Category Archives: HipHop

Yung Lean ‎- Trashy (2018)

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This is the first cloud rap that I’ve featured, for sure. The genre sounds like a mutation of southern hip-hop, with its valium-paced drawl. These origins can hardly prepare you for the output of a Swede in the form of Yung Lean. Having recorded the viral hit ‘Kyoto’ in 2013, the Stockholm-based rapper backed up his fortune with a series of annual releases. ‘Trashy’ features on his 2018 album Poison Ivy.

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Beastie Boys ‎- Egg Man (1989)

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I am not about tomorrow, so I double down today. De La Soul were not the only outfit pushing hip hop into new territories in 1989. It was the year that Beastie Boys ‎released their highly influential album Paul’s Boutique. John Lennon sang about being the Egg Man in ‘I Am The Walrus’, but the Beastie Boys’ reference had no pretensions. After leaving Def Jam, they spent part of their advance from Capitol Records causing a stir in the Mondrian hotel, L.A. While not recording, they lobbed eggs from the hotel’s rooftop at folks below. ‘Egg Man’ is soup of samples, including the Curtis Mayfield ‘Superfly’ intro, but it was Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA’s love for Public Enemy that drew me. Both ‘You’re Gonna Get Yours’ and ‘Bring The Noise’ feature before before the track fades out with samples from the themes of Psycho and Jaws. Genius. Have a great week.

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De La Soul ‎- Eye Know (1989)

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Good morning folks. De La Soul established themselves as the “Hippies of Hip-Hop” with the release of 3 Feet High And Rising in 1988. The following year the band conquered the global charts with the single ‘Eye Know’ and that unexpected, but welcome sample of Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’. Hip hop would no know boundaries again.

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Nas feat. Olu Dara ‎- Bridging The Gap (2004)

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‘Bridging the Gap’ is the second single from Nas’s 2004 album Street’s Disciple. It stands apart for featuring his father, Olu Dara, talking through their journey to the musical accompaniment of the Muddy Waters track ‘Mannish Boy’. Man and boy. Have a great weekend.
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Gang Starr feat. J.Cole – Family and Loyalty (2019)

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Last month, Gang Starr dropped their first song since 2003. it was made possible by DJ Premier, who was able to pull together a pair of unreleased verses from his deceased MC partner Guru, and cleverly complement them with a guest spot from J. Cole. ‘Family and Loyalty’ sounds like classic Brooklyn hip-hop, but with the added benefit that Guru’s verses always remain fresh.

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Kanye West feat. Pusha T – Runaway (2010)

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“Look at you!” 10 years ago, following his outburst during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Awards, Kanye West exiled himself from the controversy by retreating to a recording studio in Hawaii. There, he would turn his recent excesses into something very creative indeed. Helped by a $3 million recording budget, West produced his fifth and best studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The music and lyrics of ‘Runaway’ showcase the ego, indulgence and introspection. Pusha T joins in, reflecting on the “Hoes like vultures wanna fly in your Freddy loafers/You can’t blame ’em they ain’t never seen Versace sofas”. Have a great weekend, folks.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1991

A compilation for my hangover. Also a compilation for what looks like its going to be one of the last sunny days in September. I was immersed in dance music in 1991, but R.E.M., Nirvana, Mercury Rev and Lenny Kravitz were able to break into a best-of list otherwise dominated by the sound of house music.

Orbital – Belfast

Mercury Rev – Frittering

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

Moby – Go (Woodtick Mix)

Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea

R.E.M. – Losing My Religion

George Michael – Cowboys and Angels

Lenny Kravitz ‎- It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Honourable mentions also go to: Saint Etienne for ‘Nothing Can Stop Us Now‘; My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘; De La Soul for ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays‘; Photon Inc. for ‘Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)‘; Crystal Waters for ‘Gypsy Woman‘; Altern 8 for ‘Infiltrate 202‘; Björk for ‘Hyperballad’; A Tribe Called Quest feat Leaders Of The New School for ‘Scenario‘; Slam for ‘Eterna‘; Frankie Knuckles for ‘The Whistle Song‘ and Last Rhythm and Silvie Carter for ‘Last Rhythm‘.

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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 creative wasteland between what had been (Madchester, shoegazing, grunge) and what was to come (the Wu-Tang, trip hop, Britpop). But no, far from it. For starters, this was the year that Slanted and Enchanted and Selected Ambient Works 85-92 reached our ears.

Aphex Twin – Xtal

Pavement – Summer Babe

Neil Young – Harvest Moon

Pulp – Babies

R.E.M. – Nightswimming

The Black Crowes – Remedy

Crowded House – Four Seasons In One Day

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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‘, X-Press 2 for ‘Muzik Xpress‘; Flowered Up for ‘Weekender‘; 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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