“Nuja’ play the flute while your boy get loot now..”-CL Smooth
Rest In Beats Nujabes..nuff said….NOW, “Sky Is Falling” will take on the same significance as Pete & CL’s “T.R.O.Y”, let’s do our best to bring this one back ya’ll!!!!
Excerpt taken from my “Top Tracks of 2007″ List:
“What’s that you say? You wanna’ hear the best non-Pete Rock produced beat that lyrical legend C.L. Smooth ever spit on? Well, thanks to Japanese producer Nujabes you now have it….and what’s up with all these overseas cats putting out better beats than Americans these days? I was introduced to this track by the heads over at the OkayPlayer forums (which I may visit twice a year), which directed me to the link on Nujabes MySpace where I previewed the track. Let me just say this….I damn near fell outta’ my chair when my ears were first blessed with “The Sky Is Falling”! This shit is so beautiful I don’t even know where to begin. While C.L. Smooth needs no introduction whatsoever, Nujabes truly brings the horns on “Sky Is Falling” so much in fact, that Pete Rock has gotta’ be smiling somewhere. It almost makes you wonder what an entire full length collabo from Nujabes and Corey Penn would sound like. The only negative about this track is that at times it does feel as if the music tends to overpower C.L.’s lyrics. Not that it’s that noticeable, I just feel the track could have been engineered a bit tighter. Still, one of my favorite cuts from 07′ that will be in rotation deep into 2008. This one was a treat folks…Enjoy!”
Anytime you freak one of the most-classic cuts of all time (the Dilla-laced/De La-classic “Stakes Is High”), you’re bound to catch your fair share of good attention. After two stalled attempts to release projects on various independent labels, St. Joe Louis does it alone with their first release the “Almost There EP”, which serves as warm-up of sorts for the trio’s debut album “30,000ft High & Rising”. The title speaks to the increasing pressure to travel toward your dreams and is a nod to the seminal DeLa Soul debut. St Joe Louis is a trio composed of Elete the group’s producer/emcee, Tom Chase (emcee) and Michael Cardigan (emcee). The project is produced entirely by Elete and after the pounding drums of the opener “30,000″ commence it appears as if he is up to the challenge. The project will also feature Skyzoo, PH (formerly Pumpkinhead) and Silent Knight amongst others.
I’m not even gonna’ front like I knew anything about REL!G!ON prior to the release of what is one of the most potent usages of the “Funky Worm” sample, the Planet Asia & Jasari-assisted “Pyramids”. Boy…and when I say that he (or whomever produced this under-the-radar gem) chopped up “Funky Worm” nicely, I mean they CHOPPED IT UP NICELY (*shakes head as eyes widen*). I’m actually in the process of listening to REL!G!ON’s album “Revelationz I” as I sit here and type this up, and as I’m about half way through it, there’s no doubt you’ll be reading more about this cat in the weeks to come. With features from Kool Kim..ahem..err..NYOIL, Chuck D, Donny Goines, Shyheim and the aforementioned Planet Asia (and on that note, tell me his forthcoming collabo LP with Pete Rock isn’t gonna be that knock?) “Revelationz I” is a nice blend of creative sampling and live instrumentation that should not be overlooked for one second.
“Fu*kin’ Wit’ A Gangster” f. Sean Price-Ruste Juxx & Marco Polo
Right now, in Hip Hop there are VERY FEW emcees whom, when I hear em’, have me open like Sean Price. Dude is so charismatic and funny, and most importantly unpredictable, so much in fact, that you never know what’s gonna’ come outta’ dude’s mouth next. For instance peep Price’s play on Jay’s now-famous one-liner “If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron/I’m payin’ Dwayne Wade”. However, on the “not-so-originally-titled” “Fuckin’ Wit A Gangster”, in this instance Price is “Payin’ Gilbert Arenas” (hence the “gun-reference” for all you late-bloomers)
One listen to the Marco Polo produced album “The Exxecution” and there is one word that generally come to mind….RAW!! On this collaborative effort, Ruste Juxx is just flat-out “goin’ in”, blatantly this album comes off as just one big freestyle session. The album captures the raw essence of one emcee/one producer and the results are very polished, even if the album was pieced together in just a few choice meetings. By the way, is there any doubt, judging from the drum kicks and just overall song structure that Polo’s biggest production influence has to be Preemo??
Produced entirely by Brooklyn’s Black Sparx, Infinito 2017′s “We Are Dark” draws from the back drop of 60 / 70′s soul music and takes a look inside the travels on the path to self development. No track on Infinito’s “We Are Dark” is the same soul essence of the albums’ intent captured as clearly (pun intended) as it is on the neck-snapping “So Clearly”. Not only on “So Clearly” but the album as a whole is extremely soulful (I know, such a generic word nowadayz, right?) , while baring a striking resemblance to one of my favorites from 2009, Thaione Davis’ “Still Hear”. Rightfully so, being that both Infinito 2017 & Thaione hail from Chicago, both formed the duo I.T. (if anyone has their 2004 release “Low Income Housing”, hit me up please!) and both make appearances on one another’s respective LPs (Thaione is spotted on “Adaption”). While not as lyrically “fine-tuned” as Thaione (I mean, c’mon, Thaione Davis has one of the most underrated and slickest deliveries in the game right now!), Infinito more than makes “We Are Dark” a definite “peep”, even if his discography goes neck and neck with that of the “album a week” workhorse, Moka Only.