Hip Hop Music

2012 Tools of War Park Jams Trailer

I don’t get the chance to make it back to the east coast nearly as much as I’d like to. If you’re in the NY area, try it make to it one of the True School Park Jams. June 7, 14, 21 & 28: Spanish Harlem Hop @ White Park, Harlem July 5, 12, 19 … Read more

Step Off Beat Battle Movie Trailer & DVD Release


About a year back we posted the trailer for a movie entitled Battle, which was based around the story of a producer’s journey through music and beat battles. The movie has been acquired by Lionsgate, renamed Step Off, and set for a March 15th release date. According to Step Off’s producer Martin Kelly, the movie will be available on DVD through Redbox, Netflix, and more.

Updated trailer after the break!

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Most Slept On Hip-Hop Producers (Nominations)


Earlier today there was a conversion on twitter about who Crate Kings readers thought was the most slept-on producer. I have to be honest. I was surprised and reminded of a lot of people that had somehow slipped my mind. By the way, if you haven’t followed Crate Kings on twitter yet, do it now.

Here’s your chance to get in on the conversation. Add your nomination to the list of most slept-on hip-hop producers in the comments section. In a few days we’ll post a poll to make the selection official.

UPDATE: It’s clear that the list has spiraled out of control and a poll isn’t going to work for a number for reasons.  First, there’s been the question of the definition of “slept-on” and who actually qualifies.  Second, the list has become way too long.  The good thing is that this has turned out to be one of the most interesting conversations that we’ve had here in quite some time.  Please keep the comments coming.

Reader nominated producers:

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The Story Behind J Dilla’s Donuts Album Cover

Have you ever wondered how the cover for Donuts was made? Director Andrew Gura gives the backstory behind the Donuts along with some insight into why your video will most likely not get played on BET.

It turns out that at the time that the Donuts cover was being created there were no photos of Dilla that had not been seen by the public. In the end, a shot from MED’s video shoot for “Push” was used. See if you can catch it at :22 in the video and compare it with the final Donuts cover after the break.

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Ayatollah – Fingertips (Cover, Tracklist, and Video)


Producer Ayatollah (Mos Def, Ghostface, Pharoahe Monch) gets ready to drop his latest release entitled Fingertips on Nature Sounds records. The digital will be available on February 1st while the double vinyl version (his first pressing in over 5 years) will be available on February 22nd.

Preorder the vinyl over at Nature Sounds.

Tracklist and video after the break!

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Crate Kings Reader & Producer Appreciation Promo


Hey everyone.  It’s reader appreciation time here at Crate Kings!

As many of you already know, we receive a ton of submissions for beattapes, videos, and other projects.  Unfortunately, there is simply not enough time to review each of them.  To make things simple and fair, individual projects such as albums, mixtapes, or beattapes just haven’t been featured for quite some time.

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Fat Beats Closes Physical Store Locations (LA & NY)

Unfortunately, the breaking news of the day is that all Fat Beats retail locations, which consist of NY and LA, have closed will close on September 4th and 18th respectively. Over the years Fat Beats has cultivated a reputation for being the center of the universe for hip-hop vinyl and in-store performances. While the store … Read more

The Musical Legacy of J Dilla

Pitchfork runs down its version of J Dilla’s musical legacy complete compete with timeslines and musical examples. This inevitably brings us to a skeptical question: Why Dilla? Yancey’s death during a peak period of creativity has led to a lot of attempts to extend a relatively slept-on legacy– an ironic development for an artist whose … Read more