Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
There's something almost mythical about the persona that RZA created for himself and his crew. Out of the nine members of Wu-Tang, RZA has always been the most fascinating figure to me.
This interview is an old one but I always find his musings on philosophy, metaphysics, music and business, to be interesting reads. You would never guess that an artist responsible for putting together one of the most robust and intimidating groups in music could exude so much wisdom and intellectual calm. Must be all that eastern philosophy he's been studying.
...and oh yeah, it's "official".
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Starks! You let me down!
This album isn't terrible. But it's not very good either. Which simply means it pretty much sucks - mostly. I like 4 cuts here.
"Ghost Is Back" - Which is basically Ghost over Eric B. & Rakim "Know The Ledge". He does kill it though.
"Gunz n Razors" - Ghost at his usual best. Plus the beat bangs.
"Outta Town Shit" - This one leaked some weeks back. Showcases once again Ghost's knack for storytelling.
"You Know I'm Good" - It's got a decent Mark Ronson track with Amy Winehouse, an up and coming British crooner.
The rest is a bunch of mix-tape bullshit material of his Theodore Unit crew - Shawn Wiggs, Trife Da God & Cappadonna. Plus some rhymes from Sheek Louch and Redman that were basically phoned-in.
Ghost over good beats is good music.
More Fish is much less.
Not feeling much of the music released in 2006 so I had to dive into the past to get some good listenings in. I'm swimming through 1997 when Radiohead's OK Computer dominated my soundscape. I'd probably say it's one of the greatest albums I've listened to personally and I've yet to hear a vocalist as unique as Yorke. Even his sometimes moody, incoherent mumblings will fascinate.
My favorite track you ask? It's hard to say for albums this good. I mean, in terms of quality tunes OK Computer is 12 for 12. However, "Climbing Up The Walls" always sends a resonating chill down my spine. It's a slow, dense fog inching its way on to shore to engulf you in its vastness...or something like that.
Anyway, 2007 is almost upon us. Can we expect albums that are put together with the ear for perfection as Radiohead did a decade ago? I'm uncomfortably optimistic.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Aretha Franklin - One Step Ahead
It's impossible to even think in this era that soul music this engrossing will ever be recorded again.
You may recognize this from something Mos Def did back when he did music worth listening to. Aretha Franklin's vocals will simply draw you in and dismantle your whole fuckin' disposition, whatever that may be. The smokey soul she emotes is just too deep to deny. Feel it.
These cats do.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Right of way in India.
Does Esquire Magazine even have a black readership? If not, why is this article even necessary? If it is necessary, why is it in Esquire magazine of all publications???
I love records. But come on....
"I LOVE the shit. But it's HARD to defend it" - Chris Rock
And here are the Clipse. And this is the new album. It's highly anticipated being that the execs over at Jive/Zomba have had a corporate choke hold on the albums release for a couple of years now and it has finally seen a release date. These guys had to pretty much record a whole new fuckin' album in that span. Their last album, Lord Willin', was incredible. Sure the overall theme of it was littered with cocaine coloquials and flipped metaphor after metaphor in that vein. Even so, street hustlin' coke talk never sounded so good. Hell Hath No Fury is pretty much a sequel, not in any thematic way, but overall content stays relatively consistent - "I'm a hustler. Keys open doors. I lay bricks like Shaq. I'm the snowman, call me frosty." "Powder" this and "China White" that... And so on and so forth... But man, do they make the it all sound good. Plus, the Neptunes sound never came off better. It glistens. It cracks. It sputters. It gallops. It shines. After hearing the production on Hell Hath... it's hard to believe Pharrell's solo album turned out to be shit stew. This album boasts the best Neptunes production I've heard in a looonngg while. Those who know, know.
The Clipse are confident. They have an undeniable swagger and it is executed perfectly through this 12 track manifesto. Their approach is one of indifference. They don't care what anyone thinks and it works to their credit because the album's floss is utterly convincing. The fact that you don't agree with them doesn't mean you can't appreciate the performances. From it's opener "We Got It For Cheap", complete with hyped organ stabs and cluttering drums (the generic Tony Montana bullshit throughout the track is like a zit on a diva though, just sayin'), to the fiendish "Nighmares" featuring Bilal, Hell Hath No Fury is the most complete album this year in it's tight, 12 track bundle.