Changing careers is hard, but I’m workinthefuckonit.
In the meantime, I continue to cultivate the dope shit. Here’s what I’ve distilled of late..
The second volume from Madlib & Freddie Gibbs, Bandana, rates out at a solid 4 mics. Kanye, moronic genius that he is, apparently passed on these Madlib compositions. Features from Pusha T., Killer Mike, Black Thought and Mos Def are obvious to reach for. But the best track for me is “Fake Names”:
While Bandana might very well end up the top hip-hop album of 2019, a sleeper contender for that distinction has to be Big Tone & House Shoes’ Detroit-centric, Big Shoes. House Shoes’ record collection is legendary and it shines through on all twelve distinct cuts. Big Tone rides each with a unique storyline (have a go at “High Velocity Pt. 1 & 2″).
There may be some bad juju associated with this release in certain sectors, but maybe the eternal homage to Dilla (who taught Shoes how to expertly chop samples) herein will help mend any fences (if they even need to be mended).
Leaving strict hip-hop for a minute, a major revelation is the three-piece, global psychedelic band, Khruangbin. The trio hail from Houston but their sound is a funky mezcal of Texas soul, hip-hop-inflected break beats (provided by drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson), bass grooves (Laura Lee) that would make Bootsy Collins do a double-take and guitar work (Mark Speer) that echoes both Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eddie Hazel.
Their first album, The Universe Smiles Upon You (2015), comes across with something of a Daptone/Truth & Soul vibe, but apparently a lot of the inspiration was from 60’s Thai funk.
Their second effort, Con Todo El Mundo (2018), draws heavily from Spanish and Middle Eastern touchtones including Turkish and Persian soul and psychedelia (which Kanye hit up last summer for the Nasir project).
Every track is cinematic in scope, grab yourself a big heaping plate:
Ted Dibiase was a major villain in the WWF glory days. The Nintendo Entertainment System was the console of choice in that era. LA-based producer, Dibia$e, has been chopping 8-bit textures for well over a decade but never so masterfully until, Bonus Levels.
Maybe it’s a stretch to call this the 8-bit Donuts, but if you went full warp-world on Mario or spent countless hours trying to make tiles fit on Tetris, this album holds both nostalgia and head-nod.
I still have to give Flygod Is An Awesome God a patient listen. Sounds like heat out the gate though.
Alright, Summer. That’s all for now. Enjoy camp. I’ll be hanging out watching Stranger Things.
Waiting for the signal.