This Record Store Day, UGHH has decided to celebrate a hand-picked mix of still-active underground legends with recent releases, canonized underground icons and a couple of cult favorites—creating exclusive sale bundles to salute some of the artists who have made a significant impact on the culture. In doing so, we aim to illustrate underground hip-hop’s longevity—as well as its staying power.

There has been a lot of debate about the state of the underground, recently. Some believe that, thanks to internet technology and the power it gives independent artists to reach wider fan bases, the underground has become the new mainstream—while others attest that, as long as a corporate music industry controls the majority of what does and doesn’t become successful on a mainstream level (despite some exceptions), the underground will continue to exist. Although it is clear that exactly what the underground is has evolved since the polarized “Rawkus Era” of the late ’90s, when emcees were either “independent as fuck” (to quote Company Flow’s old motto) or soulless commercial puppets (with no in-between), we at UGHH subscribe to the ideology that being dubbed underground is more than just an indication of one’s financial status or level of notoriety—and know firsthand that, musically, the underground is very much alive and healthy.

 
Speaking of Rawkus Records, considering that it’s funding was actually provided by the son of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, maybe the financial divide between underground and mainstream hip-hop was always a little more complex than once perceived. Regardless, unlike many mainstream artists (who tend to come and go, catering to a fickle corporate music industry that’ll sign and discard talent at the drop of a mixtape), underground emcees and producers often maintain longer, more influential careers. Just ask DOOM, Pharoahe Monch or El-P, to name a few—and try to remember all the one-hit wonders with platinum singles that came and went during the 30 odd years each have been in the game.

In the words of the great DJ Premier, who recently dropped his second PRhyme project with Royce Da 5’9” and remains as influential as ever: “Underground will live forever, baby. We just like roaches: never dyin’, always livin’…”

 

“And on that note, let’s get back to the program…” — Preemo

 

This year, underground Long Island legend Roc Marciano released the sequel to his gritty, soulful masterpiece Rosebudd’s Revenge, one of “UGHH’s Top 10 of 2017”—a contender for one of 2018’s best, as well. Though RR2: The Bitter Dose is only available to pre-order, the original joins his album with former group The UN, UN or U Out, his solo debut Marcberg, his sophomore release Reloaded and his 2013 mixtape The Pimpire Strikes Back in our Roc Marci vinyl bundle.

Having released one of this year’s strongest albums to date, we felt it only right to salute versatile Detroit producer and emcee Black Milk with a bundle. The CD version contains his three most recent joints: No Poison No Paradise, If There’s a Hell Below and, his latest, FEVER—as well as his collaborative project with Danny Brown, Black and Brown! Though FEVER is not yet available on wax, the vinyl bundle includes all of the other aforementioned albums, in addition to Tronic and Album of the Year.

One of the most consistent and celebrated artists the underground has ever spawned, London-born, Long Island-raised DOOM is a cultural icon. With over a dozen albums and collaborative projects under his belt, created using various aliases, the masked super villain has not slowed his conquest for world domination—releasing his most recent collaboration with Czarface this year. In our CD bundle, Czarface Meets Metal Face is offered alongside his fraternal group KMD’s Black Bastards, his solo debut Operation: Doomsday, Madvillainy (his Madvillain collaboration with Madlib), his sophomore album under the MF DOOM moniker, Mm.. Food, and The Mouse and the Mask (by DANGERDOOM, his group with Danger Mouse). In the vinyl bundle, Mm.. Food is replaced by KMD’s first album, Mr. Hood.

What is there to say about Detroit legend J Dilla that hasn’t already been said. Considered the G.O.A.T. by many, Dilla influenced an entire generation of producers—and his signature style has been emulated time and time again. One of the most original, timeless and universally-loved artists hip-hop has to offer, Jay Dee unquestionably made his mark on the game before passing in 2006. Our CD bundle includes his early work with Slum Village (Fan-Tas-Tic, Vol. 1 and Fantastic, Vol. 2), Ruff Draft and his Champion Sound album with Madlib (as Jaylib)—while the vinyl version swaps Donuts for Ruff Draft, and also includes posthumous releases The Shining and The Diary.

Before his untimely death in 2015, Brooklyn representative Sean Price had already become an underground icon in his own right. One of rap’s most consistent lyricists, his tongue-in-cheek wordplay and inimitable, pocketed flow earned him the number one spot on UGHH’s Top 10 of 2017″ list for his posthumous masterpiece Imperius Rex last year. Though he established himself as half of Heltah Skeltah and a member of the Boot Camp Clik, to celebrate his memory, we’ve created a vinyl bundle of his always-stellar solo studio projects: Monkey Barz, Jesus Price Supastar, Mic Tyson, Songs in the Key of Price and Imperius Rex.

Hailing from Connecticut, Apathy is a Northeastern fan-favorite who built a rep as part of the Demigodz crew. In 2017, he released the acclaimed self-titled Perestroika, a group project with D.I.T.C.’s own O.C., and followed it up with a solo offering this year. The Widow’s Son features a ridiculous cast of collaborators including Pharoahe Monch, M.O.P. and AG, as well as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Nottz and Buckwild on production—and both albums join Weekend at the Cape, The Black Lodge, Honkey Kong, Connecticut Casual, Handshakes With Snakes and Dive Medicine: Chapter 1 in our CD bundle, while the vinyl version excludes Weekend at the Cape, The Black Lodge and Honkey Kong.

Elusive, Bronx-bred trio the Juggaknots are true artists’ artists—revered by practically every emcee that arose from New York City’s underground hip-hop scene in the late ’90s. Though the all-sibling group of Breeze Brewin, Buddy Slim and Queen Herawin only release projects every decade or so, their existing two studio albums, Breeze’s starring role on Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves and some sporadic vinyl releases have managed to uphold the group’s legacy—despite most of their projects’ limited availability. Just last year, over 20 years after its release, a reissue of their classic self-titled debut flew off of UGHH’s shelves—so we decided to secure some rare 12″ vinyl singles (“She Loves Me Not,” “New $/Sumday,” “WKRP In NYC/Generally/J-Solo” and “Berzerkowitz”), as well as the even rarer CD mixtape The Love Deluxe Movement, straight from the source and offer them as part of our exclusive Juggaknots bundle.

THE OFFICIAL RE-ISSUE IS FINALLY HERE!!! Bl_ck B_st_rds was voted in Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists as the most notable rap album of all time that was never released commercially, and with good reason. The fact that this excellent album, slated for a 1994 release, did not seen the light of day until 2001 (its first issue – now out of print) testifies to a time when shortsighted industry backlashes against records that inflamed Middle America were in vogue. Elektra Records higher-ups canned the project due to its controversial cover art, which shows a Sambo figure being lynched. This must-purchase concept album is worth the wait.

At this point, pretty sure you don’t need an explanation of this album do you? If you don’t own it, buy it. Point blank. Period.

Collect ’em all! Even if you have the original, or the 2013 vinyl re-issue, odds are this bonkers special issue of the King Geedorah album is tempting you right now – the limited 2LP solid red color vinyl pressing with burgundy foil printed cover & pop-out insert crafted beautifully by Big Dada is oh so fresh. M.F. DOOM’s 2003 leftfield excursion into the mind of a giant 3-headed lizard from outer space still bangs just as hard as it did when it dropped, so don’t miss this special edition shipping now @ UGHH!
CD Import also available.

While most fans already worship classic albums like “Operation Doomsday”, “MM…FOOD”, and “Madvillainy”, DOOM’s output also includes a number of guest appearances, non-album singles, promo tracks, and other rarities that never made it onto an official release. Now, those tracks are finally available on “Unexpected Guests”, a limited-edition vinyl collection showcasing rare MF DOOM material. Included are collaborations with the likes of Talib Kweli, J Dilla, Ghostface Killah, Sean Price, Count Bass D, Vast Aire, Masta Killa, and more. Many of these tracks have never been available on vinyl before, making “Unexpected Guests” an essential addition to DOOM’s already impressive catalog.

Limited re-issue of King Geedorah’s (M.F. DOOM) “Take Me To Your Leader.” This version comes packaged in a 12″ rigit-board sleeve w/ wide spine, white uncoated board with burgundy foil artwork. Features 12″ insert/ original “cutout” areas now on a card inset with perforations and x2 red vinyl in separate card sleeves.
CD Import and Vinyl LP Black Re-Issue Import also available.

From the album: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face Records), Vinyl LP Re-Issue shipping.
Song produced by: M.F. DOOM

Sold out since March! This special edition 2xLP package comes housed in a vinyl jacket featuring DOOM’s infamous metal mask icon embossed out of a metallic silver foil. An absolute must have for the DOOM completest. This is one of the greatest underground hip hop albums to come out in the late 1990s and a vinyl worthy of doubles.
CD (Deluxe) also available.

Sold out since January! Volumes three and four of the acclaimed series are available on vinyl. With obscure loops and dusty samples galore, Special Herbs Vol. 3 & 4 is a must-have for any DOOM fan or hip-hop head. Also includes a limited-edition bonus 7″, featuring two beats from DOOM’s days as a member of 90s hip-hop trio KMD.
CD Re-Issue also available.

We are already down to our last 20 copies so if you want this, pre-order it RIGHT NOW! Deluxe edition includes custom-printed Special Blends burlap bag! Once we hit our max pre-order quantity, they will no longer be available for sale (so basically, get your pre-order in now!). The villain is putting the spotlight back on his production with the official vinyl release of Special Blends, Vol. 1 & 2. Originally self-released in extremely limited quantities back in 2004, Special Blends Vol. 1 & 2 pairs vintage DOOM-produced Special Herbs instrumentals with classic hip-hop and R&B vocals. Mixed by DOOM himself, this collection incorporates vocals from a wide range of iconic records.
Non-Deluxe Vinyl also shipping this week.