Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another classic!

A buddy of mine sent this along with the Kanye rant (see comment for MPB's West Victorious post) & freestyle performance. Looks like it was a good show.

It's official, this is now Kanye's blog.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Making "Stronger" Stronger

I'm sorry for those of you that are sick and tired of my Kanye West obsession. But the man knows how to do things right. I always felt that "Stronger" sounded like West channeling a bit of Timbaland. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Here's a look at West learning from the club-banger master. I found this off of Kanye's awesome new BLOG.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Never Trust a Big Butt and a Smile: Our Favorite '90s R&B Jams

This is special. All of us coming together like…Voltron, defenders of the universe! Since the jams that the others have posted are so good that they would have gone on a ‘pause-mixed’ mixtape for some ‘honey dip’ (yes that was a term used back in my day), I think I’ll take a different approach.

In the 90’s, it wasn’t like I was flush with girlies (well, I guess we could do this again for the new millennium as well), so it was really about what songs I listened to when I spent most of my time alone, wackin’ off…dreamin’ for whatever girl would give me a look without disgust or confusion. That’s what I associate half of 90’s R&B with…longing. The other half is filled with wonderful memories of being used and abused…high school drAMA!!! I try to keep it raw and rare, bringing out the CD single collection (remember those?). Oh yeah, and Janet, it ain't the 90's anymore.

[MP3] R. Kelly :: Bump N’ Grind Remix
I would say that this is the R. Kelly ‘Remix’ that set off the R. Kelly remix revolution.

[MP3] Silk :: Freak Me (D'influence U.K. Remix)
It was between this and Jodeci’s “Feenin’”, but I figure y’all already know/have it. Ali knows what I’m talkin’ about.

[MP3] After 7 :: ‘Till You Do Me Right
To me, if there was a perfect Babyface song that went under the radar, this is it!

[MP3] Boyz II Men :: Water Runs Dry Mood Mix
Everybody do the Wanya spaz out!

[MP3] D’Angelo :: Shit, Damn, Motherf*cker
Couldn’t have said it better myself.

My apologies to Shai & Blackstreet.

::Mr. H to the IPPO::

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Aaah...R&B! My first "exposure" to "rap" was Bobby Brown's "Don't Be Cruel" album...so Pop R&B is intregrally connected to my love of music. In fact, I was so in love with the cassette copy I had of the album that I bought Mr. Hippo the "Don't Be Cruel" album on CD. Keep in mind that this was during the days that CDs were packaged in awkwardly tall cardboard boxes to ensure that nobody stole the super expensive CDs from your local Warehouse.

Years later (when CD's became more affordable) I ended up purchasing my very own CD Single: Tevin Campbell's "Can We Talk"...a song I would play on repeat while fantasizing about my first kiss (yes, pretty lame!).

With time, my tastes have evolved...but there are a handful of tracks that feel fresh and emotional to me. Those include:

[MP3] Brian McKnight:: Never Felt This Way
From McKnight's self-titled debut album in 1992..."Never Felt This Way" is pure and raw. McKnight's raspy voice and a piano. I love the emotional journey the song takes you on. It's supposed to be about "love" but McKnight sounds almost sad and scared of the vulnerability involved. It's strangely haunting...

[MP3] Tony Toni Tone:: Lovin' You
To me, this is the penultimate R&B group. Their sound is pure and timeless. Saadiq makes both the silliest and nastiest aspects of love songs sound sweet. "Loving you, makes me know there's a God!"...you can't get any more romantic AND hokey than with that line! From their classic 1996 album, "House of Music".

[MP3] Maxwell:: Whenever Wherever Whatever
R&B nirvana. Seriously. This song embodies everything I know and wish "love" to be. Maxwell, where are you? Robin Thicke can try...but he sure as hell ain't you!


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What else can I say about the 90’s except that the ladies came out strong! It was an era of breaking out of those tight 80’s spandex leggings that had us repressed and busting into baggy silk pajamas. It was a time for becoming a growned up woman. And saying a big Eff You to those who wanted to hold us down. I miss the days when you heard these ladies on the radio, setting the fresh standard that strong is sexy.

[MP3] SWV :: Right Here
The proper formula is: any SWV song + empty dancefloor = all the women will rush to get to it.

[MP3] Groove Theory :: Tell Me
Amel Larrieux, lead singer of Groove Theory, has released three albums since leaving GT, my favorite being Infinite Possibilities. Check it out when you get a chance.

[MP3] Janet Jackson :: That’s the Way Love Goes
“Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire…” Hottest. intro. ever.

[MP3] Mary J. Blige :: Sweet Thing
Love my Mary J. Always keepin it real and telling it like it is time and time again.

||| debstar |

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If there's one genre of music that can instantly evoke a flood of memories, it has to be '90s R&B. Sure, at times it was cheesy, sappy, and a little over the top, but for most of us, Boyz II Men, New Edition, and Babyface were a huge part of the soundtrack of our high school lives (class of '96!!!). I've never had such a hard time narrowing down a top 5 list, there were just too many good songs and too many memories I didn't want to leave out. So even though today I can't listen to these same groups nonstop, I'll always have a soft spot for these songs that have been so woven into the memories of my ever-so-coveted-and-still-longed-for youth.

[MP3] Bell Biv Devoe :: Poison (1990)
[Video] Bell Biv Devoe :: Poison
I had this one as a cassette single and played it nonstop on the busride to school in 7th & 8th grade (it shared the rotation with ABC's "Iesha"). I still remember every line of that song and love how they crooned "Never trust a big butt and a smile." This may be the only song I will ever dance to at a club sober. Oh, and it's also the reason I love
Scrubs so much. CLASSIC!

[MP3] Xscape feat. Keith Sweat :: Am I Dreaming (1998)
[Video] Xscape feat. Keith Sweat :: Am I Dreaming

[MP3] Janet Jackson :: Anytime (1994)
[Video] Janet Jackson :: Anytime
Am I the only one who wants to get naked whenever this song comes on?

[MP3] Keith Sweat :: I'll Give All My Love to You (Remix 1990)
[Video] Keith Sweat :: I'll Give All My Love to You
This one is such a prototypical '90s R&B song. Done to perfection.

[MP3] Mary J. Blige :: Real Love (1992)
[Video] Mary J. Blige :: Real Love (Remix feat. Biggie)
Ok, I'm cheating on this one because I told everyone we were only picking our 4 favorite songs, but I just can't leave "Real Love" out of the list, you all know how good it is.

Honorable mention:
[Video] Kai :: Say You'll Stay
[Video] Mint Condition :: What Kind of Man Would I Be
[Video] Groove Theory :: Tell Me
[Video] Hi Five :; I Like the Way

|Bruce Banner|

Saturday, September 15, 2007

West Victorious?

Initial reports claim that Mr. West is on track to outsell 50 Cent in CD Sales. On the first day of sales, West's "Graduation" sold approximately 437,000 copies to 50 Cent's "Curtis'" 310,000.

Amidst all of this, I thought it'd be a little fun to see West's hissy fit after the MTV Music Awards alongside 50 Cent's candid interview on the day of his album's release. Ironically, 50 Cent comes across as way more "human" than Kanye. I almost feel sorry for the "Gangsta"!

Kanye's MTV VMA Hissy Fit

50 Cent's Tired

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bear with me on this one (I'm feelin a lil feisty)

So, I did something real bad on Sunday. I indulged in the guilty pleasure known as the MTV Video Music Awards. Yup. Roll ya eyes and be over it. Sorry, I have very little willpower when it comes to live music performances, even if it is by a cracked out Britney Spears and a roided-out Timbaland.

But anyhow, I have to admit that my cold black heart was a little sad for the man when Kanye didn't walk away with any trophies. Unfortunate yeah, but it's even more unfortunate that I heard he was bitching about it the next day ("Two years in a row being nominated and no trophies! Boo mothafuckinhoo! Racism!"). Really though, Kanye? Did we expect anything more from MTV?

Hate him or love him, I thought I'd post some songs off the *Official* Kanye West mixtape I copped thanks to my ninja hookup, DJ Denkym, in honor of Ye's album release on Tuesday. The mixtape was mixed by Plain Pat earlier this spring. And goddamn you Muttpop Bob who beat me to the official
"get on Kanye's release date nuts" post!"

[MP3] Kanye West :: Young Folks (remix)

[MP3] Kanye West :: Interviews (interlude)

With a Peter, Bjorn & John sample. Interviews is a 3 minute interlude about how they misquote him in interviews and Rolling Stones and wah wah wah blah blah hooo. At least he admits that he's been trippin off a drug called fame.

[MP3] CRS :: Us Placers
A Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye collabo.

[MP3] Big Sean :: Get'cha Some
Apparently BAPE is the newest Asian Persuasion, and not that 2 Live Crew song with the classy hook, "Me so horny".

[MP3] Kanye West :: Throw Some D's (remix)
What the hell are "D's"?? Must be some type of new STD that the government secretly released into the population to kill dumb Hollywood chicks.

||| debstar |
ain't no sunshine in my side of the world these days :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

50 Cent Vs. Kanye West

As requested by the Get Downnn crew, I'm back. Love me or hate me Muttpop Bob is here to stay.

The day has arrived: 50 Cent Vs. Kanye West! The Gangsta Vs. The College Dropout. The guy who got shot 9 times Vs. the guy who survived a near fatal car crash. The guy who brags about all the money he's got Vs. the guy who brags about all the money he's got. Who will win?! Who will lose?!

No matter what happens I'm sure both of these guys will be alright financially. It would have been awesome if 50 Cent stayed true to his original promise (50 claimed that he'd retire from doing albums if K.West's "Graduation" album outsold his "Curtis" album)...but 50 Cent has long since backed off from his threat/promise.

Through the advancements of modern technology, I had the benefit of listening to both albums before purchase. The verdict?

I was initially disappointed with "Graduation" (see my pissy post in Mista Hippo's previous Kanye post). It was far mellower than I expected. After hearing "Stronger" I thought that Kanye was going to do some crazy Timbaland/El-P futurist beats on this album. And despite plenty of references to "Back To The Future", sonically this album was closer to "Back To The Future" Part 1 instead of Part 2 (bummer...). Fortunately, now that I've had some time to let my preconceptions go, I'm starting to really get into it.

50 Cent's "Curtis" is, sadly, what I expected: mediocre on all levels. 50 Cent's delivery has become monotone and repetitive. Production is awkward and forgettable (Justin Timberlake DOES NOT go well with 50 Cent). The only track I enjoy is "Get Money" (seen below).

So during lunch today, I placed my vote by purchasing some Kanye (it helps that the beautiful package design was done by Takashi Murakami!). Kanye, if you want to make a Murakami Bear Vinyl, give Muttpop Bob a holler!


Kanye West "Can't Tell Me Nothing"

50 Cent "Get Money"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My New Theme Song

Classik! One of the best hip-hop songs this year.

Go watch the show!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What A Wonderful World

For our 3.5 loyal Getdownnn readers, something amazing has occurred, more than 1 post a week. Well this is something that I just can't keep to myself. I just saw Stevie Wonder perform in concert for his A Wonder Summer's Night tour and it was a life changing experience. It's like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. Words don't do him justice, so I won't waste too many. And there isn't very much that can be said about him, that hasn't. Highlights of many include: the funky solo improvisation opening to "Higher Ground", "A Ribbon In The Sky" breakdown ending, the country version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", singing "Isn't She Lovely" in duet with his daughter Aisha (who is the baby at the beginning of the original version), and just hearing "Living For The City" period. At 57, the man is timeless; he can still sing, jam, do it all, and maybe even drive?

I don't have too much live Stevie Wonder stuff, but here are some of my favorites from his performance in 1974 at The Brighton Theatre in England:

[MP3] Stevie Wonder :: Higher Ground
[MP3] Stevie Wonder :: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
[MP3] Stevie Wonder :: You Are the Sunshine

And then I had to include this mix by DJ Spinna & Bobbito , The Wonder Of Stevie, that is all things Stevie (songs composed, covered, etc.):

[MP3] DJ Spinna & Bobbito :: Wonderful Mix

[MP3] DJ Spinna & Bobbito :: Wonder Wrote It Mix

{Thanks to adb for the heads up on this one.}

It's too bad he didn't get to the drum kit next to him.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

[Don't] Forget 'Em

As I sat listening to Consequence's "Don't Forget 'Em", I was somewhat ironically reminded of the things that I can't forget. Somehow, parts of my past keep coming up in the most unexpected of places and refuses to be shelved with the rest of my memories.

About a week ago, I was listening to a song by The Attorneys, and wondered why I'd developed such an attachment to that one particular song. It was catchy enough, sure, but when I started to really pay attention to the lyrics, I realized that the words conveyed exactly how I'd been feeling the past few months. All along, I just thought it was a good, upbeat song, then I started listening to a few other songs I'd been attached to, and realized that they too described the thoughts and feelings that I'd been trying to forget. Maybe subconsciously I was listening to these songs because part of me didn't want to let go, but I'm not quite sure. I guess what I'm trying to say is, a lot of times our music selection is more than a reflection of our taste, but our mood and feelings, perhaps a lot more so than we might have, or at least I, ever thought.

That said, here are some songs in my rotation, minus the ones that I referred to earlier (as if I would let anyone into my mind like that. You must be crazy).

[MP3] Consequence :: Don't Forget 'Em (Prod. by Kanye West)
Ok, so Kanye can't rhyme and he's a conceited ASS, but damn can he make beats. Consequence's playfully adolescent rhymes are perfect over Ye's flute loop, which really brings you back to being that teenager with big dreams.

[MP3] Kanye West:: Stronger (A-Trak Remix)
See my above comments about Kanye, and add my favorite Quebecois DJ and you have a remix that's harder/better/faster/stronger than the original. Don't act like I never told ya.

[MP3] Artifacts :: Whayback
I'm adding this joint to my list of criminally slept on songs - I can't believe 13 years have passed and I never came across this one. As soon as the bass drops and the horns kick in you'll be hooked- and yes, while I do have a major soft spot for those back-in-the-day/reminisce-type of songs, this one's still an instant classic.

[MP3] Goodie Mob :: Black Ice (feat. Outkast)
Yet another head nodder from the '90s that I slept on- I can't believe how much good ish came out of that decade...definitely my favorite Goodie Mob track, with trademark Dungeon Family flows over a nice, slick, Southern beat. I could've really used this one on that Mercedes test drive...guess I'll have to settle with blowin up my speakers in the Civic.

[MP3] Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators :: My Four Leaf Clover

Sharon Jones, Leela James, and to a lesser extent, Amy Winehouse are all great, but Nicole Willis is my favorite among the retro soul set. Who knew a Finnish band could bring Memphis back like this? This album's been on permanent rotation since I found it at Amoeba (ok fine, Limewire, damn).

[MP3] Lauryn Hill :: Lose Myself
I was a bit conflicted over the synthesizer beat, but as soon as Lauryn's voice droped in, I was lost in her lyrics (no pun intended)- I can't believe I hadn't heard of this earlier, it's definitely unlike any of Lauryn's previous recordings, but her trademark lyricism and heartbreak is still there.

[MP3] Big Shug :: Play It (Primo Remix feat. Royce da 5'9", Termanology, and Singapore Kane)
I don't like to hate, but I really wonder where Big Shug would be without his saving grace- Premier and guest MCs...I mean damn, when Shug SINGS "let the music play, let the music playyyyy ayyyyyy" I just cringe- thankfully Royce, Termanology, and Singapore Kane's flows ride nicely on this signature Primo beat.

|bruce banner|

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor of Love (Fresh Out The Box 0.5)

I'm writing this as I take a quick break from sweatin' all over the grill, I thought Labor Day weekend was about relaxing? So this will be short and sweet like this lemonade break. Above is the video for 1 of my favorite jams off the latest Common album Finding Forever, "Drivin' Me Wild". Love the baller cameos (Baron reppin'!).

And bellow are a few of my favorite new Kanye West joints off the highly-anticipated (what is 50 Cent yappin' about?...none chance, none) Graduation album (officially drops 9/11).

[MP3] Kanye West :: Glory
[MP3] Kanye West :: I Wonder
{I wonder what this song would have sounded like if Kanye would have really put a flow over it.}
[MP3] Kanye West :: Everything I Am

Overall, I think the album is not that strong...it doesn't hit me like the previous 2. Maybe I'm expecting too much, I do feel the songs I posted, but right now I can't say it's gonna take Common's slot in the rotation.

Even though I'm laboring over Labor Day, I'm definitely looking forward to a break next week watching Mr. Wonder-ful in concert...finally. I always wished I was a Cosby kid.