Thursday, November 30, 2006
All tendencies toward procrastination aside, I proudly present your (almost) weekly linkage report:
You have to admit, this has been a totally disastrous week in terms of race relations. I have somewhat ambivalent feelings about both Common and will.i.am, but I have to give them credit---"I Have A Dream" offers a fairly relevant and insightful musical commentary on what's really crackin' in the "land of the free". If you haven't come across it yet, you can cop this track courtesy of Between Thought And Expression.
Dilated Choonz recently posted a groovy joint by Herman Kelly & Life---"A Refreshing Love". You may not recognize the name, but Kelly is responsible for "Dance to the Drummer's Beat"---a track that was a favorite of many old school DJs, including Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa.
Three fresh Nas mp3s are currently available via Nah Right: "Black Republicans Remix" (w/ Jay-Z, and now Sean Price), "Where Are They Now" (No DJ promo version), and the most overblogged song of the week---"QB True G" (w/ The Game). Note: The latter joint is now called "Hustlers" on the most recent incarnation of the tracklist for Hip-Hop Is Dead.
Speaking of the genre's alleged demise, Skillz just released "Hip Hop Died?"---download his two cents on the subject via Notes From A Different Kitchen.
At Palms Out Sounds, you can score a ton of tracks that have been sampled in Pharoahe Monch joints, including songs by George Benson, The Ohio Players, Donald Byrd, Quincy Jones, Patrice Rushen, Bob James, and more.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the ridiculous battle between Jay-Z and Jim Jones. If you're trying to follow this whole thing more closely than I am, you may want to check out this comprehensive "diss anthology", brought to you by The Rap Up. And by the way, if you're in search of the Rasputin's Stash song ("Mr. Cool") that was sampled on Jones' "We Fly High", look no further than 1-800-Sassbucket.
If your Ghostface doll hasn't had anyone to play with lately, you should consider purchasing the new Madvillain figure when it drops in January.
Millie Jackson fans may want to head over to all up in your earhole to download "The Rap" and "It's All Over But The Shouting". Two other songs, "All The Way Lover" and "I Feel Like Walking In The Rain" can be acquired at Feel It.
I have made mention of Rotary Connection on more than one occasion. Recently, their cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" was posted at Silence Is A Rhythm, Too. If you've heard "Hova's Song" by Jay-Z, you will easily recognize this song as the sample source.
Speaking of original songs that have been sampled, O-Dub is currently offering a few Willie Hutch songs that were used in hip-hop joints. He also posted a pretty nice "Mr. Me Too" remix (by Z.A.K.) that blends the Clipse joint with "Honey Dove" by Lee Fields---download it here.
More sample madness is available courtesy of Jzzy at The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Within the confines of a single post, he posted a generous number of original songs by Otis Redding, Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Galt MacDermot, Nina Simone, Maceo Parker, and more.
The Low End Theory has resumed posting on the regular---be sure to pay them a well-deserved visit.
Some of you evidently appreciated that Showbiz & AG joint that I posted a while ago---"Hold Mines". I figured that some of you may be interested in copping a couple of joints from AG's latest LP, Get Dirty Radio. Grab "A Giant By design" and "If I Wanna" at download.com.
Travis at Wake Your Daughter Up recently posted some interesting thoughts and information on what the RIAA has been up to lately.
Download "Doctor's Advocate" by The Game via Moistworks.
The Stepfather Of Soul blessed us with a classic track by Oliver Sain---"Bus Stop".
Before I go, it's necessary that I express gratitude to a few blogs who've been kind enough to throw some link props my way. Respect to Oh Word, sneakmove, hahamusic, los amigos de durutti, Exploration of Music, Sound Experiment, and floodwatchmusic, and anyone else I may have inadvertantly forgotten.
Word From Your Moms:
"One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings." ~Franklin Thomas
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Hope this post finds all of my peoples phat and happy...
As for myself, I've just been relaxin' and blowin' mad smoke...observing the holiday and enjoying the opportunity to take a few days off from my usual routine. It was a pretty strenuous ordeal to move my ass up off of the couch just now, but it was probably about time to alter my listless state of inertia anyway. Now that I'm finally back on my grind, let's go ahead and do this damn thing:
This song is a funky, spaced-out jam that has been harvested repeatedly to provide a foundation for numerous hip-hop tracks. Here are just a few examples:
"Lower Da Boom"---The Artifacts
Tame One and El Da Sensai have both fallen off somewhat since they went solo, which makes me wonder if the babies have any idea how great these two were in the day. This track is right in time with the theme of today's post---all hail the Mary Jane. This is somewhat of a love song for those who like to "romance the plants" every now and again...
"Same Ol' Thing"---A Tribe Called Quest
Although this track offers a somewhat different perspective on marijuana use/abuse, I would argue that this is still a highly dope joint from one of hip-hop's finest crews ;)
"Just To Get A Rep (Video Version)" ---Gang Starr
Guru and DJ Premier also utilized "E.V.A." to craft one of their most beloved and widely-known tracks of all time.
Additionally, "E.V.A." has been sampled on a host of other tracks, including songs by Erick Sermon, Ice T, DJ Spooky, Lord Finesse, Dr. Octagon, and more.
Check out Perrey's impressive discography here.
Finally, I can't leave the building without giving a nod to my loyal soul fans:
"I Miss You"---Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes
Comparatively speaking, the soul ballads I post generally get more play than anything else I upload. Most of you thugs are obviously a little more emotional than you care to admit...This is an undeniable classic that most of you should recognize. It enjoyed some success on the charts in the '70s, and more recently, Kanye sampled it for Jay-Z's joint with Scarface, "This Can't Be Life".
As always---be easy, kids. Blaze these joints and hold 'em in your lungs until we meet again...
Word From Your Moms---
"One's condition on marijuana is always existential. One can feel the importance of each moment and how it is changing one. One feels one's being, one becomes aware of the enormous apparatus of nothingness---the hum of a hi-fi set, the emptiness of a pointless interruption, one becomes aware of the war between each of us, how the nothingness in each of us seeks to attack the being of others, how our being in turn is attacked by the nothingness in others."---Norman Mailer
Uh, yeah...doesn't weed make you write run-on sentences, too???
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
"Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"---Nina Simone
You already know how I feel about Nina Simone---she's at least the best thing since Jesus, right? This is the title track to the first Nina record I purchased, a song that remains an absolute favorite of mine. It's pointless to try to describe something of this magnitude with words. Just listen...
"I'm No Angel (Sol-Kaliba mix)" ---Jay-Z
Yes boys and girls, Kingdom has finally Come. This will end the Hova remix series---at least for the time being. I have a whole lot more in the vault, so expect this material at some point following his second return from retirement. I give the whole ordeal about five years to come full circle.
Anyway, this track seemed more than appropriate to throw into the mix today. It's from The Blackest Album, and features the lyrics from "Lucifer" blended with the Nina Simone track above. Every once in a while, there's a hint of method to my madness...
...but then I turn right around and get random with it all over again...
"People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul"---James Brown
Slaughter's Big Rip-Off isn't generally listed amongst the most acclaimed records that James Brown ever released. However, there are a few nice tracks from that album that get overlooked simply because of the company that they keep. This particular song is classic JB material, offering a healthy dose of The Godfather just the way ya likes him.
"You Got 2" ---Triple Threat w/ Main Flow and Black Thought (of The Roots)
Most fans of turntablism probably know the Triple Threat DJs. The collective consists of Apollo, Vinroc, and Shorkut. I know this won't appeal to everyone, but it's a gem for scratch fiends and Roots fanatics. I don't know how many people in the audience are reppin' for Main Flow, but this track can be dedicated to that guy, too---what the hell?
Word From Your Moms:
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."---Michelangelo
"I feel that there is an angel inside me whom I am constantly shocking."---Jean Cocteau
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
You've probably been holding your breath for long enough now, so here are those links that I promised you a few days ago:
Matt at los amigos de durutti recently did a post featuring the magnificent Sun Ra. If for some reason this man's career has entirely escaped you, I can honestly say that you are missing out on one of the most colorful and ingeniously bizarre characters to ever grace the pages of music history. He claimed that he was born on Saturn, and that is perhaps the only available explanation for his legendary eccentricities. I wrote a post about him last summer, but for all intents and purposes, it sucked pretty badly. The best thing that came out of that particular waste of cyberspace was a fairly stupid crack on Kenny G's afro-mullet. Pitiful.
At any rate, the curious can seek more worthwhile information about this "brother from another planet" here and here. And just so you get the full effect, I'm throwing a couple of video links into the mix:
"Astro-Black" (clip from " A Joyful Noise"---a documentary about Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
Chicago---1981---live concert footage.
Clip from the 1959 film "The Cry Of Jazz", featuring Sun Ra before he went and got all avant-garde with it. Quite an interesting piece of musical and cinematic history.
Joey at Straight Bangin' started off the week with some amusing commentary on the current state of hip-hop. Also included in the post are some fresh joints you can cop by Raekwon, Snoop and Dr. Dre, AZ, KRS-One, and Jay-Z.
Speaking of Hova, Berkeley Place recently featured the A to Z of Jay-Z. Even if you've been down with Jigga since Reasonable Doubt, you may still find a remix or rarity that you can add to your collection.
In case you were wondering, I don't think that Kingdom Come lives up to its lofty title---a lot of it downright sucks. Everyone knows I'm a shameless Jay-Z fan, but I'm not fuckin' hard of hearing, son. That's strictly confidential, however...let's keep that one between you and me...
At Gorilla vs. Bear, you can download an excellent version of "The Weight" by The Band, as covered by The Rotary Connection and Minnie Riperton.
If you missed Aries Spears' freestyle on the Live 105 Morning Show, peep this video of him impersonating LL Cool J, Snoop, DMX, and Jigga Man.
Fans of soul/ R&B singer Betty Everett can acquire the track "I Can't Hear You" by way of Tuwa's Shanty.
Cop Biggie's joint "Kick the Door" (produced by DJ Premier) courtesy of Badminton Stamps.
Hilarious footage from "The Colbert Report" about the "Republican Revolution" from 1994 through 2006.
This is definitely not for "soul purists" (if there is such a thing)---the rest of you, however, may find it somewhat entertaining. Quarterbar (?) remixed 4 classic Motown tracks by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Jimmy Ruffin, The Four Tops, and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Visit sneakmove to download the mixes, but go into this knowing that "these are not hip-hop beats. They're more on the melancholy folk rock tip". That statement alone should make you absolutely certain whether or not you want to have anything to do with these remixes...
At This Is Tomorrow, you can cop "He Cuts So Fresh" (Marley Marl), "Uptown Is Kickin' It" by The Uptown Crew, as well as some other mp3s by The Whitefield Brothers, Detroit Sex Machines, and Shamek Farrah. Included in the same post is "Hula Rock" by The Lew Howard All Stars, a track that was sampled for Madvillain's "Meat Grinder". Additionally, this post features songs that have been sampled in joints by Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Wu-Tang, Pete Rock, De La Soul, and more. Hit that link to download songs by The Blackbyrds, Ernie Hines, Joe Simon, The Charmels, The Mad Lads, and William Bell.
More sample madness can be found at The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. This post contains quite a few classic tracks that have been used as ingredients in various hip-hop joints. Download mp3s by Curtis Mayfield, Leon Haywood, Kool In The Gang, Ohio Players, The Commodores, Kim Weston, and more. Also, don't overlook the post that featured songs sampled by J Dilla. Through that link you can score tracks by Billy Paul, Eddie Kendricks, Minnie Riperton, James Brown, and more.
Speaking of The Godfather of Soul, you should definitely add "Hot (I Need To Be Loved)" to your collection---cop it now at Dilated Choonz. Eclectic music listeners may recognize the funk riff from David Bowie's "Fame" in this joint. Apparently, there's some dispute as to who wrote the music first. Drop knowledge if you know something that would help resolve the debate.
Lots of impoverished children will be very disappointed this year when they find out that they won't be scoring any of those talking Jesus dolls. Doesn't every kid want one of those?
Download "If It Were Left Up To Me" by Sly Stone at Lil Mike's Last Known Thoughts & Random Revelations
33 Jones is featuring two Clipse tracks from DJ Rascal's mixtape This Is So Serious Vol. 5---"Where You Been" and "Double Down" w/ Vybz Cartel.
A new Nas joint is available at Rebel To America---"Blood Diamond".
Cop "Biological Speculation" by Funkadelic at Charles Bronson VS God.
Visit Palms Out Sounds to download more mp3s by El Michels Affair. One track is a live version of "Glaciers of Ice" that they performed w/ Wu-Tang Clan. The other track is their cover version of another Wu classic, "Bring Da Ruckus".
Last, but never least, Boogs posted a few Large Professor joints over at The Sole Life. Don't sleep---dude has some excellent taste in hip-hop.
Word From Your Moms:
"Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence."---Dorothy Dix
Random thought interlude---every single source I've read for this quote says "grave soul", but sometimes I get stoned and ponder whether or not "brave soul" would have been more contextually appropriate. Deep...
Sunday, November 12, 2006
It's going to take me a day or two to put some finishing touches on my next links post. Until then, here's what's happenin' in my headphones:
"What You Don't Want Me To Be"---Lee Moses
There's a relatively good chance that many of you have never heard of Lee Moses, and will make the terrible mistake of passing by the opportunity to download this song. While not exactly a household name, Lee's work has rendered much praise and recognition from soul aficionados worldwide (see O-Dub, for example). The LP that this track comes from (Time and Place) is one of those rare musical offerings that can be thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. It wasn't easy to make a single selection, but this song is gut-wrenching soul music at its very finest. Trust me...you'll be able to feel this one in your spleen.
"Practice What You Preach"---Poets Of Rhythm
Switchin' moods quicker than a manic-depressive crack fiend, I now bring you an uptempo groove that features some truly funktastic breaks. Come to think of it, this track could be a stunningly appropriate theme song for the GOP...if only the Republicans had more soul...Check out The Poets' discography here.
"Hold Mines"---Showbiz and AG
I don't think I'll ever tire of listening to the beat on this track. I'm going to be a little bit biased (as usual), and say that no self-respecting hip-hop fan should be unaware of this joint. I lost my copy of Full Scale several years ago to one of my shady friends who never returns stuff. I finally copped this track again some time last year, courtesy of the almighty Havas.
"It Was All A Dream (Kid Jerzee Mix)" ---Jay-Z/ Notorious B.I.G.
I wasn't in the mood for a Black Album remix today, but I said I'd be hosting Hov joints until Kingdom Come, and I'm one stubborn son-of-a bitch (sorry Mom). This is a perfectly nice blend---cop it.
For those of you who are still searching for a preview of what Kingdom Come has to offer, download "Beach Chair" at Notes From A Different Kitchen and "Trouble" via The Scattermish Bloooog.
Back in a blink with your goddamn links...
Word From Your Moms:
"Don't gain the world and lose your soul...wisdom is better than silver or gold."---Bob Marley
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I can think of a billion reasons not to vote today...The whole election process seems more rigged than a professional wrestling match...I hate having to choose between dumb and dumber...My precinct is so bankrupt, they can't even afford to offer cookies and juice anymore...It's supposed be cold tomorrow...I'd rather smoke a blunt...
Over the years, I've often been guilty of using explanations such as these to excuse my lazy ass from exercising my "democratic rights". Although I understand much of the reasoning behind voter apathy in the United States, there are still too many critical issues at stake right now for me to sit on the couch eating pink Twinkies all day. I bitch about all the problems with our government, so I feel obligated to at least try to do my part to enact change.
Don't worry---I'm not gonna beat you down Diddy-style with that "vote or die" stuff. I'm just thinkin' that if I have to give up my Twinkies, the least you can do is skip "The Jerry Springer Show", painting your toenails, shaving a peace symbol onto your Pit Bull's back, or whatever else you had planned on doing...
To help motivate you to move mountains, I've included a few of my favorite songs with a political lean:
"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"---Gil Scott-Heron
"Don't Give Me No Broccoli And Tell Me It's Greens (What Happened To Our Rhythm)" ---The Last Poets
"Anger In The Nation"---Pete Rock & CL Smooth
"Can't Truss It"---Public Enemy
"Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)"---Marvin Gaye
I consider this selection of tracks incredible, but incomplete. I know that the majority of you are morally opposed (or something) to dropping knowledge in the comment box...but if you change your mind, let the rest of us know what some of your favorite political joints are. Speak your mind...
Word From Your Moms:
"Our only hope is to control the vote."---Medgar Evers
"Alright guys, I want to get out there and vote tomorrow. And not because it's cool, because it's not. You know what is cool? Smoking while you vote."---Jon Stewart
"Hell I never vote for anybody. I always vote against."---W.C. Fields
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Recently, it's become apparent to me that the only way to survive in today's hip-hop industry is to prefix your name with "Lil'" or "Young". I have been observing this phenomenon for quite some time, and then I came across this article, which seems to further validate my theory. Although this formula may somewhat stunt the growth and evolution of the art form, the people have spoken---and the people want stupid rapper names. If this trend continues, artists without said prefixes may need to switch up their aliases to appeal to contemporary hip-hop audiences. In order to help some of these guys out, I composed a short list of possible conversions:
Ja Rule = Lil' Sappy: In light of all those "tender" songs with Ashanti, this title seems all too well-deserved.
Kevin Federline = Lil' Brains: Dude and his wife may, in fact, have a lower combined IQ score than any other humanoid couple on the planet, bringing new meaning to the term "double negative". Also, K-Fed has to be kinda stupid to believe he can rap in the first place...
Diddy = Young Cheezy: He's already changed his name enough times without any assistance on my part, but this pseudonym seems more fitting than anything he's come up with so far.
50 cent = Lil' Clappy: As many times as this cat claims to have been shot, how can you possibly question me on this one?
Fat Joe = Young Queasy: Dude's stomach is probably achin' pretty bad after all that food he just ate.
DMX = Lil' Snappy: Is it just me, or is X constantly on the brink of going completely bananas?
Andre 3000 = Lil' Rappy: This half of Outkast has been crooning so much lately, you have to wonder if he still remembers how to rhyme.
Nelly = Young Suck: I never thought much of his music, even when he had the whole world speakin' Country Grammar. The Band-aid thing was unforgivably wack, not to mention the ridiculous beef with Chingy (who should seriously consider renaming himself Lil' Crappy). Talk about a sissy fight...
Okay...this exercise could probably keep going into infinity and beyond, but you've probably had enough of my foolishness by now. On to the links...
If you like hip-hop, R & B, jazz, and/or soul music, you may want to check out The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It's a brand new mp3 blog with a generous number of song selections currently available for download.
If you haven't paid a recent visit to The Sole Life, you're missing out on two Buckwild remixes---"You Know Now" (Showbiz & AG) and "C'mon Wit The Git Down" (Artifacts w/ Busta Rhymes). You can also cop a couple of Outkast joints remixed by Floyd The Locsmif ("Jazzy Belle" and "Story Tellin'") via this post.
Peep the following videos on Stones Throw's website: "Nothing Like This" (J Dilla), "Take It Back" (Madlib), and "Monkey Suite" (Madvillain).
Download some "soul jazz" by Freddie McCoy ("Gimme Some"), courtesy of Funky 16 Corners.
If you aren't already a fan of John Robinson, you may have respect for some of the producers who worked on his latest album---MF Doom, Madlib, Wale Oyejide, and more. Acquire a few selections from The Leak Edition Volume 2 at The Broke B-Boys.
A few worthwhile collections of photographs can be viewed at Flickr. Check out photos from Soul Portrait, The Vinyl Junkie Pool, and this selection of "really bad album covers".
JT at Feed Me Good Tunes recently posted a few original songs that were sampled in joints by Jay-Z and MF Doom.
I'm hoping that most of you already read ear fuzz, but in the event that you missed the post with tracks by Joe Graves, The Creations, and The Trinikas, make sure you pay them a visit.
Pound For Pound is featuring the original vocal version of Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock". Bonus beats and the classic mix are available as well.
Go to The "A" Side to download Johnnie Taylor's "Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day)".
Aunt Doobie and Uncle Sherm used to watch "Facts of Life" all the time. Can't imagine how in the world I missed the bong episode.
As far as I'm concerned, Lyrics Born's "Lady Don't Tek No" is one of the nicest hip-hop tracks ever recorded. Cop it at MP3 4U.
Download Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday" at the incredibly hospitable Motel de Moka.
Ian at Notes from a Different Kitchen posted a lot of new hip-hop mp3s in the past few days . Some of the highlights have been "Hip Hop Is Dead" by Nas, "The N" (also by Nas), and "Corporate Takeover" by Jay-Z. Hit up that last link if you're also interested in The Game's new track with Kanye, "Wouldn't Get Far".
Cop "Lost Ones" by Jay-Z and "Ghost Is Back" by Ghostface at Sumish.com.
Download some live James Brown tracks (from a show in Switzerland, circa 1973) via Ickmusic. At least go check out the photo, and get back to me on why you think The Godfather of Soul stole Geraldo Rivera's moustache for picture day...
There's some really interesting music over at Dalston Oxfam Shop. Can't say you ain't heard...
Finally, hip-hop heads and soul fans alike should see what's happening over at hahamusic. This blog is also in its infancy, but this could become the place to be.
Damn---I hate typing and shit...
Word From Your Moms:
"Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet"---Mark Twain