Please read:

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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Music: Awol One - Tony The Walrus

If you're reading this, I don't need to explain who Awol One is to you. There is a chance, however, that I need to explain that the underground legend (then and now,) has a new album dropping on January 31st called "Tony The Walrus." I got an early sneak peek and am here to do a track by track review in anticipation of the drop. So here we go:

1. Extrordenary Narwhalrus: After Awol's previous project, the punky "Primer" which I was not a fan of, I was curious and a bit apprehensive about the direction of "Tony The Walrus." The project's first single, "I Can Do That," calmed my worries and this opener definitively put them to rest. The track really screams everything I love about Awol solo projects. Over a heavy bass and some eerie synths, we get the thousand year old behemoth rapping slow and grimey, offering words of advice and warning to those who would challenge him. Great way to start things off.

2. So Poor All I Have Is Money: I've heard a few peeps over the years complain about Awol's delivery style, which is strange as (1) His delivery is usually top notch and (2) He has far more than one style. This next track is a perfect example, where Awol rides the lo-fi beat with ease - even showing traces of that Blowedian chopping. The content is a perfect match as Awol discusses the importance of ingenuity in the music realm ("Hunt down the mundane, boring, and dull.") The hook switches things up sonically with some really smooth 80's-esque keys that tie things nicely together. 

3. I Can Do That Feat. Open Mike Eagle: This is a Blowedian collabo long overdue - and it does not disappoint! I've always appreciated the sense of humor that both of these guys possess, so it's only right that we get a light-hearted left-field braggadocio track, over a static-y slightly off-kilter instrumental. Awol flexes his ability to destroy a wide variety of animals (particularly via the head region) - proving that the Walrus is truly supreme. Open Mike runs through his list of talents which includes child safety, karaoke, and off-the-clock emailing. Immediate classic. 

4. Underground Rapper: Here we have the first dud of the project, and it's mainly due to the production. The main synth melody never really takes off and instead ends up drowning out Awol's voice for most of the song. There's a couple beat breakdowns as well that don't really work. The content is interesting - part of the hook recites "Everywhere I piss, the flowers grow." I can never be sure of meaning in indie rap, but I wonder if the line is a commentary on how particular underground artists' output, which go un-noticed or unappreciated, often end up being the fuel of more widely acclaimed works. Or maybe Awol's actual piss is just that potent. 

5. Pizza Bones: Straight head-nodder here! LL decided not to go back to Cali, and Awol here vows not to go back to "alleys" lol! And in order to ensure we don't do the same, he drops lines of knowledge throughout the track regarding personal growth, anxiety, and ultimate rebirth. I particularly enjoy his "trying not to be anti-everything" - something which I find to be far too rare in indie rap these days. 

6. Manifested Words: Another head-nodder with some throw-back claps tossed in the mix, which is fitting given the topic. Awol spends the first part of the track talking straight greasy ("I kill emcees out of pure nostalgia") and then touches a bit on his come-up, particularly linking up with CBS and the Shape Shifters and ultimately meeting one of his big influences, GURU. The vocal sample of GURU shouting Awol out at the end is a cherry on top. RIP. 

7. Jealous And Bitter: I'm not in love with the riffs and hollowed-out noisiness of this one. The raps don't do much to save the track either. The theme is Awol overcoming his jealously of other rappers who made it and adopting a realization that he's built to last in the rap-game and has the skills to outlast the noobs. This is all fine and good, but Awol's writing doesn't really give any impact to the content.

8. Some Kind Of Genius Feat. Gel Roc, Megabusive and DJ Roach: Cloaks in the building! And they brought Computer Chip with them...along with a Circus intro?!?! The theme here is pretty simple - God's infinite power and creations as explained through the notion of time, geometry, counter-intelligence, quantum mechanics, wormholes, third eyes, probably some other stuff. You have some of the slickest from the West delivering it to you tho, so it all sounds so good. And just because this is rap, if I gotta crown a winner - I think Megabusive gets it (he's last for a reason folks.) Hope Circus is doing well. 

9. When I Look Around: This one should please the OG Shifters fans out there. Over some spooky keys and upbeat percussion, Awol uses simple jumping off scenarios (waking up on a strange couch post-party, driving around the block) to tackle deeper existential questions of humanity's relationship with each other and the universe. All done via a story-narrator type delivery. This one needs a video asap. 

10. Scary Man: I've always loved Awol's melodies and he certainly saved the project's best for the closer here. Over a jazzy instrumental, Awol takes on a sly, potential sinister, persona (I imagine Dracula lol) with endless powers...and a very infectious melodic flow! I hope he has the book and/or action figure ready! Very solid closer. 

All in all, this is a great Awol One album (a huge step up from "Primer" imo,) that really showcases his various sounds nicely in a 10 song package. The project officially drops on all platforms on January 31st. And from the looks of things, it seems like a cassette might be available as well. Peep it then! 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Brad B - Brad B-Sides: Mixed by Pickster One (2008)

Well, I wasn't sure I'd get to write a review this week so I uploaded this dope offering, but I cranked out that Coolzey on the quick. So as a reward for not punching any of your coworkers this week (oh really... I’m sure they deserved it), here's a great mixtape from Drunken Immortal's / The Insects' / Blow-Up Co-Op's own Brad B mixed with style and grace by Pickster One (as it says in giant yellow letters above).

As far as I know this was released in anticipation of Drunken Immortal's last album to date, The Artist Lives. What I know without a doubt is that Brad B is an excellent rapper and his voice has a versatility that lends itself well to the genre bending aspects of many of his projects.

Brad B-Sides contains a trove of unreleased / rare material featuring many of his common collaborators, and also includes some of Pickster One's trademark mashups that are always superb. For fans of the rapper (I have everything he's put out that I know of and there're quite a few songs on here I'd never heard before) or new listeners, this mixtape is a great collection start to finish.

Check out Brad B-Sides: Mixed by Pickster One!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Music: Coolzey - Fight the American Celebrity Machine

So I have a special place in my heart for the heartland's own Coolzey. I contributed to his Patreon back when he was doing monthly songs (and got a DOPE mixtape for it, keep an eye out for XOZ some day soon), and I've been following his career since the release of Coolzey & the Search for the Hip Hop Hearts. His garage rock influenced rap is something fairly novel in the scene these days, nowhere is there a rapper as dedicated to honoring the grunge movement of the early 90's (and no, Kid Cudi's atrocious waste of soundwaves Speeding Bullet to Heaven does not count). Add to that a cynical and irreverent sense of humor and a willingness to not take himself in any way seriously makes for some truly entertaining music. And what is the purpose of music but to entertain us?

That's not to say his music is without substance, all raw hotdogs aside. Coolzey has opinions about the state of our world, and with a name like Fight the American Celebrity Machine you can bet his new album is going to offer these up, over lounge and garage rock beats. Sounds interesting right? Let's take a look! This is going to be a live review, I don't have much time this week but I figured I'd take a quick look at this one.

Fight the American Celebrity Machine opens with something pretty out there. The autotuned "Beat House" is a sort of clubby electronic interlude, hard to really understand what it's purpose is. To be honest it didn't make me too excited for the album. However, the next track "Human Centipede" was all I expected and more, and with a title that still invokes that special cringe factor in many of us, it's definitely going to grab the attention. Almost a boom bap flavor as Coolzey uses the metaphor of the human centipede to describe how the voyeur culture leads us around by the nose, with it's asshole. Subtle but true.

"Heteronormative Cisgender Lover" is a great example of Coolzey's special use of irony and humor to convey messages. Over a track reminiscent of what your grandparents danced to, Coolzey describes the process of coming out in the new millennium, flipping the labels using the most complicated possible to describe the "norm". The juxtaposition of retro lounge music and the convoluted sexual terms that on close examination prove essentially meaningless is particularly effective and amusing. Not as fantastic as a song as it is a joke, but funny and intelligent and heartfelt.

"Three Cheers for Everyone" is a look at the assholes you meet at shows, specifically the fronts that everyone displays. Funky track and clever sing song raps, some cool guitar work as well. "My Wu Tang Style" with Bru Lei is a sort of braggadocio nod to Wu Tang, complete with the hokey punch effects and samurai drops. Super weird but pretty dope.

"Please Take Me With You" is a melancholy nostalgic track about running into an old lover at the airport. It features a great rap verse from Coolzey about making mistakes with the perfect partners which is what mostly saves the song, as the singing is good but not notable. It is a touching and personal moment on a record that up to now hasn't bothered with anything too emotional though and the whole thing is nice.

"I Don't Want to Fly" may be my second favorite track so far after "Human Centipede". An insanely catchy hook caps off the silly verses about the dangers of big ambition, while the chorus expresses not wanting to put oneself out there for fear of the risk, and slowly decomposing without accomplishing anything of note. Sounds depressing, but in classic Coolzey "We're All Gonna Die" style, it isn't. It's also hard to describe coherently, and may just be a few weird stories and a cool sounding hook. For the punk fans out there it also features vocals by Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen!

And finally the closing track "Delusional Comforter (Back Again)", full of subtle and not so subtle meditations on self pity. Very dope production, some clever turns of phrases, and a nice end to the album.

So overall I have to say Fight the American Celebrity Machine is not my favorite Coolzey album. It's a bit heavy on the lounge, a bit light on the rock and a tiny bit too weird. I know from past work that Coolzey is a gifted musician and a lyricist who is completely willing to break all the rules of conventional rap (Trylemma, you got any terms for his style? My head is still spinning over your description of Cee!!!!!!!'s poetry) and that is evident here as well, but in a few cases I think less attention is paid to the presentation than to whatever the message is supposed to be which does the whole package a bit of a disservice.

Anyway it's personal preference but I loved the grittier garage style found on Coolzey & the God Damned Friend Killers over the sleepy lounge vibe that most of these songs are working with. That said this album does have it's moments, and it will absolutely keep you entertained from start to finish. I just can't say for sure it has much in the way of replay value save a track or two, but I really need to absorb it as a listener versus a reviewer to know for sure.

Get Coolzey's newest collection of lounge comedy rap, Fight the American Celebrity Machine here on physical or digital here for as low as the unlikely price of $8.07.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Uncle Suel - Bootleg Music (2003)

Uncle Suel currently resides in Belgium, but was a NW underground staple throughout the 2000s, releasing stuff with the Oldominion crew, the Lamerce crew, Zelly Rock, and the likes. "Bootleg Music" is a 2003 oddity that I copped off Discogs after verifying with Suel himself that it was indeed a legit release (as opposed to, well, a bootleg.) Apparently it was released through an old type service (read: print on demand.)

The project consists of 7 tracks, a couple of which are unique to this project (as far as I know) and a few which appear on his 2005 album, "Hungry Season." Suel is definitely drawing in sound and theme from the more mainstream stuff being released at the time, but with a Northwest tinge. 

For those interested, peep the download below (in FLAC files.) 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Top Anticipated NAMED Projects Dropping In 2020

Here's 10 projects set to release this year that I'm highly anticipating. I'm only including projects with a set name as everyone (and their mother) is working on "some new shit." 

1. Gregory Pepper - I Know Now Why You Cry: I've been needing a new Peps album, even after his very successful 52+ song Patreon run. I am so mad I missed out on copping one of the 3 test presses of this (or else I'd be bumping it now!) Drops Feb. 14th

2. Death Dealers Anonymous - DDA Vol. 3: DDA has been dropping some absolute slappers this year. I don't expect the third installment to be any different. Drops Jan. 25th.

3. Toussaint Morrison - Social Science Club: Toussaint's "debut" solo project was great though not as good as his mixtapes. Hopefully this will change things. It was slated to drop this past Fall but got pushed to ?

4. R.A.P. Ferreira - Bob's Son: Rap Ferreira feels free and funky as fuck. This debut should be good. Not sure when it's dropping.

5. Awol One - Tony The Walrus: This officially drops Jan. 31st but we've got an early review coming out for it soon. Be on the look out (spoilers: it's good.) 

6. Filthy Fingers United - Vol. 1: Filthy Fingers has been dropping amazing NW beat-tape compilations for years and, this year, they're finally entering the physical realm with their first vinyl! Drops Jan. 20. 

7. Syndel - Forbidden Love: It's been nearly 15 years since Syndel dropped her solo release. Bout time for some new new! No release date as of yet.

8. Kay The Aquanaut & Maki - The Nautical Blue: Kay and Maki have been on a rampage lately, and this project, based around 200,000 Leagues, could be their best yet. Drops Jan. 21st. (Maki has also been releasing instrumental versions of his Kay collabos on Bandcamp - check those!) 

9. On Tilt - Koba Dera: The QM and Luke Sick saga continues... Drops Jan. 23rd.

10. Hives Inquiry Squad - Open Mind Sessions: New stuff from Lucas Dix and the late Gavin Theory. I know a lot of heart is going into this one. Set to drop in the spring. 

What are ya'll looking forward to? 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Orakull - Jesus Christ Never Existed (2001)

So foul. Pretty dope music though. For today by request and because we've mentioned it enough that I don't think I'll get it out of my head otherwise, we offer up Cee and Sixtoo as Orakull's album Jesus Christ Never Existed. Whether or not this is a fact is above our pay grade, if you know the truth please let us know.

I've learned not to take Cee too seriously, but it's undeniable that he's an intelligent and talented wordsmith, with uh.. strong opinions. This release is probably one of my favorites of his, it has a raw quality with some schizoid style poetry that reminds me a lot of Knowself (lots of words crammed into tiny spaces). Sixtoo's production is also perfect for the lyrical content, reminds me a bit of a jazz show straight outta Hell.

Ups to Trylemma for convincing me to take a chance with this dude, his music is truly an experience.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Rap Predictions for the 20's: Accuracy Guaranteed*

Happy New Year! Trylemma and I examined the entrails of a few New Years Eve parties and were able to divine some crazy accurate* predictions about some indie rap personalities for the new decade. Or I'm too lazy to write my regular review for today. Either way, here are 12 things which the cork, streamer and vomit spirits predict are going down in the 20's...

Rap Predictions for the 20's: Accuracy Guaranteed*

1. Noah23 will reveal his extra-dimensional origins through the use of a Chairman MAO inhibitor.

2. Ill Bill will finally find a treatment and become Healthy Bill.

3. MF Doom (DOOM?) will take off his mask to reveal another mask. Then another. This will go on until the universe explodes.

4. $imple will turn out to be a really complicated person.

5.  Sixtoo's stolen hard drive will be found fossilized on Mars. Suspicion will fall on Noah23.

6. Vinnie Paz will change his name to Vinnie Guerra which makes a hell of a lot more sense.

7. In 2029, Swollen Members will record a song for a Cialis infomercial.

8. Bloodmoney Perez will become President of Puerto Rico.

9. Wordburglar will be arrested, with his damning confession ("I burgle words") deemed admissible at trial.

10. Dimxsk will continue to overuse commas, parentheses, and the word "interesting".

11. The Vatican will excommunicate Cee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! over the cover of Jesus Christ Never Existed. Cee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! probably won't give a(nother) shit.

12. Ira Lee will continue to not answer Dimxsk's emails. Suspicion will fall on Noah23.

Wow it sounds like we’re in for an even crazier decade than the one we’ve just survived! See y’all Friday.

*Accuracy not guaranteed in the least. Oh and in the unlikely event that you're an artist featured here and you stumble onto this page, please take these in the spirit they're intended.