I don’t usually dig Rihanna, but Rootdown & Soulforce put a much-needed reggae vibe into her "Rude Boy" single. I just always thought that the original version of the song was weird, seeing how it talked about rude boys, but the music didn’t really reflect the subject…that’s sort of what I’m waiting for with Kanye West’s new "Power" joint: A remix with a beat that reflects ‘Ye’s vitriol. It’s just a matter of time.
Everytime that this song comes up on my iPod, I can’t help but just get into it. DJ Nu-Mark just kills it with this beat. There aren’t a lot of hip-hop songs that make me want to get a girl and cha-cha with her.
Unrelated: I had a weird dream last night. It was about a girl. It wasn’t one of those typical dreams about a girl where we end up banging (or where I wake up right before that part), but instead, I was being, like, supportive of this girl’s goals and aspirations. Healthy relationship dreams are a lot weirder than sex dreams.
Unrelated: I’m pretty sure, at this point in my life, that if I’m faced with someone around my age having a temper tantrum, I’ll just go into full-patronization mode and say something like "Aww…wook at you widdle buddy! Wooks wike someone needs a turkey sammich and some naptime!"
What About Your Friends (Extended Remix) | TLC ft. Outkast (via my shoeboxes and crates)
So, Hi-Stakes just released a mixtape with a bunch of Outkast’s early appearances—including their debut appearance on this TLC remix. I didn’t realize that it was their debut until today…damn, how those dudes evolved. It’s really incredible to hear Big Boi and Andre3000 spit these ragga/Das-EFX style rhymes…it’s definitely worth the listen.
Hop over to The Smoking Section for more information and links to the Hi-Stakes mixtape: Hi-Stakes presents Outkast Deep Kuts (Vol. 1) 1992-1999
I wonder how a culture gets to a point where information and those who possess it are feared and vilified, while it seems like those who are blissfully unaware and/or don’t care are socially rewarded.
It’s as if the curve-setters and the ones who take the time to learn a thing or two are seen as snobbish intellectuals who look down on everyone else and have to constantly apologize for pursuing an enriched life through education.
Opinions are easy. Opinions raises furor and rally the crowds…but opinions aren’t gospel, yet the uninformed seem to take opinions as facts.
Cheap, low-brow humor is easy. While Deadspin’s recent focus on dick jokes might be an appeal to the masses, it’s almost insulting to assume that the material needs to be dumbed-down for the audience.
I’ve dated girls who’ve said they’ve needed to dumb themselves down for social advancement…it’s conflicting, because I typically lose respect for people who dumb themselves down, but on the other-hand, it really leads back to this question of why people feel threatened by information and those who work to attain it.
The first time I’d heard this song, it was like no other hip-hop/R&B song I’d ever heard…that hook was just bananas, and the beat was so new to me. I mean, I don’t think I realized what the Neptunes sound was when they came out with N.O.R.E.’s "Superthug" and "Nothin’," but this single was so in-your-face that it let me know: “Okay, this is what’s up. These guys are the Neptunes.”
Exhibits G, F, & P | Just Blaze (song and .gif from 2DopeBoyz)
Just Blaze might be from Jersey, but he’s responsible for my recent interest in the Baltimore Club sound…his remix of The A-Team theme was dope, but this is just a bit more enticing (and hilarious) once you figure out what “GFP” stands for. The .gif below should tell you what it means.
When Jon Stewart took down CNN’s Crossfire, I’d hoped that maybe we’d learned a cultural lesson about making the big complex social issues such a black-and-white subject…but instead, the media just ramped up the divisive nature of social discussion by playing into the selfish need for shouting matches. Basically, they’ve turned politics into a game, a sport—but by simplifying these important issues, I don’t think anyone wins and no progress is truly made.
It’s a culture of “Us versus Them,” vilifying anyone with a difference of opinion while discounting their reasons for having that opinion.
While shouting matches seem like a passionate way of getting your opinions out on a particular social or political issue, it doesn’t do much to open minds—but it serves as a great rallying cry, I suppose, but that’s not productivity.
It’s this “winner takes all” ideology that seems really fool-hardy to me…to approach major social issues with blinders on is like entering an argument with your fingers plugging your ears and screaming at the top of your lungs “NO, NO, NO, NO!”
If we are to progress and evolve as a nation, we need to be much more perceptive of people with different viewpoints, to pay attention to the other side of the fence, and try to understand the real reasons why the other side feels the way that they do. These seem like uncomfortable discussions, but compassion and understanding resolves more issues than finger-pointing and mud-slinging.
Also, intelligent discussion helps you filter out who’s really serious about an issue, who the ass-clowns are, and who is just rallying for superficial reasons…but more importantly, who and what’s at stake for the individuals on both sides of a given issue.
More discussion, less finger-pointing. Finger-pointing might establish who is to blame for a social injustice, but it doesn’t solve the issue.
We have more to benefit from learning about those who are different from us than shutting them away. The longer we stay divided as a nation, the more we drag our heels on progressing as a culture.
Nothing Even Matters | Lauryn Hill ft. D’Angelo (Amazon)
This is easily in my top-5 for songs about being in love…probably my favorite song off of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I just remember being mesmerized by this song the first time I’d heard it 12 years ago—mesmerized by the pairing of Lauryn and D’Angelo, mesmerized my the laid-back instrumentation, even mesmerized by those finger snaps.
Okay, I’ve been on a personal MGMT cover moratorium since the beginning of this year—it is very similar to the self-imposed Jay-Z mash-up moratorium. Anyway, I saw this cover on feats-of-strength and was genuinely interested, not knowing what to expect. Let’s just say that the cover is good enough for me to temporarily break my self-imposed MGMT cover song moratorium.
I’m sort of sad about the state of pop-punk when it takes "leaked*" titty-pics to generate hype for a mainstream band…I mean, I’dve been stoked if Tsunami Bomb had this problem.
Also, Tsunami Bomb’s “Lemonade” > Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade.” I’d like to record a rap song called “Hawaiian Punch” and just rap about how I like everything I own to be red.
*Note: What kind of troll/hacker would stop at just one scandalous picture just to immediately take it down? Also, who the fuck hacks a phone? Hayley Williams’ phone at that? Like, I get that she’s famous…but, I mean, the last famous person to get their phone hacked was Paris Hilton, and she had a bunch of crazy pictures—and Hayley Williams ain’t Paris Hilton. Just sayin’.
All Talk | Kid CuDi ft. Chip The Ripper & Christian Bale (copped it @ Current Hip Hop)
It’s a dope track, and I sort of understand the context of using the Christian Bale rant as an intro—but still, sampling Bale’s verbal abuse makes the track seem a bit more dated than it needs to be. Meh, aside from that, I can dig it.
Honestly, "Fighters" was pretty much one of a handful of throw-away tracks from Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, however Mr. Squeegie simply adds some up-tempo drum beats and some light instrumentation to make the song much more bearable than the original.
Now, I’m really, really hoping that LASERS isn’t nearly as disappointing/hit-or-miss as that last album—and at least a few songs longer than his meager Enemy Of The State mixtape.
This Major Lazer/La Roux collaboration mixtape is, in a simple word, fierce. It spans just about every musical genre you’d imagine that Diplo and La Roux could go. Be sure to cop the mixtape, it’s pure ear candy.
Bang Bang Bang | Mark Ronson ft. Q-Tip (ffffound @ 2DopeBoyz)
I’m really looking forward to hearing more of Mark Ronson’s new material, seeing how he has spent the past couple years successfully delving into the Daptone-inspired neo-vintage soul sound (most notably with Amy Winehouse), it’s pretty cool to hear him go back to the sound he’d established when he first hit the music scene.
Yes, you read that note correctly…this track samples a fairly recognizable theme from the Super Nintendo classic, Chrono Trigger. This comes off of the double single release from these up-and-comers, and it’s absolutely worth the download. The Dream Master joint is just as dope…just do yourself a favor, support undiscovered hip-hop, hop over to their BandCamp page and download the free double single.
Dear God 2.0 | The Roots ft. Jim James (of Monsters of Folk) (ffffound at HillyDilly)
I don’t know when my taste in hip-hop shifted from gangsta bling to social consciousness, but I’m pretty sure that my appreciation for culturally introspective jams helps me appreciate bands like The Roots much more, especially when they offer their own interpretations of a Monsters Of Folk single. I’m getting pretty stoked for the new album.
Do yourself a favor and just press play right now. You know that those opening horns, when added to the beginning of any song, just make everything a million times more exciting. Also, hop over to Soul Sides because they’ve got an incredible cover of "Hey Jude" performed by The Overton Berry Trio that you really oughta treat yourself to.