Sunday, December 21, 2008

On Another Tip

While I just got all my emotional BS off my chest over on my decrepit MySpace blog, here's where you can always find unconditional love. Everybody says music if their life, but music is my wife. It's no I Used to Love H.E.R., it's an I Renew My Vows Every Single Day cuz Women Pale in Comparison to the Real Love that Music Gives. I think the second one might actually as a song title ...

So for the people that don't know, I signed an indie deal with Deka Records recently. So I gotta make some real stuff. Of course I'll keep pushing all my free music out, but now I'mma have to put together an all-original collection that's gonna be up for sale. And yeah, there will prolly be a girl song on there, but I could pretty much not care any less about them at the moment. Is it weird that I currently only care about music, UK basketball home games, and the Lakers? And I mean like only. Forget everything else.

Look out for my top albums of the year list once New Years comes a'runnin' around. But until then, I just really like this song. Even though it connotatively means absolutely nothing to me. Ha. And there emerges my inner love atheist. But these two girls have amazing voices that somehow blend perfect in this fake-made duet.

Buy my album when it comes out or I might just stare at you weird for the rest of your life. And that's a threat and a promise.

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Classic: Life's a B

This song was so far ahead of its time its almost unbelievable.

Let it be known today that I really don't care if a rapper decided to direct his talent towards orating about money ... as long as he can actually rap good doing it! AZ's intro on this song sets up about Jacksons and Grants and whatnot, but he then proceeds to drop (most likely) my second favorite verse in all of history. This was Illmatic. This was the debut album by which all debuts were going to fail in comparison to in the future. And the single featured artist on the entire album laced Nas something he actually couldn't follow up. And Nas' verse is great, too, don't get me wrong. I already said that lyricists pushing lyricists can do no wrong. Legendary to me. It's ridiculous.

Visualizing the realism of life and actuality,
Uff who's the baddest, a person's status depends on salary,
And my mentality is, money orientated.
I'm destined to live my dreams for all my peeps who never made it.

Plus AZ used the word "schweppervescence" in the song. Who else can claim that? Nobody. Watch this video and cry that Nas & AZ never got it together enough to do a collabo album. No one's ever come so hard for corporate. Well ... except Kanye, Rakim, KRS-One, & Nas again for Nike ...

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Vol. 2, Artwork

Here's the official Ern-laced cover.

Add it to your iTunes since you already downloaded my mixtape, son!

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Am Not Charles Hamilton

You can't talk to me about rap music today without me bringing up this dude. It's that simple. As 2008, Charles Hamilton is hip hop to me. He epitomizes everything enjoyable and worthwhile in the genre. Even though he wouldn't want me categorizing him within any genre.

It's just refreshing to hear someone who's not trying to be the next ... anybody! I'll take less money bragging, less thug posturing, less automobile endorsing, and less I-got-everything-on-lock any day of the week in my music. And in the same vein I'll take more introspection, more conceptual girl songs, more musical composition, more actual personality, more not-afraid-to-be-different while not being-different-just-to-be-different but because-I-actually-am-different, and more fun mixtapes any day of the week in my music, as well. Ladies and gentleman, let me reintroduce you to everything that is Charles Hamilton.

Name me any other label-backed musician in the world who is allowing you with full endorsement to take his music at your own discretion for an entire year absolutely free. Literally eight mixtapes worth of creative juices all for the effort of a "Right-Click, Save As". With anybody else, I'd be calling foul due to little or no creativity and each tape's prolly just a compilation of lazy freestyle verses over industry instrumentals. But not hear. Charles helms a butt-load of his own production along with fellow Demevolist producers and brings you an entirely new music experience every single time. But even you nowadays-heads would be proud as he flips ridiculous amounts of highly contemporary music into imaginative samples and creates a brand new song and concept out of something that was on the radio literally months ago. Take, for instance, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" [Ringtone Rap] or Rihanna's "Shut Up & Drive" [Lemme Know] or Hoobastank's "The Reason" [Mr. Perfect] or Young Jeezy's "Put On" [Jeezy Hamilton] or Rob Thomas' "Lonely No More" [Sweetheart (Take It Back)] or The-Dream's "I Luv Your Girl" [Wrong Side of the Bed]. Tell me you aren't completely feeling at least one of those songs or wanna hear how it got flipped. I dare you.

And now the clincher. Look deep inside of your soul and tell me who could flip the various retarded Windows computer noises into a hot hip hop joint? Seriously. This dude is beyond a genius musician. He's a real person.

Here are the links for the Hamiltonization Process 2008. It was pandemonium. And he's got beef with Soulja Boy? What else could you ask for from a rapper?

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Intimate Friends

It's sad to me that Common and Alicia Keys have done more movies together than studio records. That's 1 to 0 if anybody's counting.

Common himself rumored about an "I Want You" remix with her, which woulda been fire, but it hasn't come about as of yet. But if you wanna link em up music-wise in another way (besides the less-than-stellar UnPlugged version of "Love It or Leave It Alone"), why not do it with a double sample article?

Both the Kanye-produced Alicia single and debut track from Common Sense (circa '92 again!) use the beautiful opening to Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations' 1977 song "Intimate Friends". Get up on your Motown history with this one!

Alicia Keys is fine. Just thought I'd mention that again before I closed the post ...

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vol. 2, A Laptop Chronicle

So here it is. Official album cover coming soon. So in its place is just a random picture.

1. An Incredible Intro [prod. by Sebastian]
2. All of It (feat. Lauryn Hill, John Legend, & Kanye West) [prod. by Kanye West]
3. An 808 & a Heartbreak (feat. Kanye West) [prod. by Chris Campbell]
4. Chasing Something (feat. Aaronn Ern & Lupe Fiasco) [prod. by Soundtrakk]
5. The First Interview
6. In My Mind [prod. by Quincy Tones]
7. Take It Off (feat. Andre 3000 & Norah Jones) [prod. by Andre 3000]
8. Cash Flow (feat. Shtee Gilp) [prod. by The Runners]
9. Brett Favre [prod. by Chris Campbell]
10. Another 808 (feat. Kanye West) [prod. by Chris Campbell]
11. The Second Interview
12. The Watcher 3 (feat. T-Burr & Daaave) [prod. by Dr. Dre]
13. RedLight/GreenLight (feat. Nova-Lyric, John Legend, & Andre 3000) [prod. by KP & Malay]
14. Here I Is (feat. Aaronn Ern & Avery Storm) [prod. by Drumma Boy]
15. The Third Interview
16. Calculus [prod. by Kanye West]
17. If You Were a Boy ... (feat. R. Kelly & BC Jean) [prod. by Toby Gad]
18. One Life [prod. by Nas]
19. Another Heartbreak (feat. Kanye West) [prod. by Chris Campbell]

This is the stuff. The first one was practice. The poetry was just some soul bearing. The remix was for fun. But this ... this is the stuff.

My favorite songs to make were the 808's trilogy. I took all 12 songs from Yeezy's new album and made concept mashed tracks from them. Consider it my album review for the masterpiece. Features from Aaronn, Steven & Tyler as always, but also an impressive first time collabo with Nova-Lyric.

The only surprise thing is that a couple tracks, including the famed brandUn DeShay joint, had to disappear from this specific tape. Is that possibly because they're going to be featured on a future full-length all-original released album? Only time will tell ...


... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Use Your Love

As everyone knows, I'm off Chuck & B.o.B currently. How dumb am I to not realize these two songs coexisted in my iPod?

They both flagrantly use The Outfield's "Your Love" from a billion years ago in 1985. Soul samples of course rule most all of hip hop sampledom, but I've nothing against 80's Brit pop/rock sneaking chipmunk-style into my new dudes' songs. Charles handles his own production while Bob's is produced by "Lollipop"-creator Jim Jonsin. I lean towards Hamilton's composition ear while calling it a complete tie on song writing. Bob's is a hilarious run-in story like only he can pull off right now, while Charles is deeply thought-provoking and conceptual. Below's the original, which itself is really, really good, along with a reggae remix by Wyclef. I'mma get a post up on Mr. Jean, soon. At some point last year, I listened to only his music for a solid two months. That's my dude.

So which one you like better?

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rappers That are Better Than Me, Part 2

First one was brandUn DeShay. Hard to follow that up. But maybe you'll see it fit once you watch this music video a lil' further down.

What other emcee you know that was actually born in Kenya, raised in London, Ontario, and got the most unnoticeable accent you've ever not heard?

I hate having to discover a guy from another blog, but that's how it happened. He was featured on The Rap Up under a series called "An MC I Care About Today". And after first listen, I cared about him, too.

"Cats say, 'you the illest.' I'm like, 'nah, B. Nah, B. Nah, B.'
Well, okay, prob'ly. But it's only cuz I rap like it's my hobby,
Not a jobby job, all sloppy and off key.
Y'all mad as march tryinna knock off the top seed."

I bought both of this dude's CDs off iTunes directly after I saw this music video for the first time. Shadrach Kabango, to me, is a poet laureate if there ever was one. His raps are so impeccably perfect that I literally cannot believe the bars that he puts together. There is not a single throw away lyric on either When This is Over or The Old Prince. They are undeniable classic albums to anyone who's ever heard either one. Unfortunately that's not enough people.

"His wife was still beside him under the blanket enclosed.
When he looked up at the clock, he saw the hands and it froze,
So the man just arose, put his hands to the roads,
And began to compose the most candid of prose."

So whether you're looking for punch line after punch line rolled off with perfect delivery or the most heart-pounding, picture-painting stories ever, Shad's got 'em. Throw in there a song where he hilariously argues with a white guy over both races in the NBA ("Real Game"), an in-depth story of a fallen musician personifying the entire music ("I Heard You Heard You Had a Voice Like an Angel"), a straight out lyrical rhythm jam session ("Rock to It"), an I-still-live-with-my-mom shame confessional ("The Old Prince Still Lives at Home"), and even a doctoral thesis on women ("Out of Love" & "Out of Love, Pt. 2"). No other emcee I've ever heard hits as many real people topics without ever becoming redundant or uninteresting. Dude is that dude.

"I'll never understand how flesh bein' torn apart feels.
Or how, after all the suffering, a heart heals.
On the rich screen, fields where they killed old and young.
Cold and numb, under the light of a golden sun.
It still stuns. Tell me what possesses man to, in anger, raise his hand?
I'll never understand."

Buy his albums so you can understand and enjoy life a little better. It's for your own good. Revolutionize what you're brain allows rappers to be. I hate to say it, but Canada's got one of the best rap scenes out there right now with Shad, k-os, Drake, and Famous. Still don't enjoy Kardinal in the slightest besides whoever is on his choruses, but Shad K makes up for his sell-out shortcomings ten-fold.

Read any of the lyrics I posted aloud and tell me they don't simply feel good. I don't care if it's just wordplay or social commentary, Shad puts the right words together in a way I can't compare anyone else to. Ever. For real. This is the only song I can give you cuz all of mine are flippin' iTunes protected.

Shad - I Get Down (direct link, so right click & "Save As ...")

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Classic: Deep Fried Frenz

I saw this on Charles Hamilton's blog and I was like, "aw snap, that's classic." So I clicked over to my blog to cement is as a Chris Campbell-authorized "Classic".

You'll prolly immediately recognize the Whodini vocal sample of, "friends ... how many of us have them?" Doom has always been a completely incomparable producer, so I always love his older material when he went over his own stuff. Now all his beats seem to immediately go to Ghostface Killah and the collabo album ain't even come out yet! But he rides this beat to perfection. And anyone who claims Metal Face goes completely rhymes nonsensical, catch this track and try to say the same. Everyone can relate to this cautionary tale. He's been missing for a minute now, but he's got plenty of material released in the first half of this decade for anyone to enjoy.

Though definitely not his first project to feature heavy comic book-sampled story lines, they're featured prominently as heard on the last minute of this track. It's an interesting take on interludes of sorts blended into the flow of the album. When you listen to enough of his various alter-egos and according albums, the story lines become natural and expected. So don't be scared the first time they cut in.

And I just like the fact that the album title MM.. FOOD is an anagram for M.F. DOOM. Clevuh.

... this was whatcha all been waitin' for ain't it?


Monday, December 8, 2008

I Just Really Like This Song

So this is my new lil' series I'll be doing when I ain't got nothing else to write at the moment. If you don't ever cop any other tracks I post, which you completely should for the betterment of your life, make sure and get these. It's not that these are all-time pivotal tracks in the development of hip hop as we know it. I just really like this song.

This is one of those chill up your spine songs. I don't know what it samples over Ne-Yo's singing, but it makes me look forward to my wedding if that's in the cards. You know I worry 'bout that already on the daily.

... and so concludes another masterpiece


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dear Diary ...

I did a word association post way long ago about my favorite songs featuring the word "nobody". And I wanna do another one. So I'm gonna do another one. Here's another one.

The Idle song uses the same instrumental composed by Alicia, but everything else is 100% original. Idle Warship is another Talib Kweli group to join the ranks of Black Star, Reflection Eternal, and Liberation. Dude's starting to get an alias complex like MF Doom or Madlib ... connect those dots ...

It's really sad back in the '90s that Nas offed Cormega. If he hadn't, Mega prolly would be in everyone's top NY rappers list ever. Dude's got a real heavy poetic influence in his rhymes for such a hard-persona emcee.

But Ms. Keys' "Diary" is one of my favorite songs ever. Forever ever. There was a point in my life last year where, I swear, I had to watch the video for that song on my iPod every single night or I couldn't fall asleep. She made me content like nobody else could at 1:30 on any random night. Below isn't the video I'm talking about, but it's a taste of the song.
... and so concludes another masterpiece


Friday, December 5, 2008

Classic: Thieves in the Night

"'Give me the fortune, keep the fame,'
Said my man Lewis. I agreed.
Know what he mean, cuz we live the truest lie.
I asked him, 'Why we follow the law of the bluest eye?'
He looked at me, he thought about it, was like 'I'm clueless. Why?'
The question was rhetorical, the answer is horrible ..."

I was slack jawed the first time I got to this song on the Black Star album. I have to admit getting on the train of thought quite late, first hearing of Talib Kweli and being intrigued because of Common and his feature on Kanye's "Get 'Em High". At least I got on it, though.

Black Star is the ridiculously intense duo of the aforementioned Kweli and fellow Brooklynite Mos Def. Hip hop never got any more raw to me than the 13 tracks that blessed my ears on their first, and currently only, collaborative LP. This specific track featured eye opening and soul provoking verses along with a Run-D.M.C.-like back and forth chorus between the emcees. And it was quite impressively helmed production-wise by 88 Keys who took a track away from Hi-Tek, the main producer of the album.

"Hidin' like thieves in the night from life,
Illusions of oasis makin' you you twice."

If Mos ever wasn't fully engulfed in some other production show-biz wise, the world would be so much better off with a sophomore Black Star collabo LP over a decade after the fact.

... and so concludes another masterpiece


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I'm always ... intrigued (careful word choice) to hear the sound when a new music scene is on the come-up from a city on the map not previously represented. While it was a little before my prime, in the mid '90s, Atlanta hip hop came out hard with a sound only capable of being described as Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik with groups such as OutKast, Goodie Mobb, and Parental Advisory in the early years defining their specific genre. Unfortunately, crunk became an offshoot of that as newer Atlanta acts became prominent in the mainstream. But it was something we hadn't heard before. And that's important, no matter what form it takes.

Houston is a more recent example. Children got to see before their very eyes the insanely huge, though temporary, celebration of the Chopped-N-Screwed and candy-painted movement of Texas with the inexplicable rise to fame of Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Lil' KeKe, and others around 2005-ish. While I personally prefer to look at H-Town's richer history of the Geto Boys, Devin the Dude, and more recently Chamillionaire, no one can doubt the epic nature that distinctive sound took on the rap game for a little while.

Now the Washington, D.C. area is hoping to carve its niche in the hip hop universe on the shoulders of one man. Wale. Not "whale" as I ignorantly thought initially. But the magician/matador-like "Wah-lay"! I quote Phonte (pioneer of the NC sound!) way too much in my explanation of enjoyable and important rap music, but it applies here, too.

"Dope beats, dope rhymes. What more could y'all want?" (c) Phonte

It's a Calculus II-worthy formula that should be taught in kindergarden classes the world over. Wale prevails in his adherence to this formula. And if you're ever going to be formulaic, wouldn't this be the one you'd like to be classified under?

Before listening to the above tape I would never have believed anyone could pull off an ode to Seinfeld, regardless of genre. But Wale sets up each track as a Seinfeld episode experience in that they're methodically yet simply labeled "The [insert reason why it's relevant] Song". It's a beautiful concept that's beautifully utilized to poke fun at himself. Take for instance "The Cliche Lil' Wayne Feature" that was previously known as "Nike Boots (Remix feat. Lil' Wayne)" to earlier fans. That takes guts and humility to call yourself out as such. My personal favorite title is "The Roots Song Wale Is On" as he isn't even afraid to bill his song cementing his underground cred as thoughtfully funny on elaboration, either.

Wale takes chances in crafting his soundscape, but it's so second nature to him that the end product is consistently dope. He incorporated blatant go-go sounds as an ode to his hometown as well as live band orchestration, real drums, and heavy pop remixes, all while approaching his lyricism differently and successfully depending on the track he's adding to. His lyrics are constantly double-take worthy but never do you feel overloaded. If you're not in a thinking mode, he makes the flow just sound good so you can nod out to it.

Get up on Wale before that first official album drops. If not, you'll already be behind. And you'll have to be tutored in the fact that a single man is making rap relevant locally in America's capital. And his name ain't Barack Obama.

... and so concludes another masterpiece


Monday, December 1, 2008

How Could You Be So Dr. Evil?

So I'm officially calling it my favorite album of the year.

808's & Heartbreak is exactly the perfect year-closing album to me as Gnarls Barkley's The Odd Couple was a perfect year-opening album. I like music. Forget hip hop as you perceive it. I listen to lyrics, concepts, sound utilization, and enjoyability. It just so happens that the rap I listen to usually encompasses that. But that's also exactly I'm not scared to listen to a rapper expand his hustle if the product is good. And here, in both cases, it's perfect music. Perfect.

So if B.o.B and KiD CuDi sing on their mixtapes even though they're prominently billed as rappers, so be it. I'm listening and enjoying it rather than other hip hoppers who are so obsessed with finding any and every reason they won't allow themselves to enjoy creativity.

And I'm posting this video again cuz I love it. My previous Kan post got deleted.

I'm just gonna post this unofficial 808 remix cuz it's pretty well done. Tyrese's rapping's aight, but he can sang. Let's just say Kanye can ... perform. Yeah, I'm good with that statement. Look me dead in the eyes and tell me you don't enjoy the melodies of this album once you hear my three concept songs to it on A Laptop Chronicle.

... and so concludes another masterpiece


Between the Sheets

Everybody knows "I love it when you call me big poppa". It's a cultural reference for this generation as well as the last one. What surprised the heck out of me is when I heard a shuffle-playlisted Gwen Stefani song have the exact same instrumental sample to it as Biggie's biggest hit.

So of course I had to engulf myself in a Wiki search to make myself a quick pseudo-genius on its history. The sample is by, prolly the most hip hopified group ever, the Isley Brothers. The song is 1983's "Between the Sheets" from an album of the same name. Stefani's "Luxurious" jacks pretty much the same composition from the song on a poppy/girl-rock tip. Another song that much more subtly snatches it is the way-older-than-when-you-thought-he-started Common song "Breaker 1/9". Far cry from "Universal Mind Control". We're talking '92 here. Pre-Michael Jordan retirement jokes. Now that's old.

Maybe my favorite thing about this quick research is that this exact song, though a completely sonically different portion, is a sample in the famed "Ignorant Ish" released by Jay-Z multiple times.

... and so concludes another masterpiece


If I Were a Song Stealer ...

This is in preparation for my to-be remixified version on Vol. 2. I think Beyonce's is retarded (and not good retarded), but I can handle this girl's. Cuz she wrote it! I hope BC Jean makes a hundred billion dollars because of it.

Forget Bey. BC has an amazing voice. Gorgeous.

... and so concludes another masterpiece