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KingHellBastard has just released a pretty damn fresh music video for their song “I Believe” that features Raashan Ahmad…the single and my favorite track from their new EP, Remember The Name.  DNA, one of the emcees in the group, is the director of the video.

Enjoy!

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Yesterday I received all the low down, dirty, filthy, information about the brand new KHB project…the Remember The Name EP.

Peep the presser:

Die-hard Milwaukee hip-hop group KingHellBastard continues to deliver raucous boom bap and potent lyricism on their latest release from Uni-Fi Records. The album comes off a stellar 2009 which saw KHB receive constant airplay on 88.9 WYMS and 91.7 WMSE and led to the group winning Artist Of The Year and Video Of The Year in the Radio Milwaukee Awards, a trend which continues in 2010 with 88.9 already adding the first single “I Believe” to their rotation. Building upon years of riotous performances and international collaborations, KHB brings out the heavy artillery on the 8-song record with appearances from Sadat X of the legendary Brand Nubian, Def Jux affiliate Akrobatik, Raashan Ahmad from Crown City Rockers, Stricklin from hip-hop supergroup EMC, and blazing cuts from The White Shadow of Norway. Starting off with a veritable explosion of sonic energy and a thunderous verse from Akrobatik on the song “Clubber Lang”, MCs Dana Coppafeel, Shemp, and DNA waste no time heralding their return with steely-eyed conviction over a heart-stopping beat from producer Reason, accented by the nimble bass playing of LMNTlyst and deft scratching of resident DJ OneL. Keeping the intensity high, the record hits a celebratory note with the second track “I Believe” featuring an exuberant verse from crowd rocker Raashan Ahmad over joyous horn blasts and breakneck drums from Reason and a blistering scratch coda from White Shadow. Side A closes with two slices of serious funk, the booming bass of the White Shadow produced “It’s The Crew Again” featuring the unmistakable voice of Sadat X, and the certified G-Funk banger “North Coast” featuring a hilarious verse from fellow Milwaukee native Stricklin. With Side A dedicated to showcasing some of the collaborative efforts KHB have generated from constant touring, Side B allows the group to stand on it’s own considerable talents with three songs from in-house Uni-Fi producer The White Russian. First is the kaleidoscopic “PhD” where the MCs weave in and out of the verses as the beat builds up in layers of shifting soundscapes. Next comes the fist-pumping ode to hip-hop’s golden age “A Tribe Called Bastard”, where each MC references quotables from the past over a beat that could have been at home on a tape deck in 1988 and recalls classics like “Scenario” and “The Choice Is Yours”. Lastly comes the heartfelt hometown anthem “Ma’waukee”, an introspective look at the blue-collar roots and hardscrabble character of the Midwest set to a soulful and exultant beat that has already proven to be a show-stopper during live performances

The homies in KHB are having the release party at Mad Planet and in exchange for your $10 cover, you get a copy of the project ON VINYL…how Hip-Hop is that?!  Even nicer than that is the fact that Raashan Ahmad is going to be in the house doing his thing while they shoot the music video for  “I Believe” which features Ahmad.  You can’t go wrong going to this one.

Speaking of the project, this shit is just fresh.  I’ve been sitting on it for a minute now and have been quietly enjoying it like a muhfucka.  I’ve been a supporter of KHB for a while now and I’ve also dug all the side projects…Cups and Bottles, DNA’s solo, Dana’s slew of work…and I have never heard them sound better as a group than on this project.  They sound like a tight knit unit.  You can tell tons of work has gone into this jawn, so props to the bastids for adding another quality project to their discography.

I also want to make sure that I highlight the quality of the production on the album, courtesy primarily of Reason and The White Russian.  They bring raw energy that ebbs and flows in and out of being frantic and smooth, showcasing further the 90’s revival in the underground while keeping it today *no autotune*.

My Side-A favorite is probably “I Believe” right now and my Side-B favorite is “PhD”, right now.  3 weeks ago is was “Clubber Lang” with Akrobatik and “Ma’waukee” (side A and B respectively).

Matter of fact, cop this joint when it comes out.

For your listening pleasure, “Ma’waukee” –

Here is the art for the project:

FRONT

BACK

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again:  Dana Coppafeel is one of the hardest working people in Milwaukee Hip-Hop.

All you have to do is look at the resume of the man with the suggestive name and you will have proof of the previous statement.  He’s released numerous projects, featured on numerous tracks, performed hundreds of shows, hosted tons of parties and events, brought lots of quality Hip-Hop to Milwaukee, and often goes beyond the music by designing art for other rappers, as well as custom hats, etc.

Coppa has been very busy so far this year so I thought half way through 2010 would be a good time to catch up with Dana to discuss what’s already been done and what’s to come.

So far, as a solo artist, you’ve released a well received album in Coppa’s Welfare Foods and you just dropped The Feature, a mixtape that has strung together a lot of tracks that you have been a part of over the past few years.  What else do you have on tap solo wise for this year? 

I’m hoping to drop a few more solo things, so to speak, this year.  Maybe two EPs, possibly.  I’ve been working on a project with my homie Josue (aka Da Ricanstruckta) out in Madison…we’ve been good friends for a long time.  We used to be roommates and had a group together when i was living out there.  So, I’ve been taking trips out there lately to record an EP with him.  We are getting real close to finishing it, just a few more tracks to record, but we are taking our time with this project just to make sure everything sounds right.  Hopefully we can drop it this year.

The other EP I’m working on is with Reason from 4AR.  He has produced a lot of stuff for KingHell lately, and, well I’ve been talking about doing something with him since he hit me with the “Money Off The Tilt” beat.  I’ve been going out to his studio to work on that and it has been real cool.  We have a few tracks recorded with a few solid ideas ready to go and I hope this will be ready by the end of the year too.

We don’t really have any names ready for the projects yet.  We’ll just see what we come up with as we are wrapping them up.

Last year you had a super busy group year between the KingHellBastard EP that yielded “Danger” and the House of M’s first album.  This year you have both a KHB vinyl EP and an album coming out.  With so any different interests, and constantly being busy with music or designing posters/promo stuff/hats/etc., how do you keep everything straight?

Honestly I don’t know.  I just try to channel the person I want to be at the end of my goals and focus on that.  I just do what I need to do when it’s time to do it.  It’s really nothing more than that, outside of the fact I love doing all this stuff so it makes it easy.

Tell me about the KHB EP.  The release is right around the corner and there are some fantastic features on the project.  How did you pull all of those features together as well as decide to only release it on vinyl?

The name of the EP is Remember The Name which kind of speaks for itself.  There are 8 tracks on it, which one of the songs is a remix, so actually 7 songs.  Feature wise we have Sadat X of the legendary Brand Nubian, Raasahan Ahmad of Oakland’s Crown City Rockers, Stricklin of EMC, Akrobatik of the Perceptionists, and White Shadow of Norway. 

Our homie Coolzey hooked us up with both Sadat X and Raasahan Ahmad.  Coolzey is good friends with both of them and has toured quite often with both of them.  A lot of the time, we hook up the Milwaukee shows for those tours, so through Coolzey, we were able to build relationships with both of them.

Shemp from KHB has ties to both White Shadow and Stricklin.  He was in a group with White Shadow called Pizdamen and he knows Strick from the old Top Floor days before Stricklin signed to Tommy Boy.  Our DJ 1L has been good friends with Akrobatik for many years now so it just seemed like the right time to utilize the connects we made over the years to throw all onto one project.

The vinyl idea was kind of my idea.  Over the years I’ve dropped a few vinyl projects and always got back some great feedback about them…what I mean by that is feedback from other countries that my cd would never get touched in.  I felt like with the big names on this project that we could generate some decent noise in other places that were still open to vinyl and the underground aspect of Hip-Hop.  A lot of the artists that we have on this vinyl have a bigger crowd outside of the U.S. and maybe we can use that to our advantage.  Nobody around here really puts out vinyl except a small group of people, and all of those people who have, have received great opportunities because of their dropping vinyl.

We are going to put out a digital copy on iTunes so that we can still get it to the people who don’t have turntables.  One of the songs off the project, “Ma’waukee” is being used right now as the opening song for the Grind Time Now BrewCity BarFights series, which two of battles that are out right now from that series have about 20,000 views together.  There has been some good feedback from that as well, people wondering and asking about that song, so to not get to those people on a digital format would be stupid on our part.

The release party is going to be August 21st at Mad Planet.  Raashan Ahmad will be there along with a few surprises.  Also, we’ll be shooting a video that weekend, teaming up with Alphabang’s own D Wood again for “I Believe”, featuring Raasahan, while he is in town just to give our project a little more push.  A video for that song just seems right because 88.9 Radio Milwaukee has put that song in to regular rotation now.  Everything is really coming together for this project nicely.

Earlier this year you did an interview with the Milwaukee branch of The Onion’s AV Club that caused some controversy.  You took the Milwaukee media to task saying that they weren’t doing what needed to be done to seek out and support Milwaukee Hip-Hop and it really ruffled the feathers of Steve Hyden, the Editor of AV Club Milwaukee, to the point that he even wrote a blog post responding to your comments.  Now that there has been a few months for all that to breathe, and the AV Club made sure to cover the release of your new mixtape, what are your thoughts on how all that went down?

The thing is I never really felt that I wasn’t getting any cover in the media and I wasn’t crying for more.  I do just fine.  The problem I was trying to state was that these media outlets here do a lot of recycling of names and the questions when covering local Hip-Hop in general.  The funny thing is I got a lot of love from people who work at these publications, who sent me private emails, who agreed with me.  Even Steve Hyden said he likes a person who is bold and honest, and that he respects me for speaking out.  I think that article is part of the reason why Milwaukee UP is up and running now, am i wrong?  I just didn’t want to use my time to talk about me blowing up.

I know that you and your fellow KHB’ers are playing a tour for the late summer/early fall.  How is all that coming along?  Do you have any details you can tell us about yet?

Everything is starting to come together.  We’ll be on the road for about 3 weeks more or less.  I think we are going down south and over to the east coast within that time frame.  I can’t really give more than that because a lot of the dates are still up in the air.

Dana Coppafeel is known as a guy who brings quality Hip-Hop artists to Milwaukee as well as putting together interesting and unique events for the Hip-Hop community.  Recently you were able to bring a Grind Time Now event to Milwaukee.  How did you manage that and how did it go?

Actually, they contacted me about doing a Milwaukee event.  The person who contacted me was the Midwest league’s President, Sonny Bamboo, which was super fresh.  My homies from Covert Empire; Rye Bread, Fresco, and Avyee; are the ones who put me on to Grind Time and all 3 of them have been featured in many battles that Grind Time hosted.  They definitely put a good word in Sonny’s ear about Milwaukee wanting to do an event.  Flow Clothing was all about using their store as a venue and everything else just fell together.  It has been a good connect for me as well and we hope to have some more Grind Time events here in the future.  Sonny must have had a good time to because he just invited me to be a judge at the next event in Chicago on August 25th.  I just see it as another way of getting Milwaukee out there to a whole different audience.

On the side, you occasionally design stuff, most notably the Think Tank 59/50 New Era hats you did.  Are you working on any designs right now?

Yes I am.  I just submitted my new designs to New Era about a week ago.  I’m just playing the waiting game now to get my proofs back from New Era before they go into production.  Last year I designed 7 hats which is just crazy to me.  I designed the 2 Think Tanks and 5 Brewer hats for Flow Clothing.  I think that has been my biggest accomplishment.  I always dreamed of designing hats.  I’m an artist, I graduated from an art school, I did graffiti in high school…my whole life I was drawing.  I used to draw my own Jordan designs and team hats.  With these new Think Tank 59/FIFTIES I’m going to team up with my homie Rick from illwaukee custom sneaker (http://www.illwalkees.blogspot.com/) to do some exclusive releases of limited skateboard decks, custom Think Tank shoes, and t-shirts for the launch party.  I’m truly amped for this next batch.  This is all exclusive with only 36 of each style of hat ever going to get made and you can only get them from me…THINK TANK.

You have seen Milwaukee Hip-Hop grow and shrink, ebb and flow, in your years of experience with it.  How do you feel about the scene as a whole right now?

Milwaukee is growing and the talent is only getting better. Out of all the years that I’ve been here, this is like the best I’ve seen the scene to be honest.  As a whole, I can say that I’m proud of our little scene. 

Any shout outs?

To everybody who has supported me in one way or another, thanks.

KINGHELLBASTARD

HOUSE OF M

UNI-FI RECORDS

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As you can see from the poster, this show is a benefit to raise money for a woman by the name of Steph Deida, who is fighting for her life against the horrible disease.

I know there is a lot of stuff going on tonight, but even if you can’t go to this show, stop by the Highbury and donate $5 (or more) or if you see one of the KHB guys out and about, give them some cash for this cause.

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KingHellBastard is back at it and this time they have recruited the help of Raashan Ahmad.

KHB’s new single “I Believe” is fantastic and has a great feel to it.  It’s the exact opposite of “Danger”, last year’s successful vehicle for the group, so for those that aren’t too familiar with the Bastards it will show their other side…the more “slap you in the face” lyrical style they typically unleash.

They have a new EP coming out on August 21st and an album to follow soon after that.

I Believe –

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There is no way to tell if the article I wrote last week about Radio Milwaukee adding some new Milwaukee Hip-Hop into the rotation to compliment their current playlist of artists had any sway on this week’s “New Music Wednesday”.  I’m sure it didn’t, but it was nice this morning to wake up to see both KHB and Fresh Cut Collective as artists that they are featuring on this week’s locally heavy contest (which also features Milwaukee’s Jaill…a rock group that has recently signed to Sub Pop and will be releasing a new album very soon).

The catch to this is that you have to vote for which song you like the best…and I believe you have to do it TODAY.  I don’t know the politics of the situation and whether all songs have been added to the rotation and the most popular will get the most spins over the coming months or if the winner is the only one that gets added to regular rotation.  Honestly, I hope that ALL these local artist’s tracks get added regardless of outcome because all three tracks are fantastic.

VOTE RIGHT HERE

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Several months ago there was a debate that began on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s blog when Tarik Moody asked if Milwaukee was afraid of Hip-Hop.  Everybody (AV Club Milwaukee, Shepherd Express, Fan Belt, and many individuals in the comment sections) seemed to pick up on it and answered in their own way.  One person who joined the discussion even asked if 88Nine itself was afraid of Hip-Hop being that the majority of what it seems to play is not all too recent (lots of 90’s stuff that could be seen as “safe”).

We are half way through the year and many different blogs are doing their 1/2 way point lists for 2010 and that got me thinking about what some of my favorite Milwaukee Hip-Hop songs from this year are, so far.  I decided to venture over to Radio Milwaukee’s website to see what they’ve been diggin’ on and after scrolling backwards from July 6th to June 20th, I realized a trend…they’re playing the same Milwaukee Hip-Hop songs by and large that they were pushing all last year.

I guess I was a bit surprised by this because I know how much Milwaukee Hip-Hop has already come out, including new singles by artists they themselves are pumping.  What surprised me even more were the omissions of artists that I know fit the 88Nine demographic.

I searched all the usual suspects, and sure, some of them probably didn’t take the time to send their records over to 88Nine but I know for sure several of them did because I did it for them or they told me that they did.  Also, I know that the deejays get sent tons of music and they prefer edited stuff which they don’t have to scratch out the expletives, but I can tell you first hand that they will do it.

Lastly, I’m starting to get a feeling that it might not necessarily be the deejays at the station or some of the others that work there that should be looked at for this imbalance because Tarik, Jordan, Marcus, and Adam, are all very deeply rooted in the Milwaukee music scene and might know about everything out there between the 4 of them…so it appears to be more of a managerial issue.  This is all speculation of course.

Alright, here is who got plays and how many (as of July 6th, 2010):

Frankie Flowers – 228; Prophetic – 66; Figureheads – 65; The Lab Partners – 63; Oneself – 31; KingHellBastard (KHB) – 29; Kid Millions – 14; JC Poppe – 2; Element – 1; Fresh Cut Collective – 1.

That last group getting 1 play baffles me.  Fresh Cut Collective is embraced by all different types of people in Milwaukee and I know that 88Nine is well versed in FCC’s music, but they only get 1 play?

The confusion doesn’t stop there.  I was very surprised to find that Melissa Czarnik, nor Eric Mire, received any plays on Radio Milwaukee…and NEVER have (according to the information found on the 88Nine website).  Again, you would figure that either of those artists are a lock when you consider the diverse ears of 88Nine listeners and their popularity in Milwaukee.

A few others who have released albums or singles recently, to somewhat recently, are also missing.  People like Dana Coppafeel, D. Ellzey, Signif, and Haz Solo & Dylan Thomas.  I highlight these artists because I am positive the radio station knows about these artists releases.  Also, even though Prophetic is on the list of artists played this year, he has released several new singles that have been buzzed about but have not received airplay.

I understand that the first half of the year has been tough for Radio Milwaukee with Scott Mullins leaving, but I think it’s time to rotate in some new music to compliment the several songs 88Nine has firmly established as being their core of Milwaukee Hip-Hop.

(NOTE: It is quite possible that I missed an artist or two.  Please correct me if I missed somebody.)

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