Whatup ladies and gentleman. Take a look to your left and open up your ears for this week’s playlist of the week. You may notice the first suck, “Barbra Streisand”, is a touch different than some of the normal music that comes through this site. What it does offer, aside from an insanely catchy beat and chorus, is an awesome video (featuring some Hip Hop heavyweights such as Kanye West, Pharell, The Roots and DJ Premier). Peep the video here and make sure to check out the playlist.
The list dedicated to the best hip hop music of last decade is back. These next 30 albums are the real gems of 2000-2009; they range from chart-topping to relatively unknown, but each one deserves a spot in your music collection.
30. Fishscale - 2006 – Ghostface Killah
This is why Ghost is my favorite Wu-Tang member. Not only did he rip shit in the 90′s when Wu was on top of the hip-hop world, but he continued to make dope albums on the regular into the next decade. The beat selection on Fishscale is impeccable; Ghost knew what he was doing working with the likes of Just Blaze & Pete Rock, as well as grabbing instrumentals from Dilla’s Donuts and MF DOOM’s Metal Fingers albums. He continues the trend of rapping straight up over old school soul songs which he started on The Pretty Toney Album on standout “Big Girl”, and heads a successful Wu-Tang reunion on “9 Milli Bros.”.
Top Tracks: The Champ | Shakey Dog | 9 Milli Bros.
29. S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. – 2005 – One Be Lo
Binary Star’s OneManArmy (or One Be Lo) released his second solo project in 2005, proving that he can stand alone as a very capable MC. From the moment the disc starts it’s hard to stop listening to One, who sports an enticing flow along with clever lyrics and socially relevant subject matter. This CD didn’t sell as well, or get as much acclaim as most other albums on this list, which is sad but makes sense. Independent artists with something to say don’t always make it to the charts, but there is certainly space for rappers like One Be Lo on your iPod.
Top Tracks: Axis | Used 2 Be Fly | enecS eht no kcaB
Wherever you download your music from, iTunes, youtube, file hosting sites…whatever, get that shit ready. So you don’t have to sift through all of the crap that dropped this year, I present you with the best of the best. 2010 was actually a pretty dope year in hip hop, overall the best we’ve seen in a while. A ton of great songs dropped this year, but these are the cream of the crop. These tracks range from deep underground to top 10 radio status…acknowledging the most lyrical, but also appreciating the party-driven. These are what I thought were the 100 best songs of 2010, in order. Enjoy.
Song – Artist – Album/Mixtape
100. Put It Down (Featuring Drake) – Bun B - Trill O.G.
99. Never Been – Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice
98. Tonight – Donnis – Fashionably Late
97. Walkin’ On Air (Featuring Joell Ortiz & Colin Munroe) – Novel – Calligraphy
96. The Flying V – XV – Vizzy Zone
95. Airborne Aquarium – Curren$y – Pilot Talk II
94. Lite 1 Witcha Boi (Featuring Method Man & Bun B) – Redman – Reggie
93. Senseless World – Shiest Bubz – Everydaze My Birthday
92. Trapped In My Mind – Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
91. Curtain Call – Little Brother – Leftback
90. Show Out – Roscoe Dash – Ready Set Go
Philadelphia’s own, The Roots, covered the classic Christmas song last night on Jimmy Fallon. How I Got Over is in stores now.
During the Redbull Soundclash in Atlanta, The Roots brought out Yelawolf for special performance of “Pop The Trunk.” Yela’s album Trunk Muzik: 0-60 drops November 22nd. It is surprising to see Yelawolf getting love from such a well-respected group in The Roots.
Right on the heels of the release of their collaborative album Wake Up! (it was mostly a collection of covers of 60′s and 70′s soul songs), The Roots and John Legend got the chance to play a show at NYC’s Terminal 5 where they covered the namesake song to their album. Despite the negative critical buzz surrounding the album, this happens to be a great cover of a great song (If you have’nt heard the original song “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, check it Here as you’ve probably heard it before). I mean c’mon, you know John Legend’s vocals and ?uestlove’s presence wouldn’t let this unbelievable track down. If you’d like to download the mp3 of the vid, just copy adn paste the link over at http://www.video2mp3.net/ and you’ll have an mp3 in no time.
Oh yea, four unbelievable acts not just under the same roof, but on the same stage too. This performance came during the chicago stop of the Hennessy Artistry Tour, for which Big Sean was also present. It’s cool to see 4 acts, all of which incorporate jazz music into their songs in some way get thrown onto one single track.
Here is the link for the video- Q-Tip w/The Roots & Curren$y – Lets Ride (Live Chicago)
Every year, I count down the days until Rock the Bells. I constantly check Guerilla Union for updates and postings about who may be coming. When I originally saw the list of performers that Chang Weisberg was nice enough to give us, I was not pleased. The concert poster had Wu-Tang headlining with The Street Sweeper Social Club set to be on the main stage. Luckily, the good folks at Guerilla Union came through and added a bunch of different people to the list that made this year’s show set to be the best yet. And, that’s exactly what happened.
Unlike years past, the New York leg of the tour was staged at Governor’s Island, and as any New Yorker knows, getting there isn’t easy. After landing on the island, it was easy to tell that this year’s festival was more like a festival than in years past. Upon entering the gates, we were flooded with tables and tables of t-shirt and food vendors. After spending the first twenty minutes of festival, I reached a table where they were selling original copies of The Boogie Down Production’s Criminal Minded which features songs like Throwback Tuesday’s own 9mm Goes Bang. Sitting behind the table, was no other than the legend himself KRS-One who was nice enough to sign a copy for me.
Once the show started, with an opening Dj set from DJ Premier of Gangstarr, the crowd started shuffling in. After what was a short and subpar set from Premo, it was time to hit the smaller Paid Dues stage where the young Alabama kid, Yelawolf was set to hit the stage. Bringing his unique hair style and classic southern sound to the stage where he performed a bevy of songs off his Trunk Muzik mixtape. While many in the crowd did not really know his work, they seemed to feed off his intense energy for what was a successful set. What made the set even more successful was the fact that Murs decided to join the crowd and listen to Yelawolf for the first time.
Back on the main stage, the list of legends performing was beginning with Slick Rick who was set to perform “The Adventures of” straight through. After listening to him for five minutes, I had had enough. While I understand that he is no longer in his prime and he may be old, he brought zero energy on stage with him, not once hyping the crowd up and standing straight and tall in one spot for his ENTIRE set. After I made the wise decision to leave Slick Rick’s set. I wandered over to see Detroit’s Big Sean.
You may be surprised to hear this, but Big Sean was hands down the best performer at Rock the Bells 2010. His incredible control of the crowd, his ability to keep himself amped the entire time, and his cameo in the crowd made it everything the crowd wanted. He only performed his top songs and even did a sneak peak off his Finally Famous Vol. 3 mixtape, entitled Memories, which at this point you have probably heard.
Next up, the god Rakim, who like Slick Rick was nothing special. Throughout the set, I expected to hear some spectacular stuff from Slick Rick who only performed about half of “The Adventures of”. I was also expecting to see some special guests do their thing on stage, and maybe even at Eric B. tribute. None of this occurred and the god was ungodly.
After being disappointed, I decided to stick around the Paid Dues stage for awhile because all of the main stage artists were letting me down. I was lucky enough to see Murs perform some classics with 9th Wonder on the tables, and finally, a guest experience from Skyzoo. While Murs rocked the stage, with songs like L.A., Bad Man and Can it Be, he failed to do the one song I was hoping for, Lookin’ Fly. Yet, the biggest question of the festival was still to be answered.
Where the hell was Clipse? After arriving at the festival and grabbing the set times, I noticed that the Thornton brothers were nowhere to be found. As disappointing as it was, I was ready for a break. Sitting up against the fence for The Street Sweeper Social Club was a great move. Their unique sound rivals that of The Roots and The Band Eclypse. Their cover of Paper Planes was hands down their best song, and it was nice to see Boots Riley and Tom Murillo. It only got me very excited to see the final set on Paid Dues, and of course, they saved the best artist for last.
The success of Wiz Khalifa’s latest mixtape, Kush and OJ is what led him to such a strong fan base. He came out to the tune of We’re Done, and then spent the next 5 minutes talking about how good the weed in New York is. Khalifa used that to segway into his next song, Still Blazin’. After his weed anthem, he of course, took a short smoking break bring a rolled joint on stage to smoke. He continued with The Kid Frankie, a song no one expected to hear, but one Wiz says he loves. He finished with a staple, This Plane. Need I say more?
Lastly, it was off to the main stage for the final three acts, A Tribe Called Quest, The Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg. They all performed their top albums, Midnight Marauders, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and Doggystyle, respectively. Special guests from these sets only included Busta Rhymes during Tribe. My favorite part of these last three acts was Boy Jones, the oldest son of deceased Wu-Tang member ‘Ol Dirty Bastard performing in his father’s place. He even brought back the popped up corn rows that made his father so famous.
It is always nice to see artists who are somewhat out-dated relive their music. For the Wu-Tang Clan, it was somewhat of a reunion tour because of the fact that each of the 9-members is always out doing some solo stuff. Seeing them on stage together was an epic event and one that any hip-hop fan should relish. As for next year, let’s hope that Guerilla Union can land some big name artists.
90. The Tipping Point – 2004 – The Roots
The most air-time Black Thought’s ever gotten over a full CD, and the album thrives because of it. Check out the BDK/Kool G Rap impressions on Boom!; the man can spit. You can’t go wrong with any Roots material but this is a stand out.
Top Tracks: Guns Are Drawn | Star/Pointro | Boom!
89. The Format - 2006 – AZ
AZ get’s some of the freshest production of his career, with help from Emile, J. Cardim, DJ Premier & Statik Selektah. Just another reason why he should be considered one of the best ever, but rarely gets that recognition.
Top Tracks: The Format | Get High | Animal
So while I wouldn’t consider this “news” per se as this project is something that’s been going on for a few weeks now and has recently finished, it’s definitely something worth checking out. Basically, Levi’s (yea, the clothing company) got a bunch of musical artists (Nas, Passion Pit, The Shins and The Roots to name a few) to cover songs that inspired their lives and music. While a lot of the songs being discussed are admittedly a bit before my time, it’s definitely interesting to listen to each artist describe their influences and how music they listen to affects their own music. I found the most interesting piece to be the first in the collection, as Nas discusses the timeless classic “Hey Young World” (download the original Here) by Slick Rick off his classic debut album The Adventures of Slick Rick as a follow-up single to one of the greatest hip-hop singles of all time, “Children’s Story”. Anyways, I found it incredibly interesting that Nas adopted the whole “World is Yours” ideal (from the similarly titled “The World is Yours” off The Illmatic) not from Scarface itself but instead from Slick Rick. Some other artists worth checking out are Passion Pit, who cover The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” (original Here), with Michael Angelakos doing an impeccable job on Billy Corgan’s far-our falsetto vocals. It’s also hard to go wrong with anything that involves The Shins’ James Mercer (See Broken Bells as a further example of this); I would also take a look at Jason Mraz’s take on “Spirit In the Sky” as he uses members of a real choir to capture the religious undertones the song provides. There is also stuff by a lot of other great artists that I didn’t mention here (The Swell Season, The Dirty Projectors and more) so even if you didn’t like any of the stuff i talked about, definitely check it out Here. (Note: I didn’t post any of the download links for the songs, there all available for free on the link I just provided)