Tag Archives: Alblums

Slug, Murs, The Grouch and Michael Franks. Musical Angel Dust.

I fucking love Michael Franks, yeah his voice may be a little flat and his music may be just slightly on the diet soda, newports and ritz crackers side of funky but that’s the side of funky that I feel most comfortable with. With his songs about video games, rainy Tokyo evenings and empty cookie jars I feel me and the brother Franks could be kindred spirits of a sort.

And then the pairing of Slug and Murs for the Felt series. This track comes from the much slept on first instalment, A tribute to Christina Ricci. All the beats are by Oakland brawler, The Grouch and the whole EP is a lo-fi, dusted out beauty. Worth owning on vinyl if only for the pull out art work that depicts a cartoon Ricci wielding a human heart in the palm of her hand.

First you get the break.

Now you get the beat.

“listen to wizards…”

the l.p’s out the morra.

smashing on ni&&as.

the angriest emcee of all time is back with a terrance martin(spirit of dr dre) produced bangalanger.

no one else has his vocab, or spits like him

…and they say rap’s changed, fuck em, thats how i feel about it.

Unreleased J Dilla, safety dance.

Them crazy cats at Stones Throw have put out Donut Shop, billed as an official colab between them, Serato and the J Dilla estate. Can’t believe this hasn’t been done before but everybody’s favourite producer has flipped “Safety Dance’ by goof ball, Canadian, electro pop wizards ‘Men without hats and turned it in to a booming piece of down and dirty funk.

Here it is.

Just in case you’re not familiar with the original, you can cop that here too.

But if you really need to complete the cycle, track down  ‘Weird Al in 3D’ by ‘Weird’ Al Yancovic for his parody on Safety Dance that he calls The Brady Bunch, it’s the best of the bunch.

The DNA of the Blueprint by DJ Neil Armstrong.

Q) What’s better than listening to a Jay-Z album?

A) Listening to the highlights of several Jay-Z albums, expertly selected and blended by DJ Neil Armstrong.

I first mentioned Neil back here and since then his career has seemingly really taken off, his talent finally getting the recognition it deserves in this fickle world of hip hop where association with a superstar is seemingly the only route to success.

Check out this awesome mixtape here and then go and cop all the All Out King and Smoove Mixtapes and allow yourself to be transported back to an era where mixtapes were actually mixed and the dj schooled heads to all kinds of good music rather than just shouting over a load of bangers and ‘exclusives’ to promote whichever rapper they were down with that week.


Devin the Dude does Rick James, Yelawolf does Devin the Dude

sampling, or more generally, use of other peoples musical creations for your own product has always been a part of hip hop culture and has always been grounds for debate about the artistic merit of certain genres. Nay-sayers will always hate on use of samples and use it as an argument  to poo poo rap music, while those that know will always make the argument for it being tantamount to the evolution of music and a legitimate method of expression. But we’re not here to have that debate, as far as I’m concerned, Stetsasonic put that straight back in ’88 an anyway, more ‘traditional’ musical styles borrow from  each other all the time but nobody gets upset about that.

What caught my attention however is this recent discovery. Basically, these days I have a handful of artists on constant rotation, they are EPMD, Rakim, Evidence, Devin the Dude and Yelawolf. And it is the latter two that make up the point of this post.

Devin sampled Rick James ‘Hollywood’ and really made it his own. Making use of only the initial couple bars before Rick took it on a drastic, coke fuelled, left turn, Devin showcases his singing skills as well as his rapping on this emotion led thumper.

On his awesome “trunk music’ mixtape, Yelawolf not only uses the sample but commits the supposed hip hop faux pas of using Devin’s own melody for the track “Love ain’t enough’. Now biting has never been honourable in hip hop, thing is Yela actually expands on Devin’s concept and makes it truly his own, arguably even making better. This track is by far Yela’s best lyrically, swapping the rapid fire flows for straight up, heart felt story telling that we can all relate to.

The jury’s out as to who’s track is better, props to Devin for the hook amd props to Yelawolf for lyrical content but remember neither, excellent track would be possible without the twisted genius of Rick James.

Devin the Dude – Anythang

Yelawolf – Love is not Enough

I’m out to bomb like Vietnam

Recently, hotasballs linchpin Irish Craig sent me a decidedly dorky yet hella cool, fantasy football style round up of who was the most underrated rapper. Take care to remember that underrated does not mean the best rapper that you never heard of, rather who doesn’t quite reap the props that they deserve. In these days of over hyped, over payed superstars that can’t rap for shit (you know the names, this is a hater free zone) this was no mean feat as many underground, hell even below radar rappers are still afforded heaps of critical acclaim and praise in their own niche fields so exactly how we define underrated ain’t exactly TAB cola if you dig my meaning.

One name that stuck out for me was the top four finalist Tame One.

Now I never ranked Tame as one of my top ten rappers but there was no denying that some of his couplets have really tickled me. Noticeable examples being “High again/with enough smoke to choke a fireman/ last seen with 76 Phillies like Iverson”     (Weathermen: 5 Left in the Clip)

and  “To be perfectly honest/ I’m not really feeling most of you rhymers/ some of you small timers/ just a bunch of vaginas”   (When Rappers Attack)

Both of these tracks were put out in the early 2000’s on Eastern Conference Records and I feel that it was this feeling of him being the token black dude in the white boy rap movement that held him back a bit and led to his becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of this rap shit, never getting any respect.

No doubt Tame was a back pack rapper, a genre that to most critics now seems like a dirty word, but this movement, to my thinking, was one of the most creative and progressive era’s in hip hop history but die hard rap nerds like to pretend that they never liked it because it isn’t macho enough. Well slightly homosexual prejudices aside, Tame One, in his Artifacts days helped pioneer this movement. Back in 94, he and El Da Sensei were like a modern EPMD with their slightly dusted take on hip hop culture that reflected the suburban New Jersey (or as they called it New Jeruzalem) way of living. Hip hop made by hip hop fans for hip hop fans that rejected the faux glamour and sex/ crime cliches that mainstream hip hop was becoming. They rapped about the 4th element of hip hop, graffiti, because that’s how they were living, this was before rappers forgot about the essence of hip hop and graf was adopted by the indie boys.

Check Wrong Side of the Tracks for a real insight in to bombing by people that actually did it rather than get some chump graphic designer to do a graffiti style font on their wack ass logo.

For more graf related music check Big Jus’ “Lune TNS” or “Aerosol” by Oslo’s DJ Tommy Tee which heavily samples wrong side on the tracks. If I ever get the chance to digitise my vinyl I may add these at a later date.

“Grab a can and put your man up and stand up”.

The Slew, making turntables interesting again

In a time when it seems that all the coolest music comes out of Montreal, Eric Han aka Kid Koala, aka the Asian Boris Johnson has cemented that notion by pulling off the seemingly impossible, fusing turntables with live bass and drums,  without sounding wack.

In honesty this sort of thing has been done credibly before, mostly around the San Francisco area in the mid 90’s, examples that spring to mind are DJ Disk’s outings with Primus, DJ Q with Live Human, Space Traveller DJ Marz as well as the likes of Z-Trip and Radar and Mr Dibbs all creating peculiar melds of musical styles but not until now has it been done so coherently, so rocking and so accessible, please rest assured, this sounds nothing like Linkin Park or any other crappy rock band with a token scratch dj (Incubus, Lost Prophets etc) in this set up the turntables provide the lead while the bass and drums supply a dirty, low down rhythm section.

Kid Koala and Dynomite D teamed up with former Wolfmother bassist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett to create curious, heavy music for skaters.

Here are some of the results:

“you get the laugh, then you seen where youv’e been..”

i ain’t gonna front and say i was a big fan of the black keys in the past,i liked the band and the production, but i always thought the singer was a bit wick, wick wack(sorry).it appears i wasn’t the only one thinking that, cos dame dash( he has no idea how camp that sounds),the man behind jay-z, has dragged them to new york to work with some of his peoples in the “field of hip-hop” and let’s just say i’m hyped about the results…some sort of super-trendy version of the judgment night soundtrack: BLACKROC.

now for the cool part. video from the studio sessions..

lovely old analogue gear and cool white dudes seem to have the rappers sprung, ,and they rise to challenge, and come with it.

in this clip, mos def, who i’m liking more as i become less of hater, vibes with the band, and make a song.he can’t sing..but.

jim jones, rap’s pauly from rocky passes through, and “feels it out”, whilst puffing the magic dragon, and actually spits some poetry.

rza smokes out, grabs the guitar, i cringe, then stands up and directs a masterpiece.you can see the abbot’s brain working.awesomes.

nikki wray and jim jones come, through, dash accafools, and the magic is in the air.no phil collins.

the l/p is out on the 27th.