Hip hop Is Dead eh Nas? Well on the face of it he may be right, what with the state of commercial radio (on both sides of the atlantic) these days. But underneath there is a heart beating strongly as the lungs breathe life into a somewhat outwardly stagnant genre. Remot is most definately 1 such giver of life. This is one seriously talented guy & it would be an absolute travesty if he doesn't get more shine. Some of you may remember the flurry of American Gangster remix albums that dropped (i posted some of the better one's). Well HipHopDX ran the biggest AG online remix competition & This guy won the whole damn thing. He beat some noteworthy Beatsmiths (Eye Am & Von Pea among them) along the way. His winning remix has a superbly smooth, soulful vibe. I used the words don't sleep before & I meant them, but this time i say it with a capital D, multiple exclamation marks & double underline. My Man Kevin Nottingham has got an ill interview with Remot too so pass over there & check that out. Remot is undeniably a name that i will be looking out for in future & i suggest you do the same.
You just ain't Hip Hop if you haven't bumped a Camp Lo track at some point in your life. From Coolie High to Luchini & Glow to Gotcha, Geechie Suede & Sonny Cheba have been doing there thing, as only they can since '95. These guys catalogue was almost entirely produced by Ski (Jay Z, Sporty Theivz, A.D.O.R) & the chemistry is obvious. I'm not gonna say much more apart from Camp Lo, I salute you.
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Raymond Home was convivted of more than 20 sex crimes against children including Rape. He was jailed for 12 years without parole but several Austrailian experts in the field all said that it was more a matter of when, not if, he would reoffend. So, because Mr. Home is still a UK citizen, they sent him back here. I have no beef with the Australian government because I would've done exactly the same. But why oh why is he now free to change his name & choose where he wants to live with the taxpayer paying for it. Why don't the so called allied countries of the westrn world share information on an area of crime far more disgraceful than murder yet carries a far lighter sentencing structure. Raymond Home had commited crimes of a similar nature before but is still able to walk the streets. Why isn't there an international network of intelligence agencies that can share information on these types of people. Oh... wait... they already exist, there just crap at doing there jobs. And i really hope that he will be put under some type of surveillance. The UK taxpayer would gladly foot the bill for such a high risk offender. Take a look at that face people and memorise it both with & without the beard because he could be anywhere in this country living near any of our kids.
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When 6 diagram dropped the 4 corners of the online galaxy were filled with nothing but negative darts to aim at the Clan's latest creation. The consensus was that as well as the Clans seeming lack of enthusiasm while dropping their jewels this time round, the Prince himself had alsomlost his way behind the boards. It must have been true right? I mean damn, the Rza's hierachy was telling us how unhappy they were with the album & that we should expect another disc, minus Rza in the not too distant future. I'm convinced that most of the bad vibes being shown towards 8 Diagrams was being done so because of said in-fighting. Maybe the negative filters were well & truly planted on the peoples ear drums by the time everyone was listening to the album.
Today (18.03.2008) marked as the 1st time that i actually listened to the 8 Diagrams. I never downloaded any of the available links & having bought the CD about 3 months ago it has literally sat, untouched in between Wordsmith's Roadman Showcase & Yungun's The Essence (UK big ups) for that time. From what i was reading in various blog comments & chat boxes, the vibe was about 80/20 in favour of negative press. I have to admit the reason it has taken so long for me was due to the bad vibes (especially toward Rza's beats) online. I should know better by now to trust my own instincts & i have to wonder what all the negative stuff was about because the album is very good. The beats have that Wu imprint on them & the all the Guitars and live drums that rubbed so many people up the wrong way show just how creative Rza is behind the boards.
I know i'm probably going to catch some negative slang in my chat box for this but i really like the album & therefore has taken pride of place on regular rotation in my ipod playlist. Just had to let that out.
Anyway check the various states of freeness below.
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I've said this before but some of the supposedly current pioneers of this music should take heed. There's no point calling yourself a pioneer if the pioneering music your putting out for the masses is crap. All the so called new technology in the videos & all that stuff ends up being a waste of your budget. If you want a blueprint of how to do a straight forward concept very well, Braille's latest offering should be a part of it. From the get go The IV Edition is simply a damn good head nod. Every track follows the tried & tested formula; Crisp drum patterns, great loops & an ill flow from the man himself. I listened to this from start to finish & every track had my head moving. The overall vibe of the album is a bit more leftfield than his previous work & the samples used have a definite spacey vibe about them. Get It Right is a prime example. The piano loop on this track is arguably the most melodious on the album, yet when coupled with the drums a definite airy vibe appears. But this is presicely the reason why i'm feeling this release even more than his other albums (which are all great listens as well). My fav this go round has to be Constantly Growing with Speech (Mr. Wendal people?) with it's DJ Spinna like B-Line is another example of IV's spacey sound. Braille is an intense MC. Whether he's being an MC's MC or sending a positive message he simply refuses to let up. I've been a fan of Braille for a good few years & even with a catalogue of his quality, in my view this is his best work to date.
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And a bonus: Braille - Extra Box For Japan Selection
I had to throw in one more of this guys tracks. Riding Premo's Speak Ya Clout beat, Ramson comes at the drug trade from a different perspective for each verse. The whole thing is real nice but the last verse is both laugh ou tloud funny & a great descriptive verse. Enjoy people.
I dare the good people not to feel what Hip Hop Is Read & Kevin Nottingham are about. If any budding producers are after any original samples or if you're just curious these are the go to guys. They must put in a ridiculous amount of time to source some of these album samples. From The Minstrel Show to Ready To die to The Chronic to Doctors Advocate & an awful lot in between they're putting in some work. Plus They've got reviews, interviews & a world of top notch freeness too. I skate through a lot of blogs without actually paying attention to efforts some of my fellow bloggers go to in order to get things done. These guys are a prime example of why I (& You) shouldn't be doing that. Don't sleep people!
I'm expecting big tings from this brudda. Ramson Badbonez is simply, a supremely talented MC. His flow is amazing & the concepts he's crafted in some of the songs i've heard so far are superb. I just hope that he's able to translate the undoubted ability into a well rounded album. The mixtape is out now so go buy it. If you want a taster check out my man killing the Liquid Swords & Turnaround beats below. Class.
"It took God 6 days to create a perfect world. On the 7th day he rested. This was a big mistake, for on the 7th day WE took over"
Whether you're God fearing or God taunting, Uber religeous or the ultimate athiest, these words should resonate with us all cause like it or not the world as it is at the moment is not in the shape that God intended. My opening statement is the first thing you hear when listening to Anathema & make no mistake, this album was never meant to be hip Hop's proverbial walk in the park. The overall sense of darkness & gloom is apparent from the get go but don't for 1 minute let that put you off. Some of you may not like the comparison but to me Triple Darkness & Braintax are 2 sides of the same, reality edged coin. But whereas 'My Last & Best Album' will shout its disquiet for certain aspects of British life from the rooftops, 'Anathema' will lurk in the shadows & strike at the opportune moment. The dark soundscapes provided by Chemo & Beat Butcha are superb & will immediately press the nostalgia button in the brain of 90's Heads. This is not ground breaking or innovative stuff & it's not trying to be but there is the unmistakable air of Mobb Deep: circa The Infamous - Hell On Earth, about the album as a whole. Sometimes all we fans want is straight Hip Hop with a real concept. With all i've mentioned before, plus Blind Alphabets, Kyza & Skriblah joining the resistance, the mission is accomplished & then some. From 1 neck snapper to the next the backdrops created when coupled with the emcee's lyrics are what Hip Hop for the streets should be all about. My personal fav 2 cuts are below to check out. That Amenoir is a spoken word wizard & his flow over a ridiculously good beat for an outro needs to be heard. Superb.
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His people emailed my people (i'm my own people by the way) & i listened to the mixtape. Give it a go. It's nice & it's free and ain't nothing better than the freeness. Be sure to check out the myspace too if you're feeling what you hear.
Having decided to relocate to the land of Oz, Joseph Christie has decided to bless us with his last album (yeah yeah yeah, we all know how that usually turns out). The brainchild behind Lo Life Records & creator in chief of 2 of the UK's most highly acclaimed albums, Braintax presents his 'Last & Best Album'. The entire project was produced by Colin Emmanuel aka C-Swing, who has laid beats for ,amongst others, Mystro, Klashnekoff, KRS-One, Doc Brown, Yungun, The Beta Band, Estelle, Pheobe One (should i mention that) & on Tax's Birofunk. The 1st thing you notice is the departure from the overall sound of his last 2 albums, which must obviously have alot to do with Mr. Emmanuel. The tracks seem to have more depth & there is an accesibility to the album that wasn't there with the other 2 (which is no bad thing). This must also be down to C-Swings vibe 1st, sample 2nd approach to the beats. It's clear that these 2 worked on the album together & didn't simply pass semi completed tracks back & forth to each other to work off of. The 2nd thing is the lack of any real guest spots on the album. Apart from 1 or 2 that you don't expect, Daniel Debourgh from Popstars: The Rivals (remember him) & Michael Caine (yes that Michael Caine), it's all Braintax. Lucky for us that Tax is so damn good at what he does, Switching subject matter with ease while dropping gem after gem after gem. Whether it be schooling people about the downside of the retail culture (Retail) to hardline soulful reminisce sessions (Real People) to telling the Green/Eco issue like it is on my favourite track, Goldfish Bowl (that vocal sample is ill) or trying to stop the violence (Fix Up Come Up). In my view the shift in sound is a welcome 1 & the outcome is an album that should see the Braintax brand expanded somewhat. The chances are though that hardline fans won't like half of it initially but more fool them i say. Don't compare this one to his last 2 but try to judge it on it's own merits & you'll soon realise just how good it is. I have selected the 2 taster tracks for that reason. Personally i think Braintax & C-Swing have outdone themselves & this is on regular rotation on my pod right now.
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Some Baby J related freeness for y'all. i found this one at Blog Rockin' Beats. DJ BFG has remixed (& Refixed) some of Baby's F.T.P 2 tracks as well as others. Blends, mixes & remixes abound. The result is a bloody good (Free) mixtape. Grab this 1 people!
Trilogies, or the third in the series of something can be good (Star Wars, Rocky III, The Return Of The King, Getback...) or bad (Scary Movie 3, Police Academy 3, Nastradamus, Bad...). The creative powers behind any media driven 3rd time out can either get lazy & assume that we, the viewing/listening public will swallow whatever they feed us. Or they can be inspired by the critical acclaim received for passed works & their own self determination to produce something as good, if not better, than their past efforts. Being a proud owner of both Everyday Life & Realities Of Life, and also a big fan of DJ Nappa'a last album production project (Wideopen with Emcee Inja) I had high hopes for Life MC's last in his trilogy. With his agenda firmly set to school any would be ignorant/clueless peeps with his street edged pearls of wisdom, Life skates over Nappa's aural layout with ease. Life has the ability to get through an awful lot of syllables in his rhymes without sounding like he's breaking a sweat. The struggle, the streets, the government & other aspects of life get beat down or built up in equal measure. As usual Nappa doesn't disappoint with the beats & the album is just 1 long head nod. As for my favs on here, Hands Up is my top beat but Bomb Propaganda is Life at his best lyrically, schooling heads on the motives of the powers that be/the system. Add to all that, that this is a double disc album with disc 2 being a cocktail of 28 Nappa beats. All in all not bad for a tenner.
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I got an email from both these dudes asking me to post there stuff. but i would never have posted them if I didn't feel what they're about or if the product wasn't worth the effort. I posted em both so that should tell the good people something.
Dutchmaster - Blends & Remixes
This one is worth the d/l just for the Lloyd/Daft Punk blend, which has now taken up a permanent residence in my Ipod (i'm a daft punk fan anyway). The Lil' mama blend with Lupe's Kick Push is a banger, as is Dutch's Lifes A Bitch blend. But the scene stealer for me has to be Biggies Ten Crack Commandments blend with Eminem's..... damn i forgot the name of the track but it's superb nonetheless. A special mention goes to the Amerie vs. Blu & Exile Dancing in The Rain blend. Some great blends/mixes on here people.
810 - Hard Work Conquers All
A nice beat selection on this mix cd and the guy can flow too. He's all about the hard work on this cd. Dissing stupid/fake Emcees, telling people about where he's from & where he wants to be in the game. Some real nice one liners in here too & it was pretty easy for me to listen from start to finish without a pause. There are 1 or 2 minor missteps but this is a mixtape & the package as a whole which is well worth a listen.
A few posts ago i showcased a beat man with the moniker Bring that Beat Back. I did say that his Hip Hop blends were nice & in particular his take on the future classic, UGK's International Players Anthem. I have since had an email from another producer/blendsman, Dutchmaster, who says that his version is better. I have heard both & i know which 1 i prefer (i'm not saying which 1 though). In order for the good people to decide for themselves i have provided a link to download both versions. By way of a bonus i have also included MIDIMarc's version as well. Lemme know which of the 2 you're feeling.
Those superb people over at Nappy Diatribe are always on point with there posts anyway. But their last politically charged post comparing Hilary Clinton & her staff to the characters fom the Police Academy Films is the stuff of legend. Due to the intriguing factor that is Barack Obama, we on this side of the pond are taking a lot more interest in the race to become the next Democratic presidential candidate. Not a word out of place on this one & every one of the comparisons made makes perfect sense. These guys clearly know their stuff & this is definately one that needs to be read by as many of you good people as possible. I also linked their take on the Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) jail situation too. Don't sleep now.