Categories Archives: MCMI TECH SQUAD

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn – Remixed & Restyled

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn – Remixed & RestyledMCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn - Remixed & RestyledAt MCMI Records, we do most of our recording, mixing and mastering out of one studio. We have for years. The reason? We trust the ear, experience and skill of our chief engineer, Dennis Mitchell.

Dennis is an old school studio engineer who can build compression strips, microphones and mixing boards, make his own cables, build computers and set up speakers and soundproofing for optimum mixing. He’s been recording since AMPEX reels back in the day, but knows the latest hardware and software and is always up to date. Simply put, he is one of the best. Rockafella had Young Guru on the boards; MCMI has Dennis Mitchell.

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn - Remixed & Restyled

Paying his dues at the big studios like Firehouse, INS, Chung King, Electric Ladyland and others, Dennis tracked or mixed sessions for Das EFX, SWV, Wu-tang Clan and many other notable artists.

When Dennis set up his own studio, in an apartment in Park Slope, HYDRA went there. The location didn’t matter. Our mixes came out awesome, with balanced vocals, thumping kicks and punchy snares. His analogue compression modules, and knowledge of frequencies, and his ear (actually, both of them), created amazing results.

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn - Remixed & Restyled

When the studio relocated to 626 Carlton Avenue, in a bigger, dedicated, space (no longer his apartment), we set up shop and started working on out music from Hydra, PH (aka Pumpkinhead), Chordz Cordero, MrMecc, Archrival and other artists down with The Plague and MCMI. The sound was great, Dennis works fast and we got a lot done.

The only thing lacking in that studio was the vocal booth was tiny (could only hold one person) and even the mixing station was very small. Four or five people and you were packed in like sardines. Sill, a lot of artists recorded great music there, including … Young M.A, Lil Fame of M.O.P., Troy Ave and others.

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn - Remixed & Restyled

In 2016, Dennis decided to expand the studio and take it to the next level. He tore down the walls, redid the ceilings and floors and even moved the heating system to create more space. Now the mixing room can accommodate a lot more people, the sound booth can hold a group of people, plus instruments and he has a nice lounge which doubles as a live room or Podcast/Radio show, when needed. Whether you sing, rap or are a DJ making a mixtape, you can record live, mix, have your tracks mastered, even apply autotune or melodine. Stonebrown does it all.

This Tuesday, March 28th, will be an OPEN HOUSE from 7pm – 10pm, for all artists, producers and DJ’s who want to come through, see the new look, play your music through their system and talk to Dennis about your projects’ needs. Special deals will be made, for those who attend. It costs nothing, but you MUST RSVP, to StoneBrownStudios (at) gmail, in order to attend. Once a certain number of people is reached, the list will close, but StoneBrown will be having producer listening sessions in the future, so there will be more opportunities.

MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn - Remixed & Restyled

If you want to book studio time, you can take advantage of the online Google STUDIO calendar to see what days/times are available and then call, email or text 917 349 0524 to book your session. Use Code “MCMI” for DISCOUNT on first session!

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MCMI REPORT: Stonebrown Studios Brooklyn – Remixed & Restyled

PH Memorial Tribute Concert – AUG 5th @ SANTOS (NYC)

PH CONCERT FLYER 2

It has been a difficult month and a half for the staff at MCMI, members of The PLAGUE, TeamHOMI, Brooklyn Academy, RedArmy, Decepts, Lo Life’s and friends and fam within and outside of the music industry, feeling the blow of PH aka Pumpkinhead’s untimely passing and the weight of responsibility we have all felt, to both keep his musical legacy strong and create a support system for those left behind. But none of that compares to what Robert Diaz‘ actual family has gone through – wife, mother, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, in-laws and especially his two sons, Royce age 8 and Raiden age 11. And for those who don’t know, their mother Shawntay is also pregnant with PH’s first daughter, due in the fall.

When it first happened, I wrote an article, but so much has transpired in the past 6 or 7 weeks, so many events, so much love and support from friends, fans and even strangers, that I wanted to fill you in on what has been going on, before we talk about the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday, August 5th.

News of PH’s unexpected, sudden passing that Tuesday morning, June 9th, 2015, was widely reported in the online media and even newspapers like The NY Daily NewsFoxNews Latino and Pix11 covered it. CNN, TIME, USmagazine reported it. Gossip blogs such as Hollywoodlife, HollywoodTake, GossipIconDailyMail, thecelebritycafe and E! Online all wrote about the tragedy. Even notorious blogger Perez Hilton had something nice to say. Of course all the music blogs, like Billboard, RollingStone, MTV, BET, XXL, HipHopDX, VLADtv and battle rap sites, such as RapGridBattleRap, KOTDtv, HHC, GrindTimeNow, URLtv, released statements, videos, tweets and instagram dedications to #ripPH.

Talib Instagram about PH

June 9th – 10th, the Instaworld and Twitterverse was lit. Sean Price, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Marco Polo, Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Aesop Rock, Mac Miller, Peter Rosenberg, Atmosphere, Evidence, Statik Selectah, Stretch Armstrong, Pharoahe Monch, Alchemist, Poison Pen, Swave Sevah, DNA, RA the Rugged Man, DJ Rhettmatic, Soul Khan … just to name a FEW tweeted laments about their brother PH passing until #ripPH became the trending topic on Twitter and Facebook for the next day.

Goodbye Pumpkinhead Halftime Radio Show

Radio stations from SHADE 45 (Evil Dee/TonyTouch), to Hip Hop Nation on Sirius XM, to Halftime / Squeeze Radio with DJ Eclipse, Sucio Smash & Big Zoo, the Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth on WBAI, numerous online shows, Power 105.1Hot97, all played PH’s music in tribute and memory. Podcasts on AngryFanRadio got reactions from DNA, Math Hoffa, Swave Sevah, Lush One, Amzilla & P Stacks and Poison Pen. GID Radio  and other online shows hosted interviews of PH’s wife, children and friends.  That Sunday, the EOW MC Challenge of Champions was dedicated to PH. The Legendary Cypher event at Union Square was dedicated to PH, with his wife and kids in attendance. PH’s eldest son Raiden did an off the top verse for his dad. It was heavy.

Then at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Anniversary show at Summer Stage in Central Park, Raiden came out again, during a special PH Tribute performance orchestrated by DJ Eclipse, this time doing a verse from his dad’s song “Here” off of Orange Moon Over Brooklyn. Other artists who performed at the tribute include Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Bad Seed, Tonedeff, Diabolic, Hydra, PackFM, Poison Pen, DP One and Metaphor from Brooklyn Ac.

RAIDEN ROCKS RSC38

Photo: Photo Rob

All of this chronicled the pain of losing someone who was down to earth,  helpful, and supportive, someone who did so much for battle rap and had so much passion for Hip Hop music and culture.

PH CONCERT FLYERThis coming Wednesday, August 5th, Hip Hop artists in New York are coming together to honor and pay tribute to the man, Robert Diaz, and the MC PH, also known as Pumpkinhead, at SANTOS PARTY HOUSE. The flyer lists IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, PHAROAHE MONCH, JEAN GRAE, SEAN PRICE, ROCKNESS MONSTAH, SMIF-N-WESSUN, SADAT X, KID CAPRI & EVIL DEE on the wheels, but there are numerous other artists added to the event – all of whom are friends of PH and all of whom represent NY Hip Hop. If you go to the Facebook Event Page, you can rsvp, post messages and see the full line up for the show. You can see it is going to be one of those monumental NY moments in Hip Hop history.

Besides being an artist himself, PH was an events promoter, organizing numerous Hip Hop events, from GrindTime battles, to our own MCMI Warzone battle last year, to Hip Hop concerts such as “The Classic“, “The Platform“, “Masters of the Underground” and his art series called “The Blackbook” dedicated to Graff.

The day PH transitioned, a bunch of us got together on the rooftop of Rodney “LR Blitzkreig” Willie’s building in Park Slope, Brookyln. The appearance of an “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn” that night is well documented, here and here, on Facebook and Youtube. Shortly after, an alliance was formed between a group of PH’s friends who are also event producers, promoters, graphic designers and marketing professionals. We formed a “core committe” (i.e. MCMI, Lyricist Lounge, RealTalkNYC, WritterzBlock, PoisonPen, Metaphor, The Plague, LyricsToGo, EOW, TeamHOMI and others) and a larger committee of friends and supporters who began working on a series of memorial events. It was not exclusionary, but comprised of those of us who were in touch with each ther at the time. As others have been reaching out, reconnecting with old friends, they have been added to the group.

This has turned into the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE COMMITTEE, which was responsible for the Memorial White Party at LittleField, among other things, leading up to this major tribute concert.

PH reading to his two sons, Royce & Raiden

Everyone brings what they do to the table. Some book venues, some contact artists, some paint murals and paintings, some do graphics for flyers, posters and tee shirts. Some promote online or in the streets. This is a team effort – a community of like-minded individuals brought together by Pumpkinhead. We are all working towards one cause. No one is profiting. 100% of the money raised goes to the Fund for PH. We don’t even put our name on anything unless it will help the cause. It is not about us.

Anyone who wants to join us in these endeavors is welcome to contact us and become a member of the committee. If you have something you would like to contribute, reach out to anyone you know who has been mentioned above, or email us at mcmireport[at]gmail.com. Or you can just speak to any of us in person at the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday.

I am going to end this on a personal note. When asked in interviews to come up with the best times I have had with Robert, I realize that the times I spent with PH, were some of the best of times, in my life, period. Having been friends for about 25 years, it is hard to pick just one.

PH At GMS wedding with The Plague

Here he is, in happier days, celebrating at my wedding, with our Plague fam all around us. Thank you for the good times, PH, you will be sorely missed and remembered forever.

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | bit.ly/phshowtix | bit.ly/phconcert | bit.ly/fundforph

De La Soul Is Back! New Album + Cool Flash Drives


De La Soul is back with a BRAND, NEW ALBUM entitled “and the Anonymous Nobody” their first studio release since “The Grind Date” in 2004! They are doing it 100% independent and they are recording in a way they never have before. They went into Vox Studio with tons of musicians – guitarists, bass players, drummers, keyboardists – all the best players, and recorded them jamming for hours. Now, they are going through listening back, looking for dope riffs, breaks, bass lines, etc. to “sample”, just like they are sampling a classic record, BUT they don’t have to pay for the sample because they own the publishing already. Brilliant!

De La Soul Heads

They are funding the project with a KickStarter campaign. They originally were trying to  reach the goal of $110, 000 but ended up with $412,000 so far and counting! Will they spend the extra loot on videos, marketing, features …?  They can pay themselves back for “what they did to the Cold Krush” for all I care, LOL! They earned it! As long as we get another amazing classic De La Soul Album, like we have grown accustomed to getting from them for so many years.

De La Thumb Drive 3De La Thumb Drive 2De La Thumb Drive 1

There are cool perks for giving to the Kickstarter, besides the album itself. The one I went for was the cool Flash Drive in the shape of the group members’ heads. I got Posdnous. You can get either of the three of them. Is’s a 1G flash drive, with the album, plus a bonus song. (Plus you can still use it as a thumb drive and make your fellow nerds jealous!) There are other great perks too, from vinyl to shirts and artwork. Go see for yourself, before May 2nd, if you want to claim one of the cool perks they are offering, before it’s too late.

@GMS_MCMI | wearedelasoul.com | @wearedelasoul

 

MOBB DEEP: THE INFAMOUS – 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

MOBBDEEPshowFor those who don’t know, this Thursday SUMMERSTAGE and LYRICIST LOUNGE have teamed up to bring you MOBB DEEP “The Infamous Album 20 Year Anniversary” show, in Queensbridge Park, from 7pm – 9pm. The show is all ages (I don’t know how they pull that one off, but God bless em) and is absolutely FREE! 

The Infamous, which was the Mobb’s second studio album, featured  Nas, Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, A Tribe Called Quest member Q-Tip, and close Mobb Deep affiliate Big Noyd. The album contained several classics, most notably “Shook Ones Pt. II” and “Survival of the Fittest” which propelled Prodigy and Havoc’s careers forward as a group and also Havoc as producer. Before then he had never produced a record, but decided to both because they didn’t like some of the beats they got from outside producers and also because producers they did like were charging so much for a beat. One thing many are not aware of is Q-Tip mixed several songs and did a couple of beats on the album as well, credited as “the Abstract”. He was a huge fan of the group and was in a lot of their sessions with them as they recorded the album.

Infamous Cover

Along with DJ’s Hot Day and Ski Beatz, the duo from Queens is sure to thrill audiences with their current music and classics from “The Infamous” and the rest of their healthy catalogue. You will probably see a few surprise special guests light up the stage as well. You can get your copy of “The Infamous” 20 Year Anniversary – Deluxe version, with 17 new songs plus 14 remixed classics here.

Follow: GMS | MCMI | Mobb Deep | Prodigy | Havoc

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KOSHA DILLZ: Tupac Gone Fishing + Awkward In A Good Way [Video + Album]

You might have to watch this video a few times to understand what’s going on, with guest appearance by ‘Tupac’ (no holo’!), but Tupac Gone Fishing is just Kosha being Kosha.  This is off the brand new album “Awkward In A Good Way”. One thing I know about Kosha Dillz, from the man himself, is that he is always been “so comfortable being uncomfortable.” That’s why the album’s title is so appropriate.

The Israeli-American, obviously (from the name) Jewish rapper, has always done his own thing, oblivious to fads and trends. He has always kept it true to himself, whether in a cipher in the park, at the B.E.T Cypher or on tour with the RZA and U-God of the Wu-Tang Clan. At times he can be humorous and playful, at others dead serious, but he always tells stories of his own life, his culture, the triumphs and struggles of ‘everyman’.

“The title was really pushed on me by Murs,” Kosha explains, “He told me that people will take me seriously once I realize that I’m never going to fit in, and that’s ok.” This album is actually released through Murs’ own label, Murs 316.

kosha dillz awkwardIf you have heard any of his music, seen his zany DIY videos, or caught him performing live, possibly rhyming in English, Spanish and Hebrew at the same time, you know that Dillz has created his own lane. As much at home in New Jersey, California or France and as comfortable freestyling with A$AP Rcoky, C-Rayz Walz or Hasidic rapper Matisyahu, Kosha Dillz is always certain to do one thing: entertain.

“Awkward In A Good Way” is produced entirely by one producer, Belief. According to Kosha, “Creatively, Belief evokes a certain emotion in his production that embraces my awkwardness, in a way that no other producer has really captured.”

The beat to Tupac Gone Fishing is definitely knocking’. To preview the rest of the album, you can listen to a free stream on Billboard. Then head on over to iTunes.

To learn more about Kosha Dillz, check his videos, albums, mercy and even play Space Invaders, hit up KoshaDillzWorld.com

PREVIOUS: Kosha Dillz: Moses Wasteland [Official Video] | KOSHA DILLZ “CELLULAR PHONE” IN SUPERBOWL BUD LIGHT COMMERCIAL

@KoshaDillz | @GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport