By Noah Hubbell
By Leslie Simon
By Brad Lopez
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Inkoo Kang
By Dave Herrerra
By Josiah M. Hesse
Thriller 25 hit stores this week. For obvious reasons, the world's best-selling album probably won't get its proper due, so Chicago rapper Rhyme-fest (with the help of producer Mark Ronson) posted Man in the Mirror free at his online store (www.rhymefeststore.com, click on Mixtapes). On his MySpace blog, Rhyme writes, "I would like to meet Michael Jackson. And hopefully, all of you will make enough noise about this dedication album to reach his ears high on the throne." The production chops up Jacko's music and tabloid career with guest shots from Talib Kweli, Ghostface, Camp Lo and Black Sheep. We hope your dream comes true, Rhyme, but you should realize that a few of those skits may be a bit too PG-13 for Michael's delicate sensibilities.
What Made Milwaukee Famous doesn't hail from Wisconsin, nor does it include any of the cast from Laverne & Shirley. The Austin indie-rockers, who originally called themselves Beer, borrowed the current name from Jerry Lee Lewis's bibulously depressing 1968 hit. The act's sophomore album, What Doesn't Kill Us, doesn't hit stores until next month, but you can score the first single, "Resistance St.," free at the band's Barsuk label site (www.barsuk.com). The track is quite a bit moodier than the outfit's previous power-pop offerings, but isn't that often the case with cheap brews?
Supergrass bass player Mick Quinn sleepwalked out a window last September, which might have been hilarious had he not broken a heel and two vertebrae. While he's on the mend, his bandmates are playing gigs as the Diamond Hoo Ha Men to drum up support for Supergrass's sixth album. Diamond Hoo Ha will be available in the U.K. on March 26, but you can listen to the first single at the group's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/supergrass). Afterward, sign up for the mailing list at the Parlophone label site (www.parlophone.co.uk/supergrass/download) for access to an exclusive download of another new song. Al Pacino and Busta Rhymes give it an enthusiastic "Hoo-ah!"
When he isn't hyping up the home crowd at a Cleveland Cavaliers game, Mick Boogie is at work piecing together some of hip-hop's finest mix tapes. He recently teamed up with Kanye West and producers Terry Urban and 9th Wonder for The Graduate, a 28-track collection of freestyles, remixes and live tracks available for free at Boogie's website (www.mickboogie.com). Along with West, the compilation features A-Team lyricists such as Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Busta Rhymes. Boogie's expertise behind the wheels of steel earned him a first-place ribbon for "Best Club DJ" in this year's Ohio Hip-Hop Awards, so look out, LeBron — someone's looking to steal your thunder.