Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Videos

Here are a few recent videos that I like for some great songs. I kinda miss the days when you could see videos from good artists regularly on MTV/BET. But, oh well. It's great how the Internet provides a medium that anyone can use today to share their artistry with no one in charge deciding who to give a chance and who to hold back.

By the way, when I first saw the LB video posted it was for an uncensored version. By the time I got around to watching it, the link said it was no longer available. So, if that version is any different from the one below, and anyone knows where I can view it, please share the link. Thanks.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My brother, Gang Starr’s Guru - The Boston Globe

My brother, Gang Starr’s Guru - The Boston Globe

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In this article from The Boston Globe, Harry Elam Jr. pays tribute to his brother Keith AKA Guru, one of hip hop's greatest contributors. I found this writing to be of more interest than what most others have to say about Guru because in it his legendary status is of little importance. Harry knew his brother's greatness, of course. But, he didn't see him the way most people did. This is just about a man remembering his younger brother...and that's enough.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ill Doc on T-Pain And Know-It-Alls

This guy Jay Smooth has a pretty good blog where he meshes Hip Hop and social commentary into his videos. Most of them are on point and entertaining. This one is no different, and probably one of my favorites, actually. If you like it, a link to the Ill Doctrine is on the blogroll to the right.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jay-Z & Beyonce - "Forever Young" Live At Coachella

This is probably my least favorite song off BP3. But, the visuals to this live performance are nice as you will see. Plus, apparently Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols (who has a new band and new name for himself, I guess) was a little salty that he was put on the side stage at the same time as Jay's headlining performance - and that makes me laugh. It probably didn't help that only a quarter of the audience chose to check out his show over Hov's, whose decibel level far outweighed his own. Add to that a fireworks display, and Beyonce's presence to go along with the Jay-Z finale, and it probably wasn't even worth him turning his mic on. Oh well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pete Rock Remixes

I pulled out an old CD I had of Pete Rock & Marley Marl called Future Flavas today. I wanted to find the track names to list on my iPod, and through some casual online searching I wound up on Pete's Wikipedia page. I stayed on there for a little while checking out his discography. It's pretty extensive.

I have most of his album work, but I forgot just how much work he's done remixing songs for other artists. The "Pete Rock remix" is definitely what I would call a staple of Hip Hop. Below is a somewhat recent Pete Rock remix followed by a somewhat older classic one.

Also see the Wikipedia link to check out. I recommend it. Among everything else listed are several collaboration albums in the works where Pete will handle all production duties: An untitled Smif 'N' Wessun project which I knew about already, A DPG project which I didn't, and one with Planet Asia cleverly titled Planet Rock which I'm now aware of and definitely looking forward to.

One Be Lo - "Decepticons (Pete Rock Remix)"

Public Enemy - "Shut 'Em Down (Pete Rock Remix)"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Andre Berto Tell 'Em

I'm watching the Andre Berto Vs. Carlos Quintana Welterweight title bout on HBO. I have some cynicism to express.

As Berto, the Haitian fighter currently pitching in with relief efforts in his homeland, entered the ring, a horrible display of what some may mistakenly call Hip Hop appeared. Commentator Jim Lampley explained "...he's being escorted into the ring by a rap star named Soulja Boy, who had a number 1 hit a couple of years ago, and is helping Andre in the effort to bring more consciousness to Haitian relief."

I think he was singing the swag song. It was hard to tell ('em) because all I could hear was "yyyeeeeaaaahhhh" over and over again. This passes for a performance. I know it's just a ring entry, not a concert. But, a little effort and technical know-how would be nice. I guess that comes with talent, which is why I missed it here. I mean, it's for charity. Could he put something into it? Anything that makes it look at least on par with his school's talent show? Remember in The Great White Hype when Damon Wayans' character enters with Method Man putting on an energetic performance of "Bring The Pain"? Or, how about in real life when he and Redman joined Roy Jones Jr. and rocked out to "Da Rockwilder"?

I know every little bit helps, but just how exactly is Soulja Boy's music supposed to help in this cause? What person with any means to donate time or money is going to be positively influenced by Soulja Boy? Is he hoping his fans will spread the word to their parents? The Soulja Boy fans I know can't remember the simplest of messages, and are far too concerned with Axe body spray and texting to think about world issues. Well, maybe he's hoping they'll take the 10 seconds to text the word 'Haiti' to some number and run up their parents' phone bill for a good cause. Hold on Haiti. Help is on the way!!

okayplayer Interview With Phife Dawg

This interview is almost a month old. I forget to check out regularly though, so I just came across this today. If you haven't read it, you need to as it is about real life and is pretty inspirational. Phife explains his health condition in detail (I knew he was a 'funky diabetic' and was sick recently, but didn't know specifics), and talks about his upcoming work, and the Tribe documentary to be released soon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pharoahe Monch Interview

I don't know about all of you, but I can't fucking wait for Pharoahe's new album W.A.R. to drop on Duck Down. I keep hearing him say in interview after interview that this is his most lyrical and most cohesive album of his career. I'm expecting big big things.

And, I hope that with all of the time he's been spending with Slaughterhouse lately they have some tracks completed (more than just a hook on his part this time - wasn't that the let down of the year?) that will pop up at some point in the (near) future.

Below is a video of Pharoahe discussing the new album...and below that the song/video that first put me on to Organized Konfusion.


Suzanne Vega And The Roots

I swear The Roots are the best thing to happen to late night since...ever. Of course, I can't stomach Jimmy Fallon, so I have to wait til the next day when someone is kind enough to post their performances. But, still.

This right here? This is the best "Tom's Diner" has ever sounded. I guess Suzanne Vega was on the show promoting something new. Honestly, I only know her for this one song. If you're not sure who she is, you'll remember once you hear it. Anyway this seems to be an extra performance they did for the web. You gotta love the Hip Hop flavor The Roots sprinkle over everything they touch.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Need A Dollar

This is the video for Stones Throw artist Aloe Blacc's song "I Need A Dollar". It's the theme song to HBO's series How to Make it in America...and now it's mine as well. Aloe's album, Good Things, should be coming soon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I wasn't as excited as some others when this project was announced. Mostly because Wu-affiliated projects have been hit-or-miss for some time now, in my opinion. I figured I'd just wait and see and not anticipate it too much beforehand. But, with Raekwon's triumphant return last year with OB4CL2, Ghostface's consistent offerings, and Method Man's ability to step up when he's challenged/inspired and deliver some darts I was feeling optimistic.

But, the finished product, aside from a few highs left me pretty underwhelmed for a lot of reasons. It didn't feel to me like a lot of time was spent on putting the Massacre together. It sounded kind of rushed and thrown together. For some reason, despite having three of the best emcees in hip hop from one of the greatest groups in its history, Meth, Ghost, and Rae still thought it necessary to have features on their project. Why? Someone please tell me why. I can't figure it out.

Plus, all three members of this collaboration didn't even appear on every track themselves. It made sense for "Meth Vs. Chef 2" obviously, and "Pimpin' Chipp" was definitely a dope song. But, when you take the time to make a smaller version of the Dream Team, why let anyone go at it alone for any song? Especially when there are only 10 songs on the album? I think all three of them only appeared on 3 songs together. Is that a group effort?

No doubt every fan looking forward to this album was dying to hear the three emcees trade bars with each other for an hour or so. And, that didn't happen here at all. They threw these tracks together, along with a pretty weak MJ-sampled RZA track, and called it an album. With a little more time and effort in the studio together, the Wu members could have truly produced (to borrow from The Beatnuts) a musical Massacre. Instead they supplied something that, despite its gems (and artwork), sounds uneven and incomplete as a whole. And, I feel let down.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Where Is 24 Hour Karate School?

This is a funny way (and the most involved) for an artist explain why his free album didn't drop on the expected day. Ski Beatz' 24 Hour Karate School was supposed to be available on 3/30 (wasn't Jay Electronica supposed to drop something on New year's Day??). Until then, I'll keep playing "Taxi" over and over.

WHERE IS 24 HOUR KARATE SCHOOL? from Creative Control on Vimeo.