The Wu is back on September 8th, led by Raekwon, on the forthcoming album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. It’s about time this new generation is reminded of how hip hop was and should be. Below is a track from the album.

Sick video, sick song, going be a sick album.

“House of Flying Daggers”

Been liking the Handsome Furs album, especially Talking Hotel Arbat Blues. Enjoy.

Deathbowl to Downtown

February 7, 2009

I still cannot wait for this to come on DVD. COME ON already.

Some more sampled shit

January 31, 2009

One of my favorite 2Pac songs, if not my favorite of all time, is “Bury Me A G.” The soulful synth loop that provides the song’s backbone was lifted from The Isley Brothers’ jam “For The Love Of You.” More recently, Murs sampled the same track for “Me And This Jawn,” a standout from Murs for President. All are dope:

“For The Love Of You”

“Bury Me A G”

“Me And This Jawn”

Some sampled hip hop shit

January 26, 2009

Back in the day when I was completely obsessed with hip hop, I used to make mixtapes combining classic rap tracks with the original soul and funk songs sampled to create them. Below marks the first in what I hope becomes a series of posts dedicated to these tracks. (By the way, a recent return trip to the Sound Library on Orchard St. got me excited about classic hip hop all over again. I just dropped way too much money on sick records).

To start things off, “Nuthin But a G Thang” might have one of the most recognizable samples ever:

Now for the original, Leon Haywood’s “I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You” AWWW Yeaaa…

Summertime Clothes

January 25, 2009

My current favorite off of Merriweather Post Pavilion. It’s going to be so long before we get to wear our summertime clothes.

The Wire “rap” up

January 10, 2009

By now it’s no secret that “The Wire” is/was the best written, most powerful television series to hit cable boxes since forever. I dedicated this past summer to watching the entire series and I can honestly say it was time well spent, something I can say for few, if any, other shows. Each episode was written like a chapter in a book and the brutally honest portrayal of the streets of Baltimore was a breath of fresh air for TV, albeit a violent, sometimes disturbing one.

Needless to say I was stoked when I learned that Mad Skillz, a VA emcee noted for his year end “rap” ups, issued a summary, hip hop style for the series, which is now history. If you consider yourself a fan of the show, or want to get a feel for what it’s all about, check this:

So tomorrow’s Friday…

August 22, 2008

Tomorrow’s Friday. This Xbox commercial, probably my favorite commercial of all time, embodies the spirit of Friday’s to a capital T. What makes you feel more like a kid than a massive water balloon fight? I say nothing. AND the soundtrack to the ad is “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” a song that I loved as a little kid, and for which I even had the record. A subtle detail to notice: the sound effects of the bursting balloons are bullets and explosives. Tricky.

DJ Shadow drove the term “trip hop” into the musical lexicon in the mid-90s with his groundbreaking debut Endtroducing…..

To this day, that record sits among my top five ever and at that time provided a stark contrast to the gangsta rap that was dominating the air waves.

Shadow’s ear for eerie soul and cinematic samples combined with a penchant for hard-hitting yet downtempo beats have placed him in a category unto himself. Below is a collection of videos from some of my favorites tracks. The video for “Midnight in a Perfect World” is amazing and the song makes me want to do one of two things: go surfing or cruise on an open road at sunset with the windows down while bumping this track. “Six Days” is another moody song and the video is just as strange. “Organ Donor” needs no introduction.

I finally got my turntables up to the city this weekend. I’m officially inspired.

“Midnight in a Perfect World”

*note: not original vid, but well made.

“Six Days”

“Organ Donor”

Lykke Li

July 25, 2008

You know who I’m not afraid to admit that I like? Swedish singer Lykke Li. When I first began reading about her, I glazed over the attention, thinking she was just another female artist in the vein of Regina Spektor and Feist. But when I desperately needed new tunes for a long flight abroad, I decided to give her a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. Lykke Li isn’t quite as sugary-sweet as the aforementioned queens of indie pop and she has more of a soulful edge. Some of the songs on her debut Youth Novel—produced by Bjorn Yttling of ubiquitous pop outfit Peter, Bjorn and John—even incorporate electronic elements, which is always gravy to me.

And, she’s hot.

Check out the video for “Little Bit.” Very catchy. She’d probably make out with me, right?