Soopah Eype

Better Off Dread

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and in the world of books that often holds true, but in the world of music many a digger will tell you the exact opposite. In record stores and blogs alike, great cover art is a near necessity. How else can a random record hope to nab the attention of someone fanning the shelves or scrolling the pages in search of something unheard?

Judging from cover art alone, as I was at first, Soopah Eype’s Better Off Dread is definitely worth a spin. Of course, it can’t hurt that Soopah Eype has a name that references Lee Perry and song titles that reference Spawn. Actually, as far as I’m concerned: anthropomorphic imagery + ’70s dub + Image comics = let’s fucking do this.

So I download Better Off Dread, and I listen to it one morning on my way to work, and I’m blown the fuck away. At 24-years old, straight out Portland, OR by way of South Central Los Angeles, Soopah Eype is an imminently quotable MC in possession of an effortless syllabic command the likes of which haven’t been heard since Madvillainy dropped. He’s “Isaac Asimov riding a massive moth,” and his off-the-top game is every bit as thorough as his writtens. It’s nuts … indescribably so.

Streaming below, Better Off Dread is Soopah Eype’s 8th mixtape created with the help of producers Steve French and Doogie the Lion. Together, the three form a crew called Plenny Tuff. And that, they are. That, they are indeed.

• Soopah Eype:



As the cover art suggests, listeners should consider TMCT’s newest release SNOW BEACH VOL. 01 on Bootleg Tapes with a bit of lax and venture. The combination results in a stumbling pathway through alleys and dunes, crystal waters and peaks. There’s a duality to the movement in TMCT’s music here, and it definitely walks the pathway of both rough and smooth. It’s as if SNOW BEACH VOL. 01 is conscious of every tape player each cassette is being projected out of: considering the density of sound, acoustics of the room, hiss of the reel being magnetized, [brilliance]. Certainly, definition of each sense can be pinpointed and beheld within the reach of TMCT’s ability to mix and master tracks on a nearly seamless level of melt.

There’s a deep magic happening at Bootleg Tapes. They know exactly what you want, have a release for every mood, and haven’t even been around for a full year. And 100-percent NO strange occult or complex AWE factor. It’s straight up a label trying to remain composed with exceptional music and curatively within it’s on mindset and ambition. So grip that new TMCT SNOW BEACH VOL. 01 tape ASAP, ‘cause these tapes always plan on being released to completely sell out. Find out WHY? below:

• Bootleg Tapes:

Prince Rapid


From Tad Lathrop’s The Business of Global Music Marketing: Global Strategies for Maximizing Your Music’s Popularity and Profits:

However distant the notion of international marketing may have been for you previously, you’ve now come to the point of considering whether and how you can put globalization to work in your music. The “whether” part of your inquiry is relatively easy to answer: With the right product packaging, the right distribution tactics, and the right promotion, virtually any musical product should be saleable somewhere outside its home country.

Falling into a restless slumber beneath a tome of managerial fist-pump-prose, you wake up to imagine a world where GRIME was just a $$$-rich synonym for LONDON RAP and Tinchy joined N Dubz full time. This a dream worth fighting, and Ruff Sqwad are back on hand to nail hard, crisp tunes into Grime’s empty coffin.

“Prince” inverts the Biggie Smalls genre of hip-hop dream sequences, so instead of an expansive fuck you to the neighbours and teachers who couldn’t see any potential, Prince (not you Prince!) shows himself still at school, still grafting, still proud of his East London estate, still affirming Grime’s DIY collective ethos. The track is full of inversions, toying with tropes about hard upbringings, calling for dancefloor passivism, even reversing Flow Dan’s famous nurse/hearse verse from “Skeng” to more hopeful ends. Checking Zelda’s Swords and Bandicoot’s boundless energy, the video moves through a platform game of daily London life, a super-strength comeback of wit and skank.

Prince Rapid releases his new solo EP Turning Point out March 31 via Ruff Sqwad Records. This follows on from 2012’s crucial White Label Classics, a collation of rare Ruff Sqwad instrumentals from the turn of the millennium.

• Prince Rapid:
• Ruff Sqwad Records:

The Phantom Family Halo

“Hard Apple Moon Stomp”

Presented to fans by The Cult of Concerned Women, hurls the depth of The Phantom Family Halo featuring visuals for their new single “Hard Apple Moon Stomp” off new release Raven Town Witch. Yo, there’s cattle and serious faces, blurred mascara and cloaks, flowers in hair and the Virgin Mary, shoot. Needless to say, there’s some straight voodoo happening here between bones, wah’d out riffs, fields, tribal drumming, ritual motions, entrancing vocal effects, and an all encompassing electric pulse both seen and heard. Nobody’s face is the same color. Beauty is merely within the eye of the beholder’s personal perception of self. Let’s meet one day where our mentalities cross paths. Be there when I feel your telekinetic pulse. Lore is more than just powered blown in your face. It’s of the eternal. And a warm scoop like “Hard Apple Moon Stomp” is a process to swallow.

But no worries. It’s natural for shit to levitate. Especially in fields of white magic and pure mind melt. The Phantom Family Halo not only brings that fierce in Raven Town Witch, but if the levels of music “Hard Apple Moon Stomp” goes through as a single track doesn’t hit you hard, then you should go live in the wild for a year or two. Maybe. I’m not exactly sure what I’m suggesting, but The Phantom Family Halo have some interesting mythos to their lyrics and song writing, as well as depth in instrumental mysticism that is beyond the Bible in standards for fantasy. So grip they’s new album Raven Town Witch March 4 (next Tuesday) from Sophomore Lounge Records on LP and spin. In the mean time, freak on the video below.

• The Phantom Family Halo:
• Sophomore Lounge:

Major Lazer

“Lose Yourself (feat. Moska & RDX)”

I shit you not, I am actually in this video for “Lose Yourself (feat. Moska & RDX)” by Major Lazer a couple of times. There, right there in the trees. That shack there too. It all happened when I ran into Sean Paul, who’s on the second track “Come On To Me (feat. Sean Paul)” off the new Major Lazer EP Apocalypse Soon. Apparently he had read my piece on his single from last August and wanted to get to know me a bit more. We got to talking about Ukraine and cassettes, Jerry’s Kids and his kids in relation to Jerry’s Kids, religion and grades of tequila. All sorts of shit. And then was like, “What’s your e-mail?” He axed me in return if I knew who Major Lazer was, and I was like, “Diplo? The Block Party fucker off Pier 11? Yeah, owes me $12.” Sean corrected me, telling me all ‘bout how Diplo wasn’t really Major Lazer and that Block Parties were for Cubans. When I questioned him, “Aren’t YOU of Cubano decent?” he quickly changed the subject and offered me some [hidden] fan shots in the new Major Lazer video being filmed behind us conversing, featuring Moska and RDX. “Did you just sneeze?” I asked, which he clarified that Moska was Columbia and RDX was Jamaican.

Scope the video above for Major Lazer’s “Lose Yourself (feat. Moska & RDX),” and visually featuring me and Sean tucked away in the background. You can find the track on the aforementioned Apocalypse Soon EP Major Lazer is coming out with in May, but available for pre-order with -like- a bunch of other swag that got kids skrilling out MAD dinero. More adventures with Sean to come too, I’m sure. Enjoy the video above!

• Major Lazer:


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.