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yu before taxes
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yU (of Diamond District): Before Taxes

Vinyl LP Record [2LP]
4.9 Stars (60 customer reviews)
Price: $15.97
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  • w/ Bonus Digital Download (Album & Extras)
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Product Details

Summary

Before Taxes is yU's answer to hip-hop fans' cry for a return to real hip-hop. The artist describes hip-hop's golden era of boom-bap greatness as being akin to one's personal finances... before taxes, that is. With watered-down commercial rap eating away at the cultural wallets of hip-hop fans worldwide, with his new album the DMV MC looks to take great strides at filling his listeners' pockets with a rich cultural currency.

The album is an exciting step forward for yU. After helping put the Washington DC/Maryland hip-hop scene back on the map with the seminal Diamond District album In The Ruff, the celebrated emcee has a lot to live up to. "Before Taxes is different than In The Ruff in a lot of ways," says yU. "I've been told that the sound is more mellow or experimental at times. There's different subject matter and approach to the rhymes." While perfectly capable of flooring listeners without his Diamond District crew, yU brings a few other friends along to help turn up the heat. Underground hero Grap Luva appears on "Brainwash," a cautionary tale of the ills that befall urban life, while appearances by Bilal Salaam, EyeQ, ERK, Omun, Op Swamp 81, Finale and yU's partner in rhyme from The 1978ers, SlimKat round out the remainder of the album.

In the spirit of evolving as a multi-faceted talent, yU took on the lion's share of the work behind the boards for Before Taxes, including producing the only completely instrumental track on the album. "I produced half of [the album], recorded and mixed all but one, and, along with Slimkat, was in total control of the direction of the project," explains yU. Bilal Salaam, Isabella Banneker and Kev Brown were also on hand to provide beats for Before Taxes, while Diamond District member Oddisee's lush production provided the soundscape for "Native," a track that seamlessly fuses heartfelt classic soul with yU's thoughtful delivery and Native American-influenced rhymes. Before Taxes will serve as one of two releases for yU in 2010, with a follow up solo full-length, TheEARN, scheduled for a fall release.

Track Listing

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1. The 1978ers - 'Before Taxes Intro'
Producers: SlimKat78
 
Click to listen!
2. Beats & Rhymes from March 25
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
3. Almost Time
Producers: Kev Brown
 
Click to listen!
4. Though About It
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
5. BreakDown
featuring Bilal Salaam
Producers: Bilal Salaam
 
Click to listen!
6. Corners
featuring EyeQ
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
7. The 1978ers - 'The Up & Up'
Producers: SlimKat78
 
Click to listen!
8. The 1978ers - 'Close'
Producers: SlimKat78; Isabella Banneker
 
Click to listen!
9. Fine
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
10. Lunchin
Producers: Oddisee
 
Click to listen!
11. The 1978ers - 'Native'
Producers: SlimKat78; yU
 
Click to listen!
12. Memory
featuring ERK
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
13. The 1978ers - 'The Rock'
Producers: SlimKat78
 
Click to listen!
14. In The Reign
featuring EyeQ; Omun
Producers: yU
 
Click to listen!
15. MmHmm
Producers: yU
instrumental 
Click to listen!
16. Brainwash
featuring Grap Luva; Op Swamp 81; Finale
Producers: SlimKat78
 
Click to listen!
17. Download features an exclusive bonus remix by Oddisee
Producers: Oddisee
 
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Average Visitor Rating:
4.9 Stars (4.9 Stars )
Total Comments: 60
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 7/21/2011; Partial IP: 102.232.49)
Location: USA, KS
Comment: this stuff is dope
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 7/7/2011 8:25:00 PM; Partial IP: 95.136.106)
Location: Terminal A
Comment: BEST ALBUM IN YEARS!!! yU packs sincerity in every verse and that makes all difference. Real Hip-Hop. This is one of those non-glossy albums that will stand the test of time for real diggas.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 6/30/2011 3:31:00 AM; Partial IP: .20.45.178)
Location: LA
Comment: nothin but fresh from the 1st track to the last, believe that.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 12/29/2010 11:12:00 PM; Partial IP: 177.66.238)
Location: South Caroleena
Comment: This is that arteeesteeek rap done propa! YU is fierce on the mic.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 11/28/2010 5:42:00 PM; Partial IP: 64.192.169)
Location: Golden State
Comment: WOW> yU is now officially my favorite emcee. Can't wait for The Earn.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 11/6/2010 6:39:00 PM; Partial IP: 117.238.78)
Location: Az
Comment: This is one of the illest combinations of Beats & Rhymes I've heard in awhile. Mello Music Group is killin everything lately
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 9/18/2010 5:15:00 PM; Partial IP: 166.113.77)
Location: Phoenix
Comment: Top 10 of 2010 - yU is on some true artistic smash, love it
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 8/12/2010 9:01:00 AM; Partial IP: 183.26.162)
Location: T Dot
Comment: Wow like the comment below didnt expect a great sounding album front to back, thought maybe a few good cuts would be present but this LP is nonstop fire. The more I listen to it the more I pick up on different things and appreciate it more. Insightful lyrics and beats with emotion, no fast fowards on this just the way I like it, nicely done.
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 7/28/2010 11:01:00 AM; Partial IP: .51.192.30)
Location: MTL
Comment: Didn't expect to be that good... damn
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 7/11/2010 12:56:00 AM; Partial IP: 57.250.108)
Location: seoul, korea
Comment: this album? no talk. jus listen.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 6/18/2010 3:55:00 PM; Partial IP: .110.21.14)
Location: Buff City
Comment: A very soulful album yu flow is amazing love everything about the album.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 6/16/2010 12:49:00 PM; Partial IP: .28.236.75)
Location: Maputo, Moz
Comment: Man that shit is crazy, thats what im talkin about, completly stricly
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 6/11/2010 3:04:00 PM; Partial IP: .63.177.50)
Location: New Vegas
Comment: This YU project is timeless. I'll be playing this for the decade. Reminds me of the way Dr. Octagon played for me (didn't match no other shit at the time). Originality Shines Bright As A Muhphawka!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 5/26/2010 12:22:00 PM; Partial IP: .115.78.74)
Location: Manchester, NH
Comment: I heard the diamond district album first and yu stood out to me, that's I why I bought this album. He has a great flow to go with great rhymes, and the production was hot. Not many albums come out these days where you can press play and let it go without skipping a couple tracks, not with this one. You have a fan for life yu.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 5/21/2010 6:48:00 PM; Partial IP: 67.168.236)
Location: Germany_franconia:NBG
Comment: Yeah...Yu-Xo-Oddisee...big up!
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 5/17/2010 2:12:00 PM; Partial IP: 202.226.80)
Location: 303
Comment: Solid front to back. Keep it coming.
Name: (Posted: 5/4/2010 10:11:00 PM; Partial IP: .18.201.36)
Location: Pittsburgh
Comment: KMGB, XO is sick but yU has a message that hits reality better for me, than just bragadocia. Anyways, for my money, yU is an unreal lyricist. Glad to finally be able to pick up the vinyl.
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 5/3/2010 10:22:00 PM; Partial IP: 192.135.28)
Location: STP
Comment: Lol yeah what the fuck this dropped a minute ago, like over a year and now it's a big deal. Yu is a good producer and all, but XO is the realest car out of the DMV right now. I dunno I think XO is better on the rhymes, and Oddisee is better on the boards, so Yu is stuck in the middle.
Name: (Posted: 4/23/2010 11:04:00 AM; Partial IP: 103.68.196)
Location: Denver, Weedarodo
Comment: Beautiful album..
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/23/2010 2:35:00 AM; Partial IP: 18.207.215)
Location: Pittsburgh
Comment: texture, layers, ill production, skits that add to the album, lyrics that put any emcee to the test and don't glorify false living, plus a nice balance of guests I actually care about: Oddisee, Kev Brown, Slimkat.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/22/2010 10:44:00 PM; Partial IP: 89.117.157)
Location: USA
Comment: Production is some of the best. I just don't find myself getting tired of it any time soon.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/22/2010 12:00:00 PM; Partial IP: .116.73.65)
Location: Norway
Comment: in the ruff album is classic and so is this one, suport good music!!!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/22/2010 12:07:00 AM; Partial IP: .91.57.100)
Location: oaktown home of the macks
Comment: Copped it at Rapsutins SF. def a tight album, raw and uncut for you bitches
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/21/2010 4:21:00 PM; Partial IP: 65.232.224)
Location: Reisterstown, MD
Comment: Dope album! Fire on the Diamond District album, brimstone on this joint! Definitely in rotation.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/21/2010 3:39:00 PM; Partial IP: 99.22.57.2)
Location: Montreal, QC
Comment: Much respect, that album is straight up on point. Dope rhymes over dope beats. What more can you ask for? True classic.
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/20/2010 2:12:00 PM; Partial IP: 32.195.217)
Location: Tampa, Florida
Comment: I'm not surprised by the results here. yU is a dope emcee backed by great production(Oddisee & Kev Brown). In the end yU really stepped up to the plate with a complete effort. Props.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/20/2010 9:22:00 AM; Partial IP: .3.138.234)
Location: PG
Comment: Before Taxes is official as expected!!! Y.U. is a true MC who not only STILL continues to release quality music but also very instrumental in the legacy of our region's music. Inspiration is an understatment. Respect art!!!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/20/2010 2:13:00 AM; Partial IP: 4.23.26.18)
Location: Sactown, CA
Comment: This album is the shit. Im lovin it. I got it on itunes and they got a real nice oddisee remix of brainwash
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/18/2010 2:14:00 PM; Partial IP: 176.105.39)
Location: PLYMOUTH, UK
Comment: I'm really feeling this joint, and I'm gonna grab a physical copy along with the free download. Finally a certain individual clearly has issues here... I mean derogatory Jew comments? UGHH staff as whiney whiteboys? If you really feel those comments especially the latter why don't you boycott the site? I'm also black and broke so join the club. Shit should be all about the music. Please contribute more constructiuve comments as you're making yourself sound really dumb!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/17/2010 10:57:00 PM; Partial IP: 89.128.212)
Location: Dirty South, MS
Comment: Classic Status. Point, Blank, Period!!! This is going in my top 10 forever list!!! Long live HIP-HOP!!!!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/16/2010 5:21:00 PM; Partial IP: 96.189.229)
Location: Canada
Comment: Best of 2010 so far.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/15/2010 10:45:00 PM; Partial IP: .15.183.59)
Location: Chicago
Comment: Remember the days when you would by two albums, one for the car and one for the crib! Remember the time you could just press play and ride!! This is it. Some of the best lyrics heard in a good min
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/15/2010 9:44:00 PM; Partial IP: 245.82.195)
Location: Boulder, CO.
Comment: How good is this!!? This is nicer than Mr. Rogers beat-boxin with Biz Markie. Hip hop isn't dead it's just clouded with the idea that pure music is supposed to generate monetary wealth.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/14/2010 10:02:00 PM; Partial IP: .12.75.208)
Location: cdn
Comment: I can give this a 5 and stand behind it b/c the whole groove was fantastic and done all in precise timing, it had a real moka only feel, yet distinctly yU
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/13/2010 3:14:00 PM; Partial IP: 43.217.255)
Location: S-City, Germany
Comment: Dope ass record! Well worth the money, no matter if you dl'd it for free already like In the Ruff aswell. Hiphop isnt dead!
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/13/2010 2:38:00 PM; Partial IP: 153.65.221)
Location: ny ny
Comment: this is one dope ass album that should NEVER be slept on. definate banger.
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/13/2010 11:15:00 AM; Partial IP: 4.150.78.7)
Location: Toronto
Comment: Pick it up cuz it's bangin'!
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/13/2010 6:32:00 AM; Partial IP: .83.88.166)
Location: DEE CEE
Comment: Real heads notice true talent with their ears. Then you have some who've actually been around the artist(yU), have built with the artist, and have seen them wait years for their turn to shine. So I'm one who has notice his hard work through my eyes, projecting that good ol' potency to the crowd with confidence. yU deserves this unlike some who REALLY don't. I'd call a n*ggaz name out...but that wouldn't even make a difference (pause).
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/13/2010 4:35:00 AM; Partial IP: 4.23.26.18)
Location: Sactown, CA
Comment: I just got that mental liberation by odisee and days chasing days by blame one. I know im a little late but I copped that In the Ruff by diamond district a couple weeks ago. I want to get this album but I feel like im gettin hella repetitive. What do yall think ? Fuck it. I bought it. Vote for Oddisee!
4 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/12/2010 2:53:00 PM; Partial IP: .78.106.42)
Location: Vegas
Comment: This has been out for awhile for free but if you got the endz support a starving artist...These cats make the bulk of there loot doing shows...Big ups to YU for keeping it real and putting out a dope jawn....Slimkat 78 is that dude.....4.5 in my book....
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/11/2010 6:25:00 PM; Partial IP: 105.89.105)
Location: Switzerland
Comment: Just a smooth record. Really nice samples and drums with a lof of soul. I just felt in love with some snares. They are so raw. Reminds me a bit of dilla-snares. (R.I.P.) If anyone is interested: He's at fat beats ny on april 13th.
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/11/2010 11:37:00 AM; Partial IP: .137.9.116)
Location: DA BurG, FL
Comment: Dope album!! I just downloaded this the other day for free. I wanted to listen to it before I buy it and I'm gonna buy this well worth the money folks!! Don't sleep on this. I moved to Florida 5 years ago and nobody I've met listens to underground hiphop out here. I just don't understand and their ain't no record stores out here where I can pick up some dope albums. I wish I was still in the Chi cuz Florida is lame on the music tip
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/10/2010 6:01:00 PM; Partial IP: 142.36.118)
Location: Jennifer's Body
Comment: you can go fuck yourself with your self righteous shit you bitch a_ronious, I guarantee my cd collection stomps on your weak shit, i'm too busy buying shit that wasnt put out for free, like sadat's new one, wu-massacre, manifesto, unholy terror, blacastan, sorry if i'm too broke to buy free shit, i'm a jew in training, spending my money only when neccesary, all yall suck a big juicy one
5 Stars
Name: (UGHH Staff) (Posted: 4/10/2010 4:22:00 PM; Partial IP: 54.209.159)
Location: UGHH World HQ
Comment: megan foxxx can go fuck herself with the racist shit. and plenty of real heads shell out the dough to support our favorite artists even if there is the potential to get it free. i've missed plenty meals to support good music and would never regret it
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/10/2010 12:23:00 AM; Partial IP: 18.206.190)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: i'm excited to hear the album mastered. and i'm not broke so it's cool by me to get a copy. sorry to hear you're broke ms. fox, if you need work, try developing a useful skill (and stop hanging out in online retail shops).
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/9/2010 12:03:00 PM; Partial IP: 142.36.118)
Location: Jennifer's Body
Comment: artists don't make cds these days knowing there going to make money off it, you make money as an artist touring and selling merch, album sales is a dying breed you have to get your ass to shows, I c free shit as the artist showing appreciation to fans cauze we already give them all our money
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/9/2010 12:00:00 PM; Partial IP: 142.36.118)
Location: Jennifer's Body
Comment: ill cd, dope beats, sounds a lot like the diamond district project, as for all these fags below me, SUCK A DICK, proves my point that ughh is a bunch of whiny white boys, i'm broke as fuck so when something was orginally put out for free i'ma get the free shit, like murs and 9th wonder sweet lord, or atmosphere strickltly lekage, how many of you retards bought those "physical copies" I buy plenty of vinyl and cds just not shit that's put out for free
5 Stars
Name: (UGHH Staff) (Posted: 4/9/2010 11:52:00 AM; Partial IP: 54.209.159)
Location: UGHH World HQ
Comment: great album! dont sleep
5 Stars
Name: (Posted: 4/8/2010 4:20:00 PM; Partial IP: .18.193.10)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: had to throw the rating up - 5 stars
Name: (Posted: 4/7/2010 6:16:00 AM; Partial IP: .18.193.10)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: Seriously great album. A week till I can officially add this to the collection.
Name: (Posted: 4/1/2010 2:43:00 AM; Partial IP: .18.193.10)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: This album is cold classic. If you know the album you know your music. If you don't know the album you need to. Shit is ill in a way most music isn't anymore. Equal to Prince Paul at his finest.
Name: (Posted: 2/15/2010 12:19:00 PM; Partial IP: 49.158.217)
Location: PLYMOUTH, UK
Comment: Oh I forgot to express mad luv to my old JEWISH pal/MC and fellow long time B-boy Rubin Jacobs from 2 decades back. This bro use to roll with my Black ass. I reminisce over the good old days of attending hiphop gigs, gettin high, and crate diggin! To paraphrase fuck racism and every ass hole who advocates it! Period!
Name: (Posted: 2/15/2010 12:10:00 PM; Partial IP: 49.158.217)
Location: PLYMOUTH, UK
Comment: I agree with the two comments below. UGHH cannot be blamed for selling this. They are a retail outlet/business which prioritise making profits and giving the people what they want. In addition I want a vinyl copy in my hands too. Free Mp3 downloads are cool but the artists need a financial incentive and quite rightly so. We should support the truly gifted artists and they'll continue to uplift us with their talent! As for the Jew comment?? Get real sis as every race has its fair share of scavengers!!!
Name: (Posted: 2/11/2010 7:07:00 AM; Partial IP: .164.2.154)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: for the record - this is the official edition from yU that has been mastered and is designed to serve as a permanent collectors edition instead of just an mp3 as well as being planned to be introduced to a wider audience. It'll be on vinyl & cd. Support the artists you appreciate - they'll produce more music.
Name: (Posted: 2/7/2010 4:25:00 PM; Partial IP: 193.88.242)
Location: Brock-vegas canada
Comment: YO Megan,alot of us still buy and want a physical vinyl copy of our hip-hop...It's not robbery, it's fan apreciation!!!! Plus ughh is a retail outlet for music, they don't decide what to issue, print, or manufacture...They provide us with whats out there! Get over yourself.
Name: (Posted: 2/5/2010 6:14:00 PM; Partial IP: 8.142.38.7)
Location: Jennifer's Body
Comment: get this for free, don't be robbed of 17bucks from quest, yU put this out as a free download last april, ughh trying to rob us same with that leak at will ep from atmosphere, bunch of JEWS at ughh, diamond district is ill, oddisee is ill, yU is ill next in line X.O., ill hip-hop
Name: (Posted: 2/1/2010 11:11:00 PM; Partial IP: 15.109.178)
Location: o
Comment: Lookin out for this!Curious how his production sounds he's a dope mc
Name: (Posted: 2/1/2010 5:03:00 AM; Partial IP: 164.14.114)
Location: Cali
Comment: yU is nice with it.
Name: (Posted: 1/30/2010 1:01:00 AM; Partial IP: 164.14.114)
Location: SouthWest
Comment: DOPE!!! yU of Diamond District is one of my favorite emcees - glad to see it is getting mastered and released officially!! I been wanting it on cd for the collection and vinyl for the tables. I for one will be copping a pair of vinyl and a cd. Plus, I heard they got bonus material & remixes from Oddisee, Apollo Brown and soem other cats - should be very dope. mitch - that Diamond District re-release was one of the best ideas ever, project was itunes #2 Best Hiphop of 2009 and DJ Premiere put it in his Top 15 for 2009 - hopefully this one gets the same attention by heads who been sleeping.
Name: (Posted: 1/29/2010 11:23:00 PM; Partial IP: .79.192.23)
Location: syracuse
Comment: he's selling this record now? It's truly dope, I enjoy yU more than XO when it comes to the lyrical side of DD. Tho Oddisee spits a little, but yU is definitely smooth and the true hip-hop. Glad to see he's trying to make a profit off of this. It's a dope dope record. Tho idk how much something can sell after it's been free for months.
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