Friday, January 30, 2009

Nocturnal Videos: Episode 16- Slang Editorial

History has shown that Cappadonna is and was never the sharpest of the guillotine swords to emerge from the Wu-Tang emblem. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the strength of his debut
The Pillage, even though he did fall off the pedestal that was Winter Warz and still tried to Milk The Cow that was and is the Wu with absent lyricism.

Exile- Got Beats 4 Dayz

Apparently producer Exile has been around since the nineties; however, I personally became aware of his dexterity on the boards through his collaborative effort with Blu. This pairing would result in the release of the year of the boar’s Below The Heavens. His latest endeavor finds him brilliantly sculpting an instrumental album, deceptively titled Radio (deceptive because you will be hard pressed to find this sort of instrumentation on the radio).

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that Exile is a commendable beatsmith (peep how he flips A Milli for example); which is perceptible through his past efforts, yet his latest offering finds him exploring new boundaries per say. Instead of simply crafting instrumentals a la your run of the mill producers, with the case of Radio, Exile supplements his instrumentals with the capacity for the mental. Over the 15 track opus that is Radio, Exile is able to craftily convey his worldly views whether it pertains to the Patriot Act or religion through attentive sound bites that expose his message(s).


Exile- Watch out! False Prophet

Exile- The Machine

Exile- Love Line

Exile- In Love


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Evidence- The Proof Is Still In The Music

Layovers- How many of us love ’em? No one I suppose. Fortunately, Evidence, of Dilated Peoples fame’s latest EP (released Nov. 08), The Layover proves otherwise and would suggest that layovers could be in fact gratifying.

Nas said it best when he alleged, “association breads similarity…” ; in no way is this more evident than with the crop of producers and emcees that have been assembled- for lack of better words- the allure that is The Layover. Like his debut, The Weatherman, this project fuses banging beats from a who’s who of producers including himself, StepBrother The Alchemist, Khrysis, Sid Roams and DJ Babu with not only the sincere lyricism that has come to be associated with Mr. Slow Flow but also worthy guest features from the likes of Elzhi, Phonte and Blu to name a few. The result is a balanced composition of meditative rhyming fortified by well devised instrumentals.

Clearly a precursor to his sophomore LP Cats & Dogs, this EP serves its purpose as its title, The Layover would suggest- it’s a short break between albums imposed by EV’s creative process sans the dullness.


Evidence feat. Elzhi, Aloe Blacc - To Be Determined

Evidence feat. Phonte, Blu, - For Whom The Bell Tolls

Evidence- Cold Weather

Friday, January 23, 2009

The D.O.C.- No One Can Do It Better

Long before Dr. Dre ushered Snoop into the rap game and Eminem’s antics were celebrated on wax, Dre had The D.O.C., a rapper by way of the Lone Star state. His 1989 debut, No One Can Do It Better was produced entirely by the aforementioned Doctor, and would set the precedence that was Doggystyle and The Slim Shady LP. Not only did No One Can Do It Better, contain impeccable beats but it also featured cleverly witty lyricism and delivery reminiscent of the East; in short ,he is a West Coast cat by way of the South with an East Coast appeal. Sadly, soon after his debut’s release, The D.O.C. was involved in an accident that cut off his vocal cords. Despite this permanent handicap The D.O.C still manages to keep his name afloat penning lyrics and contributing to The Chronic, Doggystyle and 2001 to name a few. On another note he also fathered Erykah Badu’s second child, Puma Rose. I think this speaks very highly of the general nature of this man considering Erykah’s choice of fathers 3 Stacks, Jay Electronica and the aforementioned The D.O.C. I ain’t gonna say no homo / You niggas know who I am/ Far from a faggot/ If not question your broad.


The D.O.C. - Let The Bass Go
The D.O.C. - It's Funky Enough
The D.O.C. - The Grand Finale

The D.O.C. - The Formula

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hip Hopera Example III

EMC’s The Show, is yet another solid example of a concept album. Like Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves, this album plays like a movie without the inexplicable $11.00 price tag. This twenty-three track narrative (skits included), was a welcomed addition last year, ultimately proving to be one of the better albums of 2K8. Self proclaimed “favorite artists' favorite artists”, EMC consists of emcees, Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth and Strick. These excellent mic controllers chemistry is undeniable, and the result is heady, clever lyricism fortified by dope beats supplied by the likes of 9th Wonder and Nicolay. It also features appearances by Sean P, Little Brother, Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets fame amongst others.

The Show, as the title would suggest details the story of these experts' making classics as they make their way from the airport with their special promotions manager, Adam, to a live performance at Club MP3. The value of this album lies in its ability to cohesively maintain the storyline both musically and through the various comical skits. Nevertheless, it is the various messages and lessons sprinkled throughout the album that also add to its worth.


EMC feat. Ladybug Mecca - The Show

EMC feat. Sean Price - Git Sum

EMC - Winds of Change

EMC feat. Little Brother - Traffic

Guilty Pleasures- Entry #1

It has been well documented that both Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony have none other than Barry Manilow on their iPods. That said, I am sure many people including myself, have songs on their iPods that they would rather not disclose, songs that we enjoy despite feeling guilty about our selections and more importantly songs that we openly acknowledge when inebriated. Well lately, I have been listening to TI’s Live Your Life. When I first heard this song sometime last year, I thought why in the world would TI collaborate with songstress, Rihanna (better suited to be model- if that; she cannot sing to save her life). Clearly, a successful marketing ploy, as the track still maintains a high position on the Billboard charts. Do not get me wrong, I have long respected TI as both an artist and individual who carries himself well, “…but still would grab a nigga by the collar quick”

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nocturnal Videos: Episode 15- Breakadawn

Timeless track from De La Soul's Buhloone Mindstate. This album is considered their best work to date in some circles, but of course that's open to discussion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Deeper Than You Think

I downloaded a project from the production team that consists of the Admiral and Teddy Roxpin, collectively known as Cold Legistics some weeks back. To be quite honest I never heard of either of these producers, but apparently they have been making waves within the tight confines of underground hip hop. Nevertheless, ever since I downloaded the beat project, Deeper Than You Think, I have made it a part of my daily diet of music consumption. Now supposedly, the beat project was inspired by Madlib and J-Dilla, more specifically The Beat Konducta’s Shades of Blue.

While listening to the beat tape one could sense those very influences even though Cold Legistics don’t rely on samples used by those very artists. Nevertheless, this is definitely worth checking out (if you haven’t). It’s very smooth listen, accentuated by dusty sounds and clever interludes.


Cold Legistics- The Fourth Letter (Dee)

Cold Legistics- Soft Walking

Cold Legistics- Deja Vu