One of the discs I've been listening to the most over the past week is the new Knox Family EP from Seattle's hip-hop clique of the same name. Comprised of MC's Jerm and Julie C with DJing and production being handled by B-Girl Mia, the trio recently put a solid 10 track EP that's as funny and clever as it is street savvy and honest. They spent roughly a year piecing it together and the finished product is definitely worth listening to and supporting. While there's three skits and seven songs on the disc, if I had to choose a favorite it would be "Boots Laced," with its outer galaxy style production and E-40esque vocals from Jerm. Toni Hill and Rufio add vocals on various tracks as well. Head to Knox Family's site for more info on the EP.
I'd almost forgotten that there was a new J-Dilla release coming out this spring from the late, great producer. I got a press release about it in February saying that Pete Rock and Ma Dukes (AKA Dilla's mom) were curating a project called Jay Stay Paid full of unreleased and rare Dilla beats. There's a number of guest MCs on the project: Black Thought, Raekwon, Frank N Dank, Blu, Phat Kat, etc., but publicity on the album hasn't been that high. But when Seattle DJs Top Spin and Marc Sense recently let me know that they're throwing a release party for the album at Chop Suey on May 31st and sent me an advance, I got excited all over again. Check out the sampler above for snippets of the album.
Everything about the new self-titled Beats Antique album reminds me of Morocco, Spain, Argentina, and the Chicago World Fair of 1925 at the same time. It's a fun disc full of rare groove, Middle Eastern influences, and electronic wankery that's makes for perfect lounge music.