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A few years ago, after leaving HOT 97, I was working at Decon in SoHo. Met and worked with a lot good people there, or became better acquainted with people I knew in passing. From Jim (Soulspazm), my roommate at the time Allan (The Stuyvesants), Alma (<3), Sebastian (Rooster) and Rob (Rooster), Dantana (/Mass Appeal), Ronnie, Hectah, and others. Like most companies with a start up atmosphere, everyone in there had a side hustle. Clearly, mine was Rappers I Know and at the time pushing H.I.S.D. and Danny Brown to anyone that would listen. Not as overt in the banner waving, was Marat (Hitmemusic) with his friend and artist Najee.

Over the next few years, post Decon, I'd kept in touch with Marat and met Najee a handful of times.

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Burger meet ups, a lost interview session, and a studio session at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. While at NYU with Marat and Najee, I was introduced to DB2 (Daniel Bazán Jr.), his production partner for their album Settle For Greatness (which we'll be releasing on RIK July 31st), a young jazz pianist turned hip hop producer in NYU's illustrious music program. I'd heard Najee over a myriad of production styles, and what impressed me about that fact was he sounded effortless and comfortable over them all. He and DB2's collaboration however, sounded like the work of two men in the same room coming up with ideas together, versus what's become the norm of internet file sharing and back and forth bed room recording.

Have a listen to “Only You…Anywhere”, one of my favourite tracks off their joint album; I think you'll agree. Settle for Greatness drops here and all stores on July 31st, 2012. Hectah killed it on the album art also.


Founder of Rappers I Know and Art Director to the Stars...of the Underground. Follow him on Twitter @fwmj.

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