General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

Archive for the tag “kanye west”

Five for the Funk – Big Daddy Kane

BDK

In two weeks time Liverpool is going to get schooled by the don. Big Daddy Kane is coming to town and you better believe it. Alongside the likes of Kool G Rap, Rakim, Slick Rick and Biz Markie, Kane is part of the pantheon of truly great late eighties solo rappers. Everything about him is iconic, from his ultimate braggadocio rhymes to the ridiculousness of his garbs, he had it going on.

Any rapper stunting owes him so much, Biggie’s avuncular arrogance, Kanye’s fashionista flyness, Jay-Z’s smooth swagger – Kane paved the way for all this and much more. In fact Jigga’s debt stretches further, with his early 90s pre rocafella days spent acting as an intermediary hype man for Kane at his shows. His first two albums are absolute classics, and there’s the fact that Rakim, RA FUCKING KIM, cooled the prospect of beef with him. You know when the God thinks twice about entering a battle with you, you’re pretty good.

So in honour of this epochal event, encased in the soon to open East Village Club, five for the funk delivers five bits of greatness from BDK. Large.

‘Smooth Operator’

Mary Jane Girls’ ‘All Night Long’ is one of the most sampled records in hip-hop history, everyone from LL Cool J, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Redman and Ice Cube being among the fifty people in total who have used the saccharine soul 80s classic. I’ve even built a modest dj career off playing it in 90% of my sets of the past five years. But few have done it as well as on Smooth Operator.

While primarily a record in the classic Big Daddy batting off all competitors mould, he does deliver a few bars implying his acumen with the females, but it’s not as much as the title would have you belive. It’s less of a response to the anti-male diatribe of the same name from Sade than you might initially think, particularly as alongside the MJ Girls there’s samples from two of Marvin Gaye’s sexjams (‘Lets get it on’ & ‘Sexual healing’). Instead it’s just Kane doing what he does best, holding court like the don he is.

‘Raw’

This is the ronseal of 80s hip-hop. Marley Marl’s splicing of James Brown and Bobby Byrd just about manages to avoid being dated and Kane just goes, as you’d expect, raw. He’s an absolute animal on the mic in this, just a relentless barrage of skill that is the calling card of one of the greatest. An absolute monument of the genre.

‘Don’t Curse’ (Heavy D ft Kool G Rap, Pete Rock, Cl Smooth, Grand Puba, Q-Tip & Big Daddy Kane)

As posse cuts go this is up there with the best of them. The roll call features people who earned their stripes repping verse after verse in the Juice Crew, Tribe Called Quest and Grand Nubian, all coming together to show that they don’t need to swear to keep it going. It was of course an answer to the proliferation of Parental Advisory stickers which were rampant in hip-hop in time. It’s not the greatest 8 bars from Kane in his career, but he’s still smooth as ever and the track and video are amazing. Heavy D also looks ridiculous in prison style pyjamas, what’s not to love about that?

‘Any type of Way’

What marks Kane out from some of his peers is how graciously he’s aged. No rapper can ever maintain a scintillating appeal, but some slip from world domination to head in hands moments quicker than most. I’m looking at you KRS and Rakim. Kane however, has gone down the Slick Rick route of touring off the back of a legendary status and the odd track since his heyday and this gem from 2003, produced by DJ Premier, proves his mettle.

He’s still nice on the mic but rather than being on that arrogant tip here he is slipping into the paternal figure of hip-hop a man of his status should do. And his voice fits Preemo’s as ever on point production perfectly. The two recently joined up again for a nike commercial with the brilliant 28 bars, which features the genius closing gambit “I went on 28 just to raise the bars”. Don’t doubt this an emcee still with it.

‘Ain’t no Half-Steppin’

Still the one. This is just a relentless surge of look at me I am boss; put-downs, big me-ups, the lot. From a lyrical point of view it’s hard to think of many songs that deliver an aura of greatness quite like this, and the calling card ‘I’m awesome’ records of rappers, be them Biggie’s ‘Unbelievable’, Jay-Z’s ‘So Ghetto’, Big L’s ‘Flamboyant’ and so on, all stand behind this. Everyone is a butter knife compared to Kane’s machete faced with this.

The video is gloriously lo-fi, a reminder of the lack of real money in hi-hop at the time, when you get the impression that the combined cost of the tracksuits worn by Kane and his dancers probably outweighs the overall budget. That’s not to say he isn’t looking hella fresh, with a chain that probably cost the GNP of an eastern European country and a general persona that is dripping swag. The iconic BDK tune.

For ticket info hit here.

Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” Remix (feat. Jay-Z)

Can Kendrick get any better? Yes, yes he can. This remix delivers the storyline of rap’s new king coming up in four minutes and three verse, all set to the backdrop of the most palpable beat on ‘Good Kid Maad City‘. First up Kendrick delivers a verse about the ease at which he’s entered hip-hop’s high end stratosphere, notably the ‘upper echelons’ as he calls it. Then Jay-Z turns up, delivers a brilliant verse for this remix (even if he is following certain Kanye delivery techniques now) before Kendirck gets back on the mic and absolutely lets rip.

The way he flips the languid stylings he drops on the original to the grimy aggression best served on ‘Backstreet Freestyle’, he absolutely murders the track. He leaked this week that Jay’s verse sent him back to the lab, and the result is he doesn’t just go toe to toe with him, but steps above. The track was leaked at SSXW (where the hottest shows in town were all three of Kendrick’s gigs) and has since been doing the round on youtube and soubndcloud with an image of a young Kobe Bryant breathless against a calm and sincere Michael Jordan, seemingly imparting advice. How apt can you get?

They keep lashing the hype on this young boy and he keeps rising to it at every juncture. The way he pays his dues as well, hooking in Mc Eiht, Dre’s ministerial overlording and now Jigga, it’s similar to the way Em did the rounds during the Slim Shady era on Rawkus and the mixtapes (back when they were really underground). Yet he knows it’s his time to go against them competitively, getting in the booth and cutting their head off, as he puts it in Acclaim Magazine. God knows how good his next album is going to be…

‘The rap Generation Gap’ J-Zone – Ego Trip

“The music we grew up on will last forever for us to enjoy and get nostalgic over, but the circumstances that created it are long, long, long gone.”

Excellent article form j-live which analyses the way hip-hop means different things to different people of ages. I’ve never really got the likes of Trouble Funk, Treacherous Three and Kurtis Blow even though I love disco, and whilst getting my face melted by PE, gawping at Rakim or Kane’s lyrics or just basking in the eternal glory that is everything about Slick Rick, De la’s ‘3 Feet High’, NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and nigh on everything done by Run DMC doesn’t go above very good in my eyes.

My generation of hip-hop is very much 1992+, and as well versed as I am in the music before then less and less of it hits me the way that the music form that period does. Likewise with everything after about 2002… you’d be completely right if you said the aforementioned Three Foot High or even Kanye’s ‘my dark twisted fantasy’ was more of an influential and worthier piece of art than say Black Moon’s ‘Enta Da Stage’, but I know which one I’d rather lash on.

Anyway; read what J-Live has to say. Essential reading for anyone digging hip-hop at any point.

Kendrick Lamar ‘Poetic Justice’ ft Drake – Video

I left university in May 2004, and I genuinely reckon that there hasn’t been a better hip-hop album released in that time period than Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kid Maad City’. Hand on heart, it’s better than everything done by Kanye, Nas’ also great 2011 masterpiece ‘life is Good’ and certainly anything by the colum inch hoggers of hip-hop during this period, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jigga et al.

Anyway, I’ll try and reason that argument at a later date when inevitably I still think Kendrick’s opus is amaizng in a years time, but dig the latest video to drop form him here featuring Drake.

Kendrick Lamar “Backseat Freestyle”(Video)

Kendirck Lamar’s album ‘Good Kid Maad City‘ was easily one of the best of 2012 and one of the biggest grinding cuts on said opus was ‘Backseat freestyle’. That track has now got a video which flashes the Eiffel tower off a fair bit (the producer is Hit-Boy, the up and coming G.O.O.D Music boardsman behind ‘Niggas in Paris’), although thankfully no comparisons are made realistically between that and Kendrick’s dick.

Also getting exposed is Kendrick’s elder relatives Rick Ross esque gut and Sherane’s ‘ass that a ruler couldn’t measure’. Not ground-breaking but it is pretty entertaining. the album though, if you haven’t already kop that because it’s next level.

#GJH25 – Darren’s Alternative Hip-Hop Top Ten

To counter the indulgence currently being wacked out by my drawn out saga of releasing my top 25, I asked a few others to contribute their top ten. Darren flips the script not only in his choices, but also in our usual blogging techniques by offering a great selection brilliantly streamlined in comment.

10. 6 Feet Deep – Gravediggaz.
Perhaps the most surreal concept album ever conceived in Hip-Hop, but also one also producing some of it’s most highly creative beats.

9. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West.
Is he a member of The Illuminati? Why is the Album Art bizarre? Elton John’s on the record..!! Despite all these interesting questions, it will be remembered as one of the greatest artistic works in Hip-Hop history.

Kanye West POWER by Marco Brambilla (Director’s Cut) from ARTJAIL on Vimeo.

8. Illmatic – Nas.
Nas’ first ever long player has, due to the total brilliance, become something of a curse for his career as with each proceeding album leaves aficionados disappointed. Sort of how Wayne Rooney has never topped his début for Manchester United.

7. Midnight Marauders – A Tribe Called Quest.
Deliberately recorded from Midnight till 6am, the result was a unique sounding album that captures the collective at their zenith. Wide awake when the majority of their counterparts where sleeping.

6. When Disaster Strikes… – Busta Rhymes.
This album can only be described as perfect Saturday Night Warm-Up Music, ready for before the adventures begin. It’s just fun; something that’s sadly in very short supply within the genre & the lifestyle.

5. Doggystyle – Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Long before the Adidas contract & numerous other endorsements that he now promotes turned him into a brand, Snoop Doggy Dogg was a youngster with the aim of being the No. 1 on the Mic. When this came out he most definitely was.

4. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill.
This entire album was in-fact intended to be the demo version, yet it was decided that it’s rough gritty sound perfectly suited the lyrics. At times, the imperfections are better.


– –

3. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – Wu-Tang Clan.
It simply should work having that many members then including tooo many samples from badly dubbed 1970’s English Kung-Fu Films.
An Aggressive but also silly combination, yet one executed perfectly.

2. Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde – The Pharcyde.
A group of four very young 20yr old stoners from Southern California that have concerns about women, marriage & weed make a masterpiece without realizing. It doesn’t matter it you’re from Los Angeles or Leeds, you’ll instantly connect with this album as it’s about the Human Experience.

1. The Score – The Fugees.
Inspired by the later work on Bob Marley, it impressed both the ghettos & the suburbs across the globe.
According to urban-myth, for some reason the album directed connected with the Chinese Population making it currently the most bootlegged album in history.

Agree or Disagree with my selections? Send me a Tweet at @DazAltTheory using hashtag #GJHH25

Rza breaks down the Man With the Iron Fists soundtrack – Complex

HYPE HYPE HYPE!

RZA breaks down each song for the soundtrack to his upcoming flick ‘Man with the Iron Fists’ over on Complex. Straight up grimy hip-hop form Ny’s finest like Kool G Rap, Talib Kweli, M.O.P and Pharoahe Monch rubs shoulders with the Black keys, Corrine Bailey Rae and of course the Wu. And Kanye and RZA on some mentor ish.

The complete soundtrack list is below:

01 The Black Keys & RZA – “The Baddest Man Alive”

02 Ghostface Killah, M.O.P & Pharoahe Monch – “Black Out”

03 Kanye West – “White Dress”

04 The Revelations feat. Tre Williams – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”

05 Talib Kweli & RES – “Get Your Way (Sex as a Weapon)”

06 Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Kool G. Rap – “Rivers of Blood”

07 Method Man, Freddie Gibbs & StreetLife – “Built for This”

08 24 Carat Black – “Poverty’s Paradise”

09 Killa Sin – “The Archer”

10 RZA & Flatbush Zombies – “Just Blowin’ In The Wind”

11 Corrine Bailey Rae – “Chains”

12. Pusha T & Raekwon – “Tick Tock”

13. Frances Yip – “Green is the Mountain”

14. The Wu-Tang Clan – “Six Directions of Boxing”

15. Mabel John – “Your Good Thing Is About To End”

Kanye West ft Pusha T Ghostface Killah New God Flow

Oh yes. Kanye has the summer mixtape/ album ‘Cruel Summer’ due soon and recorded this track with Clipse crime spitter Pusha T. Now they’ve recruited the Wally Champ to add some weight to the track. What more do you want, one of those ridiculously dramatic beats Kanye gets together and two of the most slang serious rappers fronting too (and doing a better job than they did on this). Soundcloud does the damage below.

Download: Frank Ocean – Pyramids

Odd Future Talisman and Jay-Z and Kanye West collaborator Frank Ocean has thrown out a free download. ‘Pyramids’ locks in at just under ten minutes, and is definitely on the epic tip. It changes direction a good three or four times during the beat, features some guitar licks, scatter-shot drums and some stadium shaking synths and pulsating electronics that give it a thoroughly ambiguous feel. It does go on a bit like (hence him giving it away) but nevertheless it is a great track, imagine Diplo and Usher ditched the falsetto and dragged ‘Climax’ out a bit longer and your kind of there. And it’s free mutherfuckers!

Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def adds a video to Jay & Kanye diss

Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) delivers a pretty hefty diss to BOTH Jay-Z & Kanye West which goes a lot further than the usual ‘I fucked your Bitch‘ or ‘Suck my Dick‘ refrains that have been the epitome of hip-hop anger and ire in the past. The track leaked a few weeks ago but there’s now a video genuinely sticking the finger; Yasiin has certainly laid his cards out here.

Be an interesting seeing how this one develops. Original video below

Post Navigation