Thursday, August 31, 2006


Man, what can I say? Cousin to Ice Cube. Founder of the Hieroglyphics crew. One of the early emcees who helped create the rhyme sound of the Bay Area.

His delivery is commanding and charismatic, cartoony but equally tough and a bit raw. Add this to his absurdly complex rhyme patterns and command of vibrant pop culture infused wordplay and you have one of the best sounding emcees to ever bless a piece of recording equipment.

Del has a brash fun melodic delivery that, at times can overwhelm a track. But over a solidly produced sparse track…you’re guaranteed to experience some sonic induced joy.

When listening to Del, don’t dissect or search for some great hidden meaning to life. Relax and listen to Del’s masterful sense of wordplay and sound. Del has a way of distorting and exaggerating the sounds of words to create complex melodic patterns that places appropriate emphasis for a clever point or beautiful image (many times both at the same time!).

What I really love about him is his great sense of timing and speed. Del’s flow is slow and clear enough to let the listener hear every word he says…but he still manages to keep things commandingly intense with his deep voice and variance in tonal pitch.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the speed of an Emcees delivery…but, in our modern world of Internet rap lyric databases, it all doesn’t mean a thing if an Emcee’s words and emotions cannot be conveyed in their original form: that of a rap song.

When Del is at his best he is able to seamlessly deliver rhymes on all levels.

Below are two of my favorite Del tracks. I’m sure there is no coincidence that the power of “Catch a Bad One” and “Offspring” beat productions comes as much from their silent pauses as the melodic arrangements. With these moments of silence, Del’s able to really let loose with his powerful rhyme deliveries.

I’m not sure who produced “Catch a Bad One” (help, anyone?) but El P, who also delivers a few rhymes on the track, produced “Offspring”.

My favorite Del rhymes from “Offspring”:

I'm very interplanetary and vary with various experiments.
Gregarious with verbals for your merriment.
What El-P tell me to use,
the beat di-ffuse, you lose and get played like a mood.
I'm rude revolting leave you molting. No thing –
Compares to my compadres.
We'll take it to Broadway.
It's beautiful the execution flawless.
You all wet, soggy groggy when you saw me.
But I never tire whenever I adjust my thrust.
Females blush I bring the California gold rush.
Your flow sucks, your stamina can't endure.
I manicure the lavender amateur landed words. You haven't heard?
Cannabis analyst add a twist to my manuscripts.
I'll have you sent to the showers.
Me and El-P, is superpowers like the US and USSR.
Blow you like the Deathstar.
Leave your chest scarred like Sagat.

[MP3] Del :: Catch a Bad One
[MP3] Del feat. El-P :: Offspring

Muttpop Bob

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Summer Break 3 (August): Reminiscing On Those Summer Weddings

[Hippo's disclaimer: I actually wrote this a couple weeks ago (I know, hella early, but this is my only release from my horrible day job - you don't even want to know) & have had an idea to post on Tom Brock since this blog's inception. Anyways, I finally get around to it & what do I see on the blog of blogs, Soul Sides
? I just want to make sure O-Dub doesn't think I'm biting his wedding theme if he ever does look at this blog. Mr. Wang, maybe you can drop some knowledge on what this Pharcyde break below is.]

Now that it's August and fall is creepin' right around the corner, I'd thought I'd do a little tribute piece for those of you who recently got married (I'm still holding strong!). This song will work for any wedding (5 for 5 thus far), but it especially helps everyone cool off, chill out, and feel the love during the summer heat wave. Tom Brock's "There's Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You" off his classic (slept on) soul album, I Love You More and More . Definitely need to have this album on your shelf (Also, with songs like the title track. Come on! That should make people fall in love on the spot…FLAVA FLAAAV. Sorry, couldn't resist. Mos Def sampled it, so he knows what I'm talking about ). I put some of the songs off this album onto a CD for my cousin who was getting hitched (He wanted songs he could use…besides The Whispers "Rock Steady". Isn't it strange/sad how "Rock Steady" is almost as much a guarantee to be played as the Bridal Chorus?). And sure enough, "There's Northing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You" worked like a charm. Hypnotized everyone (so people couldn't tell that my cous can't slow dance). Kanye West must have also been to a few weddings in his time, cause this was the gem he sampled/looped for Jay-Z's "Girls, Girls, Girls" song off the classic Blueprint album (The video's above. Has got to be my favorite Jigga video of all time. Sort of the opposite of what marriage is supposed to be all about though).

[MP3] Tom Brock :: There's Nothing in This World that can Stop me from Loving You
{Definite contender for longest song title ever}
[MP3] The Whispers :: Rock Steady
[MP3] Mendelssohn :: The Bridal Chorus

{Is it just me or does this version sound like Disney's Main St. Electric Parade is about to start? Bright lights, catchy music…big production, but at the end of it all you wonder why the hell did you stand there throughout the whole thing. The similarities are scary}

Sorry if this post was media'd out. Trying to keep it interesting (And no, I've never been married before).


Sunday, August 27, 2006


So for my first entry I went a bit NY Underground with the incredibly unique Can Ox member: Vast Aire. This week, I decided to give some deserved props to what many will consider an uber-mainstream Emcee in MISSY “MISDEMEANOR” ELLIOT.

This lady from Virginia has been professionally rocking the mike with her soulful, playful flow for over 10 years now…and although she’s lost a bit of her charming ways since limiting her collaboration with friend and super-producer Tim “Timbaland” Mosley…I still consider her one of the best female Emcees of all time.

Her flow is one of the most unique deliveries ever heard…so much so that in the rare occasion when someone tries to copy Missy’s flow (like Fergy on “London Bridge”…am I crazy…or does it seam like Missy ghost wrote the rhymes on this track???) it SCREAMS of Missy’s style and personality.

Most popular female rappers deliver their rhymes with a cadence and tone that sounds awfully masculine…spitting rhymes with a gruff braggadocio that many times makes it very easy to mistaken the female rhymesayer for a man. Missy Elliot is one of the few exceptions. Her flows always feel fun, a little crazy, and a 100% female!

Included below are:
“Funky Fresh Dressed”- an awesome showcase of Missy at her best.
“Cold Rocks The Party”-the first track I’ve ever heard Missy flow on…back in 1996!
“London Bridge”- let’s not get confused, this track is by FERGY…but it’s a complete COPY of what makes MISSY ELLIOT, MISSY ELLIOT!

My favorite bit from “Funky Fresh Dressed”:
It's very necessary, on the contrary
No you do not scare me, as you drink your Bloody Mary
Police, you better hurry, before I have to bury
My attitude is bitchy, cuz my period is heavy

[MP3] Missy Elliot :: Funky Fresh Dressed
[MP3] MC Lyte feat. Missy :: Cold Rocks Da Party
[MP3] Fergy :: London Bridge

Muttpop Bob

Thursday, August 24, 2006

More Seksu

Just in case I haven't mentioned Asobi Seksu enough, here's a few tracks from my new favorite album of the moment, Citrus. Asobi Seksu is equal parts J-poppy goodness and shoegazer fuzzballiness with a dose of psychedelically delicious artwork done by the amazing Sean McCabe. In their second outing, Asobi Seksu is more mature, and much to my liking, a little more lighthearted and playful. I know that this album came out months ago, but I do things on my own time, so I hope you’ll enjoy these gems if you haven’t discovered them already.

[MP3] Asobi Seksu :: Strawberries
[MP3] Asobi Seksu :: Goodbye

Asobi Seksu's website
Sean McCabe's can be found here and here

|bruce banner|
ps. there's more Asobi Seksu here and here

Monday, August 21, 2006

Aloha: From Da Islands With Love

[Hippo Note: I see that Bruce Banner is trying to talk ish while everyone was out of town. Once we get back in town, he crosses it out. How convenient for him. I could go back at him, but I just got back from vacation, have tons of work to catch up on, this post to put up, and I’m also moving…so I got more important things to do.]

Back from a little vacation in Hawai’i. I return tanned, fatter, and refreshed. Apologizes to all the Exclusive Heads if I wasn’t able to hook you up with the new Outkast and Kelis albums. But where I was staying, there were no computers, running water, cell phone connection, etc. Now back to the modern technology & the daily grind (unfortunately not grindz). But will definitely remember hangin’ with the fam, cruisin’ around the islands, and Waiola Shave Ice – 2135 Waiola Ave. (the original local) & 535 Kapahulu Blvd. (you trippin’ if you still on Matsumoto’s brah!). Here are 3 tracks that’ll remind me of this trip:

[MP3] Bob Marley :: Sun is Shining
(Thanks to DJ Po-Lo for hooking me up with this classic on vinyl & some of Da Islands finest pakalolo.)

[MP3] K-Salaam feat. Mos Def and Sizzla :: Victory
(The hotness produced by K-Salaam with a more soulful Mos (my favorite kine Mos) & Sizzla spittin’ hot fire! This track was bumpin’ at club NJOY. Also a mahalo goes out to Kicks/HI for hooking dis bruddah up with the fresh T. Definitely pick up Salaam’s The World Is Ours if you haven’t yet, cause Salaam is one of the best reggae/hip-hop producers around & the album features Talib Kweli, Papoose, Rakaa from Dilated Peoples, Capleton, Saigon, Dead Prez and many more.)

[MP3] Israel Kamakawiwo'ole :: Hawaii '78
(Nobody held it down for the Hawaiian Nation like IZ . RIP.)

Da 2 otha best things about Da Islands (besides da sounds & da pakalolo):
da grindz & da…


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mixtapes Vol. II

"To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind," but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules"

[ Rob Fleming, from High Fidelity by Nick Hornby ]

This weekend I was given one of my favorite mixes everrr. Not that I get mixes very often, but this is one that I truly love. I know I've talked about this before, but what's cool about mixtapes is not just the music, but their very personal nature. A mixtape from one person to another is rarely just a mixtape. Individual songs become more than the sum of their parts, and take on greater meaning when they're put together with careful thought and consideration. Just as Rob Fleming remarked, a really good mix is not an easy thing to make. It takes a lot of time, listening (and re-listening), and reflection. So for the music lover (like me) it's really one of the best and most meaningful things someone can give you. Not only that, but mixtapes often reveal a little something about the individual who made it, making it all the more personal.

As good technically as this mix is, what I liked most of all is the tone and feeling that these songs evoke. What I mean is, it wasn't really about lyrical content or even what the artists were necessarily saying, but the feelings that were conveyed through the songs. I guess that meaning would vary from one person to the next, but to me there was something indelibly warm in the songs that left an impression on me even after they ended. Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into it. Here's a few of my favorite songs from the mix, see for yourself.

(If you can't tell, I have somewhat of an obssession with mixes and playlists, so from time to time I hope to write a little more on the topic.)

Track 01 [MP3] sweet sweet heartkiller / say hi to your mom
Track 03 [MP3] 55566688833 / james figurine
Track 13 [MP3] i will follow you into the dark / death cab for cutie
Track 20 [MP3] thursday / asobi seksu

p.s. Thanks Tina
|bruce banner|

Some Technical (and not-so-technical) Notes

1) Our RSS feed is finally up (click on the "RSS Subscribe" button beneath the links section). If you're slow like I am, an RSS feed is basically a way to keep up with blogs you regularly read. If you subscribe to a feed from a certain site, you'll be notified when the site is updated and sent either a link to the new content, or the content itself. For more information, on what RSS feeds are, you can read up a bit on it here. It's a great time saver.

2) I just got greasemonkey, an easy to use music player that places a play button next to MP3 files so that you can listen to the songs before you download it. If you're like me and surf MP3 blogs regularly, this can save you a LOT of time. More on how to install/download the player here.

3) Muttpop and Mista H. are on vacation. Woohoo! Time to delete their posts...I mean, writing up Vast Aire and Xtina?!! Ugh. And can you put up any MORE youtube videos on this @#ing site?!?! I thought this was a music blog, s%&tttt. And what’s up with Muttpop’s response to my post on Raekwon!?!? WEAK!!!!!! Then Mista H. tries and instigate more s&%t!? His sorry ass can stay in Hawaii for all I care. Good-for-nothing mutha$%*&!s…

|bruce banner| (stay angry)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Three Things That You Need to See This Summer

I know that this blog is focused more on what you hear, but I thought I’d take some time to write about 3 things that you need to peep this summer:

1. Awesome; I…Shot That! The Beastie Boys new concert DVD. The concept falls in line with what the Beasties have always been about, simple yet brilliant. They give a grip of audience members their own cameras to record everything (even a trip to the bathroom!). I mean, I went to see them on this tour and it was the best hip-hop show I’ve seen (complete production), so I was a little concerned. It could have easily been one big headache with unprofessionally shot footage bouncing all around, but with a little creative editing this becomes the best concert DVD that I’ve seen in years. Sure it has the funny bonus features like a BBQ cook-off or “A Day in the Life of Nathanial Hornblower” (it also has a cool feature where you can click on icons that appear randomly throughout the performance that lead you to the back story of what you were just watching), but it’s really the creative editing that makes this special.

Using just basic Photoshop-type techniques, you get to see Mike D drop ‘bows with a girl in the audience ala green screen-ish effects or Ad-rock jump off the screen all of a sudden during “Sabotage.” My favorite though is the battle of the fans screaming in the “World Tour Shout Outs” portion of the bonus features. The editing is hard to explain. So just, Ch-Check It Out! (Unmentioned bonus feature: definitely great to blaze to.)

2. Click. Yes, the movie with Adam Sandler. It was so good, it is the surprise of the summer for me. Out of comedies that I’ve seen like Little Man, Nacho Libre and even Clerks 2 (which I liked), this was the movie for me (granted, I haven’t seen Little Miss Sunshine yet and want to). Yes, I am a fan of Sandler movies like Happy Gilmore (the best of the early slapstick stuff), The Wedding Singer (his best romantic comedy), Big Daddy (his best family film), and even the quirky Punch-Drunk Love. But I also believe I’m objective here as I hated Mr. Deeds (I asked for my money back), Anger Management (what a waste of a golden opportunity) and Spanglish (no comprende).

Click was the comedy of the summer, and for me the movie of the summer, because it wasn’t just a comedy (the trailers fool you). I don’t want to play spoiler for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but it is one of those movies that mixes genres well (you even get Christopher Walken doing the dance). But like good comedy should, when things get heavy and deep (it’s a tear jerker), it lightens things up. Sort of the family version of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And like Eternal Sunshine, it’s hard to explain. So just watch the damn thing...YouCanDoIt! But if you’re expecting The Waterboy or even Wedding Singer 3 (I count 50 First Dates as the sequel), then Click is not for you.

3. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. I’ve waited for the preview of this movie like other people have waited for the previews of Phantom Menace or The Return of the King. You know that the original source material is dope, it’s just a matter of how they round it out. In this case, the source material is Da Ali G Show, which was some of the best comedy out before Chapelle’s Show. As comedic chameleon Sacha Baron Cohen becomes either wanna-be hardcore hip-hopper Ali G, gay interviewer Bruno, or innocent foreigner Borat.

What made the show so great was that Sacha would be in full character in real life settings with real life reactions (ie panel for discussion on sexual education or interviewing a politician). No one has a clue that he’s not for real. Will they be able to translate this to the big screen though? I don’t think they succeeded with their first try, the movie Ali G InDaHouse, as it took this real life element away. But the preview for Borat is promising. Hopefully the movie is more like Return of the King than Phantom Menace (Phantom would have been better if it were more like this). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then no respect!

Sometimes it’s worth taking a look.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

And let's start it like this son...

Raekwon, AKA The Chef, AKA Lex Diamons, AKA Louis Rich, AKA Shallah Raekwon is hands-down my favorite Wu-member. When I heard he was about to drop a sequel to his classic Cuban Linx album, my hopes were high that the old Rae was coming back. As big a fan of the Chef that I am, Immobilarity and The Lex Diamond Story couldn't touch Cuban Linx and left me longing for the grandiose production and mafioso-infused joints of his debut.

Despite my disappointments, I always looked forward to anything from Rae because he can rhyme like no other (ahaa, yes, even better than Vast Aire. Take that Muttpop Bob). If you can't tell yet, I'm a fan of flows, and not just any flows. Double and triple-rhyme infused lyrics like the ones from "Skew it on the BBQ" (from Outkast's Aquemini album) blow my mind. Just check how he keeps rhyming the "o" sound and how many times he'll do it in a single line (up to four), and how many times he does it in a entire verse (26).

Deliver this through your audio, ghetto mafioso
Grow hydro, then bag it up yo
Price that longevity, suggest make moves
slow take time grow eight, react nine blow
Hydro slide raw like fuck Renaldo
Fly ride though, shit lookin wild dope
then glide yo, flippin the page, I go
Watch five-oh, jump on my meat, ride slow
Watch those, undercovers, cop those, rock those
Glocks blows leave em baggy and collect spot grows
Keep a watch froze, lean on the yacht and wash clothes

Let the chop' blow, bag a half a block plot grows, what?

Skills. No wait, make that skillz (yes, italicized and with a "z"). Not to mention how he uses aliteration and the ghetto mafioso imagery he evokes in his lyrics. Yes, I know that other emcees do this too, but nobody handles the mic like Lex.

Aaaanyways, The Hippo recently copped an early release of the Chef's album (if you don't know how Rae earned that name, check out the story here, it’s almost funny) and despite my initial excitement that it would really be the sequel to Cuban Linx, there’s little continuity between the two albums lyrically or production-wise. Not only that but Rae’s partner in rhyme, Ghostface, is hardly on this album whereas Busta is on four tracks. Let me just say that Busta and the Chef just don’t set it off the way Raekwon and Ghost do. Since it's an early edition release with 28 tracks, let's just hope the final cut is stronger and more of a true sequel.

So rather than post up a bunch of the so-so Cuban Linx II songs you all might be looking for, here’s some classic Rae bangers, and a couple of the better new ones to keep you from breaking down the door.

[MP3] Outkast and Raekwon :: Skew it on the BBQ
[MP3] Cocoa Brovaz and Raekwon :: Black Trump
[MP3] Raekwon :: Guillotine

[MP3] Raekwon feat. Supernatural :: I Got Bars (new)
[MP3] Raekwon :: State of Grace (new)

Check out Wu-Peanuts here, HELLA funny.

|bruce banner|

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


What’s up folks.

I’m Muttpop Bob, another dude that’ll be posting on this board. I’ve been asked to focus a bit more on Emcees and lyrics since it seems that I’m more drawn to that than a few of my peers like Huey and Bruce.

I’m going to revisit a lot of personal classics…songs that may not necessarily be widely embraced for their brilliance…but that I’ve grown really fond of as a fan of hip-hop music. It seems that a lot of people struggle with breaking down why a particular Emcee is appealing to them. I hope to dissect things a bit further than just, “Yo dude…he’s SICK!”…and am totally open to hearing your thoughts.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make this into a weekly thing…where I post a bit on Emcees and stuff that I’m really digging. But before I get ahead of myself, I’m going to start off with this first post!

Okay, this first song ("ATTENTION SPAN") is off of Aesop Rocks’ FLOAT album. Released in August of 2000, Float was the album Aesop did BEFORE he became a staple member of El P’s Def Jux Label. But, this isn’t about Aesop; I want to focus on VAST AIRE.

Vast Aire is best known as a member of Cannibal Ox, a hip hop group from the NY based Atom’s Family collective that had their first and (at this point) only album, “Cold Vein”, released from Definitive Jux in 2001. Vast Aire also released the solo album “Look Ma, No Hands!” in 2004.

"Attention Span" (linked below) is the epitome of Vast Aire. His airy nasally flow sounds like a preacher using timing and silence as a means to emphasize his clever rhymes with emotional emphasis that makes already great lines even greater.

For every Emcee the beat is the backbone of their delivery. Everything they say needs to fit within the timing of the beats and rhythm of the musical production. Most Emcees play it safe and keep their deliveries very close in tune and time with the beat/drum (the most dominant sound of the production) to ensure that they sound complimentary to the music.

Vast Aire does the opposite; he pushes the rhythm patterns of his delivery as far out as he can to ensure that the power of his vocal delivery can emphasize his rhymes and lyrics. His deliveries sound like the solo riffs of an advanced jazz musician…pushing the limits of the music with various pauses and vocal delivery speeds that simultaneously lets the music and his own delivery breathe.

The lyrics speak for themselves. The underlying attitude is typical braggadocio, but Vast Aire brings so much energy that his delivery matches that very confident energy of producer Blockhead’s musical production.

Aesop wisely scales back and tightens his slurry intense flow to create a conflicting dynamic that highlights the extreme differences between him and Vast Aire.

Here is my favorite segment of Vast Aire’s lyrics (practically his whole bit):

Yeah yeah I (w)rap tight like Saran
Plus enter battles talkin shit like Look mom, no hands!
I'm tired of cats tryin to sum me
You can't add that far yet, that counting is far fetched
I treat MC like canines
Throwin words at they face to see if they bite when they catch
I told you my poetry sponsors Gillette
Now you standing there wit razors in your head like barrettes
Man, if the mic had ass cheeks
The sticker in my hand would say priority seating
And man, I dunno if it was me or you
But your girl was on my dick like she was teething
You play the role/roll, I'll play the poppy seed on top of you
The Godspeed is actual, that doesn't mean I act usual
One of the first MC's to give the crowd full attention
Cuz you need love and affection

[MP3] Aesop Rock feat. Vast Aire :: Attention Span

muttpop bob

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Get Lifted

B.B: A few weeks ago, I came across this Chemical Brothers video with record-slinging, boombox-toting kung-fu badasses rhymin' about getting fadeded and knew that I had to put this up. I couldn't just post the video by itself, but it was clear enough what I should write on, and who I needed to consult with. A few minutes later, I was flashing my pointy-leafed distress signal into the night sky, and within moments I heard screeching tires and Mista H. and Tadillac were at my door with a bowl and the perfect joints (as in songs, weedhead) for getting splifted. Despite what Mista H. or Tadillac might say about being amateurs in the game, don't be fooled; they have greenery growing under their fingernails and ooze with the stickiness.

Enough with the BS, take these songs with a dose of norcal ishhh and touch the sky.

[MP3] Diamond D :: Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop
What else is there to say? Head noddin beats and easy flows, an obvious choice on this topic.
[MP3] Keith Murray :: Most Beautiful Thing
“The most beatifullest thing in the word is just like thattttt, I get in ya!!!” sing it, damnit.
[MP3] Fat Joe :: The Shit is Real (DJ Premier Remix)
When Primo touches something, does he ever go wrong?
[MP3] Cee-Lo :: Bass Head Jazz
Yes, the guy from Gnarls Barkley, I loved this album.

|bruce banner|

Mista H: When Bruce Banner first asked me to write on the subject, I was honest and told him that I really didn’t know anything at all about it (besides the prescription medicine I take for my migraines). So I really had to do some research, not only on the songs, but on the general topic itself. And since Bruce set such hard guidelines with only wanting our top 3, I didn’t want to go with the obvious anthems: Peter Tosh's "Legalize It," Red & Meth's "How High," Cypress Hill's "Hits From the Bong," or anything by Sublime, Bob Marley or Jimi Hendrix. And of course Dr. Dre's The Chronic would have to stay in the crate as well (that combined with Cali's finest enabled me to study to a 1400 on my SATs…I’ve had headaches for a while now). So here are my three:

[MP3] Faze-O :: Riding High

For all you OG West Coasters. No other.

[MP3] TV on the Radio :: A Method
For me this totally represents the beach during summertime for me. Something about it sounding like an updated Beach Boys track. It was between this and Ben Harper’s “Burn One Down” a.k.a. - Hawaiian summers, where the sun burns longer brah!

[MP3] Slum Village :: Players
It was a toss up between something off of SV’s groundbreaking classic Fantastic, Vol. 2 (which introduced most of the world to a fella named Jay Dee/J. Dilla) or a track off of NERD’s classic In Search Of....I opted for “Players” because it’s got a mellow spookiness with those haunting voices that can keep you in a trance for days. Plus the ladies like it too and I guess I like ghostly harmonies. And you can always flip it to the b-side to “Raise It Up” (the first soft voice to loud voice track, Busta Rhymes just took it to the next level with “Touch It”). The keys on that song should keep you busy.

And I would have put a Quasimoto song up, since the only time that I can understand and like the dude's rhymes is when I get migraines, otherwise I’m at a loss. So he didn’t make the list this time.

Oh yeah, and of course the hidden gem out of all of songs is...I forgot.


Bruce Banner and Mista H: This next homie has been holdin' down the West with the best Bob Marley since the times when Ice Cube was just an MC. Recently released from county, looking for booty calls, he can be reached here. He also makes "films" (ifyaknowwhatimean) so if you're looking for your big break, hit him up.

[MP3] Humble Soul:: Pakalolo Sweet
For y’all who don't know, pakalolo is what they call bud out in Hawai'i.
I first heard this song on a mixtape from a friend out there. Not only does it have that "mellow mood" island-style to remind you to take a break from this hectic-ass world we live in and appreciate one of life's sticky-icky pleasures, but it also has the romantical lyrics of a love song which gives it bedroom potential...an articulate way of saying, "girl (or dude), i lub you almost as much as i lub weed!"

[MP3] Ben Harper :: Burn One Down
So if pakalolo sweet is the song you play with the wifey, then “Burn One Down” is the shit that you bump with the homie. This joint is one of those campfire sing-a-long songs that is easy to memorize and is fun to sing while passing the bleezy amongst good company. Just don't play it with granola-ass mufuckas from the bay cause they always bust out their African-talking-drum and try to play along...like my friend Ali always says, "the only thing worse than a white man with dreadz is a white woman with dreadz."

[MP3] Warren G., Mista Grimm & Nate Dizzle :: Indo Smoke
"Woo! Hey now ya know"...yeah thats right, it was the summer '93, West coast hip-hop had officially taken-over, Poetic Justice was out in theaters, and your boy was smokin' the world's worst weed out of an apple...and lovin' it! Like many other people, this song was the soundtrack to all my sessions back when i used to rock the Ben Davis shirt, Looney Tunes watch and referred to the year as the "nine-tray." "Ooh, I think I'm in love."


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why Hip Hop Rocks In ‘06

Originally this post was going to be titled “Why Hip Hop Sucks In ‘06” as a play on DJ Shadow’s “Why Hip Hop Sucks In ‘96” track off his classic album Endtroducing. I mean, from all the sh*t I’ve been hearing on other blogs about how Shadow’s sold out on his newest project going all hyphy with David Banner and straight from the pages of URB Magazine Vol. 16, No. 138:
“I was driving in Vallejo the other day and I was at a stop sign and these kids were crossing the thing going, ‘Turf Talk and Keak da Sneak.’ That’s what you want. I don’t want dudes in their 30s sitting around pondering the significance of this or that. F*ck the dumb sh*t.”
And I was thinking, WHAT THE F*CK?!?!! I’m one of those dumb sh*t dudes in their 30s sitting around pondering, but I’m also one of those 30 year old dumb sh*ts that’s been down with Shadow’s music since day one, when no one else in the mainstream music scene was giving him the time of day. I mean the same crowd that listened to G-funk/gangsta music, which Shadow thought was Why Hip Hop Sucked back In ’96, is basically the same crowd that Shadow’s now trying to get recognized by. While dissin' his loyal constituent. Maybe he was misquoted?

And then I got my hands on the album. The Outsider, which is supposed to drop sometime in September, is the best thing I’ve heard since the Endtroducing & Psyence Fiction days. When I was worried that it would be an all out hyphy affair, he was generous enough to include tracks that we dudes in our 30s can ponder about. Even the hyphy tracks, like “3 Freaks” and “Seein Thangs” have a Shadowy sound to them. I included some of my favorites below for you Exclusive Heads. I also included a video of the Minnetonka High School band performing songs from Endtroducing. They had Shadow's blessings, but maybe this is what drove Shadow to do music for "the youth" (you know you're old when high schools study you). Anyways, this homemade video is better than the one for "3 Freaks".

[MP3] DJ Shadow :: This Time
[MP3] DJ Shadow :: Artifact
[MP3] DJ Shadow feat. Phonte Coleman :: Backstage Girl
[MP3] DJ Shadow feat. Sergio Pizzorno & Christopher Carloff :: The Tiger

DJ Shadow's site

Here’s to controversy & good PR.