Category Archives: HipHop

The Pharcyde – Passing Me By (1992)

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Yesterday, I was looking back at 1992 and all that it had to offer. The process threw out a few blog omissions from the standout sounds that year. For starters, South Central L.A. hip hopsters The Pharcyde released their classic debut Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. It featured that sample of Quincy Jones’s ‘Summer In The City‘. Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1992

A compilation for sunny day in June. 1992 could have been a wasteland between what had been (Madchester, shoegazing, grunge) and what was to come (the Wu-Tang, trip hop, Britpop), but no. For one thing, it turned out to be one of the most inventive years in dance music.

Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAvHjoLxxh8

Aphex Twin – Xtal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnTFKWAT-XE

Flowered Up – Weekender

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn2GYzJjR2I

Pulp – Babies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38by00DGid0

R.E.M. – Nightswimming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahJ6Kh8klM4

The Black Crowes – Remedy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYyRLTveFJQ

Crowded House – Four Seasons In One Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si3dBlNdifE

Pavement – Summer Babe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMjlhIWxfFI

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Honourable mentions also go to: Sade for ‘No Ordinary Love‘; Derrick May for his Illusion First Mix of ‘Sueño Latino‘; Mel’isa Morgan for ‘Still In Love‘; Coco Steel & Lovebom for ‘Feel It‘, My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘, Sergio Mendes for ‘Fanfarra (Cabua Le-Le)‘, Spiritualized for ‘Shine A Light‘, Kevin Saunderson for his Tunnel Mix of Inner City’s ‘Pennies From Heaven‘, Flowered Up for ‘Weekender‘; X-Press 2 for ‘Muzik Xpress‘; and The Pharcyde for ‘Passing Me By’.

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Cuco feat. Jean Carter – Bossa No Sé (2019)

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I short changed my regular subscribers this week. Today a bonus track, tomorrow a “Best of” list. L.A. singer-songwriter Cuco has shared a new song called ‘Bossa No Sé’. It’s an advance single from his forthcoming debut LP Para Mi, to be released on 26 July on Interscope. Alt-soul or bossanova-pop-hip-hop… whatever the label, his story of bad romance is endearing. The duet format with Jean Carter (from L.A. hip-hopsters Your Grandparents) is fun. Have a great weekend.

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Danger Doom – Space Ho’s (2005)

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Evening folks. Much later than planned, I give you Danger Doom and another track off their classic 2005 album The Mouse & The Mask. With its most excellent sample of ‘Keith Mansfield’s Morning Broadway’, Danger Mouse and MF Doom collaborate with Space Ghost on ‘Space Ho’s’. SG was keen to point out it ain’t “Doom Coast to Coast” just yet. Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1993

A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…

Björk – Venus As A Boy

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

U2 – Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy

David Bowie – The Wedding

Blur – For Tomorrow

Tindersticks – Marbles

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.

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J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. – Strong Island (1987)

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It’s Tuesday, the week’s started and let’s get on it. Well, in truth, I wasn’t any cooler when delivering my lines back in the day. However, my teenage self WAS listening to J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. in 1987. Long Islanders AJ Rok, B-Luv and DJ Curt Cazal had the great idea of sampling of Freda Payne and the very current Public Enemy to concoct ‘Strong Island’. Justified by Virtue of Creativity For Obvious Reasons Concerning Entertainment… indeed.

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Kudasai – Technicolor (2018)

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This is the ambient side of instrumental hiphop. Kudasaibeats released ‘Technicolor’ in 2018 and it went on to feature on their album White Noise released on the United Common Records label. Their use of synthesisers and a simple guitar accompaniment creates a very soothing sound.

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L’indécis – Soulful (2018)

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I am revisiting instrumental hip-hop music for the second time in the week. Where Joakim’s Karud’s work was full of energetic loops, French producer L’indécis plumps for something much more chilled out. Soulful features on last year’s Playtime EP, released on the suitably named Chillhop Records ‎label. Have a great weekend.

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Joakim Karud – Vibe With Me (2016)

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Joakim Karud is a music producer from Sweden best known in YouTube and Soundcloud spheres for his instrumental hip hop. ‘Vibe With Me’ was a catchy number from 2016… you get the gist.
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A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation (1993)

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A Tribe Called Quest had nothing to prove by the time they released Midnight Marauders, their third studio album. But still, they continued to produce the superlative. To bookend the week with a classic slice of hip hop, I choose ‘Electric Relaxation’ and its memorable sample of ‘Mystic Brew’ by Ronnie Foster.

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Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M. (1993)

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Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man asserted that Cash Rules Everything Around Me in 1993. It is probably the standout track from their standout debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The song was produced by RZA and brilliantly samples the fragile piano melody off The Charmels’ song ‘As Long As I’ve Got You’. Have a great week.

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Drake – Nice for What (2018)

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And now, a more recent borrow … this time it’s a choice sample from Lauryn Hill’s ‘Ex-Factor’. It’s 10 years since Aubrey Drake Graham signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment and exploded onto the scene with the release of the dubiously pitched ‘Best I Ever Had’. The Canadian rapper-songwriter-producer has refined his proposition significantly in the decade since. Like the ubiquitous ‘Hotline Bling’, last year’s ‘Nice for What’ adroitly selects the perfect reference material.

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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

Massive Attack – Protection

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 fun to be had throughout. ‘4 Better Or 4 Worse’ is a case in hand.

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