Archive for April, 2010
This here blog tends to write about sounds that push boundaries, blend styles, and come out with something you haven’t heard before. But that doesn’t mean that we overlook quality shit that is within the known universe. Let us direct our attention to the case at hand: Language Arts and Def Dee’s new release Gravity.
In this musical period, when mainstream hip hop sounds more and more like disco, underground hip hop loves it some Grizzly Bear samples, and monolithic figures like the great Guru are leaving this earth, a classic mid-nineties boom bap record is not what you would necessarily expect. But that’s just what this release is.
LA’s been a long-standing fan of NY stalwart AZ (if you ever want to bring him to the floor, just drop “The Come Up” and give it twenty seconds), and you can hear it in his flow and inflection. Often that would lead to a pale imitation of the original, but La kills it, bringing a Seattle inflection to a classic sound.
Bottom line, download it – it’s free, it’s for you, and it’s quality quality quality.
[bandcamp album=1339329193 size=venti bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB]
this podcast should be filed in the what-are-you-waiting-for-immediately-download-this-right-now department. it comes from john eden’s blog, uncarved, and it’s absurdly good. the show features “digital reggae, rapso and soca, reggae-infused grime and bit of chat by me. oh, and a dancing venereal disease.” finding mixes like this one make me so happy, but i will warn you that the beauty of the internet (at making podcasts like this easily available) means less than professional quality (in this case, sometimes bad audio quality, interrupted tracks, and the like). but none of that should stop you from blasting this. stream below, download here. (via)
“rsi radio volume 4″
Damn! Mix Master Mike calls in a dirty, dirty dubstep “combat strike”. The self proclaimed serial wax killer submits an onslaught of choice samples to his surgical scratching and mixing. Sure shot party-rock factor high. Face melt threat level – red. ‘Nuff sed. Click here to download Napalm Rockets.
prepare to hear a lot about this video today, for the recently leaked, suicide-sampling, M.I.A. track “born free.” the track is alright, but the video is one violent piece of work. apparently gingers are the enemy, but to me, it just seems REALLY indulgent. judge for yourself, and be careful if you decide to watch this at work.
So I first heard about Laws from my former partner-in-rhyme Taybot. Me and my dude have been known to have divergent angles on hip-hop, but as I sat back and listened to the Laws’s mixtape 4:57 – Laws got it in with ample quotable punchlines and witty-as-hell wordplay over beats undulating between the glitzy and the grimy .
The Brazilian born Florida-based Laws has the emphatic co-sign and beat-patronage of heavyweights like the street-oriented Don Cannon, J.U.S.T.U.S. league, Dj Khalil and even collabs on the brit-electro-tip with Calvin Harris. At best, 4:57 bridges the lyricism of the Rawkus era with contemporary auto-tune sensibilities (yeah I put those two words next to eachother) which is exciting from a bigger picture perch.
Man I’m backin Laws - in hopes that he rides the buzz out to and finds his spot – do your thing emcee.
If you’re not familiar with Hank Shocklee of the legendary production team, the Bomb Squad, then you’re sleeping on one of the most innovative and seminal producers in hip-hop history. Along with his brother Keith (who together created the Bomb Squad) Hank was the principal architect behind Public Enemy’s sound throughout the ’80s and ’90s. He’s Chuck D’s most trusted producer and he’s also credited with creating key recordings for a variety of artists such as Madonna, Slick Rick, Bell Biv Devoe, LL Cool J, & Run DMC. And that’s just naming a few.
What’s always stood out to me about Hank Shocklee is the way he’s embraced futurism at every stage of his career. He’s also approached beat-making the same way Jean-Michel Basquiat approached a blank canvas — it’s always retro, forward-thinking, abstract, genius, and teetering on the edge of simplistic all at once. I met the guy back in 1998 while hanging out inside of his New York recording studio (long story) and he was just as stoney and outer planetary and kindhearted and down to earth as one would expect. It’s like, if you meet Hank Shocklee, you automatically can expect that he’ll be A) No Bullshit and B) No Bullshit. He didn’t disappoint. Interestingly enough, I just came across a radio podcast that he did for Red Bull and it’s full of old school gems. It’s one of the more educational podcats you’ll ever encounter. If you want to stream it… all you need to do is click this: RBMA Radio – Hank Shocklee (Shocklee Innertainment, New York City) – Headphone Highlights. Full tracklist after the jump.
Renton producer 10.4 Rog has been tearing up the remix circuit for the last hot minute. Between a hot streak of local flips (Mash Hall, Clockwork, State of the Artist), Mr. 10.4 just dropped a deceptively low-key take on Erykah Badu’s “Honey”, the most straightly thick-sliced funk soul track off of New Amerykah Part One.
As Rog (Roger? 10? What should we call you duders?) is wont to do on his remixes, he pulls the guts straight out of the original, pulling a whole new vision of the song out of the ashes of the original. What was once a Friday afternoon track becomes a Sunday morning meditation. Hell, add it to that recent Tokimonsta track and you’ve got your hangover on the run.
i first caught wind of oOoOO on a mixtape that juke/goth/difficult-to-categorize band salem put together for the we make it good series. (parenthetically, y’all have heard the various remixes salem did of gucci mane tracks – here, here, and here – right? creeeeepy.) pretty much everything i’ve heard from oOoOO since then has been a winner, especially “nosummer4u,” which is a cover of a 80′s dance track “summertime, summertime,” and made it onto last fortnight’s mixtape. fortunately for me, and everyone else, oOoOO made a mixtape for seattle-based clothiers actual pain (via discobelle) that continues the trend. it starts out with some great 80′s dance/soul tracks before segueing (with oOoOO’s genre-crossing track “hearts”) into a little weirder territory. cop it here; tracklist after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Rapper and story-teller Keith Elam, otherwise known as MC Keithy E, Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), and Baldhead Slick died from multiple myeloma, a kind of bone marrow cancer, yesterday. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.
As a fan and music lover, Guru’s passing also weighs heavy on my heart. I have been following Guru, as a solo artist and as part of Gangstarr with DJ Premier, since 1993. I was first introduced to his music through skateboard videos, back when I had little knowledge of hip hop or music in general. I was just a 13-year-old little punk back then, but I was a fan from the get go. I have remained a diehard fan ever since. For me, he’s always been one of the MCs that I would place in the “best MCs of all time” pantheon.
Guru’s lyrics have inspired me and helped me through some seriously trying times (see Moment of Truth). His narratives, parables, and metaphors have drawn lines across the dots in my brain that would have otherwise remained disconnected. Those lines have been permanently ingrained in my mind and they form some of the paths that my thought processes follow today. Guru’s rhymes are a part of my memory and to a certain degree they have informed the way I think, as cheesy as that might sound.
Aside from being inspirational and thought provoking, he was also a stand out party rockin, battle rappin, jazz groovin and, yes, ladykillin MC . He was deadly with the braggadocio, but always intelligent with it. Filthy, but never crass – he was a real class act. A lyricist and a true master of the ceremony, Guru was an all around microphone master.
Guru is gone and with him a part of hip hop has also died. If you love Guru and Gangstarr, or if you’re just a fan of hip hop, you better pour one out, put one in the air, say a prayer, or do whatever you do to pay your respects, because we lost one of the greatest ever on April 19th 2010. THANK YOU GURU!
I know there’s a lot of information coming out about Guru’s life and the events surrounding his recent death, and a lot of it is pure gossip and speculation. So, if you’re like me and you wanna read a little something from a trustworthy source, I’d suggest this nytimes obituary for now. It’s informative and respectful and it avoids all that Solar beef bullshit that I don’t even want to get into…
Check out Toast’s previous post for the Gangstarr Mega Mix, and peep some of my favorite Guru/Gangstarr videos after the jump.