Thursday, March 19, 2009

Throwback Thursday - Funky Drummer Edition

In honor of James Brown being featured in this week's Rock Band DLC, I thought I'd pay tribute to one of his more notable contributions to Hip Hop, the Funky Drummer break. From the song of the same name, James and Clyde Stubblefield made so much music period possible (Depeche Mode, Sinead O'Connor and NIN have all used the break), but it'd be hard to imagine Hip Hop without those drums.

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's Diabolical Fun Dropping Next Week

Just in case you'd forgotten, here's another joint to remind you of Illogic's upcoming album Diabolical Fun, his fourth album, entirely produced by Ill Poetic.

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

Music For a Monday (the late pass edition) - HerFavoriteColo(u)r.

Blu's a friggin' workhorse as far as dropping new material for the fans is concerned, but since he does it via his MySpace page I tend to miss it until it pops up on one of the more reputable Hip Hop blogs. Such was the case for his Valentine's Day drop this year, the entirely self-produced HerFavoriteColo(u)r.. Not really a mixtape, but not album, it's more like a mood music piece on love and relationships. It's a good 'un, and all the sudden makes me wanna hear him spit over Blueprint's production. Hmmm, maybe I should make a suggestion or two.

HerFavoriteColo(u)r from Blu

Bonus: Here's one of the songs he dropped last V-Day, "NeverAgain"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Since I'm Still Alive, Have Some New Music

I'm getting adjusted to the new gig, but the blog has suffered. Don't worry though, I'll never leave What's Good behind, and as proof I give you some new music. Brought to my attention by a Twitter post from Count Bass D, the title track from Abstract Rude's upcoming Rhymesayers album, Rejuvenation:

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

My Thoughts on Watchmen or What Kind of Fan Are You?

So Watchmen, if you're a fan of genre films is a definite must see. It is an ambitious piece of cinema that does not compromise what it wants to do for its entire running time. While it's not perfect, in terms of its recreation of the book there are some deviations, and there are flaws (the tone of the film jumps around a bit, and I still haven't decided if it worked for me) but it's a better viewing experience for it. It's one of the first, if not the first comic book adaptations that works because less because of slavish devotion to what's on the page (but to be clear, it's pretty damned tight to the page) and more because of another quality that it shares with the original book: it invites discussion. Within five minutes after leaving the theater, the friends I watched it with were already talking about the purpose behind the level of gore and the way the fight scenes were filmed (My take: Given the very adult themes examined, and the meta nature of the source material? All the exaggerated bits of violence are "grown-up" version of the campy onomatopoeia that was in the old Batman TV show, or in comics. It wasn't a cool way to show violence, but rather, an in film context way to remind the viewer that this is a comic book.). That barely cracks the surface of the sort of conversations we got into afterwards.

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

Comic Book flicks are a lot like Westerns were back in the day...

...and they're likely due for a bust, just like Westerns were. I just hope that Watchmen is more The Wild Bunch than Heaven's Gate. This is where I'll be in about three hours:

I'll give my thoughts on Sunday.