Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This was too funny to pass up posting:
"You’ve seen them in your RSS readers all year long. You’ve heard them on Last.fm, MySpace, imeem, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Some owe their entire careers solely to the “blogosphere”. Yes, without the blogs and the right internet marketing schemes playing A&R behind their trendy tech-savvy rear-ends they would more than likely still be lurking message boards and sending “please listen to my demo” .mp3 emails into KOCH records. They got this shit mastered. Take a cue."Click here for the full joint.
And here's JumpTheTurnstyle on the "#1 Blog Rapper', Mickey Factz...
"Mickey Factz is to 2008 what Wale was to 2007.LOL. Funny stuff....
Mickey Factz will eventually control all aspects of the rap world. His plan is to go from blog rap to nerd rap to hipster rap and then on to the subgenre’s: emo-rap, space-rap, gangsta-rap, miami bass, new age electro, emo, folk-rap, math-rap, glam rap and finishing off his career with an a cover-version/ spoken word rendition of Catch-22 mashed with passages from the book of Genesis.
This muhfukka on that next lvl."
Probably on every blog already but this is kind of mandatory to post:
Skillz - "2008 Rap Up" [MP3 download links: Yousendit | Zshare stream/download courtesy Tapemasters via Eskay]
Best line: "It's time for a change/So don't go trying to turn inauguration into an All-star game" but there's some other good stuff in there this year too.
Check out Skillz' Rap Up's from 2002-2007 here.
As always, I don't claim this to be definitive list of the best albums of the year, just a list of my top 10 favorites*. A few observations on it though:
I know the list looks like the picks of a stodgy East Coast, old school/classic hip hop flag-waver which I am far from, but I have to admit: the artists who make that kind of music made the best albums to my ears this year. Q-tip SMASHED it with an amazing sounding, near-flawless album that felt not only fresh and made all the wannabe nu-skool Native Tongues adherents sound like amateurs. 88 Keys was a total suprise in that he made an East Coast sounding concept album that was actually enjoyable to listen to on a repeat-play basis. Who knew??
That being said, I had a tough time picking between Q-tip and Santogold for my most favorite album but the fact that I played Tip's album more er... tipped it in his favor. Props to Santi White though for defying the critical & hipster hype that's surrounded her for the past couple years and actually delivering a really good album. A small cadre of cynics dismissed it as an M.I.A. knock-off but listen to it: the music, the production and the songs are actually incredible - thoroughly modern pop music that indie kids, hip hoppers and electronic/dance fans alike could all appreciate.
Speaking of hipsters, Cool Kids might be on-trick ponies (or not?) but as far as their Bake Sale EP went, I was f-ckin' with that one trick. Let's see if they can outlast the 'hipster rap' brush they've been painted with too and deliver when they drop their first real album.
As for the 'King of the South', I thought T.I.'s album had a grip of really good singles (2 of which made my favorite singles lists, overall and hip hop), but yet again, I didn't love-love his album as a whole. I still await the day when this way-talented kid makes his Blueprint album.
Conversely, I kind of hated the singles Kardinal released individually but really liked the album they came from overall. Weird, right? The singles somehow made sense in context and it was really a good body of work overall though: the perfect distillation of pop, hip hop & dancehall. In other words, another thoroughly modern album for 2008. I have to say: signing with Akon, who trawls similar ground with his own music, and his Konvict record label was the prefect move for him. First T-Pain and now Kardi, Lady GaGa (and Rock City in 2009?), Akon might be the most underrated label mogul in the game right now.
Does Beyonce know her kid sister made a better album than her?
* So I wanted to keep this list to my 10 favorite albums but I'd be GROSSLY remiss if I didn't acknowledge the elephant in the room, Tha Carter III. I don't know if the album delivered on the hype around it and despite debating with many my friends several times over the past few years on the point, I'm actually not 100% convinced Wayne is as good as he & his millions of fans, think he is as an MC but I will concede two points: the album was good and had some amazing moments on it and, regardless of where you fall on the Wayne debate scale he is an incredibly fresh & compelling figure, not just in hip hop but for music in general. He's not gangster, pop, underground or even merely just a rapper and say what you want, you really can't guess what he's gonna do next. Who can honestly say they saw "A Milli' or "Lollipop" coming and if you say you did, fill me in on what he's gonna do next because I really do wanna know. Dude keeps things exciting and unexpected and there's not a lot of that going around in music nowadays which, quiet as its kept, is the main reason people stopped buying music, not the internet. By contrast, as much as I loved the Q-tip album, he pretty much made the album you hoped/expected him to make. The wildcard was always whether it was actually gonna be any good (and thank God, it was!).
I guess I'd also be remiss if i didn't acknowledge why I didn't put Kanye or Common's album on this list either since both are favorite artists of mine and feature frequently on this site. Like I've already said before I thought 808's was pretty half-assed and second rate version of stuff other artists out there do far better than Ye. What can I say: homeboy was never that great a rapper to begin with but he took what talent he had, mixed it with considerable musical vision & ambition and came up with some incredible music. But now he's decided to sing, using autotune, when he can't really sing, at all??? GTFOH! As for Common, the jury's still out as to what I really think of his album but let me put it like this: I played it through about one and half times a couple weeks back and have had no urge to listen to it since then and that's generally not a good sign.)
Anyway, comments, flames or any other kind of feedback are always welcome. If you're inspired to actually, you know... buy any of these album, feel free to use the handy Amazon click-through links below. And if you're curious what my favorite hip hop music from this year was, click here.
Labels: YEAR END WRAP-UP: Albums
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wale - "Chillin' (feat. QuESt)" (produced by Cool & Dre) [Yousendit mp3 download link]
Song is just aight to me but if Kanye don't get focused, this kid might take his MC spot in the hip hop game....
MySpace - Wale | QuESt
[h/t: HB Management]
Download it here. Check it out here [via imeem]:
Kev Choice - "The Bailout" [via Fusicology]
Real heads know the deal.... [via Crate Kings]
Is this Roland TR-808 iPhone app for real?
Presented, as always, by D-Nice. Gotta get my polka dot shirt on!
BTW: the homie, Derrick is spinning for Patti's NYE event at
Time piece for the legendary producer created in conjunction with Burn Rubber, LeRoy Jenkins & Toy Watch. Click here for more details.
[via Beats and Rants]
Labels: J. Dilla
That didn't take long!
RNC Chair Candidate Distributes 'Barack The Magic Negro' Song [Huff Post]
The song is actually old. But leave it to somone who wants to head the GOP during the era of the Obama presidency to re-ignite the controversy by bringing the song back around! Listen to the song here. [streaming mp3 link via the Black Folk blog]
And of course that coon Ken Blackwell is defending the song. [Politico.com]
My future wife Tamron Hall of MSNBC blasts off on some nutty right wing flack trying to justify the song's existence (or something...). [Think Progress]
Peter, Paul & Mary member, Peter Yarrow, co-writer of the orginal song parodied, "Puff the Magic Dragon" also blasts off on aspiring RNC head, Chip Saltsman.
Paul Shanklin - We Hate the USA
Hopefully! Jay, thank you for saving me the trouble of watching all those ridiculous Joe Budden-Ransom beef videos. [via Illdoctrine.com]
Throwback video feat. BDP, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Skinny Boys, Kool Moe Dee, Steady B and Schoolly D Live
Possibly from an old Jive Records promo showcase? How come Grandgood or Robbie have never done an interview with former JJATFP beatboxer Ready Rock C? Or have they...? [h/t: Kobie]
Monday, December 29, 2008
A biopic chronicling a day in the life of the emerging N.C. rap group, Kooley High featuring exclusive live performance footage and studio sessions with Skyzoo, 9th Wonder and more. Debut album, The High Life drops early 2009.
Kooley High - Myspace | Website | Youtube
Labels: Kooley High
De La Soul is a tag I'd be happy to see more of on this site in 2009:
Eslam Jawaad feat. De La Soul - "Rewind DJ" [Sendspace mp3 download link]
From the forthcoming album, The Mammoth Tusk featuring production by RZA, Dr. Dre protege, Focus and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) who also contributes vocals, due out in Spring 2009.
Presented by Giant Step. For those of you in Miami or have the paper to get down there. Click here for more info.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This is HILARIOUS (although the line about "My mother's dead" near the end was kind of in poor taste even for this parody). Just goes to show you though how easy it is to make this kind half-assed music like Ye did on 808s & Heartbreak. That album was one of the disappointments of the year for me. If I wanted to hear that kind of melancholy, electronic/alternative-flavored pop music, I'd just go directly to the source for it.
Backpack-y but solid.
Audio snippet (WTF? I know....):
A. Pinks - "Held Me Down" (prod. by Frequency) [zshare mp3 download/stream link]
From the forthcoming (?) mixtape, Will Rap 4 Food which includes guest appearances by Mickey Factz, Curren$y, Emilio Rojas, Naledge, Skyzoo, Corey Gunz, Canibus, Torae, Sha Stimuli and production from M-Phazes, Cookin Soul, Frequency & more.
Labels: A. Pinks
More from Never So Deep Records:
Kenny Kingpin - "Paper Stack" [MP3 preview | zip file download - right click and save as please]
This one is a little bit more generic to my ears than label-mate, Young Vadah but, true to my mandate to try and post more new & developing talent, it's still post-worthy.
Never So Deep Records
I'm calling this some Unisgned Hype even though dude is I guess, technically signed to Never So Deep Records (whomever they are!):
Young Vadah - "South Side Story" [MP3 preview | zip file download - right click and save as please]
Flow-wise reminds me of Little Brother a er... little
Never So Deep Records
For all you aspiring MC's out there. This Detroit-based dude has apparently worked with Royce Da 5'9, Obie Trice, Mick Boogie & Terry Urban and many others so don't sleep on this.
Dowload his beat tape here and hit up my dude, Cortez for more info. [mediafire D/L link]
More heat from the unsigned Baltimore-based MC, 810:
810 - "Here We Go Again" (Prod. by Mydus)
810 - "On My Mind" (Prod. by Mydus, sampling The System's "Don't Disturb this Groove")
Kid shows a lot of promise. [both tracks zshare stream/download mp3 links]
810 - MySpace
Saturday, December 27, 2008
My favorite singles of 2008 compiled, in rough order of how much I was diggin' 'em, in this handy convenient imeem media player for you check out for yourself. Agree with my picks? Did I miss any of your favorites? Holla....
Best Singles of 2008
Labels: YEAR END WRAP-UP: Singles
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Saw this mentioned on CNN. WTF??!!
Off to get my Christmas dinner on (thanks, Mom!)....
BTW: Eartha Kitt, R.I.P.
This is as much a perennial as It's A Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th St. Merry Christmas, everybody. I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"It's Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays!!!!!!!"
Real Year-End lists coming soon. For now though, gotta eat and get ready for church & tomorrow....
Thigh deep in snow at 117!
Part 6 in their No Clearance series especially for the holidays:
Dujeous x Charlie Brown & The Peanuts Gang - "Slay Bells" [sendspace mp3 download link]
Dujeous - website | MySpace | Twitter
The first 4-door Lamborghini although I don't think it's confirmed to go into production yet (?). If it was here right now, I would have copped for Christmas, of course! [via Auto Blog]
Fly last-minute Christmas gift?
Click here for more info. Get 15% off your order on Keepitclassic.com by entering coupon code VIP2008 at checkout (although truth be told, the watch is cheaper at Insound even with the discount, I think!).
Labels: Happy Holidays
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Download it here.
CurT@!n$ - "Yes Yes Ya'll" [zshare stream/downlaod mp3 link]
To be honest, I only checked out the email about this kid 'cos I thought it was dude from Punch 'N Words but that's Wordsworth, not Wordsmith! LOL. This track actually ain't bad though:
Wordsmith feat. Skyzoo, Unlearn, Donny Goines & RaTheMC - "Game, Set, Point" (Prod. by Street Level) [zshare stream/download mp3 link via The Carter Cartel]
Click here for more info on Wordsmith via ReverbNation.
So how do we fix this?
Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret:
"Think you could borrow money from a bank without saying what you were going to do with it? Well, apparently when banks borrow from you they don't feel the same need to say how the money is spent.F-cking comedy.... [AP via Salon]
After receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending it. Some won't even talk about it."
Download it here. [zshare D/L link via Funkadelic Freestyles]
George Clinton fanatics, be forewarned that this is NOT a mixtape of P-Funk seasonal music....
Download the last track on the A Funkadelic Christmas mixtape, a cover of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Mark Ronson & Daniel Merriweather here. [zshare stream/donwload mp3 link via Miztape Maestro (2.0)]
Monday, December 22, 2008
Shot a week or so before the Enter the Wu-Tang album was set to drop by German music executive, Gerhard Augustin. Damn, that's some historical sh-t. If someone walked around NYC looking like that today, people would think they were homeless! [Making the Mogul via Grand Good]
Labels: Wu-Tang Clan
Due to a weird set of coincidences I'd been home barely a couple of hours in the Tdot yesterday for the holidays and ended up reading about this song, which I had never heard of before today, twice in that time so I checked it out and dug it. And, since it's Stones Throw-affiliated, now I'm sharing it with you:
Mayer Hawthorne & The County - "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" [direct mp3 link, right click and save as]
I wonder if this record is getting extra attention because of the (possibly) Kanye-inspired limited edition red heart-shaped 45 vinyl? No comment on if this song could apply to recent events in my own life though!
Learn more about Mayer Hawthorne here.
At the Rivington Lounge in NYC. Very disco-punky/hipster-ish. I don't even remember how I came across this - was just diggin' it when I did. Will appeal to those into LCD Soundsystem/DFA etc.
The Phenomenal Handclap Band - MySpace | Blog
If you come from the Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard/Fingers Inc. era of deep house, you will appreciate this. From the Music for a Saturday Evening album.
BSTC - MySpace
Think Progress deconstructs the f-ckery.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Christmas in the Stuy!
I'm about to head out of town for a MUCH-NEEDED break. I will be posting but probably on a lighter schdule than usual. Expect lots of these kind of posts. Have a Happy Holidays, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or whatever else you may celebrate....
Labels: Happy Holidays
This is kind of startin' to pop in NYC (for whatever that's worth):
Red Cafe - "So Easy (remix)" [zshare stream/download mp3 link via Hip Hop Update]
Seriously, NYC is gonna be hurtin' if Maino, Red Cafe and even my dude, Ron Browz are supposed be the ones who are gonna carry the city on their back and bring it back. Shout to Anita Baker though... again! [imeem.com stream link]
Red Cafe - MySpace
Obviously kind of late but that shirt is so dope I had to post this anyway....
About the shirts:
"I've been a longtime fan of the seminal DC band Bad Brains and am also (you guessed it) a Barack Obama supporter. I have some professional screenprinting equipment and for several months had wanted to make some Obama shirts but had a hard time coming up with something I liked.For more, click here.
This idea crossed my mind after having shelved the idea of doing a shirt for Obama. I couldn't find anyone else making them so I decided to make them and give 50% of the proceeds to Barack Obama's campaign.
Unisex sizes are printed on Alstyle AAA 100% cotton t-shirts. Women's sizes are printed on American Apparel."
Saturday, December 20, 2008
While we're on the topic of D-Nice, slightly delayed, his True Hip-Hop Stories video on Lords of the Underground is finally here.
Free mp3 from their double EP (er... what??):
J*DaVeY - "No More" [direct mp3 link, please right click and save as - courtesy Audible Treats]
J*DaVeY - Official Site | MySpace:
From the D.I.T.C.-affiliated freestyle legend. Here's some comments on this track from Premo via the Clockwork Music e-blast I got it from:
"FROM THE LORD FINESSE REMIX LP COMING 2010....HERE IS ONE OF THE FIRST CUTS WHICH IS PART OF THE REMIX EP...... AVAILABLE NOW DUE TO HIGH REQUESTS OF THIS RECORDING.....BY THE EP, YOU GET THE LIMITED EDITION VINYL OF THIS SONG......GOTTA GIVE IT TO LORD FINESSE ON THE MARKETING....GOOD IDEA"
Lord Finesse - "Keep the Crowd Listening (DJ Premier remix)" [mediafire mp3 D/L link]
BTW: if you don't know about D.I.T.C., just go kill yourself.
I don't know this cat from Nathan except he was on an Adele remix I posted last week and this was produced by Green Lantern and is from that OnSMASH mixtape I posted a couple days ago:
Johnny Polygon - "I Been Runnin" [Yousendit mp3 download link via Matt]
Two points though...
Mixtape cats: put your sh-t up on imeem for streaming 'cos seriously, who has time to be downloading all these f-cking mixtapes that you bascially end up listening to one time??
Can we have a moratorium on the Shepard Fairey/Obey 'Obama Hope' poster-inspired artwork? Admittedly it still looks great and is probably the iconic image of 2008 but its pretty much been done to death now. I mean, they even have a program to Obamafy yourself now! WTF??!!