Category Archives: HipHop

Denzel Curry feat. Twelve’len & GoldLink – Black Balloons (2018)

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Ta13oo (Taboo) is the third studio album by Denzel Curry. The second track is 13lack 13alloons (Black Balloons), which sees South Florida’s lo-fi rapster channelling the nostalgic sound of Outkast.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1994

As we approach the end of another year and the greatest hits that follow, I give you a compilation of sounds from 24 years ago. Britop was at its zenith, but the angelic voice of a Californian rose above all ….

Jeff Buckley – Grace

Oasis – Cigarettes & Alcohol

Pulp – Babies

Blur – To The End

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

The Dust Brothers – Chemical Beats

Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Grant Lee Buffalo – Mockingbirds

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

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Honourable mentions also go to: Portishead for ‘Roads‘; Mazzy Star for ‘Fade Into You‘; Plush for ‘Found A Little Baby‘, Johnny Cash for ‘Drive On’, Jeff Buckley for ‘Grace‘; Blur for ‘End Of A Century‘; Nas for ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’; Green Day for ‘Basket Case’; The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for ‘Bellbottoms

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The Pharcyde – 4 Better Or 4 Worse (1992)

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Channelling the Daisy Age philosophy of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde showed that the West Coast could do it too. Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde and its roller coaster art appeared in 1992. The excellent track ‘Passin’ Me By’ may take all the plaudits, but there was fund to be had throughout. ‘4 Better Or 4 Worse’ is a case in hand.

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Gravediggaz ‎- 1-800 Suicide (1994)

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Gravediggaz was an ill conceived joke. ‘1-800 Suicide’ featured on their first album 6 Feet Deep, which was also titled Niggamortis for its Europe release. But what redeems their music from buckets of bad taste… well, the truth is that it’s just so catchy.

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Anderson .Paak feat. Kendrick Lamar – Tints (2018)

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Good morning! I am really high on Anderson .Paak. He makes funky music which is unfettered by too much trend. His latest single ‘Tints’ features Kendrick Lamar and Paak’s signature funky guitar and pocketed drums. Have a great week.

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Dr. Octagon – Blue Flowers (1996)

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It’s Friday and Kool Keith is on the mic. Released by Bulk Recordings in the US and by Mo Wax in the UK, Dr. Octagon’s debut solo album, Dr. Octagonecologyst, is an extraordinary piece of work. Kool Keith’s alter-ego Doctor is an extraterrestrial time traveling gynecologist and surgeon from the planet Jupiter. George Clinton – eat your heart out. Have a great weekend.

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Jay-Z feat. The Notorious B.I.G – Brooklyn’s Finest (1996)

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Again, a quick post before I return to blogging in earnest next week. I cannot believe I have not featured this number before. The friendly ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ battle between Biggie and Jay-Z must be one of the great hip hop collaborations. There were rumours the two were set to record an album before Biggie was murdered. The song and Al Pacino-inspired intro featured on Jay Z’s 1996 album Reasonable Doubt.

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Fugees – Ready Or Not (1996)

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Lauryn Hill exclaiming ‘Ready Or Not’ was one of the defining sounds of 1996. The track featured on The Score, the second and final album by the hip hop trio Fugees.

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Biz Markie – Just A Friend (1989)

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Good morning! Some old school hip hop yousall. It’s not PC, the vocals are all over the place, but the humour’s there and so is that Freddie Scott sample. Biz Markie in 1989…

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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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