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Get Low by Nuttin’ But Stringz

Hip-hop strings just may be my thing.

Nuttin’ But Stringz was nuttin’ like I expected. About a year or two back, someone had posted up on a forum about a rap duo who played violins. I love when hip-hop brings on classic instrumentals; strings just sound so good with a baseline and an MC that can flow.

Unfortunately, the duo didn’t stack up as I had hoped. Their use of the violin is definitely their strong point, but anything past that just seemed second-rate. Fortunately, I managed to pull a song that’s good for a party mix, which I didn’t expect from a group that’s highlighted for their violin playing – let’s just say I expected more of a classical vibe.

The duo seems to be leaning towards pop – just saw them on Dancing with the Stars (on a YouTube clip) – but their talent for the strings will hopefully push them back into the art sometime in the future.

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Picking a Lock at the Speed of Light

by These Modern Socks - Minneapolis Fucking Rocks!

I’ve been so obsessed with SOLID GOLD lately that I’ve started to listen to their opening acts – or anything else from Minneapolis. These Modern Socks’s style may not be my usual preference, but then again neither is SOLID GOLD.

Picking a Lock at the Speed of Light, These Modern Socks’s latest album, didn’t seem like anything special at first – none of the songs hit the spot, and I really wasn’t use to their style. But before giving up on these guys, a song caught my ear. “To NASA” seemed to be more rich in electronic instruments than the previous songs, which is what got me into current indie rock in the first place (i.e. SOLID GOLD), so I decided to listen to the album one more time through – usually it takes me a couple plays through […]

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Blazing Arrow by Blackalicious

Phonetical finesse, funk filled with status.

I haven’t heard anything that breakthrough in hip-hop lately, so I thought I’d dig through my collection and find something noteworthy. Blackalicious, along with the rest of the Quannum crew, were a main reason for my first interests in hip-hop. Their West Coast, laid-back vibes made me rethink what hip-hop was all about. Nia may have had some killer tracks, but Blazing Arrow created a vibe that marked the Blackalicious sound.

Blazing Arrow may not be the most acclaimed album of its time, but it had a strong following and pushed hip-hop forward across The Bay. Gift of Gab put out some cunningly crafted rhymes, but without the backup of Chief Xcels beats, his words wouldn’t have flowed so freely. I put up some of the best from the album, but its entirety is well worth a listen.

If you’ve got anything fresh that reminds you of these two, post it up in the comments below.

On a side note, in case some of you’ve notice my site has been down for a couple of days. I’ve resolved the issue with my host and hopefully this shit doesn’t happen again. It was a pain in the ass, and I’m hopin’ for some smooth sailin’, at least for a while.

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