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Linguistics (DJ Dez Remix) by Chali 2na

"Throw your hands high for the crew J5."

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Chali 2na is most notable for his role in the hip-hop group Jurassic 5 (J5). J5 got its start back in the late 90’s with its self-titled album, which became an instant hit in the underground music scene. I’ve been listening to J5 for some time now, and credit them for introducing me to (good) hip-hop. The group has a rhyme & flow that many try to emulate, but few pull off as well as J5.

J5 consists of a handful of talented MCs, but Chali 2na’s voice stands out above them all. 2na has one of the most widely known voices throughout the hip-hop community. It can best be described as a smooth, mellowed-out voice, yet he can flow faster than most MCs.

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w/ Guitar by Mel Gibson and the Pants

Silly name, quality sound.

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Hailing from my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mel Gibson and the Pants (MGP) are a band with a peculiar sound with an even more peculiar name. But don’t let the name throw you off, MGP is a midwest group with a quality sound. Though their music includes a midwest style, MGP comes up with a new flavor of hip-hop incorporating electro-rock, drum & bass, and of course hip-hop. With Riley Hartnet’s maginifecent guitar riffs and Harold Sander’s (J.R.) thought provoking rhymes, MGP pulls off something never “seen” before.

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Tangerine Sky by Kottonmouth Kings

"Just take some time, elevate."

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I was introduced to the Kottonmouth Kings from my friends in NorCal. Most of ’em listen to music from the Bay (with good reason), but occasionally expand their scope, e.g. Kottonmouth Kings. The Kottonmouth Kings bring in an interesting mix of hip-hop and punk rock with a heavy influence from mary jane (…why is that become a reoccurring theme on this blog…). They remind me of Swollen Members, and a little bit like Insane Clown Posse, but let’s never mention that again. Tangerine Sky is no doubt their most popular song, and from my experience, girls tend to love it (it’s rare to find hip-hop that women like, other than the mainstream). It has a memorable reggae style, which is used in a good amount of their music. If you like their style, give Sleepers a listen, also on Rollin’ Stoned.

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Electric Garden of Delights by DJ Frane

or Beats to Blaze to Volume 2

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I started listening to Frane about a year ago when I found his third album, Journey to the Planet of Birds, on a favorite forum of mine. After my fixation with the album died down, I decided to get my fix off of his other albums, so I gave Electric Garden of Delights a try.

I’d characterize Electric Garden as a mind-altering, drug-influenced arrangement, a lot like his other albums. But unlike his other albums, this album is set in a blissful garden, enchanted with exotic creatures and psychotropic plants. It’s an appealing album, but I’m not sure if it can hold up to his other works.

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