I usually do this stuff on the end of my Weekend Lite, this week with the mass quantity of material sent my way, I just held off on it. I didn’t need one post taking up a weeks worth of posts on the screen. If that makes sense. Probably not, but I just figured it needed broken up. Once again, I’m going to try to keep this kind of thing weekly, but you know how that turns out. Plus I fucked around and got one of those 9 to 5 job thingys again. Don’t ask me why, I was fully happy with doing nothing but blogging, working on some top secret government stuff, and basically being a bum. But I guess I’m not “big” enough to make a living off of blogging and the couple hundred bucks the past couple months didn’t hardly pay for my music purchasing habits, let alone my beer drinking habits. So back to the grind for me. At first I was worried it might take some time away I spend on the blog and my other projects I have going, but then I realized that while I’ve been stretched pretty thin lately, I’ve been HORRIBLE at managing my time. Simply because I’ve had too much of it. It seemed like I was getting more done on this thing when I was working a regular 9 to 5 (of course it helped when I spend copious amounts of time at my old job working on this, I doubt this new job will be like that). So we’ll see what this new job thingy does to my time, hopefully it just kicks me in the ass and I manage my time and projects a little better.
Enough of the chit chat……
Top Spins (for the week of Feb 18-24)
Little explanation since this has been absent for awhile, these aren’t my favorite albums of the week, just the ones I listen to the most. Now a lot of the times, they’ll be one in the same, but sometimes when I’m struggling to find an albums “voice”, I’ll play it more than I would normally play an album.
There are a nice core of albums I have playing these days. Kind of reminds me of last summer when I had “Below The Heavens”, “Pure”, “Bayani”, and the Senim Silla album all playing in pretty much constant rotation. I like when an album is enjoyable enough that I can get to “know it”, get familiar with it, and that’s exactly what I’m doing with the first three albums on the list.
1. Nicolay & Kay – Time:Line
The year 2008 has it’s first great album (I’m saying that because it’s been “officially” released) as Nicolay and Kay create a great album in my ears. The concept of a life long “time line” comes together beautifully as the music sounds like it could come from different eras, yet the album still retains it cohesiveness. Joints like “I’ve Seen Rivers” reminds me of a young five year old in my Dads tracks listening to the radio station in the late 70′s. “Through The Wind” sounds like it could have been on a Steve Miller Band album. “Tight Eyes” has that 80′s new wave feel to it. It’s a brilliant album in my opinion, something that I think will rank up there with “Connected” as my favorite albums of the decade. I’ve seen some knocks on Kay’s performance, but I think he holds it down alright, I even kind of like his style on the mic. I can see this being one of my favorites easily for the year.
2. eMC – The Show
Since it’s not “officially” released yet, I won’t crown it as the other great album of the year so far, but when it is, it would be. Confusing, yeah probably, but needless to say, this album has been a roller coaster for me. The first night I think I listened to it four times. And I loved it. Over the weekend, the feeling stayed the same. Then after the excitement wore off and I got past the rose colored glasses I was wearing, I started seeing the flaws associated with the album. Some choruses are weak, some of the beats could be better, minor things, but when you have some high expectations, sometimes a little scratch can look like a major gouge. So I kind of sat on it for a week or two and didn’t listen to it much. A couple weeks ago I started playing it again and was able to appreciate for what it is. Last Friday night, when my boy and I went out, both this and the Nicolay & Kay albums were getting major play in his car. Everything sounds so much better after a few brews.
3. Has-Lo – Fuck Has Day
This has been one of those jewels in the rough when it comes to stuff that has been sent to me to peep. I play this album daily, there is just that vibe that reminds me of the music that came out in ’94, but don’t sound dated. As an MC, Has is just……dope, for the lack of a better word. He’s just a straight up dope MC. I also like the production done on this EP,, the whole package just screams quality authentic hip hop. No quirky gimmicks, no trying to be something else, just straight up raw hip hop. I never thought I’d be saying I’d be happy to hear it, but in these days of disevolution, something that stays close to the traditional sound, it’s good to hear.
4. Akrobatik – Absolute Value
While this album may not be great, it’s solid and I’ve enjoyed listening to it. My first introduction to Ak was “Internet MC’s” back in 2000, which I thought was genius since I always hated those typing battles that I used to witness on the Yahoo Rap chatroom, when I used to visit back when I first learned about the internet in the late 90′s. I thought it was clever and rather truthful. Then for some reason, I just started viewing him as one of those artists that I just found kind of boring. I’m not really sure why, because I don’t think I really heard much from him from 2000 until the Perceptionists album dropped in 2005, which I really liked. Then came some pretty dope guest appearances and some interesting producers and guests on the promos for “Absolute Value” and this album has exceeded my expectations once again.
5. The Smile Rays – Party….Place
This album has been in constant rotation since December, which for me, to be around two months later, that is the mark of a good album. I’ve bragged a lot about the three man group consisting of Therapy, Daisy, and Batsauce, because I think they are a great group that creates great music. It’s kind of happy go lucky, which I think hip hop is sorely missing in this day of age. I get hooked on albums and I’ll play them half a year or more, it just doesn’t happen much, but this release is locked in for the long haul.
Trav’s Top 10 Joints (Feb 18-24)
1. Nicolay & Kay – Blizzard
The drums on is closer to the work he did on eMC’s “What It Stand For”, which I like hearing Nic do. Add the horns on top of that and this joint just really hooks me.
His album is starting to grow on me where every other day I have a different favorite song, but this is still my first favorite joint that usually ends up getting the “Repeat” treatment the most.
Different (and better beat) than what appeared on the new Pete Rock album. Along with Masta Ace and Wordsworth? Why wasn’t this version the album?
4. Akrobatik – Absolute Value
Yeah, I have this one here because of the J-Zone beat. It’s good to hear J behind the boards and Ak sounds good on his shit, would have liked to heard more.
I hope Wu-Tang hears this joint and sees how to use George on a joint. Some straight up funky music for your Alpines.
I’m letting the cat out of the bag for next weeks “Goodies From The Inbox”, but this joint is on some smooth, quiet storm, type of shit. And it sounds amazing and it’s not even finished all the way. I’ll save all the details for next weekend, but give this song a listen, only thing I would change on it is make it longer!!!!
7. Suzi Analogue – HandClap Rap
I’ll admit, this is for the beat too, although Suzi is starting to grow on me. Some dude named DJ SoulClap produced this. I don’t know much about him, but the beat is dope. For some reason though, I don’t think we’ll ever hear from this SoulClap character again. Kick them drums Clap!
8. eMC – Winds Of Change
This is just a great song all the way around. The strings make me want to close my eyes and just bob a long to the sweet sounds. Then of course you can’t really fault the lyrical performance of the four MC’s. It’s about time for a new song to start getting my attention as this was my first favorite song when I heard the album, but it’s still hanging on.
9. Guilty Simpson – I Must Love You
This joint grabbed me when I finally started playing the “Stray Bullets” podcast so when the album was “out for review”, it was my favorite joint. Man, I miss Dilla. The beat is so simple, but it makes the joint that much stronger.
I mentioned these cats at the beginning of the month and have been diggin’ their “Summer Sessions EP” since then. Backed by one of the better recent 9th Wonder beats, these cats show their potential as they kick great performances and crank out a great song. Check the song out on their myspace page.
Why does that new Rakim joint not excite me a whole lot?
Why do I think we’ll never hear that new Nas LP? He talks about it here
Why after bitching about downloads and selling MP3′s and then bitching about hiphopsite.com switching to digital format do I hear people bitching about the quality of the mp3′s they are selling? Any conformation on this?
Why do artists feel the need to make songs like “The Light 2008“. Why do you do a remake of one of your own songs? It just seems lazy to me. Then again, I do kind of dig this beat. But then the chorus kills it for me.
Why do I think it won’t come off as cool as it sounds? And why does it sound like an idea that would be better with the 1996 Duck Down and the 2000 Stones Throw?
Why do I think is that chick Rita G on Kayne’s “Flashing Lights” video my new “hot chick of the month”? Damn, watch the video and look at the picture….to quote Craig and Smokey on “Friday”, “Daaaaaaaaaaaayum”.
Why am I very disappointed in the new Pete Rock LP? The beats man, the beats……
Why does no one mention No ID as one of the best producers in Chicago…hell in the biz period? Good interview with him here.
Why do I have a baaaaaad feeling about that new Del album dropping soon?
Why did it take THAT long for MOP to leave G-Unit?