It’s been a minute since I’ve tuned into any material from Nature, who most remember as 1/4 of The Firm collective.  I always appreciated his rhymes.  This here is a pretty solid joint, but the video itself is lacking in production value.  However, I love to see dope MCs back in action.  One thing I think hurts him in this day and age is being almost completely un-Googleable based on his name, but those who already know…know.

After the near-perfect Rare Chandeliers dropped, Action Bronson and Alchemist blessed us with an extended version of the same tape with three brand new tracks and the original tracks all mastered in even better quality.  Well worth deleting the previous version and replacing all of the tracks with these…which is some shit I’m usually extremely reluctact to do, considering that I’ve got to re-enter all these tracks into my Spotify playlists.  Either way, thanks Action.


Fiend’s Jean Jacket x Action Bronson

New York hip-hop definitely made noise in 2011 and 2012 with serious output from the likes of Action Bronson, Maffew Ragazino, Troy Ave, Meyhem Lauren, and plenty others, but get ready to add my man CeeZo to that list.  “NY Nostalgia” brings the kind of flavor that even a California hip-hop head such as myself has to admit harkens back to the spirit of 90’s NYC rap, while still remaining current and fresh.  Big shoutout to Dux with the alley-oop on this one.

Meyhem Lauren gives us the visual for the intro to this month’s Mandatory Brunch Meetings mixtape, which is basically Lauren yelling at people and being rude in between each verse.  How can you not love this?  I laughed through the whole thing.

A lot of people don’t remember that Fat Joe had a whole rap career prior to discovering Big Punisher and becoming the guy responsible for “Lean Back” and all of that.  In the early 90’s Joe used to run with the likes of Brand Nubian and The Beatnuts and was also a member of D.I.T.C. along with Big L.

Bonus: Flow Joe x Fat Joe

State Property reunites (minus Siegel and Oschino & Sparks) to give us a taste of some of the chemistry that brought us a whole era of dope Roc-A-Fella hits.  Peedi Crakk, Young Chris, Neef Buck, and Freeway give us some good bars over a number of beats.  Enjoy.

Winter represents the season when normally tender-cheeked men attempt to join the ranks of the bearded in order to protect themselves from the elements.  The streets have been asking for another Beard Bible, so in this one, we’ll focus on the regimen required to maintain a healthy beard.  This is what works for me personally, so of course check to see if the products will work for you (see a dermatologist for problem skin) and I’d also be interested to hear if there are any add-ons you all might have in the comments section.

1. Trimming: Everyone doesn’t bother with trimming, but I like to trim my beard on occasion to eliminate any loose or split ends, just like people with long hair should do every now and then.  This way, the beard has a more even shape to it.  Some choose not to, but I also shape my beard: use a straight-edge razor to keep the neck clean and to line up the face and side-burn area.  It’s definitely a more marketable look when kept groomed, if marketability is something you need to worry about.  Some companies frown upon facial hair while others have become more accepting of different looks, particularly beards, in recent years.

2. Shampoo: You can’t just be putting your regular old body or facial soap on your beard and thinking you’ve thoroughly washed your beard.  Use shampoo.  If like me, your lady wears a “natural” hairstyle, you already know that they have some of the best products suited for beard care.  For shampo0 and conditioner (because you will need both to be thorough), I use a product called Shea Moisture (pictured below).  Doesn’t smell girly (but still good) and works wonders on a beard, specifically for a Black man’s beard.


3. Daily Moisturization: I recently familiarized myself with a product line called Whipped created by my friend Lau, who was kind enough to pass along some samples.  I’m already anticipating my next order once my supply runs out.  Whipped offers a line of “beard butter” which contains a natural mix of shea butter and oils, including tea tree oil, which I’ve always said was dope for beards and helps fight ingrown hairs and infection.  The formula as a whole promotes beard growth and manageability.  It comes in four different scents and can be ordered HERE (great gift idea, so order TODAY for Christmas orders…see the site for free shipping on orders over $50).  Apply this whenever and comb through and you’re good.

4. Growth: The beard butter helps with growth, but I’ve been using another product for beard growth for about two years which I now use in addition to the butter.  Palmer’s Hair Success Gro Treatment with Vitamin E can probably be found at your local CVS and was meant for the hair on your head, but works great for the beard as well.  Rub it into your beard before bed and watch your beard start to prosper.  It goes on very light and doesn’t seem to clog pores or flake up.

 Go forth and prosper!

I’m just gonna leave this here and set fire to the damn rain.

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