The best 14 Minnesota based free albums you may have missed.

With the easy accesibility to microphones, recording equipment and youtube, practically everyone is making some kind of music. This isn’t bound to the state of Minnesota, but recently it’s become a widely talked about topic here. It is tough to weed out the gems from the mediocre especially with new music being released daily. Here are a few albums that very talented artists whom call Minnesota have put out for free that you may have overlooked.

1. PROF – King Gampo

If you haven’t been living under a rock since early 2011, you’ve probably heard this album. But just in case you haven’t it features Rhymesayers staple Brother Ali, MTV’s Riff Raff and production from Ant of Atmosphere.

 

2. Reeves Junya – Music Is My Girlfriend

With features from Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Rocky Diamonds and a slew of other great locals Reeves’ sophomore solo release followed up “Why Isn’t This An Album?” with fury. Download “Music Is My Girlfriend” for free here.

 

3. Kristoff Krane – fanfaronade

With a “Buy it now” price on his bandcamp you can feel free to pay as you like, or download it free. He recently did an interview with the City Pages Gimme Noise blog about the album. It features Crescent Moon, Sage Francis, Sadistik, Buck 65, Illogic, and more.

 

4. I Self Devine – LA State of Mind

Though the album is titled LA State of Mind, I Self Devine is a St. Paul, Minnesota native and one of the few well-known emcees from the east side of the river. This free ep was released for free courtesy of Rhymesayers in part as a promotional effort for his amazing album The Sound of Low Class Amerika.

 

5. KnoX – Martyr Music

KnoX is a humble dude, with a thoughtful process and his music reflects that. Martyr Music is the raw follow-up from his soul-driven KnoX Tale. It features Gene Poole,  Mike the Martyr, and many more.

 

6. Freez & Mike Frey/Mike Frey – You Are Here/Burnt Out

These are two people who are extremely underrated in the music scene. I’m really not sure why because Mike Frey is a great producer with beats ranging from funky, low-rider types to beautiful symphony infused jazz and Freez has a way with words and honesty with a powerful tone. “You Are Here” features P.O.S., Mike Mictlan, Mavin MC, Big Zach, Unicus, Alicia Steele and Franz Diego. “Burnt Out” includes features from Greg Greese, Alicia Steele, Just Nine, and a couple more tracks with Freez.

 

7. Ecid – Swagger Wagon

Swagger Wagon courtesy of Fill in the Breaks and Ecid was one of my favorite releases from FITB in 2011. It features Awol One, Derril Pounds and Leif(Kolt).

 

8. Mike the Martyr & Aquafresh – In Search of the Wonderous Punch

This comes from Minneapolis based label Long D.O.E. producer/emcee Mike the Martyr and California emcee Aquafresh. This album was featured on the Source’s website, which says a lot about it from the get-go. With the production quality and lyrical play they bring it makes sense why they were an obvious choice for the handful of Minnesota based acts at Soundset this year. Download “In Search of the Wonderous Punch” here.

 

9. O-Lay & Diatonic – Meanwhile

O-Lay & Diatonic are a group I heard about not too long ago, thanks to JK Clothing. What I heard I really enjoyed, and kept listening then they released this and now have a solidified fan. You can expect a lot more from these two in years to come.

 

10. Homeless – Patience Makes Lighter

The first time I saw Homeless was back in 2010 when he opened for Prof at the Varsity Theater with Just Riley as the group Mnemosyne. I really enjoyed his openness, self-depreciation, and vocabulary. This is an older release but definitely recommended for one of those dark, artsy, rainy days.

 

11. Botzy/VA – My Friends and I/The Best Love is Free Vol. 3

Botzy, who is the front man/rapper for the Minneapolis group Culture Cry Wolf proves to be an impressive one man act on his solo album “My Friends and I”. Like many other artists on this list Botzy is honest and not afraid to share how he’s feeling. His album features Wesley Opus, 2% Muck, a track with Culture Cry Wolf and many more. The Best Love is Free is an annual event held every year at The Fineline Music Cafe to celebrate love, music, art and all of the wonderful things life has to offer. Every year they bring great live acts out to perform and they also as a bonus, put together a musical compilation of artists with passion. The latest years album features St. Paul Slim/Last Triumph, Astronautalis with Tegan Quin (From Tegan and Sarah), Mayda, Polica, Wize Guyz, Sean Anon, Soulcrate Music, Kristoff Krane, Prof, MaLLy, Culture Cry Wolf and many more.

 

12. Orikal Uno – +1

This is one of many of Orikals free releases on his bandcamp page, and it was hard to choose which to post. I highly suggest checking out more of his stuff if you enjoy these tracks. Orikal Uno’s +1 album features Sab the Artist (A.K.A. Musab), Mac Lethal, and Prof.

 

13. Tavonte Woods – Patiently Waitin’

At the young age of 17 Tavonte Woods embodies drive and motivation. He recently performed with KiD InK and is scheduled to perform with Kirko Bangz this summer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is Minnesota’s “Next Up”. Download “Patiently Waitin'” here. 

 

14. Duenday – Duenday

Duenday represents the sunny-side of hip-hop, with funky beats that force you to tap your toes and nod your head or command you to get up and dance. Their self titled solo album is currently available for free via their bandcamp site and it features Sean Anon, Lipset, Unicus, Manny Phesto, and Big Zach.

There are plenty other great albums out there I myself may have overlooked, if you feel that’s the case leave a suggestion in the comment section.

Welcome to Minnesota Tour

I woke up this morning to a phenomanal e-mail from RSE.. Read along here

Welcome To Minnesota Tour 2012

This February, Rhymesayers and Atmosphere bring you the Second Annual “Welcome To Minnesota Tour”. With performances from Atmosphere, Kill The Vultures, Big Quarters, MaLLy and DJ sets throughout the night from BK-One. Join these artists as they tour throughout their home state of Minnesota. Last year all of the shows sold out in advance so make sure you get your tickets early!

Tickets for the “Welcome To Minnesota Tour” go on sale this Friday, December 16th at 11:00AM CST and are available through Ticketmaster. Tickets for the Minneapolis, Duluth and St. Cloud shows are also available at Fifth Element.

2.20 – Mankato, MN – Verizon Wireless Center Ballroom
2.21 – Bemidji, MN – Sanford Center Ballroom
2.22 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
2.23 – Duluth, MN – Clyde Iron Works
2.25 – Rochester, MN – Mayo Civic Center Auditorium
2.26 – St. Cloud, MN – Atwood Center Ballroom @ SCSU

RSVP on Facebook

Follow the action and chatter on Twitter – use/search #welcometoMN

Make sure to use them hashtags! Get #welcometoMN trending! And make sure to buy your tickets, these shows will sell out quickly like the last Atmosphere tour in MN! Also, all the openers are sick.. Make sure you check out Mally’s set (dude is a BEAST!)

Soundset 2011 – Who’s excited?

Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents bring you the fourth annual Soundset Festival:  the official Midwest kick-off of the summer with nine hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine).

Confirmed artists for Soundset 2011 include: Atmosphere, Big Boi, De La Soul, Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9”, Crooked I), Brother Ali, Doomtree (P.O.S, Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, Papertiger), Evidence x Rakaa-Iriscience x DJ Babu, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Blueprint, Grieves & Budo, Zion I & The Grouch, Sab The Artist, DJ Abilities, Face Candy, Edan with special guest Paten Locke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Looptroop Rockers, Rubberoom, Soulcrate Music, 2Mex, Mr. Gene Poole, Qwazaar, Longshot, Mally, Desdamona, Duenday, Midwest Konnect, Rocky Diamonds, Stage One, Shortkut, Noam The Drummer, Exile, Maseo, Skeme Richards, Kid Cut Up and Espada. Hosted by Toki Wright, Carnage and Kevin Beacham.

If you follow the indie hip-hop scene whatsoever, you have either heard of, or been to Soundset. It is one of the largest one day hip-hop festivals across the nation and has seen massive success in the previous years. Most of you reading this probably already know who’s performing and have bought your tickets. One way that Soundset has grown so popular is with the vast amount of acts from industry pro’s and the lesser-known local acts. It grows every year, and last year it exploded. Reason being, is besides the great music, custom car show, DJ tent, B-Boy/B-Girl competition, and live art exhibits, is it was heavily promoted through the use of mobile marketing. Fans had a chance to win prizes, meet and greets and other fun things via text message. The advertisers at Soundset also sent out mobile alerts when artists were signing autographs, or hitting the stage. This year they have the same plan up their sleeves. Personally, I feel this is a fantastic idea. If you’ve ever been to a large music festival, you know it is quite easy to miss your favorite act because of reading a schedule that was posted at the front gates wrong. This is a sure-fire plan to know where to be, when you want to be there. Soundset is also heavily blasted on Twitter and became a top trending topic last year.

Mobile marketing isn’t nearly all the hype it gets though. Bloggers go nuts for Soundset and they make it widely known to their readers. Also more conventional writers for publications, newspapers and magazines such as; The City Pages, The Star Tribune, Pitchfork, and more, pay Soundset much attention. It has grown massively from it’s first year at The Metrodome parking lot when it was a more local event, to the following year when they had to move it to Canterbury Park based on it’s national attention. Soundset is an ever-evolving festival that I don’t see dying out anytime within the next decade, and you can thank social media for that.

For more info on Soundset ’11, check out their website, their facebook, and their twitter page.

Also, stay posted to this blog to hear your favorite Soundset 2011 performers.

Money Mouth’s newest mixtape “The Juice”

Money Mouth is one of my favorite local artists. He’s got a voice like no one else, and can spin his words for days. He just released his mixtape after his release party at Aqua nightclub and recently put “The Juice” online for free download.

You can stream in right here:

You can download “The Juice” here and keep up with Money Mouth on his facebook fan page.

Atmosphere!

So Atmosphere is getting ready to release “The Family Sign” on April 12th, 2011 and in order to get all the fans excited, they’ve dropped a few teasers for y’all. A couple weeks ago they leaked “Just for show”, their first single off the new album. About a week ago they put out the music video for it, check it out here:

Than just yesterday Spin Magazine leaked their latest single “She’s enough”, peep it from the Rhymesayers Soundcloud below:

Also, their doing a video series titled “Dr. Ralph Borka Group & Family Therapy” watch below:

Make sure you pick up a copy of their new release, you can ever pre-order a copy from Fifth Element Here