Friday, September 14, 2007

The Fishkini

Cures for cancer and AIDS are not known to the public. People are dying all the time. What are scientists working on?

Fishkinis.



*sigh*

Friday, September 14th 2007 playlist



01/Mickey Factz "Talk Yo Shit" [dude hit me with a few cuts - shit is fire!]
02/Brand Nubian "One Time (original version)" [this shit just hits me once it drops...]
03/Photek "Saturated Hip Hop" [Form & Function vol. 2 is the truth]
04/Starkey "Pins (Murderbot Remix)" [nice jungle-ish feel to a pretty nasty track.]
05/50 Cent "Curtis 187" [Havoc brings that old 50 out, from the hook to the content. Best track on Curtis.]

_____

who turned on the faucet?

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Speaking of "Mash's Revenge", this and more Stones Throw treats are featured on their latest podcast, Zombie Playoffs:

00:00 Intro
02:30 Supreme Team "See (Suite)"
03:30 Quasimoto "Hydrant Game (Jaylib Remix)"
04:30 J Dilla feat. Kweli & Tip "Lightworking"
06:30 Madlib "Wigflip"
09:10 Dam Funk "Sidewayz"
10:18
11:00 J Dilla feat. DOOM & Guilty "Mash's Revenge"
12:50 Guilty Simpson
13:35 Percee P feat Prince Po "Last of the Greats"
15:48 MED "Bring It Down"
16:45
17:35
18:50 Oh No "Action (Rap Version)"
20:25 Aloe Blacc "Find A Way"
21:55 Niko & DJ Babu "Now You Know"
23:05 J Rocc "Super Sound"
24:30 Bumps "Tryplmeade Gorsmatch"
25:45 James Pants "Ka$h (PB Wolf Remix)"
28:05 Arabian Prince "Professor X Saga"
29:35 Jonathan Brown "Bass Creator's Groove"
30:45 CX Kidtronix "Big Girl, Skinny Girl"


Ouch.

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Little Brother has a sampler (mixed by DJ Flash), for their forthcoming LP, Get Back:

a. ExtraHard
b. Breakin My Heart feat. Lil Wayne
c. That Ain't Love feat. Jozeemo
d. Uncle Mike's Dedication
e. Step It Up feat. Dion
f. Sirens feat. Carlitta Durand
g. Good Clothes

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This week's "For Your Listening Pleasure" features mixes from the likes of the Lifted Music Podcast (featuring TeeBee), Sol.ID, ESB, XO, Calibre, Perpetuum and Phlorid. Loads of upfront DNB tracks.

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2Pac was murdered 11 years ago yesterday; XXLMag.com got the thoughts and rememberances of many Hip-Hop stars; eskay threw up some essential Pac viewing; Rizoh posted a funny "Tupac Shakur Boulevard" bit that Chris Rock did on his HBO show; Hussein Fatal got interviewed by HipHopDX; and Hurricane Ivan (of Hip-Hop Is Read fame) dropped a dope mixtape full of Pac music, loads of remixes and blends - don't sleep! And give Pac your props.

____

That's about it for this week. I'm going to end this playlist with a performance of Kanye West's from 106 & Park, with him doing "Big Brother". I love that track.

Kanye West "Big Brother" (LIVE)




Enjoy your weekend!

RIP Bobby Byrd

I guess James Brown needed his sidekick up in Heaven. [Paste Magazine]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

RIP Joe Zawinul


I just heard about Joe Zawinul's recent passing. Not only was he a part of Weather Report, he was also instrumental in the sound of Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way. His playing helped shape who I am today.
RIP.

Havoc "I'm The Boss" (video)

Loving what I'm hearing from Havoc at the moment. Also loving seeing Prodigy in the passenger seat, for once.



The Kush is in stores September 18th. You should do yourself a favor and check out the Absolut Kush podcast from Nature Sounds & DJ Absolut.

hit the links:
Havoc on MySpace

Smif-N-Wessun The Album tracklist


Smif-N-Wessun (aka Tek & Steele) are BACK, and have a new album (entitled, well, The Album) dropping on the 23rd of October. It looks like they are keeping it simple on the beats and on the features, which is a plus for those of us who remember "Sound Bwoy Buriel" and some of their other CLASSIC material. Check out the tracklisting:
1.) See The Light (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
2.) Gotta Say it f/Chuckii Star (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
3.) Trouble (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
4.) K.I.M. 200 f/Loudmouf Choir
5.) P.N.C. For Life (produced by Ken Ring & Rune Rotter)
6.) Gangsta Prayer f/Million Styles (produced by Ken Ring & Rune Rotter)
7.) Stomp Thru f/Rock and Joell Ortiz (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
8.) Who Gonna Save Us (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
9.) Still Fighting (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
10.) Yeah (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
11.) Movie (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
12.) Can’t Stop (produced by Ken Ring & Soul Theory)
13.) Can’t Feel My Face f/Loudmouf Choir (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
14.) Still Here (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
So aside from Rock, Joell Ortiz, and a few others, its a tight space, which I'm feeling. I remember copping Rude Awakening and loving it.

Check out the aforemention Rock & Joell Ortiz assisted "Stomp" for further proof of their re-discovered fire.

hit the links:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crack(s) In America



Last year, I dropped "America: The Ugly", a mixtape devoted to questioning the current admistration, musically... bringing up a host of different things that contribute to our nation being divided. While I am deeply saddened by the events that transpired 6 years ago, the onus is on the Adminstration to rectify the situations that still plague our great nation: racism, war, poverty, sexism; these problems, and many more, help give the world around us a distorted view of what goes on on our soil.

(NOTE: As I'm writing this, I get messages about disgusting acts of violence and hatred like this that make me think we are so far from where we need to be...)

Hopefully, mixtapes like this (as well as other forms of art, whether visual or the written word) can help usher in a dialogue that will open the floodgates, and help get some sense into the White House.

Divshare download/stream link: http://www.divshare.com/download/1919716-0a7

Tracklisting:


01/intro: Jello Biafra "Miscue 9/11" b/w The Cinematic Orchestra "Durian"
02/Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings "This Land Is Your Land"
03/Kanye West ft. The Game "Crack Music"
04/The Roots "False Media"
05/DJ Shadow ft. David Banner "Seein' Thangs"
06/David Banner "So Special"
07/Nas "These Are Our Heroes"
08/Nas "Black Zombie"
09/interlude: Saul Williams "Sha-Clack-Clack" b/w Autumn & Perpetuum "Unconditional"
10/Mr. Lif "Because They Made It"
11/The Perceptionists "Medical Aid"
12/Gil-Scott Heron "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
13/J. Rawls "Bobby Seale Bound & Gagged"
14/interlude: Mumia Abu-Jamal "What Independence?" b/w Juggaknots "Namesake (instrumental)"
15/Public Enemy "Shut 'Em Down"
16/Jay Eff Kay "Paranoid 2007"
17/Cage ft. Jello Biafra "Grand Ol' Party Crash"
18/Styles P. ft. Joell Ortiz "Poor Folk"
19/Mos Def "There Is A Way"
20/Digital Mystikz ft. Spen G "Anti-War Dub"

I want to shout out Jay Eff Kay for creating America: Suicide Notes vol. 1, and to Perpetuum for giving me permission to use "Unconditional" in this mix. Big up to Jello Biafra, David Banner and Chuck D for speaking the truth.

Take a moment and reflect on the tragic events of this day in our collective memories... fight the powers that be , and stand up for what you believe in. And for those out there deep in the struggles (both here at home and away in foreign lands) - keep your head up.
-khal

PS: Start Snitching has YouTube clips of the most recent Real Time episode, with Mos Def & Cornell West on it. Interesting comments made. Fresh has an interesting post on Hip-Hop's (nonexistent) reaction the day the towers fell.

PPPS: Check out E's poem, "Gemini's Ashes"

How "Ayo Technology" Was Born

50: "Ayo Timbo, I need some help"

Timbaland: "Hold on, I'm making a banana smoothie"

Justin Timberlake: "Yo Fiddy, sup my nigga"

50: "Anyways, Interscope doesn't like my shitty CD, I need one of them 'My Love' joints"

Timbo: "I just cooked up this beat I jacked from a Finnish wunderkid. Danja, set up the mic"

Justin: "Why you be dissin' me, nigga?"

50: "Alright, write a hook then, bitch"

Justin: "Yay!"

The result?


Shouts to the DOA crew for guiding my comedy.

Kanye West Graduation [review]

It looks like, with every album, Kanye West is trying to add more ingredients into his stew. He went from relying solely on the "chipmunk soul" and a balance of flash and thought in his rhymes on College Dropout to sneak-attacking the game, bringing in Jon Brion, and beefing up his style of production with loads of orchestration and wild arrangements with Late Registration. It seems that he has spent Graduation chilling with A-Trak more, digging into a more electro sound, which really only mirrors what's been going on in the South, especially in the Miami, Florida area. He's also repeatedly spoken on wanting to create an album full of anthems. Has he done this? Did he alienate any fans? Was it all worth it?

Yes, no and hopefully. In terms of anthems, you only need to see throngs of high school age kids bounce when the chorus of "Stronger", his Daft Punk-jacking official single, comes on, to see how far this guy who got introduced to many by his Blueprint work has come. He has always been able to drop the "right" track, for his albums always come with loads of singles, and he does not stray from that. While "Stronger" has mass appeal, "Can't Tell Me Nothing" almost sounds like his take on some of the "get money" anthems that seem to flood the market from the Dirty. It's not just the DJ Toomp-laced instrumental, which is all brooding and depressed and proud at the same time; nor is it the Young Jeezy adlibs in the chorus. If you break down his words in the chorus, he isn't really saying anything different than what they speak about in terms of cashflow, he just attacks it from a different angle. He has the same cocksure attitude, but can come up with decent lines ("don't ever fix your lips like Collagen/to say something where you gon' end up apologin'"), showing you his wit and his attitude. "Champion" is an uplifting wake-up call for those who think they can't get it done - positive reinforcement in the form of a slick start/stop beat that hits you instantly. He also gets to showcase his introspective rhymes - we realize that he has always been a clotheshorse, even if his Pops used to tell him "if you see clothes, close ya eyelids" - more ghetto yout need to hear this track.

In terms of production, 'Ye comes hard with the synths. I read that he didn't really want to go with "Good Life", possibly because it was just too easy: how hard is it to take Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T.", beef up the drums and synthline, sprinkle in some T-Pain and boast about the finer things in life? Not hard at all, especially if you are aiming to make anthems. This is one of those summertime anthems for those who made it to the Hamptons. "Flashing Lights", aka Billy Sunday's favorite joint, had the smooth feel to it, with the bumping kicks, which cascade into a wash of key stabs. Really big sound, but the fact that he kept the tempo down on this one is a good look, making the track sound like the club it seems that Kanye found some of these "Drunk & Hot Girls" in. He's not just a synth-maven, though. "Barry Bonds", on of Kanye's "real Hip-Hop" moments, is Nottz and 'Ye cooking up something monstrous in a pretty simple beat that brings forth one of the hottest fills I've heard on a mainstream LP this year. Yes, he does drop into a synth bed, but this one is all about those hard drums (and the fact that Lil' Wayne's verse is raped by Kanye's - who would have thunk that).

This CD does contain moments that make me shake my head. For example, I do wish that "I Wonder" was shortened by 2 minutes, not so heavy on the electronics, and sans Kanye's "raps". He wasted a pretty sly piano/vocal sample with the sonics. I also can't stand listening to "Good Morning", the intro that birthed his "I'm like a fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary". I mentioned "Drunk & Hot Girls" before, which is just an excuse to not have Mos Def rap on another album. I can't really see anyone other than rich, drunk frat boys getting into this joke-turned-ugly of a track. Imagine a crew of them singing this, driving their sports cars around a club. Now try to forget that image. Can't do it, right? "Homecoming" was also something that was unnecessary on my front, but his "track with Coldplay" sounds much better than Jay's.

Speaking of Jay(-Z), I can't end this review without speaking on "Big Brother". Possibly one of the most heartfelt pieces of poetry coming from the Roc camp since "Momma Loves Me", this track really gets into Kanye's psyche: his arrogance and attitude shines through, but when you look at it in the scope of him just imitating "big brother", you can see why he feels so adamant about his status: to hit Hov status, you need to be firing on all cylinders. The problem is, Kanye is not Jay. Kanye is not on Jay's level lyrically, or business-wise. Until Kanye can truly charter a ship on his own (and G.O.O.D. Music is a start), he will stay being "little brother". In hearing 'Ye lay it down in this way, you can definitely see why he seems to overcompensate on the clothes and in his boasting. He just misses the mark, it seems.

Which is the story of this album: it's almost "there", but in terms of being a classic album? Not right now, not in this era. 'Ye ditched the "Broke Phi Broke" this go 'round, but seems to have left some of the substance on the cutting room floor. People flock to 'Ye for his beats: they stay for his mind. When he masks it in too much "fresh to def" talk, it muddies our overall perception. This is one disc to party to, one to fuck to, one to keep you going during your day. Will you be passing this down to your children's children, though?

rock the dub gives Graduation a 3.5 out 5. Kanye goes for broke and brings a sonically pleasing package that screams "we did it!"... but for all that he is, the things that he's not is what holds him back from being the people's champ - but he is still the hipster's choice.

Essential Cuts: "Everything I Am", "Barry Bonds", "The Glory", "Champion", "Big Brother"

Kanye West's Graduation is available TODAY at all major retailers.

hit the links:
Official Website
MySpace page
Roc-A-Fella page

50 Cent Curtis [review]

When most artists use their real name as the title of their albums, it' s usually a literal act: the content, more times than not, is more introspective, more personal, having a "raw" feel to it. That artist is not 50 Cent. He named his latest disc Curtis to stop Cam'rom's viral campaign, to some success. The problem is, that's his only motivation: nowhere in this CD does 50 hint at a renewed sense of self. No, we're getting treated to the same Hennessey wishes and gunplay wet dreams that we've grown tired of hearing from 50, the G-Unit and roughly 90% of mainstream Rap radio. While this CD is not the weakest thing to drop in 2007 by any means, it does show that 50 might be a victim of his own past success (which he has alluded to), which has now seemed to manifest itself in the public's boredom with his new product, as well as him being stuck in a creative rut.

The album kicks off with "My Gun", which has 50 dropping so many "I'm gonna shoot you, nigga" references it's ridiculous, but the fucked up part is, in the intro of the very next song ("Man Down") 50 sing-songs an intro about people trying to pin murders on him, but it being impossible, b/c his people murder for him. So which one is it, 50? You pullin' the trigger or the strings? To keep the murder rate rising, 50 then doubles back and pulls Akon along for the ride, with "I'll Still Kill", AKA another excuse to lyrically masturbate about gunfire; not to mention that the beat, while very dope, has that Dr. Dre-lite feel to it: very minimal, kind of sparse, but then towards the end of a measure, it drops that string/piano combo ontop of the basic beat. Why have DJ Khalil mimic Dr. Dre beat-wise, then waste Dre on the chorus to "Come And Go"? The only time he gets it right is when he spits over "Curtis 187", where he is putting his grimey-past on blast, which makes sense: when you were a notty-head yout, yes, you probably popped your guns all the time. "Fully Loaded Clip" has him saying "I ain't fresh out the hood/I'm still in the hood", but what hood is this? I know Connecticut has its grimey sections, but come on 50! For as many interviews I've read and seen 50 speak about artists being believable, how can he stay writing about his past life in the present tense? If he was to stay believable, shouldn't his rhymes be about "Fully Loaded Pens", where he's making sure he has enough Bics to sign all the endorsements, or all of the rapper contracts, as opposed to lying about bagging up coke or the modern day murking of the ever-present snitch?

50's next misstep is thinking he is a sexytime loverman. "Amusement Park" sounds like an R. Kelly b-side, no matter how well he worked the circus sounds in that beat. Who picked this to be a single!? "Ayo Technology" has 50 trying too much: he's trying to hard to keep up with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland's sound, as well as trying to master a double-time flow that works for this beat, but not for 50. Instead of trying to sound intelligent or like he cares about his lyrics, he spends a few bars "rapping", then does a slowed down sing-song, but somehow gives up and lets Justin outshine him (no matter there's a 50-less version on some Pop stations). The beat is a masterpiece - my boy Rafi wants to know what video game-sampling producer's beat did Timbaland jack to bring this to the masses. The fucking noise in there is reminiscent of a boss level in an old NES game, and the instrumental is ripe to be murked by a better-qualified MC. "Follow My Lead" has a nice bop to it, and is where 50 should stay: seductive bedroom eyes over a mid-tempo piano romp, with Robin Thicke blessing the chorus; no wonder 50 got so pissed when this leaked. 50's Mary J. Blige-assisted "All Of Me" sounds like a Love & Life cutting-room floor track, and is only saved by a decent beat (could they not come up with anything better than "got me feeling like a fiend on crack"?)... which is the saving grace for the majority of this album.

I wish I knew what the tracklist looked like before 50 went back in to retool it. He spent a few months making "I Get Money", AKA the concrete anthem of Summer 2k7, and added/took off tracks, but it sounds like he made a CD that wouldn't get laughed at standing next to his previous output. He will no doubt still sell a good grip of records, and will make Dr. Dre and Interscope some good money, but at what cost? In terms of replay value, unless you are 14 years old, white, and trying to piss off your parents, I can only count 5 tracks that should even be revisited. For every "I Get Money", we then get treated to "Straight To The Bank". And why did he keep "Peep Show" on the CD? Eminem phones in a verse AND a wack beat, and he expects this to sell? "Fire" sounds disjointed, as if he told Young Buck "I'll fix you, nigga. You talk to The Game, you do the chorus with a Pussycat Doll". As Method Man would say, "torture, mufucka", which is exactly how I felt when listening to this disc.

rock the dub gives Curtis a 2.5 out of 5. Average work from an average at best MC, who can write hooks and speak about his past exploits with the best of them. Hopefully there's an instrumental version coming, b/c those beats are the saving grace.

Essential Cuts: "Man Down", "Follow My Lead", "Curtis 187"

50 Cent's Curtis is available TODAY at all major retailers.

hit the links:
Official Website
MySpace Page

Can we please have a moment of silence?

RIP to those who lost their lives in the senseless acts of terrorism back on the 11th of September, 2001.

Nas ft. Quan "Just A Moment"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Real Talk: SMH @ Britney

What's going on, Miss Britney? How are the kids? Good, I hope. They weren't watching mommy last night, were they? I'm kind of surprised I was...

Now, Brit, I wanted to holla at you because, you're slipping. I got no comment about you shaving your head, or slobbing down randoms in the pool, or even showing your coochie. That's you, do your thing - out of the public eye. Your shit going on in the magical gossip world is one thing. How do you remedy your situation? You knock 'em out. "Gimme More" has gotten some good press, considering, and even T-Pain said you were easy (snicker) to work with. Why do you look like you had eaten about 50 quaaludes before getting up on stage last night?

Were you tired, ma? Did you need a nap? Did you forget your steps? Was the light in your eyes? Did someone put you off? What was that God-awful arrangement there? The whole situation was muddy.

My wife saw you perform in Trenton, NJ, about 3 years ago or so. Loved your show. Where's that Brit? And what's going to happen when your LP drops in a few months - wait, is it still dropping this year? Did you just fuck up your career?

Hey Brit, did you ever hear the theory that most bad relationships are prolonged due to good sex? This is what you did: you could come with the most outlandish shit, but as long as the headgame was on point, America could give a fuck.

Shit, I wasn't even mad at your lil' tummy, or the new thickness of your legs. For many men in America, that thicker look is sexy as hell. Keep it up!

Last night, you used your teeth instead of your tongue. You complained of your jaw hurting. You then proceeded to get on top, only to get off after two pumps b/c your head hurt.

Brit, you need some help. Go get it before you flush your shit further down the toilet.

rock the dub radio: episode 004

Growing up as a shorty in the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, one thing I always loved was hearing the original track that some of my favorite artists sampled. Whether it was a break or some odd piece of a Soul cut, Hip-Hop producers seem to find gold in the dusty creates and shelves that house music of days gone. To salute the art of crate digging, or rather to acknowledge those who came before us, I present to you: original copies. This is the first of many special shows I plan on doing (wait for the beginning of BBall season...), with a running theme.

I don't care what genre it is, if I like the Hip-Hop track, I am trying to find that original.

rock the dub radio episode 004


Download the MP3 of this 2hour show, or stream/download from divshare.

Here is the tracklist:

01/intro
02/"Good Times" Theme Song
03/Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon "Good Times"
04/The JB's "Pass The Peas"
05/Eric B. & Rakim "I Ain't No Joke"
06/Lyn Collions "Think (About It)"
07/Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two"
08/Minnie Ripperton "Inside My Love"
09/A Tribe Called Quest "Lyrics To Go"
10/The Isley Brothers "Between The Sheets"
11/The Notorious B.I.G. "Big Poppa"
12/The Originals "Sunrise"
13/Scarface ft. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel "Guess Who's Back"
14/Norman Connors "Invitation"
15/Mos Def "Brown Sugar (Fine)"
16/Thomas Dolby "She Blinded Me With Science"
17/Mobb Deep "Got It Twisted"
18/Sade "Kiss Of Life"
19/MF Doom "Doomsday"
20/MFSB "Something For Nothing"
21/Jay-Z "What More Can I Say"
22/Rick James "Super Freak"
23/Jay-Z "Kingdom Come"
24/Parliament "Flashlight"
25/40 Glocc, Ras Kass & The Alchemist "Flashlight"
26/Willie Hutch "Tell Me Why Has Our Love Gone Cold"
27/Three 6 Mafia ft. Young Buck, 8Ball & MJG "Stay Fly"
28/Earth Wind And Fire "Can't Hide Love"
29/UGK ft. Talib Kweli & Raheem DeVaughn "Real Women"
30/Giorgio Moroder "Tears"
31/DJ Shadow "Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)"
You like that, right? Some jams from the past, and the new spit from today.

As per usual, check out my podcast for this and other rock the dub radio archives. episode 001 is going to be a thing of the past, so go grab it quick!

Any DJs/producers/MCs with music they want me to check out, send your best quality MP3s to khaldub@gmail.com. Anyone with a shoutout or a track they would like to hear on a future rock the dub radio show? Send your requests to khaldub@gmail.com.

Holla!