Archive for October, 2009

New days, new classics from Blu & Exile

Posted in Hip Hop with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by JB

Meant to post a couple days ago, but I got a dang paper I needed to write. Finally finished it, but it’s too long. I gotta figure out some way to shorten it because I got 2 pages 2 much.

My Life In Hong Kong

I got big plans this weekend. Going out and clubbing tonight. Haha. Ever gone clubbing in Hong Kong? It’s pretty cool. They play a lot of US stuff like Sean Kingston and Pitbull, so I’m dancing to stuff I know. And all the Asian people are friendly and it looks like they’re thinking, “Hey! It’s a white guy!” So tonight should be cool. Tomorrow I got a sweet biking trip planned in the New Territories, which might be exhausting, but it’ll be worth it. Then Sunday I got dim sum for lunch and going to Macau Casinos at night. This is it. The weekend. Last weekend in Hong Kong before I fly to Beijing. It’s gonna be bananas. Haha. Unfortunately, I also got a lot of homework I need to do by Tuesday. Dang it. That’s what I get for procrastinating I guess.

First, here’s a track I caught on FH. It’s nothing super original or different, but damn it just sounds good. Archie Eversole and Ray Lavender made a radio song done right. The hook’s all smooth and milky like Hershey chocolate, and Archie goes hard. Guilty pleasures if you know what I mean.

Keep Winning– Archie Eversole feat. Ray Lavender

Another song I heard earlier this week was the new single from Cunninlynguists, Running Wild. It’s a dope song. Dope beat, dope verses, dope hook. Nothing else to say. I love Southern Hip Hop. I usually don’t like Southern Rap, but it’s different with Southern Hip Hop, i.e. Goodie Mob, OutKast, Nappy Roots. I LOVE Southern Hip Hop. I hate to admit it, but I don’t listen much to Cunninlynguists. I’ve always heard good things, but I’ve just never gotten into them. I’m gonna look into this, a shame that I’m sleeping on a real Southern Hip Hop group.

Running Wild– Cunninlynguists feat. E-40 and Evidence

Though I love Southern Hip Hop, the last couple years most of my favorite Hip Hop has come from one place, Southern California. Blu, Exile, Freddie Joachim, Son of Ran, TiRon, UNI, Pac Div, etc… Last week and now this week two Southern Cali HH albums are coming out. Both are great, and if you haven’t listened to much music from Southern Cali, you gotta educate yourself.

Sene

This came out last week. Sene’s A Day Late and a Dollar Short, entirely produced by the one and only Blu (AKA GODlee Barnes). I just listened to this thing in its entirety, and it’s a unique album. Sene is a talented emcee, and Blu gives hims some crazy beats to work with. Now, Blu doesn’t produce as well as he spits, but he’s definitley a competent beatsmith, and he’s made some really interesting soundscapes. Some of these beats are what I call ultra-retro. It makes retro sampling sound like future sounds. You don’t normally hear beats and songs like this. A simple, unique, honest Hip Hop album. If you want to hear classic Hip Hop with a unique feel, check this out. Recommended. 4/5.

Here’s some tracks leaked over the last couple weeks. This is a fun, up-tempo song which perfectly exemplifies current Southern Cali Hip Hop. Good vibes and dope verses.

Please Don’t Rain– Sene feat. Kissey Asplund

This is my favorite of the leaked tracks and one of my favorites on the album. Another example of SCHH. Productions, vibes, chorus. Fun times on a sunny day. That’s the only way I can describe it. Perfect chillin, summer, driving music. Roll down the window and let the moment seize me if you know what I mean. Too bad summer is pretty much over. Well maybe for you guys, it’s still nice here in Hong Kong. Haha.

WonLover– Sene

Now this is what I was talking about. A really unique song, in my mind at least. Some ultra retro sampling which lays the foundation for a dope song. Like the rest of ’em, this is a song I can relax and smile to. California is where Hip Hop lives and breathes. If you like all of this, definitely check out this cd and support some real artists. When I first heard these, I was starting to get this “Below The Heavens” feeling. Once I heard the whole thing, it wasn’t quite so(ul) amazing, but definitely worth your money and time.

everydejavu– Sene

Fashawn

This album is amazing. I really liked A Day Late and A Dollar Short, but I LOVE this album. At least now. I’ve only gone through it a few times, but I’m really feeling it right now. Fashawn’s new album, Boy Meets World, is coming out this Tuesday. The cd was entirely produced by Exile, so that should be enough for you. You should cop this the second it comes out. The production is really good, that shouldn’t surprise you. But Fashawn completely holds his own. He has some real, serious ability. Each time Exile brings out a doper beat, Fashawn crafts an amazing song. Honestly, this is one of my favorite albums this year. Hands down. I’m not going to say Best Album of the Year or anything, because it’s not like I’ve heard every album this year, so how can I can say that? But it is one of the best I’ve heard. You need to buy this. You need to hear this. 4.5/5.

I want to let you hear some of these tracks, but I got too much respect for this album to leak anything before it comes out. Maybe next week.

I still remember the first couple times I played Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens. In my opinion, it’s a modern classic. I loved that cd, and I still play some of the tracks constantly. Afterwards, I started listening to more Exile because he’s an amazing producer. But at the same time, I always thought of Below The Heavens as more of  a Blu than Exile accomplishment. It’s just the classic emcee bias. I heard Johnson & Jonson, and it wasn’t as good, but it was enough proof to me that Blu was the major force in Blu & Exile. But now hearing Fashawn’s new album, I don’t think that way anymore. Exile is at least just as talented and just as responsible for the masterpiece that is Below The Heavens.

Both guys are crazy talented, and this week you got a chance to cop projects from both of them at the same time. Be sure to support some real artists.

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Hong Kong

Posted in Hip Hop, Uncategorized, Videos with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by JB

Hong Kong

Well, I’ve been hanging out in Hong Kong for about two weeks. It’s been pretty sweet. Lots of good food. Saw Chinese opera, which is really weird. Marched in a Human Rights Parade. Went to a Mid-Autumn Festival Carnival. Saw a big Buddha. And of course, I went to an Asian karaoke joint. Haha.

Classes have actually been pretty good too. Really interesting and not too much work if you know what I mean.  I might post some pictures eventually, but I’m warning you, I’m a pretty bad photographer. I’m not some wildlife photographing bird watcher person. Most of the time I forget to bring my camera places, so this girl in our group takes all the pictures. Maybe I can ask her to send me some.

I told you it was big.

I told you it was big.

Well, anyways, because I’ve been busy doing HK stuff, I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been waiting til I found something really worth posting, and in the last week a couple things caught my eye. First is this sweet song from Ghettosocks. I never heard of Ghettosocks before, but apparently he’s a dope mc outta Canada. He’s got a new album, Treat of the Day, that’ll soon be on itunes. If it sounds like this, it’s definitely something worth buying. I also saw the video (produced by Pardis Parker), which I think is equally dope. A friend of mine said it was corny, but whatever, this is classic hip hop through and through.

Just a good song. I love story-telling rap. I think the death of story-telling rap is a big part of the decline of mainstream Hip Hop. There just ain’t stories anymore. That’s a generalization, but it’s basically right. Stories don’t have as many clever (or not clever) one-liners, and sometimes the songs just aren’t as easy to dance to. Maybe that’s why those songs don’t get play anymore. For whatever reason, you don’t hear lyricism and creativity like this on the radio, and I think that sucks. Here’s the song (courtesy of 2DB).

Don’t Turn Around– Ghettosocks feat. Edgar Allen Floe

Radio Do Canibal

Here’s the other awesome project I’ve heard about in the last couple weeks. The album, Radio Do Canibal, just came out today, or yesterday (this Hong Kong time is tricky). It’s a concept album with all production based on Brazilian music, which is dope. Everything I’ve heard has been awesome, so I gotta feeling this is gonna be a real solid album. I’ve also heard from others that this album is very good, so you should definitely check it out. A video from the creator himself BK-One explaining the project…

One of the tracks I caught on the world wide web a couple days ago. (I read this thing that said “world wide web” is an outdated term and shouldn’t be used anymore. Screw that.)

Philly Boy– BK-One & Benzilla feat. Black Thought

And take a look at this song. Phonte, Brother Ali, the Grouch, Black Thought. You can tell that this cd has an incredible line-up of emcees. One more reason to check it out.

Oh, and it’d be wrong to end this post without mentioning the coolest Brazilian song of all time:

Dang I can’t find a video of the best version. Just audio will have to do.

The Girl From Ipanema