Eyedea's 10 Best Deep Cuts

Photo by Dan Corrigan
Micheal Larsen -- known to the hip-hop world as Eyedea -- was one of the greatest talents to ever emerge from the Minnesota music scene. An exceptionally prolific writer, he lent verses to dozens of artists and DJs, all the while performing as Eyedea, Oliver Hart, and Michael Larsen, and as part of Eyedea & Abilities, Sixth Sense, Face Candy, Guitar Party, Carbon Carousel, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, and the Orphanage.

Mapping Eyedea's discography is a daunting task, one that several determined fans have undertaken, all imperfectly. And these don't even attempt to chronicle the celebrated battle rapper's many freestyles.

And more Larsen cuts keep worming out of the woodwork. A collection of his demos and rarities was released at the end of March and, last week, Blueprint confirmed there's an unreleased Orphanage album that may surface. This Saturday, Rhymesayers is re-releasing Eyedea & Abilities' classc E&A as a gorgeous double picture disc. Beyond all that, 2015 is both Rhymesayers' 20th anniversary and the fifth anniversary of Eyedea's death.

With all the hype and nostalgia swirling around, now seems as good a time as any to comb back through Larsen's scattered catalog to see if we can unearth some of the hip-hop titan's most esoteric highlights.

See Also:
Slug's 10 Best Deep Cuts

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The 10 Best Rap Lyrics about Mortal Kombat

Bago Games via Flickr
Scorpion -- your favorite rapper's favorite combatant

This week sees the release of Mortal Kombat X, the 21st title put out under the legendary Mortal Kombat moniker. From the looks of it, MKX could be not only the most gruesome but also the most cogent entry in the series' 23-year history.

In that history, the notoriously bloody tournament of Earth vs. NetherRealm has inspired more than just a generation of morbid kids -- it's become one of the a major touchstone for the hip-hop community as well. Crome Mob, Action Bronson, and even Lil' Wayne have brought Mortal Kombat from the shelves of the geek den to the radio dial, with an immense number of songs being devoted entirely to the game.

In honor of MKX and the franchise's vital tie to the world of hip-hop, Gimme Noise is counting down the best rap lyrics referencing the fatal fighting game.

For the Shaolin!

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Off-10 Challenges Intolerance Through Hip-Hop and Spoken Word In Jubilee

Unfuh Qwittable and G.P.jacob

Off the heels of an EP release of the same name, this Friday the Northeast group Off-10 present their new show Jubilee at Intermedia Arts, combining their backgrounds as rappers and spoken word poets to create a theater performance focused on dissecting the machinations of intolerance and supporting a multi-racial uprising. 

Former Audio Perm members and brothers G.P.jacob and Unfuh Qwittable join live musicians for an immersive showcase of political art with a wide range of formats, aimed at creating a dialogue about race and oppression in America. Gimme Noise sat with the duo to discuss their work and the combination of their political and creative backgrounds.

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Get Cryphy's 7th Anniversary Was a Chaotic, Sweaty Celebration

Get Cryphy now @firstavenue #getcryphy #firstavenue

A photo posted by jbird (@jbird) on

Get Cryphy 7th Anniversary
with Le1f, Toki Wright, Lizzo, Bobby Raps, Astronautalis, RP Hooks, and more
First Avenue Mainroom
Saturday, March 14, 2015

Plain Ole Bill, DJ Fundo, Last Word, and Jimmy Two Times once again expanded their Get Cryphy dance night to fit First Avenue's mainroom for their anniversary. It was a fitting end to the seven years the crew held down a monthly residency in the Record Room. Stacked with guest appearances and raw rap classics, the night was as chaotic and sweaty as the diverse crowd has come to expect.

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Get Cryphy Starting a New Chapter After Seven Years of Bangers

Photo by Kelly Gritzmacher
L-R: Jimmy 2 Times, Last Word, Plain Ole Bill, and DJ Fundo

Since they began unleashing an expansive variety of rap bangers every first Friday since 2008, the Get Cryphy DJ crew has expanded in a number of directions. They've hit the road with Atmosphere, and all four guys have become in demand behind the turntables for other Twin Cities rappers.

Now they're putting an end to the monthly Record Room residency to focus on the new endeavors -- but not without one last blast on Friday. It's a busy month for Jimmy 2 Times, Plain Ole Bill, Last Word, and DJ Fundo because they'll rock the First Ave mainroom for their seventh anniversary party in the First Avenue Mainroom on March 14 with Le1f, Tickle Torture, and some more surprise guests.

Gimme Noise caught up with the Cryphy crew in the midst of their espresso-fueled workflow as they put the finishing touches on this year's anniversary mega-mix -- set to drop on March 9 -- to talk about their journey so far and where they're going from here.

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Royce da 5'9" and DJ Premier as PRhyme: "Our Chemistry Is Still Evolving"

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Amanda Demme
L-R: Royce da 5'9" and DJ Premier
The legendary producer DJ Premier and Detroit MC Royce da 5'9" joined forces for a full-length project last year as the duo PRhyme. The project combines sample-based production that'll be familiar to fans of Premier's early group GangStarr and his work with Jay-Z and Nas. With the gritty lyricism of Slaughterhouse affiliate and frequent Eminem collaborator Royce, the result is a classic approach to beats and rhymes reminiscent of the golden age of rap.

Utilizing only samples from psychedelic soul composer Adrian Younge, Premier provides a solid backdrop for Royce's battle-influenced flows. They've just started their national tour as a group, and Gimme Noise caught up with the pair ahead of Sunday's Fine Line show.

See also:
The Five Best Pre-PRhyme Royce tha 5'9" & DJ Premier Tracks

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The Five Best Pre-PRhyme Royce tha 5'9" & DJ Premier Tracks

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Amanda Demme
Royce & Premier, side by side.

Royce da 5'9" and DJ Premier, better known together now as PRhyme, have just released their debut collaborative album together. But the two have actually been working together for over a decade. It's been one of the most fruitful partnerships in rap, with both accentuating each others' strengths in a diverse number of ways.

For those who are just now getting into the PRhyme album, here's five cuts they did before this new record that are absolutely worth your attention

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Travi$ Scott Hit the Fine Line Like a Tornado

Photo by Adam Degross

Travi$ Scott
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
Saturday, February 21, 2015

To put it simply, Houston's Travi$ Scott brought unfettered pandemonium to the Fine Line on Saturday. I hesitate to use terminology like "turnt," "buck," or "crunk" (in the words of Open Mike Eagle: "A journalist should never write a slang editorial") but it's hard to appropriately quantify the specific feel of the energy without words that cover both the slickness and the rage permeating in the room.

Offering up a pair of Yeezy Boosts to the most hyped audience member, Travi$ brought out reckless abandon by putting on a remarkably intense performance for a packed house of animated fans.

See also:
Travi$ Scott Wows the Fine Line

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Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pitbull

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Timothy Norris; slideshow via LA Weekly

There are a lot of well-documented facts everyone knows about Pitbull -- most notably that he knows you want him and you know he wants 'cha. But beyond the dance-floor packing jams and the impeccable ear for beats, the Miami rapper has some of the most-fun fun facts we've encountered.

On Saturday, Pitbull hits the stage at the Target Center for his galvanizing live show with Enrique Iglesias. Here's five things you probably didn't know about Pitbull.

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Why We Worship J. Dilla

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Stones Throw
J. Dilla

Producer J. Dilla died nine years ago this month, at his home in Los Angeles. His importance in the hip-hop canon is undisputed, but how, exactly, was his legacy built?

Truth be told, no one much called him "Dilla" in his life because, for the vast majority of his career, he was known as Jay Dee.

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