Midnight Rockers Express Lee Harrison Mixtape Cover
Midnight Rockers Express Lee Harrison Mixtape Cover

Mixtape Monday: Larry Smith Tribute, A-Trak, Quantic, Tony Touch & More!

Throwback Thursday : How Larry Smith Transcended The Low-End To Become The God Of The Big Beat

Welcome to the first proper 2015 installment of Mixtape Monday. Do you feel funkier already? If not, then prepare thyself because on deck is a glorious grip of mixes from all corners of the hip-hop multiverse, a perfect blend of retro and futuristic that has us giddy about what the rest of the young year has in store. Most pressing are the sprawling new sets from ace DJs A-Trak and Quantic, who each served up genre-defying eclectic mixes in the past weeks, proving that their ears are as wide as ever. We've also amassed new sets from DJ QBert and the long-standing legend Tony Touch. But to kick it all off we're helping to pay tribute to a recently passed legend--bassist and early hip-hop producer Larry Smith--who was lost at the end of last year and given a properly commemorative mix by DJ Eclipse. Read on, dear mixtape mavens, and feel good about what's coming in 2k15.

Throwback Thursday : How Larry Smith Transcended The Low-End To Become The God Of The Big Beat

One of the founding fathers of hip-hop and everything new and funky was lost at the end of last year. Larry Smith, whose production work on Kurtis Blow, Run D.M.C. and Whodini records (to name only a few) were defining moments in the genre. Smith was notorious for laying down perfect basslines (and was a talented, self-taught) bassist in his own right) and those lines dominate in DJ Eclipse's tribute mix, a mammoth 2.5 hour affair that was first broadcasted last Christmas Eve and has finally made its way online. While the late great Larry's music is the star attraction, the show also features commentary from DJ Premier, Larry Smith Jr., Spyder D on just how vital the producer/bassist was. Put it on and rock one love.

A-Trak turns "Diplo-tent" into a home, Roots Picnic 2013

This one was long overdue. Fool's Gold founder and master DJ technician A-Trak took control of Diplo's regular BBC program and got the year started on an incredibly high note. In an hour-plus set loaded with the Canadian's brilliant scratching we get treated to perhaps the widest-sourced mixtape he's ever played. Get set for Nile Rodgers, Mr. Carmack, A$AP Ferg, Girafage and plenty of A-Trak's own eminently funky/fashionable material. This one will please hip-hop heads, bedroom beatmakers, and massive house partiers with equal degrees of panache. It's a happy new year indeed.

Quantic talks new LP 'Magnetica' and digs in his record collection on 'A Day In' w/ OKP TV

Amidst the lively crop of latin-tinged beatmakers that includes (if we do some generous grouping) Amon Tobin, RJD2, Nightmares on Wax, Sound Providers, Radio Citizen, Bonobo and many more, one name that stands tall in the pack is Quantic. The England-born, Colombia-savvy, New York-based globetrotting producer has grown from a humble DJ to a full-on genre contortionist--his most recent releases now seamlessly blend live instrumental recordings with some of the rarest, funkiest samples (un)known to man. As a sort of momentary pause for reflection, Quantic strolled through Red Bull Music Academy to spin some of his favorite classic joints. What came about was a sun-kissed tour through dub, latin folk, funk and soul material--it's the perfect way to kick the snowy blues and feel the heat of the beat. As a bonus, the producer spends ample time talking through his evolution as a DJ, sound selector and producer; numerous artists and label names get dropped, so all you aspiring Quantic clones at home grab your pen and take note.

If more Quantic is what you desire, check out our recent trip to his home record den on OKP TV.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Many of you recall the glory days of copping a colored cassette tape from New York City mixtape legend Tony Touch. Those unlabeled DIY-sourced compilations fueled the fire for so many hip-hop heads in the 90s, and have since made the jump to the digital domain with absolutely no sacrifice in quality. Touch hit a milestone this month with the release of his 101st (yes you read that right) mixtape, and we'd be remiss to pass over such a monumental achievement. It would be enough for T to drop a tape of old favorites--to rest on his podium as one of the greatest mixers alive--but that's not the case. This 101st offering features some of the best new sound around, including PRhyme. There's also ample Nas, Mobb Deep, and other East Coast legends on deck, so grab your headphones, take notes, and prepare to be schooled by one of the timeless teachers.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

In what seems to be the first truly weird mixtape of 2015, DJ QBert has dished out a wild blend of electro, hip-hop, and house. Yes, the bass wobbles and yes, the hi-hats clatter at trap levels, but at the core of QBert's Jellyfish Lazer Face tape is the top-notch blending and virtuosic scratching that's kept him at legendary status for decades. The set, which was commissioned by Mass Appeal, is a sort of recap of the DJ's "Extraterrestrium: The Guided Space Tour" and features some of the Mr. Carmack and El-P cuts that were mainstays in that cross-country romp. Rumor has it the mix also includes snippets of his upcoming album Extramentals Vol. 1. Stay weird, lazer faces.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Set aside some free time for this batch of goodies. Drummer/journalist/DJ Kieran K Meadows has been diligently delivering a series of top-notch mixtapes, and in an effort to give credit where credit is due, we've compiled three of his greatest set for you to enjoy here and now. Meadows's personal style skews toward the dense island rhythms of reggae, dub, and roots (he's been known to pick up the pen for LargeUp) but these three mixes travel all over the map.

His first mixtape, "The Good Friday Mix, Vol. 1" is a big batch of avant-hip-hop interspersed with soul and boasts Flying Lotus, Jessie Ware, J Dilla, Miguel, Big Boi, and a dynamite Frank Ocean remix that's extra heavy on the bass. From there, we've included his "For The Lovers" mixtape, which is (expectedly) much smoother and sultry--expect D'Angelo, Kimbra, Whitney Houston and Lauryn Hill to set the mood. Finally, Meadows's most recent edition of "The Good Friday Mix" awaits your ears, boasting top-notch material from ATCQ, KRS-One, more Dilla, Common and Vic Mensa. Enjoy the wise and wide sound selection and keep your eye on Mr. Meadows in the coming year.

For those who are in NYC, be sure to catch KKM drumming live with his live hip-hop group, Illegalize at Brooklyn's The Paper Box this coming Saturday, January 17th!. Details here.


Shuggie Otis - "Freedom Flight"

Joaquin Colter - Dark Circles"

Flying Lotus - "Zodiac Shit"

Jessie Ware - "Sweet Talk"

Ngaiire - "Dirty Hercules (ft. Nai Pailm)"

Frank Ocean - "Thinkin' About You (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg Edit)"

Big Boi - "CPU (ft. Phantogram)"

Capital Cities - "Kangaroo Court"

Jose James - "Trouble (Oh No Remix)"

J Dilla - "Tomita (Meadows Edit ft. Phes of Illegalize)

Melo-X - "God Magic"

Mos Def - "Excellence"

Jane Doe - "Bullshit (ft. Talib Kweli & Black Thought)"

Kabaka Pyramid - "Free From Chains"

Popcaan - "Medal (ZJ Liquid Adorn Refix)"

Miguel - "Adorn (Tropical Blends 'Take You Ova' Remix ft. Konshens)"

Rihanna - "Diamonds (Jason J-Vibe Farmer Remix)"


Whitney Houston - "For the Lovers"

Lauryn Hill - "The 'Love Interludes'"

Annita - "Fiz Pra Voce"

Kimbra - "Withdraw"

Alicia Keys - "Butterflyz (The Drumline Mix)"

D'Angelo - "Tell Me If You Still Care About Me (S.O.S. Band Cover)"

Jose James - "Made for Love"

The Dream - "New Orleans"

Talib Kweli - "Come Here (ft. Miguel)"

Mayer Hawthorne - "Crime (ft. Kendrick Lamar)"

Usher - "Climax (Jr. Blender Remix)"

Sizzla - "Good Love"

Busy Signal - "Come Over (Missing You)"

Barrington Levy & Shaggy - "Only You"

Ricky Blaze - "Just You And I"

Los Rakas - "Abrazame (ft. Faviola)"

Gyptian - "Hold Yuh"

Vybz Kartel - "Push It In (Take It Out)"

Rihanna - "Rude Boy (Remix ft. Agent Sasco a.k.a. Assassin)"

Kes The Band - "Can't Wait"

Baju Banton - "Up Close and Personal"

Tanto Metro & Devonte - "Everyone Falls in Love"


Intro: Excerpt From an Interview With Graffiti Artist 'Dez'

KRS-One - "Out For Fame"

Black Star - "Respiration"

Diving Beings - "We Can Get Fly (ft. Black Thought & Questlove)"

Black Milk - "Cold Day"

Hawk House - "Round We Go"

Nitty Scott, MC - "Auntie Maria's Crib"

Vic Mensa - "Orange Soda"

A Tribe Called Quest - "Find A Way"

J Dilla - "Without You (Lucy Pearl-Jay Dee Remix)"

Jay-Z - "Lucifer (Kev Brown 'The Brown Album' Remix)"

Aaliyah - "Are You That Somebody"

Sango - "Baile Somebody"

MC Bola - "Ela E Top"

Emicida - "Triunfo"

Common - "I Want You"

Derrick Hodge - "Live Today (ft. Common)"

Marian Mereba - "Sinking Ships (YS Remix ft. Yasmin Semali)

Amel Larrieux - "Afraid"

Denitta And Sene - "Casanova"

Tinashe - "1 For Me"

Mariami - "Gates (Georgia On My Mind)"

Illegalize - "2 Can Play (That Game)"


It's been too long since we checked in with Belgian beat broadcaster LeFtO. The DJ's regular online show is a weekly lesson in new dope sounds, and for his 606th (you read that right) installment LeF kicked the door in on 2015, playing Sly Johnson, Jack Garrat, Homeboy Sandman on Stones Throw, brand new Badbadnotgood, Joey Bada$$ and many more. It's two solid hours of some of the best syncopated music on earth. Do you want more? Then just tune in next week.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

A name that has for too long been away from Mixtape Monday, Lee Harrison (aka the OG editor at Fader) has reappeared with a dynamite mix of cutting-edge dancehall, hip-hop, and future soul, made in partnership with DJ Getlive. Harrison's Midnight Rockers Express set draws heavily from vocal-based acts that toe the line between many of those genres, and so expect a mix that isn't easy to classify but is all to easy to enjoy. New(ish) sounds from SZA, Caribou, London Grammar, D'Angelo, Chronixx, Jamie XX and many more keep the mixtape grooving hard from start to finish. Glad to have you back, Mr. H.


Africa Hitech - "Light The Way"

Christian Scott - "The Eraser"

Petite Noir - "Chess"

Jai Paul - "All Night"

SZA - "Babylon" (A.P. Remix)

Caribou - "Second Chance" (Shines Re-Tune)

Denitia & Sene - "Divided"

London Grammar - "If You Wait" (Shy FX Remix)

Young Fathers - "Soon Come Soon"

Jesse Royal & Major Lazer - "Dreaming Of Africa"

Bliss feat. Sophie Barker - "Stop Me" (The Revenge Remix)

Gary Clark Jr. - "Blak & Blu" (Big K.R.I.T. Remix)

Royce Wood Junior - "Rover"

King Krule - "Foreign 2"

Taylor McFerrin feat. Robert Glasper & Thundercat - "Already There"

Robert Glasper feat. Meshell Ndegeocello - "The Consequences Of Jealousy" (Georgie Anne Muldrow Remix)

D'Angelo & The Vanguard - "Betray My Heart"

Maya Angelou - "Africa" (Fallou247 Edit)

Eddie Gale - "Black Rhythm Happening"

Jay Electronica feat. Latonya Givens - "Better In Tune With The Infinite" (Cookin' Soul Remix)

Lauryn Hill - "So Much Things To Say"

Jah9 & Puraman feat. Sheldon "Atiba" Bernard - "Revolution Lullaby"

Chronixx - "Here Comes Trouble" (Dub)

Chronixx with Addis Pabblo & Suns Of Dub feat. Sizzla, Protoje, & Kabaka Pyramid - "Selassie Souljahz In Dub"

Mala - "I Can Wait Pt.2"

Jamie XX - "Sleep Sound"

Purple Velvet - "Back On The Boulevard"

Bakradze - "Twice"

Doc Daneeka & Abigail Wyles - "Tobyjug"

Horace Silver - "Peace"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

The work of Roc Marciano needs no introduction, but it definitely needs its own mix. LA-based DJ Pipomixes has done ahead and taken care of it, crafting an extended compilation of chopped and cross-faded tracks from the NYC-based MC. The "Sounds Like Porridge" mix (big props if you get the reference) highlights some of Marci's greatest bars as well as the brilliant pack of producers he's put in time with. In his own words, Pipo put it like this:

There have been several sources of inspiration that have really kept me checking for new music the last few years. Madlib's post Dilla (06) production, future beats producers like Ras G and Dibia$e, and the many quality releases from labels like ReDef Records, Mellow Music Group, and Street Corner Music. All of the quality music from the aforementioned artists/labels (among a host of others) have fueled ideas for new mixes. Among the array of quality releases, nothing has tickled my fancy quite like the ascension of Roc Marciano. Roc Marci's music is the quintessential example of old becoming new. There's nothing new about stripped down, loop-based production sprinkled with grimy raps. However, the way in which Marciano does it and the timing in which it is being done, make this old tried and true combination very refreshing. Marcberg, Reloaded, Marci Becoup, and the Pimpire Strikes Back have burned a hole in my headphones. As much I tried to resist doing this mix because I considered it low hanging fruit, I could only resist for so long. The music is just too good and I like Roc's catalog too much to have not made this mix.

This mix was completed six months ago and has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust ever since. I held off on releasing the mix because I thought another Marciano album was going to drop during the fourth quarter of 2014 (as was done with his three previous albums during the last two years) and I wanted to time the mix's release with Roc's latest album. No such luck and I can't sit on this mix any longer because too much time has passed since I released my last mix. So here you all go. Enjoy it because I'm not sure when the next mix is coming. Not to be confused, I'm always working on a new mix. Whether it's thinking of new concepts or themes, brainstorming songs and sequences, or the actual mixing of a mix; I'm always working on the next mix. However, my process is getting slower and my time more limited. Please enjoy it until the next one because if the last few months have taught me anything it's that "next" is not always guaranteed.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Finally, we'll end things on a more internationable note. FACTMagazine set to work last week crafting an all-pan-African mix of music that both comes from and gestures toward the continent. Filled to the brim with psych-free-jazz excursions and tightly-tuned hip-hop, the set (made by Eric Douglas Porter, aka Afrikan Sciences) is a journey through both spacey ambience and rock-solid rhythmics. You can read a little more about the mix's creation here. It's a perfect way to end our week's roundup and jet off into the unknown that is 2015. Until next week, keep moving to it.


Afrikan Sciences - Reactionary Distractions

Two Thousand +1 - Air Rhythm 2

Beat Spacek – Go Away

Afrikan Sciences- Precious Time

Georgia- Spirit House

Afrikan Sciences - Random events

“. “. Togetherness


Why you think

Lan Sake

Old Shady Grady and the Neighborhood Characters - Interlude

KMFH – Westside Kooth

Afrikan Sciences - Black Future Month

AYBEE - Human not Brand

Afrikan Sciences - Batala

Mark Force - Smoke It

Shokazulu – Sour Grapes

Rick Wilhite - All About You

Cosmic Rays- The Second Stop Is Jupiter