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."


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