Exponentially fresh.

Track produced by Harry Fraud. Underground shit. Harry Fraud also produced their entire upcoming project, entitled The Wolves.

So…La Coka Nostra is dropping a new album. On some underground shit, this could be worth your time. Lots, and I mean lots, of details below (plus a download link to one of the singles!):

“MASTERS OF THE DARK ARTS” FEATURES APPEARANCES FROM VINNIE PAZ, SEAN PRICE, THIRSTIN HOWL, SICK JACKEN & BIG LEFT WITH PRODUCTION FROM DJ LETHAL, ILL BILL, DJ PREMIER & STATIK SELEKTAH

Founded in late 2005, La Coka Nostra was more of a loose collective of artists connected through Danny Boy than an “actual” group. Having taken time off from rap after the break-up of House of Pain, Danny Boy met Slaine in Boston and the end result of that meeting transpired into Danny brining him out to L.A. to work on some tracks. Eventually, as they continued the creative process, things began to snowball organically and suddenly former members of House of Pain and ILL BILL joined the studio sessions and La Coka Nostra was born.

As there aptly titled 2009 debut LP proved (the group also has 3 mixtapes and 2 EP’s under their belts), the groups rabid fan base have come to know La Coka Nostra (Slaine, ILL BILL, DJ Lethal, & Danny Boy) as A Brand You Can Trust and their debut LP featured appearances from Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Immortal Technique and Bun B and though most of the production was handled in-house, they also enlisted Alchemist & Q-Unique for production as well.

Always known for tackling controversial topic matter, the group’s sophomore project, Masters Of The Dark Arts, (release date 7-31-2012) finds them once again in torch-bearing mode, addressing subjects that most artists shy away from as ILL BILL illustrates “as conceptually and musically dark as this album appears to be, there’s also a flip side layer to it that you may not notice until you listen to it a few times. Masters Of The Dark Arts is a storm before the calm and a celebration of the good things in life that can only be achieved by walking directly into the heart of darkness and facing your inner demons head on.”

While the group’s roster has been trimmed slightly due to Everlast having to leave the group (for personal reasons), La Coka Nostra returns re-invigorated and fresh off of a recently completed seventeen-city European tour which saw them rock crowds in eleven different countries “I think we approached Masters Of The Dark Arts with a chip on our shoulder and really took it back to our original mission of hardcore Hip-Hop amidst all the circus bullshit that is so prevalent in the current landscape of the genre. We are aware of the perception that somehow the group has suffered a loss we can’t recover from and in response we made an album that is the most conceptually focused and hardest hitting soundscape in the group’s history” Slaine asserts.

While DJ Lethal and ILL BILL continue to handle the majority of the production on Masters Of The Dark Arts, the group also enlisted Statik Selektah and the illustrious DJ Premier (on the must-hear “Mind Your Business”) and get contributions from Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, Thirstin Howl the 3rd & Big Left as well as Outerspace, Q-Unique & Jaysaun on 2 bonus cuts. “Masters Of The Dark Arts in my opinion is the quintessential La Coka Nostra sound, It has both bark and bite like true hardcore Hip-Hop should!” says Danny Boy.

La Coka Nostra’s Masters Of The Dark Arts will impact on 7-31-2012 and be released by Fat Beat Records.

Tracklisting and credits for La Coka Nostra’s Masters Of The Dark Arts:

1.) “My Universe” f/ Vinnie Paz (produced by Statik Selektah)

2.) “Creed Of The Greedier” (produced by Sicknature)

3.) “המוסד” (produced by DJ Lethal & Scott Stallone)

4.) “Mind Your Business” (produced by DJ Premier)

5.) “Electronic Funeral” f/ Sean Price (produced by Beat Butcha)

6.) “The Story Goes On” (produced by DJ Lethal)

7.) “Letter To Ouisch” (produced by ILL BILL & DJ Lethal)

8.) “Snow Beach” f/ Thirstin Howl the 3rd (produced by Jack Of All Trades)

9.) “The Eyes Of Santa Muerte” ft/ Sick Jacken (produced by ILL BILL)

10.) “Murder World” (produced by C-Lance)

11.) “Coka Kings” f/ Vinnie Paz (produced by C-Lance)

12.) “.38 револьвер” f/ Big Left (produced by Sicknature)

13.) “Malverde Market” (produced by ILL BILL)

14.) “Masters Of The Dark Arts” (produced by DJ Lethal)

15.) “Everybody Down” f/ Jaysaun & Q-Unique (produced by C-Lance) ***iTunes Bonus Track

16.) “No Hay Tiempo Para Mañana” f/ Outerspace (produced by C-Lance) ***iTunes Bonus Track)

[DOWNLOAD] La Coka Nostra – Malaverde Market (prod. by Ill Bill)

Hypothetical scenario: you’re a few hours away from getting your phone turned off because you haven’t paid your bill. I owe you money. I’m dodging your calls. Where is the first place in NYC you go to look for me?

Answer: Bushwick.

I love Bushwick, I really do. It’s the perfect balance of hipster and ratchet, of overpriced condos and trap houses, of interesting businesses and ones that didn’t even open their door once in the year you lived on the same block. It gets a bad reputation at times…old school New Yorkers say it’s dead now – gone are the days when people were emptying clips for breakfast and abandoned lots dominated the landscape. Hipster purists will argue that it’s where the hipsters who can’t afford Williamsburg go to live. Neither side is wrong. Me? It’s close to the city, served by more than one train line, and affordable. It’s almost perfect, except the food options in certain areas of Bushwick tend to suck.

The main avenues (Broadway, Knickerbocker, Myrtle, Bushwick, etc.) are filled with great, cheap eats ($1 taco spots, carryout Incredible Hulks from Apolo’s, and just about any Dominican restaurant comes to mind), but the smaller side streets often lack. Not much besides take out Chinese, fried chicken spots, and maybe a mediocre pizza offering. But lately, on the Western side of the neighborhood, I’ve noticed some things changing. An LA-style burrito spot has proudly held down a corner along Wilson (I think) for quite some time now. There’s a fancy pants creative burger place that I’ve heard is serving up chorizo burgers I need to be paying attention to. They’re off the beaten path, definitely a sign of changing times, but also generally really good quality. And then there’s Arancini Bros.

An uber-tiny spot – it’s honestly smaller than my studio apartment – nestled on the corner of Flushing and Central, you may have driven or walked by here dozens of times without noticing it thanks to the crowd of drunk youngins taking a smoke break outside of the adjoining Wreck Room bar. Yep, adjoining. Wreck Room has a door that connects to Arancini Bros. which serves as a window where party people can order themselves one of Arancini’s many varieties of Sicilian-style rice balls. It’s pretty much the best drunk food-themed idea ever.

The menu is brief – four to six flavors of rice balls to choose from (sometimes they run out of flavors), a few other options like potato croquettes, and some interesting beverages to choose from as well (they stock espresso soda which is the most confusing thing ever to your taste buds, but I can’t get enough of it). Last night’s venture saw flavors like asparagus/lemon/mint and nutella with cinnamon sugar. But I settled on slightly more traditional offerings – the classic ragu (saffron risotto rice ball with traditional ragu sauce) and a mushroom offering.

I expected to enjoy the ragu more, but I was mistaken. Though it was fried to golden perfection, I expected a little more meat and sauciness to be happening inside the thing. Instead, it was more rice than anything. It was still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I needed something more from this. I think if I order it again I’ll ask for sauce on the side (it’s not provided, which also puzzled me, but not enough to give a shit enough to ask for some).

My second choice, which proved to be the winner in my eyes, was the mushroom taleggio filled with mushrooms and taleggio cheese. The result was a very rich mushroom flavor throughout, and a humongous glob of melted cheese amazingness waiting for you on the inside. My picture did this thing no justice at all, so the above was swiped from the Arancini Bros. twitter. I’d order this again. A few times. And not just because it’s so close by. Again, I think this would be an even better experience if there was some default sauce served on the side for these things – a tomato or pesto would be ideal – because the cheese gets really intense. Some kind of light acidity to cut that would be fantastic, and probably mean that I could eat more of these in one sitting.

For the record, I tried to go back for a Nutella the same night after leaving because these things were that good, only to return and they were just closing up. Fail!

All arancini are $4 each, or two for $7. They’re about the size of my fist, but I have little hands, keep that in mind. Well worth the price at least a few times a year though. They also offer a frequent baller card, where you get a free ball after buying ten.

Arancini Bros., 940 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn

It’s the homie Pack FM’s birthday, and to celebrate he is having a free show tonight at Drom on Ave. A. GMS and JS-1 on the turntables, some special guests most certainly coming through, and oh yeah…I’ll be  holding down the merch table, and I don’t get out much these days so it would be nice to see some of you! Plus it’s free, so what’s your excuse?

Random car spotted on Williamsburg’s Southside…#AntiTheftInitiatives #BKBS

If you kept in touch with me regularly (odds are that you don’t, I keep my close circle smaller than a pot head’s blunt remains), you would know that the last month or two of my life has been straight bullshit. I’m talking the you-name-it, it-goes-wrong kind of deal. Every. Single. Day. I literally just got done cursing out some man on the street who managed to clip my leg with the wheel of his pickup truck, then had the audacity to tell me I was lying about getting clipped, curse me out for speaking to him all out of pocket, blah blah blah…you readers can take an educated guess as to the level of  argument ratchetry that ensued on the street afterward. I’ve spent hours in precincts (shout out to my impounded car). I watched a guy who is about to be an instrumental part of my next business move fall off of a roof (he’s clearly alive since he’s still going to help me out). There have been arrests, my freshly freed-from-the-impound-lot car soon made love to the bumper of an X5 to the tune of some $1,500+ in estimated body damage, and tween gang fights have been popping off outside of my crib.

A lot of bullshit has been happening to me in Brooklyn. And like the late, great Notorious B.I.G. pounded into our heads…“That Brooklyn bullshit, we on it.”

For the last few years on Twitter I’ve been snapping flicks or giving the rundown of random fuckery I encounter in the streets and hashtagging it #BKBS. I’ve even had the category on this site called “Brooklyn Bullshit” in which everything that remotely has to do with Brooklyn resides in the UntitledType digital crates. And with all the shenanigans happening in the streets this Brooklyn summertime pre-season, I’m going to have more than enough material to run with to rock with this theme of bullshit in Brooklyn. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Say hello to BrooklynBullshit.com.

Work is under way behind the scenes to get this up and running, so consider this a warning. The goal is going to be different than any of my previous projects online. Rather than emphasize my writing and editorialize my content, it’s going to be more multimedia focused. More pictures, more video. Passing your time in a comedic, witty, entertaining way is definitely high on my list of priorities. But also expect some things that will make you “SMH” in that “damn, I’m worried about society” kind of way. Because not all bullshit is funny, and there are some lessons to learn from the shit that happens in these streets. Expect interviews with Brooklyn residents – OG Brooklynites, not the fashion designer that relocated from Boise, Idaho and just copped a never-before-lived-in condo on N. 4th and Kent. Bodega workers, maybe a neighborhood crackhead or two (or ten), or the guy that sells the bootleg sunglasses on your nearest commercial avenue. All of these people have stories just waiting to be told.

I hope that you, my UntitledType audience or the followers of any of my other work, will stick around to watch this site grow. Like anything I bother spending my time on, I see potential for it to expand into something a little bigger than what it will be when it starts. I have a person or two on my side keeping an eye out for content and brainstorming ideas with me, and I’m looking forward to executing these ideas and sharing them with the internet. So stick around, tell a friend or two, and keep an eye out for the launch of the website. And in the meantime, if you’re local, keep an eye out for #BKBS that you see in your daily life. Snap a pic, write up a funny story, let me know what’s good, and send it through to the e-mails on the “Contact” page of this site. Let me know the neighborhood or intersection of the incident if possible as well. Photographers who send original work will get photo credit, people who submit stories will get credit as a writer, etc…but my team and I (it’s really three of us at this point) can only be so many places at once, so submissions from you guys will help make this even better.

BrooklynBullshit.com coming soon. Party people, you’ve been warned.

I’ve been wanting to say this for a while now, but the timing never seemed right for me to say it without coming out like I’m just simply complaining about things. But hey, opportunities stay presenting themselves, and now the time has come.

So apparently this last weekend at Summer Jam, Peter Rosenberg decided to (in a nutshell) say that a Nicki Minaj single was wack. Wayne then flexed his Young Money arm and pulled his crew (well, almost all of it, besides Tyga apparently) from performing at Summer Jam. The day of the show. Event planning nightmare. Fan disappointment ensued. Etc., etc., you get the picture. (For the record, I didn’t think what he said was all that fucked up. Most chicks like Nicki Minaj’s music. Most men like her ass. What’s new?)

If you follow Peter Rosenberg at all, you’ll know that he’s the man behind Hot 97′s Sunday show “Late Night With Peter Rosenberg” in which he showcases the best (well, what he deems as best) in underground Hip Hop. This usually involves a lot of Odd Future, Low Budget and various DMV’ers (since that’s his origin), etc. It’s a usually predictable show, but it is a welcome change from the usual Hot 97 lineup of music. I’m not mad at him at all, and as an opinionated asshole myself, I feel he’s entitled to his opinion. Whether or not he should have exercised his freedom of speech while working for the station at such a large event is another story, but the man can like what he likes. Apparently Nicki Minaj is not in that category.

But I’d like to take this moment to expand upon something I think is going unmentioned in relation to this incident: it’s no longer cool to be a Hip Hop purist. You know, the type that still blasts nothing but golden era ’90′s jams on their iPod and still makes it to every Rakim performance within a 50 mile radius of their residence. This is going to sound ridiculous coming from me because for the longest time I was a self-proclaimed Hip Hop purist. I still am, in the sense that I have a great appreciation for that “real” shit, still blast it every now and then, and still concern myself with the news and current events pertaining to this scene.

In the last year or so, Rap music began to feel like work to me. It should have, since I made it the only thing I was working on. Some of the joy went away. In order to preserve my raw passion for this art form, I turned to new genre’s of music to provide me with entertainment. I’ve been getting deeper into House music, hipster shit, even music from other places in the world. There is more to life than DJ Premier. Rakim. Fu-Schnickens. People want to hate on Nicki Minaj or Drake or 2 Chainz or whoever the fuck they want to throw shade at, but when is the last time one of your favorite golden era types released an album? More specifically, one worth listening to? Yeah, I’m looking forward to that Wu Tang and D-Block collaboration as much as the next Hip Hop head, but I’m also not going to cry if it’s disappointing. The people we once admired are aging, they’re slowing down. Things are going to change and as growing humans we need to be open to that change.

To be honest, at this point the Hip Hop purist posse, “backpackers” we can call them, are annoying me these days. I never thought I’d get to this point but it’s true. Why? Because their whole stance is narrowminded. Fuck Nicki Minaj? It’s too easy, but go listen to her verse on Kanye’s “Monster” and try to tell me, as someone who assesses lyricism so thoroughly, that her verse was trash. I dare you. Fuck Drake? Fuck 2 Chainz? They’re so ignorant and untalented? Tell me “No Lie” was a shitty single. Tell me you don’t already know the words.

Hip Hop has changed. Just like a human who is born, grows, changes, gets old, slows down, and dies, Hip Hop is in a life cycle. Too much of the same is boring, and hating on shit for no good reason has never been cute. Should Nicki have backed out over Peter’s comments? Hell no, that was some extra shit, but at the same time, it was the perfect thing to do because all parties involved are getting a ton of press off of the debacle. If you think I’m going to be in NYC tonight and not listening to Funkmaster Flex’s show this evening, you must be crazy. Case in point. But not opening one’s mind and ears to new sounds is just doing oneself a disservice.

In other words, this whole “beef” is stupid. Hell, it might be a publicity/marketing stunt (and a damn good one at that). But what it boils down to is that shit changes, you either accept it or act like an old school asshole about it and don’t, and life goes on with or without our opinions thrown into the mix. Liking a Waka Flocka track or two doesn’t make me any less knowledgable or appreciative of the amazing Rap music that came before him, it just means I want a change of pace. And if that means I’m no longer a true-school Hip Hop head, then so be it. The same way I’d be mad if I paid to see the Summer Jam line up and Nicki didn’t perform (I still haven’t seen her live show, and whether or not I dig her music aside, I’d be interested to see her perform), I’d just like to enjoy whatever I listen to in peace. The same way us “older heads” (the irony is that we claim to be old but are really in our 20′s) are complaining about the ignorance the kids listen to these days, don’t try to front like you didn’t grind on some booty to “Back That Azz Up” when Cash Money Records was still poppin while you were in high school. Change happens, grow up and get used to it.

That’s my drunken, semi-relevant rant for this afternoon. Play nice out there in those streets party people, eyes is out.

Part of this was filmed in my current stomping grounds of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, so that makes me love this a little more just off the hometown strength. I can’t tell you how many times in one day I drive through that intersection of Metropolitan and Union where Kellogg’s is at. Even tho compared to D.C. life living in NYC is basically like living in a movie set with all the shit they’re constantly filming around here (shout out to Boardwalk Empire for recently taking over part of the Southside with old ass cars and lots of commotion), it’s still kinda cool to see shit that’s a part of your daily life in some crispy, HD-ass video.

Before my typical audience here says a damn word, I dare you to find a flick on Google images that offends your eyes any less than this one when it comes to SSION. To be honest, I don’t even know what this shit is. All I know is that I kinda fucks with it, and I do live in Williamsburg nowadays so I think this kind of shit comes with the zip code or something. It’s 3:40 in the morning and this is getting played on repeat. Judge me as you please.

SSION – My Love Grows In The Dark (Nightfeelings Remix) by Dovecote Records

The video feels like one big moving instagram picture, but this guy’s bars aren’t bad at all. A little different than what I’ve been posting lately. Not quite fitting of my current mood these days, but can’t deny a good song when it’s in front of my face. This is a joint effort between King I Divine and ScienZe. Like it? Download their collaborative LP here.

Did another very short little interview for HipHopDX recently, this time with Showoff Hip Hop’s REKS. This man is never short on bars, I’m telling you, and Statik Selektah is never short on beats, so it’s only right that the two are teaming up for Straight, No Chaser. Not a long interview, not too much time to get into anything crazy, but he did speak on why he chose Statik for the job, how they met, and where his favorite place in Massachusetts is to drink his favorite drink: Hennessy.

[READ]: REKS Says Statik Selektah Is Godfather Of His Child, Talks “Straight, No Chaser” (via HipHopDX)