The Coup are from Oakland and first caught my attention when I was living in Berkeley. They were supporting Lyrics Born at a gig I attended and stole the show, blowing me away in the process. It is so thrilling when a band unexpectedly comes from left field and does that.
They make a brand of conscious and funky hip hop that could be tailor made for me. While some of their politics is probably a little extreme for me, their rhymes are clever and true. I don’t normally do this but if you are interested in something more up tempo from them try this. It’s also dope.
Preacher man wants to save my soul, ain’t nobody want to save my life…
Kid Cudi – Man on the moon
Kid Cudi is a bit of an uber hipster, but don’t hold that against him. He makes generally intelligent and catchy hip hop. I really like the slightly off-kilter feel of this.
I have been itching to post some hip hop for a while. This was an early favourite, it resonated with me before I even knew who 2pac was. This was because it uses a sample of a song that my father would put on his yearly holiday mixes – Bruce Hornsby and The Range – The way it is.
Beneath all the posturing, bravado and aggression hip hop can sometimes provide some truth and wisdom and I think this is a pretty good example of this. A strong sample and some witty lyrics. That is always enough for me.
Jay-Z – Dead Presidents II
This is taken from what is probably my favourite hip hop record of all time, Reasonable Doubt. There are a few up there but certainly none that I like more. It is Jay-Z’s debut and is before he became the world icon, Glastonbury headlining business he is today. He was still hungry.
It has all the hallmarks of a hip hop song I like – an easy bravado, a great beat and clever, dexterous lyrics.
The L.O.X. – Recognize
This has been speaking to me today. It classic hip hop – strong rhymes over a great beat. It was produced by DJ Premier, a true hip hop hero and maker of many amazing beats. Also, Jadakiss’ easy bravado and lyrical dextrerity is top notch here.
L dot O dot X dot at the end…
Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz – Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)
Was in the mood today for some old school hip hop and this fits the bill nicely. It has the characteristic of a club anthem – it makes you want to MOVE.
The Roots – How I got over
The roots are a great band. I would see them as musical descendents of Gil Scott-Heron, also making making music that is both funky and profound. This is probably my favourite of their’s – soulful and sobering, a powerful mixture.
I am at home in Ireland this weekend. The purpose of the trip, other than to catch up with family and friends, was to help an old pal prepare for his wedding which is coming up in a couple of weeks. This particularly buddy and I bonded over a shared appreciation of hip hop many years ago and this was one of the first tracks we both loved. I am also glad to post it as being at home always puts me in a nostalgic mood and this strongly reminds me of being 19 and completely clueless. Happy times.
It is taken from the excellent album, Only built 4 Cuban linx… The album’s main conceit is that of Italian mobsters, and this song serves as a final refrain, a cry for redemption.
Another interesting note about Raekwon is that I saw him play live on March 17th in Dublin one year (with said buddy), it was certainly an interesting way to spend St.Paddies night….
It’s Saturday so I wanted to post something that makes me happy and I would want to hear at a party. Also, it is a while since I posted any hip hop. So I did the calculation, cranked the handle in my brain and it spat this out. It also puts a smile on my face and makes me want to move when I hear it. You can’t ask much more from a party anthem.
De La Soul, and 3 feet high and rising in particular changed the way I thought about music. It blew my mind. Creative, playful and funky – 16 year-old Rob had never heard anything like it. And I haven’t looked back since.
Posting Steely Dan a few days ago made me feel guilty that I hadn’t posted something by these guys already. The eagle-eared amoungst you will will spot the sample of Peg in this track.