Sabbaticals and such


So I was granted a two week leave off the plantation, and ZIF suffered the consequences. Between the Newtown shooting and the general malaise that tends to define my holiday experiences  I admit, opining about music, culture and life itself has not been a priority. Having said that, we at ZIF are busy behind the scenes working on some projects I’m eager to share with you, mums for now though.

Now, onto this REKS track. I was put onto REKS by the big homie Singapore Kane, and I can say, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Nobody out there is currently working as hard as this cat right here. He must live in the studio because it’s non-stop releases when he’s not on tour. This track is off the forthcoming “Revolution Cocktail” mixtape which will be released on iTunes on 1/22/13 (mixtape releases on iTunes trip me out). Singapore has also been in the studio with REKS recently, look out for that banger of a collabo on his upcoming work, Waves N Shades, no doubt Beantown’s finest right there.

Hit the jump to peep some footage of REKS I took a few years ago when he was around my way.

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Olympic Boogie Raps

I don’t know why event inspired music excites me, it just does. The mixtape features a solid underground cast of emcees, none more intriguing as NY Knicks guard, Iman Shumpert on the last track. He’s not half bad (footage of Iman rapping), other tracks feature professional rappers: Action Bronson, Slum Village, Vince Staples, Michael Uzowuru, Chip Tha Ripper, Pro Era. Very patriotic stuff, represent the stripes.

He In London

Leave it to the Grind King to drop the first anthem for the London Olympics. Mistah F.A.B. teams up with London’s Mega & Mayhem of S.A.S (formerly of Dipset acclaim). The track is high energy featuring predictable references to the city and the Olympics. You can bet your bottom dollar that American athletes will be bumping this while pocketing their gold. If you don’t, I’m sure the Grind King will gladly accept the buck.

Mistah F.A.B. – I’m in London featuring SAS (remix)

Also, be sure to download that Beast Mode mixtape GK dropped, it’s a potential mixtape of the year candidate.

Steely Chan

When this project hit the ZIF box I was immediately doubtful about it’s merit, as I usually am with so-called “mashups”. I see music fusion en par with fusion food; a lot of hype surrounding a combination of genres forced upon the world by unqualified chemists. Even the name, Steely Chan, was a blend I approached with caution. What caught my attention were the artists used in the mashup, a series of certified hip hop artists, uncompromising ones at that, all of whom were to be fused with the raw funk sound of Dutch outfit, Lefties Soul Connection. Random to say the least, but my interest was piqued and I hit the all important download button. Here’s my favorite tracks from their project titled Left of the Golden Era. 

Props Over Bam Bam (Steely Chan’s Blender Mash)

Shook Ones Chop It (Steely Chan’s Blender Mash)

How Many Welly Wanging MCs (Steely Chan’s Blender Mash)

This Canadian production duo has earned my trust with this release, enter with caution if you like, but you shall leave unscathed, this is fusion worth a listen. Plus Canadians are virtually harmless, we all know that. Download the mixtape free of charge.


With Big K.R.I.T. still in full beast mode, there are two things that you cannot say are dead: Def Jam and Southern Rap.

K.R.I.T.’s debut album ‘Live From The Underground’ is in stores June 5th courtesy of Cinematic/Def Jam Records. Download the mixtape, featuring 4evaNaDay here. Peep zee artwork.

Jon Wayne Pulls The Trigger (Free Mixtape, Obvs)

Shout Out to Stones Throw for the heads up on this new mixtape from Jon Wayne which dropped today. I did find it amusing that they still advertise that these mixtapes are free, I mean, what’s not free nowadays?According to his Facebook page it looks like he was supposed to drop this on Friday, but was itching to shed it off his hard drive, and dropped it today like a G on Mediafire, Stones Throw quickly swooped in and had directed most downloads to their server.  This guy is a personal fave of mine, his beat selection on this mixtape is a big reason why, who wouldn’t like a FlyLo bootleg. Peep the tracks below and see if you want to download it son, for FREE! That first track “whatarewegonnacallit” is dope fiyah.

Jon Wayne ft. Zeroh – Whatarewegonnacallit

Jon Wayne – Played Out

Lotus Bootleg

Sammy G Dropping That ‘Sick Tape’ Soon (Cover Art)

Original & Dope Artwork by Cristin Tisdale

Yes, I will not deny it: Sammy G puts out projects when he feels like it, not when you tell him to. Having said that, here is the cover artwork for the upcoming Sammy G mixtape, aptly called Chemical Imbalance. Following the successful release of the first release off the project, “Stars Above”, it is with great anticipation that I release this new track, “Your bad”. Sammy spills some beans on this one, poignantly expressing the frustrations that come with being a young 20 something in a world as uninspiring as the one we have been waking up to recently. Though his struggles are surely subjective, if not overly private, his ability to manifest some of that angst on tracks like this is surely a positive sign for the content we can expect on this upcoming drop. Here’s to not blaming anyone but Sam when his project is enjoyed by many.

Sammy G – Your Bad

Look out for a tracklist this week. And the drop at the end of the month.

Singapore Kane – Lion Tamer [audio postcard]

Another gem leaked off the upcoming Wrath of Kane mixtape. I don’t know how I feel about the idea of taming a ‘lion’, but me likey this track. Big ups to ‘Kane, we should have a track listing and perhaps cover art ready to show you guys by next week. Stay tuned!

Singapore Kane – Lion Tamer

Illmatic. Fashawn. Fa Sho.

One of last years breakthrough albums was Fashawn’s debut album with Exile, Boy Meets World. The album is explicity content rich, laced with some of Exile’s best beats in the past few years, it contended for album of the year in many hip hop minds. It will be a hard pressed effort for Fashawn to avoid the sophomore jinx syndrome that plagues so many new acts, which is why this Ode To Illmatic mixtape is genius. No matter what you think of this mixtape, you can’t judge an homage, it’s not civilized. Peep the first few tracks…


CA State Of Mind

Lifes A Bitch Feat Talib Kweli

Alas, no means a meaningful reinterpretation of fine art, but it is risk free and historically important.The rest of the mixtape/album is worth the bitrate and megabytes. Download it at XXL, respect to dem and Orisue for the sponsorship.

Mixtape Review: Dom Kennedy: From The Westside, With Love

I’ve heard the weather has been pretty horrible out East, but for all of us that have been on the left side of the map over the past 2-3 weeks, it’s almost as if summer came early. 70 degrees and cloudless in March? All you haters can’t say nothing about that! Anyways, days like we’ve had recently make me start thinking about the actual summer, and looking for music that embodies that feeling of relaxed joy you get from doing nothing more than just laying in the sun. All bias aside, I think the West has that type of sound on lock. I remember being 16 years old thinking about why people no longer listened to West Coast music. I kept on wondering “What do they bump when it’s nice out and they wanna burn some trees? Wu-Tang is tight, Killer Mike is raw, but I wouldn’t ever play that shit at a BBQ.” I’ve since found some music from east of The Rockies that’s cool for a sunny day, but nothing that matches that feeling of some 90’s E-40, DJ Quick, Operation Stackola, or anything produced by Battlecat. So leave it up to another MC from Cali to hit us with the first album of the year tailored made to put a smile on your face when you’re kicking it outside, or rolling around town with the windows down.

I first started listening to Dom Kennedy about a year and half ago. A friend of mine told me to look him up for a concert I was putting together, and although that didn’t work out, it got me to download his first, and still my favorite project, 25th Hour, and I’ve been a fan ever since (Catch up on Dom’s full discography, including From The Westside, With Love, for FREE here. Dom’s got a smooth and light hearted approach to the way that he raps that makes him easily distinguishable even after just a few listens. His flow is slow and drawn out, but far from lazy. It conforms to the beat, yet has a cadence unlike practically any other rapper I’ve heard. He mos def is not a thug, and I wouldn’t call him an LA hipster either. His music gives you the sense that he’s just a cool guy that likes to drink, smoke, go out to party, and hang out with the ladies. He exhibits great balance because his projects aren’t so lovey dovey that it will make all the fellas want to turn it off (although some will disagree with me), but at the same time Dom doesn’t really spit anything offensive or ultra aggressive that will make the ladies feel uncomfortable. Out of rappers that are out today, I think he makes some of the best hip-hop for situations when you’re with a diverse group of people with lots of different musical interests, and you just want to vibe out to some cool shit.

A Leimert Park Song

With his newest album, From The Westside, With Love, Dom gives the fans his fourth free project in two years. It’s 16 songs deep, an hour long, and a feel good record from start to finish.  Lyrically Dom continues to solidify the style he’s been working on since 25th Hour, and earns my respect by not really letting up on any tracks, regardless of their subject matter. On “1997” Dom raps for 3 minutes straight without a chorus about topics ranging from growing up in Leimert Park, picking up ladies, the music he listens to, his career, and in general how dope he is. “The Hotels” is one of many songs dedicated to the females, and features Dom rapping about the women that spend the night in his hotel rooms, over a smooth keyboard and synthesizer combo reminiscent of some 90’s West Coast gangsta luv tracks, paired with modern drums capable of setting off car alarms. Yet for everyone that gets bored with songs about being a laid back player, “A Leimert Park Song” is a track for all of the hip-hop heads out there. Dom raps about his determination to make it in the game with an organ and vocal heavy soul sample and some simple drums that get your lips curving upwards and your head nodding like a sports souvenir.


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100 Words And Running (Out of A Machine Gun)

Ah, Machine Gun Kelly, tis been a while since we’ve delved into the Cleveland spitters world. For those of you who may have jumped on the ZIF bandwagon a little late, you should go peep that interview we did with Kells, because that was hot lava. You show me a better rapper from the Midwest, and I’ll show you my 14 inch cock (flaccid). This time MGK has teamed up with Mr. Peter Parker and Dj E-V, aptly dropping a mixtape titled, 100 Words And Running. Here’s betting the mixtape (dropping tomorrow here on the Zebreezy among other places) will feature more than a 100 words, and most of you will end up running to tell your friends you found the next Eminem. Of course, you’d be terribly wrong, Kells is no Eminem, think faster, hungrier, and prettier (no homo), that’s the Machine Gun Kid. Ah, fuck it, watch the promo and come back tomorrow to download the tape. Peace.

Saints Spit Out A Super Bowl Victory, Curren$y does the same

Last night the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl for the first time ever, bringing a little hope and glory to a city in dire need of positive attention. New Orleans native Curren$y also scored a meaningful touchdown with the city this weekend, dropping the Smokee Robinson Mixtape. Curren$y is my favorite rapper to count on in a jiffy. For example, say you’re running out of the house and are in desperate need of a banging mixtape for the whip, Curren$y is your man. Scope a few of the tracks and click the album cover to download the fine product. Go Saints.

Fat Raps ft. Chip Tha Ripper & Big Sean

Smash On O’Leary

Monte Carlo Music

Rather Than Read


Oh, puns and mixtape titles, horse and carriage stuff. Not much marketing happened for this latest Wiz mixtape, sort of came out of the cut like Nate Dogg in “Regulate”. Ironically it’s some of his better stuff he’s recorded this year. So roll a fatty, and do as your told, burn, baby, burn.

Wiz Khalifa – B.A.R.

Wiz Khalifa – Weekend

Wiz Khalifa – When U Find


Track list after the jump.

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Doom, Doom Doom, Doom, Doom

Doom is 38 years old. FYI.

MF Doom is the prototypical polarizing artist. His subjectively complex sound leaves fans either in love with Doom or incapable of listening to an entire track. For those that appreciate the British export, you should be made aware that Gold Dust Media are preparing a DOOM B-Sides and collaborations album entitled “Unexpected Guests”, set for release in November 2009. The compilation was sequenced by Metal Fingers himself, so unlike that Lil Kim tape, this is official. Even though MF Doom just dropped his album “Born Like This” earlier this year, Doom beats the path again and this will serve to be a great education tool for cats that slept on Doom since the 80’s. Peep the promotional trailer (below) and the press release with track list (after the jump).


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The Queen doesn’t eat with peasants

Not officially endorsed by the Queen herself.

Click cover to download

So Lil Kim has “dropped” a new mixtape! Wait, don’t yawn, trust me, this is a major internet story right now, Google it. Granted, Lil Kim putting out a mixtape is somewhat comical, and the cover is ludicrous. Appropriately or not, the cover art is what the internet gossip has latched onto. Apparently the blog world is appalled by her malicious attempt to make herself “white” with the blatant platinum blonde, blue-eyed and bleached skin look. The list of disgusted racial purists include the ‘urban’ folks over at Media Takeout for example, or the Jerries over at StackHouse Recordings and the elitist over at Ihiphop, you too, I see you son. Let’s peep the promo and see what this vile woman has thrust upon us.

Frankly as far as the music goes, this is worth the hard drive space. Too many classic Bad Boy joints remixed proficiently for this mixtape to suck. The true value of this story is in fact a moral, so listen up fellow bloggers. First of all, most mixtape cover art is outside the responsibility of the artist, hence, there is often little correspondence or collusion regarding the ‘artwork’ itself. More importantly, from what my sources have gathered, and I commend any effort to disprove this, this is a fan-made mixtape, not a Lil Kim endorsed project. As far as I’m concerned Kim wouldn’t know the difference between “Bee Mixes” and her favorite cocktail if prodded.

So get off her proverbial nuts guys! You think she had her hand on the mouse when Photoshop was open? Shit, she’s spending her time with those nice white folks who get paid to dance badly on TV. Photoshop? Photoshop? (Insert Iverson rant about practice, replace every ‘practice’ with ‘photoshop’)

I hope you get my gist, suckers.

Tracklisting after the jump.

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