Category Archives: HipHop

Kids See Ghosts – Reborn (2018)

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Kanye West and KiD CuDi remind us what Kanye can do when he’s keeping good company. ‘Reborn’ features on Kids See Ghosts’ self-titled long player.

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9th Wonder – SirBlue!!! (2017)

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One ticket, two shoes – some recent hypnotic hip hop beats from 9th Wonder and Laura Nyro’s Midnite Blues from 1976.
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Childish Gambino – This Is America (2018)

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There’s a lot to understand in Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’. With ‘3005’, ‘Sober’ and ‘Redbone’, Donald Glover showed that he could deliver some instant classics, but the wildfire that is this is song was hard to see coming. In the first 60 mins after the Hiro Murai-directed video was released, it had racked up over 1 million hits on YouTube, 10 million in 24 hours and 50 million in the 3 days since. It’s well delivered, thoughtful and dark. Step aside, Childish Gambino is in the house.

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Atmosphere – Sunshine (2007)

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Whoaa it’s a scorcher and it’s a Bank Holiday in the UK. After a slow start, I deliver you ‘Sunshine’ off Atmosphere’s 2007 Sad Clown Bad Summer #9 EP. Slug and DJ Ant deliver the sound of summer the day after. “All of a sudden, I realise something/The weather is amazing, even the birds are bumpin’.” Have a great week.

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Jay Electronica – Renaissance Man (2004)

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In early 2008, Gilles Peterson released a podcast devoted to the rapper Jay Electronica. For a time there, he was MC royalty, “like some sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac”. Born in New Orleans, his break came when he moved to Detroit, where he met J. Dilla. Electronica’s 2004 EP Style Wars was set to J. Dilla beats, including the opening track ‘Renaissance Man’.

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Cannibal Ox – Iron Galaxy (2001)

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Discovered by producer El-P, Cannibal Ox comprises the work of two rappers, Vast Aire and Vordul Megilah. Their 2001 album The Cold Vein heralded a new sound in hip hop that still sounds fresh today. It was inevitably derivative of what had passed before, especially Wu-Tang Clan, but the effect was futuristic, rambling and intriguing. The record kicked off with the classic ‘Iron Galaxy’. Have a great week.

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Cut Chemist feat. Chali 2na and Hymnal – Work My Mind (2018)

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Lucas Macfadden is old school. As well as being the white guy and number 6 from rap heroes Jurassic 5, the Cut Chemist is also a turntablist maximus. This year, he released his long-awaited second solo album Die Cut and it features the track ‘Work My Mind’. MCs Chali 2na and Hymnal trade bars punctuated with cyber squelches.
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Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (1992)

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Inspired by the death of their friend Troy Dixon, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” was the lead single off Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s debut album Mecca and the Soul Brother. It features one of the classic jazz sample spots from Tom Scott and The California Dreamers’ track ‘Today’. Have a great week.

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Jeru The Damaja – Come Clean (1993)

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‘Come Clean’ is the first (and only) single from Jeru The Damaja’s debut album The Sun Rises In The East. The long player is up there with Nas’ Illmatic as a quintessential East Coast records. Like Illmatic, both the album and the single feature the production touches of DJ Premier. The percussion sample from Shelly Manne is genius.

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Evidence – Throw It All Away (2018)

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Dilated Peoples’s Michael Perretta is better known as Evidence. This year, the hip hop artist released Weather Or Not, his third full-length solo album. The project features the single ‘Throw It All Away’. The track features a Stringtronics sample; very cool indeed.

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Tom Misch feat. Loyle Carner – Water Baby (2018)

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Opening with a sample of The Crusaders’s ‘My Lady’, I was always going to like ‘Water Baby’. It’s the latest breezy number from Tom Misch and this time the London singer-songwriter had the very sensible idea to feature Mercury Prize-nominated Loyle Carner. A purveyor of cool meets zeitgeist, the single is off the forthcoming album Geography. Have a great week.

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Gang Starr – Moment Of Truth (1998)

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Friday and a Moment Of Truth. Have a great weekend.

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Jurassic 5 – Concrete Schoolyard (1998)

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Jurassic 5’s self titled debut EP was the best of alternative hip hop in 1997. At its heart is the old school ‘Concrete Schoolyard’. Have a great weekend.

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Action Bronson – The Chairman’s Intent (2017)

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Ariyan Arslani, aka Action Bronson, is a rapper from Queens, New York. He’s of Albanian descent and unusual stature. Zany, amusing and King Fu… ‘The Chairman’s Intent’ is just splendid sir. “I started clapping when the chef brought the duck to the table/That shit was shining like an angel/I never trust a dude named Angel.” Have a great weekend.
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Beastie Boys – Intergalactic (1998)

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Oh yes. ‘Intergalactic’ was the first single from their fifth studio album Hello Nasty. Released in May 1998, this was warped retro-futurism according to the NME. It was out there, with its lovely touches of Afrika Bambaataa and Manga. Have a great week.

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