Category Archives: HipHop

Jurassic 5 – Concrete Schoolyard (1998)


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)


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)


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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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur


Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘ and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.


Common feat. Bilal – The 6th Sense (2000)


Released in February 2000, the ‘The 6th Sense’ was the lead single off Like Water for Chocolate, Common’s hugely successful, fourth studio album.  It was produced by DJ Premier and laden with his trademark scratched samples. In this case, it’s ‘Memories Are Here to Stay’ by The Intruders, ‘Allustrious’ by Mobb Deep and ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’  by Gil-Scott Heron.

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Rex Orange County – Edition (2017)

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19-year-old Alex O’Connor is also known by his stage name Rex Orange County. The singer-songwriter was born in Haslemere, a-far-from-gritty corner of Surrey. From there, he took the influences and Thundercat, Toro Y Moi and Frank Ocean and divined his path. This white man has found his jazzy R&B chi; Surrey’s answer to Jon Bellion.

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Buck 65 – Wicked And Weird (2003)


Hip hop artist or alt country blues, Buck 65 may split opinion but the sound is undisputedly intriguing. With more that a touch of the Dust Brothers, ‘Wicked And Weird’ just about sums it up. The track features on the Canadian’s 2003 album Talkin’ Honky Blues.


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Danger Mouse feat. Run The Jewels & Big Boi – Chase Me (2017)

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Some gritty hip hop for this Friday. Danger Mouse has collaborated with Run the Jewels and Big Boi for the release of ‘Chase Me’ from the upcoming movie Baby Driver. Danger Mouse’s masterstroke is the use of samples from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s ‘Bellbottoms’.  Big Boi and Run The Jewels’ El-P and Killer Mike do their thing over a beat of drums, bass and guitar. Have a great weekend.

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People Under The Stairs feat. Murs – Pulp Fiction (2000)

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Here’s an oddball finish to the week. People Under The Stairs’ ‘Pulp Fiction’ is a hip hop adventure into the surreal. MURS, Double K, and Thes One find themselves stranded on a desert island where a pink gorilla steals their cigarettes. They come up with a plan to ambush it, but then find their friend and a boat which takes them to Boston Market. Yes, have a great weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2000

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2000 in no particular order:

Radiohead – Idioteque

Blonde Redhead ‎- For The Damaged

Lambchop – Up With The People

The Avalanches – Since I Left You

Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Intro

Outkast – Ms. Jackson

Marah – Round Eye Blues

Richard Ashcroft – A Song For The Lovers

Phoenix – Too Young


Honourable mentions also go to: Grandaddy for ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot‘; Erykah Badu for ‘Didn’t Cha Know‘; Daft Punk for ‘One More Time‘; Augie March for ‘The Hole In Your Roof‘; Missy Elliott for ‘Get Ur Freak On‘; D’Angelo for ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)‘; and Edu K for his remix of Otto’s ‘Bob‘.


Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two (1988)


The greatest hip-hop single ever cut? Well if you are judging on the choicest use of a Lyn Collins sample, hands down, Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s ‘It Takes Two’ is numero uno. What’s more, my wife can sing the entire song. That is how the Samuels roll. Have a great weekend.

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Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On (2000)


What happened at the turn of the millennium that sucked the creativity out of the pop musicologists? I have a theory that it was too much Britney Spears that did it. I have to admit there were some bangers in 2000, but you can near enough count them on the fingers of one hand. The Avalanches, Outkast and Daft Punk have already featured here, so that leaves Missy Elliot and the irrepressible ‘Get Ur Freak On’. The song featured on Miss E…So Addictive, an album full of confidence and Timbaland’s production wizardry. Have a great week.

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Gravediggaz – Diary Of A Madman (1994)

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From one marginal sound to another… guitar-lick-laden rock’n’roll is now followed by horrorcore hip hop. Gravediggaz released 6 Feet Deep (aka as Niggamortis anywhere outside the US). ‘Diary of a Madman’ is one of the album’s standout tracks, featuring Scientific Shabazz on guest verse and RZA providing the beat only a few months after the release of Wu-Tang’s classic 36 Chambers. “I’ve been examined ever since I was semen/They took a sonogram and seen the image of a demon/At birth the nurses surrounded me with needles/and drugged me all up with the diseases of evil.” Yeh man; Johnny B. Bad.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2001

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2001 and in no particular order:

The Strokes – Hard To Explain

Ian Brown – F. E. A. R.

The Shins – New Slang

Daft Punk – Digital Love

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spiritualized – I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9

Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me

The Strokes – Modern Age


Honourable mentions also go to: Weezer for ‘Island In The Sun‘; Zero 7 for ‘In The Waiting Line‘; Jay-Z for ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)‘; Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin for ‘Rippin Kittin‘; The Other People Place for ‘Let Me Be Me‘; Muse for ‘Bliss‘; Cannibal Ox for ‘Iron Galaxy’; Roger Sanchez for ‘Another Chance’; Radiohead for ‘Knives Out’; and Yann Tiersen for ‘La Valse d’Amélie‘.


9 of the best – sounds of 2016

My favourite sounds of 2016 in no particular order…

The Avalanches – Because I’m Me

Whitney – No Woman

Glass Animals – Life Itself

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

The Strokes – Threat of Joy

Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P.

The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – I Feel It Coming

Traumprinz – 2Bad


Honourable mentions also go to: De La Soul for ‘Trainwreck‘; The Last Shadow Puppets for ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect‘; Let’s Eat Grandma for ‘Deep Six Textbook‘; Anderson .Paak for ‘Come Down‘; Solange for ‘Cranes In The Sky‘; DJ Snake for ‘Let Me Love You’; Honne for ‘Someone That Loves You‘; and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Rings Of Saturn‘.