Friday, October 27, 2006

A sample can make or break a beat. A dope noise placed deftly over a solid drum track can change a mundane beat into insane heat. Conversely, tossing in an annoying sample and can lay waste to a previously solid composition. The search for a good sample, whether complimentary or as the backbone of the beat, has led producers in many different directions. The practice of crate diggin' is well documented, but sometimes its necessary to dig deeper than the record bins. Madlib, for example, sampled the audio from a french children's movie to make "Come on Feet". Still others, such as the producing emcees Stic.Man of Dead Prez, and Cormega, have turned to the natural world for that certain something. Check out the the subtle use of the birds and crickets in these songs respectively.... and after that go cop Count Bass D's Some Music: The producer's Cut and wait for the dog bark about half way through the mix that inspired this whole post.

Dead Prez - Walk Like a Warrior ft. Krayzie Bone
(2003 RGB)
Cormega - American Beauty
(2001 The Realness)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Deacon and Kno have been making some of the most creative and moving hip-hop of this young decade. The CunninLynguists started by Will Rap for Food in 2001, an excellent debut album which showcased the impressive production skills of DJ Kno, the clever and poignant rhyming of Deacon the Villain, and also the skills of one time member Mr. SOS. SouthernUnderground showed the groups disdain for convention, as they dropped Mr. SOS from group to crew memember and proceded to created an emotional masterpiece. 3 years later, following up on a sophmore album already considered a classic by some, the group continues to progress with A Piece of Strange. Kno flexes an amazing sonic sense on this album creating a grand and glowing soundscape that refuses to be ignored, yet manages to provide an ideal backdrop for Deacon's smooth rhyming. The tracks included in this post are from APOS, but i encourage everyone to explore their full catalog.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"As I understand, Man is to cherish the Land"
This i think of this song everytime I'm struck with the stunning purity of the natural world. Whether these moments come when im hiking, as i was the case this weekend with my dad when he took this picture, on an extended trip, or in everyday life, Mr. Lif's voice of reason seems to echo in my head as I take in the beauty . On this track, also from 1999, Lif speaks about the purity of the human spirt and the evils or corupting influence of civilization. I encourage everyone to read along with the lyrics, cause "it doesnt matter what your color, creed, shape or size.... arise" is fucking dope.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Originally released in 1999 on DJ Vadim's USSR: life on the other side, before making a song like this became a sure way to make a FBI watch list, "The Terrorist" is fun and irreverent. In fact this song was so to dope it was the b-side for two singles from Vadim's album. Unfortunately my copy of "Friction"/"The Terrorist" was destroyed, along with many other records and nearly all my books in a fucking fire... Anyway, Moshun obviously displays an incredible knack for kicking that offensive spit. This is displayed is spades once again in a more classical, misogynistic way on "Beotches". This little gem comes from the Kutmasta Kurt produced 2002 release Clearing the Field.. and it is only improved upon with this curious intro.
"Go home to your man...."

Motion Man has new album out called Pablito's Way. This page has a few tracks and a couple videos... they are no where near offensive enough to be properly included in this post, but some bonus linkage of new matterial seems acceptable.
Black Sheep are back after a dozen year hiatus. Its really hard to know how to react to this release as the sound of hiphop has obviously changed immensely since 1991, when A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing was released. The intro acknowledges this fact, it is a concious effort to do so and it certainly sounds nothing like the Black Sheep of old. The new album, 8wm/Novakane, is interesting but the sheep would be hard pressed to find 4 tracks to release as singles, let alone videos, as they did for their debut. After a quick listen, Grew Up & Novakane would be two of my nominees. As for the hefty question if this album is a worthy continuation of the Black Sheep legacy, i can only reply "the choice is yours".

props to the smoking section for this promo

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Keep Your Mouth Shut
Here is some astute relationship advice from grand agent by way of Count Bass D's excellent 2004 release Some Music: The producer's Cut... This post was promted by two factors. The first being that i watched "The Departed" last night and it reminded me that relationships are for people who like elaborate lies. The movie itself was an excellent film with great performances from all the principle actors, especially Mark Wahlberg, who's constantly cursing character was a personal favorite. The second motivating element is the recent release of the Count's new project Act Your Waist Size. Hearing Dwight Spitz always motivates me to be more productive in my own musical endeavors, and hopefully by the end of this week I'll have my turntables and mpc set up at my new place of residence, and be getting busy... well enjoy, keep your mouth shut, and let me down easy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fort Apache: the mixtape album is Camp Lo's lastest effort. "Material" is my initial favorite, as it has that classic Lo energy, and a suitingly cinematic beat. My first exposure to the lo was on Aesop Rock's Bazooka Tooth. "Limelighters" is my favorite track from the album do to the heavy, moody production and the blazing, cryptic rhymes from Sonny Chiba and Geechi Suede. Camp Lo has unique style, which utilizes slang and imagery heavily. Uptown Saturday Night, their 1997 debut, was immediatley deemed a classic and with singles like "Coolie High", "Luchini" and "Black Nostaljack" its not hard to see why. Although their 2002 album, Let's Do It Again, was widely panned for a lack of progression and flat lyrical content, the rich beats and imaginative lyricism make it a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Watch the video for "Glow", below, and see what i mean.

Tekilla Sunrise
"Bustin right back at they cabbages,
givin em flashbacks of baby carriages"
~ Kool G Rap

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