If you prefer your hip-hop rooted in the traditional golden era style and with a respect for the four elements of the culture including the DJ as turntablist - then DJ JS-1's recommended new album It Is What It Isn’t is the hip-hop album for you. This latest release from the longtime New York City boom bap producer / scratch DJ - that arrived in Amoeba this past week care of his Ground Original imprint with distribution from Fat Beats - is back-to-back quality hip-hop that's more like a rich hip-hop compilation due to the long list of talented emcees that join the instrumentalist throughout its 21 tracks.
JS-1's impressive list of emcee collaborators is a balance of emcees that have been consistently putting it down since the golden era to an array of new school innovators. That long list numbers a few dozen hip-hop artists and includes KRS-One, O.C, Ras Kass, Buckshot, Erick Sermon, Homeboy Sandman, Sadat X, Murs, Fashawn, Wordsworth, Torae, Kyle Rapps, Blacastan, Professor X, A.G., C-Rayz Walz, and the Artifacts' El Da Sensei and Tame One to name but some.
A full-time b-boy and lifelong dedicated hip-hopper the Queens, NY DJ JS-1 began his career two decades ago. He was a member of the Rocksteady Crew. As well as been a hip-hop DJ with a talent for scratching he was also a graffiti artist who went by the name JERMS.
1) Homeboy Sandman Hallways (Stones Throw)
2) Dilated Peoples Directors Of Photography (Rhymesayers)
3) Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark self titled (Delicious Vinyl)
4) Souls of Mischief There Is Only Now (Linear Labs)
5) Busdriver Perfect Hair (also in LP format) (Big Dada)
Sego – “Wicket Youth” video
These Utah-via-L.A. Kitsune signees immediately get me for referencing Wicket the ewok from Return of the Jedi. Even if that’s not what they’re referencing, that’s not the point—“Wicket Youth” touches on familiar ’80s influences without really sounding like they’re retreading, instead infusing refreshingly plainspoken lyrics about nostalgia for youth with sparkling synth-pop flourishes. And it’s got a very ’80s, handrawn-style video to match. The Wicket Youth EP is out Oct. 27.
Cool Ghouls – “What a Dream I Had”
Here’s the third track from the forthcoming Cool Ghouls album A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye, out Nov. 11 on Empty Cellar. It’s perhaps the most impressive track they’ve debuted yet, built on a slow, steady jangle and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” harmonies. Cool Ghouls keep the dream of San Francisco alive with songs like “What a Dream I Had.” Stream the track via Wondering Sound, and read my interview with them here.