Rhymesayers Turns 20: The Best Songs of Each Year

Categories: Rhymesayers

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Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
Atmosphere

Now that Rhymesayers is 20 years old, the Minneapolis rap label's output has piled up into something monumental. This becomes even more impressive when you break down what the label has done each year.

While few rap labels even hit the single decade mark, what makes what Rhymesayers' done even more impressive is that they've never taken even a year off between releases. Here's a look back at the definitive songs year-by-year.

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The Top Five Rhymesayers Album Covers

Categories: Rhymesayers
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Rhymesayers Entertainment
The Cover of P.O.S.' Never Better by Eric Carlson

This year our hometown hip-hop heroes Rhymesayers Entertainment mark two decades of indie rap domination. But while Rhymesayers' legacy of music is rightfully spotlighted, one element that's overlooked in the digital age is the artwork.

From the early Headshots cassettes to countless singles and even their tour posters, Rhymesayers' visual elements have always been on point. Here are our picks for the top five Rhymesayers album covers.


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New Eyedea Documentary Will Answer All Questions

Categories: Rhymesayers
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Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
It's sadly been almost five years since the world lost Michael Larsen, better known as the prolific and innovative multi-genre musician Eyedea. The legacy of his music has continued to find new listeners to a passionately devoted degree.

So much so that when south Minneapolis filmmaker Brandon Crowson launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund his documentary The World Has No Eyedea, its $6,000 goal was met within 24 hours. With that goal now doubled, we spoke to Crowson about why he's making the film and what impact Eyedea's music has had on his and other listeners' lives.


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Grayskul's Rhymesayers Debut Deadlivers Turns 10

Categories: Rhymesayers
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Rhymesayers Entertainment
This was, for many, the first time you saw Grayskul

This month marks 10 years since Rhymesayers ventured outside of Minneapolis for a full-length album from the also-vibrant Seattle hip-hop scene. Grayskul, a sub-division of Seatlle hip-hop super-collective Oldominion, had carved out their own dark niche of the Rhymesayers catalog.

With an ominous, foreboding and often-cryptic collection of stories and soliloquies, Deadlivers slapped an unsuspecting 2005 indie rap soundscape in the face and has since become a cult classic. Boasting guest appearances from Canibus, Mr. Lif and Abstract Rude, it's one of the most eclectic albums in the Rhymesayers catalog.

We spoke to members Onry and JFK about Deadlivers' legacy, what it was like joining a white-hot Rhymesayers touring roster in the mid-2000s, and how Deadlivers sits with them today.


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Five Aesop Rock Rarities You Might Have Missed

Categories: Rhymesayers
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Photo by Chrissy Piper
Aesop Rock stabs your rap conventions with his cutlery.

Aesop Rock | First Avenue | Wednesday, February 4
An icon of the independent hip-hop world, Aesop Rock's eclectic vocabulary has intrigued fans for so long that it's perhaps easy to overlook how prolific his output has been for over 15 years. For newer fans, starting at any one particular place in the Aesop Rock discography is daunting enough.

With the here-today-gone-today nature of the early 2000s CD-R and 2010s internet-abyss methods of music sharing, a handful of great Aesop Rock cameos and one-offs that rank among his best work have gone under-appreciated for far too long.

Here are five of our favorite Aesop Rock rarities.


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MF Doom Rice Bowl Debuts at World Street Kitchen

Categories: Rhymesayers
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@jeffRSE
Mmmmm... World Street Kitchen!
Few individuals can call themselves as enigmatic, prolific, and esoteric as rapper MF Doom. During one of his most-celebrated creative periods, the metal-faced master aligned with local rap label Rhymesayers to release the 2004 classic MM.. Food, and Gimme Noise recently celebrated a decade since its release.

For February, Lyndale eatery World Street Kitchen and Rhymesayers have taken Doom's album title one step further with a signature rice bowl.

See also:
MF Doom's MM.. Food: 10 Years Later

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MF Doom's MM.. Food: 10 Years Later

Categories: Rhymesayers

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Jason J├Ągel
MF Doom, Part of a Complete Breakfast


It's easy to forget that at one point, the MC known as MF Doom/Doom/Zev Love X was an artist pumping out critically heralded and commercially successful weird hip-hop projects to an ever-increasingly growing cult following. Today his audience is bigger than ever, but there's a big difference between the prolific masked man of old and the masked recluse who only blesses us with new verses once in a blue moon.

The last time we heard from the former was on November 15, 2004 when Rhymesayers Entertainment released MM...Food, the last album of the hyper-productive Doom era. Ten years and a Monster Island of controversies later, it remains one of the strongest statements of who Doom was/is. Here's the story of what happened with previously unknown details from some of Doom's trusted cohorts.

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Prof Runs Himself Through Soapy Joe's Car Wash in "Farout"

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Screengrab via YouTube

After signing with Rhymesayers nearly a year ago, Prof is finally showing off more of the character of his next album, now slated for next spring. Compared to the combative feel of his debut single for the label, "The Reply," the brash rapper "made of piss and vinegar" has sugar on the brain in "Farout," produced by Minneapolis-based 84 Caprice.

The mid-tempo, sax-laden beat and his all-sung delivery creates a fiesta atmosphere on par with "Moron," and boasts another local landmark in St. Paul-based Soapy Joe's Car Wash

See also:
Prof and John Stamos just duked it out on Twitter

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Prof and John Stamos just duked it out on Twitter

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Photos via Flickr/hyku; Flickr/sachab; CP/Erik Hess
You can't make this stuff up, can you? Minneapolis troublemaker rapper Prof and John Stamos recently had it out on Twitter, apparently. It seems they've had a love/hate relationship for a while now. Really, what other type of relationship can you have with Prof? (Remember his ribald Valentine's Day cards?)

Uncle Jesse from Full House took issue with the cesspool of come-ons and braggadoccio that is the @ProfGampo Twitter feed when the rapper reportedly called him a pedophile a few months back. The Rhymesayers signee told the Star Tribune that he was probably drunk and doesn't remember the tweet, but Thursday he was hit with a barrage from @JohnStamos.

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Prof Valentine's Day cards: Send the very best

Categories: Rhymesayers
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Via Stophouse
Fed up with Hallmark Cards that can't possibly tell your beloved how you really feel? Leave this to Prof. Many underrepresented sides of February 14 come out with the new Rhymesayers signee's series of Valentine's Day e-cards.

With seven designs, ranging from passive-aggressive all the way up to the full-on creep, you can be sure that your message will be heard loud and clear. (We can't guarantee that it won't be used against you in a court of law, though.)

See Also: Prof just signed with Rhymesayers!

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