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Joell Ortiz, Jon Connor & Locksmith Are Bringing Bars Back To Hip-Hop (Video)

In a time where name-dropping and direct disses are getting all the attention in Hip-Hop, a group of independent MCs is bringing back some old fashioned, cypher-oriented raps with hard punches aimed at no one in particular. The song "Back To The Bars (Intro)" features East Coast spitters MCs Joell... Read more

Apollo Brown & Locksmith’s New EP Combines Lyricism With Personal Reflection (Audio)

Richmond, California native Locksmith has a knack for mixing witty lyrics with a flow that delivers his message with a punch. It serves him well as a battle rapper, but perhaps it's even better when he's constructing a body of music. These attributes are heavily on display in his newest... Read more

Apollo Brown & Locksmith Are Releasing An EP. The 1st Song Leaves No Question It Will Be Dope (Audio)

Locksmith has been in the game long enough to go from prodigious street poet to battle MC, to prolific recording artist. Although Lock' is straight out of Richmond, California, his music is not what many might expect from the region. His lyrics do not glorify drugs, sideshows, or violence. Instead,... Read more

This Documentary Portrays Zion I As An Enduring Underground Hip Hop Voice (Video)

Zion I is one of the only Underground Hip-Hop artists who were active in the DIY 1990s and remain so today. Like Talib Kweli, Dilated Peoples, and Atmosphere, and a few others, Oakland, California-based Zion I has stayed the course and remained true to their messages and platform in the... Read more

Locksmith Attacks Racist Agendas In An Incredibly Powerful Video

Northern California has always been a bastion of progressive Rap. From The Coup to Souls of Mischief to Locksmith, MCs from the Bay Area have a storied history of incorporating knowledge of self and social consciousness (some of it no doubt inspired by the energy of the Oakland-based Black Panthers)... Read more

Here Are The Best Hip-Hop Performances & Videos Of 2016

2016 has been a unique year. With it, Hip-Hop had a lot to say, visually. Poets new and old, independent and well-heeled, used their art to promote awareness, suggest change, and when appropriate, provide distraction. At a time when the music video largely lives online, artists made statements—about themselves, their... Read more

The Symphony 2016 Was Just 1 Of The Truly Amazing Performances & Videos Of The Year

2016 has been a unique year. With it, Hip-Hop had a lot to say, visually. Poets new and old, independent and well-heeled, used their art to promote awareness, suggest change, and when appropriate, provide distraction. At a time when the music video largely lives online, artists made statements—about themselves, their... Read more

CyHi The Prynce & Locksmith Combine Their Superpower Skills In One Cypher (Video)

In the freestyle Hip-Hop community, CyHi The Prynce and Locksmith are two of the most exciting MCs out. From across the country (Georgia and North California, respectively), both of these fervent lyricists are able to jam substance into their fiery flows. These artists touch upon social issues in a way... Read more

The Best Freestyles of 2015 Left Heads Spinning and Microphones Smoking (Video)

In Hip-Hop, there are few things more exciting than watching an MC get on the mic and spit a freestyle. The definition of the word "freestyle" has been fluid over the years. Originally, the term was used to denote any rhyme, written or off the top, that was not about... Read more

Locksmith Takes a Few Moments to Reflect on What He’s Learned Thus Far (Video)

Almost a month ago to the day, Norcal MC Locksmith devastated not one, but two mics in back-to-back freestyles that showcased his skills as an off-the-cuff lyricist. He visited Kay Slay and Sway to promote Lofty Goals, his second studio album that dropped in June, a project which proves his... Read more

Locksmith Freestyles So Hard He Scares the Beat Away…And He Has A Message (Videos)

Richmond, California's Locksmith, a rapper who established himself early on as a vicious lyricist while partaking in MTV's MC Freestyle Fellowship, has served up not one, but two helpings of nasty freestyling. In celebration of yesterday's release of his Lofty Goals album, he took to the airwaves to remind Heads... Read more

GQ & Locksmith Drive Rhymes From The Backseat Of A Lyft (Video)

In the latest installment of the increasingly popular "HipHopLyft" series, Bay Area MCs Locksmith and GQ (of Jamla Records) drop conscious gems in freestyle form as they are driven around the streets of San Francisco. The two spitters both represent Team BackPack, a musical conglomerate that is dedicated to connecting... Read more

DJ Kay Slay’s New Mixtape Features Big K.R.I.T., Freeway, Styles P, Raekwon & More (Mixtape)

After several hot leaks over the last few months, DJ Kay Slay releases his latest mixtape, The Industry Purge. The project features a host of guest MCs, including, Raekwon, Styles P, Big K.R.I.T., Jon Connor, Freeway, Lil Fame, Young Buck, Sheek Louch, Papoose, Chris Rivers, Locksmith, Troy Ave and more.... Read more

Locksmith, Jarren Benton & Futuristic Have The Substance & The Style (Video)

Fresh off of February's "Killin' My Soul" video connect between Jarren Benton and Locksmith (with Hopsin), the pair come back with another tandem. This time, Futuristic joins the foray in "Blinded." The song talks about the distractions—whether social media comment sections, industry pressures, or significant others clawing that challenge focus.... Read more

Jarren Benton & Hopsin Welcome Locksmith To Their Lyrical Lair (Video)

Jarren Benton's just-released digital EP, Slow Motion is nothing to sleep on. "Killin' My Soul" pairs Jarren with Hopsin, who co-founded the label Benton found success on. The tandem welcomes Northern California's Locksmith to the equation. In the polished visual, all three MCs show that place that they write and... Read more

Here Are the Best Freestyles of 2014. Nothing. But. BARS (Video)

Contrary to popular belief, a freestyle does not have to be an "off the top" verse, at least according to Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee, if you take them as credible sources. Says Kool Moe Dee in his book, There's a God on the Mic: "There are two... Read more

Locksmith Uses an Elaborate Metaphor To Show His Take On Things (Video)

Locksmith's A Thousand Cuts continues to bleed its way into the Hip-Hop stream of consciousness. The Richmond, California MC extends his string of visuals with "Jaded." The highly-autobiographical joint is set in an abandoned, roofless structure, with Lock' telling his story in 360. Given the onetime E-A-Ski (and Ski Beatz)... Read more

Locksmith Reveals He Is Far From Perfect (Video)

Locksmith is still grinding out the visuals from his most recent album, A Thousand Cuts, and this time unveils another for his self-analyzing single, "Imperfect," featuring Jarell Perry. Locksmith is an artist that seems to shine his brightest when speaking from the heart and many times Lock exposes some of... Read more

Locksmith Turns The Key And Sets Himself Free (Video)

Locksmith hits the sun-drenched shores of Southern California and lets his fans take a "peek inside the soul of a loner" in visuals to his latest single featuring Rebecca Noel. The introspective cut falls off of his latest album, A Thousand Cuts, and delves into the trials and tribulations of... Read more

Locksmith Might Have 2014’s Strongest Freestyle, But Does He Also Have Best Cypher?

Locksmith is out for titles. Richmond, California's own has a great (but slept-on) album out in A Thousand Cuts. He has one of the year's most jaw-droppingly great freestyles, care of DJ Kay Slay's Streetsweeper Radio spot, and now, care of Team Backpack, Lock' is bidding for top cypher. With... Read more

Locksmith Waxes The Art Of Storytellin’ In 2014 (Video)

Locksmith continues his strong 2014 campaign with a brand new music video, "Fuckin' Idols," from his recently released album, A Thousand Cuts. The Richmond, California (word to Master P's In-A-Minute Records imprint of wayback) artist audibly pens his sexually charged story of a man debating a potential affair with a... Read more

Stop & Listen To Locksmith’s Bars On Willie Lynch, Get Illuminated (Video)

Locksmith may come across as a new artist, however, the Bay Area MC has been grinding for a handful of calendars. Within the bars of "Willie Lynch," Lock' chronicles his journey, as well as his self-identity. You'll hear about his slept-on album with Original Flavor's Ski Beats, and getting passed... Read more

Here’s Kay Slay’s New Mixtape Featuring Raekwon, Young Buck, ONYX, Jay Rock, Joell Ortiz, Tony Yayo & Many More (Mixtape)

DJ Kay Slay has released his new mixtape, The Last Hip Hop Disciple. The project is STACKED with artists of all styles, including Raekwon, Young Buck, ONYX, Jay Rock, Joell Ortiz, Tony Yayo, Papoose, Jon Connor, Memphis Bleek, Sheek Louch, Vado, Gunplay, Trae tha Truth, Saigon, Chi Ali, Locksmith and... Read more

The Week in Hip-Hop Video (4/26/14) (Video Playlist)

This week in Hip-Hop video was fueled by the ultimate "tell 'em why you mad" video from Scarface, a vintage Dave Chappelle throwback and the RZA's response to Raekwon's recent criticisms. It also featured words from Chuck D, dope new videos from Rapsody, Locksmith, Jon Connor, Pharrell, Killer Mike, Schoolboy... Read more

After Ten Thousand Cuts, Locksmith Leaves ‘Em With Who He Is (Video)

On his just-released new album Ten Thousand Cuts, Locksmith parts ways with some powerful statements on "Who I Am." He raps about the risks he takes, the consequences he suffers, but much more so, the pain he is overcoming from his background by vocalizing for the voiceless, and putting the... Read more

To All The Strong Freestyles In 2014, Locksmith’s Latest May Take Your Seat (Video)

From E-40 to Tajai to Del to Brotha Lynch Hung, the Bay area has some amazing lyricists in Hip-Hop history. Locksmith hopes to further that trend. Once a protege of Spice 1/Ice Cube producer E-A-Ski, Locksmith has worked extensively with Ski Beatz and others in a cross-coast movement that puts... Read more

Need Lyricism? Locksmith Has Got You Covered on House of Games (Video)

Locksmith is back with complex wordplay and a video that features a collage of scenes from classic movies. Check out House of Games. Related: Locksmith – The Green Box (Mixtape)... Read more

Locksmith – The Green Box (Mixtape)

Here's the 2nd dope mixtape of the day. You can listen to and download all of Locksmith's The Green Box below. Related: Locksmith – Stand It ft Anesha (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – Stand It ft Anesha (Video)

Here's Locksmith's video for his smoothed out 9th Wonder-produced track. Check out Stand It featuring Anesha. Related: Locksmith – F*ck Love (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – Stand It (Prod. 9th Wonder)

Locksmith is one of those MCs to watch in 2013. Dude has bars and he's saying something. Now, he can add a 9th Wonder beat to his catalog. Check out Stand It. Related: Locksmith – Be Free (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – F*ck Love (Video)

Locksmith's new video is just as intense as the title. Check out F*ck Love. Related: Locksmith – Be Free (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – Be Free (Video)

Another week, another hot joint from Locksmith. Here's his new video for Be Free. Related: Locksmith – Transitions (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – Transitions (Video)

Here's another solid new joint from Locksmith. The Cali spitter links with Carolina's Khrysis and Eric G. Check out the video for Transitions. Related: Locksmith – The Pit (Video)... Read more

Locksmith – The Pit (Video)

Here's some more ill wordspit from Locksmith. Check out the video for The Pit. Related: Murs - S-K-I-B-E-A-T-Z ft Locksmith (Video)... Read more

Murs – S-K-I-B-E-A-T-Z ft Locksmith (Video)

Here's another red hot joint of Murs' Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation album, one of my favorite albums of the year. Love and Rockets was produced entirely by the legendary Ski Beatz (click here for our playlist of Ski Beatz-produced tracks), and here's the video for the track... Read more

Locksmith – Time’s Up (Video)

Locksmith's flow is just plain silly. This new video for Time's Up will DEFINITELY leave you wanting more. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tim5A56jM-s&feature=player_embedded... Read more