The wait is over. Maffew Ragazino‘s much-anticipated debut full-length, Rhyme Pays, has dropped! We wanted to get this into your thirsty little ears as soon as possible, so while you download this behemoth-like example of new superhero-lyricist, you can already start listening to it in streaming form below. The album features raps from the likes of Action Bronson and production by Clark Kent, Sha Banga, Frank Dukes, Digga, Harry Fraud, Vinyl Frontiers, and then some.
This album was released in conjunction with Boundless NY and Peter Rosenberg…thus marking a new era for Boundless’ music imprint – coming off of last night’s announcment of the plan to close their original, and only, brick & mortar establishment. This comes as no surprise in 2011, being that this digital age has claimed the physical existence of many a great NYC retail landmark, and though we will miss the spot on Roebling, we are more excited to see the crew shedding the excess layers to strengthen their focus. With a clean slate, we know the team will attack future projects with even more creative fervor (and that’s a problem for everyone else out there…example: Boundless Radio).
This shit right here?!? This shit right here is a damned good start to all of that!
Bonus: Maff, Sha Banga, Teddy King, and the whole C.I.C.O. squad (along with Statik Selektah, Harry Fraud, and comedic talent, Young Jack Thriller…plus a buncha other young, good-time-havin’ folks) toast to a solid evening of fun.
Thursday night I trekked out to the Salute to Hip Hop show at Best Buy Theatre. Uncle Ralph McDaniels was the host of the night, introducing the numerous acts the crowd was treated to throughout the show.
The night kicked off with Large Pro and Neek the Exotic performing a few joints off their new album before getting into tracks from Breaking Atoms LP. One piece of advice, don’t tell Neek to leave the stage early.
Moving on … Black Sheep, Brand Nubian, Nice N Smooth, EPMD, and Kweli also got into their fan favorite material throughout the night. And there were rare live appearances by Nine and D-Nice. Kid Capri went in on a long set, taking the crowd through the early stages up to present day status. Besides the Nubian’s set, the technical difficulties were kept to a minimum.
MOP performed selections from a long list of bangers, including their first single “How About Some Hardcore”. I’d never seen the First Family live, but heard good things about their stage presence. They definitely got it. The crowd was crazy hyped throughout their set.
The Lox was up next, I think it’s safe to say most in attendance were there to check this act. Mucho D Block tees were in the building. From what I recall … they kicked “All About the Benjamins”, “Money Power Respect”, “Niggas Done Started Somethin”, “We Gonna Make It”, “Fuck You”, “Wild Out”, and “Two Guns Up” (sure I’m leaving something out). The instrumental for “Good Times” also dropped, but their time was up. As a Pinero advocate, I would’ve liked to see some of his solo material too but no complaints.
Ragazino Senior‘s new single has been ringing off on daytime FM receivers across the tri-state area thanks to DJ Enuff and DJ Quiz on Hot 97. Proof that genuine, unvarnished irony does exist – the song’s symbolic title refers to sir Maffew as an outcast of sorts (though it can be taken as the guy being in a class all by himself). The warm weather number, doing one of the finest Rob Base flips you’ll ever hear, will appear on his upcoming album in conjunction with Boundless NY and Peter Rosenberg, entitled M.A.F.F.E.W..
We bring to you some exclusive footage of Maff and C.I.C.O. prez Sha Banga doing a bit of the joint live at the recent F*CK WHAT YOU HEARD showcase at Tammany Hall in NYC.
“Black Sheep” Live at FWYH, NYC
In case you haven’t, play & download the single for your listening pleasure.
Maffew Ragazino “Black Sheep” (Produced by Harry Fraud)
Yesterday, I had a chance pre-feast pow-wow with my man Harlem Boog and (Brooklyn) Migz. One cat came through to my lab…then another one made the impromptu stop-in…and boom…we’re in a 3-cornered circle talking about days long passed: our first tapes, buying albums for one song and hating the rest of it (yet still listening through the whole shit since missing somethin’ or poppin’ your tape with rigorous fast-forward/rewind work would have been a much greater tragedy), off-the-radio mixtapes (how we used keep the system on mega low volume, head next to the speaker and finger on “pause”…all to stay under the parental radar since rap music was racy and full of the wrong messages (to them)), $5 limo bags, memos your school would send to pop/ma dukes about certain fly pieces that would put his/her/their child at risk, the first time we heard a Kool G Rap joint, how Ready To Die may have been modeled after Live And Let Die, Evil Dee on HOT97 Monday nights, etc. I love that type of shit.
In today’s featured clip, we see a (similar, yet larger…and perhaps more document-worthy) gathering of the minds at the legendary “Fever” in the Boogie Down. It’s gotta be ’93 or so, and a young Fat Joe celebrates the completion of his debut album with the rest of the BDP/Diggin’ In The Crates crew, Uncle Ralph McDaniels (who more appropriate to host…plus it IS “Nervous Thursday” after all), KRS, Dres, Red Alert, Special K, Teddy Ted, Sadat-X, Primo, Willie D, and then some. The air is thick with grand mutual respect and genuine comradery amongst the artists…something seldom felt in this day and age of pre-packaged egos, Internet beef, and all-pseudo-everything.
So on this day…enjoy the familial vibe of this clip, remember the good times, and embrace the moments you get with your loved ones. Eat well.