Monday, July 31, 2006

Donny Hathaway

After writing that last post on William Bell, I couldn’t help but add a note about one of favorite voices in soul music, Donny Hathaway. A little bit about him; Hathaway was born into a gospel household (his grandmother who raised him was the talented Martha Crumwell) and began singing at the age of three. Working with Curtis Mayfield and Roberta Flack, Hathaway’s career started out promisingly enough, but his often erratic behavior at times threatened his chances of making a name for himself. Diagnosed in 1973 with paranoid schizophrenia, other artists often noticed his odd behavior, and found him difficult to work with. Not long after releasing the incredibly popular duet, “The Closer I Get to You” with Flack, Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk beneath his 15th floor room in 1979. He was 33.

Although he was a writer, arranger, producer and talented pianist, Hathaway’s true talent lies in his vocals. At once incredibly powerful and soft, Hathaway’s voice is able to carry songs nearly on its own, with little need for instrumental accompaniment. Few vocalists are so gifted. “For All We Know” and “A Song for You” rely little on Hathaway’s piano playing, yet is as lush and stirring as any great soul standard.

(For more information on Donny Hathaway, check out this essay, which reveals details on some lesser-known aspects of his life. After reading it, it made me hear his songs in a different light, and made me wonder if his personal turmoil and mental instability were the forces that lent the great intensity to his singing.)

p.s. I really wanted to put up “Jealous Guy,” my favorite Hathaway song, but since it’s already been posted on other sites, and is on the Soul-Sides compilation that I love so much, I’ll have to refrain, but definitely dig that one up if you’re a Hathaway fan. Oh, I'll also be checking out Lalah Hathaway (his daughter) this Wednesday at the Hollywood bowl. I'll give an update on her performance later for those who might be curious.

Update: So I was SUPPOSED to see Lalah Hathaway last night at the Hollywood Bowl, but SOMEONE was hella late to pick me up, and we missed her performance. I did check out some of her music online and can't say I'm much of a fan, she has too much of that smooth jazz sound that I just cannot stand, although her voice is nice. Sorry for the non-update.

[MP3] Donny Hathaway :: For All We Know
[MP3] Donny Hathaway :: A Song For You

|bruce banner|

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Out of the Shadows: Oh No’s Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms

Stepping out of a big brother’s shadow can be tough to do. And a father’s legacy can even loom larger. But with his newest project, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms, producer/MC prodigy Oh No shines on his own. Younger brother of producer extraordinaire, Madlib, and son of ‘70’s soul crooner, Otis Jackson, Oh No collaborates with another living legend on this project, Galt MacDermot, a funk composer of the highest stature (composed the Broadway musical Hair) whose been sampled by everyone from Busta (Woo Hah! I Got You All in Check) Rhymes to the Beatnuts and beyond. For Exodus, Oh No got exclusive access to Galt’s vault to cut and chop beats from, sort of like how Madlib got exclusive access to the Blue Note catalogue for his Shades of Blue. But unlike big bro, Oh No looped up the music and passed it on to some of the best MC’s in the game to flow on. Posdnous, AG, Buckshot, Wise Intelligent, Wordsworth, LMNO, Vast Aire, Murs, etc. all lend their unique spit to these 22 tracks. Oh No even gets down lyrically on a few.

Unlike his previous album, The Disrupt, Oh No’s sound seems much more developed (half of the tracks on Disrupt were produced by Madlib…the good half) and he seems more comfortable and confident in his rhymes as well. I also know that he’s done some unreleased work with David Matthews (not to be confused with Dave Matthews, who had that horrible collab with J5 [see the “Slept On: Jurassic 5” post], but the one who was behind the boards on James Brown’s best) that supposedly was an epiphany for Oh No. Damn, I wish I could get my hands on that!

But for the meantime, this will more than do (for you Exclusive Heads, my favorite tracks from the album below + check out more on the Stones Throw site and on his myspace). Make sure you pick it up when it drops Aug. 8! An album that you can listen to from beginning to end (a rarity in today's hip-hop).

[MP3] Oh No feat. AG :: Low Coastin'
{From the legendary DITC crew, AG kills it on this ill beat!}
[MP3] Oh No feat. Vast Aire :: No Aire
[MP3] Oh No :: Basement Interlude

{I know its just an interlude, but damn! I guess if the source is dope, it’s hard to screw it up}

Oh No on Stones Throw
Galt’s site

Keep playin’ those funky keys mang!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Soul vs. R&B

I’ve been listening to a lot of soul lately, and it’s reminded me of how far contemporary R&B and “neo-soul” is from soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Not that I quite expect it to be the same, or even similar, but even my favorite singers, like D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq/Tony! Toni! Toné!, and Anthony Hamilton can’t come close to the likes of Donny Hathaway or Marvin Gaye. Maybe these comparisons aren’t quite fair, but what ever happened to the “soul” of soul music? Is it me, or does it seem like today’s music lacks the emotional intensity and “soul” of the past?

That said, here’s a couple songs by William Bell. I actually hadn’t heard of him until fairly recently, but as soon as I heard the opening guitar licks of “I Forgot to be Your Lover,” I’ve been hooked. I think part of the reason today’s R&B and neo-soul doesn’t stand up to that of the past is because contemporary musical arrangements lack the lush, sweeping arrangements that carries the listener through the ups and downs that are the hallmark of soul music. With that in mind, I decided to post up a couple William Bell songs as a reminder that soul artists were often not only great singers, but great composers as well (another element lacking in contemporary R&B). Ok, I think I’m done with my ranting (for now), hope you enjoy these tracks.

[MP3] William Bell :: I Forgot to be Your Lover
[MP3] William Bell :: Strung Out (feat. Mavis Staples)

P.S. I first heard “I Forgot to be Your Lover” on the Soul Sides compilation, which is available here. Absolutely my favorite compilation. The music is rare enough for the casual or even more serious listener, yet still very accessible for any fan.

|bruce banner|

Premier Still Does

When I first heard about Primo working with Christina Aguilera on a few tracks off her new album Back To The Basics (click on link),…is exactly what I thought. Then I heard their lead single “Ain’t No Other Man” (click on link again),…and that is exactly what I wanted to do. Granted Primo needs to eat and Gang Starr’s last effort, The Ownerz, wasn’t met with open arms from the masses or even long time Gang Starr fans. But I mean come on, for the God of Hip-hop production/DJing to be doing this was like…well you saw the links.

If Rakim was the MC to influence all other MCs, then Primo was that for producers/DJs everywhere. The link between old and new. But then, the light doth shine on thee once more.
A few weeks later, I saw the video for MC Lyte’s new lead single “Wonder Years” off Back To Lyte (see video above) and I was beginning to feel a little better. I also heard that Primo and Nas are in the works for a new album, Hip-Hop Is Dead, as well. It started to sound as the man who birthed “Just To Get A Rep” wasn’t about to blow his rep. But it wasn’t until I heard “Watch How It Goes Down” with up and coming Boston MC Termanology, when the waters came and cleansed thee.

[MP3] Christina Aguilera :: Ain't No Other Man
[MP3] Termanology :: Watch How it Goes Down
[MP3] Gang Starr :: Jazz Thing (Video Mix)
[MP3] Christina Aguilera Feat. Termanology :: Back in the Day (Primo Remix)

“So I'ma end this lecture and I betcha,
Those who kick dirt and do time I'm gonna get cha.
Cause I be kickin’ the real,
While they be losin’ the race tryin’ to chase mass appeal.”
(Guru, “Mass Appeal”)


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summer Break 2 (July): From One Generation’s Playa to the Next…

Not sure what album this Johnny Guitar Watson track comes from (if ya know, educate me with a comment cause I sure would like it on vinyl). I just know that Guitar Watson is one bad soul/blues guitar playin’ mutha father. Definitely check his albums, Ain’t That A B*itch and A Real Mutha For Ya. Everyone from Redman to the Fresh Prince have sampled off of those. This Jigga track was off his Unplugged album. Had ?uest & the Roots band plus a violin section backing him. Cameos by Mary J. & Pharrell. Small venue. Wish I was at that show.

Anyways, attached to the last track, “Jigga That N*gga”, was a secret track (Hippo cut out the fat, so no “Jigga That N*gga” for you). I’m not sure what the title of this song is, maybe “People Talk”, but to me this track was the highlight of this dope album. And it’s not even live. The production is probably either Kanye or Just Blaze since it sounds Blueprint-ish, combined with the fact that this album was dropped in between both Blueprints. Hearing Jay say, “Blueprint 2 baby…see y’all in November” at the end of the song, got me “X”-ing the days off my calendar, waiting for the seasons to change and for that album to drop. I was just thinking the Blueprint was Jay’s classic (along with Reasonable Doubt) and this secret track was illness, so…what a uckin’ DISAPPOINTMENT! Looking back now, I guess not many people can say they have 2 classics albums.

[MP3] Johnny Guitar Watson :: Lovin' You
[MP3] Jay-Z :: Unplugged Secret Track

To bump on a warm summer night cruise.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Just Give me the Countdown...

When people talk about an emcee’s “flow,” they’re usually referring to the rhythm of the lyrics and how rhymes are delivered, but the truth is, a lot of emcees don’t flow. Let me explain. If you were to close your eyes and listen to Aesop Rock, DMX, or Luda, you’d realize that they spit, growl, or drawl more than they flow.

Each emcee has their own lyrical style, but what I like to hear most are flows. Why? Because they just sound better. To break it down a little more, flows are typically packed with internal rhymes, end rhymes, assonance, consonance, repetition, alliteration, and too many other literary devices for me to recognize. They’re called flows for exactly that reason, from one word to the next, one line to the next, the transitions are absolutely seamless. When an emcee is flowing, the words roll out like butter. If you listen closely, a true flow has probably twice as many rhymes in it than conventional lyrics and are true ear candy.

When it comes to flows, quite a few emcees come to mind, but only a handful stand out. One of them is AZ. With one of the nicest deliveries around, AZ not only gets your head bobbin', but he spouts street conscious lyrics that set him apart from the rest. While I wouldn’t say he’s been slept on, AZ was always overshadowed by the at times overrated Nas (I’ll save discussion on that for another post). No doubt AZ and Nas share certain similarities, but where Nas falls short (consistency and not quite knowing who he is [Nastradamus?!?]) AZ shines. Yeah, he has his share of throwaway joints, but give AZ a sick beat and he’s onlike no other, classic East Coast street style flowing with head nodding lyrics that just can’t be touched. Case in point:


One in a million, I'm strong young and appealing
Was born son a villain, put on in front of my building
Peeping how the street structure decease brothers
Critique, but I was placed here to reach others
Incomplete, stand feet from the deep cover
Eternal sleep, I wonder if the Beast love us
The frail weaken, the stronger be in jail eating
The average male will make it home if the bail's decent
I inhale frequent, it alleviate great, to be a part of the game
Can't be a day late to be a part of the same
Need a g' a day take, five if you live, slide mines on the side

One word about “The Come Up.” You may have heard the original, but this Primo remix is absolutely sick and really highlights AZ’s lyrical dexterity. Seriously one of my favorite remixes everrrrr. Now go and download it before I smash you over the head.

[MP3] AZ :: The Come Up (DJ Premier Remix)
[MP3] AZ :: Paradise

bruce banner

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Soulquarian: The Love Tribute

Damn, it’s finally beginning to hit me. No more Jay Dee or J. Dilla or James Yancey, period. I mean unless he was like Tupac or Prince and has a grip of beats in the vault, we are hearing the end of the “soulquarian” sound (aka neo-soul). I didn’t know him personally, but who the man has blessed speaks for itself: A Tribe Called Quest, D’Angelo, Pharcyde, Macy Gray, Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, Common, Erykah Badu, De La Soul, MF DOOM, Janet Jackson, etc. I remember a time (the late ‘90s), when it seemed like there was no other sound out there besides soulquarian soul. It just seemed to be in the air everywhere, whether cruisin’, clubbin’, or uckin’. Now there’s no longer what seemed to be an infinite amount.

The prototype producer who not only had a signature sound, but was skilled enough to change & grow, yet remain relevant. On the humble too. He was the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of hip-hop. Able to dominate the game with finesse and remain relevant. His influence is all over the great producers of today: Madlib, Danger Mouse, 9th Wonder, etc. Below are some of my favorites off of J. Dilla’s last work The Shinning which drops in August sometime. Enjoy it, revisit your old favorites, and discover new gems that you didn’t know about the first time around because there was a cap placed on this sound, this era and most unfortunately this man. RIP James Yancey.

At the same time, life must go on and The Roots seem to be stepping up their game again. Hip-hop’s equivalent to the Grateful Dead is coming back strong with Game Theory, as they show in this album that they not only remember J. Dilla’s life (see “Can’t Stop This” below), but celebrate it as well by continuing his legacy. To be honest, I had my doubts about how this Roots album was going to end up. I wasn’t really feeling the last 2 albums since Things Fall Apart & the fact that they moved over to Def Jam under Jay-Z, raised some concerns. But they came more than correct and hopefully will finally, finally, finally get their due and get that mainstream success while maintaining their artistic integrity (just like Dilla did for all those years).

[MP3] J. Dilla feat. Pharoahe Monch :: Love
[MP3] J. Dilla feat. Common & D’Angelo :: So Far To Go
[MP3] J. Dilla feat. Black Thought :: Love Movin’

[MP3] The Roots :: In The Music
[MP3] The Roots feat. Peedi Crakk :: Long Time
[MP3] The Roots :: Can’t Stop This

{Couldn’t have said it better myself}

J. Dilla’s myspace
The Roots site, not okay player?


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ice Cream Dream: BAPEmania & Skateboard P!

(Hippo's Note: The Nigo track has changed, so make sure you check it! Big ups to Yoshi for the heads up.)

The other day I was visiting my local university campus to talk to a professor about my master’s thesis and I noticed all these kids were sporting BAPE camo everything (shoes, shorts, shirts, caps, socks, watches, whitey tightys…yes white camo, you get my point). I know I’m probably the last person to be up on whatever’s new, fresh, crunk…hyphy? But I do know that the Lifestyle brand BAPE has been around for more than a minute now. And the word “lifestyle” here encompasses not only clothing, shoes, and fashion in general, but BAPE has taken it to the next level putting their brand camouflage on vinyl toys, credit cards, make-up, hair salons, cafes, etc. What’s next, libraries? All of these things/places (including the clothing and shoe stores) have been all over Japan for a while now. And about 3 years ago, they got even more exposure when Pharrell Williams of the super hit producing team The Neptunes met BAPE founder & CEO Nigo. They became fast friends and even collaborated to put out exclusive shoes for Reebok known as Ice Creams (working with the graf artist Kaws was an even better idea). Ever since then, BAPE has blown up all over the world with stores in Hong Kong, London, New York, Taipei, and soon LA this fall.

And I haven’t even mentioned the best part of the BAPE culture, the music. With his own record label, Nigo has been able to put out albums for a number of artists that cover the spectrum of musical genres. Music to go with the camo or bapestas (sneakers) that you just spent a grip for. Some of my very favorites are listed below and I wish I could post more. And of course Pharrell did do a couple of tracks for some of Nigo’s artists but I’m not going to waste your time with typical sounding Neptune beats that seem to be all over the airwaves today (imitation & real). But I did post up some of my favorites off of Pharrell’s new solo debut album In My Mind, which drops 7/25.

[MP3] Teriyaki Boyz :: You Know What Time It Is
{a supergroup of Japan’s best MC’s lacing a beat by DJ Premier. Other producers on their album include Dan the Automator, Cut Chemist, Daft Punk, Pharrell, DJ Shadow, Just Blaze, Beastie Boys. Definitely worth picking up.}
[MP3] Magnolia :: This Day
[MP3] OOIOO :: On Mani
[MP3] Nigo featuring Rakim :: Once Upon a Rhyme in Japan
{He can produce too! With the G-O-D spittin'.}

[MP3] Pharrell :: You Can Do It Too
[MP3] Pharrell feat. Snoop Dogg :: That Girl

{it’s a dope site}
Pharrell’s site

And if you don’t like BAPE, then see the shirt pictured above (thanks Freshjive). Otherwise APE SHALL NEVER KILL APE (or Hippo).


Friday, July 14, 2006

I Heart Playful Sex.

Ok, this post is wayyy overdue. When Asobi Seksu (Japanese for “Playful Sex”) came out with their new album, Citrus, I told myself I would have to put up my favorite J-pop-ish-dream- rockish-shoegazer-ish song, “I’m Happy But You Don’t Like Me.” So it’s been well over a month since the album release, and here I am, late and not up on my game putting up songs a lot of people have heard and blogged about already. Oh well. If you can’t tell by my past postings, that’s just how I do.

Based in New York, Asobi Seksu released their debut self-titled album in 2004 to much critical acclaim. Although many describe Asobi Seksu’s sound as similar to that of My Bloody Valentine, I think that comparison really obscures the more lighthearted and playful sound that emerges through the fuzzy and gray wall of sound created by the band. Despite ample use of the fuzzbox and melancholy-drenched lyrics, what strikes me most about Asobi Seksu is how they manage to blend Japanese pop sensibilities with the lush guitar work of James Hanna. The resulting blend is both bitter and sweet, just how I like it.

[MP3] Asobi Seksu :: I’m Happy But You Don’t Like Me

Asobi Seksu’s Website

p.s. Sean McCabe is the artist behind the Asobi Seksu’s artwork, check him out here and here.

Update: If you're in LA, see Asobi Seksu at The Echo on October 6th, I don't think they've come out here before, so be sure to check them out.

|bruce banner|

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Satellite Radio 6: Travel In Time, Around the World, Commercial Free

I just got satellite radio & I must say its pretty intimidating. It’s like a blessing and a curse. There’s an infinite number of choices that range from Bollywood to anime scores with hosts from Snoop Dogg to David Bowie. I mean, what the hell can I say in a posting about the Golden Era of Hip-hop that DJ Premier, the host of his own show, hasn’t experienced? The beautiful thing about it is of course now everyday it's raining different music from around the world. I can finally get more of that German Schlager bumping!!!

Since I just started listening to it literally for about a week now, here are a few songs that I’ve really dug & that I could actually dig up (I guess you can say that I was in a pretty mellow mood).

[MP3] Shurik'n :: Le Samurai
[MP3] James Brown feat. Myra Barnes :: Message From the Soul Sisters
[MP3] Edgar Winter & White Trash :: Dying To Live
[MP3] Jermaine Jackson :: Castles of Sand
[MP3] Earl Klugh :: Living Inside Your Love
[MP3] Shirley Ellis :: Rubber Dolly (The Clapping Song)

With great power (of selection), comes great responsibility (see the video clip above…how can Dirk Nowitzki get pumped up listening to this?).

(ripping off Spiderman)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mixtapes Vol. I

At one point in our lives, most of us have made a mixtape (or CD nowadays) for someone. Now by mixtape, I don’t mean music that’s actually professionally mixed, but rather a collection of different songs on tape. What I love most about mixes is the fact that they’re a unique set of songs picked with the listener in mind, and put together specifically for that one person with their tastes in mind. It has a little more meaning than your average album or DJ Clue tape you know?

While it may sound easy enough, I think there’s a definite art to the amateur mixtape that sets a banginass mix apart from the rest, and in the end it mostly comes down to song selection. Though I’m often tempted to include music that I know the listener already likes, it’s even better when you slip in some music they haven’t heard before, but that they end up loving. This, of course, takes a lot more work, but it really makes the difference.

That said, here’s a listing of tracks I put together for a certain punkass friend of mine. By no means am I saying that it’s one of those good mixtapes, but I thought it was a decent attempt.

  1. [MP3] Cibo Matto :: Flowers
  2. Supercar :: My Girl
  3. [MP3] Mayumi Kojima :: Hatsukoi
  4. Asobi Seksu :: Walk on the Moon
  5. Badly Drawn Boy :: Magic in the Air
  6. Devics :: Come Up
  7. Supercar :: Wonder Word
  8. Yo La Tengo :: Little Eyes
  9. Neil Finn :: She Will Have Her Way
  10. Iron & Wine :: Sodom, South Georgia
  11. Caroline :: Where’s My Love
  12. Devics :: Song for a Sleeping Girl
  13. [MP3] Jose Gonzalez :: Hints
  14. Azure Ray :: Displaced
  15. Nick Drake :: Pink Moon
  16. Gorillaz :: El Manana
  17. Devics :: Distant Radio
  18. [MP3] Radiohead :: True Love Waits

bruce banner

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Slept On: Jurassic 5's Power In Numbers (but in general as well)

With Jurassic 5’s soon to be released 3rd full length album, Feedback (scheduled to hit the shelves 7/25), having to deal with the glaring hole in production with the absence of Cut Chemist it seems appropriate that their previous album, with only 350,000 in sales, was aptly titled Power In Numbers. It seemed like it never got its due or the group as well, at least in the United States. It also seemed as if the title foretold the near future as well.

With the first single off of Feedback being a more commercial radio friendly song, “Work It Out” featuring the Dave Matthews Band (its like mixing oil & water, take my word for it), things were looking shaky. And listening to other Feedback tracks like “Radio”, “Brown Girl” and “Baby Please” it seemed that J5 lost their heart, soul and spirit that Cut Chemist brought (I heard that Cut recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. to do only solo albums) & were truly going for the power in numbers...of sales. And as you can tell by Cut Chemist’s first try at flying solo (The Litmus Test was more of a mixtape) with the album The Audience Is Listening (dropping 7/11…brainfreeze!!!), he’s pretty damn good at it (for you Exclusive Heads I’ve included two of my favorites). Whether or not that translates to him stepping down from J5 completely or not, hopefully some of you can drop some knowledge on me with your comments, it didn’t seem like J5 was headed in a good direction.

But then I heard the rest of Feedback. The other half of Jurassic 5’s production team, DJ Nu-mark, is no slouch, as he’s shown in such production gems in the past like “What’s Golden” and “Freedom” (both off of Power In Numbers, the later included below) and his strictly beats album Blend Crafters. And with the tracks below from Feedback (its like Xmas morning for you Exclusive Heads!) plus a few others, I think that half of the album is worth listening to. The other half…hey, we all gotta feed our kids I guess. So unfortunately the feedback on Feedback is that it's no Power In Numbers, where you can listen to it from start to finish without touching another button besides play. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that J5 will actually be J5 + 1 again someday soon (see picture above).

[MP3] Jurassic 5 :: Back 4 You
[MP3] Jurassic 5 :: Get It Together
[MP3] Jurassic 5 :: Future Sound

{Seems like Nu-mark was jonesin’ for the keys, at least with the songs I like off of Feedback.}
[MP3] Jurassic 5 :: Freedom

[MP3] Jurassic 5 featuring Nelly Furtado :: Thin Line {Yeah I like Nelly Furtado…what of it?!} [MP3] Jurassic 5 featuring Big Daddy Kane & Percee P :: A Day at the Races
[MP3] Jurassic 5 :: Hey
{I know that neither Cut or Nu-mark produced this, but its too smooth to leave off. I should have included this on my list for the summer. Sit back with a beer, bbq, and mellow out.}

[MP3] Cut Chemist :: Spoon

[MP3] Cut Chemist featuring Hymnal :: What’s the Altitude

[MP3] Van Full of Pakistans :: Y’all So Stupid (Spearhead X-Clean version)

{This is in response to an anonymous comment posted on the Nelly Furtado post (check it out). I know that Furtado’s been everywhere, I even saw her perform with Timbo on "So You Think You Can Dance" (don’t ask me why I watch that show…that’s a whole other post). We really do appreciate comments, but don’t expect us to not reply either. So I took it as a bit of a challenge, and dug around for a little. So here it is. If you’ve never heard of the group Van Full of Pakistans & their album Y’all So Stupid then you missed out on a big part of golden era hip-hop. These guys are more slept on than KMD was/is. If you don’t know…I guess you still don’t.}

Jurassic 5’s site
Cut Chemist’s site
if you really must hear the track with the Dave Matthews Band


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rock You in Your Face, Stab Your Brain wit' Your Nosebone

A while back, mashups were all over the place. I think it was Danger Mouse’s 2004 The Grey Album that sparked everything, but not too long ago you would see all sorts of cracked-out mashups on the net with the most unconventional pairings you could think of. The problem was, mashups weren’t that hard to create. Literally anyone with an instrumental and an acapella could throw one on top of the other on their turntables or computer, so I would say 90% of them were complete crap. I mean, people would throw some Biggie over an 80’s beat, and his flows would just be stumbling all over the beat because they didn’t match up, which is just plain bad production, if you can even call it that.

In the past few months though, it seems like the craze has died down (or just died), so I wanted to put up a few rare examples of what I think makes a good mashup. What sets these apart from the rest is the fact that the artist is able to seamlessly weave together two seemingly dissimilar songs and produce a completely new track with little alteration to either song. Believe me, it’s harder than it sounds. Since you probably already heard "Threat," if you have to pick one song to download, go with Panzah Zandah, where you can hear Ghostface tear it up over Radiohead's "Iron Lung." Ill.

[MP3] Bobb Deep :: Got it Twisted (Bob Marley and Mobb Deep)
[MP3] Bobb Deep :: Shook Ones Pt. II (Marley and Mobb Deep)
[MP3] Panzah Zandah :: Daytona 500 (Ghostface and Radiohead)
[MP3] Danger Mouse :: Threat (Jay-Z and the Beatles)

bruce banner

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hello What?

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been into these mellow, folksy, emo-ish songs. I really never liked this music much before, and it confuses me because I’m not really the type of guy to know about feelings other than happiness and anger. Anyways I’m not about to talk any more than that about myself, so here’s the lyrics to a kind of bittersweet song called “Long Lost Penpal” by Hello Saferide, a group from Sweden. Listening to this reminded me of how much I missed hearing lyrics that tell a story well. So does this guy sound a little creepy or is he just lonely?

“Long Lost Penpal”

Do you remember me
I am your long lost pen pal
It must have been ten years ago we last wrote
I don’t really know what happened
I guess life came in the way
Let me know if you’re still alive
Let me know if you ever used that knife or not

Yes I remember you
I’ve got a husband and two children now
I work as an accountant and make fairly good money
I still have your letters, you used a pink pen to write them
And you would comfort me
when my tears would stain the ink
And I would send you mix tapes with Kate Bush on

I have to admit I sometimes lied in those letters
Tried to make life better than it was
I still wasn’t kissed at sixteen
And I still need a friend

There was this letter
I never told you this back then
But it would be fair to say it saved my life
I sat in the window
The only one left out from a party again
Pretty sure I didn’t have a single friend
Then I checked the mailbox

Dear long lost penpal
I was lying the whole time
I’m really a 46 years old man named Luke
I have three children
and a wife, she doesn’t care
And I hope you don’t resent me
And I hope you do not hate me
For trying to find my way back to what it’s like to be young

I have to admit I sometimes lied in those letters
Tried to make life better than it was
I still wasn’t kissed at sixteen
And I still need a friend

[MP3] Hello Saferide :: Long Lost Penpal

Hello Saferide's Website

bruce banner