I'm the king of all kings/I abide by no rules/and do what I do by all means...

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Am I fucking crazy? Am I about to tell you that P. Diddy's Press Play is pretty great? Nah, I wouldn't do that... but, in case you were wondering, it is—and I'm kinda hating it. Even though I always unabashedly appreciated the Bad Boy era (just as much as my Rawkus joints), I could never admit I liked No Way Out. Even though I did. Well, here we are back in 1997 all over again; Diddy is paying good money for his rhymes—and getting his money's worth (what up, Pharoahe)—and has some seriously fucking great production. The album's R&B as all hell, too, so understand I'm surprised at myself right now. Damn... Can't Stop, Won't Stop, for real.

Speaking of jiggy NYC shit, two new Jay-Z songs have leaked—the first was "Show Me What You Got," which rocks those sleazy "Rump Shaker"/"Back to the Hotel" horns (not to mention some real lazy Jay verses). However, the second, "Kingdom Come," is the one that made my brim curl back a little. Jay brings that Black Album—caliber spit to an amazing reworking of "Superfreak," courtesy of Mr. Just Blaze. I'm still skeptical of Hov's comeback, I'm just sayin'!

Is Fremont ready for the hood? Shit, are you? While you think about that, get your ass out to the High Dive Sunday, October 29, to see some unquestionably Starter-cap-official South End shit. I'm talking about D. Black, Neezie Pleaze, and the Tha Stahi Bros. Tha Stahi (that's pronounced "stay high") Bros. are of course the powerhouse combo of the Tall Homie Vitamin D and Maineack Tubman; the two come together like Hardcastle and McCormick to spit natural game and rip mics in true 206 fashion. On their forthcoming Down to the Roach release, weed, women, and faulty friends get addressed in style over the raw kinetics of Vitamin's in-demand production (showcasing his vintage dusty feel). Newjacks, frauds, and toys, go get "Don't Sleep" tatted backward across your forehead right now. Also, make damn sure you cop Neezie's Pleaze Believe and D. Black's The Cause and Effect—and stay tuned for my review of the latter, coming soon.

Also coming soon to a club near you—namely, Chop Suey—is rap's premier blues traveler, Devin the Dude. Never, ever miss a chance to see Devin's highly engaging live show, even if you've seen him before in his thankfully frequent forays into the Northwest. Backing up the Coughee Brotha at the Wednesday, November 1, show is his Van City homie (and with Sleep, half of the Chicharones) Josh Martinez, and the 206 dude of dudes, Macklemore. This one's all ages too, so kids, do the right thing, roll up an extra for the Dude.

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The right thing on Saturday, October 28, would be to hit up Yo Son! at the War Room—heard of it? Okay, smart-ass, well have you heard DJ Scene is bizzack, and they're taking it back to their old-school Yo Son! flavor? Yeah? Well up yours anyway! You could at least act surprised.

hiphop@thestranger.com

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