Thu, 22 December 2011
"...let the whole town see my crown."
Out in time for Christmas, my present to everyone - a sack of heavy tunes and not a lump of coal in sight! Glad to be able to get this one uploaded before a few days of lie-ins, nice food, and putting the day job out of my mind. Wrap up warm, turn the volume up, and check it...
Illegal ft. Erick Sermon : We Getz Buzy
Get well Erick Sermon! The Funk Lord smashes it on this 93 low-slung headnodder, with the beat centred around that basic but undeniable bassline and then dropping in to contribute a quick verse at the end. The headliners though are the then-child MCs Jamal and Mr Malik, who go at pretty much every underage MC who was out at the time! They'd have ripped Soulja Boy a new one, that's for sure. Killer tune from their "The Untold Truth" album which is worth hearing for the excellent 90s production if nothing else!
[M-Boogie] Buckshot : The Real (Instrumental)
One of those singles you buy on spec on the strength of the personnel but which never seems to see the light of day once it gets home! Thought I'd include it here because for every tune someone thinks average, there's someone who thinks it's amazing and has probably been looking for it for ages :) For me, solid, not spectacular, but fit the space here nicely.
J-Zone : Root For The Villain (excerpt)
Jay-Z & Kanye West : New Day
I definitely think "Watch The Throne" was overrated (here's what my "Watch The Throne EP" would have had on it), but this was one of the tracks I think deserved the praise. Of course, that means it has zero chance of being a single. RZA, Kanye and Mike Dean craft a reflective track which perfectly fits the theme of two men speaking to their unborn sons. Great heartfelt, grown-man lyrics - love it. This is the kind of track your "Young/Yung <whoever>" rappers could never write.
Special Teamz ft Devin The Dude : Long Time Comin
After hearing the similarity in the first two beats between this and "New Day," there was no way I wasn't playing it this episode! Special Teamz is the combination of Edo G, Slaine & Jaysaun, a Boston supergroup if you will. All of them are no-frills on the mic and they pass the hook duties over to the underrated Houston legend Devin The Dude - can't help but smile when you hear his voice! This is from their 2007 album "Stereotypez" which is worth a listen if you see it around! Production by Xplicit, who slipped under my radar a little but has some decent credits. Hell, he did a beat for Large Pro!
Cesar Comanche ft. Eternia : Up And Down
One of the original Justus League MCs, Cesar is just one of those low-key, consistent guys who you know is never going to drop foolishness on the mic. Positive, uplifting lyrics alongside Eternia on this 2005 12", and 9th Wonder is on production with his signature style. Vinyl collectors should look at getting this partly for this track but also for the ill B-side "Jacob's Ladder," produced by Nicolay - very nice.
Analog Brothers : Perms, Baldheads, Afros, & Dreds
Not in any way connected to the fact I watched and loved Chris Rock's "Good Hair" this month! The Analog Brothers were a one-album combination of Ice-T, Kool Keith, Marc Live, Black Silver and Pimp Rex - and that "Pimp To Eat" album is one you want to get if you like the crazy Octagon-style flow, pimp talk, futuristic references and keyboard bass! There were other tracks that grabbed me first but when the lightbulb went on with this one it became the absolute favourite.
Oddisee : Curl
DMV native Oddisee is someone I became familiar with via his work with guys like Kev Brown, but I only found the album this came from ("Oddisee West Coast Beats") while browsing Bandcamp looking for beats! The whole album is dripping with West Coast funk flavour, Zapp samples and all, and for only a minimum price of $1, I'd consider it an essential purchase - probably will sound better in the summer though :)
Stevie Wonder : Have A Talk With God
What can you say? It's Stevie Wonder, the legend! Love the keyboard flavour on this, taken from the massive "Songs In The Key Of Life" album. That album is testament to taking your time to get things just right; it was supposed to come out much earlier than it did but it was held up basically until Stevie felt it was done. If it had met the deadline, would it still be a classic?
Geto Boys ft. 3-2 : Straight Gangstaism
Big shout to Selina of Jelly Empire for sorting me out with a copy of this; I just couldn't get hold of a copy in the UK fast enough to ensure I could include it this month! This is from that weird period where Scarface left the Geto Boys, and was replaced by Big Mike. With him taking the first two verses and 3-2 taking the closer, many people wouldn't immediately recognise this as a Geto Boys tune at all unless they knew it! Not sure exactly who produced it, but a look on Discogs suggests a combination of Mike Dean, Bido, NO Joe and Tony Randle. Dope anyway.
Pusha T : My God
The beat is from Hit-Boy, who was also responsible for one of my most hated songs of the last year at least - "...Paris" from Watch The Throne. Hated it. Credit where it's due though, he brings it heavy on this track with that military-style drumline and when the church organs crackle into life it's a wrap. On the mic is the younger half of Clipse, who may not be in line for NAACP Image Awards anytime soon but has rhymes for days and days. Recent track this one, only released this year as Pusha's first solo piece - heard it when it came out and then on the "Fear Of God II : Let Us Pray" mixtape; definitely the standout on there.
Leftfield ft. Nicole Willis : Swords
I was one of those people who didn't like the "Rhythm & Stealth" LP as much as "Leftism," but this track here was a phenomenal standout. Leftfield have been in trouble more than once for the volume of their live shows, so in tribute crank this one all the way up! PS - interesting video concept too...
[Buckwild] O.C. : Burn Me Slow (Inst)
DITC action here on the lead track from the "Still Diggin' Composition EP," nice piano beat from Buckwild - unfortunately you miss out on O.C's lyrics here, but all the more reason to go and find a copy...
Co$$ : Kill 'Em All
I first got up on Co$$ after hearing him on "Pay The Co$$" on Exile's "Dirty Science" album, which was one of my favourite cuts on that project. Since then I've been following him via his Facebook Page and when I saw he had done a digital release of his "Instrument Of Emotion" album, I grabbed myself a copy for a bargain $3! Coming out of Leimert Park, Los Angeles (same area as Dom Kennedy, to name one), he's part of the new wave of Cali MCs emerging in recent years - keep an eye on him.
Rise : Do You Know Him?
I know very little about Rise other than the fact that he's certainly benefited from getting DJ Spinna beats in the past and he does so again here - cheeky lyrics on the braggadocio tip, definitely entertaining. I'd recommend picking this up but I'd never seen it before until I chanced on it on a record-shopping trip to London - there may not be many copies of this 12" floating around!
Asaviour ft. Kyza & Yungun : Money In The Bank (Remix)
Undeniably classic British 12"! I think of this as being "recent" (well, ish) but it's a 2004 track - always up for playing it though! Asaviour's a Yorkshire-born MC who came through Manchester and finally relocated to London, working with guys like Manchester's own Microdisiacs along the way. Here he throws down with Terra Firma's Kyza and the always-welcome Yungun on a heavy Jehst beat, with DJ IQ bringing the cuts. Sampling "Top Billin'" will never get old.
[Memo] Rasco : Gunz Still Hot (Remix Instrumental)
Just a nice headnodder, it doesn't hide from what is is! The vocal version has a Boston connection with Edo G and Reks both guesting alongside San Francisco's Rasco. B-side dopeness on the flip of the "Thin Line" single.
Eazy-E ft. Atbann Klann, Buckwheat, & Menajahwta : Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas
I hate most Christmas songs. This time of year though, there's no escaping them - every shop, on TV, on the radio, they keep coming back like some kind of chronic illness. At a time like this, there's no option but to reach for a Christmas song that offends everyone else. Only the late Eazy-E could give you a song like this! The final track on the "5150 : Home 4 Tha Sick," Eazy and friends give you a medley of filthy festive lyrics. Oh, and Atbann Klann? They must have suffered an allergic reaction and became...
Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!