1) Ultimate Force – I’m Not Playin’
Did you know that Diamond D was in a group before he dropped Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop in ’92? Me neither. Too bad that he and MC Master Rob couldn’t stick together and churn out more classics like “I’m Not Playin.'”
2) Blu & Exile – My World Is…
The Dells’ “I Can Sing a Rainbow” has been flipped countless times (see Ghostface “Shakey Dog” off Fishscale ), but maybe none quite as well as Exile does here. And Blu is very nice on the mic.
3) Talib Kweli – Holy Moly
I like how this one builds up. You think Kweli is just talking, then all of a sudden the song has begun. Pete Rock on the beat. “My rhymes turn a new page like Mark Foley.”
4) Pharoahe Monch – Welcome to the Terrordome
The hip-hop cover song is a tricky beast that few have pulled off successfully. Clearly, I think P. Monch pulls it off. The beat’s different enough, but still fits with the feel of the original. He gives us a new second verse of his own. And we’re living in a time that’s screaming for some more Public Enemy in our lives.
5) Kashmere Stage Band – Super Strut Pt. 1 (Kenny Dope Remix)
This is the first song that’s leaked off of Stones Throw’s Now-Again Re:Sounds, Vol. 1, and I can’t wait to hear the rest. Kashmere Stage Band was actually an offshoot of a high school marching band out of Houston. Kenny Dope is an offshoot of his momma, but also is known for his work with Little Louie Vega as the production duo Masters At Work.
6) Kamala Walker and the Soul Tribe – Street Talkin’
Fun fact: Kamala Walker and Otis Jackson, Jr. have never been seen in the same room together.
7) U-Tern – Give It Up
U-Tern is to disco what Curtis Vodka is to B’more club music. I also like that he understands that having your own blog >>> Myspace. Check it out: http://onedaylater.blogspot.com/
8) Kid Sister – Control
You know I’m going to like any song that encourages women to “touch them toes…twerk, roll, stop, control.”
9) Dizzee Rascal – Where’s Da G’s (feat. UGK)
UGK have been on a roll in 07, and their album hasn’t even dropped yet. Whoever did the beat for this one did the perfect job of making it sound like grime and Southern all at once…no small feat.
10) Kinfolk Kia Shine – Respect My Fresh
Not many dudes can pull off 4 minutes of rapping about their clothes and make it sound good. I’m sure his album will be terrible, but I’m loving this song.
11) Jim Jones – Looking at the Game (feat. Stack Bundles & Lil’ Wayne)
Hard to get mad at the Capo, some dead dude, and The Greatest Rapper Alive kicking it over those PSK drums (Coops, didn’t you meet Schooly D a couple of years ago in Philly?).
12) The Chemical Brothers – The Salmon Dance (feat. Fatlip)
This song wasn’t originally going to make the mix, but it’s been growing on me like crazy. I especially love the parts between verses, where Fatlip (yes, the crackhead who used to be in Tha Pharcyde) learns interesting salmon facts from Sammie the Salmon. “The moon?? Fish pay attention to the moon!!??! WOW!!!”
13) The Budos Band – Scorpion
I’ve heard about 5 songs now from their upcoming Budos Band II, and all of them are terrific. If Hollywood ever makes a spy movie set in Africa, this better be on the soundtrack.
14) The New P*rn*graphers – Myriad Harbour
In this excellent interview here ( http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/44247-pitchfork-music-festival-2007-sunday/page_5), frontman Carl Newman talks about living in NYC. I don’t know why anybody sane would ever move to NYC (from Vancouver, no less!), but I think that’s what this song is about.
15) Johnny and the Moon – Green Rocky Road
This comes from one of the many Wolf Parade side-project bands. This one is fronted by guitarist Dante DeCaro. Wolf Parade are coming to the Cat’s Cradle on Wednesday, 8/22. Tickets are still available, and I’ve got a place you can crash at. They’re very good.
16) The New P*rn*graphers – Failsafe
A wise woman (OK, it was my girlfriend) once said, “I like the New P*rn*graphers, but sometimes when they let the women sing, it sounds too much like the f***ing Lilith Fair.” I think they avoid that trap, here. Also, they sounded great at the Pitchfork Festival, for what it’s worth.
17) The White Stripes – I’m Slowly Turning Into You
Hopefully you’ve all heard this album by now. It’s worth the $15…or it’s at least worth 10 seconds of Googling.
18) Inell Young – What Do You See in Her?
Another treat from soul-sides.com. The back-story to this song is pretty crazy. Young and her best friend were discovered by producer Eddie Bo out of high school in New Orleans. Evidently, Young developed a heavy heroin habit, so Eddie Bo stopped working with Young. But Bo continued to work with Young’s h.s. friend. This song is Young’s response. She died of an overdose not long after recording this song.
19) Junior Byles – Fever
I love me some cover songs…especially reggae cover songs. This one comes courtesy of the compilation Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller. Yes, that Jonny Greenwood.
20) Eddie Holman – This Can’t Be True
Another beautiful soul masterpiece courtesy of soul-sides.com .
21) Talib Kweli – In the Mood
Kanye West keeps the soulful mood going on this beat, with an assist from jazz legend Roy Ayers on vibes. Definitely my favorite track on Ear Drum.
22) Blu & Exile – No Greater Love
The same feeling when you first heard ‘Time’s Up’
The same feeling when I first heard Com bust
I used to lover H.E.R. but I but I found other kinds of
So I left her like I really really tried, but I can’t cause…