Monday, May 25, 2009

Curtains "Black Folks" (Video)


Having dropped this on TML Radio* sometime ago this powerful song has received an equally powerful set of visuals. Sit back and listen.

*It's coming back along with all the back issues!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fresh to Death


I don't normally do this but... If you are in Seattle (Exactly one week until my return!) do yourself a favor and get over to RPS, now!!!

Only one other time in my life have I seen kicks that took my breath away (Pomz knows what I'm talkin about) but these are guaranteed to put you on cloud 9. Dubbed "Purple Ice" these shits is fly son!

Just be sure to leave a pair of 14s for me...

Spotted @ Hypebeast

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Eminem "Relapse"


Eight years ago Eminem was pissing everyone off.

Today he is trying to do it again.

We all know the story, he was at the top and fell off only to disappear from the public eye and then become a tabloid sensation, more so due to his exclusiveness. He lost his best friend which prompted some peace talks with another old friend (how about a Bad Meets Evil/Slaughterhouse collabo?) and went into the lab with the first person to see in him what we all did at one point in time.

In a recent Vibe interview Shady stated that he is once again getting high off music again. While the depths of his addiction can be debated forever I will say that throughout Relapse it is clearly evident we are hearing a revitalized and energetic Eminem. Say what you will about his silly voices - I've hated plenty - they serve a purpose; no one wants to hear a story about young Marshall getting raped by his step father in a serious and somber tone, although I would have been fine not hearing the story at all.



While they came across as incredibly grating on the first couple listens, by the sixth it's barely noticeable. On "Medicine Ball" as Dre gives us his trade mark deep bass sounds and earth shaking kicks the "voice" sounds as if it's in harmony with the beat. This is a common occurrence and aside from "We Made You" proves effective in utilizing the sounds within Eminem's voice, letting him play mulitiple characters and giving he and Dre the sound they've been missing together.

Even with this sound in tact and Eminem's focus clear, Relapse doesn't push any bounds. It's not the next shit Dre and the Aftermath camp have done in the past. If you weren't expecting that than great - I certainly wasn't expecting half of what we have received, which made for a pleasant surprise. Eminem decided to forgo much serious and relevant topics for witty jabs at celebrities, stories about parties and another song aimed at his mom, something that at this point seems to just be arbitrary with no real purpose other than to cause controversy. The first step to getting help is facing yourself and the problem you created, just because your Mom took pills doesn't make her the reason you are an addict, sorry Marshall.



Between his invigorated flow and pristine story telling Relapse will keep you listening and nodding along to it for months to come. It probably won't be mentioned at the end of the year though, as it lacks anything new. The technical skills that made him famous are once again in place but for me personally I could use about half the comedy in exchange for something a little more relevant - grow up Mr. Mathers. This is not what he does however and for his fans who have always enjoyed the shock value in his rhymes you will have plenty to eat up.

And for all the Dre lovers out there, this is quite possibly the laziest produced Dr. Dre project ever released. Nothing here is new. All of these beats could have been left overs from 2001. That is not to say they are out rightly bad, just demonstrative of Dre's age and lack of relevance when compared to what is going on today within Hip Hop, especially in his hometown - LA is on some next level sounds right now.

If you have ever enjoyed Eminem and Dr. Dre this album will bring you enjoyment again. Like an old friend you haven't seen in a long time Relapse reminds you of their best qualities, those which you missed for all those years.

"Deja Vu"

Thoughts from the Dome

Damn... I miss Tuesdays like this. It used to be such a great day for me. I would always know when I needed to get a ride to Fred Myer so I could cop the latest joint. Hopefully you can get out and help fight this recession with the purchase of at least one of the numerous albums hitting shelves today, but if not I won't hold it against you - I won't be coping any (and I really want that BlackOut 2 for banging in the new whip!) until I have a job locked up which could be soon but nothing is guaranteed right? Gotta stay on the grind, keeping my eyes open and get back to hitting the blog with all the hot reviews of some great Hip Hop music.

But don't be thinking that's all were about here at The Musik Lounge - I'm an equal opportunity genre offender. I have spent the last several nights falling asleep to Jaberloop's project Check This Out! and I must say I'm glad I finally took their advice and checked it while awake. Not to say that their club brand of Jazz isn't fun and relaxing at the same time and even with the up tempo numbers I never found it out of place as I drifted off.

On the other hand I tried giving the latest Wayne tape a spin and managed to get so sucked in I'm playing it again as I write this wondering why I am not passed out - and the truth is Weezy actually has a number of cuts here, courtesy of his friends The Empire, that will have you rewinding to hear the beats again as much as his inconsistently consistent punch lines. "One Night Only" features as hard a beat as any other love song and a great high pitched vocal sample that brings back memories of early Kanye jams.

While I still haven't been able to get my internet on point long enough to grab the latest Empire tape with Drake, The Drought is Over demonstrated something great in my eyes - let's just get back to some simple Hip Hop shit. This tape is filled with banging beats and Wayne riding them like he does at his best. No crazy genre bending experiments here, just some Rap music for your kids to enjoy. While Wayne keeps proving how crazy he is this mixtape proves that he still can just get in the booth and select some heat rocks for the masses. Now how about making it official?

Just some thoughts from my dome. It's late, I'm listening to some tunes and just finished the excellent Hemp Ale and on that note I'm out of here.

*Exits firefox and turns up that Lil Wayne & Game "Red Magic"*



You should turn it up too!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Big Sean "UKNOWBIGSEAN"


As I brush that dust off my shoulders from a little self imposed internet exile I find myself enjoying some new music (and some old) more than I had in months. In the words of Eminem (I’ve got plenty to say, be on the lookout for an in depth look at Relapse on the 19th) “Music gets me high again.”

While everyone is still busy trying to define this burgeoning new movement within hip hop that has at times been described as “Hipster Hop” I’m gonna say we just call it some damn good rap music!

Across the board we are seeing new, young artists pushing the bounds of what once was considered “comfortable” within our all to close minded genre. While Kanye has been busy doing his best Mike Jack impression and getting his ego deflated by South Park we have seen Big Sean sit on the shelf and collect some dust. Luckily he isn’t the patient type and has grabbed the premier mixtape DJ Mick Boogie for his latest jawn, UKNOWBIGSEAN.

If missed the lead off track from this project we are privy to the Big one going in on his boss’s own “Say You Will” to great effect. While the beat has already pulled some great performances from a number of emcees this has to rival any of them. Over the haunting choir and synthetic sounds we hear Big Sean speak his mind about his future, goals and the detractors that are bound to come, or perhaps already have:

I been signed to ye for well over a year now
It’s clear now
I’m gonna focus on my career now
You taught me the creative process
Saying that you changed my life is me being modest
But honestly I wish I could take you off tour
Put you in the studio
So you can focus more on my shit
And I don’t mean to sound selfish
But I’m not an artist who is selfless

He may not be selfless, but he is honest and knows exactly what he wants. While Hip Hop has been plagued by numerous artists posturing for the streets Big Sean and his peers aren’t interested in being something they aren’t. Yes his kicks are fresher and his Bape tee is crisper. His jeans might be a little skinny and his fitted cocked to the side doesn’t make him a gangster.

But we know clothes don’t got shit to do with the music, and don’t worry there is more here than a rehash from the latest hypebeast post. Sean and Mike Posner (get familiar! (c) Clinton Sparks) have been making music together for awhile, dropping off their smooth cut “Who Knows” here. Over some light guitar and a pop ready drum loop Sean speculates on his future and weaves some great punch lines into the story.

Far from a punch line rapper, Sean’s best cuts here are when he gets his everyman on stepping out of the cloud that is his rock star life and lets us see the human behind the brand.

“Desire, Want, Need” will strike a chord with anyone trying to achieve something that they have longed for, “Billionaire” will get you hyped up and who doesn’t want to see their money stacks multiply? The beat complete in its frantic glory fits the point of the song and has a fresh break down with some deep hand claps but will prove to agitate upon multiple listens.

These moments humility in his lyrics aren’t as prevalent as some might like and no one will be quick to think he is the second coming of Slug or Phonte, but even after a track as blatantly arrogant as his “Intro” in which he asks the question “Do I really need an intro?” you can’t count it against him. He is open about what he wants – money and material things and he is certainly in the right industry for it.

UKNOWBIGSEAN will serves as a great project to do just that. By the end of the tape you will have a pretty good understanding of who this 20 year old kid is. He is known by legends on the mic, on the boards and in the boardrooms – MC Serch says he thinks he will change the game and if this tape is any indication he will be saying good bye to the finally famous mantra and welcoming celebrity status.