Donuts for Dinner (Uh-huh)

Busy Friday.

First off, today marks my first contribution to the simply put KILLER series  at No Trivia called Donuts Month.  Each day of February, Brandon and a collection of contributors near and far dissect each song from Dilla’s much celebrated LP Donuts.  Some have written essays about Donuts soundtracking poignant nights.  Others have made their own music videos to accompany the soul chops and time strecthing samples.  I decided to post a few freestyles I did over Jay’s beats back in 2006 when Donuts first dropped and when I first put my studio, the Lizard Lounge, together. 

Here’s my first entry “Artichokes” over Dilla’s “Geek Down.”

Previously on

Thoughts on J. Dilla


In Beast Land, men devour full plates of chicken parm while rapping double time and punching posers straight in their nose.  Thankfully, the Germans have caught on.  Here’s a review of Dinner is Served from a German hip hop blog.  Here’s the translation courtesy of my man Pecue:

“I think just a plethora mixtapes on my plate that I have loaded directly’ve forgotten, so I have something meaningful classification difficult. But this mixtape by Nico The Beast, I have, I think, at Wake Your Daughter Up found. The first impression of this, still barely 2 weeks old, mixtapes is ever quite positive, produces the relatively straight hip-hop beats, among others, Zilla Rocca, Noochman, R J or Tecknowledgy, the quality varies from very strong and sound and just an average between soulful Boom Bap beats, and clearly Synthielastigeren. Also in the mix features Zilla Rocca and Under Ground acts like Reef the Lost Cauze – could look like by the Snowgoons publications known -. Very strong tape, after the first impression.”

Previously on

Nico the Beast Interview in HiDef


Finally, I’ve been listening to a bunch of hip hop, new and old, as we prepare to get cracking on the new Clean Guns LP, our first commercial album in almost 3 years.  I’ve been listening to stuff far and wide, so it’s only right that I share with you what may (or may not) influence the making of the album.

Today I present you with….TRACEY LEE!  The Philly MC had one of my favorite singles of the late 90s in “The Theme.”  I remember taping that song off the radio along with Lil Kim’s “Crush On You” and wearing out my Maxell copy on my walkman playing those joints.  Listening to his album Many Facez today, it’s a hodgepodge of east coast lyricism and early big Willie inclinations in the vein of It Was Written, Reasonable Doubt, and Life After Death. It’s obviously not as memorable or as timeless as those classics, but Tray Lee was far from wack on the mic.  Here is “The Theme Remix” featuring Busta and Pirate.  Those adlibbed “ah-huh’s” are my favorite memory of Tracey Lee!



  1. No wonder people don’t speak German….wtf is dude talking about? Is there no word for “dope” in German? Reading that review is like throwing a box of Alphabets down the steps and trying to make out words as it tumbles…bottom line, though: Germany has love for the Beast and that’s all that matters.

  2. Oh snap! Tracey Lee. I’ve been a fan of his since the early 90s. I’d like to suggest a track that he’s on that you didn’t mention: Keep Ya Hands High – Biggie Smalls f/Tracey Lee. It’s my favorite song Biggie ever did.

  3. Random trivia for the day: Tracey Lee retired from the rap game to go to law school in the late 90’s. He’s now an entertainment lawyer.

  4. D:
    “Reading that review is like throwing a box of Alphabets down the steps and trying to make out words as it tumbles…”

    LOL! German isn’t the sexiest language out there.

    “Keep Your Hands High” is the next song on the Tracey Lee CD. It’s dope, but I like what Premier did with Biggie’s acapella for that joint for “Rap Phenomenon” with Red & Meth from BORN AGAIN. I can’t listen to the original again without wanting to hear the Premo version. My favorite line though is “I can chill, the heat doesn’t”

    I figured you knew what Tray Lee had been up to. I always wondered why he didn’t drop another album or even a random guest appearance. Smart move for him.

  5. His second LP “Live From 215” was shelved and Bystorm Entertainment/Management went belly up and we never got to hear more from The Pirate but thanks for bringing back some old memories.

    Keep ya hands high! © Tracey Lee


  6. I was too quick to post before, indeed Tray-Lee was a beast that we never got to see the full potential of….The Theme and Keep Your Hands High get much play around here, he is one of the few dudes that was able to hold his own with Biggie on a track, and that’s saying something, considering the level of talent that was able to collab with Biggie while he was here. Nice job, Z.

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