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Spins, Tracks, & Thoughts For The Week

by Travis on March 16, 2008

I told you it’d be hard to keep these little lists up and going on a regular basis, but here is another edition of spins, tracks and thoughts for the week. Doing a little backwards this weekend, with these going first and then the “Goodies From The Inbox” coming up later. Enjoy..

Top 10 Spins for the Week of March 9th

10. Pillowtalk Politiks – Not Preaching

I featured Pillowtalk Politiks’ EP last week as the “Editor’s Pick”, so you can get more info on them there or their myspace page, where you can also buy a download the full, mixed album. “Not Preaching” is my current favorite track from their self titled EP. Accompanied by a dope piano loop, the track is on some lovely, beautiful type of feel, that might turn off the hardrocks, but should impress the older folk that visit the page. The MC, Tigre Cole grows on you the more you listen to the groups work. Not a dazzling MC, but very capable behind the mic and suites Entity’s beats very well.

9. Has Lo – The Usual Way

The fact that I’ve been listening to Has Lo’s “The Usual Way” for over the past two and a half months says something about the song as well as Has’ EP, “Fuck Has Day”. If you haven’t checked out the EP or the track the multiple times it has appeared on WYDU, do yourself a favor and check it out this time.

8. Cunninlynguists – The Park

Yup, I’m still listening to “Dirty Acres” on the regular. I’ve mentioned in the past that if I like an album, I’ll keep it playing for a few months at least. Like “A Piece of Strange”, this album has spawned numerous “favorite songs” as time wears on. “The Park” happens to be the new fav. Kno demostrates why I personally think he is one of the best producers going right now. The music geniunelly lives up the it’s name as we are taken a way on a stream of strings and mellow bass lines. It conjures up visions of warm bright summer days hangin’ in the park while playing some volleyball and sippin’ some brews while waiting for the BBQ to finish up. The music is some on point that sometimes I swear I smell the burgers on the grill and feel the warmth of the sun. Thats some serious mood music there.

7. Father Jah – Don’t Be Afraid

More of the “advanced” south sound. Hailing out of Kentucky as well (he has Deacon The Villain guest on his album), he encompasses all the different sounds that can be found in the south, which might turn some people off. No fear though, Jah also has the likes of Dinco D on his album which just shows that there is a hodge podge of influences. As for this song, I don’t think it’s on the album, which is a shame, because it truly is a dope track. It might not be for everyone, but this song jumped out at me immediately when Father Jah himself sent me some tracks to check out. It has a sung chorus, which can be horrible when not done right, but this isn’t one of those cases. The beat is hooked up with a some nice percussion that really delivers the track into a melodic type of feel as Jah runs rampant over the beat. Dude is nice with his lyrically and really shines on this track.

6. Baje One – Pan In A Flash

The MC for Junk Science dropped a solo EP, which by the way can be had for FREE on the Def Jux site (god forbid if we post a link up to it ourselves) and “Pan In A Flash” is the lead off track. Produced by a dude that is starting to make some noise by the name of Therapy (of the Smile Rays and the AB’s, suckas, and you’ll be seeing more of him on this site in the near future) the track almost sounds J-Zoneish in nature as it’s kind of unorthodox, but shit is dope. A heavy horn sample is the highlight of the beat as Baje rhymes in his slow flow that almost sounds lazy in a way, but the dude truly posses some gifts lyrically.

5. Astonish – Can U Hear Me?

I posted up the video for Astonish’s “Can U Hear Me” and it really grabbed me. Produced by Chicago based The Molemen, you know the beat is one point with this one. Astonish shows us right off the bat that he has some skills on the mic as he kind of reminds me of some Native Tongue sounding flows and cadences. The hook is catchy as fuck as I’ve found myself singing it often over the past week. With the Molemen doing the beat, there isn’t much question about the quality of the beat as a soul sample blesses the track with a bluesy guitar loop that arms Astonish with the beat needed to provide what is becoming that trademark Chi-Town sound.

4. Atmosphere – Shoulda Known

I can hear some of you cussing me already for ruining a perfectly good post by posting up a Atmosphere’s newest leaked track, “Shoulda Known”. My response? Get over it. I’m not sure if this is an official single from their forthcoming LP, “When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold”, but we shall soon find out. The track has kind of grown on me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Ant’s beat on this. Ant has been very soulful on the last few albums he has done such as the Felt2 album, Brother Ali’s, and Atmosphere’s last album, but this album is heavily influenced by the synth sound as a fuzzy bassline dominates the tracks exsistence. I will say it’s catchy as fuck. The track is nothing mind blowing, but their catalog has the tendency to come off as just “ho-hum” with me at first but then I end up loving it, and this track is taking that same path.

3. Edreys – DUI (Dumb Under the Influence)

I love the old school feel on Edreys “DUI” track, but it still manages to stay fresh. The beat is fairly simple, with a drum track and a edgy guitar loop over the top of it and is really just a showcase for Edreys to run wild over the beat lyrically. Also hailing from Chicago and following the “sound” that Chicago is starting to be known for, Edreys has crafted up a winner with his first single. Now if I could just get a good Mp3 of the b-side, “I Like It”, he might just have two tracks up in the top 10. The track can be heard here.

2. Pete Rock – Til I Retire

The last time I did one of these types of posts, I made the mistake of mentioning that I was disappointed in the Pete Rock album “NY’s Finest”. A few of you wasted no time in basically calling me
crazy, which I’m fine with people not agreeing with me as long as people aren’t ignorant about it, which no one was. I will still stand by my original assertion of the album, as I’m still not overly impressed with it. Maybe that has to do with the fact that if it has Pete Rock’s name on it, I expect the highest quality and I don’t really think this is anything mind shattering. That being said, I do LOVE this track. A lot of people knock Pete for his rhyming skills, but I don’t really have a problem with his vocal skills. Sure, he isn’t going to be no CL Smooth on the mic, but he is much better than some of the so called “MC’s” out there. The beat sticks to Pete’s blueprint that he has been following since he stopped using the horns quite awhile ago. The whole package adds up to an ill song.

1. Fat Joe – That While (http://allhiphopsports.blogspot.com/2008/03/that-white-prod-by-dj-premier-fat-joe.html)

I’m not the biggest Fat Joe fan. I’ve never bought one of his albums, nor do I plan on it in the near future. But, when he gets my all-time favorite producer to do a track, best believe I’m going to give the track a listen. When my man Antone over at “Hip 2 Da Game” posted up “That White” I was blown away by the beat. Fat Joe could sing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” over this beat and it would still sound dope. This might be one of the best Primo beats in a little while, which is good to hear. It’s obvious Joe reached into his pockets to get one of Primo’s gems.

Top Spins

I was kind of all over the place as far as my listening habits were. I’m able to listen to music at my new job, thank god, so I spend a good 6-7 hours a day (counting the hour and half commute I have each day) listening to music on my iPod (I finally joined the iPod “revolution”). That being said, I’ve been in an older music mood as well as sticking with my old reliables such as the Smile Rays, Cunninlynguists, Archetype, Has Lo and other things. I can’t say much has changed since the last post of this nature, but here it is.

1. Nicolay & Kay – Time Line

My boy Eric might not like it, but it’s easily my favorite album of the year so far. Beatwise, it might not be as good as “Connected”, but these are also different beats from Nicolay. There are some slammin’ beats on this LP and shit just keeps getting better. I’ve heard the slams on Kay’s MC skills, but again, I’ve heard a whole hell of a lot worse. Kay has a style that kind of reminds me of Phonte when he first started off. People don’t remember that LB got the “Slum Village” knock of “Great production, shitty MC’s”, so I think Kay will only continue to improve and does more than an adequate job on “Time Line”.

2. EMC – The Show

A close second is the four rhyme slayers that form eMC. I’m eagerly awaiting March 24th to finally have a physical copy in my hands. As I’ve mentioned, there are some parts of this album that are superb and parts that kind of disappoint. It’s an album that I can’t play everyday, because I just grow bored with it. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of seriously strong beats on some songs or not particularly liking some of the hooks, but it’s not an album that I can play without growing tired of. I am still playing it alot, enough to still get the number two nod.

3. Smile Rays – Party Place

Starting to see a trend here? Told you not much has changed for me as far as what albums I’m playing. By now, you know the story, Therapy of the AB’s (Asamov) got together with the husband/wife team of Batsauce and Daisey to form The Smile Rays. The dropped the Japan only release “Party Place”, that has found it’s way over here on the import circuit. The LP has a wide variety of music on it, from hardcore hip hop (Rap Battle), to Daisey getting her soul on with “Pickin’ Flowers” to the mellow, sing along song that truly exemplifies that the Rays are for the children in “Toast”.

4. Pillowtalk Politiks – Pillowtalk Politiks EP (minus the skits)

Yeah, I’m starting to pump this group a little bit, but only because I’m feeling what they are doing. One of the joys this blog has brought me is getting the opportunity to hear some of this undiscovered music, such as this group. The production is on some simple, yet complex production. It’s truly “music” as it follows the rules of contemporary music with the way it’s structured and as previously mentioned, the MC grows on you in leaps and bounds.

5. Truth & Soul – Fallin’ Off The Real Vol 2

I’ve gotten big on some of the old Soul/Funk complilations that have been popping up at a quick rate as of late. This one, from Truth & Soul contains both new and old tracks. Some dope stuff can be found on this, well worth at least checking out this megamix from the crew. A lot of these tracks only popped up on 7″ singles in the past. Stuff like the El Michaels projects with Wu members is a good listen along with some old Lee Fields joints. This has gotten some heavy plays from me in the past week.

WHY???

Why, and I’m almost speechless about this, why in the fuck did Prodigy feel the need to air out some artists in his latest blog rant (or here for the written version)? Time to sell some records? Stick to the 50 Cent marketing plan to sell records in starting some beef? Prodigy is a legend in the game, but damn dude, the cat hasn’t made shit since in almost 10 years. The last two Mobb albums have been BOMBS.

Why the fuck does he say Soulja Boy is original????

Why did he, a year later, bring up a blog that Phonte of Little Brother posted up about Mobb Deep? Don’t hold your breath about this beef as I doubt Phonte moves on this.

Why is weird talking about blogs artists themselves have written and we the fans are talking about as well….the game has done changed.

Why hasn’t he learned his lesson yet? Dude has had his ass kicked numerous times, he’s writing checks his mouth can’t cash. Just about anyone he aired out would kick his ass in a one on one.

Why do I think, if I wanted to, I could use P’s rant as the whole basis behind this week’s “Why”?

Why do I find it funny that both Fat Joe and Sheek Louch just kind of dismissed his rant as not even being worth talking about. I’m not big fans of either one, but neither really seemed to give a rat’s ass about what he said, further proving that Prodigy isn’t as relevant as he thinks he is.

and moving on to the other “Big News” item of the week….

Why do I not really even want to bring this up? If you don’t know who that is, well, I’ll just say it’s a member of the Native Tongues, it’s up to you to do a search if you haven’t already heard the story.

Why am I not sure what to think of THAT? I’m a pretty open minded person, but damn. Whatever people want to do, as far as that kind of thing goes is cool with me, but damn. I’m not sure how I feel about a member of one of the greatest collectives in hip hop history wearing eye liner and lip gloss. There are other pictures of him out there as well that are….well let’s just say pink isn’t his color….I think. Let me say this though, he hasn’t come out and said he’s gay, which would be his prerogative and wouldn’t change how I felt about the JB’s music (which for the record, I’ve never been overly crazy about). I’m just kind of surprised someone would post those pictures on his own myspace page, especially when he is a “legend” in testosterone filled art form.

Why is it that Eminem news was kind of refreshing to hear this week? The first bit coming straight from DJ Premier himself in saying that he has produced at least one track on Em’s up coming album. Hmmm, I could deal with the return of the old Em. I liked early Eminem (meaning first two albums) and haven’t cared for new Eminem (last two albums). The second news gives even more promise of the resurrection of “Slim Shady” as numerous sources report that Eminem and Royce have squashed their long running beef. Can we get a Bad Meets Evil album finally?

Why do I find it hard to believe that Papoose murked Fat Joe? It’d be funny if that’s the way it went down, but I doubt it.

Why do I think the new Roots single “Birthday Girl” is absolute trash? It’s hideous and makes me want to stab my ears with rust nails. It’s not an issue about them “selling out” or whatever some people have been trying to make out of it, it’s just a horrible song. Whatever, I’ll still probably buy the album, like I’ve done with every Roots album since “Organix”…..And I hate fuckin’ Fall Out Boy…..

Why, in my never ending quest to get a copy of “Below The Heavens”, did it not surprise me to find out that it’s no longer in print? Wonderful…..When I didn’t have money and wanted to buy it, I couldn’t find it anywhere close….Now that I do have the money, I can’t even buy it online.

Why have I still not listened to that new Del album?

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