Getting ready to endure christmas - at least I sowed up shopping way back. Posting some hip hop finds.
Wu-Tang: 8 Diagrams. Pretty hot. RZA gets pretty funky with the production. Meth is pretty hot, as is Masta Killah and the GZA. Would have liked to hear more Ghost. Check out "Wolves" (featuring George Clinton no less) and "Take it Back". That, and where the hell did RZA dig up Sunny Valentine. I thought that dude was on the Bar mitzvah circuit. Shows what I know - and that guy can still belt out some tunes. Nice of them to Eulogize O' Dirty Bastard. Have to say, as far down as he fell musically before he died, Return to the 36 Chambers is still pretty awesome. Dirt Dawg was right - there truly was no father to his style.
Ghostface: Big Doe Rehab. I actually didn't like this that much on first listen, but I'm warming up to it. The problem is I'm an ardent Ghost fan, so I want everything to be awesome. The bonus track with High School All-Stars sucks, but everything else is pretty tight. I think the Fishscale / More Fish/ Big Doe direction has run its course, and we need to hear him mix it up on his next project. Not sure how I feel about the production here. On one hand, there are some great samples - on the other hand, its a little too polished, and the source material a little too obvious. Get some Ray Ayers in there. Check out Yolanda's House, and Paisley Darts, and you'll smell what the Ghost is cookin'. I have to say the Rythym Roots All Stars throw down some awesome cuban music to mix up the soul influences, but ghost doesn't rap to them - they are just interludes. I would have actually really liked to hear Ghost spit rhymes over them the whole album. That would be tight. Too bad he doesn't read my lame-ass blog. I heard he is actually touring with them.
Old Stuff I hadn't caught before:
Redman: Red Gone Wild. Redman is still making music? Good thing. Classic Red. Much better than his pervious Malpractice album. Nothing surprising, but consistent Brick City hip hop. It's like Doc's da name 2000, only with better production. Sidenote - if you haven't listened to Blackout! in a while, toss that disc in the CD player. Meth and Red maybe made the best duet album since Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery flipped the jazz script on The Dynamic Duo.
213: The Hard Way. For years, I waited to hear the album by Snoops original group. And when it finally came out, I missed it. Argh. Well I finally caught up with Snoop, Nate Dogg and Warren G. Man, this album plays like an homage to old school G-Funk. You know how Warren G's flow was tight, but he was just a little too dorky? Well, Warren's a little harder, Snoop's a little softer, and Nate Dogg is still the muthafuckin May-an belting out gansta R&B. I think someday, Nate's gonna get his due. These days R&B singers who spit profane background tunes are a dime a dozen, even dragging R. Kelly into the biz. But as far as I know, Nate Dogg invented gangsta R&B. He's the original don dotta, and listening to The Hard Way, he's still the number one stunna. That's dumb-ass white-boy speak for saying he's a highly skilled musician.