The Doppelgangaz X Some Cow Shit

This is my 3rd or 4th public service announcement about this group and their pending release, Hark (March 12th), can you tell I’m excited? I must say this video was “meh” at best, though I can see how for a couple of emcees out of New York this conceptualized well on paper. In my experience with video shoots, I know that location is imperative, and hard to reach locations are paramount. Nevertheless, I haven’t been this giddy about a New York based hip hop release since Papoose. Oops, I hope I didn’t just jinx it.

Overall Grade: B-

Kings of NY?


So as many of you know, we at ZIF do a lot more than post a random piece of work once in a while. As a full service artist development agency, we are constantly looking for ways we can integrate ourselves into up and coming artists and make an impact on their career trajectory. That being said, we’ve been busy this week satiating clients. Okay, caveat installed.

But not so busy that I can’t take a brief moment to highlight this single off the new The Doppelgangaz album, Hark. As I’ve mentioned before, [bold statement alert] they are my favorite rap act out of NYC. For the record, they’re big overseas. It’s a good litmus test actually, anytime a rap act is big in Europe but relatively unknown Stateside you can bet they are spitting some truth. For those that remember what rap looked like in that town before A$AP, this is your ticket. The new album drops March 15th, if this single is an indication of quality on the rest of the project, I have a feeling their presence won’t be so damn Eurocentric.

Beats, Rhymes, Life

1. If you have a soul, you stopped listening to The Black Eyed Peas somewhere after Bridging The Gap and the release of Elephunk. Without a doubt, everyone at some point has had their fill of the global pop group. Needless to say that Will.I.Am is the braintrust and one true talent of the bunch, yet he’s been equally annoying in his existence, plus he produces for terrible acts. Well, apparently NASA disagrees with everything I just said. About half and hour ago they blasted Will.I.Am’s new single ” Reach for the Stars” via the Mars Rover to pretty much the whole galaxy I’m assuming. Here’s the official link to NASA’s press release about it all, plus some live streaming of the event. Galactic fail if you ask me. The picture, not so official.

2. Falside, a name we haven’t uttered on ZIF for a minute now. Well, that sure hasn’t stopped him from pumping out dope product quicker than your favorite burger chain. If there’s a beatsmith who has put out more quality beat tapes over the last 3 years, I have not stumbled across he/she. This track is off his “Strictly Streaming” series, nice concept, better beat.


3. Local dope: When you think of South LA rappers, you’re bound to get stuck on the TDE train (Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar). Skeme is a rapper from Inglewood that has been on my radar since I moved here half a decade ago, known for his knockabout rhymes with an equally smooth flow, could we looking at the next TDE addition? Perhaps, as for now, here’s a collab off his Alive & Living album out on October 16th with “LA Diddy”, Schoolboy Q. THC produced, light it up.

4.  When old music is new sounds. Sean Price is a sporadically minded artist, constantly putting out videos, interviews, and music that can be labelled random often. Needless to say when I saw that he had released a pack of “new sounds” via his SoundCloud, I had my suspicions. The music isn’t new, P explained on Twitter it’s actually old material that has been lying around. He also went on to say it has made him excited about the prospects of dropping a new LP. Sweet. After months of letting Duck Down release his music, he hooked up his own SoundCloud page, check it often for new and “new” music.

5. I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again. The Doppelgangaz are the most underrated rap act out of NYC. Here is another video, the final one, promoting their project Beats for Brothels, Vol. 2. Stream the album, and pre-order below the video. Stop saying I don’t give you the what’s what, here it be.

The Doppelgangaz, now you know.

The primary difference between The Serengeti (music industry) today and a decade ago is  sheer size and scope. With the birth of Web 2.0 and viral marketing via social means, it has successfully empowered the independent “artist” and all but extinguished the classic industry formula for success. The downside to all of this? There is a lot of crap out there. Such inundation can lead to the wrong people being slept on and the horribly wrong people being propped up. Good music is a process of production, which is why the video (above) is an exemplary example of the difference between talented musicians and rappers with nepotistically minded friends. The Doppelgangaz produce great music, and are probably the most slept on rap act out of NYC right now. Yes, we know about Mr. Mufthafuckin Exquire, we know about the Flatbush Zombies and yeah, I heard of Big Baby Ghandi. Still stand by the statement, we’ll touch on the group more and more as we do with art we cosign, but for now, peep their process and their product. It’s all love.