Fresh Out The Gutter

"I hate how rappers use the term FRESH so loosely"

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SLICK RICK “The Ruler” live tomorrow night at the Observatory OC!!!

We about to keep making Hip Hop history, on some legendary s***! Cop your tickets and get OUT DA HOUSE with us April 16th!

FRESH PICK FRIDAYS

The first series of “Fresh Pick Fridays” bringing you my top drops of the week. 

From the mighty Wu-tang Clan’s Raekwon to the cosmic sounds of TDE’s SZA, this week has been filled with lots of worthy content and I got you covered:

Raekwon brings us a smooth sounding track produced by Illness of Smokestack, but there isn’t anything smooth about the Chef’s flow as he lays down two grimy verses over this Dionne Warwick sampled instrumental. 

Legendary DJ Premier teams up with Death Row’s former first lady, Lady Of Rage, proving that she is ‘still kickin’ up dust’ on this exquisite Premo cut titled “Chemical Burn”. 

Pharoahe Monch provided us with one last preview to his upcoming release, PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with “Rapid Eye Movement”featuring Black Thought of The Roots. Both emcees bring their signature relentless flow- cooking up that one thing Yeezy once talked about, crack music. 

Since reviewing J. Lately's project Daydreams and Warm Nights in 2012 for ILLSociety Magazine, J. Lately has been a artist I look forward to hearing more of. His simplistic approach through uplifting lyricism, dream-like, and smooth sounding instrumentals is presented once again on this track titled “Roses” featuring Grynch. The track is an affirmation to keep focus, not give up through everyday struggle, but to also remember to take time to stop a bit and appreciate the best things in life in the midst of life’s crazy journey. 

Pro Era’s Dirty Sanchez is joined by Joey Bada$$, Rockamouth and Ala Sole on “147”. The impeccable Statik Selektah provides the perfect cut sampling KRS-One’s “Sound Of The Police” on this track aimed at undercover cops. Dirty Sanchez along with the rest of the Pro Era crew members keep bringing that oldschool- NY-street appeal bar after bar! Take a listen! 

Nicki Minaj dropped heat with “Chi-Raq” feat. Lil Herb. Rap’s self crowned Barbie strays away from the pop appeal that rose her to fame and gets back to the ‘old Nicki’  on this track (you know the early ‘youtube-freestyle days’ type flow). Nicki is on her ‘Bawse’ sh** third time around, if she hasn’t yet gained your respect or liking, the way things are sounding right about now- she’s about to come with some tricks up her sleeve that are going to be hard to ignore.

OVO crooner PARTYNEXTDOOR brings us a smooth and melodic track with “West District”. This track might sound familiar- and yes. it indeed is the same instrumental PND made and used for Drake’s recently released “Days in The East”. But I dare say, this provides a much far worthy listen than what Drizzy came with. 

TDE’s SZA debuted this week with album Z, but before that she hit us with this Kendrick Lamar assisted track “Babylon”. Within the lines of this track you find a very complex battle of mind, heart, and spirit through the lines, all through a tone standing in pure simplicity. SZA ponders and repents on yet another failed relationship, in which she and K. Dot find themselves reaching the humane conclusion that desire has overpowered their sense of spiritual, religious, and self standards of morality. It’s a track that serves food for thought, between guilty pleasures, the right and the wrong that lies behind the thin line between love and lust. 

And that wraps up my personal picks for this week. Hope you enjoyed!

-Stace Fresh

Nipsey Hussle CRENSHAW Tour at the Observatory OC

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No stopping the hustle…

Only a few months ago Nipsey Hussle was the main topic of all rap talk. The L.A. native who has been no stranger to the game since his breakout mixtape single “Hussle In The House” back in 2009, startled the industry when he released a mixtape titled Crenshaw at $100 price, making $100,000 in less than 24 hours. 

Since his early beginning in 2005, the name Hussle has been nothing other than fitting to the now 28 year old rapper who is currently benefiting the reaps of patience and non-stop work.  

Out Da House Productions in conjunction with the Observatory OC brought Nipsey Hussle back to the Observatory this past Sunday night (since Dec. 2013) for another live performance, this time as part of the Crenshaw 2014 tour.

For a Sunday night, the venue held a decent myriad amount of fans eager to see Nipsey. The night began off, as we always do, with a showcase of a few of our local talents which included the sounds of Eric Martinez, BIGRyAT, GraFiK, Vital Mindz, BGM, Jayeb Ent, and JB Tha Pretty Boy. 

Nipsey Hussle took the stage a little past 11pm with DJ Vip and 3 other members out of his posse. The crowd went crazy at the sight of the tall slender rapper who sported a classic modern west coast look with the slim 501 jeans, black and white classic Chucks, a white-tee, and a black beanie that read ‘Crenshaw’ along the middle. 

Nipsey started off proper, performing “U See Us” off his latest mixtape, with a boastful chant: "Look at my life, Came up, nigga we came so far. You see us? You see us, nigga!” And we see it indeed. 

Nip proceeded to perform other Crenshaw cuts like “Checc Me Out”, “4 In The Mornin”, “Change Nothing”, “Summertime in that Cutlass”, among others. 

Young Nip also performed a few tracks off other mixtapes including “Rose Clique” and the well known “Hussle in The House”. The whole venue turned the f*** up when Nipsey performed his feature single with YG “B**** You Broke”.

"B**** you broke, shut up! Don’t talk to me, get your bread up! Yeah we used to f*** but I got fed up! We eat, all my n***** fed up!"

At this moment, the bottle of Moet that sat on the left side of the stage came in handy as it was shook up and erupted onto the crowd. 

Nipsey Hussle definitely set it off, providing a great stage presence. Young Nip has come a long way and it continues to be a privilege seeing his growth in the rap game. I know all the fans in the building that night feel the same way. 

The Marathon Continues.

-Stace Fresh 

ETERNAL E: RIP Eazy-E

Today marks, 19 years since the passing away of this west coast, gangsta-rap, pioneer & legend. Eric “Eazy-E” Wright died March 26, 1995 and as a member of the infamous Compton affiliated group N.W.A., and notable gangster rap solo career, Eazy is undoubtedly upon the highest rank of west coast gangster rap’s pedestal.

Eazy’s “Boyz-N-The-Hood” was a track I grew up listening to whenever I was around my aunt. I love me some Eazy-E when the “ruthless-gangsta” mood strikes me, and what better way than to honor him than by sharing my most favorite Eazy-E songs with you. 

Also, check out this well written piece Hip Hop DX just released on the west coast legend: Eternal E: A Case For Eazy-E As Rap’s Prototypical Artist/Executive 

"Only If You Want It"


Remembering the Life of a West Coast Legend: RIP Nate Dogg


Three years ago on this day, March 15 2011, hip hop lost one of the West Coast’s greatest, a legend, a great, Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale. 

Nate Dogg, most likely known for his affiliation with Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre, passed away March 15, 2011 at the age of 41 after battling several strokes & a paralyzation in the recent years prior to his death.

 It was sad news to know that the west coast crooner & G-funk pioneer, had passed away. When I think about who is the west coast, Nate is definitely an indisputable name that comes to mind. 

Some of my most favorite songs contain the work of Nate’s smooth, hypnotizing voice; Among them being Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”, “Lay Low”; Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode”, “Xxxplosive”, “Deeez Nuts”; Warren G’s “Regulate” & “I Need a Light”; 213’s “So Fly”, “Groupie Love”, “Joystick”, & “Lonely Girl”; 2pacs “All About You”; Westside Connection’s “Gangsta Nation”; Mos Def’s “Oh No”; Game’s “Where I’m From”…and well, I think you all get my point, I can go on and on and on.

Before I proceed, I’m going to go on a little personal rant for a minute, when news broke out 3 years ago that Nate had passed away, I remember laying in bed that night looking at my Facebook news feed which is how I came to find out about his death. I immediately, began to Google whether the news was true…and it indeed it was. The news was a bit shocking, because at 41, he was still a fairly young person. I knew about the recent strokes and about his delicate health but I thought it was something he would get through. I missed Nate’s melodic voice on west coast tracks and I was anxious for him to get back in the studio, and hit us with some bangers that the west was in dire need of. 

I recall a few months prior to his death, Dre had released his new song “Kush” which had Akon on the chorus. One of my homeboys & I were touching subject on the track one day and I remember us being like “I ain’t really feelin’ the track…Nate should’ve been on that hook”! I then touched subject on the matter that he had health issues and maybe that’s why he wasn’t currently doing music. I said something along the lines of,  ”I hope he recovers soon, the west coast needs him right now” How ironic was it that months later he passes away and what I was hoping would not manifest. 

In the midst of everyone posting about Nate Dogg’s death on social networks, I tried to recall what tied me to this artist… And then I remembered the very first hip hop show that I attended. 

It was Snoop Dogg & The Game’s “How the West Was One” Tour in 2005, I was 13, and I recall standing in line in the back of the Honda Center (Anaheim, CA) only feet away from where all the tour buses were. I was constantly looking at the direction of where the entourages of Game & Snoop stood, just chillin’, in the hopes that I would spot Game or Snoop in the midst of all of them (that didn’t happen). But sure enough as I stood in line hoping I would, I came in the presence of the man himself, Nate Dogg. 

I heard numerous murmurs behind me “Is that Nate?” I turned and wasn’t sure as to whom they were referring the statement… and then right next to us a man with a blue shirt, black shorts, Nike shoes, sunglasses, and a white bandana wrapped around his forehead, walked toward us with two big guys on each of his side (this image still remains very vivid in my mind). That’s when I knew what the fuzz was about, it was Nate.

I turned to my friend and was ecstatic, in a star-struck sense like “Oh my God! It’s Nate Dogg!” and as he walked by us I yelled “Nate Dogg!” as I waved for his attention,  and I recall his head turning in my direction, peeking over his body guard’s shoulder, and shooting the “peace” sign while responding “What Up?!” as he proceeded to walk towards the venue. Now I’m not sure if his eye sight, behind his dark shades, was aimed at me with that response but I’d like to think so. At least it seemed like it (let the young 13 year old me believe it) & as I remembered this encounter, I cherished and was happy to know that I had a memory that I linked to him. 

And to sum it all up, that night Nate rocked the show alongside Snoop & Game in an unforgettable performance.

Nate Dogg is one of those artists that left their mark in hip hop & helped evolve that West Coast sound we all grew to love.

In the words of Westside Connection “It Ain’t A Hit Till Nate Dogg Spit”. Indeed this holds to be true, this man gave us countless hits throughout his musical career with his beautiful voice, singing some of the greatest hooks & choruses we sing along, groove, cruise, & party to.

Today, on the 3rd year mark of his death, let’s remember, celebrate, & honor a legend, a west coast great, Nate Dogg. 

Thank You for the music, it will forever live & will be celebrated.

You are missed. 

R.I.P. Nate Dogg 

- Stace Fresh

P.S. And if you are in the city of Santa Ana, CA tonight, we will be celebrating the life of this legend at the G-Funk Fest with Warren G at the Observatory. Get Out The House with us… see y’all there!

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