Monday, September 28, 2009

Runnin' on Walls

So my laptop got stolen for a minute. My bad.

Since I've been M.I.A. (no "Paper Planes") for a lil' while, I just wanna throw up a crazy nice collabo joint that you should prolly already have in your collection. If you aren't already a huge fan of one of the dudes on this track, then you don't like anybody. And I don't know about you, but I just really like this song.

XV - Mirror's Edge (Benzi Remix feat. Mike Posner, Bun B, & GLC)

... but do take my word for it.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Clash of the Titans

Me and my new best friend Daniel Orton! HAHAHA.

I swear, he's the coolest guy ever and he's now instantly bound to be my favorite basketball player ever once he gets his NBA chops. This picture also got me a post on KSR (my favorite website ever). So I'm crazy pumped. And I'm not even gonna mention how I beat him in ping pong, too ... whoops.

... but do take my word for it.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Longer Inna Scope

So ... anyone who's been following Charles Hamilton over his short career had prolly already threw their detective hat on and figured out that he wasn't going to have a smooth go once major label politics got involved. Well, major label politics got involved. And it hasn't been a smooth go. Three months into his self-imposed internet exile, CH has been released from Interscope. Word is that it was mutual thing that's been in the works for a while now, but I couldn't care any less. I just want him to come back to his blog and talk. Regardless of any of that, we were given a gift out of this situation, good or bad.

Charles Hamilton -
This Perfect Life

This is an album I would've preordered on Amazon the very second it was available, but oh well. Given that Interscope decided they weren't gonna release it in any capacity, someone got on their grizzy and leaked it out for public consumption. And it's everything I could have hoped for in a major label, fully-backed project. What started off beautifully in the form of a perfectly conceptualized, funded, and produced video for his buzz single "Brooklyn Girls" has now ended in nothing. But at least now we got what would've been a proud accomplishment for an underground rapper who got his name out there solely by himself, relying on absolutely no one to pave any kind of way for him.

Charles spent years in the studio producing and recording as much music as he could, never settling on anything but fully conceived projects that he wanted his fans to have on a frequently regular basis. He had this philosophy about Sonic the Hedgehog that literally no one could come to grips with. His Charlie Brown-sampling "Stutter" track got the attention of some blogs and put his name in some more peoples' google searches. He was a New Yorker who at one point had been homeless and was once on heroine. His blog was highly personal and provocative, causing him to become an extremely polarizing figure for an up and coming rapper. He appeared on radio stations and would aptly freestyle about anything for way longer than any studio rapper had a right to. He then prepped and promoted his Hamiltonization Process 2008 beyond what anyone could imagine and gave us a brand new album-quality project every two weeks off of a different major hip hop website. He even got on the cover of XXL. His recording methods struck people. He was almost exclusively a sampling producer who had a penchant for a heavily vintage and almost lo-fi sound. His rhymes were crazy out there, often self-deprecating, and he sang heavily on a lot of his choruses even though he'd let everyone know he couldn't sing. Everything about him was historic and impacting to his fans while offsetting and grating to his detractors. But the main thing was that Charles was forcing the world to pay attention as he was going places.

And then a bunch of crap happened. Whether it was his own arrogance and trouble-causing nature that fueled it or simply a mischaracterization by the powers that be and a general misunderstanding from the listening public, Charles' buzz made a turn for the worse. People who seemingly hated him turned out in droves and he quick became an easy hip hop punchline. And then he disappeared. And his infallible idon'tgiveauff attitude, the one thing that had previously always shown through, disappeared with him.

But finally, months and months after waiting, we got the first major finish line that Charles was heading towards all during his short career. We have This Perfect Life, the major label album that was supposed to blow open the iron-clad doors that permanently separated the mainstream and the underground. This musician, who created all of his extensive catalogue for the love of the music and released it for free to anyone who wanted to experience it with him, was finally on the heels of releasing his proper debut. But ya know what? Maybe, for him, that wasn't proper at all. Maybe, just maybe, this is how it shoulda gone down this whole time. In this perfect life.

... but do take my word for it.


2010 Los Angeles Lakers

I'm so ready for basketball season.

... but do take my word for it.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Instant Classic

I really like it when I find dope music accidentally. This time it was off of brandUn DeShay's twitter. Just happened to click on some dude's site that he was complimenting and I found one of my favorite songs of the year. Yeah.

So now I'm an instant fan and advocate of all things ChRis BaRz. I'll give the Maryland representer a proper post once I've had time to digest his debut project and learn up on his style, but for right you'll have to get this single joint up on your iPod and find out what you(& I)'ve been missing. Class[Sickz] Out The Dark coming soon ...

ChRis BaRz - When the Stars Come Out

... but do take my word for it.


Hold On: LaVish

It's fitting that transitioning from brandUn DeShay in the "Hold On" series is LaVish. I first heard this Los Angeles native rap next to brandUn on the song "Confidently Modest" with Casey Veggies, too. I decided I needed to get familiar with more of his music as the new class of emcees out of LA seem to be bringing some other kind of energy breaking away from the Snoop/Pac/Dre stereotype of the coast. And he was. Funny thing I found out was how young the dude was. And regardless of that, he still was well on his way to establishing his signature.

While his big time Hometown Hero mixtape hasn't dropped yet, LaVish has material floating all over the web including the aforementioned DeShay collabo, a place on ReUpSpot's Bailout mixtape, and other featured spots on various artists' projects. And while we're waiting for that proper defining release, his talent's perfectly apparent on every freestyle and HH leak that makes its way onto the internet. You can hear his influences in his strong flow, whether it's an ode to the Native Tongues or productively stylized like the Justus League. His voice, to me at least, is reminiscent of something halfway between Wale and Kanye, but his flow and lyrics are fully his own. And you already know that, cuz we don't mess with clones around here. My favorite song I've heard him over is the Mike G feature that I got linked down below. When LaVish settles in on a beat, he stands out and can go through a crazy aggressive verse like it's nothing. And that's what he's gonna bring to my song coming soon. So go ahead and browse through the links below to prepare yourself. And hold on.

LaVish songs -
Tops Come Down (feat. B. Allan)
Mrs. International
Baby Girl (by Carmine)
Exhibit A (Transformations by Mike G)
Blog - MySpace - Facebook - Twitter

... but do take my word for it.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Classic: Whatever You Say

I'm cheating on this one. I'm using it as a "classic" and a fake "sampled" joint. But you'll forgive me.

Little Brother - Whatever You Say (Pete Rock Remix)
Maxwell - Whenever, Wherever, Whatever

The middle of this remixed Little Brother joint has one of my top three Phonte verses of all time. I'm not gonna ruin it for you if you haven't heard it, but it has one of those closing lines that can instantaneously make you an annoying mixtape DJ ... "BRING THAT ISH BACK!!!

And Pete Rock beautifully laced it with a remix beat utilizing a song off of Maxwell's debut album. [As an aside, I don't think Urban Hang Suite is even a fraction as ridiculously and amazingly perfect as BLACKsummers'night. But that's just me.] You'll like it. You'll even sit through Big Pooh because you'll like it so much. I'm just joking. But not really. I don't have much else to say about it. It's classic and is one of those hip hop moments that you just need to know.

... but do take my word for it.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Hold On: brandUn DeShay

First up was me introducing Mike Dreams on my blog, but y'all should already know this cat. I've been the biggest fan of his from the very first beat of his song "Go Fly a Kite" that played on his MySpace once I curiously clicked on his Blogger profile from a comment on a Charles Hamilton blog post. He's one of the most original and insanely witty emcees in the rap game today and has a genius ear for production. And when I say genius, I really mean it. The sounds that he creates, whether with sampling or his monstrously original keyboard skills, are simply incomparable to any other beat crafter in the game. But he doesn't make beats, he makes compositions. He'll make sure and remind everyone of that. And he's agreed to contribute to my "Hold On" remix. He's brandUn DeShay.

brandUn's from Chicago, my favorite hip hop breeding ground at the moment, but he has aspirations for the L.A. limelight. But I don't care where he's setting up residence as long as he's got a project in the works. Like I said earlier, I looked up to the dude creatively from the second that I first heard his music, but on top of that, he was the first emcee who ever reached out to collaborate with me. I put up my MySpace Music page a good while back and those original songs weren't quite the smoothest tracks, to say the least. But once I friend-requested brandUn, we struck up good convos right then and there and he had confidence in my rhymes enough to lend me some beats. Just because. Now that's a good dude right there. Two of the tracks on my iTunes album ("Hannabella" & "Kinda Fly") were produced by this man and he even lent the only rapping feature on the whole project. So I feel indebted to him over this music stuff forever. An additional two joints on my pre-album EP ("Behind the Mirror" & fOR No one") were exclusive compos from him.

If you don't have this man's entire catalogue of his young career, then you need it. There's no way around it because I absolutely swear that there's a song that he's crafted that you'll find was written for your life. This dude makes "feel good" music without a hint of corniness. His flow is straight powerful and his metaphors are as purely dense and beautiful as you'll find. Simply put, he raps better than your favorite rapper and produces better than your favorite producer. So I'm crazy glad that we get to extend our collaboration catalogue onto this new epic remix. So if you ain't already recognized that ... recognize that. And hold on.

brandUn DeShay -
Volume: One! for the Money
Volume: Two! for the Show
The Sup3r DeShay: The EP
Blog - MySpace - Facebook - Twitter

... but do take my word for it.


Comeback #4: If Ya Say Real Talk, I Prolly Won't Trust Ya

Then my world was rocked.

I remember first catching this on the once formidable Spine Magazine site. On paper it looked like one of the most random and uncalled-for collaborations ever. Hand-in-hand with that I thought it might even be a blend of an old verse or something. I know Unk is from Atlanta, but would both of the original ATLiens really jump on the most annoying dance track of the summer along with the newest crap NY trend rapper, Jim Jones? Turns out ... yes they would.

Unk - Walk it Out (Remix feat. OutKast & Jim Jones)

Walk it out like a usher
If you say real talk, I prolly won't trust ya
If you want to go to war, the gun's my pleasure
Even Jesus had twelve disciples on the level, trigger, whatever
Peyimmmmp, you don't want nah dayuh Three Thou
I'm like jury duty; you're new to this part of town
Your white tee, well to me, look like a nightgown
Make your momma proud, take that thing two sizes down
Then you'll, look like the man that you are, or what you could be
I can I give a damn bout your car, but then I would be
If it was considered a classic befo the drastic change
In production, when cars were metal instead of plastic
Value, is what I'm talkin bout, take two of these and walk it out
You'll be the reason they chalk it out, you can't be the king in the parkin lot
Forever. Not sayin I'm the best but til they find somethin better
I am here, no fear, write me a letter. Til then
I walk it out, I walk it out, I walk it out, I walk it out
I walk it out, I walk it out, I walk it out ...

Y'all could catch me in the middle of a dead sleep and I'd still know every half syllable of this verse. This song defined high school for me. It was already my favorite dance song for a full year up to that point, but it was cemented as such since this was the very first song that was played once I walked out onto my prom dance floor. And my legs still hurt from those couple minutes of losing it.

But even if you flipped this song off the very millisecond Dre's verse it over to avoid Jimmy's bullish verse, you still had to pay attention to how powerful this joint was. From the opening bar, Andre blew the doors off the feature game from then on out. Lil' Wayne was no longer the sole poster child for when people thought, "you know what ... I really wanna hear _____ go over that song." And while everyone knows the weight was held on the opening, Big Boi still dropped a solid closing verse to wrap up. I walk it out like that last shot of 'gnac at the club ... ain't nothing to mess with, either. So while this was a formality engraving into your skull that OutKast wasn't breaking up, it also served as a statement by the South's G.O.A.T. that he wasn't letting the A-Town become a complete hip hop punchline on his watch in the new millennium. And it wouldn't even remotely stop there.

... but do take my word for it.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

AI in TN

Call me crazy right now.

I think it's gonna work.

Of course this team is gonna give up virtually 200 points per game, but that doesn't really matter. Offense puts butts in the seats. Excitement puts butts in the seats. And the Grizzlies this year will have both of those tenfold. Now they're not gonna compete for a championship, obviously, but I'm gonna give them tons more credit than any analyst or random fan will. I'm confident that the Grizz are gonna make the playoffs. Now.

So the starting lineup prolly looks something like this: 1) Allen Iverson 2) OJ Mayo 3) Rudy Gay 4) Zach Randolph 5) Marc Gasol. But this is completely amorphous with the fact that they have the almost-good point Mike Conley and standing log Hasheem Thabeet. So anyone can be moved anywhere to fit the starters appropriately, but the big deal is that they have four renowned ball hogs (who each legitimately need X amount of shots per game) out of their top seven players in the rotation. But I got AI pinned down as a very balanced floor leader this year with this brand new squad. Kind of in the way that I have confidence in Gilbert Arenas making all the right offensive decisions this year, I think the same of Iverson. While Z-Bo is utterly incapable of ever passing, the other big timers will be able to adjust. Mayo's the dead-eye shooter and Rudy's the elite-aspiring slasher, but each also has a little bit of the others' qualities to their game, so that's a hardcore threat when there's also gonna be primed scorers on both sides of them. Quad 20+ ppg guys is the new dynamic duo. It's 2009-2010, y'all.

And Iverson is going to fit in because he chose this team. I mean, he would've preferred a different situation than the gutter Grizzlies, but in the end, he actually did decide to sign with this here squad. There's going to be a full training camp with a full preseason and a full arsenal of weapons at his side once the season starts (... and please keep your stupid practice jokes to yourself ... we off that ...) He's not going to be asked to fill in and improve upon Chauncey Billups' Detroit-tenured shoes. His teammates won't immediately hate him because he doesn't play the exact game as everyone's now-departed best friend. His sole responsibility for this team is to make them relevant with his renewed "chip on my shoulder" mentality. And I think that relevancy will lead them into the playoffs.

The way I figure ... the only teams they have to leap frog are the Suns and Jazz. No other non-playoff team besides maybe the Thunder have much of a chance at breaking out of the lottery. Only the top three of the west is guaranteed, and that's the Lakers/Spurs/Blazers. Fact. So ... yeah. There's no way Memphis gets any worse with this move. This team will gun like none other and freakishly surprise teams in the way the Warriors surprised in their one dream playoff-advancing season. It's not like Conley's growth is gonna get stunted or anything, so there's no real long term negative consequences. Conley'll have primary ball handling duties for like 30 minutes of the game regardless, so I see no for real downside even in the short term. And even if this team combusts ... they're the Grizzlies. They would have sucked whether or not they signed anybody. Come on now. Thumbs up, Grizz, I will now be catching you regularly on my League Pass Broadband.

... but do take my word for it.


Hold On: Mike Dreams

I've had this song that's been "under construction" for a good while now. It's my "Hold On (Remix)" joint, revamped from my debut album lead single by the masterful London producer Charlie Hilton. The seeds of this song go all the way back to the very beginning of the summer and is still nowhere close to being done, but I wanted to start a short series highlighting all the contributors to what will become of this epic song. And here is me doing that.

The newest emcee to come into the fold is Mike Dreams, formerly Young Son a.k.a. Sean Kingston's twin brother a.k.a. Gravy's second cousin, removed.

My man right here is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. That alone holds him in good company with beast MN emcees like Slug, P.O.S, and Brother Ali. You can catch all over the 2dopeboyz c-section and thankfully that, along with his dope music, has got him some features on one of hip hop's premier blog sites. As a frequent c-section arguer myself, I first caught ear of his sound from his promptly released "Run This Town" freestyle.

Mike Dreams - Run This Town

Mike's just a straight positive emcee. His flow is completely effortless as he takes on all kinds of beats and makes them easy, head-nodding jams. With his relentless storytelling, relatable subject matter, and genuine delivery, any song he jumps on is set to improve. I personally think he's at his best when he goes in slow-flowed and heavy on a thoughtful instrumental that lets him wax poetic on something crazy inspirational. Not too many rappers can pull that off without coming off corny. I can't front on his hyped joints either, though. And while we'll all forgive him for being a Drake fan (just joking, man), Mike Dreams definitely is a force to be reckoned with. Dude's got an extensive live show resumé and is fit to be recognized on a bigger stage real soon. And on another refreshing note, Mike doesn't curse in his rhymes. I've been tryinna tell people I'm not the only one. Ha. And if all that along with his QuESt and XV cosigns aren't enough to convince you of how dope this emcee is, then you take your time scouring over these links and get yourself familiar. And hold on.

Mike Dreams -
Soul Inspired: Hip Hop's Revival
Forever Words
Counting Sheep: Countdown To Dreamer's Poetry
Blog - MySpace - Facebook - Twitter

... but do take my word for it.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Comeback #3: My Life Gon Be a Bowl

Stop number three on the 3000 comeback tour actually came when the album came. Andre utilized this crazily titled R&B joint, that happened to have a rap verse tacked on the end, for the Idlewild movie itself. It's a great scene with the cuckoo clocks aptly explaining what "chronomentrophobia" actually is a fear of. The fear of clocks. The fear of time.

And only Dre could put together this spoken-wordish slow-flowed dictation and still seal it as dope. It seems like he was just trying to do as many variations on his flow as he could muster for his three different rhyming ventures on this album, and they all worked. That's a crazy rare feat.

Andre 3000 - Chronomentrophobia

Lord be havin mercy on my soul
I'm havin' the impression that my life gon be a bowl
Of cherries, but it's very hard for me to cope, got tired of bein broke
This ATLien ain't got no time to sit and mope
Made up my mind while y'all made up y'all beds
On a cold wooden floor is where I lay my head
Born in 1975, never thought I'd make it this far
Still battlin in this racial war
Tryinna find solutions to the situation I'm facin
Only thing that's free is my flow that y'all be chasin
Lettin my aggins know before I go, I drop that knowledge
Like dropping books. Let's stop the crooks
From robbin you of your brains and such, usin welfare as a crutch
I'm in it for good. You into my hood? You won't be findin much
Hope that when im gone, y'all remember this
What we stood for, f*** that fame and that glitz
It's, beginnin to look a lot like the ending
Got to be more careful, know what corners you be bendin
Revalation's gettin impatient, now i'm dead
Remember what I said. I'm gone, bow ya heads

And that's it. On that syllable, Andre's done rapping for the LP. Whether he was being literal or metaphorical is immaterial. Right then, there was a legitimate curiosity as to if he would rap again any time soon. He dropped three songs worth of rhymes for The Love Below and there were three on here. Man. I don't know about you, but I've remembered what he's said, regardless if he's gone or not. But thank the same Lord that be having mercy on his, this was actually only an appetizer for when Andre would take over the mainstream feature game to critical heights that have never been seen. Who'da thunk it?

... but do take my word for it.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Comeback #2: Don't Like What I Write? Shoot Me a Bird

Stop number two on the Andre 3000 tour came due to another leak a little while after "The Mighty O". This song was a modern day super group cut in the vain of "Swagga Like Us" or the newly crowned "Forever". While hip hop history doesn't seem to quite recognize it as such right now because Idlewild is wrongly ignored in general basically, it definitely delivers quality on an insane level. The emcees involved? Andre 3000 and Big Boi, of course, plus Lil' Wayne and Snoop Dogg. That's as close to owning the world that you're gonna get without an NY emcee in the mix.

OutKast - Hollywood Divorce (feat. Lil' Wayne & Snoop Dogg)

What completely blows my mind on this track is that Weezy's verse actually kills. I don't know if 3000 demands such a crazy amount of respect that it brought the best out of Wayne or what, but Weezy usually blows on his big name features. Weirdly, he's also the trivia-worthy link between the two collaborations I just mentioned and this song. Hmmm. Whatever.

After Wayne's dissertation and the following chorus, Dre steps up to bat starting off on a ABC blooper. No one's really a big fan of alphabet rhyming, but he quickly steps it up and lays down a heavily cautionary street tale laced with metaphoric humor that commands your attention. Cuz that's what Three Stacks does. And he doesn't give a flying ... bird.

A is for Adamsville
B is for Bowenhome
C if I give a f*** if you like me. You know I don't
If she ain't got a good head on her leave that ho alone
If she do got some good head on her let her sing a song
D is for what I serve, I don't be on no curb
She ain't no junkie neither, I ain't no dope dealer
But she keep comin back, 3-stacks must be some crack
Put that pipe in her lap, she ain't know how to act
Now that I've got your un-, divided attention I'm
Gonna say this and run, under condition one
Promise me you gon' stack, promise me you gon' ball
Promise me you'll invest three fourths of it all
For what? So your kids, kids, kids can have some cheese
Can't get with it? Get get get get get on your knees
Cuz wealth is the word
Rich is round the corner from the curb
Don't like what I write? Shoot me a bird

Big and Snoop valiantly wrap the second half of the song up with their different perspectives on how they live and deal with the spotlight of Doggy Dogg's hometown. To me, it's a classic. Features or not. Andre produced the song himself, crooned out the hook, and even spoken-worded the outro, so he's in full effect here. And he was bringing the whole rap game with him.

Hollywood divorce. All the fresh styles always start off as a good little hood thing; look at blues, rock, jazz, rap. Not even talkin about music, everything else too. By the time it reach Hollywood, it's over. But it's cool, we just keep it goin and make new ish.

... but do take my word for it.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Sonic the Campbellton

After a hundred years since my official debut album hit an mp3 site near you, I finally finish another complete project! Here's Sonic the Campbellton!!!

In case you've missed me explaining it before, this is a concept project that I scribed into life over beats produced solely by Charles Hamilton. I'm the biggest fan of Demevolist instrumentation for any and all occasions and I thought I could hold my own over some of my favorite CH compos that he so generously released for free (like everything else his entire career). So yeah ... download it and link it up to everyone you know in every way of social networking you know how! Maybe I could get it on 2dopeboyz ... that would be a dream ...

Chris Campbell -
Sonic the Campbellton (Mixtape)

1. I Don't Even Car (feat. Aaronn Ralph)
2. Infinitely Interesting
3. Remotedly (Empty Meaning)
4. Evil-Minded Games
5. For You (Outta the Sky)
6. Took Our Time
7. All She Wants to Dance
8. You Really Are
9. 175
10. Forever on Hold (feat. Charles Hamilton)

... but do take my word for it.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Classic: Heaven Somewhere

While there's a few bloggers who I've stumbled upon that share the feeling with me (most notably, Pinboard), everyone else seems to absolutely hate Common's Electric Circus album. It's the one that knocked him into near hip hop obscurity as a general outsider in the years before Kanye and Be rescued him. But you know what? Screw everyone else's opinions. It'll say right here and now that EC is my favorite Common album. Yeah, suck on that one.

I may write a full length review one day on it, but for now I just wanted to post one of the most classic posse cuts that has ever been assembled. And the super crazy thing is ... it's all R&B singers ... and the song ain't even a "We Are the World" remix.

Common - Heaven Somewhere (feat. Omar, Cee-Lo, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, & Lonnie "Pops" Lynn)

Com did an amazingly crazy thing when he assembled his chorus-singing features for this album. He retained each one to record a powerfully personal verse on the album's closing track, singing about what "heaven" means to them. And it turned out beyond perfect. The Soulquarians collective, who helmed nearly all of the electro-soul-funk production of the rest of the album, took this song and tweaked it masterfully to highlight each singer independently and reflect their message of heaven. All this comes after a strong spoken word-styled intro by Common that sets up the opus. It's an extensive track, but trust me when I say that you need this joint in your life.

... but do take my word for it.



Talib Kweli jumped on the Novel wagon super quick. And I'm crazy disappointed this man hasn't blown up in the public conscious since releasing stuff all the way back in 2002. Just goes to show you that life ain't fair ... cuz this man has more talent and vocal ability than Omarion, Mario, Mario Winans, Marques Houston, Jeremih, Lloyd, and Day 26 rolled into one nasally pop&blues act. But, regardless, I just really like this song. And it's produced by Dilla back when he was still around to hear the final product.

Talib Kweli - Stand to the Side (feat. Novel & Vinia Mojica)

... but do take my word for it.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fear Our Right Now

John Wall. Darnell Dodson. Daniel Orton. Jon Hood. DeMarcus Cousins. Eric Bledsoe. I see your Fab Five and raise you my Kill Your Dreams Six.

... but do take my word for it.