Tag Archive for Hip Hop

9th April

Blu – Amnesia

Posting Nina Simone yesterday made me think of this. It samples Billie Holiday, a singer of the same vintage. This gives the song a really languid feel and I think it works well.

I also think the video is pretty good. It is pretty much the antithesis of the usual hip hop bling which is refreshing.


Mobb Deep – Shook Ones (MF Doom Remix)

When I first heard Mobb Deep it was unlike anything I had ever heard before. Their music was full of anger and told tales of thugs and gangsters that were very far removed from my life in a rural town in Northern Ireland and I found them to be fascinating. I have cooled towards them now the novelty has worn off but I like this remix, the contrast between the vitriol and the mellow beat works really well. 

Also, MF Doom is a great DJ name. A friend reminded me of one of his tracks during the week and it led me to revisit his work which I like a lot. It is very mellow.

Cool Calm Pete – Gitty up baby

I have been listening to this over and over for the past couple of days. It is languid and funky and has been a welcome mellowing influence on me.

I also think Cool Calm Pete is a pretty good name. It made me think for a minute that maybe I should start going by Really Relaxed Rob but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it?


Mos Def – Ms.Fat Booty

Mos Def is hard to dislike – he appears to be a pretty amiable character. He seems to be more focused on acting than making music these days which makes it easy to forget that he made a couple of pretty solid albums before decamping to Hollywood.

This song is taken off the album Black on both sides which is well worth a listen. I really like the sample used in this song and it’s generally languid feel.


3rd March

Outkast – SpottieOttieDopaliscious

This is taken from Aquimini, Outkast’s 3rd album. It’s a good one, my favourite of their albums. People seem to forget they made music before Ms.Jackson and long before Hey Ya. It’s a pity because a lot of it is really great.

I LOVE the horns on this track, they are so languid and perfectly complement the vocals.

J Dilla featuring Pharoahe Monche – Love

J Dilla was a DJ from Detroit who sadly died much too young a few years ago. He produced some of my favourite tracks for artists like Common, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots and Slum Village. Hearing this on the radio recently reminded me just how talented he was. The man knew a beat when he heard one.

Theophilius London – Accept the new

I really enjoyed this guy’s album I want you late last year. It sounds fresh, and this is probably my highlight. The album also contains a slight hint of something playfully kitsch which works really well.

Also, is it just me or does it sound a little like Joe Jackson’s Stepping Out features in this track somewhere?


Camp Lo – Luchini (AKA this is it)

I am always a little concerned that I am turning into cliche when I talk about my affection for hip hop music. I don’t advertise it too widely but ultimately I am unapologetic.

There are a couple of things in particular that appeal to me (along with several that don’t). The easy bravado that runs through a lot of tracks and the way it manifests itself through sometimes astonishingly vibrant language. This, along with the heavy sampling of and reference to soul music (my first musical love) make much of hip hop hard for me to resist.

This one displays both of these qualities in spades.


Kanye West – Spaceship

I remember the first time I heard The college dropout. It was an exhilarating experience.

It is hard to imagine now that Kanye West is pretty much ubiquitous but back then he was an unknown entity. I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce his name!

The album has stood the test of time pretty well, but this is still the highlight for me, full of poise, indignance and wit.


The Gift of Gab – Flashback

Taken from the impressively titled 4th dimensional rocketships going up album. Some equally impressive nostalgic imagery in the song.