Monthly Archives: March 2010

Videos

Jahi feat. ADL – S.O.S.

Geek

Galactic Empire State of Mind

Amazing and nerdy parody of Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind.

Featured Music

Erykah Badu – Return of the Ankh

returnoftheankh452

Our girl Erykah is back with a new album.  This album, titled New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ankh, is shaping up to be something quite promising.  I’ve got my hesitations, mainly due to the fact that she has a collabo with Lil’ Wayne (called “Jump Up in the Air and Stay There”).  Oddly enough, The Guardian says that the Lil Wayne track is absent from the album.  Either there was a last minute change, or the UK version of the disc is somehow different than the North American.  I guess we’ll see once I get my hands on it.

[Update: Pitchfork is saying the following

Billboard originally reported that Badu would include a track called “Jump in the Air”, which would feature a ton of guest rappers, including Lil Wayne and Andre 3000. But a Wayne-featured early version of the track leaked, and Badu has since eliminated it from the tracklist. Instead, a version of “Jump in the Air” with just Wayne and Bilal will appear as a web-only bonus track. Sad news for all of us who badly wanted to hear a Badu-helmed posse cut.

Guess that explains the difference.]

For those of you looking for the beats, this album definitely has you covered.  With production (somehow) from J. Dilla, 9th Wonder, and Madlib, you are pretty much guaranteed to find something you like.  In the video below, a track called “Window Seat”, you get to hear ?uestlove jamming on the drums .

If “Window Seat” is any indication, I think I’m going to be quite happy with this album.

Music

Dela has a new album

Big ups to Musical Schizophrenia for posting about a new instrumental tape from Dela.  For those who don’t know, Dela’s a French artist now based out of Montreal.  Dope, ethereal beats and a very jazzy feel. 

So check out the Robert Glasper Beattape.  Tracklist is below:

1. Kiss
2. The Thief’s Theme
3. Get Busy
4. Something New
5. Dizzy
6. Can It B So Simple
7. Jay Hova / Music
8. Tribute
9. Praise & Praise

Head over to Dela’s bandcamp page for download.

Album Reviews Music

T.Shirt & Darvin Silva – The Tan Face Children EP

Tan-Face Children EP

Free mixtapes and EPs are usually unpolished and gritty.  Slapped together on tight schedules and low budgets, they’re a way for rappers and producers to generate noise without much expense (and, sometimes, effort).  The prevalence of mixtapes and EPs in hip-hop is probably due to a combination of several things, including the culture’s DIY aesthetic, the widespread availability of music production software and the lack of formal training and equipment necessary to spit a few rhymes (anyone can rap into a mic, playing even a basic melody on an instrument takes practice and, obviously, an instrument).

T.Shirt and Darvin Silva’s new EP, however, seems to defy that logic.  Called The Tan Face Children EP, it sounds distinctly professional.  It borders on experimental, with the electro drums, pulsating bass lines and off-kilter, almost broken beat sequencing that’s popular nowadays.  A couple of songs feature indie melodies and hooks, and Shirt and Silva bolster the EP’s coolness and esoteric factors by sprinkling Walt Whitman quotes throughout (hence the title).  The lyrics are generally good, especially on “24 Frames (Movie Night),” on which all three verses are composed entirely of movie titles – and it actually works.  Even better, it’s extremely well mixed, and sounds like it was recorded in a studio rather than some dude’s basement.  And for a free EP, you can’t ask for much more than that.

DOWNLOAD: T.Shirt & Darvin Silva – The Tan Face Children EP

01. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
02. (Written Somewhere In Miami)
03. Monday Massacre
04. 24 Frames (Movie Night)
05. Recommendation
06. Starry-Eyed
07. Allure (Must Have Been Love)
08. Outro Music

Music

R.I.P. Nujabes

Today, the website The Inquisitr (among others) reported that Japanese producer Nujabes died last month in a car accident.  If true, this represents a huge loss for hip-hop and, truly, music in general.  While never breaking into the mainstream, Nujabes received critical acclaim and attracted a diverse and committed fan base.  Nujabes made beautiful music, combining drum breaks with subtle jazz loops and haunting piano and string melodies.  My personal favourite remains “Battlecry,” on the Samurai Champloo soundtrack:

R.I.P.

Music

2 Hungry Bros – Back for Seconds

2HungryBros - Back for Seconds

Yesterday, producers Deep and Ben Boogie – collectively known as 2 Hungry Bros – released Back for Seconds, a free mixtape.  And it’s damn good.  The album’s beats are incredibly diverse, ranging from rare funk and jazz grooves to more recent House tunes like Lady (!) and Music Sounds Better With You.  They’re not samples either, but rather the full tracks, preserved in their original glory for the album’s featured emcees to rhyme over.  It’s a unique experiment, for sure, and probably not for everybody.  But if you’re looking for something new and diverse, check this out for sure.  You won’t be disappointed.

DOWNLOAD: 2 Hungry Bros – Back For Seconds

Music

Michael Franti & Spearhead make your heart happy

This song is the exact thing you need if you’re starting to feel low in the post-Olympic days.  See the video below the jump.

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Music

Lil’ Wayne’s comedic journey to jail

The attempt to send Lil’ Wayne to jail has been amusing to watch.  First, Wayne decided that he needed to prep for a year in jail by shooting nine videos in one weekend.  That way we’ll all see a lot of the tear-tatooed rapper even when he’s serving time.

But that wasn’t enough.  Before he could go in, Wayne also underwent eight root canals in one day.  Pitchfork also says that Wayne had his diamond-encrusted teeth fixed up before he went in.  Those procedures delayed his sentence for a couple of weeks, and he’s now headed to jail sometime in the next couple of days.

Lil’ Wayne is quite the character, and the kid’s got talent.  That’s why it’s almost fitting that comedian Margaret Cho put this song together, called “My Lil Wayne”.

Music

Little Brother Release First Single from Last Album

El bee's curtain call

Little Brother has released “Curtain Call,” the first single from their forthcoming and final album, LeftBack.  The track features a rad ’80s sample, embellished with synth drum fills and a smooth bass line.  Lyrically, “Curtain Call” has got to be one of their finest efforts.  It’s littered with the kind of witty punch lines and awesome references (“Not even Clarissa could explain it all”(!)) that make the best hip-hop joints worth re-listening to.  And it shows how far Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte have come as emcees; they’re definitely at the top of their game, and it’s a shame we won’t get to hear them together any longer.

But my favourite part of the track comes at the end, when Phonte passes the torch on to the next generation of Little Brothers*.  Here’s hoping the cats he names, including Tanya Morgan, J Electronica, Wale and others, can fill their shoes.

DOWNLOAD: Little Brother – Curtain Call

(via NahRight)

*And bringing harmony to the universe: the group originally named themselves Little Brother because musically, they thought of themselves as the younger siblings of “Tribe, De La, P.E.”