Indy Hip Hop World

"A setback is just a setup for a comeback." --from Bebe Moore Campbell's "72 Hour Hold"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

another hot one coming to the Northcoast ...

Well, I could speak at length about my experiences while on a pseudo-vacation in Washington, D.C., but I know that you'd just shake your heads and say "tisk, tisk, tisk." Because that is what I am thinking and saying and I know that we are like-minded, right? The only thing I will say is "I love my Jeep." despite it's current condition ...

On to the task at hand ... it has come to my short attention span that Fatlip will be gracing a performanc venue in Cleveland. How happy am I (and you should be too)? I am trying to clear my sked for the July 21st show date.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, maybe Fatlip is not so unfamiliar. He was a member of the hip hop group Pharcyde in the early 90's - remember "Passing Me By?" Yeah, good music withstands ______ ... you can fill in the cliche there homie.

Fatlop dropped his latest cd late last year, "The Loneliest Punk." One of my favs on that disk is "Today's Your Day." And if you heard it, you'd be head noddin' right along with me. "Joe's Turkey" is quite nice as well. I recall "Today's Your Day" with a slow, funky melody. Good stuff baby, good stuff.

You could always pick up a compilation of Pharcyde tunes, if you so desire, of course. I think that you'd find it somewhat admirable, if not highly - it does include several remixes by the legendary and too-soon-departed-from-us, Jay Dee.

What else do I have ... oh, right alongside Fatlip for the Clev show @ the Grog Shop is Omni! I have been diggin Omni for a couple of years now. There are a multitude of great tracks on the last project including "Coca Cola" - now as much as I am not a big fan of commercialism, this song hook is just too damn catchy! That track was on the "Ballyho" cd. But my first brush with Omni was on what I believe was his second project called "Burgundy Brown." Interestingly enough, I was drawn to a track titled "African American."

Movin on ... just so you know, I have not watched the Dave Chappelle Block Party dvd this week probably something to do with being in the District and flooding and a loss of power and things of that nature, but I said I would not elaborate on that and I'm not elaboratin', just mentioning ...

I thought I heard a new track by Kanye on a radio station out to Baltimore - 92Q - on Sunday evening. I was trying to catch the hook - something with 'celebrate' or 'celebration,' but I also thought that it was something I'd heard previously. But the time I dig up the details, it will probably be old news. Speaking of Kanye, he looked kind of 'regular' on the BET awards (on Tuesday, June 27). By regular, I am comparing his wardrobe to that of what he wore to the Grammy's earlier this year. Leave the pimp gear for those of that ilk. I like Kanye in the preppy get up, but I'm sure he has standards to uphold ...

The track I am lovin right now is Kelis' "I'm Bossy." The lyrics are okay. Her delivery has a little pop to it, but I love the beat(s). Killer beats. And true, the hook "I'm Bossy" sticks out. How about that there video ... ? Kelis surely knows how to reinvent herself, eh? But is she just a one hit per project performer? So far that's her legacy, oh, and being Nas' wifey.

Now that my Dave Chappelle Block Party DVD release countdown has come and gone, it is time for me to focus on another task or two. That focus will be on The Roots' latest cd "Game Theory" which is due to drop in late August. Also on my radar is the new Outkast movie "Idlewild" and soundtrack! The first single is already out there - "Idlewild Blues." I have not listened to it in it's entirety, but I'm confident that they come correct following the global success of "The Love Below"/"Speakerboxx." The movie and soundtrack are also due out in mid-August.

Please know that I will not rush through the month of July trying to get my hh fix on (there's alot more hip hop to be had between now and then), so I will wait somewhat patiently, but also while silently praying that all of those products will be available at a theatre and/or store near me ... or else how will I be able to fulfill my insatiable desire for hip hop as I know and love it ... ? Do you feel me ... ? Knowing all that, you will send a word or two up for me as well, right ... ? I take that as a yes!

I have to go ... time to dig up some D.C. go-go ... stay true, kfox

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

the block is hot...what'd you think ...?

Yes, yes, yall ... it is indeed another posting on what is fast becoming my favorite dvd of all time! Throw ya hands up for "Dave Chappelle's Block Party."

So I finally broke open the highly anticipated (highly anticipated by me, of course) disk and I went straight to the scenes section to check out The Fugees segment - "Killing Me Softly" to be specific. Oh, what a treat. That song brings goose bumps to my lil brown arms ...

Eventually I checked out more of the disk. What I took note of was Dead Prez. Now, here are two guys who I like for the message they bring - socially conscious in the most raw form! I don't have my whispy hip hop collection in front of me, but I do own at least one of their cds. It's nice that they get some love from Chappelle on "... Block Party."

I also checked out some of the extras ... just some additional interviews with people who are in the movie. Not too bad ...

My friend, Angela, says that "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" sounds like a hip hop version of Waxstaxx (I think that's how it is spelled). Unfortunately, I have not viewed Waxstaxx, so I am on a mission to track it down.

I have more to say, but my laptop says it is time to shut it down ... the countdown is on til I order my new laptop - exactly two weeks (and it will NOT be a Mac - just too pricey, though I'm sure it's worth nearly every penny of the two thousand dollars on the price tag and that's with all the bells and whistles). But I do love my current laptop like I love my Jeep! Wooooo-who!

I'm outtie hip hoppers ... stay true, kfox

Monday, June 19, 2006

just a lil sumpthin...

okay folks, it's true ... i am on vacation! trying to chill out and do much of nothing. as a result, i have not listened to a great deal of hip hop - truly not my usual consumption. for example, i drove from ohio to d.c. over the wknd along with my sister who owns an ipod. so i thought yeah, this will be cool. well, whoa on that ... her music catalog has a hip hop deficiency! i'd like to say it ain't so, but her hiphop selection was paltry (wait until she reads this). she did have the roots' 'homegrown vol. 1 & 2' but heck, it gave that to her to load in her itunes. but then i found out that she was holding back ... she did have some vintage a tribe called quest ... all in all, it was heartbreaking to make the six hour trek without some bonafide beats, y'know ... ? when we finally rode into d.c. territory, i had to jump on some hip hop radio options with the quickness. hip hop in the district ... lil jon, dem franchize boyz :-( but there was a glimmer of hope when i heard kelis' 'i'm bossy.' that is one catchy joint and i must admit that i like the too short cameo. but is kelis' considered mainstream ... ? probably, when you get mtv/vh1 exposure, you are apart of that there crowd.

another quick note mainly for the ohioans ... the roots will be in clev @ the house of blues in early august - i think the 5th (by b-day wknd). and ?uestlove is doing a set on friday evening @ the grog shop. i'll have to double-check the dates, but since i am not planning and all out soiree this year, i think would be quite nice to check out my favorite hip hop band! last year's b-day wknd was pretty solid - tix to the legg mason tennis tourney with james blake in the final against andy roddick, then a private (not just me ;) ) listening party w/kanye west @ xm radio. but this year, i'll take it much more mellow ... heck, i am entitled to change my mind, so we'll see how things go since i am still feenin for a west coast trip, l.a. in particular.

one final note ... i did return the dave chappelle 'block party' to wal-mart, only to pick up a $15 version at best buy. gotta save a $ when i can, right ... ? but the thing is, i've been hangin out a bit and i have not had a chance to view it. my step-dad did check it out. he says it was enjoyable but he wanted more of dave's comedy and less concert - WHAT? how could you want less of that ... ? must be a generation gap, huh? love my step-dad, though i did not get a chance to make him breakfast on father's day morning, but if i would've it would have been grits, turkey sausage, a spinach and cheese omelet and some biscuits - ooooooooooh, it would have been good.

go feed your belly ... and stay true hip hoppers, kfox

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not feelin real hip hoppy...

...but for no good reason. Just returned from a short visit to San Antonio, Texas. My first time there ... and, well, it's not the kind of place where the kind of hip hop I like flourishes. But you might find, say, the Cowboy Troy type. There is a market for all types of music, eh?

However, I did check out the first five tracks of KRS One's "Life." It is GOOD stuff! He tackles some social issues like homelessness and materialism. At first I wanted to skip past "Bling Blung" but I tolerated it and began to appreciate the production of the track. Have I mentioned before that I am not a fan of the sing-songy hook especially if it's sung by a female vocalist...? Well, KRS travels down that road...he does...I really liked "Woke Up" as well as "F-cked Up." The later has an unusual structure, but since I am not listening to it as this very minute, I am unable to be as descriptive as I would like to be.

Also, I've been pumpin Madlib's latest "Beat Konducta, Vol. 1-2. Gosh, golly, wiz...I am diggin this in ways that you can not imagine. Lots of short shots and the musical nuggets will have you feenin for more ... I think I am going to loop some of them to make the full length - like at least 3:30 that I can workout to them or just shake my ass...which you are bound to do.

Speaking of feenin ... you thought I was going to say shakin my ass - shameful ... no, back to feenin and me and Dave Chappelle's Block Party! I don't think I was the first to purchase it at my neighborly Wal-Mart - and at full price, damn Sam and Sam! $19 and some change. Yeah, well, if I find that joint on sale in the next day or so, I am cashing in ... and that does mean that I have it and I will not break it open until I've done my rural research. But my greatest desire is to check out the Fugee's - nay, Lauryn Hill - perform "Killing Me Softly." Now, you know that more on this is forthcoming ... right!

Later hip hop heads ... stay true, kfox

Monday, June 05, 2006

this just in ...

Hey homies,

It has come to my attention that Mr. Lif, Cage and a bundle of others - cuz that's how the hip hoppers do it - are gonna be in my favorite city on the the lake. That's right, Cleveland.

WHO: Mr. Lif, Cage, Camu, Tao, Yak Ballz and Anomolie
WHERE: The Grog Shop; 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights
TIME: Who the hell knows
COVER CHARGE: $14 in advance
FOR THE INSIDE SCOOP: 216.321.5588

That's the word for the moment ... I'm bringin it to ya straight (chasers are for wussies).

stay true ... kfox

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Aaaayyyy Yo .. what is good?

I'll get right down to the business of some new indy hip hop music.

The Procussions disk is a nice one. I can't point to any stand out tracks in particular, but I will do that with in the next two weeks. Plus they're down with Okayplayer, and you know that's all good. Right, right.

A few weeks back Colossus dropped some vinyl - "From the Lab." It is absolutely fabulous! Really, it's only two tracks, "From the Lab" and "You a Grown Man." Both have four different mixes each. Even Roots Manuva, the South London hip hoppper, sneaks in an appearance on the mini-project.

I'm still trying to dig Dudley Perkins ... and I'm about to cop the latest Ghostface Killah cd - "Fishscale" because the hype is killing me. I need to know and hear for myself.

Mr. Lif and Akir got some attention today. I had high expectations for Mr. Lif's "Mo'Mega". Yeah, that's a problem. You see, it was not as megalicious as I'd like for it to be. I mean, I did like it, but I did not abolutely love it. So, I'm now on my second round of listening and it is indeed sounding better to my ears. The thing is he's got some mad assistance on this one from El-P, Blueprint, Akrobatik, Murs and other. And it's Definitive Jux, no doubt. Maybe I wanted to hear more ... it's great lyrically, but it's only 41 minutes worth.

Now Akir ... I must admit, I was just gonna check it out, but I had no expectations (expectations are a not so good thing - that may haunt me after I pick up that Ghostface, eh?). "Legacy" is as lovely as a FREE concert f/the Roots (it's my world, okay ... don't judge me ...). Speaking of The Roots, I - like many of you - checked out "Please Don't Go" - it's ah-ight (again, expectations) - I'm not so down with the females singing the hook on tracks that seems to be oh-so in vogue now. So back to Akir, I just put it on and commenced to swapping out my winter wardrobe - I think it's safe to do that now, though I did keep a couple of sweaters on call, just in case - for my very 'springy' summer gear. "Legacy" was pretty hype from the start though the 'clean' version is not fully 'radio ready.' Akir's sound is not region specific and that is all good. It's just packed w/funky, somewhat jazz inspired beats, dynamic lyrics (not predictable) and his execution stands out.

However, what I am still bangin and love a lot is Coppershot! MC's Longshot and Copperpot are quite eloquent in addressing a variety of issues on the cd with exactly that title. I like the title track as well as "Save Me" (which has the requisite female vocalist doin the hook - am I contradicting myself here ... ? Well, actually, I remember the first time I listened to it and I did not favor it for that very reason - thank goodness for the sophomore listening round, eh? Oh, and I am really vibin on "Black Father's Day."

Am I the only one counting down the days until Dave Chappelle's Block Party is released on DVD? Tell me I'm not on an island ... ? Aw, you know you're feenin too! June 13 is the day - no elbowin in line kids!

That's it hip hoppers ... stay true, kfox