Thursday, June 30, 2005
Liars gallery: George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Robin Hayes (R-NC).
So now, according to GOP flacks, the muted reaction by military in attendance at Bush's failed state-of-the-Iraq-war-debacle speech Tuesday night was due to the "disciplined environment" at Fort Bragg.
It couldn't possibly have anything to do with declining morale in the armed forces because of the "suddenly" growing inurgency and increasingly devastating attacks in Afghanistan and an insurgency in Iraq which, contrary to Vice President Cheney's view, is getting worse?
Or maybe they're just sick of the GOP still trying to erroneously link Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks even though it's been universally accepted and proven that no such link ever existed.
And do you remember when Bush said stuff like: "See, you can't talk sense to the terrorists. You can't negotiate with them"? I do.
Never forget what this war has probably always been about really: not finding WMD, spreading democracy, overthrowing a dictator, fighting the war on terror or any of the million other reasons Bush's has thrown against the wall over the past two years with the hope of getting one to stick. It's about the GOP being able to hook up its corrupt friends.
But despite Karl Rove's outrageous McCarthy-like statements he is right, there are differences between us and them when it comes to fighting terrorism.
Bonus reading: Crooks and Liars
(Note: I just lost the folders that held all my bookmarked links I was planning use in future blog posts. This is the second time this has happened to me. Does anyone know how recover "accidentally" deleted bookmarks in Firefox? Hollaif you do, thanks.)
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Resistance is futile: the Young Jeezy movement is a go.
- Kanye West "Golddigger" - so far on initial listens I'm not really feeling this too tough to be honest. The beat sounds like some weak Moby ish to me. (Stream via Hiphopgame | download via Spine)
- Mike Jones "Back Then" (video: Hi | Med | Lo)
- Young Jeezy "Stay Strapped (Gucci Mane dis)" - I always feel conflicted about posting these dis records but this track gave me slightly more insight into why this kid is the hottest ish on the streets right now. I've been feeling it hard (n/h) the last couple of weeks since I started hearing it on Hot 97's mixshows. (mp3 link via Caramanica | related: Young Jeezy e-card)
- Rev Run “Mind On the Road” - I swear this record from the newly launched Russell Simmons Music Group label was set to go right into my sell pile when I got the promo the other day. But I got the shock of my life when I dropped the needle: classic, Rick Rubin-style big beat, rock-flavored throwback hip hop sampling Joan Jett's "I Love Rock N Roll" that references and honors Run DMC's musical legacy yet still sounds contemporary a la Hov's "99 Problems." Doubles are essential for cutting and beat juggling. Don't sleep, this is that good for those who still know about and appreciate classic hip hop.
- I've said previously that I'm feeling the Yummy Bingham/Jadakiss heater "Come Get It" heavy. Here's a link to just about every record she's performed on including tracks from her upcoming album on Motown available for download.
- Nas "Honeymoon is Over" (mp3 via Hiphopgame)
- J. Period - the DJ behind the Best of Lauryn Hill mixtapes that have been buzzing the last couple of weeks.
Crunk and Disorderly
"Music to Get Robbed To"
Sick linkage at Poplicks recently including a Chicago Tribune's interactive hip-hop history site, info on Mexico's new racist postage stamp (probably personally approved by President Vincente Fox) and racism and homophobia (?) right here back at home with ABC's embarrassing new reality TV show that's already been pulled.
Band Space - the new MySpace?
And from The In Crowd which I've been slacking on posting at until a recent spurt of energy:
- $55,000 turntable.
- Info on the recently-released "lost" Anthony Hamilton album.
- DJ Language's Real Music For Real People compilation album.
That indie music post I've long been threatening is coming soon, I swear....
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Bush or BET Awards, tonight? Indecision strikes....
Actually it's neither for me. I'm meeting some friends for dinner instead and my TV has been broke for over a month anyway. Man, there was a time when a music awards show was must-see viewing for me. I think BIG was still alive when that was the case though. Nowadays I just don't give a fcck, I mean really.
Yesterday, I asked if East Coast hip hop was dead? There were a few responses to the question but when I saw this article after finishing writing that post, the question was pretty much answered for me. When a music goes into its archivist, collector phase like blues and jazz have, it's pretty much a dead genre. Hip hop as many of you and I know it (Sugarhill, Tommy Boy, Cold Chillin', Profile, early Def Jam & Jive, Wild Pitch, the so-called "Golden Age" etc.) is over. It's the equivalent of someone in the 60's saying they loved rock 'n' roll and citing Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis as their favorites when The Who, Stones, Beatles and Hendrix were coming out.
Speaking of old school music though:
- "Step in the Arena, Pt. 2" the first video by Guru of Gangstarr featuring Doo Wop from his new solo album Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures.
- Não Wave: Brazilian post punk from the early 80?! That's two recent hipster fixations for the price of one. Nice, but is it any good?
And for those who love the remix but don't understand the politics, "conflict diamonds" explained.
Monday, June 27, 2005
David Banner: time to play?
"Let's be men for a minute. N-ggas are putting on this front so they can sell records and sh-t 'cause now MC means Modeling Clothes, Making Cash, sh-t like that."
"MC [used to] stand for Master of Communication, meaning you can communicate to all worlds. But popoular culture has broken it down to Movie Career...." -- Hell Razah & Timbo King of Black Market Militia quoted from Elemental magazine.
Heard while in Boston on their Hot 97 this weekend:
- David Banner's "Play" - the next "Wait"? I better duck before J. Shep and J-Hop go off and put Banner on blast. (link via Catchdubs)
And shout to the crew at Massive Records at 1105 Mass Ave. near Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA with the live MC cipher poppin' off on Saturday afternoon.
Kanye West "About an Angel" - K-weezy recycling/biting beats again? Isn't this an old State Prop soundtrack beat? (mp3 via hiphophavoc.com)
Check out a Dipset More Than Music Vol. 1 advance preview.
Webbie - who the fcck is this cat coming out of nowhere with this "Girl Give me That" joint that's BLOWING the fcck up? Classic NYC/East Coast hip hop is dead.
So you may as well read the history of how ATL hip hop took over the game.
The Swift Chancellor on the problem with [hip hop] blogging.
White Kids Who Love Rap But Hate Race (related: How Black-conscious hip-hop deals with its overwhelmingly white live audiences via hip hop blogs.)
But Mos Def is the anatomy of a "hip-hop sell out"? Seriously, WTF is going on when Mos's credibility is being questioned like this?!
Minor Threat vs Nike (via Anousheh | update: Nike apologizes to Minor Threat, Dischord and pissed off punks everywhere.)
And kind of related, some Chocolate Nike
The Urban Video Game Academy
Fly rudeboy wristbands by Stussy.
Finally, are you "Wu-worthy"? Tonight starting 10pm at Crash Mansion: Party Rebel Promotions and Rolling Out present Wu-Tang Karaoke. $100 cash and a CD Prize Pack for the "best or coolest rendition" of a Wu-Tang original song!
Friday, June 24, 2005
Black Rob "Ready" - bananas! Duke looks like he's back. (via hiphopgame.com)
Anyone have a link to the new 50 cent-Mobb Deep collab "Bounce With Me" that I heard on Kay Slay's Hot 97 show? That joint is SICK! (update: thank you, Mr. 730 & crew yet again - "Out of Control")
The African Hiphop Project
New Texas Hov protege Aztek exposed?
Speaking of Houston hip hop: Third Coast Rap - H-Town's booming sound.
And respect to Matt for running this Houston hip hop ish in the blog world.
Is it already time for a "baby Usher" and will "Run It" be the next "Yeah"?
just for a day
The Rookie (did I link this one before? Can't remember.)
But Young Rome's link game has been sick recently. Where does he find this stuff??
Like Brown Cardigan? Where I peeped My First Meth Lab (WTF?!!) and the Converse sneaker link following down below.
Game's G-Unot t-shirts (scroll down). Corny?
Vaguely Game-related: design your own Chuck Taylors. Does Nike iD got some comp here? I see the hipsterati in W'burg and the East Village being all over this one.
Year Round - Premo's new record label.
And next week after the Ecko Central park jumpoff (where Preme'll be spinning, BTW):
Thursday, June 23, 2005
"The fact that some members of this jury could have sat through that testimony, indeed could have lived here all these years and could not bring themselves to acknowledge that these were murders, that they were committed with malice, indicates that there are still people unfortunately among you who choose to look aside, who choose to not see the truth...."
Full article "Former Klansman Guilty of Manslaughter in 1964 Deaths" from The New York Times.
"Republicans will never pass up an opportunity to recast themselves as the party of civil rights [but] party labels shouldn’t cause any confusion. Yesterday’s Dixiecrat is today’s southern Republican." (full article "Racist Delivers Lynching Apology" from The Black Commentator via Dave P.)
There is no NFL crime problem.
But get your heads out of the sand and understand: there is still racism in America.
I've talked about this before but it looks like the MSM is finally starting to acknowledge the racial bias in their coverage of missing person stories.
While finally, I guess this is good news (especially for my parents' homeland of Guyana) but when Bush is involved I have to ask, "What's the catch?"
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
New mp3 heat:
- Mashonda feat Nas "Blackout" (prod. by Swizz Beats) - I heard this a few months ago at a listening party for old girl's album. I'm expecting this to light up clubs heavy this summer. (stream: real | download: zip file of mp3)
And via hiphopgame.com:
- 50 Cent "The Way We Came Up"
- Blahzay Blahzay feat. M.O.P. "Da N--ga Iz Coming"
- P. Diddy, G-Dep & Black Rob "Godfather"
- The Game "300 Bars" - should I really be endorsing this ig'nance by linking to it? (related: "The Game is fccked and doesn't even know it....")
Speaking of ig'nance though, I have to admit I REALLY like the long-time Mobb Deep weed carrier Big Noyd's recently released On the Grind album. Duke actually sounds kind of thoughtful and mature on a few of the tracks. Thanks for the promo, Frank.
And real talk from Cormega. Between Noyd and 'Mega is thugged-out hip hop finally growing up? (via Grand Good)
"Looking for the perfect beat since 1988"
"Seeing is believing?" - more on XXL Eye Candy model "Buffie the Body"
Gillian Anderson's (X-Files) blog.
I told y'all not to sleep on my man Lewis Parker. Now he's supposedly working with Ghost on his new album according to Rollie.
And how to literally eat off of one song: "Set if Off" Strafe live at Teddy's this Thursday.
My homegirl Eisa Davis live at the Zipper Concert Series, June 25 (scroll down).
While finally, next week JR Writer and Don Dinero (isn't that the name of one of those DJ Clue weed carriers on his Monday night Hot 97 radio show?) together for a Dipset-Reggaeton live connect.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
From top to bottom:
- Leela James
- Little Brother
- Buckshot of Black Moon reps for his North Cackalack peoples
- All I Do prexy and DJ Mark Ronson & Duane Harriott of Negroclash
- Random Party People shots
(Sorry, didn't have my camera at beginning and battery died when
Brand Nubian came on and ripped hits from their and Puba's solo albums)
The Brooklyn Hip Hop festival was crazy. Others already did pretty thorough reviews of the event so I'm not gonna get too in-depth here.
Everyone pretty much did their thing but Little Brother and particularly Leela James deserve special props for really tearing it up while the good folks at All I Do ain't lying when they say A Star is Born. Rhymesfest is really bringing back a couple things to mainstream hip hop that have been in short supply for the longest - a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at oneself. I mean you can't be fake mean-mugging all the the time, can you? Also shouts to my peoples Medina Green, Amir and Geology for reppin' it out solidly on stage.
Overall, good vibes, great music and positivity were in full effect the entire day. Is it any surprise that Brooklyn is now offically being recognized as the next ish in NYC by everyone even as the madness, ign'ance and hip hop still remained intertwined elsewhere in the borough that same day.
- Finally! Pickin' Boogers is back.
- As is Jamel Shabazz with his new book, A Time Before Crack. (via Grand Good)
- And Fine Print is still poppin' since the last time I linked to them.
- "[It's] killing everything out there."
- Blue Eyes meets Bed-Stuy - from the folks who brought you the Bobb Deep mash-ups.
- A plug-in to search and play any podcast on itunes. (via Boing Boing)
- The world's gayest logos (n/h)
- And I'm not the only one who sees the connection - DJ Semtex's Crunk & Grime.
- Carl Jr.'s Paris Hilton Burger ad remixed. (via Poplicks)
- Finally, if your summer plans stil aren't in place, intern at the Uptown School of Diplomacy? (via the Dispet Fan Blog)
Monday, June 20, 2005
From the article "Bush's Support on Major Issues Tumbles in Poll" in The New York Times:
"Increasingly pessimistic about Iraq and skeptical about President Bush's plan for Social Security, Americans are in a season of political discontent, giving Mr. Bush one of the lowest approval ratings of his presidency and even lower marks to Congress, according to the New York Times/CBS News Poll.
Still, Mr. Bush continued to have majority support for his handling of the war on terrorism - 52 percent - one of his strengths throughout his 2004 re-election campaign."
Continues to have majority support for his handling of the war on terrorism? WTF, why?! Let's look at the evidence:
- "FBI supervisors in the war on terror have acknowledged they lacked expertise, but Director Robert Mueller says he is unwilling to require such managers to have backgrounds in Arabic, the Middle East or international issues." (full article at The Washington Post)
- "The U.S. government's rushed effort to reorganize after the 9/11 attacks has resulted in overlapping layers of bureaucracy, no single point of accountability and fuzzy lines of responsibility among the agencies that are combating terrorism." (full article at USA Today)
- "The FBI missed several opportunities to uncover and possibly prevent the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, a high-level report has found." (full article at BBC News)
- We’re Fighting Them Over There… So We Can Fight Them Everywhere (Think Progress)
- In fact, the invasion of Iraq has generated anti-American sentiment over there where there had been little or none. (Full article Gulf News via Sploid)
- "Security at American airports is no better under federal control than it was before the Sept. 11 attacks two government reports conclude." (Full article at The New York Times)
- "U.S. and Canadian officials are being pressed to explain how a man carrying a homemade sword, hatchet, knife, brass knuckles and a chainsaw stained with what appeared to be blood was allowed into the U.S." How that for Homeland Security? (full article WKBT.com via Sploid)
And the bonus link:
- Top Ten Things You Wouldn't expect to Happen if You Listened to Bush and Cheney
Of course things are going splendid according to Tweedledumb and Tweedledee. But what do they think, the US public won't eventually cotton on that Bush has been doing as badly on his supposed signature issue as he has on the economy, social security and everything else he has tried to handle that's turned to sh-t? Even respected members of his own party know that the Iraq war has become a hot mess due to his ineptness. And he's STILL lying and pushing the bogus and long-discredited theory of a connection between the 9/11 attack and Iraq. The midterm elections and 2008 can't come soon enough to rid us of this already-lame (in both senses of the word) duck.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Today it's finally ON - hope you got your ticket!
And, whether you're there or not today, join us for the official wrap party TONIGHT being held in conjunction with the Hip Hop Theater Festival:
Click here for more details.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Henrietta Holsman Fore thinks you'd rather hang out and hustle on the block.
The American Dream: a new study finds that white felons have at least an equal, if not greater, chance of landing a job than black men with no record.
Especially worrying when the employment numbers under Bush's economy are so bad.
And probably only getting worse with recent news like this. What happened to "what's good for GM is good for America...."?
Meanwhile, Bush's latest nominee is a bigot?
Ponder that while you look at a list of Senators refusing to oppose lynching - in 2005!
So is it any surprise that the U.S. government is still blocking progress on stopping The Great African Holocaust - "the greatest crime of our generation"?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Cassidy: "realer" than everyone thought?
I swear some news post(s) are coming soon. In the meantime though...
Cassidy - I'm A
YOUNG, FLY & FLASHY!
Leela James = the female Anthony Hamilton, please believe it! Catch her on Saturday if she gets over her laryngitis in time.
Fader blog on Kanye's upcoming Late Registration album. (related: Kanye says Franz Ferdinand = "White Crunk." Does that mean Lil Jon = Black new wave/disco punk?!)
Speaking of indie record stores, shout to Eugene and the Play De Record crew in the T-dot. They used to get way too much of my money back in the early 90's when US import hip hop 12's cost $8-9 Cdn. I don't even wanna know how much they might cost up there now. This is the future anyway. When 45 King is using it, you know vinyl is in its last days.
The Couch Sessions
I already mentioned the "Jail Issue" of XXL magazine before but I only just today got to actually see a copy. This is a must-cop just for this month's eye candy, Buffie, alone. Homegirl has back fccking with Ki-Toy f'real. On a more serious note though, Hutch (aka Cold 187um from Above the Law), keep ya head up. Kite coming your way real soon, playa.
(Slight afterword: anyone have any insights as to why the volume on my windows media player has started randomly going up and down, without being manually changed by me, in the last couple of days? I don't recall having done anything weird in terms of new installs or plug-ins except on my real player so I'm at a loss as to what's going on here.)
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
All good for another crate digging spot in NYC?
Last night at B.E.D. was off-chain. D-Nice has got to be the biggest pimp in NYC based on the ridiculous number of gorgeous women at his birthday jumpoff. Picures at his site sometime soon no doubt. Shout to Evil Dee, Quell, Stack Bundles, Kevin Weekes, Rashad, Prestige, DJ Hotday and everyone else I bumped into last night. Stack's new single "Why Would She..." featuring Rell is straight crack by the way.
TONIGHT - "Thug Mansion," a live tribute to the music of 2Pac featuring Buckshot, Jeru the Damaja, Amanda Diva and El Da Sensai at BBKing's.
This Friday - DJ Clark Kent at Clue's Cherry Lounge uptown.
Game & Dre "Hard Liquor" - I post this against my better judgement after Game's recent fcckery because, at the end of the day, it's still a hot joint. (mp3 via Spine)
Sean Price feat. Louieville Sluggah, Steele & Buckshot "Fake Neptune" - I like this joint. How's the rest of the album? (mp3 via Hiphopgame.com)
Good Records NYC - should Sound Library and A-1 be sweating? (via Catchdubs)
BdotC's gulliest rappers of all time.
Win a pair of Reebok Classics customzied by M.I.A. at Cool Hunting.
Land of the Dead - what's really good with this new George Romero flick? I'm down for another good zombie flick after some solid recent efforts remaking and spoofing his original classic.
As you can probably tell, I don't really have much to say/talk about recently - back to some news and a special indie pop post later this week (maybe).
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Some links below are active - click to hear or access mp3's of tracks or for more info.
Scroll down the left side bar menu for links to addtional old lists in "The Hot Ish Archives."
- 1. Yummy Bingham feat. Jadakiss "Come Get It" (Motown/UMG)
- 2. Kanye West feat. Jay-z "Diamonds (remix)" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)
- 3. Cassidy "B-Boy Stance" (J/SonyBMG)
- 4. Nikka Costa Can'tneverdidnothin (Virgin)
- 5. Freeway "Where You Been (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)
- 6. Common "Go" (Geffen)
- 7. Bloc Party Silent Alarm (Vice/Dim Mak)
- 8. Teairra Mari "Make Her Feel Good" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)
- 9. Paul Wall "Sittin' Sideways" (Swishahouse)
- 10. Jay-Z feat. Aztek "Freestyle" (Promo)
- 11. Damian Marley "Welcome to Jamrock" (Tuff Gong)
- 12. Jahah "Everybody Up" (BeeZee70)
- 13. Rhymefest feat. Kanye West "Brand New" [snippet] (All I Do/J)
- 14. Missy Elliott feat. Pharell "On & On" (Elektra)
- 15. Saul Williams s/t album (Fader Records)
- 16. Keak Da Sneak "Superhyphy" (Label Unknown)
- 17. Red Cafe feat. Mack 10 "Yellow Bottle" (Capitol)
- 18. Redman "Gillahouse Check" (Def Jam Promo)
- 19. Ying Yang Twins feat. Busta Rhymes & Missy Elliott "Wait (remix)(TVT)
Here's some tracks that would have been on the "Hot Ish" charts If I'd done one for June-July:
- 50 cent feat. Mobb Deep "Outta Control (remix)"
- Kanye West "Goldigger" (via Hiphopgame)
- Mike Jones "Back Then" (video: Hi | Med | Lo)
- Rev Run “Mind On the Road” e-card | Audio: windows media High | Low | Real
- David Banner's "Play"
- Lil Kim "Shut Up Chick"
- Jim Jones "Baby Girl"
- Papoose feat. Ghostface "In the Bushes"
- Tru Life "Can't See NY Rap Die"
- Nas "MC Burial"
- Ying Yang Twinz feat Mike Jones "Badd"
More Bonus Ish:
Stuff available from my indie 12" label Supreme Clientele:
Image courtesy of The D-Nice Journal. Click to see more.
D-Nice's 35th Birthday Party & Photo Exhibit at B.E.D. TONIGHT - don't er... sleep?
New "Hot Ish" list up in the sidebar at left FINALLY! It's only been nearly three months since the last one went up. I may have to reorder where some of the tracks go though 'cos honestly, I've been rockin' the Paul Wall, Damian Marley, Freeway and Jay-Z/Aztek freestyle (what beat is that BTW?) the most besides the Yummy/Jada banger, the "Diamonds" remix and the Cassidy I have at the top.
And some other joints from Def Jam:
- Joe Budden "Gangsta Party" (Windows Media High | Low | Real)
- Young Jeezy "And Then What" - he's got the voice but this track is kind of "meh" to me. Word is that the Young Jeezey movement is a go with or without me though - apparently he did a club date in the ATL recently selling out the spot at a $100 (yes, that's NOT a typo) a head. Whoa! (Windows Media High | Low | Real)
Get a behind the scenes look at the making of Platinum Pied Pipers Triple P album.
New book: Country Fried Soul - Adventures in Dirty South Hip-Hop.
Google's online hip hop chat group for those allergic to sunshine.
And more sites to peep:
- Tara Henley's Global Beat
- Pound for Pound - reppin' Philly, Philly.
- The Rap Up
- electric relaxation (vaguely related: A Tribe Called Quence)
Monday, June 13, 2005
"The monument is right in your face...."
Priceless quotes from an allhiphop.com article on Cam'ron's new Vivali clothing line:
“I’m not doing a sports clothing line. I’m doing a straight up couture clothing line.”
“Their dollar (Euro?!) is 2-to-1 on ours. It’s worth way more than ours....”
“Vivali, which means “I’m fly” in Italian says Cam, is somewhat available to his people in Harlem and the surrounding areas... “Right now, we got certain things at Apollo Express on 125th Street between 7th and 8th street right next to the Apollo Theater (!).””
I hope when Cam says Vivali is couture that he means it'll be more like this than this. And just in case, let me throw a n/h designation on this entire section of the post. You never know when you're mixing Cam and Italian high fashion (!).
Kanye West feat. Jay-Z "Diamonds (remix)" - Hovi MURDERS it!!! (via Lemon-Red)
"Possibly the most covered hip hop classic"
Who really buys hip hop?
Make - the magazine to peep for releasing your inner McGyver (via The New York Times)
Shout to Jeannie - great party you and Joel threw last Friday for Monique.
But I'm a little tied up to post anything of real note so peep some of these alternatives:
- Killer Mike's 510 to 514
- Velvet Addiction (shout to Nikki)
- The Last Nerve (check out the post about the "N.I.G.G.A. scholarship" there)
- Wasteland Drifter
More tomorrow (or later this week)....
Sunday, June 12, 2005
It's coming! My peoples are presenting the most excellent Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival next weekend (June 18th) with the following acts on the bill:
The Five Percent Nation of Islam was a popular inspiration for numerous thinking-man's rap groups during the early '90s, and Brand Nubian was arguably the finest of the more militant crop. Although they were strongly related to the Native Tongues posse in style and sound, they weren't technically members, and were less reserved about spotlighting their politics and religion.
Their outspokenness led to controversy, on an even larger scale than similarly minded groups like the X-Clan or Poor Righteous Teachers, in part because Brand Nubian's sheer musicality made them so listenable regardless of what their messages were. The hoopla surrounding their aggressive Afrocentrism sometimes overshadowed the playful and positive sides of their work, as well as the undeniable virtuosity of lead MC Grand Puba's rhymes — all showcased to best effect on their highly acclaimed debut, One for All.
Brand Nubian recently joined indie hip-hop label Babygrande Records--home to a family of great talents such as furious femcee Jean Grae, LL Cool J hater Canibus, and Philly underground duo Jedi Mind Tricks--with the promise to use its wisdom to spread positivity and awareness to the unknowing and the unconscious. The new album distinctly delivers on this promise.
Click here to hear music by Brand Nubian (streams at bottom of page).
Part of the new-millennium resurgence of alternative rap, Little Brother's inspirations were atypical for Southern hip-hop: classic Native Tongues outfits like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as more recent torch-bearers like the Roots and Black Star. MCs Phonte and Big Pooh swapped rhymes with an easy chemistry, but the group's real focal point was DJ/producer 9th Wonder, an old-school sampling technician who quickly established himself as a worthy heir to production wizards like DJ Premier and Pete Rock and has gone on to work with such A-list artists as Jay-Z and Beyonce as well as undergound icons like Murs and Buckshot of Black Moon.
Click here to learn more and listen to music by Little Brother.
Fresh off his 2005 Grammy win for co-writing the rap song of the year “Jesus Walks” with Kanye West, Chicago native, Rhymefest is set to release his highly-anticipated debut album Blue Collar, this summer on Allido Records/J Records. The sharp-witted MC is expected to have fellow Chi-town representatives, Kanye, Twista, Common and Carl Thomas as well as Q-Tip and the late Dirt McGirt (aka ODB) featured on his album. Despite the great guest appearances, it’s Rhymefest’s sharp wit and lethal sense of humor that sets him apart and carries this opus driven album from track to track.
The self-described “wack-tose intolerant” MC offers a new viable sound for the hip-hop deprived. Armed with production from West, Mark Ronson, No ID and Cool & Dre, Blue Collar is not simply a combination of songs, but an epic.
Click to hear music from Rhymefest's Blue Collar album and A Star is Born mixtape here and here.
According to Medina Green member DCQ (aka Illson, aka Jashiya), the underground rap group consists of "two brothers, two cousins, and one good friend." The group's history begins in 1994 when brothers Mos Def and DCQ were members of Urban Thermo Dynamics, a group that had a deal with the Polygram affiliate Payday London. The deal fell apart after some white-label promos and one official single. Mos Def and DCQ rounded up some family members and started Medina Green, "Medina" being the Asiatic name for Brooklyn and "Green" signifying growth. Mos Def's career took off while DCQ worked on Medina Green. The group got a proper debut when Mos Def presented their mixtape You Know the Flex, Vol. 1 in 2004.
Click to hear more:
- Medina Green U Know the Flex Vol. 1 mixtape
- Click the official Supreme Clientele MySpace page to hear the Medina Green's "Slow & Tender" track, the B-side of the single "Excellence" by Mos Def.
One listen to her nostalgic debut, A Change Is Gonna Come (named after Sam Cooke's 1964 hit), and it's evident that James is a pupil and conduit of classic soul. "You can't fake or buy soul," says James. "It's either inside of you or it isn't." Invoking the fiery spirits of Tina Turner and Parliament-Funkadelic with the soulful timbre of mavens such as Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson, James embarks on a melodic pilgrimage offering her special brand of "back porch" soul produced by Commissioner Gordon (Lauryn Hill), Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, Wyclef Jean, James Poyser, and Chucky Thompson.
Click to hear more:
- “When You Love Somebody” (Hi | Lo)
- “Mistreating Me” (Hi | Lo | Quick)
Language has shared the decks with Hip-Hop icons DJ Premier, DJ Jazzy Jay, DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore, and Afrika Bambaataa, as well as Reggae legends such as Dillinger, Trinity, Dawn Penn, Tony Rebel, and Yami Bolo. The past year has also seen Language playing sets in Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Stockholm and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, among other locales.
Language has also recently started the acclaimed monthly NegroClash party with DJs Lindsey and Duane at New York’s APT, which highlights electronic sounds in Black music, and whose featured guest DJs and hosts have included Afrika Bambaataa, Mantronix, Fab 5 Freddy, Kool DJ Red Alert, DJ Spinna, Charlie Dark, and Larry Heard AKA Mr. Fingers. He is also a contributor to The Fader Magazine’s “Mix Tape” column, where he highlights and reviews notable new releases, and a contributing reviewer for TurntableLab.com.
Click here to find out more about DJ Language:
Back in the late 80's under the name "DJ Plainterror", GE-OLOGY was once the DJ/producer of a four member group "Born Busy" including high school friend, the legendary Tupac Shakur "MC New York"… uniquely cementing him historically as the only producer privileged to record Pac’s very first and earliest recordings.
In the early 90's he co-founded the infamous "Dooable Arts" with Matt Reid aka "Matt Doo", through which he first made his mark. Since then he's become synonymously known for album cover art, T-shirt graphics, magazine illustrations and collaborative mural paintings with his fellow Barnstormers crew (a famed artist collective created by Davd Ellis aka SKWERM), as much as he's known for producing tracks with the likes of Mos Def, Vinia Mojica, Talib Kweli, Sadat X, Pharoahe Monch, Jem, Mystic or his remixes for Pete Rock & Grand Agent.
Boasting international acclaim, one of his most recognized paintings is the Rawkus classic "Body Rock" cover featuring Mos Def, Q-Tip and Tash from Tha Alkaholiks (featured in Andrew Emery's "The Book of Hip Hop Cover Art" and listed at #3 in "EgoTrip's Book of Rap List" 25 Great EP, 12" & CD Single Covers section).
Click here for more on Ge-ology.
They're going fast so click here to get your FREE tickets for the BHF while they're still available and click the icon below for more info at the official website. Also, Brooklynites, look for the cover story feature on the festival in local newspaper 247.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Stung by High Gas Prices, Uncle Sam Buys Minivans to Replace Army Humvees (!)
The Media Blackout of the Iraq War is Now Official (related: "Bush’s approval rating is now a full twenty points lower than Clinton’s was on the day he was impeached. Dear media, that means you gotta stop referring to him as a “popular president,” and no less important, stop treating him like one. If you want to be wimps about everything, fine, just don’t blame it on his ‘popularity.’ Blame it on yourselves. [emphasis added]" from Altercation)
Looks like it's not just the press who've got their heads buried in the ground even though Bush own people's ain't still buying his Pollyanna view of the war like they used to.
And even if the press and white house don't want to admit the truth, the message is still getting through to the public regardless because nobody's trying to sign up to get killed in Iraq and Afghnaistan any more which explains why the military has resorted to kidnapping recruits (heads up on the story in the latter link via Bol).
Finally, more realistic than most of the media coverage about Iraq (and that's pretty depressing to consider in itself) - Gunner Palace, the DVD IN STORES NOW. (related: click here for the official Gunner Palace website)
One reason why Joey trashed Joe's new album?
I think I'm one of the few legit (and long-term) Fat Joe fans around and, after having just received his new All or Nothing album today, even I have to admit it's not great. It's emblematic of what's wrong with mainstream hip hop in 2005 - too much Blueprint II/Unfinished Business and not enough Life After Death/Strictly Business to use a lazy comparison. Big budgets buying A-list producers and collab features but not enough soul, grit, vision or originality.
That being said, the Just Blaze-produced "Safe 2 Say (The Incredible)" still sounds good to me, the Timbaland track "Everybody Get Up" is OK for the clubs (albeit a bit by-the-numbers sounding) and I'm feeling "Listen Baby," the duet with Mashonda that Enuff's been caning on promo for a minute now (although is ANYONE buying Joe's increasing lover man pose?! Heavy D or B.I.G. he ain't, n/h).
The premise of the photo caption above may be debatable, but as far as US Latinos go, overall: "Now we are everywhere" - get used to the future of
So either way, you gotta get down or lay down this Sunday.
A positive trend for black performers in Hollywood though?
And is "Hollaback Girl" Hip-hop Enough? (I say, yes)
Solid feature spotlighting the music of Africa.
Government Names run down the Top 10 DJ Screw tapes. (related: Jazzbo's "Chopped and Screwed - A History" article spotted via Pacific Standard)
Click here to view the new Medina Green video "Cats Copy." (and don't forget the Mos Def/Medina Green 12" "Excellence" b/w "Slow & Tender" in stores now right from Supreme Clientele)
TONIGHT - proud posers unite! The Dork Deejays are Rockin' DUMBO Again....
The Corgishoe Collection.
The Ying Yang Twins "Wait" remixes featuring Busta, Missy et al. (WM hi | lo ) but the orginal version has been generating plenty of debate. Am I a bad person for saying I still like the song regardless of how some may be interpreting the lyrics?
Thursday, June 09, 2005
"Everybody Loves The Sunhsine" (mp3 via tunes.co.uk)
Had to drop these jewels after some discussions I had this week though:
- William D. Rubinstein, the stupidest academic on the planet. (via Pharyngula and Boing Boing)
- H. Allen Orr on "Why Intelligent Design Isn’t" in The New Yorker.
- "Students should just “follow God’s plan for purity.”" - "abstinence-until-marriage" as Sex Ed. in Ohio.
- Bush's "Culture of Life" agenda at work again:
The United States currently gives just 0.16 percent of its national income to help poor countries, despite signing a United Nations declaration three years ago in which rich countries agreed to increase their aid to 0.7 percent by 2015. Since then, Britain, France and Germany have all announced plans for how to get to 0.7 percent; America has not. The piddling amount Mr. Bush announced yesterday is not even 0.007 percent.
What is 0.7 percent of the American economy? About $80 billion. That is about the amount the Senate just approved for additional military spending, mostly in Iraq. It's not remotely close to the $140 billion corporate tax cut last year.
From "Crumbs for Africa" and BTW this was money already designated for African foreign aid by Congress, not new money approved based on Tony Blair's recent lobbying in advance of the upcoming G8 Summit. So much for his "special friendship" with the US and sticking his neck out on behalf of Bush for this ridiculous Iraq war. (The New York Times)
I have plenty of other links I want to throw up but Young Catch has the right idea so content might be sporadic if this weather holds up.
And rock to this Damian Marley heater "Welcome to Jamrock" that's been blowing up while you heed his words. I only got up on who did this record and the fact that it was actually a new song this past weekend while at a BBQ in New Jeruze. Why does this happen to me with every reggae record that ends up crossing over to mainstream hip hop radio and clubs from "Gimme the Light" and "Who Am I?" to "Tekk" and"Can't Satisfay Her"? I hear these joints forever and assume they're old tracks that I somehow missed and then they hit crticial mass and explode and I realize they're actually new records that have finally broken.
With hip hop I can pinpoint within a week or so when new records hit the streets via mixshows and mixtapes when I'm really focused (and that's even after having given up buying mixtapes regularly) but I am routinely off the mark as far as reggae and and dancehall goes. Props to the Jr. Gong either way though because this record's that crack that I heard also did the business at Summer Jam.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
The Civil Rights Movement: all for naught?
Live 8 = "hideously white"?
"Miri Ben-Ari "Best Female Hip-Hop?" Kanye West "Best Gospel Artist?" I feel like I'm the twilight zone. I'm prepared to be embarassed by the Bamboozled Entertainment Television Awards once again...."
"All This Bling-Bling is Costly -- Not Only Financially, but in African Lives...."
"It should be a national embarrassment that MTV is more outspoken about genocide than our president...."
What's Happened to Barack Obama?
Bush's wish for a "Culture of Life" does not extend to Africa.
The White House whitewashes the White supremacist terror problem.
How do babies with super-black names fare? Badly enough that people don't even remember their names?
For links like this every day, visit American Black.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Hold tight because I actually do some full-on album reviewing for once on this site instead of my usual bullet-point one-line comment steez. Read on (if you have the energy) and drop comments if so inspired....
I've mentioned this cat Sway Dasafo a couple of times before but I never gave any shine to the mixtapes he passed me the night I met him and former Portishead affiliate Lewis Parker at NYC grime/dubstep party Bangers and Mash where he was performing (a story I had promised to get into a while back now)
Like much of the so-called grime scene, the line between Sway's music and American hip hop has become pretty blurry especially when you put up the work of American producers like Lil Jon, Timbaland, Diplo and upcoming, newly-buzzing Roc boardsman Chad "Wes" Hamilton (the creative force behind much of the most interesting parts of the actually-not-bad and kind of underrated new Young Gunz Brother From Another album) against that of UK grime producers like Dizzee Rascal, Jammer and Wiley. To my ears, there are far more similarities than differences nowadays and that's even with the Brits no longer merely aping what's poppin' in US hip hop but coming up with their own sound.
In many ways though, Sway is really still more of a hip hop MC than a grime artist per se but his sensibility and references are still uniquely British or, more accurately, first generation Britsh-Ghanaian as hilarious skits about meeting an American b-boy and dodging immigration officers featuring hilarious recurring character Charly-Boy (his "mad rapper" figure) attest. Solid remakes of J-Kwon's "Tipsy" (titled "Pepsi" on his rerub) and Ja Rule's "New York (redubbed "London" on his mixtape remake) and decent off-the-dome skills on the numerous on-air freestyles he's done at various UK hip hop radio shows also included on his two street mixtape albums, This is my Promo vol. 1 and 2, reinforce his hip hop credentials. The stand-out track is no doubt his single "Flo' Fashion" though which appears no less than three times (in original, instrumental and remix forms) over the course of the two mixtapes.
It's telling that Sway's name hasn't rung bells in the blog or the indie hipster worlds the same way Mick Skinner's The Streets, M.I.A. and Dizzee Rascal have recently. His more straight-ahead hip hop sound and image (which is great by the way, check the covers above) probably doesn't have enough of that exotic "other" appeal factor as those artists' music to generate a buzz in these circles although I think it does. If American hip hop audiences were open-minded enough, I'd predict Sway could find an audience there, but the folks in the underground who've been frothing over Kano or even Roots Manuva might even find him too gutter for their tastes. When his official album This is My Demo, due later this year, drops there might be material on there that will change that. But, based on these two promising mixtapes, Sway's "neither-fish-nor-fowl" current positioning might lead to him falling between the cracks. Let's hope that's not the case though.
Click and peep:
- UKHH.com interview with Sway.
- Check out the "Flo Fashion" video (win | quick via his official website)
- Buy This is My Promo Vol. 1 here
- Buy This is My Promo Vol. 2 here
- Who's Gonna Sign Sway?
On a related note, a few weeks ago the ever-hip Vice Records sent me a copy of their all-star Grime compialtion Run the Road, a state of the art collection of the UK's hottest stars in this new and still evolving musical genre. The British accents and awkward improvisational-sounding grime MC style, most akin to undergound American MC rhyme ciphas or live dancehall DJ-ing, might not appeal to the ear of hip hop fans with more catholic tastes. But more so than even drum 'n' bass and vaguely related sister genres from a few years back, UK/speed garage and 2-step, grime is the first real post-hip hop music which is unique sounding and culturally-rooted yet still, in many ways, sympatico with the touchstones of new millenia American urban music like the keyboard-based Down South hip hop sound, digital dancehall and midwest MCing.
Kano's "P's and Q's" is the obvious standout track of the collection while he also appears with Wiley on "Mic Fight" and on the solid "Destrcution VIP" track by Jammer as well as having a decent turn with Lady Sovereign on a pretty limp remix of The Streets' "Fit But You Know It." A lot of people are starting to ride Sovereign's bra strap (if the increasing mentions I've read about her on various blogs recently are any indication) but for my money, her "Ching Ching" single (which I think has been out for a hot minute and apprears here in remix form) and the track by the also semi-buzzing Shystie are bested by the unknown (to me) MC named No Lay who spits pure fya on her "Unorthadox Daughter." Sovereign dimisses the comparisons to Eminem on her track but it seems kind of apt based on what I know about her.
It feels like eons have passed since Roll Deep, Pay As You Go and So Solid were the crews to beat in this world, but it looks like Roll Deep are the only ones to have made it through to the new grime era (?) with their "Let It Out" track but they already sound like the old men of the scene with a track that sounds a little dated and basic as compared to some of the heat rocks on this album. Dizzee's subsonic video game beat-powered "Give U More" proves why this kid will be remain a leader in this scene no matter which new jacks come up in the future though. Also watch out for this Kid D Double E - duke's voice and flow is pretty bananas based on his appearances on the explosive album opener "Cock Back v1.2" and the Jammer cut.
I wanted to clown this album but fcck it I can't front, it's actually pretty solid. Of course, if you're heading to Giant Stadium tomorrow, this is probably not for you although I'd never want to sell anyone short. You never know nowadays the way music is going. Intrigued? Click the following links to learn more about grime:
- Click here for the official Run the Road website
- Want a slightly more commericial sounding option? Check out Kano. I even put one of his joints ("Brown Eyes") on a hip hop mix Cd I jusr made for my girl and her sister last weekend. Good looking to whichever mp3 blog I copped that from again (I forget).
- Chantelle Fiddy's World of Grime
- Grime links via the excellent Slang Editorial blog
- Grime, Baile Funk, mash-up and other assorted left-field music hotness via Boom Selection.
- S/FJ on the grime scene in the New Yorker.
- Stone on Dizzee Rascal and Run the Road.
- Not strictly grime but kind of related, Lemon-Red links to mp3's of the new bonus tracks on the Interscope repress (?!) of M.I.A.'s Arular album.