The Past… is the first of three EPs leading up to the fourth studio album from prolific, Indie MC, Substantial. This time around the veteran wordsmith has partnered with HiPNOTT Records producer duo and fellow Maryland natives, The Other Guys for his latest release. Substantial’s musical past, pre-Hyde Out Productions, included many collaborations with Isaiah of TOG, which makes their project’s title quite fitting. The Past… features Von Pea of Tanya Morgan, Substantial’s protegé, See King, cuts from DJ Jav and plenty of that soulful boom bap The Other Guys have been known to provide. Lyrically, Substantial is as sharp as ever and covers subjects such as the dying art of MCing, dreams limited by stereotypes, and the exploitation of his former producer, Nujabes.

Substantial’s full length album The Past Is Always Present In The Future drops fourth quarter 2015. Until then, enjoy this appetizer and look forward to more flavorful Hip Hop music to feed your soul.

The first single from The Past… is “MLK (Dream Big)” featuring See King. Stream it below and pre-order the EP today. Pre-orders on Bandcamp will get an immediate download of the new single.




TWITTER HANDLES: @substizzle | @OtherGuysMusic | @HiPNOTT

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Ella Josephine Baker
(December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986)

Born in 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia, Ella Baker became involved in political activism in the 1930s. She organized the Young Negroes Cooperative League in New York City, and later became a national director for the NAACP. In 1957, Baker joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She also worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to support civil rights activism on college campuses. She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She also mentored many emerging activists such as Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael,Rosa Parks, and Bob Moses. She has been called “One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement” by the UNC Press. She also lent her voice to the Puerto Rican independence movement, spoke out against apartheid in South Africa and worked along side a number of women’s groups.

“Give light and people will find the way.”
– Ella Baker

Another powerful leader many of us didn’t learn about. Look her up!

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#SQUAD #Repost from @shing02gram: L→R: Claudio, Toru Hashimoto, Fat Jon, Marcus D, DJ Chika, Pase Rock, Shing02, Funky DL, Substantial, DJ Ryow, Seiji Hitomi. Tune into Japan Time 9pm Wednesday, or catch us on select tour dates!!

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Kwame Nkrumah
(September 21,1909 – April 27, 1972)

Kwame Nkrumah was a Ghanaian nationalist leader who led the Gold Coast’s independence from Britain and presided over its emergence as the new nation of Ghana. He was born in Nkroful, Gold Coast (now Ghana), and shepherded the country in its struggle for independence from Great Britain. He went on to be named life president of both the nation and his political party, until the army and police in Ghana seized power in 1966 and he found asylum in Guinea. – From”Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them.” -K.N.

Another leader we rarely learn about who was an advocate of Pan-Africanism. He was also a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity. Look him up.

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Mary Elizabeth Bowser
(Born c. 1839)

She was an African-American freed slave who worked as a Union spy under the name “Ellen Bond” while posing as a slave in the Confederate White House during the Civil War. Born a slave in Richmond, VA, Mary Bowser was freed after the death of John Van Lew in 1843 by his wife Elizabeth and their children. But like most former slaves, Mary remained a free woman and servant in the Van Lew household until the late 1850s. Elizabeth Van Lew, an abolitionist and Quaker noticed Mary’s exceptional intelligence and sent her to the Quaker School for Negroes in Philadelphia to be educated. After school, Mary Elizabeth married Wilson Bowser on April 16, 1861, four days after Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter, thereby initiating the Civil War. Mrs. Bowser remained in contact with the Van Lew family, which ultimately lead to them accomplishing one of the greatest feats of espionage in the Civil War. Mary was placed into the Confederate White House as Jefferson Davis’s personal servant. She possessed a photographic memory that made her great at her job. After the war ended, the federal government destroyed any records of evidence of espionage in order to protect those involved, including those of McNiven and Bowser. Therefore, the extent of information gathered by Bowser is unknown. A significant amount made its way to General Ulysses S. Grant and influenced his decisions from 1863-1864. There is no record of Mary Bowser’s post-war life and no date of death. Bowser is one of many African-American female spies who worked for the Union during the Civil War, yet her works are hardly known to us today.

Another extraordinary woman whose story is too often untold. Shout out to Michael Stone for introducing me to her. Look her up.

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Ernie Barnes
(July 15, 1938 – April 27, 2009)

Like so many, I grew up seeing this man’s phenomenal art on the TV show ‘Good Times’ while never knowing his name. Ernie Barnes was an African American painter. He was also a professional football player and author. Born and raised in Durham, NC, Barnes described himself as a chubby child with little athletic skill who was often picked on by his classmates. One day while hiding out on school grounds working in his sketchbook he was discovered by the masonry teacher, Tommy Tucker, who was also the weightlifting coach and a former athlete. That encounter lead to Barnes’ discipline and dedication that lasted throughout his life. By the time he graduated from Hillside High School in 1956, he had 26 athletic scholarship offers. The promise of a car from his mother influenced his decision to stay close to home and attend the all-Black North Carolina College. He majored in art on a full athletic scholarship and played tackle & center for NCC’s football team. While on a class field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, which was recently desegregated, Barnes asked where he could find “paintings by Negro artists.” The tour guide responded, “your people don’t express themselves that way.” 22 years later in 1978, Barnes returned to the museum for a solo exhibition. But, before he made a name for himself as an artist, he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1959 and later played for the Titans, Chargers, Broncos and the CFL before retiring in 1965. That same year, Barnes was retained as a salary player and told “You have more value to the country as an artist than as a football player.” In 1984 he was appointed the Official Sports Artist for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad. From 1976 to 2000 his work has graced the album covers of artist such as B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield, The Crusaders, Donald Byrd & Marvin Gaye.

He was an amazing man and artist. Look him up.

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