Who is Don Jagwarr? Well….first & foremost, most of you will remember Don Jagwarr from his “appearance” on Ice Cube’s “Wicked” from Cube’s 3rd album “The Predator”. Jagwarr also appeared on releases from Anotha Level (“Let Me Take Ya”) & MC Ren (“One False Move”) as well, around the same time frame as “Wicked”. This album was picked up on yet another one of those “new release Tuesday’s” when there really wasn’t anything else notable released and I had $40.00 (which was always my limit) about to burn a hole in my pocket. I figured what the hell, he was on Cube’s sh*t…so why not give “Faded” a shot? Needless to say, I picked up “Faded” that day along with Black Sheep affiliates The Legion’s “Theme + Echo = Krill” (weren’t they backed by the Orlando Magic’s Dennis Scott?) and was soon on my merry way. Now listening to “Faded” today, it isn’t nearly as “flavorful” as it was in 1995. The majority of the beats contained on “Faded” were entertaining but definitely didn’t age very well. I rarely break this album out, but when I do it’s usually to give “Skank Wit’ U” featuring 2Pac a listen (don’t ask me what the title means). Be prepared, as Don Jagwarr’s flow may take a little getting used to, he’s somewhat of a mix between Supercat, The Hoodratz & well…you get the picture. The production on “Faded” was initially pretty dope though, the majority of it resembles that mid-90′s West Coast flavor of Sir Jinx. Quicy Jones’ son QDIII & Ice Cube produced one track apiece and the rest of the beats were handled by prevalent West Coast beat maker Brian G & Lay Law. Even still, this album is pretty hard to find on the net’ (I had to pick this one up on Amazon for about $8.00) and it’s also a pretty nice addition to your collection that not so many cats remember…-Eric
Being one of the frontrunners to combine both elements of Hip Hop & Jazz, Guru’s “Jazzmatazz Vol.I” remains one of my favorites paired against the likes of releases from Buckshot LeFonque, Justice System and Ghetto Phillharmonic to name a few. With an extremely impressive lineup (Roy Ayers, Brandford Marsalis, N’Dea Davenport(Brand New Heavies),etc.)”Jazzmatazz Vol.I” was released in the summer of 1993 influencing numerous acts to try to emulate Guru’s winning formula….”Buhloone Mind State” or “Blowout Comb” anyone?? Of course, Guru has always been heavily Jazz influenced to begin with…for Christ sakes he had Primo on the boards!…plus he was just coming off the heels of “Daily Opertation” which was one of the most blunted, dustiest, jazziest Hip Hop albums ever released as far as I’m concerned. I believe that “Trust Me” which also featured the soothing vocal stylings of the Brand New Heavies’ N’Dea Davenport (surprisingly, she co-produced “Trust Me” as well). Man, I remember hearing that (Trust Me) on the box while workin‘ a hot-ass Saturday afteroon at Sunoco on the Pennsylvania Turnpike during the summer of my Junior year in High School, I almost fell outta’ my chair! Overall “Jazzmatazz Vol. I” seemed to keep me in tune a whole lot more than it’s follow up “Vol.2″ (that album could’ve stood to lose just a few tracks), clocking in 12 tracks deep there is not much wastage, but the album (“Vol.I”) is long on quality cuts. I also loved “Transit Ride” which is capped off by a wonderful sax solo by Brandford Marsalis and “Sights In The City”…which for some odd reason has been getting quite a few plays from me as of late. Don’t get it twisted, Guru has never been the dopest on the mic but by his on admission “It’s Mostly Tha‘ Voice” and until some of his more recent solo efforts he had always been one of my favs. Listening to “Jazmatazz Vol.I” yesterday made me wish that Hip Hop would go back to the days off jazz rap when the Digable Planets, GangStarr, and “Buhloone Mind State” where holding down the East Coast instead of seeing the Ying Yang Twins, Dipset & Mims plastered all over the tube’ and polluting every “urban” radio station. Guru’s “Jazzmatazz Vol.I” is far from classic, but it will succeed in providing you & your’s with a dope soundtrack to a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon….especially in the summertime..-Eric
- Jesus, does Black Thought do a DEAD ON impersonation of Kool G Rap & Big Daddy Kane on “Boom!” from The Roots’ 2004 release “The Tipping Point” or what? If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear it was actually Kane & G Rap…good sh*t!
- When I clicked on HipHopSite.com today (for about the first time in a year or so), Why did I see new releases from Amerie, T-Pain, Lily Allen & Chrisette Michelle (the chick who sung the hook on Nas‘ “Can’t Forget About You” & Jay’s “Lost Ones”)?…is Hip Hop hurtin‘ that bad???
- Why did Dan Love of “FromDaBricks” completely steal my thunder from my “Sample Appreciation” posts with his “FromDaBricks” goes Loop Diggin‘ posts this week and then proceed to give out my secret resource for “break diggin“?. Just Playin‘ , he did put up some pretty dope reads this week that I thoroughly enjoyed….check em’ out HERE…Good sh*t Dan!
- I’ve never been a big Linkin Park fan, but I did think that Fort Minor’s “The Rising Tied” was pretty decent. So tell me, with production from Rick Rubin (Jay, Run DMC, The Beasties) is Linkin Park’s new album worth checking out?
- Damn, with more and more Hip Hop related blogs poppin‘ off daily (this comin‘ from a “New Jack” who’s only been in the business for 3 months) and originality being quite sparse. Two newcomers have caught my eye this past week (I really need to free up some time this weekend and check out more of the newer sites as well) …my man Animal Mother is off to a great start with his new site And It’s Still All Good and another newbie ILLustrious is coming on strong with his blog Time4SumAksion (lovin‘ the 12″ drops as well!)…Keep it up fellas!
- I lost a bid on EBAY this weekend for the complete “full year” 1995 & 1996 back issues of The Source (It actually went for $50.00), but I was able to pick up a full year of 1995 RapPages back issues for only $20.00. BTW, I haven’t picked up an XXL or Source in years. Any recommendations for some decent Hip Hop magazines that fly under the radar?
- An open letter to Mike Dikk of Dumpin.Net: Here’s the deal Mike, by now you’re probably like “Where the fu*k is my music?”…Long story short, my wife was supposed to mail em’ out early last week….it just so happens that we traded in her vehicle with the CD’s still in our trade -in…Thankfully, the dude who sold us her new ride grabbed em’ out and called me today…I got em’ and I’ll putting em’ in next day air tomorrow morning. BTW, where the hell is my “Top 25″ for the month? I’ve been feenin‘ for that sh*t all week!! Seriously, thanks for your patience man and I appreciate the header.
- Will anyone actually purchase, download or even give 50′s new album a listen when it drops? I saw his new videos for “Straight To The Bank” and “Amusement Park” by accident this week and Man….both of those tracks are horrible….I’m not big on 50 anyway but “Ski Mask Way” (R.I.P. Disco D) was my sh*t.
- I’m actually bummin‘ today….For about the first week in a month or so, none of the new releases I checked out from Bossplayer or HHB blew me away this week. Oh well, there’s still Uncut Raw’s “First Toke” to heal my fix. BTW, I’ve gotten numerous e-mails of discussion regarding “First Toke” stating “ahhh, it sounds too much like MF Doom” or “Damn, the sound quality is horrible” or “It’s just tooo RAW”. Admittedly, I’ve never been that much of a “Doomer” either and I can see where the comparisons are drawn from but “First Toke” along with “Bayani” are definitely in my t
op 3 or so this year.
- On the other hand, a great week and a half or so for some “major label underground artists” as most of us have gotten our hands on advances of both “Ear Drum” & “Desire”. The Jury is still out on which may be the more cohesive piece of work. I think Pharaohe’s joint is pretty original but Talib’s “Ear Drum” will blow your fuck*in’ speakers! I don’t know who engineered “Ear Drum” but damn you’ll be able to hear it for blocks!