Archive for April, 2008

Spring Mix

April 22, 2008

Just a brief list of tracks I’ve become cozy with:

1) Tanya Morgan – “Waiting for You,” Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group – Soulful production. Entertaining tale. Ilyas continues to come up with the hilarious verses/delivery. Although, I am underwhelmed with the other TM mix that came out this year, Tanya Morgan presents: Beat Thieves 2, Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group is one of my favorite 2008 releases; I’m really looking forward to their next album.

2) Buckshot f/ Talib Kweli & Tyler Woods – Hold it Down,” The Formula – 9th Wonder taking it back to The Listening days on this. I’m nervous about The Formula, however. Through a few previews, I’ve noted a handful of tracks that feature a female singer on the hook who can’t sing/sounds like she’s 12. What’s the deal with that? (Check De La’s “Much More” feat. Yummy from The Grind Date to get my drift).

3) Kenny Segal f/ Abstract Rude, Aceyalone, Busdriver, Dr. Oop, & Nocando – “Backyard BBQ,” Platinum Dreams – Platinum Dreams is a mix released from 88-Keys, presumably as a primer for the release of his Death of Adam project (due out soon I think). It’s a potpourri of artists, instrumentals, etc. I love the guitar sample in this. Reminds me of something that would have been on ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes, & Life. And, Aceyalone is awesome.

4) Kidz in the Hall – “Work to Do,” Geniuses Need Love Too/Kidz in the Hall & Mic Boogie Present: Detention – Subtitled Obama ’08. I know this technically came out in 2007, but it’s a dope track.

5) Black Spade – “Evil Love,” To Serve With Love – Chopped up beat. Black Spade sings and raps his way through this love gone wrong plot, “Why do we make up just to break up like this beat here, here…” His stutter delivery is reminiscent of Dilla. A great track off a great album.

6) 100dbs and Ryan O’Neil – “She Got a Body,” The Adventures of The One Hand Bandit and the Slum Computer Wizard – Again, this album/track came out in 2007, but I love this track. Nothing groundbreaking as far as the story goes, think Mos Def’s “Ms. Fat Booty.” 100dbs’s production is solid through the album. I love the subtle horns and keys on this one.

The Tree of Music

April 21, 2008


Eddie Gale – Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music, 1968 Blue Note Records

Insight and ancestry. Two inter-related concepts that highlight the importance of the oft-cited “knowledge of self.” Insight and ancestry also provide context. Within music, insight and ancestry have helped me broaden my tastes and musical aptitude. As such, I think it’s important to occasionally climb down hip hop’s family tree and explore its roots.

I’ve just recently stumbled upon Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music. This is certainly one of those albums that flawlessly recapitulates the form and movement that constitutes great music; similar to the more renowned works of John Coltrane, Fela Kuti, or Sergio Mendes, to name but a few. Reminding myself that I’m still learning to listen to jazz, a few spins through this album has the feel of timelessness, should timelessness be an emotion. With its 1968 release date in mind, it is certainly reminiscent of a time when free form in music paralleled the free ideals that echoed throughout the late 50’s and 1960’s. For example, the use of a choir in the opener, “The Rain,” and the closing “The Coming of Gwilu,” provide a soulful demonstration of people and unity, a subtle, if manufactured, symbol of the civil rights movement. I was impressed to read in this 2004 review that Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music enlist 17 artists: from Eddie Gale on trumpet, steel drum, Jamaican thumb piano, and even bird whistle; his sister Joann Gale on vocals and production (“The Rain”); through a slew of other singers, horn players, and bassists. This album is truly a lesson in unity.

With all those cooks in the kitchen, you may think Ghetto Music may sound disconnected, especially with all the sounds and styles that Gale utilizes throughout. For example, “Fulton Street” is a seeming celebration of a community comprised of different people, or sounds. With the choir chanting “Fulton Street!” and Gale employing an all-orchestral attack as he leads on trumpet, its punctuated toward the end with bass and drum solos, before the choir and orchestra join hands again.

One of my favorites of the five track set is “The Coming of Gwilu.” It begins subtly, with the bird whistle, followed by what is presumably the Jamaican thumb piano, and a flute solo, before the drum- and bass-lines move in. The choir comes in with a classic call and response delivery; finally Gale and the other horns join the procession. “The Coming of Gwilu,” conjures an image of a forming parade: beginning with the whistling bird, floating down a street; it alerts the next marcher, who runs out of his of her house; the flute is alerted to the parade, and runs out of his or her house to join…and so forth and so on…until the entire orchestra (all 17 artists for all I know) are joined together, signaling the coming of Gwilu…down Fulton St. perhaps. Why not?

The aspect of this album I enjoy the most is the interpretive value it holds. A collection of so many artists and sounds is bound to be subjective. For me, it’s the celebration of unity. A poignant message in 1968. A message that has experienced a rebirth in 2008. And such is Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music: dated on one hand; timeless on the other. I’ve searched the net for reviews of this album and have found very few, including the one I’ve linked to above; check here for a comprehensive look at the Eddie Gale – he’s as essential as his music as the people he’s worked with span the musical world. I think the listening experience of Ghetto Music can lead to some great interpretations. Feel free to share your own.

Two closing notes. First, the album art is great. In 1968, was there a more powerful image than a unified procession, with dogs in tow? Secondly, this album reminds me of Max Roach’s We Insist (Freedom Now Suite) from eight years earlier. The diverse sounds and inspiring unity they produced parallels Ghetto Music.

UPDATE: Check this review out as it also covers Gale’s follow-up, Black Rhythm Happening.

Classic 9th

April 17, 2008

By now, I’m sure most of ya’ll have heard Buckshot and 9th Wondra’s “Hold It Down” (off their upcoming The Formula). If you haven’t, I apologize. I’ve been trying to post the video here for the past 30 minutes to no avail. Kyle, you on top of that? Anyway, I’m going to cheat and just throw the link up…here (NahRight, represent).

I’ve been playing this track since I heard it on the Mic Boogie/Kweli The MCEO Mixtape. I didn’t have the wherewithal (or arithmetic) to put 2 & 2 together and realize this would be on The Formula.

At any rate, I’m feelin’ 9th on this beat and looking forward to Buckshot and 9th part 2 (I thought Chemistry was real dope). Keep up the good work gentlemen.

Thoughts?

Gilles Peterson’s “Winners of 2008”

April 6, 2008

…very quickly, I just wanted to drop a link to this week’s Worldwide show, where Gilles Peterson points out some of the best tracks from the first part of 2008.

Tracklisting:

  1. Kenneth Bager – Fragment 1 – Music For Dreams
  2. Quiet Village – Pacific Rhythm – K7!
  3. Jamie Liddel – Rope Of Sand – Warp
  4. The Invisible – Spiral – Accidental
  5. Portishead – Plastic – Island
  6. The Roots – Rising Down
  7. Outkast feat Raekwon – Royal Flash – La Face
  8. Jay Electronica – Victory of Mine – Control Freaq
  9. Erykah Badu – Soldier – Motown
  10. Erykah Badu – Twinkle – Motown
  11. Erykah Badu – Telephone – Motown
  12. Erykah Badu – Me – Motown
  13. Roger Robinson – Prayer for Angry Young Men
  14. Catalyst – How Bout Us
  15. Kissy Asplund – Phone Call
  16. Raheem Devaughn – Marathon – Jive
  17. JAM feat Jose James – Jazzy Joint – Victor
  18. Sarah Vaughn – Mystery Of Man – Edit
  19. Benjamin Herman – Theme – Roach
  20. Carlos Nino – Find A Way
  21. 2BO4 – Shadowland (01:00)
  22. Neil Cowley Trio – Little Secrets
  23. Benga – Zero M2 – Tempa
  24. Martyn- Broken – Revolver
  25. Ramadan Man – Carla – Soul Jazz
  26. Kode 9 Vs Badawi- Den of Drumz – Roir
  27. Headhunter – Locus Lotus – Initiate
  28. Elemental – Blob – Runtime
  29. Marcel Wave – Holton 47 – Freerange
  30. Henrik Schwarz – I Exist Because Of You – Nanny Tango
  31. Afefe Iku – Mirror Dance
  32. Italoboyz Vs John Coltrane- Bahia – Mothership
  33. Jose James – Desire (Moodyman mix) – Browswood
  34. Quality Control – Slippin
  35. Yaw – Where Would you Be
  36. Rosie Dame – Morning Light
  37. Eric Lau – Let It Out – Ubiquity
  38. Sunburst Band – Turn It Out – Z
  39. Real people – Rise – Papa
  40. Lizz Wright – This Is – Verve

Hip hop for President

April 2, 2008

In case anyone wondered if Barack would approve a hip hop mixtape that endorsed him for president.

Hip hop is not just a mirror for what is; it should also be a reflection of what can be…imagine communities where we’re respecting our women.



“On behalf of the great state of Illinois, the land of Lincoln…”

April 1, 2008

Word on the street is there is an “Obama for President” mixtape in the works. Word?

I wonder if this will be the authorized mixtape.

Might this be on it?

UPDATE: Ivan, as usual, is already up on this.