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Welcome to Underground Fossils, brought to you by Dimxsk and Trylemma. The purpose of this blog is to assist in the sharing of out of print and/or rare examples of the hip hop genre. We believe that every release we post is an integral part of history and deserves to be heard by older fans as well as new seekers. We do not post or encourage the posting of anything that can be bought easily from the artist, those can be found elsewhere. Furthermore, if any artist who is featured here wishes not to share their material we will remove it immediately. Most of the rips found here were made by other people, but some of them were made by us. We are not sound engineers, so while the quality will usually be 320 kbps, they will be recorded from the source material as is. Please message us if you are an engineer and want wav files to master. Enjoy!

PS: We also want to thank all of the women and men before us who shared music in this way. Your work made our collections what they are today, and we are grateful.

Friday, February 15, 2019

10 Cent Depozit - 5$ Limit (2003)

Happy Friday, and I hope everyone had a great week.  Today I thought I'd go with something hopefully not many out there are familiar with. 5$ Limit is the debut album from a group that hailed from Michigan called 10 Cent Depozit, a reference to the value of aluminum cans in MI (see picture). The group consisted of MC's James Gwoove, Skin Graf, Slyder, and Fritzo. I don't know much about the others but I do know that Fritzo's done a lot for the indie rap culture. You can hear his voice on a few projects, notably "Fritzo Drop" on Matre's Courage Mixtape, and a verse on "Staring Problem" from the Epedos (JKC) album Stories from the Hole in My Head. Here's a video of him talking about his tour project Bring it Back, which traveled with the late Van's Warped Tour:

So, all that being said, I find this groups work hella fun to listen to. It's very much DIY garage indie rap, with sample based hard ass beats, dope rhymes, blazing turntable work and a passion for music that shows through as an infectious energy. No idea where I got this album TBH, but I love it and hopefully you will also. Check it below:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

New Music: Sole - Destituent

Happy hump day! Hope the week has been going good for y'all and if not, know it's downhill from here. Our review this week is Sole's 7th solo studio album Destituent, which drops officially on the 20th but has already been released to those of us who preordered the album. It's not too late for some of the options, check it out here!

Or, if Bandcamp is more your thing you can find the same deals there, with the digital album dropping the 22nd.

The whole album, like most of his newer projects is entirely self produced, and was funded through his patreon. I'm one of his supporters, the monthly song is usually dope, and given the Podcasts and hands on approach from Sole (he's very responsive and chill) it's probably one of the better deals on Patreon out there, I recommend it for any serious fans.

Regarding this review I do want to state outright that, while these days separating Sole's politics from his music is like separating the stripes from a zebra, since this is a music blog I will stick to only the albums merit as a work of music. There are a lot of other places online that discuss the type of messages he conveys. That said, if you don't agree with Sole you probably will have a hard time enjoying this record. He's never been one to tone it down or soften his opinions to sell music, and I love that about him but do admit that for some this album may beat you over the head a bit more than you'd like.

Destituent is Sole's attempt at a new wave punk rap album, using samples from 80's era pop songs to create a sound that is cinematic, sounding like the background music to the type of movie I grew up wathcing. The dark tone of his content goes well with the distorted drums and eerie synths, although there is a catchy quality to these songs provided by his choice of samples that hasn't always been evident in his earlier work. It makes them more accessible than the stuff he put out with Anticon. It also offers a bit of light and hope to an otherwise very dark work.

Songs like Shipwreckers II and Measuring My Cage have interesting production, and Sole's lyrics have evolved over the years from rhyming, to not rhyming, to kinda rhyming to doing whatever he feels fits the song. In this case it gives his poetry a dreamlike quality, though not quite stream of consciousness. It sounds more natural this way, he's not trying too hard to be different, but at the same time he's not constrained by what others are doing.

I liked this album, but I've pretty much liked everything Sole's released going back to Northern Exposure. To sum it up for you guys, I think Destituent is a solid Sole album, with some better examples of his production and a mature sound. It's worth a listen for everyone, but especially if you like Sole you shouldn't be disappointed.

Below is the music video for the opening track, directed by kidDEAD. It sets the tone for the rest of the record.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Everybody Knows - Traveler Music Pt. 2 (2012)

Another Friday, another upload. Today's entry is Everybody Knows' "Traveler Music Pt. 2" from 2012.

Everybody Knows, now going by Eiji Kwan, is a busy and multifaceted man. The rapper hails from Hawaii so he has ties to the Lightsleepers crew. He's released projects with Grimm Image and LA2TheBay so he has connects with the Cali underground. He currently resides in Portland, OR and is part of the Proper Knocks collective. He raps, he sings, he directs, he's part of various groups (Feo Faces, 7th Deadly, Big Bang,) and he's of course best known for his decade+ of battling - freestyle and written. 

"Traveler Music Pt. 2" is a collection of 7 tracks that, with the exception of the opener "Armageddon" (which was uploaded to EK's Soundcloud,) was only available on the physical cd version of EK's 2012 album, "Alexander the Liar" (released via Grimm Image.) Since the CD is no longer being sold, we bring it to you now.

It's a shame that this was never released digitally. All 7 tracks are EK greatness - slightly off-kilter, laid back (though usually pretty technical) rhymes over a multitude of instrumental styles. Features include Nabahe, Cease2Exist, K-The-I???, and Tommy V. I'm not exactly sure if "Traveler Music Pt. 1" actually exists - I for one have never heard or seen it. If anyone has, drop a line below. 

Enjoy the weekend! We've got some news coming next week regarding a small project we've been working on!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Music: Jason the Argonaut - Surface Sounds

This week's new music spotlight is on Disflex6's very own cali OG Jason the Argonaut and his new beat tape, "Surface Sounds."

The Argonaut is a fine rapper, but he truly excels at production, especially of late. The man's spacey, drawn out "Headspace" beat tape (done under the name Autohyme) was one of my favorite instrumental projects of 2018.

Unlike "Headspace," "Surface Sounds" takes a more traditional approach to Hip Hop beat taping - lo-fi, dusty sample, head-nod ready beats. Though where many a beatmaker might eventually put the listener to sleep, the Argonaut succeeds, for the most part, in keeping things interesting the whole way through, which is impressive as this thing is 29 tracks long! There's lots of groovy sounds on this and the Argonaut almost always knows how to make the most of the beat and move on before things get stale.

"Surface Sounds" is free to download on Jason the Argonaut's Bandcamp and is available to purchase on cassette there as well.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Drunken Immortals - Live (2002)

Happy February! This marks the end of the first month of UGF, we hope you’ve enjoyed being a part of it so far, and that you know we appreciate any and all support. So with that...

It's another Friday at Underground Fossils! This week we're excited to bring you "Live" by Arizona hip hop band Drunken Immortals. I can personally say I sought this album out for years before Trylemma hooked me up. It seemed like nobody had it, and I know others were looking for it on blogs and forums all over the place.

So "Live" is not a live album per se, but contains mostly original tracks and some alternate versions of songs found on the Drunken Poetry EP and Soul Revolution albums. It is probably one of my favorite releases from Brad B; the songs are deep, intelligent and dope as hell. The beats and musicianship really prove the amazing talent this group has at creating evocative soundscapes to elevate the consciousness over.

This rip is not ours, and has no tags to let us know who's behind it, but it is high bitrate and sounds great so props to whoever. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Music: Malibu Ken (Aesop Rock & TOBACCO) - Malibu Ken

Happy Wednesday to all of you from UGF! This week we're bringing your attention (if it's not already there) to Aesop Rock & TOBACCO's first release as Malibu Ken, out now on Bandcamp and all other major retailers.

I've been a fan of Aesop Rock since 2004 when I first heard Float. I was a teenager and the intellectual complexity and quirky weirdness of Aesop Rock appealed to my search for novelty, and (I will admit it) my slightly inflated view of my own intelligence. Deconstructing his long winded and complex narratives was an entirely new listening experience for me, and I loved it.

That said, watching a new generation find and learn to love the man has been a bit of a bemusing experience for me. While I'm thrilled that he's getting the respect, attention and money that he deserves, when I hit one of his shows I'd like to see people paying attention and absorbing what he says, rather than talking loudly or acting a drunken fool. I will admit that maybe his move to the 'mainstream' has triggered the possessiveness that exists in every fan of indie music like me, and I’m driven to clown on bandwagon jumpers. I dunno if anyone reading this agrees with me, or if I come across as 'old'. By the way I don't really like cloud rap either, sorry...

All that said, the album Malibu Ken has everything a fan of Aesop Rock is looking for. Intelligent zaniness that conveys a message, usually one far removed from conventional rap topics. The offbeat and unconventional production trips him up in a few places (Sword Box) but it's subtle, and doesn't cause any issues with enjoyment of the record. I think working with a musician who primarily produces soundscapes unaccompanied by raps might be to blame, the beat is not always right for a vocalist.

Speaking of, I will say that as far as the production I wasn't really a fan. I saw TOBACCO in his Black Moth Super Rainbow incarnation opening for Aesop after the release of None Shall Pass, and neither me nor my friends were really into it. They were a bit too weird and not particularly easy to listen to, and finding out that they (he?) were releasing albums on Anticon didn't really come as a surprise.

The production is entirely played on synthesizers. It's clearly not sample based, which is something I tend to like. In it's entirety it doesn't utilize the variety of instruments and sounds that, say, Impossible Kid did so well. I would say the music sounds a bit like what you hear as background in those videos that new jobs make you watch that teach you to keep your hands to yourself. The retroness of it does seem to go with the cartoonish and gross cover (reminds me of Garbage Pail kids, therefor 80's). Musicianship is great, it's just not what I like personally.

I'm glad he made this album. It's a worthy addition to his highly respectable body of work. Everyone I know who likes Aesop likes this album, and it does seem that he enjoyed himself making it and didn't hold back. I'm sure most of you have already at least listened to it, but check it out if not. Honestly I'd love to get some of your thoughts, I know that this album is getting a lot of acclaim and attention. Anyone interested hit us up below!

Friday, January 25, 2019

4/29 (Busdriver's high school group) - I Got My Mind Made Up Single (1992)

Today's entry comes in two parts - (1) the music itself and (2) a little attempt to figure out exactly who was behind the music.

As for the music itself, today's upload is 4/29's 1992 single "I Got My Mind Made Up." 4/29 is best known for being Busdriver's high school group. The trio was put together and produced by Busdriver's uncle, Kurt Farquhar (a pretty successful television composer whose most recent work includes the score for CW's "Black Lightning,") and was meant to be a response to the LA Riots (hence the group name) and the tensions that existed at the time between Blacks and Koreans. This single, which was released on cassette and vinyl (Dimxsk ripped the cassette version,) is the only thing, to the best of my knowledge, that the group ever officially released.

The single's A-Side is a very on the nose conscious track that calls for a complete halt to Black/Korean violence in hopes of global unity! The production, which re-does The Beatles for the hook, is very 90's clanky. The rappers, who were 9th graders at the time, combine De La Soul-lite and Public Enemy-lite approaches to song writing with Das EFX approaches to rapping. There's lots to warrant an eye-roll here, such as the point in the song where one of the rappers notes that one should refrain from burning down Asian businesses causes pollution? I mean yeah, I suppose setting fire to a downtown business, on racial grounds, isn't ideal for the atmosphere, but surely there are more apparent reasons for why you shouldn't do such a thing, right? Maybe 4/29 was just really ahead of its time insofar as caring for the environment goes. Despite the cheese, when you consider that these were 3 upperclass L.A. kids in 1992 (pre-Innercity Griots!) rapping for the first time - the song isn't horrible. There are some nice flows involved and you can even catch a multi every now and then!

And if the audio isn't enough for you, a video to the single was also shot and is currently available on YouTube! [Directed by Busdriver's father, writer of Krush Groove, Ralph Farquhar.] Peep it and witness the glory of the early 90's - baggy clothes, bad green screen, rapping in a classroom, rapping in front of police sirens, and, of course, choreographed dancing. Seeing a young Busdriver is worth the view on its own!

The B-Side, "Git In Motion," is an attempt at both a more party oriented track and a more lyrical braggadocio flexing track. Strangely enough though, the A-Side is much more danceable and provides a much better display of the kids' writing and rapping abilities. The single also includes the instrumental to "I Got My Mind Made Up" and a "Club Mix" (lol) of "Git In Motion." As entertaining as this little release is in 2019, I can't say I'm too surprised that 4/29 had a short lifespan.

For those who just want to hear the damn music, feel free to hit up the bottom of the page in a sec for the cassette rip! For those seeking yet a bit more background info on the group, feel free to read on (though also feel free to be disappointed.) Either way, take this opportunity to watch the music video for "I Got My Mind Made Up."

Note that, aside from Busdriver, I haven't mentioned any of the 4/29 members by name. This is due to the fact that the physical cassette, despite listing Kurt Farquhar's name multiple times, says nothing of the group members specifically. A simple Google search won't turn up anything either. I, for one, however, wasn't content on a simple Google search, so I decided to dig a bit deeper...

Here's what we know for sure: Busdriver was in 4/29. Busdriver has also stated that 4/29 consisted of himself and two kids from his high school, and has further said here and here that one of those kids was Korean and that the other two, himself included, were black. None of this is contradicted by the "I Got My Mind Made Up" music video or the single's cassette/vinyl cover. I can't find any place, however, where Busdriver mentions the other two members by name.

Luckily, on "Git In Motion," the track's hypeman shouts out the MCs' names. Unfortunately, neither I nor Dimxsk could really make said names out clearly. To the best of my knowledge, the Asian kid (I say Asian instead of Korean - more on that in a sec) went by something like "Say Fusion," Busdriver went by something like "Roll," and the other Black kid went by something like "Nonsense."

So perhaps this is all to be publicly known about 4/29. It was Busdriver and his two high school buddies whose rap names can only be found by listening to the B-Side of their only release. Nope. A bit of digging led me to something pretty strange. According to an old Angelfire (yes, Angelfire) profile page, Roscoe Umali was part of the group! For those not familiar, Roscoe Umali is a Cali rapper who used to be associated with the rap crew Drunken Tiger and whose solo rap career includes collaborations with Akon, Black Eyed Peas, Strong Arm Steady, E-40, Talib Kweli, Raekwon, and others. This is strange not just because Roscoe Umali may have been in a group with Busdriver but also because Roscoe has been very vocal about being Filipino (as opposed to Korean.) He also does not really look like the kid in the "I Got My Mind Made Up" music video at all.

There's various explanations for this Roscoe Umali piece of info. One is that whoever made the Angelfire page, or Roscoe Umali himself, just lied about the "factoid." That'd be a very strange and obscure thing to lie about though (and the Angelfire page actually looks legit) - so I sort of rule that out. Another possibility is that Roscoe Umali is actually part Korean and is the kid who Busdriver references multiple times. I can't find anything, however, that suggests that Roscoe Umali is any part Korean, which is even more significant when you consider that he was affiliated with Drunken Tiger - a Korean group. Also, as noted, even considering the decades of growth, Roscoe doesn't really look like the kid in the music video. Another possibility is that Roscoe was in the group either before or after the single was released. All accounts of 4/29, however, tell of just 3 members. Also, based on the short lifespan of 4/29, it's hard to imagine lineup changes! Even so, this is still one of the most realistic explanations.

We then also have some crazier, conspiracy theory worthy, explanations. One is that Roscoe is indeed the Asian kid in the music video but was labeled as a Korean in order to better fit the group's narrative. Another is that Roscoe wrote, and maybe even recorded, the verses on the 4/29 songs, but was replaced by a Korean in the music video in order to better fit the narrative. The only problem with these explanations is, of course, we have no evidence at all to back them up hehe! 

Yet another theory I had was that Roscoe was the hypeman, who went by "Havoc," on "Git In Motion." This would explain how he was "in the group" without being one of the three MCs and if you listen to the track, it sounds like the hypeman describes something as "Sumo" at one point - and Roscoe Umali once ran "Sumo Records"! Dimxsk was quick to remind me, however, that the back of the cassette lists the name of the hypeman - "Henry Lee Haraway aka Havoc" (we get the name of the hypeman but not the names of the actual members of the group!?!) There's no evidence of Roscoe Umali ever going by "Henry Lee Haraway" (or "Havoc") and it would have been weird for him, as a kid, to get a name credit when the other kids didn't. Another dead end.

As such, we may never know the "true identities" of the non-Busdriver members of 4/29 or understand how Roscoe Umali fits into all of this. Now obviously I might be able to get some easy answers by just tweeting Kurt Farquhar, Busdriver, or Roscoe and asking them directly. But where's the fun in that? Also, I doubt that Kurt Farquhar remembers such things and Busdriver doesn't seem too keen on responding to fans post his sexual assault allegations. As for Roscoe Umali, the man doesn't seem to be on Twitter or social media at all. This is likely due to the fact that the man is currently serving 18+ years in prison for fraud! Wow. Maybe he was lying after all.

While we may not know a lot about 4/29, we do gotta give them props. According to Busdriver, it was one of his fellow 4/29 members who first brought him to the Good Life Cafe, which of course set him down the Project Blowed path, which, in turn, helped create the left-field rapper we know today. Without further ado, 4/29's "I Got My Mind Made Up":