Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Dissage

Now call me blind for not seeing this one coming.

Charles Hamilton vs. ... ... ... Rhymefest?

Yeah, that's verging on the side of retarded. So supposedly there was a freestyle battle at some point and Charles even professes to have lost like Eminem did to Fest waaay back. So then, completely unrelated, CH has an impromptu battle at SOB's with Serius Jones (who is that dude who never blew up, in my opinion), and CH drops a one liner with Rhymefest's name in it. Never touched on it again in the battle, on his blog, or anything. Just an off-the-dome rhyme. So a day or two later after some Twitter threats, Mr. Jesus Walks dropped this:

Personally, I hope Charles hits him back, cuz that track right there is weak. Weak. And Rhymefest is dead nice. I don't know if he just mentally hasn't recovered from the Blue Collar flop or what, but that was a crazy good album. And besides the alright Michael Jackson mixtape, he hasn't been heard from for real since. Just threatening to drop El Che the last few years. I don't know. But that doesn't make up for the complete lack of quality in the diss track. I'm disappointed cuz I can't stress enough how ridiculously great Fest can be.

Fest explained in this MySpace post, but still. It all sounds like a dual misunderstanding on all incidents involved and, as most rap beefs turn, it seems more street threats occur than actual conversation. We'll see what happens.

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


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Classic: Thugz Mansion

This is a nice lil' two-fer. Same official Pac verse, but one hundred percent different tracks. One was released on the posthumous Better Dayz with Anthony Hamilton while the other transfered a verse to the acoustic Nas rendition on God's Son. I'm a sucker for anything with finger-picking or Mr. Hamilton, so I enjoy both rather thoroughly. Somehow 2Pac remains both over and underrated in his legacy since his death, but it's impossible for somebody to not have a few Pac songs they sweat.

Supposedly the short Pac-Nas feud was deaded right before Pac's unfortunate passing, so I'm sure the 2002 version was deeply genuine, especially considering it came shortly after the passing of Nas' mother.

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


Monday, January 26, 2009


Off the much-maligned, oft-ignored, and conspicuously-packaged True Magic. I just really like this song.

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


Friday, January 23, 2009

Classic: Teenage Love

Slick Rick is my dude. The picture with this post was taken by me in the third row of the Legends concert with Tyler & Daaaaaave last year. Of course I was blown away seeing Big Daddy Kane, Dana Dane, and Whodini, but Ricky & Doug E. Fresh frickin' killed something else.

So you should prolly know at least half of "Children's Story" off the top of your head and recognize "La Di Da Di" on the first beat, but my favorite Slick Rick song is "Teenage Love". I'd actually heard the sampled chorus off of Talib Kweli's ridiculously amazing bonus track "For Women" before I heard the original. So I had that immediate connection to the song already.

This one just hits a lot different than Ricky's usual song matter on women. This one sets aside his usual stone-emotion pimp persona and assumes a fragile, understanding dude. Even if it just lasted this one song, I believe it. No matter the other stories he tells. The song got a more recent ode with Alicia Keys' "Teenage Love Affair", even more so with the LL & Swizzy remix that directly sampled it. Slick Rick is my dude.

"Don't, don't, don't hurt me again ..."

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


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#1: No Words to Even Begin to Describe

Oh, and speaking of beautiful skin ...

Numba 1 is ... Keira Knightley!!!

The long-delayed completion of my short wifey series ends at the amazingly perfect British actress from all the Pirates, Domino, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, the fourth Star Wars, Love Actually, King Arthur, Bend It Like Beckham, and every good magazine cover ever photographed. I love that woman.

Musically, Alicia Keys obviously moves my soul in a ridiculous way, but I want Keira Knightley to be my love interest in a music video. And I'll accidently mess up every time so we'll have to keep reshooting scenes over and over forever. No matter how stupidly chick-flicky any movie in the world is, I'm there if she's in it. She's the best actress in the entire world, so I'll fight someone over that, too. She makes my life better. You don't even understand.

I've only ever even met one girl in the universe who is prettier than Keira and you can prolly count on me not blog posting about her on here. So let's just say Keira Knightley is wifey 1.1 behind the unnamed wifey numba 1.0. Alrighty?

And finally, in Wifey series concluding fashion: she's frickin' beyond gorgeous.

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


Classic: Beautiful Skin

This is the Goodie Mob's classic ode to "the coming respect for all women, period." Cuz some of y'all disrespect y'all selves cuz you don't know who you are in the first place. (c) Cee-Lo

Back before I fully got immersed in the Mob's intricate & individually stylistic lyricism on some of the harder subjects to convey in rap music, this is the song I was ignorantly bumping anyway. Any Cee-Lo chorus has me fiending regardless, but this one is simply undeniable. There's no calling anyone out their name here. It's just conversation. Amazingly related conversation. I get chills on this this song. That's apparently my measure of classic status. Goosebumps. Oh, and Rosario Dawson has beautiful skin.

What they say bout ya ain't true. There's no me if there is no you. I hope that you understand, you got to respect yo self before I can.

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


Monday, January 19, 2009

The Run Down

So here's wuz hannennin' with the album as of late.

Me and Steven got 8 completely all original instrumentals completely finished with his amazingly genius musical talents. One's already got Aaronn singing over it and one's set to have Steven going crazy. I'm handling every other millisecond of those projects vocally. There are three other songs floating in the universe: two with brandUn DeShay and one with Charlie Hilton. One of the brandUn tracks is completely finished in all facets with a feature as well a hopeful sample clearance in the future. The second is awaiting his brilliant finishing touches. I don't even know what it sounds like. The Hilton track has the most amazing Ern vocals over it and is completely hinged upon the success of finding and clearing a sample that we don't exactly know what it is.

Hopefully those outside-produced tracks work out cuz they're ridiculously amazing, but even if not, me & Shtee are set to throw together a couple more ideas in brain storming musical format.

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


Don't Fight Joe Budden

Ouch. The newest and definitely most interesting beef in hip hop today is Joe Budden vs. Saigon. Budden holds his fame from his huge club record "Pump It Up", an impressive mixtape series of Mood Muzik I, II, & III, plus his constant label trouble and reoccurring beefs. Saigon is famous for his highly emotional street records, never having an album released, being on Entourage, going to prison, and quitting the industry all together (...) over a MySpace blog.

It all started over a Joe Budden freestyle punchline which he's said was not meant to mean anything serious. Sai, though, took this as a call to arms and started a war he hoped he could out-flex his way through. Now this really sucks cuz I definitely like the previous material I've heard from the man a lot. I'm sure he's got the short end of a lot industy-wise, but he's always picked the wrong outlets to voice his frustration through and oftentimes comes off looking like a 'roided e-thug just wanting to pick fights. But his words on wax amount to so much more than that. And that's where my constant frustration with him lies. He fueled the wrong fight with the wrong rapper.

Joe Budden has voiced his own against the likes of Jay-Z, G-Unit, The Game, Mistah F.A.B., Ransom, Glasses Malone, Royce da 5'9", and now Saigon. Thankfully, the ones with Game and Royce resulted in amazing collaborations upon making up later. Can't beat that with a gat. The others ... not so much. Here's the line in question that started the Yardfather incident: "soon as my wife gone, they jump on the python, she ain't know I’m out to hit and run like Saigon." Joey, as he is a master at crafting relevant punchlines, simply stated here why Saigon went to jail. Sai didn't see it that way. So ensues the next beef hailed for the ages. Well ... prolly not, but oh well. Here's the three part back and forth between the men so far.

So there's those. For using his own instrumental against him and going five minutes hard, Joey wins. I don't think Saigon can even come back with anything after that. I hope for the best out of both of their upcoming albums (if either is ever released), cuz they both got their lanes still in the game. Saigon is just off-roading for a minute. Let's just hope he doesn't wear down his tread hitting the wrong pot hole. That metaphor went on three sentences too long. Now I could pull out Budden's old ether, but I wanna promote beef resolution with these two post-hatred products.

Are you in them shoes yet???

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


Monday, January 12, 2009

Classic: Three Sides to a Story

This song moved me when I first heard it. How many times do you think you would spin a 7 minute record? I had to listen to it four times in a row right then. And countless times after that. A story so vividly spoken and interwoven along three verses with their corresponding points of view and timelines all funneling to a chilling third-person narrative ending ... I still get chills.

It kills me cuz Joey did this strickly for a mixtape. Not even Steven Speilberg could have improved on this epic. Pleeeease listen to this song. It's retarded good. I don't feel like I can list the characters' names cuz even that's revealing too much. I got nothing else to say.

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


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

For all intensive purposes, these songs sample the same thing.

Before I was up on my Nina Simone game, I thought the dude on these choruses was awesome ... now I'm ashamed.

I'm pretty sure Common's version features a live version of the song, but oh well. They're both dope while having very differing sample styles and different approaches to the rest of the production and lyrics. I'm partial to Common's, but Wayne's is worth it just for the way-too-long weeded rant at the end. Which do you like better? It really kinda sucks, but Nina didn't even like rap music. "Her body moved, but her mind was mannequin."

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


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jealous Love

I absolutely loved the following tracks individually and wanted to slap myself when I didn't realize they used the same sample after reading Talib's liner notes on Right About Now. They both take powerful lines from Bobby Womack's 1975 song "Jealous Love". All the MCs involved are ridiculously nice. I think Jean Grae destroys it something else though.

"Where you gonna run ... ? Where you gonna hide ... ?" It kinda sucks cuz you know both producers knew they struck gold when they originally mixed their respective tracks. Just happened that 9th Wonder's got on wax with LB before J. Cardim's did. And, like I said, both tracks are bonkers, but once I heard Jean spit, "Ten years deep and my tenure's still deep. My bad, I'm sorry, I don't like when phrases repeat." Uh! But Phonte slaps it nasty, too (of course), so which do you like better? Oh, and the picture with this post was just the first thing to pop up on Google images when I searched where you gonna run. The picture actually had something to do with the Nina Simone song, "Sinnerman", but oh well.

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


Friday, January 2, 2009

Best Albums of '08

Ne-Yo struggles to go wrong in my book. Except when his demo tracks for girl pop groups appear. Those are in desperate need of leakage control. But every single one of his rolled-out, guaranteed hit records feel fresh and real. He also does an amazing job funneling tracks for his releases, as I have over 60 songs by him that were cut from any formal release. He's the rhythm and blues equivalent of Wayne in the booth with his amount of material that finds its way on the internet. He should control those mixtape-wise and he'd be even bigger than he is now. Musically he pushes it further than most of his genre do, which is highly welcomed. This is his best album to date and he moved away from the raunchier songs of his last release. Truly gentleman-like. It's a feel good album, but one that hits on lots of emotions and situations. Surprise track: "What's the Matter"

9. L.A.X. - The Game
Game doesn't quite have classic status yet, but he is legitimately three for three on immensely dope releases. Unfortunately I gotta put this one just barely a notch behind Doctor's Advocate & The Documentary. While it's a selfish wish, I was hoping for a part 3 song of Game's drunk flow confessionals a la "Start from Scratch" & "Doctor's Advocate" and though each track was super nice, that one never came. But Game is never short of street narratives and amazing production choice. I crown him as the best beat picker ever. Conceptually, he is a dominant rapper from track to track. Each one has a purpose and hits its mark. While all the plentiful features do fit, it still seems like Game could have carried more of the album on his home. His persona is so built up at this point that he legitimately knows who he is as a rapper, which few artists ever fully achieve or perfect effectively. Surprise track: "L.A.X. Files (feat. Shorty)"

To appreciate this album, you have to accept its purpose. If you want your fix of the real deep, introspective Common Sense that has finally gotten recognition in the mainstream, check for albums 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7 from him over the years. Or wait til '09 for his Kanye & No I.D. helmed project. This specific album is meant to be a light, musically-exploring, envelope-pushing, dance-provoking journey through the mind of a fun-loving intellectual. Some blogs have accused this LP of being a failing cop-out plea to the clubs to pump his music. Forget that. Once I saw Brooke bust a dance to every changing track of this album in my car on our way to a UK game, I knew Common achieved just that. Throw in a song with an amazing ode to 80's rap flows, a much wanted new Cee-Lo feature, and a stadium-blasting "Gladiator" banger, I definitely enjoyed it more than most blogging stiffs. Surprise track: "What a World (feat. Chester French)"

7. Evolver - John Legend
Slightly more-so than Ne-Yo, John Legend is the quintessential male R&B singer today to me. First off, "Green Light" is a whole other world of catchy with classic Andre 3K that any person could appreciate. That song met dead center between "Hey Ya" and "Ordinary People" and actually worked. Kanye, Brandy, & Estelle round up the small list of features and each match up perfect. Every Legend album, including this one, is an inevitable know-every-word-to-every-song-and-sing-along-a-lil-too-loud CD. The album jumps pretty dramatically emotionally from song to song, but it doesn't detract from the collection as a whole. Critical reviews I've read that downplay its appeal are basically complaining of a lack of monotony. I personally don't want 12 soppy-yet-comfortable tracks to lace every singer's new project just to keep continuity for album reviewers. But that's just me. Surprise track: "No Other Love (feat. Estelle)"

6. Untitled - Nas
Award for the most pointed album of '08. Nas' legacy will be a very strange, albeit legendary, one. Or maybe the other way around. His lyricism, at least at one point, is otherworldly, but his albums have always been wildly inconsistent. He's oftentimes contradictory, finds himself on the brink of nearly-incoherent musings, dabbles in inexplicably boring production, and for whatever reason just will not get that DJ Premier collab in motion. Well ... forget everything I just said for the unfortunately-titled Untitled. If you're willing to listen (actually pay attention) for 54 minutes, then you're in for an experience sonically and philosophically. Besides the radio-friendly singles "Hero" and "Make the World Go Round", none of the other songs will let you feel comfortable. But Nas must have actually listened to his producers beat tapes more than once this go around. Whether it's Jay Electronica, Mark Ronson, Salaam Remi, or any of his other contributors, the soundscape is intense and worthy of Nas' blessing. Let's hope this is his permanent forward-thinking creative direction for the rest of his legendary career. Surprise track: "Testify"

5. Tha Carter III - Lil' Wayne
For all of my slight distaste at the man himself and my slight distaste for the ridiculous hype this album got due to volumes worth of leakage, it was frickin' fire. Wayne is the master of saying something enough to simply have people take his word for it and defend him. While he never has delivered on being the best rapper alive, but he did deliver an epic experience with the third installation of Tha Carter series. Songs aren't played, they are unfolded. The musical experience is heart pounding, the choruses are larger than life, and Weezy teeters on the line of genius and junkie for the most part amazingly. If you're ever looking for quotables outside of Will Ferrel movies, Young Carter is your source. I still mumble-hum "please don't shoot me down ..." and "you can't ... blame ... me ..." randomly without knowing I'm doing it. Kanye, Jim Jonsin, David Banner, and others stepped their game up to get on here. Surprising track: "Playing With Fire"

I'm dead serious. I've rarely become an instantaneous fan mid-song with an artist like I did with brandUn's music. Checking the production credits, he produced half the tracks, too. This album is sonically like nothing I've ever heard before. I was, and still am, completely blown away. The only reason I even have ever heard of brandUn is because I frequent Charles Hamilton's blog and I like to check out commenters on his posts who seem cool. Little did I know I would open a musical genius and future collaborator's profile when I initially clicked on his name. "Music is a talent, you can't plan it like Pluto. You gotta thank God, but with more than a kudo." While I'm an avid writer and you can't beg me to freestyle, brandUn says he barely writes anymore. As long as he continues his free-thinking word association and immensely clever concepts, I want him to continue. What separates him from all other indie acts right now is that his music establishes his personality. He's abstract but relatable. He talks about all different things in his rhymes over all kinds of tracks that just feel good. He's quite liberal with his collabos (as evidence by him lending me multiple beats), but he's never outshone. Dude is the future of quality of music and you better become a fan now. Plus, he's cool as hell. I can't vouche for any of the other artists yet. Surprise track: "Guilty Finisher (feat. Aris P & Tah Sed)"

3. Staff Development [Mixtape] - Charles Hamilton & Demevolist
I really, really liked the first tastes of dude's music that I found on various blogs, but it wasn't til this third release from the Hamiltonization process that I reached Stan status with CH. This honestly could've been a list ranking Charles' top 10 mixtapes in order and it wouldn't have been too far off. But Staff Development really stood out in my mind. While it showcases all of Demevolist Music Group in its songs, CH obviously stands out supremely. The production is so incredibly busy and progressive and this is the sound that he has grown to embrace and distinctively own. Always one to claim that he doesn't rap, he just blogs on beat, it actually feels like it here. Choruses on here are permanently etched into your system. I've already extensively written up about Charles, so I won't rehash what makes him better than any other rapper you are currently listening to. You can't go wrong with any download off of, and that stands doubly for Staff Development. Plus, a track off here is my number one song of the year, as well. Surprise track: "Anti-Bullying Zone"

2. The Odd Couple - Gnarls Barkley
I thought there was nothing in the world that could possibly knock this classic disc out of the top slot once it came out. Oh well. But definitely by no fault of either member of Gnarls. The Odd Couple is absolutely something else. To me, their first effort was as classic as anything was gonna get. But this effort laps it. Every song explores a specific emotion to its furthest extent and Cee-Lo provides Danger Mouse's alternate-universe sound scape with a human's powerful cry of existential searching. Even in all the layered levels of life-exploring lyricism, every track maintains its undeniable pop appeal. Lo's retardedly nice vocal range is showcased on here and once you get yourself familiar, he'll be up there in your favorite singers ever, no matter the genre. While there's a new solo album from him as well as a Goodie Mob reunion to look forward to, I'm also non-secretly anticipating the third Gnarls incarnation. Get up on this and have a new record that you accidentally find yourself bumping on the regular. Surprise track: "Surprise"

1. 808's & Heartbreak - Kanye West
Gnarls' was my soul's album, Kanye's was my heart's. While some blogs have inconsiderately labeled this effort an "emo love note", I find it highly applaudable that a world-class rock star rapper would sidestep his designated career path for unashamed genuine heart bearing. It moved me enough as a collection that I had to create my own ode to heartbreak utilizing 808's through a three tracks series on my last mixtape. Kanye's use of auto-tune is highly scrutinized, but in the context of him trying to convey an emotion hitting certain notes accentuated by auto-tune, it's artistic. Now I'm one to write off "Pop Champagne" as a hot mess, because there's no actual reason for it to be used there. But Ye creates a vocal aura here that commands your ear by specific auto-tuning along with reverb, distortion, delay, and other vocal mechanics. I don't hear anyone complaining about electric keyboards and that anything but an original grand piano sucks. So I don't quite understand the issue here besides its over-saturation by less talented artists.  But that ain't Yeezy's fault. If you're specifically going into this album wanting to hear some straight street hop, you'll be disappointed. If you're wanting to hear a rehash of any style from College Dropout or the others, you'll be disappointed. If you're open-mindedly going into this album willing to experience aural pop art, you'll be blown away. This is one of the albums that is hailed as a masterpiece by everyone who owns it, and proclaimed as complete garbage by everyone who hasn't heard it and given it a second or third spin. Either way, it's still my album of the year. And it won't lose to Herbie Hancock this go around at the Grammy's. Surprise track: "Street Lights"

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


Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've been dookie on updating this since I've gotten home for the semester. Truth be told it's cuz I was sleeping. And watching the Lakers send the Celtics into a dismal spurt. Hahahaha. Been waiting since June for that one.

But I can make it better.

Today [January 1, 2009] will be my day of music making. For all intensive purposes, I'm spending the entire day over at Shtee's house and we're making clash-of-the-musically-inclined-minds "compos". (c) brandUn DeShay

Everybody's been so cool to me when they hear about the lil' deal, and that's prolly given me more motivation to make the best collection of sound I can over the next two months. I want every millisecond of these songs to be a hundred times better than anything on any of my mixtapes. I want to be able to listen to my own stuff for the first time because I'm funneling it from God instead of me, and I'm very willing to listen to Him. I don't wanna disappoint me or my A&R or anybody who would actually get hyped at the potential of hearing me on wax. I've always had my words, and now I just gotta find brand new beats for them to nestle into.

Shout outs to brandUn DeShay, Charlie Hilton, Praverb, and other open-minded and well-intended musicians. You all make yourselves better every day as well as the people around you. And, not to ruin one of my inevitable 2008 lists, thanks to Charles Hamilton who achieved becoming my favorite rapper this last year. Kind of a big deal.

I just really like this song. It's my corny "ring in the new year" song I decided to choose as I rolled through my 17,423 iTunes songs.

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