Conscious


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Back in stock! This special edition 2xLP package comes housed in an all new exclusive jacket featuring DOOM’s infamous metal mask icon ebbossed out of a ,etallic silver foil. Each record is pressed on special “Gun Metal” colored vinyl. An absolute must have for the DOOM completist. The long awaited reissue of DOOM's first solo gem, Operation: Doomsday. Remastered from the original Fondle 'Em 1999 issue. Side A is listed as "Side Zero". Side B is "Side One". And so forth. Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD (his first group)’s 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was shelved by Elektra in 1994 and his blood brother Subroc (one half of the sibling rap duo) passed away, surviving frontman Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF DOOM and the Rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol’ Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, “Rhymes Like Dimes,” Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting ‘only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.’ Who You Think I Am? features DOOM‘s crew M.onster I.sland C.zars, while on “?” he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom’s avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on “Tick, Tick...” where he and guest MC MF Grimm’s flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today’s bland commercial Rap universe, Operation Doomsday’s left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.

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Back in stock! There are very few albums across any genre that stand the test of time better than 93 ‘Til Infinity, the classic debut record from the Hieroglyphics crew’s very own Souls of Mischief. In an era where Gangsta Rap and G-Funk dominated the West Coast Rap scene, Souls broke ground on a completely unique and thoroughly west coast sound. While the Dr. Dre’s and the Snoop Doggs were garnering much of the mainstream attention, Souls were quietly forging a charismatic, critically acclaimed, and cohesively shaped record that when categorized, sounded much closer to A Tribe Called Quest than N.W.A. The sound of their debut is characteristic of the distinct style explored by the collective, including a rhyme scheme based on internal rhyme and beats centered around a live bass and obscure jazz and funk samples. 93 ‘Til Infinity was propelled into success by its title track and lead single, which reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also featured singles “That’s When Ya Lost” and “Never No More” which also reached the Hot Rap Singles. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source’s 100 Best Rap Albums of All Time. Considered by many to be a text book “slept-on” classic Rap record, 93 ‘Til Infinity has only grown better with age. The album simply defines the Hiero golden age with a sound that would later be fine tuned with strong releases from MCs Del The Funkee Homosapien, Casual and Pep Love. It takes some serious bravado to name your album 93 ‘Til Infinity, but certainly the goal of creating a Hip Hop “classic” must have been on the collective minds of group members A-Plus, Tajai, Opio, and Phesto when recording this landmark moment in Hip Hop history. It’s true, even seventeen years after the album’s initial release many people are still discovering it, and with this re-mastered reissue on double vinyl, fans all over the world will once again discover the brilliance that 93 ‘Til Infinity delivers and will continue to deliver beyond infinity.

Featuring Q-Tip, De La Soul, Monie Love and others / "The Jungle Brothers’ 1988 debut, Straight Out The Jungle, was important for many reasons. It was sloppy and goofy but had moments of real focus and social consciousness. It was a true “kitchen sink” record, that caught a rap fanbase enraptured by Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions a bit off-guard. Also of note, beyond the excellence of the album itself, the Jungle Brothers were the fulcrum for what would become the Native Tongues movement – they came first, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest followed, under their guidance. By 1989, the group had even more confidence, plus a Warner Bros. contract and advance in their back pocket. They used it to great advantage on the self-produced and criminally underrated Done By The Forces Of Nature, expanding their sonic palette and continuing their Afrocentric approach to music and life. Singles like “What ‘U’ Waitin’ 4” and “Doin’ Our Own Dang” (with De La and Q-Tip, alongside Monie Love) showed the group’s fun side, which has also lead the way in the “hip-house” movement. But things weren’t all fun and games, as deeper, more pensive album tracks like “Black Woman,” “Beeds On A String,” and “Acknowledge Your Own History” show. It was another accomplished mix of fun, frolic and knowledge-of-self, proving that you could be serious in the rap game but still let off steam and fill the dancefloor. Done By The Forces Of Nature stands as one of the most cherished hip-hop documents of the late ‘80s among true-school heads, and this edition is the perfect way to revisit this classic thinking-man’s (and woman’s) rap platter. Issued for the first time ever on 2-LP with the original picture sleeve artwork, it also comes with a reproduction of the original insert, with credits and lyrics."

Repressed! Jurassic 5 flexed serious old-to-the-new muscles in the ‘90s, beginning with their independently released single “Unified Rebelution” in 1994, and book-ending with their stellar debut full-length: 2000’s Quality Control. They walked a tightrope between underground and mainstream hip-hop, and toured alongside rap peers as well as punk rockers on the Vans Warped Tour. With double the pleasure of your average hip-hop group – two DJs and producers (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark); and four MCs (Chali 2na, Akil, Marc 7 and Zaakir aka Soup) – they brought the late 1970s “unison MC” style of pioneering groups like the Fantastic 5 and the Force MCs to a new generation. Even more surprisingly, they did so out of Los Angeles, whose hip-hop flavors generally leaned towards Gangsta, G-Funk or Electro lines. Musically inventive and lyrically forward-thinking, each song on Quality Control is a new adventure, exploring engaging territory, delivered via one of the best live hip-hop shows fans had seen in years. From singles like the strutting groove of the title track to the throwback doo-wop samples on “The Influence” and the catchy, keyboard groove-driven “World of Entertainment (WOE Is Me),” to deeper album tracks like the lyrical gymnastics of “Jurass Finish First” and the thought-provoking “Lausd,” Jurassic 5 consistently stepped to the plate and their fans responded in kind, nearly pushing the album to Gold status. Add the innovative DJ-and-sample workout which closes out the album, “Swing Set,” and you have one of the 2000s’ most unique and solid full-length platters.

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Back in stock ! In 1994, hip-hop was going through an at-times painful growth spurt. Since N.W.A.’s and Ice-T’s ascent in the late ‘80s, the rap game was no longer owned by the East Coast. After the worldwide popularity of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, things were looking even worse for hip-hop’s hometown. The East Coast / West Coast feud that would later indirectly claim the lives of Biggie and Pac was still in its infancy, but New York needed a shot in the arm. The hype behind young Queensbridge native Nasir “Nas” Jones had been in full swing months before his smash debut album Illmatic, thanks to Columbia Records’ promo machine. From his earliest appearance on Main Source’s “Live at the BBQ,” to his own accomplished debut “Half Time” (as Nasty Nas, on the Zebrahead soundtrack in late 1992), it was clear that this kid was something special. In fact, the pressure on him must have been overwhelming at times. April 19, 1994 couldn’t have come soon enough. And as soon as the first lines of “N.Y. State of Mind” kick in, bolstered by perhaps DJ Premier’s darkest beat of all time, the entire East Coast breathed a collective sigh of relief. God’s Son had arrived. Backed by an absolute all-star cast of New York’s top-shelf producers – Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip and a youngster named L.E.S. – the album never lets up. Serious to a fault, and lyrically dense to an extent that has possibly never been matched, the 20-year old Nas stood on the shoulders of his predecessors and proudly proclaimed, “Don’t f*** with the East… we are BACK.” Illmatic was actually a slow-burn, which might surprise fans that have come to its genius more recently. Despite an unheard-of “5 Mics” in The Source – despite an unwritten rule of never awarding classic status to debuts – it didn’t go gold until early 1996, and didn’t hit platinum status until late 2001. But when you dive deeper that shouldn’t be a shock: like Black Moon and Wu-Tang’s debuts, it was a dark, hard record, made for heads in New York, not teeny-boppers in Des Moines. There were no dance beats, no crossover love songs. Just boom-bap and rhymes, skills and heart.