Jameoblog Top Ten: 08:18:08
1) Wale - "The Kramer" (10 Deep/elitaste.com)
2) Fatlip - "What Up Fatlip? (Breakbot RMX)" (Delicious Vinyl)
3) NaS "Sly Fox" (Def Jam)
4) KRS-One "Pick It Up" (KOCH)
5) Jean Grae + 9th Wonder - "2-32's" (Blacksmith)
6) Alltruisms - "Jalopy" (Gravel Records)
7) James Brown - "There Was A Time (Kenny Dope Remix)" (Verve)
8) Paris - "Get Fired Up" (Guerrilla Funk)
9) Girl Talk - "Don't Stop" (Illegal Art)
10) A.G. Cubano feat. The Jacka, San Quinn, & Matt Blaque - "I'm Winnin" (City RIch/Blackhouse Ent)
On Wale's instantly engaging song "The Kramer," off his recent Nick Catchdubs mixed-Seinfeld themed The Mixtape About Nothing album-length digital download, he jumps head in and addresses the current hip-hop driven cultural use and abuse of the N word and, to a lesser degree, the B word. The Washington DC emcee, whose name is pronounced "Wah-Lay," uses Michael Richards' (aka Kramer on Seinfeld) infamous N word tirade, which he samples at the beginning of the track, as the jumping off point to address society's current use of the N word and its contradicting implications when used by blacks or whites-- specifically the dilemma of white diehard rap fans continually hearing the N word in their favorite music.
"And nigger say nigger to a nigger.
And nigger write nigger in a lyric.
And expect the white boy to omit it.
The white boy spit it like he spit it.
Recite it to his friends who, by the way, ain't niggers.
And say nigga nigga nigga, my favorite rapper did it."
-from "The Kramer" by Wale
Delicious Vinyl, the LA record label with that wonderfully memorable logo, has produced a cool remix project titled RMXXOLOGY by the Delicious Vinyl All-Stars: various artists/producers including Diplo, Pink Enemy, Peaches, Eminem, and Hot Chip remixing classics from the labels' rich back catalog, including Tone Loc, Young MC, Brand New Heavies, & The Pharcyde. The best track is by Breakbot who remix former Pharcyde member Fatlip's single "What Up Fatlip?" and breathe a whole new life into the eight year old recording. The instrumental of this great remix is also included on the 15 track CD version of RMXXOLOGY.
The KRS-One song on the top ten, "Pick It Up," is taken from Maximum Strength, one of three albums released this year by the ever-prolific Blastmaster Kris Parker. Adventures In Emceeing and Conflosation with Buckshot were the other two following 2007's great Marley Marl collaboration Hip Hop Lives. Meanwhile Jean Grae, whose chart entry "2-32's" is taken off her new 9th Wonder produced album Jeanius, is keeping pretty busy herself these days collaborating with many others. These collaborators include her longtime hip-hop partners Brooklyn Academy, who she gives shouts to on Jeanius. Grae is represented on four tracks off the Brooklyn trio's (Pumpkinhead, Block McCloud, & Mr. Metaphor) new album Bored of Education, which will be released and available in all Amoeba Music stores in early September.
Because of his music the late James Brown will live forever and he is one of the few artists whose music I can literally listen to all day long and never get tired of. I was pleased to hear the James Brown remix by Kenny Dope of "There Was A Time," which enhances the track without screwing with the original too much, on the latest Verve remix project, Verve Remixed 4.
But the producer who kills it compared to all other producers, at least in the mash-up school (as both producer and performer), is Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis. When it comes to the sheer amount of samples and edits he utilizes, Girl Talk, is impressive. His uptempo track "Don't Stop," taken from his latest mix Feed The Animals, draws from about fifty sound sources and, amazingly, makes them all flow just perfectly together. He melds Thin Lizzy with Souljah Boy and rises above the typical mediocrity of the mash-up genre!
"Introducing my automobile: a grey '89 Toyota Celica......
Modern day Dodge Dart, Ford Pinto, 130,000 miles on her for your info
Duct tape on the window. Promoter wants me to do an out-of-town performance.
But won't afford the airplane ticket for it. So I sleep here. It's cheaper than a motel on the road.
Hope to make it but the radiator might blow out, I don't know
. ....you should try ghost riding the whip with a clutch - that's jalopy"
- from "Jalopy" by Alltruisms
With most rappers taking themselves too seriously or just bragging of their supposed high rollin' lives, it is refreshing to hear Chicago emcee Alltruisms' recent debut, Clusterbombs, on Gravel Records. On the record he has songs like "Jalopy," which tell it like it really is in his life, including the sorry state of his transportation. On the album track "Dry-spell" he admits that he hasn't had sex in a long time and on "Oh" that he has had to pay for sex, and then he got an STD from it. And then there is "Jalopy" which is the anthem for all owners of beat up, broke down, old cars whose brilliance lies in the fact that it is the antithesis of the prevalent pimp-my-ride mentality.
NaS' "Sly Fox," an accurate evaluation of FOX News' fair and balanced reporting which has already prompted Bill O'Reilly to respond, and Paris' "Get Fired Up" (a single from next month's Acid Reflex album), which encourages people to question stuff, are both good reminders of how great hip-hop can be when it takes a soulful revolutionary stance. Expect Paris' new album Acid Reflex (whose guests include Chuck D) to create waves with conservative media talking heads when it drops next month just before election time.