Anticon is proud to present the newest addition to the Themselves catalog, a 39-minute-long free album of sorts, theFREEhoudini. Featuring guest appearances from Buck 65, Aesop Rock, Busdriver, Lionesque, Slug of Atmosphere, D-Styles, DJ Baku, Pedestrian, Sole, Serengeti, and Yoni Wolf and Odd Nosdam as cLOUDDEAD (not to mention the whole entire mixtape being mixed down by Nosdam as well), theFREEhoudini serves as Doseone and Jel’s return, posse record that never was, and contribution to the mixtape medium circuit so tied to hip hop’s history.
To provide another incentive for signing up and downloading, Themselves will be giving away a one-of-a-kind piece of art created by Doseone, which serves as the original drawing from an inside panel of the limited deluxe CD version of theFREEhoudini’s artwork – view it here.
This download will be hosted for free for 90 days. For more information regarding the limited and numbered deluxe CD version (which contains an additional 16 minutes of audio and guest appearances from Passage, Alias, and Fog’s DJ Andrew), click here. It is now up for pre-order. theFREEhoudini deluxe version will also find it’s way to digital retailers soon for a similar bargain/EP price.
2009 will be a very busy year for the duo – first up for Themselves is a tour, including Coachella in April. In August 2009 Themselves will drop its third official full-length album, CrownsDown which Dose refers to as such – “CrownsDown is our statue – to rap as it reered us – and the arch and arrow, of what it is to be us, in a decade of music made and the temperature of these two thousands.” It’s also worth pointing out that theFREEhoudini mixtape and CrownsDown will be the 19th and 20th releases of Doseone’s career, respectively.
Ten years after the release of their seminal debut, six years since their last LP, Themselves return in 2009 with not one, but two full-length albums. The first is theFREEhoudini: one part aggressive rap mixtape, one part posse reunion record that wrangles all seven original members of the Anticon collective-and several distinguished guests-to reaffirm the crew’s uncontestable place in hip-hop history. Herein, you’ll find the finest prose from today’s most venerable wordsmiths, slung over a perpetually shifting landscape of hard beats and texture. Providing the meat and motivation, of course, are Themselves-Doseone and Jel-who’ve realized this feat as a single, gratis long-playing track. A truly free-for-all celebration of just how good rap can be, theFREEhoudini (mixed by Odd Nosdam) will be released digitally this spring, preceded by key snippet leaks through select web institutions.
Caught within the steely guts of theFREEhoudini are several patent Doseone freestyles, a few edited chunks from the still-shrouded album to follow, and literally every emcee that Dose has shared a formative moment with on the mic. Always the good hosts, Themselves crafted each beat to fit its guest to a T, with Dose’s verbal accompaniment incorporating the contributor’s themes. Early on, he and Aesop Rock trade heated verses over organ tones and propulsive drums, while with Buck 65, the mood is old-school braggadocio and boom-bap (check the Krown Rulers/Slick Rick reference). Soon, Sole storms through, dropping some real-world horrorcore before Busdriver lays down some sing-song and a little light-speed rapping. Cincinnati’s Lionesque (who appeared on Dose’s 1998 debut, Hemispheres) returns here to spit fire over one of Jel’s biggest beats. Pedestrian then delivers a blown-out sermon from a shadowy aural pulpit; D-Styles cuts furiously on Dose’s linguistic tribute to Ultramagnetic MCs; Chicago’s Serengeti contribute s a contemplative piece; and Slug of Atmosphere sounds inspired alongside his old Deep Puddle Dynamics buddies. One of the strongest moments comes from a reunited cLOUDDEAD with WHY?’s Yoni Wolf eschewing melody for straight-faced rap over Nosdam sounds. Elsewhere, Japan’s DJ Baku provides further turntable tweaks.
Scattered throughout theFREEhoudini are songs that find Themselves unadorned, executing a range of styles that both pay tribute to and threaten to overtake their favorite mistress, hip-hop. On the opener, Doseone offers two things to any rapper who’d test him: his actual home address, and the growled cocksure promise, “I will wolf you!” Beyond the 30-minute mark, you can hear the unique slang and unfettered atmosphere Dose and Jel respectively perfected while in Subtle. And in the final song Dose addresses Anticon itself, cribbing the chorus of Sole’s classic “Tourist Trapeze” (from Bottle Of Humans) to serve up the ideal end to an album that really began to come together some 12 years ago.
The freestyles on theFREEhoudini are of particular note, as they were culled from a hip-hop workshop Dose teaches at an Oakland youth center. These stand not only as further proof in the pudding as to the inordinate amount of skill contained herein, but also as testament to the fact that, from sunrise to sundown, rap is what these guys do. The medium itself (the mixtape) and the numerous bits of hip-hop history scattered throughout theFREEhoudini-references to X Clan, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, etc.-make Themselves’ latest a living document of the past, present and future.
An extremely limited run of numbered deluxe CD versions of theFREEhoudini will be made available via Anticon’s online store. These feature an additional 16 minutes of music, separated tracks, and guest appearances from Passage and Alias accompanied by DJ Andrew (Fog’s Andrew Broder).
03/25 St. Louis, MO Firebird
03/26 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
03/27 Pontiac, MI Pike Room
03/28 Toronto, ON Sneaky Dee’s
03/29 Montreal, QC Club Lambi
04/01 Boston, MA Great Scott
04/02 Princeton, NJ Terrace F Club H
04/03 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
04/04 New York, NY Studio at Webster Hall
04/06 Philadelphia, PA The Barbary
04/07 Washington, DC DC9
04/08 Blacksburg, VA The Lantern
04/09 Atlanta, GA 529
04/10 Birmingham, AL BottleTree
04/11 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
04/14 Austin, TX Mohawk
04/16 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
04/19 Indio, CA Coachella
March 16, 2009
1. Pay That Piper
2. Oversleeping (from the forthcoming CrownsDown LP)
3. Know That To Know This (featuring Aesop Rock)
4.Kick The Ball (featuring Buck 65)
5.1 For No Money (featuring Sole)
6. Rappers Is Interns (freestyle)
7. Party Rap Sucks (featuring Bus Driver)
8. Long Time Coming (featuring Lionesque)
9. Swarm of Bee II
10. Back2burn (featuring Pedestrian)
11. TheMark (featuring D-Styles, from the forthcoming CrownsDown LP)
12. Keys To Ignition (featuring Serengeti)
13. Roman Is As Roman Does (from the forthcoming CrownsDown LP)
14. The Medicine (featuring Slug of Atmosphere)
16. Rapping4Money (featuring WHY? / Odd Nosdam / cLOUDDEAD)
mixed by Odd Nosdam
MySpace – www.myspace.com/themselves
Press Materials – www.anticon.com/pr/themselves.htm