Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do It, Do It

I'm halfway crazy-hyped and halfway crazy-disappointed with this new Wale joint. The former because it features the vocally perfect Melanie Fiona and the moster-in-waiting J. Cole. The latter because I recognize the sample from Lupe's "Theme Music to a Drive-By", which I'm pretty sure wasn't placed on his debut album because they couldn't clear the sample. And "Theme Music" is easily one of my favorite songs ever, as detailed in this past post. Oh well. I guess Roc Nation has its privileges after all. The beats utilize the song "(Do It, Do It) No One Does It Better" by The Spinners.

Wale - Beautiful Bliss (feat. Melanie Fiona & J. Cole)
Lupe Fiasco - Theme Music to a Drive-By
Young Gunz - Future of the ROC

... but do take my word for it.


Monday, October 19, 2009

You Talkin' Bout Brenda?

Just was on LaV's blog and checked out a new song he dropped. And I was very happy about the instrumental. Check 'em out. And just for the record, one of the most elite lines crafted of any and all time is: "There's only one girl on my agenda./You talkin bout Brenda?/Naw, I'm talkin bout Linda, from last Septemba ..."

LaVish - Reminisce, Pt. 1
Consequence - Getting Out the Game (feat. Kanye West & John Legend)

... but do take my word for it.


Tom's Diner

I can see why this song's been spun back so many times. This probably has the catchiest completely bland vocals and songwriting ever. But who am I to talk? If it possibly inspired 2Pac, even if like twelve years after his death, then it's all good by me. We'll just focus on three different interpretations of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" joint.

DNA - Tom's Diner (feat. Suzanne Vega)

2Pac - Dopefiend's Diner
Mike Dreams - Tha Diner
Charles Hamilton - Ghosts

All these attack the sample completely different. Pac took the melody and retold a ghetto tale that a fitting posthumous backdrop to match the emotional invocation of his (gasp) CuDi-esque sing-rapping. Mike Dreams, though uses the vocals as a story set-up in which he fills in the detail gaps between Vega's verses. And then there's Charles, who unconventionally almost disregards the sample altogether in his song composition. He cuts the sample and slows it down a smidgen while heavily lays over an unrelated tale of his struggles in ... not letting a ghost stress him out. And I like all three of them.

... but do take my word for it.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comeback #5: You'd Think They Hated Tofu

And it wasn't to cease. While Lloyd and Weezy had a monopoly on 106 & Park for like a year with their original incarnation of the Spandau Ballet-sampling "You", Andre decided he could one up everyone's new favorite guest emcee. With (barely any) help from Nas, a remix quickly became an epidemic on the blogosphere. Who knew that he had it in him? He'd just finished getting the streets up out their seats with "Walk It Out" and now he was talking smooth to the ladies outside of Whole Foods.

Lloyd - You (Remix feat. Andre 3000 & Nas)

I said, "What time you get off?"
She said, "When you get me off"
I kinda laughed but it turned into a cough
Cuz I swallowed down the wrong pipe
Whatever that means, you know old people say it so it sounds right
So I'm standin there embarrassed. If we were both in Paris
I would have grabbed her by the waist and kissed her, but
We in the middle of Whole Foods, and those foods
Ain't supposed to beef, but you'd think they hated tofu
Check-in line got rowdy, my vision got cloudy
I started seein circles like some audi
Emblem, I'm hearing them say, come on man
Do this own your own time, get the hell on, man
I walked out. (Hm) I got bout
Half-way to my car when I heard shawty shout
"3000, forgot your credit card. Smart move
And by the way, my little sister loves your cartoon"
Well, here's my name and numb ...
If I ain't the one, lose it, if I am, use it
If a man chooses, and he can, lose it
And he don't, don't take it personal, he might be might be swamped
With makin mozzarella, no, makin worlds bettter
Cheese will come. Believe me, I'm, never focused on the cash
Ask Mel Gibson. Jesus Christ, I'm bout the pass ... ion

How could you not love it? Not only did he prove he was eternally street savvy, he proved he could crush any R&B joint like Luda and Fabo wish they could. But all we had to do now was wait on an almost weekly basis. There was another summer jam waiting in the wings that needed to be twerked from annoyingness to having the renewed dopest emcee in the game on it ...

... but do take my word for it.


Classic: Riot

I'm a Wyclef stan. While on The Score he pretty much just made me laugh with his crazy off-kilter and free barely-rhyming. But I loved it. While Pras was off ... um ... doing whatever he was doing every third verse and Lauryn was redefining the art of intrinsic rhyming, Clef played the role of the court jester who obviously had skills, yet seemed bored with any and all semblance of convention. And once the Fugees split, he's been on an absolute tear ever since in regularly providing his fans with new product.

Wyclef Jean - Riot (feat. Serj Tankian & Sizzla)

He's got six (and soon to be seven) solo albums to go with the two and a half Fugee records. And I proudly own a physical copy of every one of them. His latest offering from '07 was The Carnival, Vol. II and he capitalized on all his amazing music connections with this one. Don't hold me to it, but I'd say Clef's got a better collaborative posse than Wayne, Akon, or any other hip hop artist out there. Besides collaboing with those two titans I just mentioned, do these names mean anything to you: T.I., Shakira, Paul Simon, Mary J. Blige, Chamillionaire, Norah Jones,, or Raekwon? That's just this one album ...

But this "Riot" song specifically, that's what kills me. I'm an undercover System of a Down junkie and I think Serj has one of the greatest voices in all of history. And when two musical geniuses come together like this who are 100% different stylistically and still produce a classic product, it makes me very, very happy. It should make you feel like that, too.

... but do take my word for it.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cuz If You're Not Really Here ...

So this girl made me go and see the movie Fame. I thought it was gonna suck and be some unholy kind of cheesy, but naw, it was actually alright. The music choices were essential. From "Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor" by Frédéric Chopin (which I only know cuz Alicia Keys gorgeously interpolated it for the intro to her last album) to "Ordinary People" by Johnny L. But my favorite was the insanely perfect rendition of "Black & Gold". Now I'd never heard this joint until I was introduced to the cover version by Phony Ppl, but it's a perfect song. I still got it stuck in my head.

So why don't you enjoy a few versions of it right here and decide for yourself who killed it the best.

Sam Sparrow - Black & Gold
Phony Ppl - Black & Gold (Cover)
Adele - Black & Gold (Live Cover)
Katy Perry - Black & Gold (Live Cover)
Guillemots - Black & Gold (Live Lounge Cover)

Now while there's gonna be 2% of the dope music in this next movie, I'm going to see Couples Retreat tomorrow night with the girl who I hope's gonna be my girl shortly after. Peace out.

... but do take my word for it.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

This is a Poem

Life changes. A week ago ... I possibly had swine flu and my laptop was stolen. This week ... I don't have swine flu and my laptop was returned. Oh, and I moved into the Wildcat Lodge (the UK basketball players' dorm) and I might have a girl. Literally nothing better could have happened over the last seven days.

So here's a poem I wrote a week ago at the height of everything going terrible. It was just in case. And I now feel comfortable sharing it. Even though I'm going to blur the names. You can connect the dots yourself if you know me.

This is a poem ... in case I die of swine flu.
God, I loved You the most.
Yeah, I know it's hard to believe and over the years it seems like I wrote more love poems for A____ and B_____ and S____ and A____ and T___ and J____ and T_____ and C_____ and K_____ and A_____ and K______ and L_____ and S____ and A_____ and C____ and, unfortunately, Caroline than I ever did for You,
But that's only because I knew that You .... loved me back.
And I know it seemed like I had more passion for Kobe's fourth ring and Coach Cal's hiring than I did for Your Word,
But that's only because You brought a contentedness over me that allowed me to actually sit still.
And I may have screamed at the top of my lungs louder for a "foul" on a near-daily basis than I ever screamed Your beloved name,
But that speaks nothing to the tingling of my skin and the vibrancy of my soul when I thought of You.
And I may have taken too many pills of my depression medication every once in awhile,
But that's only because I couldn't cope with the fact that there weren't more hours in the day that I could train to be willing to spend those newfound hours doing things that pleased You.
God, I'm sorry for what everyone perceived through me to take priority over You.
I don't know why I stressed so much over my Calculus III and Materials Engineering tests.
I was gonna get a "C-" regardless and I coulda spent over half that time praying.
And if I'd've dedicated less time amassing an iTunes catalogue of over 20,000 songs,
Maybe I could've helped J__ come to grips with the fact that You do exist.
And God, I wish I didn't cuss so much,
Cuz those were just cop out rhyming words for the rapper in me when I gave up in delving into more potentially beautiful linguistics.
I have all these regrets and, moreover, the wish that I'd've found the words to better convey my emotions in any given situation.
And I wish life was the stage of a forever-looping slam tournament so that I could've been more confident of when it was my turn to speak.
But that's the funny thing, God.
You would've let me speak whenever I'd wanted to.
But all that's over.
I'm now standing in front of You at these gates trying to remember where I left all my burdens at.
Oh, yeah ... Jesus is over there and has an extra backpack on today.
But God, If I don't die of swine flu,
I swear to you ...
I will NOT be afraid to read this poem.

... but do take my word for it.