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Stay Tuned…

2 June, 2006

Sorry for no updates recently been sorting out some work related stuff, more musical and random reflections coming soon. Meanwhile here are some 2006 album releases you have to check out, or you will be really missing out:

Plan B

  •  The would of been Streets member, is soon to drop his debut album. It is grimey gritty and raw, with a mix of hard-hitting guitar driven beats laced with UK Slang. Its single ‘No Good’ (already released with artistic video) uses the classic Prodigy hook, but Plan B flips the whole of the track into something interesting and fresh. With much attention to detail into the minds of
    Britain’s working-class youth, this album will mos definitely be another success proving that it’s time for Plan B in the music industry. 
  •  Busta Rhymes – The Big BangBusta Rhymes

After dropping a disappointing album, Busta returns with his new bold headed look. The real question is that did he lose his talent along with the dreads? Let’s face it his never going to be the same lyrically charged genius he was, but this new album is quite a shock. Because along with the predictable commercial token tracks, are some great collabs with Nas, Raekwon and even Stevie Wonder! Also Q-tip makes an appearance with some native tongue vibes, it’s nothing jaw-dropping but this effort by Busta is definitely a solid release. In which we see how he has diversified to deal with the more Crunk driven artists of today, but has still given some homage to what his legendary persona has done for Hip-Hop.

From the incredible Bossa Nova music scene Sergio Mendes does a collaboration album with a huge array of artists, annoyingly accompanied by Will I Am from BEP. This album is a chilled out fusion of artists covering classic beats which have been newly worked. I liked it as it was fun and funky, a mix of frivolous club orientated songs. Will I am gets quite annoying talking nonsense nearly over every track, but that aside you can hear some guest shots from Black Thought, Chali 2na, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monch, Erykah badu and John Legend. Which is nice, as to see such eminent artists on one album is great (even if it’s a mainstream creation).

Soul Position

 Soul Position’s new album is quite a cool piece of work. Blueprint raps about social commentary. RJD2 does his job quite well, mixing up the soul and funk samples he’s known for and, to make room for his MC, keeping himself in that background. The resulting combination almost works, but it’s never able to make a huge statement. Blueprint starts off strong, announcing that this music comes gimmick-free and with a sense of direction. On “Hand-Me-Downs” he explains the current state of hip-hop: “No ‘young, gifted, and black’ / Just guns, bitches, and crack / I react by turning off BET / And Sambo telling me what blackness is supposed to be”. He quickly sets out his intention of defining a more positive sort of blackness, and especially a more palatable masculinity. Given RJ’s production and ‘Print’s tight delivery and assertive personality, the record becomes commanding. (Source) 

The Procussions incorporate substance based rhymes over drum driven beats. Stro adds, “We believe the heart of hip-hop is the drum, the percussion, it’s the driving force that sets it apart from all other genres. The rhythm patterns alone of a rapper are much like a percussion instrument. It’s important to get to the root of things in life and the root of hip-hop is the percussion.” The Procussions in conjunction with Rawkus are staying true to the foundation of which Hip-Hop was rooted. The Procussions abide by basic principles of traditional Hip-Hop, while at the same time striving to push the boundaries of the genre and elevate its followers to a higher plateau. I think that insight from the group says it all, on the real though this album is great shout outs to Tara Ellis dropping some spiritual knowledge on one of the tracks making it a memorable release.

Expressions is an improvement over his improbably existent debut, A Lil’ Light, the work of a man with no idea how to write lyrics– let alone songs. Not that he carted his horse to any sort of Leonard Cohen wagon; his tracks still amble, amiably. But producer Madlib has taken his ever-present penchant for fractured soul production– sample-heavy organs and wah guitar sound– to a slipshod breaking point here, a place where choruses are worthless and verses are for chumps. Perkins’ debut was almost entirely choruses; eliminating his formulaic writing,Dudley’s meandering here sounds more naturalistic. “Separate Ways” is droopy and shimmering at once, with a high-pitched synth punctuating the ramble-sanging: “Sweet memories of you and me down a one-way road,” then a bit of scat-talking, then an informal coda. “Coming Home” could be about returning to a lover, returning to God or just, ya know a trip home from the weed spot. Thing is, it’s as much about existential terror.
Dudley’s shook. You can’t name a song “Dear God” unless you really mean it, no matter how funny it is. “Dollar Bill” is predictably about an eternal lack of funds. Even rollicking opener “Funky Dudley” has an insecure call-and-response thing happening: “How’d you get so funky,Dudley?”
Dudley tells us “whatever it takes to get the body to move,” but he’s only half-right. Only the clipped, pseudo-Parliament groove lets us forgive him his bragging and thoughtless proclamations. (Source)


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