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


Naughty Nicole said...

thumbs up for another great post. luvin' those Oh No songs especially. Reading your blog always makes my week.

Anonymous said...


great entry! (i especially like palms out stuff)

i took your advice and checked out what i normally would pass up, i'll see how it goes.

with that in mind, here's one of my favorite widespread songs, that is sure to challange even the most open musical pallet, still, i think it's quite amazing (if not desperately off topic).

these folks are pretty amazing actually, especially a certain offset from their group- who you can read about here, but it only begins to get into their strangeness.

hey, you're the one who's name is scholar!


obifromsouthlondon said...

hahaahahahahha listening to the 2000 seasons. can someone tell that dj fool to shut the hell up lol! one of my fav songs. took forever to find it. reminds me of them pre blog/mp3 craze days when you couldn't find shit (erm unless you factor 9kbps downloads on some BBS board)

special tune and keeps Talib in my mind's eye.

Scholar said...

Nicole---you're welcome, but stop being so naughty.

Firpo---Gratitude for sharing your strange stuff with me. You know I always appreciate it ;)

Hope that the new music you checked out was at least reasonably satisfying.

Obi---glad to know that someone else appreciates that Kweli track. I was inspired to up the link to that joint because so many heads dismiss his entire career after Black Star. I admit to being a big fan of the music that he and Mos did together, but he's definitely got some other gems in his discography. 1...

Boogs said...

Yeah, Kweli is dope. There are many tracks that he appears on that I like- so off the head, "Millionaires" w/ Rubix and "Lunchroom Classics" w/Makeeba get the spontaneous nod of approval.

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