Clams Casino

April 10, 2011

The phrase Clams Casino probably conjures up any number of bizarre mental images, not the least of which might involve a set of cartoonish bivalves with googly eyes sitting around a blackjack table. But maybe that’s just me. What probably doesn’t come to mind is a New Jersey based producer currently making a name for himself by providing blunted out, introspective beats for dudes like Lil B and, um, Soulja Boy. The tracks on Clams Casino’s Instrumental Mixtape, which you can download here, have a cold, almost haunting backbone to them, as if they were recorded on a spaceship looking back on earth. But the view is still gorgeous. Yesterday this mixtape provided the soundtrack to one of my solo walks around the city, and I swear, at one point, when the sunlight hit me at a certain angle, I had an epiphany. I just wish I could remember what it was.

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”

This evening I spent a good amount of time trying to decide what to post. Totally afflicted with writer’s block, or I guess in this case blogger’s block, I finally caved and turned to wiki for some inspiration. I became engrossed with the random articles and links about the origins of hip hop, and almost forgot my original intention.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the vids posted below. I definitely tried to go past the 1990’s, and into the earlier days of hip hop. As a note, I’ve never actually seen the vid of “Rockit” before, and now I feel slightly traumatized. I would put masturbating mannequins in the “never needed to see” category.

Herbie Hancock – Rockit

Kurtis Blows – The Breaks

Like Soybomb, I’ve been finding less and less time to post. It’s time I reevaluate my priorities and start from square one, seeing as how this is one of the ways I maintain my sanity. In keeping with the theme of square one, this Sunday’s hip hop post is dedicated to the label that essentially started it all.

Sugar Hill Records was founded in 1974 and quickly churned out many of the hits that put hip hop on the map. Sugar Hill’s artists, from The Sugarhill Gang to Melle Mel to Grandmaster Flash, had a distinctive style that combined the disco sounds of the ’70s with a break beat groove. The music was rudimentary in its earliest stages, but was unequivocally fun party music. To this day, if you put on the “Rapper’s Delight” record at a party, it will inevitably bring a smile to people’s faces and have them singing along…”I said a hip-hop/the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop you don’t stop…”White Lines” and “The Message” are also without question two of the best rap songs ever recorded. And you can’t beat the ridiculous outfits cats used to wear.

Sugar Hill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight”

Grandmaster Flash – “White Lines”

Grandmaster Flash – “The Message”