Monday, August 28, 2006

Believe Those Who Are Seeking Truth; Doubt Those Who Find It

I'm sure that you've already heard the most shocking bit of news I've encountered all week---Pluto has been demoted, and is officially no longer a planet. Will the powers-that-be ever realize how much it rearranges our perception of things when they go around making major changes like this? This certainly isn't the first lie taught by "the establishment" that I've inadvertantly bought into, and I'm quite sure that I'll be fooled again at some point in the future. Here are just a few of the truths I've uncovered, despite the blinding smokescreen of misguided information I've been exposed to over the years:

Michael Jackson loves children, but not necessarily in that "let me take you to Disneyland" kind of way. I'm sure you can guess that I've been thugged out since the Cub Scouts, but when I was short and unimportant, I secretly wished that MJ was my friend. Thankfully, that dream never materialized. Although Caucasian women don't generally fit the profile of a serial pedophile, there's always the possibility of an exception to the rule. This is one of them, kids. I'll bet you a gallon of Jesus juice...

Tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables. This one may seem sort of trivial, but it's definitely had a major effect on my ability to trust food. For years, this realization has caused a certain suspicion towards every so-called "vegetable" that crosses my dinner plate.

Policemen aren't really my friends. Racial profiling. Extortion. Marijuana busts. Overexcessive donut consumption. Who knew?

Bill Cosby gets paid to eat Pudding Pops. At one point, I actually believed that Dr. Huxtable liked eating those, especially when he was wearing an ugly-ass argyle sweater.

Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are all figments of our parents' warped imaginations. This boy Jimmy, who rode on the same (short) school bus that I did, cleared up all the valid questions I had about the feasiblity of Santa's existence. How many fat guys in red pajamas do you know who can move fast enough to make it down the driveway that quickly, let alone the globe? Why would a bunch of tiny gay guys do all of his dirty work? If he keeps such an extensive list, how does he manage to bring me fuckin' Candyland every year?

In all of his wisdom, Jimmy was also able to make me see the utter failure of logic that it takes to believe that a giant bunny lays all of those eggs. I also discovered later in adulthood that the only way to see pink and blue bunnies involves copping some truly outstanding drugs.

I'm proud to admit that I figured out that the Tooth Fairy was fictitious without Jimmy's assistance. Most of the people I know who don't have teeth are broke as hell, son.

Over The Breaks

I have to admit that I haven't spent nearly as much time on the internets this past week as I usually do. If you must know, I've been working my ass off so that I can make a down payment on one of these. So far I've saved about $5.92. What can I say? Times is hard. I've managed to cut a few corners by not paying for anything frivolous like food, rent, or utilities. I'm only indulging myself in the bare necessities, which of course, consists solely of music and weed. What more could one possibly need to survive in the concrete jungle?

In the same spirit of economy, I offer you a brief list of things that did happen to catch my lazy eye this past week...

I realize that a lot of people aren't all that hyped about the musical direction that Outkast's been taking lately, but I know that some of you are still on the search for new tracks. Download "Makes No Sense At All" via Resonator Magazine, "The Greatest Show on Earth" at the scattermish bloooog, and "N2U" by way of Silence Is A Rhythm, Too.

Elsewhere on the bloooog, you can snag "Weight" by Ghostface and Swollen Members, as well as "Beast Mode" by Akrobatik and Mr Lif. Contrary to what one might expect, the latter track is arguably the better of the two.

Funk and soul fans who dug those Betty Davis mp3s should pay another visit to Moistworks to acquire a couple more songs---"Nasty Gal" and "He Was A Big Freak".

J Dilla's LP The Shining was just released. Don't make me insult your intelligence by telling you to buy it.

Speaking of Dilla, many of his fans have probably heard his track "Strange Funky Games And Things"--if not, you can stream it here.
The original song used in this joint is Love Unlimited Orchestra's "Strange Games and Things"--download the mp3 at bumrocks.

Fletch recently posted some of his favorite tracks produced by DJ Premier over at Rebel To America. Cop joints by Nas, Devin the Dude, Gang Starr, Cee-Lo, and more.

Is Bush an idiot? Even if that question seems like a no-brainer to you, you've still got to check out this video montage for further affirmation. Watch it on YouTube, courtesy of Joey at Straight Bangin'.

An equally provocative query---is religion making you fat? I tried asking Jesus what he thought about this, but I haven't gotten a response yet. He's been extraordinarily busy preparing for Glenn Beck's end-of-the-world prophecy , but I'm sure he'll get back to me soon...

If you haven't been over to Soul Sides in a while, be sure to hit up O-Dub for that incredible Don Gardner track he posted recently---"My Baby Likes To Boogaloo" belongs somewhere in your collection.

The latest Sample Wednesday at Palms Out Sounds featured songs sampled in De La Soul joints. Download mp3s by Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, Cymande, War, New Birth, Sly & The Family Stone, Gregory Isaacs, Ahmad Jamal, and more.

Truthfully, I have mixed emotions about Cut Chemist, but there are a few tracks of his over at FPSA that are undoubtedly worth a listen. Download "Spat", "What's the Altitude?" (w/ Hymnal), and "2266 Cambridge" (w/Thes One of People Under The Stairs).

If you need an amazing soul song to get you through the day, go get Lorraine Ellison's "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)" by way of Funky 16 Corners. Most people are familiar with Janis Joplin's rendition, but this version is in a league of its own.

A new mash-up project by DJ BC, Wu Orleans, is available for download here. The title pretty much says it all, so I don't suppose I need to say more. If nothing else, this will prove to be a great conversation piece. Gratitude to Fresh at 33 Jones for putting me on to this.

If you aren't hip to Wax Tailor yet, don't be the last to know. Familiarize yourself with a few of his joints by way of The Yellow Stereo.

Cop the Flying Lotus remix of "Shadows of Tomorrow" by Madvillain at

Finally, visit Charles Bronson vs. God to download a classic track by Syl Johnson---"That's Just My Luck".

Hopefully that's enough to keep you fiends satisfied for a minute or two.

I leave your asses with a few essential truths:

"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy."---John Trapp

"As scarce as the truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand"---Josh Billings

"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off"---Gloria Steinem

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."---Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In A Class By Myself

I have way more music than Jesus, so you can only imagine what I must go through on the rare occasions when I decide to post some sounds from my own collection. I usually start with the notion that the songs should be organized and/or catergorized in some particular way. Three blunts and 420 mp3s later, I'm sayin' "aw hell---fuck a theme". Here are the final results of that thought process today:

"Tramp" ---Otis Redding w/Carla Thomas
The repartee between these two legendary soul singers has always been priceless...and now I guess it'

"Fish in the Dish" ---Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (for my loyal reader Firpo) This song is at least as entertaining as its title. I love songs about fishes and dishes, and hell knows they're difficult to come by. This mp3 is the full version, unlike those bullshit clips I posted the other day.

"This Is Our Day"---Rob Swift/ Dan the Automator
Great track from two undisputable masters of turntablism. All that scratchin' will definitely make you itch...but in a good way.

"Do What You Gotta Do"---Nina Simone
As many links as I've posted to other sites/blogs that have featured her material, I don't remember anyone posting this particular tune. It's both beautiful and disturbing, and shouldn't be slept on a moment longer.

"This Is What They Meant"---Pete Rock & Grand Agent
Turn the headphones up, y'all. Classic lyric: "I got Sam Cooke up in my rhyme book, bitch/and he ain't singin'..."

Let the music save us all...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

High, Y'all

I'm in the process of enjoying an unusually lazy and bluntastic afternoon. I don't mind taking some time to correspond with my peoples, but it feels like a good day to stay focused on simply posting music links. I don't think that in my current state, it will be feasible for me to strain my brain too much further than that...

For my own sanity, I haven't watched the news or paid a bit of attention to world events all weekend. I generally require a daily fix of political...spin...but I also believe that it's cathartic to abstain every so often, and revel in a state of blissful oblivion. At the very minimum, it's afforded me the luxury of not having to look at this jackass for a moment or two.

Anyway, do what you've gotta do to have a pleasant day, children(s). Let the music take your mind...

Courtesy of Funky 16 Corners, you can currently download a funky little song called "Buttermilk Pt. 1" by Sly (of The Family Stone). This track was recorded in 1965, well before the bulk of his most popular material was released. Don't miss out---this uptempo groove might actually make you want to move your chubby lil' ass a bit.

One of the most frequently sampled songs in hip-hop history, The Incredible Bongo Band's version of "Apache" is available at My Old Kentucky Blog. A remix of the track by Grandmaster Flash and Sugar Hill Gang's interpretation are also included. Additional thanks to MOKB for calling my attention to this post at Blogs Are For Dogs, which includes mp3s for Pitchfork's entire list of The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s.

Speaking of massive/generous mp3 posts, Some Velvet Blog and I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS have been busily trying to post all of the tracks that were blended together to create Girl Talk's Night Ripper LP. Cop tunes by Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Black Sheep, The Emotions, Purple Ribbon All-Stars, Stevie Wonder, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, George Benson, The Five Stairsteps, Ludacris, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, The Main Ingredient, The Clipse, Digable Planets, 2Pac, and more.

Visit Palms Out Sounds to download a couple more tracks from J. Period's Best of The Roots mixtape, as well as J. Dilla's "Love Movin'", featuring Black Thought.

Everyone who loves me knows that I love Nina Simone. Download "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" via Achtung, Baby!, and her version of "Mr. Bojangles" at Keep The Coffee Coming.

If I'm being honest, Rick Ross's album hasn't exactly been on my list of the most anxiously anticipated releases of the year---but that said, there are a few joints on it that I might be willing to listen to from time to time. Cop three tracks from The Port of Miami by way of Pound for Pound.

Fans of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings can download mp3 clips of almost all of the tracks from her albums Naturally and Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. If you aren't already souled on this group, go get familiar...

My friend Obi at Soul On Ice is a finalist for Best International Blog in this year's Black Weblog Awards. Please take a moment to cast a well-deserved vote in his favor.

I somehow forgot about this earlier when I was discussing gigantic mp3 posts, but callmeMICKEY recently posted a ton of Wu-Tang Clan tracks---group efforts, as well as solo joints.

Moistworks offered a couple of excellent posts this past week. One of them features tracks by Betty Davis, Ike and Tina Turner, Labelle, and Vicki Anderson, while the other features Beatles covers by the likes of Ramsey Lewis, Junior Parker, Kim Weston, Donny Hathaway, Joe Bataan, Otis Redding, The Wailers, and more.

Silence Is A Rhythm, Too is featuring a couple of tracks from DJ Krush's 2-disc retrospective (Stepping Stones: The Self-Remixed Best)---"Shinjiro (Harsh Mix)" w/ Mos Def and "Meiso (Silent Gun Mix)" w/ Malik B and Black Thought of The Roots.

At marathonpacks, you can download Al Green's cover of "Take Me to the River", in addition to Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work It Out".

Otis Redding's live rendition of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" is available courtesy of The Sean Show.

If I still haven't given you enough funk your trunk, check out "Butter Your Popcorn" by Hank Ballard and "Chicken Strut" by The Meters, both of which are brought to you by The Stepfather of Soul.

At Fifty-One:Fifty-One you can acquire a couple of tracks from Method Man's new LP, 4:21...The Day After. Regardless of how you feel about his new material, I hope we can all agree that it can't even be in the same iPod with "Bring the Pain". Selling deodorant fucked Meth up fo' real...

Locust Street recently posted numerous songs with the word "blue" in the title. Download tracks by Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Dorothy Moore, Duke Ellington, and many others.

"Shimmy" by Toussaint McCall is available for download at Charles Bronson vs. God.

One of my favorite auditory indulgences when I'm feelin' sorry for myself is "Many Rivers to Cross"---especially the version by reggae great Jimmy Cliff. Cop it at The Rich Girls Are Weeping---and you'll be cryin' like a fool, too.

Any emotion, if it sincere, is involuntary---Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Silent Treatment

Nothing to rant or rave about today. Just thought I'd share a couple of joints from J. Period's mixtape, The Best of The Roots.

"Come Together" ft. Zion I

"Been Thru the Storm" w/ Stevie Wonder

Back momentarily with the next episode...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Even I Hate Us

Forcing myself to think about what's going on in the world (for this blog, or otherwise) has been an exceptionally depressing exercise lately. Here are a few examples of the underlying meaning behind the phrase "no news is good news"...

Flying on commercial airlines is still at least as dangerous as hunting quails with Dick Cheney, especially if terrorists are really planning to use Pantene to blow us off the map. Guess there's no need to worry, though---our ingenious government has equipped us with these hilarious instructions for surviving a terrorist attack. I feel safer already.

Conditions in the Middle East continue to be colossally fucked up...

George Bush remains relatively oblivious to situations unfolding across the globe, except when he sees an opportunity to instill fear.

The death toll is still rising in China in the aftermath of Typhoon Saomai.

45, 000 people displaced in the Philippines due to Mayon volcano.

U.S. gasoline prices hit a record high---again.

Damn---enough already...

We both know that there are billions of other problems/disasters also happening at this moment in the history of the universe. However, in the interest of not appearing to be an incurable pessimist, I have to admit that a few things happened recently that actually made me crack a smile...

The most amusing celebrity beef of all time---Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly vs. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Kanye West has gotten engaged. Marriage may be a good look for Kanye, particularly if it helps to dispel those ugly rumors that he's secretly in love with one of these two. Sorry 'Ye, but this means it's time to go through your closet and take a few of those pastel sweaters out of rotation. Maybe those guys from "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy" can help you toughen up your image a little bit ;)

"Weeds" is blizzack in the building.

I might be happy about a couple of other things, too, but if I don't start posting the rest of your linkage, my granny's gonna make me go to bed before I get finished...

Download "After the Dance" by Marvin Gaye by way of Looking at Them.

An impressive selection of old school hip hop mp3s has been posted at You Can Call Me Betty. Download tracks by Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Funky Four Plus One, The Furious Five, Eric B & Rakim, Treacherous Three & Kool Moe Dee, and more.

Spike Lee's upcoming HBO documentary on Hurricane Katrina will be entitled "When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts".

The Smudge of Ashen Fluff is featuring a few neo-soulish songs by Stephanie McKay. If you've never heard of her before, give her a try. She has a gorgeous voice, and being accompanied by the likes of Roy Hargrove and Dj Spinna doesn't hurt her material either.

Most people who are familiar with the legendary Bob James already know the enormous impact he's had on hip-hop producers over the years. His track "Nautilus" (available via Analog Giant) is a prime example. It's been used as the foundation for joints by Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Ultramagnetic MC's, Tim Dog, Pete Rock, Organized Confusion, Mary J Blige, Keith Murray, EPMD, Ghostface, Camp Lo, ATCQ, Geto Boys, Large Professor, etc.

Also in the spirit of samplemania, Fletch at Rebel To America posted a ton of tracks that have been sampled in joints by Nas. Download songs by Earth, Wind, & Fire, Mandrill, Lyn Collins, The Persuaders, Mary Jane Girls, Eddie Kendricks, The Emotions, and many more.

The good people at Dilated Choonz have also been putting up some posts with original songs and the hip-hop joints that followed. Jefferson Airplane's "Today" was sampled on Black Sheep's (cult?) classic track "Similak Child". Furthermore, "Today" was covered by saxophonist/composer Tom Scott about a year after JA released it on their most widely celebrated LP, Surrealistic Pillow. Scott's version of the song was later sampled on Pete Rock's hip-hop masterpiece, "T.R.O.Y.".

"Fortune Teller" by Bettye LaVette and "Rolling Down a Mountainside" by Isaac Hayes are both available courtesy of The Stepfather of Soul.

Jean Carne is undoubtedly one of the great sisters of soul. Download "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" via The Number One Songs In Heaven. This song laid the foundation for Brand Nubian's track with the same title.

Cop quite a decent collection of Timbaland instrumentals at Spliff Huxtable.

Download "What's Going On" by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (ft. Chuck D) at The Broke BBoys.

Visit The Record Robot to acquire "Fed Up with the Blues" by OV Wright.

Fans of Dan the Automator should definitely head over to los amigos de durutti. There you will find a couple of tracks from his 2K7 project---"Don't Hate the Player" (ft.Hieroglyphics), as well as the already overblogged"2K007" (w/Ghostface and AG). Two mp3s from his collabo w/ DJ Shadow, 1999's Bombay the Hard Way are also included.

Sneakmove recently featured "Adventures in the Land of Music" by Dynasty, in addition to a couple of tracks that feature it as a sample---Angie Stone's "Lovers' Ghetto" and "Luchini" by Camp Lo. Also, be sure to check out Sequence's "Funk You Up".

Finally, the new Madvillain joint "Monkey Suite" leaked onto the internets this week, only to be taken down from most of the blogs/sites where it was posted. As of this writing, the track is still available by way of the scattermish bloooog, along with some other random MF Doom and Madlib mp3s.

Don't blink---these files are gonna expire quicker than you can say Joe Lieberman

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Music Should Never Be Harmless

One thing that is true of my musical taste is that I'd much rather be offended, uncomfortable, and/or displeased, than bored. That concept alone informs much of my decison-making when it comes to buying and listening to particular records. I have never been a fan of neatly packaged, radio-friendly popular music. People like this, this, and even this sincerely make me want to evacuate all that I ate, if you know what I mean.

My crate diggin' tendencies developed as a direct result of my perpetual desire to seek out music that actually makes me feel something, as opposed to passively singing along to the 40 or 50 tracks that mainstream radio stations are pushing at any given time. People who really love music should never play it that safe, son...

I've always encouraged my friends and family to expand their musical horizons by listening to artists they've never heard before. I used to expose my peoples to a variety of sounds by making mixtapes, but all of that has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Today, I have Souled On as my means of spreading the word about quality music, and the message can travel across the globe, as opposed to just circulating throughout my circle of friends.

I realize that some of you only come here to see about songs from artists you've already heard, but I'm encouraging everyone to go outside of their comfort zone and try listening to at least one thing you aren't acquainted with yet. I may primarily focus on a few different genres within the confines of this blog, but in reality, I will try just about anything at least once. Who knows---I might finish typing this post, and go spin an old polka record I picked up at the flea market. I might even try to dance to it. Probably not, but we'll see.

Anyway---live dangerously, my friends. Your adventure begins now:

I'm gonna kick things off with an artist who doesn't usually do a whole lot for me, but I'm diggin' Killer Mike's joint "That's Life " like a metaphorical grave. Cop it via You'll find some other dope tracks there, too---"Presidential MC" by Method Man (w/RZA and Raekwon), Outkast's songs "Hollywood Divorce" (w/ Snoop and Lil' Wayne) and "This Train" (w/ Scar and Sleepy Brown), as well as "Back At It" by Little Brother (ft. Cormega).

I have often sworn to myself that I won't utter another word about Gnarls Barkley, because it's just overkill at this stage. However, I couldn't resist hooking you up with this post at Silence Is A Rhythm, Too. It contains the original song sampled in "Crazy"---Gianfranco Reverberi's "Last Man Standing". It's such a beautiful piece of music, I couldn't deny my readers the opportunity. A few Gnarls mash-ups are also included in the post.

So far, I'm really impressed with the tracks I've heard from Oh No's upcoming LP, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms. This may have something to do with the fact that I'm a huge Galt MacDermot fan. Freemotion is hosting "Coffee Cold" (w/Fergus Macroy), "Hank" (w/ LMNO), and "Smile A Lil' Bit" (w/Posdnuos from De La Soul). If you're still saying yes to Oh No after you hear those joints, go to Oh Word and download "T. Biggums" (w/Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow).

Sample Wednesday at Palms Out Sounds featured some great original songs that have been sampled on Dipset tracks. Download mp3s by artists such as The Commodores, The Marvelettes, Bobby & James Purify, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Sizzla.

Speaking of tracks that have been sampled in hip-hop joints, Joey blessed us with ten stellar selections over at Straight Bangin'. Visit him to acquire tracks by Brick, Billy Brooks, Les Baxter, Young Holt Unlimited, Koko Taylor, and more. Fans of J Dilla's work should easily recognize many of the elements in these tracks.

Cop "The Professional Experts" by Motion Man (w/ Kool Keith) via

Two classic gangstalicious joints by Eazy-E are available at The Sole Life---"Ruthless Villains" and "The Boyz-N-The Hood".

Thanks to Ben at The Mark Out, more of those live Wu-Tang/El Michels Affair tracks are available for download. Cop "Duel of the Iron Mic", "Glaciers of Ice", and "Da Mysteries of Chessboxin'".

Download "Prison Farm Blues" by Lightnin' Hopkins by way of Communications Major/English Minor. Still don't know how the hell I ended up there, but regardless---that's a damn good song.

At Looking At Them, you can download "Bennie and the Jets" by Biz Markie, Dr. Octagon's "Earth People", and "I'm Not a Gentleman" by The Geto Boys. If you're opposed to misogyny in hip-hop, you may want to leave that last joint alone. Just sayin'...

Locust St. recently did a post about songs with the word "green" in the title. Download songs by Ray Charles, Booker T & The MGs, John Coltrane, and more.

At Eric's Archives, you can cop some nice remixes of joints by Common, Kurious, EPMD, Thrust, and Gang Starr.

Download "2000 Seasons" by Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek) courtesy of sneakmove.

And that reminds me---"Ms. Fat Booty" by Kweli's former rhyming partner Mos Def is available at Just Like Music.

"Step Off" by the legendary Furious Five can be copped at You Can Call Me Betty.

Visit SOULcrates to listen to some of the greatest music that was ever put on wax. This blog is an excellent resource for anyone who's in search of both rare and familiar grooves that have been sampled on various hip-hop joints. DJ GrantLOVE also has a blog for fans of old school rap music---journey through the history of hip-hop by way of Rap's Roots.

If you've been awake, then it's no surprise that I'm going to link The Meters any time I see their stuff posted on the internets. Download "Zony Mash" at The "B" Side and "Soul Machine" at Home of the Groove.

Think Tank recently posted a generous number of hip-hop mp3s. Cop joints by Aceyalone, Dabrye, Soul Position, Louis Logic, MF Doom, 7L & Esoteric, DangerDoom, and The Coup. Most heads will already be familiar with most of these tracks, but it's worth a visit to make sure you've picked up everything this post has to offer.

Alright, you know I have nothin' but love for ya---however, I'm fuckin' sick of typing. I'm gonna smoke some plant action, and listen to my latest favorite guilty pleasure---"Baller Blockin'" (E-40 and San Quinn). If you haven't already, cop dat hyphy shit via Spine Magazine.

"My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music."---Vladimir Nabokov