You knew The Man wasn’t going to be able to box me outta the blogging game forever.
And when I say “The Man,” I am referring to “my technological ignorance that prevented me from posting in spite of Steve and so many of you beautiful people’s assistance.” I figured whatever it was would magically fix itself at some point so I’ve been clicking “Compose post” every now and again and hey, here we are...
Some things have changed since my last missive (the Raiders clocking single-digit losses), some have stayed the same (Macklemore begging to be ignored by everybody old enough to drive). Today we’ll mostly stick to the best new rap that came across my turntables last year. February seems like the ideal time to get to that! 2015 was not a bad year for rap. Didn’t feel as strong as 2014, but not bad. A conspicuous amount of my favorite releases last year were of the instrumental variety;
J Dilla- Dillatronic- a three-volume project, I’m really feeling it, but one’s appreciation for it may depend on their expectations. They were hyping it up as a tribute to Detroit’s considerable electronic scene and its influence on Dilla, so I was bracing for the worst. Instead we got minimalist boom-bap. Fuck yeah. Easily the best Dilla release since Donuts for me. But a buddy of mine who listened to it after hearing my take on it wasn’t so stoked. He felt like it was essentially incomplete sketches of tracks and kinda iffy at three records for twenty-whatever bucks a pop. A valid argument. It definitely worked for me though.
Brenk Sinatra- Midnite Ride- synthy stoner instrumental shit, didn’t really bowl me over the first time. But it grew on me on a big way and took quite awhile to fall out of rotation.
AG & Ray West- The Nickel EP- West’s production is more varied and accessible here than on the other records of his I picked up this year, all of which are solid at worst. The LUV NY project is something I need to listen to more.
Egyptian Lover-1984- surprised he pulled this off. Slammin.
Ray West & Kool Keith- A Couple Of Slices- Keith’s weirdness makes up for the somewhat off-putting largely snare-less production. I know that’s what the cool kids are all about these days, but that shit doesn’t always work for me. I like drums.
Damu The Fudgemunk- How It Should Sound 3,4 & 5- the way they’re running Redefinition Records is maddening, but at least they came through on this.
Professor Brian Oblivion- Dissertation: Volume 1- more beats. My man nailed the whole short track steez on this one. Mellow, sample-heavy shit.
Finale- Odds & Ends- great album, produced entirely by Oddisee, who I’m currently taking something of a late pass on. I picked up his 2015 solo effort The Good Fight last week... not bad but I need to give that a few more spins.
L’Orange & Kool Keith- Time? Astonishing!- just the right amount of weird. Not as forced as the hype was suggesting, production on point.
En’MC- BS&S and Physical Grafitti- The Funky Hudson One- previously addressed here. Ain’t a damn thing changed. Oh, except that I have ascertained that En’MC is indeed NOT Henry Quester, ha ha. The Sessions @ The PM fam have a group 2xLP that’s supposed to be in the mail in a week or so, featuring an animated video on DVD. Super stoked.
Knxledge- Hud Dreams- took a second for it to sink in, but heat.
Notorious B.I.G.- Dreams (remixes curated by House Shoes)- finally, a Biggie record I can enjoy. Bad Boy gargles balls, always did.
Slum Village- Yes!- perhaps the most pleasantly surprising release of the year.
Clear Soul Forces- Fab Five- also previously discussed.
Drew Dave- SynthBASED- Mello Music Group was probably the hottest label going this year. For some reason they kept this one somewhat on the dl, I had to special order it. Don’t know why because it’s pretty good.
Klaus Layer- Restless Adventures- we’ll end 2015 where we started.
2015 everybody! We lived, we loved... we smoked weed and listened to records.
What else is new... that De La Soul Kickstarter record still hasn’t seen the light of day, 11 months later. Told yall. I will probably have to gloat about that in an entirely separate post in the near future. Will it take them over a year to get it in the mail? Only time will tell!
Super Bowl week in SF. Anybody in town trying to be entertained in non-bougie fashion, holla atcha boy. We got our monthly tomorrow night, I’m rocking a 3+ hour set of all Bay Area rap classics. Motherfuckers come to town and expect to get they asses kissed... fuck that. I’m putting it down for the Bay.
And, FUCK THE BRONCOS. If Gary Kubiak ends up winning a Super Bowl I’m going to want to stick forks in my eyes.