“So when the beat intensifies/I become emotionally desensitized/like once i slapped a rapper with mace/then i spit acid in his face after he rinsed his eyes/ no wait, I actually grew 5 times my size/grabbed Mase by the thigh and slapped a rapper with him/now that’s practicing sacrilegious activism” – Pharoahe Monch
We are a week away from the release of PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the newest LP from Pharoahe Monch. What better way to get people amped up than to release a track with everyone’s favorite late night emcee? Few people can hang lyrically with Pharoahe on a track, and the same goes for Black Thought, so it feels like it’s meant to be. They both bring their A+++ game on this Marco Polo produced funky track. Be ready for PTSD next week and remember Hip-Hop is alive and well, so support it.
On May 19th, The Legendary Roots Crew will drop their 13th album & Then You Shoot Your Cousin. A satirical concept album, &TYSYC, is rumored to be a bit shorter and “more dense” than their last conceptual album Undun. If “When The People Cheer” is a fair representation, then that statement is very true. The bass line, the keys, the drums, the vocals, and everything else on the track seems to exist in their own space devoid of the rest, then come together to create the heavy end product. Sonically, this track is very much in the same vein as How I Got Over, if you ask me, and that’s a good thing. Lyrically, the Anti-Rap opera as the group is calling the album, is a pretty dope concept. Greg Porn and Black Thought each take on characters that shadow the general rap formulas used to sell records. The cliches lose their appeal though, something about the way these stereotypical verses are spit that expose the falsehoods of the rap game as opposed to glorifying them.
?uestlove & Capt Kirk of The Legendary Roots Crew are known in a very small circle in New York as Black Simon and Garfunkel. Last night on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” they took on Lorde’s hit song “Royals”.
When How I Got Over dropped, it seemed like every song on the album was speaking to me specifically. The title track did so especially. We got a lot of vulnerability from Black Thought on that album. The songs were personal, coming from deep within Tariq’s essence. His lyrics tugged on the very chords which play my heartbeat. It doesn’t matter where I am, I gravitate towards this album if it’s being played. I lose focus on whatever is at hand.
1996′s Illadelph Halflife is and will forever be a cornerstone to my life. I wish the video had the original subtitles in it, not sure why they took em out for the Vevo channel. The video is packed with hip-hop stereotypes and video cliches. Their video was meant as a diss to the turning trend in the music industry. Still a classic video.
I love hip-hop for various reasons, none of which are greater than moments like this. Another one of my favorite moments below, another Black Thought moment, this time with David Banner live at the Roxy in Los Angeles.
How I Got Over, was a solid effort in my opinion and “Now or Never” is certainly one of the stand out tracks. Phonte’s verse here is the stand out, which is saying something on anything that features Black Thought.
When The Roots dropped Undun, it was to mixed reviews. Me? I never listen to em, I approach each Roots project on it’s own merits. I listen and let it absorb without judging it by Illadelph Halflife standards. I mean, that album changed my whole outlook on what a Hip Hop album could sounds like. I believe in the Roots as a group and accept their visions for each project they release. Undun is no different, for me each song stands out. The guests all add their own sound to the album. K.R.I.T., Dice Raw, Truck North, they all drop jewels, but I think my 1A favorite verse on the album comes from Greg Porn on “The Otherside”
I’m sitting on top of the world, ready to jump off
Thinking of various ways to break a gun law
Thinking that enough is enough
But still I want more
Thinking how I’m paying with fire that burnt my young boy
Any means necessary, dont give a damn
So every night, I’m on a flight that never lands
Be an asshole when the shit hits the fan
Or bet your life on a bluff and a bare hand
Can’t win, Can’t lose
Dead em gas, leave em leaking fuel
Either way the market moves
Cash rules, Kings, Queens, Prince and Princess
Every night I’m crossing lines that ain’t the finish
Every thought as dark as a glass of fucking Guinness
Too far gone to come back to my senses
Now I’m on the edge of my bed
making love to my meds
Every moment’s like a pistols to my head
when I’m getting mine
The Grand Wizzards (Questlove, James Poyser, Black Thought, Kelo, Anthony Tidd, Chaos, and Richard Nicols) remixed the Grammy winning, “You Got Me” from the Roots, Things Fall Apart album. The steel drums and vocals from Mercedes Martinez of the Jazzyfatnastees create an entirely new and different feel for the song. The track was featured as a b-side to the original and could also be found on the maxi-single for you CD advocates. Another notable difference would have to be the absence of Eve Of Destruction, or E.V.E. as most would remember her as. No worries, Black Thought, was more than capable of handling that. Over the years, I’ve seen many creations of this song, although this is the only remix. I’ve seen The Roots, perform it with Jill Scott, the woman who penned the chorus, Nelly Furtado at the Pepsi One festival, seen them do it with Erykah joining the group, but I must say, I enjoy Mercedes just as much if not more than these other women, her voice is incredible and her group, The Jazzyfatnastees, is one of Philly’s greatest treasures. If you get a chance pick up their The Once and Future, album, I swear you’ll be thanking me after the opening track……
Brother ?uest, is killing it lately. Here we have a reunion with the living Soulquarian members, amongst others to perform a smorgasbord of hits. From the Beatles to Jimi to Zeppelin. The highlight still has to be the appearance of D’Angelo performing in the US for the first time in over a decade……. download and enjoy my friends
DOWNLOAD : ?UESTLOVE’S BONNAROO SUPER JAM VIA FUNKIT
Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) [Jimi Hendrix] (including Go Back 2 The Thing & Superman Lover [Johnny Guitar Watson] teases) >
Pride And Vanity [Ohio Players] >
Players Balling (Players Doin’ Their Own Thing) [Ohio Players]
Funky Dollar Bill [Funkadelic] >
Hit It And Quit It [Funkadelic] >
What Is And What Should Never Be [Led Zeppelin]
Babies Making Babies [Sly & The Family Stone] >
Hollywood Squares [Bootsy Collins] >
Mother’s Son [Curtis Mayfield] (including Chicken Grease tease)
Power of Soul [Band of Gypsys]
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window [The Beatles]
My Summertime Thang [The Time] >
Jam (including Fire [Ohio Players] & other teases)
Questlove – drums
Kirk Douglas – guitar
James Poyser – keys
Frank Knuckles – percussion
Pino Palladino – bass
Eric Leeds – saxophone
Jesse Johnson – guitar
Kendra Foster – vocals
D’Angelo – vocals, guitar, keys