Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Heatrocks, Vol. 1

I'm making it a priority to get the heatrocks posted in the first week of the new month from here on out. This month was a slow one on the new music front, at one point I was convinced this was gonna be a short collection. Shuffle knew better though, hitting me with a number of gems that I just had to add to the mix. In the end I had enough to make this the first "double disc" heatrocks edition. Keep reading for what Vol. 1 holds and tune in tomorrow for Vol. 2!

Download March 2010: Vol. 1 Here

I have a folder of Jazz releases from '08 that a particular blog dubbed "best of" and of the handful that I've listened to they live up to the title. Quiet Village was among that collection and while the album has never gotten a full length play from me cuts come into my mind frame from time to time. "Too High To Move" is a great example of a smooth and melodic track letting you ride along with it. Don't be afraid by it's long nature, a trumpet comes in and the piano line keeps it exciting.

While Macklemore is basking in the glory that is his triumphant return to the spotlight after a several year disappearence that we have since learned was due to over indulgence. Mack's issue's with drugs have been the focal point of his current popularity but anyone who has listened to the unparalleled Language of My World knows that it's nothing new for the man. On this quasi title track from that album you witness him dropping bars like only he can. Just listen.

"You only get one shot at life no ad libs or punch ins."

While I was a resident of the Tree Grove last year music was a regular topic of conversation between me and the homies. At one point the discussion turned to Reggae and my room mate said that the music was too boring and repetitve, he had no interest in listening to any of it. It is true that much of Reggae is based on riddims and these don't really change. But I think that is the point. Listening to "Love of the Jah Jah Children" with it's looping guitar chords and drum break you feel comfortable, like the feeling right as you are about to drift off to sleep. It's peace. So maybe the music isn't constantly abrasive, feel what it IS.

I've read who Tony Williams is in relation to Kanye but I don't remember as I write this and all that really matters is that he took "Nightmares" and turned it into something awesome. Sounding nothing like the original (aside from having the same lyrics obviously) Williams voice has an element of pain in it wich only contributes to the feeling evoked by the lyrics. Covers are a strange game in music and doing a modern song, I would say, is generally not worthwhile. Yet, finding an original way to flip something is always worth the energy. Good work.

The man who, apparently, some still think is a flower that defies gravity has been steadily making monsterous tracks out of his LA beat cave for some time. Listening to these tracks I want to just imagine FlyLo as some primordial god who conjures up these tunes from the cosmos. They are that heavy. That dope. "Grapscicles" is funky and hard thanks to Samiyam's stellar, choppy remix that really just adds to the potential hype we all are holding for a possible FlyAmSam album.

I really like Wayne's arrogance at the begining of his take on "Art of Storytelling Pt. 3." To state "This is just a mixtape" only goes in hand with his "I don't give a fuck" attitude. He sings, poorly, about killers being with him and how afraid we should be of him. Lyrically maybe. This was one of only a handful of tracks from the underwhelming Dedication 3, in fact this is the only song from that tape I remember. Gudda and Mack Maine both sound good, whoever it is coming in around the 2:30 minute mark has some serious bars, quoting scripture and complaining about bitter heads, it's great and Wayne's confidence is carried by his weed men.

If you haven't gotten that Helladope album, do that! "Turn You On" featuring Young TH, Tay Sean, The Good Sin and Jus Moni encapsulates that sound which has been eminating from the Cloud Nice headquartes. Jus Moni get's her Drake on holding down the hook, spitting some bars and finishing her verse out in song. She has a great voice and her flow wasn't half bad. I'm trying to hear more from all involved.

Snoop finally passes the crown (well maybe not quite but it might as well count - no one is ever really taking it from the dog father) and just in time for that XXL freshamn cover Nippsy Hussle gets the validation of having done a track with the man who put the blue on the map. Kurupt is along for the ride as well and this is an all west coast affair. The beat is classic riding music, they trade bars off, Snoop sounds revitalized and you got the makings of a west coast jam for the ages.

Keeping the Cali vibe rocking I couldn't let this Rusko monster slip away. It's apparently getting some serious spins on the radio down there and rightly so with its reinterpretation of the Zapp sample Dre and 2Pac made famous so long ago it is primed to blow heads. Rusko walks the line of "dubstep" and pop music well showing that the two can mix and merge into something fun and exciting for everyone to enjoy. Let the sound of the future develop. It's coming for your ears, will they be ready?

St. Louis has Nelly. Ouch. They also have Black Spade and Coultrain. Those two names alone make me want to look deeper. Unfortunately it's not always the easiest task to discover music from a town you don't reside in if that music isn't recieving the proper push, which is the case for almost any music release these days. That said, I've found Train and he is great. Singing from his heart he has a great voice, cleaner than say a Bilal but rawer than Usher, he carries the album over a wide array of soulful and electronic tinged audio canvases for you to nod to, or maybe pull up to a lady and get your bump and grind on.

Keeping the soul alive, Lonnie Liston Smith makes an appearance with a song I hope every woman has a man to play for them one day. "Beautiful Woman" is a beautiful tune filled with Smith's typically bright piano playing along with lyrics that describe the beauty that women exude. I'm not sure who is on drums for this album or track but they are fast paced and live. The full band is in effect hearing bits from everyone over the course of the songs seven minutes. Towards the halfway mark a great piano solo comes in, not worth missing.

After three albums Kidz in the Hall have finally impressed. The first album was cool, too much remaking of classic beats. Don't flip a sample the same way it's been done. There is a name for that, it's biting. The second album I don't even want to acknowledge. It was bad and I was the only one who thought so. Take that for whatever it's worth. But now they are onto Land of Make Believe and while the title track leaves me scratching my head, the project in its entirety is comprehensive and good. I will be putting it on again. "Bougie Girls" is included a lot for Russoul on the hook, he sounds good and compliments the beat. Nawledge breaks down the girls just how you know they are.

I had a conversation recntly with a girl who didn't know if she was into having her hair pulled. Girl, let's find out! And Chris P's beat tape can be the soundtrack. With a title like Smack Your Ass, Pull Your Hair I would expect some four on the floor up tempo, party hard electro jams. Included here is "Highest" about as far from that as can be. A slow drum sample with an organ laced over top of it and some vocals dropped in for a chilling effect, this is something you just gotta marinate on.

Download March 2010: Vol. 1 Here

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