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Chicago MC Longshot has been making records since just about forever, but he's still barely known outside the city limits. That situation has real potential to flip, though, thanks to Rhymesayers' Jake One contest, in which MCs rapped to instrumentals from the Seattle producer's recent White Van Music and an online vote determined who'd killed their track the most. Fake Shore Drive reports that Longshot won, which means he's going to get a beat from Jake One and a recording session with him, plus a deal with Rhymesayers to release a single. His winning track is called "Hip Hop Is . . . Still Alive," and you can download it at the link.
BTW White Van Music has turned out to be one of my favorite hip-hop albums of the year. Jake One's got crazy pull in both mainstream and underground hip-hop, and the list of rappers on WVM reads like a thugs-vs-backpackers all-star game, with Busta Rhymes, Prodigy, and Young Buck repping the former and Slug, MF Doom, Little Brother, and Brother Ali the latter. A particular high point: a choppy staccato guitar line, a whining G-thang synth, and a typically frenetic performance from M.O.P. make "Gangsta Boy" one of the best wilin' out tracks since, well, M.O.P.'s "Ante Up."