Let’s keep it O.G. for a minute. Redman dropped a new mixtape today. If you’re a fan you’ll dig it.

This one is just a warm up before he drops his new album called Reggie. He starts the mixtape with a new addition to the Soopaman series:

Click here to listen to and download the mixtape Pancake & Syrup. Tracklist is below.  His new album Reggie drops on 12/6.

1. Pancake & Syrup Intro
2. Soopaman Syrup
3. Eastcoast
4. I’m Sick (Lite Up The Disco) feat. Saukrates
5. Def Jammable
6. Redman vs. Reggie Noble
7. Pancake & Syrup feat. Runt Dawg & Ready Roc
8. M.O.M.M. (Mind On My Money)
9. Feel So Good
10. Feel So Good feat. Dwele
11. Big Spendaz feat. Ready Roc
12. Haterz feat. Runt Dawg
13. I’m Straight
14. F.L.Y.
15. Keep It Real
16. Lookin’ Fly
17. Mr. Jigsaw

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When I first heard J-Live, I bugged out. Dude had ill lyrics, great concepts and a great story. After taking a few years off, he’s back with a new video called The Way That I Rhyme.

J-Live was my favorite MC in 1999.  He was a teacher who had left the classroom to drop lessons on the masses.  The first single I heard was Them That’s Nots (see below) where he rhymed to a track that gradually sped up and slowed down to match the pace of the story about the rise and fall of a “15-minute” star.  It was something I had not heard before, in hip-hop.  Being that 1999 was the golden age of Napster, it was easy to quickly find the rest of his catalog online.  It didn’t take long to see that J-Live was one of hip-hop’s best kept secrets.  Here are the new video and just a few of his dopest cuts from back in the day.  Enjoy.

Hip-Hop may never have been anything more than a fad without Profile Records, the 6th most important hip-hop record label of all time.

Before record labels were considered “the enemy” their brands actually meant something.  Artists dreamed of being on the same label as the MCs they grew up idolizing and some labels had such credibility fans would buy the record just because it was on that label.

Over the next several days we will look at the 20 most important hip-hop record labels of all time as determined by a host of factors including credibility, sales, enduring legacy and cultural impact.  And, the labels are:

#6 Profile Records

Founded in 1981 by Steve Plotnicki and Cory Robbins, Profile Records was the first label to establish hip-hop with the mainstream as an enduring genre.  There had been some hit singles, previously, but Profile was the first record label to have a rap album certified gold (500,000+ copies) and have a rap group (Run-D.M.C.) be nominated for a Grammy.  In 1985, they also had the first rap video (King of Rock) ever played on MTV (a big deal because MTV traditionally had not played videos by black artists not named Michael Jackson at that time).  As a testament to their enduring legacy, in 2009 they also had the 2nd rap artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Beyond the music, Profile’s artists also had a fundamental impact on the culture of hip-hop.  Before Run-D.M.C. dropped, major hip-hop artists tended to don the wardrobes of rock stars and funk stars–open shirts, tight pants, platform shoes, etc.  Run-D.M.C. kept it strictly street with Addidas sneakers and sweat suits.  Hip-Hop would never return to the more flamboyant dress of yore.  Here are some of Profile’s key releases:

Rock Box – Run-D.M.C.

King of Rock – Run-D.M.C.

It’s Tricky – Run-D.M.C.

It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

Cinderfella – Dana Dane

I Got it Made – Special Ed

Rock Dis Funky Joint – Poor Righteous Teachers

Tonite – DJ Quik

Whutcha Want – Nine

Luchini – Camp Lo

Previously:  #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records, #18 Select Records, #17 Rap-A-Lot Records, #16 No Limit Records, #15 Sleeping Bag Records, #14 Uptown Records, #13 Ruffhouse Records, #12 Cold Chillin’ Records, #11 Jive Records, #10 Aftermath Records, #9 Cash Money Records, #8 Roc-A-Fella Records, #7 Ruthless Records

The 14th most important hip-hop record label of all time might be the most controversial on the list…

…but not because they didn’t put out dope music.

#14 Uptown Records

Uptown Records did not make its mark with rap music, though it was founded by former rapper Andre Harrell who was one half of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and was home to some significant rappers.  Uptown Records however was extremely important to hip-hop culture for a few reasons.  First and foremost, Uptown almost single-handedly redefined what “hip-hop music” meant.  Prior to Uptown, rap music and hip-hop (the culture) were used interchangeably.  With artists like Jodeci, Mary J. Blige and Guy, Uptown invented (or at least brought to the masses) a genre called “hip-hop soul.”  Fast forward 20 years later and rap and R&B are nearly indistinguishable with rappers rhyming on R&B songs and R&B singers singing on rap songs, with much of it being called “hip-hop music.”  Another contribution that Uptown made to hip-hop was birthing the career of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs who started his life at a record label at Uptown as an intern (but more on him later).  When you add that Uptown also released the first single by Biggie Smalls (when that was still his name) it’s hard to deny Uptown’s place in hip-hop record label history.  Here’s the case:

Previously: #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records, #18 Select Records, #17 Rap-A-Lot Records, #16 No Limit Records, #15 Sleeping Bag Records

Rawkus and Loud were the 20th and 19th most important hip-hop record labels, respectively. #18 is…

Select Records

In 1985, Select Records dropped UTFO’s seminal Roxanne, Roxanne.  The song was extremely popular and launched a litany of comeback records (among the first ever on wax).  One of those records established one of the first solo female MCs, Roxanne Shante.  As UTFO faded, Select continued to release hits from several other influential artists, including Kid N Play (whose roles in the classic House Party movies helped take hip-hop to the mainstream) and Chubb Rock who differentiated himself by wearing his college pedigree on his sleeve.  Here are some of the most memorable releases from Select:

Roxanne, Roxanne – UTFO

The Real Roxanne – The Real Roxanne and UTFO

Just Buggin’ – Whistle

Rollin’ With Kid N Play – Kid N Play

Treat ‘Em Right – Chubb Rock

Previously: #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records

Let’s Go!!! – Playlist

Old school hip-hop playlist guaranteed to get you hyped. Tracklist below. Click here to play.

Notorious B.I.G. – Who Shot Ya?

Jay-Z – Rock Star

Lil Cease ft. Lil Kim and Puff Daddy – Play Around

Big Pun – Glamour Life

Mase ft. Puff Daddy – Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down

M.O.P. – Ante Up

Freeway ft. Jay-Z and Beanie Siegel – What We Do

LL Cool J – Jack the Ripper

Terror Squad – Lean Back

Nas – Made You Look

Snoop Dogg – Ups and Downs

Gang Starr – Full Clip

Snoop Dogg – From tha chuuch to da palace

Ludacris – Stand Up

Ice Cube – Check Yo Self (Remix)

Jay-Z – Show Me What You Got