Hieroglyphics is a hip hop group out of Northern California. Each year they celebrate new hip hop talent with their own festival in Oakland on Labor Day. I got the chance to cover their show this year and even though there were over a dozen quality performers to see on each stage, I was there for one.
It took me over three hours to get to Hiero Day, public transit wasn’t doing so well. When I got there the temp had to be hitting on 90 and everyone was looking for shade to sit in. But I had to find Anderson .Paak. The main reason I was there.
I caught him right before his performance on the Third Eye stage. I ran up to him like a giddy fool and blathered about my love for his music. When I realized how foolish I was sounding, his manager assured me that they all felt the same way too. We talked a bit longer about other LA emcees, I actually told him the only other one that could compete with him was Doja Cat. He got a kick out of it.
His performance on stage had just as much character as his music, along with the short time I talked to him. The day was a highlight I’ll be holding on to at least until next Labor Day.
Independent record labels are sprouting up all over the place — in location & style. And the ones that are doing it right not only have a choice selection in catalogue, but also take the time to artfully craft their image as they do their artists.
Each of these 12 labels sport some of the most well respected producers & musicians that belong on this blog and create a culture with style around their music. On here I may point out a few that lack in proper online presence, but they are all doing it right when it comes to the perception of this era’s evolution in music labels.
Panacea is back with a whole new album, Midnight Morning Africa, but we still got a ways to go ’til the 2012 release. Until then, Raw P & K-Murdock give us a tasty track for what’s to come, entitled “The Prelude.” The track isn’t off the album, but is more of a… well, prelude to it (I’m gonna call it a tease, though)
Who better to do our first CONTEST with than one of the hip-hop duos that got us goin, Panacea. The two just released The Producer’s Cut of Ink Is My Drink with new & improved interludes and we’ve got a few to give out to you!
How to enter:
(1) hit up the re-released Ink is My Drink on Bandcamp
(2) tell us your favorite track and why through:
(a.) Our Facebook post (‘like’ it!)
(b.) Twitter (bonus for following us!)
* You can submit once on Facebook & once on Twitter for two possible entries into the contest.
** Winner will be chosen by K-Murdock, Raw P & myself based on the best answer (most thoughtful / comical).
Yes, I know this is a little dated, but that “Colorful Storms” remix caught my attention and had to give it more play. I checked out the full album by Damu, Spare Time, and found a few more gems to add.
I’ve been following Damu’s work with Panacea & Y-Society for a while now, but haven’t swooped up his solo shit till now. Half of Spare Time is a bunch of instrumental electro-jazz, but where it really comes to shine is when Damu mixes in a few well versed MC’s. Raw Poetic, Kev Brown, Insight & even a little Guru sample in these four tracks – and shows again why rap was made for jazz (or is it the other way around).
I finally made up my (indecisive) mind and picked a song from Panacea’s 12 Step Program. I first narrowed it down to three that I liked, all for different reasons, and finally came up with “Blue Oceanwave” because of Raw Poetic’s catchy flows and memorable lyrics. Although, lyrics tend to alter each time I play ’em back in my head, so eventually the lyrics started to repeat as something completely different (I tend to do this a lot with music).
The reason I was so hesitant on featuring this one was because of the rave-sounding fire alarms played throughout the chorus. It’s not that they are that bothersome to the beat, I just think the song would do better without ’em. Actually, play it back and tell me what you think I wanna know if this is just me or if others feel the same way.
By the way, the two other songs that came close were “Collard-Fried Grey Sky”, which has a hypnotically beautiful beat, typical of K-Murdock; and “Black Coffee”, the first 30 seconds are pure funkadelic fresh(nass). You can check ’em both out at BandCamp.
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You may recognize this sound, but under a different group, namely Restoring Poetry in Music (RPM). Both Jason Moore (Raw Poetic) and Kyle Murdock (K-Murdock) started out in RPM, and created a side project, Panacea; but the two groups have some slight variations. RPM is a band consisting of five instrumentalists (or so), where as Panacea consists of K-Murdock on turntables, a sampler, and maybe a few other devices with the help of Damu the Fudgemunk. Both groups have Raw Poetic as the front Emcee, and gee golly gosh is he good… did I really just say that : The difference in sound between the two may seem slight at first, but once you immerse yourself in ’em, you notice the contrasts in style. Raw Poetic’s style is relatively similar throughout the groups, but K-Murdock switches it up, bringing a more progressive, experimental sound to Panacea.
I had quite a few songs I wanted to feature from Panacea’s four LP’s, but I decided to go with Ecosphere from Ink is My Drink. K-Murdock creates a stunningly poignant beat, and features Patrick Fritz (P-Fritz) from RPM, who has an amazing voice, and I mean amazing! Though, this song doesn’t do him justice, so go to one of RPM’s features (here or here) to really capture his stunning vocals. You won’t be disappointed!… I mean, the guy is so good I kinda have a man-crush on him. ;) Anyways, compare this song to RPM’s, and tell me what differences you find… if you’re up to the challenge!
Lastly, I know I’ve mentioned this too many times already, but you really need to check out RPM. They’re one of my favorite hip-hop groups, and I know you will enjoy ’em… maybe even more than Panacea!
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