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Video Confirms Your Old Droog is not Nas

August 26th, 2014 | By



Spoiler alert? Honestly, I don’t know how people still thought the mystery emcee You Old Droog was Queensbridge legend Nasty Nas, but that’s neither here nor there… Either way, a new video surfaced yesterday proving that the rapper is a white dude from New York.

That doesn’t take away the fact that he does make the kind of hip-hop I like, so definitely keep an eye on this cat. He’s also doing a show in New York on Wednesday September 3rd. I’m assuming that should be interesting. Who knows, maybe I’ll pop up!

Thank You Dr. Funkenstein!

August 23rd, 2014 | By


George Clinton and Ill Tal

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of watching George Clinton & P. Funk Allstars perform at the Watermark Hotel in New York City. Since I heard rumors that this would be his last tour, I needed to get a pic with the good Doctor while I still had the change. After the show, me and my friend snuck in the band’s tent, but most of the crew had already left. Luckily, when I went outside on the street I noticed their tour van and a few people taking pics. I got in line and waited…

George is the reason I started making Hip-Hop music, along with tons of other musical and life influences. I had only been this starstruck one other time, and that was when I saw DJ Premier smoking a cigarette on the street in New York.

What do you say to one of your idols? While it was short, here was the awesome convo I had with Dr. Funkenstein…

Me: I have “Poor Willie” and “My Girl” on 45!
George: (with a surprised look on his face) Oh!!! You got that real shit!
Me: There’s only one I can’t find…
George: You got “Lonely Island“?
Me: That’s the one I can’t find! And I live 5 minutes away from Paterson…
George: Paterson? Yea… that’s where we recorded that one.
Me: My dad grew up there. Anyways, thank you for every thing! (shakes hand)

I didn’t know what else to talk about besides vinyl of course… He did look pleasantly surprised that someone at the show was familiar with his first singles. While it might have not been the most profound convo in the world, it definitely meant the world to me.

Aside from meeting George, the show was decent. When you have discography that ranges almost 60 years, it’s hard to pick songs. They performed staples like “Flashlight“, “Maggot Brain“, “Testify“, “Mothership Connection“, “Aqua Boogie” and “One Nation Under a Groove“. Kind of wish they would perform some of the older Funkadelic songs or at least a set similar to the P Funk Earth tour. Either way, still had a great time! Thank you again Dr. Funkenstein.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Can’t Front on Me

August 17th, 2014 | By



A lot of diggers collect any cover of Galt MacDermot‘s classic Broadway musical Hair. There are so many different versions from jazz to Portuguese to Japanese (ask Large Professor!) This particular version was released on Pickwick records and features the musical backing of Geoff Love and Alyn Ainsworth. The track “Where Do I Go?” starts off with a dope guitar/bassline loop that was used by soul brother number 1 – Pete Rock.

One of my favorite Pete Rock beats “Can’t Front On Me” from Mecca and the Soul Brother utilizes the loop/bassline for the main element of the beat. Pete layers some of his favorite drums and adds some vibes and horn stabs for the hook. Check out the original and the way Pete flipped it.

UPDATE: Amazon Cloud Removes “Share File” Feature Without Notice

August 11th, 2014 | By


amazon

UPDATE 8/15/2014:
Looks like the “Share” button has returned to Cloud! I’m happy it was returned, but they really should have prepared customer service better during the disruption.

Previous:
Up until now, I’ve been reasonably happy with Amazon‘s Cloud storage service. Whenever I needed to send snippets or wave files to an artist, I would utilize the “share” feature to generate a download link. It worked great because the links never expired, there were no ads, and Amazon’s servers are reliable. However, that all changed about a week ago…

Apparently, Amazon removed the “share” option completely with a recent update of the online interface. At first I thought maybe I just couldn’t find it. I searched “help” but “share” was missing. I even Googled “how to share a file via amazon cloud” and cached versions of the help pages prove that it did exist and I wasn’t crazy.

amazon_help

So I visited the “Contact Us” section to see what I could find…

1. Online Chat – Online chat was by far the LEAST helpful channel. I was transferred SIX times in 5 minutes without anyone answering my question. Finally, the 6th person explained that Cloud support is not available via “chat” and asked for my phone # so a representative could call me…

2. Phone Rep – Within a few minutes I got a call and was connected to Cloud support customer service. The tech explained that yes, file sharing had been disabled TEMPORARILY. He stated that he could not provide an ETA, but I should consider it temporary. (odd, because they removed it from the “help” section, right?)

3. Email – Still not satisfied, I emailed Amazon as well. The first response made it seem like “File sharing” was never a feature, but they would let me know when it was added… Um….

amazon_email1

Not satisfied, I responded and received a moderately different answer stating that “privacy and security issues” were to blame.

amazon_email2

Interesting that isn’t the answer I got from the phone rep.

4. Twitter – I didn’t get any response womp womp…

5. Facebook – FB had the least insight to offer, but was the most reactive.

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Overall, I think it’s poor service to not inform paying customers that a feature of their service will no longer be supported or explain why. At the very least, they can update their customer service reps about the situation and how to handle better.

Also, rumors are saying that it’s not a security issue, but rather Amazon is receiving pressure because of copyrighted material being shared (i.e. movies and music).

Jeru The Damaja - The Hammer (Review)

July 25th, 2014 | By


Jeru the Damaja - The Hammer

The first live hip-hop show I ever went to was Jeru and Cocoa Brovas (before they were Smif-n-Wessun again). It was right around the time his new single “99 Pacent” dropped. Sadly, that was the last time I really remember Jeru being in the spot light.

However, The Damaja has come back with his new EP entitled The Hammer like he never left. The Brooklyn native’s rhymes and beat selection are still on point, without DJ Premier. Below is the track-by-track review.

  1. 1. Intro – A short, spaced-out speech about the ills in the world and how it’s affecting the youth. Not the most ground breaking intro, but def sets the tone off for themes Jeru speaks on.

  2. 2. Point Blank – A really dope, spacey beat with a hard kick and light snares. Jeru speaks on the differences between the golden era and today. While this isn’t a brand new idea, Jeru rides the the beat perfectly and isn’t afraid to call out skinny jean wearing lames.

  3. 3. So Raw – It’s a goofy beat, but in the same vein as something Premo would have done on his 2nd LP. The track is a typical braggadocio rapper theme, but def a head-nodder.

  4. 4. Attack of the Wack (skit) – Jeru talking over a funky break beat. Sounds very similar to something that would have been said over the “Can’t Stop the Prophet” series.

  5. 5. A.R.M.E.D. – Hands down, the best song on the album. The Beatnuts provide a bugged out banger sounding like someone trying to run a lawnmower under water (yea, I said that lol). Both Juju and Pshyco Les drop hot 16s over the hookless track.

  6. 6. Solar Flares – The other hottest track on the EP, produced by Large Professor. Just pure hip-hop greatness.

  7. 7. The Hammer – Jeru getting more aggressive than he usually does. Pretty cool beat, focusing on the drums and some guitar and Hammond B3 stabs.

  8. 8. Dr. Freedman (Outro) – Jeru changes his voice to imitate a doctor lol. He leaves the album on a high note, pointing out the health hazards of prolonged exposure to wackness.



While the album isn’t as gritty as his previous, Jeru still has it. The beats maintain a golden era sensibility, without sounding dated. And plus, the album is only $3.58 on Amazon! If you can’t afford that, you shouldn’t be reading this on a smart phone fam!

Check it out.

#ProducersBeLike

July 22nd, 2014 | By



The internet has def helped a lot of producers gain exposure. It’s also exposed some hilarious stereotypes that are sometimes true. My latest video takes aim at some of the dumb things hip-hop beat makers do (myself included) – from awkward MPC photos, to e-diggers, 99 cent beats, and more.

It’s all in good fun, so don’t get too offended. Like I said, I’m guilty of some of this stuff too! Have more to add? Tweet @illtalbeats with #ProducersBeLike.

Nas - One Time 4 Your Mind

July 20th, 2014 | By



I picked up Hog Fat by Jimmy Gordon and His Jazznpops Band a few weeks ago while diggin. The Flying Dutchman logo caught my eye and as a rule, I pick up anything with the word “fat” in the title as it’s usually dope – Toe Fat, Fat Mattress, Fatback Band… I skimmed through it when I got home and heard some decent loops and drum breaks. After posting on Instagram I realized I missed the biggest loop on the LP.

The track “Walter L” was famously sampled by Large Professor for Nas’ classic “One Time 4 Your Mind” off of Illmatic. The use of the loop is a testament to what a great ear he has. For some reason, the sample often gets credited to Gary Burton’s version of “Walter L“. Check it out.

Interview on TreksWord.com

July 5th, 2014 | By

TreksWord    Recently, I was lucky enough to get interviewed by TreksWord representing Stolkholm, Sweden.

Fellow beatmaker/blogger Trek asked plenty of great questions like my difficulties promoting music, what equipment I use, how I feel about the 90′s resurgence and the drama with my Joey Bada$$ video. It’s really in-depth so make sure you take a read.

Full interview here.

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