I know that many of you don't wish to revisit anything remotely related to this past winter, let alone the Winter Olympics. But it wasn't all bad, meaning the Winter Olympics (other than the U.S. hockey team losing to our northern friends).
For example, this video of The Roots performing in Vancouver is pretty cool. The set includes "The Fire", a new track from their upcoming "How I Got Over" project.
I found out about Akala via an article on the Independent's website about British hip hop. There were many artists who were mentioned throughout the article, but Akala stuck out for me. Here's one of his quotes from the article:
"I think rappers have found our voice within the UK to some degree, but we have to be very careful with what we label hip-hop and what we label rap music," says Akala.
He goes on to say:
"A diluted derivative of the culture can be paraded as the culture and then people lose the essence of what it really is and actually think hip-hop is about trying to sell people champagne and jewellery."
The article also included three tracks from Akala's recently released project. This is where I got pulled in.
The first was "Peace" and it caught me off guard because the article was talking about hip hop and grime music and what not. So I expected something uptempo. And you guessed it, "Peace" is not uptempo at all. As a matter of fact, it was nearly beatless. More like poetry w/a piano in the background. That's how I figured, well, this ain't your regular hip hopper.
"Yours and My Children" provides that tempo that I thought would be in "Peace". Akala comes hard on the lyrics: "Muslim, Christian ... all of our sons"; he goes on to name countries where there's war and strife and says "yours and my children".
The last track was "Find No Enemy". Incredibly cool track. It's melancholy w/the guitar as the pleasant backdrop. It's thought provoking too. It's six minutes of 'I've got something to say'. It's the kind of lyrics that's missing too often from music these days. I mean, I don't want every song to be socially conscious and political, but I also don't want every one to be that other thing either.
So check the vid hip hoppers ... and please know that fat meat is greasy. kfox.
Who doesn't like Reflection Eternal? Even if you've never heard of them, it's my bet that you'll like at least one track from their first track.
So, let me give you a bit of the back story - and I do mean just a bit. Reflection Eternal is Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek. That collabo is one for the history books. And they've done well for themselves individually too.
Now, the duo is back at it and the project will officially drop on Tuesday. The track "Midnight Hour" is already out there.
I must admit, that I was not feeling this to start, but I do like Estelle and I wanted to see how it would work out. I do like the way that Kweli adapts his flow on this song (I likes to see some versatility in an artist's style; especially since Kweli's been around. Because you know, some folks have been around and are doin the same ole, same ole). Of course, I like the tempo. I like uptempo music ... and the retro-soul sound is becoming; it gives the song a non-hip hop vibe.
I'm diggin it. You diggin it hip hoppers? Let me know. kfox.
I thought that the music video game had lost its moxie. Meaning: folks stand around yelling, riding in rented cars w/rented chicks and other fake paraphernalia. Oh, the sadness that is crap-hop. But now I've discovered that Shabazz Palaces has churned out a exceptionally crafty one - video that is (and a rather strong song too).
I could say a dozen or so things about it, but you gotta see it for yourself hip hoppers. kfox.
Missing the greats ... my grandfathers and grandmother, Whitney Houston, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Bernie Mac, Tim Russert, Bo Diddley, Issac Hayes, Max Roach, James Brown, Gerald Levert, Ed Bradley, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Ruth Brown, Oscar Peterson, August Wilson and Bebe Moore Campbell