Veteran New York rapper and producer Grand Daddy I.U. told HipHopDX Saturday that he’s presently hard at work in the studio. The one-time Cold Chillin’ artist who worked with Jay-Z, Big L and Biz Markie said, “The shit I’m doing right now is better quality shit than Stick To The Script.” The aforementioned album was released just over a year ago. According to its creator, the new work is, “Clearer more diverse and just hotter shit. It’s still the classic I.U., but
with a more modern twist.
” Poking at auto-tune, I.U. added his work is, “Not no Roger Troutman shit either!

It was also revealed that the man who’s produced for Ice-T, KRS-One [click to read] and Heltah Skeltah [click to read] will be producing for Casual on the Hieroglyphics member’s upcoming solo. Prince Paul has also been reported to be working on th same work.

In other news, Affluent Records, home to Sadat X and dead prez has released the debut album from Youngstown, Ohio’s Throwback. The album, Ballin’ Since Birth features Sadat as well as DXnext alum Wiz Khalifa [click to read]. The self-proclaimed “Jewish King” says of the November 4th release, “I create fun music,
point blank simple. When people hear my music or see me perform, they
just want to dance and have fun. That’s what I aim for.

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HipHopDX has announced the final voting of their contest, allowing fans to use the polished-production of Rhymesayers artist Jake One to further themselves. You can preview the five finalists [click here], and vote the winner into a single-deal. Finalists include notables Cy Marshall Law and Cool Nutz.

In other contest news, 1800 Tequilla has launched its Essential Artist campaign, featured autographed bottles of their premium liquor, designed by top artists in a number of themes. To take the meaning of “artist” further, the company has announced its $10,000 recording artist challenge. Details for the contest and entry rules are [click here].