I realized something deeply troubling today. After checking out the latest releases from Ghostface and Statik Selektah I’m convinced that we have now officially entered the Elevator Muzak era of rap music. While The Roots have been churning out tunes seemingly designed for coffee shops and cafes for the better part of the last decade, we’re now at a stage where previously reliable CRC stalwarts such as Lil’ Fame, Sean Price and Ghostface Killah are often rapping over music that lacks any sort of urgency, excitement or abrasiveness. Does this signal a change in the dynamics of the rap game where everyone over the age of thirty is rapping over stuff that Kenny G would consider vanilla and the so-called ‘underground’ fans want a soundtrack to sip pumpkin ales and chai lattes? (more…)
The fifth solo album from The Live Guy With Glasses finds L.P. in a reflective mood, as he revisits cherished musical memories from his childhood (‘Dreams Don’t Die’), salutes the achievements of Nas (‘In The Scrolls’) and demands respect for his generation of rapper dudes (‘New Train Ole Route’). It’s a short album that doesn’t outstay its welcome, managing to feel like his most focused and cohesive project since The LP. Where as Main Source and Professor @ Large both offered some stand-out tracks, they felt more like collections of songs rather than the fully-realized long-player that Breaking Atoms was in terms of pacing and covering a wide range of topics. (more…)
If, by some tragic turn of fate, all rap released prior to the year 2000 was somehow obliterated from the face of the earth and you were given the opportunity to take twenty CD’s to pass the time while I wasted away in exile on some deserted island (stay with me here), then what would you take? I considered the options this afternoon and devised the following list of hip-hop platters to bring along. (more…)
I’m currently finishing off the final round of editing before we get stuck into the designing stage of the Past The Margin: A Decade of Unkut Interviews book and thought I’d share the final selection of my thirty favorite from the 150 or so that I’ve conducted so far. A third of those listed are expanded versions and follow-ups to what’s previously been published here, indicated in bold: (more…)
This week marked the eleventh year of this website/weblog/blog/web page/national treasure/institution/boom-bap graveyard. As is our want, rather than celebrate the achievements that Unkut Dot Com and the mighty Conservative Rap Coalition have achieved, I’d like to focus on pouring out a little liquor for all the great things that are no longer with us: (more…)
The new album from Grand Daddy I.U., P.I.M.P. Paper Is My Priority, drops on 17 February, with the cover dedicated to his late street mentor, Easy Rick, who passed away in 2010. Not sure if this is a bonus track since it doesn’t appear on the track listing below, but enjoy regardless.
The last week I’ve spent a lot of time filling in at the local community radio station while the regular hosts have gotten drunk in the name of our lord, Yeezus Price. Episode 5 was let down by technical issues, despite a quality playlist, while I felt I hit my stride on Episode 7. Regardless, radio was the real winner as some great rap was broadcast to the masses.
Hus Kingpin and Rosewood seem to be putting out new stuff every week – the good news is that the quality doesn’t suffer. This past couple of weeks they’ve dropped Pop-Up Shop and The Beautiful Type, both worthy of your consideration with their CRC-approved raps and beats. Preview both releases below and cop that Nah Right Hype download while you’re at it. (more…)