Skyzoo & Pete Rock feat. Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn & Elzhi – “Eastern Conference All Stars”

Retropolitan is as New York as ordering a chopped cheese sandwich and a Backwoods while being watched by a bodega cat. It’s a crowded and delayed 4 train clattering into the Crown Heights-Utica Avenue station, a dollar slice, a yellow cab, a killer crossover at The Rucker, a busted fire hydrant in the summer with kids leaping into the water. It is a dozen tracks of elegiac, restore-the-feeling, five boroughs hip-hop from two of the finest to ever incinerate a mic or set an SP-1200 aflame: Skyzoo and Pete Rock. Welcome to the rebirth of the city.

Let Skyzoo tell it: this is a love letter and a wakeup call to New York, all at the same time, as they have witnessed its culture stripped away layer by layer.  The tone on the Mello Music Group album is clarion from the introductory clips of “Men Like Us.” The Brooklyn MC and the Mount Vernon immortal have been tested in the wars; they’re experts trained under fire, fated to make waves and create change. In an industry overrun by clout- chasing amateurs, Retropolitan is testament to mastery of craft, the meticulous story-telling, sample chopping, syllabic intricacy, and drum pattern genius that can only come from a virtuosic pair for whom hip-hop perfection has been a lifelong pursuit.
You already know Pete Rock. If you don’t, just check the records shattered in the hip-hop Hall of Fame.  The Chocolate Boy Wonder is on everyone’s production Mount Rushmore. He is arguably the greatest remixer of all-time, behind both classic solo albums (Soul Survivor I and IIPeteStrumentals) and in the group formation with his original partner CL Smooth. In “T.R.O.Y,” he’s responsible for the anthem that defines the golden age of the most important form of musical expression of the last half-century. He made “The World is Yours.” And he crucially became a principal influence on subsequent production visionaries like J Dilla and 9th Wonder.

Today, Sky and Pete are back with Retropolitan’s second single, the dream team posse cut “Eastern Conference All Stars.”  When putting together Retropolitan, one of the first ideas I had was to put together the ultimate posse cut, with everyone who’s on the record being who I always had in mind” Skyzoo recalled.  “Something in the vein of DMX’s “Ni**as Done Started Something,” Jay-Z’s “Reservoir Dogs,” LL’s “4321” etc.  I broke the idea down to Pete and he immediately played this beat.  Pete knew exactly what would work for us to go bar crazy.  When you put 5 top-tier lyricists on the same team at the same time; a blowout game ensues.  Glad to have my peoples, who happen to be some of the best in the biz penmanship wise all in the same starting lineup for this all star game.”

Retropolitan includes 12-tracks, all produced by Pete Rock, with features from Styles P, Benny The Butcher, Conway, Westside Gunn, Elzhi and Raheem Devaughn.  It is more than an album of dope rhymes and dope beats.  It’s two generations of legendary native New Yorkers putting it down and pulling no punches. 

Skyzoo & Pete Rock’s Retropolitan will be released on 9-20-19 via Mello Music Group.

Stream Skyzoo & Pete Rock f/ Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn & Elzhi “Eastern Conference All Stars”:

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Elzhi, Ras Kass, M-Dot & Large Pro – Reaganomics

Elzhi, Ras Kass, M-Dot and Large Pro is one of the most legendary line-ups you’re going to see this year. “Reaganomics” is a legacy that’s endured almost four decades and is more relevant now than it was back in the 80’s when the [Anti-Robin Hood] concept was scribbled down on Bonzo’s napkin. For those in the dark about the system, it’s where corporations/wealthy lined their pockets from the taxation of the middle class, creating huge national debt and unredeemable budget deficits which forced future administrations to cut funding for social programs. 4 legends tackle the topic with their 4 unique perspectives, in the 4 unique styles you know and love them for. “Reaganomics” is produced by B Leafsoff his upcoming debut album “The Horizon” out Jan 29th. #elzhi #raskass #mdot #largepro

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Ace Clark feat. Elzhi – “Maxine”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ace Clark was baptized in bars; from singing in the church choir to writing his first rhymes to impress girls. Although only 26 years old, Ace’s ever growing popularity lead to DJ Clue hosting his first project, to having legends such as Ice-T, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Elzhi, Skyzoo and Peter Rosenberg support the rising artist.

Ace’s debut, The Good Fight, (2015) was well-received and received glowing marks from Afropunk, DJbooth, 2Dopeboyz, Vibe, HipHopDx, Team Backpack, The Source, Billboard, MTV, Hot 97 & BET’s 106 & Park to name just a few.

Ace’s mantra is about creating music that pushes the culture forward while withstanding the test of time; and that’s what he has accomplished with his sophomore album Black Privilege. The project is entirely composed, written and arranged by Ace and accentuated throughout by live instrumentation and neo-soul head-nods; all of the samples utilized on the project are Ace’s vocals that have been pitched corrected and modulated.

After warning you that life will pass you by if you don’t recognize the “Signs” with Talib Kweli and Joell Ortiz (which was premiered by Ambrosiaforheads), Ace is back with “Maxine,” where he and Elzhi weave the ultimate story of betrayal.  With a choice Slick Rick vocal sample, “Maxine” is a love triangle no one would want to live through.

Ace Clark’s Black Privilege will be released on 9-14-18 and is now available to pre-order and favorite:

Listen to Ace Clark f/ Elzhi “Maxine” (Produced by Ace Clark):

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ChanHays feat. Elzhi, Skyzoo & Uptown XO – “Running”

Canada, similarly to the US, has several cities that are its hip-hop hot spots. While there is not nearly as many, and nor are they nearly as saturated with artists, most music fans can name at least an MC or two from Vancouver, one or two from Montreal, and maybe three or four from Toronto. However, unless you are a Canadian, or are deeply into underground hip hop from the late ‘90s, you are not likely to know that Halifax, Nova Scotia boasts an established scene full of talent.

Yep, you guessed it; we’re mentioning all that because ChanHays is a Halifax native who was a part of that scene with his group Something Good in the early ’00s. He eventually left the group with the goal to spread out and work with heads from all over. And that is exactly what he did. On top of working with some of the best MCs Canada’s East coast has churned out (Saukrates, Ghettosocks, TaiChiChi), he went and got all our favorite true school MCs from across the US for his upcoming album, Here. There are so many dope names, we aren’t even going list them, I am just going to hit you with the impressive tracklist below.

ChanHays had this to say about the variety of sounds and depth of talent on the project: “I wanted a wide range in the sound to showcase my production. I feel I can do it all. That said, there’s a continuity throughout the tracks and the artists featured. These are artists I’ve been a fan of for years and I think I’ve given them backdrops on which they can really flex.”

After premiering the Cool Kids assisted “New Bag” with Mass Appeal a few weeks ago, ChanHays is back with “Running” featuring Elzhi, Skyzoo & Uptown XO (AKA ½ of Diamond District) which was exclusively premiered by Hiphopdx. Spoiler alert—BARS!!!

ChanHays debut album, Here, will be released on 10-20-2017.


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