the night i was born, i swear the moon turned a fire red...
Ever since a youngin I’ve had love for Jimi Hendrix, since my parents share a love for his music they always used to play his stuff around me, and while i’ve always appreciated him as an artist, it wasn’t until recently that I started to check out his music on my own time. All three of his albums are masterpieces and unique in their own way, but Electric Ladyland is really the one that sticks with me. It sticks too me really because of the world it takes me too. Everything from his distinctive voice which alone is enough to establish an entire mood, too his GORGEOUS complex guitar riffs, give this album an atmosphere like no other. This atmosphere is incredibly psychedelic, at times dark, and very raw/ dirty. Jimi went as far to include a 15 minute live performance Voodoo Chile, which is so well made so vivid, it makes me feel as if I’m in the crowd. And even though it sounds raw, you can tell the extent Jimi went to make this album a perfection down to the bone. Tracks like Crosstown Traffic and Little Miss Strange are eccentric and filled with energy, while tracks like Rainy Day, Dream Away and Burning of the Midnight Lamp are more relaxed and have a soulful vibe. If you smoke bud, and want to explore other genres, this is a must.
THE BEST HIP-HOP ALBUM OF 2002
Mr. Lif - I Phantom
I just want to start by saying that it was incredibly hard to choose between I Phantom and Fantastic Damage, And really either one could be here. The first two tracks depicts Mr. Lif dreaming of dying after an attempted store robbery, in order to liberate himself from the struggles he has living in poverty. The 2nd track ends with a sample saying “I’ma live life after this one crime” this perfectly wraps up the mentality of the poor who may resort to crime in order to solve their hardship. Mr. Lif’s lyrics are pinpoint, packed with clever bars and his story telling is incredible as he thrusts the reader into his world, reflecting on family and friends, with an underlying political theme. El-P and other co producers did an immaculate job on the production and this project hardly left me wanting more. The climax of the album is the surprising nuclear holocaust. The guest appearances were great, most notably on the track ‘Post Mortem’ which was an immense end to a fantastic project.
Favourite Tracks - A Glimpse at the Struggle, Live from the Plantation, Earthcrusher.
Rating - 9.7/10
El-P - Fantastic Damage
Atmosphere - God Loves Ugly
The Roots - Phrenology
Clipse - Lord Willin’
Dälek - From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots
Busdriver - Temporary Forever
Talib Kweli - Quality
What is your Hip-Hop AOTY for 2002?
MADVILLAINY - MADVILLAIN (MF DOOM x MADLIB)
The Greatest Producer Of All Time Meets The Greatest Rapper Of All Time To Create The Greatest Hip Hop Album Of All Time.
THE ILLEST VILLAINS
a sound collage introduction describing Madvillain as these terrible, disgusting terrorist. with clips taken from older marvel cartoons, it has a retro/vintage feel. the beat in the back is minimalistic but adds immensely.
Madlib samples an accordion loop for the entire beat, it’s beautiful, noisy, but compact.
DOOM paints Madvillain’s caricature deeper as these horrible beasts. with an extremity of quotables. this is the most popular song on the album.
DOOM uses an unfamiliar flow, he’s speedier and slicker. he shows off his undeniable rap skill with complex rhyme schemes and unusual, but clever metaphors. the beat’s intro samples a Frank Zappa song that was once used as a television advertisement.
a spoken word introductory speech from DOOM welcoming the listener to their “Madvillain Bistro Bed and Breakfast Bar and Grill” announcing everyone taking part in the album as “guest” to the diner. the beat holds soulful female vocal loops and a beautiful piano beat.
RAID (FT. MED)
“how DOOM hold heat, then preach non violence”
DOOM begins the song with a short but sweet verse storytelling the illness of his raps
the sampled hook repeats an inaudible high pitched [shout?] continued by MED’s verse. toying with the same “Hold Heat” bar that DOOM used in the beginning making a reference to movie star Clint Eastwood.
AMERICA’S MOST BLUNTED
[a ballad dedicated to weed?] DOOM & Quas (Madlib’s rap persona) trade verses praising and advocating the usage of cannabis. a more up beat and faster paced track compared to the songs before, it’s energetic but doesn’t seem crazy. the outro pushes forward the creative use of marijuana.
“it’s a known fact that grass increases creativity”
1/3 instrumental tracks on the album. this is a one minute recurrent loop of blaring, chopped samples scratches and small distortions.
CONTINUED IN COMMENTS
It’s crazy how under appreciated Knxwledge is. This man consistently drops fire beattapes on his bandcamp, I’d even go as far as to say he’s made some of the best albums of decade with SKR∆WBERRiES.FUNR∆iSRS VOL.3, and Hud Dreems. His contributions to music don’t stop there as he’s collaborated with rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, and even a full length project with Anderson .Paak “Yes Lawd!”. His 11 track EP Buttrskotch is a personal favorite of mine even though it is very short, it doesn’t waste a single second of your time. It’d be easy to call this off as a generic lofi-hip hop tape, which is fair until you account the creativity it must’ve took to incorporate true feelings and soulfulness he delivers with just instrumentals, which really separates him from his contemporaries and reminds of beat legends like J Dilla or Madlib. With samples ranging from alternative synth patterns to broken down piano chord to classic soul. Every track on here feels connected. My favorites being todayitsyew, wunDai, makemoney, asHOKA, JAM.FROZE, and feelin. If ever plan on looking into beattapes, i’d definitely recommend Buttrskotch.
THE BEST HIP-HOP ALBUM OF 2000
Deltron 3030 - Self Titled
Deltron 3030 is one of my favourite Hip-Hip albums of all time. Among this over 20 song album Del’s displays his immaculate flows, complex lyrics and rhyme schemes (and considering the lyrics were written in less than two weeks this is incredible). The production all across the board is enchanting and takes the listener to a futuristic outer-space setting, where Del explains the fight against corporations that rule the universe. The project as a whole is wonderfully cohesive and I see no flaws whatsoever.
Favourite Tracks - Positive Contact, Madness, 3030.
Rating - 10/10
Common - Like Water for Chocolate,
Quasimoto - The Unseen,
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele,
Reflection Eternal - Train of Thought,
Del the Funky Homosapien - Both Sides of the Brain.
OutKast - Stankonia
What is your Hip-Hop AOTY for 2000?
This was a sticker I made when I was living in LA. I printed a bunch out on paper sticker paper and spray painted clear coat over it so it had a chance in being durable. Influenced by one of my favorite rappers, MF Doom, on one the best albums, Madvillainy. #losangeles#stickers#madvillain#art#hiphop
I feel like the choice of music in soundtracks for movies/tv could do a lot more to enhance the scene or feeling then people realize. A lot of us including myself link these songs we hear in our entertainment with nostalgia and memories. Most of my nostalgia really comes from Adult Swim. The whole [adult swim] aesthetic was extremely appealing to me. Everything from the unique stylization of [adult swim] to their dark simplistic editing style of their bumps, what really tied it together is the music. During the bumps they would usually play laid back hip hop beats from the likes of J Dilla, Madlib, Flying Lotus, even giving props to MF DOOM and play a role his album “The Mouse & The Mask”. The fact that [adult swim] was really exposing me to some of my favorite artists nearly a decade before I knew gives me much appreciation for this network. Donuts by J Dilla remains my favorites album of all time, and partially due to how much it brings me back to the days of staying up mad late and watching The Boondocks, Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, shiiit even The Eric Andre Show.
Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs | i keep putting off writing about this album because every time i put it on i just get too lost in thought so i'm writing this as quick as i can on the bus. i know this isn't the first lofi, roughly-mixed, introspective rap album ever made (like how some publications are praising it and comparing it to Madvillainy). but the recognition for this album is well deserved. something about the unpolished beats and poetic thoughts of Earl just spilling out is just so captivating.
Earl's always been extremely talented when it comes to straight rapping skill (probably the best currently), and i feel like he tried to strip that back and almost unlearn the complex bars he usually delivers, to instead spit more raw and earnest words. but in saying that, he still finds a balance with some super memorable and effective one liners about his depression and his mental state. the whole album is so hypnotic and kind of flows as one 25minute stream of consciousness where Earl takes you through what he's been doing these past years.
one of these things being mourning the loss of his father, whom he pays tribute to on "Playing Possum", which contains excerpts of a poem read by his father and a speech from his mother over a euphoric beat produced by Earl himself. he leaves his last words on "Peanut" with some slurred and intensely descriptive rhymes about his late father and his struggle with depression. then the album closes with the instrumental "Riot!" which is like this beautiful, clunky little tune that kind of makes you feel like you've found the light at the end of the cave or surfaced from the muddy and deep waters that is this album.
it's not for everybody and it can be jarring, but this hypnotic record is a little bit of a surreal experience when you sit in the dark reading along to the lyrics while half asleep in the middle of the night. idunno something about it just had such an effect on me. 9/10. "why ain't nobody tell me i was bleedin'?"