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by Travis on July 9, 2007

Sunday/Monday Lite

Summertime is in full effect and we are officially entering the second half of the year. It’s crazy how fast time seems to go when you get older. I hope all my American cronies had a great Fourth of July. I spent the day drinking a 12 pack of Coors Light and eating a small cow worth of hamburgers. The first month of summer has been uneventful, which is either good or bad. The Slushy Gutter Summer challenge has kept things some what interesting and made for some loooong Friday nights, but nothing horribly exciting you expect from summer yet. No crazy ass camping trips resulting in staying up until 7am. No 32-hour drinking binges resulting in one hell of a game of mud volleyball or drunken float trips down the Boise river, like pictured up above. Still two months left though and a couple out of town trips coming up, so I’m not too worried.


Top 30 Songs for the First Half Of ‘07

I never pass up a chance to be the blogger nerd that I am and put together a list. This one is probably a month late, but I’ve been sitting on it for awhile, mainly because I either forget about it or didn’t have the time to properly post it up. There have been some quality songs this year, I will say that about the year. I had a tough time putting this list together and the top three songs are good enough to be number one in many of the past years.

30. Closer – Ty featuring Maceo
I first listened to this song after Glenn aka Yeedo (where you at?) told me I had to hear this song. Admittedly, it’s a great song although I know next to nothing about the artist. I did notice that another blog had something about Ty and the album this joint appeared on, but I can’t remember which one, but I think I might need to hear the whole album if it is anything like this song.

29. Time Flies – OK Cobra
I have this theory that it’s tougher to objectively judge music when you have personal connections with the artist, even if it is only a few emails every month or so. This joint is from one such person, Ryan Sommers aka Fritz the Cat and his group OK Cobra. I listened to his album, which good in its own right, but after I was done, this song stuck in my head for the next three days. It’s not a traditional hip-hop song, but it sounds like something you would expect from someone who idolizes Divine Styler. It has a certain alternative rock feel to it, which might be why I like it so much. It’s not for everyone, but for those of you with more of an open mind when it comes to their music, you might like this one.

28. Keep It Coming – Senim Silla
I’ve sang praises about this album for the past month or so, it’s one of my “big four”, a group of four albums I’ve been playing the shit out of this year. This was the second song that I fell in love with, the first being “For The Record” which made my list for ’06. Certain songs just stick out to me, maybe it’s a certain “type” and this one fits that “type”. Silla comes hard on the mic, the beat is simple and so is the chorus, but maybe that’s why I like it so much.

27. Let Me Hear U Clap – DJ Jazzy Jeff feat Pos
This track is sort of like “Smile A Lil’ Bit “ from one of my favorite albums last year, Oh No’s “The Exodus of Unheard Rhythms”. The track features a solo Posdnus from De La. Pos is an ill ass MC, that I think some people forget simply because of the greatness that is De La as a group. The song employs a bouncy beat while Pos basically praises the greatness that is DJ Jazzy Jeff.

26. Weapon X – X Clan
Forget that I lost all respect for this group for touring with ICP (who I despise with all the good taste I have in my body), I love this joint. The song is definitely a throw back and probably nothing groundbreaking, but anytime you have a fuzzy bassline and an organ in a beat, you are going to catch my attention.

I think this album sucked worse than their first album (may lightning for the hip-hop gods strike me down now), but this joint is just some good ole boom bap hip hop. If only the rest of the album sounded like this.

24. Whatcha’ Got – Brother Ali
As much as Brother Ali’s voice grates on my ear drums after awhile, his first song on an album always sounds the best. Throw in a dope Ant beat and I like this song a lot. If you ever want to make a song that Trav likes, throw some guitars (use them wisely) and you’ll usually have me hooked.

23. Loyalty – Blue Scholars
As you’ll soon see, this album had a huge impact on me. There a lot of songs on it that I love, including the three on this list and a new song from that album that has been in my play a lot this week (The Distance). I know Eric at WTR has this ranked higher and give it more props than I have, but I still think it’s great, although I think 9th Wonder freaked the sample better.

22. Brooklyn Bullshit – Joell Ortiz
I guess when I piss and moan about the state of hip-hop, I’m bitching about the straight up from the inner-city New York hip-hop. Let’s face it, a lot of the New York hip-hop isn’t what it used to be. I hate saying that, because to me, a raw New York beat by a dope New York MC is hip-hop and nothing will ever be like that. It’s the CENTER or the starting point that all other hip-hop originates from. It’s great to have hip-hop being diverse and having different kinds of music, but if you lose the recipe for the original, soon the music loses its identity. This is what I’m talking about when I mention straight up raw New York hip-hop. It’s great to hear that some MC’s from NY still have that hunger and desire and are not trying to be from the south or whatever is hot out. Keep that NY flavor, it’s birthplace of the culture and the music.

21. Mac 10 Handle – Prodigy
I was a little put off by the unoriginal beat for this at first. As much as I tried to dismiss it, Prodigy fits this track so well. It’s another example of quality NY hip-hop. I still don’t care for the rest of the album/mix tape though.

20. Smithereens – El-P
As much as I’ve declared my love for the El-P album, this is the only song that made the list. It’s more of an album that is best heard as a complete project other than i
ts individual pieces. I know a lot of visitors to this site think El-P sucks, and I used to, or maybe I still do, but just like the album. Chaos and mayhem for a beat and a catchy hook, and this comes in as my favorite from the album.

19. Y’all Should Get Lynched – Nyoil
Regardless if it’s Kool Kim or not or if it was released at the end of last year or the controversial message, this is a ballsy song that sounds good doing it. I know some artists would do a song like this simply for the shock value, but the feeling I get from it is that Nyoil actually truly feels this way, which I’ve thought many times, at least when it comes to the musical topics. It’s just good that someone had the courage to come out and say it. Makes me curious to hear the album.

18. I Can’t Win – Pack FM
I slept so hard on this album last year. It wasn’t until this past spring that I really got into it. I really like the QN5 family, which Pack is apart of. I also tend to follow the careers of MC’s that I’ve seen live, which I saw Pack open for Masta Ace a couple years ago. I can’t remember who produced this track, but it got stuck in my head. I also dig the message Pack delivers since, it basically sounds like the last 10 years of my life or so.

17. Sound the Alarm – Black Milk feat Guilty Simpson
I would swear that J Dilla produced this track. It was beats like this that made me love Dilla so much, so naturally although it’s a Black Milk beat (supposedly) it was my favorite track from the “Popular Demand” album. Is it just me, or does Guilty Simpson sound like Beanie Seigel to anyone elese?

16. Kegstand Poetry – Storm Davis
This was released last year, but I like this song too much to not including on this year’s list since I just discovered the album this spring. It will probably be written off as white hipster music (read Sage Francis wannabe), but I’ve sung a long with this joint way too much not to fall in love with it. Any song that I can learn the words to now a days deserves some love. Plus it involves two of my favorite things, baseball (the original Storm Davis was a pitcher for the Orioles and Royals in the 80’s) and drinking.

15. Maps – The Pacifics & Illmind
I gave this EP/album some spins for a couple of weeks, and while I liked it, it never went longer than that. About a month ago, I had a beat and a chorus going through my head, but couldn’t figure out what it was for the life of me. At first I thought it was a Kanye joint, but no dice. Then I was playing some albums and played this again and this song came on and I realized it had been this song that had been stuck in my mind. Ever since then, I’ve been playing this song daily.

14. Fuck You Mean – Pack FM, Slug & Brother Ali
“Nerd Rap” lovers rejoice! Not many people mentioned Domingo’s album, which isn’t all that bad, but the horn sample on this joint is freakin’ amazing! If this doesn’t get you out of your seat, nothing will.

13. Still Got Love – Blue Scholars
This is the second song from the “Bayani” album. Good message, good beat, just a great song that get stuck in your head for a long time.

12. Leon Phelps – Juggaknots
We all know this was the album that I’ve pimped harder than most other bloggers. It’s release date and the fact I slept on it until earlier this year leaves all the songs to be grouped in this years list. I’m not even sure who Leon Phelps was, but this beat just catches me. The fact that Breezly Brewin’ has one of my favorite flows in hip-hop and this song, along with the whole album was in my headphones for a long time.

11. Home – Ill Poetic
All I know is Ill Poetic should hire Eric at WTR to be his publicist or promoter, because I probably would have missed this album and song all together if wasn’t for him. The first song from his album is my favorite, “Home” (not to be confused with “Hoe” that it’s labeled as on the album I downloaded to check out the album) is more “grown folk” music that is great to throw on while I write or try to clean the apartment.

10. Classic (Nike Air Force One) – Kanye, Nas & Krs One
This was the hot shit on the internet for about a week, then I haven’t heard it mentioned again. Regardless, it’s always stuck on my playlists. I could do without the Kanye verse, but Primo more than makes up for that miscue along with Nas, who always sounds 100x better on a Primo beat than he does on anyone elses and this is just a great cut. To bad they didn’t kick off Kanye and put Rakim on this one.

9. Best Kept Secret – Little Brother
The prime example why I’m not worried about Phonte and Pooh not having 9th Wonder in their corner is this cut right here. It’s produced by RJD2, who for the most part, I can’t stand. But every once in awhile he’ll drop a beat like “Seasons” and shock the fuck out of me. He did it here. Sure it’s a simple drum battern and a guitar sample, but it makes Phonte sound hungry as fuck on it.

8. Second Chapter – Blue Scholars
It might be an overgrown intro, but since it contains one of the illest beats I’ve EVER heard, it gets a nod for the list. It’s a great way to lead into an album, because this catches your attention and will make you drop whatever you are doing to take notice.

7. Pretty Baby – Buff1
I’m not sure where the sample is from, maybe someone like Scholar or one of the wax diggers can fill me in, but it works well in a song. Again, a good message makes a song that I played 4-5 times a day for 3 weeks straight.

6. 30 Something – Juggaknots

This is my new theme song. I love the sprinkling of piano keys this song contains. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve closed my head and nodded away to this joint. The only thing though, I always felt that Sadat X was kind of out of place on this track.

5. Marquee – Marco Polo feat OC
Some more of that classic NY hip-hop I was talking about earlier. This is a classic joint to me. Those chimes are straight out of Buckwild’s book, Marco does a hellva impression. OC is the epitome of an MC as he just straight rushes right through the track. Sounds like it could have came out in 94 to me, I miss shit like this.

4. Hit ‘Em! – Royce Da 5’9
Primo brings out the best in MC’s like Bigge, Nas, Jay and Royce. I think Royce is one of the best when he is cru
shing MC’s over a Primo beat. More of the “Real Hip-Hop” flavor even if Royce is outta D-Town (Detroit). Number one song last year, number four song far this year…hmmmmm.

3. Mr. Slow Flow – Evidence
Organs? Check. A fuzzy and dirty bassline? Check. How can I not like this song then? Evidence isn’t the best MC, but he can sound pretty ill over the right beats and this is one. Thanks to whoever pointed out that Sid Roams is Joey Chavez, makes a little more sense.

2. Can’t Forget About You – Nas
Looking back at “Hip Hop Is Dead”, it’s actually not all that bad. I know, I bitc

hed and moaned about it, but I enjoyed more than his past few releases. “Can’t Forget About You” is by far the best joint from the album though. I’m usually against singing on the chorus on any rap song, but it works from time to time and it works really well with this joint. Sure, maybe the concept is a little played out by now, but it’s the best “Hip-Hop is/was someone” joint since “I Used To Love HER”.

1. Nostalgia – Marco Polo Feat Masta Ace
Did you really think it would be anything but this song? I mean, c’mon, did you really? You had to know before you even got to the number one spot that this song had to be number one. It’s Ace for one, secondly, it’s just a great song.

Big Thanks….

Goes out to guys at Lord of Vice Wear for the dope Geto Boys T-Shirt they sent to me last week. The shirt has an image of the “We Can’t Be Stopped” album cover on the front, the one with Bill holding in his eye more or less. It’s not one of those thr own together shirts, but a quality t-shirt with a quality image on it. Good stuff. For those into the darker side of hip-hop should defiantly check out their site and their Tees.

New EMC Track & Video EXPERTS MAKIN’ CLASSICS!!!!

My most anticipated album of the year has to be the eMC project that is supposed to drop sometime this year (fingers crossed). For those of you out of the loop, eMC consists of Wordsworth, Punchline, Strick and the Masta himself, Masta Ace. Well the quintet is dropping a mix tape in the near future being mixed by someone close to WYDU itself and a prelude to that mix tape is a couple of new tracks on the groups Myspace page. This is some quality stuff, so check it out with the quickness! WHAT IT STAND FOR!!! The Video is also up there, and the track is there for download as well, so get that shit!

Trav’s Top Spins For The Week

1. Blu & Exile – Below The Heavens

I gave this album a listen when the advance was leaked. Although I liked it, for whatever reason, I kind of forgot about it. That was until the official release was finally out and an internet/blog buzz surrounded it again. I gave it another listen and low and behold, some of the songs really stuck to me. Exile’s “Dirty Science” was a top 5 album for me last year and one of my favorite songs on that album was the one with Blu, so I guess I should have paid more attention to this release originally. I’m really diggin’ it more the second time around, with “My World Is…”, “Cold Hearted”, “No Greater Love”, “Blu Colla Worker” and “Soul Amazin’” being my favorites so far on the album.

2. Junk Science – Feeding Einstein
This is an album from 2005 that I had only heard one song from, but finally tracked down a copy of it and have been enjoying it ever since. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but it’s good enough to contain some songs that catch my ear and make me crave to hear them everyday, so I can’t complain.

3. My Big Four (Senim Silla, Buff1, Blue Scholars, and Ill Poetic)
I’ll just list them as this from now one since they are always getting play these days, although the Buff1 has cooled down a little.

4. Brand Nubian – One For All
The Brian Coleman book “Check The Technique” strikes

again and makes me pull out an album from my boxes to reminisce about. Last week it was “Enta Da Stage”, this week it’s Brand Nu’s “One For All”. I’ve al
ways kind of slept on this album in some ways. I remember I didn’t buy it for a while after it was released for some reason, I guess because I wasn’t crazy about “Slow Down” and the Edie Bickell sample used (I like the song now). It wasn’t until The Source magazine named it on it’s year-end list and it was one of two albums I didn’t own that I went out and bought it. Well, I also bought “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” by Black Sheep at the same time. Needless to say, Black Sheep won out in the struggle for walkmen time. I would later revisit the album and came to appreciate its greatness. This time I pulled out and gave it some good listens and really came to love the production on the album, which I would dare to stay was almost ground breaking at the time and kind of leads into the transformation of the 92-94 part of the Golden Age.

5. Decompoze – Decomposition
This another album that I revisited that might have even been on this list before. Decompoze is down with One Be Lo and Senim Silla and that whole clique and even had a song that made my top 100 list last year (Brand Nu). Since I’ve been fascinated with the Senim Silla album, which Decompoze did a lot of the production for, I figured I better pull this little gem out again. People who like that whole Binary flavor will dig this as well.

WHY??????

Why am I excited to see the Home Run contest during the MLB all-star break more so than usual? Anything with Vlad Guerrero, Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard in it sounds good to me.

Why, speaking of baseball, did I pull out MLB 2K5 over the weekend and have a great time playing it? Make me think I probably should have bought a copy of the new one.

Why did I finally kick the soda pop habit? After polishing off 5 cans or more of pop (usually Coke) at work (we get it for free), I’ve finally got it to a couple cans a week after I discovered Lipton Cold Brew Ice Tea bags. Now I’m drinking ice tea like its going out of style with no sugar, but it’s a lot healthier than Coke. I’m still a caffeine junky though.

Why, although blondes are not really my type, I’d throw it in Jenny McCarthy with the quickness.

Why are they going to need an EPA permit if they ever have to cremate the remains of Pamela Anderson…stupid whore.

Why is formatting blogger a bitch sometimes? I still don’t have rhyme or reason why it does what it does half the time

Why do I always forget about early DJ Muggs stuff when it comes to dope producers? The self titled Cypress album sounds like the Bomb Squad smoked a bunch of spliffs or something.

Why do I have the feeling we won’t be seeing the new Raekwon anytime soon?

Why don’t I believe that the new Wu is coming out this summer…yeah right.

Why do I hate that Gym Class Hero song so damn much?

Why does Jay Z sound soooo out of place on the “Rehab” remix with Amy Winehouse?

Why did I hear the for mentioned song on an adult contemporary local radio station and the 50 something DJ praising how great the song is?

Why do I keep getting beat down when trying to play pocket Aces during my local poker binges?

Why is it everytime I think Andre from Outkast is coming back to his roots that he conjures up some bullshit like a soundtrack for a Cartoon Network show?

Why did the Philadelphia Phillies run out on to the field Sunday at Coors Field to help the grounds crew put the tarp on the field during strong winds and a rain delay while the Rockies were nowhere to be found?

Why did I laugh during the rain delay when a grounds crew member was drug across the field like he was being pulled by a speeding vehicle?

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