Friday, September 29, 2006


Since his smash hit “What’s Your Fantasy” it was obvious that Ludacris was bringing something unique to the School of Emcees. Ludacris quickly showed that he had a mastery of delivery speed. He could switch up the speed of his rhyme flow from fast to slow and managed to keep you attention the whole way through.

This worked particularly well in two ways. First off, he cleverly found ways to use his speed to complement the beat of a track. When he wants his flow to shine, he keeps pace with the beat. When the beat has a really cool change up that he wants people to notice, he’ll slow his flow down a bit to let the track breathe. Secondly, he often uses speed to punctuate his superb sense of humor by slowing down the delivery of a punch line or battle rhyme.

What makes his speed changes so seamless is his larger than life voice and great sense of rhythm. Ludacris has a very strong voice that keeps perfect time with the beat; keeping things interesting no matter what speed he chooses to deliver his lines.

Below I have included two tracks: “Money Maker” the Neptunes’ produced single off of the upcoming Release Therapy and the unknown classic “Cry Baby (Oh No!)". The Swizz Beat produced “Cry Baby (Oh No!)” is an excellent showcase of Ludacris’ skills. It’s a relentless collection of hilarious battle rhymes by none other than the Luda-man. More than any other Ludacris song I’ve come across, this track shows off the man’s amazing sense of word play.

Here’s the 3rd verse from “Cry Baby (Oh No!)” off of Ludacris’ sophomore effort, 2001’s Word Of Mouf:

I kick niggas in they're ass, reboot 'em like laptops.
And they wouldn't even box if I gave 'em a flat top.
You punks pucker and pout, bicker and babble.
Now they all lost for words like I beat 'em in Scrabble
You see I'm from a small town called "Fresh out a cop's ass"
Where Mr. Head-Potatoes are skinned, they get mashed.
I smell puss from fifty yards.
Y'all not playing with full decks as if I jacked out ya Jacks and left fifty cards.
Catch me in Vegas, spinnin' the green.
I re-up with more chips than a vending machine.
Then you can catch me in Rome, mackin’ some broads and sticking 'em.
And you'll be at home picking your buggers and flicking 'em.
A drug dealer's dream, so fresh and I'm so clean.
I'm a grown ass man and you all are sweeter than sixteen.
So go and kick rocks, peons, you're just rookies.
Headed down stairs to get you some milk and cookies.

[MP3] Ludacris :: Cry Baby
[MP3] Ludacris :: Money Maker feat. Pharrell

Muttpop Bob

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Long Overdue…RESPEK Vol. 1

As you may or may not know I like to write for this blog and have drafts and even final versions for posts done long before I actually post them. Partly because I have to share my time with my brothers, but also because I get distracted (just like the rest of you) with the new stuff coming out. So this series of posts hopes to deal with that somewhat, in which they are dedicated to those artists throughout music history that have been overlooked, by this blog in particular, or that I just haven’t had time to post up on (and neither has Banner or MB for that matter). If what I just said doesn’t make any sense, I can’t say it any better than Ali G (above).

For the first installment, it’s about time that the GETDOWNNN crew gave it up to the Kashmere Stage Band. I’ve seen ‘em talked about in other blogs, but again, this is for the GETDOWNNN peeps. This high school band, that’s right, high school band from Texas in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s could funk it up with the best of ‘em. Led by their band leader/teacher Conrad Johnson, he unlike other band leaders at the time, was able to embrace the funk sound of time and incorporate it into the big band ideology, which was being pushed in the curriculum at the time. And his students embraced this like no other, being able to play the current sounds that every kid wanted to jam to. Conrad Johnson just shows what more teachers out there need to do: make the curriculum relevant to the students and you can not only get the students to learn, but to make something of their own. Thanks to the fellas at Now Again for putting together these reissues/remixes for us common folk. Make sure to pick up their Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 compilation.

[MP3] Kashmere Stage Band :: All Praises
{All praises to Gerald Curvey on drums!!! The last minute of the song is sickness.}
[MP3] Kashmere Stage Band :: Getting it Out of my System
[MP3] Kashmere Stage Band :: Ain't no Sunshine

{A Bill Withers classic}
[MP3] Kashmere Stage Band :: Ain't no Sunshine (Oh No Remix)

{No longer just “Madlib’s little brother”. Checkout my “Out Of The Shadows” post.}
[MP3] Kashmere Stage Band :: Ain't no Sunshine (J-Rocc Remix)

{By the man who created the Beat Junkie sound, The Funky President, see him spin if you haven’t yet.}

Now Again Records

Now that’s the funkin’ message, ya dig?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Senior Citizens (We Reminisce)

Just met up with a buddy from high school that I hadn’t seen in years, good times today. We met up recently at our high school reunion this past summer. You know you’re getting old when 1/2 of your friends are married and 1/3 of them have kids. It’s always good to see old faces and reminisce about a more carefree time in our lives. Mentioned the blog to a few of my old compadres there and if any of y’all is checking it out right now, BIG UPS and let’s get together soon to grab something to eat or play ball.

Anyways as I was sitting at my reunion listening to the DJ spin some “old school” tunes (what's considered "old school" nowdays anyways...what, Boyz II Men?), it made me wonder what are some of my favorite “reminisce-type” hip-hop songs. Here are three that I could come up with (any other suggestions?):

[MP3] Ahmad :: Back in the Day
{The remix was so dope that it replaced the original as a standard of classic hip-hop, but I thought I’d keep it interesting with the dope original version that doesn’t get the due it deserves. For the Westcoast G’s out there.}
[MP3] Pigeon John :: Growin' Old

{A track off his recently released Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party. Pick it up if you haven’t already. A feel-good album. See my post on him “Speakin’ Pigeon”.}
[MP3] Tupac :: Old Skool

{Another classic for the true Ol’ Skool G’s out there. Miss ya’ Pac!}
[MP3] Pete Rock and CL Smooth :: They Reminisce Over You

{The mother of all hip-hop reminisce-type tracks. How could I not include it. Decided to go with Pete Rock’s remix version to keep things interesting and it’s almost as good as the original classic. Thanks to those of you who sent it in, I actually ended up finding my 12” copy after all…moving is a bizznatch!}


Saturday, September 23, 2006

How To Draw Beck

[HIPPO's UPDATE: Actually, the DVD that comes with the CD has videos for each of the songs on the album. No Michel Gondry. Sorry, but the videos are still cool.]

Yes it’s true, I’m a big fan of Beck as you can probably tell from past posts by now. Like Banner with Asobi Seksu, I hang my hat on Beck’s musical genius. At the very least, he’s the only Scientologist that I can stand. So to keep it short and sweet, here are a few more tracks that I like from his new album The Information (set to be released 10/3). But make sure you buy it as well cause it’ll include a DVD that shows Beck’s creative process in the studio for each and every song on the album and also a new music video by everyone’s favorite homemade special effects magician, Michel Gondry. Also everyone who buys a copy of the album can create their own cover art, as each copy includes a blank package with one of four collectible sticker sheets specially designed by European and American artists. I heard that originally Beck was going to hold a contest where the winner would get their artwork to be the cover, another cool & creative contest like the one for Stone Throw’s soon to be released Chrome Children album (Another ST & Adult Swim collaboration in which the winner, picked at random, will get to be animated into their new music video). Either way, a creative way to get the fans involved. So whether you pick up The Information for the music, art, or DVD, everyone’s a winner!

[MP3] Beck :: Solider Jane
[MP3] Beck :: New Round
[MP3] Beck :: No Complaints

Beck’s site

I know, I should be working for Beck...I can only dream.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Rap group A Tribe Called Quest is an undisputed pioneer in Hip Hop music. Along with De La Soul and their Native Tongue clique, Tribe helped bring the sounds of Jazz to Hip Hop during the late 80’s and early 90’s.

But of the rappers (Q-Tip and Phyfe Dawg) that make up the Tribe Emcee Duo, Q-Tip is more commonly regarded as the superior Emcee. I’m here to challenge this widely accepted declaration.

Yes, I will concede. Q-Tip had the smoother voice (just ask the ladies!), but Phyfe was the superior battle rhymer. Phyfe had the attitude and cleverness to consistently put out some of the most piercing battle rhymes in the rap game.

From the first time I heard Phyfe declare, “Bust a nut inside your eye, to show you where I cum from!” on the hip hop classic “Scenario”, I knew this dude had the skills to battle with the best of them!

Below is Phyfe’s last verse on “Motivators”, the third track on A Tribe Called Quest’s highly underrated “Beats Rhymes And Life” album. Be sure to click on the highlighted phrases to see what Phyfe’s rhymes referred to. Many of his lines were very relevant to the pop culturisms of 1995, so click on through for either an education or a bit of nostalgia!

Let me tell you why I be the top dog in the industry.
(Why is that?)
Because all these so-called mutts are not seeing me.
(Say word.)
They too busy eating Cycles 1, 2 and 3.
They can’t emcee, I’d rather be down with fucking Droopy D.
My style is deadly, word bond, act like you fuckin’ know.
Been writing rhymes ever since Ray Parker sang with Raydio.
You’re style is played out like a two-tone down goose.
You couldn’t Converse if you had fuckin React juice.
So hold your corner as I fuckin bless this mic in here.
I’m eatin through your crew like Stephen King’s Langoliers.
Chop off my feet, word to God, I’m gonna hurt you.
(Will y’all fall off?)
Will Laura fuck Urkel? Never.
Here comes the funk, smell the aroma.
Kid, my shit’s the bomb, ask my peeps from Oklahoma.

[MP3] A Tribe Called Quest :: Motivators
[MP3] A Tribe Called Quest :: Scenario
[MP3] Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio :: A Woman Needs Love

Muttpop Bob

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Art of Gas

This past weekend, I went to Banksy's show in downtown LA. Was it a trip? There was a live painted elephant in the room (painted to match the wallpaper that backed the installation). Basically, it was an elephant in a living room setting with two real people just sitting there, ignoring everything around them (deep). Pictures explain better than words:
-The elephant in the room that no one talks about
-His take on Mother T.
-Ol' skool art
And those were just a few of my favorites. Great show overall, just wish he had more things that were in the "poor people's" price range, like art on t-shirts...REPRESENT.
But since this is a music blog, I'd figure I'd have to hit up what he did with Paris Hilton's CD (which he also had on display, covered in large living cockroaches.) I'm sure you've all heard the story, since he's been getting a lot of press for it recently (that and the Disneyland incident), so I won't bore you.

[MP3] Paris Hilton vs. Banksy :: That's Hot
{Wish I could have gotten my hands on an original copy. Even heard that Dangermouse may have done some of the remixes, but $900 for a CD is ridiculous & I think it sort of defeats what Banksy had in mind.} Banksy's site

I even saw Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie there, but ironically, no Paris Hilton.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Slept On: De La Soul Is Alive? (AOI: Bionix)

[Hippo Update: Sorry for the fact that I’ve been sleeping on putting up my “Slept On” posts as often as I should. I’ve had this one written and in the vault for almost 2 months now (not at Tupac’s level yet). Finally getting settled in to the new digs and will hopefully get things back on track.]

Apparently not with the sales of Bionix, De La Soul’s 6th full length effort (longevity in hip-hop baby!), hovering so low that Tommy Boy Records eventually closed up shop. Of course it wasn’t all based on the sales of Bionix, but you get the point…they was low & De La was out in the cold. I could never understand why this album never got it’s due. I mean it doesn’t compare, especially lyrically, to De La’s first 4 albums, but come on. How you out do due 3 Feet High & Rising (changed the sound of hip-hop forever. Went from sampling James Brown to Hall & Oats and lyrically went from the streets to the ‘burbs, making it cool to be yourself), then De La Soul Is Dead (they officially killed their public image of being soft with a big F*CK YOU, THIS IS US album), Buhloone Mindstate (their Paul’s Boutique. No one dug it when it came out, but after years passed, it may be considered their best. Jazz influenced sounds with abstract poetry at its best), and finally Stakes Is High (De La pissed off for not being recognized for Buhloone as well as venting about the Puff Daddy era. Reinvent themselves again and go underground, bringing exposure to Mos Def and reinstating the Native Tongues even stronger – with Mos & Common as welcome additions.). I mean come on, if you still don’t get it, its like Kobe Bryant’s career – 3 championships in a row, 81 points in a game, consensus All-NBA 1st team selection every year…what else can you do to top that? Just don’t go to Colorado.

So then De La came with what I consider their weakest effort to date, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump. That to me was their most commercial effort, with plenty of cameos and even production from Rockwilder. Remember the catchy “Oooh” & the Grammy nod? So I was a little worried after this dropped when I found out that this was just the first in three albums under the AOI banner. Thankfully, it didn’t end up that way.

Bionix was De La getting back to form to me. Out of 18 tracks I only have to skip over 1 or 2 tracks (not counting the interludes/skits). I mean “Baby Phat” just sucks. The concept is cool, but I don’t think they executed as well as they could have. I mean come on, remember the “Stakes Is High” lyrics? So I’m not being hard on them. And unfortunately this was the first single the released off the album (I don’t know why, other than they thought it would follow up with its catchiness to the success of “Oooh” and “All Good”). Maybe that’s what turned a lot of people off to picking up the album. Cause the rest of the sh*t is just ill. They may have dumb-downed their lyrics ever since the first AOI, but they get a lot more intimate and introspective (De La’s the best at this) on this go around. To me, this album goes right up there with their first 4 classics (The Grind Date, their 7th album, was pretty damn good too). So pick up the album and don’t forget to get your 3 Ft. High kicks.

[MP3] De La Soul :: Watch Out
{Damn, the first time I heard the original break for this, included below, I knew it would make a dope beat. Thankfully, it landed in De La’s court.}

[MP3] Cal Tjader :: Cubano Chant
[MP3] De La Soul :: Peer Pressure

{J. Dilla on production. With B-Real helping out, they make a hip-hop first, a weed song that presents both sides of the argument. Maybe the first song in any genre. They do it flawlessly, as Posdnous is a convincing 40+ year old who’s never puffed before.

[MP3] De La Soul :: Trying People

{Some people didn’t like this cause they thought it was too simplistic. But that’s where I find it’s beauty. Maybe I’m just a sap, but to me they come clean & honest with themselves and their faults. A hip-hop rarity. A precursor to emo-hop.}

For you Exclusive Heads, I’ve included a couple new De La tracks off their new (well not that 'new' anymore) 'mixtape', The Impossible Mission:

[MP3] De La Soul :: Wasn't for You
[MP3] De La Soul :: Freedom Train

Yogurt site

This is for the homeboy asking for more on the Native Tongues. Plug into the “guys on that Gorillaz track”.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mixtapes Vol. III

High Fidelity on relationships and compatibility:

"A while back, when dick and Barry and I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like, Barry proposed the idea of a questionnaire for prospective partners, a two- or three-page multiple-choice document that covered all the music/film/TV/book bases. It was intended a) to dispense with awkward conversation, and b) to prevent a chap from leaping into bed with someone who might, at a later date, turn out to have every Julio Iglesias record ever made. It amused us at the time, although Barry, being Barry, went one stage further: he compiled the questionnaire and presented it to some poor woman he was interested in and she hit him with it. But there was an important and essential truth in the idea, and the truth was that these things matter, and it's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently, or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."

[excerpted from High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby]

I know this is supposed to be a music blog (and that this novel came out a hella long time ago), but I wanted to throw in quick book review. It’s Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity (yep, the one that was made into the Jack Black/John Cusack movie), which goes all out to expose the immaturity of the male mind and the fragility of our egos. Despite this, it’s a great read for any music fan, especially for the interesting commentary it makes about our relationship to music and the intricacies of how and why people make mixtapes for each other.

High Fidelity traces the relationships of protagonist record-store owner Rob, who is ever the boy terrified of growing up and is going through a quarter-life crisis that some of us may be all too familiar with. Not only that, but like most such men, Rob is utterly incapable of truly expressing his feelings, and is only able to do so through mixtapes, and at times, seems only to capable communicate his emotions and ideas through musical or pop cultural comparisons. Sound familiar? If you’re any bit like this, which probably a lot of males who read (or write) this blog might be, this book is an insightful read if you haven’t checked it out already, despite its searing critique of the male species. That said, here’s a few tracks from a recent mix I made.

p.s. don’t read into these songs.

Track 07 [MP3] Postal Service :: Be Still My Heart
Track 12 [MP3] Sun Kil Moon :: Carry Me Ohio
Track 13 [MP3] Iron & Wine :: Each Coming Night

Track 18 [MP3] Oh No! Oh My! :: The Backseat

|bruce banner|

The Wedding DJ

Since I’ve gotten a few emails asking for suggestions for weddings songs ( I think this mass hysteria started back with the “Summer Break 3” post I did in back in August), I decided to do a post on some songs I would like to hear at wedding receptions – THE REMIX VERSION. Since I don’t really know anything about any of you or your relationships (for those of you who requested songs), I tried to keep it as general as possible, to cover the widest range of folks out there. With safe bets by New Edition, Sade, and Roger Troutman you can’t go wrong. One thing’s for sure, all of these songs have the lyrics, the voices, the soul, the production, the heart and of course, the fluffiness to be perfect for a wedding.

[MP3] New Edition :: Can You Stand the Rain (under the Lamppost/Quiet Storm Remix)
{Come on, the original is a must to have played at the reception and the remix with the acoustic guitar is even more ill.}

[MP3] Roger :: I Really Want to be Your Man (Remix)
{Another standard at weddings, but a must to have the remix with the instrumental opening.}

[MP3] Sade :: By Your Side (Neptunes Remix)

{Sade is great. The original version of this song is great. The Neptunes are great and I think their R&B work will stand the test of time better than their other material. And the Neptunes sound makes your wedding a little more current than say…The Whispers. Again, great lyrics for a wedding with a “stand by each other forever and ever”-type theme, which equals = a great love song.}

[MP3] Diamond D :: This One

{If you end up with a Project Chick. I know this is not a remix, but I had to include this one just based on the contrast of a jazzy, soft beat with Busta’s raw realness. Also Diamond D’s lyrics on this just keep it ill. Sort of a revamp of Method Man’s “All I Need”.}

[MP3] D'Angelo :: Brown Sugar (Beatminerz Remix)

{I know that this isn’t really appropriate for a wedding (unless you happen to marry the girl D’Angelo sings about), but this is one bad ass song and the remix by the legendary Beatminerz (check the Black Moon post “Enta Da Stage”, if you haven’t already) is even better.}

Let me know if you need someone to spin on your big day.

PS – Does anybody have the Pete Rock & CL Smooth “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” REMIX that they can send me???

Friday, September 15, 2006


Los Angeles based Pharcyde 1992 debut album “Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde” is an absolute classic. From beginning to end, it is one of the finest albums that I have ever listened to. The sound was so profound that it single handedly started my casual pursuits of all things hip-hop. But unlike most bits of nostalgia, the Pharcyde’s “Bizarre Ride” has grown more wondrous with years of age.

It’s a damn shame that Producer J-Swift left the group at the tail end of producing “Bizarre Ride”. His jazzy productions were filled with playful energy and emotion.

Emcees Fatlip, Imani, Slimkid3, and Bootie Brown all have their moments to shine. Clever word play, excellent deliveries, masterful storytelling and a brilliant sense of humor kept songs moving with grace and charm.

My favorite track is “On the DL” (hip hop + xylophone = nirvana). Excellent rhymes by everyone involved. My favorite is by Booty Brown.

Accounts of “stroking knot” have never been more exquisite:

I woke up in the morning to a girl whose butt's soft.
Gotta brush my teeth. Clean my nuts off.
Put on the gear that I'm a wear throughout my day.
But before I take a shower I ain't ashamed to say
When I think of the night before, and the heat of passion:
Your big brown booty, my mind starts flashin'.
I'm lookin' in the mirror with my cock on rock.
Should I pursue to do you or just stroke my knot?
While my girl is asleep, I'm caught in a jam.
Went to the bathroom with cocoa-butter in my hand.
Closed the door behind me. Locked it very tight.
Thinkin' of all the naughty things we did last night.
Slipped out my underoos, sat on the toilet bowl,
And let the hand I hold the mike with take control!
Closed my eyes tight so it would seem more real.
I'm thinkin' about the crazy ways you made me feel.
As my thoughts get deeper and a little more intense…
If you don't know what comes next, well you're just too dense!

[MP3] Pharcyde :: On the DL

Muttpop Bob

Speakin’ Pigeon

Figured since Muttpop & Banner have been dealing out the realness on MC’s, I’d join the party eventually. But I want to focus my attention to the lesser known MCs who don't get the credit they deserve. Just a little late, but I plan to catch up here.

I just picked up the new Pigeon John album and it is the first album of his that I can really get into most of the tracks on it. For those of you who don’t know, Pigeon John is an alum of the legendary Good Life Café in Los Angeles (where Freestyle Fellowship, The Pharcyde, Black Eyed Peas, Jurassic 5, etc. all honed their skills at the open mic and poetry sessions held there). PJ has been doing his thing right beneath the surface and hasn’t seemed to get as much love as some of the other Good Lifers. I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it, but for me, it wasn’t until I heard his verse on the Blackalicious song “Side To Side” off The Craft that I really started to pay closer attention. His contrast on it is great. See for yourself below.

With this new album, Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party, I think PJ is going for a broader audience with a refined focus on melodies and an eclectic bag of beats. Also releasing this off Quannum (DJ Shadow’s label) will give him greater exposure as well. His time is due. Here are a few of my favorites off the new album along with my other favorite tracks of his.

[MP3] Blackalicous feat. Lateef & Pigeon John :: Side to Side
{Big Ups to Rob Duece for sitting me down and making me listen to this!}

[MP3] Pigeon John feat. Abstract Rude :: Life Goes On
{My favorite track off his 2nd album, Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister}
[MP3] Pigeon John :: Welcome to the Show

{Have fun in hip-hop!}
[MP3] Pigeon John :: Do the Pigeon

{Haven’t dug a hip-hop dance like this, since the Humpty Hump!}
[MP3] Pigeon John :: The Last Sunshine

PJ’s site

Take cover.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bust A Move 2 (FINALLY DONE!!!)

I seriously need to get a massage. I hate being this age, too broke to pay for a professional moving company& too old to do any physical activity without paying for it the next morning. Thanks to B for helping with the move. The other thing that helped with the move, especially the long drives (aka recouping time) was the music. Besides the newKelis, Outkast, Xtina albums (see Bust A Move 1), I also popped in Justin Timberlake's new album, Futuresex/Lovesounds, & its damn good. With Timbaland & Rick Rubin both doing a majority of the production, it is awfully nice. For those of you who slept on his solo debut, Justified, because of teeny pop, TRL, N'Sync hang-ups...you missed out. Now it’s time to catch up. Play that funky music white boy! Only wish Mike Jackson was in good enough health to bless those beats.

[MP3] Justin Timberlake :: Love Stone
[MP3] Justin Timberlake :: What Goes Around
[MP3] Justin Timberlake :: End Of Time
{Somebody call Mr. Devante…cause somebody stole his sound.}
[MP3] Justin Timberlake :: Losing My Way

JT’s site (Wait in line with all the other teenage girls 9/12)

I also had a little help from Beck’s new material:

[MP3] Beck :: Nasusea
[MP3] Beck :: Strange Apparation
[MP3] Beck :: Motorcade

Beck’s site

Finally Done (NOW ITS TIME TO UNPACK!!!).
Big ups to Ernesto for helping me set up the studio.
Looking forward to the Hawaiian “winters”.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Soul Brother Number One

Whether you know him as Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynomite, the Funky President, the Hardest Working Man in Show Biz, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown is James Brown is James Brown is James Brown. If you live in LA, you might have heard that he was performing at the Hollywood Bowl, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to see the legendary James Brown perform (for the first time in public) his “Soul on Top” album. To my surprise, at 73, James Brown still has all the moves, looks, and the same howls and yelps of his youth, and the audience knew it.

Having never heard the “Soul on Top” album, I was blown away by the 20 piece big band arrangements and his reinterpretation of jazz and pop standards. I can easily say this show was in my top 3 favorite concerts of all time. While he started off slowly with "Every Day I Have the Blues," he quickly picked up the show and by the end had the entire crowd and the 30 people onstange getting down to "Sex Machine."

Up until now, I’d been more familiar with James Brown as the Funky President in his time with the JBs. “Doing it to Death” and “Givin’ up Food for Funk” were the funk classics that always defined James Brown in my mind, but seeing him perform “Soul on Top” made me see and appreciate his versatile talents in a whole new light.

That said, “That’s my Desire” and “The Man in the Glass” stand out for me because they aren’t like many other songs you might hear in his catalog, so I'm including them here. Take a listen and you’ll hear why.

[MP3] James Brown :: That’s my Desire
[MP3] James Brown :: The Man in the Glass

For more background information on the “Soul on Top” concert and an interview with the Godfather of Soul himself, check out my favorite blog, soul-sides, here.

|bruce banner|

Friday, September 08, 2006


El-P aka El Producto. Former member of Company Flow. Founding father of the Definitive Jux Record Label. Super Producer. Emcee.

Although I’ve always had a great deal of respect for El-P’s intent, it was his verse on “We’re Famous” (off of Aesop Rock’s Bazooka Tooth Album from 2003) that really showed me his ability as a rhymesayer.

El-P’s flows are incredibly dense…at times to the point of non-comprehension (at least to my ears)…but the pace of the “We’re Famous” beat slows El-P down just enough to decipher every word he spits. Lucky for us, the man had a lot to say!

El-P goes BEYOND typical shit talking and breaks down what’s wrong with the Hip Hop Culture/Industry (or more correctly what’s NOT wrong). Amidst it all, he firmly deciphers what he has contributed and continues to contribute to the art form.

A little sampling of El P’s verse on “We’re Famous”:

So when I finally blew up I remained sick
Earning respect in ghettos and 'burbs for word placement
Back when the independent scene remained faceless
We were the only crew who promised your ass we'd take it
Mold it, shape it, living outside the matrix
Hold it, make it, more than miniature major labels
Hold it sacred, living it for the culture
Told ya plainly, protected it from the vultures
That's why I always get respect from true soldiers
That laugh at the critics claiming every year:
"Hip hop's over."
FUCK YOU, hip hop just started
It's funny how the most nostalgic cats are the ones who were never part of it
But true veterans'll give dap to those who started it
Then humbly move the fuck on and come with that new retarded shit
New slang, new thought, new sound, new heart,
You thought you hang, you clown, you don't, you drown
I won't dumb it down, I'm dumbing out with these rounds
I'm alive, motherfucker, plus I'm gunning for clowns
You're a mime motherfucker, don't be coming for pounds
'Til you can break out of that invisible box, you're not down

[MP3] Aesop Rock feat. El-P :: We're Famous

Muttpop Bob

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bust A Move (Old Skool U-Hauls)

My whole body is now sore, except for my fingers (so I can still post), and I haven’t even moved the heavy stuff yet (that Young MC rec is a limited edition…call me, “Photoshop Pro”!). Anyways, I thought I’d relax and blow off some steam by doing this post. While in the car driving back and forth, loading and unloading, I’ve been able to listen to some CDs that have come out recently. Outkast’s Idlewild, Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics, and Kelis’s Kelis Was Here…haven’t been able to get my hands on that new Georgia Anne Muldrow yet.

I’m not really feeling Outkast’s latest effort overall. I’d say I like the half of the first 14 tracks on the album, but none of it makes me go crazy like their older work. I guess when you raise the bar to where all your albums since ’94 are considered groundbreaking it’s tough to keep up, especially when you don’t really get along anymore. Maybe I need to see the movie?

Xtina’s album…well to me you can just throw away Disc 2. The other half, I like all the Primo produced tracks.

My favorite out of the 3, surprisingly to me, would have to be Kelis Was Here. With production by Will.I.Am, Cee-lo Green, Raphael Saadiq and Scott Storch you now there’s going to be some hotness (no Neptunes this time around). Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the tracks by Will, Saadiq and Cee-lo, but my favorite tracks are by the “lesser known” producers (I especially like Shondrae’s tracks). Kelis really shows her range and talent on this one and even though it may not end up being considered as groundbreaking as Kaleidoscope or as experimental as Wanderland, it stands out in its own right. Goodness from beginning to end.

[MP3] Kelis feat. Nas :: Blindfold Me (produced by Polo Da Don & Sean Garrett)
[MP3] Kelis :: Goodbyes (Produced by Cool & Dre)
[MP3] Kelis :: Like U (Produced by Knobody)
[MP3] Kelis :: Ain't Sh*t (Produced by Shondrae)

[MP3] Kelis :: have a Nice Day (Produced by Damon Elliott)

Kelis's site

Anybody got any extra milk crates?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Enta Da Stage

Enta Da Stage
by Black Moon is one of those albums that all hip-hip fiends need to have in their CD players, iPOD, and on 12inch for your one-and-twos...

This fat sack of smokes became fully available around 1993. The initial single to start this sh*t off was Who Got the Props. With the tradition of the Golden Era hip-hop, it incorporates a good deal of jazzyness, rugged beats, and your conventional Brooklyn delivery... There is a good deal of quality scratching in between by one of the most slept-on dj Evil Dee (one half of Beatminerz production team). Of course we cannot forget the young smooth voice of Buckshot shorty... This album clearly evinces how hungry Buckshot is... He flips it from smooth to choppy and raw at times... His delivery, tone, and control of his dutch-filled breath is masterful and captivating.

Other tracks that made this album prominent are How Many MCs, I Got Cha Opin, and Buck Em Down. While these tracks are all quite memorable, true dutch-blowing, bubblecoat, and camo-military fatigue wearing cats will know for sure that it was the REMIX of I Got Cha Opin that got many many people real real high during the 1990s. They will forever be remember as the kids that caused everyone to fill up the room with smoke and have people chanting: "Don't front, you know I gotcha opin it's the original heads in the original crew... DUCKDOWN!!!"

On a side note, this is the album that opened up many heads to Cocoa Brovaz (formerly known as Smif-N-Wessun but forced to change their name due to legal issues with the gun company Smith and Wesson). This album was the beginning for the Duckdown Records company... It has Brooklyn written all over it. This album fostered the growth of backpackers. Moreover, it was a blend of backpacking and peddling street medicine in front of the corner bodega. It's not hustle-driven like Illmatic. It's not afrocentric like Digable Planets nor is it positive like A Tribe Called Quest. Enta Da Stage is in its own class and holds its own share of weight during the Golden Era of hip hop.

[MP3] Black Moon :: Buck em Down (Remix)
[MP3] Black Moon :: I Got Cha Opin (Remix)


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Everything Changes

Most of my posts are way overdue, but this one really should’ve been put up a long time ago. Not because I’m putting up any fairly recent material, but just because this artist really deserves a mention since we love talking about emceeing and mic skills on this site. I'm talking about Aceyalone, a West Coast backpacker favorite, and a founding member of the seminal LA underground group Freestyle Fellowship. To me, what makes Acey stand out is not his flow, but his lyrics. He’s one of those artists that critics like to call “literate emcees” (is everyone else illiterate?), but what I think they’re getting at are his poetic flows and very deliberate lyricism.

[MP3] Aceyalone :: Wants Vs. Needs
[MP3] Aceyalone :: Everything Changes (feat. Mystic) [highly recommended]
I'm not usually a big fan of hip hop songs with R&B hooks, but somehow "Everything Changes" pulls this off not just well, but Mystic's voice really brings the power of this song to a whole new level. Not only does it have a great hook, but his lyrical prowess truly shines in this verse where he contemplates getting back with an ex:

So I just kept rhyming
I caught her eye again
Next thing you know she was hollering let’s try again
But I wasn’t buying in
Didn’t want to lie again
Love was in the frying pan
Baby, it’s done

But she started hanging out
And started being seen
Seeing things different
Said she wasn’t being mean
Yeah, if I let her in
Then I let her win
But I’m a veteran what’s better than a friend

Maybe she was an angel
But she’s in disguise
And I just didn’t see the God-light in her eyes
Or maybe I should I walk away
And cut all the ties
Stay on the rise
Leave love left where love dies

We were youngsters
But we’re older now
But the world is a little more colder now
And I’m just trying to get it all off my shoulder now
Baby, you can hold it down
I’ll see you in the wind

|bruce banner|

A Red Hot, Chili Labor Day Weekend

[Shout out to The Ticket Palace for hooking me up with some awesome seats. The TP crew is the best in the biz for the best seats at the best shows at the best prices. Can't wait for the UCLA @ Notre Dame football game in Oct.]

Damn, it's sooo hot where I live, I'm typing this in my birthday suit. Just saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers (these guys know how to cool off too) perform the other day. Still incredible after all these years. Like the Beck & Beastie Boys crowds, a cool mix of different races and ages ranging from people in their 20's to 40's (some even bring the kiddies along). Coolest thing about this show was a man in his 60's rocking out with his grandson to "Give It Away". Here are some live "unplugged-type" videos for you:

RHCP Video

Is there a draft in here?