Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brother Ali talks illegal downloading and the relationship with your music

Brother Ali does an excellent job discussing both sides of illegal downloading. The only thing that he leaves out is how poor the sound quality is when you have your music compressed on your phone or computer. I thought that he was going to mention it once he started to talk about how downloads aren't how an artist intends the listener to hear his/her music. Nonetheless, bravo to Ali for articulating the conflict so well.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mister Cartoon: Tattooist, Wise Man

This interview had me riveted. Young'ns, listen up! You will learn something. Mr. Mark speaks the truth.

Hip-Hop Thursday @ Spring Street Tavern

If you haven't noticed, Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 is slowly being leaked track-by-track to the big-dog blogs [rhymed without even trying]. So far, the tracks have been disappointments. Instead of provide you with links to these so-far mediocre tracks, I'm going to share a track that also has been posted up on the definitive hip-hop blogs... and is fire on that late-90's NYC tip. In other words, it's my joint.
Let me (re)-introduce you to Bekay (pronounced "BK"). Hailing, obviously, from Brooklyn this Jewish emcee has been making moves for a minute but hasn't ever blown up. Some may remember him from his battles on 106 & Park back in '02, others from MTV's short-lived MC battles around '03. I haven't heard much of him, but if this viral track if him holding his own with Masta Ace is any indication of what is to come, I'll be on the lookout.

If I had some Bekay wax, I'd rock it tomorrow (Thursday). But I don't. I've got crates of other quality hip-hop, though that I'll be throwing down tomorrow night at the Spring Street Tavern with DJ Trey. Come holler at your DJ!

Monday, August 24, 2009

David Ellis

My boy Tommy who's actually been in Spain for the last month (come home, soon! I need help with the MP!) posted this up on my facebook and blew my mind. Below is the comment I left on the post:

Wow... just WOW! I love all of his ideas. The sheer concepts are brilliant. The fact that he has the ingenuity and wherewithall to execute them is pure artistry! Favorite quote: "A painting is a drum. It's a membrane stretched over a frame." YES

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hip-hop Thursday at the Spring Street Tavern and more

To get you in the right frame of mind for Hip-Hop Thursday at the Spring Street Tavern, I find it very appropriate to share a Big L 12" with you that was put out by Fat Beats back in 2000 after posting about Fat Beats' new stuff yesterday.

"Flamboyant" was titled after the recently-established independent imprint of Big L's. It was also the first single to drop to warm up the listeners for Big L's sophomore release, The Big Picture. The hip-hop culture lost one of the greats who was only starting to realize his potential in life and in rhyme. Big L's life was taken on the very block he repped so hard, 139th and Lennox, in February of 1999. His sophomore album was released posthumously. It's hard to say just how far Big L could have gone, especially considering that he helped get Jay-Z heard with a verse on "Da Graveyard" off of his Lifestyles Ov Da Poor And Dangerous. Rest in peace.

It wouldn't be right to rip this 12" and not include the acapella's for my fellow DJ's out there. I also included the instrumental for "Flamboyant" but not "On The Mic" because there is some annoying clicks despite the record visually looking flawless.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brown Bag Allstars

Whenever I visit NY, I always need to stop by the Fat Beats record store. On previous journeys, I was fortunate enough to converse with the Audible Doctor and be introduced to his production in the form of his Brownies CD. If you don't know about this James Brown tribute, or if you're an aspiring producer, you must cop this. This is hands-down, the best re-interpretation of JB samples I've ever heard. And if you think you've heard JB chopped every which-way imaginable, think again.

Whoa, I got off on a tangent... so this time around at Fat Beats I met J57. He's another Fat Beats employee who produces and emcees. He put me on to a group that was recently formed called Brown Bag Allstars (BBAS). They have a blog with a bunch of hotness for download and if you follow any of them on Twitter, you can catch them on the come-up with videos like this:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Felt 3 teaser

Rhymesayers just dropped this track off of the forthcoming Felt 3. In case you couldn't guess from the chopped-up guitar riffs and off-kilter drums the album is produced by Def Jux underground star, Aesop Rock. I personally miss ANT's backdrop, but I'll wait to judge how well Aesop Rock's production lends itself to Slug and Murs' hijinx and storytelling.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Belated Disco

There were two sweet disco parties this weekend. Neither of which I was able to attend. You gotta love summer weddings, right? The jump-off Friday night was at the First Ave VIP room where I'm sure hella classy and rare joints were spun by Mike 2600 and Attitude City. Be sure to catch this every 2nd Friday of the month! Saturday night's disco party was at... awww, hell, I don't know where it was. The point is that I was meaning to share some tasty disco records that I had picked up in NY in lieu of this weekends' festivities. Without further ado...

I love how Carole King extends the "disco school" theme throughout this track. It even has a little tasty disco break down near the end.

So this one's a bit cheesy. I only picked it up because it was a West End disco single which almost never miss. If you can get through the initial vocals, you will be rewarded with some bossa guitar riffs. It totally redeems the track.

When I saw this record at Academy Records in NY it was a complete no-brainer. I love Rufus and ever since I came across the Billy Cobham and George Duke Live in Europe record, I've become convinced that George Duke can do no wrong. This boogie track needs no further description other than what's in the title:

Belated Thanks

I wanted to give a quick shout-out to the good people who came through the Spring Street Tavern this past Thursday. Good hip-hop can only bring the night so far. When you combine good people with good music, you always have a good night. And that's exactly how it went down this past Thursday.

This one goes out to Bryce, Chris, Justin, Brian and everybody else who came out for the people and the music...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hip-Hop Thursday at the Spring Street Tavern and more

The fine fellows at Fifth Element are hosting "Cut Class" where local DJ's/turntablists will be showing off and teaching the fine art of skratching this Thursday. I know I'll be there. I need some work. It works out perfectly, too. Stop through Fifth Element for the class from 7-9, then head over to the Spring Street Tavern where I'll be putting the lessons to work as I play hip-hop on vinyl all night long. Minneap, let's get busy with the wax this Thursday!

What I'm Listening To

Besides tackling the stack of records I picked up from New York, here is what else I've been listening to lately.

Slap a "neo-soul" sticker on Mayer Hawthorne and you'd be missing out on genuinely heartfelt music that's is unlike everything else that falls under that current label and trend. You'd also be missing out on the rest of the story. Dude doesn't just have an uncanny ability to croon you back to the days of chivalry. He also plays every single instrument on the album with a funky demeanor that fits other Stones Throw label mates. Oh, and he's white. Go ahead and knock cats for riding everything that Stones Throw puts out. But you can't deny that Peanut Butter Wolf has crafted one of the most diverse and relevant labels of our time. Mayer Hawthorne is no exception. Want further proof? Check out Red's promo video below. Now tell me that you've heard something like this before that's HALF as dope! Cop this here.

Did I mention that I picked up some vinyl recently? Well Ralph MacDonald's The Path blew my mind last night. I actually threw it in my satchel at the record store after listening to the first few smooth-ass bars of "Smoke Rings and Wine". Then I heard "The Path" last night and chalked it up to the beat gods shining down on me. I'm using this for sure. Don't bite!

Ralph MacDonald, "Smoke Rings and Wine"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DJ B-Rock's Entertainment Guide

Double your booze money at the Triple Rock at this weekly DJ night. 2-4-1's go until 12:30.
The Noisettes, a cross between the neo-soul of Amy Winehouse and the uptempo retro instrumentation of The Dap Kings, are playing a FREE 18+ show at the beautiful Varsity Theatre. Get there early. Doors are at 7:30.
It's the weekly all-vinyl hip-hop night at the Spring Street Tavern. DJ Trey and myself will be spinning underground hip-hop morsels to put some meat on your bones after surviving off of the anemic quality of radio rap. It goes from 10 until 2. And if people are getting down, we'll bust out those LAVA-BANGERS!
The once-a-month brainchild of DJ extraordinaire, Jimmy2Times, is back this Friday! GET CRYPHY! Be sure to get hydrated, have a good meal, drink some herbal tea, take your vitamins, and get overall healthy before this night. Because you will be DESTROYED afterwards. Duck and cover when Fundo, Jimmy, Tactic and B-Stee... droppin' bombs! Don't say I didn't warn you.