We've talked about the Menahan Street Band before, when they provided the sample for "Roc Boys". Their debut, Make The Road By Walking dropped in October, and it's excellent. If you've heard the title track from "Roc Boys", you have an idea; funky, beautifully orchestrated instrumental soul music. I really recommend picking up this album.
Here's the Menahan Street Band performing "The Contender" at Southpaw in New York (courtesy of Jeremy Arambulo's YouTube channel, which has a lot of great NY concert footage)
My friend Zilla Rocca, a member of Philly rap group Clean Guns and a dope writer in his own right, rapped over "The Contender" from the perspective of an aspiring boxer. Put simply, it's dope; Zilla's coarse, loose-yet-controlled flow fits the triumphant horns and buoyant flute to a tee. This was made for a boxing movie montage. Next Rocky sequel, maybe?
If you dig this, go pick up Zilla's awesome mixtape, Bring Me The Head of Zilla Rocca.