The Underground Milk Carton…

I recently found one of my old Timberland boxes full of CDs. I’m talking about joints ranging from like 99 to 2003.

That’s all I used to do in college: cop CDs. I used to work at Red Lobster at the time. This annoying ass buss boy always used to ask me, “Carl, what you do with your money?” I bought CDs. That’s what I did, anything from Grand Agent to Punchline and Wordsworth‘s EP. Whatever I couldn’t cop, I got from Napster. Remember Napster?

But anyway, I went through all these burned CDs and uploaded them on my iTunes. I ended up importing a good number of songs, but didn’t get to actually listen until last night. I was at the gym between sets and scrolled through my iPod until I found J-Zone, the “Bum Bitch Ballad” in case you’re wondering. Man, I was in college again. Then I went on to Planet Asia’s “Pure Coke” and started daydreaming about all these cats I used to listen to during that 99-03 period. Taping Stretch Amstrong and “Future Flavors” back to back on Sunday nights. Remember that kid, Rise? Where the hell is Jane Doe? I never quite found that damn “Bisexual” song. Anybody got news on Apani B. Fly MC? Is J-Live still recording? Where’s Wordsworth? What about the Last Emperor? I was just bumping “Monolith.” Where’s Sonya Blade? I can’t find “Lookin For Da Name” for the life of me. Is MF Doom on strike? I’m seriously asking here. Though they may have, I’m not saying these folks disappeared. I’m asking because I completely lost touch with the underground.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I used to play mostly subterranean music in the Discman (remember those?). I can’t even front. I even briefly fell into the “underground music is better just cause it’s underground” mentality. I can’t stand people like that now! But now looking back, it seems that the deeper I got into music journalism, the more I distanced myself from the underground. I mean, besides Little Brother, Immortal Technique and a few others, I don’t check for underground cats like I used to.

It does seem like the indie scene isn’t as viable as it was 9 years ago, but product-wise, I couldn’t fairly say whether indie music has deteriorated or not. And come to think about it, the faces have changed. You have Kidz In The Hall, Skyzoo and the Cool Kids now. I’m on a mission, though. I’m gonna start digging again. I get enough mainstream submissions. I need to balance them out. I might even start going to Fat Beats once a month or something. I used to go to Beat Street (R.I.P.) in BK between classes to cop the latest. Maybe I’ll start listening to Peter Rosenberg‘s show. I like his internet interviews, so I’m thinking the show must be good.

You guys have any suggestions? Anybody I need to check out? Oh, and if somebody finds Jane Doe, tell her Jackpot said, “holler!” Speak on it.

  • Pierzy

    I’m not on the indie scene but I like some “mainstream/underground” titles, if such a thing exists, like El-P, Evidence, Black Milk, Consequence, Sean Price, and Rhymefest. I know they’re not indie but still…

    • Liam

      El-P and Sean Price are definitely indie

  • s.

    stanley logans coming out with a new one…..

    myspace.com/stanleylogan

    The Musical Vol. 2: Jay-Z
    The Musical Vol. 1: Kanye West (available)

  • The Zimbabwean Connection

    Totally agree wit Pierzy bout mainstream/underground titles but i’m moreso into the UK Acts e.g. Kano, Sway (Desafo) & The Mitchell Brothers!

    Now that i think bout it, they’re prob mainstream/underground-alternative.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka 7Body Sin The Hydrologist

    The underground exists, it just has as many categories as the mainstream now…

    u got the hipsters, the nerdcore, the chew-stick mafia, the fell off the mainstream mappers, the backpackers, fuck-a-ringtone-rapper rappers, the i make 7 cents per record rebellion, and etc.

    shit, just open ya eyes bro, they might even be sittin next to you one day at the park slumped off Hydro-Drops, and thats word to dat Nigga who renamed his album……

  • the D-I-Z

    Co-sign. Oh, and Wordsworth is in the group EMC who dropped an album not too long ago. It’s definitely worth a cop.

    EMC= Punch, Words, Strick, & Masta Ace

    ~D

  • RiVerse

    J-Live just dropped a new album…Pos from de la’s on it, jazzy jeff and beatminerz production….i dont know if you missed the whole madvillian thing tho doom has been missing for a minute….dont know whats up with last emperor, he finally put out an official album years back with some prince paul and beatminerz production….but yeah those were the days…unfortunately that shit dont exist anymore…thats back when there were 2 hip hops….now there are 20….

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    check out a chicago emcee named serengeti. re-released an album called “dennehy” recently. excellent stuff.

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    U need to check out Mickey Factz

  • http://colby-sempek.com Ghost

    I live in KC and the hip-hop scene is mad live here. I copped this kid InfO’s record and he has Wordsworth drop a verse on one of his tracks. I was like “word?” it seemed odd that some unknown local cat would get someone like that…Sean Price is on a track too! More often than not, Def Jux and Rhymesayers drop gems. Check out Innatesounds.com for some of the best hip hop in KC too. Peace…

  • http://dakotajonesknows.blogspot.com Dakota Jones

    J-Live just dropped a new album and it’s pretty dope.
    You’re falling off Jackpot…lol

  • Braile

    I remember wordworth back then, I was a about 13 fourteen.
    MF Doom still pop I know he had a mixtape with Danger Mouse
    Stretch Armstrong do it too
    and I know of J-Live.
    But the underground don’t pop like that no more cuz no one listens.

    I mean its a lot of niggas out here in Detroit in the underground but like I said nobody listens.
    I know you can listen to underground cats on the subsoniq show on xm raw radion too

    one

  • The Muthafuckin’ RAPTURE

    THE CO-OP

    MR AND MRS. SPIT

    we sent submissions for your Show and Prove column, too….check us out…

  • P-Matik

    Detroit has some of the most brolic rappers out right now. Elzhi is one of the most underrated dudes out there lyrically. Peep that Black Milk “Caltroit” LP. It’s a monster.

  • and remember shabaam sadeeq

    JAY Z CHANGED THE GAME WITH BLUEPRINT – ALL THOSE UNDERGROUND MCS REALIZED IT WAS OVER FOR THEM – TIME TO GET PAID AND BLOW UP LIKE THE WORLD TRADE

  • http://www.rockthedub.com khal

    bum bitch ballad was the shit. i have that cd somewhere in my basement

  • grp03

    wiz khalifa from the burgh! come on now..

  • http://www.myspace.com/dfranksound D Frank

    MF DOOM stays making music. Ghostdoom coming out this summer.

    • BIGNAT

      WORD I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING BE CALLED NATURAL SELECTION THANKS MAN I AM GOING BE LOOKING OUT FOR THIS.

      • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

        i think it’s supposed to be called “the swift and changeable”.

  • AYO

    go back to red lobster

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    If the underground really is Cool kids and Skyzoo and what not, then the underground has gone real real hipster.

  • http://ifux.alumnah.com/ i Fux aka Etheraldinho aka Farouq Obama

    Then I went on to Planet Asia’s “Pure Coke”

    ^^ Yo zshare this shit…woooooo it went hard!

    I think we maybe around the same age, but I never fell into that underground hype is the best shit. I did fall into the buy new shit every Tuesday hype…… and I have so many cd’s from around 98-01 ….The Wonderful world of Cease-a-Leo, Mr.Dont Play ….. on and on

  • its the truth

    THE KID JON HOPE GOT HEAT ROCKS..HE’S FROM PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND…

  • Young Hoagie

    planet asia has a new album with dj muggs production this summer.

  • Deez Nutz

    Nobody want to here that garbage azz artist…
    “Your shit is garbage,whatscha trying to kick knowledge?” (Jay-Z, Takeover) *classic line but Nas won the battle…”Were you abused as a child, scared to smile, they called you ugly? Well life is hard, hug me…”* LMAO!!!

  • ether

    papoose, saigon, blu, termanology, AZ,Cormega

    Dj Premier Still PoppiN!!!!!

  • BIGNAT

    I DON’T KNOW ABOUT MOST THOSE PEOPLE BUT MF DOOM HAS DONE MADVILLAINY IN O3 OR O4. THEN HE DID THE DANGERDOOM ALBUM WITH DANGER MOUSE THATS A VERY GOOD ALBUM. THEN HE THREW A COUPLE NEW SONGS FOR CHROME CHILDREN. THEN THEY DID ANOTHER CHROME CHILDREN CD LAST YEAR A COUPLE MONTHS AFTER THE RERELEASED MMM FOOD. I FUCKS WITH MF DOOM HE WAS ALSO SUPPOSE TO DO A ALBUM WITH GHOSTFACE BUT I NEVER HEARD ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT IT. I THINK IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CALLED NATURAL SELECTION. MF DOOM IS ONE OF MY FAVORTITE ARTIST FROM THE FIRST SONG I HEARD WAS ONE BEER. I WAS THINKING WHO IS THIS FOOL AND THE MORE STUFF I FOUND OF HIS THE MORE I WANTED TO HEAR. MADLIB ALSO IS GOOD BUT THE BEAT KONDUCTA STUFF AND SHADES OF BLUE. HIS RAPPING IS NOT VERY GOOD SO I AM NOT LISTENING FOR QUASIMOTO. WHICH I THINK IS HIS RAP NAME BUT HIS BEAT MAKING IS ALL I LIKE FROM HIM.

  • Bobby

    Yo, Punchline and Wordsworth form a group with Masta Ace & Stricklin called EMC. Their LP was released a couple of weeks ago. My favorite LP so far this year. It’s a REAL ALBUM (it even has funny skits).
    Also check for Elzhi’s latest CD called Euro Pass. Bro’ is sick on the mic. And if you’re into “straight spittin’” (anyone remember that Flipmode Squad Song?) and punchlines check Guilty Simpson’s LP “Ode to the Ghetto”.

    ..how that fuck can idiots call Skyzoo “hipster- rap”? people are just ridiculosly stupid.

  • http://myspace.com/DJMydas DJ Mydas

    Jane Doe’s “Bisexual” is on that “Underground Airplay: Version 1.0″ album, mixed by DJ Spinbad. Of course, itunes doesn’t have it.

    I can hit you off at your e-mail with it, if you want, but I suggest you cop the whole album, because it’s exactly the kind of shit I think you’d be into (as am I).

  • gerald n. the birdman

    Check out PSEUDO-SLANG signed to FatBeats a couple years ago.

  • http://www.otrfan.com concerned hater

    time to put you on a milk box J.

    “when Biggie died, they came out with biggie fries.”

  • http://aquilogy2.blogspot.com AQUILOGY

    Is J-Live still recording?

    ^^^he was in South-africa about a month ago,
    Anybody I need to check out?

    Blu and exile, Kanser, etc

  • RBMC

    Wordsworth is down with master ace go cop the EMC cd niceness