The names for the “Mix of the Week” are incredibly random. This week I just went by the first thing I played. Not much to say about it just check it out.
Tucker Mix Playlist:
1. Chris Tucker
2. What’s On Your Mind – Erik B, & Rakim
3. Gonna Be Alright (Ghetto Bastard) – Naughty by Nature
4. True Indeed – Surreal & the Sound Providers
5. All I Know – Jazzy Jeff feat. CL Smooth
6. Eightball (Instrumental)
7. I Used To Love H.E.R.- Common
8. I Used To Love H.E.R.- Common (Instrumental)
9. Ego Trippin – De La Soul
11. The Shining – Away Team
12. a beat
13. Dance in the Rain – Blue & Exile
14. a beat
15. Why Is That – KRS – One
My name is Tracey, and I am hip hop. My love affair with hip hop began in the 1980s. Yes, I was a b-girl. I had a rap alias (which I refuse to divulge) and I used to break dance with the fellas from my neighborhood on wood paneling and cardboard. When I wasn’t dancing or rapping, I watched Friday Night Videos, one of the only video shows on at the time. I remember taping videos and practicing whole routines with my girlfriends. My fashion choices reflected the popular songs of the decade. Salt-n-Pepa introduced me to biker shorts. I couldn’t afford the satin Adidas track suits that Run D.M.C. wore, but I did save up and buy some shell toes eventually! I had an African medallion and wore red, black, and green Cross Color outfits. I had at least two pair of bamboo earrings. You get the picture…
There was so much diversity in hip hop back then. You had music to break dance to, fun rap, straight lyricists, beat boxing, bravado rhymes, etc. Several conscious artists and songs also emerged in the ’80s calling for unity, black pride, and putting an end to senseless violence.
More artists came up in the ’90s and hip hop solidified its place in American pop culture. The jit was the dance of the decade. Hip hop and R&B joined together to create hip-hop soul, and showcased artists like Mary J. Blige, TLC, and Guy. The West Coast also made their stake in hip hop, with the beginnings of gangster rap.
Hip hop is always evolving and has definitely changed over the years. Maybe I’m just getting old, but to me, it has become more one-dimensional. The South has made a strong showing in the new century, but not much else new has come about. Meaningful lyrics and substance have been replaced with simple hooks, dances, disrespectful lyrics, violence, and bragging rights. Some of it is fun, but I miss the mix of artists we had back in the day. You still have a few conscious, substantive artists and lyricists reminiscent of old school, but only a few get airplay. A lot of these artists go underground because their sound isn’t “hot” right now (more about this topic at a later date). Don’t get me wrong, I still have love for hip hop. I’m guess I’m just waiting for the “next movement.”
“Ice Cube recording a record with De La Soul that was produced by Large Professor and Battlecat. Oh, and Stezo was there.”
This week’s album is a group named Giant Panda (not the hardest name ever). The internet is truly a wonderful thing I discoverd them “cyber-digging” as I like to call it. As a DJ, me and my brethren and close kinfolks, producers, are always on the hunt for records. For Dj’s we’re looking for the new hot thing or trying to find that gem of a record that we lost, broke, or passed over. Producers, SOME producers “beat junkies” if you will are digging for those precious few seconds of an old song to make a hit record or respect earning, head nodding beat. Anyway I digress, check them out at their Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/giantpanda . As always these are not the complete songs just clips of the songs, long clips (about 90 sec) so you can get a feel for the music. If you like what you hear BUY THE CD. If you want real hip hop or at least different hip hop to flourish we gotta support the artist.
1. One Time.
2. With It
3. Super Fly
4. Just Cause
5. Diggin In The Tapes
7. Sho Improve
9. Grand Prix
10. Always Dope
11. 3d Party
13. T K O
15. Classic Rock
You know these songs. It only takes their first few notes to get a party hype, even if the party is only you in your car on the way to work. DJs wouldn’t dream of skipping these intros—they’re guaranteed to please everyone from true heads to radio surfers.
Shook Ones Pt. II – Mobb Deep
“Shook Ones” will probably go down as Mobb Deep’s biggest hit. As a DJ back in ’94 (daaamn, I know), if I even scratched in those first few distinctive notes, the dance floor would be packed by the time you heard “To all the killers and the five-dollar billers.” I don’t think any of their songs since have created that much excitement.
When they Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
It’s almost a DJ commandment: “Thou shall always play the opening horns from T.R.O.Y.” I haven’t been at a party yet where they played “Reminisce” without them. Skipping the very beginning of this song would be like not playing Busta’s growl in “Scenario”—you just don’t do it.
Check the Rhyme – A Tribe Called Quest
The beginning of Tribe’s “Check the Rhyme” just kicks in. When you hear that “uh, uh.uh. uh…” all the heads in the place break they necks for that nod. Other than “Case of the PTA” by Leaders of the New School, it’s the best song to get your 2- step on to.
Choice Is Yours – Black Sheep
The bass line under “Choice is yours” can sometimes catch you off-guard. Maybe because they’re whispering or something. What usually happens is a DJ blends it in with another song and you see signs of recognition slowly start to register on people’s faces. By then, Dres is saying “This or that, this or that,” and everyone is just waiting for that first line to drop. BOOM “Who’s the black sheep? What’s the black sheep…”
TIE (we couldn’t figure out which one to drop)
Jam On It – Newcleus
Chief Rocka – Lords of the Underground
Taking ya way back. “Jam On It” always seemed to come on after a slow song, but it’s the bass line — it’s gotta be the bass line. It’s a slow build, but once they hit the wiki-wiki wiki-wiki it’s on and probably pop-lockin. It’s the bass line, it’s GOTTA be the bass line (again).
“Chief Rocka” starts with the bass line too, and coupled with the “Chief Rocka-Chief Rocka” scratch, gives partiers a few seconds of “Oh, shit!” time to rush the floor. Even if you don’t know the rest, the opening “Boom shac-a-laka” line is strong enough to shake a room.
Big what up to D-Nice (yeah, that D-Nice) . We ain’t cool or nuthin but D is doing a public service and recording rappers as they tell the stories behind some moments in hip-hop history. It’s nice to know what happens to rappers after the music stops. D is seemingly doing well for himself (we’ll do an interview eventually): he’s a photographer now and does some Dj’ing on the side. Check him out here at his website.
Back in ’93 when this gownhead was a fresh out of college head (Hampton University ’92). I heard this song from Frestyle Fellowship. It immediately caught might interest ’cause it sounded like somethin straight off a a jazz album. The funny thing is a I bought the album Inner City Griots and was like “uhhhhhhh NOT feelin it” and away it went into the collection. Fast forward 14 years later and I’m putting all my records on CD (that’s a post in itself) so i get to the “F”s and my wife has a copy of Freestyle Fellowship’s CD. I’m like cool I can rip “Inner City Boundaries” and not have to go through the trouble of actually recording the track. So I figure its been awhile so I check out the album. I’m like dammmmn what the hell was I thinking back in ’93? Is this the same album? Nuthin like 14 years to change your perspective. They say your hearing gets worse with age I don’t know, in some cases it gets better (then it goes down hill after that). Anyway I ended up ripping like 4 other tracks from the CD to add to my DJ rotation. For more info about Freestyle Fellowship check out All Music Guide here. Shout Out to The Hip-Hop Purist who e-mailed me the link. I wasn’t even thinking about them till he sent me the video. So now I share it with y’all enjoy.
I saw Brother Ali for the first time at a MURS show in New Orleans.
I had heard his name in conversation and seen discussions about him on message boards, but it was never enough to garner my interest. So I walk in the show and the first thing I notice is this huge albino dude sitting next to the door with a small crowd around him. I was there to see MURS, so I spent all of my little money on MURS’s music and accessories before the show started.
The emcee introduced Brother Ali and lo and behold, it was that albino dude from near the door. He opened up the show with some braggadocious rhymes. They were catchy, but I prefer that introspective stuff. Then he caught my attention with “Forest Whitaker” and “Win Some, Lose Some.” I had to get a copy of his CD after hearing an a capela version of “Picket Fence.” Because I had already spent all of my money on MURS stuff, after the show I talked to Ali and told him I was ordering his album off of the ‘Net as soon as I got home.
But I couldn’t wait. I went to one of the dingy bars on Decatur Street to be overcharged by one of those cheap ATMs to get a copy of his album immediately. Buying “Shadows on the Sun” that night was a good decision.
Fast forward to 2007 with the release of “The Undisputed Truth.” The album’s name says it all. Ali has the ability to relay how he feels ferociously over a beat. No abstract style and no fancy word usage — just raw, profound hip hop. He will remind you of how fresh he is on some tracks, but the others are exactly what I am looking for: introspection. If you listen to “The Puzzle” and you are not feeling it, you are not human.
“Every stone that’s ever been cast or blow that ever landed/ helped to build that man that’s standing before your bitch ass/I’m back to wreak havoc and never retired, retreated or recanted… ” Or “I was taught that mistakes made with great intentions were never sins / but where life lessons begin…”
He does this throughout the entire album! His one-liners are enough to blow you away but he is much more than just a one-line wonder. He really means what he says. He actually went through the situations he speaks on. Pardon the cliché, but he keeps it real. I don’t understand why every MMA fighter is not walking to the cage with “Pedigree” playing. I cannot be the only one who gets hype from that track.
Brother Ali also takes the hip hop love song to another level with “Here.” It’s not a sappy, LL Cool J-cum-Jodeci soft porn take on the mating ritual. It’s more of an overview of his flaws and fears that he lays on the table to a prospective mate.
On the flipside, later dedicates a song to his ex wife. “Walking Away” is politely angry: “I don’t love you — I don’t think I ever did / and if you didn’t try to kill me I woulda’ stayed for the kid / There’s nothing more for us to say / I got my mind made up, I’m walkin’ away / Sometimes we just outgrow the role that we play / I hope you find a happy ending to your story someday.”
There is a video for the song “Uncle Sam Goddamn,” which has a line in there that keeps my mind wandering: “The grown-up Goliath nation is holding open auditions for the part of David.” Man! Can anyone dispute that?
Brother Ali has displayed himself to the world on 15 tracks. If you are not looking for honest self-expression, then you are not looking for hip hop as far as I’m concerned. I am sick of the lies Viacom allows to be spewed to the masses. Warner Bros distributed this album, so it should’ve gone platinum. I guess honesty is not catchy enough.
“The Undisputed Truth” is one of the reasons Nas was wrong. I have a good feeling we will be hearing more from Ali in the near future, regardless of album sales or the state of hip hop. Here is the reason, from “Daylight”: “Vocals know nothing other than soul touching / So if they land in yours it’s just a homecoming / If they don’t go there they might perish / Land on deaf ears but die unembarrassed.”
This is our first official album of the week. We try and feature artist we think you might like and enjoy. This week it’s Danny! (yes ya gotta have the exclamation mark) that’s the rapper’s name, the album is Charm. If you want the inside scoop on Danny! check out allmusic guide here.
Folks have compared him to Kanye West (I guess cause he went college and he produces beats) but we think that’s just an easy out, you decide.
Just so you know these ARE NOT the complete songs. I hate sites that give you just 30 seconds of track so we try and give you like a minute and a half to two minutes of a track, just so you can get a feel for it. If a song is short enough we might play the whole thing. Those songs are marked accordingly. Remember if you like the CD, BUY IT. I don’t work for Danny! or any of the artist we feature but if you like the music support the music.
2. Give Me A Chance
4. It’s Okay (FULL TRACK)
5. Can t Wait
7. The Last Laugh
8. Duck Soup (FULL TRACK)
9. Strange Fruit
10. What Now
11. Move Somethin
12. My Problem
14. Lip Flappin
15. You Owe Me
16. Where Were You
17. No Guarantees remix
19. Cafe Surreal
20. Now You’ re Gone
I first heard “Kill Your Employer” on Busdriver’s MySpace page. I’m a fan, so I have grown accustomed to catching the words in his fast-paced delivery. I was hooked instantly. The angst he feels towards this group of people is shared by myself. The song’s subject matter is the hypocrisy of finding comfort in a system that you also protest against. Whether this comfort is living with your father who works for Halliburton or doing something as trivial as burning a flag vs. getting to the root of the problem, Busdriver’s words are brilliantly placed and the message hits hard. Recently in a CNN interview, Jack Nicholson said “You do not become militant if you wish to be a successful propagandist. Because all you will do is preach to the choir and further entrench your opposition.” Maybe, just maybe, Jack is a Busdriver fan too.
Roadkill Overcoat is full of very good writing over very good beats. There was one beat I hated initially so I continued to skip over the song. Plus, Busdriver was attempting to try his hand at singing, which made me hit skip even faster. But when I finally listened to “Sunshowers,” it became my favorite song on the album (at least for a little while). It is a song declaring the sin of watering down yourself to get exposure. I could name many rappers that I wish shared his ethics.
“The Troglodyte Wins” is his personal self-evaluation. He contemplates the point of trying when no one else is trying with you. What’s the point of being passionate about something when you are the only one with passion? Again, I relate. The words at the end
of his last verse are profound yet funny – “But this don’t go hand in hand with your Volkswagen van / because you voted in a defrosted CroMagnon man.”
Other notable songs on the album are “Mr. Mistake” (excellent delivery!!!!), “Secret Skin,” “Bloody Paw on the Kill Floor,” “Less Yes’s More No’s” and “Dream Catcher’s Mitt.” Of course, Roadkill Overcoat doesn’t follow the typical Viacom theme of what a hip-hop album is supposed to be. In this world of instant gratification, where anyone can be a hip-hop star, the audacity it takes to be yourself is worthy of the few dollars spent on adding this CD to your collection. If you are an artist of any sort, the cover art is another reason to pick the album up. That is, if you loathe the chicken scratch in your sketchbook.