White Label

Music, Stan Ipcus

I bootlegged my own shit. Sometimes that’s how you gotta do it, what can I say. White Label is a short collection of Stan Ipcus loosies (some new songs and some older ones) that I’ve been wanting to throw on streaming services. So I decided to put them all together as if they were an actual white label vinyl release from back in the day, when tracks that never made their way onto albums would get pressed up and circulated to DJs and neighborhood record stores. The title is a double entendre too, for those of you keeping score at home.

Here’s a quick track-by-track breakdown of White Label:

1. “Grizzly” – This is my latest release, a self-produced track featuring a sample/loop I’ve been sitting on for years that I finally turned into a song. This is me spitting at my optimal level, and I’m in love with the beat and how the vocal samples came together. Actually, I used the Memphis Bleek “I’m back on my grizzly” vocal sample for a crazy freestyle track my boy K-Wet did years ago over Cam’ron and Alchemist’s “Wet Wipes” beat, and I repurposed it for this. Bonus points if you can identify who’s saying my name on the hook.

2. “Cream” – Another brand new one, featuring a flip of the classic of all classic rock jams. My boy threw this on randomly during a late night hang and I was like, “Yo, has anyone ever spit on this?!” I went home, looped it up, wrote some double-time flavor to it, and boom—”Cream” was born.

3. “Pay U No Mind” – This song was recorded in 2004 at Sony Studios during my InYerFace Records days. It was produced by Joe Naughty aka Naughty Shorts, who also produced Kool G Rap’s “It’s A Shame” and Capone-N-Noreaga’s “Stick You.” Fun fact—this was the first Stan Ipcus song that was ever played on New York radio. Shout to DJ Eclipse!

4. “Halftime Show Freestyle” – Speaking of DJ Eclipse, this freestyle is from when I was invited up to The Halftime Show as a guest in 2008 after the success of “My Ferris Buellers.” Eclipse wasn’t there that night, but shout to Mars and DJ Skizz who threw on a couple beats for me to rap to, this being the second one. As someone who always just wanted to be embraced by the underground rap scene in New York, this was a proud moment for me. And since I never released this rhyme on anything else, I figured it was a nice live recording to pull out of the Ipcus archives and include on a bootleg-inspired release.

5. “Around The Way” ft. Hard White – This was a joint that my man Hard White from White Plains invited me to hop on. It’s produced by Pree, who actually is his barber. I think we did it back in the mid-10s, and originally we dropped it on NahRight back when I was writing over there. Then I threw it on the BIG IP DON’T PLAY project, but it never made it to streaming services. Again, another perfect candidate for White Label. We still gotta do a video for this!

6. “Bout My Business” – I produced this one a few years back myself and included it on the BIG IP DON’T PLAY project also. I was in love with this loop forever, and the first verse on here is the same one I spit live on Sway In The Morning with Matisyahu, which was one of the greatest hip-hop highlights of my life. It’s a rapper’s take on my daily life as a working dad, and I’d like to think I achieved the tricky feat of doing it in a way that didn’t come off corny.

Okay, that’s it! Gonna let this one exist in the world and open it up for discovery. Stream White Label HERE.

Summer Jams

Music, Videos

Playing catch-up a bit here after my hiatus and thought I’d drop a bunch of jams I’ve been listening to this summer in one post, plus some new shit that’s hitting my radar this week. Let’s start above with DJ Khaled’s self-proclaimed song and video of the year “Staying Alive.” I see a lot of folks calling this “mid,” but I can’t front I’ve been singing it nonstop since it dropped. The video is fun, too (Drake nails the “doctor walk” lol). Yo Khaled—Westcheddar did!

For those who don’t eff with that mainstream heat, here’s an underground smoker I’ve been listening to steadily for the past few weeks. This one’s for the buddhaheads out there who love a good daytime burn, courtesy of Philly rapper lojii and his crony Zeroh, with production by mejiwahn. Twist.

As we continue on with the buddha anthems, here’s a new roots reggae joint from Mikey General and producer Victor Axelrod aka Ticklah titled “It Choose Me.” This is some classic sounding shit right here—Mikey General’s the man and Ticklah doesn’t miss.

Another gem for the stoners. Are we sensing a theme here, yet? Leisure might be a band from New Zealand, but on the “Mesmerised (Sumac Dub Remix)” they catch the island vibes lovely.

Speaking of island vibes, this might be the song of the summer at the Westcheddar headquarters. The whole family fux with it. Pay attention.

And finally, to put a bow on the Caribbean flavor—my man Matisyahu dropped a heater a few months back that’s still in rotation, “Mama Please Don’t Worry.” And his son LAIVY just released his debut single “Beauty and the Beast” which is fire, too. Congrats, young King!

That’s it for now. Sike! I got one more for ya. Her name is Ice Spice, straight out of the BX. Rumor has it that her father is a well-known Bronx rapper from back in the day, but I’ve yet to see confirmation on who that is. I’ll update when I find out. For now, peep her spit that ill drill skill on “Munch,” which already got the co-sign from Drake. See how we just came full circle? You gotta love it.

Okay, now I’m really out. Enjoy the summer my Westcheddar brethren. Peace!!

Gaps

Music

Okay! Westcheddar is back, baby! Pardon the hiatus, I’ve been working my ass off on a book with my boy Ev Boogie from UpNorthTrips about the golden era of hip-hop mixtapes in NYC, which is being released by Rizzoli in Fall ’23. It’s the biggest creative project I’ve ever worked on, and I can’t wait to share more info about it.

In the meantime, I’m excited to have a little more time to focus on other creative interests now that the actual writing of the book is in a decent place. That said, I’m gonna start posting again on Westcheddar, because as I’ve promised in the past, it’s my baby and I want to make sure I never neglect it for too long. And how fitting that the last post I did over a year ago was also on Minneapolis’ own Miloe, one of my favorite new artists. See how gracefully I pick up where I left off?!

Miloe is gearing up to drop a new album next month, and “Gaps” is the title track. He’s put out a bunch of others in the past few months too, but I’m particularly loving this one. It’s got those smooth, summer vibes that my ears have been craving. Listen to the album version and watch the “live transmission” video version below.

For more Miloe, check out this Best of Miloe playlist on Spotify, curated by yours truly. And stay tuned for more posts!

Change Your Mind

Music

I haven’t been this excited about new indie music in a long time. I first discovered Miloe when I heard their song “Change Your Mind” on Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Indie playlist, and ever since I’ve been playing their music and watching their live clips over and over.

At the heart of Miloe is Minneapolis’ own Bobby Kabeya, the youthful 19-year-old frontman who sings and plays guitar with the poise of a vet and rides his band’s summery, indie-pop grooves with infectious melodies that get permanently stuck in your head. He’s a one-of-kind talent for sure, which is proven not only by his recordings but his live performances.

If you’d like to mirror my discovery path, start with the “Change Your Mind” audio above. Then dive into the live, stripped-down clip of the song below, followed by the full band’s fantastic Audiotree set and a live clip of their song “Marna” which I’ve watched ten times today. I’ll let you choose your own path from there. Enjoy.