An incredible rendition of Ski’s “Dead Presidents” beat from Jay-Z’s legendary first album, Reasonable Doubt. Think Twice & David Ryshpan injected some real emotion into their version, taking it to a pretty somber and reflective place. It’s hard to add to such a classic beat like this without taking away essential elements, but they did just that, and created something novel.
Archive for the ‘Other Genres’ Category
Sometimes, when I’m bored and lonely, I’ll dabble in poetic devices and write some rhymes of my own. I give myself many pseudonyms, with Young Father being my favorite. I meant it to be tongue in cheek, not knowing that someone more devoted to the craft than I was succeeding under a similar name.
This single by the Scottish trio has poignant, melancholy rhymes; a melodic, buzzing, lo-fi weightiness; ethereal voiceplay and a dash of African tribal music.
I’ll be dissolving the rapper known as Young Father now.
Good morning? Best morning.
Well, Tiger Speak has become even jazzier. After first hearing their self-titled EP almost two years ago, I had much difficulty naming a mainstream characterization of their sound. Calling it jazz-influenced hip hop was understating the jazz but at the same time Ryan Easter’s rapping provided an essential element to their music and overall vibe. The only description that seemed fair was a constant change-up from jazz to rap – what I called transportation from a 60’s jazz club to a contemporary rap venue (when speaking of their live performance). On the spectrum of straight jazz to straight rap I had them at about JAZZ ———-here———————RAP. This new live album puts them about JAZZ —— here ————————-RAP. Of course this is a silly and arbitrary way of getting my point across but I think it gets my point across. I now choose to refer to their music as Spoken Jazz – a whole lotta sexy jazz mixed with some verbose spoken word poetry.
Ryan Easter is quite the MC. Sometimes he talks, sometimes he spits trap-style, other times he raps as fast as he can, but regardless of the technique he’s delivering, he gets every single damn word he’s trying to say into each line and every verse. He’s like the MF Doom who refuses to spill his words into the next bar. Easter is the out-of-breath poet trying to keep up with the speedy sound his musical counterparts partake in.
Tiger Speak could successfully survive as a jazz orchestra and at times they create a sound that doesn’t really sound hip-hoppy at all. But I think that’s what makes them so cool. They know how to keep a bit quiet, laying down jazz club background sounds while the MC controls the mic. They also know how to completely let loose and belt a musical interlude that will make you forget you are listening to 2014 rap…and then Easter comes screeching in while the jazzsters turn down their stereo. Then they take turns showing each other their skills. It’s teamwork at work.
When your child asks you where babies come from, you can simply direct them to this song.
But definitely not to that soundcloud picture…
Daneil Caesar – a member of Toronto music group/record label, VLI./IXXI – released this cover of James Blake’s “Wilhelm Scream”, back in 2013. Although doing a cover of a James Blake track is no small task, Caeser executes it beautifully in this acoustic and effect free rendition. The definition of relaxing, give “Scream” a listen and you’ll fall asleep where you stand. Enjoy.
SPZRKT has made an impression on us at Beatspill, so I’m sorry to write up another post about the artist, as I really don’t want to beat this tape to death. Alas, I feel like I must.
“The Feel II”, featuring a guest verse by John Givez and production by Maj0r, is another gem on his last project, Lucid Dream, that one just can’t afford to overlook. The beat has a groove and sense of funk reminiscent of old school rap, and the artists don’t disappoint. SPZRKT’s smooth hook will spark your interest, and John Givez makes sure he never gives it back. From start to finish, “The Feel II” is a rhythmic track great for sunny days and chillin with the homies. Enjoy.
A few months ago, I posted about some up-and-coming artist from San Antonio, SPZRKT. While clearly influenced by the likes of The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, SPZRKT has his own, unique sound, and as I hear more of his music, he seems determined to only further differentiate himself. “Middle of Things, Beautiful Wife”, is a beautiful track that reminds me of Ocean’s “Lost” but with some more edge. Produced by dope beat-maker, Sango and remixed by Stwo, the beat is incredibly dynamic and driven. This track is unreal, as it combines a talented voice with an already beautiful beat, and remixes it all into one masterpiece. Enjoy.
This song is perfectly perfect. After umpteen listens, I cannot find a single thing wrong with it. Everything is on point.
I’ve been digging into Erykah Badu‘s discography since returning for Winter Break and I can’t stop listening. I’m obsessed to the extent that it’s hard to listen to anything else without itching to return to the smooth, absorbing music that describes Badu’s essence. She has such a grasping voice and a vibe you can’t refuse. With J Dilla producing a beat for her, nothing could be better. Dilla takes a more modest, less experimental, jazzy approach when working with Badu. I’ve come to appreciate more and more Dilla’s ability and willingness to adapt to the style of music the artist he is working with employs.
Erykah Badu delivers some incredibly interesting inside information about what it was like to create with Jay Dee. If you’re a Dilla fan this monologue, as she talks about “Didn’t Cha Know“, will be fairly fascinating:
“I went to Detroit to work with this cat that I heard a few tracks from that drove me crazy. Common took me over there, we went down to the basement, Common left and Dilla and I sat and talked. He had records wall to wall like it was a public library and he goes, “OK, I want you to look for a record.” I’m looking through these organized, tightly packed crates, and I just pulled out one record and the artist was Tarika Blue. I liked that name. I put on the first track [“Dreamflower”] and I fell in love with the song and I kept playing it over and over again and I said, “I want this.” He showed me how to loop a small part of the bassline, he was very generous in teaching you and letting you be hands on. Then I left the room and when I came back he had looped some drums to a small sample of the song and I started to write to it. I came up with the Ooooh, heeeey melody. I wrote for a few days and then the song came to be. I’d hike down to his house in mittens and a scarf. I just kind of stayed down there and worked until we got the things the way that I liked.
My songs sound different from everyone else’s Dilla songs. The sound is a little bit more bass heavy and the frequencies are definitely different than most of the songs he does, because it’s his world. But when he allowed me to come into his world, it became another kind of world. I think he allowed everybody that kind of space and that kind of freedom because he was so super creative that he would go onto something else while we learned the first part. He was ultraviolet, cosmic, dark. He went to aeronautics school so of course he was a mad scientist mathematician. I don’t know, you can’t really dissect what he was.”
You can read more Dilla stories at The Fader
If this track is particularly familiar to you but not because you know this song, it is likely because J. Cole heavily sampled it in his song “Too Deep For The Intro” from his mixtape Friday Night Lights. Until I made the fairly obvious connection between the two, I had never considered what a J. Cole – J Dilla collaboration would sound like, but “Too Deep For The Intro” is a great song and that is with Cole using one of Dilla’s chiller beats. J. Cole can handle much more upbeat vibes. I’d imagine they could come up with a creative duo name like Cilla Js, or something, too.