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6 Degrees Entertainment

Sony Legacy Record Store Day [November 2023] Sony Legacy Record Store Day [November 2023]

Black Friday Record Store Day 2023 (November 24th, 2023) is fast upcoming and EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who are intending to burst into your local independent record store retailers to spread the support, love and money, whilst celebrating everything great about RSD!

We hope you find something you love enough to take home with you, whether that item is something released exclusively for Black Friday Record Store Day 2023 (November), or something fantastic from what they regularly stock.

Yes, we wholeheartedly agree, every day should be Record Store Day, so we encourage you to make stopping by your favorite record store AND stopping by this website a regular thing - because we’ll be telling you about awesome things going on at record stores all year long!

As our dear friends at Sony Legacy Recordings have, once more, kindly sent us most all of their BF RSD 2023 (November) releases for review, as always, we shall happily review them now; showcasing the solitary non-arrival at the foot of the article.

These 10 new RSD titles run the gamut from rap to rock to pop to alternative and, as always, are all a terrific tribute to the unbelievable artistry and musicianship upon which the Sony Music catalog has been built for decades.

As to what to expect, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is gearing up for one of their biggest line-ups in years. This year’s selections include live sets from Coheed and Cambria, Nas, Beast Coast, Cypress Hill, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Polo G, Prince, The Beatnuts, Souls of Mischief, and the Original Soundtrack to Judgment Night.

Up first is Beast Coast, Escape From New York (2×12” Translucent Orange Colored Vinyl).

Formed in 2012, members of Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers make up Beast Coast. The collective has completed many tours together, and its debut album Escape From New York comes across as a collection of hi level cyphers from Joey Bada$$, Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, Flatbush Zombies & more.

Not surprising as the Brooklyn natives, a lot of them friends since childhood, have never shied away from the lyrics-centered tradition of New York hip-hop. Their distinctive voices and skills on the mic, as well as NY-centric storytelling drive the album, and the chemistry is undeniable.

The production is tight, but this is also where the supergroup shifts away from musically, perhaps what the title of the project is alluding to. Erick Arc Elliott, Power Pleasant, Sam Wish, and Tyler Dopps lay down slick, bouncy instrumentals as opposed to boom bap, and it’s refreshing and fun to hear the group expand its sound.

Check out “Distance,” “Left Hand,” “Snow In The Stadium,” “Far Away,” and “Coast/Clear.” Vinyl copies are now available after the initial limited run sold out rapidly – the RSD Black Friday edition features a 2LP on translucent orange color and a Beast Coast Sticker.

The sprawling set features deep bass hits, haunting production, and rapid-fire verses from the members of the respective crews that comprise the group. While everyone gets a turn at the mic, Joey Badass features on the bulk of the set, with his Pro Era comrades Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, and CJ Fly not far behind.

Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers also feature heavily, lending to the true collaborative energy of the set. Upon release, Escape from New York debuted at number 29 on the Billboard 200, but here now released as a most beautiful double Translucent Orange colored vinyl, well, this is what the fans have been waiting for.

Side A:
1. It Ain’t Easy, It Ain’t Easy
2. Left Hand
3. Problemz
4. Far Away

Side B:
5. Snow In The Stadium
6. Rubberband
7. Distance

Side C:
1. Bones
2. Puke
3. Desperado

Side D:
4. One More Round
5. Coast/Clear
6. Last Choir

Up next is Nas, I Am…The Autobiography (2×12” Black Vinyl).

I Am…The Autobiography 2LP vinyl, the long sought-after bootleg released commercially for the first time, features 2 unreleased tracks, as well as many other rarities that have been on limited vinyl and 12″ previously, as well as deluxe packaging.

A must-have for any Nas and die-hard hip-hop heads alike, this third installment is an introspective work from one of hip-hop’s made men. Always billed as a hip-hop messiah, Nas rose through the ranks of hip-hop on the strength of powerful poetry. Contrary to the album’s title, the scope of the work extends beyond the autobiography as Nas takes on politics, the state of hip-hop, Y2K, race, and religion with his own unique perspective.

While Illmatic was Nas at his rawest and It Was Written was Nas’ attempt to reconcile his underground leanings with his newfound fame, acclaim, and wealth, the Nas of I Am... is honest about his elevated status yet still feels the tension of no longer being ravenous on the mic. Musically, I Am is somewhat unimaginative by Nas’ stratospheric standards.

Tried and true producers, the Trackmasters stamp the album with their signature catchy grooves and samples, but some of these tracks lack the sonic depth to do justice to the prophecies of the pharaoh, Nas. Superproducer Premier comes to save the day on two outstanding tracks: NY State of Mind, Pt. II and Nas Is Like; for these two cuts are nothing short of Illmatic perfection.

1. Fetus
2. Small World
3. Money Is My Bitch Side

6. Project Windows
7. Poppa Was a Playa
8. Dr. Knockboots (Doe’s and Don’t)

1. Day Dreamin’ Stay Schemin’
2. Sometimes I Wonder (feat. Nature)
3. Hardest Thing To Do Is Stay Alive
4. Drunk By Myself

5. I Wanna Play
6. Blaze a 50
7. We Will Survive

Next we look at Polo G, Die A Legend (12” Black Ice Colored Vinyl).

Now available on vinyl for the first time, Die A Legend is the critically-acclaimed, Platinum-certified debut album by Polo G. Released in June 2019, the album debuted top 10 on the Billboard charts and includes the 7x Platinum single “Pop Out” featuring Lil Tjay, as well as the 2x Platinum single “Finer Things.” This limited edition pressing is available on Black Ice colored vinyl.

In truth, I’ve been super into this new wave of melodic Trap music that’s coming out from artists like Lil Tjay, Roddy Rich and Polo G. Something about the slightly off-kilter singing and downtrodden piano beats these guys offer has manifested itself into an addicting, satisfying recipe for me.

Polo G in particular is quickly becoming my favorite of the three artists leading this wave, as he seems to have quite a bit of depth and potential about him that I can see skyrocketing him into stardom in the coming years. His voice is made for what he’s doing, and the vibe he’s got flowing through his music was rightly beginning to take over the radio upon its original release days.

Polo G’s voice is a consistent, reliable attribute throughout every part of this album. It’s got that same smooth, crooning feel that many autotuned rappers like Juice Wrld have, but it feels more raw than it does processed and in turn it feels much more hard hitting and grounded. His flows are a cut above his contemporaries as well, as he always slices through his instrumentals with precise and catchy rhymes.

Most every line he puts to paper is a hook within itself, weaving a heavily rhythmic tapestry of words being used just as much as an instrument as they are poetry. He utilizes his voice as part of the beat the same way that someone like Playboi Carti or Young Thug does, but the difference is that he’s managed to create that same effect without being muffled and difficult to understand.

Side A:
1. Lost Files
2. Dyin Breed
3. Through Da Storm
4. Effortless
5. Pop Out
6. Battle Cry
7. Bst

Side B:
8. Finer Things
9. Picture This
10. Chosen 1
11. Deep Wounds
12. Last Strike
13. A King’s Nightmare
14. Pop Out Again

And then comes Prince, Gett Off (12” Black Vinyl).

This release faithfully re-creates the original one-sided promo 12” for the single “Gett Off” that introduced Prince’s new band. The cover and label proclaimed, “Nothing can stop…Prince and the New Power Generation” and the release contains the “damn near 10 min.” mix of the song on one side with a blank flip side.

The original version was provided to radio and club DJs as a promo on Prince’s 33rd birthday (June 7, 1991) and only 1,500 copies were created. Not originally planned to be included on the 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls, the response to the track was so strong that an edited version was added to the album and became a successful single.

In truth, the original Damn Near 10 minutes mix is a bit more demo sounding than the finished mix (which incidentally was originally just going to be a remix, rather than THE mix). Also, the back beat on this version is a lot sparser sounding, the overall sound coming through a lot rawer and less finished too.

Also, and to my ear, I think Levi might be singing the 23 positions in a one night stand bits, rather than Tony M. on this version (either that or Tony M. re-did them for the album version, as they’re definitely different sounding takes).

Personally, I prefer the Extended Remix/Purple Pump Mix, which is basically the full length final mix that the single/album versions were edited down from. That said, and still after all this time, this original mix is still interesting to hear though and a dutiful addition to any and all Prince vinyl collections.

Side A:
1. Gett Off (Damn Near 10 Minutes) [09:36]

Side B:
2. Blank

And then comes Souls of Mischief, 93 ‘Til Infinity (The Remixes) (2×12” Black Vinyl).

A timeless hip-hop classic, Souls of Mischief’s 93 ‘Til Infinity was released in February 1993 on Jive Records, serving as the second single from their debut album of the same name. A remarkable feat of lyricism, the track stands out from much of the harder hip-hop that was prevalent in the era.

Subtly jazzy and melodic, the song drags listeners in with its winding rhymes, giving listeners a glimpse into how the west coast brings the heat. Four amazing MCs combine forces to illustrate the power of hip-hop boasting, making this track a timeless hit.

To celebrate 30 years of 93 ‘Til Infinity, classic remixes are available on vinyl for the first time ever for Record Store Day.

Recorded in less than two weeks at San Francisco’s Hyde Street Studios, 93 ’Til Infinity doesn’t suffer from a single freshman jitter or misstep. It’s a fully-realized effort, packed from start to finish with ridiculous lyricism – all carried out in impressive four-part, tag-team style – and backed by a wide range of musical possibilities; from hard boom-bap to 70s CTI-jazz-sprinkled grooves.

But without worthy music, the groups high-level lyricism could have fallen by the wayside. Digging deep into crates that other producers had yet to mine, the production crew gave the quartet exactly what they needed, with unpredictable rolling bass lines, dusty drums and jazz keyboard and horn stabs and swirls.

Non-singles like Disseshowedo (produced by Domino and Jay Biz), Batting Practice (Casual), Limitations (Jay Biz, with Del and Casual contributing verses) and What A Way To Go Out (Domino) made sure that the fast-forward button remained untouched.

Side A:
A1. Let ’Em Know
A2. Live And Let Live
A3. That’s When Ya Lost

Side B:
B1. A Name I Call Myself
B2. Disseshowedo
B3. What A Way To Go Out
B4. Never No More

Side C:
C1. 93 ’Til Infinity
C2. Limitations
C3. Anything Can Happen

Side D:
D1. Make Your Mind Up
D2. Batting Practice
D3. Tell Me Who Profits
D4. Outro

And then comes The Beatnuts, Intoxicated Demons (12” Red Colored Vinyl).

Intoxicated Demons: The EP is the debut extended play by American hip hop trio The Beatnuts. It was released in 1993 by Relativity Records and was produced exclusively by The Beatnuts.

The project consisted of two singles, “Reign of the Tec” and “No Equal,” in addition to eleven cuts and five skits, spanning a total length of twenty-five minutes.

Upon release, reviewers praised the album for its blend of jazzy boom bap, syncopated lean drum machines and a myriad of jazz, funk and soul samples. For the 30th anniversary, Intoxicated Demons: The EP will be released on Red colored vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day.

The Beatnuts, made up of Lester “Psycho Les” Fernandez, Jerry “JuJu” Tineo, and Bertony “Fashion” Smalls, first made their name as producers and DJs. As a two-man operation (Les & JuJu) they’ve been affiliated with heavyweights like the Natives Tongues collective and Large Professor since the late ’80s. Indeed, they got their start by producing a song on Monie Love’s debut album and worked behind the boards for the Stereo MC’s.

This Intoxicated Demons EP is just great from start to finish and although I am not amongst them, many of my friends have even called this 25-minute masterpiece the best hip-hop recording of all time -- my own personal top three being Ghostface Killah with Supreme Clientele, De La Soul with 3 Feet High and Rising It and Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) -- but what this EP does is cleverly showcase some of the best beats and production styling of the era; plus it’s entertaining lyrically, of course.

The Beatnuts were some of the first hip-hop artists to make the transition from working exclusively as producers to building a career as rappers. And they’re top notch when it comes to both rapping and producing. They’ve flourished in both fields over the last quarter century by dropping rugged rhymes over immaculately conceived beats.

Side A:
A1. World’s Famous Intro (1:01) A2. World’s Famous (3:23)
A3. Engineer Talking Shit (0:51)
A4. Psycho Dwarf (Fuck, Drink Beer & Smoke Some Shit!) (3:40)
A5. On The 1+2 (0:37)
A6. No Equal (4:07)

Side B:
B1. Reign Of The Tec (3:21)
B2. Quality & The Bushmen Off The Top (0:53)
B3. Third Of The Trio (3:30)
B4. Phone Call (0:15)
B5. Story (Pinky In The Twat) (3:35)

And then comes Various Artists, Original Soundtrack Judgment Night (12” Red Colored Vinyl).

Introducing the highly anticipated re-press of the Original Soundtrack Judgment Night exclusively for Record Store Day. Originally released in 1993, Judgment Night revolutionized the world of film soundtracks by bringing together an eclectic lineup of renowned rock and hip-hop artists.

This reissue allows you to experience the iconic soundtrack in all its glory, preserving the raw, edgy sound that defined an era. Available on red colored vinyl.

The 1993 film Judgment Night was basically suburbia’s paranoid view of inner-city life, where the slightest misstep (such as trying to take a shortcut to a boxing match) has fateful, if not fatal, consequences. And what better music to accompany this middle-class nightmare than a hybrid of the music suburbanites seemed most afraid of: Rap and Rock.

It turned out to be quite a fruitful collaboration for whilst the film bombed, the soundtrack went gold. Judgment Night spawned four singles: Biohazard & Onyx’s titular Judgment Night, Helmet & House Of Pain’s Just Another Victim, Teenage Fanclub & De La Soul’s Fallin’ and Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.’s Another Body Murdered.

It also features a highly sought after collaboration between Pearl Jam & Cypress Hill whilst Ice-T and Slayer manage to thrash it out on an unsurpassed level, with Sonic Youth & Cypress Hill quite possibly having the most slightly paranoid sound you could ever muster from loving Mary Jane a little too much!

Side A:
1. Cypress Hill & Sonic Youth - I Love You Mary Jane
2. Onyx & Biohazard - Judgment Night
3. House Of Pain & Helmet - Just Another Victim
4. Run DMC & Living Colour - Me, Myself & My Microphone
5. Ice T & Slayer - Disorder
6. Del The Funky Homosapien & Dinosaur Jr - Missing Link

Side B:
1. De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub - Fallin’
2. Sir Mix-A-Lot & Mudhoney - Freak Momma
3. Boo-Yaa TRIBE & Faith No More - Another Body Murdered
4. Fatal & Therapy? - Come & Die
5. Cypress Hill & Pearl Jam - Real Thing

And then comes Coheed and Cambria, Live at The Starland Ballroom (12” Solar Flare Colored Vinyl).

For the first time on vinyl, Live at the Starland Ballroom features tracks from Coheed and Cambria’s performance at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey on August 20, 2004, pressed on solar flare colored vinyl.

Now this recording is, and without a shadow of a doubt, truly one of Coheed and Cambria’s best live performances to date. It captures the energy of all of the band members through each song, and just gives an awe inspiring look at how much work these boys actually do.

The performance was recorded/filmed at the Starland Ballroom (obviously) in Sayreville, New Jersey, on August 20th, 2004 and for anyone who has ever seen Coheed live, well, they definitely know what to expect.

The 11 song set contains some of their best works off of their first two studio albums, opening with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and closing the set with Everything Evil; that is of course, until Claudio returns.

The final song of the performance, The Light & The Glass is truly one of the best songs I have ever known, and to listen to it be performed by Claudio (and by himself) is one that will make your jaw drop. I mean, the acoustic guitar just adds to the effect of this wonderful ballad in ways I could never have imagined, which makes this BF RSD double vinyl release a must have for all Coheed fans.

Side A:
1. In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
2. Delirium Trigger
3. A Favor House Atlantic

Side B:
4. The Crowing
5. Devil in Jersey City
6. Blood Red Summer

Side C:
1. Time Consumer
2. Three Evils

Side D:
3. Everything Evil
4. The Light & The Glass

And then comes Cypress Hill, Black Sunday (Remixes) (12” Black Vinyl).

On July 20, 1993, Los Angeles hip-hop legends Cypress Hill unleashed their sophomore opus, Black Sunday, on the unsuspecting masses. The record changed rap music with its dark undercurrent, Latin inflection, no holds-barred storytelling, and the inimitable interplay between B-Real and Sen Dog cast over psychedelically spun rap soundscapes courtesy of DJ Muggs.

Now to mark the 30th anniversary, two new remixes are available for fans on 12” black vinyl; “Insane in the Brain” from the esteemed DJ/producer Statik Selektah, and “Hits From The Bong” crafted by the album’s original producer himself, DJ Muggs.

Black Sunday made Cypress Hill’s connection to rock & roll more explicit, with its heavy metal-like artwork and noisier, more dissonant samples (including, naturally, stoner icons Black Sabbath). It’s a slightly darker affair than its groundbreaking predecessor, with the threats of violence more urgent and the pot obsession played to the hilt (after all, it was a crucial part of their widespread appeal).

Apart from those subtle distinctions, the sound of Black Sunday is pretty much the same as Cypress Hill, refining the group’s innovations into an accessible bid for crossover success. In fact, it’s a little startling how often Black Sunday still manages to recycle musical ideas and even lyrical catch phrases from their endlessly inventive debut.

But in spite of that, both these remixed tracks still sound vital and even a little lively today, given, one can only assume, that the group had a surer sense of craft by then. Furthermore, both cuts are fleshed out into structured songs, in contrast to the brief sketches that punctuated the self-titled Cypress Hill.

Side A:
A1. Insane in the Brain [Statik Selektah Remix]

Side B:
B1. Hits from the Bong [DJ Muggs 2023 Remix]

And finally, as promised, here is the lone non-arrival of the Black Friday RSD Legacy Recording releases for you to delve into on your own time:

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Mindsets (12” Black Vinyl)

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