' and 'The Cure' to said disease. (And he still finds time to shit on black women whilst also callin…
 
Def Jam WAS Hip-Hop for nearly 2 decades. Starting off with Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin, nobody could've predicted the heights Def Jam were going to reach. They were in lockstep with the growth of Hip-Hop itself. But once the new millennium came through, Def Jam started to lose grip of the rocket that was Hip-Hop, they started to miss out and even…
 
The Nas/Jay-Z beef is one of the most notable beefs in Hip-Hop history. But for some reason, nobody talks about how *deep* the beef actually goes, and how, depending on who you are, it is technically still going! On one side at least. It's a popular beef but below the surface, its certainly an odd and at times, grim one. TIMESTAMPS: Weekly Music Ro…
 
It has been nine years since Jay-Z & Kanye West did the collab album we could only dream of in years prior. Whilst some consider it a classic and some don't, it's undeniable that this is an important album for both artists. A fork in the road for both artists. We dive into the album, track by track, with WORLD EXCLUSIVE statistics from Ben. TIMESTA…
 
Mount Vernon, NY was never a hotbed when it came to Hip-Hop talent. If you were about Hip-Hop, you were usually born & bred in the Five Boroughs. But Pete Rock & CL Smooth were an anomaly. Their work, while slim pickings next to other duos such as OutKast & GangStarr are some of the highest quality works you can ask for. Two albums & one EP of wond…
 
For this DITD Bites, we conversate on some recent phenomena. This year, labels have been implementing Deluxe Editions weeks, sometimes days after the initial album release, why are they doing this and why is it working? Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has commented on wax his opinions on the lack of streaming pay for artists and his answer, whilst unsurprisi…
 
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