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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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Lady Don’t Tek No by Latyrx

'bout Ms. Imagination

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A hip-hop classic from the Bay Area, Latyrx’s Lady Don’t Tek No brings us back to the talented, yet contrasted sounds of Lateef the Truth Speaker and Lyrics Born. With Lyrics Born’s soulful bass and Lateef’s higher-pitched cuts, the duo still pulls off a fluid sound. But above this addictive, funkified sound, the lyrics compare to none.

The song talks about that particular woman we’ve all come across at some point in time that’s “got the smile, style, and finesse”. You know, the girl with the “razor sharp wit, that just won’t quit”… alright, i’ll stop stealing their lines. In other words, she’s the sassy little bitch you can’t get enough of… just listen to ’em, they’ve got a way with words that I, apparently, don’t. :

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Music Castle by DJ Deckstream

A relaxing compilation of covers.

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DJ Deckstream is a well established producer in Japan that has worked with several well-known emcees including Moka Only, Pep Love, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. His album, “Music Castle”, is a stretch from his usual upbeat, hip-hop style to a jazzy, chilled-out set of covers. The album covers such classics as Tom’s Diner, Just the Two of Us, Sweet Child o’ Mine and a few others from genres in classic rock to rap.

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Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

Know Good Classics - #1 Rock

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First, I wanted to explain what I am trying to accomplish with this “Know Good Classics” thang. I love music from the 60’s & 70’s (and a little from the 80’s & 90’s) just as much as I love music nowadays (if not more). I decided to showcase some of the best classics to give them a small revival. Now, some of ’em you may know, some of ’em you may not know. But what cannot be disputed is their greatness.

The first song to start out the series is “Gimme Shelter” by The Stones. My most memorable recollection of the song was when I was in London, just about to graduate college (I studied my last semester out there :)). My most vivid memory of the song was when I was listening to it in Waterloo Park with my “good ol’ chaps”, getting belligerent in more ways than one ;) (ahh, the good times).

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Sexy Beast by Abyssinian Creole

"Try 'n' find the awe."

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Sexy Beast is Abyssinian Creole’s first full length album, which premiered in late 2005. The album clearly expresses the group’s African roots in a raw and poetic way. Each song is a unique perspective of the two emcee’s history, which may or may not pertain to everyone, but can be appreciated by anyone.

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All Alone by Gota Yashiki

Some damn good sax.

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I’ve recently started to get into jazz. After searching a popular music forum, I found their “Staff Picks”, and thought I would try out their recommendations. I found Gota as a popular pick, so I gave him a listen. I enjoyed the first track quite a bit, which happened to be All Alone. What impressed me so much was the saxophone, played by Ian Kirkham, and the guitar, played by Kenji Jammer. Both played well off each other, and showed a real elegance in their style. Just give this one a listen, if you enjoy it enough then check out the rest of the album, It’s So Different Here. I decided not to review the entire album because of personal preferences, but if you like this song, you’ll most likely appreciate the rest of it.

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Deltron 3030

Back to the future, literally.

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Going back to 2000, we find a futuristic narrative set in the year 3030. Del tha Funkee Homosapien, or “Deltron Zero” in the story, is a superhero sworn to fight against the evils of the universe (viruses, an oppressive government, the Corporate Bank of Time… just to name a few) with his trusty side-kicks, The Automator or “The Cantankerous Captain Aptos” and scratch mastermind Kid Koala or “Skiznod the Boy Wonder”. Yea, this may sound a little corny for a hip-hop album, but with Del on the mic, Automator and Kid Koalo with backup, it’s a hell of a hip-hop classic.

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Pyramids in Moscow by Restoring Poetry in Music

"Life is change, life is strange."

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Background:
Restoring Poetry in Music (RPM) was formed late last century by cousins Jason Moore (Raw Poetic) and Marlon Vann (H2A). Shortly after the group turned into a band enlisting members, Drew Thomas as bassist, Aaron Gause (Enron) as trumpeter and keyboardist, Patrick Fritz (P-Fritz) as lead guitarist and backup vocals, as well as Fred Jackson as drummer (later being replaced by Will Bobbit). A few years down the road H2A stepped down as producer to be replaced by Kyle Murdock (K-Murdock) for the release of their first full-length album, Dream Awake (2004); returning a few years later to help with their second album, Pyramids in Moscow (2007).

If you want to learn more about RPM’s story, go to The Peoples Republic of Hip-Hop & Soul, found here.

But enough of all that, let’s get to the album…

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¡Mayday! by ¡MAYDAY!

A holiday from horrible hip-hop.

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A couple months back I was searching through a bunch of, well… shit when I found this gem. From the first song I could tell I was hooked. With their hard-hitting sound, Mayday really pulls off a distinct hip-hop flavor.

Mission Statement: Never has a hip-hop album got it so right on the first track (I over embellish at times). From the first note it grabs your attention and pulls you in. It incorporate some unique instrumentals; but what sets Mayday apart is their ability to flow without missing a beat. This is why I love Mission Statement so much!… along with Macro/Micro… and really most of their songs. :)

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