Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I was looking through some of my records recently (trying to get a decent Halloween mix down, but who can really compete with Peanut Butter Wolf's 666 mix?) and realized how much I miss good Michael Jackson/Jackson 5. I literally have a list of people I need to see perform before I die and MJ is on the top of the list (even looking like the Elephant Man and almost 50). Around '88 or even with the Dangerous album would have been great, but now will do just fine. As long as he can still move a little. It's not like I'm expecting him to do the Ratchet or Sponge Bob (you know back in the day, MJ would have torn it up...MC Hammer 'challenge', anyone?). Just a little something from Smooth Criminal (1 of my favorite videos of all time) would suffice. So here are 5 of my favorite Jackson 5 tracks from 5 different albums that I just dug up.

[MP3] Jackson 5 :: 2-4-6-8
[MP3] Jackson 5 :: All I Do Is Think Of You
[MP3] Jackson 5 :: It's Great To Be Here
[MP3] Jackson 5 :: Ooh, I'd Love To Be With You
[MP3] Jackson 5 :: Blues Away

After listening to some of the classics, I did a little looking around online and found out (granted, I'm usually the last to know about these things) that MJ is working on a new album as we speak. And here's a new track off of it. A lot of production by Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas...ugh! What happened to you Will, I understand making dollars, but the production of Behind the Front, was it! But I also heard that Kanye West may be stepping into the fold, so there might be some hope. All I know is that MJ needs to take the crown back from Justin Timberlake, Omarion, Ne-Yo, Steve Martin (much better here), etc. Maybe MJ could do it big with a tour with Janet?

Happy Halloween!
::From the mind of MH::

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bball Season Is Here!

New faces, new places and like Kurtis Blow said, "We love that basketball".

On a more serious note, our thoughts are with banner right now, who is going through a bit of a spot right now.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mr. Cartoon

{Hippo's Note: Make sure you click on the 'October 2007' on the right if you've missed a few, cause we've been postin' like a mutha this month and not all of them show up on the homepage.}

Seeing MB's last post (sweet pic) and Kanye's blog reminded me that I've always wanted to do a post on my favorite music videos that used animation. So here's my mixtape of the best that I could think of & find on youtube:

1. Pearl Jam :: Evolution
{This just makes the song larger and harder.}
2. Kenna :: Hell Bent
{They've come a long way since this.}
3. Eminem :: Mosh
{I can't believe I forgot to include an Em song on my workout post. Well here it is.}
4. Bjork :: I Miss You
{Hehe...dancin' boobies.}
5. Linkin' Park :: Breaking The Habit
6. Kid Koala :: Basin Street Blues
7. White Stripes :: Fell In Love With A Girl
{Lego's weren't this fun.}
8. Royksopp :: Remind Me
{Remember these guys MB? @ the Bowl.}
9. Bjork :: Hunter
{Subtle brilliance.}
10. Peter, Bjorn & John :: Young Folks
11. A-Ha :: Take On Me (Family Guy Mix)
{If you thought that was funny.}
12. Madvillain :: All Caps
13. Junior M.A.F.I.A. :: Get Money (Destro Version)
{I know this ain't the real video, but it's so ill that it's better than the original.}

Not to be confused with the Mr. Cartoon. Any dope videos that I forgot (I know banner's lovin' all my youtube posts)?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fantastic Four

Damn! What could have been...

Way back when The Roots had their temporary break up, Black Thought was on Sway & Tech's "The Wake Up Show" (around 2001) talking about two things that never came to fruition: 1. His Solo Album, 2. The beginning of MC Supergroup The Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four was supposed to be a group consisting of Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, and Common. I remember Sway & Tech were trippin' at the IDEA of such masterful emcees coming together to make an album...but unfortunately, it was all too good to be true and the idea became a forgotten kernel of possibility.

About a year later, I bought Talib Kweli's "Quality" album and was BLOWN AWAY by a track called "Guerilla Monsoon Rap" produced by a younger Kanye West with rhymes by Kweli, Black Thought, and Pharoahe Monch. Was this a hint at what a Fantastic Four album could have been? If so, where's Common?

Further evidence of the Fantastic Four's potential existence come from lines by Pharoahe Monch.

From his first verse:
"See these FOUR emcees came to get down
Rearrange the rap game, change ya whole sound"

There's no rhymes on the song by Kanye (who at the time was known just as a Producer)...so where's the fourth MC?

From Monch's second verse:
"Guerrilla monsoon rap, smell the fumes, get in tune wit it
When I attack your city, y'all gon' think DR. DOOM did it"

A clear reference to Fantastic Four's main villain, Dr. Doom.

"I'm pissed - cumulus clouds of ominous
Words of the FOUR, the rawness that'll restore ya calmness"

Another reference to "The Four". Hmmmm...

The song still KILLS IT five years after it's debut. Kanye and Kweli were a match made in heaven back in 2002 (remember "Get By"?!). But it makes me so damned depressed that the Fantastic Four never became a reality.

[MP3] Talib Kweli feat. Black Thought & Pharaohe Monch :: Guerilla Monsoon Rap


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CA Firefighters, ALL DAY!

The Getdownnn crew just wants to BIG UPS all the Cali firefighters holdin' it down. I know this is corny, but respect is due.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cash Money Care Package

[Hippo's Note: I hope that those of you who check in with Getdownnn have been able to keep up with the amount of posts that have been flowing through here in the past month or so. I mean, there's even fighting over who gets to post what first. Hopefully we can keep the enthusiasm.]

A good buddy of mine recently sent me a birthday gift, but it was so big it was more like a care package. I met him when I was living in Japan and he's quite a unique character. Picture a Japanese cowboy who is an organic farmer & loves to spin hip-hop. Well, actually I take credit for exposing him to hip-hop. Part of what he sent me was a few DVDs. I don't know why he sent me them, cause I can get them here and it's much more expensive in Japan, plus factor in shipping costs and that they are Region 2, but nonetheless they're great gifts and luckily I have a multi-region DVD player.

First was the Best Of The Johnny Cash Show DVD, which is awesome. Here are some highlights that I could find on youtube:

{What a great song to begin with, then having Ray flip it?!!? Doesn't get sicker than that.}

{I wish they would have had a dueling banjos moment .}

{Before 'Ebony & Ivory' there was this.}

{Would you have expected to see this on The Johnny Cash Show? That's why Cash was so cool.}
Watching all of these, made me remember that I'm really looking forward to this movie.

Another DVD, was the Martin DVD set. For those of you who love Tracy Morgan/30 Rock, check out this clip.

{Lookin' a little heavy like Chubb Rock...I DON'T KNOW MAN, pickin' up those pieces!!!}

And I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I'm looking forward to watching the DJ Krush DVD.

Thanks 'Jack Twist' for the gifts (they'll lessen the torture on long flights) & don't forget to keep bangin' those Dr. Dre joints on your farm. Keep their heads ringin'!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Industry Rule Number Four Thousand and Eighty...

A few weeks ago I heard that Radiohead was set to release an internet only album that would cost the listener whatever they decided they wanted to pay for it. Twenty dollars or zero dollars, you could pay whatever amount you felt the album was worth. Now I know a lot of hip hop heads may not be into Radiohead and that's fine, but the thing that got my attention (besides how amazing the album was), was how one of the most popular and critically acclaimed bands in the world could potentially revolutionize the music industry in this single act.

To explain, by releasing the album on the internet, without a set price, Radiohead had completely cut the record label out of what is the standard music industry equation. For artists, this means that they keep 100% of the profits rather than the 30 or less percent that they're typically dealt. In this digital age, distribution, sales, and promotion don't quite mean the what they did when you used to have to go Tower to get the latest release which you heard about through the radio, newspaper, or TV. Of course, only artists with already high profiles could pull this off so succesfully, but since Radiohead's release of In Rainbows, Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, and Jamiroquai may also soon dispense with the label and distribute their upcoming albums through the internet.

In a big middle finger to the industry he hates so much, Prince recently released his album Planet Earth for free in the UK, and still made a profit. Radiohead singer Thom Yorke commented, "I like the people at our record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say 'F___ you' to this decaying business model."

What I'm wondering is, with hip hop's general disdain for the industry and labels, who will be the first major hip hop artist to release a full album online and could this really be the future of music? More interestingly, without the influence of record execs, can this be an opportunity for artists to really take control of the music AND the culture, and get hip hop away from some of the more violent, materialistic, and degrading content that is such a part of the hip hop top 20? I think Tribe put it best way back when:

Industry rule number four thousand and eighty,
record company people are shady.
So kids watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack,

I don't doubt it. Look at how they act.

Off to better things like a hip-hop forum.

Pass me the rock and I'll storm with the crew and ...
What you say Hammer? Proper.

Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.

More on this issue:

Rap Coalition :: The Political Economy of Black Music

The Sydney Morning Herald :: Radiohead Cashes in by Letting Fans Pay Much Less

The Telegraph :: Oasis, Jamiroquai to Follow Radiohead

Davey D :: The Music Biz ... Are Industry People Shady?

TIME :: Radiohead Says: Pay What You Want

PC World :: Big Acts Follow Radiohead's Lead: Let Their Music Go Free

Still waiting for the day artists take down Ticketmaster and Clear Channel...

|bruce banner|

Sometimes We Just Need A Little Something...

...to get us over that bump.

Thanks mom.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Work It Out

[Hippo's Note: Originally this post was supposed to be about Michael Jackson's new album, but I had a rough day today, so like my Jr. High literature teacher said, put that fire on paper and "LET IT BURN!" So that's what I'm doing, so bear with me if it's a little messy. That's what happens when your pops throws a glass of water in your face & you end up face to face like a poster for the Lewis-Tyson fight.]

I've had this idea to do a post on songs that I like to listen to when I run/workout...when you just need a little something extra to get you through that last rep, mile, or even to get ready to ask for that promotion. A little fuel for the fire per se. In sort of a mixtape-type presentation (in no particular order):

1. [MP3] Kanye West feat. John Legend :: About An Angel
2. Jay-Z :: U Don't Know
3. [MP3] Brass Munk :: Live Ordeal
4. NERD :: Rockstar
5. [MP3] Mass Influence :: All Out
6. Memphis Bleek feat. Jay-Z & Missy Elliot :: Is Dat Your B*tch
7. White Stripes :: any of their Satanic-tribal-hyped-ish
8. [MP3] Method Man & Redman :: Blackout
9. [MP3] Outkast :: Phobia
Naughty By Nature :: Uptown Anthem
11. [MP3] The Game :: Dreams (Jose Gonzalez mashup)
12. [MP3] DJ Z-Trip :: Rockstar Mix
13. Talib Kweli :: Get By
14. Linkin Park :: Faint
15. Eric B. & Rakim :: Don't Sweat The Technique
16. Run DMC :: Down With the King
17. [MP3] Lupe Fiasco :: Dumb It Down


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MC Shar J

I'm stooping pretty low here...but I admit that I'm far too happy to discover that Shar Jackson is a better singer and rapper than both Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.

Up until now, Shar Jackson was a mildly successful actress that was duped by K-Fed to financially support him and their 2 children. That was a bad scenario turned worse when K-Fed left Shar for "superstar" Britney Spears.

Years later, K-Fed has a failed marriage and rap career, Britney is crazy, and Shar is finding success with her post-liposuction look on MTV's Celebrity Rap Superstar. I'm actually impressed with her stage presence and rhyme ability! Very few people can attempt Twista's World Record speedy delivery. "Shar J" manages to hold her own and still find time to exude a little femininity.

Who knows if her newfound rhyme skills will lead to anything...but it's nice to see her bask in the Spotlight while her Ex and his Ex self destruct.

Karma's a bitch.


Monday, October 15, 2007

One Last Time

Let me preface the posting of this entry by saying that I got cut off TWICE while waiting patiently to post it. Being on this blog sometimes makes me feel like I'm on an elementary school playground.

After a long weekend of debauchery and smoking 24 too many of those nasty Camel Lights, I went for a run on Monday, and my lungs were physically hurting. I thought, seriously, why do I keep letting those f-ers at Philip Morris make a killing off my health, and I need to freakin quit (for the 100th time). But foreals this time (for the 200th time).

Then I was reading the homie SKIM’s blog, and read the most bare and genuine words that have touched me in awhile. On her 54th night of no cigarettes, she wrote “there is some part of me that does not care to live when I choose to do things I know are killing me.”

That is some REAL shit right there. Everyday we choose to be in certain situations. Everyday we choose to be reactionary. Or to let people mindfuck us. This is why I love SKIM’s music – it’s pure honesty, which seems to be difficult for hip hop artists to maintain these days. Her charisma blazes through each track but with humility and an infectious truth.

So, here’s to no more cigarettes, and to strengthening my mind, and to SKIM for inspiring me. You can cop her cd "For Every Tear" from here. Support the sweet L.A. underground! These few tracks are off her cd sampler that came out before her debut album last year.

[MP3] SKIM :: Chaos (pre-album cut)

[MP3] SKIM :: Untitled

[MP3] SKIM feat. Jade Ross :: Unfamiliar

Ahh, this makes me miss those warm summer L.A. nights at the Tuesday Night Café, kickin it with a Sapporo and listening to people spit their rhymes.

||| debstar |

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jay-Z's Return

I'm not sure if it's an official collaboration but Jay-Z began work on his new Album after watching an advanced private screening of Ridley Scott's "American Gangster" starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The album will be released in early November (close to the release date of the film) and tracks from the album have begun appearing on the internet.

Production-wise the stuff I'm hearing is close to Jay-Z's "Blueprint" (my favorite Jay-Z album). Lyrically it's closer to "Reasonable Doubt" (lots of gangster mafioso storytelling).

I wish I could get a little more of the introspective Jay-Z...but I'm really digging the overall feel of the music.

Intentional or not, this is a brilliant cross-promotion. The movie gets the street-cred it needs to make it cool from the young kids. Jay-Z has a justified reason for sounding both gangsta and soulful.

[MP3] Jay-Z :: Roc Boys
I love the energy of this track. Even though it's a Kanye West production it has the intensity of a superior Just Blaze production.

[MP3] Jay-Z :: Blue Magic
Neptunes slows it down to a stroll and Jay-Z complements it perfectly. Love that drum.

American Gangster Trailer (the inspiration)

Super thanks to Banner for hooking up the post with the MP3s!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fresh Out The Box

[Hippo's Update: Be sure to check out J-Live's new EP, 'Reveal The Secret', out now. And even those these Jordans may not be the freshest/newest out there...they one of the illest.]

First off, apologies to debstar, I know I cut you off, but I learned how to drive in L.A. There's plenty going on out there that I felt that getdownnn heads deserve to know now (I know this ain't a What's Next post as requested, but hopefully it'll tide you over for a minute), and if you already know...I also show up to parties fashionable too-late, so skip ahead.

Numero Uno: What's the deal with Lupe Fiasco. He's droppin' a new album pretty soon and from what I've heard out there, it's not going to disappoint, but what's the deal with his performance at this year's VH1 Hip Hop Honors? And it's one thing to F'up, but to be so proud? I know we all haven't been exposed to everything, but show some respect to your predecessors. And I also know that just cause you lived longer, doesn't mean ish, but A Tribe Called Quest has done work...classic work. What's the whole story? Marketing wizardry a la Kanye West vs. 50 Cent? Don't get me wrong, I'm still gonna get the album when it drops, but what's the deali-yo? Maybe the omnipresent Kanye will drop some knowledge on his boy.

[MP3] Lupe Fiasco feat. Ghostface Killah & Mike Shinoda :: Spraypaint & Ink Pens
[MP3] Lupe Fiasco :: Boss Playa
[MP3] Lupe Fiasco :: Glory

Numero Dos: I ain't the biggest Wu-Tang Clan fan out there. I liked Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), some O.D.B., Method Man, Ghostface Killah solo work and even some RZA soundtracks, but I'm no where near banner's stalker love. But this intrigued me (RZA legally cleared The Beatles...a Dangermouse/RZA collabo in the future?).

[MP3] Wu-Tang Clan feat. Dhani Harrison, John Frusciante & Erykah Badu :: The Heart Gently Weeps
The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Badu and Russell Crowe combined, all don't outshine Ghostface's verse.

Numero Tres: I'm sure you've all already heard, but just in case, the new Radiohead album, In Rainbows, just came out and I think it's my favorite album of their's since OK Computer. Get it online at their website and pay what you think is appropriate (Seriously...genius. Don't be cheap.). Some of my favorites:

[MP3] Radiohead :: All I Need
[MP3] Radiohead :: Reckoner
[MP3] Radiohead :: House of Cards

And finally: This goes out to my boy Minoru. Think you'll like the voice sampled (you should know, but just in case). Bball season is right around the corner.

[MP3] J-Live :: Practice
J returning to 'A+' form like he was on the classic
The Best Part & All Of The Above albums. I was disappointed with The Hear After. Original version on DJ Jazzy Jeff's The Return Of The Magnificent

Lace 'em up.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Autumn in the City

A 70 degree fall night at LA's Detour Festival in downtown

Now that summer's over, with the night creeping in ever sooner and the days mellowing out, I find myself listening to different music than what I've had in my rotation the past few months. I don't know why, but my mood has always been influenced by the weather, and of course, my mood affects what I listen to. While this summer it was all about upbeat bangers like Black Milk's "Sound the Alarm", UGK's "International Player's Anthem" (that Willie Hutch sample is the truth!), and Nas' "Holy Ghosts" these days I've been listening to more R&B, jazz, and rock. My hip hop listening habits have changed too - it's less about the slick production than it is raw beats and more laid back flows (see Shallah below). So I guess this is my opening-of-the-fall season post - new joints for the new season.

[MP3] Raekwon :: Cocaine World
Off Rae's Vatican Mixtape Vol. 3, this cut features the Chef with a slightly more restrained, but still dark flow over a simple loop. Fans of Shallah have got to check this out, if for no other reason than for Rae's (in typical Wu fashion) rant that comes in at 2:14 - "you can meet me in Africa...I just bought a crib out there, ya heard? Nice little hut, luxury hut n*$#@, muthaf*&%^$ing bed made out of hay, n*$#@....tied up with gold yarn....y'all n*$#@s is soft man, for real."

[MP3] J-Dilla :: Mash's Revenge (feat. MF Doom & Guilty Simpson)
On first listen, this track may sound like crazy bangup mess with halting flows, but after a few listens you'll hear the genius in the organized confusion that you often find in Doom's tracks. If you liked Madvillain, this one's like a dilla-fied take on those chaotic beats.

[MP3] Jay Electronica :: The Pledge
Ok, so this one clocks in at 15:39 and there's a long intro by Just Blaze and Erykah Badu, but it's worth it. First off, sampling Jon Brion's title track from the original soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine would have had me hooked right there, but once you get to Jay flowing over Brion's loop, you'll be feeling it. This is not your typical hip hop beat - like Jay says, "no hooks, no drums, just looped it" - it's deceptively simple, yet dope as hell.

[MP3] Lupe Fiasco :: Can You Let Me Know (feat. Verbal of M-Flo and Sarah Green)
Alright, so the beats on this one are pretty slick, but I can't get this joint out of my head. The production, particularly the pianos, sounds like something by Taku of M-Flo, but I'm not sure who's on the boards with this one. In any case, Lupe and Verbal come correct with nice flows over a fresh beat. Me likey.

|bruce banner|

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Anti-R&B Post

Ok so it's not really an anti-post. I just wanted to get your attention for a minute. It's more about how the last collabo post made me a little ill (TMI, Hippo. Seriously though?). I never knew that guys took R&B so passionately/seriously, or rather, how closely it was tied to their pre-pubescent fantasies. I'm not sure if I can listen to those songs again without feeling a little disturbed.

Anywaaaaaaays, I had to give myself a proper read through of this to normalize the testosterone overdose resulting from reading the eloquent words of my co-bloggers. And also had some of these recent cuts on heavy rotation.

[MP3] Ladybug Mecca :: Dogg Star
[MP3] Ladybug Mecca :: Show the World
[MP3] DJ Jazzy Jeff ft. CL Smooth :: All I Know
[MP3] Pete Rock ft. Styles P., Sheek Louch :: 914
Old school artists with new school flava! Does it get anymore 90's than the smooth voice of Ladybug from Digable Planet?

[MP3] Cut Chemist ft. Edan :: Mean Gene
[MP3] Crown City Rockers :: Bboy
[MP3] Crown City Rockers :: Weekend Soul (DJ Mitsu The Beats Remix)
New artists with some old school flava.

||| debstar |


I know this may not seem connected, but bare with me here (And shouldn't it say 'B-Girl'?). Yes, it's me traveling again. This time I'm on my way back from Chicago, sitting here waiting for my flight bored, I decided to challenge myself by writing a post. I'm sure all the real writers like banner and debstar are rolling their eyes at the moment. Short side rant: is it just me or is it impossible to fly today without some delay, cancellation, etc. It's really is getting out of hand. I travel quite a bit and just in the last 3 months, out of the 6 flights that I took, 3 of them were either canceled, delayed, etc. We're battin' .500 here folks. Being inspired by the 90's R&B post that we just did, here's my other list...the Top 3 Worst Airports In the US:

1. JFK - Has a flight ever been on time there? How about just 15 minutes late? Ever?

2. O'Hare - To get to gates here is almost damn near impossible unless you are training for the Olympic Track & Field Team.

3. LAX - Can you please tell me why there are less & less flights available in the largest city in the 7th largest economy in the world?
Ok, enough crying.

Being stuck in this airport because of a non-weather related delay, here's a nice track from Thes One's Lifestyle Marketing that I'm listening to on my Ipod right now to help me relax. Cool concept.

[MP3] Thes One :: Pan Am 1
[MP3] Herb Pilhofer :: Pan Am Suite
This must have been when flying was dope.

I'm also glad I downloaded the movie Air Guitar Nation to watch as well. I'm remember a buddy of mine wanted to go see it when they were having the first ever US West Coast Finals at the Roxy a few years back. We drove out there, not expecting much, but the lines went on forever and there was no way we could get in. Definitely check it out.

I digress. Spending all this time in CHI-Town listening to my CHI playlist, I've had plenty of time to really digest Kanye's new album Graduation & I must say that its pretty damn good. My favorite, so far, is still Late Registration, but this is solid in a very subtle way. In terms of production, of course it's strong, like I mentioned with the tracks on the last Labor Of Love post. Even the lyrics like on the song "Everything I Am" are very profound...very Buddhist if I must say so myself. But the thing that did it for me was the song with Mos Def "Drunk and Hot Girls". The first time I heard this I hated it, but the more and more I listened to it I realized that I just didn't get it at first. It was the turning point for me with this album.

Maybe it was the amount of time that I spent in bars here and don't get me wrong, I know plenty of nice Midwest ladies, but what's the deal with so many girls taking so much sh*t from the fellas? I mean this must be the capital of bad pick up lines and sexual harassment. What ladies have to put up with is ridiculous. But at the same time, so of these girls that we came across...where's the self respect y'all? A la Girls Gone Wild for a beer? Some might just say it's just havin' a little fun and I'm definitely not holier than thou, but if I ever had a daughter, I hope that she won't have to put up with all this nonsense. And if anybody really steps to her, she'll know enough martial arts and be packin' enough heat to end man's kind. I haven't been clubbin' in more than minute, but the last time was in LA and it seemed even worse then, where it was all about being branded and flush with cash. To set ya head straight.

[MP3] Kanye West feat. Mos Def :: Drunk and Hot Girls
[MP3] T-Love feat. Kool Keith :: Return of the B-girl
Standing toe to toe with Keith's perverted brillance.

[MP3] Bahamadia :: True Honey Buns (Dat Freak Sh*t)
[MP3] Aretha Franklin :: A Rose Is Still A Rose
Takin' 'em to church.

[MP3] Lauryn Hill feat. Common & Black Thought :: Water

What a rant huh? Maybe I'm just on my .

::Mr. HIPPO::