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When did Mac Miller get good at rap?:


Mac Miller - Diablo

I'm not the biggest Schoolboy Q fan, but his mentoring program deserves props for managing the difficult task of turning Mac Miller into a legitimate rapper. I can't lie, there have been a couple of Mac Miller songs that made it into my guilty pleasures playlist (Knock Knock and Nikes on My Feet made it on the strength of the beats) over the years, but his sudden rise from Lord Finesse beat jacker to Reddit's favorite rapper has been something of a surprise. A few more songs like Diablo and you might catch me jumping on the bandwagon.

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9/09/2014 4:30:00 PM posted by 1

Is this a Walmart ad or just the best video to come out of New Orleans in years?:


Mr. Ghetto - Walmart

"How does this video only have 32k views?" was the question that my man Bruno asked after I passed him the link to this video last night. As it turns out the video has actually hit about 200,000 views since it was released in 2011 (the original video with the higher view count seems to have been taken down), but still a valid question given all of the sights to be seen in this rather ground breaking approach to cross channel retail marketing.

I've now watched this video several times looking for proof that it contains some sort of subtle commentary on Walmart's assault on unions, living wages, and locally owned businesses, but I keep getting distracted by all of the acting skills on display. I suppose that I'll just have to watch it a few more times to be sure I haven't missed anything.

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9/03/2014 7:30:00 PM posted by 1

Bas and J.Cole celebrate the return of 33Jones!:


Bas featuring J. Cole - Made Bail

So for those of you who have diligently stuck around for the past two months while this site has been in limbo, thanks for your patience. Right now this site is being held together by the virtual equivalent of a discount roll of duct tape, but I've finally managed to get things back up and running. An army of script kiddies aided by the poorly managed webhosting company this site relies on led to an unexpected amount of downtime.

Nevertheless I've finally managed to clean everything up. This song from Bas just about sums up my feelings when I finally got the front page to load up properly.

Thanks again for sticking with me. New material coming soon, I swear. Cheers.

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8/14/2014 7:30:00 PM posted by 1

Record Scratching from the Vinyl's P.O.V. (DJ Woody):


DJ Woody - Vinyl P.O.V.

Unless you're a student of turntablism on the level of, say, Q-bert, you've probably never given much consideration to what record scratching looks like from the point of view of the vinyl that's getting scratched to death by the needle. As it turns out, thanks to some footage from DJ Woody, it's about as dizzying as you might expect.

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4/03/2014 7:30:00 PM posted by 1

Drumroll Please: Zilla Rocca and Geechi Suede of Camp Lo Team Up:

(Image: Zilla Rocca - Chi-town Drumroll)

Work has kept me away from this site far longer than I would have liked - and since none of you managed to pick a perfect bracket, both Warren Buffett and I will likely be gainfully employed for at least another year - but I would have been remiss if I let the latest release from Zilla pass without an official post on it. This new single, Chi-Town Drumroll featuring Geechi Suede of Camp Lo and Luchini fame, has a special place in the history of 33Jones as being part of one of the first contracts that we ever signed under our semi-official record label back in 2011. In the interim this song went through a few changes, including a complete overhaul of the beat by Douglas Martin aka Blurry Drones.


Zilla Rocca featuring Geechi Suede - Chi-town Drumroll

It took a few years for the finished product, but the end result has been well worth the wait. And you know what else will be worth the wait? The full album this single is a part of, No Vacation For Murder, due out on April 11th. This album is going to be a hot item, and in case they run out of mp3s you might just want to go ahead and preorder the album now!

And you'll have to give me a late pass on posting this next one, but Zilla also recently released the first video from the album, a video that the Huffington Post referred to as, "a kiss-off delivered at sub-zero temperature, booming throughout the smoke-screened alleys of Philly's underbelly." That's far more poetic than anything I'm capable of writing, so I'll leave it at that and direct you on towards the video:


Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers feat. The Intelligence - Fake Surfers

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3/26/2014 7:30:00 PM posted by 1

My Man Shafe - Chips (NBA All Star Weekend Edition):

(Image: My Man Shafe - Chips)

It's been well established at this point that Philly emcee My Man Shafe is a certified hoops addict (and loyal Knicks fan), so it's no surprise that he's cooked something up just in time for the NBA's All Star Weekend down in New Orleans. Like Dr. J joining forces with Moses Malone for a championship run, teaming Shafe up with beats and cuts from Nex Millen is guaranteed to result in a song worthy of the Larry O'. Check it out:

My Man Shafe - Chips (right-click to d/l)



And here's a clip of Shafe performing his now-classic track Street Funk with The TreeTops band:


My Man Shafe & The TreeTops - Street Funk (Live)

As a bonus, here's Shafe's earlier roundball tribute, My J:

My Man Shafe - My J (right-click to d/l)



Previously from My Man Shafe:
That's My Man
Live @ Dobbs (Live Performance Footage)
The Funk EP
Things Go My Way
Soul Love
Murder on my Block
Get Work
New Wu Freestyle with Zilla Rocca and Alex Ludovico
Red Knight Going Down
I'm Cookin'
Dre Boogie featuring My Man Shafe and Zilla Rocca - Everlasting
Street Funk
My Man Shafe featuring Zilla Rocca - Look at Her

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2/13/2014 7:30:00 PM posted by 1

Ghostface Killah Works on His Relationship(s):


Ghostface Killah on Couples Therapy

On the list of "regrettable decisions made by rappers over the age of 40 in the month of February" Ghosftface's appearance on VH1's train wreck of a reality show Couples Therapy comes in a distant second to DMX's recent agreement to fight George Zimmerman in a [now cancelled] pay per view bout. And when compared to Flavor Flav's earlier role on VH1's Flavor of Love - and is it me, or does VH1 seem to go out of its way to cast aging emcees in the worst possible light - Ghost's appearance here comes off far more favorably, largely due to the level of charisma he's able to maintain even while revealing to his girlfriend of one year that he has another side chick of several more years. Nevertheless, it's probably not a good sign for Ghost's career, or love life, that the prospect of appearing on a televised, month-long therapy session was even considered as an option for him.

Having said that, his ability to put four different levels of emphasis on the word love ("I love her ways, too, but I can't say I was in love love love love") while making a convincing argument for polygamy ("You knew my aura") was impressive.

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2/11/2014 3:30:00 PM posted by 1

Cut Chemist goes to work on a pair of 45s:


Cut Chemist at the Afro Funke Grand Finale

The video quality on this one is a little dodgy, but a clip of Cut Chemist doing his thing on a pair of Brazilian funk records is always worth a look. I'm hoping someone can identify whatever song it is that he drops in at the 2:00 mark, watch closely and you can see Chemist can barely contain his glee as the crowd reacts to it. The two-handed, faderless scratching that he does with KRS-1's Sound of da police is worth sticking around for, as well.

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1/21/2014 3:30:00 PM posted by 1

The Best B-Boy Video You'll See This Month (Morning of Owl vs Body Carnival):


Morning of Owl vs Body Carnival b-boy battle

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for an update to this site over the past couple of months, a 17-minute long b-boy video featuring a bunch of Korean and Japanese kids (The Morning of Owl and Body Carnival crews, respectively) that you've never heard of before may not be the payoff that you were hoping for. Yet I can say with a fair amount of confidence that you will be more than impressed with what's on display here, even if you're not the type that's generally into coordinated competitive break dancing. The battle starts off a little bit slow, but if you can hold on through the first five minutes of extended uprocking footage (or just skip ahead to the 5:45 mark of the video) you'll be rewarded with the sight of some dude backspinning down the backs of his fellow crew members, proceeding to headspin roughly 30 times, all while taking off his shirt in one motion.

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1/8/2014 3:30:00 PM posted by 1

Zilla Rocca - Neo Noir Mixtape:

(Image: Zilla Rocca - Neo Noir Mixtape)

While I've been spending the past few weeks researching bitcoin exchange rates as part of my exit plan from the rat race, failing to convince the Facebook police that I haven't been catfishing the real Doug E. Fresh, and generally neglecting this website, several of the usual suspects have been putting the final touches on some very big projects.

Perhaps most significantly is the newly-engaged Zilla Rocca's Neo Noir mixtape. I've been sitting on an advance copy of this one for over a month now, and over that time I've had the chance to digest what Zilla has called his "most joyful project." It certainly is, to my ears, the most lyrically mature of his projects. As an emcee Zilla's gone through quite an evolution since I first met him almost seven years ago (damn!); the years have seen him move on from my favorite rap duo since Nice N' Smooth to a solo artist to a member of the vaunted Wrecking Crew, and it's no surprise that his musical output has grown and evolved each step of the way.

Neo Noir is at its best when the material reflects on Zilla's career up to this point and what he's gone through to get here. As an emcee that came of age during the boom and bust era of Myspace Rappers - where every kid with a mic and a bootleg copy of fruityloops had aspirations of developing a "brand" and getting rich off of cd-r mixtapes - survived it and now finds himself on the other side of thirty in a new era where even the mythical major label record deal is no longer a guarantee of income or popularity, the artist formerly known as The Rap Jack Bauer seems to have reached a point where he can define his own success as an artist without using download counts or blog references as goalposts. Expressed in a different tone it might come off as the lamentings of a defeated man, but on songs like "Success is Failure" Zilla sounds more like a man who's discovered how to hold onto his sanity while surviving in the music industry:


Zilla Rocca - Success Is Invisible

Perhaps my favorite track on Neo Noir is 2 Dollar Lunches featuring fellow Wrecking Crew member Has-Lo. The song, filled with musings from the two emcees that should sound familiar to anyone who's ever drudged through a 9-to-5 for more years than expected in order to fund the pursuit of their true passion, could serve as an anthem for all independent artists:


Zilla Rocca featuring Has-Lo - 2 Dollar Lunches

To hear the full album, and purchase a limited edition cassette version that comes with a pair of cocktail coasters, head on over to the Neo Noir Mixtape page.

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10/29/2013 3:30:00 PM posted by 1

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