Thursday, May 14, 2009
"The World Is Yours" off the classic, Illmatic.
Bonus: While Nas is getting back together, everyone cross your fingers that he'll hit up Q-Tip for another track as well. Off the same album, "One Love" is another classic:
Monday, May 11, 2009
UGK feat. Outkast - International Player's Anthem
Friday, May 8, 2009
"A curse record is the opposite. A curse song will, in a real way, open old wounds, tearing the stitches you're trying to make hold. A curse song should be avoided at all costs. I have friends who, suffering through the virulent stages of the curse, abandon entire bands or even genres of music due to the associated poison."
The concept is one that I'd never really thought of before. Never really thought that there was a difference between the standard break-up joint and its more toxic cousin, I just avoided them both outright because both were immediately unpleasant to deal with, even if one was supposed to be healthy. After reading the story "Wine And Bed And More And Again" in which a character is "cursed" by a song, I instantly knew that I didn't just have a curse song, I have a whole album. So what'd I do? I went and dug it up.
Walls Don't Exist is a beautifully put together instrumental album by Afrobeat and Hip Hop artist, Wale Oyejide, recorded under the moniker of Science Fiction. It follows a narrative of 'boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-better', and while that certainly sounds like fodder the former, I suppose my reaction to it as a whole really brings into sharp focus just how personal the latter is.
The whole album is admittedly a pretty painful experience for me, but I regularly recommend it to people as example of just how beautiful and powerful a musical form Hip Hop can be. I guess this is just another, less positive facet of that power showing itself.
I'll share the joints that hit me the hardest, from the 'boy-meets' and 'boy-looses' sections respectively, and as always I recommend picking it up if you can find it(from what I understand, it's out of print, so if people ask nice I might post it up). Just don't ask me to listen to it with you:
Science Fiction - This Is Where I Landed When I Fell For You
Science Fiction - Losing You Is What Drowning Feels Like
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Electric Relaxation from Midnight Marauders
Friday, April 10, 2009
Lately, though, I hadn't been listening to too much on my own, just for personal enjoyment and I thought it was because I just wasn't finding a lot worth listening to, but a conversation with a good friend of mine made me see things differently. Considering how much inspiration I get from music in writing, I started to realize that I'd been avoiding getting too deeply consumed with listening to music because I was afraid of what it would bring out of me.
I've been writing a lot of poetry lately, some of it for RPG supplemental material but a fair amount for myself as well, and music has played a large role in the output. In the past few weeks Blu and Exile have caused me to, for better or worse, reexamine some parts of my life that I thought I'd left well behind. Rather than blather on about the specifics, I'll let the tunes and the poems speak for themselves.
I do not want her to smile for only me.
A smile is the soul’s searchlight.
A beacon for the weary
To find a moment’s assuredness
In the middle of stormy seas
Or simply a confirmation
During a seemingly solitary journey
That a traveler is not alone.
Her smile is not mine to own.
It is a mobius strip of radiance
Where the beauty she gives the world
And the beauty the world gives to her coalesce.
It is impossible for a mortal
To hold such a phenomenon in his hands,
And only an evil man would try.
I would only hope,
That when she smiles
Whatever she holds from me,
In her heart
Is part of what’s shining out.
Exile - Love Line
And all other associated parts
Spread out in front of me
In thin slices
On a platter of silver.
One by one,
I take each piece
Into my mouth
Letting each one settle
And melt across my tongue
Before moving on
To the next.
The textures vary
From piece to piece.
Some are buttery
And smooth like silk
As they dissipate.
Of teeth and jaw
All in an effort
To bring together
One final time.
For when the stomach’s work
And they are all gone
There will be nothing left
Of the repast’s
More humble origins.
Blu - Amnesia
Bonus: Courtesy of Fresh Selects Blu coasts over the instrumental for "Love Line" and leaves me fiendin' for a follow up to Below The Heavens.
Blu vs. Exile - LoveLine(s),DedicatedToLastFe’vrier
Thursday, April 9, 2009
In honor of the aforementioned fothermucker, and seeing as how it's Thursday, I'm posting up one of Mahfood's mixtapes, liberated at his man Plex Lowery's blog. It's a dope mix of old-school Hip Hop and funk joints that is just right for chilling at the crib, or riding around with on a lazy afternoon.
Click here to read up on the tape and listen to the stream.
Edit: Here's a Mediafire link to the mix, and the tape cover. Food One Mix CD Vol. 1
Also, Jim, if you're reading this, thanks for the convo and the sketch. Really made my day.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Run D.M.C. - Beats to the Rhyme
Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full
Beastie Boys - Shadrach
Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause (Live, with a great intro)
LL Cool J - Boomin' System
Steinski - The Lesson 2 (James Brown Mix)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Illogic - I Know You
Cop it from Weightless Recordings and get a separate CD of instrumentals from the album. Between this, Sign Language and the $7.99 price point for both, Weightless is holding you down with good music.
Monday, March 16, 2009
HerFavoriteColo(u)r from Blu
Bonus: Here's one of the songs he dropped last V-Day, "NeverAgain"
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Abstract Rude - Rejuvenation
Look out for it in on May 5th, or pre-order it from Rhymesayers' official store Fifth Element for a reduced price.
Bonus: Since the album's entirely produced by Seattle's own Vitamin D, thought I'd hit you off with one of my favorite productions of his, "The Writz" off of Gift of Gab's Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Now I said that this is a must see for genre film fans. I didn't say comic book fans, because there are two sorts of us. There's the fan that's excited at the prospect of comic book properties being treated with the respect they deserve. Then there's the sort that aren't happy with anything but complete carbon-copy translation, and even then they are prepared to hate it before they've seen one frame. In the weeks leading up to the film I heard plenty of comic book fans voice their displeasure with the film, from the fairly standard jabs at Zach Snyder's use of the speed-cranking slow-mo technique (which, while it shows up, is restrained and works for what it's there for) and the lack of a certain cephalopod. Then there was word from "fans" who had apparently gotten to see early screenings of the film, claiming that the principal cast couldn't act. Now that the movie is actually out I've heard plenty of intelligent discussion about it, both positive and negative, but there are still comic book fans who're bound and determined to hate on the flick just because it exists. These fans, even in the face of being able to discuss their fandom in an way that doesn't patronize or disrespect the material are unable to accept the idea of what is precious to them being delivered to people outside of their niche group.
Depending on what sort of comic book fan you are, you may not want to see Watchmen. As for myself, I'm glad that I saw it because even I didn't like it I would have had a lot to talk about. Regardless of where you fall in your opinion on the movie, you can't deny that a lot of care and thought went into it being made. If you're like me, I'm pretty sure you'll feel like that alone deserve at least a look. So, what kind of fan are you?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I'll give my thoughts on Sunday.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Be sure to check it out this Monday, and shouts out to Chad from Crackle for peeping the site.
Sold exclusively at the Weightless shop and limited to 500 copies? You know what you need to do.
Bonus: One of my favorite tracks from Chamber Music, "Bleach"
Friday, February 20, 2009
Good luck, and here's the man himself performing "Everything" in Columbus, OH @ The Basement:
Thursday, February 19, 2009
And even further back from their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in honor of my job interview in an hour, "Git Up, Git Git Out":
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here's B.O.B. on his new millennium ATLien ish, "Generation Lost" one of my favorite joints from his upcoming debut:
Friday, February 13, 2009
This was Raekwon back in November of 2007, a month before the release of one of the most divisive albums of the Wu-Tang Clan's career, 8 Diagrams. Moreso than the fans, it very publicly divided the Clan as Raekwon and Ghost in particular aired out grievances with the RZA about finances and more notably the creative direction of the album. While Rae and Ghost (and admittedly most fans) wanted a return to the gritty, dark production of the Clan's heyday, the RZA was pulling from the work he's done on his own with live instrumentation and more orchestral sounds. The riffs calmed down as the album got closer to release but for many, Rae's gripes were well-founded and fans such as myself wondered when that RZAless Wu-Tang album was coming.
Well it's been more than a year since Raekwon told an interviewer that Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang would be coming and we haven't heard a peep about it from anyone involved in the Clan though they've all been active since. There have been tours, Rae's been amping up the Cuban Linx 2 talk yet again (with some impressive joints leaked, to boot) and RZA's been back at work with the Afro Samurai franchise, scoring another movie as well as the game. Yet and still, there have only been non-committal references to another Wu album by various members, with or without RZA.
After playing around with the idea, and a few conversations with friends about the notion of other producers working on a Wu full length, I decided to get to work on my own idea of what it might sound like. Entitled Wu-Tang vs. The Abbott, I've selected 11 producers who have either already worked with the Clan in some capacity or whose sound I believe with compliment Shaolin's Finest:
DJ Muggs (1. General Principal, 2. Advance Pawns)
The RZA to Cypress Hill's Wu-Tang Clan, both crews have held allegiances with one another for quite a while, dating back to RZA and U-God appearing on "Killa Hill Niggas" on 1995's III: Temples of Boom. Muggs' dark, moody production fits the Clan's style, as is evidenced on these two tracks from his collaborative effort with GZA Grandmasters.
Pete Rock (3. The PJs, 4. Strange Fruit)
Another legendary beatmaker in the mix, Pete Rock's already worked with the Wu, producing more than a couple of bangers for Ghostface's solo album, and featuring clan members on each of his solo records.
DJ Premier (5. Jeru Da Damaja - One Day, 6. Crookyln Dodgers - The Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers)
The first producer I included in this list who I was actually surprised to learn that he hasn't yet worked with the Wu. As I'm typing this up I'm still looking around for anything at all, so if you find it, please drop a line in the comments to correct me. Premier literally defines that gritty sound of New York's early and mid-nineties golden era, using hard break loops and samples to craft Hip Hop classics. The Wu over a Premo track could be a match in Hip Hop heaven.
Mathematics (7. Ghostface Killah - Mighty Healthy, 8. GZA - Fam (Members Only))
While the RZA handled the majority of the Clan's production in the early days, there have been a few understudies in the crew: 4th Disciple, True Master and the next producer in the mix Allah Mathematics, better known as Mathematics. The influences of the Abbott are evident, but he's carved out his own niche over the years with solo joints and his own record company Quewisha.
Bronze Nazereth (8. Masta Killa feat. Inspektah Deck & GZA - Street Corner, 9. Bronze Nazareth, Solomon Childs & Byata - Street Corners)
One-third of the group Wisemen, Bronze Nazareth was invited into Wu's group of in-house soundsmiths back in 2002, and three years later he handled the bulk of the production on the compilation album Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture. One of favorite joints from it, "Street Corners" appears on Masta Killa's Made In Brooklyn. I included both since Masta Killa's version features clan members and further illustrates how well they can fit into someone else's production.
Carlos "6 July" Broady (11. Ghostface Killah - We Made It, 12. Royce Da 5'9" - Street Hop)
Even though he's apart of The Hitmen (Bad Boy's production team) he's one of the more underrated producers in the game. I got familiar with his work on Royce Da 5'9"'s album Death Is Certain, and his ability to balance soulful sounds with punch-you-in-face joints would suit the clan as a whole well.
Da Beatminerz (13. Tek & Steele - Tools of the Trade, 14. Heltah Skeltah - Prowl)
The sonic backbone of another iconic NYC rap crew, Boot Camp Click, Da Beatminerz have worked with many East Coast underground luminaries over the years, and considering their signature sound of hard drums and samples is synonymous with New York rap, it's not hard to imagine how a Wu-Tang/Beatminerz joint would sound.
Khrysis (15. Sean Price - King Kong, 16. Sean Price - Stop)
As a member of the North Carolina's Justus League (Little Brother's their most well-known export), his efforts were overshadowed by his fellow JL beatmaker, 9th Wonder. When 9th parted ways with Little Brother, Khrysis' star seemed to shine a little brighter with spots on several Justus League affiliated projects, including these two joints from Sean Price's Jesus Price Superstar. When one of New York's most respected lyricists refers to you as his "personal go-to guy", you know you're onto something.
Marco Polo (17. Heltah Skeltah - Insane, 18. Marquee (Instrumental))
His 2007 album Port Authority was like a love letter to those that miss that ol' New York boom-bap, and has earned the respect of spitters like O.C., Masta Ace, and Kool G. Rap. With more than a few bangers crafted for East Coast heavy hitters, he'd have no trouble cooking up something for the Wu.
Dan the Automator & Prince Paul (19. Handsome Boy Modeling School - Waterworld feat. Encore, 20. Handsome Boy Modeling School - The Truth feat. J-Live & Róisín Murphy)
Both are incredible producers in their own right, collaborating with damn near the entirety of the Hip Hop community between the two of them. Their team effort, Handsome Boy Modeling School, particularly the debut album So...How's Your Girl? produced some of the murkiest, dustiest and atmospheric tracks they'd put out to that point. Most tracks were co-produced, but these two were solo joints, Automator on the former and Paul on the latter.
Maker (21. The Beginning, 22. Broken Wing feat. Qwel, 23. World of Shadows feat. Thawfor)
The most unlikely out of all of these, simply because of the producer's visibility and connection to the Clan in comparison to the other folks in the mix. I got put on to Maker when I was in college with his production for the group Glue, and as a member of the three man DJ squad The Comeups (Side Note: At the time they hadn't decided on a solid name, so they went through a few. When I first went to a party they DJ'd they were going by The Lou Ferrigno Experience). I was regularly blown away by his soulful and atmospheric production. His use of dusty samples and solid drums to make dark soundscapes would fit the Wu like a glove, IMHO.
Bonus: I can't believe I didn't mention this before, but I snuck a gem onto the end of the mix, "State of Grace" by Raekwon, produced by none other than the RZA. One of the first tracks to leak from Only Built For Cuban Linx 2, it's proof positive that RZA still has it in him to do the sort of record that Wu fans are looking for. It's precisely the sort of thing I thought of whenever talk of OBFCL2 was bandied about, and represents that there's still hope, however slight for the RZA and the rest of the Wu to hash out their creative differences and make a dope album again.
D/L: Wu-Tang vs. The Abbott
Hope you enjoy it, and let me know who YOU think should be included if Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang ever sees the light of day.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
"Mighty Healthy" produced by Mathematics on Ghostface's Supreme Clientele
"General Principles" produced by DJ Muggs on his collaborative effort with GZA Grandmasters.
"American Cream Team Line Up" produced by DJ Scratch on Funkmaster Flex's The Mix Tape Volume III - 60 Minutes of Funk
Tomorrow: Wu-Tang vs. The Abbott
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The end times are drawing close. Dr. Dre's Detox is dropping this year (supposedly), Rae's Cuban Linx 2 is dropping this year (supposedly) and Tarantino's finally bringing out Inglourious Basterds. Peep it at Yahoo! Movies in HD.
The A-Number One rare Hip Hop archiving site, T.R.O.Y just posted up an essay on Public Enemy's classic "Night of the Living Baseheads" that you can read here.
Magnolia's genre films wing Magnet (who released the amazing Let The Right One In last year) will be bringing Ong-Bak 2 to the U.S, according to 24fps.
Keep it locked to What's Good folks, Wu-Tang vs. The Abbott coming tomorrow...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Won't Do from The Shining
Nothing Like This from Ruff Draft
Detroit Loves Dilla
Monday, February 9, 2009
Mos Def - Sunshine
Glue - Haunt
Q-Tip - Official
Cage - Good Morning*
Errol Garner - Stardust*
*Opening and closing themes, respectively. Hopefully that'll make sense some day.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Click the shirt for more info on it, and where to go cop it either online or at a shop near you. Below, I've included some of my favorite joints that Dilla's touched us with since his passing. Bump these, and any of your other favorite Dilla gems to honor him today.
Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip - Can't Hold The Torch
J-Dilla feat. Blu - Sun On My Face
Q-Tip - Move
Thursday, February 5, 2009
From The 7 Day Theory (Amazon|iTunes), "To Live & Die in L.A" was going to serve as the "acceptable losses" ending if the players hadn't achieved the happy ending that they did.
Apocalypse Now by way of Menace II Society was a good way to describe the tone I was going for with the tone of hood warfare in the game. "Illusions" was perfect in certain scenes, but didn't make the final tracklist just 'cause of space issues. (Amazon|iTunes)
Another joint that personified how the neighborhood where the game's climax took place was otherworldly in its despair, "Cold World" by GZA from Liquid Swords. (Amazon|iTunes)
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
1. A Tribe Called Quest feat. Consequence - Jam (Remix) - The game opener took place at the opening of a nightclub, and the remix of this record from Beats, Rhymes & Life fit the bill to kick things off. (Amazon|iTunes).
2. Elastica - Line Up - Solid piece of traveling/background music from the self-titled album of one of my favorite Britpop bands of the time. (Elastica|iTunes)
3. Cardigans - Lovefool - This song was dumb huge back then, and you're lying if you didn't get it stuck in your head at least once. In our game, one of the players was chased out of an Italian restaurant by the kitchen staff while this played in the background. Mind drilling qualities of that single aside, First Band on the Moon was a solid album. (Amazon|iTunes)
4. The Toadies - I Come From the Water - Most people know these guys from the song "Possum Kingdom" but the whole of Rubberneck a good record, and made for fine fight music in the game. (Amazon|iTunes)
5. Ghostface Killah - Daytona 500 - I finally got to realize my dream of setting a car chase to this song. I upped the ante by setting this chase on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. If you don't have Ironman, you're not a proper Ghostface fan. (Amazon|iTunes
6. Deftones - Teething - The Deftones were lumped in with bands like Korn and other nu-metal acts, but the difference with Deftones is that I actually like them. This song from the soundtrack to The Crow: City of Angels made for good music to commit violence by. (Amazon)
7. Tricky - Hell Is 'Round The Corner - When I was introducing the players to a South Central L.A. neighborhood that wasn't too far removed from a war zone, I wanted a less than obvious choice. Tricky's take on his Bristol neighborhood worked for me. From Maxinquaye. (Amazon|iTunes)
8. Xzibit - At The Speed of Life - Background music for group's time in South Central, from one of my favorite albums by Mr. X to the Z. (Amazon)
9. Ice Cube - Really Doe - More South Central background music, from Lethal Injection. (Amazon|iTunes)
10. DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 1 - With time travel being a major theme of Feng Shui, there's a place that exists in between all the time periods called the The Netherworld. This song from DJ Shadow's groundbreaking Endtroducing... introduced my players to it. (Amazon|iTunes)
11. Bishop Lamont feat. Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Busta Rhymes - Mouth Music - From the sublime to the base, one of the group's first spots to hit up in the Netherworld was a strip club. This was on the house speakers as they arrived. From Bishop Lamont and Black Milk's collaboration, Caltroit that you can download for free from DubCNN.
12. M.I.A. - Paper Planes - Before this song blew the 'eff up (after being out for quite a while already) I'd had it in mind to use for my game. By the time the group got to meet the character it was attached to, an African child soldier turned arms dealer, they got familiar with it in a different context. From M.I.A.'s album Kala (Amazon|iTunes)
13. DJ Krush - OCE 9504 - Given the strange and mysterious nature of the Netherworld, many of Meiso's tracks made perfect background music(Amazon).
14. Goodie Mob - Soul Food - Back in the real world, our players were tasked with protecting a Community Center in the war-torn neighborhood I introduced with Tricky earlier. Given that I took a lot of the personalities from that were running it from my younger days in the South, I felt it was more than appropriate to use this Goodie Mob classic. This song also came in handy during the group's trip to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. (Amazon|iTunes)
15. Raekwon - Verbal Intercourse - One of the characters was a cop, and I chose this to be the first bit of background music the players heard as he entered the precinct. Something about this joint from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx always sounded like it could've been right at home in a 70s cop show, dunno why. (Amazon)
16. De La Soul - Stakes Is High - Once things started to edge closer to the climax, the music reflect the dire turns the plot was taking. The title track off of De La's '96 album fit the game's themes like a glove. (Amazon)
17. Outkast - Mainstream - Along with Stakes Is High, plenty of stuff from Atliens fit the tone of the game in its late stages, this song in particular. (Amazon|iTunes)
18. Blu & Exile - So(ul) Amazing (Steel Blazin') - And here's the closer. Considering that the gang brought a bit of a brighter future to L.A., I thought that a song from one of the West's brighter spots in music nowadays would be appropriate. From the modern day classic Below the Heavens. (Amazon|iTunes)
19. Blu - CityOfLos(t)Angel(e)s f. Co$$ - The alternate ending, for the results they could have achieved. Less hopeful, more focused on the rough patches of L.A. From Blu's MySpace that he liberated a while back.
Here's the mix, which gets its title from the name of the game, which I took from a documentary called The Thin Blue Line. Google it if you don't already know, as it's late and this took a lot longer than I was anticipating:
Feng Shui - The Thin Purple Line
Bonus: I was going to actually include this remix of Paper Planes with verses from Bun B and Rich Boy in the soundtrack, but it wouldn't fit on CD with the rest of the sountrack. My players' loss is the internet's gain.
M.I.A. feat. Bun B and Rich Boy - Paper Planes(Remix)
Monday, February 2, 2009
Download - Illmind - Blaps, Rhymes & Life Vol. II
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I didn't put them in any kind of order so play them however you'd like, though if you're making a tape for a kid, I recommend Blackalicious' "Sleep" as the closer. It's a fine lullaby.
For The Kids - Hip Hop For Youngins
Bonus: Here's the Exile joint that I actually got the title of the post from.
Exile - For the Kids
Thursday, January 29, 2009
From Begborrowsteal (Amazon | iTunes), "Down Easy"
From A Constipated Monkey (Amazon | iTunes | Reissure from Amalgam Digital w/Bonus Tracks), "I'm Kurious" by Kurious. He's also got a new single out on Amalgam that you can check out here.
His 1994 single, "Listen Up". He released a video for a new joint last year called "Listen to My Demo" that you can peep here.
This'll do for now, but there's tons more I could pull out and I just might before the night's done.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Here's a video for "What I Do" from his new joint, L7 which you can purchase at iTunes at the link provided.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I was in the middle of a sea of bodies at high tide. Undulating back and forth all in unison, the DJ so adept at robbing them of their sense of self that they ceased to be anything but the mass of humanity, crowded into the disco. Everything that each individual was before they came hung heavy in the air with each wave.
Desires, fear, hopes, loves, hate. Even every hesitation to give in to the swell was so palpable you could taste it. You could practically pick out each as a scent, or a flush of sensation over the skin. I couldn't help be overwhelmed by it all as I stepped further into the dance hall. My heart raced at first…but gradually it kept time and became one with the drum as I let go.
This next joint I wrote to go along with "The New" features a character I created for an RPG community (don't worry, I've held off Nerd Stuff from this post, the nerdiness of this post itself notwithstanding) that I was apart of. He was a DJ and I had the idea of him being transported to some strange alternate past. I originally had the idea to have his story continue throughout the project in the songs "The Twister (Huh, What)" and "Gobstopper" respectively.
"The New" by J. Dilla
"I'm Korean, actually…"
Considering the lambasting that follows, perhaps that wasn't the best response to being called a "jivetime, hippie-lookin' Chinaman" but I was too dumbfounded at the time for much else. Now that I've had time to really take in my new surroundings…I'm still fairly stunned. I've been in jazz clubs before, but this place was strangely authentic. The acrid weed smoke in the air that you could cut through…and how young the crowd is. Real well dressed too, and not in that hipster, "look at this suit jacket I stole from my dad, and my hundred dollar haircut" sort of way. Genuine, real put together.
I’m pretty sure I saw a sailor or two in the back of the crowd that eyed me with a helluva lot of malice. Everyone's restless. They're clamoring for music and I'm apparently disrupting the show. I don't know how I managed to get backstage, and I definitely don't know why the bandleader is cursing my presence as though I were a new addition to the band…oh, because the bassist has brought me into the band as a last minute replacement for the drummer. I see.
How nice of him to stick up for me. I'm sure that when we're being beaten to sleep by navymen with chips on their shoulders about the Japanese Zero that wasted their buddies, we'll be looked upon favorably in the afterlife.
A doddering old man begins shoving us out onto the stage hurriedly, chastising me for my "busted threads" as he fights the shakes to keep his coke-bottle lenses on his face. Until I’m out on stage with the rest of my bandmates I don't know what he's talking about, but once I'm able to see their slick suits and even slicker pomade-laden hair…I feel practically naked.
"Lay the beat down for 'em Scratch." The bassist whispers to me from across the stage. It takes this guy knowing my name catches me so off guard that I almost don't notice what he's nodding towards. The strangest setup of decks and a mixer that I've ever seen. Every inch of it, the tables, the mixer…even the records are brass and just a little tarnished. The coffin's warn brown leather with tags from customs agencies from all over the world. Some of the countries, I couldn't even spell, let alone ever claim having been to any of them. The scent of valve and slide oil emanates from the whole rig and when I put my hands on the records they feel like taut drum skins. First time I've had butterflies about music in quite a while.
"Here goes nothin'," and I give a few scratches, sorting out a drumbreak…the band jumps right in, somewhere between following my lead and letting me take control. Every sample I bring in is a new riff that the sax, trumpet or piano stretch out. Just the same, the bandleader yelps, shouts, scats and sings in time with my cuts. The whole room seems to move with my hands. Dancing couples seem to be locked in a loop until I change tempo or sample. Stopping when I pause, even reversing when I backspin. The sailors are getting into the act. The bass player gives me a wink when our bandleader calls back to me.
"We gonna have to get the Ko-ree-in fitted for a suit!" Comforting as it is, I still don't know where in the world I am…but I'm not in a hurry to leave.
Who knows if I'll revisit the project in earnest, but I had fun with the few joints that I did get around to doing. I'd definitely like to think that Dilla himself would've gotten a kick out of people being moved enough by his work that they had to do something to show their appreciation, even if it wasn't directly related to music.
Monday, January 26, 2009
14KT - Less Than Enough
14KT - Ypsilanti
"Radio" by Exile, click here to cop it from iTunes.
Little Dragon's self-titled debut. Click here for the iTunes link.
"The Renaissance" by Q-Tip. Cop it from Amazon, right here.
If my haul changes, I'll let you know when I return.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Coraline Web Trailer
Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum (aka District 13 - Ultimatum), the sequel to 2004's French action film Banlieue 13.
Teaser for the upcoming old-school Wuxia flick, Chasing Shadows
Red Band (for violence) trailer for Mutant Chronicles
Have a good weekend, everybody.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Phonte - Hate
The title is apt enough, considering a snippet of an interview I happened upon earlier today, where Phonte gives his unfiltered opinion on one of the most divisive album's of last year, 808s & Heartbreak:
Now not only do I happen to share Phonte's opinion on the matter, I'm also a fan of the man's music, but I'm not going to kick around 808s anymore or crow about the awesomeness of Phonte. What I've been wondering though, is why hasn't the whole phenomenon referred to in the title from that classic Common joint cooled off? Given that less people are actually buying records nowadays, it would stand to reason that there would be a lot fewer people calling you a hater for simply speaking your mind about a record. As a fan, if you're just downloading it rather than buying it, there's no point of pride when admitting that something sucks. As an artist, these jokers aren't buying your records anyway, so aside from media training (which record labels really aren't paying for now, but that's a whole 'nother blog post), why not speak truthfully? Instead, the extent of low record sales have gotten people to co-sign some of the most awful drek and brand you a hater because you're not making the money that they are. On the artist and fan sides of the fence.
Ah well. Given the fact that more and more people are taking up Hip Hop as a trade, we'll all eventually have our own record to take up for, then maybe the hater thing will get so meta that it'll be forced into retirement for good.
As a bonus, he's the opening single from Phonte's second release with Nicolay, "Daykeeper" off of the album Leave It All Behind, where you can hear him engaging in singing sans autotune.
Foreign Exchange - Daykeeper
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We have overcome.
Except those of us now in Gaza. Except those of us whom police kill. Except those of us who are suspects. Except those of us whom the church hate. Except those of us damned to taste good. Except those of us held by fate. We are meeting in the capitol. Word is, freedom will not wait.
All that once was never shall be.
All they could do won’t be done.
All we sang of is now happening.
[note to self:]
...And so it was. Through the collective imagination of the people, the force of will and human potential, and an unflinching ability to hold himself to task, Niggy Tardust was liberated. His ability to see beyond the boundaries and obstacles of 'genre', 'race', and suppression, allowed him to encompass a grace and sound that embodied the all. All that had stood against him, now stood with him. All that had claimed a lesser harmony, now craved voice and resonance. He stood with poets, painters, dancers, students, children of the night who had transformed themselves into a million bright ambassadors of morning, and proclaimed,
“We declare declaratives and deny the official. Based in the landmark of the G-spot, we have overtaken ourselves and overthrown our forefathers. Let there be light within the light and let it answer to the name of Darkness. We are forever risen from the deadly: the anti-virus and the All Stars. Granted power by forces unbeknownst to us. Made in the likeness of kindness. We offer anger to the angry and fear to the fearful. We dance at our own funerals to forsake the mourners…
…This is no time to cry! This is no time at all! Here is the moment of the overlooked and the unforeseeable. We are the elected officials of the people: poets and artists. We are the declarative statement of the inarticulate, the irreparably damaged goods of the bad meaning good. We are the government! We are the government! We are the government!”
Saul Williams - The Government
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Naturel - The Bullets
8th W1 - A Fool's Lullaby
You may sample a full mixtape of Illmind's production work here, in the "Blaps, Rhymes & Life" release from back in September. Enjoy it in your whip, on mass transit or any other travel vessel you choose.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
First up, "Tru Master" off of the 1997 Pete Rock's solo debut, Soul Survivor. It features the Chocolate Boy Wonder himself along with Inspectah Deck and Kurupt as stock car racers, complete with customized vehicles (I want Deck's Wu branded ride) and driver statistics. It's like a live-action version of the "Daytona 500" clip from Ghostface, and I definitely approve:
Next up, take a trip through basic cable with your boy Reggie Noble, better known as Redman with "I'll Bee Dat" from Doc's Da Name 2000. Redman offers his skewed take on cliched video models, TV commercials and one of the most cringe/laughworthy pratfalls in Hip Hop video history.
Defari and the Likwit Crew are MMA fighters (with Tash as their besuited promoter/manager) in this clip for "Likwit Connection" from Defari's Focused Daily. Forgive the DJ Ron drops at the beginning and end, but it's the best copy of the video I could find without sketchy audio editing.
To close this up, another Xzibit appearance, where a trip to the store for his lady turns out to be more eventful than you'd think. From 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, it's "What You See Is What You Get":