Friday, February 5, 2010

It's the D!!! A few projects you may have missed...

Reginonal Hip Hop exists across the country. Some regions gain some media attention, some gain record label attention. Detroit has gained both over the years, with just cause. Since the passing of J Dilla in 2006 the town has seen an increased presence in the national Hip Hop scene. With aritsts like Black Milk, Guilty Simpson and Mayer Hawthorne all representing for the 313, and legends in the scene like Royce Da 5'9" linking up with the Slaughterhouse crew and touring relentlessly to spread there brand, which by extension is spreading the Detroit sound to further unknown locals.

Given the history of the city, be it the music, the politics, the industry - or down fall of, it's no suprise that this city has been and continues to be a hot bed for influential music. Going through some new music that's been gathering digital dust on the hard drives around TML brought me aross a handful of releases that slipped through the radar and shouldn't have.

Dilla ambassador and DJ extraordinare House Shoes put out a little 10" project in the beginning of January featuring spaced out LA Dilla Beat disciple Flying Lotus continuing to demonstrate his forward thinking ideas on wax on the B-Side joyful ride "Sangria Spin Cylcles" - if this is any hint at what Cosmogramma is going to deliver we should all be rejoicing. House Shoes delivers on the A-Side with a terrific Curtis Mayfield sampling melancholy jam that succeds as "baby making" music without any actual vocals.

House Shoes was busy in other areas to, helping Marv Won with his mixtape in late December The Way of the Won. With 11 concise tracks, if this is your introduction to the man as it was mine, you will get to know him intimatly. He is honest and tough. His flow is classic and he picks Detroit styled beats that fit his deep voice and slow cadence. Mr. Porter contributes three tracks, House Shoes gets down on one and Black Milk laces him with a heater to close the album out. Bilal does his thing on the hook for "Need to Know" to great effect - he sounds pristine over Porter's strings. No bullshit tags or rewinds, just the music for y'all to enjoy. Get this.

One time major label success, Obie Trice, has seen better days but he isn't letting his lowered status hold him back. He teamed up with Moss for Special Reserve and delivers a great project that demonstrates why Em stood behind him in the first place. Moss is a genius beatmaker, who makes one wonder if there is a deeper connection to his business with Works of Mart. Throughout the album Obie tells us some great stories, talks about his life and sometimes just attacks the mic with pure aggression. It's great and entertaing. Another shorter project. It's quick. But it leaves a bite. Get it.

And in more recent Detroit music news, Guilty Simpson is preparing his album with Madlib - OJ Simpson, which could prove to be supremly aweseome. In advance of that dropping, for the first volume of what Madlib says will be a once a month thing all year the Medicine Show: Before the Verdict tape dropped at the end of January and was in many ways the inspiration for me to give these Detroite joints a few spins. I'm a fairweather Guilty fan and I'm not sure why. Perhaps this new album will sell me, maybe it won't. This tape does a decent job of getting me to want to check out the ablum. Job well done Stones Throw.

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