By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
If Clipse and its Re-Up Gang collaborators ever get arrested, they might regret rapping about selling "more powder than Maybelline." Now signed to Columbia, the outfit is prepping for its next proper album with a new installment of the We Got It 4 Cheap series. Get it for free (via Megaupload) at the Re-Up Gang Records website (www.reupgangrecords.net). And unless you like a lot of nonsensical shout-outs on your mix tapes, we recommend the version that isn't hosted by DJ Drama. The eighteen-track collection details the crew's involvement in the cocaine trade, but because they're so good at it, we're willing to look the other way.
The same cannot be said for Warner Bros., which greeted DJ Amplive with a cease-and-desist order for his unauthorized tribute to Radiohead's latest album, In Rainbows. He obliged and took his case directly to The Man via YouTube, concluding his online plea with a very sincere "Thom, holler at me." It must have worked. Watch the video for yourself and download the now-legit Rainydayz Remixes free at www.onesevensevensix.com/amplive. Along with a chopped-up production assembled entirely from In Rainbows, the eight-track collection features guest vocals from hip-hop heavyweights Del tha Funky Homosapien, Too $hort and Chali 2na.
Speaking of remix masters, Akron, Ohio's Black Keys called on Danger Mouse and a handful of guests to flesh out their two-piece sound for LP5. Stream the first single, "Strange Times," at the duo's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/theblackkeys). Attack & Release hits stores April Fool's Day on Nonesuch. The Roots, meanwhile, return with Rising Down on April 29. Lyricist Black Thought has been quoted as saying "I want to be the first rap artist to actually make a good tenth record," though there isn't much competition (LL Cool J?). "75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)" is the first taste from the upcoming LP; listen to it at www.okayplayer.com.
Finally, in keeping with recent trends, the Charlatans UK are giving away their tenth LP. Drummer Jon Brookes posted on the band's online diary, "As the digital revolution took place, the head was severed, leaving behind a tail which grows with endless possibilities." You Cross My Path was made available to download via England's XFM radio site earlier this week (www.xfm.co.uk), with a physical release slated for May 19. After experimenting with soul and reggae over the past few years, the new album looks to be a return to the Birmingham quintet's glory days. You know, back when people still paid for music.