Monday, September 29, 2008

Easy as 3.14

Friday, September 26, 2008

Trapping Muzik

T.I. - Trap Muzik [The Samples]

The summer between Junior and Senior year in high school ('03) was the height of my anti(non-New York)-Mainstream Rap era. That was, until I saw the video for Be Easy on Rap City. Prima Facie, it wasn't anything special, but something about this young southern fried rapper I had never heard of before just blew me away. I copped Trap Muzik and jammed to it for the rest of the summer. In the fall, Rubberband Man and 24 were dropped as singles and the rest, as they say, is history...Actually, no, it isn't. I have been jamming to Paper Trail for about a week, and though it's a decent album, all it did was remind me of how awesome Trap Muzik (and to lesser degree Urban Legend) was. Even though he has grown into a huge superstar, his music has lost that amatuerish (in the best sense of the word) effervesence that it did from '02-'04. Just my 2 cents. As always, a shoutout to Kev and Thomas for their assists.

Somebody To Love ["Be Easy"] 1 Al Wilson Trap Muzik [The Samples]
Can't Find the Judge ["No More Talk"] 2 Gary Wright Trap Muzik [The Samples]
I'm Just Doing My Job ["Doin' My Job"] 3 Bloodstone Trap Muzik [The Samples]
Day Dreaming ["Let's Get Away"] 4 Aretha Franklin Trap Muzik [The Samples]
She's Only A Woman ["I Still Love You"] 5 The O'Jays Trap Muzik [The Samples]
I Want to Be Your Man ["Let Me Tell You Something"] 6 Zapp & Roger Troutman Trap Muzik [The Samples]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who are the five greatest rappers of all time? Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan... and Dylan

"Hurricane" - The Roots ft. Mos def, Common

"Hurricane" - Bob Dylan

Ivan from over at Hip Hop Is Read and I were having a conversation this afternoon about the pure awesomeness that is Bob Dylan when the question of Hip-Hop sampling of Dylan came up. He knocked me on to this track off the Soundtrack to the movie Hurricane (with Denzel). It's more or less, intentionally or unintentionally, a remake of Dylan's original. Considering that Dylan is the greatest songwriter to ever put pen to page, it is an unfair comparison, but Black Thought and co. (especially Mos) hold their own.

Bonus: Spot the Dylan Cameo in Clef's "Gone till November" Video
(It won't let me embed for some reason)

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Poll: Love Letdown

This is another poll inspired by a conversation I had with a friend. Basically, as a huge fan of both Jay-Z and Kanye, I'm very disappointing by the lead singles for their repsctive albums scheduled to drop this december. The problem is that I can't decide which is more dissapointing. Vote on the right and explain in the comments. Peace.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just Another Nigga From The Bronx

Fat Joe Da Gangsta - Represent

Another Collab with Kev & Thomas over at Thisishiphop. This album is Fat Joe's debut. Lyrically it was nothing special (this was before he had Pun to Ghost for him), but the beats were classic early 90's boom-bap. The sample set is suprisingly very Jazzy (and I mean Bop jazzy, not Funk jazzy). My fave track is the 30 minute-plus Miles Davis track "He Loved Him Madly". Enjoy.

Changing World ["Livin' Fat"] 1 George Benson 4:56 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Let Your Hair Down ["Bad Bad Man"] 2 Yvonne Fair 4:09 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Lover & a Friend [''Watch The Sound''] 3 Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham 2:35 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Ring the Alarm [''Watch The Sound''] 4 Tenor Saw 5:14 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Get Out of My Life Woman ["Flow Joe"] 5 Lee Dorsey 2:33 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
The Long Wait ["Flow Joe"] 6 Morton Stevens 2:26 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Pride and Vanity [''Da Fat Gangsta''] 7 Ohio Players 4:26 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Please Sunrise, Please [''Shorty Gotta Fat Ass''] 8 Young-Holt Unlimited 2:52 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Ridin' High [''The Shit Is Real''] 9 Faze-O 5:20 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Fakin the Funk [''The Shit Is Real''] 10 Main Source 3:40 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
He Loved Him Madly [''You Must Be Out Of Your Fuckin' Mind''] 11 Miles Davis 32:20 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Blacks & Blues [''Another Wild Nigger From The Bronx''] 12 Bobbi Humphrey 4:39 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Hand On The Pump [''Another Wild Nigger From The Bronx''] 13 Cypress Hill 4:03 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]
Hey Wado [''I'm A Hit That''] 14 Eddie Harris 5:56 160 kbps Represent [The Samples]

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Extra Classic

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bon Apetit

The Wu Tang Clan - The W [The Samples]

This is another collabo with Kev and Thomas over at This Is Hip-Hop. The W is my favorite Wu group album (I now I'm in a minority), probably because it was the first one to come out while I was "conscious" of hip hop and was the one that got me into the Wu as a whole. As with any RZA produced album, some of the samples here are just delicious (Choice cut: Syl Johnson's "Is it because I'm black"). Bon Apetit.

Funky Way ["Careful (Click, Click)"] 1 Rufus Thomas The W [The Samples]
Is It Because I'm Black ["Hollow Bones"] 2 Syl Johnson The W [The Samples]
Diamond Fortress ["Redbull"] 3 Roy Budd The W [The Samples]
Corn Bread and Beans ["Redbull"] 4 Hugh Brodie The W [The Samples]
One Blood ["One Blood Under W"] 5 Junior Reid The W [The Samples]
Main Theme (Diamonds) ["Conditioner"] 6 Roy Budd The W [The Samples]
Tramp ["Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)"] 7 Lowell Fulsom The W [The Samples]
The Grunt ["Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)"] 8 The J.B.'s The W [The Samples]
Oh, Pretty Woman ["Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)"] 9 Albert King The W [The Samples]
Cold Feet ["Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)"] 10 Albert King The W [The Samples]
Sing A Simple Song "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" 11 Sly And The Family Stone The W [The Samples]
The Thief ["Let My Niggas Live"] 12 Roy Budd The W [The Samples]
Thief on the Prowl ["Let My Niggas Live"] 13 Roy Budd The W [The Samples]
Walk On By ["I Can't Go To Sleep" ] 14 Isaac Hayes The W [The Samples]
Hang On Sloopy (Long Version) ["Do You Really? (Thang, Thang)"] 15 David Porter The W [The Samples]
General Confessional ["The Monument"] 16 The Electric Prunes The W [The Samples]
The Jungle ["The Monument"] 17 Black Heat The W [The Samples]
Back And Forth ["Gravel Pit"] 18 Cameo The W [The Samples]
Belphégor (Theme) ["Gravel Pit"] 19 Antoine Duhamel The W [The Samples]
You're Gonna Need Me ["Clap"] 20 Dionne Warwick The W [The Samples]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Fux with...Hiplife (part 2 of 2 (or maybe 3))

Obrafour Mixtape (download)



Who Born You By Mistake?

Again, Maggie Ahuofe:

Obrafour ("The Executioner") traditionally is the person who beheads people sentenced to death by a chief. He came onto the rap scene in the late 90s. He was one of the fist rappers to spit solely in Twi. (Reggie Rockstone, the self-proclaimed Godfather of hiplife (and I don't disgree :)) rapped in both twi and english). What sets him apart from other Hiplife artistes is his prolific use of traditional proverbs and folklore in his rhymes.

Obrafour's first album was "Pae Mu Ka" which literally means "Split it say it" (It makes much more sense in twi, but an english approximation would be: "Say what's on your mind") . This album is arguable one of the most socially conscious and lyrically masterful Hiplife albums ever made. Notable tracks on this album include "Kwame Nkrumah" - a tribute to the country's first president and "Ghanaman" which is basically an interpretation of the cliched phrase: "Ask not what your country can do for you…." and "Yaanom" which calls on the people to listen!

Other Obrafour classics include "Who Born You By Mistake?" (One of the best insults you can say to a Ghanaian), "Maame" a tribute to mothers, "Ntitie Pa" good upringing.

His most recent album, "Heavy", saw him make a dramatic shift from standard Hiplife to the more traditional highlife style (Think Usher suddenly deciding to do an album full of 70's Stax soul). An average Obrafour fan might not appreciate Heavy but it takes more listens to fully appreciate the intricacies of what he does on that album. The title track is ridiculous!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Great Moments in Lyricism...Mos Def

The Roots ft. Mos Def - Rising Down

I had heard of a guest stealing a song before, but this was the first time that a guest stole a whole album with one verse.

Every anywhere heights plains peaks or valleys
Entrances exits vestibules and alleys
Winding roads that test the firm nerve
Fortune or fatal behind the blind curve
The engine oil purr, lights flash to a blur
Speed work through the earth make your motor go scurrr
Tonight at noon watch a bad moon rising
Identities in crisis and conflict diamonds
Blinding staring at lights 'til they cryin'
Bone gristle popping from continuous grindin
Grapes of wrath in a shapely glass
Ingredients influential on your ways and acts
Zero tolerance to raise the tax
It don't matter how your gates is latched
You ain't safe from the danger jack
Made it way before they made the map
Or a GPS this is DEF leader

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Fux with...Hiplife (part 1 of 2 (or maybe 3))

Kwaadee Mixtape (Download)

Abrantie Mabre

Ka Wo Nan To So

P 1

For the longest time I detested Hiplife. I always judged it through a hip-hop lens and found it lacking in all of the things I loved in hip-hop. It was only recently that someone convinced me to give it a secnd chance and opened my eyes to the uniqueness of the genre. So when I decided to do a series of Hiplife posts I had no choice but to outsource it to her. So without further ado, Maggie Ahuofe on Kwaadee:

Okomfoo (Traditional priest) Kwaadee (which according to my mum is an abbreviation of "Kwame Adei" a common Ashanti name) burst onto the Hiplife scene in 2002/2003ish (ish because this is the first time I heard his music). He, like Obrafour, raps exclusively in Twi and what sets him apart from other rappers is his use of very authentic twi and intonations. The average Ghanaian that you'll meet speaks very "westernized" twi interspersed with numerous english word substitutes, but this guy...not so much. (ALEX: He also has by far the best sense of humor of any hiplife artist I know)

His debut album was "Okomfoo Se Koo" (which I cant translate directly because my twi is too westernized). The first single off this album, "Meyere ne Mempena" (My wife vs. My mistress), is a classic in its own right. Granted all men cheat (ahem) but you rarely hear a rapper openly debating the pros and cons between his gf & wife in trying to figure which one to stay with (This is very similar to the Chris Rock skit "Old pussy" vs. New pussy")(ALEX: It's more or less a Ghanaian version of Gregory Isaac's "Cool Down the Pace").

Basically his wife is old school and timid and the mistress is young, vibrant, wears "shiny shoes", parties like its going out of style and is a tantric fox in bed. He makes the "wise" choice in the end and sticks with his wife because he cannot keep up with the "new school". Notable tracks on subsequent albums include "Abrantie Mabre" (the eternally exhausted young man trying to make it the legitimate way) and "Efie Nipa" which laments the problems of society's impoverished population.

The main reason he is being featured on this blog is because of the track "K'a wo n'an to so" from his most recent album "Nsem Pii" (Numerous issues). Translated, it means "Close your legs". This is by far the funniest hiplife song ever (ALEX: I say funniest song ever, no matter the genre. I literally fell off my bed laughing the first time I heard this track). He discusses the anguish older men go through in efforts to remain faithful to their wives whilst younger women entice them. He encourages all women to have a sign on their privates with the labels "No trespassing" & "Private and individual property". This is infinitely funnier if you understand the lyrics. Until then, just take my word for it.

(ALEX: A couple of my other favorite Kwaadee tracks tracks are P 1, A funny track about his elementary school days, and Nkran Kwanso, a song about getting your freak on in public)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bolt Runs Away from the Competition...Yet Again

Bolt's 100m record run...redux

What was more mind-blowing

Bolt's 9.69 100m WR - 23 votes
Phelps' 8 Gold Medals - 10 votes

I was completely shocked by the resluts of the poll, though I completely concur with its results. Now back to more biased Gymnastics commentary from Bella Karoly...