Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Champ is Back

Who Am I???

Ghostface Killah - "Be Easy" f/ Trife (mp3)
(purchase here)

M-1 - "'Til We Get There" (mp3; clean)
(purchase here)

Ugly Duckling - "Yudee!" (mp3; please note: there are abundant drops throughout the track)
(purchase here)

Eddie Meeks - "Grown Folklore" f/ Willie Evans (mp3)
(purchase here)

I'll avoid talk of "It's the Return of..." for fear of overplaying that card. Long short: I've been busy. Life lessons, a humble stack and some coverage ain't a bad look, but I'm still looking to make it better. In the meantime, my cover story on the great Bill Withers finally goes live as Wax Poetics Issue 16 hits the stands today. I know some of the big retailers like Barnes & blah blah carry it, but the smaller fry sell it for the same price: Cop It! Thanks again to Marcia, Randy, Justin and, of course, Bill.

I'm a little embarrassed that I left you with a Kid'n Play joint, so I decided to run through the heat that's been burnin' these drawls:
  • It's Ghost. His stock hot. And he keep your wallet bulletproof. But Elliott Wilson was on the right track when he tracked down the roots of Fishscale. Starks kicks in doors sans four-fours, but check the production looks from Pete Rock. CB Wonder goes Big Yellow Joint and Godiva on the guest Chef spots "R.A.G.U." and "Dogs of War," but "Be Easy" blows the ears back. I'd pick "The Champ" for biggest boom, but Spine already got you covered -- with a lo-fi version that includes original samples, no less.

  • M-1 goes pop? Hardly, though he sounds surprisingly thug sensitive in the Tupac-esque lead single. Still didactic as ever (he represents dead.prez, after all), but thank you for trying to balance the media field.

  • Call Bang for the Buck everything the Beastie Boys didn't do on To the 5 Boroughs... and perhaps should have done. Granted, their concert film, Awesome, I Fuckin' Shot That!, added a previously-unheard angle to the Boys' latest. Yet, Ugly Duckling goes straight for the goodies: open, fun and fast. In fact, sticking with the fast rap that kiddie cats are applauding about fifteen years late, UD writes an enjoyable hip-hop album... about fifteen years late. In fact, the lead single hustles in all the ways I wished "Ch-Check It Out" did: game show breaks perfect for uprocking, host-with-the-most rhymes and a memorable hook. I like it.

  • Eddie Meeks of ATL-based trio Prophetix comes off like a Planet Asia that you can actually understand. Bluesy licks, concrete breaks... ah, I get it: even the South's underground is better than yours.
Plenty more to talk about, so I'll spread it out in coming posts.

Finally, is this real? I sincerely hope not...