I first heard about the international dynamic duo Foreign Exchange on the Incognito Message Board from C.E.D. The members of Foreign Exchange are Phonte of Little Brother of NC & Beat Master Nicolay of the Netherlands. Ironically they meet first on the Okayplayer web site in 2003 & forged a musical relationship that caused a wave of great acclaim. Their album Connected dropped in August 2004 & features warm electric beats, trippy vibes, lyrical power, and most importantly & new era in Hip-Hip.

Phonte & Nicolay spent a year communicating/collaboration on Connected via the internet (wow technology is great). The album also features appearances by YahZarah & others from the NC music scene. Doing some quick research last night I found a great interview on NPR with the duo & one of my favorite NPR personalities Renée Montagne & the funny thing is that I listen to NPR all the time & totally missed this story, oh well better late than never. Here is a story snippet; “Take two hip-hop artists on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, add a dash of online communication, and you get the musical duo Foreign Exchange. NPR’s Renée Montagne talks to Emcee Phonte Coleman of North Carolina and producer Nicolay Rook of the Netherlands about their collaboration and Connected, the album it sparked.”

My clear favorite cuts are:

I also found a good & comprehensive story/review on Pitchfork Media, here is a snippet; “Until early this year, North Carolina emcee Phonte (Little Brother) and Dutch beatmaking sensation Nicolay had never met, or even spoke on the phone. Making their acquaintance on the webboards at Okayplayer, the two took The Postal Service’s album-by-correspondence technique to heart: Nicolay instant messaged beats to Phonte, who dropped verses, and then the Holland native mastered the product. The result, Connected, is a sweltering, improbable 14-track symphony teeming with potent lyricism and subtle, lustrous rhythmatics.”

My final thought/bottom line, just pick it up & you will not regret it!!! Available on iTunes

Link to Full Audio Story
Link to Pitchfork Media Story