According to many students of the game, there was a time when hip-hop had yet to succumb to the demands of the market, where skills mattered and realness reigned supreme. Of course, you’re unlikely to find two heads who can agree on exactly where the sweet spot lies. For hasHBrown, it’s 1994, the year of Illmatic and Ready to Die. Over his own appropriately retro boardwork (as beatsmith alter ego Jett.I.Mastyr), the Houston spitter attempts to bring his favorite era in music alive for younger heads who might not know what they’re missing. Miss Jaye contributes a breezy guest hook, and DJ Don mans the wheels of steel. Damien Randle directs the jam’s nostalgic visual accompaniment. Like what you’re hearing? You can expect more quality rhymes and throwback grooves on hasH’s The Last Cassette Playa LP, scheduled to drop in mid-2013.