CRDS Presents-Some More Faves From 2010 Vol 2

Hey kids, fed up with wack commercial garbage?...worried that there is no good Hip Hop out there anymore?...Yes?...well what you need in your life is...

No utter wackness like Nicki Minaj and Young Money and Souljah Boy etc here sir!!!, REAL Hip Hop from artists that care and are true to Hip Hop and all of it's elements.

1-Cap-D-Who, What, Where, Who, Why? (prod by Proh Mic)
2-Epsilon Project-Inspiration (Produced by Kev Brown)
3-Blueprint ft Illogic-Pain (Produced by Blueprint)
4-Celph Titled ft Sadat-X, O.C. Grand Puba & Diamond D-There Will Be Blood (Produced by Buckwild)
5-Meyhem Lauren-New York Where Ya At? (Produced by PF Cuttin)
6-Black Milk-Welcome (Gotta Go)
Produced by Black Milk)
7-Bun-B-Let 'Em Know (Produced by DJ Premier)
8-Roc Marciano-Snow (Produced by
Roc Marciano)
9-Hell Razah-Cinematic (Produced by 4th Disciple)
10-Rock-Seriously (Produced by Shuko)
11-Damu The Fudgemunk-DC Joint (Guru Dedication)
Produced by Damu The Fudgemunk)
12-Whitfield Brothers fr Edan & Mr Lif-The Gift (Oh No Remix)
13-Gangrene ft Evidence and Fashawn-Wassup Wassup
14-Guilty Simpson-Friends Only (Produced by Madlib)
15-Shinsight Trio-Where There's A Moon That Is Mine

NB: I just noticed that the Epsilon Project track was on the first volume, please replace it with this one
Midaz The Beast-Glaciers of Ice


The welcome return of The Planets...


After 6 long years away The Planets return with the former Flipmode Squad member Roc Marciano produced EP "PLANET ROC". Seven cuts of straight, raw Hip Hop, like how its supposed to be. Featuring Scorzayzee, gENSu dEAN, Ikwon and Roc himself.


Get the EP now from iTunes:

The Planets History...

The Planets birthed a style a million rappers are doing now meaning the Muslims that are involved in Hip Hop, and rhyming spirituality from a Islamic perspective. I do not literally mean a million rappers but I’m just emphasizing the point. Before Mecca 2 Medina and The Planets as far as the U.K and possibly the world is concerned, there were no orthodox Muslim Hip Hop crews in the mainstream scene. There were many Muslim rappers but many were afraid to express their beliefs for fear of non radio play and being blocked from the scene. Now I'm going to give the history of the groups. Mecca 2 Medinas original members are Rakin, Ishmael and myself later on followed by Ikwon (Dawud Saifullah) and Abdul Karim.

Rakin had the idea to start the group. In the early nineties he was part of another well known U.K group called Cash Crew. Rakin and Ishmael became friends and were both interested in Islam and Hip Hop. Myself and Ishmael were childhood friends and went to the same high school South Kilburn High, this is how all 3 of us linked up.

At the time I was a solo artist and Rakin was a struggling father living in a south London flat, myself and Ishmael also lived in council accommodation in North West London. We would meet up regularly at Rakin's incense stall in Shepherds Bush. I asked Rakin if he would feature and produce a track on my then solo project. The result of this was a track called "Gangster Role"which featured all 3 original Mecca 2 Medina members.

The chemistry was good so Rakin ran the idea of the crew by me and the crew was then born, we would also attend Shaykh Babikrs circle every Saturday in his house in Finchley together. I cant begin to detail how much opposition we faced from people Muslim and non Muslim. We would also travel up and down the country doing our thing at shows.

Our first show was in Manchester and no lie you can ask the brothers we must have rhymed for around 3 hours non stop for a little £250. This helped finance our first release “Life After Death” and to pay for studio time we all chipped in together. On one of these shows at the NEC Birmingham we met Ikwon who kicked a crazy freestyle to me. 

He then became part of the crew. Abdul Karim was introduced to Rakin who was asked to take care of him by the Shaykh I believe as he was then new to Islam. He also had been previously involved in music so now there were 5 of us and we did many shows together as well as records and videos.

After that I decided to form my own crew with my brother Bilal Sonrize, that's how The Planets was born around 1998. Later on I was introduced to now member Ayman Raze through a mutual friend. We decided to jump straight into the mainstream Hip Hop scene and also went through a lot of trials and tribulations. 

We released an album, many singles and an EP and also videos and received acceptance from the wider worldwide Hip Hop community. We also featured in many publications and never once backed down from discussing our beliefs in interviews and to the public. We put our hard earned pennies together to press records for little or no return because we believed in what we were doing.

I’m saying all this to say in this culture called Hip Hop, we have a unfortunate way of not giving props or respect to those who came before us. Like people calling Jay Z one of the greatest rappers, then not knowing about Jaz O, the brother who bought him into the game and the one he got his whole style from. 

People talking about Nas but not knowing about Rakim. I could go and and on but what I’m saying is without us making the above sacrifices, I don’t believe there would be a avenue for Muslims to do Hip Hop and feel comfortable over here.

Mecca 2 Medina and The Planets helped pave the way for Muslims to be involved in Hip Hop in the U.K if not the world. Some of the more well known ones have even told us that they were inspired by what we do. Nowadays there are literally hundreds of Muslim rappers but a lot don’t know the contribution we all made and some are unfortunately doing it for the wrong reasons i.e. money and fame. Don’t get me wrong, we like money like the next man but we’re not going to sell our soul for a quick buck. I’m making the above statement about Hip Hop artists in general as well.

I am proud to see there are many brothers and sisters doing their thing. A lot of people don’t know who we are and most of the above comments have also been made by people that know us and understand our contributions to the game. Ask any real head, success and popularity does not = skills. If that wasn’t the case, Soulja Boy would be considered the best rapper alive. There a lot of unsung heroes who never get recognized for their craft. 

I am still a humble student of Hip Hop and Islam and there are way too many people that came before us.

As far as the above mentioned statements I claim that because I was a part of that legacy. This is not me being egotistical its me stating the facts. So when we say we’re “Back In Business” that is what we are talking about, representing our spirituality and beliefs through this art we love called Hip Hop. So BELIEVE THE HYPE! We are foundation. In other words, how can we be “back in business” if we were never in business in the first place!
This is not a personal shot at anyone but a way of me clearing up any possible fitnah or misrepresentation. And Allah knows best, may He forgive me for my shortcomings as I am not perfect.

Peace and salaam,

Nomadic Poet




Interview with Jeff Spec...

CRDS: Jeff, please give CRDS readers a brief history on your background, what is your first Hip Hip memory, how were you introduced to Hip Hop?.

Jeff Spec- I think the first hip hop record I ever heard was Licensed To Ill.. The concept of rhyming blew my mind. I was just like "WTF is this??!?"


CRDS: What was the one record that influenced you the most to be an MC?

Jeff Spec- The first record that really spoke to me, and made me decide to rap, was Special Ed's "I Got It Made"... It was a wrap for me at that point.


CRDS: What are your top 5 albums of 2010 so far?

Jeff Spec- It's always tough to pick, but if I had to make a list, I'd say Broken Bells' self-titled album, Erykah Badu's "New Amerykah PT II", The Black Keys' "Brothers", The Roots' "How I Got Over", and Slum Village's "Villa Manifesto" EP.

CRDS: Does Moka Only live in a studio and if so does he ever leave it haha?

Jeff Spec- HA! Yessir, we all basically have home studios, and it's tough to leave. There's a lot of inspiration in the world, so you know, you step outside for a few minutes and then you have something else to write about.


CRDS: You have toured with and supported many notable Hip Hop artists, are there any shows that
stand out for you in particular Jeff?

Jeff Spec- It would be nearly impossible to single out the best ones, because just being on stage at all is like my first love, along with the actual creative aspect of music. Touring with cats like The Beatnuts, Raekwon, Aceyalone... those are special moments. Especially when someone you've grown up listening to gives you the nod, it's always a good feeling.
CRDS: Jeff, you have released close to solo 10 albums, which one is the album you are most proud of?

Jeff Spec- Actually, I'm sitting at 17 or 18 albums right now, and maybe 3 or 4 of those are not solo... I'd have to say that Sneakerboxxx is definitely my best work to date. I'll always be most proud of the newest record, because I never release anything that I feel isn't better than the last thing!

CRDS: Wow :O

Jeff Spec-Please list some Canadian Hip Hop artists that you feel never got their due, are you a fan of
mcenroe and the Peanuts and Corn crew?


Jeff Spec
- McEnroe is the homey, he's a great dude and has developed a great business model for an indie record label, way before that was present in hip hop. Some Canadian artists who could reach way farther than they have are Saukrates, Shad, D Sisive, e.d.g.e., Jay Kin, Moka Only, and like a thousand more... We have such a huge amount of talent here, I only hope that the recognition thing comes with time! I know we're not ready to sit back and leave it to fate though.
CRDS: In 2002 you released the dope "Dark City" album on esteemed label Day By Day, how did that come about?

Jeff Spec- First of all, thanks for saying so! DJ Fisher was running Day By Day at the time, and he knew about me through Moka, so we started talking, and it just came about naturally. That album made some noise for me and was a good look in general. These days, DJ is running Domination Records and still doing his thing!

CRDS: Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Madlib, Large Professor or Marley Marl (you can only choose one)

Jeff Spec- Can I choose J Dilla so I don't need to make the toughest decision of life?? If not I'm gonna go with DJ Premier. And honorable mention to Pete Rock for being the greatest remixer of all time.

CRDS: haha yes you can Jeff :)

CRDS: What don't like you about Hip Hop today, what aspects of the Old School do you miss the most?

Jeff Spec- I think it's really wack that you can brag about destroying your own community and get over. If you glorify selling crack and living off the miseries of others, you're a sucker, straight up. There's always room for reality rap, but you have to have a message or it's pointless. As far as the old school, I miss the fact that you had to be original at one point... Like, if you came out biting Rakim in '88, you would have been called out, and you'd be over. Nowadays, everyone sounds like everyone and it's almost celebrated. It gets harder to avoid, because there are certain parameters to rhyming and you know, the longer it's around, the more there is that's already been done... But let's try to make something new, right?

CRDS: I could not agree more, well said Jeff.
CRDS:How big is the Hip Hop scene in Vancouver, is it more mainstream than underground?

Jeff Spec- Vancouver has had a thriving hip hop scene for around 20 years now, with some pioneers even setting it off before that. I remember hearing guys like EQ (a group made up of The Incredible Ease, Quaze, and Kilo Cee) on the radio in Detroit when I'd visit my dad back in like '91... As far as the mainstream/underground thing, we have both extremes and everything in between. Vancouver is definitely one of the top 5 largest cities on the west coast of North America, so we're pretty dialled in!

CRDS: What are the future plans for Jeff Spec and The City Planners etc?

Jeff Spec- First and foremost, thank you for saying City Planners... That's still the family, before everything! We're all doing our individual projects, and really staying busy and trying to be productive as possible. Ishkan is even back at it, and Moka and I have been sort of carrying that torch for the years in between. Sichuan and Sweet G are in their respective labs, and we'll always be fam and stay collaborating. I myself have been keeping the City Planner family album in mind, and we all get hyped when the subject gets raised, so that should go down soon.

As for myself, I'm working on a new record called "Outside Things" - that's Jeff Spec as Clarence Coolweather... Moka's producing that whole joint, and we'll see a global release in the new year. I have another album on the go too, which is still just taking shape... But that's coming in the second half of 2011. Meanwhile, I'm keeping the videos coming and hitting the internet with tons of random singles. Staying busy!!

CRDS: No doubt, nice work Jeff...anything you would like to add?

Jeff Spec-
Yessir ... big thanks to Cold Rock Da Spot for supporting my music - Blogging is the new wave of indie media, and I don't take any of the love and support for granted. Without y'all we couldn't do this the way it's being done at all, so thank you!! 

CRDS: No problem at all, peace Jeff and crew :)

Chris Read-Classic Material Edition # 2

The dope follow up to Classic Material mixed by the superb DJ Chris Read is now here, and this time he focuses on Golden Age Hip Hop from one of my fave years in rap music ever,1988.

Edition #2 of the monthly Classic Material series pays tribute to the hip hop of 1988, a year which many consider the 'golden year' of the late 80s. 
As samplers took over from drum machines as the producer's tool of choice, the James Brown drum sound ruled supreme and lyrical subject matter explored new territory.
With seminal (and at the time controversial) album releases from the likes of Public Enemy and NWA, this was a year that changed hip hop forever.
 This mix takes in classic and some lesser known cuts from singles and albums released in 1988.  The CD version includes 2 bonus mixes including "The Breaks of '88", an audio collage of the sample material used in the making of 88's best known hip hop cuts and is available to purchase on its own or as part of our T-Shirt box set from the Classic Material website.

Peep it here...

Verse Essential-Ingenious Free Mixtape

My Man Verse Essential just shot this through to my e-mail and I had to share, pure dopeness that you need to get your heads around...

Big ups Verse Essential

in·gen·ious: Clever, original, and inventive.
They say hip hop is dead but that will soon change with debut mixtape "Ingenious" by up and coming Queens rapper Verse Essential. Verse may be new as a solo artist to the hip hop scene but he is ready to earn his stripes. He was featured on both Access Immortal’s, "New York Yankee" project and the cult classic "The 9th Gate." Fast forward to 2010, Verse Essential is ready to make his own mark with Ingenious.
This incredible debut features guest appearances by Vast Aire (of Cannibal Ox), Karniege, C-Rayz Walz, Swave Sevah, Access Immortal, Fess Gotchu, Substantial, J.D. Nero, Melinda Neal and more. With production from Todd Sykes, Karniege, Mesomatic, DJ Ruckspin to name a few. When one looks at the definition of Ingenious, it means clever at inventing things or cleverly made or thought out. Verse Essential and his mixtape shows just that.

01.) The Opening (Produced By Volume 3)
02.) Between The Lines (feat. C-Rayz Walz) (Produced By Juan Lobo)
03.) Nothing To Lose (feat. JD Nero) (Produced By Juan Lobo)
04.) American Nightmare (feat. Access Immortal & Conquest) (Produced By Todd Sykes)
05.) Old School/New School (Produced By Todd Sykes)
06.) Horizon (Produced By Mesomatic)
07.) Touch (Produced By Mesomatic)
08.) Can't Quit Her (Produced By DJ Ruckspin)
09.) Three Kings (feat. Mighty Ravage & Substantial) (Produced By Todd Sykes)
10.) iManUp (Produced By Todd Skyes)
11.) Heavyweights (feat. Karniege, Swave Sevah, Loer Velocity & Vast Aire) (Produced By Karniege)
12.) The Pain (Produced By Juan Lobo)
13.) Ingenious (Produced By Mesomatic)
14.) Strike With A Vengeance (feat. Fess Gotchu) (Produced By Juan Lobo)
15.) Like It Should Be (Produced By DJ Ruckspin)
16.) Now You Know (feat. Fess Gotchu & Access Immortal) (Produced By Todd Skyes)
17.) More Than A Man (Produced By DJ Ruckspin)
18.) The Ownerz (feat. Todd Sykes & Access Immortal) (Produced By Todd Skyes)
19.) The World Is Mine (feat. Melinda Neal) (Produced By Juan Lobo)
20.) The Closing (Produced By Mesomatic)
21.) The Suntoucher (Part 2) (feat. Mello, Access Immortal, Emaze, Karniege & Science) (Produced By DJ Ruckspin)


DJ Jazzywhut - Kool Out and Kick Back Session 1

1 Don't Forget It (Original Mix)  by  Dabeull ft Jordan Lee 2 So Cool (BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble Remix)  by  Blossom 3 Treasure (...