The Beat Goes On: Big Boi, The Roots, Slum Village, Mixtapes, Jigga, Redman

It’s been a longtime since we’ve heard anything new from OutKast. Well, you can all rejoice because Big Boi’s is set to drop his debut LP Sir Lucious Left Foot, the Son of Chico Dusty on July 6. Judging by the music previously released, Chico Dusty may go down as a classic rap album. The video for his single “Shutterbugg” is visually stunning. The amazing clip features Big Boi, whose loses head, Keri Hilson and a adult-sized muppets as Boi’s backing band. Not your average rap video, that’s for sure. In addition, Big Boi dropped a hot joint last week called “General Patton” that is a certified street banger. Get ready, y’all, Big Boi is bringing the heat this summer.

Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots also are bringing some heat later this month with their 11th disc, How I Got Over (due June 22). If you know anything about the Roots, you know that these guys are simply the best hip-hop band in the world. Their new single “Doin’ It Again” has the band sampling John Legend’s vocals from his 2006 ballad “Again.” The song is short and sweet with Black Thought rhyming about the band’s determination to keep bringing quality music to the masses . . . again and again and again. The Roots’ How I Got Over is the must-have album of the summer.

The Roots – Doin’ It Again (featuring John Legend)

And the hits keep on coming . . .

Detroit rap duo Slum Village are one of the most venerable groups in hip-hop. In July 2009, SV lost one of their founding members Titus “Baatin” Glover. After a year of mourning, SV’s remaining members T3 and Elzhi will finally drop their long-awaited album Villa Manifesto on July 29. If you fell asleep on their 4-song EP last year, DO NOT miss out on their full-length album. The late and great producer J Dilla is featured on five tracks and Little Brother makes a cameo on it, as well. SV’s first single, “Faster” (Featuring Colin Munroe) is smooth track with the trio reciting romantic come-ons to the lovely ladies of summer. The song is perfect for cruising in your car while you head to beach.

Slum Village – Faster (Featuring Colin Munroe) (via Rappers I Know)

I know this is a music column, but I have to throw in my 2 cents regarding the new A-Team movie, which hits theaters this Friday (June 11). First, I’m a HUGE fan of the popular ’80s television series, so I was excited about seeing the show on the big screen. But now after watching the trailer and a few preview clips from the A-Team flick, I’m kinda disappointed.

First, Ice Cube should have played B.A. Baracus. As for the rest of the cast, I can’t picture them being “the A-Team.” I pictured George Clooney as Hannibal, Jim Carrey as Murdock, and, well, Bradley Cooper as Face. I hope the film succeeds at the box office, but I’m a little worried. I don’t want this movie to tarnish what I love about the TV show. Hollywood loves to remake nostalgic television shows into movies — for better (The X-Files) and for worse (The Honeymooners).

Mr. T recently spoke out about the A-Team movie, claiming that the movie is too violent and not kid-friendly. “People die in the film and there’s plenty of sex but when we did it, no one got hurt and it was all played for fun and family entertainment,” Mr. T told the Guardian.

The one thing I do like about The A-Team movie is its theme song, which was remixed to perfection by producer Just Blaze. He shot a video explaining how he flipped the theme song for the movie. The end result is an exciting club-friendly joint that Mr. T would surely approve:

Just Blaze – A-Team (Murdock Mix) (via The Hottest Ishh)

New York rhyme-slinger Iron Solomon is not household name, but he’s infamous for lyrically beating down competitors at freestyle-battle contests. His impressive rhyming skills have won him respect among many of his rap peers including the great DMC of Run-DMC fame. Solomon was able to get DMC to rap on the hook of his new single, “Sucker MC’s.” Although DMC has lost his great baritone voice, it’s good to hear him raising hell on a track. Check it out:

Iron Solomon – Sucker MC’s (Featuring DMC)

LMNO & Kev Brown recently dropped their second collaborative album called Selective Hearing Part II, in which the music was inspired by the late and great James Brown. The video for the duo’s latest single, “Ya Know,” features old performance clips of the Godfather of Soul with LMNO and Kev Brown showing the musical connection between J.B. and hip-hop.

Pop the hood to check out the latest in mixtapes.

Tanya Morgan members Donwill and Von Pea did something real interesting. They picked several instrumentals from the Roots’ mixtape Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Sandwiches and created their mixtape The Sandwich Shop. The food-themed collection is a delectable hip-hop buffet of beats and rhymes. Standout dishes include “Cheesesteak,” “Syrup Sandwich” (featuring Jermiside). Bon Appétit!

The Sandwich Shop EP by Donwill and Von Pea (of Tanya Morgan)

The Cool Kids are known for their retro fashion style of skinny jeans, Cazal glasses and dookie gold rope chains. Rappers Chuck and Mikey are still kicking it old-school and they bought their 808 drum machine along with them. Their latest mixtape Tacklebox is a teaser of things to come on their upcoming debut LP When Fish Ride Bicycles. My favorite track is “Fishing Lessons,” in which the duo spit metaphoric fish tales that should grab your ears like a fish on a hook.

The Cool Kids – Fishing Lessons (via Def Pen Radio 71.8)

Cee-Lo Green is a multitalented rapper and singer who has garnered much success as member of Gnarls Barkley and with his work with Goodie Mob. For his new mixtape Stray Bullets he switches back from singing to rapping on various tracks. Much of the songs on the collection are aimed at women because Cee-Lo has dubbed himself the “Lady Killer” (which is also the same name of his upcoming solo album). Check out Cee-Lo’s killer tracks here:

Cee-Lo – Stray Bullets Mixtape

Raekwon the Chef’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II was the best rap album of 2009. The LP’s production and Rae’s vivid crime stories nearly eclipse the excellence of the original Cuban Linx album. Rae’s gritty rhymes are the highlight of his new mixtape Brinks Boyz Presents: Cocainism Vol. 2. The 20-song project boasts production from The Alchemist, EZ Elpee and DJ Scratch. One joint I like is “Alphabet Soup” where Rae spits rhymes from A to Z. The beat alone is bananas!

Raekwon – Alphabet Soup

More mixtapes . . .

Tabi Bonney and DJ Mick Boogie – A Place Called Stardom

TI and DJ Drama – Fuck A Mixtape

Rick Ross – The Albert Anastasia EP

Royce Da 5’9″ – The Bar Exam 3

Pill and DJ Drama – 1140: The Overdose

Statik Selektah – So Close So Far (featuring Bun B, Wale & Colin Munroe)

Producer Statik Selektah grabbed Bun B, Wale and Colin Munroe for this great video, which was directed by Rik Cordero. In the clip, we see Statik (the white guy) make a crucial life decision — should he cheat on his wife or not? The images reflect the song’s message about the cause and effect of decisions we make in life. The track is off Statik’s latest album, 100 Proof Hangover.

Canadian rapper Eternia tapped fellow female rappers Tiye Phoenix and Jean Grae for the remix of “The BBQ.” If you don’t believe that female MCs can spit just as hard as their male counterparts – think again. These ladies killed the track. Look for Eternia MoSS’s new full-length LP At Last to hit stores June 29.

Eternia & MoSS – THE BBQ (Remix) [F/ Tiye Phoenix & Jean Grae]

Rapper Skyzoo flips Nas’ classic song “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” for producer DJ Clark Kent’s forthcoming mixtape Lafayette 7th Anniversary (dropping late June).

DJ Clark Kent (featuring Skyzoo) – It Ain’t Hard To Tell Freestyle

“I love the energy coming out indie rock right now,” he says, name-checking [hipsters' favorite indie-rock band] Grizzly Bear. “It has this rebellion thing that hip-hop is missing now, the thing that made hip-hop hip-hop.”

Jay-Z graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, which hits newsstands this week.

Redman is looking mighty dapper in his new video for “Lookin’ Fly.” Dressed in a tux, the Funk Doctor pays homage to the late King of Pop by remaking Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” video and rapping over the Jacksons’ “Heartbreak Hotel” beat.” Now that’s pretty fly for a rap guy.