Monthly Archives: April 2013

Cool Music

Freestylin With The Roots On Fallon

As most of you know, the Roots are the greatest band in late night TV.  They have made Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a huge success, and have also indicated that they are likely to follow Jimmy when he moves to take over the Tonight Show in a couple of years.

One audience favourite bit is “Freestylin with the Roots”.  Jimmy goes into the audience, asks for some random facts, and then suggests a style of music that the Roots must perform the track in.  Black Thought kills it, as always, but it’s also amazing how quickly the rest of the group is able to come up with a perfect sounding musical accompaniment.

In a recent edition of Freestylin With The Roots, we are treated to a solid overall performance.

But the big shocker? The Roots have a platinum album!

Now I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not How I got over (although I love the album).  Instead, their 1999 opus Things Fall Apart just went platinum.

14 years after release.

It’s a huge accomplishment, and blows my mind that it hasn’t happened till now.  Congratulations to the Roots!

Cool

Jay Z in Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Read Michael Bloomberg’s quick little tribute to Jay Z  in Time’s (I keep wanting to call it Time Magazine, which I guess it will no longer be) The 100 Most Influential People in the World | TIME.com.

It’s amazing that a hip hop icon would get a tribute from a billionaire mayor of one of the largest cities in the world.

Awareness Cool Underreported News

Kobe Bryant’s failed rap career

Grantland has a great story on The secret history of Kobe Bryant’s failed attempt at a rap career.  It’s a bit of a long read, but in the best possible way.

It tracks Kobe’s path through his time signed at Sony Entertainment and provides surprisingly relatable discussions about his struggles to remain true to his original intention versus being moved towards the radio-friendly pop sound that the mainstream wanted (or that the label thought they wanted).  Here’s a quick snippet from the article:

 “You know what’s funny? He sounds dope,” she says afterward. “Compared to the rappers today, he’s dope. He sounds like an underground backpack rapper. It don’t even sound like Kobe Bryant. I would want to hear more from this kid if I didn’t know who he was. That’s funny. Nobody raps like that anymore. Yo, he came there to prove a point. He put thought into that. I couldn’t hear it for years when everyone joked about it. Now hearing it, he doesn’t sound bad.”

Clark Kent has a different take on Bryant’s performance. “He just seemed like one of those guys that wanted to be good so bad that he was trying to use the most intelligent [words] and have the sick vernacular. It was like, ‘Calm down, duke. Just rap.’ He was the lyrical-miracle-genius-type rapper.”

Awareness Music Underreported News

Jay-Z battles Republicans

For those of you who haven’t been following the news, Jay-Z has been getting some heat lately for the trip he took to Cuba with Beyonce.

While constantly ignored, America still technically prohibits non-sanctioned travel to Cuba by their citizens.  A bunch of Republicans have been questioning his trip and whether or not he broke the law.

They’ve been making such political hay out of it that Hova responded the only way he knows how.  He dropped a surprisingly good battle track going after them.

I can’t wait for Marco Rubio’s response track to drop.