Slang Rap Democracy

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VIDEO: Raekwon & Ghostface On Jimmy Fallon

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R.A.G.U. (Raekwon and Ghostface United) dropped by Late Night with  Jimmy Fallon to perform the Chef’s lead single, “Rock ‘N Roll,” from that Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, in stores March 8. Guess Jim Jones was AWOL. “Never rock skinny jeans I’m way above…” [Peeped at Rap Radar via HipHopStan]

Remember when ODB and Black Thought looked like they were about to throw the fives on stage? Can’t find that video at all. But Black Thought recently dropped standout verses on Ghostface’s Apollo Kids album and on Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, so it’s all good.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gumsole Beatdowns #2: Kool & The Gang X Spinna & Premier

DJ Spinna has got beats. Fresh beats*. It’s a shame this production wunderkind of Jigmastas (and Stevie Wonder tribute parties) infamy doesn’t get his proper due. The above clip of him in the studio with Ski (of Camp Lo and early Roc-a-Fella infamy, not a bad producer himself) and the homie Sucio Smash chopping up Kool & The Gang’s “Summer Madness” inspired me to write another Gumsoles. [Props to High Water Music]

koolthegang_lightofworlds1

Most people nowadays will know Kool & the Gang for their Pop/Crossover hits like “Celebrate” and “Ladies Night” That’s all well and good but if you’re a little savvier with your music history you will note that Kool & the Gang started with traditional Jazz leanings before delving knee deep into R&B and Funk before getting their Disco on.

Being that the group’s main players—brothers Robert “Kool” Bell (bass) and Ronald Bell (tenor sax) as well as George Brown (drums), Robert Mickens (trumpet), Dennis Thomas (alto sax), Charles Smith (guitar, RIP) and Rick Westfield (keys)—were all accomplished musicians, it’s no wonder their catalog has been picked clean by scavenging Hip-Hop producers.

The song in question here (directly below), “Summer Madness,” stems from their R&B/Funk days, though they retained their sophisticated Jazz sensibilities. The instrumental tracks sweeping synthesizer and haunting melody was first heard on Kool & The Gang’s Light of Worlds (De-Lite, 1974) album.

That said, I wanted to share some of my fav “Summer Madness” flips, for the uninitiated. No one tell Premo I dropped dime please, thanks.

Gang Starr “DJ Premier in Deep Concentration”

“Summer Madness” forms the musical landscape for Premier to cut, scratch and transform with finesse, and all that mess. Word to Biz Markie and Cool V.

Pete Rock f/ Jim Jones & Max B “We Roll”

Ahh, feel the wave; when Jones and Max were best of buddies and making surprisingly good music. Pete Rock chops up “Summer Madness’” synth to the point where they’re almost recognizable, Max drops a catchy hook and Jones fills in adequately on the rhymes.

Da Bush Babees f/ Mos Def “The Love Song”

You really can’t lose early Mos Def teaming with late 90’s, underground Hip-Hop torchbearers teaming up over a Posdnous (De La Soul-did I really have to add that detail?) produced track.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (pre-Bel Air) “Summertime”

Enough of a classic that younger heads will think it’s the original.

RELATED:

Gumsole Beatdowns #1: Notorious B.I.G. X Al Green

*I’ll get around to posting that Spinna story from the late, great Scratch Magazine, one day.

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Gumsole Beatdowns, Hip-Hop, Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jim Jones Review (Vibe.com)

Cam, call me. Please?

Cam, call me. Please?

Forget America; only in hip hop can a glorified hypeman leapfrog to headliner in a few short years. Such is the case for Jim Jones. Since the Dipset Capo started dropping solo albums with certified hits—most notably “We Fly High” from 2006’s Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Koch)—the Harlemite’s become, if not a household name, certainly a brand unto himself…

The good folks at Vibe.com asked me to review Jim Jones’ new Pray IV Reign album. [via Vibe.com]

RELATED

A Sidekick Moves to Center Stage [via NY Times]

Mo’s Dead Serious Review of Jim Doc [via Mo is Dead Serious]

Harlem Rapper Jim Jones Drops Album, Goes to Court [via Gothamist]

Jim Jones “Blow The Bank” Video Vodpod videos no longer available.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Aqua's Clips, Hip-Hop | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment