Is there a more consistent and high-quality producer in hip hop than DJ Muggs? I mean, you got your Dr. Dre, your RZA and your DJ Premier, but one could argue that those guys don’t put out albums as often as they used to and, with the exception of Premo, are a decade past their best work. Muggs on the other hand, just keeps getting better and better. His work with his group Cypress Hill is beyond legendary, having crafted more hits than just about any other rap group in history. His beats on bangers by everyone from House of Pain to KRS-One to Ice Cube to Tricky to Beastie Boys are about as rough, rugged and raw as hip hop gets. And let’s not forget his forays into rock with the likes of Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.
But it’s his recent collaboration with his favorite MCs that have really gotten the hip hop world buzzin’ over the last coupla years. Anyone who heard his Grandmasters album with GZA and Legend of the Mask and The Assassin with Sick Jacken of Psycho Realm know that Muggs has taken his beats and songwriting to a whole other level. The best of which is the recently released Pain Language with Freestyle 101 vet Planet Asia, a molten collection of grimy beats and world class rhymes.
Planet Asia knows a thing or two about grinding himself, having been in the game for over a decade. But like fellow vet Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah, Asia has reinvented himself in recent times. After years of heralded but sometimes slept-on albums, the Fresno native stepped up his rap game a few years back and started spittin’ on another level. It started with his Cali Agents albums with Rasco, and continued with last year’s Jewelry Box Sessions, but came to fruition on Pain Language, arguably the strongest album of his career to date. Yup, there’s no doubt it, Planet Asia has become one of the dopest MCs in the game. Check out this episode of Freestyle 101 where Asia and Muggs stepped into the booth at The Engine Room and spit over an insane Messiaz beat if you need any proof.
Freestyle 101 goes up at 9 a.m. PST (that’s noon over on the east) every Tuesday. Next week it’s the godfather of nerdcore himself, the great Kool Keith with Kutmaster Kurt, then fellow Cypress Hill member Sen Dog, followed by Large Professor, M.O.P. affiliate Teflon, Hittman of Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001, and many more. Make sure to dig our behind the scenes photos, visit us on MySpace, and rant in our Forums. And if you dug this week’s episode, check out Planet Asia’s debut appearance on Freestyle 101, Cypress Hill’s B-Real smoked out edition, fellow Fresno native Fashawn, or Pain Language affiliate Prodigal Sunn.