For your Friday listening pleasure. If you haven’t checked out the collaboration between Prince Paul (De La Soul) and Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads) as Baby Elephant, you are missing out. The whole project is legit. Now you have something to do for the weekend.
Bonus* Baby Elephant ft. David Byrne “How Does the Brain Wave“.
Smash. Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch back together on a track! Damn, I miss them together. Organized Konfusion’s Stress: Extinction Agenda is hands down one of the most important albums to me, of all time, of all genres. I wish there was some of their rapid fire back and forth interaction on here but nonetheless they kill it. And I haven’t even mentioned D.I.T.C. alum O.C. yet, one of the most consistent emcees for decades. He makes the reunion complete, as he was also the featured rhymer on O.K.’s first single “Fudge Pudge” from ’91. I suppose I should also mention Madlib’s brother Oh No, a ridiculous producer in his own right, is on the track. Smash.
Last week ?uestlove kicked off a 6 part series of essays on Vulture.com called When the People Cheer: How Hip-Hop Failed Black America that takes a look “at hip-hop’s recent past, thinking about its distant past, and wondering about the possibility of a future.”
You know it’s good when when he start’s off with quotes from John Bradford, Einstein, and Ice Cube (from his N.W.A days). And though the title focuses on Black America it’s really all about how hip hop rose from a black culture and has morphed into a mass culture dominating the mainstream with music and style. Along with that integration into the mainstream a lot of the fury and counterculture hip hop was built on has been diluted and turned back on itself, using it’s own power to ultimately subjugate itself.
Granted, the argument isn’t that easy or cut and dry. Being so accessible to mass culture has diluted the original invigorating elements but that’s still mostly only in the hip hop you’re going to ultimately find in pop culture. If you dig, it’s still there, there’s just more crap you have to dig through. I digress.
So far the first essay is incredible and even if I have arguments with some of the things ?uestlove says he puts things in a masterful way that lends themselves to debate and give and take as opposed to an all determinate I am right, you are wrong. ?uestlove, enigmatic drummer and hustler of culture.
Redefinition Records and www.StrictlyCassette.com team up for the initial release from their Blank Tape Tribute Series, “Adventures of Captain Crook,” which also includes some apearances by Blu and Scienze. They’re releasing the series on cassette but also making it available as a free download as well. They also have a special cassette + cassette walkman combo pack (for only $23, which is probably what they actually cost back in the day).
Make sure to keep an eye out on the Redef soundcloud for future editions from Damu The Fudgemunk, K-Def, Grap Luva, Kev Brown & others.
Lotus is a diverse live band featuring synths, horns, strings and they’ve teamed up with a host of rappers for an anticipated collaboration project. And it’s free. FREE, people (well, you can name your price from 0-trillion).
Features Doodlebug (Digable Planets), Lyrics Born, Mr. Lif, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), and more. It’s also worthy of noting that Monks was mastered by thee Daddy Kev.