Category Archives: HipHop

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

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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‘.

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

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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)

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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

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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‘.

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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

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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‘.

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

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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)

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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)

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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

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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‘; and Red Hot Chili Peppers for ‘Universally Speaking‘.

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Wu-Tang vs The Beatles – Got The Money (2010)

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Some sampling is less subtle. Wu-Tang vs The Beatles was created by Tom Caruana and released at the start of 2010. The album features Beatles songs and cover versions mixed with much Wu-Tang. This hip hop venture was not original. Danger Mouse had ploughed this furrow with Jay-Z in 2004. However, the results were equally as pleasing. ‘Got The Money’ features the most overt use of source material – in this case, Abbey Road‘s ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’.

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Shabazz Palaces – Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt) (2011)

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In 2011, a hip-hop collective from Seattle, Shabazz Palaces, released an an album called Black Up. The music was serious, but not as much as the title would suggest, audacious and off kilter. On ‘Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)’, Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire exclaim “It’s A Feeling!”
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The Avalanches – Because I’m Me (2016)

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Well that’s a relief. The best track on the recent Avalanches album Wildflower is released as a single. ‘Because I’m Me’ is available and wrapped with a ribbon in time for Halloween. The young star in the video has more than a passing resemblance to a young Michael Jackson and the subway station is a familiar setting for both Michael and The Avalanches. Filter disco and rapper Camp Lo play their part too. Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2004

It’s a bank holiday weekend in Blighty. Let’s play some music. I write herewith my favourite songs of 2004 and in no particular order:

Kings Of Leon – The Bucket

The Thrills – Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?

Kasabian – Club Foot

Danger Mouse & Jay-Z – Public Service Announcement

The Walkmen – The Rat

Modest Mouse – Float On

Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out

Wilco – Muzzle of Bees

Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle

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Honourable mentions also go to: Beastie Boys for ‘Ch-Check It Out‘; MF Doom for ‘Accordion‘; Outkast for ‘Roses‘; Adem for ‘Everything You Need‘; Will Johnson for ‘Just To Know What You’ve Been Dreaming‘; The Killers for ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll‘; David Byrne for ‘Glass, Concrete & Stone‘; and Jens Lekman for ‘Psychogirl‘.

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De La Soul – Trainwreck (2016)

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De La Soul 2016

The perennially talented De La Soul have been given a new lease of life by $600,000 of crowdfunding that they recently raised. ‘Trainwreck’ is a song from the trio’s forthcoming studio LP And the Anonymous Nobody. This funk strut also featured earlier this year on their EP For Your Pain And Suffering.  The album will be their first since 2004’s The Grind Date. “Good things come to those who wait!” Have a great weekend.

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