Album Review: Reflection Eternal-"Revolutions Per Minute"
A lot can change in ten years. A year away from the public eye is more like century in music years, and Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek have been away for ten of them. It takes not only great skill, but chemistry to get back into the swing of things and create music like they’ve never left. Revolutions Per Minute is the type of reunion album that disbanded groups should use as a blueprint.
Album Review: Nas & Damian Marley-"Distant Relatives"
Okay, so usually when there’s a genre-hybrid project, it’s usually a recipe for disaster. Not everything can be as successful as RUN DMC collaborating with Aerosmith. Fortunately, the combination of hip-hop and reggae music aren’t far off from each other. Actually, despite the project being called “Distant Relatives”, Nas and Damian Marley show how close the influences can be.
When it comes to being a visual artist, you have to envision everything in your mind before you can put it on the canvas. It can be a difficult thing to do separating it from people doing it as a hobby and people that are….doing it. Meet someone that’s doing the latter: Infamous Jean Claude has work that has graced the pages of your favorite magazines, made shirts that’s worn by your favorite artists and a determination that trumps anyone else who claims they’re “an artist.” Enjoy.
This being my first review of anything more than my opinion over coffee and smokes made me think: “Well I better do this right”. I began with research not only of MGMT but also of those things I never truly sought definition to previously such as “pop music”, generally accepted by most Internet definers to be music intended for mass appeal. MGMT, a Brooklyn based duo, certainly met the criteria to launch themselves as “pop” artists with their major debut album Oracular Spectacular in 2007 which aside from the underground-stigma of the “pop music” label fell on powerful ears and landed MGMT in the lime light where, in this writers opinion, they belong.
sup yall? this is the flyer to a monthly event that will be called mo’ betta soul thursdays at immaculate consumption in columbia, sc. it will feature visual and musical acts not to mention yours truly on the 1s and 2s. more info as it comes. hope you can make it out. ez
Remembering Guru Essay: Keith "Guru" Elam (1961-2010)
the first tape i’ve ever owned was “step in the arena” by gangstarr. i was about 6 years old and my pops let me get it solely because it didn’t have a sticker on it (unlike that terminator-x tape “valley of the jeep beats” that had a huge parental advisory sticker on the front). in the tradition of what is probably now coined as ‘conscious hip-hop’ gangstarr possessed lyrics that talked about black empowerment, knowledge,
understanding and backdrops of dusty-samples chopped to perfection by dj premier. it appeared that the combination couldn’t get any better. simplicity: one dj. one mc. no bullshit.
If you can find another artist in hip-hop that works harder than MURS, I dare you to make him appear. Revolutionizing west coast indy hip-hop by recruiting south’s Primo a.k.a 9th Wonder, Murs has been consistent releasing boom-bap inspired hip-hop in a time where everyone else is running the other direction.
I’m so happy that we didn’t have Twitter when A Tribe Called Quest called it quits. Being from a Carolina (Columbia, SC to be exact) the success of Little Brother had a much more personal impact than an artist that may have been from a different state. So, when Phonte and 9th Wonder went back and fourth through tweets, it made it even more clear that people’s optimism for a LB reunion is something that just simply ain’t gonna happen.
Download: Dice Raw – Dice, Dilla, Pregunta [Mixtape]
ever since questlove posted those dilla/roots remakes on his swift fm page on dilla’s bd, everyone’s been writing to them (me included). well, dice raw went a step further and put out a mixtape. enjoy.
Album Review: Erykah Badu-Nu Amerykah Pt. 2: Return Of The Ankh
by Preach Jacobs originally featured on SoulCulture.co.uk
There are just certain artists that evoke a special feeling from fans and fellow musicians alike. An artist that, no matter the battle plan, you’d still opt to musically walk into war with them blindfolded. It’s a trust that very few artists are able to get from their fanbase – but somehow Erykah Badu has been able to hypnotize me (and a gang of others) into being willing to do this since she stepped on the scene in 1997.
when it comes to south carolina hip-hop, there’s not a long list of emcees and producers that come to mind (i should know because it’s where i’m from). so, i always see it as a pleasure and responsibility to highlight artists that i’ve known and worked with in the past that are putting out dope shit. introducing akshun.
Album Review: Method Man, Ghostface & Raekwon-"Wu-Massacre"
The spirit of competition among comrades can do much for one’s craft. Just look at how Ghostface motivated the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan after being the only people that was consistently putting out solid material. And since the past year Raekwon finally got back to his fundamentals with putting out a sequel to ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx’ a decade and a half later.
DOWNLOAD: Spectac & Amiri- Keys to the Vault [MIXTAPE]
i’ve known spectac for a while. he was a worker at the local neighborhood record store (that i eventually worked and loved before it closed last year) and he was that dude that could freestyle for hours…about anything.
i can’t take this out of my ipod. the cyberworks/dbr crew (that features my man denz) released another work of art with “sound of drums”. influenced by broken beat, soul and boom-bap appeal, it’s the right thing for your daily woes in need of inspiration. check it out after the jump.
erykah goes all out in this video (pretty damn literally). dope concept. she says on her twitter page about the experience that the video “was shot guerilla style, no crew , 1 take , no closed set , no warning , 2 min . , down town dallas , then ran like hell…” bravo.
okay, i need about $35 so i can pre-order this. stones throw is really killing it right now with their packaging. first it was the new beat konducta series (africa) by madlib and now this layout for the dilla foundation. it’ll be released day after mother’s day. peep download and rest of packaging after the jump.
written by carminelitta @ carminelitta.blogspot.com Georgia Anne Muldrow is an artist I slept on for way too long. When I finally checked out her previous album Early, I realized my mistake. This album is just perfect to me, a wonderful mixture of beautiful productions and a very positive and inspiring message.
okay, in an attempt to not be on some benzino shit, i do want to let you all know when i have my personal music out and about. this is the latest leak from my project with producer katrah-quey from our rebel radio project coming soon. check the song out after the jump.
He’s been holding it down for a while now being the person you go to if you need a monster 16-bar verse. But now, it’s time for him to shine on his own. We talk to Joe Scudda about his new project, the car accident and why Bumpy Knuckles deserves his name.
i know that 10 years is a long ass time. i mean, look at how long we’re waiting for d’angelo to come back out (not to mention that shit that happened last week with $40 and a hooker…but i digress). i’m just happy as hell that there’s a new reflection eternal album that’s coming out this april. like they say “god may not come when you want him, but he’s right on time.” we need this right here. enjoy.
I often find it hilarious when I bump into relatives or old classmates that hear about my musical ventures. The exchange usually ends up with them commenting that I’m rich as hell or that I probably have a condo next door to Russell Simmons sharing vegan recipes. I usually offer one of those forced uncomfortable smiles and say to myself, “If only you can see my bank account.”
this album is shaping up to be a wonderful addition to my collection very soon. seems like march 30th is taking too long. at any rate, check out the radio rip. hope you enjoy. Download: Erykah Badu “Aggitation” & “Don’t B Long” (radio rip snippets from giles petterson)
If you have been checking out my blog regularly, you know that Erik Rico is one of my favorites artists, and that I truly appreciate his music and his message. I am extremely honored and glad to present to you this interview, and I hope you will enjoy his really interesting answers as much as I did. If you were not familiar with him or his music yet, this should convince you!
Big thank you to Mr. Rico for taking time to answer my questions.
my record store went out of business in february 2009. i was sort hurt but not surprised. the record store is a dying breed (read my editorial 'death of the american record store') so it was inevitable. regardless, i was hit with fear and uncertainty. so, why would a newly unemployed record store guy decide to travel across the world two months later is beyond me. but, i’m glad i did it.
Madlib Medicine Show No. 3: BEAT KONDUCTA IN AFRICA
madlib has been carrying the torch for the lost boom-bap generation for a while now. and he comes again with another instrumental project inspired now by the continent of africa. stones throw proves once again that in trying times, if you want people to buy physical product, you have to package it very well (sorta like the freeway + jake one artwork).
this dude is a monster. when i heard "contra" with elzhi, i knew he was someone to be be reckoned with. luckily for us he has a new free mix that includes production from black milk, dj babu and another fellow s.c. alum danny!. enjoy the music.
First of all, for people who are not familiar with you or your music, could you introduce yourself? You’ve been around for quite a while and have recorded a few albums already, how would you sum up your career so far?
Well, I’m a rising Emcee out of Washington, DC. Cairo, USA is what I like to call it. I go by the name of G5 Clive. 22 years of age. I’ve been doing Hip-Hop music for a little bit over 3 years now, so I’m relatively new to the scene years-wise. Musically I’ve crafted much more than 3 years would seem to permit, but it’s my passion as an artist to create. I actually have no album out and any buzz I’ve garnered have been the result of Mixtapes, Features, Showcases and Word-of-Mouth. I’ve had people from various States and even overseas fans show support for what I’m doing and trying to accomplish. I love the position I’m in right now, creatively as well as business-wise. Unlike many artists, I have FULL control over everything I do. From writing, recording, engineering and even marketing and promotion, I deal with all of these aspects myself which makes my brand that much more personal.
Your new project is entitled ‘Aquaries’ and is available on Bandcamp, along with your previous releases. It is a collection of eclectic tracks and is definitely really original and innovative. Could you tell us more about your approach on this album? There seems to be several different influences in your music, what artists do you admire and are inspired by?
Well, for the Aquaries EP, I reached out to a very gifted artist and friend by the name of Irie Li. It was released on Valentine’s Day this year through my Bandcamp and has been getting very good reviews up ‘til this day. I’d say Eclectic is the perfect word to describe my overall preference of music as well as my style. On this particular project, Miss Li and myself mashed our brains together and basically stayed true to our sounds while also striving to possibly create a whole other genre/sound. We intentionally used unconventional song arrangement/structure throughout the project to supply it with an “ALIVE” feel. It’s very jumpy and unpredictable. It’s a very Melodic yet Bass Driven collection of songs. I’m inspired by artist such as Sa-Ra, Deltron 3030, MF Doom, Dizzee Rascal, Wu-Tang Clan, Bob Marley, Jimmy Hendrix and many others.
Most of your music is available as free downloads, do you think it is necessary nowadays, in order to promote yourself and get people to discover your musical universe?
I wouldn’t say it’s necessary for an artist to make their music free but I would say it’s more adaptive to the current situation the music industry is going through. From an over-saturated market of artist, to the lack of Hip-Hop Album support financially, it’s just more efficient to make your music as available as possible. We all have to learn the game and evolve with it. Ten years ago if my music was free it would be discounted as cheap and/or not top-notch. In today’s scheme of things, many artists, professional as well as amateur live off of their free musical contributions. I also feel my material is worth more than money. It’s knowledge, it’s awareness.
You belong to different groups and collectives and have several projects with them, could you tell us more about that? Are there any other artists you would like to work with?
Currently, and over the past few months to a year I’ve been aligning myself with like-minded and “like-grinded” individuals within my Artmosphere. I’ve always been an advocate of the “Power in Numbers” theory. I’m aligned with the likes of, ATE Clothing, which is my clothing sponsor based out of Richmond, VA. The Civil Mics Movement, which is a music group consisting of a handful of talented “Conscious” Hip-Hop artists throughout major areas of the United States. Other than my immediate affiliates, I’d like to work with a few other artists. Some include newer names such as Theophilus London, Supreme and Blu. Not too many others. (SN: Affiliates also include ONEvsMANY Management, Clientele Kids Ent., Metro Kids Ent.)
You are hailing from Washington DC and claim to be greatly inspired by your native city, how do you express this in your music? Do you think there are specificities in your music that have been made possible by your environment?
Not to sound cliché, but you are what you eat. I absorb my city every day, as well as spit it back out. It’s me. From the slang that I talk, to the places that I reference, even to the part of the city I live in. It all comes out subconsciously-artistic through my music. Washington, DC is very much a tale of two cities. On one side, DC is the capital of the modern day “Democracy/Republic.” A very politically driven city as well as the home of the President, and on the other side there’s and Inner City that receives less than full rights that States are privileged to. High Crime/STD rate, but also a great deal of thinkers live and pass through this Diamond District every day. It’s a wondrous place to be from LOL
You seem to be really interested in education and current social issues. Do you think you have to take advantage of your position as a musician/artist to spread positive messages and encourage people to gain knowledge about their past and the history of the country they live in or come from? Do you think there is a lack of curiosity or interest for these subjects in today’s society?
I do feel as an artist I have to inspire, encourage and even educate. I feel this isn’t only my RESPONSIBILITY as an artist but mine as a HUMAN BEING. The saying, “a tree is only as strong as its roots” reigns very true. To know who you are, you must know where you came from and what needs to be done and accomplished to further yourself as well as your people. Not only your ethnic race, but the human race. I feel there’s always a struggle between Fiction and Non-Fiction so to speak. There’s always a struggle between those fighting to Uplift/Educate opposed to those fighting to Oppress/Misinform. The media usually sides with the latter, which causes a lot of resistance by the youth and those in power to keep the youth informed of their Past, and their Worth.
I’d like to thank all my supporters as well as Carminelitta for reaching out to me for this interview. Please check out my music if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so @ Bandcamp & follow me on Twitter. Thank You!
It’s an exhausting chore to be considered one of the greatest artists in a certain field. But it can be embarrassing when someone steps outside the lines of their acquired talent. Look at endless defunct albums by ball players trying to be rappers (i.e. Kobe Bryant) or when rappers trying to be actors (insert hilarious line delivered by Nas in Belly). Problem being, that when someone is talented in a specific field, there’s a thin line between artistic integrity and reckless. Unfortunately Lil’ Wayne’s constantly pushed back rock album Rebirth is of the latter. I did two things before listening to this project. First, I watched the now infamous documentary about Lil’ Wayne titled The Carter. And then I refused to have any expectations for Rebirth before listening. Doing those two things gave me an understanding of what to expect.
blu is one of my favorite emcees over the past few years since the ‘below the heavens’ album. he gives me more and more reasons to check him out. this is the video for his song “amnesia” that was released off his mixtape called HERFAVORITECOLO(U)R (download it). enjoy the video.
When it comes to the realm of soul music, the subject matter may seem played out. How many times can you hear a song about a broken heart or wanting to have some chick wear the stripper heels while making whoopee? Fortunately, even if the subjects of love, lust and heartbreak happens often, then the way that it’s done is what makes the music fresh and new. Introducing Dezaray Dawn. Currently residing in Atlanta, the songstress embodies elements of broken-beat, soul and house into her music. Her recent digital release the ChameleonEP has gotten great attention, and with good reason: The music is dope as hell. Here’s a quick Q&A of a songstress you need to know about.
Guru's Nephew Speaks: True Story Behind Hospital And Coma
If it wasn’t for Gangstarr, I wouldn’t have been listening to hip-hop. Period. It hurts me to hear about the things Guru’s nephew was speaking about concerning how Solar is handling Guru’s hospital visitation/status updates. Here’s the video by Guru’s nephew.
Within the realms of hip-hop, there’s tons of beat makers, rappers and flat out illiterate sounding assholes, but you rarely hear about musicianship. That’s why it was a surprising pleasure to find out about B.O.B (born Bobby Ray Simmons), an Atlanta based rapper-musician-producer that’s just been inked to Grand Hustle.
Definitely the most influential group with my style of hip-hop, Little Brother came from North Carolina and resurfaced a faith that left me with this culture long ago. They proved that the glory years weren’t necessarily behind us, but maybe right ahead. Unfortunately, Little Brother is putting Little Brother behind them as their final album “Left Back” is coming out this April.
Today’s post millennium music world is different not only for the people that buy (and illegal download) the music but also for the dedicated people that continue to make music. Songstress Res came out the early part of the decade and created an album that infused soul, funk, rock and everything else with an ease reminiscent of Lebron James on the hardwood.
Black Power and Black Dynamite By Looking Back, Film Points Toward a Possible Future for Black Cinema by Preach Jacobs
I grew up being a huge fan of hip-hop music that was socially conscious and talked about black empowerment. At a young age, I preferred a Public Enemy record over M.C. Hammer and read more about Marcus Garvey than the Hardy Boys. So, when I kept hearing about movies like Shaft and Foxy Brown, I just knew that they would be the type of movies that would inspire me and make me feel like an honorary Black Panther.
sup guys? we’re back in full effect. this is the new blutopia podcast #7. hope all is well on your end. i’m excited to be around such great new music and wanted to share it with yall. this is a great mixture of hip hop, soul, jazz etc. and probably the best one yet. it’s also feb. so there’s a big dilla theme. rest in peace jay dee and hope ya enjoy it yall. tracklisting:
1.Intro 2.Transformers (Exhibit A)-Jay Electronica 3.New Money-Royce Da 5’9 4.How You Like Me Now-The Heavy 5.Gimme That Kinda-Electric Wire Hustle 6.Keep Going-Black Milk 7.One Thing-Freeway & Jake One feat. Raekwon 8.Oh Yes-Preach Jacobs & Denz (prod. by Clokwork) 9.Skin-Sade 10.All Matter-Robert Glasper & Bilal 11.Daykeeper-The Foreign Exchange 12.Sonar Kollektiv Orchester – Universal Love (4hero presents Extensions) 13.Fall In Love-Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Suite For Ma Dukes)