Monthly Archives: December 2009

Featured Music

DJ Shadow’s Entroducing performed live

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In what has to be one of the better things I heard over this Christmas break, Introducing is a 9-piece live band that goes around and performs the entire Endtroducing album.

I’m assuming most of you are familiar with Endtroducing, which just so happens to be one of the greatest albums of the last 20 years.  You’ll hear deejays and emcees talking about this album all over the place, saying it’s one of their biggest inspirations or just that they feel it’s dope.  And I must agree.  That album is part of what made me love music so much.  It’s beautiful and well-crafted, and these guys truly do it justice.  I’m impressed with how they’ve managed to take an album composed of samples and turn it back into a premium live band performance.  It’s a really interesting reversal of the whole idea of sampling.

Watch the performances below.

Or you can stream it live from their MySpace site.

Cool

Aries Spears (from Mad TV) impersonates hip hop

This isn’t nearly as snarky as that headline comes off.  This guy is actually pretty talented.  He does impressions of LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, DMX, and Jay-Z.

Just a little something to distract you for a few minutes.

Here he is doing it on a radio show.  A little bit different, but still entertaining.

Cool Music

Wicked Hip Hop Christmas

What do you get when you combine Black Element, djBC, and Big D and the Kids Table? A hip hop video for a Wicked Hardcore Christmas.

You’re welcome.

Props to BoingBoing.

Awareness

Imeem goes bye bye

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This may not be something that really affects any of us, in the end, but I think it’s worth noting nonetheless.  You may have noticed that we’ve embedded quite a few tracks from imeem over the years.  It’s been a simple and convenient to showcase a whole variety of tracks.

But imeem isn’t gone.  They were bought by MySpace for a rather low sum, and it seems like MySpace is intending on keeping some aspects of it.

In the coming weeks, our team will be working as quickly as possible to take aspects of imeem that users love and migrate them to MySpace Music. We’ll start that transition today by redirecting imeem users to MySpace Music to discover their favorite music.   As quickly as possible, we’ll be working to offer users the imeem playlists they’ve created on MySpace Music.

At the minimum, maybe this means MySpace will finally allow embedding. It seems like a  no-brainer to me.  Use imeem technology to allow embedding of MySpace tracks.  Since MySpace is basically only used by bands these days, it is a cheap, legal way to enhance the MySpace experience.  It also allows blogs like ours an easier time promoting artists that we like.

Check the press release here.  (and no, it won’t actually be called MyImeem.)

Music

Coldplay and Jay-Z? Yes it’s true, and yes, it’s okay

jayandchris

You read that headline correctly.  Terry Urban has gone ahead and made his own kind of Grey Album.  Urban has mashed up Jay-Z and Coldplay into an album he has titled Viva La Hova.

I was totally taken aback because I never would have thought of matching those two artists, but I guess that actually might be why this idea sort of works.

I’ve got something of a weak spot for mashups,  more for the idea than the result.  In general, I sort of like the idea of putting two incongruous artists together into something new.  It either really adds something to an artist or abruptly forces you to rethink why you liked the artist in the first place.  This album does both of those things.  Listen to the Life of Clocks and you’ll get what I mean.  Coldplay’s mellow beats honestly overwhelm Hova’s rhymes, and it seems like it sort of exposes Jay’s lyrics as being just absurd.  On the other hand, a track like Science is Ignorant works a little bit better.

But yes, the end result (as with most mashups) is that it entertains you for a few minutes and then you sort of get bored of it.  But it’s worth looking at.  You can download the album here.

Stream it off their Myspace Page: www.myspace.com/vivalahova

Music

Three best mixtapes of ’09

It’s nearly the end of the calendar year (and the decade!), which means only one thing: ‘best of’ lists.  Yep, it’s that magical time when critics, fans and musicians announce their favourite music of the last 365 days and, for those more ambitious, the last 3,650 days.

So it seems only right for us to start posting some best ofs of our own (a.k.a. other people’s best ofs that we find entertaining).  First up is a set of three mixtapes described by BlackBook magazine as the best of ’09.  They are, in no particular order:

Chiddy Bang – The Swelly Express

Donnis – Diary of an ATL Brave

Drake – So Far Gone

Click here to download ’em.

Are they any good?  I’m not sure, I’m still downloading them from the Interwebs.  Plus, I’m busy remixing a local indie rock band’s latest album with Wu-Tang accappelas.  But they’re free, so get your download on and listen for yourself.

Quick

Prisoners do MC Hammer

Just a fun little thing to pass the time.  Ever wonder what a whole bunch of prisoners look like while dancing to Soulja Boy and MC Hammer?  No?  Too bad.  Watch anyways.


Inmates Do Soulja Boy and Hammer – Watch more Funny Videos

Geek

Shameless plug for TuneUp and Biz Markie

I honestly wouldn’t even think about shilling for a company normally, but somehow this commercial hits the exact right spot for me.  It gets my need to be organized, and it makes Biz Markie do something ridiculous. 

So yes, in return for creating something funny like this and having it go viral, I guess they get a free plug here on 4080.  (Note that I have NO idea if this product works, and I’m not actually recommending them).

[Via BoingBoing]

Music

Timbaland announces his retirement from hip-hop

In a recent interview with MTV, Timbaland announced he is leaving hip-hop.  Apparently, he’s switching genres to satisfy his fans, most of whom are more likely to listen to Madonna or John Mayer than Nas or Jay-Z.  As he explained to MTV:

“After my last album, I know where my bread and butter is at.  I know 75 percent [of the people who buy my album] are women who love Timbaland and most are the women who watch ‘Desperate Housewives’ and all those others. I did this research. It’s the women who watch ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ — all the real go-to-the-bar women like Timbaland, and mostly European women. It lets me know that my fanbase is mostly women and they are from all cultures. So it’s not a person who loves mostly hip-hop. It’s a person who loves everything besides hip-hop.”

At least he’s being honest.  Plus, Timbaland’s been churning out radio-friendly pop jams for a minute now, so I doubt his musical transition will be a radical one.

Anyways, to commemorate his departure, here’s Wale freestyling over a Timbaland beat, courtesty of 2dopeboyz: Wale – Say Something (freestyle)

Music

Lupe does New Moon?

LupeFiasco

This post is going to have a couple of weird Lupe facts, but I promise they will be worth it.

First of all, raise your hands if you’ve heard of the Twilight movies.  Yes? No?  I’m going to assume you all have, since that damn teenage vampire series has been all over the media like judgmental sportswriters on Tiger Woods.

Well, the latest movie in that series came out (it’s called New Moon, in case you wanted to go see it).  And while the soundtrack is filled with a variety of indie rock and mellow guitar licks.  And then, out of nowhere, comes Lupe.

No he’s not rapping, at least not really.  And considering my latest post, I guess it’s fitting to do another on a rock/rap fusion track.  I don’t even know how to describe it, but people seem to love it.  I mean, big ups to Lupe for finding a formula that works for him and broadening his appeal.  He’s always been willing to experiment and push the envelope a little bit, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

Pitchfork turned me on to this video, and I have to give them props for it.  It definitely made me chuckle.  And they have the best way to describe it:

If you ever wanted to see Lupe performing in an alley intercut with lots of footage of CGI werewolves, now’s your chance! This track, at least, has a more technically competent guitar solo than Lil Wayne’s recent rap-rock tracks.

Check it.

My second tricky Lupe fact, also brought to you by Pitchfork, is that Lupe, Santigold, Jessica Biel are planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the worldwide water crisis. It’s a noble goal but also a strange publicity stunt.