Saturday, January 27, 2007

Study Break: The Good, The Bad &...THE DAMN GOOD!!!

I think I’ve been going a bit stir crazy recently. It seems like all I do is work and study, work and study. Barely have time to take a shower, rest or shhhh…you get the point. School is driving me nuts. Decide to take a little break and snoop around for new songs. Boy, am I glad I did. I’ve been looking forward to this album since I heard that it was coming out and now that I got my hands on it, I can’t stop listening to it (good study music too). Imagine putting together the Clash (bassist Paul Simonon) with the Verve (Simon Tong) and then kicking it in the a$$ with Africa 70 (Tony Allen), giving it the voice of the Blur/Gorillaz (Damon Albarn) and to top it all off, have the hottest producer in the planet (Danger Mouse) put it all together. Sounds crazy? Check some of my favorites:

[MP3] The Good, The Bad & The Queen :: Behind The Sun
The Good, The Bad & The Queen :: Nature Springs
The Good, The Bad & The Queen :: Green Fields

GBQ’s site

And of course I have to throw a little break in here, since I have a double entendre history with the word “break”. So without further ado, this study break is...
Jorge Ben :: Comanche
{If you like this and the group that sampled it (if you need a hint, just think “We be fallin up, Never fallin down, We keep it at a higher level elevating now, Put it in your in your area, city or your town, --- is known for gettin down.” And then think, what the hell happened.) Anyways, my next post will be on them. Don’t worry, I’ll flip it up.}

Back to the books (but GBQ’s video just makes me want to eat).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Commercial Music

As much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes find out about music from TV commercials. Not too long ago, commercials featured nothing but bland, annoying music that you wouldn't even remember by the end of the spot. But with the (literal) commercialization of music, things have taken a significant turn. I'm not sure if it's for better or worse, but today's commercials can sometimes make or break an artist and give lesser-known groups unprecedented exposure. Just think of those iPod or Gap commercials that are centered more on the music than the product.

I have no idea how big or small the Teddybears were before, (I'm now realizing quite big) but I'd never heard of them until I saw a Cadillac commercial in which one car morphed into another as it cruised down the highway to the propulsive beat of "Punkrocker." With fun, catchy melodies, 80s-ish synthesizers and poppy (that's probably not a word) guitar riffs, it's hard to stay away from the Teddybears.

[MP3] Teddybears STHLM:: Punkrocker (feat. Iggy Pop)
[MP3] Teddybears STHLM:: Yours to Keep

The Teddybears STHLM Website

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Together in Electric Dreams

Lali Puna is a 4-member "indietronic" group from Munich, Germany. While I'm not a fan of that whole "indietronic" label, Lali Puna's music is at once warm, atmospheric and absorbing. I don't know if it's the cold weather, my emotional state, or if it's just realllly good music, but it's all I've been listening to lately, which is weird because I tend to not get into electronic music so much. Anyways, enough navel-gazing, just listen:

[MP3] Lali Puna :: Grin and Bear
[MP3] Lali Puna :: Together in Electric Dreams (Human League Cover)

Lali Puna's Site

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's In The Sauce!!!

[Hippo's Note: Decided to include the track as well, I've seen a couple of blogs take out the Teriyaki Boyz parts and just have it edited down to Kanye's part, but we wouldn't do that to you. Also if you like this, make sure to check out my "Ice Cream Dream" post, I just reposted it. I'll also try to find the English translated lyrics for you hardcore fans.]

You know I likes the BAPE, used to love it more when Kaws was still there. But this brings me back. Got this on vinyl from my most recent trip to "record lovers' heaven", a.k.a. Japan. Teriyaki Boyz feat. Kanye West "I Still Love H.E.R."

[MP3] Teriyaki Boyz feat. Kanye West :: I Still Love H.E.R.
[MP3] Wise N Sonpub :: Random Thoughts
{If you like Teri Boyz, this track is for you Wise fans}
[MP3] Lordz of Brooklyn :: Hey DJ
{Will this long-time Brooklyn crew ever get their due?}
[MP3] Ani & CQ :: Superconductivity
{Another BAPE track & if you like this, be on look for my upcoming post on SDP - the original Japanese Hip-Hoppers!}

How saucy!

Monday, January 08, 2007

What’s Next: Roscoe Umali

Every magazine, website, newspaper, zine, blog…anything where anybody expresses an opinion has a “next”, “rated rookie” or “up and coming” section where they talk about those out there who haven’t quit made it yet, but if everything falls into place and with a little luck, they have the potential to blow up BIG. What’s Next is that for GETDOWNNN (I don’t think that’s the kid from Ju-On: The Grudge). You may have never heard of these artists before or may be one of the few diehard fans that allow these artists to eat, but whoever you may be, you need to show love for them just for the simple fact that they’re chasing that dream, doing what the love, no matter the consequences or struggles.

For this first installment, we go with someone who embodies this struggle. A hustler for life, remember the name Roscoe Umali, cause whether he’s selling kicks or snicks, man could sell ice to Eskimos. I knew this homeboy was going to accomplish big things and will continue to, since the first time I met him. He’s one of those cats that whatever he puts his mind to, he can do. Get out the hood and get into one of the best universities in the country? Done. Graduate with honors? Done. Travel around the world as a DJ for a famous Korean hip-hop group? Done. Get a law degree and real estate appraisal license (how could he be an MC without those?). Done. I mean I remember he used to run with some of the Beat Junkies and strippers…you get the point, the legend grows.

Now Roscoe’s on to bigger and better things. Pimpin’ out his own music from his home base in LA and even has a sneaker (how could he be an MC without one?). Not sure when his full-length album will come out (maybe somebody can fill us in?), but he’s working on it. Here are a couple early singles off of it:

[MP3] Roscoe Umali featuring E-40 & J. Black :: Live It Up
{Yes that’s right, 40 Fonzarelli}
[MP3] Roscoe Umali :: Gettin’ Mine
{Love this track!}
Roscoe’s website
{Make sure you checkout the videos}

Your former T.A.,
{I made sure you passed, now hook me up with some of those gurls!}

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Anti-List for '06

A week ago, I was surfing music blogs and it seemed like everybody was doing a "best of ’06" list. I didn’t really want to add to the listmania that comes at the end of each year, but looking at blog after blog, I noticed one group that was conspicuously absent from the "best hip hop" or "best of ’06" album list. If this were any other group, I probably wouldn’t care too much, but their last album was just so dope and funky that I had to write this up and break my no-list rule (even though it’s not really a list since there’s only one entry).

Most Overlooked Hip Hop Album of ’06:
The Coup: Pick a Bigger Weapon.

And while the Coup are on some lists, I just don’t feel they’re high up enough on that list. Maybe it’s just my Norcal pride, but to me the Coup are everything that hip hop ought to be; they’re politically conscious without overwhelming you with self-righteous and didactic rhymes, they have fun with their music, they can rock a show, and their beats are funky as hell. To me, they’re the nearest thing hip hop today has to a Public Enemy, and that’s saying something.

So if you didn’t think Jay-Z’s “comeback” was all that, and Nas’ album was good, but not even close to Illmatic, and you need something more, then check out these Coup joints, old and new.

From Pick a Bigger Weapon (2006)

[MP3] The Coup :: My Favorite Mutiny
[MP3] The Coup :: ShoYoAss

From Genocide & Juice (1994)

[MP3] The Coup :: Santa Rita Weekend
[MP3] The Coup :: Takin’ These

The Coup's Website

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