Heaven (Freestyle) - Gavin, I.S., & Wonway


This one is a bit of history.
Early Sunday morning around 2:30 am on the streets of Berkeley, Ca, one of the illest cyphers took place. Here's how it went down.

We came up to this late night food spot, and this dude was chillin playin the guitar. Me and Juan, being who we are, started freestyling and beatboxin like it was 1998 all over again. We go around the circle a couple times with other cats joinin in kickin freestyles, yadayadayada...
Then dude with the guitar starts playin a lil rhythm, and singin a hook. Everyone else we didn't know left, so it was just us in the cypher. I had a feeling it was going to be something special, so I had to press record via iPhone Voice memo. The rest is history. No Stop/Start, no edits, no added sounds. This is 100% Live, Authentic, No Filler.

One word describes it all. Amazing.

Heaven Freestyle


Raashan Ahmad & Aceyalone - Move (Rock Creek Park mix)


Im stayin on the summertime vibe, and this is definitely one to get you in the mood. The Bay and LA connect for this one, with homie Raashan Ahmad, and LA Legend Aceyalone, who really come off nicely on this break. Sometimes, the simple concepts get overlooked, and this is a perfect example of 2 emcees just doin what they do best over a classic cut.

This one needed to happen

Doin it in the Park

Lil Wayne, You're SERIOUS?!

It appears the wittiest of the witty has out done himself again with this track called "Whip it Like a Slave", and to be honest, this reference is surprising to me, even for Lil Wayne's standards. For this, a younger generation may appreciate Wayne's ability to constantly play on words, and the "Its just a song" excuse has grown tired for Hip Hop listeners and supporters. Although it is just one song out of a million, Lil Wayne is not just a rapper. He has become a pop icon who has spawned millions of disciples across the country. There in lies the problem.

The main problem I have with this simile is that there hasn't been, nor will there be any repercussions for Wayne's choice of words. In the last month or so, Wayne has said a couple of things that simply cannot be ignored. One, He preforms the uncensored version of his song "Every Girl in the World" at the BET awards, in front of an all ages crowd. Two, in the same song, he mentions at the end "Miley Cirus, holla at me in a couple years" and Three, this latest stunt. Now...these things may seem tame by comparison to other lyrics said by other rappers, and even Wayne himself, but I ask...what are the consequences for these actions?! It is NOT OK to express sexual interest in a minor. It is NOT OK to talk about fuckin every girl in the world when there are adolescent girls present. It is NOT OK to have a song called "Whip it Like a Slave". And who is out there to tell him this? No one. Now look, I'm not asking for a stamp out or a boycott, but all I'm saying is that there needs to be an authority that will check Lil Wayne and other rappers that are way out of pocket. BET apologizes for the performance, but what if they took a more proactive stance and said 'No Wayne will be on BET for 6 months?' or Where is Billy Ray Cyrus to say "This is out of line?" Professional athletes have to choose their words carefully in interviews and press conferences, why? because if they don't', they know a fine is coming. Actors and Entertainers know that they can't say anything controversial, because movie rolls are at stake. What is at stake for Wayne? Who is gonna let him know that what he did is poor taste? What does he have to say to the millions of youth that look up to him?

Growing up in the late 80's Early 90's, Hip Hop was an educational tool. Public Enemy and BDP showed pictures of Malcolm X, Tribe, De La, and damn near every other Hip Hop song was a sample, which was a door to a whole other realm of music. This was what was cool. It made me want to learn more, and educate myself on my cultural history, and the history of music. Unfortunately, the game has changed. I feel I will always listen to Hip Hop, and there will always be music out there that I will enjoy, but it's sad to say there are going to be ignorant and distasteful messages in Hip Hop as well. If it is true that trends happen in cycles, then it is true that Hip Hop WILL return to it's essence, and that one day Hip Hop will once again be a powerful and effective learning tool for all ages and generations.


Orchestration Promo (Part 1 & 2)

more to come...

Orchestration: From My POV


The Orchestration project is like no other I have worked on. With that being said, I'd like to explain the process in which Orchestration came to be, and how I was able to take the project from REL's beats to a finished product.

I came into this project with a couple main objectives, but the most important was to highlight REL's beats. So the first step obviously was to get the beats from REL. I wanted to get as many as possible from him because I wanted to display his range in production sound, and I also knew that his beats had enough similarity to where the project would be a complete thought. I obtained his beats knowing what I wanted in a finished project as well. I wanted the sound to be similar to J-Rocc's "Thank You Jay Dee" mixtape series, which I felt was groundbreaking for a Hip Hop instrumental mixtape. With that mixtape in mind, and REL's unique sound, I knew Orchestration would have it's own sound.

There are no scratches in the project. No doubles, no tricks, no traditional DJ aspects. This is another way to give RELs beats shine. I feel that scratching highlights the DJ, and I didn't want that to be the case. These are beats that took me to another place, and they painted pictures in my mind, and I wanted the music to have the same effect on the listener. As the mix began to take form, I thought of the entire project as a story, and upon finishing, I wanted the beats to be a narrative involving sound effects and ambient sound which had a beginning, middle, and end. This idea never took form, but the music still tells the story in which I envisioned. I'd like to tell the gist of the story to y'all, so when you listen to it, you can understand what I'm talkin about.

A person going through adolence; a youngster. A young mind being molded.
As that person grows up, they get mixed up with the wrong crowd. This person experiences rough times, does wrong, sees evil things.
They hit rock bottom.
There is no way to go but up, so the person has a revelation and understands that what they're doing is not right, and vows to change.
Through the repenting stage, the person finds a new meaning in life, love, knowledge of self, wisdom, and understanding.
The end of represents a retrospective stage, where the individual is now a teacher telling their story; explaining his path, and advising a younger generation about his plight and hardships, and how he became to be the person he is today.

Coming of age // Full circle.

Of course this is not the only way to interpret the music, but it is the way in which I see it, and I feel I would be doing the project an injustice if I didn't at least share that with yall.

In the beats and the mix has so many intricacies, it's amazing how well it worked out. The detail and elaborate construction is a tribute to our talent, and I'm glad the project was able to take form. I don't wanna spout out some sort of unrealistic gibberish and say "stay tuned for Orchestration 2!!", but that doesn't mean this will be the last...but for now, enjoy this one!

I speak for REL and myself when I say this one is definitely something special.



REL - Orchestration (Mixed by DJ Haylow)


Finally, It's Here.

(Orchestration Write-Up)

Not to be classified as an ordinary mixtape or producers beat CD, Orchestration is unparalleled.

Created on the premise of an orchestral score, producer REL and DJ Haylow collaborate to bring you a truly unique interpretation of Hip Hop instrumentalism. The Orchestration project contains over 30 instrumentals produced solely by REL, who displays a range in sound that is distinct and can be appreciated by any music aficionado.

DJ Haylow has an extensive mixtape catalog, but he approached this assignment from an unfamiliar angle. Playing the role as the "conductor", Haylow blends, tweaks, and manipulates REL's production to give the Orchestration project a cohesive refinement that is worthy of it's own musical genre.

With REL as the arranger and DJ Haylow as the conductor, Orchestration is the contemporary model for Hip Hop instrumentation.

Listen to Orchestration at www.orchestrationproject.com


Mos Def f. Esthero - Summertime




New Definition of Summertime - DJ Haylow


Haylow's New Definition of Summertime

Dom Kennedy - Watermelon Sundae ft. Jskillz


Life ain't sweet Saturday thru Monday,
but In the Summertime, ur my H2oMelon Sundae

Lebron gettin dunked on at his own summer camp


Diamond District - In the Ruff



(from www.diamonddistrictdmv.com)
In The Ruff is the highly anticipated debut album from new DC hip hop
group “The Diamond District”, created by state veterans Oddisee, X.O.
& YU. In The Ruff is the answer for any lover of hip hop who asks the
question - “Where did that grimy East coast sound go?”

The group was founded by rapper/ producer Oddisee, who has a long list
of production & collaboration credits with the likes of Freeway, Talib
Kweli, Siagon, Little Brother, Trek Life, Charles Hamilton, Jazzy Jeff, Buck
Shot, Royce the 5′9”, Nikki jean, Muhsinah, J-live, Lil Fame of MOP,
Skyzoo and many more. Oddisee’s soulful, haunting samples over bass-
heavy beat breaks create the perfect instrumentals for him, XO & YU to
match with their street savvy, politically conscious lyrics.

“The ware wolves wear wool suits, be ware of them…”

In The Ruff is a raw mid-90’s Boom-Bap themed album for the DC state of
mind, destined to appeal to all lovers of hip hop’s golden era, managing to
travel back in time and push the boundaries of DC Hip-Hop

Diamond District // In the Ruf

The Budget is Low mixed by DJ RoddyRod & DJ Marshall Law


I've been following these guys for years now, and it's nothin but good, quality Hip Hop. Lyrics are on point, Beats are well produced, these cats do real good work. I'm sure there are some names that stand out on this one, and there's probably a handful of names you've never heard of, but I GUARANTEE...you (Hip Hop fan) will GREATLY appreciate this mixtape, and you will be checkin for EVERYone on this mixtape for their future projects.

The Budget is LOWlowlowlowlowlowlow

1. Kev Brown - Another Random Joint
2. Oddisee - Hip Hop Is Cool Again
3. Sean Born - Go Hard (prod. Kev Brown)
4. The Al Green Project (Kaimbr & Kev Brown) - Grits
5. Kenn Starr - Say Goodbye (prod. Black Milk)
6. Kev Brown & RODDYROD - Down By The Riverside
7. Grap Luva feat. Kev Brown - Git Mines (prod. RODDYROD)
8. Diamond District - I Mean Business
9. RODDYROD feat. yU & Finale - Neva Find Me
10. RODDYROD - Take In Stride (prod. JLaine)
11. RODDYROD feat. Phonte & Carlitta Durand - This Time Around
12. Kaimbr feat. Kenn Starr - The Truth (prod. RODDYROD & Kev Brown)
13. RODDYROD feat. yU & XO - UNI-VERSE
14. Sean Born - Take It & Run (prod. Kev Brown)
15. The Al Green Project (Kaimbr & Kev Brown) - Songs (Hands Up)
16. Oddisee - Camera
17. Critically Acclaimed - Appreciation (prod. Kev Brown)
18. Kev Brown feat. yU - Marvelous
19. Isaac Jones (Sean Born & Kenn Starr) - Keep It Movin (prod. Kev Brown)
20. Kev Brown feat. Raheem DeVaughn & Kenn Starr - Hennessey Pt. 3
21. Critically Acclaimed - Triple D (prod. Kev Brown)


Pacman Jones & Martellus Bennett: Setting us WAAAY back

Kids these days...

It seems I can say that now since most of the star NFL and NBA were born in the late '80s, and sometimes we forget how young some of these people who we idolize are. A lot of media mishaps that are made by cocky young athletes are usually something you can write off; "Oh, he's just a kid", "He needs to grow up", "He needs veteran leadership". Watching these two videos that were released last week dug an immense hole for the "Me First" generation of athletes. I think as technology advances, celebs are learning you can't do anything you want in public anymore, and that having lots of money, little sense, and a video camera is a dangerous combination.

These two videos have different forms of offense, one looks like two brothers partaking in what they think is harmless comedy, while the other is people having fun at others expense, which resulted in fighting and shooting, leaving one man paralyzed from the waste down. Regardless of the intent, the fact that these young wealthy men who are role models to millions of people across America, have demonstrated offensive and irresponsible behavior, and have represented the young black male in a way that depicts coonery and ignorance.

The world of sports is still a conservative one, and many people still have a negative perception of young black males, and of athletes, and of young black male athletes. This not only reiterates every negative depiction of black people, it reinforces with indelible images for everyone, young and old, to see. It's hard to say what should come of all of this in terms of reprimands, but all young black males in the fortunate position of Adam Jones and Martellus Bennett should respect themselves, and others around them, because rather they like it or not, they're representing not only themselves, but a whole generation of youth. I hope other athletes and entertainers take note and realize how these images should never make the internet, and the one way to make sure that happens is to use common sense by making sure the actions are not carried out in the first place.


Quincy Jones - Walking in Space (1969)


I call this one 'Soundtrack Music' because when you hear it, you imagine a motion picture to accompany it. Maybe in the youtube era, someone can make that into actuality. This is Looong before Michael Jackson, but this is work you can appreciate because it holds its own weight. I'd say its part jazz, with a touch of blues with a whole lotta soul. Im gonna stop rambling and let you listen for yourself.


Look on the Sunny Side - Mixed by DJ Haylow (repost)


(written 6/18/08)
Peace yall, this is my Summer time soundtrack that I mixed about a year ago, but it is definitely timeless material. Every once in a while, I'll just get a huge spurt of inspiration. This came about last 4th of July, and I had a day off from work. It was an unusual summer day in San Francisco, because there wasn't a huge cloud hanging over the city, and I was listen to some cool, relaxing music, and then it hit me! I gotta do a Summer Time mix. Even though its been done, and it will continue to be done, I just felt that I wanted to do my version. I knocked it out in 2 days, which seems really quick, but inspiration has a tendency to do that to people. (I did the artwork too!) Please download this mix, and enjoy it! Every time I hear it, it makes me wanna fire up he grill!

Look on the Sunny Side - Mixed by DJ Haylow


1. Kool & The Gang - Summer Madness (Long version w/ Vocals, Remixed by Roy Ayers)
2. Donald Byrd - Summer Love
3. Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves the Sunshine
4. Patrice Rushin - Where is the Love
5. 213 - Another Summer
6. Eddie Kendricks - Intimate Friends
7. Herbie Mann (Live at the Village Gate) - Summertime
8. Sublime - Doin' Time (Pharcyde Remix)
9. Roberta Flack - Feel Like Makin' Love
10. Roy Ayers - Feel Like Makin' Love
11. D' Angelo - Feel Like Makin' Love
12. Dr. Who Dat? - Bahia Blues
13. Yesterdays New Quintet - Rocket Love
14. Dave Grusin - I've Got You Where I Want You (Intro)
15. Why Don't We Pass Me By - Pharcyde / Amerie (Haylow's Mash Up)
16. Dj Quik - Summer Breeze
17. Jermaine Jackson - You Like Me Don't You
18. Curtis Mayfield - Trippin Out
19. Patrice Rushin - You Remind Me
20. Lowrell - Mellow, Mellow, Right on
21. Common - Remindin me (of Sef)
22. Warm Outside - C.L. Smooth (Haylow's Mash Up)
23. The Blackbirds - Dreaming of You
24. Run to the Sun - N.E.R.D.
25. A Tribe Called Quest - I.C.U. (Doin' It) (Instrumental)
26. The Commodores - Sunshine
27. Gil Scott-Heron - A Lovely Day


The Nonce - 85 (REL Remix)


It's 85 yall!

Slum Village - Get This $ (REL Remix)


Shout out to REL for donating this beat, then I got the acapella for the slum joint and mixed what you hear hear. Get it? good. The point of this one is to get yall ready for 'Orchestration' a REL and Haylow collab that I'll tell yall about later. But for now, I'm sure this will tickle your fancy. (you know I had to find a pix of O.G. Slum Village! R.I.P. Dilla!)

Slum X REL


Nametag - Back on My Sh*t f. Skyzoo (Prod. by Black Milk)


I feel like there's always emcees in the game that slip through the cracks. For example, you see someone's name, but you never heard any of their music...and it's not like their wack or anything, it's just for some reason they haven't made it into your rotation. Well, thats how I feel about Skyzoo. I heard him on the 9th Wonder Wale mixtape, and I thought to myself, this cat is nice! So I admit, I've been sleepin. But last night, I got this dropped in my mailbox, and I thought I'd share it with yall. It actually features Skyzoo, and its produced by Black Milk. The Song is called Back on My Shit by Nametag, so keep ya heads up, I think these cats got a lot to offer.

NameTag X Skyzoo X Milk


Examiner.com covers Beats, Rhymes, & Life 5 year Anniversary

Heather Ehmke's well-written article covering the BRL and the 5 year event.


Photos from Beats, Rhymes, and Life 5 Year Anniversary

VAINDEER Photo Sharing

The evening showcasing the youth couldn't have gone any better, and it was a night to remember for the youth on stage, the audience, the facilitators, and myself. Here are some brilliant photos taken by my man John Liau aka Chunny at www.vaindeer.com. As you can see, he does amazing work, and these archives will be a reminder of how proud I am to be a part of BRL. It is a tremendous feeling to know I have impacted the lives of Oakland's youth, but it is an even better gratification seeing the impact they have had on me. I have NEVER written a verse in my life, not only was I inspired to write verses with the youth during the sessions, but I actually recorded a verse! It goes to show that inspiration comes in many ways, shapes, and forms, and mines came through the form of these "at-risk" youth. Enjoy these pics, and stay tuned...there will be more to come from Beats, Rhymes, and Life Organization
Shout out to the whole BRL click.

VAINDEER Photo Sharing
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To-Day Notice Mixtape Feat. J-Billion - Mixed by DJ Haylow


The best thing about having your own blog is you can post whatever the hell you want without emailing anyone, begging someone, or ass-kissing (not that I do any of those things). This is a mixtape I did with J-Billion about 2 years ago, but the best thing about it is it still holds weight. My boy Billion is droppin his debut album this Tuesday, so this will definitely get you ready for his highly anticipated release. If you've never heard of Billion, TRUST ME, you will people talkin about him in the very near future. Sky's the limit for this cat, and he may be the next emcee to put the City of San Francisco on his back.

To-Day Notice. "I QUIT!"

J-Billion TV Ep. 4

J-Billion TV Ep. 3

J-Billion TV Ep. 2

J-Billion TV Ep. 1


Jimmy McGriff - Groove Grease


More Jazzy Funk for your earhole. Jazz on Friday to send you into the weekend the right way! Not too many Jazz organists out there, well, not too many organists period these days. Unfortunately, it's almost extinct with modern day music along with the harmonica and many other instruments deep rooted in African American tradition. But don't worry, Autotune is here to take it's place! :) (I kid, but its so sad) Anyway. Jimmy McGriff is Jazz first, but funk isn't too far behind. Even in its hay day, Jazz organists were an anomaly, so to hear it now is definitely out of the ordinary. If you want somethin different, but still with the classic jazz/funk sound, this is for you.

Groove Grease



M.O.P. - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


More good stuff from M.O.P. aka The Marxmen. This is post-Primo, but Primo-esque nonetheless (maybe Primo did do the beat. I'm not too sure.) Regardless, this is some newer, yet classic M.O.P. Listen, Play it, enjoy it.


M.O.P. - First Fam


The way I would describe the Mash Out Posse is they're an "aquired" taste. Me living all my life out the westcoast, I've never really experienced the Gritty and Grimy New York lifestyle that embodies M.O.P., so it took me a REALLY long time to appreciate M.O.P. and their style, but when you actually GO to New York, and you really listen to their lyrics, and you think about how their style influenced others, it's only right to consider M.O.P. a classic Hip Hop duo.

This is a joint I got had on a white label record, and it was LITERALLY a white label! I saw it at the record store not knowing what it was, it was just a blank white label, I took a risk and it paid off. Now it's here for my fam to enjoy.

..Like M.O.P., I'ma MASH you OUT




Rugged, yet Smooth (lol)


Maxwell vs. Dangelo - Mixed by Mr. E




Erykah Badu vs. Sade (Sadu) - Mixed by Mr. E

This post may be a lil late if you're in the Bay, but no one can argue that ANY time is a good time for Erykah and Sade. If I had to choose, I'd have to say Badu, you can listen to this and decide for yourself. This is a must-have for any lover of smoothness, soul, and an overall cool vibe.

Shout out to Mr. E, one of the Bay's finest.




The Are, Kay, Oh No - Them Damn Jacksons


Dem Damn Jacksons
from www.rappersiknow.com