When it rains, it pours. Last month, I complained that I struggled to put together a good mix. This month, I could have easily put together two volumes. I think that extra day made all the difference.
Good albums this month:
- Turf Talk – West Coast Vaccine (The Cure): Remember a couple of years ago when hyphy was cool? I never got into it, so I didn’t pay attention when Turf Talk dropped his album last year. But it kept ending up on some best-of lists from people whose opinion I respect, so I decided to give it a listen.
- Re-Up Gang – We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3: A buddy of mine recently asked me if there’s ever been a rapper as captivating as Jay-Z. Here are four of them.
- Bilal – Love For Sale: An unreleased album from the only good male R&B singer still doing it (a title he’ll continue to hold until D’Angelo comes out of retirement).
- Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend: Not as good as the hype, but nowhere near deserving of the backlash.
- Various Artists – Giles Peterson Digs America Vol. 2: The London DJ compiles some rare gems of American music.
I’m still waiting to hear some good rock music this year. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know in comments.
1) Turf Talk – Bring the Base Back
This song begs to be cranked. Turf sounds like he’s having fun getting to rap over something so bombastic.
2) Kidz in the Hall – Low End Theory
Fun with analogies: “Low End Theory” is to cars as “Black Mags” is to BMX bikes. More fun with analogies: Gary Busey is to Nick Nolte as Tim Floyd is to John Edwards.
3) Lil’ Wayne – Brand New
“You know I’m a boss, chillin’, relaxin’ / probably in my office, doin’ my taxes.” Just picture Weezy sitting behind a desk, furiously pecking away on a calculator, all while rolling on E.
4) Turf Talk – I’m Ghetto
If you couldn’t tell from these first four songs, I’m a sucker for retro beats with lots of low-end. “Rick Rock, make the beat knock.”
5) Suburb – Something a Little Twisted
Props to Sweeny at Classic Drug References for posting about this dude. Definitely a producer to check for.
6) Gil Scott-Heron – The Klan
Easily my favorite song of the month. My resolution for March is to listen to more Gil Scott-Heron. So hopefully you like this sh*t, too.
7) Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band – The World (Is Going Up In Flames)
From the same musical geniuses who brought you “Make the Road by Walking” (as featured on the November 07 Mix).
8) Soul Children – Move Over
Does that piano sound familiar?
9) Willie Hutch – Brothers Gonna Work It Out
This song’s been sampled several times, but it will always remind me of Project Pat’s “What Money Do.”
10) The Diddys (feat. Paige Douglas) – Intergalactic Love Song
What a delightfully weird little tune. Those space-age keyboards kill me, especially around the 53 second mark when the vocals drop out, and you’ve got dueling space-keyboards noodling around in each of your ears. This is what the year 2000 was supposed to sound like.
11) Jay Electronica – Departure / Are You Watching Closely?
Jay’s been getting plenty of hype, with people like Badu and Just Blaze showing him love. I don’t quite see it. But this song (songs?) is pretty incredible, and serves as a good intro to a guy who’ll definitely be making moves this year.
12) Re-Up Gang – Cry Now
Malice sounds particularly heated on this one: “We the R-E-U-P Gang that’s us, brah / Yes, I said gang, all else is faux pas.” To be honest, I was more caught off guard by hearing Mal use the word “brah” than “gang.”
13) Re-Up Gang – Show You How to Hustle
Don’t let those sick organs distract you from the lyrics. Ab-Liva: “Katrina with the coke, I flood the city like New Orleans, I’m too heavy so the levies break.” Sandman: “They wanna put me in a Porsche, little-ass box / f*ck you n*gga I’m as large as an ox!” That’s the great thing about Re-Up Gang is that I’ll be listening to this album a year from now, and still picking up on lyrics that amuse or amaze.
14) Oh No (ft. Roc C) – Riding High
Yeah, we’ve all heard that Faze-O loop before, but that sh*t never gets old for me. It’s a song that makes you feel about 80% cooler than you actually are.
15) Bilal – Get Out of My Hair
Or as Quasimoto would say, “don’t go away mad girl, just go away.”
16) RAMP – The Old One, Two
Another weird one from the crates of Giles Peterson.
17) Ofege – Burning Jungle
You’ve heard Ofege before on my mixes. This is from their 1978 album How Do You Feel? You can definitely hear the disco influences, but it still works.
18) Tim Maia – Imunizacao Racional
Supposedly this dude is like the James Brown of Brazil.
19) Ofo the Black Company – Let’s Go Where the Action Is
I know this is a pretty trite observation, but the rhythms used in African music put a pep in my step. The drums in the chorus seem to hit with a timing that you don’t hear in most honkey music.
20) Professor Murder – Civilization Three
Speaking of bands with rhythm. One day, these guys are going to release a full album and conquer the world.
21) Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
This album really should have come out during the summer. Sounds like the soundtrack to grilling and playing wiffle ball.
22) Vampire Weekend – Boston
No song about Boston is complete without a reference to scorpion bowls. Maybe next time.