Brand Nubian - Slow Down
Main Source - Peace Is Not The Word To Play
Mos Def - Universal Magnetic
ATCQ - Lyrics To Go
Murs & 9th Wonder - Walk Like A Man
Brother Ali - Bad Ma Fo's
Theodore Unit - Got Gats
Buckshot - Out Of Town
Roots - Clones
Diamond - 5 Fingers Of Death
Paris - Guerilla's In The Midst
Ultramagnetic MC's - Ease back
Tragedy Khadafi - Sole Dead Brothers
Main Source - Atom
Dangermouse & Jemini - The Brooklyn Shit
Jedi Mind Tricks - Blood In Blood Out
The UN - DOA
Pharoahe Monch - Lets Go
Smif N Wesson - Gun Rap
Screwball - On The Real
Hi Tek - Where It Started
Hell Razah - Buried Alive
Fat Joe & Party Arty - I'm On My Way
Apathy - Welcome To Assholeville
Saigon - The Letter P ft Kool G Rap
KGB - Bless Ya Life
Damo - Country King
LL Cool J - I Shot Ya (remix)
CNN - L.A L.A
Friday, June 29, 2007
Brand Nubian - Slow Down
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Pharoahe Monch is a gun, one of the very few rappers that after a long career keeps releasing innovative albums. Who else 10 years after their debut album brings out a classic hip hop joint like 'Simon Says'? It just doesn't happen on the most part a MC has a 2 or 3 album halflife. So this being Pharoahe Monch's fifth outing I was reserved when it was first announced, well I couldn't help but be excited but I knew what the odds were of this comparing to his finest works.
Desire is that fifth album for the ex Organized Konfusion member and from the very first bar of the very first track (well past the intro) I knew this was going to be something special. Rather than try to capitalise on the sound that made him so popular Pharoahe rolled the dice and moved forward.
Influences of Gospel, Soul and Jazz shine through in the music complemented by some crazy singing both by Monch and guest vocalists. On occasion the singing is the focus of the track like on the lead single Push and it is to Pharoahe's credit the way it has been handled, not at any stage do these come off as RnB joints. The same creativity that made Monch one of the best rappers to ever bless a mic has been applied to every aspect of this album.
Production wise this is an incredible album it has the smoothness you would expect from the influences Monch takes onboard, but it also has the intricacy you would only expect from someone looking outside of the square, for example an electric guitar pops up with perfect timing behind a jazz loop.
Making a song that should be technically classified as RnB appeal to hip hoppers without question is a huge creative endevour, but that's the least of his achievements with Desire.
The one that stands out to me as creativity at it's best is the reworking of Public Enemy's 'Welcome To The Terrordome'. The first verse stays as Chuck D originally delivered it of course with Pharoahe's trademark flow and the second verse refelects more current world events. More than the vocals the reworking of the beat is amazing with the Bomb Squads grinding guitar being replaced with a more mellow version and the horns being updated with a much smoother sample that fits the vibe of the album.
Desire still has it's straight up O.K style rap tracks and Pharoahe is every bit the MC he was on his first release. Unlike other albums released by pioneers of the rap game this is not a wank fest of reminicent tracks celebrating a career, this is an album thats shows who the artist is today and where he is heading in the future. Sleep on this at your peril.
Take a look at the clip for the 50's swing influenced 'Body Baby'
Without blowing smoke up your arse this has to be the single most anticipated album coming out of Australia for a while. It seems like forever since the project had been announced giving ample time for the Lyrical Commission fan base to whip itself into a frenzy.
Strut has been around for a long time delivering a hip hoppers bad attitude at every opportunity he gets to spit. Legend Official is no different this is a record with attitude, what is different is Brad Strut has found his groove on this album making it the most consistent recording out of the LC camp yet.
Overall the album is on a really dark vibe lots of strings and keys throughout the production delivering that grimy street hip hop sound. I can't help but to make the comparison between the sound of Legend Official and that coming out of the Uncle Howie camp, that's not to say it's an intentional direction more that the two crews are on the same tip.
No hip hop album is complete without the features and Strut steps it up a level with big name internationals Outerspace and Sean Price, as for the locals he sticks to LC fam Trem and Bob Balans on the raps and Daniel Merriweather & Lee Sissing on a couple of sung hooks.
As much as I love Legend Official it isn't faultless, while every track is hot in its own right as a complete album it starts to wear thin after a while. The tempo and vibe don't take any significant turns allowing the album to start sounding similar if you're not paying attention. It's one of those albums you need headphones and a few listens to truly appreciate, being surrounded by so much throw away music that isn't a bad thing though.
So was Legend Official worth the wait? Fuck oath it was, this is the exact album you were anticipating it pulls no punches and oozes attitude. Now bring on the Trem solo he was sounding sharp on his guest spots!
Check the clip for one of Legend Official's bangers Monopoly
Autism - Let em know ft. Bigfoot
Brad Strut - Incite the premises ft. Trem
Cilvaringz - The weeping tiger ft. Shallah Raekwon
Damo - Dont want it
D.I.T.C. - Day One
Ill Bill - La Coka Starsky & Hutch
Joell Ortiz - L.I.F.E.
Krumb Snatcha - W.o.l.v.e.s ft. MOP
Smif N Wessun - Gunn Rap
KRS One & Marley Marl - Hip Hop Lives
Overproof - Talk it up
Pharoah Monch - Push ft. Showtime, Mela Machi
Qwel & Jackson Jones - Big Time
The UN - Golden Grail
Eminem - any man
El Da Sensai - under pressure
Godfather Don - I come off
Hilltop Hoods - Soul of the beat
High & Mighty - The Meaning
Jurassic 5 - Without a doubt
Wee bee foolish - this kid
Ultramagnetic MCs -
Antoinette - i got attitude
Main Source - Down low
Typical Cats - Any Day
Cella Dwellaz - Land of the lost
Polyrhthm Addicts - Smash
Mr Live - Question
Talib Kweli - Holy Moly
Styles P - Come One Come All ft Kool G Rap
Casual - Rap Game
Damo - Track One
Damo - Track Two
Canibus - The Fusion Centre feat Vinnie Paz
Mr Live - Brooklyn 2.0
Styles P - The Hardest feat AZ
Pharoahe Monch - Welcome To The Terrordome
KRS One & Marley Marl - Musica feat Magic Juan
Migel Sanchez - Adelaide SA
DJ Jazzy Jeff - Let Me Hear You Clap feat Posdnuos
X Clan - Weapon X
Phrase - Here Now feat Mystro
Talib Kweli - The Perfect Beat feat KRS One
Psycho Les - The Man
Braintax - Last Tenner
Rainman - Soul Fire
Mr Long - My Introduction
Devin The Dude - She Useta
Cross Bred Mongrels - Hip Hop Life
Tribute To Nikeheads Mixtape
Sunday, June 03, 2007
These days, I'm not one to pay heaps of attention to DJ competitions.. Before DMC and ITF stopped being held in adelaide - I used to go, sure. But it was always invariably a bunch of DJ's performing routines that only other DJ's could really appreciate. While I'm sure that what I was seeing was technically brilliant, a lot of the time it would just sound like noise. Yeah I'm really impressed that you can crab scratch 1000 times per second on 2 turntables at one... but it just sounds like ass. This doesn't go for all the DJ's of course, I'd be lying if I said that I'd never heard a really audibly pleasurable routine... but it always seemed like the guys who could put together a musically good set, were outnumbered by the guys who would put together a technically good set that held no semblance to music...
Where am I going with this you ask? Well, a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this routine from French crew C2C from the 2005 world DMC championships. This, to me, is what a really good DJ set should be. Check it out and drop some thoughts in the comment box.. do you prefer a good musical set? or do you prefer to see mental technical tricks and screw the music?