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Combat Jack: A Legacy Of Journalistic Excellence

Yesterday (December 21) the world was shocked to hear of the untimely passing of one of the culture’s most prominent…

Yesterday (December 21) the world was shocked to hear of the untimely passing of one of the culture’s most prominent and crucial historians, Reggie Osse, better known as Combat Jack. His death came just over two months after it was announced that he was diagnosed with colon cancer — a deadly disease that claimed the lives of 50,260 Americans in 2017 alone (with an additional 135,430 Americans diagnosed this year).

 
Starting his career as a legal intern for the storied Def Jam Recordings in 1989, he spent the 90s (up until 2004) as a music attorney, most notably working with Roc-A-Fella Records (among MANY others). He later spent time as the managing editor of The Source Magazine and lent pen game to some (major) blogs — including his own. It was his podcast though, The Combat Jack Show, that ultimately solidified his place within the culture and helped to pave the lane to brand new industry that has since seen a new wave of strong voices.

The in-depth interviews that Reggie was able to get on his show, coupled with his well-spoken demeanor and incredible microfiche of Hip Hop knowledge allowed him to — since launching the show in 2010 — create a rich archive of stories. These have effectively helped to fill in many gaps in golden era happenings while digging into more contemporary artists and brands pushing the culture forward.

We’ve since become acclimatized to a number of (new) staples in the Hip Hop storytelling game, such as DJ EFN and N.O.R.E’s Drink Champs (currently airing on Revolt). Reggie, though, set the blueprint.

The stories were crazy. D-Nice described to Reggie in astonishing detail the events that led to the shooting (and death) of DJ Scott La Rock. John Forte told the story of his rise alongside the Fugees — and eventual downfall after a massive drug bust. Ice-T gave an excellent first-hand account of how gangsta-rap developed organically in 1980s LA. That, of course, is on top of more guests like J.Cole and Big Krit. The show’s seven-year run built up an incredible library that will forever teach and inspire a new generation of both fans and fresh journalistic voices.

From the success of The Combat Jack Show, he built an empire, Loud Speakers Network which includes other notable shows like The Brilliant Idiots with Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz, and (of course) Tax Season with the notorious Tax Stone. His roster boasts 1.2 million listens per month and regular appearances on Apple’s Top Podcast Charts.

This year, he had been riding particularly high after possibly his greatest body of work, Mogul, which was the incredibly detailed life and times of iconic music executive Chris Lighty — as told by the people that knew him best. Touching on topics such as mental health and domestic abuse, it unbiasedly traversed the good, bad, and ugly in the music industry, while walking listeners through digestible chapters in the life of a man who profoundly steered the most glorious and arguably essential years in the growth of the culture.

 
It was, without question, one of the best listening experiences I’ve personally had in many years.

As Hip Hop is getting older, we’re increasingly being reminded of our mortality. Earlier this year, I had to (sadly) write about the death of Jay “Icepick” Jackson, a producer and A&R who was instrumental in the Ruff Ryders movement, who passed away from prostate cancer. According to Swizz Beatz, who is the Godfather of Jay’s son, his final request was that men are made aware of how important it is to see the doctor and check up on their health.

Perhaps — like Jay — Reggie can also serve as a reminder that we need to keep a close eye on our health. Scarily enough, 1 in 21 men are at risk of developing colon cancer. If caught  early, about 92% people with stage I colon cancer are given relative 5-year survival rate.

He will forever serve as the benchmark for Hip Hop journalism that all of us in the game should aspire to achieve. As well, he exuded a level of love and detail that readers and listeners should demand. Reggie’s spirit is a tremendous loss for the culture — he leaves behind four children, many (many) friends and a legacy of fantastic content. Our condolences to all those personally affected by his loss.

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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Kaiju Returns With A Dope New Anime Crossover “Glasscase”

He’s back at it!

Kaiju The Unconquerable is back; one of the best-kept secrets on AAHH continues with his string of high-quality visuals with his latest Anime crossover concept, “Ep.9: Glasscase.” This time around, he plays the role of Sie — a transporter finds himself in a tight situation when he runs into a kidnapping of a gorgeous girl by the name of
Tomi.

Relevant: Check Out Previous Kaiju Coverage

After rescuing the gorgeous woman — whom two crooked police officers were paid by the mafia to steal the organs from — their escape becomes a low-key hilarious attempt at getting the digits. As always, the quality is high, and while interspersed with cartoonish overlays to give it a comic feel, there are actual quick cuts to fully animated Anime sequences, adding to the overall visual complexity of the treatment.

I’ve brought this up pretty much every time I share this guys shit, but the songs are always standalone even without the visual treatment. Subtract the video, and the track itself is fun as hell, filled with his usual brand of nerdery, intertwined with a plethora of penis punchlines and puns, like how she calls his D “ridiculous,” or how he’s not British but has a “BBC.”

The tone itself, aside from the more humorous tone, is more in line with a joint like “Ultraman,”
In contrast to the more aggressive aura of his last installment, “Got II.” There has yet to be a collective body of work, but it’s definitely going to be an absolute banger.

All in all, this guy remains a gem secret worth discovering. In the words of Pusha T, “If you know, you know.”

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Vast Aire & COSMIQ Tease Upcoming EP With New Single

The free EP drops on Thanksgiving Day

Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox) and producer COSMIQ dropped a brand new single called “Shadow Dancer” on Halloween day — in advance of the Thanksgiving release of their long-awaited EP Live From The Aireport FreEP. Sponsored by UndergroundHipHopBlog, the critically acclaimed MC is dropping a handful of additional singles leading up to the release. “Blessings to my true fans,” Vast wrote via the new single’s YouTube.

RELEVANT: Check Out Our Interview With The Duo Here

In an interview earlier this year, Vast and COSMIQ told AAHH about the upcoming EP. “I would look at it as Live From The Aireport FreEP is just a series of dope new records from [my crew] IGC, and all the people connected to IGC,” COSMIQ said. “Just giving fans a window into what we’ve been working on.”

Vast added “The EP is on a similar wavelength [as the upcoming album], but it’s not all COSMIQ … [he] will be on it, and he’ll be helping to guide it, but it’s not gonna be all him. I’m gonna have guest producers, and there’s gonna be more interaction with different MCs.”

The duo promise the impending album, Aireplane, will be cinematic in nature, with multiple layers of complex rhyming sure to make real heads — and longtime fans — swoon. That is set to dro this winter (though no exact date is confirmed). For now, we can look forward to Live From The Aireport FreEP this Thanksgiving.

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This Week’s ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is Fly Anakin.

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This Week’s ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is Fly Anakin.

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