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Along the way I lost faith in Portland’s hip-hop. Too many people in my scene stumble off the beat and path of rapping for purpose, or making music because they love it. Instead, they get lost in the thought of fame, attention and money. You know, the stereotypical ‘bad rap’ evaluation: lazy rhymes where the only consistency seems to lie in the subjects: cars, bitches, and money. For most kids I’ve heard around the Portland area, it seems that hip-hop is more of a shortcut to fame than it is an art form.

Seamus Kilbride, AKA Kila, restored my faith. The 19-year old rapper, currently situated in the Bronx, released his debut Mixtape, 93 Til this past week. The sense throughout the 19 tracks is that Kila doesn’t care about the status – but rather he is rapping because….. he loves to rap. That’s refreshing.

93 Til is raw hip-hop; no gimmicks or catchy hooks. Kila speaks with passion, soul, and relief. With 19 tracks, it seems like the young MC has been working diligently while waiting for the right time to drop his content. 93 Til is the result of such patience. Instead of pumping out multiple, mediocre mixtapes, he waited until he mastered his delivery. By no means is it a perfect project, but it’s a strong debut.

Every song was packed with energy. Kila reeled off line after line. The rhymes seemed infinite. Kila used beats from 9th Wonder, Dilla, & Doom amongst other lesser-known producers. Nearly every track featured a different producer. Check out all the tracks I posted, then go download his tape if you like it. Kila – 93 Til – Mixtape Download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorites that aren’t on here: “A Glimmer” & “Look of Love”. Go check ’em out.

@codymarcroft

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Here’s some hip-hop treats to pull your mind from finals for a bit & reward your musical taste buds.

No theme this week, just a random mix of some hot stuff I’ve been playing loudly this week.

 

A lot of praise for Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City but I’m a huge fan of Kendrick’s 1st album, Section.80. It undersold, which is a shame. But sales aren’t everything. The underground shook when Section.80 dropped, and the reception was an accepting nod. This track is one of the diamonds on the project.

 

 

Moooooore Kendrick – with a big splash of J. Dilla. Ohhhhh that SOUL. Can’t you feel it?!

 

 

Underground classic, from a classic underground duo.

 

 

What’chu know about that Aussie rap? Bliss N’ Eso is an ill group. Worth more than a listen – go check their discography.

 

 

Gotta have me some Busta Rhymes once in a while. Also can’t seem to escape Dilla. Here’s another he produced (as a member of the Ummah).

 

 

Not sure what it is about Choo; he’s just a likable artist. He’s on the up-and-up, so pay attention to him.

 

 

AHHH I did it again. More J. Dilla to close this edition of Mixtape Monday out. I played this version (the original has vocals over it) on my radio show last weekend. Filthy beat.

 

 

Had to start off Mixtape Monday with a recent discovery. Traum Diggs knows smooth, crisp and classy. I stumbled upon this song, Sax Fifth Avenue Flow, on the rapper’s Twitter page. I’m all about this song and video. Diggs has the voice and flow for rap. The Brooklyn MC’s vocals float over the sax nicely. I’m looking forward to more stuff coming out from this dude, and you can bet I’m following him on Twitter from now on.


 

The MPC master, Pete Rock, does hip-hop and jazz a favor with this beat. This track is off the legendary 1992 album Mecca and the Soul Brother. Pete sampled one of my favorite Kool & the Gang funk tracks, “N.T.” but the jazz comes from Freddie McCoy’s “Gimmie Some!”

 

 

And what is Mixtape Monday without some Dilla? Here’s a nice jazzy tune for your eardrums. It’s hard not to like anything that Dilla churned out in his time. One of the most beloved (and missed) producers of all time, Yancey dug up some of the best music for his crates. In the above track, he sampled a 1970s jazz group called Placebo, which is actually a really popular group in the world of hip-hop samples. The song is called “Humpty Dumpty” off the album Ball of Eyes, if you’re interested in youtube-ing it. Pete Rock and Madlib have also sampled it.

  

 

Why not stay on the Dilla train? It changes weekly, but this track is one of my favorite Dilla productions at the moment (along with “Don’t Cry” – solely for the sentimental value and emotion behind it).  But this one here, “Didn’t Cha know” is gold; especially with the grace of Erykah Badu’s beautiful voice serenading our ears. Dilla samples another little-known artist, Tarika Blue, off their 1976 album Downtown. Digging up that sample was a testimony to Dilla’s knowledge of music. What a great collaboration on this. Overall Mama’s Gun is a phenomenal album – so you should peep the whole thing while you’re at it (there’s a gang of great producers on it).

 

 

One of my all-time favorite songs from my all-time favorite duo, The People Under the Stairs from L.A. On this track, Thes One and Double K cut up Billy Wooten’s xylophone rendition of “We’ve Only Just Begun.” The song came off Wooten’s 1972 album The Wooden Glass – a live set recorded in Indianapolis, and re-released on CD in 2004. I’ve been looking for the ’72 vinyl for a while now, but the cheapest price I’ve found is $90 (yes, it’s a rare record). Oh well, I’ll find it at some thrift shop for 99 cents sooner or later. I digress. Anyway, the People Under the Stairs looped a piece of the xylophone jam, threw a hot beat and groovy filter underneath, and sprinkled some vocals over it. Some of the lyrics on the song are my favorite from the duo, such as when Double K spits:

 

“I’m a fan of hip hop since E.U. and ‘Da Butt’ was in /

and my n***a Doug Fresh ran the show /

Three Times was Dope, and MTV was ‘YO!’ ”

 

Ahhh, those old-school references are refreshing. E.U.’s “Da Butt,” Three Times Dope (hip-hop group), and MTV’s ‘YO! Raps.’ And then Thes One gets all up in the second verse with more:

 

“Something for sophisticated 8th grade hip-hop taste /

For heads that remember the breakup of 3rd Bass /

Tribe, EPMD, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth /

Hear immense influence, they’re congruent in my grooves”

 

 

K. Dot’s currently the best rapper doing it right now, in my opinion. This one is off Kendrick’s first album Section 80. The album didn’t even sold 100,000 copies, but the hip hop world loved it. Especially with tracks like the [J. Cole-produced] “HiiiPower” “Poe Man’s Dream” “F**k Your Ethnicity” and this track here. On this cut, Kendrick goes off on the beat, laying down bars rapidly. Not much else to say here – just admire Kendrick’s flow over the upbeat trumpet.