Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Said The Joker To The Thief

In case any of you are wondering why I find Satchmo so damned amusing, let's just say that I jacked this classic photo from his Blogger profile. Dude can make me laugh no matter what the hell I think I'm pissed about at the moment. Y'all better recognize...this kid is the realness.

It's been a few days since my last post (in pothead years anyway), so let's hurry up and do this damn thing, soul children...

"I Can't Take It"---Otis Clay
Otis Clay's deeply soulful sound is firmly rooted in the gospel tradition, followed by a gradual progression into secular music that truly accelerated when he signed on with Chicago's One-derful Records in 1965. He would later go on to cut some excellent records in Muscle Shoals, Alabama for Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. The last 45 he released on Cotillion was produced by the legendary Willie Mitchell, which ultimately led to Clay's celebrated tenure at Hi Records in Memphis, Tennessee.

Although I find great value in Clay's recordings from every phase of his career, there was something particularly magical about his collaborations with Mitchell. This intense ballad (from the I Can't Take It LP, 1977) is but one piece of evidence to support that grandiose claim. If I had to describe this track in a single word, I'd have to call it stunning.

If you thought there was only one phenomenal Otis in the history of soul music, seek to educate yourself by any means necessary. This all-too-brief overview can't even begin to tell the story of a man with this prodigious of a career.

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"Black Hollywood"---Camp Lo
Since I'm one of those pessimistic types who thinks that most post-millenium rap releases have been less than stellar, I kind of had to brace myself before listening to the new Camp Lo record. Uptown Saturday Night (1997) was one of my favorite hip-hop LPs of all time; Let's Do It Again (2002) was not. It made sense that I should prepare myself for the inevitable letdown that was bound to ensue.

Actually, the Black Hollywood LP didn't turn out to be as compromised as I'd expected---although there's quite a bit of distance between that and great. If I wrote reviews for The Source I'd probably give it three mics. Four if I put it up against most of the genre's other releases this year---dopeness, after all, is somewhat relative. The only way I'd give it even half a mic higher than that is if the record company offered me enough payola to lie like a dirty old rug.

I know---it's like taking candy from a baby to hate on hip-hop in '07. If I'm being honest, there are a few joints on the album that have significant replay value, the title track being the most obvious candidate. Yes, Scheme beat me to this at least a month ago, but what the fuck do you want from me? We all know it usually takes me at least 30 years to start appreciating a good record...

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Just for the sake of reminiscin'---the almighty "Luchini" video...

"Soul Popcorn Parts 1 & 2"---Doc Oliver
This Doc Oliver tune is another gem from Tobias Kirmayer's Movements: 14 Deep Funk Pearls compilation (2005). Kirmayer is a German DJ/producer/collector who has an amazing collection of funk 45s and rare grooves that most crate diggas would kill to possess. Whenever he decides to share some of these choice selections, you cough up the asking price without a moment of hesitation.

Admittedly, I don't know a great deal about Doc Oliver, so I'll put all pretentiousness aside where that's concerned. Regardless, unless you are completely without rhythm, this song has the power to make you invalids shake whatever Moms gave ya. In my experience, "popcorn" tunes tend to get pretty damn funky. Here's a good article by Doug Wolk about the whole popcorn phenomenon.

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"I Get My Groove From You"---Bobby Patterson
Despite the fact that Bobby Patterson never saw the commercial success of many of his Southern soul contemporaries, you shouldn't be fooled into believing that he was slighted due to a lack of talent or genuine artistry. On the contrary, this Dallas, TX native was an exceptionally gifted vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer.

"I Get My Groove From You" is a sweet, infectious soul gem that was originally released on Paula in 1973. The track has since been re-issued on a compilation of the same name, including 20 noteworthy offerings from his recordings in the '70s (Charly, 1999).

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"Triple Threat (Beirut Remix)"---Nature ft. Nas and Noreaga
Nature was born Jermaine Baxter in Long Island, NY. He later found himself in the enviable position of going to school with Nasir "Nas" Jones. As legend would have it, Nas saw potential in Nature's rhyming skills, a fact that means a lot or a little, depending on whether or not you've ever listened to the Bravehearts (smirk).

At any rate, having a famous rapper friend helped Nature skip the whole demo tape circuit, and he got bit parts on a few records before landing a spot in The Firm with Nas, Foxy Brown, and AZ. Regardless of whose reasons you believe, Nature ultimately replaced Nas' one-time friend Cormega in the "supergroup". Although Nas dedicated part of "One Love" to 'Mega when he went to prison and recorded The Firm's "Affirmative Action" single with him, Nature was brought in instead when it came time to record the full-length LP. Although Nas has blamed Steve Stout for this (and the album was essentially a commercial flop anyway), Cormega still felt pissed and dissed enough to drop "Fuck Nas and Nature". Nature survived being fucked by Cormega, but after all that, most people don't give a shit about either one of them. Damn...

This is definitely the stuff of fairy tales---you gotta love hip-hop beef.

As for Beirut, I've been checking out his mixes for quite some time now, and a few of them are pretty dope. I was reminded of this fact again recently, when Missingtoof pimped some of his music for the masses.

"Summertime"---Bobby Womack/ The Roots
I hope that Womack and the legendary Roots crew go without introduction for the average Souled On reader. This deserves as much acknowledgement as anything else I've posted, but I'm sick to death of typing...ugh. At any rate, this is one of my favorite takes on the Gershwin classic. Wanted to make sure I delivered this before it became unseasonal.

Supplemental materials:

Compare and contrast, kids---which one of Nas' homies had better skills? It's a stupid question---don't bother answering it.

By the way, Nas made nice with 'Mega and brought him onstage in December of '06 for an "Affirmative Action" reunion. Any further developments are more than I care to burden my brain with at the moment.

"All Along The Watchtower"---Bobby Womack
Duel of the Bobs---Womack covers Dylan...

"Burnin' And Lootin'"---Bob Marley/ The Roots
From Chant Down Babylon, 1999; one of the more positive results of Marley masters being mixed with contemporary artists.

Word From Your Moms:

"One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain."

"You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry."

Both quotes courtesy of the great Bob Marley

Friday, July 20, 2007

Who Bringin’ The Ruckus? FDB Primo Beat Deconstructions

Soul peoples in the place to be---it's with great pride that I introduce the first guest writer since Vik came through with "Slang Meets Soul". Call this the beginning of a series if you'd like, but my approach to collaborating with other bloggers is essentially lawless and without boundary. My hope is to periodically break the monotony a bit by surrendering complete creative control to some of the greatest minds on the interweb. The content and theme will be entirely to the guests' discretion, and if this submission is any indication, I think this will be a great way to keep things fresh and entertaining around here.

Now that I've gotten that lengthy introduction out of the way, I'm turning things over to the man of the hour---the one and only Dan Love. Dan is the mastermind behind one of my favorite spots in the blogosphere, From Da Bricks. My respect for this guy is immense, primarily because he's exceptionally knowledgeable and enthusiastic about music. He's also got an excellent sense of community, readily displaying his willingness to network and lend encouragement to fellow writers and music lovers around the globe. This is family we're talking about here, so be sure to give him some props for taking the time to bless us with his knowledge---Scholar

There has been a spate of guest posts kicking about in blogworld recently, and I think that it has been a refreshing development that clearly cements a sense of community between our disparate corners of the internet. Devoid of all of the normal nuances of human interaction such as voice and facial expressions, it is sometimes hard to know who exactly constitutes your ‘community’ as a blogger, and it has taken me over six months to build a clear sense of those that I would consider to be ‘fam’.

Given that I have long considered Scholar to be a part of my net-based crew, it was a pleasure to be contacted by him and offered a guest spot here at the mighty Souled On Music. Without getting too sycophantic about it, this blog has been an inspiration to me since joining the online hip hop community, and much of my recent digressions into sample sources have been a result of checkin’ into sites like Scholar’s. As this is the case, I felt I had to come with some sample-based goodness for this post, and who better to discuss than the one and only DJ Premier, one of the genre’s most highly revered crate diggers. Two Primo bangers and the two songs that inspired them: let’s get it on.

You Know My Steez Beat Deconstruction

Joe Simon - Drowning In The Sea Of Love (Spring, 1972)
Gangstarr - You Know My Steez (Virgin, 1998)

Believe it or not, ‘You Know My Steez’ was the first Gangstarr song that I ever heard. I can remember seeing the video on MTV when it was released in ’98, and running out almost immediately to cop ‘Moment Of Truth’ such was my enthusiasm for the song. For me, it remains one of the clear standouts from the crew’s fifth and last great LP, and ranks amongst one of the best single songs in their extensive and astonishingly brilliant catalogue.

Primo’s skills behind the boards really shine here, chopping up the initial couple of bars from Joe Simon’s ‘Drowning In The Sea Of Love’. The way in which the sample is flipped here is truly sensational, an attestation of Premier’s ability to transform the music of old into something distinctly modern and unique. Like all great Primo beats, it is instantly recognisable as a product of the man, with rugged drums (the snares on ‘You Know My Steez’ are ridiculous) and that infectious head nodding quality that threatens to leave you looking like someone rocking themselves to sleep in the corner of a padded cell. Trademark chorus hook scratches and Guru’s inimitable monotone round the cut off perfectly, making ‘You Know My Steez’ a staple of the Gangstarr canon.

Suspended In Time Beat Deconstruction

The Incredible Bongo Band - Pipeline (Pride, 1973)
Group Home - Suspended In Time (Payday/ffrr, 1995)

Despite the somewhat exhausted commentary on the shortcomings of Lil’ Dap and Melachi’s mic abilities, ‘Suspended In Time’ goes down as one of my favourite cuts on the group’s debut ‘Livin’ Proof’, with both MCs putting in some of the more listenable vocal performances on the album over one of Preem’s most outstanding compositions. Whereas ‘You Know My Steez’ demonstrates his astute ability at chopping up a break, ‘Suspended In Time’ instead highlights his incredible ear for interesting samples that would pass the average producer by.

The Incredible Bongo Band’s ‘Pipeline’ is a far cry from their uptempo b-boy anthem ‘Apache’; instead this is a song that begins with a lilting pace and dreamlike atmosphere, building steadily to a climax of horns and percussion. Primo focuses in on the opening of the track, transposing the sounds of gulls and lulling instrumentation into their new hip hop context for the Group Home joint. Whereas some old funk and soul songs seem to cry out to be torn up by an SP-1200, you would be forgiven for this particular sample passing you by altogether, and therein lies the crate digging genius of DJ Premier. Teamed up with another heavy drum track, this beat feels spacious and beautiful, again carrying the usual hallmarks of his production style with another sublime scratched chorus hook (has anyone ever done this more effectively?) and subtle beat manipulations such as the pounding bass kicks of the song’s opening bar. Just imagine what this would have sounded like with Jeru riding the groove…

Whilst I’m on the Premier tip, make sure you check into Floodwatch Music immediately, as Flood has just put together a brilliant 62 minute mix of pure Premier goodness that is one of the best things I’ve seen come out of the ever-expanding blog game. If you liked what you read here then make sure you come and check out my spot at From Da Bricks for writing and topics along a similar lines: you’ll be most welcome. Props to Scholar for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings a little, a return invitation has been extended: the gauntlet has been categorically thrown down. Hold tight y’all…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ill Street Blues

"Four Walls"---Eddie Holman
Eddie Holman often gets lost in one-hit-wonderland, due in large part to the fact that "Hey There Lonely Girl" was his only commercially successful single. While the rest of his discography is often overlooked, Eddie's smooth-flowing style made a distinct impression on me in the very earliest days of my soul diggin' career. "Four Walls" is an incredible tune from his I Love You LP (1970) that speaks volumes as to why I still consider him an absolute master of soul balladry. If you're a bit on the romantically challenged side, spinning one of Eddie's records could easily turn things around in your favor, too, by the way...

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"Writing The Silver"---Opgave
Opgave's sound is perhaps best described by mentioning some of the artists that producer Saboteur cites as influences: DJ Krush, RJD2, Diplo, Portishead, DJ Shadow, Blockhead, Amon Tobin, etc. I came across this moody little track by way of Suspicious Records' Broken Nightlights compilation, which apparently entered my aural pathways for the sole purpose of uncovering this solitary gem. This has become the perfect soundtrack for nights when I'm battling insomnia, dragging on one last cigarette before I haul my tired ass to bed.

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"The Mexican"---Babe Ruth
It's possible that I should have saved this song for an episode of Souled On Samples, because this joint would easily qualify for an opening session of The Breaks 101. This is a brilliantly funky anthem from a relatively obscure '70s progressive rock outfit from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The song has been rehashed and covered numerous times, as well as having been sampled by the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Organized Konfusion, Grandmaster Flash, Doug E Fresh, Funky 4 + 1, Jungle Brothers, and more. For what's it's worth, this track can teach you how to play one hell of a mean air guitar.

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"Liberation Conversation"---Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw's name should be familiar to you whether you listen to soul, funk, jazz, the blues, R&B, disco---hell, pretty much any kind of music except for heavy metal and polka. Loop diggas are fond of her material as well, considering that her records have been borrowed by artists such as DJ Shadow, No I.D., Lyrics Born, Madlib, Automator, People Under The Stairs, and DJ Premier. "California Soul" is easily her most sought-after tune, but I thought I'd deviate from the norm a bit and slap you in the chops with this sliver of funk that packs a lot more punch than most songs ten times its size.

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"What's In A Name?"---Jay-Z
Some of you may be wondering whether or not I'm pissed at Hov for making a mockery of my allegiance with the complete and utter fiasco known as the Kingdom Come LP. As I suspected, the CD does in fact make for a great coaster, although I don't usually spend $13.99 for one of those. The hologram on the cover didn't exactly make up for the lack of quality content either, so what's a Jigga fan to do to save face in light of this disaster? I haven't come up with anything other than falling back on his classic material, when dude was tryin' to eat---not mired in defeat. This is an unreleased throwback from The Early Tapes (1989-1994) that certainly is a prouder moment than "Beach Chair" could ever hope to be. Sorry about the bootleg hiss in the background, but I'll take that over slickly produced garbage any day of the week.

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Another monumental moment in hip-hop history---Jay and Biggie live in '96:

"Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"---Harlem Underground Band
I suppose this track might have been better suited to the post I did last week with Grandma chiefin' on that chubby, but what the hell---this is a worthwhile song to throw into the mix at any given point in time. The Harlem Underground Band were the studio group for Winley Records, but they released two albums under their own name as well. This fine contribution to the pantheon of stellar pot songs was released on their self-titled debut LP in 1976.

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"To Know Him Is To Love Him"---Amy Winehouse
Despite the fact that many soul enthusiasts seem to struggle with Amy Winehouse's "authenticity" (not to mention her ethnicity), I bear no shame in saying that I'm rather engaged by her. Let he or she who is without guilty pleasures cast the first stone...

Back to Black has been hyped to the fullest and most nauseating extent, so I thought it might be refreshing to post a more obscure track---a live acoustic cover of a Phil Spector tune that she released on the UK version of the "You Know I'm No Good" single. I'm not a huge fan of the song itself, but Amy's vocal abilities are displayed here in such a raw and unpretentious manner that I find this track somewhat difficult to resist. Hopefully you'll agree, but if not---let the haterism begin...

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Bonus mp3:

"Dirt Off Your Shoulder (Ghislain Poirier remix)"---Jay-Z
I know---if you hear one more Black Album remix before you die it will be light years too soon. Can't blame you there, but damn, cousin---tell me this beat ain't CHUNKY...

Word From Your Moms:

"I been in the blues all my life. I'm still delivering 'cause I got a long memory."---Muddy Waters

Friday, July 13, 2007

In A Low Down Groove

What's goin' down, soul children? I've been agonizing more than usual about what to post today, so I thought it might be the perfect time to stop by some of my favorite spots in the cyberhood. Here's what's good...

First and foremost, rest in peace to Bill Pinkney, the last surviving member of The Drifters (8/15/25-7/4/07). Soul Brutha Dave B. and Brown Eyed Handsome Man were amongst those who paid this legendary artist some well-deserved respect.

My pal Vincent recently posted the first and second parts of Sharon Jones' "Damn, It's Hot" over at the ever-delicious Fufu Stew.

Dan Love did an excellent write-up at From Da Bricks about George Benson's "Face It Boy, It's Over", including several hip-hop joints that feature a sample of the song.

Visit Missingtoof to download a shitload (as if this is a scientific unit of measurement) of Beirut remixes. Includes reduxes of tracks by Jay-Z, Clipse, Biggie, M.O.P., and more.

O-Dub is currently offering a couple of stellar B-sides by Ann Sexton and Clarence Reid.

Internet radio has suffered yet another devastating blow. If you haven't already, please holla at some of the congressional jackasses who claim to represent you...

A couple of funktastic Don Covay songs are currently available by way of the almighty ear fuzz.

RZA recently spoke with to discuss Wu-Tang's pending release, 8 Diagrams. More info by way of Hip Hop DX.

If you haven't already noticed, JT is killin' it with the summer song selections over at Feed Me Good Tunes. These are a couple of his most recent posts, featuring the likes of Skull Snaps, The Roots, Grant Green, Kool & The Gang, Chuck Berry, and more.

Download "Why Can't There Be Love" by Dee Edwards, courtesy of Colin at In Dangerous Rhythm.

Featured artist of the day is Gordon Parks, an amazing photographer who was also a musician, film director, journalist, novelist, activist, and poet. He is perhaps best known for his photo essays in Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. He was once quoted as saying that photography was his choice of weapons, giving you just a hint at what a powerful figure he truly was.

Cornel West's upcoming LP, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations, features an outstanding guest list with appearances by Prince, Andre 3000, Gerald Levert, Black Thought, KRS-One, Killer Mike, Lenny Williams, and more. Visit Nah Right to scoop up "Bushonomics", featuring Talib Kweli.

Download a veritable classic, "Bus Stop" by Oliver Sain, by way of Flea Market Funk.

More sample goodness is available via Martini & Jopparelli's Music Selections---d/l Stanley Turrentine's "The Man With the Sad Face", the original song sampled on "Dead Serious" by Das EFX.

A recent Intel report indicates that Al Qaeda is currently "better positioned to strike the West" than ever. Learn more at Crooks and Liars.

Darcy recently posted a couple of versions of "I'm Back for More" by Al Johnson & Jean Carn and Leo's Sunshipp over at Feel It.

Visit hahamusic to get your chubby fingers on a nice selection of Al Green covers.

Metal Lungies waxes nostalgic about DJ Premier, and offers tonz of mp3s to illustrate why there can never really be another Primo.

After a reasonably long hiatus, 2 minutes of bliss 2 steps back into the arena with some exceptional footage of Fontella Bass performing her version of "Rescue Me".

Soul junkies in the house will definitely want to check out A Deeper Shade Of Soul, a pretty phenomenal blog that I've been sleeping on for way too long. (Thanks for the tip Nicole---and well...for just being you).

Before I go, a final thought. I hope you know that I would never shamelessly pimp any LPs that I didn't think were quality material---at least not until I get a fuckin' check or something. That said, I am really diggin' the promo copy of Billie Holiday: Remixed and Reimagined that I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Unlike the Nina Simone remix project, I can listen to this CD from beginning to end and enjoy every single moment. I'll probably end up in jail if I give you one of these tracks, but you can and should read more about the album here.

And just because I really love you, here's a classic Billie song that remains a favorite of mine to this very day:

"Solitude"---Billie Holiday (mp3)

Word From Your Moms:

"Define your own voice rather than imitating others. Cut against the forces of conformity. The forces of conformity are market-driven, driven by titillation and temptation, as opposed to decency and dignity."

"Hip-hop came from the killing fields of chocolate cities. Hip-hop artists constituted tremendous power, before they were ripped off by the record industry, and it all became about money. We went from MLK's 'let freedom ring' to the bling-bling."

"The world listens to jazz, to Luther, to Aretha, to Stevie, to get a taste of what freedom should be like."

All above quotations from the mind of Cornel West

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Souled On Samples Part IX

This cat just knows that his shit is cooler than all the iPods on his block put together. With any luck, my peoples will be equally enthused with the classic vibe of today's musical selections...

"The Grunt (Part 1)"---The J.B.'s
(Sampled on "Rebel Without A Pause", "Night of the Living Baseheads", and "Terminator X to the Edge of Panic" by Public Enemy, "Soul Brother #1" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" by Wu-Tang Clan (1993 version), "The Final Chapter" by Compton's Most Wanted, "I Know You Got Soul" by Eric B & Rakim, "The One" by Chubb Rock, "Hustler Mac" by Steady B, "Ease Back" and "Give the Drummer Some" by Ultramagnetic MCs, "Officer" by The Pharcyde, "Drop the Bomb" by 2 Live Crew, "The Payback II" by Erick Sermon, "Who Stole My Car?" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, "U Wanna Sweat?" by Jungle Brothers, "Break of Dawn" by Salt-N-Pepa, "Beat Dis" by Bomb the Bass, and "Juice Crew Law" by MC Shan.

Dig deeper...

Video for "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" (1993)

"Soul Girl"---Judy Foster
(Sampled on "Get on the Mic" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth)

Dig deeper... (Not much available info about Judy---link leads to further info about the legendary Pete Rock; if anyone has some knowledge on Ms. Foster, please school the stoopid)

"The Breakdown (Part 1)---Rufus Thomas

"The Breakdown (Part 2)"---Rufus Thomas

"The Breakdown (Parts I & II)" have been sampled on "The Grain" by Ghostface Killah, "Uncut, Pure" by Big Daddy Kane, "I'm Gettin' Ready" by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, "Live!!! From Acknickulous Land" and "Do U Wanna C It" by Three Times Dope, "Illegal Search" by LL Cool J, "Kamurshol" by NWA, "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn" by Eazy-E, "The Phuncky Feel One" by Cypress Hill, "Feel This" by Agallah, and "WRMS's Dedication to the Bitty" by De La Soul.

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Rufus breaks it down...ain't he clean?

"Oh, Pretty Woman"---Albert King
(Sampled on "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" by Wu-Tang Clan--- 2000 version)

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Video for "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" (2000)

"Mixed Up Moods and Attitudes"---Fantastic Four
(Sampled on "Take It in Blood" by Nas)

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"I'm Talkin' 'Bout Freedom"---Syl Johnson
(Sampled on "The Truth" by AZ)

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"The Trap"---Jerry Goldsmith
(Sampled on "No Mercy" by Pharoahe Monch/ M.O.P.)

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"Children Don't Get Weary"---Booker T & The MGs w/ Judy Clay
(Sampled on "Glaciers of Ice" by Raekwon)

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"Blacula Strikes!" ---Gene Page
(Sampled on "New York Shit" by Prodigy)

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Word From Your Moms:

"Soul is like electricity. We don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light up a room..."---Ray Charles

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gettin' High On My Own Supply

"It's Too Late"---Willie Hightower
Not to be confused with the Chicago jazz great who shares his name, this Willie Hightower is a forgotten Southern soul artist who possesses the sort of vocal instrument that will rattle your bones and shake your hips. Hip-hop enthusiasts are bound to scratch their heads in collective wonder as to why RZA has never mined this particular gem.

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"Ten Crack Commandments (Kwame's Stimulated Mix)"---Notorious B.I.G.
This is one of those highly sacred hip-hop joints that should probably never be blended, remixed, or otherwise fucked with for any reason. DJ Premier's original beat is a classic, laced exquisitely with a sample of the tune "Valantra" by Les McCann. That said, this little redux is still pretty damn dope if I do say so myself...

Footage from Biggie's last freestyle...

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"James Brown"---Nancy Dupree
Nancy Dupree sang and composed the entire Ghetto Reality LP (1969) with a chorale ensemble of inner-city youth from Rochester, NY. The magnificence of this album can't be overstated, despite it's relatively unassuming facade. There's a brilliant innocence to these recordings that can't be properly described with words, so the whole LP is definitely worth a listen. "James Brown" is perhaps the most beloved song from the album---and good God, y'all---it's one of the coolest tributes to the Godfather of Soul that was ever laid on wax.

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"Change the Beat (PZ Wicked Child Remix)"---MF Doom
Most people don't know this about me, but I'm a pretty big fan of Radiohead. I can freely admit to this because you won't be able to beat me up or steal my lunch money, even if you think that makes me a punk. Anyway, a couple of years ago, DJ Panzah Zandahz proved I wasn't the only freak who liked hip-hop and Radiohead when he released his Me & This Army mixtape. Some of the blends were an illogical fit as far as my ears were concerned, but Radiohead and MF Doom are like peanut butter and lots of grape jelly, son...

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"Farewell To the Welfare Pt 1"---Wendell Harrison
Wendell has been a staple on the Detroit jazz scene for several decades, but if you've never heard of him, chances are you'll be familiar with some of the artists he's worked with---Eddie Harris, Sun Ra, Grant Green, Hank Crawford, Leon Thomas, and more. "Farewell" is an incredibly funky tune---it sounds like at least a dozen blaxploitation theme songs blended into a jam so fantastic that even Shaft could dig it.

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"Let's Go Away For A While"---Bullion
Bullion was kind enough to drop a copy of Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee in my inbox a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've seen a few of the tracks posted here and there, but I wanted to make sure that this kid got some well-deserved shine right this very spot. If I tell you that the main components of this mix are J Dilla and The Beach Boys, you may make the grave error of deciding not to even give this track a listen. That combination may sound like spaghetti and fried eggs, soul children, but I assure you it's not. I consider myself to be somewhat discerning when it comes to music, and therefore, I can tell you with some certainty that this shit is nice. Much more creative, skillful and unique than your typical bootleg remix/refix/mash stuff, this track actually deserves to be all up in your headphones.

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"Do What You Gotta Do"---Roberta Flack
Those of you who've been hangin' around here for a minute will remember that I've also posted a version of this track by the goddess Nina Simone. Roberta's take on the song is so completely different as to make comparing the two an apples vs. oranges proposition. Outside of her work with Donny Hathaway, I was never particularly fond of Flack's material. Despite some reluctance on my part, I've come to realize that I sincerely enjoy her first couple of albums---First Take and Chapter Two. "Do What You Gotta Do" is from the latter platter, and I'll say nothing except to offer a warning that it might just break your little heart if you let it. The internet thugs are really gonna want to steal my lunch money after this one...

Bonus mp3s:

"Diamonds (Lushlife Remix)"---Kanye West
Just in case that Bullion joint wasn't enough to satisfy your underlying desires to hear hip-hop infused with The Beach Boys, I thought you might want to check out this Lushlife mix as well---pretty interesting stuff.

"Class of 3000 Theme Song"---Andre 3000
This track has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I promised David at Sony that I'd up this link to Dre's latest track for anyone who hasn't gotten to hear it yet. I'm still trying to figure out what to make of it---it has some truly worthwhile elements, but I think I'd get into it even more if Andre would only share some of those good drugs with me ;)

Word From Your Moms:

“After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ''I want to see the manager.''”---William S. Burroughs