Sunday, July 5, 2009

Top 10 Adlibs of all Time

The best adliber ever? "Yeah!"

Alotta cats don't like adlibs...dropping ill lines shows more talent than a lame gimmick adlib, they say. And sure, some adlibs can get annoying after a while. But, generally, I'm a sucka for an ill adlib. They can really have a strong effect on a it adding humour, emphasing a punchline or just displaying all around swagger. But which artists' adlib phrases are the coolest? Let's explore...

10. Jim Jones "Ballin!" You gotta mention it...cos everyone associates Jim Jones with the phrase. In fact, it's hard to bring him up without impersonating the's just too funny for some reason!

9. Joe Budden: Various ("Ill! (Ill!), "Waitaminute", "Ugh!") Budden has some real cool adlibs. The "Ill!" echo thing that appears throughout his Mood Muzik mixtapes is cool (even though I'm pretty sure that's actually not him saying it). His other adlibs are always delivered passionately and add emphasis to the accompanying lyrics.

8. Pusha T: "Yeeuuughh!" This is a great one...often delivered when the beat cuts out for a sec, really grabbing the listener's ear. He spits this adlib with such nastiness that it rightly became Pusha's calling any Clipse show just listen to the crowd join him in the infamous "Yeeuuuughh!" delivery.

7. Master P: "Uhhhhhhhhh!" This is more of an infamous one. Master P ruled the game in the mid-to-late 90s, and this adlib became synonymous with the man.'s pretty much historical and shit. And it's real fun to do too...

6. Sandman - "Yeah...cannons!" This one has to be included due to sheer persistence: it appears at the beginning of every Sandman appearance (it sounds pretty awesome over heavy, intense beats like those featured on the Clipse's We Got It 4 Cheap Vol 2 Mixtape). His label, C.A.N.N.O.N.S. Inc., includes a deep list of artists including HouseWife, Lil’ Spazz, Lo’ Pro, Kawshen, Wild Bill, Eddie Somerset, Teflon, Chris Bugz, Cheech Myers, Rush and Filthy Rich. I guess he's trying to get a little more exposure to his project with his ever present adlib. And worked: here I am giving it some light.

5. Jadakiss: "Eh haa!" This is just a real cool sounding adlib. It is a fun adlib and almost tongue in cheek. It says " is me. And I am so fly I can laugh about it but make it sound crazy cos ya'll muthafuckas love me"

4. Rock: *Wierd evil laugh* ("hehehehe") / Ruck (Sean Price): "P!" Heltah Skeltah bring it collectively. Rock has that awesome evil laugh thing going on in most of is verses, right in the background when he drops a quotable. Like his lines, the evil laugh is also tongue in cheek and helps bring you into the whole crazy gangsta shit he does so well.

Then there is Sean Price. His famous "P!" shout is addictive as hell. Hearing the "P!" is unlike anything else in hip-hop. With the holler of that one simple letter, Sean delivers emphasis of a punchline and is also pretty much reminding us he has control of the mic...all attention should be directed towards his verse, if it wasn't already. His lines demand our ears, so listen up to "P!"

3. DMX - *Bark*, *Growl* Nothing really needs to be said here. The whole concept of the bark is crazy...crazy enough that it works almost as well as any adlib in the game. The first time you hear him imitating the sacred canine with barks and growls you almost don't know how to react...all you know is, you want to hear it again. And again.

2. Playboy Tre - Various ("Nah!", "Mayne!", *high pitched wierd laugh*) I just love Playboy Tre's adlibs. The southern veteran doesn't rely on crazy rhymes, word plays and flow, but more on actual content, often emotional. His adlibs therefore are vital to his verses, and they are delivered with such weight and meaning that they become highlights. Then he has this cool little laugh which he does sometimes, which is almost like the antidote for his more angry, passionate adlibs.

1. Young Jeezy - Various ("Yeah!", "Dayum!", "Haha!") Jeezy. Obviously number one. The long "Yeah!" he spits is infectious. Some of my favorite adlib tracks of his are the UGK jawn with Jigga "I'm Throwed" and the T.I. joint "I'm Straight". Also he has my favourite adlib progression of all time, occuring in the song "Don't Get Caught," where he spits (adlibs in brackets):

"Some niggas rob (What?) / Some niggas slang (For real?) / Some niggas stack (Nawh!) / Some niggas bang (Yeh!)"

and the "Yeh!" at the end just cracks me up. It's hard to explain why it's so's delivered so forcibly when you wouldn't really expect's adlib genius...that's Jeezy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 10 album delays of all time

Saigon: Release My Album Dammit!

Waddup, it's been a minute. I been at Michigan State Uni studying for a semester, but now I'm back in Melbourne.

So there's been a few projects I been anticipating lately, and they keep getting pushed back (Raekwon, Big Boi, etc.). And it's annoying as hell. It's a familiar story...skilled artist gains following, gets signed to a major label, artist creates music on the creative tip, label wishes for more mainstream material prompting lack of funding to the project, delays and often ultimate non-release of album. You may have recorded a classic, but that shit ain't ever gonna see the light of day. After all, Reasonable Doubt only ever made 23rd on the Billboard charts.... Lupe told us he'd never "dumb it down" but not every rapper is CEO of the label they are signed to.

So what are the top 10 most infamous album delays of all time? Let's have a look...

10. Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana - I Can't Feel My Face. Many heads (myself included) were drooling with anticipation when Juelz and Weezy announced a collab album was in the works back in 2006. However, Juelz was signed to Diplomat Records (owned by Cam'ron); Weezy to Cash Money. Cam wasn't the most encouraging label head when it came to collabarations with artists from other labels...clearly, the project was not going to progress smoothly. However, it is clear that Weezy and Juelz really wanted to pursue the one interview I remember Weezy was asked "Who else in the game is closest to your level?" to which he responded "Only one cat...Juelz Santana." Juelz wanted to complete a few mixtapes with Weezy to show Cam that Cash Money and Dipset were on the same page. And Weezy himself named two songs on his classic Da Drought 3 mixtape "Dipset" and "Dipset 2". However, this clearly was not enough. Juelz's rights have been sold to Def Jam since, and perhaps the album might yet see the light of day. A leak, My Face Can't be Felt, has hit the may or may not be the last we hear of the project. Only time will tell...

9. Papoose - The Nacirema Dream. Jive are involved both here and for Number 2 on the list - shame! After gaining popularity in the streets with his many mixtape releases, 'Poose signed a deal in 2006 with Jive for $1.5 million. However, he and favored DJ Kay Slay were apparently the victim of "A&R Hell" at the label and eventually left. Somehow, Papoose managed to keep the $1.5 million (or so he claims). Not bad work if you can get it...anyway, so we are still without a debut album from Papoose. Like Saigon, he might have missed the best time to capitalise on his hype...we'll see what happens.

8. Slum Village - Fantastic Volume 1/2. The new cats out of Detroit were causing a stir in the underground in the mid to late 90s. They signed to A&M Records and had Fan-Tas-Tic, their full-length debut, ready for release in 1997. However, once again, label politics forced the album to be postponed. Bootleg copies circulated first Michigan and then the country and the album gained much praise from many underground heads. SV continued to work on new material, yet with a new album completed in 1998 PolyGram (A&M's parent) was bought by Seagrams and A&M merged into Universal Music Group (most staff were let go and many artists dropped - it essentially folded). After a year or so with no label, the Village decided to put their new material together with some of Fan-Tas-Tic and release Fantastic Vol. 2 under GoodVibe Recordings and Barak Records in 2000. Fan-Tas-Tic in its original form didn't see release until 2005 under Counterflow, and was titled Fantastic Vol. 1.

7. J-Live - The Best Part. This highly talented NY cat came up in the mid 90s, and through 96-97 recorded an album with production from the likes of Premo, Pete Rock and Prince Paul. By all accounts, the album was close to completion in 97. However, problems with label Shack Records forced delays and eventually J-Live left the label. He ended up on Payday Records, which did not improve things at all: Warner Music Group bought London Records (Payday's parent) from Universal Music Group and the project was again scrapped. By this time it was 2001, and high quality bootlegs had begun to circulate (was J-Live himself behind these? Most certainly...yes). Luckily, third time lucky, the album was released later that year on the aptly named label Triple Threat Productions. J-Live had this to say in his liner notes about the album's odyssey: "[it was] built, robbed, destroyed, rebuilt, held up, postponed, cancelled, shelved, bootlegged, analyzed, exploited, slept on, supported, patiently awaited, and appreciated." The end result was a masterpiece, all be it slept on. I recommend everyone to check out this album as soon as possible!

6. Madvillain - Madvillainy II. After the magic of Madvillainy in 2004, everyone wanted a sequel. Everyone but MF Doom, it seems (I guess I should call him by his new name DOOM). Madlib had all the beats ready for a new album, and a joint named "Monkey Suite" appeared on Stones Throw's Chrome Children compilation as a teaser for the sequel with DOOM ripping it up. However, that was the last time we ever heard DOOM on a Madlib beat. By 2008 Madlib eventually got tired of waiting for DOOM, and just remixed Madvillainy. And...that was Madvillainy II. So the album I guess has been released...but not how we ever wanted it.

5. K.M.D. - Bl_ck B_st_rds. Remaining on the Daniel Dumile tip, this album's non-release ultimately created one of the greatest cult followings seen in hip-hop - that of MF Doom. Firstly, DJ Subroc was killed in a car accident shortly before completion of the album in 1993. Elektra dropped the outfit the same week, and to add insult to injury, the next year refused to release the album due to its controversial title and album cover (which featured a caricature of a Sambo figure being hanged). Zev Luv X (Subroc's brother) understandably did not react to this succession of events well, and disappeared into the depths of New York, and then Atlanta. He returned years later, after "recovering from his wounds", as MF Doom: the rest, as they say, is history. As Doom's popularity grew, Bl_ck B_st_rds was finally released in 2001 on Sub Verse Music.

4. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told. An amusingly ironic title, The Greatest Story Never Told, has seen numerous delays since 2005, the year it was originally scheduled for release. The album is supposed to be released by Fort Knocks Entertainment - Just Blaze's label under Atlantic Records. However, it seems Just does not get much input into proceedings...otherwise the album would have surely been released by now. Saigon claimed on his blog in 2007 that Atlanta are the perpatrators and only wanted to release "jingles" that would sell, not straight up real hip-hop (Just claimed it was because a sample could not be cleared...but this turned out to be wrong as even after it was cleared further delays ensued). Later that year he seemingly lost it, blasting the whole rap game and announcing his retirement. He later went back on this decision, but the announcement clearly showed his frustration with the label. Luckily, Saigon has finally got a release from Atlantic and he and Just Blaze have 100% ownership of the album. A new distribution deal is being sorted out now and the album should be released this year...finally!

3. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx II. Initially announced in 2005 (a decade after the release of the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx), this album has still not yet seen the light of day. It was first "finished" in January 2006, with Raekwon bullish over his recent signing to Aftermath Entertainment (Dre had 2 beats on there allegedly). Highly anticipated in 2007, it never dropped. Then, Dre suddenly wasn't "fuckin' with [the album] no more", instead focusing on Eminem's comeback album and presumably his own Detox joint. So Rae had to go and find a different distributing label. Currently it is expected to be released on his own Icewater Records through EMI on August 11, 2009. But, as always, who knows if this is the final story?

2. The Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury. After the succesful release of Lord Willin in 2002 with Arista Records, the Clipse looked to continue their momentum with a second release for the label. However, Sony and BMG merged in '04, forcing Arista to be dissolved into Jive Records. This was a slight hinderance on the progress of the album...but nothing like what would occur over the ensuing years. Jive straight fucked the Clipse...while originally an important label in the history of hip-hop, Jive were by this time completely refocused on pushing pop acts like Britney Spears. This is fair enough...what isn't fair is that they would't release the Clipse from their contract. Jive delayed the album all through the end of 2004 and all through 2005. Then the Clipse (who had already experienced having their first album Exclusive Audio Footage scrapped by Elektra records in 1999) quite rightly sued Jive for not allowing them to leave, which was not resolved until mid-2006. Eventually, the album was released at the end of the year. Perhaps it all ended up for the best...while all this happened the Clipse channeled their anger into some of the hottest shit heard this millenium. And we also got the great "We Got It 4 Cheap" parts 1 and 2 mixtapes while waiting...good things come to those who wait I guess.

1. Dr Dre - Detox. This is obviously number 1. Initially scheduled for a 2005 release, the first delays actually served the project well in my opinion: dude coulda put a cap on his solo career with a release in 2006...that would have made it a perfect 7 years between each of his albums. The hype around this time was also immense. But 2006 eventually came and went. In 2007 cats were still eagerly anticipating the album, but already frustrated by the delays. By 2008 no one really cared about the project anymore. Meanwhile Dre was keeping himself busy producing many a mediocre-to-good beat for other acts and also selling them Beats by Dr Dre Headphones. I think I also heard news that he was working on a movie score. Clearly Detox has been the last thing on his mind. That said, apparently the album will see a release this year, but we've all heard that one before. Dre straight blew it...the longer he waits, the better the album must be to appease fans. Everyone involved claims its some next level shit...but they also said the same of Relapse so it's kinda hard to take their thoughts seriously.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2008

Black Milk: Number 1 in '08

There's been lots of mad non hip-hop albums released this year too...including Raphael Saadiq, Solange, Jazmine Sullivan, TV on the Radio, Cut Copy and the list goes on. But here are my top 10 hip-hop joints...

1. Black Milk - Tronic
We already knew Detroit boy Black Milk was a talented producer after he gave us his debut Popular Demand last year...hell, many would claim he was the best up and coming producer in the land. But after the release of Tronic there is no question: Milk is the best producer in the land right now, and he is no longer up and coming...he is right here, in his prime. This sophomore effort came quicker than many would have expected, indicating that Milk is just a natural with the beats and can whip 'em out in no time (don't forget he also produced the bulk of Number 6 on this list...Elzhi's The Preface). Adding a more electro synth sound to his already impressive sampling skills and street drums gives this album a unique, and incredibly pleasing sound throughout. And how about his rhymes? They do their job, with a few nice lines here and there...but it is the guests who shine, most noticeably Royce da 5'9 who just sounds so at home over any Black Milk production.

2. Young Jeezy - The Recession
So a mainstream album up at number 2? with it. This album has been underrated in my opinion. The beats are spectacular...this is Jeezy's best album yet beat-wise. And considering his lyricsm has improved (all be it slightly), that would make this Jeezy's best album yet period. Be it the momentous grand opening intro produced by Toomp, or Drumma Boy's awesome "Put On", the beats knock hard, and mainly feature great sample selection. Jeezy muses about life a little more here than previously, which is always welcome, as his thoughts are generally memorable. But mainly, its more of the same. This is also welcome if, like me, you just enjoy Jeezy's style on a track. The album also features the verse of the year: Kanye's on "Put On". The track is also up there for best track of the year, in my opinion.

3. Shawn Jackson - First of all
The sleeper of the year. If you haven't heard of SJ, you are not alone, but I would recommend you try and hear some of his shit. First of all (pun intended) the dude straight up has "swagger like a dagger" and rips tracks up. Secondly, he works with this mad producer named Mekalek who produces straight masterpieces. 5 or 6 beats on here are just incredible, and never get old. And SJ does to them exactly what should be done...especially on "Feelin' Jack". Tres Records, also behind Blu (one of my favorite cats in the game), are clearly making a name for themselves.

4. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Yeah, you know I'm all about the beats. And this shit features hit after hit...there are some real nice productions on here. And Weezy came pretty nice on this, which was surprising as his other recent shit hasn't been impressive. It really is hard to find a weak track on here...well that's not true, "La La La" is pretty easy to spot as wack, but other than that, this shit is tight. It's also great to hear Juelz on a track again...he straight rips up "You Ain't Got Nothing".

5. T.I. - Paper Trail
A huge improvement from T.I. Vs T.I.P., you gotta give mad props to T.I. for coming back strong. Sure, it's hard to stomach tracks like "Whatever you like", but you can't deny it's a hit. And there are some great tracks scattered throughout this album, including "No Matter What" where T.I. succesfully gets on his inspiring/introspective ish over a dopely-laced Danja beat. The first few tracks on the album are straight fire, especially the insanely positive "On Top of the World", while the middle lacks a little, but picks up strongly towards the end with a couple of slower jawns (including a fine production effort by Justin Timberlake). With far more good tracks than wack ones, this album deserves its spot here at number 5.

6. Elzhi - The Preface
Again, Black Milk produces the majority of this record and the end result is straight fire. The beats are not as consistently strong as Tronic but there are some straight up bangers in here. "Motown 25" is the highlight of the album, with an insane beat, Elzhi's typically expert lyriscm and a guest verse from Royce that straight flattens you.

7. Heltah Skeltah - D.I.R.T.
You may know, Sean Price is my favorite rapper. On this album he does not dissapoint, nor does his comrade Rock. They both spit that awesome hardcore humour rap that you've all grown to love...but so why is this down at number 7, and not higher? Well, the production feels a little predictable throughout. Like theres always some high pitched synth going on with some lame-ass riff it's almost trying too hard to be gangster in places. When the producers do get it right (for example "Da Beginning of Da End" by 10), the result is hard to beat.

8. The Roots - Rising Down
Mos Def begins this jawn with a stupdendously awesome verse, and shit just continues on from there. Listening to this album will really take your mind away from wherever you are, whatever you are doing. It'll suck you right in, with it's heavy synths and sound. Sometimes the darkness can get a little too much, and more tracks like the excellent closer "Rising Up" would be welcome. But I guess The Roots were probably going for that sound and did exactly what they wanted hear, and you gotta admit, it is pretty cool. And as always, the instrumentation is crazy...word em up ?uestlove.

9. The Game - L.A.X.
This album was solid, and proves an enjoyable listen. However, I was expecting much more from this: Doctor's Advocate was one of my favourite albums of recent times. I didn't mind Game's spitting was more the beats. The straight up heaters from DA were just not present here, excepting "Dope Boys". That's not to say all the beats were bad, just the more laid back style I find does not suit Game as much as the bangers do. Props for the originality behind "Never Can Say Goodbye" though, where duke takes on Tupac, Biggie and Eazy-E's mindset before their respective deaths. Oh yeah, and

10. EMC - The Show
This album offers plenty of straight heat lyrics wise: you'd be hard pressed to find four iller spitters (Masta Ace, Stricklin, Punch & Words) together on a record. Unfortunately some of the ideas aren't really hittin' ("Grudge"). And some of the hooks on a couple of tracks I really ain't feelin ("Make it Better","We Alright"). But otherwise, its a solid album, with plenty of ill rhymes and production. And the Sean Price track? FIYAH!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Top 10 One-Liners

Big L: The illest one-line spitter of all time

There is nothing like a dope one-liner. That shit that just makes you wyle out the first time you hear it...and everytime after it never gets old. Sometimes they are humurous, othertimes they are just ill wordplay, or sometimes they just poetic muthafuckas. I reckon Big L was the king of one-liners - just go listen to Lifestylez of da poor and dangerous. Anyways, here are some random ones I picked out:

MC Suffa (Hilltop Hoods) on "Dumb Enough"
"I make origami of your lyrics / (geez that's good Suffa, what is it?)......IT'S A SWAN!"

Sean Price on "Madman"
"I rock, Mecca, Polo, Iceberg, Fubu, but Ecko I rock
Better solo, fight, hurt, shoot you and jet yo [repeat]"

MF Doom on "Meat Grinder"
"Borderline Schizo / Sorta Fine Tits though / Pour the wine, hold the grind, quarter to nine, lets go"

Juelz Santana on "You Ain't Got Nothing"
"I'm a shark, ya'll just koifish / (what else?)...Octupus, (what else?)...Oysters"

Jay-Z on "Dead Presidents II"
"I had near brushes, not to mention / 3 shots close range, never touched me, divine intervention"

Biggie on "Brooklyn's Finest"
"If Faye had twins, she'd probably have two Pacs...get it, Tupac's?"

Talib Kweli on "Hater Players"
"Reverse psychology got em scared to say when shit is wack / Out of fear of being called a hater, imagine that?"

Mos Def on "Mathematics"
"Like I got...16 to 32 bars to rock it / But only 15 percent of profits...ever see my pockets"

Joe Budden on "Family Reunion"
"I flow sickly, ridin' bumpin' old Biggie/ roll with me or lose weight, Nicole Richie"

Prodigy on "Shook Ones Part II"
"Meanwhile back in Queens, the realness and foundation
if I die, I couldn't choose a better location
when the slugs penetrate, feel a burning sensation
getting closer to a tight situation now"

Big L on "Da Graveyard"
"I'm known for snatchin purses and bombin churches /
I get more pussy on accident then most niggas get on purpose"

Big Pun on "Twinz (Deep Cover '98)"
"Dead in the middle of Little Italy little did we know we’d riddled some middlemen who didn’t do diddly"

GZA on "Gold"
"I'm deep down in the back streets - in the heart of Medina /
About to set off something more deep than a misdemeanor"

Common on "I Used to love H.E.R."
"I'm gonna take her back hoping this shit stop / Cos who I'm talking about ya'll is hip-hop"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Heltah Skeltah Coming Soon

Yo, I been real busy at uni but this should keep ya'll smart dumb cats busy for a bit.

Need I say anything more? These guys are fucking sick and D.I.R.T. is gonna be supreme dopeness!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top 20 Premo Beats

I feel it's time to get back on my hip-hop tip. Today, I wanted to discuss the greatest beats by one of the greatest producers of all time: DJ Premier. There are so many dope beats by him, I made it a top 20, but still the chances are your favourite is not on this list. I put some links there to some tracks...some are mp3s I uploaded, others are youtube links. I also tried to keep it only one beat per artist just so we can see dude's variety. Let's get this shit cracking...

20. Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man
Don't hate...if this were a beat for a rapper you'd say it's one of Premo's best. Christina comes nice on this anyway. This is just another notch in his belt: Premo can make hits. I even liked that beat he did for Limp Bizkit with Method Man - "N 2 Gether Now" you can't front that shit is ill!

19. Termanology - Watch How it Go Down
Love this shit. Termanology GOES TO WORK on this. Just keeps rapping for the whole track: and the soundscape Premo provides is fucking sick. I love it at the end how he scratches in Jay-Z's "Shit is wicked on these mean streets" from Premo's own "D'Evils". It's a great final touch on a dope track.

18. Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn Dodgers
That bell that comes in after the mad jazz band sample is insane. Chubb Rock is too.

17. Royce Da 5'9 - Hip Hop
Nice strings in here...and then some cool little bell riff. This track is appropriately named cos this beat is straight up hip-hop.

16. Buckshot LeFonque - Music Evolution
Mad jazz shit.

15. Rawkotics - Hard Core Hip-Hop
Some rare older shit...nonetheless take a listen: that is a mad beat.

14. Common - 6th Sense
Premo provides Common with a type of beat you rarely hear Common spit over. That more straight up hip-hop, less soulful cut. And it sounds great. Common + Premo would be a great partnership I reckon. Although they'll probably never collab again...after all Common already "found the new Premo" (Kanye).

13. Mos Def - Mathematics
It's an ill bassline on this one. Premo has some fun here, with an ill breakdown before Mos' second verse. The hook he scratches out is also sick: "Mighty Mos Def" / Fat Joe: "It's simple mathematics" Lady of Rage: "(check it out)" / Ghostface: "I revolve around science" / Ghostbusters sample: "What are we talking about here?" and then Erykah Badu sample "Do Your Math" leading into the breakdown.

12. The Lox - Recognize
Straight up banger.

11. Gangstarr - Above the Clouds
My fav Gangstarr beat. Inspectah Deck rips this up too. I think "Moment of Truth" was Premo's best production with Gangstarr...every beat on there is solid as fuck.

10. Biggie - Ten Crack Commandments
This has Premo all over it. The way he chops shit up, you can easily tell its dude: especially on this joint. This beat here seems impossible to play without nodding your head.

9. Dilated Peoples - Clockwork
Unlike Ten Crack Commandments, this one isn't as obvious Premo. I dunno it just sounds a bit different to his usual style, with just a phat clean bassline being pumped out rather than a dusty old piano sample or whatever. The hit at the end of each loop, is vintage Premo though. However, it is an insane beat, really gets me going. And the intro and outro to the track are awesome too.

8. Capone N Noreaga - Invincible
That's some ill up-tempo shit. Does exactly what a good hip-hop beat should do...create a platform for MCs to reach their full potential. It would be hard to spit anything on this and sound wack.

7. Blaq Poet - Voices
This is not as well known as some of these other joints. Check the link then if you haven't heard it. This is one bad record. Dark. Haunting. Fucking sick...just take a listen.

6. Nas - N.Y. State of Mind
So yeah he is handy with the MPC, chopping shit up. We all know that. But this track showcases just how important your drums are. This track is all about the drums...some of the best I've ever heard on a hip-hop track. Big, dirty, hard hitting joints. This track is pivotal in setting up the album - one that is regarded by many as the greatest hip-hop album ever made. I think it is therefore safe to say it achieved its goal.

5. Fat Joe - The Shit Is Real (Remix)
This is another one of them positive sounding Premo beats with a mad nostalgic type melody looped over his trademark head-nodding drums.

4. Jeru the Damaja - Come Clean
Premo has a distinctive sound, yet still manages to be one of the most creative cats out there. And it's all about the sample: any sound can be flipped and chopped up into a mad beat. Here it is water drops. But I just love the drums on this one. They contrast with the sample perfectly creating an awesome head-nodding rythmn that Jeru rips up. I also give a shout out here to the joint "Supastar" by another Gangstarr affiliate Group Home which is mad, but I haven't found room for on this list.

3. Jaz O and the Immobiliare - Love Is Gone
This is one slept on beat. He uses this mad electronic sounding sample and then incorporates some breath noise sample in there as well, with some guitar stabs. The result is a track that you can just play over and over, cos its so pleasing to the ears. Jaz O fills the track nicely, don't really know who that other cat is though.

2. Jay-Z - D'Evils/Bring It On
I'll give props to two instrumentals here, both from the classic Reasonable Doubt album. D'Evils is some crazy shit. Premo don't give a shit about no west coast/east coast beef shit...he samples Snoop and layers this mad piano riff over the top, setting an incredible mood on the track. Jay-Z absolutely murders the track, spitting some of greatest verses ever spat. Bring it On features a beautiful melancholy orchestral progression. Once Premo gets an ill sample, you know the track is gonna be dope, cos he's always gonna bring those drums.

1. J-Live - The Best Part
This is number one for me. Again, it all comes down to an ill sample. Here we have a mad pan flute type sound. Add some banging drums, an orchestra fill and some incredible scratching in the hook and you have an absolute classic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brand off to Sixers; Maggette joins Warriors

Brand (career high of 25 PPG) and Maggette (career high of 22 PPG): both gone. All I know is this...Al Thornton's fantasy value just went up.

Damn. I guess this just goes to show...never predict a team's future before free-agent season has finished. Everything I wrote about the Clippers the other day is bogus. Without Brand, I don't think they are going anywhere. Baron is great...Brand is greater in my mind. But if I've learned anything today, its as I just said: do not judge before free-agent season has finished. Perhaps in the next couple of days they can manage to lure another big name player their way. Let's not judge them yet...

Scratch's the Clippers. If you think about it, this is the way things were meant to pan out. After a history of being one of the least winningest franchises in sports history, the Clippers make the play-offs in '06, push Phoenix to 7 games, and give the fans some hope for the future. This is followed up with two lack-lustre, injury-riddled seasons, where it seems as if they are neither challenging nor rebuilding. This all makes perfect sense: the Clippers simply aren't meant to have prolonged success.

But after the Clippers agreed to sign Baron Davis last week, it all seemed perhaps times were indeed changing. "Brand and Davis, with some decent talent to build around? Yes please...Maggette? We aren't concerning ourselves with him anymore!" My whole post below sums up the feelings in Clipperland post-Baron, pre-today's horrible news. Now? Of course, it all makes perfect sense.

So that is twice Clippers fans have been treated with a cause to be optimistic, only to have it taken away. The first time was a longer gruelling process, the second short and sharp. Perhaps third time lucky? Don't count on's the Clippers.