Othello & DJ Vajra  
Humble Beast  

There was a lot of music to discover in 2010.  Two albums that I had been anticipating for a while finally came out this past year. After spending [what seems like] forever on the sidelines, both records actually dropped on the same imprint, Humble Beast.  Impeccable taste guys.

I love this record.  I mean...it's one of those things that you couldn't go wrong with.  Othello (of Lightheaded) is an incredible rapper and songwriter (not to mention a phenomenal live performer) - he's really an emcee's emcee.  And, I don't mean that to say his flow's of the kind that can only be appreciated by another writer.  I mean to say, the dudes making Hip-Hoppers proud to be Hip-Hoppers. The same can be said about Vajra.  Scratch dudes know the name.  DJ Vajra's a seasoned battle DJ with wins under his belt.  More recently he has been flexing his beat making muscle in battles like the Red Bull Big Tune.  The combo's undeniable.  Like steak and eggs - both are substantial alone but together can fill the hungriest head.

On top of being really dope, it has a great sounding mix.  The sonic quality is really refreshing in our current state of loud and distorted records.  I've been spinning the single for a long while now (2009). DJ's pick up the promo single with Mayor Hawthorne (DJ Haircut is actually spittin' on this one). Also, peep out the incredible remix by Terry Cole.

Pick up the album on iTunes or Bandcamp.

PND - Poems and Dust Dirty Words

In the same way Othello & DJ Vajra come together to make a dynamic Hip-Hop duo, so do PND.  Poems (aka Sareem Poems - fka Sharlok Poems from the legendary L.A. Symphony) teams up with what some would think is an odd accomplice, DJ Dust of Mars ill & DS5.  But, as inside sources tell me, this was just a matter of time, as they have been mutual admirers of each other's work.  Both artist lean toward the abstract and soulful. Dust's signature dirty samples and drum breaks lead us to imagine his crates like a gumbo of southern goodness - Rock, Gospel & Soul.  At times Poem's flow seems to skip along the top of Dust beats and other times the flow's like a inner tube on the Mississippi in August.   Either way is iconic and memorable.

Download Dirty Words on the Humble Beast bandcamp page.