Monday, November 28, 2005

Super Sounds of the...

The Sweet Smell of Home

(Image copyright © 2003, 2004 Mo Chin. All rights reserved.)

Pizzicato Five - "Magic Carpet Ride" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Boy, I'm thankful! (cheers to Notes for the note).

But on the real, cheers to fam and mates for true love. And cheers to you for the next week and a half. The last leg of Tour D 05 commences today, so I'll be gone until next Thursday.

Just a little nugget 'fore I bounce. We'll chat when I get back, 'k?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Table Turns

The Look of Love

Gang Starr - "Flip the Script" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Even before the advent of Technicolor, Hollywood has always loved color... people of, that is! As much as ethnic studies and progressive film analysis have illustrated the various ways that Hollywood has depicted and propagated demeaning stereotypes of us people with at least two fingers of scotch, I have come to the recent conclusion that there are also numerous instances of the tables being turned on the massa'. I suppose genii like Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor hinted at this phenomenon early on, but I would like to reiterate their point for my generation: there are some jokes at the expense of the paler persuasion out there, as well.

Ever tuned to TCM, caught a chunk of the original King Kong last night. Of course, there is the obviously shameful:

  • People of Color in a Jungle with a Big "Terrifying" Gorilla:

  • People of the "East Indies" are a mélange of Polynesian, West African and Martian stereotypes:
    I take that last one back; I don't know what the dominant Martian stereotypes are.

  • People with a Touch of Class Have No Class:
    While People Who Think They Have a Touch of Class have class.

  • Pee-pole ub Co-ror Speek Een-grish:

However, in between the clever mise en scène wherein two white dudes move away to drop a punchline on poor Charlie the Chinese Benson and the multiple close-ups of the same native being bit, squashed and squashed again, there are some Denver nuggets of wisdom for those of the milkier mindset. In other words, for every snap at the expense of a person of the gods comes an even bigger bitch-slap to a person who preaches about God.

So, allow me to take a cue from ESPN and indulge in the first installment of... (dramatic pounding of deerskin drums... followed by one ringing *GONG*): Colored Commentary.

(Note: I saw this film a while ago and forgot most of it, so I will only provide observations from last night. Bring it!)

  • Charlie Gets Capped on for Peeling Potatoes:
    A caucasian crewmate asks Charlie why he is always peeling potatoes. Charlie responds, "Because that's the job you assigned me, you ignorant asshole." But only in Colored Speak. In Hollywood jive, he says something to the effect of, "No potato in Chin-er. Me miss potato when I go back Chin-er." Really, who says "Me do this/that?" Strike 1. For those who caught the Colored Speak (it's all in the eyes, baby; drama!), Strike 2. Strike 3 is that the crewmate is also ignorant of Charlie's Islamic roots and how C-Dot is handling that potato with his left hand. Looks like tonight's mash will have some nut up in it! Yer out!

  • Charlie Gets Capped on for Thinking Fay Wray So Pretty:
    Ok, aside from the implausibility of this, considering that Ms. Wray Wray can be a little cross-eyed and, y'know, "special" looking at times, our Man with the Golden Dome also gets the last laugh for witnessing what will surely be the greatest irony of the film. See, Charlie, Bruce "Jack 'In-Search-of-a-Hard-On' Driscoll" Cabot (an odd amalgam of 24 and Alias? Discuss), and a third pale-face crewmate have climbed the ship's mast to sneak a peek at director Robert "Carl Denham" Armstrong shooting some test footage of Ann (aka Fay) Darrow. Denham has Fay/Ann do the whole pretend-you-saw-Kong/the-most-horrible-looking-thing-in-your-life-and-scream bit, which becomes art begging for mercy at the knees of life when she actually meets K Dub (and falls in rub. I mean, 'love'). In short, while all the white knights are clinging to they pole while showing Charlie the back door, it is their envious penii which lead to Fay/Ann's trauma. Oh, which leads me to...

  • Charlie's Paying Attention to Your Girl. Why Can't You?:
    After Ann and Jack's randy "on deck" scene, girl gets lifted by one of the natives. Ever clingy, she manages to rip off one of duke's bracelets, inadvertently leaving evidence that, uh, she's been kidnapped. Meanwhile in the Man Cave, the director, captain, Jack and some other guys are jawing about something seemingly important, based on their furrowed brows and intense glares. Leave it Charlizzle to break up the ego trip by announcing to the whole crew that he found the evidence of a native being on the ship. With the threat of color breaking into the white spectrum, the guys finally realize, "Wait, where's Fay/Ann?" Moral of the story? A true man doesn't fuck and run; he leers and stalks in the dark corners of the ship, waits for some drama to go down, and announces it in an overdramatized way to the boys. Hi-Five again to the Man with the Golden Tan.

  • 'Sounds Like' Doesn't Mean 'Is':
    The presence of reason in the captain is a whitewashed illusion; don't be fooled! See, even Cap'n Anglo thinks he can converse with the people... who live on an island he didn't even know existed. So, while he acts as de facto translator, thinking he can pass peacefully back into the light, the aforementioned drama results! Which goes to show you: don't ever tell a person what they can or cannot do. Because, if they want your Golden Lady, they'll just take her. Man, this must be Hollywood because even this doesn't happen in real life!

  • The Man is Always Keeping You Down:
    I didn't keep track of how much vanilla versus how much chocolate Kong consumes, but he certainly didn't bite, squeeze, toss, stomp, camera-cuts-to-his-mean-mug, and stomp again on any of his vanilla servings while on the isle. And what's nuts is that the coconuts were the ones all up in his area, trying to take his woman no less! But I suppose that's the Rocky Road life: yer just collateral. Admittedly, this scene has no redeeming value to us children under the sun, so I concede this point: this one's just plain Color Me Badd.

There's obviously plenty more to rap about in this film alone, but let's save it for another day, o'tay?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lipp, Inc.

Ike Likes Lipp!

Eliot Lipp - "Brand New" (mp3)
(info on purchase here)

Pardon the obvious title, but consider it another update of the familiar. Producer Eliot Lipp embraces his youth and employs the help of some familiar sounds. No one consistent beat pattern on this puppy, but plenty of references: album opener "Glasspipe" is bedroom Metro Area, a night cruise for Saturns instead of the 5 Series (peep Scissorkick for sound, while it lasts); "Tic Tac" is a thief's theme through ESL's bass system; "Check Weight" is a down pillow fight with a Banbarra break; and "Last Night" has cowbell (who doesn't love a good cowbell?). Enjoyable and encouraging, my pick is "Brand New" wherein Lipp flips Pharrell's synths with some cool keys. What more can I say? New kids know the biz...

NY can check out Eliot tonight at:

25 Ave B (between 2nd & 3rd)
East Village, NY
Early show - on stage at 8PM

Here's more from the press release (niceness on the IDM comment):

"ELIOT LIPP will be previewing material from his forthcoming album TACOMA MOCKINGBIRD due out in early 2006 on HEFTY. Eliot sites Bay Area and Detroit rap, classic electro, 70's fusion, early 90's techno, and Chicago post-rock bands as styles that influence his music along with Kanye West whose a big inspiration not for his music but how he does things his way. Even though he makes instrumental music that could be considered either hip hop or IDM he considers a lot of IDM be just modern day elevator music. His sound is more expansive and unique."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spittin' Wicked Randomness

Black Pantha

Seu Jorge - "Tu Queria" (mp3)
(purchase here)

The weekend trifecta of femme s-s (singer-songwriters, that is; perhaps "Pagan Pop" is a better term??) was mostly motivating and ass-kicking... though I suppose baby mumbles and baby shambles were a kick in the ass to Get Major. F'real. By the way, why am I still uckfing with blogger? Any web designers wanna do a site for me?

Been a while since we rolled over, so here's some funny:

  • Boston Market Loves Bales of Cocaine. And Thanksgiving. ~ Once upon a yesterday, you had country-inspired progeny like Robbie Fulks pushing the good ol' product. So, leave it to Rev. Horton Heat to lead the congregation astray. In the spirit of the holiday season, Heat brings the heat on behalf of... Boston Market: "Turkey Turkey Gobble Gobble" (mp3) is the joint for BM's new TV ads. Has anyone else seen these spots? Thanks to Ben.

  • I Pity The Fool Who Use GPS ~ Most people remember Burt Reynolds for his dramatic emoting in the Cannonball Run series, but word in the industry is that producers were initially drawn to his master's studies in cartography ("The blue part must be land..."). Most know Mr. T for his flexing on the A-Team, but his secret passion has always been motivational haiku. In the late '60s, Dennis Hopper was viewed by millions as the space cadet co-pilot to Peter Fonda's off-the-beaten-track cap'n, but those in the know knew DH to be hugely influential in smoothing the vision of Easy Rider. None of this is true, but Wanderlust Media and Tele Atlas will have you believin' it when they unveil their new Navtones in-car GPS system. The company addresses the circumstance of "a lot of people [being] frustrated with the voices on their navigation systems and talk[ing] back to them" by drafting the above esteemed talent to take on the role of the ghost in the machine. Now, instead of berating 'JoJo' for telling you to turn left at Sycamore when all you've seen is Pine, Maple, Huckleberry, Dingleberry, Dinglewood, Dangleworth, and Pine again... well, you might think twice. (via Spine)

  • You Know What They Say About Guys With Big Socks? ~ "Actress Joy Bryant amused friends last week with tales from the set of 'Get Rich or Die Tryin', in which she stars opposite 50 Cent. Apparently one scene called for Senor Cent to seem nude, but the first-time actor didn't realize he need not literally take off all his clothes on the set. 'He came out butt-naked,' Bryant said, according to a pal who heard the story. 'I told him to go to the wardrobe department and go put a sock on.' To the amusement of cast and crew, he duly reappeared wearing the biggest sock anyone had ever seen." (via C&D)

  • And Now For The Intenionally Funny... ~ Chuck Klosterman now writes a monthly column for All right, it's not terribly funny. But it's well written. Thanks again to Ben.

No real theme for today, so the song is a quick nod to the kind server at Palacinka who I nearly stiffed. I promise to pay closer attention next time!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Politics of Pushing (G) Units

Still asking, can we be equal and excellent, too?

George Harrison - "Isn't It A Pity?" (mp3)
(purchase here)

"You have people on radio in their mid-30’s and above talking like they are teenagers. It’s because they are scared to grow up on air. If they do, they may lose cool points. They may not resonate with that younger generation. But they know they gotta ACT like they do to keep their job and get that money... We have a lot of COWARDS - please quote me on that - who are scared to use their validity for the sake of the greater good. That’s selling out, bottom line." ~ Sway (link)

Woke up with lockjaw, jawin' in my sleep about G, GQ (by the way, why is it that when I google "GQ, 50 Cent Cover," I come up with this as my first response?), and all the D Block-Diddy nonsense. Even if this is strictly business, what is the benefit in sticking completely to the terms of a contract? Is that how we guide our lives: by binding our behaviour to written guidelines and being unable to negotiate them? If numbers guide personal behaviour, perhaps this heap of isht is for you; after all, numbers don't lie, right?

The above quote from Sway is not in reference to the D Block breakout on Hot97, yet it resonates resoundly. Yes, the media doesn't help when they choose to report this nonsense and fail to provide equitable coverage for progressive stances such as squashing beef; Yes, the consumer doesn't help when they choose to buy into the dray-ma and recycle tales about it; Yes, the industry still adheres to Rule #4080... Yet, at the end of the day, each person is accountable for their self and for their self only. Is there not a place to assess our own actions? Does increasing knowledge of sef' mean living strictly by the letter? Sounds familiar...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No Apologies

What would Jesus do?

FatLip - "First Heat" (mp3)
(purchase here)

One More Hit trailer (quicktime)

Beanie Sigel - "Look At Me Now" (f/ Rells) (mp3)
(purchase here)

“While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.” (link)

Excuse you!

Ego makes it a pill to face the past. Certainly, haven't we all been humbled at one point or another? As my grandma says about the family philosopher: "Pshaw. I changed his diapers." Choices made mark a path irreversible. So how we reconcile them charts the coming course.

Once comin' up on the Good Life, FatLip and J-Swift now scrap in the present because of their respective pasts. The Spike Jeezy joint got the unlived lookin' to live vicariously through another man's feelins. Fast forward: "Livin' in mom's till / Cos I drank the millions." Happy now? Fat Leezy and Swifty gear up in the sexiest reality fetish; now Pay 'Em. Remember, these were the cats that gave you, "Oh Sh..."

A minute back, B Mac reached back while standing on the verge of a term. B. Coming swerved remorseful, then wrathful, tense then zen such as on "Look:" "My life in shape like I run a mile a day." And critics responded. But how can he look to the sun when he gets thrown by his sons and fam?

Wes Jack made the correlation between hip hop and Republicans a while back (via Notes), but this conservation of reputation seems across the board.


"This how we voice our opinion... cos we ain't corporate, we ain't industry, so we gotta let the streets know that. This is how we voice our opinion: through the airwaves, through the mixtapes, through songs. We can't voice our opinion through lawyers... you've seen what we gotta do to have a meeting... don't try to confuse the listeners and the streets to think that it's all that simple..." ~ Styles P on Hot97

A dirty, shameful look at the industry and how its captains make rank. But, really, where was Angie? Jada and Styles have every right to be heated, but how is a public shouting match gonna move anyone or anything forward? On the other hand, will people really lean up on Diddy now and press for a change? In either case, sad that grown men can't settle business from ten years back, especially when both stand to profit. Peep Hip Hop Game for the clip in Real (via Spine).

Detail highlights: Styles putting Diddy's success and Jada putting their non-relationship with 50 in perspective.

  • "The 50 situation isn't real beef... comin' from the street or comin' from anywhere, you know when you have real beef with someone... To the people, you can't get it misconstrued: this is a way for everybody to make money... He used 'Piggy Bank' and it worked for him... Jimmy Iovine is a man about business... he doesn't care about all [the gossip]; a hot song is a hot song..." ~ Styles
  • "[The situation with 50] is just something like the WWF with the people; we never came from the same hood... this is just all words; and if the people like it and it's gonna make money, we can keep it goin' forever. But it's gotta be on a fair scale." ~ Jada
  • "I got more into something with Diddy than I got with Fiddy!" ~ Jada

Admitted funny moment: When Jada told Angie to play the "Rock'n Roll" version of "Benjamins." Now, don't some things deserve an apology?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Occam's 11

3-2-1 Contact

Coldcut - "Sound Mirrors" (mp3)
(purchase here)

The changing of the guard never ceases. Seemingly unconfined by generation and unrestricted within a family, each player moves in and out of an Escher matrix. Most from my generation have left the fields behind, while others never left. Scattered heritage and reminiscence in static frames. Turn the corner and a familiar story unfolds for a neighbor.

Longtime beat conductors Coldcut return to reflect, refract and remix the past into the present. The title cut practically chokes up at the thought, oblong sound tracing a boomerang path back down the throat. Time folds like dough, each layer molding into another.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Long and Winding Road

What do you see that makes you say that?

Charles Lloyd and Billy Higgins - "Hyperion with Higgins" (mp3)
(purchase here)
Lady Sovereign - "Fiddle with the Volume (Ghislain Poirier mix)" (mp3)
(purchase here)

The second leg of my '05 'tour' is over and I am left in consideration of 'Uncle' Frank Sumio Okada:

  • Later in life, it takes less to excite
  • Art need not be intentionally comfortable
  • "He enjoyed looking at art"

About a man I never knew, a few encouraging words on the importance of patience and process.

And the proof is in the paint, when it comes to Frank'n me. Never working toward a triumph, hardly mundane like a pursuit, his work just seems a natural extension of his being. Later works are lucid comments, terse and succinct yet packed and powerful. There's hardly less here that excites; it's just overwhelmingly to the point. In the neighborhood? The exhibition's up until 8 January 2006. Want the home experience? Contact the museum now or buy here after February '06.

The truth: potential is an emboldening quality when embraced and harnessed. Nearly ten years ago, a senior Charles Lloyd tore apart a tiny strip mall with both confidence and comfort. Angeleno-in-crime Higgins didn't make it much longer, but their Hyperion With Higgins, recorded shortly before the gracious drummer's passing, captures two men at the twilight of their lives, but in full command of their vitality.

Today, a barely legal teen yawns, stretches and scratches before unfurling a torrent of cheeky barbs. She's youthfully raw, loud and rawkus... what's that spell? Ch ching! Are the States ready? Jay thinks... something. Is Lady Sovereign ready? Too soon to tell, but she's not wasting any time thinkin' 'bout it, plotting and the such. In time, taking time may come. But for now, grab it and run!

And so we come full circle, each revolution revealing a new shape, a new color, new intricacies...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

T is for....

Talib Kweli - Who Got It (streaming in real)
(purchase here)

No time for an actual post, so here's an update/upgrade: streaming audio on another Kweli track from his upcoming album. Still sitting on the fence about this, but I feel like this will make more sense as a part of a whole. just have to wait to hear the whole thing.

I'm off to the rain, be back next Tuesday...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hang 'Em High

Fanning the Flames

The Smiths - "Panic" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Aceyalone (prod. RJD2) - "Cornbread, Eddy and Me" (mp3)
(purchase here)

France is burning (via Jay; excellent find), and I see La Haine inverting Morissey, et. al. into a race statement. Remember when Chris Rock riffed post-9/11 about the new 'precautions' surrounding people of the 'other' faith? Muslim, not the new black, but just another?

Bring the rage: RJ digs into some Since... bag of tricks to lace Acey with a Diallo-like appeal. Their lp Magnificent City won't drop until February 2006, so I'll return to this in the coming months).

Clackity clack clack, at least glad to see Arnold step the ff back.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ah, Made You Look

Is this what your Tuesday is like?

Rob Swift - "A Scratch is a Musical Note" (streaming in wma)
(purchase here)
Phife Dog and Chip Fu - "Rumours" (mp3; courtesy of FWMJ's Rappers I Know series)
(give Junior some work)
Talib Kweli f/ MF Doom - "Fly That Knot" (streaming in real)
(purchase here)
Black Star - "Supreme, Supreme" (live on Jimmy Kimmel Show) ( streaming in wma; via Okayplayer)
(see Mos and Kwa on tour)
Little Brother - "Carolina Agents" (mp3)
(purchase here)

It's finally done.

The first draft of my first installment of my first column is in. Peep Popmatters (or my my writes) in the coming weeks.

Along the way, I got to thinking about my Golden Age of hip hop, when late-teen enthusiasm got its first taste of adult possibilities.

And then I thought, "Where are they now?"

The backward glance is the obvious inevitable. But from X-Man/X-Ecutioner Rob Swift? Still, it's nice to get back to the basics with his Soulful Fruit mix. Eight years, has it really been that long? I picked this up on a near fluke, having realized it was not the same dollar bin joint I kept finding. The subtlety of the mix escaped me at the time; I think I was expecting speed racer scratching hi-jinks. What I got instead was a solid mix of classic east coast breaks; what a bummer, huh? The live routine with Rahzel is still a gem. The original release on Stone's Throw (!) is out of print and apparently runs three bills (ok, maybe not three of your bills, but they're three of mine), so consider the re-release a bargain. Dropped today...

The weekly grind is what I have respect for, so long as dudes are happy. After all, it still means they're working, right? P. Diggy's work ethic has always run the straight'n narrow, but that doesn't exempt him from dime status. A funny track to shut they yaps... but are the fans really asking him to return to the lab?

Then there are the mid-level hustlers. Still on their grind, standing on the verge of making... something. While Ghost actually stands a chance with this sleepless route (at least until he dies from exhaustion), I wonder where Kwa wants to take it next. Well, yes, I know about his new home (and you can meet his neighbors, too! His landlord on the otherhand...). I'm talking about his career. I've listened to this track with Doom a few times and I honestly cannot say I retained anything memorable about it. On the flip, I was pleasantly surprised by his tag team action on Jimmy Kimmel. "Supreme, Supreme" is everything Black Star could have built itself to be: anthemic, larger-than-life and fun. Right About Now stars a familiar cast of undie outcasts like Jean Grae and Mos Def, and drops November 22.

Which finally brings us back to the present, the newest vanguard. Little Brother strolled into ABB at a critical juncture. The label was hot with Dilated and... little else (ABB Soul, anyone?). Looking south by southeast was a good idea, although this group continues to warm up to me. However, they are in heavyweight company on the soundtrack to NBA 2K6 Basketball and holding their own. Blame that breathtaking Ninth Wonder ahh...

Be back tomorrow with the global perspective and some time this week with the loneliest retrospective.

Bonus Beasts!
Is that image too gross for you? Watch the Beasties drop science on their new greatest hits comp (plays in quicktime). Love how they have absolutely nothing to say about "Fight For Your Right."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Puttin' on the Writz

Congratulations! You won... a book.

Elvis Costello and the Attractions - "Everyday I Write the Book (live)" (mp3)
(purchase here)

I live with writers, people who appreciate writing, and folks passionate about and critical of writing. So, you'd think I'd step my game up, right?

A new thought: Long-term relationships and planning are often considered the domain of maturity and adulthood. Yet, even primary school has started the prep. Beginning with one six-year project, we progress to a three-year plan and so on.

Of late, I have been reading more online than print content. Subsequently, I have been reading smaller chunks, scrolling about, bookmarking, and going back to The Lab for the umpteenth time... which I suppose is not too different from my book-reading style. However, I have been noticeably
more erratic with my digital habits. I feel like I have had more flings than committed relationships.

Maybe Mike D and I will give it another go?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ladies First

Embrace the Hate

MC Lyte - "Shut the Eff Up! (Hoe)" (mp3)
(purchase here)

I defer to my two new favorites: BH and C&D.

Back next week with more goodies...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dollars and Sense

Piles and piles of Benjamins by the mile

Medina Green (Mos Def) - "Bling" (mp3)
(purchase here)

move.meant - "Good Money" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Spacek - "Dollar" (mp3)
(purchase here)

Thinkin' 'bout a master plan, with nothing but a promise inside my hand. Standing on the verge of achieving one 'dream' and already a scheme for the next: eff 30, let's make six fig. After all, if Atmosphere can, where's our share? Wait, before we jump on that future funk rocketship and break out the Cris, let's make sure we're clear on this.

The Billboard/Reuters article charts a comforting development: the growth of a touring circuit for undie hip hop artists. However, the piece is quick to toss out numbers without any concrete evidence on whether cats are simply livin' or straight ballin', i.e. no mention is made of tour costs, expenses, etc. Verdict? The grind continues...

An aside also raises a question: "These artists are dispelling the myth that hip-hop cannot work on the live stage, and making a surprising amount of money doing it." I'm not sure if this myth ever existed, unless they're talking about abnormally high police presence at large-scale hip hop events (and even the not-so-large-scale) and its correlation with violence, arrests and poor public perception of said events, which is neither a myth nor solely the fault of the events.

That said, times have changed since the first Fresh Fest, which was crucial in spreading the word on hip hop/Def Jam prior to hip hop's permeation of media. If anyone in hip hop will reap substantial commercial benefits from touring, it will be the undie artist (indie headz insert huzzahs here). The article correctly points out that undies are typically underrepresented on radio, etc, so touring is a logical hustle.

And certainly not the only one. While Mos continues to diversify, his old crew seems stuck in a mixtape state of mind. Too bad because Funky Fresh In the Flesh & More, Vol. 2 is some of my favorite material from MG. But what a platform to stay grounded (will it ever be the new gully?); Mos push weight? Nah, daddy push strollers.

Meanwhile back West, move.meant keeps it grease and grime-free. The talk is all grind, but they've already backed Luda; even Styles of Beyond couldn't do that. Watch their moves.

Rhyme pays. And one day we will finally be able to board ship, buckle up and let your dollar circulate...


For those with the elaborate backpacks, peep the new Blackalicious video for "Your Move." Not one of my favorite tracks, but I am still listening to this album end-to-end. Streaming in Real.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Full Circle Tour

We're on a world tour...

O.C. - "Phenomenon" (mp3)
(purchase here)
O.C. - "Time's Up" (mp3)
(purchase here)

'90s flashbacks all night long, highlighted by "Leflah" and a 23-year old calling me a baby. Big ups to Mr. Walt and crew for setting the niceness, CeCe for being the best GF ever, and to all California expats showin' the East how we do. Couldn't stick around to hear O.C. do his thing, but the new album is interesting (don't let the grade fool you; read on).

A lil' bit of the old, a lil' bit of the new, 1, 2 step.