25 February 2014

TRIBUTE: Big Punisher (11/9/71 - 2/7/00)

This post was just going to be a Tape Deck series submission. While I was going to add an extra video or two, I decided to give one on my top 5 emcees a little more substance than that.

In 1998 Christopher "Big Pun" Rios dropped his classic debut album, Capital Punishment. Lyrically demolishing every instrumental with the greatest ease, confidently stating: "I am the nicest..ever. Hardcore? Commercial? Whatchu wanna do, you wanna wile up, you wanna dance? Don't matter to me, I got it all locked down baby." This exclamation illustrates what made Pun such a legendary emcee, his unique versatility. He could drop his Billboard Hot 100 track Still Not a Player and in the same album hit us with his Deep Cover rendition, Twinz. His immediate respect in the game was culture wide, from vets to rookies, they all knew that a lyrical monster had awoken. 

His early death echoes the lose of other great emcees, but while others were taken by violence, Pun's end came due to health complications he suffered as the result of his weight. His legacy includes becoming the first solo Latino rapper to go platinum, a gold album (Yeeeah Baby) and ranking 25 or better on GOAT lists throughout the industry. As we wrap up the month of Big Pun's untimely demise, I invite uall to take trip down memory lane and remember this true emcee.
Capital Punishment:
Yeeeah Baby:
Endangered Species:

24 February 2014

REVIEW: ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron

ScHoolboy Q, being given the daunting task of sustaining the success within the TDE camp garnered by Kendrick's "Good Kid m.A.A.d. City," has finally released his major label debut album "Oxymoron." Anyone who has followed Q's journey from being K.Dot's hype man to a 'Druggy with Hoes' may notice that his previous releases catered to a much more exclusive crowd. There have never been a shortage of heavy drug references in his music, which may be a turn-off to some, but it is evident that more care was taken with this album to make sure it appealed to a wider audience. "Oxymoron" expands on the signature sound found on his previous two efforts with a dash of Golden Era Hip-hop paying homage to artists Q grew up on.

While it may be difficult to not immediately want to compare ScHoolboy Q to Kendrick Lamar, it doesn't take long before you realize it's a complete waste of time. Q, like every member of TDE, is his own artist. He has a style, flow, and story all his own, and comparing him to anyone takes away from enjoying the music. The name "Oxymoron" is a play on how everything in his dark past was done for the sake of his daughter, who makes several cameo appearances on skits and throughout a few tracks.

"Oxymoron" starts off well enough with fellow Black Hippy members Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar featured on 'Los Awesome' and his first single 'Collard Greens' respectively, but the album fails to truly find its footing until the halfway mark with 'Studio,' a west coast banger that is sure to be a mainstay in the clubs once it hits rotation. That momentum carries over into the 'The Purge,' and 'Blind Threats' with assists from Tyler the Creator and Raekwon. It's at this point where "Oxymoron" hits its stride and maintains that same level of quality for the rest of the album. But the irony of reviewing an album like this is the fact that spending time analyzing every song is unnecessary. Q's unique blend of street life, drugs, females, and humor in his music fill a void left by artists like Snoop Dogg who simply just make good music to ride out to.

Noteworthy Tracks: Studio, Blind Threats, Break the Bank, Man of the Year, Collard Greens

Let us know what you think @BestInTheMix @TwonJonson

21 February 2014

Have You Heard?: We are on SoundCloud people!


     You read it right. And when you think about it, Best In The Mix on SoundCloud only makes perfect sense. Through our SoundCloud page we are going to do more than hip you to some of the music we think is pretty damn hot; we are going to give you some access to the music that keeps us doing what we love. With that being said, here is the intro to my first playlist, The Sounds Of Irish.

     I don't know too many people out there that nerd out on music like I do. Seriously. I'm the guy that reads the production notes of all his music just to find new stuff to check out. If I get an album and a guest artist did their thing; not only will I continue to check for the main artist, I'll look up the guest's releases, their respective record labels' releases, the producers on their albums and who they are affiliated with, and on and on and on. It's a main reason a lot of what I peep is off a lot of other radars, and it's probably why a lot of what I like doesn't get the heavy reviews. One thing I continue to wonder is, "What do the people that write music reviews really listen to?" I wonder if knowing what they listened to would give me a better idea why they either liked or disliked something. I am also really curious if they really believe what they write or if they were just doing a bunch of status quo yapping.

     With that in mind I wanted to try something a little more interactive and a little more personal. I decided to put together a playlist of some joints in heavy rotation in my iPod right now. These tracks range from a few weeks to a few years old and after a listen, you will hear why I won't be hitting the stop icon any time soon. If you hear anything you dig, make sure you check to see if they gave up the free download.

      Make sure you hit us with a follow while you're at it. I have a feeling you won't want to miss out.


14 February 2014



    Heads up fam. In case you missed the news, De La Soul is celebrating 25 years in the game by making their entire music catalog free for 25 hours. Starting today, February 14, 2014 at 11 a.m. EST head over to De La Soul's website and take advantage of what is possibly one of the best things that could happen to hip hop heads worldwide. No clue what their website is? No worries, I got you. Just follow the jump here. Take advantage everyone. 

I'm out.

05 February 2014

The Tape Deck: Pharcyde - Drop

       I was going through some of my old stuff and realized I haven't popped something into The Tape Deck for a minute. That, coupled with Dilla Day coming up this weekend, made this track a natural choice.

       One of the biggest accolades Dilla gets to this day is how he'd drop a beat and you wouldn't even know it was him. That's how this song was for me. When this dropped back in '95, all I knew was the song was on smash. I didn't even know Dilla produced it until a couple years later. This is one of the earliest examples of how Detroit and Cali just seem to go good together when it comes to Hip Hop. That man was a freakin' genius.

Happy Birthday Jay Dee. I wouldn't be surprised if you found a way to flip them trumpets up above.

Rest In Peace