Tag Archives: Stones Throw


Classic, 2011

Pitchfork opened their review by calling M.E.D. “the rap equivalent of a middle-relief pitcher asked to go eight innings,” and while I get the sentiment I think it underestimates both the artist and the hunger fans feel for music like his. It’s true: there’s nothing surprising or cutting-edge about this record, but in an era where Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor are afforded commercial and sometimes even critical cred for high-flash cultural appropriation, the M.E.D.s of the world matter all the more. Somehow along the way it became cool for white journalists to dismiss hip-hop traditionalists, but in 10 years I’m still gonna be listening to this shit and blog monsters will forget they ever pretended to find “Fancy” amusing. Suum clique pulchrum est maybe, but I question the allegiance of any hip-hop fan who can’t find something of value here. Medaphoar will never be major and your mom will never know his name, but the Stones Throw MC puts in the work and he does it with real skill. Classic was aided and abetted by none other than the legendary Madlib, and for my money (and hopefully yours), the material edges close enough to its title to earn more than grudging respect.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Int’l.m4a]


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Cassette on Vinyl, 2014

“I worry.” So confesses the soulful vocal sample at the heart of “Gross,” a 2012 cassette mixtape standout from L.A.-based rapper/producer Jonwayne. It could also double as his thesis statement. While his work thus far has leaned heavily on El-P-seasoned anxiety and apocalysm, there’s enough personality in ‘wayne’s music to suggest it’ll one day be its own touchstone. Until then, the buoyant simplicity of a track like “Gross” is more than sufficient. It’s just been remastered and re-released as the leading track on Stones Throw’s Cassette on Vinyl compilation. Rawness intact.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Gross.mp3 ]


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Mos Def w/ Slick Rick
The Ecstatic, 2009

My favorite track off 2009’s criminally overlooked The Ecstatic; a return to form for The Mighty Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey) after years in the wilderness. Fans weren’t expecting much from the rapper/actor after the disappointing decade following ‘99’s classic Black on Both Sides, but the album – and this track in particular – proved worth the wait. “Auditorium” follows the Stones Throw template of its surrounding songs, engaging a classic Madlib loop off the Beat Konducta in India compilation with a sample that only gets better the more you hear it. I’m not exactly sure what Slick Rick is talking about here – something about ending conflict in the Middle East with a hot verse? – but he’s a good fit for the track. In 10 years we’ll remember this as a classic.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/03%20Auditorium%20(feat.%20The%20Ruler).mp3 ]


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