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Ion the Prize is back and “Winterfresh”er than ever!

Yes that is me next to a snowman I built, I’m not sure how long ago, but I think I still have ice building skills.  Anyway, I’m writing this post to first wish everyone a


and second, to let everyone know that


called “Winterfresh”.  Available  at where you can stream the ENTIRE thing and download it in pristine quality, ain’t that cool?  It’s only 8 tracks, but I feel like its my best work to date and should put you in a reflective mood this winter.  But enough from me, I’ll let you check it out.

See you in 2011, when we will have the 15th anniversary of Hip Hop In The Park this May!



Go chew on some Winterfresh

Tis the season for a new collection of chill, wintry, and jazz-infused beats bouncing between hip hop styles and experimental soundscapes. I will continue to release more free music, mixes and whatnot, so please show your support for the hard work which I love doing:)

1. On My Way
2. Light A Fire
3. Baby It’s Cold Outside
4. Deer Tracks
5. Whiteout
6. Witch Hazel
7. Snow Angels
8. West Coast Chill

Hot Right Now #1

A collection of individual tracks that have come out in the past few weeks from new album releases and online singles.  Let me know what you think.  Careful, don’t burn yourself!

1. AmpLive feat. Eligh, Fashawn, The Grouch, Mickey Factz, Myka Nyne, Yak Ballz & Zumbi – Hot Right Now

2. Rhythm Natives feat. Farmer JohnEric – Move

3. Mark Ronson & the Business Int’l feat. Ghostface Killah & Alex Greenwald – Lose It (In The End)

4. J-Live – Home or Away (2 Minute Warning)

5. Everliven Sound feat. El Da Sensei – Elements

6. Skyzoo & Illmind feat. Torae – Barrel Brothers

7. El Da Sensei & the Returners feat. Tiye Phoenix – Right Moves (No Mistakes)

8. 1982 feat. Bun B & Masspike Miles – You Should Go Home

9. Open Mike Eagle feat. Alpha MC – Mistakes

10.  Child Rebel Soldiers (Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco & Pharrell) – Don’t Stop

11. Black Milk – Gospel Psychedelic Rock

12. Boog Brown feat. Miz Korona & Invincible – Friction

13. Shad feat. Donwill & Von Pea – Rose Garden Remix

14. Zion I feat. Rebelution – Many Stylez

15. Kno feat. Tunji – Not At The End

16. Random & Mr. Miranda feat. Mistah FAB & Fashawn – Fabshawn and Mirandom

17. Lyrics Born feat. Francis and the Lights – Something Better

18. Joell Ortiz feat. Talib Kweli, Brother Ali & Jean Grae – So Wrong

19. Qwel & Maker – Cookie Cutter

20. Atmosphere – Freefallin

21. Amiri – DILLA 4EVA!!!!




On my recent quest to soak up the better side of hip hop in Montreal, I recently came across this DOPE radio show with archives of free streaming music going back years. Free music is always a win, so have at it y’all –

Thank Me Later

It is unbelievable how completely and extremely mixed the reception for arguably the most anticipated album of the year is, and not even by those who know Drake from the radio but by fans who have followed his career or at the very least listened to and loved So Far Gone.
So, is it So Far Gone? No, and nothing Drake puts out will ever be. But this isn’t a Nas trying to live up to Illmatic scenario. So Far Gone took the world internet by storm because it was such an exceptional collection of music with unique production, the newly added element of singing, and (Can you believe it?) great rapping, during a time period with an incredibly dull music scene. And this was all essentially done on his own. The success spawned by this mixtape was unparalleled, and we all knew this kid was special.
But it was all new it us at that point. We had never heard a rapper sing like that and hit notes like he did. He spit some of the illest lines, that looking back weren’t all that complex, but still had us very impressed (“..share it like the last slice”). And 40’s sound was unheard of at the time. Listening to Thank Me Later hoping Drake would amaze us the way he did with his mixtape doesn’t make sense because this is his second go round at basically the same act.
After my first listen of Thank Me Later, I was very impressed. I thought it was very well put together. Then I read what everyone else thought, and the response was all over the place. Some just flat out said it sucked, but it was hard for me to understand why they thought that. I even thought of all the stuff I didn’t like about the album. I was never very impressed with the singles. I thought ‘Show Me a Good Time’ was just a bad decision, and ‘Fancy’ was a mistake. ‘Cece’s Interlude’ was just not good (especially compared to ‘Bria’s Interlude’), and we’ll all agree that ‘Light Up’ was a huge let down. Lyrically, he literally had no So Far Gone-type one liners; I mean literally none. The only good verse lyrically was probably the MJ, A.I. verse on ‘Thank Me Now’. Content wise, the ENTIRE album covers his thoughts and emotions of this past year since he has gotten super famous, most of which are about how relationships were affected, loves lost, and how his friends now think of him. And this is all almost laughable when you think that So Far Gone was all him wanting to be famous and successful.
Even when I think all this, I go back and listen and can’t help but love it. I think the first three songs and ‘Unforgettable’ rival the first four on So Far Gone. I complain about the lyrics but then am still amazed by a lot of what he does say. It was as if he gave up on the one liners to give more of a “Little Brother/Slum Vill” feel to it–it was a storytellingish type of writing style that while odd and unexpected, still had some hidden gems. I think musically and melodically it is just so well done, and it makes me want to listen to it over and over again. Even the songs I say I don’t like I still sing and rap along to. It’s hard for me to properly even review this because as much as I shouldn’t like it, I still do. I can understand why in a purely rapping sense, people were disappointed by the finished product. But even if I felt strongly negative about it, it would be hard for me to just dismiss it since this is a project I have looked forward to for a long time, and Drake is an artist that I do want to support. No other up and coming artist will have the creative freedom and commercial success that he does, and I think we should at least appreciate this moment because it’ll be a long time until we all pull for another artist or another project like this.

New Lupe “Resurrection” for Haiti

In contribution to the Download to Donate project ( ((I don’t got time to hotlink)), Lupe Fiasco and Mike Shinoda have collaborated to drop this gem of a record. Here’s to MC’s that remain relevant.

More s4hh updates on the way…


J. Period & Nneka Present: The Madness [Onye-ala]

Now we all know that J. Period is a name we can trust. If you are reading this post and don’t know such a fact, please unsubscribe and cease to visit this blog. Haha just playing, but please, seize knowledge on this brotha. He’s a dope DJ and producer.

Now, I don’t know who Nneka is, but it seems she’s signed to Sony, not to mention she’s the cutie of Nigerian and German descent on the front of this mixtape. After all, she is the main artist on the mixtape, which features M-1, Jay Electronica, and Talib Kweli. There are most likely other people on this mixtape known to procure words of dopeness (I haven’t listened to it yet. I found this and immediately posted).


Tone Love

Mos Def feat. Jay Electronica (Prod. Just Blaze)- Holiday

This song would be even more dope without the Shade 45 announcement ever 10th bar or so. I’m about to start looking for Jay Electronica and gettin up on the kid. My good friend Chuuwee been tellin me about this brotha but I haven’t heeded his news like I should have. Go figure cuz he’s DOPE. Not to mention Mos Def’s actually spittin solid again lately. I’ll be here with more Jay Electronica posts. This is actually A VERY NEW SONG. Thank me later.


Tone Love