John Legend – All Of Me (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on October 5th, 2013 by Hyphen

I assume this was filmed, at least in part, during John’s wedding to model (and surprisingly funny Twitter personality) Chrissy Teigen in Italy, since I think a few of these shots are of Lake Como (some footage at the end as well).  Not to get all TMZ, but apparently John sang this to her during the wedding ceremony since it was a song he specifically wrote for her.

I’ve always thought that “Ordinary People” was a timeless, classic record that we would all look back on like some of the best work from Stevie, Marvin, etc. and while I don’t think this one is quite as strong, it’s a great ballad.  I watched some of my co-workers literally cry after listening to it so I’d say it’s almost a universal favorite for the ladies.

Well played Mr. and Mrs. Stephens.

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Kanye West – “New Slaves” (video premiere on 5th Ave Prada store, NYC)

Posted in Art, Artists, Live Performances, Music Videos on May 18th, 2013 by Hyphen

I’ve been in New York this week for some ESPN day job stuff and didn’t really get a chance to do anything music related, as I’ve been so busy working and hanging with some great co-workers.  That changed on Friday when I took the day off to explore the city a bit and visited my people at UMG and WMG.  After a long day, I headed back to my hotel and noticed Twitter was a buzz with Kanye’s amazing rollout of his “New Slaves” video projected on to 66 walls across the world, including one in Brooklyn.  At first, I thought it was the only NYC showing, but after checking their schedule, I noticed the last showing of the night was a few blocks from my hotel but was supposed to start 5 minutes ago.

Having worked in the industry for 13 years, I’m fully aware of hip-hop time, so 5 minutes ago really meant it was going to start in about 15.  Tossed on some clothes and jogged down to the 5th Ave Prada store (right across from Trump Tower) and sure enough, there was a crowd of about 50-75 people waiting for the showing.  Within minutes, a large black truck pulled up and crew dressed all in black hustled to pull off the tarp covering the cargo bay and unveiled the projector and speakers (seriously looked like something a Batman villain would do in Gotham City).  After a quick set up, they showed the piece, which is, of course, just as dope in its style and content as it is in its guerrilla marketing rollout.  Yeezy is back and spitting that real.

After playing it, the crew said they would run it back in about 15 minutes. They left and came back like clockwork, but after setting it up, waited a good 10 minutes before showing it a 2nd time.

Turns out, Kanye himself was on the way to watch this showing as he is in NYC for Saturday Night Live later tonight. He stood behind us with a phone up, as if he was filming like everyone else. Right after it ended, he hopped in his Maybach and drove off. And then he made us pancakes (…Chappelle Show reference).

Shout to everyone in the crowd that night. Real cool atmosphere as all us Yeezy fans were excited to see his new work and be a part of the rollout. Shout to Global Grind and XXL for picking up my video and tweets, and any other sites that have posted it.

And shout to Kanye for the realness. #YeezySeason

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Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on May 12th, 2013 by Hyphen

We’re celebrating our 8 year anniversary of SNSS tonight.  That’s a lot of shows.  Lots of numbers on the boards.

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Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz – Mercy (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on June 8th, 2012 by Hyphen

Happy birthday ‘Ye!

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Hit-Boy – Jay-Z Interview (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on June 8th, 2012 by Hyphen

No, this isn’t super producer Hit-Boy interviewing Jay-Z. Instead, this is Hit…rapping? And it turned out dope! Bink! on production for this record, introducing the producer to the world as a MC. I’m rooting for this kid, but he probably doesn’t need it. With all his success lately, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be a major player in the game for quite some time.

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Big Sean – I Do It (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on June 15th, 2011 by Hyphen

New visuals for the No I.D./Legendary Traxter assisted track you probably heard during Derrick Rose’s Adidas commercials throughout the playoffs. Sean’s official debut, Finally Famous: The Album, drops on June 28th.  Boiiiiiiii.

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Pusha T – My God (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on April 23rd, 2011 by Hyphen

New visuals from Pusha’s Fear Of God mixtape, which you can download here if you’re sleeping.  This ish is hard.  [Pusha] UGHHHH [/Pusha]

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Pusha T – Fear of God (Mixtape)

Posted in Artists, Mixtapes on March 23rd, 2011 by MitchNW

Mitch: Here it is folks, the debut solo project from the recent G.O.O.D. Music addition, Pusha T, featuring appearances from Rick Ross, Kanye, 50 Cent & more. Now we just need that new Clipse album and we’re set. Download link below…

1. Intro
2. My God
3. I Still Wanna f. Rick Ross & Ab-Liva
4. Money On My Mind Freestyle
5. Feeling Myself f. Kevin Cossom
6. Blow (Funk Flex Freestyle)
7. Cook It Down Freestyle
8. Open Your Eyes
9. Can I Live Freestyle
10. Raid f. 50 Cent & Pharrell
11. Touch It f. Kanye West
12. Speakers Going Hammer Freestyle
13. Alone in Vegas (Outro)

Pusha T – Fear Of God (Mixtape)

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Big Sean – Million Dollars (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on January 21st, 2010 by Hyphen

Dope new visuals for Big Sean’s “Million Dollars.”  Shout to Mike Brinkley for sending this through.

I’m curious to see if Sean breaks through in 2010 (assuming his official debut does indeed drop).  I think he certainly has potential and I’d never bet against G.O.O.D. Music, but I wonder if he’ll be able to make the jump.  I would love to see a MC like Sean get major radio and video love, and all it’s going to take is the right record.

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Sound Session: The Best Radio Show You’ve Never Heard

Posted in News, Other Peoples' Interviews, Sound Session on January 8th, 2010 by Hyphen

As I mentioned in this week’s show archive, Sunday Night Sound Session was recently featured in the Seattle P.I. thanks to one of their writers, Elliott Smith (thanks Elliott!).  Now I know you’re all quite familiar with SNSS if you’ve found your way here to TAOD, but for those that weren’t aware, this article has proven to be a great look.  We’ve had a TON of folks reach out to express their gratitude and really, we’ll kick it right back to y’all.  While we take great pride in how much work we put into the show and we fully recognize the responsibility we have, the bottom line is that without you, we don’t exist.  Without people who actually love and live this music and culture, SNSS falls on deaf ears.

As music lovers, we’re a dying breed.  Sure, more people consume music than ever before, but how many really love and appreciate it?  For those that do, SNSS represents a rare opportunity to broadcast genuine music with substance over a 100,000-watt Clear Channel signal.

Hov admitted he dumbed down the flow to double his dollars.  We’ll never do that.  We don’t exist for any other reason than to play music we believe in…music from the soul.  We need artists to continue making it and we need YOU, the real music lover, to continue supporting it.  We’ll do our part as the conduit, believe that.

‘Sunday Night Sound Session': The best radio show you’ve never heard


The caller, voice dripping with gratitude, has one more thing to add before he hangs up.

“Thank you guys for playing so much good music,” he says.

Sounds like the provenance of satellite radio, no? Or perhaps even Seattle’s beloved KEXP?

On this night, at this hour, however, the station in question is KUBE-93. That’s right, the same KUBE that is widely seen as a corporate behemoth with a playlist as deep as a puddle is actually home to the best radio show you’ve probably never heard: “Sunday Night Sound Session.”

From 10:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. each Sunday, hosts DJ Hyphen and J. Moore play the latest and greatest in hip hop from both a national and local perspective — 90 minutes that are unlike any other in the KUBE lineup.

“Our show almost operates in opposition with KUBE,” said DJ Hyphen, aka Dorian Bunker-Pardo. “But all we’re focused on is good music. It’s deeper than just playing a record. It’s about something you can appreciate, something you can feel.”

You won’t hear the latest from 50 Cent here; instead Hyphen and Moore focus on artists that generally aren’t part of the everyday KUBE lineup.

The genesis of “Sunday Night Sound Session” came out of the rubble of a similar show, “Future Flavors,” which ran on KUBE for many years. But when it came to revamping the show, KUBE wanted to go in a different direction.

“We wanted to take a different approach to what Seattle hip hop fans were asking for,” KUBE Program Director Eric Powers said. “They’re both great shows but for different reasons. We wanted to talk to more of a hip-hop audience because of the music that was coming out locally and nationally.”

Finding credible hosts for the show was critical. With a background in college radio and a job working at KUBE, Hyphen became an obvious candidate.

“They were like, ‘Wow, this guy is a hip-hop nerd,’ ” Hyphen said.

To provide a local voice, Powers and Co. turned to the person that anyone who has ever been to a rap show in Seattle is familiar with.

J. Moore is an artist, hypeman, producer, booking agent, manager, ambassador, community leader — if it’s hip hop in Seattle, he’s probably got his hand in it. Radio host wasn’t exactly something he had thought about when the opportunity was presented to him.

“It sounded interesting, but I had to think about it so it wasn’t like I was putting myself in a position to perpetuate tokenism,” Moore said. “I was like, as long as we have control over programming — our own playlist — that was the main thing, just making sure we have the ability to be autonomous and establish our own identity. A brand within the brand. And that’s what ‘Sunday Night Sound Session’ is.”

The DJ Hyphen-J. Moore pairing was received well within the Seattle hip-hop scene, and four-plus years later, the show is still going strong.

“Being at the station that they are at, with the long history of alienation from Seattle hip hop that it’s had, their credibility is quite vital,” said Larry Mizell Jr., another important fixture in the Seattle hip-hop scene as an artist (Cancer Rising), media critic (Stranger columnist) and fellow radio host (KEXP’s “Street Sounds”).

“J. Moore is a fixture of Seattle hip hop — if you ask anybody in the scene about ‘the mayor,’ they’ll know who you mean, and it ain’t Mike McGinn — and very few could hope to match his years of contribution and sacrifice to this scene,” Mizell said.

“Hyphen is a consummate pro, sharp as hell and always looking for new stuff. Their taste is great and varied, and they’re able to put together a high-quality, entertaining and enlightening program every week that in my opinion few in Seattle, let alone anyone at KUBE-93, could pull off.”

At this point, SNSS isn’t just spinning records in a vacuum. It is breaking artists on both a local and national level, and have some of hip hop’s biggest luminaries stopping by the studio to talk shop.

“We’re definitely doing something right when fans around the city like it, people around the world like it, the artists like it, the labels like it — we haven’t had too many complaints,” Hyphen said. “The more support we get, it makes KUBE look better.

“We’re really appreciative of KUBE giving us this framework and letting us do what we want with it. It’s insanely rare. At 10:45 KUBE hands over the keys, and the kids get to drive and go wherever we want. As long as we bring it back in one piece at 12:15, KUBE’s excited about it.”

One of the results of the show’s success is the thought that anyone with a mic and some rhymes can make it on the radio. The show receives hundreds of submissions from aspiring artists, most of which aren’t radio ready. The show’s local slots are highly coveted, and often leave Seattle-area up-and-comers wondering why they aren’t getting airplay.

“We’re active participants in the life and the scene, so we’re going to hear from producers, engineers — people who are involved — about what the buzz is.” Moore said.

“We’re not passively waiting for people to send us music so we can sit back like a panel judging music.

“There’s a complete lack of understanding of the rite of passage that is necessary. It’s about development. That would be like me saying, I’m going to be a professional basketball player because I like basketball.”

Powers says that the show does draw decent ratings, but “what’s more important is that we allow other music to be heard, discovered and exposed from a local and national level.”

So what’s next for Hyphen and Moore and their little Sunday night show that could?

“It would be nice if we could expand the show on (Sundays),” Moore said. “And it would be nice if we could add an additional day or move to another day. That’s just for radio land. But something that (Hyphen) and I have always talked about it is being creative about utilizing this platform to create something for this brand that can exist beyond the radio and beyond Sunday night.”

Wherever SNSS goes in the future, right now, the pair enjoys being able to broadcast what they love to an appreciative audience.

“It’s a platform to express your ideas and opinions, but whatever we say just has 100,000 watts behind it,” Hyphen said. “So we play the same music that we’d play if we were choppin’ it up or hanging out or driving to the club. Now we get to blast it out — it’s our 100,000-watt iPod.

“We’re really thankful that we have this opportunity. We’re stand-up dudes who love the music, and that’s how we got the show.”

And with that, Moore and Hyphen pack up their gear and flip the switch back to the station’s automatic overnight programming, where they are greeted by the latest 50 Cent song.

They laugh and turn out the lights.

Elliott Smith is free-lance writer who can be reached at

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