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Originally when I had first posted about M.J.’s passing, I was at a loss for words….so I just put up some videos.
With the amount of coverage that this is receiving (and will undoubtedly receive for the next few months) there’s not much I can say that won’t come off as redundant. However, that being said, I feel as though I owe him something. Being a performer and musician myself, the impact he had on my upbringing and growth as an artist was obviously great. Anyone who is, was or has attempted to enter the popular music realm, regardless of vehicle (rock, hip-hop, r&b, etc) has, whether they recognize it or not, been influenced by this man either in their dance and performance or songwriting and content, the way they present their persona and style or create Music Movies as opposed to videos. And for all of that, we are forever indebted.
Despite his obvious problems and eccentric behaviour, at a moment like this, we need not remember Michael Jackson for the rumour and speculation that surrounded him in the final years before his passing, but for his fact.
The fact of talent.
The fact that he inexplicably and effortlessly was able to reach and communicate with the world several times over, passing through barriers of race, gender, culture, language and age with next to no resistance.
All I remember is in my house, Michael was a big thing. My parents being landed immigrants from Taiwan obviously had broken English when moving to Canada from Taiwan, however, they understood Michael. They bought us Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad on Vinyl. They bought my brothers Michael Jackson wallets. They took me on the Smooth Criminal ride at Universal Studio’s. And more importantly, any time he was on TV, they never failed to yell out to us to come see another milestone performance.
This may come off a touch like my parents were Michael Jackson freaks but they really weren’t. He wasn’t a common topic at the dinner table. And we didn’t play his music non-stop. But if you account for the enormity and range of momentous events and milestones that Michael Jackson was responsible for in popular culture, whether you wore the rhinestone glove or not, you might be surprised to find just how big a Michael Jackson fan you really are.
Thanks Michael. You’ll truly be missed.
R.I.P. Michael Joseph Johnson.
For more click HERE.
HHHTiny and Large,
Goodies? And I ain’t talkin Ciara.
Let’s start with the Large.
Kinda Like a Big Deal
Lemme pre-cursor this with, I’m a big Clipse fan. Or at least I was.
From Lord Willin’ to the We Got It For Cheap mixtapes to Hell Hath No Fury, I was an avid Clipse supporter. When I heard that Rick Rubin’s first order of business after joining the Columbia staff was signing the Clipse, god believes me that I was Ecstatic like Mos Def and anticipating more great things from the Virginia duo.
Following HHFN they decided to switch out of their comfortable position with Pharrell and Star Trak and start collaborating with new producers. Cool. I’m always down for experimentation, especially after you’ve presumably done all you can in a certain lane. Well, they got a bunch of new cats on deck and released a Re-Up Gang album (which was lead by the doo-doo Scott Storch produced Fast Life) followed by another mixtape with all new production.
They were underwhelming to say the least.
Not only did their pocket and groove fall short of what it had been, but it felt like (especially in Pusha T’s case) that they just got, for lack of a better term, dumber. Simple words, with unclever metaphores and similes and generally uninspired rap. Well, since then I’ve heard a couple tunes that got me goin and have shown glimmers of the group I once coveted as the leaders of the new school.
A few months back I posted up one of these tunes featuring Mr. West by the name of ‘Kinda Like a Big Deal’. And well, looks like the feedback was strong cause luckily, someone on the team had the good sense to make this the lead single and avoid another catastrophe like Fast Life.
Anyway, here’s the video. I’m still hopin for a miracle.
Make You Sweat
So I know Clifford Harris is in prison, but dammit you definitely wouldn’t be able to tell by the blogs. Every week there seems to be new T.I. songs and videos popping up, and I’m starting to think that he’s on an island somewhere and this is some marketing ploy to up his rep. Anyway, regardless, homie is or was getting his 2Pac on and living in the studio cause there seems to be no stop in sight for this cat.
Here’s a brand newbie. One of the few mainstream cats who can really rap when he feels like it.
And finally, a dope track from 2 people I’ve never heard of, Embee and Nina Ramsby.
From what I can gather, they’re both from Sweden, Embee’s a prominent hip-hop DJ and Producer (according to Wikipedia) and Nina’s an electronica vocalist with Jazz sensibilities (according to her myspace). There’s a video and album art for this song, but I won’t be posting either because unfortunately they’re horrendous and I really wouldn’t want those to take away from the dopeness of the track.
So just listen and enjoy.
It’s Wednesday folk.
If you’re a regular of this blog, then chances are you’re into some raw-@$$-ness.
In previous posts the names of M.O.P. (obviously), as well as the members of the Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce Da 5’9″) have all come up and generally under a positive light.
Well, they’re alllll back again…….and this time…….together.
Having collaborated for the upcoming Slaughterhouse album, here’s some footage of them in studio just finishing the track alongside DJ Premier and Showbiz (of D.I.T.C.) as well as the Freebie. Rawness indeed.
Also, since we’re on the topic of Slaughterhouse. Joell Ortiz, who most of you still know as the guy Dre signed to Aftermath (only to ask for his release shortly after) is preparing to release a documentary about his career thus far. This is the first I’ve really heard or seen anything from it and it looks kinda interesting or it could be the trailer covered it all, either way, here it is.
And finally, as the subject of this post is ‘Pair Up’s, as in dope collabs and what not. I was recently made privy to this info that definitely qualifies under such a topic.
Buzz Aldrin. Yes, the 2nd man on the Moon Buzz Aldrin revealed recently to the New York Times that he in fact just finished collabing with the Doggfather himself, big Snoop Dogg for Will Ferrell‘s www.funnyordie.com. When asked if he actually sang in the video, Buzz replied: “I relate. It’s not singing, it’s rapping.”
Read the full interview HERE.
That’s Monday people.
It’s Father’s day. And for pops, I’m gonna keep the talking to a minimum. He likes his quiet.
So while you in Taichung recover from Soul Survivor and we in Toronto recover from a hectic NXNE weekend, I give you some chilled out-ness.
A short film by Tom Mankovsky. This thing is visually stunning and I can only assume took FOREVER to make. Please soak this completely in for all its glory.
Sorry I’m Late.
Asher Roth puts it down for his pops and pops’ everywhere. With this, he has the potential to be to Dads what Pac was to Moms.
And finally, on Friday, the Graffiti world lost their own father figure. IZ the Wiz, once one of the reigning All City kings of NYC in the 70’s passed away due to kidney failure. Probably best known for his appearance in Style Wars, IZ was one of the first guys to try and combine quantity with quality and took mass bombing to a whole other level. I leave you with his last appearance on camera.
R.I.P. IZ THE WIZ
Happy Baba’s Day.
Be good to yours. I’m bout to go call mine.
Tomorrow night is SOUL SURVIVOR. And you should be there. You really should.
The CAPtain will be there full force and destroying minds with some Hip-Hop 101 meanwhile, HHHT alum, Bobby Bonestorm promises something……….I don’t even wanna provide an adjective to it. Just go. As far as prep for what’s about to go down, I give you some up jump, head nod, feel good type ish.
C’mon man. These guys are just too smooth.
Camp Lo continues their onslaught this year of good ass hip-hop. This one’s for the sun.
As I had anticipated, it’s arrived.
Straight from the Okayplayer msg boards. This little sample of the ?uestlove endorsed emcee seems promising. I’ve only heard a few tunes thus far, and as of yet, it hasn’t let me down. With guestspots from Black Thought, Wale, Dice Raw, Reef the Lost Cauze and the highly underrated Roscoe P. Coldchain, I’m assuming there’re plenty more goodies on here.
Lemme know what you think.
And finally….some visual entertainment. The Mighty Mos Def a.k.a. Flaco Bey clearing some things up with Angie Martinez, and proposing one of the most exciting events in Hip-Hop history (IF it were to go down. Which I doubt.)
Watch and enjoy.
It’s Friday folk. 1 more sleep.
Get ta vibin.
HHHTina’s, Tracy’s and Tania’s,
Because today is your day, and because I am the Casanova that I am, I give you something from the heart.
A new goodie from G.O.O.D.’s Sa-Ra Creative Partners, and no this song isn’t a tribute to the late, great Eazy E’s double time spitting quartet from Cleveland, but it is pretty thuggish ruggish.
The new record may just be hella ill. Check it.
Maybe not the most refined ladies man…okay, maybe not refined at all, but he sure shares some similar fashion tendencies.
This is just a fun one over a classic sample.
And finally, often confused for 1 woman, but they’re actually 3 dudes from Brooklyn and Cincinnati, the video to an MPfree I linked you with a couple weeks back.
Dope tune. Super dope.
Enjoy the night folk.
Get it in.
Let me begin by stating that today is a good day.
Why? We’ll get to that in a second, but first, let me rattle off a few goodies for you.
I don’t really know anything about this dude.
From what I’ve been able to gather, he’s a producer from Japan who sometimes goes by Swing-O. He has a new record coming out called ‘Revenge of Soul’ on Japanese imprint ‘Origami Records’ and he’s been featured on more than 100 Japanese albums as a producer, composer and/or pianist.
This track I’m givin you isn’t mindblowing but dammit if it isn’t endearing as hell. He even went and got himself Stephanie McKay which is never a bad look. Lemme know what you think.
The West Coast must be amped right now.
Nipsey Hussle is gettin plenty of acclaim. Dr. Dre seems to be showing up everywhere again. The Game hasn’t opened his mouth in a while. And dammit if Kurupt & Quik getting together doesn’t just make incredible sense.
This tune isn’t as crazy as 9x outta 10, but it’s classic West Coast Funk through and through. Just check the title.
King For Hire – the reason for my excitement.
These guys are ill.
Shan Vincent de Paul and Derek DaCosta, better known as MAGNOLIUS, are preparing to release their sophomore set ‘MARY MUSTH’ this fall and will be headed out on tour with fellow PPF Housemates LEO37 and Sunclef on a Canadian tour spanning over 20 dates coast to coast this summer. With an impressive touring resume completely without label support that have seen them hit 11 countries, these guys have subtly positioned themselves in a unique niche within the hip-hop realm and show no signs of slowing.
If you haven’t heard (or seen) them yet….they’re quite the spectacle.
And for all the Canadians out there, you can check tour dates HERE.
MAG & LEO37 in Asia.
That’s Monday Folk. Burn’em if you got’em.
I know it’s Sunday.
And I know this is generally your day of rest….but I just couldn’t wait another day to give you this sneak peek.
You know how as a kid you used to make up fantasy posse cuts? Like I know in my circle we’d come up with combinations like Pharoahe Monch, Del and Big Boi, or Black Thought, Aesop Rock and Kurupt. Y’know, ish like that. Hell, N.E.R.D. actually did one of mine when they put together De La, Q-Tip, Mos and Common for their She Wants to Move remix. Well….how bout this one.
And as a bonus, the Ante Up (Remix) roster returns with another offering.
And to continue with the theme, Raekwon just released video version #2 of the New Wu track featuring Meth and Ghost. I’m not sure why he did another version cause Ghost isn’t even in it, plus the RZA cameo (as well as a ton of others) isn’t there. Instead they grabbed cameos from cats like Teyana Taylor? Oh well….the tune’s still heavy.
Finally, on a completely unrelated note…..courtesy the homie Rewind from The Intelligentlemen….
Enjoy the day people. Soak it up.
Today I present to you a true Shuffle Saturday.
The Skull Gang General has never been my favorite. My favorite Dipset member? Yes. But that’s really not saying much. No one can deny that these guys have made hits and on occasion surprise the world with some cleverness and good songwriting (Santana’s Town is ill.) But their track record leaves plenty to be desired.
Anyway…Juelz just dropped the first official single for his upcoming ‘Born to Lose, Built to Win’ album and well……I’ll let you decide.
After half a decade of being shut down, it looks like the Ruff Ryders are ready to open up shop again and apparently everyone’s on board. According to a recent interview with Jadakiss and Swizz Beatz, this year promises new albums from the LOX, Drag-On, the first Double R compilation since ’03/’04 as well as a brand new opus from their general, fresh outta Arizona State, DMX. And well, although the Double R roster could stand to lose some dead weight, it’s kinda nice (It’s like everytime the WWE bring back Degeneration X or the NWO for like a week. It’s fun to reminisce.). So with that being said, Kiss gives the world their first glimpse into where everyone’s been.
Once again I’m refraining from opinion on this and I’ll let you guys pick it apart.
DMX the day he was released from prison speaking to Pastor (Murda) Mason Betha on the radio. Entertainment.
Charles, Charles, Charles. *shakes head*
A while ago on this very page, I wrote a long winded endorsement for Charles Hamilton. I spoke about how he was bringing back a nice element to the Hip-Hop community that had been missing and that he really had the potential to do something special. Shortly after that post, I stopped writing about Charles Hamilton because he started to make me look like a fool as he began to put out an insane amount of sub-par to borderline garbage music on a weekly basis. Yet, I still stood by the fact that he’s good a rapper…just misguided.
After a brief hiatus, he gave me something to write about and be proud of again when he reached out to legendary NY emcee, MC Lyte to collab on an apparent EP. Hope.
Well…he’s gone ahead and ruined that again.
I’ll let House Shoes and J-Smooth break it down for you.
Oh Charles. What you could’ve been.
It’s Saturday folk. Get creative.
Be well world.
I’m a huge Mos Def fan. I think I’ve spoke on it a couple times before so I won’t go into my usual speal (sp?) but the gist of it is ‘he’s dope’. Like his music or not, the man has stuck to his guns through and through and he seems steady on his course despite tempting offers from Def Jam, Aftermath, etc. etc.
Anyway, Pretty Flaco just dropped his new record and I like it plenty. The production’s not spectacular and the tracks aren’t put together in as lucid a way as Black on Both Sides or even New Danger for that matter, but I can’t stop listening to it. The content is super heavy. The song structures are odd and jarring. He messes around with metre and time signatures. And more than anything, this album is just about Mos Def putting on a clinic as an emcee. Period.
Well…Mos recently showed up on David Letterman with a DJ, Drummer, couple Timpani drums and a Fela Kuti sample in tow. Needless to say…it brought a smile to my face and I hope it does yours.
And if that doesn’t get you goin, how bout Ghostface rippin another classic sample. This guy’s just too damn consistent.
Ghostface – Forever (Dirty)
…and if THAT doesn’t work…..
I just realized that this post doesn’t co-ordinate with the right day. But it’s too late now.
Get into it.
Be well world.