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Das

December Hip-Hop Recommendations

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3 days late and shit, we be hella slackin' clarts.

I need to go to bed now but here's a few christmas pressie ideas for your homeboys. All UK, all unmissable.

This is dope:

METABEATS-ALBUMN.jpg

Metabeats - Metaphysical

So is this:

VERBSWITHAVENGEANCE.jpg

Verb-T - Verbs with a Vengeance

This an' all:

childrenofthedamned-tourett.jpg

Children of the Damned - Tourettes Camp

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Previous Editions

November 07

October 07

September 07

August 07

July 07

June 07

May 07

April 07

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February 07

January 07

December 06

November 06

October 06

September 06

August 06

July 06

June 06

May 06

April 06

March 06

February 06

February 05

January 05

December 04

November 04

October 04

September 04

August 04

July 04

June 04

May 04

April 04

March 04

February 04

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Miscellaneous Classic Material From the Forum's Crates

The Perfect CD for a Hip-Hop Virgin

Recommend Me Some Classic... Hip-Hop! (focusing on Golden Era late 80s/early 90s classics)

Recommend Me Some Modern... Hip-Hop! (mid 90s til the modern era)

Common - Like Water For Chocolate... and 'conscious' hip-hop (recommending jazzier, smoother, socio-political stuff rather than gangsta/street LPs)

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I need to cop some new UK shit so I'm gonna take a look at those at some point.

Cheers Das.

Just read the quick low down from Cal on The Big Doe Rehab. I'll be getting that but its a shame it doesn't sound like it hits home straight away.

@Cal - You never said anything about Percee P's album. This seems a little strange for such a fan so I take it you didn't like it? Personally I think its got better with every listen I've had.

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I've not got the Percee P album yet. I've sounded out someone to buy it for my Christmas though :)

Did you know about the remixed version? Madlib has gone and remixed EVERY SINGLE TRACK off the album. Essentially, he's produced Percee P's album TWICE. I linked us up to a streamable version of his remix for the Chali 2na collab which was fresh 2 def, with the flutes and the horns and all that good stuff. Anyway, this remix album has been a tour exclusive in America, but I read on the Stones Throw site that it'll be getting a proper retail release in January. Peep the cover:

perceep-rmx200.jpg

Another album of 100% Madlib production. I'll need to really familiarise myself with the O.G. version before I cop the remix, just for maximum effect.

As for the Doe Rehab, excuse me while I repost what I said, in case it gets lost in the Nov/Dec thread switch-up:

I have to admit to being pretty underwhelmed on my first listen. I found it a bit boring. There's a lack of comedy on there for a Tony Starks joint, but no way am I one to give up on Ghostface. He gets really deep on some tracks, namely 'I'll Die For You' and 'Slow Down,' which isn't really what I was expecting. I'm on my third listen now and it's really starting to grow on me. This album is all about the story tracks: 'Yolanda's House,' 'Walk Around' and 'Shakey Dog Epilogue' (it's not as hot as the O.G. version of 'Shakey Dog' off Fishscale, but that's one of my top 5 Ghost joints of all time).

Method Man comes correct on all three of his guest appearances. He smashes it on this album. (From what I've read, he does likewise on the Wu-Tang album. He seemed like their most enthusiastic performer at the show I saw this summer, too. Closely followed by Ghost. It really seems like Method Man has decided to get a grip). But back to the Ghost album: I'm impressed by the posse cut, 'Paisley Darts.' Beatwise, it reminds me of one of the Alchemist-produced heaterz from Ghost's Bulletproof Wallets album. There's a little tug-of-war exchange between Ghost and Cappadonna at the start of Cap's verse that I found a particular album highlight. I miss stuff like that in posse-cuts. Too often they feel phoned-in or something. That little bit was a real collaboration though, and it was ill. I'm also feeling 'Rec-Room Therapy' featuring Rae and U-God. It's tense!

The production is solid, if unspectacular. It sounds full bodied, with a heavy bottom. It sounds big budget. He's dropped a lot of the grittier, lo-fi, experimental (for want of a better word) type tracks. This is all 3 minute-odd, routinely structured. I guess he just had straight forward stuff to say, and he's gone with straight forward beats to do it. There's a distinct lack of psychedelic, insane rantings, and that's a bit disappointing, because it's one of my favourite styles from one of my favourite artists, but it's really great to see a strong emphasis on the story-telling (my other favourite Starks thang). That makes up for it.

Oh yeah, it was also nice to see him, Meth and Masta Killa flip the EPMD 'Listen To My Demo' beat for 'Killa Lipstick.' It's really well done. The new lyrics suit that smoothness.

If I had to put the Ghostface albums in order of preference it'd probably go Supreme Clientele > Fishscale > Ironman > The Pretty Toney Album > The Big Doe Rehab > More Fish > Bulletproof Wallets. As for what you're saying about it being a shame that it's not very instant, I have to admit that Supreme Clientele took a little while to become my favourite Ghost album.

I'm listening to Doe Rehab again now, and I've got to a stage where I've got my definite favourite tracks that I really enjoy. I think Ghostface albums often require a lot of listens, just because of his dense lyrical style. The thing I'm most disappointed with is that the samples used aren't quite as 'WTF-incredible' as some of the Supreme Clientele/Fishscale/Pretty Toney joints. Beatwise, it's merely big and solid. It's simple stuff.

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Didn't know about th full remix album. Will look out for that in January! :D

To be fair Supreme Clientele took me ages to properly enjoy. I had it, listened to it, stuck it on the shelf for months and came back to it. Immediately then I was like "Shit man, this is dope as fuck" (I obviously said those words out loud to myself while listening andcooking up a rissoto one day :wacko: )

Supreme Clientele is now back in my car and I was listening just this morning at its greatness! :D

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Yo, I musta been sleeping through Ghost's rendition of 'Superman Lover.' There's plenty of classic Starky Love comedy rhymes in there. The first verse, he's got you on the guest list, dancing with death, sending you to hell and boiling your skin. The second verse he's drinking champagne in the rainforest, leaving a trail of baguettes to find his way back, and twisting bitches like a Rubic's Cube :wub: He also rocks a new flow towards the end of that verse. Kinda ODB style. I actually did pick up on that on my first listen. It's only for 3 or 4 rhymes, but it works really well. He had fun with that joint.

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Boom, that's some pretty tight hotness right there. Check the guitar and check the bassline. It really is on the D'Angelo Voodoo type tip, innit? It really works. I'm also reminded of Sly & The Family Stone. Looking forward to hearing more.

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Oh man. After all that ill negative nihilism and gun talk on his Return Of The Mac album, the recently incarcerated Prodigy gets deep on H.N.I.C. 2:

My World Is Empty Without You

Good Lord I'm crying out to you,

Have mercy on the slave masters souls that did us dirty.

They don't give a fuck about their own poor white trash,

Just imagine how they feel about my black ass.

Fuck Christopher Columbus, the Indians was here first,

And fuck the Vatican, the pyramids is older.

Shot off the nose and the lips of our statues,

Mad it was black faces staring back at you.

We even built pyramids on Mars, they wont tell us 'bout that

'cuz then we'll realise who we are.

When I wrote 'Pearly Gates,' they said I hated God,

So I wrote this song for The Creator, The All.

:)

He explains his thinking in this little article he wrote: http://www.hnic2.com/profiles/blog/show?id...6:BlogPost:1336

In summary, he's completely lost his mind. Still, it makes for some interesting lyrical shit! B)

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I went to see the GZA last night, by the end of the show he was smashed out of his skull - had trouble completing a coherent sentence or verse :lol: The last 30 minutes or so had about 5-10 minutes of music, the rest just being him telling the crowd how much he loved us and putting the world of rap to rights - I'll try and put some of it up onto Youtube when I get home tomorrow.

FUCK 50 Cent

:unsure:

Was good to hear Liquid Swords live, even if the Koko's sound system leaves a little to be desired.

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The Wu-Tang album is sold out EVERYWHERE in Glasgow today :(

I'm loving the reviews I've read. Particularly this Village Voice one:

8 Diagrams is about the millionth Wu-Tang album to start with a dialog sample from a kung-fu movie, but this one is different from those that came before. RZA has complicated reasons for just about all of his production decisions, but I have this idea that he usually just picked out the kung-fu samples that sounded the most badass. The sample at the beginning of 8 Diagrams doesn't sound badass. No swords clash, and no threats are made. Instead, a teacher tells a nasal-voiced student how to be a good man, telling him to keep control of himself and to stay patient. Those of us outside Wu-Tang's inner circle can only make fogged-up guesses about the group's internal dynamics, but by all accounts RZA's always been the crew's undisputed leader, and his leadership must've faced its challenges over time. In the documentary Rock the Bells, when the concert promoter was having a stroke worrying about how he'd get ODB to the venue, RZA was the guy he went to to smooth the situation out. And the crew's unlikely period of commercial dominance only started to flag when members of the group started making albums that weren't completely under RZA's control. To tell such a talented and chaotic group of rappers what to do, RZA must have unreal leadership skills, and I get the feeling that he's been repeating that refrain about control and patience more and more often lately. The fact that 8 Diagrams even exists is some kind of miracle, and it's even more amazing when you consider that not one song on the entire album has the faintest chance of becoming a crossover hit. 8 Diagrams is a deeply weird album, a total immersion in weed-fried mythology and willfully obscure tangled-up black psychedelia. It's clearly the album that RZA wanted to make, and recent developments show that he may have burned up all his goodwill with the rest of the group in the process.

Raekwon and Ghostface have already voiced frustration with the group's recent direction, but I always thought that frustration boiled down to money issues and nothing else. This interview surprised me; according to Raekwon, his problems with RZA are more aesthetic than financial. At his best, Raekwon is one of the wooziest, hardest to follow rappers working, but even he apparently doesn't want any part of an album this obtuse. "RZA's trying to create to much of a orchestra," he says. "He's trying to do too much of this guitar shit, like he's got a guitar on his fucking back ... It's more or less like, yo, I don't want to be here doing this because this is not the vibe I want. It's his vibe. He's like a hip-hop hippie right now." RZA is definitely somewhere near crazy, and his solo showcase "Sunlight" may be the strangest thing on the whole album: RZA ranting brain-melting crackpot-philosophy silliness over humming soul-samples and harpsichord drones. I've never much liked RZA as a rapper because he always sounded totally content to ignore his own beats, but "Sunrise" hardly has any drums, and so his vocal comes off like urgent, drunk spoken-word poetry. "I been highly misunderstood by those that met us / They had ears of corn and heads of lettuce," he says, and the funny part is that he doesn't even treat it like a punchline; he bleats it out with raw sincerity like it's the most important thing he ever said, which is how he says everything. 8 Diagrams is full of dizzy musical left-turns: underwater Lee Hazlewood guitars, riotous out-of-tune horn-stabs, thrilling ominous spaghetti-western whistle-loops. RZA's bragged that "The Heart Gently Weeps" is the first rap song with a legally-cleared Beatles sample, but even with a guest guitar-noodles from a Chili Pepper and George Harrison's son, the track still sounds like burbling mud. Only about half the tracks even bother with hooks, and virtually none of them have any recognizable structure at all. After a few listens, I've only just begun to absorb the actual lyrics; the pure auditory experience of hearing these guys going hard on such bugged-out tracks has been more than enough to keep my brain spinning.

So RZA's putting together the first Wu-Tang group album in six years, and he's decided to make it a dense, inaccessible hunk of drugged-out space-rap; no wonder his troops are restless. Raekwon's put forward the idea of putting out another Wu-Tang group album without RZA, something I can barely imagine ever happening. Any discontent that Rae and Ghost might've felt about the album doesn't manifest itself in the actual music, though. Both of those guys rap hard throughout, as does everyone else in the group. Ghost has a particularly great narrative verse on "The Heart Gently Weeps" about beating up a gun-toting would-be killer in the middle of a Pathmark. I seriously thought Meth might never return to his former glory; he's seemed so mad at the world over the last couple of years, but suddenly he's just breathing fire. One of the welcome byproducts of the great rap sales decline has been the sudden, unexpectedly hungry comebacks from older rappers who have seen their crossover attempts crash and burn; Busta Rhymes is on a similar tear right now. But Busta Rhymes doesn't have an album full of heady, druggy beats the way Meth does here, and Meth makes the most of his shot. The things that Raekwon doesn't like about 8 Diagrams are the things that make it something like a masterpiece. At least during the recording of the album, all the Wu guys seemed to realize how great they sound over RZA's bent orchestral beats, and they stepped it up accordingly. And even if RZA never manages to get these guys back under his spell, the end result may be worth it. It's going to take a long, long time to untangle 8 Diagrams, but even a few days after it leaked, it's pretty evident that we won't be hearing another rap record this bent and fascinating anytime soon.

It sounds like the fucking rap equivalent of THIS SHIT:

I0930.jpg

I'm crazy psyched. Gutted I couldn't find it today :(

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Is everyone still remembering to check the excellent Fat Lace blog on tha regulurrrr? If so, you'll no doubt have caught their superb interview with the RZA. In it, he says a little something about the album's apparent slow-burning "grower" steez, and he articulates it in a way that only a Wu-Tang MC could:

I tried to tell everyone, ‘Don’t take one day on this shit, take two weeks. Listen to it, this is not a quick fix. This is not a hamburger, this is vegetables. I know you don’t like to eat your vegetables, but you’ve got to, to get the nutrients.’

:(

I fucking love that guy.

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What's this "Now watch my feet, watch, watch, watch my feet!" thing I keep hearing? I like it. And also a UK grime track - the video is a white guy and a black guy in a well lit club rapping back and forth for a few minutes!

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And also a UK grime track - the video is a white guy and a black guy in a well lit club rapping back and forth for a few minutes!

Take it to the Grime thread, you little trouble maker.

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Yep. I've just completed listen #1 and it really fucking is that heady psyche soul sound of insanity that I expected. It's on some Norman Whitfield 'Ball Of Confusion' / 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' / 'Psychedelic Shack' styled epic lushness. And they say it's a grower? OH SHIT!

I'm gonna come back with a review later in the week when I'll have digested it a bit. Or maybe I should give it the 2 weeks recommended by RZA? Either way, yeah, I'm really REALLY feeling his direction on this album. Standout tracks for me from listen #1 would be Campfire, Get Them Out Ya Way Pa, Guns Will Go, Stick Me For My Riches and Windmill. Like, those were my absolute prime highlights. I also really loved tracks like 'Take It Back' and 'Weak Spot.' The final album edit of The Beatles joint is an improvement over the one we heard a couple of months back. Ghostface's verse remains classic.

It's really heavy on the atmospherics, eh? It's good that they've come up with a more challenging listen than some ill-advised crowd pleasing attempt at recapturing the old rugged hunger. Look at the Masta Killa albums for an example of how that would just end up as a merely decent throwback style of listen. This album is unlike anything I've ever heard, though. Deep down, I think that's what we should all be wanting to hear in a Wu-Tang album, no?

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Man, this has been bugging me since Listen #1 - the horns sample that RZA sticks underneath Masta Killa's 'Guns Will Go' verse (sounding as if it's being played through Fat Lace's Bobby Digital Vinyl Killer, incidentally) features on another totally banging hip-hop track. Exact same loop, but a lot cleaner than it appears here, and possibly ever-so-slightly at a higher tempo. Anyone know what I'm on about? I'm thinking it's either a Pete Rock or Madlib production, though I could be completely wrong. It might even be fucking Cypress Hill or somehting. I can't get it and it's SO annoying.

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I know exactly what you mean, I can't place it at all but it's instantly recognisable. I thought it was from the Mission Impossible theme at first, but no.

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The new Wu-Tang album is loads better than I expected on first listen, that review is on the button.

Snap.

Yep. I've just completed listen #1 and it really fucking is that heady psyche soul sound of insanity that I expected. It's on some Norman Whitfield 'Ball Of Confusion' / 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' / 'Psychedelic Shack' styled epic lushness. And they say it's a grower? OH SHIT!

I'm gonna come back with a review later in the week when I'll have digested it a bit. Or maybe I should give it the 2 weeks recommended by RZA? Either way, yeah, I'm really REALLY feeling his direction on this album. Standout tracks for me from listen #1 would be Campfire, Get Them Out Ya Way Pa, Guns Will Go, Stick Me For My Riches and Windmill. Like, those were my absolute prime highlights. I also really loved tracks like 'Take It Back' and 'Weak Spot.' The final album edit of The Beatles joint is an improvement over the one we heard a couple of months back. Ghostface's verse remains classic.

It's really heavy on the atmospherics, eh? It's good that they've come up with a more challenging listen than some ill-advised crowd pleasing attempt at recapturing the old rugged hunger. Look at the Masta Killa albums for an example of how that would just end up as a merely decent throwback style of listen. This album is unlike anything I've ever heard, though. Deep down, I think that's what we should all be wanting to hear in a Wu-Tang album, no?

Totally agree with both the review on the previous page there and your analysis so far. I've also only given it one full listen but I can tell instantly that it has both depth and soul - it sounds utterly bizarre; like nothing else the Wu-Tang Clan have ever done, but at the same time like it's the only album they could have possibly created. RZA is a genius. The guy managed to pull together eight other estranged MCs all wanting to go in conflicting directions and contribute different things to the same piece of work but instead of sounding like a mass of uncoherent ideas it sounds like a giant Shaolin puzzle which has somehow slotted together perfectly despite rappers chewing off corners and trying to force it together artifically. I'm very glad I kept away from all the samples of early tracks and stuff - hearing everything new for the first time was definitely worth holding out for.

My favourites after the first listen: 'Campfire', 'Rushing Elephants' (absolutely adore the horns and drums on this), 'The Heart Gently Weeps' (Ghostface!), 'Sunlight' and 'Starter' (is it U-God that comes in at the end and kills it?), but I can honestly say that there isn't a bad track on there. 'Windmill' is nice, but I recognised the Nancy Sinatra sample immediately which kinda took the edge off for me (also, can a Gravediggaz fan confirm that the falsetto female vocal sample at the beginning is the same sample from 'Diary Of A Madman'? It just has to be.).

Second best Wu-Tang album?

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but I can honestly say that there isn't a bad track on there.

Stick me for my riches? Heart gently weeps? Both of those are fucking shite!

Come on guys, lets not get carried away! It may well be a grower, but the main reason they've got away with this is because of who they are and the skills they possess as individuals. The album itself is average at best. This is not what I want from the Wu, I want a neck-breaking banger fest, full of nasty Alchemist/Pete Rock/Dilla/Bronze production with every one of those Wu fuckers gunning their lungs over the top.

8 Diagrams isn't their worst album, but it's defnitely their gayest.

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What the hell? The new Wu is actually decent! After reading Calashnikov's and David Heath's posts I decided to give it a chance, and so far I'm really liking it. I'm so surprised by it all, that I actually posted here instead of just lurking because of my inadequate English.

And they say it's a grower? OH SHIT!

This. And like David Heath says, a giant Shaolin Puzzle that shouldn't really fit together, but somehow it does. RZA done good.

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