Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Where I listened to the album (Berlin, Germany)

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.


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I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with Wu-Tang’s Cappadonna to speak about his new release, Hook Off.

We talked the new album, his path from Park Hill to prison to today, and how his message has changed during the ride.

“Most popular hip-hop songs can only be remembered by a catchy hook, so with no hook the listener has no choice but to take in the lyrical content, flow and delivery of the artist, which is what this album comes packed with.”

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I had an opportunity to speak with Well$ of Charlotte, North Carolina on Beatspill Radio, WMUA 91.1FM.  We talked about his label, Immaculate Taste, his new album, MTSYD: Revenge of the African Booty Scratchers, his generation’s old school icons, and why the North Carolina hip hop scene is on it’s way to joining New York, Detroit, and LA as a mecca of the genre moving forward.

Download MTSYD: Revenge of the African Booty Scratchers via audiomack  here.

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15 Of The Greatest Jurassic Park GifsVia

Any Jurassic Park fans out there? Check out Dobby Stones‘ take on the closing theme.

Keep an eye out for The Love Tape, coming this summer

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Today we bring you the new Dobby Stones. I have heard rumors of Stones’ future collaborations moving south towards the Carolinas. If you know anything about Carolina rappers, you know that’s good news.

Free Beets

For beats:

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I was recommended this instrumental album by Regular Cats artist Jay Illustrate. I threw it on this morning as I was getting ready to exit the fog and enter my day and it certainly helped. If you’re looking for chilled out beats with subtly translated 70’s and 80’s allusions spread throughout, then I recommend giving this a listen. It’s the kind of tape that you can throw on and forget about worrying about the music situation for the next decent while. You’ll be content.

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63 songs.   2 hours.

One tribute to the greatest producer

of all time.

Rest in peace Jay Dee


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It takes a great deal of ambition to target and of Dilla’s Donuts with the intention of doing it justice. JSWISS comes back with another tribute to the GPOAT two days after his birthday and one day before the anniversary of his passing. It’s an oddly comforting time for all of us fans, because, despite the early exit, Dilla’s super-saturated life of art and creation is something that each and every one of us can find solace in. J Dilla is our justified obsession. Thank you for leaving us all in your will.

Tune in tomorrow from 6-8pm as sMiles and I broadcast our Second Annual Live Dilla Tribute Show on WMUA 91.1FM

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-Headphones Recommended

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With the anniversary of Jay Dee‘s death about a month away, Phife releases a personal tribute letter to the late, great producer, in the form of “Dear Dilla.” The beat, sounding very much like “Hold Tighhht” by Slum Village, brings us back in time to when A Tribe Called Quest was fading out with the emergence of the Slum and their classic album Fantastic, Vol. 2. Phife even begins the track like Q-Tip did when he was featured on “Hold Tighhht.”

Note: This appears to be the first single from Phife Dawg’s upcoming album, MUTTYmorPHosis – word.

Note #2: Usually I would save something like this for a Dilla Sundays post, but that is just too far away.

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