Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So High My Shoes are Scraping The Sky

Uncharacteristically, I don't have a whole lot to say today. My mind is completely burnt right now----and no, bitch---it doesn't have a damn thing to do with my little weed habit. In order to assure that I get my vacation days at the end of this week, I've had to sell my soul to the devil (aka my boss). If you've ever worked a day in your miserable life, then you can probably relate. However, even though I've been working my ass off for very little gratitude or compensation, I have still made some time to explore all things dope, entertaining, and mildly amusing. Appreciate...

John Legend and Lauryn Hill have been collaborating on material for both of their upcoming albums. Here is an article about their joint efforts (past and present):

Also, at Cuban Links (http://onlybuilt4.blogspot.com/) you can download the duo's remix of "So High", a song which originally appeared on Legend's Get Lifted LP.

Before I move past the subject of John Legend, I wanted to mention that he's embarking on a tour of Australia with the Black Eyed Peas. My only purpose in stating this is to have an opportunity to say that BEP really suck nowadays. Legend might as well be on the road with what's her name...Ashlee Simpson...or someone equally talentless and annoying. I guess I'm extraordinarily bitter about The Peas because they were actually pretty damn groovy at one point...

This is unrelated of course, but are there any Trekkies out there? Any Lord of the Rings fans? Anyone currently breathing and/or paying way too many taxes? If you fall into any of these categories, you have to see this weird-ass old school video with Leonard Nimoy doing some kind of twisted tribute to Bilbo Baggins: http://www.fazed.org/video/view/?id=75. It's so strange that it defies words, but LSD was definitely somehow involved. Vulcans don't know why, they just love to get high...

Speaking of drugs, if you're ready to get off of them (you lazy, listless, waste of space), maybe Dr. Huxtable can help your sorry ass. Go here to download Bill Cosby Talks To Kids About Drugs...a classic recording from 1971:
Don't sleep on "Captain Junkie" or "Dope Pusher" for even one more second.

The man Es-Won has a lot of great mp3s and links posted over at Jungle Mission: http://junglemission.blogspot.com/.

And lastly, The Smoking Gun just posted NYPD's secret hip-hop dossier. They've definitely unearthed some semi-interesting information. Did you know that Busta once had to call the po-po because his baby mama pulled out some of his hair? All of this (and more) here:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Music Is A Higher Revelation Than Philosophy

Last time, I didn't post much in the way of mp3 links---so I guess this is my way of overcompensating...

Lemon-Red posted several tracks on Lamborghini Doors: http://hollertronix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3287 . If nothing else, make sure you cop "My Man Is A Mean Man", by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

Solesides has finally rotated some of their selection of free mp3 downloads:
http://www.solesides.com/. Last time I checked, a couple of the links weren't working properly, but "Getting It Together" by Lyrics Born and Tommy Guerrero is definitely obtainable. I personally am diggin' this song like a grave, but don't venture into it expecting to hear Lyrics getting his rhyme on---his style on the track is much more akin to drunken, scat-like crooning.

Last Night An Mp3 Saved My Wife is featuring "When Bernie Speaks" by Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell: http://lastnightanmp3savedmywife.blogspot.com/. This track is from the soundtrack to the film Moog, a documentary about the king of synthesizers. As most of you already know, Bob Moog just passed away several days ago:

So Much Silence posted a song from the upcoming Blackalicious LP, The Craft. The track is called "Your Move", and features the Portland duo Lifesavas: http://www.somuchsilence.blogspot.com/.

The ultra-fabulous Spine Magazine has a new mp3 from Moka Only's new album, called "Soup's On": http://www.spinemagazine.com/index.php?task=. I usually don't get all that excited by Moka's music, but the presence of MF Doom on the cut convinced me to give it a listen anyway. Overall, it's a pretty dope track, but it's edible essence makes it seem like a potential leftover from MM Food. While you're visiting Spine, make sure you get the mp3s that are extra material from Late Registration. Sometimes Kanye's trash outshines the treasure of his peers.

The last link I'm going to hit you up with is a spot where you can obtain some quality spoken word material. Free Tacoma currently has mp3s featuring Noam Chomsky, Jello Biafra, and one of my favorite comedians--Mitch Hedberg (RIP): http://champion.biznautics.com/.

Don't sleep---this is some quality shit we're talking about here...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Free Speech Not Only Lives, It Rocks

The title of today's post comes courtesy of a quote by Oprah Winfrey. I have no idea what the original context was for this statement, but it seems like sort of an odd thing for her to say under any circumstances. Was this from an interview with Eddie Van Halen or something? I'm not gonna front---I don't really fuck with Oprah at all anymore, so I have no idea. She's just a little too closely associated with "the man" these days for me to be 100% comfortable with her. I was in her corner when she was still keepin' it gully, but her portrayl of Sophia in The Color Purple is a far cry from the relatively vacuous every-woman image she has been trying to project for the past several years. This formula clearly works for millions of viewers...I just don't want to be one of them.

Anyway, I always end up digressing from my original point (pothead procrastination, one might say). My real point (as I recall) has to do with free speech and expression. In my last post, I talked shit about Tipper Gore and the PMRC, hoping to expose them for the self-righteous Nazi ideals they so proudly represented. Today I'm back to the future (just like Michael J. Fox's ass, son), with a feature on the newest incarnation of the art/media police...none other than James Dobson's Focus On The (dysfunctional, yet WASP-y) Family. You can check out their website to find out exactly what movies, television shows and musical artists they find offensive. It's a fairly exhaustive list, so don't plan to read all of the content until you have approximately two months that you can freely contribute to mindless bullshit: http://www.pluggedinonline.com/. The site's worth visiting momentarily though, at least to check out some of the things they are targeting for no apparent reason. Some of the artists they take issue with are Aaliyah, John Legend, Anita Baker, and Justin Timberfake (no typo). They also believe (in all of their God-given wisdom) that a couple of songs by Destiny's Child are objectionable, supposedly because the lyrics "feature hormonally tinged infatuation". Huh? Please don't make me explain why that's just totally fucked up...

Today, I feel like it's my ethical obligation to make sure that everyone in my sphere of existence knows about Jean Grae. As far as female MCs are concerned, I don't see that any of her peers can truly contend with her skills on the mic. Disagree if you want to, but this is my blog, and I say so. Download.com has a couple of mp3s you can cop for free from her album This Week: http://music.download.com/jeangrae/3600-8526_32-100411502.html?tag=listing_song_artist. Even though this material was released last year, it's never too late to be enlightened, is it? The tracks they posted are not the best songs from the album, and I personally prefer The Bootleg Of The Bootleg EP to most of the tracks on This Week. If these songs are your first exposure to her music, I'd suggest doing more research before making a final decision. Some further investigation can be done here: http://www.okayplayer.com/jeangrae/.

I decided to put Dave Chappelle's mug on today's post, because I've really been missing his show a lot lately. The reruns and the DVDs were excellent the first 9762 times, but now I'm really fiending for something fresh. The last time I heard anything about Chappelle's Show was when Charlie Murphy announced its demise: http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/08/03/tv.chappelle.sshow.ap/
If anyone has any more recent info, let me know. Meanwhile, links to some of the show's finer moments are here (http://www.badtree.com/Chappelles_Show.php?FN=Black_Bush.wmv)

and here: http://www.entensity.net/?content=chappellesshow.

Hopefully, I'll be able to do more posts than usual this week. I'm the lucky recipient of a few days off from the slave labor camp that manages to keep me incredibly satisfied, as well as gainfully employed. Hopefully, you can sense when I'm lying to you... Anyway, I'm going to try to do something constructive with part of my time off, but I may also be hangin' out here quite a bit, too: http://www.contraband.co.uk/show/show.asp?ID=1611&rtn=main-topten.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Not Bad Meaning Bad, But Bad Meaning Good

My first exposure to rap music came courtesy of my uncle, who owned a little record shop that specialized in soul and funk music. He used to hook me up with Whodini and Kurtis Blow mixtapes, which ultimately became a significant part of the soundtrack to my young life...

Fast forward a few years into the future, and shit had drastically changed. I had moved to Charlotte, NC with my holy rollin' daddy, who didn't exactly appreciate the artistic essence of hip hop. Due to his strict religious beliefs, he was convinced that rappers were generally a twisted personification of Satan himself. This was during the mid-80's, when Tipper Gore and the PMRC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipper_Gore) were on a mission to destroy music completely. Religious fanatics were hearing demonic messages when they played records backwards, and an incredible number of organized bonfires took place to encourage people to burn all of their secular music. Those were very strange days, to say the least. For a while, it was probably easier for a 12-year-old to score a handgun than a copy of Ice-T's latest record. Warning labels started showing up on everything that was funkier than Engelbert Humperdinck, and most of the corporate record chains actually wanted to see an ID before you could purchase anything with a sticker. If you don't already how backwards and insane this whole phenomenon was, check out the PMRC's Filthy Fifteen: http://kisscrazy.tripod.com/pmrc.html. Even Cyndi Lauper was on the hit list, and John fucking Denver also managed to get an honorable mention for "Rocky Mountain High". This is the same guy who would later go on to convince the public that Grape-Nuts should be one's ultimate drug of choice...how dangerous could his music have possibly been?

Needless to say, this climate of evil began to have a rather negative impact on my music collection. My dad was only willing to buy me stuff like the Muppets soundtrack, so I had to resort to some pretty crazy schemes to support my hip hop habit. When Run-DMC's Raising Hell came out, I tried everything from fake moustaches to making terrorist threats, just so that I could finally get my hands on that tape. It was definitely worth the effort, but I remember hearing "Peter Piper" for the first time, and seriously wondering why I had to be 18 to hear some nursery rhymes set to a beat. Regardless, Raising Hell was/is a classic record in every sense of the word, and I think that most rap historians would agree that Run-DMC played an essential role in the evolution of the hip hop movement . For more info about their contributions to musical history, check Wikipedia's page about the group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-DMC), and the official memorial site for the god DJ, Jam Master Jay (http://www.j-m-j.com/).

Since I'm in sort of a nostalgic mood today, I'm going to link you to some older tracks that are necessary to your collection (whether you realize it or not). All of these artists/songs have been sampled on more recent hip hop efforts, so you may recognize certain elements of them, even if you're not immediately familiar with the titles:

Breath of Life is featuring one of my all-time favorite songs: "Funny How Time Slips Away" by Al Green: http://www.kalamu.com/bol/.

The Low End Theory is offering a great track by Eugene McDaniels called "Supermarket Blues": http://thelowendtheory.blogspot.com//.

At Last Night An MP3 Saved My Wife, you can download Max Romeo's cut, "Chase The Devil": http://lastnightanmp3savedmywife.blogspot.com/.

I apologize for running a bit behind in posting these mp3 links. If you're interested in any of these tracks, I would get them now, as they are likely to expire rather soon. I'll try to stay on my grind from now on, and prevent any future delays. No excuses, but getting weeded is just not conducive to productivity sometimes...(sigh).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Break It Down For Me Fellas

Yesterday, about 56.8% of the other blogs I read were talking about Kanye West's upcoming effort, Late Registration. The album is getting relatively good reviews thus far, with even some of the most hateful concurring that the material isn't nearly as horrible as they'd originally hoped.

For those of you who've been paying attention, you may have already ascertained that I'm not much into critiquing musical projects by utilizing an arrangement of incomprehensible words to flex my supreme familiarity with Webster's Dictionary. It's really fairly simple--I either like some shit or I don't. Now don't misunderstand me---I have much respect for music critics who masterfully use the art of language to assist the reader in conceptualizing the quality and sound of a particular recording. More often than not, however, music reviews are composed by complete knuckleheads who use the construct as a forum for their mental masturbation. When you break down the semantics, you still don't know whether or not to buy the fucking thing.

In the real world, people probably rely more on the word of their family and friends than anything a pompous-ass reviewer has to say. These are the people who let you know, in no uncertain terms, if something sucks or not. So here's the deal---let's just say we're friends, and I'll give it to you as straight as I possibly can. From what I've heard, Kanye's album sounds pretty damn good. However, my guess is that those who hated College Dropout, probably won't have much love for this effort either. I happen to be a fan of his, but I do consider him a bit of a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I can see his career from a very Diddyesque perspective, and can therefore envision him becoming somewhat of a parody of himself in years to come. Only time will tell. In the meantime, here are a few spots where you can preview/download some of the tracks from Late Registration:

We Eat So Many Shrimp has the full version of "We Major", which is the song that features Nas as a guest star. There was another version that was being posted on various sites earlier in the week, but it was an edit that sounded like it was recorded in the deepest part of the ocean. Thankfully, Scrimp is now offering the real deal: http://www.somanyshrimp.com/.

Razorblade Runner posted "Drive Slow" w/ Paul Wall and GLC. This one wins the award for "most likely to succeed", although it's not my personal favorite. Link to the right for this joint.

Spine Magazine is featuring "Touch the Sky" w/ Lupe Fiasco: http://www.spinemagazine.com/index.php?task=.

Finally, Checkerboard Chimes has two mp3s for free download---"Gone" w/ Cam'ron and Consequence, as well as "Heard 'Em Say", featuring Adam Levine: http://checkerboardchimes.blogspot.com/

Enjoy---and just try to listen without being overly critical....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow

If you aren't already aware of the plight of Anthony Latour, I hope that you will read about his case, and become justifiably angry. Latour is a 14-year-old kid from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, who was arrested in April for posting battle raps on the internet that he had written at his home. Officials at the school he was attending were made aware of the content of his rhymes at some point in March, and decided to notify the police. The authorities ultimately viewed Latour's rhymes as "terroristic threats", due to the fact that they contained violent content. In May, he was also expelled from school, because it was perceived that he was threatening and harassing a few fellow students in the lyrics he wrote. The ACLU is currently fighting to get him back into school before classes begin on August 31st, but so far, there is no indication of when a decision will be rendered. Expert testimony is being presented to convince the court that battle rapping is an exercise of verbal skill, and rarely translates into subsequent acts of violence. Unfortunately, the judge presiding over the case freely admits to her own ignorance: "Probably, of anyone in this room, I am the least familiar with hip-hop culture," she said. Hmm...imagine that...

My whole thing is---fuck the thought police. Bear in mind that this kid didn't do anything to physically harm anyone---he's being prosecuted and persecuted merely on his suspected intentions. Some of the rhymes in question were written more than 2 years ago, so where's the logic in assuming that he planned to put his words into action? Due to our country's depraved post-9/11, George Bush administration mentality, we are being forced to trade our civil rights for a ridiculously false sense of security. Depriving this child of the fundamental right to an education is not going to resolve a damn thing---the school and judicial system's overreaction to his form of self-expression is misguided, unjust, and unconscionable in my opinion. Articles here: http://www.aclu.org/StudentsRights/StudentsRights.cfm?ID=18868&c=159
and here:http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103-08182005-529527.html.

Before I jump the hell off my soapbox, please allow me to link you to a couple of politically-minded tracks by Black Market Militia (Killah Priest+Tragedy Khadafi): http://music.download.com/blackmarketmilitia/3600-8526_32-100760525.html?tag=listing_song_artist.

I promise to do another post very soon, provided that our authoritarian government doesn't find out about my open mind and very big mouth...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In These Last Days And Times

I had a brief conversation earlier today with some random religious nut, who tried to convince me that the world is going to be ending at some point next month. Guess I should probably be packing instead of screwing around with this stupid blog. Anyway, he had a series of Bible verses scrawled on a legal pad in large, childlike handwriting, as well as some mathematical equations that didn't make a bit of sense to me. I dismissed his rants and raves pretty easily---he's not the first prophetic wino I've met, and he probably won't be the last. However, the truth of the matter is that no one knows for sure, so his ideas are technically just as plausible as the most sophisticated and intelligent theologians on Earth. When it comes to preparing for the end of the world, let's just say it's not my style to stock up on duct tape or suits made out of aluminum foil. Curiously, I've also never been inclined to sit on top of a mountain and wait for the Rapture to occur. If the world is to end in my lifetime, I'd rather be one of the blissfully unknowing imbeciles who gets caught totally by surprise. Call me crazy, but if Taco Bell and record stores no longer exist, what's the sense in living any fucking way?

Having this opinion, however, doesn't necessarily prevent me from pondering what exactly will trigger the demise of humanity. Just when I thought I'd considered all of the likely possibilities, I encountered a site that appears to have the most comprehensive list of end-of-the-world scenarios ever compiled. Exit Mundi will make you afraid of things that even an overactive imagination probably wouldn't even begin to consider on its own: http://www.exitmundi.nl/exitmundi.htm.

If you manage to live through that whole experience, do something nice for yourself, and go download the new GZA vs. DJ Muggs tracks at Checkerboard Chimes: http://checkerboardchimes.blogspot.com/. More information about their collaboration here: http://www.sohh.com/thewire/read.php?contentID=7333. Wu-Tang fans may also be interested in this list of permanent download links for the group's videos (including solo joints and extended fam): http://www.wutangcorp.com/showthread.php?t=3149.

Lastly, you may have already seen this circulating around the internet, but Lushlife has mashed up several Kanye West songs with Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. I've read quite a few reviews of this effort, and the majority of them have been negative. I mean, Kanye vs. The Beach Boys sounds about as appetizing as peanut butter with sardines. However(much to my shock and horror), a couple of the tracks are actually much better than I expected: http://www.kanyewestsounds.com/. The rest of it is...well...shit. I personally prefer Kanye's production skills to his efforts on the mic, so I freely admit that fact may have heavily influenced my opinion. The Mack is currently compiling a very thorough listing of all the tracks he's had some form of involvement with throughout his career. Definitely check this if you think he's more genius than jackass: http://www.themack.org/KanyeList.html.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Our Freedom Of Speech Is Freedom Or Death

During the time since I published my last post, I've been stuck trying to think of something novel or original to say about one of the greatest hip hop groups ever---but what could I possibly add to the discussion of an entity that's been analyzed as thoroughly as Public Enemy? Nothing really---so I've decided to spare you a pretentious critique that will undoubtedly end up being more about my ego than their talent. Instead, let me bring it down to a personal level. PE has had a major influence on my musical taste, political viewpoint, and even my general thought structure. Back in the day, listening to their joints left you feeling changed afterwards---it gave heads something to think about and be about, dammit. Most of the corporate bullshit that people are buying into today just leaves me feeling cold and indifferent. There's nothing more pointless, generic or monotonous to me at this point than thongs, money, cars, strippers, jewelry, and senseless acts of violence. Don't get it twisted---I didn't always agree with everything PE said, and/or stood for, but they will forever be an icon to me because they've always been passionate about their beliefs and their artistry.

In order to stress my point further, I'm offering you several links to do some research on your own. Wickipedia has a very well-rounded page on the group, complete with band history, discography, further links, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Enemy. Shutemdown.com has an interview with Chuck D, as well as an extensive collection of free mp3s ( mostly live tracks and rarities): http://www.shutemdown.com/pebtn2000.htm. Breath Of Life also just posted "Powersaxx" recently, which is an instrumental version of their song "Fight the Power", featuring Branford Marsalis. Not only should you cop the mp3 while it's available, but Mtume's explanation of the track's history is really interesting, as well: http://www.kalamu.com/bol/. And of course, the group has an official website, too: http://www.publicenemy.com/.

Speaking of revolutionary people, Cindy Sheehan has a blog on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/. Political geek that I am, I've been visiting daily. That chick has some serious ovaries---no one else is holding Bush accountable in quite the same way.

Before I go, I also want to mention that Freedocumentaries.org (http://www.freedocumentaries.org/) has quite a few leftist political films/documentaries (PBS stuff, Fahrenheit 9/11, etc.) available for free download. Their motto is that the truth is free--so go get yourself an education.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I Don't Do Drugs...I Am Drugs

The title of today's post is a quote by one of the most celebrated figures of surrealistic art, Salvador Dali (http://www.dali-gallery.com/). This sentiment could definitely provide a satisfactory explanation as to why the images in his paintings generally appear to be melting. However, that's not the direction I'm going with this. I ultimately want to talk about the favored drug of choice amongst the majority of Americans---caffeine. Truth be told, I drink an inordinate amount of the shit...so much so, that I seriously can't remember the last time I blinked. Anybody with half a brain knows that it's not good for you, but it wasn't until today that I was able to diagnose myself with caffeine-induced psychosis. That's right...this shit will screw you up worse than anything you can buy in a Ziploc from your local streetcorner pharmaceutical representative.

In 1995, NASA got a whole bunch of spiders high on a variety of different drugs, and then studied how the substances affected the types of webs they made. These are your tax-dollars at work here, so you at least deserve to be informed of the fascinating results. The spiders who were tweaked on caffeine made the worst webs of all, whereas the subjects who were intoxicated with marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, etc., were more highly functional by far. Pretty deep, huh? Starbucks and Mountain Dew are therefore the most likely reason why I'm stark raving mad. At Caffeineweb.com, you can learn more about this study, and also find out how to begin luring this monkey off your own back: http://www.caffeineweb.com/NASA%20Study.htm. Note to self: research short-term effects of snorting ground coffee beans recreationally.

With this information in mind, it's hard to tell what's going on in the photo above. Is Al Green high on caffeine, too, or is it Jesus lifting his spirit again? Either way, the quintessential soul man's classic song "Simply Beautiful" is happenin' over at Straight Bangin'---don't hesitate to grab it if it isn't already in your collection: http://www.straightbangin.blogspot.com/. They also have some other worthy selections posted right now, so you might want to pay a visit there either way.

I haven't personally enjoyed Aesop Rock a whole lot since Labor Days, but his new song "Facemelter" is pretty damned impressive. Get the mp3 at Razorblade Runner (in links section).

You can download Edan's track "Promised Land" from Fifteen Minutes To Listen. They also have a link to some free mp3s by Scott Matelic. While not exactly a household name, Matelic's music is worth checking out if you're a fan of DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Controller 7 and/or RJD2: http://15minutestolisten.blogspot.com/.

Finally, I don't know much of shit about him, but I've been keeping Elohim Da God's song "This Is Home" in heavy rotation on my stereo the past couple of days. Click here to download that track for free, and stream a few of his other joints: http://music.download.com/elohimdagod/3600-8543_32-100752073.html?tag=listing_song_artist. Make sure you aren't the last to know, cuz this kid has some definite potential. You can tell he grew up bangin' Nas, Black Star, and several other artists that I'm way too caffeinated to think of right now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nothing Endures But Change

One of the releases that I've been waiting for this summer is Goapele's new album, Change It All. I've read numerous places that the CD is going to drop next week (on August 16th to be exact), but for some inexplicable reason, her official website (http://www.goapele.com/) indicates that it's coming out on December 27th. My guess is that it was originally slated for release at the end of 2004, but has just fallen quite a bit behind schedule. If anyone knows for sure, feel free to drop some knowledge in the comment section.

For those of you who haven't been following her career, Goapele's music is generally classified as neo-soul. I personally hesitate to describe it that way, because neo-soul has become a wastebasket category that covers far too much terrain to be effectively used as a descriptive term. That genre name has been applied to everything from Jill Scott to the troubled sounds of a goat in heat. What I can say about Goapele is that she masterfully fuses an eclectic variety of styles into her music, much of which she writes and produces herself. Add some socially and politically-conscious lyrics into the mix, and you can understand why I'm completely souled on her as an artist. Download.com is hosting a free mp3 at this very moment: http://music.download.com/goapele/3600-8558_32-100025029.html?tag=listing#100731231. If you've heard Common's song "Go", you will definitely recognize certain elements in the mix.

VH-1's 2nd Hip-Hop Honors show will air on September 26th, and will be hosted by Rev. Run and Russell Simmons. This year, there will be performances by Eve, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Jazzy Jeff, Nelly, Common, and Missy Elliott. Getting a shout-out this time around will be Big Daddy Kane, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J, Ice-T, and the Notorious B.I.G. More info here:

Lastly, this shit is totally stupid, but I still can't resist. For anyone who missed Peter on Family Guy when he was high on Ecstasy, this is my personal version of must-see TV: http://www.dailyhaha.com/_vids/PeterEctacy.htm.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Who Gets More Stoned---Me Or Sly?

I have to do something today that every wise and humble human being has to do from time to time...apologize. As a result of an earlier post that I wrote called "God Bless The Dead", I believe I may have inadvertantly led some of my readers to believe that Sly Stone is deceased. I was talking about dead people throughout my post that day, and at one point, I made reference to Sly being one of my favorite people who'd "passed into the great beyond". I had intended it to be a silly drug metaphor that would blend in nicely with the overall theme of death, but now I realize that it probably came off quite differently to anyone who lives outside of my head. Thanks to a moment of complete sobriety, and a thoughtful comment from one of my readers, I now realize that my statement may have accidentally been taken dead seriously (ha).

Anyway, if there was ever any confusion generated by yours truly, I am really fuckin' sorry. I need to accept the fact that not all strange minds think alike. Sly is alive (and hopefully well)---he actually just celebrated his 60th birthday last year. I edited the previous post today, simply to ensure that I won't unnecessarily cause any further funky tears to be shed.

Speaking of funky, David's Axelrod's timeless track "Song of Innocence" (from the album of the same title) is available in mp3 format on Scissorkick: http://www.scissorkick.com/. If you still don't know much about Axelrod's career, there are also some links included that should suffice for your primary education. A myriad of hip hop producers have sampled and been influenced by his work, and electronica artists (such as DJ Cam and DJ Shadow) have also relied heavily upon his catalogue as the blueprint for their own creations. They are also featuring David McCallum's "The Edge", but hopefully you already copped that one from the link I posted last week.

Funkiest of all, Outkast is about to hit us with some ragtime music. I know my credibility is pretty low after that whole Sly mishap, so I'll let you check this shit for yourself: http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/84969.php.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

What's In A Name?

Today, I'm actually going to try to live up to the standards I set when I initially gave this blog its title...

MUSIC: DJ Rob Swift's album Soulful Fruit (1997) has been on my turntable an infinite number of times since I first purchased it several years ago. I remember buying a used copy from some stoner DJ on High Street in Columbus, Ohio a few months after it was released. The vinyl had already been spun enough at that point to have a few unique character flaws, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. This is one of the first records that was released on the Stones Throw label---for that reason (and many more), I consider this effort to be an absolute classic. If you're interested, The Broke B-Boys are currently offering an mp3 from the album: http://brokebboys.blogspot.com/. Swift also has a new album/DVD, War Games, scheduled to be released on September 6th. From what I've read, the content is mainly based on his socio-political vision of life post-9/11. More about the album here: http://www.coupdegrace.tv/robswift/news/. Some general info about Rob Swift here: http://www.djrobswift.com/, including a link to an interview with him that explains his reasons for departing from his former turntablist crew, The X-ecutioners.

Also on the musical tip, most of you could probably tell that I was eagerly awaiting DangerDoom's track about Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Even though I had encountered quite a few of the tracks from the upcoming LP, that particular one continued to elude me. The day I did my post on the project, I was compelled to put up a picture of ATHF, even though I obviously had no available link to post for the track. Freemotion (God love them) has finally posted the mp3. Find their link to the right.

ART: Michael Paulus has a pretty interesting imagination. Like most of us, he spent much of his childhood life inside the distorted reality of cartoons and animation. Unlike most of us, he decided to delve more deeply into some of his favorite characters, and "dissect them like science does to all living objects". As a result, he has created numerous sketches of the skeletal systems of animated figures, as he imagines them in his mind's eye. Some of his subjects are Betty Boop, Marvin the Martian, Dexter, Fred Flintstone and Hello Kitty. Click here to visit his gallery: http://michaelpaulus.com/gallery/character-Skeletons.

POLITICS: Kontraband.com is featuring a video montage called World of Evil. It's mostly comprised of clips of more recent politicians and events, but it also contains glimpses of corrupt motherfuckers from days past---Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, etc. The video manages to strike a balance between the humorous and the horrifying, and is therefore highly recommended: http://www.contraband.co.uk/show/show.asp?ID=1769&NEXTID=0&PREVID=471&DISPLAYORDER=20041221141646&CAT=movies&NSFW=0&page=8.

LIFE: As a category, this is pretty open-ended. I decided to throw the word "life" into Souled On's title, because I figured that gave me freedom to talk about whatever the hell I wanted without misleading my readership. A lot of my "life" posts are about religion, so today, I thought I'd go in a slightly different direction. The only way this can be construed as religious, is that the site I'm going to link you to might just make you smarter than Jesus. I know it's blasphemous and offensive to say such a thing, but drastic measures are sometimes necessary for the sake of a good analogy. The site I'm referring to is How Stuff Works, an incredibly comprehensive and informative site that can teach you everything you should have learned in school, but didn't. The site is broken down into quite a few different subject areas---computers, entertainment, science, money, travel, etc. You will become an incredibly arrogant, know-it-all son-of-a-bitch after paying them a visit. I promise: http://www.howstuffworks.com/.

Since my readers seem to be the strong, silent type, I really have no idea what any of you love and/or hate about Souled On. Until I figure this out, I am left to my own crazy devices. Hopefully you are somewhat enjoying this chronicle of my insanity...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ladies And Gentlemen...And Lowlifes

For the past couple of days, the soundtrack to my life has been Motiv's album, From Here To The Streets. This album came out last year, and to be honest, I don't know anyone who particularly gave a damn when it was released. I can't put into words how unfortunate it is that this group continues to be relatively unknown to American audiences. I don't think I'll ever be able to reconcile the fact that truly talented musicians tend to exist in relative obscurity, while complete idiots effortlessly sell trillions of records. My speech on the commercial wasteland that is the popular music industry is bound to be a post of its own at some point in the future. Will people ever come to realize that there's an incredibly vast musical world beyond the New Releases rack at Wal-Mart? Sigh...

Anyway, Motiv is a London-based jazz/funk/hip hop collective, consisting of three horn players, a full rhythm section and a very smooth MC (Cheshire Cat). They are known in the UK for their spectacular live performances, and are an integral part of the Underground Jazz Project (an ensemble of DJs and musicians, representing a wide variety of musical genres and styles). Vitamin C has two free mp3s available from the album: http://stage.vitaminic.com/motiv/singles. It will only take a minute or two of your precious time to cop something that you just might appreciate for a lifetime.

Looking For The Perfect Beat has had some nice posts the past couple of days. The most recent is the classic cut "Mona Lisa" by the inimitable Slick Rick. If you profess to be a fan of hip hop, and you don't have any of his music in your collection, I suggest you take corrective action immediately: http://boombap.net/theperfectbeat/.

If you're checkin' for something funky to help you get lifted, The Broke B-Boys are offering a great track called "Strudel Strut" by Aromadozeski Therapy (DJ Romanowski + graf artist Doze Green): http://brokebboys.blogspot.com/. I don't know exactly why, but this song gets me mega-hyped every time I hear it.

Finally, Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage posted the mp3 for David McCallum's track "The Edge". This song was produced by The Ultimate God Of The Hip Hop Sample, David Axelrod, and was later utilized by Dr. Dre for "The Next Episode": http://hardlyart.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Can You Dig It?

Ever since blaxploitation films emerged in the early 1970s, they have proven to be the subject of much controversy and debate. Oftentimes, these movies were criticized for having an overabundance of sex and violence, and many of the characters were said to be stereotypical in a way that was damaging to the black community (pimps, pushers, prostitutes, etc.). Many prominent African American leaders and organizations eventually rallied against these films by forming the Coalition Against Blaxploitation, which was seemingly instrumental in bringing about the death of the genre. On the other side of the fence are those who believe that blaxploitation films were ultimately beneficial, in the sense that they allowed black actors to enjoy a greater presence in the cinematic industry. Either way, they remain an integral part of urban culture and the history of film. Currently, Bedazzled is offering free mp3s of the original radio advertisements for 28 different blaxploitation films. Cop these while you can: http://bedazzled.blogs.com/bedazzled/2005/07/cleopatra_jones.html. Visit Blaxploitation.com to learn more: http://www.blaxploitation.com/.

Right now also happens to be the time to satisfy your urge to zone out on some of Prince Paul's other-worldly creations. If you're in the mood for some old-school type shit, Looking For The Perfect Beat has one of his jams with Stetsasonic for you to download ("Sally"): http://boombap.net/theperfectbeat/. If you haven't heard anything from his new project, The Dix, you can cop "Here Come the Dix" at Razorblade Runner (link to the right). I love this shit---regressive kindergarten-level penis humor and all! If I attempted to school the uneducated on the fantastic legacy of Mr. Paul, I'd be here all night---and part of tomorrow, too. It would be much easier for both of us if you just visit his website: http://www.princepaulonline.com/.

Finally, Sickside Stories by Sick Symphonies just dropped on July 26th. Sick Jacken and DJ FM from Psycho Realm are probably the most recognizable members of the group---the other two cats (Cynic and Crow) are from the lesser-known Street Platoons. "Cointelpro" and "Reason To Fight" have a razor-sharp political edge, which miraculously saves these tracks from total mediocrity. You can download snippets of both joints here: http://www.myspace.com/sicksymphonies. The first single, "In This Lifetime", will likely be a bit more appealing to the masses. It has a completely different flavor---much more of a chillin' late- summer burner than the other two selections. You can cop the complete song at MP3 4U: http://www.mp34u.com/songCard.php?posting=2997.