Monthly Archives: November 2011


Black Star’s Aretha mixtape


Mos Def and Talib Kweli have launched, a pretty basic Tumblr blog.  It’s going to be your source for some free tunes and hopefully the launch of the Black Star Aretha Franklin mixtape.  Check out the latest track You already knew. 

Black Star "You Already Knew" by 3DDistro


Common – Celebrate


A new track from Common off of his upcoming album, The Dreamer/The Believer.  I’m excited.

Awareness Headline

Reflections on Collecting


In the course of my aimless internet nomadism, I stumbled across a reference to an essay written by Walter Benjamin on book collecting, titled “Unpacking my Library”. It’s a profound and moving piece written by someone who clearly loves books, and loves the act of collecting books even more.

I am unpacking my library. Yes, I am. The books are not yet on the shelves, not yet touched by the mild boredom of order. I cannot march up and down their ranks to pass them in review before a friendly audience. You need not fear any of that. Instead, I must ask you to join me in the disorder of crates that have been wrenched open, the air saturated with the dust of wood, the floor covered with torn paper, to join me among piles of volumes that are seeing daylight again after two years of darkness, so that you may be ready to share with me a bit of the mood – it is certainly not an elegiac mood but, rather, one of anticipation – which these books arouse in a genuine collector.

Even better is this point:

On the other hand, one of the finest memories of a collector is the moment when he rescued a book to which he might never have given a thought, much less a wishful look, because he found it lonely and abandoned on the market place and bought it to give it its freedom – the way the prince bought a beautiful slave girl in The Arabian Nights. To a book collector, you see, the true freedom of all books is somewhere on his shelves.

You see the same is absolutely true about those who collect music. There’s something beautiful about seeing albums on your shelves, but there’s something almost equally poetic about sitting among the piles. About being surrounded by the clutter of music and liner notes and amazing cover art. About finding something in the dollar bin, or a record at a garage sale, or as an mp3 on some now-defunct message board, posted by a hopeful young musician to whom no one ever replied. The true freedom of all music is somewhere in our collections.

I’ve had it both ways. I’m fastidious about organizing my collection. I want to be able to find my music, most of the time. At one time my CD binder (yes, I had one of those massive zippered binders, and yes, I had a CD collection) was alphabetized and organized by genre. Same with my LPs. In fact, my mp3 collection is still that way. And yet many times the biggest joy I get is just setting my player on shuffle. I like the surprise. Although less tactile than what Walter Benjamin experienced, it never fails to make me smile on the subway when a song is suddenly seeing daylight again after years of darkness.


Drake and Phonte?


In today’s unpredictable collaboration news, Drake and Phonte (of Little Brother fame) were supposed to team up for a track last year that never materialized. 

You’ve talked a lot about your admiration for Phonte. How come another collaboration with him still hasn’t happened?

With me and Tay, I kinda dropped the ball on a feature he needed me to do, just being 100% honest. I really wanted to do a record with him, and we actually did do a record for my album, and then something happened with the producer and the beat, and it started getting funny so I had to scrap the record. And then he was like, "Well, can you do this feature for me," and at the time I was trying to find my sound and trying to figure out what this album was going to be about, and I kind of let it slip through the cracks. That was my fault, and I do apologize to Phonte for that. But I still want to make it happen; I talked to 9th Wonder about trying to make it happen, we’ll get it eventually. He knows he’s one of the biggest influences on my career.

I guess I’m behind the times, but I had no idea Drizzy loved Phonte that much.  Clearly I’m a huge Tay fan (and yes, I love Rapper Big Pooh too).  It’s big of Drake to admit that he messed up on this one, but hopefully he can find some time to make it up to Phonte. 

[Village Voice via HipHopDX]

Cool Music

Bieber freestyle, part 2

The Bieb does it again, and on Hot97 of all places.  Hot97’s still got some influence in a lot of circles, so with their endorsement, I’ve got to say that I think Bieber’s rap career may be a little bit closer to actually happening.

Plus, props for a Tim Hortons reference.


20 years of jazzy hip hop

This is so amazing it hurts.  Tracklist is below the video

  1. Dream Warriors – My Definition Of Boombastic Jazz Style (Intro)
  2. A Tribe Called Quest – Jazz (We’ve Got)
  3. Us3 – Cantaloop
  4. J. Spencer – Hip Hop Jazz
  5. Justice System – Summer In The City
  6. Common – Resurrection
  7. INI – Fakin’ Jax
  8. Buckshot Lefonque – Music Evolution
  9. Les Nubians – Tabou (ft. Black Thought)
  10. Jazz Poets Society – Aboriginals
  11. Guru – Making of Jazzmatazz interview (Interlude)
  12. Wu-Tang Clan – Uzi (Pinky Ring)
  13. Speech (of Arrested Development) – Spiritual People
  14. Madlib – Slim’s Return
  15. Heiruspecs – 5ves
  16. Pete Philly and Perquisite –Grateful
  17. Hocus Pocus – Dig This
  18. ArtOfficial – Big City Bright Lights
  19. Globetrottas – Love
  20. Dexter – The Future / Sounds Great Les
  21. Ozi Batla – Put It On Wax
  22. Kase O – Jazz Magnetism
  23. Robert Glasper – Hip Hop and Jazz (Outro)

MF Doom Interview

Check out a long interview with MF Doom. You won’t be disappointed.

Lecture: DOOM (Madrid 2011) from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.


Tanya Morgan – Whatever That’s Mine (2011)

Sometimes you hear a song or an album that makes you think, “If I had any talent, I’d make music like that!” Tanya Morgan’s music is like that for me. I dig almost everything they make, especially this new track, “Whatever That’s Mine”. The lyrics are insane, and the beat may be the best I’ve heard all year. Something about those voices, whatever they’re saying.

Whatever That’s Mine (Prod By Von Pea) – Tanya Morgan

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Props: Metal Lungies

Awareness Underreported News

R.I.P Heavy D


Unfortunately, another hip hop icon has passed on.  Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers, died at the far-too-young age of 44.  MTV is reporting that

“He had gone to the doctor the day before,” Winter told New York’s Daily News. “He had what appeared to be flu-like symptoms.”

“He said he had a touch of pneumonia, maybe from traveling,” cousin Ruddy Phillips, 50, told the Daily News after speaking with the entertainer’s dad. “He just got back from England.”

The Overweight Lover was conscious though experiencing trouble breathing when he was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center after a 911 call was placed at 11:25 a.m. PT on his behalf Tuesday. However, he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. PT. Although an autopsy has been performed, the coroner is declining to announce any cause of death until toxicology tests are conducted due to Heav taking various medications.

Until they find out what happened, its useless to speculate.  But the one thing we can agree on is that this is tragic, and he had a lot more life to live. I can honestly say that I slept on his last couple of albums, but in honour of his legacy, I give you Now that we found love.  Check it out below.


Willy Moon – I Wanna Be Your Man

296781_124906830943987_101442523290418_100409_746030379_nA pretty smart marketing ploy, it seems.  Little information, one video (linked via facebook, twitter, and youtube).  A shoddy website, even.  But the song itself is pretty addictive.  So I give you, Willy Moon’s I Wanna Be Your Man”.


Who is this guy?