We’ll try to keep this up from here on out, the official WYDU Top 20 Chart. Again, based solely on MY tastes. Sometimes, an older song (like a year old or so) will sneak in, such as this week with Saint. I miss things and if I’m late on getting to a fairly recent track and I’m digging something, up it goes.
In the parenthesis, you have last weeks ranking and whether it has the potential to go up in the near future or down in the near future
1. Arablak – The Deed (Last Week - N/A, Steady)
(From: The Social Light Sounds 2009 Sampler) As you’ll soon see, I’ve been on a big horn sample kick this week. DJ Manipulator laces a blaring horn sample over boom bap drums. Oh, and there is some nice scratching. All that doesn’t sound like anything unheard of before, which it isn’t, but it just sounds doper than most. I’ve been jamming this (unfortunate) shorten sampler track since first getting it last week. I’m definitely going to be checking for Arablak, Manipulator and the whole Social Light Sounds crew in the upcoming year.
2. Blue Scholars – Coffee & Snow (Last Week – 2, Down) *better quality mp3 this week
This was a throw together track that came on a whim? Wow…..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.
3. Pugs Atomz – Roof Top (Last Week - 5, Steady)
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 Atomz just rides the beat perfectly. I’m a sucka for those old 40′s sounding blues samples (not saying that’s what it is, but it gives me that feeling) and this track has it. I’m looking forward to Pugs upcoming album by the same name as much as I am anything.
4. (Tie) Kid Hum – Prayer (Last Week – N/A, Steady)
Kid – Church
Kid Hum – Bells
(From: The instrumental LP, Fossil Fuel) I haven’t had three tracks get stuck in my head like these three in a long ass time. All three, “Prayer”, “Church”, and “Bells” have been branded into my subconscious all this past week. I wake up in the middle of the night, “Prayer” will be going off in my head. I wake up in the morning and “Bells” are ringing in my head. At work, I catch myself humming out “Church” and beating out the drum pattern on the desk. Shit is just that catchy. Then you got the creepy vocal sample from Lee Scratch Perry and I’m going to be picked up by the authorities if I ever starting humming and shouting out the sample to myself around any young children. Kid Hum really created a masterpiece on the whole album, not just these three tracks, but these three beats get it stuck like a scratched record.
5. Cunninlynguists - Never Come Down (The Brownie Song) (Last Week – 2, Down)
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
6. Harmonic 313 feat Phat Kat – Battlestar (Last Week – N/A, Up)
(From: the project, Word Problems) Harmonic 313 is a Detroit producer, and we all know how I feel about D-town as of late. He brings the Detroit sound on the track “Battlestar” and that’s not all he brings with him. He brought friends as well in the forms of Phat Kat and Elzhi. The track “Yeah” was one of my favorite tracks of Elzhi’s “The Preface” album, so hearing this too again over bangin’ ass drums is all I needed to hear to get me pumped.
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. i-El (Ilyas) – Telepathy (Last Week – N/A, Up)
(From: The free EP, The Prelude) One third of Tanya Morgan drops an ill jam over a dope J-Dilla beat. I needed a reminder why Dilla was such an amazing producer and this track (which I’m sure ). Ilyas sounds great over the trademark Dilla drums and synths. The vibe of this track is nothing short of great as it’s just pure vibe out music, even the drums can knock books off the shelves. Shit’s great
9. Saint – Do You Remember (Last Week – N/A, Steady)
(From: the LP, About Time) I slept on Saint and his album, About Time, for awhile now. No reason really I guess, it was just one of those things that kept getting pushed back and pushed back as far as sitting down and listening to it. I finally got a chance to check it this past week. Nothing overly spectucular as a whole. It’s not bad, but nothing that really grabbed me, except for this track, “Do You Remember”. I guess I was on a horn kick, as this track has the blaring horns as Saint drops that boom-bap type of hip hop that reminds of something from the indie period of the late 90′s, which is all good with me.
10. Exile – Your Summer Song (Last Week – N/A, Steady)
(From: the LP, Radio) Exile’s “Radio” is probably my favorite album so far for the still young 2009. That fact alone shows you how much I’ve been playing instrumental albums lately. Exile has a “sound” that I’ve always liked, and it’s found on “Summer Song”. It’s busy, but the soft fuzzy synths and the smooth vocal sample compliment each other to give you that sunny summer day feeling like only Exile can do.
11. Raekwon feat Ghost & Meth – Wu Ooh (Last Week – 4, Down)
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.
12. Cee & Bekah feat Notion – Best of Me (Last Week – N/A, Up)
The Movement Fam brings another heat rock to the table as the sultry Bekah belts out the sweet vocals and my boys Cee and Notion bring the flare. Both are getting better and better lyrically on every track they seem to release. The musical back drop is the familar Primo beat “Insp Her Ation” with some nice strings added to it to give it an even deeper feel than before.
Now, if this track was left off of the upcoming Kooley High mixtape, then oh boy, watch out. Charlie Smarts, one of the Kooley MCs and HaLo aka Mr Ben Ready (for Spotlight artist) drop precise rhymes over a rather tasty Oddisee beat. Lots of horns blare out and HaLo provides why he should be the next to blow up.
14. Tha Connection – Theme Song of Foul Play (Last Week – N/A, Down)
(From: Trapeze) I’ve had Tha Connection’s “Trapeze” for almost three months now, but like any good album that I get deep into, every few weeks I get a new favorite. It happens to be “Theme Song of Foul Play” that is getting the spins lately. The addictive beat just snags my ear drums as the mellow sax vibe plays underneath the tweaked out string sample. It conjures up that smoked out feeling and dark underground clubs.
15. Jay Who – Mr. Anonymous (Last Week – N/A, Steady)
It may be totally hypocritical of me to say this, but usually, I stay away from songs that deal with the internet, blogs, and stuff that has to deal with the online community. Yeah, I know, I’m part of the whole thing, but I don’t usually want to hear about it. It just seems a little too…..nerdy I guess. BUT, Jay Who’s “Mr Anonymous” had me laughing out loud the first time I heard it. Let’s face it, anyone that reads blogs or hits up forums knows exactly who Jay Who is talking about. It’s a concept that Jay pulls off nicely, pulling off the act well and the beat is simple, but a nice accompanist.
16. RCA Miles High – Island Jazz (Last Week – N/A, Up)
(From: Da Beat Tape) I’ve been on a big time instrumental kick this past week. Kid Hum’s album was the main one, but this dude, RCA Miles High out of Oceanside, California, slide over his “Da Beat Tape” to me a couple weeks ago and “Island Jazz” has been stuck in rotation ever since. The concept of “Island Jazz” is an interesting one in deed and the vibe of this track is exactly how I’d imagine it sounding. A smooth sounding sax sample over a soft melody invokes lounging on a Caribbean with a fruity drink. Chillin’ in the true effect.
17. Whygee & Sunken State – Cops & Crack (Last Week – N/A, Steady)
(From: Suicide Watch EP) You’ll soon see that I was on a huge Kid Hum kick this week. Whygee & Sunken State from my second home town, Denver, Colorado, dropped the great EP, “Suicide Watch” and had Kid Hum produce it. This particular track “Cops & Crooks”, was on the EP and happens to be my favorite track from it. The Kid Hum craze I’ve been on caused me to pay this track some more attention again this week. The horns are crazy as Whygee and Sunken State do their thing.
18. P.O.S. – Savion Glover (Last Week - 10, Down)
(From: The LP, Never Better) 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.
19. Tecknowledgy feat 2ew Gunn Ciz, Chaundon & Web – That’s How It Go Down(Last Week - 7, 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.
20. La Coka Nostra – Once Upon A Time (Last Week - N/A, Up)
La Coka Nostra is the super group (Everlast, Ill Bill, Slaine are the core members) that has been rumored to be dropping an album together for quite some time. It’s looking like that maybe finally coming to fruitation as “Once Upon A Time” is supposed to be the lead single. We’ll see. The crew takes the Slick Rick line and drops a rather dope track around it.