04-30-2013 § Leave a Comment
I tend to download a lot of albums, and mixtapes – and they sit forever in iTunes until I either delete them after a quick listen for lack of staying power or really, really love them from the jump. This album is one of the latter. I listened today, about a year after release to the latest from Minneapolis representative Mally (produced entirely by The Sundance Kid), and it was really a great album. I don’t mean great because it was free, but really just a great Hip Hop album.
From the intro tracks, it becomes apparent that it’s produced, mixed and mastered well – the beats are really well crafted and flow nicely throughout from one track to the next. The first real standout track is number three, “Shine.” The beat hits you, and once Mally starts rhyming I started wondering how I hadn’t heard this before. It’s just one of those quick chopping beats that tends to hit hard and I really got into it. The flow is perfection and rhymes lay perfectly where they should land here.
“I live in Hip Hop, I’m try’na put my name on the house / Who flex better, than the 13th letter?“
Once he had my attention, the rest of the album picks right up and carries on with thoughtful introspective lyrics, smooth instrumentals and lots of wonder about where Mally is headed in his career.
There is a nice feature from the always-focused Brother Ali on “Unplugged”, and the whole album really has an authentic feel of familiarity. Not that it’s just another same sounding record, but that it feels like you’re listening to something much older, and more played through than what was a new album for me today. I really suggest giving it a listen!
“Life’s a bitch with a lovely face, so watch this kid procreate …” – from Bounce
03-16-2013 § Leave a Comment
Check out these two new should-be-good-but-haven’t-listened-yet mixtapes, free for your listening pleasure.
First, “Underground Airplay” is presented by Ecko Unltd, probably my favorite clothing line over the last decade and a half & features artists such as Smoke DZa and Big K.R.I.T. plus mostly a lot of unsigned talent too. It’s not a bad thing, Ecko has always been dedicated to the culture and wouldn’t put out something without making sure it’s nice. This mixtape is up on Live Mixtapes website (click the title for link).
The second, from producer Harry Fruad features notable music and unreleased cuts. Harry Fruad has been busy over the last few years as a relative newcomer but working with everyone from Action Bronson, Curren$y, Smoke DZa, Mac Miller and more. Check out “Adrift” from DatPiff.
01-01-2013 § 1 Comment
This is kind of an interesting take on the same beat, from the same producer – The Alchemist. The original track, from Barry White is called “I’m gonna love you just a little more, Baby” but this is an interpretation of the same instrumental from Cecil Holmes The Soulful Sounds.
OG Barry White record (1973);
Re-interpretation by Cecil Holmes (1973);
Nas Version “No Idea’s Original”;
Released as part of Nas’ “Lost Tapes” compilation, made of tracks recorded from 1998-2001 intended for either the “I Am…” or “Nastradamus” albums. Critically acclaimed, and one of my favorite Nas projects – you have to wonder if these tracks had made the original cut maybe he’d never been accused of “falling off” by Jay Z. Anyway, this track is pretty dope, and features Nas going on about subjects such as materialism, hood life, and staying on top of his game.
It’s worth mentioning Nas mentions Mathematics, just on one line and moves on – whereas Mos def turns it into a focus of his verse.
“Witness, the horrific, the stench’ll make you nauseous
See what I seen every day I live with this torture
Lightin spliffs up to stay high like 24 hours
Sleep with my heat, wash with my gun in the shower
My tongue is power, it thrills women, kills demons“
“Your part of the world, might be like colors and gangs
While on my side, brothers’ll murder for different things
But it all revolve around drugs, fame and shorties
Stuck for your bling, stripped for your chain, the same story“
“Genesis is deep, my features are that of a God
It’s not a facade it’s a fact, these rappers wanna be Nas
My Exodus doesn’t exist
I’ll never leave the streets, it’s all in my mind
Even with sleep I’m duckin nines in my dreams“
**BONUS** Nas Original version of this track actually has a different beat & a different intro;
Mos Def Version “Grown Man Business”;
“The New Danger” was Mos Def’s second album, and a completely different sound from his classic “Black on Both Sides” – in that it featured rock sounds rather than just hip hop beats, supplied by his band at the time, Black Jack Johnson. I actually enjoyed the album aside from a few tracks, and some of my favorite work he’s done can be found on this album. This one dropped in 2004, two years after Nas’ “Lost Tapes” came out – and Alchemist is credited here according to wikipedia (although I swore Minnesota produced this beat actually). Mos’ verse begins around 1:40 mark. He actually covers some of the same topics, although having less time on the mic limits the amount of bars Mos contributes to the sampled beat.
“Ima show you where the pain and the poetry is
Ghetto young’ns spend a lot of time alone in the crib
BET on the screen, walls and posters of BIG“
“Searching for the truth leaping through the holy tablet
The bible, the Quran, or the ten crack commandments
Speak on it God, What’s today’s mathematics
The five day forecast, the Dow Jones average
The price of beer, cigarettes, bread, milk and pampers“