Welcome to Run Royal. This site is here to share knowledge, opinions, personal experiences and to connect with like minded heads on Hip-Hop music and it’s culture. Straight shooting the substance without bullshit in between. Think of this site as something like a fan boy talk show, with regular segments, known only here as (Know the Ledge). Our store will provide an outlet to release any product that we are directly involved or co sign with. This will come in due time.
Take a look around and get to know what will quickly become a place of priority when you want an informative and personal look into Hip-Hop and all that it encompasses.
If you have something you want to share with us, hit us off at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m pretty sure that when Ev and Al run out of ideas for video clips they simply take a camera down to the Venice Beach Boardwalk and film themselves doing not a whole lot, y’know, like just laying down and shit.
I somehow missed this late last year, taken from Diamond’s Diam Piece album. Evidence and Alchemist are without a doubt two of my favorite people making music right now… And you know Diamond D already been that!
On one of my eternal quests to stay inspired, one day i went looking for new rap music and happened upon Long Island’s Hus Kingpin and Rozewood. I don’t know a great deal about either but i have seen their music being championed over at Ego Trip and Nah Right in recent months. I remember emailing links of their stuff to a handful of my friends and the response was a reply of general indifference, “yeah that’s kinda cool, meh” keep it moving.
I think it’s time to start spreading the word on these two guys. Where the recent spate of Roc Marciano features have had me essentially looking straight past them, Hus and Rozewood are rekindling that feeling i used to get when listening to The UN or when i first heard Marci’s magnificent “Snow” and “War Games” long before Marcberg had everyone screaming “Al Pacino with a tan”s praises.
High Rises was the first joint i heard that really piqued my interest, reminding me a bit of that old B-1 aka B-One 12″ that dropped on Rawkus, Empire Staters / Verbal Affairs.
Hus and Rozewood don’t slouch on their output either both having released numerous albums, mixtapes and iTunes singles over the course of the last few years. This clip is taken from their free 100$ Taper album of mid last year.
The most recent full length release came via Rozewood’s The Beautiful Type which dropped in December 2014. Produced entirely by Illatrate and featuring appearances from Hus Kingpin, Boog Brown and SmooVth.
Rozewood talks The Beautiful Type and the process of working with friend and producer Illatrate.
Shibuya Shrine ft. Boog Brown & Hus Kingpin. Taken from The Beautiful Type
If talent were gauged on youtube views then these two dudes should be getting 200,000 plus views per video but they’re not. In saying that though, i have noticed the underground starting to pay more attention to these more than deserving MC’s. A quick YouTube search will have you discovering the amazing quality of music Hus and Roze are putting out at an alarmingly efficient rate, with flows and cadences reminiscent of a hungry Roc Marci or even Planet Asia and a left of center lean that reminds me of Alchemist and Oh No’s Gangrene project. Head over to iTunes or Amazon and start supporting this grass roots hip hop movement today!
But before you do peep how Hus and Roze do their thing over a beat originally found on The Alchemist’s Rapper’s Best Friend vol. 3.
Hus Kingpin & Rozewood – Star Castles
In true invasion day style I thought Id post something British as a long weekend jump off. Excuse my ignorance but I haven’t fucked with much UK hip-hop since low life records/ MFTC etc..Dudes have kept telling me to get up on The Four Owls and High Focus Records but alas, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to looking for new shit outside here and the US regulars, that is until Preemo laces up a banga. Dope clip too.
Please suggest some more of their shit in the comments.
For 10 seconds sample time this month I reached out to the long lost Brisbane local who now resides in Japan, Matty Fresh. Obviously, due to logistics I couldn’t do the tour of his stood setup but I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
1. You’ve just pulled a gem of a sample, chopped it up or whatever your process might be. When it comes to a sequence for a track you just can’t get that vibe your after..What comes next?
I don’t like to spend too much time trying to make it work. If I haven’t got the general vibe of the beat within about 30 minutes I’ll usually just save the file and come back to it later, just keep it moving on to the next beat.
2. Tell us the story behind the Bulletproof Crates 7”, has it lead to any other projects?
DJ Sheep had the connect on that one. He made a few calls and made it happen. The timing was right, especially for the Roc Marciano track. Sheep had spent a few weeks in L.A. with Roc Marciano & the Arch Druids. When he got back we all connected and it came together.
With the J-Zone track, Sheep and J-Zone have been homies for a minute, Sheep hit him up and he did the drums with no hesitation.
The big thing we got from releasing the 7” is it has definitely given us an international fan base, especially with the XXL article and blogs like Ego Trip, Unkut and Nah Right posting it.
3. Has the way you approach beat making changed since you’ve acquired your most recent piece of equipment/software.
Not really. I bought an MPC 2500 when I got to Japan and just kept the same formula. I was using the 2000XL back in Australia so there wasn’t a big difference. In essence they both have the same work flow.
4. How is the digging/beat making/local hip-hop ‘scene’ in your part of Japan right now?
The digging scene has changed quite a bit in Japan since my first trip out here in 2006. A lot of the record stores have closed, especially in Tokyo. Once I could have just hit Shibuya on the regular and come up on all kinds of dope joints. Now you really have to search to find spots.
The beat making scene is cool, there’s a bunch of younger heads making some killer beats. Just like anywhere you’ve got a mix of good and not so good.
5. Production influences past and current.
Alchemist, Animoss (Arch Druids), DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Pro, Havoc, Roc Marciano, Vanderslice, Domingo, Harry Fraud, Lazy Grey, Cookin Soul, Dr. Dre, Buckwild, Evidence, Just Blaze, Jake One, Marco Polo, RZA…..
6. Incredible production but the MC let it down. Name a track or album like this
Off the top, I’m gonna say Big Noyd “On The Grind”. I’m a Big Noyd fan but that album kinda let me down for some reason.
7. What do you think gives a producer a signature sound, how much do you think equipment/software and sample selection has to do with it over their processes used.
I think it’s the person and not the equipment. What you do with a sample and how you do your drums, whether you use breaks and loops or if you chop the sample and do your own drums. I’ve heard beats done in Logic that sound like they’re done on an MPC and vice versa.
The signature sound comes over time, everyone seems develop a sound after being a producer for long enough.
8. How do you feel about this statement in the essence of beatmaking. “I found the same sample via you tube”
That’s a hard question. If it was someone just getting into the game and basing their whole career on YouTube samples then I wouldn’t feel to cool about it at all. I’m in 2 minds about the whole YouTube thing, I’m not gonna front, I have flipped a couple joints off YouTube in times where the sample was just too crazy and I knew I would never find the record or be able to get the record at a decent price. In my opinion, if you dig for records on the regular it’s cool if you want to grab a sample off the net every once in a while. But like I said if you gonna base your whole career on sampling off youtube and not know the history then that kinda kills the vibe. I’m definitely not a “purist” but without the knowledge of digging I’ve acquired over the years I don’t think I would feel the same about music.
9. Making a cohesive instrumental album would be a tricky thing for a lot of producers that are only familiar with making beats for MCs, was this a transition for you..The Ginza Crime Library and Still Sampling are very much a journey, does this take much planning for you or is a natural thing that comes with your samples?
I started out solely making beats, I never really worked with MC’s early on in the piece, so it’s kinda easy to be honest. I just think up a concept, something that influences me and get to work. With The Ginza Crime Library, that concept obviously comes from my connection to Japan and always watching Yakuza flicks.
Still Samplin’ just comes from still using samples in an era where a lot of people are playing keys, using live instruments and things of that nature. I generally make up a script in my head as if I was writing a short film and score the soundtrack to it.
10. You got 5k at your disposal, what are you going to buy for the stoods or would you take the nose blown and hookers route?
There’s not a great deal of studio equipment I really need at this stage. Maybe a new sound card. I’d probably use the 5K to reach out to some MC’s and put an album together. Maybe a Queens Bridge project or even just work with one MC and do an entire project. There’s a couple of artist I’d really like to work with. The first being AZ and the second would be Curren$y. If I could do a project with either of those 2, that’s where I’d spend the 5 G’s.
Check out Matty’s beats via his Soundcloud
Well…I was wondering why no results were showing up for the poll for Round 4. I must have fingered up the post and not added it. Apologies.
Producers revealed below for anyone interested.
Stay tuned for round 5 next month, should be a cracker.
Label: Sony/Legacy Recordings
Artists: Wu-Tang Clan
One of my most recent pick ups from last years Record Store Day, The 3rd single from 36 chambers that needs no intro. The piano and those bars still give me goose bumps.
Die cut from full size and limited to 5000 worldwide, collectors get on these before mother fuckers start gouging.
Rather than play the OGs I thought Id leave you with the souled out sounds of the El Michels Affair covers. Check them cover 36 chambers in it entirety on the ’37th Chamber’ if you haven’t already, it’s dope!
This round I thought Id ask Sean B if he wanted to get involved with things, he had the idea of blindfolding us and have us pick something out for the producers to flip. Cheers Sean.
Cheers to everyone getting involved with this round, took me a little longer to get it all together with the holidays just gone. Make sure you have a crack at picking who made what over the coming week and I’ll send the results live this time next week.
The ill Welsh crew made up of MC Nobsta Nutts & Lews Tewns with DJ Dek Masha-Slicer Man (together also known as The Headcase Ladz) came on some twisted shit for their “Bugger All Money” EP. Not everyone’s cup of tea but back in 2002, this shit stood out like dog’s balls to me. The live drums smash like a dusty breakbeat and the fellas do whatever they god damn please on the mic, complete with back up vocal fuck-ups. Love it!
I’ve been a little time poor this week taking on more that I could manage so unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to dig through my rap 45s. I aint about to start re hashing some one else’s collection so I though Id leave an unrelated Truth and Soul podcast from Danny Akalepse & Gill Parker. Been banging this the last few weeks since it was re upped via the labels soundcloud. Jump off your holidays with a nice mix of hip-hop and soul. While your at it check the Brooklyn label that’s housing some of the best new soul music going.
Tracie and Kerry… Two bad-ass dudes that’ve been done their thing, with feminine names.
Enjoy ya Friday yo!
Though it’s a fine line between ’94 and ’93, outside of 1988 hip hop’s finest year may just belong to 1994, lets take a sec to think back. Illmatic, Ready To Die, Sun Rises In The East, Hard To Earn, The Diary, Southerplayalistic, Tical, Stress: The Extinction Agenda, Ill Communication and the list goes on. What tends to bother me though is when truly defining albums of that particular year are glossed over in favor of what most would consider their more worthy counterparts. Omar Credle’s debut Word… Life fits that category, rarely if ever mentioned alongside 94’s more noteworthy solo debuts from Nas and Biggie. Due in large part to the drained financial coffers of Wild Pitch at the time, OC’s debut somehow slipped through the cracks having never been given the financial support that it rightfully deserved.
OC is a Brooklyn native by way of Queens who found himself living across the street from Pharoah Monch, he debuted on Organized Konfusion’s “Fudge Pudge” way back in 1991 which in turn caught the ear of MC Search who was working for Wild pitch Records. His affiliation to Organized Konfusion has continued to this day but it’s his role in New York’s Diggin In The Crates collective that brought him the most shine. According to folklore it wasn’t actually Buckwild (who produced most of Word… Life) but Fat Joe that secured his eventual membership in DITC by giving the final ok to OC’s induction into the all-borough collective. Now back to Word… Life.
Elevated lyricism, jazzy loops and hard drums are the key to Word… Life, a benchmark release for East Coast rap. It’s easy to compare this album to Illmatic in that both were overseen by MC Search, both were solo debut’s dropped only months apart and both were underpinned by phenomenal single’s, It Ain’t Hard To Tell and Time’s Up respectively. Thats where it ends though, Word… Life for my money probably shares more similarities with Gangstarr’s Daily Operation. Check the title track, i used to bump this joint every Friday night way back when.
I mentioned “Time’s Up” before and its hard not to when talking about anything OC related. Times Up is without a doubt one of the greatest and most profound statements any MC has ever made. Strangely enough it was actually the second single, behind the more commercially oriented “Born 2 Live” which see’s O taking a friends we lost along the way kind of approach. Regardless, Times Up is the centerpiece of this album in that almost everything revolves around it. Roc Raida’s (??) perfect use of Slick Rick on the cut, Buckwild’s rolling down tempo bass and stabs and OC declaration against all that is fake and fraudulent within rap, there hasn’t been many better songs made since, not to mention how heavily jacked this track is, almost every second line can be heard sampled or scratched on someone else’s record which is probably the highest compliment this song can be payed.
Here’s the clip. It has to sit alongside Raw and Shook One’s pt2 as one of the most sampled hip hop songs ever not to mention it’s possibly DITC’s greatest single released.
While Word… Life is probably producer Buckwild’s greatest body of work it also comes with a few healthy assists from DITC alum Lord Finesse and OGee, as well as Organized Konfusion. The Lord Finesse produced “Ga Head” deals with subject matter rarely heard outside of an Eminem song, when was the last time you heard an MC of OC’s status and caliber discuss having his wife leave him not for another man (wait for it) … But for a woman?!?! I said it earlier, elevated lyricism, the perfect wordplay be it battle oriented bravado or introspective philosophy. Check it for yourself.
It’s OC’s everyday approach to the sport of rapping that makes him so appealing. While Nas was touted as the second coming of Rakim pre-Illmatic, O gives you that humility Nas lacks, his voice says that even thugs crack a smile. While Nas might tell you how he snuck an uzi on the Island in his army jacket lining OC would probably describe how impossible it would’ve been to get that uzi onto the Island (of Riker’s i’m presuming) so he left it in the car instead. No posturing, no posing, no fake thuggin just a little mean muggin to make sure the point gets across. Point O Viewz follows Time’s Up and is one of my favourite joints on the album. Buckwild takes a splash of Roy Ayres for O to get loose over and drop some of that everyday i was just talkin about.
Thanks to Fatbeats Distribution Word… Life saw a rerelease back in 2004 to mark it’s 10 year anniversary, in the 10 years that’ve passed since then OC’s debut has begun to finally get the props it deserves. Looking at it in the context of 1994 a lot was happening, hip hop was still riding high off of 1993, Doggystyle and Wu-Tang’s reverberations were still being felt and then along comes Illmatic and Ready To Die. Word… Life today is widely regarded as a must have for any rap fan’s collection but it was actually OC’s PayDay released sophmore album, Jewels from ’97 that brought the attention back to his at-the-time overlooked debut. Unfortunately a string of patchy releases followed which also included a stint on the west coast based Hiero-Imperium label but those missteps wound up culminating in 2012’s OC & Apollo Brown collaboration Trophies, easily O’s greatest and most cohesive album since the 90’s.
Word… Life mighn’t be a masterpiece but it’s pretty close, it’s as solid as any release in DITC’s lengthy catalogue and the fact that OC has managed to stay putting out music for the past 20 years is worthy of accolade in it’s own right. OC has continued to showcase his diversity and lyricism in the many years that’ve followed but Word… Life is a declaration and definitely one of the top 5 releases of 1994 irregardless of where it sits in most of those (ahem) ‘wanky’ blog lists.
I remember years back receiving a textual transmission from my friend and esteemed colleague Proof telling me to check out this blog he’d just discovered called Daily Mathematics. I’d never heard about the blog of which he spoke and in the following text he proceeded to tell me that it was written by a hip hop music attorney and lawyer who wrote these amazing stories about his time within the industry, needless to say i was intrigued. That evening i went to my future wife’s computer and typed Daily Mathematics into its search engine and spent the remainder of the evening glued to the incredible and often hilarious stories on the screen. I stuck with Daily Math for a while, Combat’s insider tales about everyone from Dame Dash to Easy Moe Bee had me hooked, his stories were crack for a confessed rap addict such as myself.
I’ll try not to sound like a Wikipedia entry here but Combat Jack was born Reggie Osse a native New Yorker (Brooklyn to be exact) of Haitian decent. After receiving degree’s from Cornell and Georgetown Law he interned at Def Jam in 1989 where he’d work sample clearances for 3rd Bass’ Cactus Album. From there his credits are endless, after brokering Jay-Z’s first ever deal with Payday Records he’d go on to work with everyone from Bad Boy and Rockerfella to Capone-N-Noreaga and RA The Rugged Man. He also worked as a managing editor at The Source for a minute as well as a very brief stint with MTV, he was hugely involved behind the scenes of a lot of the most popular records of the 90’s. He retired from the music industry unsatisfied and disheartened by its constant fuckery in the early 2000’s.
He started blogging about his time within the industry under the alias of Combat Jack following his retirement and fast gained a following in hip hop blogging’s formative years of 05/06, translating that following on to an online radio show and then on to a prominent hip hop podcast. His broadcast alongside team member and prominent NY sneakerhead Premium Pete is going from strength to strength and has been a weekly must listen for a few years now. The show is an intrinsic look at hip hop and New York culture and i consider it one of the most important documentations we have of hip hop at this point in time. I was a little concerned when Dallas Penn retired from the team last year but the show didn’t miss a beat and has only gotten better in my books.
The guest list over the years is endless, if they were involved in East Coast hip hop anytime from the mid 80’s on then they’ve probably been on the Combat Jack podcast. Recent episodes with Lord Finesse, Freddie Foxxx, Jermaine Dupri, Chuck D, Kane, Cormega and Ice-T have been stellar, jam packed with history, stories and a literal tonne of amazing content. Not to mention episodes with Clark Kent, Bobbito Garcia, photographer Glen Friedman, Spike Lee, the infamous first Dame Dash episode and the episode where Havoc of Mobb Deep said he wrote those tweets about his man Prodigy and that a publicist told him to say he left his phone at a gas station, he continues on essentially calling P a bitch.
No matter how little i know about some of the guests i’m constantly intrigued and usually enthralled by most of the discussions. Like it, follow it, rate it, stream it, listen to it and enjoy it. Go back through the archives and discover something about someone you might know nothing about. The Combat Jack Show is available over at iTunes and Soundcloud and also streams off their website below.
Label: Mello Music Group – LP-MMG026
Label / Catalogue: LP-MMG026
Artists: Apollo Brown, OC
‘Trophies’, the debut collaboration album by D.I.T.C. member O.C. and Detroit, Michigan producer Apollo Brown. This LP was the release of the year for me back in 2012, on heavy rotation. The deluxe edition of the LP came with this little gem of a 45. Both LP and 45 pressed in white with the 45 featuring the two bonus tracks with much a similar tone to the LP. OC’s delivery and cadence sits so well on Apollo’s production. The B-side also features on a MMG Self Sacrifice mix released the same year.