Almost there, we’ll have the top 10 up tomorrow…..(FINALLY!)
Link To All Tracks: http://usershare.net/r7hp9v2xymrc
The older I get, the more I like my “grown folks” music, but sometimes I want to take it back to ’93 and get some “yell in my face while you slap my mama” type of hip hop and that’s exactly what A Disturbing New Trend’s “Year of the Carnivore” is all about. I’ve seen someone describe them as an “M.O.P. rip off”, and while they do follow the same vein, they are on their own path. Lot’s of energy and adrenaline are packed into this track, enough to make you want to punch a whole in the wall. I say we need more hip hop like this.
I’ve always said if I had an inkling of musical talent, I’d make beats like Zilla Rocca raps over, or in this case, made himself. Such as in the 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers track, “No Fury,” Zilla combines his melancholy approach over a Nirvana like guitar sample, that gives it that alternative rock vibe. It’s a sound that I’ve always wanted to hear what it would sound like it, thankfully Zilla hooked it up and I can’t say I’m in the least disappointed. The song has even had some therapeutic qualities as it’s often a song I’ll turn on when I’m in a “fuck the world” mood. It helps calm the inner beast. That’s what good music is all about.
With what is the only track from Cunninlynguists’ Strange Journey Vol 2, “Imperial” is a another track that contains a bunch of sounds I love to hear sampled. Organs and electric guitar; I love a great organ break on a track and Kno hooked this up wonderfully. It sounds like the same sample used on Westside Connection’s “Gangsta Nation,” and maybe that’s what gives “Imperial” that Cadillac drivin’ music. Or maybe it’s the involvement of Freddie Gibbs that gives it that twang as well. None the less, I dig this track.
While I’ve never heard the song this song was derived from, “Impossible” has that feel of an alternative sounding track. Thank the producer Moonshine for hooking up the sampled chorus (chipmunk stylee) and the sparse guitar strings that are sprinkled through out the song. Don’t get me wrong, Diz Gibran does his thing as well, giving a powerful and consistent performance.
I have to admit, this was kind of a dream collaboration for me. I’d seen Kno and Slug talk on some “networking” sites (aka those old things called message boards) so it wasn’t a big surprise. Some music is meant to be released during certain times of the year and “Don’t Leave (When Winter Comes)” was released during the gloom and grey (at least in the upper regions of North America) of the end of winter, so it was a perfect time for it. It’s soft crooning and light strings create a somber mood that emanates despair and hopelessness.
TiRon was one of those L.A. cats that was kind of hit and miss with me over the past year. When he concentrated on some straight up hip hop shit, he did it quite well. When he was on that new L.A. sound and scene, he lost me. “Shine On” was when he is at his best. It’s a slower track, but provides an uplifting message and is even somewhat inspiring. The gospel flavored track from Oren Yoel (of Asher Roth fame) really gives TiRon a good foundation to do his thing.
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 “Coffee & Snow”, 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.
“Custodianz” is a dark and menacing track with loud drums and an eerie vocal sample that sounds like it came straight from the sewers of NYC with a Happy Meal and a dead rat. Who are The Strangerz? If you read WYDU or WTR much the past year, you will surely recognize the voices is the dudes from Tha Connection, Hus KingPin and SmooVth Dude along with Marvelous Magnum, who comes off strong with his verse as well, dropping memorable lines. Not sure which catches my ears more, the beat or the lines the cats are spitting. Makes me want to nod my head with my fist slamming down on a table top. That’s hip hop.
First off, if you haven’t got P Locke’s “Super Ramen Rocketship”, stop what are doing and go get that now. Got it? Good. The album is one of those that I seem to have a new favorite every other week, but the one track that is stays on that favorite list is “Ventilation”. It’s spacey like sound gives it a light feeling, much like it’s title might suggest. The best part everything is handled by Paten, the lyrics, the beat and the scratching. That’s right, there is scratching present.
It’s funny, I wasn’t really feeling “The Beautiful Decay” from Skyzoo when it first dropped. Something changed my mind though, I think that it got stuck in my head for a week or so. This is one of the better beats I’ve heard from 9th Wonder since 2007.
Blame One and Sean Price bring the heat on “Disturbed”. On a beat that sounds like a Mark Ronson creation straight off an Amy Winehouse album, the funky sax stabs gives it that neo swing sound. It’s really like the fuse for the match that lights off Sean P and Blame One as they both attack the rhymes like rabid pitbulls. Love the energy and pizazz found on this track.
While I was familiar with the name at the beginning of the year, 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 The Tape” is about…well, the life of a tape. Our younger readers won’t appreciate it as much as us old fogies, but tapes were a big thing to us back then. You had your homemade 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. I’m aware this song was released originally in 2007, but as much play this got for me this year, it makes the list.
I’m a borderline Just Blaze stan, I’ll admit it. I’ve always loved the vigor and liveliness found on his production. The combination of Skyzoo and Just Blaze is a great pairing. I used to find Skyzoo’s flow kind of lazy and uninspiring, but he’s actually got going for him as far as his flow goes and Just Blaze brings out the best in him. “Return of the Real” packs and audio punch, with crazy horns, keys and slappin’ snares come at the listener from all angles. This is a duo I’d love to hear a whole album from.
I love a wicked bass line, and that should be evident in how high on the rankings “Once Again” from Diz Gibran is found. This got enough punch to register a 5.0 on the Richter scale as you drive by with it booming the trunk. The track also has some cool percussion that gives it a conga type of feel and an eerie singing sample that interweaves its way through the song. “Once Again” also features some of my favorite lines from Diz Gibran found on the album.
I chuckle when cats say DJ Premier fell off. The beat from “U GOtta Love Us” is evidence that hasn’t happened. Over a beat that is straight up fire, the House of Repz cats, A.L(All Lyrics), Bateria, Ben.Y, Echo1, Oktober Zero, these are some NYC veterans and they bring that raw and rugged sound over the classic twangy Primo beat.
In my (un)professional opinion, for a remix to really work, you have to do one of two things; 1.) Make the song your own. Meaning give the song you are remixing it’s own new life. Change it up from the original, don’t just throw a different drum break in it and call it a remix. OR 2.) and this is along the same lines, simply make it better than the original. If it’s not better than the original, don’t fuck with it. Well, Small Professor covered both WYDU requirements. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Douglas Martin’s version of “Bottomfeeders”, but Small Pro added an energy to it that wasn’t found on the more dire sounding album version. The music also makes some of Zilla Rocca’s vicious lines stand out more. Zilla sounds so hungry behind this backdrop, the Small Pro version is just a whole new animal, and it’s pissed off.
The Physics come with a mack-a-docious and brazen jam that speaks to the ladies. “Good” sounds like the Toni Tony Tone guys made a hip hop song. It’s got that classic soul/r&b sound to it, with a slight Doo-Wop tinge to it. The horns are well placed with a brassy tone and a swingy bass line gives this joint it’s life. I guarantee if you play this song while in the bedroom, you could end up getting a wicked lap dance. It’s got that vibe that is sure to get any woman’s motor running that has decent musical taste
Coming in over a straight thumping beat, Dynas‘ kicks off his The Apartment LP with a straight up boom bap track. “The Future” is a definite head nod inducing track. Throw in a lot of excited and feverous scratching from DJ Jazzy Jeff and this track is sure to supply some bumps in the trunk.
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 aka Cold Steel (we needed an album from these two like last week). The track “Yeah” was one of my favorite tracks of Elzhi’s The Preface album, so hearing these two again over bangin’ ass drums is all I needed to hear to get me pumped. Phat Kat has that vocal vibe that sounds like he had a bowl full of glass shards, straight up nastiness.
Jay Electronica is that enigma to me. I can’t decide if this cat is the next coming of this decades (the teens) great rhymer or if he is just getting over on strangeness and experimental concepts. I love some of his music and some of it is too “out there” for my tastes. But then he throws stuff out there like last years “Exhibit A” and this jam, “Exhibit C”. You got a Just Blaze beat, and I’ve already covered how I feel about the Megatron Don’s production prowess. He hooks up a wicked vocal sample that just gets your head a noddin’. It’s pretty damn dope. Then to top that off, Jay Electronica is on a roll lyric wise. He could quite simply be the next great MC. Time will tell.