Thursday, December 31, 2009
1. "Ready, Able": Grizzly Bear
2. "We've Got A Good Thing Going": Michael Jackson
3. "Begin Here": Brother Ali
4. "Exhibit C": Jay Electronica
5. "Darkness": Roger Saunders
6. "Chunky": Ghostface
7. "Samsonite Man": Fashawn feat. Blu
8. "Kids Thats Rich": Raekwon
9. "Just A Gigolo": Thelonius Monk
10. "Just Begun": Reflection Eternal feat. Jay Electronica, J. Cole, & Mos Def
11. "Quiet Dog": Mos Def
12. "Minute By Minute": The Doobie Brothers
13. "Start The Show" (Original Version): Common
14. "Cavatina": Stanley Myers
1. Veckatimist: Grizzly Bear
2. In Da Ruff (Retail Version): Diamond District
3. My World: Lee Fields & The Expressions
4. The Salaam Remi Collection (Mixtape): Presented By Uggh...Nice Watch
5. Disintegration: The Cure
6. Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry: Ghostface
7. The Aretha Mix (Mixtape): DJ O-Dub of Soul Sides.com
8. My Maudlin Career: Camera Obscura
9. The Ecstatic: Mos Def
10. Anything Michael Jackson
Monday, November 30, 2009
**The Black Keys and Hip-Hop are BlakRoc. NPR did a quick write up. This group is Damon Dash's baby and the album figures to be an official mash up with some Hip-Hop heavyweights (Mos Def, Raekwon, RZA, M.O.P, and Pharoah Monch to name a few). I like what I've heard so far but this kind of collaborative, cross-genre effort is nothing new. Peep the Mos Def and Jim Jones collabo "Ain't Nothin' Like You (Hoochie Coo)":
**If there's something you're looking to do, get familiar with Blu and Exile. I've still got 2007's Below The Heavens on heavy rotation. Blu recently collaborated and lended production duties to Sene's ADayLate&ADollarShort, which is out now. Not mindblowing by any means but very consistent and solid material.
**Listened to Thelonious Monk's Monk's Dream last night and spun "Just A Gigolo" for 30 minutes straight.
**On a Lauryn Hill note, I don't remember where I came across this song but I sat down with it the other day and played it several times over. I know I didn't care for it much when I first heard it so I never really went back to it. But after running through some Fugees back catalog and the J. Period's L-Boogie mixtape from way back, I went back to it and let it kind of grow on me. It's really nothing spectacular. It's something that was not officially released so the sound quality is pretty shitty and it kind of drags at 8 plus minutes but I like the melody and it's cozy, acoustic quality. What do you think?
Lauryn Hill: "The World Is A Hustle" (unreleased)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
If you have any familiarity with John Woo films you know that action plays center stage to the plot and storylines. I hear this picture boasts the biggest budget ever for an Asian motion picture. After all, you can't assemble some of Asia's most esteemed actors and cast them for peanuts.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
If you don't already know, Raekwon, Ghostface, and Method Man are forming like Voltron for a December album release, complete with trailers.
There are two other versions of this video for "New Wu" but this is the official, every bit as gully as your gulliest videos.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Well, by now you should already know. He plays the enigmatic well but isn't so mysterious these days. At first, I didn't really understand what the fuss was with Jay Electronica. The verdict is still out until he drops something official but I'm not mad at material like this, the track courtesy of Justin Blazini.
Jay Electronica: "Exhibit C"
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I've seen and heard many incarnations of this song. Michael Buble actually does a cover of it on his new album. I don't think Buble's version does the original much justice because his vocals just doesn't fit with how this song should be sung. It just doesn't have that soulful bottom to it.
As far as love songs go, "At This Moment" is one of my all time favorites. The live performance is really what I enjoy hearing the most because Billy Vera's vocals express the sentiment of the song so perfectly. Again, I've seen him perform this song many times and he always delivers.
Friday, October 23, 2009
By the way, Diamond District's In Da Ruff is extra-spectacular...
And the bonus cut they dish out for the official retail release is beautiful. I'm saying, Oddissee is one of my favorite beatsmiths doing it right now.
Speaking of tracks:
Clipses' "Popular Demand (Popeyes)" is bananananas! Pharrell is no chump when it comes to programming those drums. Throw Cam on the track aaaannnddd...
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
I really thought this album was going to be terrible. It's not that I mind Ghostface doing R&B tracks coupled with contemporary R&B artists, but the thought of an entire album of them made me want to throw up. And hearing a couple of leaks from the album didn't necessarily help. But the two songs I heard prior to listening to the whole album didn't tell the whole story because I'm liking what the Wizard of Poetry has to offer. I mean, Ghost did say that he was going to do an all R&B album dedicated to the ladies and he definitely followed through. And it doesn't entirely suck either. As a matter of fact, it's vintage Ghostface material here and it's on display in typical Ironman vernacular fashion, if that makes any sense.
Lyrics-wise, Ghost is always going to deliver and that's not what I was really worried about when I first heard he was going through with this. I was more worried about the tracks, the beats, the producers. Most of the producers on this are unfamiliar to me save maybe Sean C & LV (who Ghost has worked with before and who produced some tracks for Jay-Z's American Gangster). Otherwise, never heard of Skymark ("Stay"), Clyde & Harry ("Forever"), Anthony Acid ("She's A Killah"). But the tracks work and, as far as R&B production go, are solid.
Here are couple that really work:
"Let's Stop Playin" feat. John Legend
"Paragraphs of Love" feat. Vaughn Anthony & Estelle
Friday, September 25, 2009
So it looks like De La Soul's got a track for NBA Live 10. Hip-Hop and videos games are nothing new but I was a little surprised to hear that De La would do something with EA Sports. No matter cause I'm always happy to hear something new from them considering it's been um-teen years since their last official release.
As for the track, I wasn't sure I liked it at first listen but it's grown on me.
De La Soul: "La La La"
Saturday, September 05, 2009
First off, great cover. If Rae's going for the sequel this is the way to go.
So now that I've heard a few leaks I'm convinced Cubin Linx 2 is going to be a mixed bag. Although I'm not convinced the current track list floating around will be representative of the final product, I'm pretty sure it's going to disappoint. "Broken Safety" featuring Jadakiss and Styles P and "Have Mercy" featuring Beanie Sigel (and Blue Rasberry sings like shit), sound like mixtape throwaways.
"House of Flying Daggars" is good. Vintage Wu-Tang with Dilla providing the stampede. Can't say much about the video though, a little too cartoonish for my tastes.
"Catalina" , one of Dr. Dre's productions on the album, is nice. Doesn't blow my hair back but consistently effective, like all of Dre's recent work. As always, no change up on the tempo.
I think it's safe to say that if you're promoting your own album and you're not calling it a "classic", you're basically shitting on your own project. No? I may be premature. Maybe the rest of it is classic material. And don't get me wrong because I want this album to meet and/or exceed all expectations because Raekwon's no slouch with his mic skills. But if he's saying that the strength of this album is it's production then the product should hold true to that. So far my reaction is...meh.
None of what I've heard is on par with this and I don't even think its going to be on the album. He should get in the studio with Pete Rock and bang out a whole album because they definitely have a chemistry that works. Now THAT would be a classic collabo cause the PR has consistently churned out bangers for various Wu-Tang artists.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I discovered this live acoustic version of "Simply Beautiful", taken from a VH1 special that I should have never missed.
And on another random video note, I didn't even realize that there was a video for my favorite track on TVOTR's Return To Cookie Mountain.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oddissee has consistently been churning out quality material for years. I'm a fan of the whole Low Budget collective which includes Oddissee, Kev Brown, Cy Young, Roddy Rod, etc. It's not that they're creating mind blowing material either. It's just consistent, quality beats and rhymes that don't necessarily hit the mark every time. But the sound is coming from a very authentic place and is put on display, albeit under the radar, exceptionally well.
Oddissee is both producer and MC and very apt at wearing both hats. I thinks his production has steadily showed growth and improvement as far as arrangement and diversity of sounds. I hear his influences - Pete Rock, J-Dilla, Premier... But, like his Low Budget co-hort Kev Brown, the sound is distinctly his. As an MC, he's always been impressive. He is hands down the best of his peers.
Let me break down the Oddissee flavors that don't miss:
Kev Brown feat. Phonte & Oddissee: "Beats & Rhymes" - From Kev Brown's excellent I Do What I Do released in 2005 and the first time I ever heard Oddissee. His verse is last of the three and the only one to leave an impression. Phonte delivers but Oddissee closes this track out like a veteran champ.
Oddissee: "Gentrification" - Great production by Kev Brown and the content is more on the reflective side as he speaks about the gentrification of D.C., where he rests his head. From his mixtape Foot In The Door.
J-Live feat. Posdnous & Oddissee: "The Upgrade" - This is probably my favorite Oddissee production. The fact that J-Live brought in Pos of De La Soul to drop a verse was a treat but Oddissee's beat is tremendous. It's the horns kid!
Little Brother feat. Oddissee: "Delusional" - Produced by Oddissee with a lyrical cameo as well. Love the theme and the hook.
Oddissee feat. Buckshot: "Where I Be At" - From Pete Rosenberg Presents: A Rosenberg Oddissee EP. Can't really go wrong with Buckshot over an Oddissee track, especially if that Oddissee track is as flavorous as this one.
The Diamond District: In The Ruff album - Oddissee's trio featuring XO and YU. It's my favorite Hip-Hop album released this year. The beats are reminiscent of 90's eastcoast Hip-Hop, heavy on the drums and kicks. "Streets Won't Let Me Chill" is my anthem right now.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I thought I'd have a lot to say considering how his music dominated the airwaves throughout the decades, but the only thought I can muster is that I feel really sorry for the guy. Otherwise, his music (that includes the music he recorded with the Jackson 5), will never get old or outdated.
Instead of throwing the MJ5 favorites out there, I decided to share his music as it was flipped for some memorable Hip Hop cuts:
Nas: "It Ain't Hard To Tell"
De La Soul: "Breakadawn"
LL Cool J: "Hey Lover"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth: "Appreciate"
Ghostface: "All That I Got Is You"
Rhymefest: "Dancin' Machine"
Naughty By Nature: "OPP"
Kanye West: "Good Life"
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Songs for the summer heat.
The Beach Boys-"God Only Knows": You know The Beach Boys are synonymous with summer. It's probably not the song from their catalog that someone might expect to put on a summer mixtape but this tune is the breeziest to me.
The Gap Band-"Outstanding": I'm an 80's product, shaped and molded by the music of that era. The Gap Band's "Outstanding" always held down my summers and I never tire of it. Classical summer soul. And as a bonus, Matthew Africa liberates "I Found My Baby" to throw on at your BBQ this season.
Ibrahim Ferrer-"Bruca Manigua": There's no other voice like his on this planet and this tune is a perfect summer sizzler, complete with groovy percussion, horns, violin, and background vocals. Ae!
Bonus: You have to see a live performance to really appreciate Ibrahim Ferrer's vocals.
Brother Ali-"Real As Can Be" and "Begin Here" instrumentals: Not that Brother Ali's presence on these tracks is bad. It's just that the tracks (produced by Ant) are simply two of the best produced tracks I've heard so far this year-the smoothest shit I've heard in a while.
Ghostface-"Forever": Ghost lamenting over something soulful trying to get her to understand. Summer's definitely here folks.
Krumbsnatcha-"Yesterday": What is summer without songs that reminisce and conjure memories of the good 'ol days. The meloncholy track is produced by Pete Rock and fits snug with Krumb's theme. I'm really digging the hook PR has strewn in there.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Truthfully, my expectations came in low for "The Blackout 2". Not that I wasn't looking out for Redman and Method Man material. Sequels seldom hit the mark, especially in Hip-Hop music. "Blackout 2" has probably 2 really strong tracks that I'd take with me and the lead single "Ay Yo", produced by Pete Rock, is one of them. The other, "Dangerous MC's" produced by Erick Sermon, is the other. Lyrically, Red and Meth are always going to impress. It's the scattered and anemic production that makes this album such a wash.
I forgot to mention the Cookin Soul Remix of "Dangerous MCs" is RIDICULOUSLY good.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Peter Rosenberg chops it up with Q-Tip. Q-Tip's Busta Rhymes impression is priceless.
In this segment, Q-Tip talks about Dilla. The sad thing is when you think about the potential of the Ummah and what we will never get to hear because of Dilla's passing. Everbody lights up whenever they have a J-Dilla story to tell...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Here's something from the past worthy of revisiting. Jeru The Damaja's "Can't Stop The Prophet" video was pretty original for the time. Early nineties Hip Hop videos weren't the most creative productions back then. And the track, produced by DJ Premier, is wicked.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
...this is my favorite group of all time.
And this album is a sound revolution, still, 20 years later.
And the making of this masterpiece is broken down to it's very last compound here.
If you love this record as much as I do it's an absolute must-read.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
I've been on a major Beatminerz binge lately. I discovered a thunderous Beatminerz remix of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Gimme The Loot!" from an under-the-radar remix album they put out in 2007 and started to revisit some old (and new) material from this Brooklyn collective. It was also cool to, coincidentally, come across the video below and see that something like that is actually being put out confirming the relevance of authentic beatmaking and it's enduring significance.
Good producers develop their own sound and it eventually becomes their signature. All the greats have that singular sound and Evil Dee and Mr. Walt have mastered theirs. Da Beatminerz is heavy and stark, New York boom-bap, kick and snare Hip-Hop. To really appreciate a Beatminerz production you have to turn it up and don't be afraid to blow your speakers out. Even the slick tracks will blow your wig back.
Here's what I've had on rotation in no particular order. Brace for impak.
The Notorious B.I.G.: "The Loot!" ("Gimme The Loot!" remix) - Is there a white label for this? If not, someone needs to get upon it and make it happen.
Black Moon: "Stoned Is The Way" - This is what I mean by heavy. Something to crush cinder blocks to.
Mic Geronimo feat. O.C. & Royal Flush: "Men Vs. Many" - From Mic Geronimo's solid debut The Natural (1995). This Beatminerz production is more sparse but it's still got a kick to it and the three MC's don't slouch on the track either.
Beatminerz feat. Flipmode Squad: "Take That!" - This was a track absolutely made for Busta Rhymes but it's got the whole Flipmode featured on it. No matter, I could crank this instrumental and still lose control. "Bladoowww!!!!!"
Rah Digga: "Tight" - Her Dirty Harriet debut album in 2000 is probably one of the best female rap albums I've heard mainly because it's anchored down by such excellent production (Pete Rock, Premier, Nottz, and Da Beatminerz). This is my favorite from that album, track courtesy of Mr. Walt. It's tighter than three or more heads in a CRX.
Smif 'N' Wessun: "Shinin...Next Shit" - From Dah Shinin' (1995) and the second official release from Duck Down Records and exclusively produced by Da Beatminerz. This album boasts "Bucktown", "Sound Bwoy Bureill", and "Let's Git It On" to name a few, but I always go back to this one.
If you're wondering why I didn't post these,
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Scratch Academy DVD: Beatmaking 101 from Hevehitta on Vimeo.
I don't even know who the other guy is (DJ Shok?). He seems a little jittery, probably because he's in the company of a couple of legends. Very good stuff from DJ Premier and DJ Evil Dee who provide some interesting insight on the art of beat-making.
Speaking of DJ Evil Dee, I've been meaning to post something on the Beatminerz. For some reason, the random shuffle of my iPod has been landing on some burners from Evil Dee and his brother Mr. Walt. I think it's a precurser for the heat that's about to hit this summer and I've got some Beatminerz material to match that. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Mos Def's full length The Ecstatic is set for a June release. Can't say that the first official single "Life In Marvelous Times" did much for me. The production (Mr. Flash) is a little snoozy. "The Glow" might have been a more solid choice but there's no confirmation that it will even be on the new album.
"Quiet Dog" is the second official single. Produced by Preservation, it's a stronger, uptempo cut that showcases Mos Def's ability to pretty much become the track he jumps on. Production-wise, it's basically a rhythm track anchored down by groovy percussion and, of course, Mos Def's steady and unwavering flow. Quiet dog bite hard!
Mos Def: "Quiet Dog"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Random flashback here. I only put this up because I was listening to Steely Dan's essential Aja album this morning and kept going back to "Black Cow", probably my favorite Steely Dan song from one of the best albums ever recorded. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker created a masterful "Side One" that lines up "Black Cow", "Aja", and "Deacon Blues", a flawless 1, 2, and 3 song combo that I don't think any other "classic" album is able to match.
I'm not the biggest fan of Peter Gunz & Lord Tariq but "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" is intoxicating simply because the "Black Cow" break was used to such perfection.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
CBRAP put up a list a while back on building your own Cuban Linx 2 and dropped a couple of woozies that, in all likelihood, are not going to make the final cut (if a final cut actually exists). I've already heard most of them but there are two cuts that are new to me that I hope will make it on the album.
"Kids That's Rich" - Produced by Pete Rock. Chef puts his lyrical skill and wordplay on major display here. I think a Pete Rock and Raekwon collabo album should be seriously considered by both camps. By the way, Raekwon apparently knows nothing about this track so I think it's going to be on the album with a different title. It's too good to be excluded.
"Blue Eagles" - There's a complete version of this floating around out there somewhere. This is a snippet. If I can't find it I'm hoping it makes the album.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
I've heard some scattered remix projects created for legends of the past. For instance, I really enjoyed the Sergio Mendes Timeless project. It's got one of only a handful of Wil.I.Am productions I like on it by way of "That Heat", a f--kin' scorcher.
The Nat King Cole project Re:Generations sounds promising. I've heard "Walking My Baby Back Home" featuring The Roots and wasn't much impressed. But "The Game of Love" featuring Nas and reinterpreted by Salaam Remi? Excellent. It's short and wastes no time. Nas follows Nats lead and goes in. The tracks whimsical sound is a definite winner here and doesn't make either artist come off awkward.
Nas: "The Game of Love"
For the record, after watching the above trailer, I'm actually looking forward to the Wil.I.Am and Natalie Cole collabo.
And the Just Blaze track sounds hot as well.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Wow. Now this is the Primo production I've been waiting for. From the other half of Queensbridge's own Screwball.
Blaq Poet: "Ain't Nuttin' Changed"
The album The Blaqprint set to drop via DJ Premier's Year Round Records this spring.
Nothing mind blowing with the video but still, the track is ridiculous.
Friday, February 20, 2009
What I love about Beirut is that the music takes me someplace unfamiliar. From the instrumentation and nuanced vocal stylings of Zack Condon to the wistful worldliness that comes through in his lyrics, Beirut is simply good listening.
Although not as strong as the previous two releases, the EP combo of March of the Zapotec and Realpeople: Holland is consistent with Beirut's sound. There's a little dabbling of electronic stuff thrown in the mix but I still enjoy it overall. I'm throwing "The Concubine" out there cause it's my favorite of the set. My daughter's fond of "The Shrew".
Beirut: "The Concubine"
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"Whether you describe it as the dawning of a post-racial age or just the end of white America, we’re approaching a profound demographic tipping point. According to an August 2008 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, those groups currently categorized as racial minorities—blacks and Hispanics, East Asians and South Asians—will account for a majority of the U.S. population by the year 2042. Among Americans under the age of 18, this shift is projected to take place in 2023, which means that every child born in the United States from here on out will belong to the first post-white generation."
I'm a little late getting to this but it's an interesting observation. Read Hua Hsu's full essay in The Atlantic here.
The blends are perfect, the music is still incredible to this day and relevant as ever. The Q-Tip commentary is great as well.
I've usually stayed away from the mixtape circuit for numerous reasons but I have to give it to Tip and J.Period for putting together a fantastic mix of unforgettable Hip-Hop.
Definitely on point here.
And it's free in case you ain't heard...
Saturday, January 31, 2009
You know, I (We) should be dumbfounded at how someone like this has served, not one, but two terms as the President of these United States, elected by the people for the people. And we're supposed to be one of the more educated societies of the world. Are we??? I think that's a legitmate question.
(Footage brought to you by way of Poplicks)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"Peace God" feat. Born Divine - (Somebody actually flipped the Bee Gee's "Nights On Broadway" and layed it down quite flat).
Saturday, January 24, 2009
placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania
of owing things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived
thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
- Walt Whitman
Fleet Foxes: "Meadowlarks"
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I just caught Planet B-Boy on MTV2 this past Sunday night. I know that breakdancing had evolved into something more than uprocking and backspins but the contemporary b-boy continues to take the art form to new heights. Sometimes when I see what they're able to do, physically, with the precision, speed, intricacy, complexity, and the sheer strength and body control it takes to pull off each move...I dunno. I don't think they're human. And battles sure as hell aren't what they used to be.
Oliver Wang interviewed the documentary's director Benson Lee back in June of 2008 which you can read here.
The documentary is definitely worth checking out.