I’m back!!! Of course this blog will likely grow and evolve over time, I’ve got some new plans and a slightly new direction I want to take life : sanguine. These tracks may not be every single day now, but I still plan to feature music heavily on here, including 8track and itunes playlists, so stay tuned. Onward and upward!
It may come as a surprise, but this was seriously my jam in high school. Not that I was in high school back in ’93, not even close. But I was/am really into classic, old skool (yes, I just spelled that with a ‘k’… don’t even front) hip hop and this has to be one of my favorite tracks of all time. The rhymes are just so damn smooth and the beat is practically hypnotic. It reminds me of driving out to the [Teton] Village for a day of skiing; summer camping parties and getting stoned in my “boyfriend”‘s minivan. Life was good for a high schooler in J-Hole.
Souls of Mischief, of Oakland’s infamous Hieroglyphics Crew, first came together in 1991 with ’93 to Infinity being their first collaborative product. This is obviously the tittle track of this debut album which remains their most successful to date. Although each member pursued other group and solo projects, they still came together periodically throughout the 90’s to produce albums. After a 9 year hiatus, they came back in 2009 with Montezuma’s Revenge which was equal parts contemporary underground hip hop and an ode to their old school West coast hip hop heritage. Plus, they will forever be endeared to my heart after namedropping my hometown in their last single, “Tour Stories”. See if you can catch it below!
I’ve been meaning to work in more hip hop into this list and this seems like an appropriate track to do so with. Seattle based Dark Time Sunshine, consisting of producer Zavala and rapper Onry Ozzborn, have been quietly building a loyal following for about 5 years now. This is off of their 2010 LP Vessel which made serious underground waves. In a lot of respects it is a quintessential Pacific Northwest hip hop album, with congenial beats meshed with contemplative lyrics. Yet, this album stood out on multiple levels. First off, Zavala brought with him from Chicago a more avant garde sensibility and his approach to production is significantly more experimental than the radio friendly projects of Seattle counterparts such as Sabzi of Blue Scholars and Ryan Lewis of Macklemore. Most of the tracks on Vessel are complex and multifaceted, with multiple layers of synth rhythms woven into a nexus with ever-changing warped beats. Their latest album ANX is equally left-field, with progressive (somewhat dreamy) soundscapes and provocative lyrics.
This track, however is one of their more accessible products. The soulful croon of Portland’s Reva Devito softens its impact and ergo highlight’s Onry Ozzborns deeply personal and introspective lyrics. Pacific Northwest hip hop has been thrust into the mainstream recently due to the explosive success of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” (it’s even taken off in Cambodia, I kid you not), and it’s inevitable that other Seattle mainstays will likely garner more attention. We’ll see if Dark Time Sunshine picks up any of this byproduct. Something tells me though that they’re perfectly happy occupying their avant gard niche the hip hop underground.
I’ve loved Canadian rapper k-os (pronounced “cha-os”) for ages now. “Love Song” is simply a solid jam. It epitomizes 21st century independent “hip-pop” that combines more melodic beats and hooks with thoughtful lyrics in order to reach a much broader audience. Think Blue Scholars, Sweatshop Union, Macklemore, Ayentee, Brother Ali and Common Market. Although “Love Song” more than 4 years old now, I just came across this Unplugged recording of this song and really think that it shows k-os at his best: stripped down and authentic.
Oh Drake. So suave and talented I almost forget you were the kid in the wheelchair on Canada’s Degrassi: The Next Generation. You know, I learned a lot from Degrassi, like how you’re supposed to wear chokers and clothes with studs whilst teen-angsting and that oral sex is like totally gonna give you gonorrhea. Thats okay though. I’ll give you a pass since prepubescent teen star to world famous rapper is such a logical career trajectory.
Also “Over My Dead Body” is a rad song, but no offense, Manchester based DJ Star Slinger made it better. Just saying.
p.s. I would totally die happy if you actually marry Nicki Minaj. Do it.
Jimmy!!! (before getting shot and ending up in the wheelchair)
As you can see, Drake was always bound for greatness