Nickelus F
“Da Reaper” [prod. by Shawn Kemp]

January 23, 2013: Lil Ugly Mane (producer alias: Shawn Kemp) posts to Facebook, “nickelus f x shawn kemp e.p is gonna drop next week.” However, much to the chagrin of various ghouls, demons and Virginians, that didn’t happen, and altogether, not much else has been seen or heard of the sorcerer apothecary since then, except for this Sunday night performance at Chaos in Tejas, which, rumor has it, Ugly says will be his last.

…Satanic sad face : (>

Wake up this morning, come into work, pop a few Savannah Smiles only to discover a new Nickelus F x Shawn Kemp track premiered sometime last night, in the darkness, no doubt cloaked by the black cowl of death herself. Well, the fog has lifted to reaveal this as probably the illest of the three tunes NickShawn have dropped thus far (the other two being “Dirty Street Level” and “EMU”, which dropped 1/12/13 and 1/17/13, respectively). And three songs is basically an EP, right? : )>

Duppy Gun (Cameron Stallones and M. Geddes Gengras)

“What Would You Say About Me?” [feat. Fyah Flames]

Recorded in Spanish Town, Jamaica by Duppy Gun fellahs M. Geddes Gengras and Cameron Stallones, “What Would You Say About Me?” features vocals from the gorgeous Fyah Flames, capturing both the hope and pain of living within that local hustle and bustle of the St. Catherine capital city. On the outskirts and within the lush video below — shot by ICON EYE’s Tony Lowe — the prosperity of love and friendship is abound through laughs and the natural surrounding sounds of the neighborhood. It’s lovely to watch Fyah Flames record her vocals within that outdoor habitat, freeing her lyrical encouragement and settling her sung spirit within the production hands of DJ High Wasteline (a.k.a. Matthewdavid). Find Fyah Flames queendom now on Duppy Gun’s third 12-inch What Would You Say, with the B-side track “Own Patterson” featuring I Jahbar and a beat by Big Flite and Velkro (Duppy Kings), out now on the cheap via Duppy Gun Productions (and distributed by Stones Throw). ENJOY!

• Duppy Gun:

Michael Jukeson

“Addendum/Self (A/VMIX1)”

Blankstairs is a new net-based beat music label out of Portland, OR. And I mean new. Like first-release-coming-soon new. The whole thing is run by a bunch of youngsters not quite old enough to get into any music venue in the city without an all-ages show going on, of which Portland has very few. So, they started throwing their own shows at bike shops and art galleries which they called Beatogether. All of these details so far are pretty similar to that NYC label, Astro Nautico. Two young collectives on opposite sides of the country, essentially pursuing the same thing under similar circumstances? A collaboration was bound to happen. And here it is; a 25-minute deeeep-breathing track from Astro Nautico’s Michael Jukeson, accompanied by gelatinous visuals from members of the Blankstairs label. If the first proper release (like BS001) is anything at all like this, then I imagine we will all be adding this collective to our to-follow list of youngsters making electronic music.

• Michael Jukeson:
• Blankstairs:
• Astro Nautico:



aaronmaxwell’s bidness associate is back in town with another trunk full of over-compressed Black Market beats for sale. Cigars and suntans are FREE.


Josephine Foster

“Stones in My Heavy Bag”

Before 2012’s Blood Rushing and Perlas, before the beautiful trio of Graphic As A Star, This Coming Gladness, and A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, before even lesser-known albums like Born Heller and SOS JFK came the understated Little Life. Released in 2001 and self-recorded by Josephine Foster during her time as a music teacher, the 11-track album takes inspiration from early American music and channels it into a collection of sweet folk songs dedicated to her young music students.

While much of Little Life features playful nods to Tin Pan Alley rhythms and light-hearted, Ella Jenkins-esque storytelling, “Stones in My Heavy Bag” slows the vocals and rhythm down to a beautiful crawl. Here, Foster, who has consistently displayed a nuanced appreciation of structure and form, dwells on the same chord for the entire song, punctuated by ukulele strums and Foster’s harmonized melody that harkens back to work songs, spirtualized music made here for the classroom. Sure, “Stones in My Heavy Bag” technically moves toward its inevitable conclusion, but it feels circular and ever-lasting.

Little Life is reissued today via Fire Records.

• Josephine Foster:
• Fire Records:

[Photo: M Borthwick]

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire


Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire caught my attention in 2011 with his Merry eX-Mas & Suck My Dick mixtape, and it was filthy. Not just lyrically, but in sound: it sounded like trash. Oh, but I LUUUV trash. Especially musically. And when it’s tolerable to listen to at length, then serve me up a fresh pile of it: steaming. However, that’s not the case here with Kismet. Almost every track has a different producer, and I actually almost believed Curtis Mayfield produced “Vanilla Rainbows” (but then remembered I’m dumb, and that he died years ago). Yet, the playfulness of Kismet is perfect for that summertime vibe/feel. It’s in the air. We’re all waiting. So let Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire please ya warm desires. Licking lyrics in your ear like a lollipop sweating flavor, Kismet features Goldie Glo, Heron, Gorgeous and Joe Blacks, Danny Brown, Nacho Picasso, Flatbush Zombies, Adrian Marcel, and the “TOASTY” dude from Mortal Kombat II. It’s ill. It spits on every grave. It’s stonewalling you. It’s fiery. It’s Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s Kismet. Thanks for slipping me this post just to funk it up, Z.

• Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire:


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.