I’ve really been enjoying the stuff that Dre Skull has been doing on his Mixpak label. He’s been covering a ton of the musical styles I enjoy including Dancehall, House and other forms of interesting beat music. We caught up when we played together at the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival and he mentioned that he was doing a compilation of southern inspired hiphop beats by electronic producers. It turns out that that’s what I’d been working on as well and so I offered to contribute something. I’m really happy with how the comp has come out, there are some great contributions from the other producers and I’m happy to be a part of it. Here’s my track The Machines which I just added to my soundcloud. Below is a link to a playlist on the Mixpak Soundcloud with all the tracks available to stream. The compilation will be available on iTunes and all other fine digital retailers on September 25th, 2012.
Right now a lot of people are throwing the word ‘trap’ around to describe the hiphop coming out of Atlanta and the south. The dark bass heavy music pioneered by producers like Lex Luger, Southside and Sunny Digital has been dominant in the hiphop world for a while but has been catching on among the people who are fleeing Dubstep’s sinking ship of un-coolness. In the midst of this it’s worth thinking about where the term came from: drug dealing. I just watched “Snow On The Bluff” last night on Netflix streaming and it does for drug dealing and robbing dealers what Blair Witch did for hunting for witches in the woods. Gritty, low fi handheld camera work follows around anti-hero Curtis Snow as he robs dealers, goes in and out of jail and tries to take care of his toddler son. It’s a crazy look at daily life in the streets of Atlanta and at times is really hard to watch. There are a lot of moments where you are left thinking that what you are watching is real or thinly veiled reality. These people are not actors and the star is a self proclaimed stick up kid and drug dealer. That’s his real son in the movie. Unlike some of these gangster movies where they spend 80 minutes glamorizing that life and then 10 minutes moralizing at the end when the hero gets killed this is pretty much raw from start to finish. There’s not a lot of happy shit in this movie and for that it seems like a more realistic portrayal of this life than we usually see. If you’re interested in a look at the dark side of the trap mythology that everyone is selling you should check this out.
Really been jamming to this new Gucci Mane mixtape “I’m Up”. Hard trap beats and Gucci’s woozily charismatic flow are soundtracking my summer. Young Chop who produced Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” produced the above video which captures the hazy drugged up vibe pretty well. The whole tape is dope, get it free below.
Angola meets meets Atlanta in this mix by DJ Eridson. One for the Fruityloops Hall of Fame indeed. This track is 3 years old but Eridson has new music up on soundcloud, including this Coupé-Décalé track he upped yesterday:
Not really a lot of commentary about this besides the fact that I just listened to it like 19 times in a row. This is, how you say, my shit. Sweet and low rnb en espanol by World Hood out of Sacramento with Peligrosa crew’s own Sonora coming in hard body on the remix. Big tune, and it’s downloadable via the soundcloud page, so get to it.
I’m in the near south with family and friends observing yet another fucked up and annoying holiday – this one associated with the genocide of indigenous Americans. While unpacking my bags after the journey, and thinking about stuffing and delicious chocolate and pecan pies, I turned on a new mix from a trio of young, Afrocentric DJs – Crowdkrushers, from the south of Germany – a town called Tübingen. The mix was commissioned by Akwaaba Music to celebrate the netlabel’s second anniversary. It’s been two years already! Although I have lost count of the releases, Akwaaba remains consistent and continues to exposed us to some amazing music. So enjoy this mix, containing a healthy dose of fine Akwaaba Music.
A word from Crowdcrushers – “So this is our exclusive mix for Akwaaba Music. It‘s not so much all new and exclusive bangers but rather our impression of African music and its big influences on other musical territories (with one or two stylistic exceptions in the mix). We also kinda tried to give an idea of what we do in our club sets, not paying too much attention to tempo or style while keeping it funky and a wee bit humorous… Featuring Akwaaba artists Appietus, Ruff‘n‘Smooth, Kedjevara, Onyenze, Killamu, Dred Man-Gi and Arc Djebe. Hope you enjoy!”
Ten years ago today, a man who redefined the grind passed away. You can read more about him and his influence in Jace’s article for Frieze magazine (mentioned here last week), as well as in a couple of other pieces that are mentioned in the comments section. I’m just gonna add the following love song for the occasion.
I have to say this is one of my favorite jams at the moment. Hard Mix is 19 year-old Noah Smith, a producer from Greenville, South Carolina. Look out for his album Weirdly Different, coming out later this year.
Sunday May 9th come see myself Matt Shadetek, Jahdan Blakkamoore and Uproot Andy at Glasslands for the Drink Well Do Good tour. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about viticulture (wine making) in Africa. It will also be a great Sunday night party with the Dutty Artz fam back at Glasslands for the first time since our New York Tropical parties. For everyone who has been asking me about those, don’t worry, we’re working on a few things for summer.
The organizers ISAW say: “All proceeds from the tour will go towards to development of a viticultural training center on the M’hudi Estate in Stellenbosch. This campaign also raises awareness for our partners M’hudi and Seven Sisters, South Africa’s only two black-owned estates. ISAW is using the tour to introduce these wines to consumers, and support South Africa’s wine industry which employs nearly 300,000 workers. Please support our campaign through purchasing tickets, going to your local retailer, and becoming ambassadors for our cause.”
Alright, Spring is here & Miss Badu has blessed us with yet another extremely good album. I’ve returned to it already a few times this week — New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). At first, I was unsatisfied (I had that same feeling when I heard Worldwide Underground, as if the project was unfinished/not completely realized) but for New Amerykah Part Two, with each listen, something magnificent is revealed –subtle, satiric undertones buried in samples, live instrumentation, and that voice – raw emotional honesty (+ sometimes turbulence.) I’ve said it before, if you think Erykah Badu’s music is only serious/militant/political/etc. — which it obviously is — you’re missing the point. She’s more playful, more humorous than she’s often credited for, and this album has some of the most amusing moments in R&B you’ll hear this year.