Category Archives: HipHop

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

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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