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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

360° of Hip Hop: time for a Detox? 

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Hip Hop: then and now...

From the sublime to the ridiculous, it's all hip hop, baby:

Dr. Dre - Detox EP: apparently you need something called winrar (?!) to download and play this .rar file properly. Er... OK. (link via Still Listen...)

Nas - on making Illmatic

10 Years Ago: All Eyez On Me revisited

40 is just the start - the Bay Area is back! And Mistah FAB is next.

M1/Ghostface tour

Get familiar! Clinton Sparks' new Kanye West collab mixtape Touch the Sky is crazy. Download or listen to it here.

MC Hammer blog - WTF?! (spotted via Fresh)

Farnsworth Bentley is really making an album I guess! But why?

Just what the doctor ordered for a sick culture?

Off on business again. All I'll say is when you hear the whistle blow, be ready to get hyphy.... (mp3 link via

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Monday, February 27, 2006

The Starks Fishmarket is Open! 

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Fishscale has leaked - there's RapidShare links going around of what sounds like either an unmixed and/or incomplete version of the album but on GP you know I can't put one up here. If U really can't wait for this album or won't support one of the best in the game currently doing it by buying his album when it drops, look around the internets - you should know the folks who are in the business of giving away other people's entire albums by now. From what I've heard of it so far, sound-wise it falls somewhere between Supreme Clientele and Bulletproof Wallets. Unless that joint with Ne-Yo takes off at radio, I'm predicting this will be another Starks album that will go ignored by the masses.

And via Nah Right: the REALLY terrible cover to Mobb Deep's new mixtape. This does NOT bode well for their G-Unit album debut.

Fennessey's got much T.I. mp3 linkage and more....

While over at Boing Boing: get links to a 20 minute video discussing the significance of the "Amen Break," a 6 second drum break taken from "Amen, My Brother" an obscure B-side cut by 60's funk/soul act The Winstons that became a foundation of hip hop and the basis of the signature sound of jungle, UK breakbeat and drum 'n bass.

And courtesy of Prefix: classic Premo remixes of West Coast hip hop acts.

"So uhh, explain to me why this isn't "snitching" by Suge Knight?" - Suge Knight vs. Harry O.

A look at jeans and t-shirts from Pharrell's BBC and Ice Cream clothing lines.

Sneaker nerd culture hits Boston (or at least has just crossed the radar of the Boston Phoenix).

Coldplay x Kanye coming soon?
(via Nadream)

And are Bloc Party (responsible for this blog's favorite album of last year) about to
pull a Radiohead?

I didn't go see The Pink Panther (actually I'm not even sure it's even out yet) but is it just me or would Kevin Kline, who has a support role in the film, have made a WAY better Inspector Clouseau than Steve Martin?

Finally: thanks, Derrick.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

It Just Gets Better... 

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It's a twisted world when I am on the same side of a debate as Tom Delay and Michelle Malkin while several people who I really respect disagree with me and don't have any problem with this UAE port deal. But whether the deal ultimately goes through after getting vetted properly or not, I think I have to stand my ground and say this debacle has been yet more evidence of Bush's sloppy handling of homeland security and further proof that as he has been for the past six years, either asleep at the wheel or grossly incompetent. Either way it's not a good look for the American people. Read on...

Bush learned of port sale from papers.
That's funny, I thought Bush (proudly) bragged a while back about how he doesn't read newspapers?!

But "President Bush's family and members of the Bush administration have [had] long-standing business connections with the United Arab Emirates" (click here for more)

Chertoff was unaware of ports deal until after OK.


Homeland Security initially balked at ports deal
- I mean WTF??

The UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports, not six.

Meanwhile: Ex-9/11 Commission head slams port deal.

And the 9/11 Report cited possible ties between the UAE and Osama Bin Laden and the USS Cole bombing.

But to end and in the interest of being "Fair and Balanced" read this and this.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bumpin' My Music 

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Ray Cash: will heads be bumpin' his music?

Believe me, I'd rather stay on the Cheney shooting, this "Port-gate" story, the fact that Iraq looks like it's REALLY going down in flames and a bunch of other news and "current" events I've been threatening to talk about for a while but if I don't get back to some music right now, there might not be anyone left to read about that stuff!

Chris Brown "Yo (Black Chiney remix)" - (young) lover's rock. This reminds me of those excellent Alicia Keys reggae remixes that were doing the rounds a couple years back and is a lot better than you'd expect - check it!

Cheri Denis feat. Jim Jones & Black Rob "I Love You (remix)" - this record's been bubblin' for a minute but I'm not sure everyone is fully up on who sings it (?). It sounds like a Neptunes c. 2004 production but I don't think they actually did it. But it's such a good song that I don't even really care if it sounds a little out of date. (Note: sorry about the clean edit, that's all I had.)

More T-Pain answer records: Kedash "I'm N Love Wit a Gangsta" (via Kedash | semi-related: "LL Cool J Is Not In Love With Strippers")

And while we're on some R&B ish, congrats to my peoples Kay Gee and Giz on their #1 debut with the new Jaheim album, Ghetto Classics.

Back to the music though:

Shawnna "Getting Some Head" - I really like this record even though she's looking like a H.A.M. right hurrr. (note: reg. may be required to access this mp3 for download)

And in response to Sean, peep this: Ray Cash feat. Scarface "Bumpin' My Music" and read this.

And speaking of Texas legends: is 2006 gonna be the Year of UGK?

Da Back Wudz “I Don’t Like the Look of It” - this track is kind of fire too. I should have put them and Field Mob as picks to click in my Year-End Wrap-up's. (video | audio)

Speaking of which here's a couple things I forgot to include in my lists:

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Webbie - Savage Life
This album title don't lie. This is 2005 ig'nant hip hop personified but executed to perfection. What do they say about the Devil having the best music?

and the singles:

Louis XIV "God Killed the Queen" - dirty garage glam-rock played by some dudes who seem to have as depraved an attitude towards women and sex as the worst mainstream "gangsta" rappers. Trust me though, just like the ladies who dance to 50 cent, I bet all those skinny white girls in their low-cut jeans were dancing to this in rock clubs last year. The rest of the album is OK though might be kind of ho-hum and paint-by-numbers for those who have a passing knowledge of who Marc Bolan is. (download mp3 | video | streaming e-card)

Cut Copy "Future" - from the not-bad electro-pop album Bright Like Neon Love. And if you're diggin' that, holla at your boy Mylo and his Destroy Rock & Roll album.

Finally, some end-of-post bonus throwback hip hop linkage: Extra P mp3's at Prefix.

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The Moment We Feared 

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"It is crystal clear that, should [Alito] be seated on the Supreme Court, critical rights from privacy to speech and beyond will be in grave danger."

"Welcome to the death of the moderate judicial branch."

Dear America, I hope that you enjoyed your rights while you had them.

That was the story a month ago when Samuel "Scalito" Alito was confirmed. Now the moment we feared is upon us:

Supreme Court reopens abortion issue on Alito's first day.

And things could get worse from there on out:

"In other state news, South Dakota is about to ban abortion in the hopes that John Paul Stevens will die soon and a new George Bushified Supreme Court will uphold their shiny new uterus regulation legislation. Yet another reason not to bother taking a vacation to see Mount Rushmore." (click here to read more)

Be very scared concerned....

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

(At Least) A Six-Pack Worth of Questions About the Cheney Shooting Incident Still.... 

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Dick Cheney Gun Club - the jokes are funny but this story is no joking matter and is far from settled despite what Bush thinks:

- "It seems that people who know and understand hunting are having real trouble buying the official story, that Whittington was shot from roughly 30 yards away." (click here for more)


- AP documents the massive discrepancies in the Cheney shooting story. (click here for more)

- Even smug conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has got questions.

But Cheney takes full responsibility for his actions?!! Blah3 recaps how meangingless those words are in this administration.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

UAE-Run American Ports: A Conduit for Importing Pork Barrels Full of WMD? 

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The UAE port deal: is this the fox guarding the hen house?

I would hope that this UAE Port takeover debacle is forcing the American people to finally get a clue that George Bush and his administration have NO F-CKING IDEA what the hell they are doing as far as Homeland Security and protecting this country from possible future attacks or fighting the "War on Terror" in general. But if a botched war campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq didn't already achieve that, why would this? In case the concept of companies owned by foreign governments controlling your ports alone doesn't raise concerns within you, then consider this:

- Bin Laden's operatives were still using freewheeling Dubai as a logistical hub three years after more than half the Sept. 11 hijackers flew directly from Dubai to the United States in the final preparatory stages for the attack.

Some more facts about the UAE (from Fox News via Think Progress):

– The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.

– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.

– After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.

Sound like the kind of folks you want controling your ports??


The UAE would also ccontrol shipments of military equipment for the U.S. Army - WTF?!

While Bush cronies are tied to the Arab firm in the deal.

Yet with all this coming to light, Bush STILL says he will veto any bill to stop the UAE Port Deal. C'mon, people: enough is enough....

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

2005 YEAR END WRAP-UP: Albums 

Long threatened, it's finally here. Yeah I know, it's damn near the end of February and I'm CRAZY late on this but at least now I've got y'all attention and I'm not fighting all the other Year-End/Best Of lists that flooded the block from Thanksgiving on last year. Besides f-ck it, the "Pazz N Jop" list just came out so if a February publication date is good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

Actually, there's been a real advanatge to writing this post so late. Before I got my video ipod in November, I was all set to write a post about how I hadn't heard, let alone bought, hardly any albums this year and what's more, wasn't really sweatin' it either. In fact, from about Septmeber of 2004 until now I've bought exactly three CD's: Jill Scott's second album, Nas's The Lost Tapes (both used) and Kanye West's second album (at the Best Buy on 6th Ave where I bumped into my man and super A&R consultant [!] Agent who was indignant at the fact that I wasn't buying the Tony Yayo album too. Like c'mon, seriously. Evenn if I had paper like that to buy CD's, that's an album that was NEVER gonna make it into my house based on money spent out of my pocket!).

It's not that I wasn't hearing albums though. After all, because this stupid site actually has some sort of readership and marginal check-for factor, I've actually started to get serviced with lot of promos from some good folks whose job it is to try and get people like me to talk about their music. I also have a few friends and acquaintances who either manage groups or work at labels and distribution companies who've thrown me whatever joints they've been shilling over the past year but, despite all of that, there were still plenty of notable album releases I straight up hadn't heard all the way through.

But with the arrival of the ipod, my album listening game suddenly got very focused once again. Without spending a dime, I've now got over 180 FULL albums that were borrowed and jacked from friends and colleagues rockin' in some kind of rotation on my player. And because of that I've still been discovering new albums from 2005 up until literally this week that would have flown under my radar and been completely missed by me.

My ipod's probably been bad for the music industry but it's been GREAT for my music listening experience and for my apartment which is almost bursting at the seams from being filled with way too many records (2500+ is my best guess though the exact number is anyone's guess) and CD's (1700 give or take but again, I really wouldn't know for sure the exact number).

Anyway, as ridiculously long as this post is, I could have written some REAL essays if I had the time or energy but that would have only further delayed when this post would have actually appeared and I'm really trying to enjoy my Memorial Day weekend without this hanging over my head still - LOL. It's clearly futile trying to be as creative (and extensive) as some folks like my man Joey so I tried to take inspiration from Tego who knocked out a solid ass but efficiently tight year end list without all the flim-flam and wannabe critical showboating but I still failed miserably. So without further ado....

The albums I really liked this year:

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Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Forget the hype and all the corny hipster wanna-be's you laugh at or would be embarassed to be seen at a show with who also liked this album. Silent Alarm is one for the ages with barely a medicore track to be found on it. This is a record whose influences are pretty obvious but which still manages to be its own record and, for my money, stands up as being a classic in its own right. Plus it still sounds fantastic when I play it now while even the obvious cash-in remix album that came out at the end of last year was pretty f-cking good too!

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T.I. - Urban Legend
This was an album which, like Trap Muzik, I got into late and was proof that the internet music listening experience isn't all it's cracked up to be. After getting open on Trap Muzik and being blown away by Urban Legend's first single "Bring Em Out" I was pretty psyched to hear this record. So I checked it out on one of those online media players but was kind of non-plussed by what I heard and ready to bin it as one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

But then I coppped a proper copy on my ipod and was subsequently surprised by how incredible this album actually was. Internet nerds, learn a lesson from me. King of the South? No doubt. I've said it before - he's the Jay-Z of that ish.

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Bun B - Trill
Another record I would have never heard had it not been for my ipod. I heard all the blog/online rap nerd fanboy hype but truth be told I don't really hold much weight in that ish anyway even though I was fan of UGK from even before Volume 10 was sampling their "Pocketful of Stones" for "Pistol Grip Pump." (Yeah that's how I deep I get, I don't need a cheat sheet).

Fcck me though if this record wasn't in fact as good, if not, better, than all the hype. Dude's so solid MC-wise I'm not even sick of hearing him even though it seemed like he was on every album (and remix) that came out last year. Listen to "Draped Up (H-Town Remix)" feat. Lil Keke, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Mike Jones & Slim Thug and "Get Throwed" feat. Pimp C, Young Jeezy & Jay-Z and tell me that, without any Dirty South disclaimers or handicapping, that isn't some of the best hip hop you've heard, period.

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The Game - The Documentary
I know: The Game looks and sounds like a rapper Jimmy Iovine, 50 cent and Dr. Dre made with a chemistry set (or something), he name drops too much, he's got a dubious background as a possibly fake gang banger, male stripper, former dating show contestant and is someone who seems a little -- how can I put this? -- confused as far as where his crew loyalties lie, who he's beefin' with and why.

All that aside though, The Documentary, with amazing tracks like "Hate it or Love it," Higher," "Runnin'," "Put You up on Game" etc. etc., was evidence that major label corporate hip hop can still sound incredibly fresh and cohesive even when you go to the exact same cast of characters that every other superstar, millionaire rapper uses to make their album. And the fact that he's managing to hold his own against 50 and entire G-Unit crew when they threw him out on his ass and have been doggin' him out on mixtapes ever since and that Dre looks like he's still riding out for him by doing beats for his forthcoming Doctor's Advocate album are plus points in his favor too.

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Keyshia Cole - The Way It Is
Another late-running-discovered-via-the-ipod contender. For my money The Way It Is is a better record than Mary's and I gotta respect how she grinded it throughout last year winning fans one by one by droppping a series of steadily better singles. How often does that happen nowadays?

Her breakthrough hit "I Should Have Cheated" was just one example of the amazing soul music this album contained. She may be young but she really made you believes she lived that sh-t she's singing about. I'm not hating but the four and a half million of you who bought Mariah's not-bad comeback album but not this need to be ashamed of yourslves. R&B album of the year by a mile.

Various Artists - Big Boi Presents Got Purp Vol. II
Funnily enough, not that I thought it was bad but I wasn't that big a fan of the epic and still-going "Kryptonite" single (I don't even think I charted it on my year end single wrap-up list), but this album which it came from was redonkolous.

Admittedly I am a bit of Dungeon Family/Organized Noize/Oukast fan although not to the point where I own any of the albums from the second stringers in their crew(s) (hello, Backbone, Witchdoctor, Killah Mike et al.). But my predisposition and biases aside, this is just a great album when signs suggesting that likelihood were slim. Superstar rapper starts yet another label while making an over-budget, way-past-deadline film at the same time, throws his homeboys -- many of whom are rejects from previous failed record deals and labels -- on said label's preview compilation along with some random-ass R&B and it actually all sounds good? I should have put money down on that happening and could now have been chilling in the Cayman Island retired and living off my winnings.

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Kanye West - Late Registration
Probably album of the year for many folks and frankly I wouldn't argue the fact if pushed. This dude can be a jacksass personality-wise but that's been documented extensively everywhere else. Truth is, he's a semi-genius - not that he needs to hear further affirmation of it from me based on his ego though.

Now I'm not sure he's made an album that blows my wig off like when I first heard Low End Theory or It Takes A Nation of Millions.... but Late Registration is a better album than many were expecting and is arguably a more solid record than College Dropout. And working with Jon Brion (Fiona Apple's producer - I mean WTF is that about?) and coming up with a production sound that's neither straight-up pop nor hip hop but which trascends both genres and his acclaimed first album in many ways is genius-like behaviour in my books. Yeah, he's still a pretty average MC but dude says lot of, not only heartfelt, but also courageous and challenging things and not just in his rhymes. Duke is the real deal and he keeps hip hop interesting which is why you'll continue to see his name in the pages of this site throughout this year

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Raheem DeVaughn - The Love Experience
Completely slept on. 150,000 satisfied fans, most of whom -- with no radio hits or real videos to speak of from this album -- heard about this dude via his amazing live shows or by word of mouth, can't be wrong, can they? The coffee house and headwrap crew f-ck with this dude because of his lush Isleys-by-way-of-Prince "neo-soul" sound but he still keeps it hood enough to appeal to the more opened-minded Jadakiss and G-Unit fans out there. Just do yourself a favor and check his sh-t out. There's some links at the bottom of this post for you to start off with.

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Various Artists - Blue Note Trip: Jazzanova
I shouldn't really include reissue or catalog albums on this list but this album was an amzingly well put-together collection of semi-obscure rare groove and breakbeat jazz. Essential for those of you adult enough to handle it. All my late twentysomething & thirysomething cocktail party-throwing people: Stand Up!

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Common - Be
I was sh-tting on this album hard when it came out mostly in reaction to the ridiculous over-the-top hype and classic status accolades being thrown at it by Common groupies online and magazines like XXL. To me, trying to compare this album to undeniable classics like Low End Theory, De La Soul is Dead etc. was absurd but now that a few months have passed and the hype's died down, I can listen to it a bit more objectively and I have to admit it's a nice little record.

With production handled solely by Kanye and Jay Dee (R.I.P.), Be's warm and organic-feeling souled-out, jazzy sound was incredibly cohesive. There weren't really any stand out, anthemic singles ("The Corner" was just aight to me) but that wasn't the point really, was it? Be is a record you need to listen to as whole. Ipod tip: find a copy of the studio verison of "The Food"and replace the half-assed live Chappelle version in the sequence for best listening experience (you can move the live version to the end as a bonus track if you still need it).

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Beanie Sigel - The B.Coming
This was an early contender for album of the year for me but as good a record as it was, it hasn't quite held up throughout the year as well as I expected. I don't know if it's because the hip hop landscape changed so radically in 2005 that by the end of the year, as the Dirty South and Trap Hop sound took over, the album already sounded dated and almost a litle antiquated or what? This album was still completely overlooked even by jackasses complaining about the "death" of East coast hip hop and is probably one of the last examples you'll find of this sound getting even minor attention as a major label proposition for a while. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum....

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Young Jeezy - Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
Regular readers know I kind of jumped on the Jeezy bandwagon semi-belatedly. When I first heard his album I had pretty much dismissed it out of hand as not my thing. Almost a year later I still listen to it on and off and now concede, "This might be a modern era classic." Am I right? I don't know but I'll give Jeezy his due. He's got the voice, which I always knew, and the songs and this was a helluva album for what it was which is the perfect distillation of what hip hop has become in 2005. Forty year old cynics who were raised on albums like Paid in Full, Criminal Minded, The Chronic and Illmatic that did the same in their own time will no doubt vehemently disgraee. Which bring me to....

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Ying Yang Twins - U.S.A. - United States of Atlanta
I am going to say this very slowly and very clearly: straight up and down, U.S.A. is an INCREDIBLE album. Be clear, I am NOT joking.

Trust me, I never thought I'd be writing these words but f-ck all the clever posing and babble from the rap blogtelligentsia dismissng these dudes as coons and misogynists. Listen to the f-cking album before you fully judge these guys. Besides seemingly effortlessly creating certified club bangers like "Wait" and "Badd", these dudes made some tracks that I would argue are more conscious than all the best efforts by the Mr. Lif's, Talib Kweli's, Dead Prez's and others that backpackers and okaplayers hold so dear. I mean would Anthony Hamilton get on a track with these dudes if they were as bad as their detractors claim? And by the way, they had the singer from Maroon 5 feaured on their album before Kanye did!

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Beck - Guerro / Gorillaz - Demon Days
It's been a minute since Beck was the must-check, "It" artist in pop music. Which is too bad 'cos a lot of folks missed out on hearing this good-ass album that he dropped last year. I haven't played it in a while so I don't have that much more to add but let me just say, this old dog still had a few tricks up his sleeve even if they've all been pulled out before - it's just good to see them one more time.

On the flipside, Damon Albarn's high concept cartoon band the Gorillaz represented, with an able assist from Danger Mouse and various guest artists like De La Soul, the 2005 version of hip hop as interpreted through the lens of white alternative hipsters that Beck did in his prime. Amazingly, this album was as good if not better than their debut. (Note to Dave and Pos: glad to see you jumped on board this time after passing on them beats I passed you from Dan the last time around!)

Nikka Costa - Can'tneverdidnothin'
Maybe not quite as crazy as her last album but I've said it before: don't fall for the hype. Joss Stone is not the truth, Nikka Costa is funkiest, most soulful white girl in pop music today. I'm glad someone is giving us the modern day take on Janis Joplin 'cos music needs that even if it doesn't realize it yet. Now if we could get a 2006 take on Earth Wind & Fire, I'd really be open....

Faith Evans - The First Lady
When I thought back to when I was DJ-ing more regularly back in 2004-2005 and playing four or five of her 12 inches over the course of a night that would all keep the crowd moving, I realized how much of a fan of Faith Evans I really was.

If Mary is the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Faith is the Queen of a lesser-acknowledged but just as beloved (at least to me) subgenre: the Hip Hop Rollerskating Jam. Last year's The First Lady dabbled in some of that same territory but also trawled an interesting middle ground of funky, hip-hop-inspired faux vintage R&B somwhere between Mary circa My Life and Share My World and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. As well as this album did, it seemed to disappear quickly after a strong start but it was still one of the more listenable R&B albums this year.

Honorable mentions for stuff I was also diggin' that didn't quite reach my Fave list above:

Slim Thug - Almost Platinum / Koushik - Be With / Tom Vek - We Have Sound / El-p - Collecting the Kid / Black Rob - The Black Rob Report / Lil Wayne - The Carter II / Trick Daddy - Thug Matrimony/ Mike Jones - Who is Mike Jones? / Brazilian Girls - Brazilian Girls / Ge-Ology - Ge-Ology Plays Ge-Ology

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Stuff that was a disappointment to me in one way or another:

Little Brother - The Minstrel Show: I like these guys in theory and they're great live but face facts - this album was garbage. I've said this many times to folks when their name has come up in the past: if these guys were around during the "Golden Era" of earky 90's hip hop, nobody would be talking about them because they would have been a B or maybe even C division group.

The Minstrel Show is not even the best album they droppped in 2005 - that honor would go to The Chitlin Circuit 1.5 mixtape and, I hinted at this before but after playing both albums again on a bus ride up to Boston this weekend I'll outright say it now, fellow Justus Leaguer Cesar Comanche's Squirrel and the Aces album is a better record too.


Juelz Santana - What The Game's Been Missing: actually a decent record but fell short of the modern street classic I was anticipating. / AZ - A.W.O.L.: still a lyrical talent but over these under-produced, low budget sounding beats, what's the point? / Paul Wall - The People's Champ: one of the best singles of the year came from this underwhelming album. / M.I.A. - Arular: see my comments on Juelz Santana and Paul Wall / Dwele - Some Kinda: a great lead-off single and last album but this album went in the wrong direction. He needed better songs and hooks not more aural wallaper for dinner parties posing as soul music.

That these might be worth peeping but I never got to check 'em out:

Dave Ghetto - Love Life / Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask / Platinum Pied Pipers - Triple P / Ghostface & Trife - Put it on the Line / Sean Price - Monkey Barz / 9th Wonder & Buckshot - Chemistry / Broadcast - Tender Buttons / The Juan Maclean - Less Than Human / LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem / We Are Scentists - I'm not sure this actually came out last year but I heard some of it playing in a used CD store in Cambridge, MA and it was pretty fccking hot sounding. I've gotta get my rock game together again!

My picks to click for this year if I had any say in it:

Peedi Peedi: still! He was saved by Ne-Yo last year but I see the window of opportunity closing on this kid real soon if he doesn't start putting out some real records. / Jae Millz / Grafh / Jody Breeze: I didn't listen to many mixtapes last year but Stackin Papuh was one of the best of the ones I did peep. / Rhymefest: don't get hornswoggled by the hype! He's still better than Lupe.

And not forgetting OG artists like: The Clipse / Joe Budden / Dead Prez / Ghostface (and Raekwon?) / T.I. / UGK / Outkast & Kelis who are all set to drop this year too. Should I even dream of the possibility of getting Detox or is that just wasted energy?

Let me not leave everyone else out - what are others picking or what looks like it might pop this year that I overlooked? Feel free to comment below - you know the drill....


- 2005 YEAR END WRAP-UP: Singles here.

- 2004 YEAR END WRAP-UP: Albums here.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Big L Had Dat Piff.... 


Thanks to Bol and Joey for the ridiculous number of referrals to my Jay Dilla post from their sites. The Broke B-Boys just added an excellent second Jay Dilla tribute post on their site too. But before the day is over, let's not forget another one of the best that ever did it who's also no longer with us: Big L. (related: Nah Right's Big L tribute)

Speaking of lost, great MC's, I know Biggie was ahead of his time in many ways but was this dude really rockin' camo BAPE wear all those years ago before his untimely passing or is this just some clever photoshopping?!

Video of Pharrell in the lab making a track called "Midnight Hour" - I can't wait to hear the finished version of that song (or is it out already?). (via Still Listen...)

More Lupe Fiasco mp3's.

Related: interview with Lupe Fiasco. Sample lines from hip hop's "Great New Hope":

"At first, I didn't like Hip-Hop. You know, it was vulgar. It was demeaning, but not all of it. My father introduced me to Hip-Hop through N.W.A. so that was my first experience. He would be driving down the street like banging N.W.A., and I would be like tucked in the seats like ashamed, you know what I'm saying? When I started discovering like Fu-Schnickens, it was all kind of fun, M.C. Hammer or something like that...."

Cripes, are you telling me I'm old enough that I could be Lupe's dad?! (spotted via Hypebeast)

Meanwhile, why continue to help make Kay Slay and DJ Clue et al. rich buying all those supposedly "promotional use only" mixtapes when you can cop 'em all for free f'real right here?!

TTL Estoy Con Estupido - TurntableLab's new blog.

Ghetto Gold
- "Insights, flavors, contemplation on the pop sensation, knowing full well it takes a nation... The jump off for you coffee joint suckas, because you in way over your head, baby...."

And finally, like we do periodically, a bite round-up of some of the more interesting/funny links spotted recently at Boing Boing:

- Pirates of the Caribbean breakfast cereal.

- A musical-influences-mashed-up-with-the-London-Underground map.

- Race and science fiction writing.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This is... 

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For My Ndidi ('cos I know she reads this even though I tell her not to), Happy Valentine's Day. I can't wait until I see you today.

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"Would British mothers accept their sons being exposed to such brutality?" 

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Brutal indeed! The latest on the war that has been generously described by one military historian as "as the most foolish war of the last 2,014 years":

Like the recent scandal surrounding the video showing UK soldiers beating innocent Iraqi teens is something new?!!

Abu Ghraib. (4/30/04)

US Military Desecrates bodies of Afghans. (10/21/05)

"Trophy Video" of civilian shootings by contractors emerges. (11/27/05)

The US is holding children as young as 8 years of age who have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq in prison camps as POW's. (12/17/05)

This ain't just about blasphemous cartoons in Denmark, people (although that defintiely doesn't help).

No wonder even Republicans like Senator Chuck Hagel are more and more comfortable coming out and saying the United States is “In More Trouble Today Than We’ve Ever Been” In Iraq.

And CNN's Christiane Amanpour says: "Iraq is a disaster." Hey, who am I to argue?


- A movie that looks like it's worth going to watch and suppport: Why We Fight.

- What I just started watching on DVD tonight and it's actually pretty good so far: Lord of War.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

"Good news, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction... It's Dick Cheney" 

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Cheney's Got A Gun! Don't go hunting with this man; apparently he can't tell the difference between quail and 78 year old lawyers but is still certain the Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes.

The title of this post is truer than Dave Letterman could even have imagined when he made that crack: "Open Season on Dick Cheney"

"Vice President Cheney shot a man in the head on Saturday, and 21 hours later you had to be looking at the Web page of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times to find out about it." (click here to read more from Slate)

Cheney is accused of a cover-up over the shooting incident.

And by the way: Cheney was hunting illegally (!) when the accident occurred and local law enforement was prevented by the White House from interviewing him after the fact. Thank God for Think Progress.

Could this be Cheney's Chappaquiddick? (Unfortunately, somehow I doubt it....)

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Jay Dilla, R.I.P. 

Views and music from around the hip hop blogosphere on the tragic passing of James "Jay Dee" Yancey:

Straight Bangin's Joey says, "Thank You, Jay Dee."

She Real Cool says Jay Dee's music was "the opposite of "microwave popcorn ass" disposable hip hop."

Soul Sides' O-Dub on Jay Dee's production: "Dilla's beats were "anti-anthematic" which is quite unlike other hip-hop songs which deliberately want to stick in your head as much as possible. It's not that Dilla wanted his tracks to be ignored but their brilliance were precisely in how subtle they were." (click here for more)

The Swift Chancellor's Wes Jack: "I remember when I incurred the wrath of my boys from UVa when I declared ‘Fantastic Vol.2’ was the only classic album I could add to my list since Illmatic." (click here to read more)

"Two Hours of J-Dilla on MP3" - The Underground Railroad's DJ Emskee has put together two hour-long mixes of music from J Dilla available for downlaod via

Todd Kelly's the Essential Jay Dee compilation.

Sophisticated and Coarse's Jay Dee tribute mix.

Smoking Section's selection of Jay Dee downloads (but yo, what the fckk is up with the whole album downloads?! Rome know's this vexes me no end)

Status Ain't Hood: "Download: Jay Dee, 1974-2006"

Vinyl Addicts' Jay Dee obit/tribute (with mp3's).

Fennessey's 10 songs by Jay Dee.

Vibes and Stuff's various Jay Dee links.

And finally, from the Broke B-Boys: "there is no groove and presence that can ever replace Jay Dee. I hope his spirit continues to live within our Hiphop generation. Rock on...." (click here for more)

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

"N-ggaz Breakin' All The Rules..." 

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T-dot, motherf-cking STAND UP! King Reign & Saukrates represent!!!

King Reign feat. Saukrates "Guilty Party" - I don't know how long this joint has been out but this is the f-cking hottest record I've heard in a LONG time. Real, uncut, 100% pure hardcore hip hop. Props to my man Guy Routte of Renegade Music for fccking with this. This is EXACTLY the kind of record I want to be putting out through my label. (related: check out more on King Reign on MySpace)

Low Deep & Kano featuring Ghetto, Big Seac, Demon & Doctor "Get Set" - from the new Grime comp Run the Road 2 from Vice Records. Volume 1 was aight. Hopefully someone has thrown a copy of Vol. 2 in the mail for me to check out (hint, hint).

Ghost & Doom: wasted potential?

Embarassing - obviously the music industry has got real problems when rank amateurs are beating the best they got in the TV ratings. But for the industry wannabe's out there, check out the webcast of the legendary Clive Davis's annual Pre-Grammy party featuring interviews and peformances by Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, Chris Brown and more by clicking here or here. Now if you could download this to your video ipod, that would be crazy. I mean fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld gets it, why can't the music industry?? (related: more Grammys ish here)

But to end: they tried to hate but the movement is too real for 'em - LOL. And Hashim sums up everything you need to know about Snap Music using yet another of those weirdo internets applications he's always evangelizing about. It's enough with the bloglines as far as I'm concerned. (thanks Boogie Tonight for the Daily News link | semi-related: "East Coast Critics are Biased" - even though he hates Snap music too, this is an interesting southern hip hop music 'n' social politics blog.)

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Hyphy's Time To Go (Finally)? 

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Image courtesy The Fader

Daddy Yankee feat. Lloyd Banks & Young Buck "Rompe (remix)"

E-40 feat. Keak Da Sneak "Tell Me When To Go" (stream at YouTube // more links at Prefix) - Hyphy finally gets its day? Hashim 'n them called it specifically recently (as did I generally a while ago) but it looks like this could be the song/video to cross the Hyphy movement over from being solely a regional Bay Area phenom. The instrumental has already been in use as a music bed on Hot 97 for a few weeks now. I told 40 that a couple weeks ago and he couldn't believe it. Dude is one of the most underrated MC's in the game ever fo' real though.

Dirtbag "Soda Boi" Video (win: Hi | Med | Lo // Real: Hi | Med | Lo)

Yo Gotti "Gangsta Party" - the Memphis version of Young Jeezy? I like this track (feat Eightball & Bun B of UGK) a lot. (download the mp3 here or here)

Flicks from the Kelis "Bossy" video shoot. WTF? That shoot just happened this past Monday and Tuesday and photos were up like a day later!

Puff, call Angie - she wants to "Thank Ya" for jackin' her song for the Biggie Duets remix of "Nasty Girl." (mp3 snippet via Juno Records)

Muslim comic book heroes - a refreshing change from the endless coverage of these nut job fanatics protesting the Danish newspaper Allah cartoons around the world.

Hotel Rwanda Timberlands - support the cause.

Living in the Day - thanks for the love....

Finally, Dork Mag is BLOWING THE F-CK UP!! - check them out TONIGHT rockin' at Triple Crown in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with EPMD's DJ Scratch and DJ Jazzysport (who he?).

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"No one could have predicted the levees would break...." 

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So said Bush at the time. Hmmm...

White House Knew of Levee's Failure on Night of Storm.

Ex-FEMA Head Says White House Knew About Levees.


Ex-FEMA chief Brown was paid to aid in the investigation of the Katrina response but now refuses to cooperate (!).

And even more:

The Washington Post documents the Bush failings in New Orleans.

White House accused of foot-dragging in Katrina probe.

The Institute for Southern Studies uncovers evidence that they knew FEMA had serious problems a year before the Katrina disaster. (via SirotaBlog)

Ray Nagin may want NOLA to remain a "Chocolate City" but the studies predict otherwise. Some have even described what's happening down there as a virtual ethnic cleansing.

Well it's a good thing Bush has made the recovery of New Orleans a priority though! And that his domestic policies have really helped improve the federal response to such disasters. And that the companies run by his political cronies are doing a good honest job of helping restore the city.

Bonus NOLA-related music:

5th Ward Weebie - "Da Katrina Song"

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Friday, February 10, 2006

A Fantastic Loss 

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Jay Dilla R.I.P. - unbelievably sad, especially to happen at such a young age and the same week that his new instrumental Donuts album was released.

Not knowing why this is such a huge loss to hip hop? Ak like you know.

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"You A MySpace Gangsta...." 

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Special "More Beef Than Smith & Wollensky" edition:

MTV Overdrive's Hovi & Nas interview here. (related: more from here)

And Nas on Cam'ron from a forthcoming interview with him and Hov set to air on BET in the next couple of weeks:

"Some of these artists that come at artists have everything you could tear down in a rhyme. Just look at them. Just look at their appearance, look what they sound like, how they got in the game. The whole history of their existence in rap is a joke. I just don't understand the nerve of some of these dudes."

Looks like it could be a hot one, check for it soon.

But I can't keep up. If I've missed a couple more recent rounds in this 50-Game/G-Unit beef, throw the links in the comments section:

50 Cent "Not Rich, Still Lyin'" - a GREAT beat wasted on yet another useless beef record. (via BallerStatus)

The Game "240 Bars - Spider Joke" - dissin' G-Unit's Spider Loc (via Rome)

Young Buck & Spider Loc "Bitch Boy 2" - dissin' Game. (via

Nas "Jackin' for Beats 2006" - who's he dissin' on this joint? (via Joey)

I know he's the online (and real) hip hop world's favorite whipping boy but Benzino always gives good interview... as does his partner in crime Dave Mays.

Remy Ma
vs. her label, Fat Joe, Terror Squad, e'rybody.... (that last link is an mp3 download of Remy blasting off on the aforementioned list of folks on DJ Envy's Hot 97 radio show last Sunday that I coppped from Nah Right. I don't if it's the whole interview as I didn't download it myself, but I heard most of it live while I was returning some jeans at the Harlem USA store on 125th and just shook my head laughing the whole time.)

Stop Snitchin' & more mindless hip hop beef gone horribly awry.

And in the backpack world: MF Grimm "Book of Daniel" - dissing MF Doom. Percy's my man but I've no idea what this beef is about (?). (mp3 via Spine and F5 Records).

While even the pop acts are getting on the beef gimmick: Christina Milian "Wilds Out" on Nick Cannon - WTF?! I mean c'mon....

But to end on a more positive note though - props to Blake (aka MC Escher) for creating Flocabulary a website, that teaches school kids vocabulary using hip-hop. A nice reminder that hip hop can be a tool for good and not just a tool for negativity, needless violence, cheap publicity and acrimony. Black people, wake.the.fcck.up!

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Monday, February 06, 2006

A Few Links Before Going Back to Cali.... 

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Reppin' the G- all day, e'ryday

Did Scott Storch (#23 on the Source mag's "Power 30" ahead of Kanye West at #27 - WTF?!) sell the same beat twice?! Peep the evidence and you tell me:

Urban Mystic feat. Stack$“Bounce With Me” vs. YoungBloodz “Chop Chop” (related: solid interview with YBZ's Sean Paul courtesy from them Fader boyz)

Daddy Yankee - The King of Reggaetón. (related: "Rompe" video via Video Music Box) BTW though: what the f-ck happened to Tego Calderon? That dude was running this reggaetón game until "Gasolina" came out.

The story behind the making of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."

Info on the Pharrell/Louis Vuitton jewelry line - should this man really be allowed to design jewelry?!

Air Max iD

Souled On (Music, Art, Politics, and Life) - Scholar's my kind of people!

With the South having taken over hip hop and Miami/Florida challenging (the Bay Area) as the next region to blow, why aren't people f-cking with Dirtbag?

Chappelle on Oprah clips here.

Finally, for those rich Kitchen readers with premium cable service - support the premiere of my man Reggie's debut TV show, the barbershop documentary Cutting Edge premiering TONIGHT on Cinemax. No this is not the MTV show you've been hearing the ads for on Hot 97 recently. This is a show about a real deal barbershop up in Harlem, not a celebrity-owned spot where folks like Chris Brown and Tony Yayo just happen to drop by for shape-up's and sh-t talking. He's been working on this for several years as a side hustle and he did a great job on it. Worth peeping if you can.

I'm gonna be out of town on business for a few days so the next update won't be until Wed or Thursday. I'm DYING 'cos I haven't had time to talk about the confirmation of Scalito, the still-developing domestic spying scandal, the Iraq war, the new Downing Street memo, the Palestinian election and even some semi-recent news about the electronic voting machine debacle right here at home and a whole lot of other crazy sh-t goin' on. Stay tuned 'cos I'm gonna try to get to it all eventually, peoples....

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

It's Getting Hot In Herre! 

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Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him.

Would you expect anything less from an administration that seems to be anti-science, has doctored research on global warming and is led by a president who believes Intelligent Design should be taught along side The Theory of Evolution in science class rooms?!

More on the environment:

- Ex-EPA Chiefs Blame Bush in Global Warming.

- The Brazilian Rainforest is disappearing twice as fast as previously thought.

- Scientists warn that the Arctic will be ice-free during Summertime by 2105. Which is already leading to...

- "Stranded polar bears drowning in large numbers as they try to swim hundreds of miles to find increasingly scarce ice floes. Local hunters find their corpses floating on seas once coated in a thick skin of ice." WTF?! (click here for more luncacy)

- "Earth's warming climate is estimated to contribute to more than 150,000 deaths and 5 million illnesses each year, according to the World Health Organization, a toll that could double by 2030." (click here for more)

Bush, please get your mind right!

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Looking for leaks when it's convenient... 

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The CIA's Porter Goss: our lips are sealed....

"It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information. I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserves nothing less...." - NOW they want to investigate leaks and hold probes?! Why am I so "surprised" by this turn of events? Let's take a look back and see....

- "The CIA will not seek to hold any current or former agency officials, including ex-director George J. Tenet, responsible for failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA Director Porter J. Goss said yesterday, despite a recommendation by the agency's inspector general that he convene an "accountability board" to judge their performance." (click here and here for more)

- "CIA Avoids Scrutiny of Detainee Treatment - Afghan's Death Took Two Years to Come to Light; Agency Says Abuse Claims Are Probed Fully." (click here for more)

- "Fueled by their grief, the families of the Sept. 11 attack victims forced the 9/11 commission into existence" (click here for more)

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So Sick Say I.... 

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Lot of new music starting to drop but let's not forget Bush also dropped his State of the Union address tonight. Seriously, I don't even really pay attention to this clown any more - I've got more important things to do (like enjoy some good BBQ with some old college buddies), but I'ma get back into the news ish in a minute and STILL do a year-end album wrap-up (fcck the fact that's it's already February, LOL).

Kanye West "Touch the Sky (feat. Lupe Fiasco)" video trailer (?!) - I actually didn't watch this, is it any good? (via Beautiful Hustle)

Ne-Yo (feat. LL Cool)'s "So Sick (remix)" is SICK (even if it is a Frankenstein blend of SWV's "Right Now (Human Nature)" remix and the drumbreak Premo used on Gangstarr's "You Know My Steez")! (note: reg. may be required to access the mp3 link)

Christina Milian Feat. Young Jeezy "Say I" - a new R&B heatrock from Cool N Dre or a failed attempt by them to recreate the souled-out magic of their production on The Game's "Hate It Or Love It"?

What the Blue Fuck?

Brooklyn Bodega

Aaron McGruder 1, Al Sharpton 0 (related: Coretta Scott King R.I.P.)

Interview with punky-reggae legend Don Letts - peep his commentary on the relevance of today's hip hop as a cultural force and political tool.

The man behind the "Paul Wall grill" - move over Jacob the Jeweler, Houston's Johnny Dang is "The Original King of Bling."

Got Hip Hop?

DJ Mark Ronson was doing the "mash-up" thing before all these Hollertronix-related cats were. Respek (but don't let J drop the ball on Rhymefest)!

Not related I swear: "Suburban gangstas on the prowl...."

Finally, Angela Bofill, get well soon....

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