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Trav's Spins and Plays

by Travis on February 12, 2009

February sucks. There I said it. There is only NBA as far as sports, music is still in a fourth quarter hangover, and the weather blows. Then you toss in Valentines Day, and February could quite possibly be the worst month of the year. Oh well, fuck it.

If you suffer from the Winter doldrums, then maybe a little comedy is in your need. What better way to get some of that than from an old WYDU friend, Mike Dikk. Some of you long time readers will remember, in which Mike and several fellas would basically talk shit about everything from music, sports and popular culture and was always good for a few laughs. Over the last half year or so, the site has kinda gotten quieter and quieter. But alas, fans of the Dumpin sense of humor can rejoice as Mike returns (or actually has already been doing) with his own podcast of humor and what not, in Buncocky. What is Buncocky? Well, it’s kinda like an audio version of Dumpin…sorta…kinda…. It’s Mike and Jay talking about all sorts of shit…such as Episode 15, in which they discuss the art of Male, Male, Female threesomes. Only people with a sense of humor need apply, cause I’m sure this can and would offend the faint of heart.

Buncocky episodes can be caught here:

The first month of the year is a rather dead one in the music industry in general. No different in the hip hop world either, which means the amount of new material is limited to some of the rather unknowns trying to get heard in this laxed time. Personally, I take time to reflect back on the past year and to revisit some of the older material in my digital crates. Around this time, things start to slowly appear, and since my man Eric already did his little post about some of the most recent songs, I figured it was time for me give some exposure of what’s been getting play time on the ole iPod. I thought this would be somewhat tough, but the only thing tough was narrowing it down to 10 songs. Nothing really amazing, alright, I take that back, the number one and number two songs are pretty amazing and I expect to see again at the end of the year in a pretty high position, hell probably number three as well. So, without further ado, I present WYDU’s top 10 for….well for the past couple weeks.

Top 10 Spins of Feb 1st – 10th

10. P.O.S. – Savion Glover

I’m admittedly not the biggest P.O.S. fan, although I did like the group album he did with Doomtree. His new album, Never Better, is full of the reasons I don’t usually care for him, just weird ass shit. I usually like weird, but not this much. Despite that, while I while giving the album the courtesy listen, I ran across “Savion Glover”, which did meet some of the reasons I like a particular cut. For one, the crazy scratching layered over a spastic drum track, make for a high energy track. P.O.S. is actually a good MC when given the chance and I’m not distract by audio garbage.

9. AmeerNever Be Shits

Ameer dropped the The New Dream toward the end of 2007 and since then, I’ve been keeping my ear open for some new music and I finally got my wish. “Never Be Shits” is a soundtrack for all the underdogs out there. Over a sparse, but loud, drum pattern and a rolling piano sample, Ameer provides hope for those out there with the cards against them. It’s nice to have meaning in a hip hop song, not nearly enough out there.

8. Inverse feat Deacon The Villain - So True

Phonte needs to take singing lessons from Deacon of Cunninlynguists. The cat has some true vocal chops that just drip soul. The title track from the EP, So True, is blessed by Deacon on the hook. That’s not the only reason why I’m banging this joint daily since it’s early January release. Tunji does his job on the mic, catching the listener and sucking him into piano stabs and strings. On the strength of their last couple projects, including their free EP , So True, I’m waiting for Inverse come correct with a full length release.

7. Tecknowledgy feat 2ew Gunn Ciz, Chaundon & WebThat’s How It Go Down

I’m lost how I came into possession of this track, I’m guessing maybe Zilla Rocca due to his alliance with 2ew Gunn Ciz. Regardless, everyone involved brought the heat lyrically over a hard beat, reminds you of a Mobb Deep beat from years past. Sharp keys found on “That’s How It Go Down”, give that Alfred Hitchcock “Psycho” feeling of a slasher flick. It’s good to hear Chaundon come correct after a somewhat disappointing album that dropped lost year. Nothing ground breaking here, but just a solid track.

6. Blacastan - Life of Tape

While I was familiar with the name, I couldn’t tell you much about Blacastan. I was sent a couple tracks from his promotion company and must say I loved both. This particular track is great as far as originality and it’s concept. “Life of a Tape” is about…well, the life of a tape. You youngins won’t appreciate it as much as us old fogies, but tapes were a big thing to us back then. You had your home made ones, the ones you bought from the store, everything was on “tapes” back then if you didn’t do vinyl. To top it all off, the beat is dope as fuck as well. A speed up vocal sample (done right) is used as an instrument of sorts as it’s a true inspiring head nodder. This has to get you excited about future material coming from Blacastan.

5. Pugs Atomz feat Rashid Hadee & Theo - Blue Blazer
(Tie) Pugs Atomz - Roof Top

As my anticipation mounts for the upcoming Pugs Atomz LP, Roof Top, Pugs keeps dropping dope leaks. On “Blue Blazer”, pugs brings a long fellow Chi-Town artist Rashid Hadee and Theo. After Detroit, Chicago might be my next favorite region/city to be doing it lately. On “Roof Top”, DJ Vadim drops an infectious groove, as Pugs just rides the beat perfectly. If these two songs are indication what the album is going to sound like….Daaayum.

4. Raekwon feat Ghostface & Method ManWu Ohh

This is the most Wu sounding track I’ve heard in a minute. After turning my noise up at “Wu Ohh” originally, it was saved by the iPod shuffle. It’s another track using the vocal sample as a major part of the song which gives it that Wu like flavor. It’s great to hear Meth do his thing over the track, as he provides a nice hook. I can’t recall if this was on the upcoming Cuban Linx II or not, but this shows some promise.

3. Souls of Mischief - Tour Stories

I posted this track up on WYDU toward the end of December to rave reviews. The Prince Paul produced track is a welcome back to a great producer and made one of the legendary Hiero crew members relevant again in the Souls of Mischief. The track is a classic hip hop in all it’s glory as the boys sound like they haven’t missed a step from ’93 Til Infinity. The beat sounds tailor made for SOM, with that added Paul sound. If this is any indication what to expect from the all Prince Paul produced Souls album, then it could be a doozy.

2. Cunninlynguists - Never Come Down (The Brownie Song)

If you have followed this blog long enough, you know that Cunninglynguists are a favorite of mine. Their last two albums have been named in the top three on my year end list. So I was pretty excited to hear they had a new single out. I’m not sure if this is off a new album they have coming out, I haven’t fully investigated yet, but they often like to throw out some collections before dropping albums (Sloppy Seconds anyone?) and this sounds more like a track that might be found on something like that. Regardless, Kno demonstrates why he is quite possibly my favorite producer going right now as he laces a soulful track as Deacon drops seemingly silly lyrics about pot brownies….or so it seems. As with a lot of Cunninlynguists tracks, I’m sure it goes much deeper than that. Looking forward to see what the dopest crew out of the south is going to bless with this year.

1. Blue Scholars – Coffee & Snow

This was a throw together track that came on a whim? Wow…….Sabzi is one of the illest producers going at it right now. That is witnessed on the critically acclaimed (especially this critic) album Bayani from ’07 and the Common Market album Tobacco Road that dropped last year, both of which Sabzi produced in entirety (or at least 99% of them). The story behind this track was they put it together after a winter storm came through the area (Seattle). The angelic keys are nothing short of amazing and Geologic does his thing lyrically. A truly impressive track that only makes me more hungry for more from the Scholars.

Mp3 courtesy of Musical Essence

Bonus “Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads” *Anyone got an mp3????

The Five Most Listened To Albums of the Period

1. Drumz & Llingo – Black Market

This probably isn’t on any one’s radar as of yet, but this was slide over to me by DXArmy, who if you recall my year end list, I was highly on. On the strength of their recommendation, I gave their boys, Drumz & Llingo a listen and I wasn’t disappointed. Their album, Black Market, is full of no gimmicks, quality NYC hip hop. The beats tasty treats of hard breaks, crisp snares and full bass lines. Lyrically, while nothing ground breaking, they are very complimentary of the beats. You’ll be hearing more from these cats in the future, but this one of the better things that I’ve had passed to me in awhile.

2. Exile - Radio

I wasn’t to sure what to think of Exile’s Radio the first time I listened to it, nor the second or third time. But for something kept me listening. It’s like that movie that you are not sure you liked or not but you want to watch it again. I’ve finally had it catch on in my subconscious. It’s not exactly what I expected out of Exile, who has been making a name for himself on the strength of the album he did with Blu back in ’07. But if you do go back to some of his Emanon material, then the experimental nature of the beats shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. I wonder how the early leak is going to effect it, which is unfortunate. If you dig the album, be sure to cop it when it drops.

3. Platinum Pied Pipers – Abundance

You can’t call this a hip hop album, nor could you really call it a soul album. I’m not sure what I’d label PPP’s Abundance album, but I would call it good. If you can’t stomach anything other than hip hop, you might want to move on. For those of you that can get down with other genres, then PPP is definitely something worth lending your ear to, as Wajeed and boys bring the buffett line of music to the masses.

4. ScholarMan – Gameshift: The Movement

The Maryland based ScholarMan is somewhat one of those cats that a lot of underground heads knows about and respect, but he has yet to gain the full notoriety that he deserves. Hopefully “Gameshift: The Movement” will help focus the spotlight on him a little more. I’ve had this album for awhile now, but I still give it listens, which is a sign of a good album with me. The beats are both soulful and hard, while you know what to expect from ScholarMan if you’ve heard his past albums, no nonsense, straight to the point lyrics that more than likely will give you something to think of.

5. Tha Connection - Trapeze

Although this album has been out for awhile, I still play this shit out of it. The NYC guys bring their own flavor of smokey roomed hip hop with plodding beats and deliberate rhymes. They definately got their own flavor and it’s found all over Trapeze. If there was ever a “kick back and smoke an L” type of music, this is it.

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