Music to Let Your Mind Unwind...
image credit: bette burgoyne
Sometimes, I forget that hip hop can be melodious, that it can have harmonies, it can be soulful, and have insightful rhymes. Let's face it, hip hop wasn't very pretty to begin with - it's the sound of the streets, where the bass is bangin', the kick drum is hammered, rhymes are spit, and records are scratched. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved hip hop's raw and brash roots but at times I feel it's nice to kick back and listen to some joints that don't make you want to go out and knock somebody out (although that may have more to do with my own anger issues than some types of hip hop, but you know what I mean). So maybe it's just me getting grown, but lately it's been more about these warm, thoughtful, mellow joints, and kickin' back in the breeze.
[MP3] Bahamadia :: Reign
I don't know what it is, but these days I've been on Bahamadia's non-existent nuts, diggin' up all her albums and annoying my coworkers by putting "Reign" and "Real Love" on repeat - I guess when you're in the mood for that mellow ish, Bahamadia's flows are like a verbal massage that soothes the mind. The beat on this one is deceptively simple, yet full of warmth and that looped piano is a perfect accompaniment for the soulful hook and Bahamadia's methodical rhyming.
[MP3] Arts the Beat Doctor :: Crazy Times
Thanks to interrupt3d_soul for this one...damn I don't know how she stays up on all the dopest underground joints, but every time she breaks off something, I know it's gonna be good. "Crazy Times" is no exception, and to make things better, it includes what sounds like an interpolation from one of my jazz favorites, "In a Sentimental Mood" by John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.
[MP3] Ryuichi Sakamoto :: Undercooled (Nomak Edit feat. MC Sniper)
Damnnn, who knew Ryuichi Sakamoto could make a dope hip hop beat? I love that this song has Japanese, Chinese, and Korean influence all over it, yet it's still very hip hop. There's something about MC Sniper's staccato delivery that's strangely hypnotic - I have no idea what he's saying, but it still captivates.
[MP3] Nujabes :: Eclipse (feat. Substantial)
Just like Bahamadia's "Reign", "Eclipse" is based on a simple looped piano sample that rises above the mundane with easy rhymes by Substantial, definitely one of my favorite Nujabes joints.