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THOUGHTS

by Eric on July 28, 2007

Hmmmm, while I was looking forward to hearing Keith Murray’s leak “Rap Murr Phobia”, at the same time I’ve been somewhat hesitant just based on his subpar performance on his last two (“It’s A Beautiful Thing” & “He’s Keith Murray”) releases. While the single with Tyrese on the hook (“Nobody Do It Better”) is a nice little ditty, it’s the only track that I’ve let play out on “Rap-Murr-Phobia” thus far as the beat is somewhat reminiscent of Murray’s first single “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World”. I don’t know man, I may be an old soul but I do miss the day’s of the production found on Erick Sermon’s “Double Or Nothing”, Redman’s “Dare Iz A Darkside” & Murray’s aforementioned “Most Beautifullest…” & even “Enigma” (although, I still ranked it as a “sophomore slump” for Murray). The production on this album ranks somewhere between the production that can be found on Redman’s…….Jesus, that album was so forgettable I can’t even remember the album’s title…(as I return from checking discogs)…ahhh, “Red Gone Wild” & Method Man’s “4:21 The Day After”). I don’t’ want to completely write this one of yet, and by no means am I trying to spoil your listening adventure with “Rap-Murr-Phobia”. It’s just that I have mentioned on numerous occasions that my “DJ’s ear” gets the best of me sometimes and after skimming through this album nothing has grabbed me at all! If you missed out on the leak you can find it HERE (BTW, this dude has been killing it lately!!)

Wow, score “When They Reminisce” a late pass with this one! If you’ve never heard Deep Rooted’s “The Second Coming” your missing out! I will warn you though….I’ve always been a sucker for old soul samples and trunk rattling bass knocks (see: Ill Poetic, Pete Rock, Nicolay, Illmind, Khrysis and on occasion 9th Wonder) along with an “R & B chick” on the hook. All that can be found (matter of fact there are soothing vocals…compliments of Brea that supply the hook to nearly all 17 tracks on “The Second Coming”) on “The Second Coming”. While I know very little about emcee Mr. Brady & DJ/Producer Johazz, they must have been doing something right for the likes of One Be Lo, Oh No, Planet Asia & Abstract Rude (whom all make appearances on the album) to co-sign them. If you only listen to one track from the album make it the One Be Lo featured “Break Of Dawn”. With it’s breezy production and a scene stealing verse from 1/2 of Binary Star this song truly represents “feel good music”. On the other hand, if your one of those dudes that stays angry at the world for a better portion of the day…bypass this one, for this album is the perfect soundtrack to those beautiful mid-summer evenings that our commonplace during this time of the year. Just beware, because even with me I found the “R & B hook” quite redundant around the album’s closing. Still, it’s good enough for W.T.R.’s stamp of approval. Check out “The Second Coming” HERE.

Prime example #2 of “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Yeah, I know what is probably going through your mind right now. “What in the hell is this Electronica album doing on ‘W.T.R.’??”. Those were my sentiments exactly (just replace ‘W.T.R.’ with “EFFICENCY“) this morning when I came across the cover art for Eternia’s new mixtape/album “Where I’m At-The Setup” at my new source for brand new “underground” stuff..EFFICIENCY. Before I even downloaded Eternia’s “Where I’m At-The Setup” I made damn sure to click on the MySpace link provided below the album’s post to ensure that I wasn’t wasting my time. Needless to say, while surfing Eternia’s MySpace page I came across the video for “Struggle” featuring Wordsworth and Kenn Starr (whose “Starr Status” was one of my favorite albums from 06′). Featuring a Primo-esque beat (I have yet to discover who produced this but I’m telling you it’s a “deadringer” for Primo) and the always on point Words, Eternia (who sounds like a more lyrically adept Angie Martinez) more than holds her own amongst the likes of two of the underground’s finest over an extremely ill production. Again, I listened to this album while working out this morning so I don’t feel comfortable giving this one any more pub…but the album is in a “mixtape” format..so out of the 26 tracks, more than half really caught my attention. I know that M-Phazes (who also sounds like a deadringer for Khrysis & 9th Wonder) did some of the beats on “Where I’m At”. Do yourself a favor and check out the video for “Struggle” HERE, I can can almost guarantee that you’ll be just as impressed as I was. Also, the mixtape/album features guest slots from the aforementioned artists along with Polyrhythm Addicts….oh shit, I just let her myspace page play out while typing this and heard “Nowhere, No More” featuring Torae and it is actually produced by 9th Wonder!!!…Damn, that’s a real nice track from 9th! Anyway, this album is definitely worth checking out and that’s comin‘ from someone who only considers Jean Grae as the only reputable female emcee in the game right now. Plus, Eternia is pretty damn easy on the eyes and that’s always a good thing!! Hit me back with your take on “Where I’m At….”

Damn, now this is frustrating!! If you read my THOUGHTS for last week you more than likely came across my take on Moka Only’s 2007 release “Vermillion“. As I mentioned, “Vermillion” featured some incredibly dope production (very Ummah ish, Dilla-esque) with some not so incredible lyricism. Even as big as a production junky that I am, you can only overlook verbal “nonsense” on the mic so often. Also, after Jaz @ ColdRockDaSpot brought to my attention that Moka seems to release an album every Full Moon or so he’s now back with his newest “leak” “Airport”. Now, for starters is that the worst cover art you’ve ever seen?? I dare you to one up me on this one folks….damn Moka..ever heard of “PhotoShop??!!! Here’s where my frustration really sets in…the album’s production is once again fairly decent with each track falling between 2 and 3 minutes in length…..very sonic, bass heavy production once again. The obvious Dilla influence can be found wihin Moka’s production, but it’s also evident that he’s been listening to “Welcome 2 Detroit” and “Champion Sound” as well because Moka really sounds like Dilla on the mic. On that note, didn’t Black Thought state that Dilla was the “best producer on the mic” on “Game Theory”? Uhhhh…….no!! Anyway, like I said the production is once again worth a listen (see “It’s Done Pt. II” for a teaser), but as a recommendation…Moka stick to dropping instrumental joints from here on out! Peep “Airport” HERE

After watching the teaser video for Madlib’s new instrumental LP “Beat Konducta Vol.III:Live In India” on YouTube earlier this week I decided to go “blog hunting” in search of the newest instrumental LP from Quasimoto’s alter ego. Well, after about a half an hour of searching I finally found it! (hit me up, if you want a link). Listening to the previously leaked Oh No’s (Madlib’s younger brother) “Dr No’s Oxpirement” and L-I-B’s “Vol III:Live In India” back to back, it’s hard to disagree that there may very well be a hint of sibling rivalry taking place here between the two. Also, something that I found very interesting is that both of the album’s have a heavy “Indian” (sh*t, I guess that’s the correct terminology) influence sprinkled within each track that can become quite annoying on both albums. Still, if I had to chose one it would without a doubt be Oh No’s “Dr.No’s Oxpierement” as each track will beat the hell outta’ your trunk. The Madlib joint…while still very good doesn’t possess the sound quality the Oh No’s album does. I mean, the dustiness of the “Live In India” may serve you very well, but I’m all for sound quality, clarity and good engineering and “Dr. No’s Oxpierement” carries all of the above very well.

Here’s my abbreviated take on the new release from Common “Finding Forever: In a nutshell…I’m really sitting on the fence with this one folks. For the first time in recent memory, I can’t decide if I like the album or can just write it off. Let’s start with the highlights….”The People” has been killin‘ the airwaves for a bit now and as I’ve mentioned before it has grown on me significantly. Devo Springsteen (who also co-produced Kanye’s “Diamonds”) kills it with the Nina Simone sampled “Misunderstood”. The Kanye featured & produced “Southside” does sound a bit dated (due to the overused Kanye drums that seem to appear on all his guest productions) but still is a quality track..if you could only overlook Kanye spewing “South, South, South, South, South” every two seconds. Also, of note is is the haunting “Start The Show”, which features an incredible loop for the chorus and changes pace to let Common spit a decent sixteen. The thing that gets me is the praise that “Drivin‘ Me Wild” has been receiving lately….Man, that joint is HORRIBLE!! Who said “Hey Com, let’s put Lilly Allen on the hook”…..wrong move! The blatant “crossover” attempt falls way short of it’s initial intent. Another misstep is the Will I Am produced “I Want You”, which is even softer than “Come Close” off of Common’s “Electric Circus”….but hey it’s done by Will I Am (aside from Nas’ “Can’t Forget About You” I’m really not to hip on his beats). Oh, and didn’t we hear “So Far To Go” (featuring D’Angelo) almost two years ago on “The Shining”?? C’mon dude! It’s sorta’ like Good vs. Evil or the Yin and the Yang. Sorry everyone, I just can’t call it!!!

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{ 8 comments }

Travis July 29, 2007 at 1:04 am

Still haven’t heard either Common or Keith Murray. I mean Lily Allen??? C’mon. And I agree 100% with what you had to say about Erick Sermons production since about Muddy Waters. It’s just this cookie cutter crap. So yeah, not exactly excited about hearing it really.

Never been a fan of Moka Only or Swollen Members, but I’ll check it out.

I’d much rather listen to Oh No most of the time over Madlib. I’ve never been the biggest Madlib fan.

SniperInTheMist July 29, 2007 at 1:46 am

how anyone can call ‘enigma’ by keith murray a ‘sophomore slump’ is beyond me. Its a well solid album.

If you’re still looking about at Moka Only’s output, I’d recommend ‘Lime Green’. Its the same feel as some of his other stuff (naturally) but I think as an album its just more well put together.

Totally agree with you on the common album. Its very ’3 out of 5′. A few great tracks, a few poor ones, the rest ‘…’.

axe. July 29, 2007 at 7:24 am

I really like the new Keith Murray but I’ve always been a huge fan. Is it just me or is Moka getting to be like a lost member of Bone Thugs releasing these ten cd’s a year. I wish he would focus on getting back to Lime Green instead of treading water on the stuff he puts out recently. And the new Common I am feeling but I also really feel Electric Circus and a lot of folks thought it was wack.

Dan Love July 29, 2007 at 9:59 am

Eric,

No thoughts on ‘Electrify’? Damn, I thought I’d left a real impression on you there!

I’m gonna give that Common a go this afternoon, although I gotta say I’m not expecting much.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend buddy,

Dan

Mike Dikk July 29, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Regarding the sound quality on the Madlib LP:

Unless you found some secret leak of the actual CD (if you did, hook me up!), you probably have the same vinyl rip I do. I’m sure once the entire CD comes out in a few weeks, the sound will be a lot better.

9@home July 29, 2007 at 10:55 pm

Common: The Game. Nuff said. That really convinced me he still has it.

Eternia: G’dayum, yay! Her flow and voice is sick! (And she’s Canadian! *gasp*) I’ma be bumpin this all day tomorrow. Thanks a lot.

9@home July 29, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Oh, btw. “Struggle” was made by Tone Mason, also from Canada.

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Tone+Mason

They’re a bit under the radar, but definitely dope. Before I knew, I’d've guessed it was J-Zone on acid. Sounds like some shit he’s done (e.g. “Not me” for Wordsworth), but three times more layers. Dope track, fa sho.

rag July 30, 2007 at 1:41 am

that new keith murray is weak.

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