Strange Famous Records

NEW! SFR 2MEX T-Shirts Available Now!

NEW! SFR 2MEX T-Shirts Available Now!

Declare your support for the Mayor of the L.A. Underground! The first SFR t-shirt for new crew member 2MEX is a navy and white design on a fresh west coast-friendly aqua shirt.

Front is 2Mex’s SFR artist image with “Mayor of LA Underground” text.
Back is the SFR logo with ‘My Fan Base Will Destroy You’ text.

Printed on 100% Cotton American Apparel t-shirts, designed by Irena Girlbot.

Cop yours today here.

2Mex’s group The Returners has a brand new digital album available now exclusively at SFRstore.com! Check it out here.

May 27

Cecil Otter’s Rebel Yellow In Stores Now!

Cecil Otter’s Rebel Yellow In Stores Now!

The official SFR re-release of Cecil Otter’s debut hits stores Tuesday May 19! Now featuring fresh, new digipak-packaging. Spread the word and let your friends in on what SFR insiders have known for some time now: Cecil Otter is a slept on beast of lyrics & beats.

Available for the first time in stores and through digital music sites everywhere!

or, you can cop it here through SFRstore.com

What the press has to say about Rebel Yellow:

“8 out of 10″
-Rapreviews.com

“There’s really not a single bad track.”
-Absolutepunk.net

“For anyone who misses DJ Shadow’s earlier, more organic sound, the music on Rebel Yellow is a treat, all booming, stuttering drums, delicately plucked acoustic guitars, keening choral voices, malevolent music boxes, and lush strings.” – Reveille Magazine

For more on Cecil Otter, click here.

May 25

NEW SFR “At The Fire” T-Shirts AVAILABLE NOW!

NEW SFR “At The Fire” T-Shirts AVAILABLE NOW!

After bringing the heat for so long on record, it was only fitting that SFR manifest its firey ways in the clothing world. And so, just in time for the hot weather, we bring you these brand new “I’m At The Fire… Where the Hell Are You?” Strange Famous Records T-Shirts, available in your choice of brown or red.

Featuring the image of bossman Sage Francis as the devil his’self on the front, and the latest incarnation of the SFR logo set aflame on back.

Design by Irena Girlbot, printed by ClassSick Custom on 100% Cotton Gildan T-Shirts. Available in Mens sizes S-XXL.

May 22

Sleep’s “Hesitation Wounds” is IN STORES NOW!

Sleep’s “Hesitation Wounds” is IN STORES NOW!

It’s finally here:  Sleep’s long-awaited SFR debut has arrived in stores! You can still click here to lock down your copy with some exclusive Strange Famous bonus items today.

All orders purchased through SFRstore.com will include an 11×17 Hesitation Wounds poster SIGNED BY SLEEP and a Strange Famous Records sticker!

Click here for the FREE DOWNLOAD of the official leak of Sleep’s “Lothar” featuring Del Tha Funkee Homosapien!

“This is an infinite love in its purest form. It’s not the norm but it’s all I know so here it goes.
This speaking from the heart tore my life apart to bleed for ya, I just thought you should know.” – Sleep of Oldominion from “Talk About It”

After a decade of trail-blazing across America and cementing his reputation as one of underground hip hop’s true buried treasures, SLEEP of Oldominion & Strange Famous Records are proud to announce the release of his third album HESITATION WOUNDS.  Due out June 30, the album combines the witty and shocking decrees from the mind of vocalist Sleep with a high-speed barrage of sonic thunder from a selection of indie hip hop’s finest beatsmiths.

The first single will be “Talk About It,” an old school-style cut displaying a dizzying flow produced by SFR labelmate Reanimator. Lyrically, Sleep takes a battle stance against manufactured artists while refusing to dilute his style or message for the sake of mainstream acceptance.

“Sleep can tear off syllables at a cheetah’s pace like Aesop Rock or Busdriver, but even his fastest rhymes make sense.” – XLR8R

Hesitation Wounds is a vivid and intense journey through the psyche of one of underground hip hop’s longest tenured and most promising emcees.The follow-up to Sleep’s acclaimed 2005 LP Christopher, the album features guest appearances by Del tha Funky Homosapien, Grayskul, and boasts the production credits of Reanimator, Zebulon Dak and Smoke. Constructed from a mix of samples, live instrumentation, and a myriad of styles that all assist in the storytelling of a lifelong hip-hop veteran who has much more to offer the game than brag raps. This is real life in all its complexities, compressed into 13 solid tracks, and delivered in a way that only Sleep could do.

A co-founder of the Oldominion crew, a conglomerate of hip-hop artists based out of the Pacific Northwest, Sleep and his people have been putting it down for Seattle and Portland for the past decade. Hesitation Wounds displays an new level of strength in songwriting and the signature style that earned Sleep a devout following in the underground scene.

Click here to order your copy of Hesitation Wounds!

The complete track listing for Hesitation Wounds:

01 Intro (produced by Pale Soul.)

02 Day Dreamer (produced by Zavala, scratches by DJ Z-One, horns by Ross Liquid, additional vocals Toni Hill.)

03 Talk About It (produced by Reanimator.)

04 Who to Point the Finger At (produced by Reanimator.)

05 Ginelli (produced by Samix, scratches DJ Z-One. Horns by Ross Liquid, Lambs Bread and Jamzels. Additional vocals by Toni Hill and Scott Preston.)

06 Spent (produced by Zavala, scratches by DJ Z-One.)

07 Orchestra of Strangers (produced by Leon West, featuring Toni Hill.)

08 Hesitation Wounds (produced by Zavala, featuring Grayskul.)

09 Commercial (produced by Pale Soul.)

10 Lothar (produced by Zavala, scratches by DJ Z-One, featuring Del Tha Funkee Homosapien.)

11  Get It (produced by Smoke, scratches by DJ Z-One.)

12 So Far Away (produced by Samix, scratches by DJ Z-One, additional vocals by Toni Hill.)

13 Roll Call (produced by Zavala.)


May 19

B. Dolan announces the “One Breath Left” remix contest winners!

B. Dolan announces the “One Breath Left” remix contest winners!
B. Dolan announces the winners to the “One Breath Left” remix contest!

Ayyye!

Incredible work from all of these finalists!

The results are in… and we’ve decided to announce two “winner” categories.  Winner by internet poll and Winner by the judges (Alias, B. Dolan, and Sage Francis).

and the winner by internet polling is…

FAITH HEALERZ!

And the winner by the judges is…

a tie!

Between…

JACKSON of GRAND BUFFET!

and

THEORY 77!

To download the FAITH HEALERZ remix, click here.

To download the THEORY 77 remix, click here.

The JACKSON of GRAND BUFFET remix will be available from SFR at a later date. Stay tuned!

Below is my feedback (and some requests) for each of the finalist producers.  Thanks again to everyone who took part in this contest and to the SFR staff for putting in the man hours and internet mastery to host it.

For those of you who I asked to send your beats, you can send em (if you’re so inclined) to beedolan@gmail.com.

Aharon Hebert – beautiful beat man.  that repeating synth tone works in a really great way on my brain.  this is definitely my shit aesthetically.  fucked up, broken and hypnotic.  please send this beat my way if you get a chance.  i could definitely see doing something new with this.

Chester’s Kitchen – I’m on the porch with lemonade in this one.  And it somehow works really well.  this is good summertime shit.  Please send me this instrumental as well.  I’m having dreams of performing live to this one, or at least getting my alarm clock to play it every morning.  Your instrumentation matched the tone of my voice perfectly, and gave the song a non-cliche buoyancy that is hard to create.  Great fuckin work.

Doctor Adam – Took unfair advantage of the fact that the song was recorded at his house ;) I love being pitch shifted up like this, because it makes me sound 5 years younger and 40 pounds lighter.  The beat knocks… the synths create a minimal, expansive vibe that I dig.  Doc. Adam DJ’s a big big hip-hop night in Portland, Oregon, and I believe this remix was created with that in mind, for the purpose of knocking in the club, and I bet it does that.  Dope remix, and a fun afternoon of recording that produced this acapella.  Big up to Doc Adam indeed.

Edison’s Iron Lung Remix – You had me at “Iron Lung.”  Shit man.  This hard as fuck, intricately layered, hypnotic and perfectly matched to my tone…. The chorus.  Shiit.  I’ve asked Edison for this instrumental too.  Unites the bloodclot proletariat by the time it’s done.  Nuff said.

Faith Healerz – That bass made me make a mean face when I heard it.  Snarling at my computer and shit.  You nasty motherfucker.  How dare you play a tone that filthy.  That’s the sound Martin Sheen makes when he rises out of the tar swamp to go kill Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.  Slowing my voice down like that somehow turned me into fucking 2mex, which was very unexpected. Horror-core FTW.

Forest Travesty Remix – This is one that I’d like to hear without the acapella over it, because I think it’s a cool piece of music that could easily, and maybe should be standing on it’s own… Reminded me of Philip Glass in the way that a repetitive loop slowly picked up steam.  Good stuff.  But criticize Alias again and I will cut you deep. jus kiddin.

High P – The strummy guitar on the first 4 bars is what did it for me.  Felt like I was broke down in a ghosttown.  Had to give this one props if only for nailing that opening scene.

James Thomson – Another beautiful beat.  I’ve hit you up asking for this instrumental and gotten no response.  Why are you ignoring me.  Your cellos have spoken to my heart.  You can’t walk out on me now James.  Send me this goddamn beat!  I got plans for this one!  Something scandalous is happening in the castle during this one… Love the mood created and the percussion is the kinda shit I  wait to hear but seldom do.

magOwl – Some great drum programming and moody synth bidness.  Impressive manipulation of the acapella and vocal effecting too.  I wish I knew how to do a few of them things.  The production on the start of the second verse is is huge. I’m also a sucker for classic breaks manipulated in new and interesting ways.

kHill – Another one rises out of the swamp with a knife in it’s mouth.  Beat is driving, matched well to my tone, and on some bassy, country ugliness.  That twanging tone gives the whole thing a real cool character.

Rhythmatik – Charlton Heston walks into a rave?  Why am I bobbing my head like this? Great breakdown in the second verse.  This beat has travelled a thousand miles by the time its over, which is what the song is about.  Something about the quality of the main drums was just aiight for me dog… but maybe thats because I only want to hear the amen break and grinding bass from the drum & bass genre…  Hail up all nomadic massive.

Sick Transit – This was one of my top 3 from the first wave.  Some of what I look for in these contests is a beat that does something new to my tone in the way that this one does. The way the chords change during the verses, makes it impossible not to nod your head to this.  I’m also a sucker for organs (pro homo.)

Theory 77 – Quite possibly my winner.  Immediately upon receiving this remix, I burned it to a cd and drove around listening to it in the car and smoking. Hard. As. Fuck.  Incredible turntable work throughout.  Highlights all my favorite parts of the writing, even.  I can’t ask for much more than this out of a remix.  You murderrrred this man.  Jesus Christ.

Mancabbage – Sneak attack from a SFR forum O.G.  This shit is marching band big.  Who the hell knew mancabbage had it in him?  Not me. This beat yells as loud as me for sure.  I’m leading a parade down wall street in this one.  The parade-goers are all carrying torches and pitchforks.

Underground Catalyst – You made me sound like the reptiles in “V”!  The manipulation of vocals combined with the music creates a cool staggering feeling throughout the song.  The drums left a little to be desired… they had a kind of canned fruity loops feel, as did some of the tones of the synth instruments… But I see your vision, mannn.

Mr. Area – Impeach the president, eh?  Ballsy.  Ballsy choice Mr. Area.  But I was with it by the end.  Some of the vocal manipulation is really cool on this one, especially on the chorus.

Eaters - Something about those guitars is reminding me of Alice in Chains.  Is that a weird comparison?  Broke down in a ghost town again.  Kickin the tires.  Then a black hole opens up and starts swallowing tumbleweed and cactii during the chorus.  I’m with that. haha.

Osinaka – All right now.  Is that… a sample???  A prominent, discernable, sample??? But how will we license this to a  video game with that sample in there??? We won’t, that’s how.  We’ll give it away so they can’t sue us for sample clearance, and make some shit that sounds like hip hop is supposed to.  Pete Rock high fives you from rap heaven, then starts talking about how CL smooth was the least important part of T.R.O.Y.  You get disgusted and walk away.

Leif Kolt – This song was written and delivered over big mean synths, so the acapella sounds at home here.  Interesting manipulation of the chorus, turned it into a different kind of chorus.  Someone yells WHEW in the second verse.  Haha.  Energetic shit man.  Grand Buffet-esque maybe?

theLin – Some really dope music here.  The only thing I’m not totally into is the drums … which seem, in places, to be too generic for the rest of what’s going on. I’d be interested to hear this instrumental, and also to hear it with no drums.  If you have separated tracks for this, and would consider sending that to me, I’d love to hear it.  Either way though, I’m excited about this one.

Polyphonic The Verbose – Great filtering and interesting programming of the drums.  I also am jealous of anyone that can make an arpeggiator do what they want it to do.  Something about this didn’t match the tone of the acapella for me though.  I think this is another one that might need to do stand on its own, or with a different kind of song over it.

Vividend – Woh.  Now I know why a lot of people have been talking about this one.  This is some more beautiful instrumentation.  My first impression was “Sage would rip this.”  This one is a contedah for sure.  Top 5.

WIK – Spooky stuff. Great mood and interplay of sounds.  I assume the keys were played live through a synth?  I’d say the sounds themselves might need some shaping to sound a little less canned, but you clearly have some dope ability and vision.

Emancipator – Speaking of ability and vision. Another banger from emancipator.  I’m truly impressed by your composition and arrangement skills mang.  I don’t know why the fuck I don’t own your instrumental album.  Big up yahself.

annnnnddd…

Jackson of Grand Buffet – arrives a day before the deadline.  sounds like Rocky Balboa snorting coke off a leprechaun’s ass.  Transforms the acapella into a genuinely new song that’s fresh and mean enough to stand next to the original.  Which is what a great remix should do, I imagine… This is the one I’m riding with.  Bump this in the whip this summer.  phil collins industrial thrash muppet van halen.  Jackson is a fuckin genius, I’m kinda honored he’d fuck with a song of mine, also.  Blue ribbon boyeee.

-B. Dolan

May 18

2Mex’s First SFR Release: THE RETURNERS! Available Now!

2Mex’s First SFR Release: THE RETURNERS! Available Now!

Los Angeles emcee 2MEX is committing career suicide and loving every minute of it. His new group (yes…another group), THE RETURNERS, has delivered an album entitled Break Up Your Make Up as a loose tribute to the campy horror film, Cemetary Man. This collaborative juggernaut of a project features such indie-rap heavyweights as P.O.S., Busdriver, Grayskul, Awol One and many more.

THE RETURNERS Digital Album Download is available EXCLUSIVELY at SFRstore.com! Click here to get yours.

In the Cemetary Man movie, “the returners” come back to life as zombies to find their true love. On this album, The Returners come back to do more of the same while invoking the spirit of mid-90′s horrorcore. Break Up Your Make Up is sort of like…Gravediggaz meets Hot Child in the City. Street tales of love lost and love lust over Deeskee’s “Temple of Boom” inspired production.

This trunk-thumping twist of a tribute is all a backdrop to the contrasting styles of veteran emcees 2Mex and Die Del Amor. They are joined on the mic by punk rocker Staceydee, making her Pharcyde-esque hiphop debut on songs like First Kill and Powerless. Bay Area producer Deeskee seamlessly ties the entire concept together, bringing back the unashamed art of sampling while weaving a fun production style into the dark and eerie vibe of the lyrics. If you sync this album up with the visuals of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut it will save the group on video costs, so feel free to give that a try.

Or you could also check out the first video from Break Up Your Make Up, “Powerless”:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ippqWtkhxhY[/youtube]

May 11

New DVDs Available! 2Mex! Scribble Jam!

New DVDs Available! 2Mex! Scribble Jam!

A mess of new DVDs have hit the virtual shelves of SFRstore.com: This Is The Life, a documentary on the genesis of West Coast underground hip hop in the ’90s, featuring SFR crewmember 2MEX, and three different Scribble Jam DVDs to soothe your sadness over the cancellation of the 2009 installment of the legendary indie hop festival. These Scribble DVDs feature appearances from Sage Francis, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Mac Lethal, MF Doom, and many many many many more.

This Is The Life DVD

In 1989, a collective of young artists gathered at a storefront health food cafe in South Central LA. Their mandate? To explore and expand the musical boundaries of hip hop.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, THIS IS THE LIFE is a feature-length documentary chronicling “The Good Life” emcees, the alternative music movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the artform.

Featuring new interviews with: Myka Nyne and PEACE of Freestyle Fellowship, Chali2na and Cut Chemist of Jurassic 5, NgaFsh, Riddlore, Tray-Loc & Wreckless of CVE, Abstract Rude and Zulu Butterfly of ATU, Ellay Khule of Hip Hop Klan, Medusa of S.I.N, Born Allah, Ganjah K, Fatjack, JMD, Omid, Pigeon John, 2Mex of OMD, Jyant & Eve of Figures of Speech, Big Al, T-Love of Urban Props, Sheena Lester & B+ of Rappages, Mear One, Mike Nardone of KXLU’s We Came From Beyond, Garth Trinidad of KCRW’s Chocolate City, Monalisa Murray, Jah Orah, Hines, Busdriver, Monique Matthews, Keen and B. Hall & R. Kain Blaze, co-founders of The Good Life.

Scribble Jam Archive Vol 1 DVD

ALL IN ONE DVD: 2000 VIDEO #4, 2001 VIDEO #5 & THE BEST OF In 1996 Scribble Magazine and Mr. Dibbs began a festival to celebrate the first issue of “Scribble Magazine.” Scribble Jam is now known as the underground event that allows kids across the world to take an active role in the culture they love. Emcees, DJs, B-boys and Graffiti Artists come from all over to demonstrate their abilities in preserving hip-hop in its truest form. Scribble Jam is one of the only places left in America, that combines all four elements as they were meant to be. Over the years, Scribble Jam has become a proving ground for those who remain true to preserving the culture. What you (will soon) hold in your hands is a collection of highlights from Scribble Jam’s Hightlight videos that up until now were only offered on VHS.

Scribble Jam Vol 7 DVD

Scribble Jam in its 7th Year. This year kicked off with the Rhymesayers 10th Anniverary concert. Brother Ali, Eyedea and Abilities, MF Doom, Atmosphere and many more rock the spot. Saturdays highlights include first ever Beat Box competition, Freestyle Session Bboy Battle, dj battle and one of the years best MC battles. This is a 3 hour double-sided DVD which includes all Bboy Battles, Live Performaces, Dj Battle featuring Scratch Bastards and the MC battle with Rhymefest, MC Juice, Swan, and many more…

Scribble Jam Vol 9 DVD

The largest Hip-Hop festival on either side of the Mississippi actually takes place in the heart of the Midwest. It’s in Ohio of all places, and showcases not just one, but all the elements of Hip-Hop as they are meant to be. This DVD is filled with Scribble Jam 2004 Highlights that will keep even the oldest heads entertained. Scribble Jam has turned into a cultural melting pot of people who embody every element of Hip-Hop. Scribble Jam 2004 brought some of the best battles EVER! See the clash between two top Canadian DJs; Brace and Scratch Bastid battle it out in the finals. Also after 36 contestants, the 2004 pool of MC’s came down to Mac Lethal (Scribble Jam MC 2002 Champ) and Illmaculate, a 17-year-old MC all the way from Portland who was competing for the first time. It was a battle between old and new, but in the end, youth prevailed and Illmaculate walked away with $2000 and the title as the youngest MC to win in Scribble Jam history. OVER 3 HOURS LONG!

May 07

New! Classic Album Reissues!

New! Classic Album Reissues!

SFRstore.com is proud to offer 2 new CD reissues of classic hip hop albums: Special Ed’s Youngest In Charge (in a new Extended Edition), and Company Flow’s groundbreaking debut LP Funcrusher Plus!

Special Ed – Youngest In Charge (Extended Edition)
The re-release of Special Ed’s debut full length Youngest In Charge! Originally released on Profile records in 1989, Youngest In Charge boasts a track list that includes such Hip Hop classics as “I Got It Made”, “Taxing” and “Think About It” (remember the video with the hovercraft?). The album, produced entirely by Howie “Hitman” Tee, was released when Ed was just 16!

This expanded reissue features eight tracks previously not available on CD and is complimented perfectly with a 16 page booklet featuring extensive liner notes from Brian Colemen (author of Rakim Told Me and Check The Technique). The booklet also includes alternative images from the original photo shoot provided by the original photographer Robert Lewis.

Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus
If you’ve been jonesing for some groundbreaking late-’90s hip-hop that seamlessly weaves sci-fi references into agitprop and anti-capitalism, you’re in luck. Nearly a decade after the group went on hiatus, Company Flow sees its landmark (and only) LP, Funcrusher Plus, get the reissue treatment from Definitive Jux Records.

Already ahead of its time when originally released in 1997, Funcrusher Plus is widely recognized as one the most influential hip hop albums ever, shattering conventions with its musical complexity and uncompromising lyricism. Comprised of producer/MC El-P, MC Bigg Jus and DJ Mr. Len, Company Flow’s music rejected the conventional hooks and jazz/funk samples favored at the time, opting instead for jagged, lo-fi and punishing sonics crowned with confrontational and highly literate word-play and rhyme patterns.

May 01

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Sage Francis "Copper Gone" T-SHIRTS are ON SALE NOW thru Jan 1! All styles are available for MEN & WOMEN! Check out the entire selection here.

Sage Francis "Copper Gone" HOODIES are ON SALE NOW thru Jan 1! Available in Full Zip & Pullover styles here.

SFRstore EXCLUSIVE! Prolyphic & Buddy Peace Limited Edition, Tri-Colored, Hand-Screenprinted 7-inch Vinyl! Features Sage Francis & Metermaids. See all available options here.

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