Category Archives: HipHop

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‘.


Anderson. Paak feat. ScHoolboy Q – Am I Wrong (2016)



No better way to end 2016 than to post a key cut off one of the best albums of the year. ‘Am I Wrong’ features on Anderson. Paak’s long player Malibu, and like much of the album it’s a collaboration. In this case, it’s the turn of ScHoolboy Q to break Paak’s smooth delivery on what can only be described as a deep funk groove that should make André 3000 and Big Boi blush. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve!

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Drake feat. Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance (2016)



And now for the sound of summer 2016. It may not have been as game-changing for Drake as ‘Hotline Bling’, but it was as pervasive. The rhythm and message were simple and the Nineteen85/DJ Maphorisa production was perfectly executed. It was essentially cut up of a Crazy Cousinz remix of Kyla’s ‘Do You Mind?’. UK underground via Toronto via everywhere. Have a great Christmas weekend.

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Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane – Black Beatles (2016)



With ‘Black Beatles’, Rae Sremmurd found a touchstone track for their distinct voices and producer Mike WiLL Made-It big time. It was all helped by a certain Mannequin Challenge, [pause], but that’s not to take anything away for a slice of unique hip pop.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2002

Before we get to the nitty gritty of choosing some favourite sounds of the year, a quick canter back to 2002, with songs in no particular order:

The Knife – Heartbeats

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?

Supergrass – Prophet 15

Layo & Bushwacka – Lovestory

Sigur Rós – Vaka (Untitled)

The Notwist – One With The Freaks

Boards Of Canada – Alpha And Omega

Interpol – Obstacle 1

Wilco – Ashes of American Flags


Honourable mentions also go to: John Murphy for ‘In The House, In A Heartbeat‘; Múm for ‘Green Grass Of Tunnel‘; The Promise Ring for ‘Become One Anything One Time‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘Acid Raindrops‘; The White Stripes for ‘Fell In Love With A Girl‘; The Libertines for ‘Up The Bracket‘;and Red Hot Chili Peppers for ‘Universally Speaking‘.