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":
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
There was definitely stuff to like about 8th Diagrams, but all in all, you could definitely see that there was trouble in the ranks. While listening to the album I couldn't help but wonder what Rae's vision of a RZA-less album would sound like. Over the years all of the members of the Clan have worked with some incredible producers, whether on solo projects or on one of the post-36 Chambers group albums so they've already got a fairly expansive catalog of soundsmiths to pick from their old material. That's to say nothing of the high profile producers that've been influenced by RZA's sound. It's something that's rolled around in my head for a while, and after seeing this article snippet over at Metal Lungies about RZA waxing on the next Wu-Tang album, I finally decided to do something about it. Namely, put together a mix of songs with producers that've either worked with Wu-Tang members or producers that sound like they could craft suitable soundscapes for the Wu to get open over. The goal being to approximate what a Wu album without RZA at the head might sound.
I don't want to do this half-assed, so while I've got a rough tracklist put together already, I'm gonna take my time trimming and adding. To hold y'all over, here's one joint that's definitely going to make it, "The PJs" off of Pete Rock's 2008 album NY's Finest:
Pete Rock's worked with the clan on more than a couple occasions, most notably crafting bangers for Ghostface, but "The PJs" was one of the first songs I thought of when I decided to put this mix together. If Cuban Linx 2 ever sees the light of day it'll be crime if there's not a Pete Rock beat on there. PR provides the perfect backdrop for Rae's late night criminology rap.
Keep it locked to What's Good for whole mix, coming soon.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Serengeti - Dirty Flamingo
From the album of the same name, Dirty Flamingo (after being made to ask by my co-host during an interview, I was assured that the term doesn't really mean anything) was damn near anthemic amongst the Hip Hop heads at SIUC. The only thing that topped it? 'Geti's in character ode to Chi-town, "Dennehy" or its sequel "Ozzie Guillen" which are both on the album the album Dennehy. The former tore down Hangar 9 (the bar where most of the Hip Hop shows in town went down) whenever it was performed. One of my best memories of it was on the night the White Sox won the World Series in '05. Even though I was one of the few people in the place that wasn't a native of Chicago, it was hard not to feel like an honorary Southside resident.
Seel Fresh - Starving
I got this joint via one of the first pieces of vinyl that F5 Records (a label started in St. Louis by SIUC scene alums) ever sent to me. You can actually still cop it from their website. While not my absolute favorite joint out of my time in the 'Dale, I always felt this one pretty tough just 'cause of the earnestness of the lyrics and how so many cats were in the same place with what they were trying to do at the time, be it the music or some other grind. A line about how Seel will finally manage once he has his time in the spotlight when it comes always makes me grin when I hear it: "And I won't be nervous like I'm hidin' a bomb/I'll be ear-to-ear smilin', wavin' high to my mom." I often wondered what became of him, so back in October before I got this blog off the ground it did my heart good to see him pop up on Rock the Dub with a series of sanctioned leaks for his most recent album Street Famous. Cop it via the link at Amazon and support some dope indie Chicago Hip Hop.
Bonus - The video for "Dennehy" from Serengeti:
New Fat Albert in the Hood from your boys at WhackPiktures & PikahssOvision:
The episode itself still doesn't top Episode 2 for me, but they've included the in-between show bumpers and a commercial that is CLASSIC.
Videos, as per usual, save the day when it comes to being ill. If you like JRPGs at all and you own an Xbox 360, you need Lost Odysseyin your life right this minute. Old school combat with characters that buck a lot of the Japanese RPG stereotypes combines to make a pretty satisfying experience. Here's that TV spot they did for it a while back with Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" as the soundtrack:
MTV Jams has been indulging in videos from around '98 or so all day, I suppose in an effort to remind you of just how quickly mainstream Hip Hop has declined over the years. I'd kill to hear the sort of stuff I clowned back then on the radio now. Oh how we taunted and jeered at Silk the Shocker's feature on the remix to Cam'ron's "Horse and Carriage" but if only we had known how good we had it back in high school.
Now I'm off to eat something and in all likelihood pass out in front of the terebi...oh dear. They've gone even further back:
Truly, this is a banner day.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
We bonded over several things, but nothing more fervently than Hip Hop's answer to the old-school dirty blues musician. A weed-smoking fornicator whose main objective when crafting a song is to make the listener laugh, but he's been known to slip in a few life lessons and valuable truths when you're not looking. His music certainly assisted in the cementing of our friendship, whether it was muscling through knuckleheads to get to to the front of the stage at one of his shows, or simply airing out the week's problems while on a late night drive up and down 101.
I'll miss my friend and hopefully we'll see each other again before too long. For today though, I'll throw on a few of the Devin joints that got a lot of burn in the whip in our travels and hope that on his way back to Texas that he's doing the same.
Devin the Dude - Do What You Wanna Do
Devin the Dude - Almighty Dollar from Waitin' To Inhale
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Bonus: One of my favorite anti-police brutality joints from college, "Kill Me First" from Blueprint's album, 1998. Cop it from Blueprint's own store on vinyl or CD at the link provided.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Not that I condone violence of any sort, but seeing as how the initial incident took so long to reach national attention, it is unconscionable to assume that people should simply be quiet about it. Taking action is definitely the move, and a lot of people have already linked to this article from RaceWire detailing 5 things you can do to get involved.
Like I said a while back, we've still got a lot of work to do. The key is not to give the naysayers any reason to shout us down. Use your anger, don't let it use you.
Bonus: Here's a link to Davey D's Breakdown FM show where he interviews John Burris on the incident.
Ever since then, I'd been looking out for anything that they were up to and a few weeks ago I stumbled upon their latest hijinks:
That's right. Clips from old episodes of Fat Albert, redubbed with new VO and music courtesy of Dilla. Keep your fingers crossed that Cosby doesn't get wind of these, 'cause they're foul-mouthed and wild ig'nant, but damned if they're not funny. Here's episode two, entitled Who's the Baby Daddy, which features a track from AwkQuarius at about 1:15.
AwkQuarius is the new group from the P and T in P.P.T., Pikahsso and Tahiti. The joint's called "Let's Hit the Town" and been in my head on a constant loop ever since I saw the episode. You can cop it fromAmazon or Itunes for just 99 cents.
Head on over to Pikahsso's blog to show your appreciation for the hilarity him and Tahiti are bringing and keep an eye out for more new music from AwkQuarius.
Bonus: Here's the video for one of my favorite P.P.T. joints "When We Was Kool." A slice of 80s/early 90s nostalgia that I've got no problem endorsing.
There's a lot of truth in what Joe Budden's saying there. Vlad's not "putting certain information out in the world" that people really need. He's getting pageviews by sensationalism. It's his right, certainly, but that doesn't mean we should be helping him along. I've never been a big Joe Budden fan, but between his coalition of the illing in the underground supergroup Slaughterhouse and insightful commentary like this, he's definitely got my respect.
To make up for the renunciation of ignorance (and missing a post yesterday), I'll be posting something wildly inappropriate and hilarious later on today. Do you remember Fat Albert? I guarantee you'll never seen him and the gang the same way after my next post.
Monday, January 5, 2009
This Jay Smooth guy is ignorance at its finest.
Firstly, He’s Isreali, and has the ability/opportunity to educate ppl and influence their views. Half the ppl in AMERICA dont know shit about Gaza. But instead, he uses his effort to discuss how ‘beef’ used to be good for hiphop, but now isnt. GTFOH.
Jay Smooth's retort:
This whole situation is my biggest problem with the internets. People talking out turn, or rather, speaking as though they're infinitely informed on subject where they have little to no proper knowledge. Between that and the self-righteousness that comes from people who feel as though the platform the internet affords them equals infallibility, I've wanted to give up on using the internet as a social tool altogether on more than a few occasions.
With this being my first post of the new year, I think I'm going to use Jay Smooth's video as a call for a new movement. I originally gravitated to the internet because along with all the information I had access to, it allowed me to communicate with and befriend a lot of different people who probably wouldn't think to strike up a convo with me away from the keyboard and vice versa. Along the way though, I've definitely found that this ease of use has a flipside and a lot of folks have a tendency to go from zero to asshole in the speed of a keystroke.
We called for change in '08 and got it. I figure for the new year, let's call for civility on the internet. It's a long shot, I know, but we pulled off something crazy before.