Sunday, November 22, 2009

I never heard either Pete Rock & CL Smooth album in full until now.

Why? They were both exhausting. 14-16 songs a piece, many of which clock in around the 5 minute mark. I was a fan (“The Creator” remains one of my favorite rap records to date), but somewhere around 75% of the way through both albums I just lost interest.

I only recently sat through Mecca & The Soul Brother and The Main Ingredient so that I could join some secret fraternal brotherhood amongst “real” Hip-Hoppers, if you will. The debut was hard hitting and the beat change ups were cool, but being that I’m not a producer it didn’t quite hype the shit out of me. Pete Rock’s style was a bit rough around the edges for my liking (I much more preferred DJ Premier/A Tribe Called Quest at the time) and CL Smooth said a whole lot of nothing to me. “For Pete’s Sake” has always been my shit, “Straighten It Out” is an eternal classic, and T.R.O.Y. is classic as well but for me it’s never been the end all be all “THIS IS REAL HIP-HOP” song as so many proclaim. But I’m glad to have sat this album out finally as “If It Aint Rough It Aint Right” was pretty dope. That much said, Mecca & The Soul Brother sounds dated going into 2010.

Now that I’ve risked never being able to get a haircut in Mt. Vernon, let me express my fondness for The Main Ingredient. This was a much more enjoyable experience for me. Songs like “Carmel City”, “I Got A Love”, “Searching” and “Take You There” were all passable at a time when catering rap to women and being dope weren’t mutually exclusive ideas. The bars still weren’t potent, but CL Smooth performed adequate enough to accompany the smooth melodic backdrops he was given. Pete Rock went in pretty hard with the raps on “Escape” but moments like that were few and far in between. “Sun Wont Come Out” has always been my favorite song on this album and I consider it the quintessential Pete & CL song as Pete’s talking for the hook accompany CL’s random nothingness over that beautiful track. By “Check it Out”, I was ready to quit on this album but I fought through just to say I made it all the way.

Rumor has it Pete Rock & CL Smooth have put their old differences behind them and reunited, at least for the sake of temporarily touring. Their short lived run paints a picture of individuality and soul as they fused elements of that era’s jazzy and harder Hip-Hop, at a time when most chose one extreme or the other. That much said, I don’t need to have about 70% of either album in regular rotation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tanya Morgan - Brooklynati

Trust my word on this if you've never trusted it before.

Buy it now at Itunes

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Consequences Of Asher Roth

Unlike that of other musical genres, Hip-Hop’s audience puts its talent under a magnifying glass that examines more than talent, it’s a double edged sword as we scrutinize erroneous details in a rapper’s background then decry when one’s reality isn’t rooted in struggle. While this image conscious state would cause some to find shame in clean and honorable pasts (i.e. Rick Ross’ former career as a correctional officer or Lupe Fiasco’s shunning of A Tribe Called Quest), Asher Roth hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia and presents the challenge of being happy, carefree and unabashedly white in a game fueled by what are generally perceived to be black interests.

Read the rest here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tanya Morgan - The Beautiful Struggle

Amongst the legions who claim to “do it for the love” are a chosen few who place a higher premium on artistic authenticity than monetary gains and subsequently produce quality output deserving of major spotlight. Tanya Morgan’s story is one of hard work, dedication and unorthodox approaches towards reaching people who fell in love with Hip-Hop in its most captivating days of yore. The three man rap group has an undying penchant for creativity, having derived its moniker from the idealistic depiction of the woman Common painted on “I Used To Love H.E.R.” and cleverly putting their debut Moonlighting on promotional cassette tapes to coincide with the album’s plot of a tape being passed around and dismissed for not fitting within the closed minded parameters of consumer interests.

Read the rest here...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Young H Radio Week 55 Episode 2

Musical Selections:
Jon Hope – The Most Important Song Of My Life
Lewis Taylor – Into You
The Co-Op – Don’t Know What It Is
Young Dro – House On Me
Black Milk – Mo Power
Uncut Raw – Throwback Sh*t
Rich Boy – What It Do
Common Sense – Real N*gga Quotes
TiRon feat Ayomari – My Wingman & Me
Black Spade – Her Perfume She Wore
Torae & Marco Polo – But Wait
U-N-I – Hammertime
Diz Gibran – Once Again
Chester French feat. Janelle Monae – Nerd Girl

Topic Of Discussion: Young H proves A Tribe Called Quest never fell off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pete Rock - Soul Survivor Documentary

Thanks to the homey Dart Adams here is a documentary celebrating the chocolate boy wonder/soul brother # 1. Highlights include footage from the recording of Soul Survivor featuring Prodigy, Cappadonna, Heavy D, Raekwon, Ghostface, Black Thought, MC Eiht and others (peep Rahzel's rendition of "The Creator").

DepositFiles download

Megaupload download

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doom - Born Like This Promo

Proof positive of why he's my second favorite MC of all time, to say I'm anticipating this album next month is a gross understatement.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Company Flow's Funcrusher Plus in retrospect, 12 years later.

In 1997 I was a kid living in New York deeply entrenched into Hip-Hop, pretty much whatever the radio dictated is what was good. Between Bad Boy, Common, Tribe, De La, Wu-Tang, Capone & Noreaga, Jeru The Damaja, The Roots and others, whatever had that “east coast” sound is what I checked for. When The Source was still credible, I read about how Company Flow was redefining music as we knew it and wasn’t about to miss the boat. Always open-minded I headed to Fat Beats maybe two or three months after its release and bought the CD, ready for my mind to be blown. At the time, my 17 year old mind couldn’t comprehend it but I was pretentiously “open” in hopes that it would hit me, because after all anyone who really knew their shit was going crazy over this album (I’d come to learn a lot about how much weight critics actually hold over the years). In the end I only bumped it twice and I put it away for a rainy day, but I wouldn’t allow myself to accept that it had the slightest shred of wackness in it.

As Funcrusher Plus is about to be re-released this spring, I finally “get” the album if there’s anything to really get. The artists were pissed at the direction the culture was headed and went all the way left field, holding their nuts and giving the finger to the dreaded “industry” and it stands as a bold, angry statement that gave birth to the vermin known as “backpackers”. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it timeless (my personal views still don’t consider this a “classic” or something I would revisit multiple times yearly), but it’s pretty good when viewed in its proper capsule. I take no offense to isolating art that distinguishes the audience it’s intended for, but the off-putting part is (while perhaps unintentionally), this album set the tone for the all or nothing “the underground rules, the mainstream is bullshit” mentality still alive in the hearts of many today. I can certainly comprehend the need for something original that was dedicated to cultural preservation in light of the panic that Puff Daddy caused at the time, and I even understand how rappers who found cause for alarm had as much vitriol as this suite contains. I’m just glad I didn’t become a subterranean zombie, whereby I’ve always been able to think for myself and discern what sounds good to me from what doesn’t. More than anything, El-P, Bigg Jus and Mr. Len are to be commended for the infamous “Independent As Fuck” slogan that paved the way for many who would rise up through the ranks and stray from convention in getting their product out to the masses. In 2009 I recognize Company Flow’s staunch dedication to authenticity, the dagger-sharp lyrics and ingenuity of the whole package. But I’m not convinced that many of their biggest fanboys weren’t aboard merely because groupthink felt like the right thing to do as they took a united front and rebelled against the jiggy era.
DJ Burn One & Pill - 4180: The Prescription

Pill is a member of Killa Mike's Grind Time gang and my my homegirl's artist. I'm always skeptical about doing favors, but I'm actually impressed by this mixtape. He raps the same material as any street rapper, but his voice is all his own and his pen game is stronger than your run of the mill dude coming out of the South.

Download Here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blu - HerFavoriteColo(u)r

Another of the many love/Valentine's Day themed projects to have come out today. It's low-budget, weird at points and Blu shouldn't be behind the boards for his production until he makes vast improvements, but it's free. Blu is still sharp as ever behind the mic, but due to technical drawbacks like the minimalist production and sound quality I dont see this having a great amount of replay value. maybe someone else will dig it a little more than I did.

J Period Presents: Q-Tip - The [Abstract] Best Volume 1

If you dont know by now, J Period is more than a DJ. He's a scientist of sorts, putting together tribute packages that can be considered collages greater than just mere tributes. He brings everything from exclusives to homemade remixes while doing great retrospectives of modern day legends. Past subjects of his have included Notorious B.I.G, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Big Daddy Kane, The Roots, and Mary J. Blige, and this homage to Q-Tip's legacy once again proves why J Period leads the long pack of mixtape creators.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Young H Radio Week 47 Episode 2 - The Valentine's Day Edition

Listen Here

Musical Selections:
Solange - Valentine's Day
Stevie Wonder - Make Sure You're Sure
Luther Vandross - Wait For Love
Al Green - Look What You Done For Me
Jill Scott - Slowly Surely
L.T.D. - Love Ballad
Murs - Break Up (The OJ Song)
Stephanie Mills - I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love
Danny! feat. Maria - Where You Goin
Devin The Dude - Just Because
Sade - Is It A Crime
Musiq Soulchild - Love
Charles Hamilton - The Honeymoon's Over
J-Live - The 4th 3rd
Talib Kweli feat. Kendra Ross - Wont You Stay

Topics Of Discussion - My good and bad history with love.
Black Milk/Royce Da 5'9 - Losing Out video

Arguably song of 2008.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Wordspit The Illest - Not A Joke

Wordspit is a up and comer from East New York, Brooklyn showing a good amount of promise with this joint.

Check out "Not A Joke"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Young H Radio Week 45 Episode 2

Musical Selections:
8thW1 - Sound Quality Control
Chrisette Michelle - Epiphany
LL Cool J - Farmers Blvd
The Pharcyde - Somethin That Means Somethin
P Casso feat. Von Pea and Homeboy Sandman - Best In Show
Raekwon feat. Ghostface - Criminology 2
M.O.P. - Background Niggaz
U-N-I - Beautiful Day Remix
Black Moon - Ack Like U Want It
Trek Life & Oddisee - Get High
Random feat. Naledge - Exhale (Anything Pt. 2)
P Brothers - Blam Blam For Nottingham
Zo and Asylum 7 feat Ab - Crushing
School Of Beats - Got Something To Say
Ryan Leslie - Gibberish

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Windimoto - Sinister Beauty

I typically dont ride for electronic/house music but my comrades Disco DJ and Scorpion have done well here.

Listen to the album and proceed to purchase it this Valentines Day if you're into it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Young H Radio Week 44 Episode 2

Musical Selections:
8thW1 - Life
Mighty Joseph feat. Genesis - Out The Gate
Nice & Smooth - How To Flow
Snoop Dogg - Think About It
Juvenile feat. Turk - Welcome 2 The Nolia
Carl Anderson - Buttercup
Royce Da 5'9 feat. Rell - The Dream
Janet Jackson - Nasty
Devin The Dude - She Useta Be
Miki Howard - Love Under New Management
Jay-Z feat. Sauce Money - Face Off
Young Jeezy - What You Talkin' Bout
Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
Outkast - Crumblin Erb
Von Pea - All Night Reprise

Topic Of Discussion: Mental slavery that exists to this day.

Homeboy Sandman - There Is No Spoon Mixtape

I enjoyed this a lot more than Actual Factual Pterodactyl, which I also dug.

Download. (just left click)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

E.A.R.T.H. - Grassroots

This crew is from Cali with a universally progressive sound that draws from influences here, there and everywhere.

Here is their myspace and you can check out the album here.

Nobody - What Album?

One of the great mysteries of the Hip-Hop world from the past few years.
Who is Nobody? Who produced this album? Everyone has a backstory to sell you, this is just Nobody.

What Album?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Homeboy Sandman - Actual Factual Pterodactyl - @@@@

All manners of culture thrive off of creativity and the participants’ will to expand on prior accomplishments, thus Hip-Hop’s ongoing struggle to remain fresh and groundbreaking. With pushing the envelope comes the inherent conundrum tied to experimentation, whether an artist’s experimentation will be lauded for its ingenuity or dismissed for going too far against the grain. The burgeoning AOK Collective’s Homeboy Sandman finds himself in this very position, with a loud buzz throughout the underground and tastemakers upholding him as a crucial stalwart set to rise to greatness. With his sophomore release Actual Factual Pterodactyl, he has his sights set on claiming a spot amongst today’s up and coming elite.

To call Homeboy Sandman unique would be an understatement as there’s no box he neatly fits in. His biggest draw on the mic is amazing breath control, though he’s an acquired taste of sorts with a robotic voice employing a most unorthodox of styles flipping all manners of flow and harmony with his rapping. Topically he also can’t be contained to one lane, managing to come playful with “Food Glorious Food”, and painting a vivid picture of ghetto life with “City Darker (Monstrocity)” alongside the monstrous battle raps that are expected from any subterranean sensation. The album’s music toys with everything from Spanish jazz on the creative “Mambo Tail Tale” to alternative rock on “Wise Up” and even heavy metal on “God Fire Breathe” as he seamlessly takes ownership of any palette he’s provided.

With Actual Factual Pterodactyl, Homeboy Sandman manages to destroy every obstacle in his path using an array of vocal tempos as his weapon of choice. His left field risks and the versatility shown in the efforts he takes to expand boundaries will surely appeal to those who miss the days of vintage Def Jux releases. The albums dull moments are few and far in between as Homeboy Sandman’s presence is interesting to say the least, albeit confusing at points being that you never know the next trick he’ll pull out of his bag.