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Beats + Rhymes

By the time you read this I'll probably be sleeping in a park somewhere in California. For real, I've had just about enough of Toronto, so I'm bouncing. If you pass by me somewhere, I'll most likely be broke, hungry and sober - so if you can, hook a...



By the time you read this I’ll probably be sleeping in a park somewhere in California. For real, I’ve had just about enough of Toronto, so I’m bouncing. If you pass by me somewhere, I’ll most likely be broke, hungry and sober — so if you can, hook a honky up with a couple of cigarettes, a sandwich (no swine!) or a beer in a green bottle. I’m looking to do some interviews, chill with some cool folks and make music, and hopefully find some work somewhere along the way. I’ll be sending out a weekly journal entry to my email list, plus putting up stories, interviews, and photos on my new website, so check for all that info below. Also, look out for my EP on Low Pressure Records. In the meantime, if you checked out DJ Frane’s amazing album last year on Goodvibe Records, you gotta peep his group the Darkside Crooks. Frane comes with beats only he could create, plus the DSC are hella real on the rhymes. The album (The Wino, The Warlock & The Shogun) is on some straight “whisky and weed” hard LA shit. Holler at for info. A little more on the chill vibe, The Angel’s No Gravity (SupaCrucial) finds her wicked dub/hip hop/d&b vibes being blessed by the likes of Cokni O’Dire, Navigator, Divine Styler and Mystic, who also has a new album out on Goodvibe called Cuts For Luck & Scars For Freedom. Her single “The Life” should already be huge by the time you read this. Also outta the Goodvibe camp, look out for J Deville’s Huck Off, which showcases his seriously nice production work, plus a couple of vocal guests and Panda One from the Animal Pharm who’s “A’s To Q’s/ She Knows Not” 12” (Counterflow) is getting regular spins on my tables. Staying out West, cuz that’s how I’m feeling today, Awol One & Daddy Kev’s Souldoubt ( is a must-have, easily one of the strongest records of the year. No explanation needed, just pick it up and you’ll know why. Up North, Vancouver’s killing it with a few dope releases. DJ Moves is behind the boards for Alleged Legends (P&C), a hard-yet-smooth collaborative effort with VanCity veteran Birdapres, and also the Low Pressure Compilation (an introduction to his new label of the same name), which features Governor Bolts, Josh Martinez, Buck 65, Tachichi and more. Also repping the Upcoast, Moka Only continues a string of strong releases with Road Life (Perilunar) and Lime Green (Battleaxe). Back down in the Bay Area, drunken perverts Sacred Hoop have released their best album yet in Sleepover (Miasmatic). If you ain’t knowing, order that shit online at Back on the East Coast, the underground is also alive and well. Atoms Family alumni Cannibal Ox have hooked up with Company Flow’s El-P and created Cold Vein (Def Jux), which just might very well be the album of the year. Also wearing out my needles, Tes’ Take Home Tes (, some sick and twisted mindbending hip hop. I’m also feeling Afu-Ra’s joint (Koch) and about half the tracks on Hi-Tek’s album (Rawkus). Speaking of the underground giant, if you can sort through all the mediocrity they’re flooding the market with lately, you might find some gems from Mad Skillz, Kool G Rap, J-Zone, Mr. Khahlyl and Kool Keith. What the fuck is up with that Smut Peddlers crap? The white boys are eating it up, but it sucks. That shock-value shit is dead. I’d rather listen to something creative, like Prefuse 73’s amazing Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives (Warp – see “Electronic Independence” for more), another contender for album of the year, with beats you can decipher for weeks and a couple of vocal tracks (Aesop Rock, MF Doom, Mikah 9) to balance things out. Beautiful. Also of note, Brother El’s Through the Cracks of Concrete (The Beat Bank), more forward-thinking production matched with skilled lyricism, definitely something to seek out. Aiight, here’s some other shit I’m feeling: Willus Drummond “Makin’ Music (With Your Mom)” (Downs Elementary), V/A Turntables By the Bay (Hip Hop Slam), Insight Presents… (Brick), Triad “Triadd” (, Wee Bee Foolish 12” (, Poets of Rhythm Discern/Define (, MC Potbelly (, Space Invaders (, So-Called Artists (Mush), DJ Sushi The Lost Dub Plates (Hip Hop Slam), Self Scientific The Self Science (S.O.L.), Bad LT Iron Will (Hyperkinetic), Gamma Permanent (Big Dada), Akbar (Ill Boogie), Buck 65 Man Overboard (Anticon), Afu-Ra Body of the Life Force (Koch), All Natural Second Nature (Thrill Jockey), Jelly’s Pierced Tattoo Be Free (, Big Shank “Long Dough” (New Horizon), Equalib (, KRS One The Sneak Attack (Koch), V/A Wild Pitch Classics (Wild Pitch/JCOR), Tack Fu Chain Reaction (Tack Fu), Suge White Where My Dogs At (, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (Ninja Tune), Scarub Heavenbound (, Atmosphere Lucy Ford (Rhymesayers), Met Fly Wiggin Out (Fiendin’), Josh Martinez Made In China (Low Pressure), Eligh Gas Dream (Mean Street)… Whew. That’s a gang of good shit. Good luck. I’ll holler at you next month. Check out and E-mail: / E-mail List:
Send VINYL (not CDs, unless it’s like a demo or something and you can’t afford to press wax, but if you got wax, and you’re hitting me off with a CD, there’s no way I’m reviewing that shit) to: fritz the cat, 650 Dupont St. Box #501, Toronto, ON, M6G 4B1, Canada.



1 V/A: Low Pressure Compilation ( 2 Tes: Take Home Tes ( 3 Panda One: “She Knows Not” (counterflow) 4 Awol One & Daddy Kev: Soul Doubt ( 5 Brother L: Through the Cracks of Concrete ( 6 Sacred Hoop: Sleepover ( 7 J Deville: Huck Off ( 8 Poets of Rhythm: Discern & Define ( 9 Dark Side Crooks: The Wino, The Warlock and The Shogun ( 10 Mystic: Cuts For Luck and Scars For Freedom ( 11 Moka Only: Lime Green ( & Road Life ( 12 Prefuse 73: Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives ( 13 DJ Moves & Birdapres: Alleged Legends ( 14 Cannibal Ox: Cold Vein (

15 The Angel: No Gravity (