Been a while since I did one of these (I say that a lot, don’t I?) but a very unlucky weekend reminded me that I should. To say the rain in New York City has been a pain in my ass would be an understatement, so it’s a perfect occasion for me to do a Sunday Sounds of a few of my favorite tracks in my musical library which have to do with this extremely inconvenient form of precipitation.
Adele…’nuffsaid. I was happy someone laid a verse on this.
Don’t you dare judge me. This video fascinates me because before watching it, I assumed it was going to be something way different. Who saw this coming? I mean really. I get the concept…the “rain”, the drought on the farm, OK. Sure. But some of it still doesn’t make sense. What’s up with the girl lying on that pile of dirt with the mutant-sized spider on top of her? What’s up with the fake birds? And most perplexing of all, why am I not seeing more ass in this video? I give them props for branching out and not giving me what I expected. Seriously. I’ve seen enough ass when this song is played in strip clubs. The farmers and scarecrows and shit just make this song that much more entertaining.
My favorite rainy day song which actually pertains to rain ever. Yo, real talk, I sit back and count ways on how to get rich on rainy days too, son. From the samples, to the verse, to Blue Raspberry’s appropriately melancholy singing, this. is. my. shit.
Hang on to those umbrellas folks, and cross your fingers that you have better luck with the rainy weather than I have.
Damn I’m slacking with these. I don’t know if y’all actually like them anyway, but I do. So fuck it. This week’s rendition is just going to be super random shit I’ve had on blast this weekend. Let’s get this started…
A Long Hot Summer is right, and the season is finally upon us.
I been slacking on the Sunday Sounds posts…shame on me. Let’s bring it back in the only way I possibly could today – in honor of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. And after this I’ll be hitting the streets to browse the boricua man candy roaming around the city. HA. I’m kidding. Kind of. I’ll only be doing that at Crimson at the after party tonight.
Say what you want about bachata, but I fucks with Aventura.
And for kicks, let’s throw in this video of Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon performing the original sample for that last song.
Big Pun and Joell Ortiz are probably two of my favorite emcees of Puerto Rican descent to ever touch a microphone. It’s a shame that the Mrs. didn’t seem too pleased with Ortiz’ “Big Pun Back” track that recently dropped, because if anyone is properly carrying the torch for lyrical Puerto Ricans, it’s Mr. Ortiz. Oh, and the Styles P feature on this doesn’t hurt either.
Did you know Jim Jones is half Puerto Rican? His other half is Aruban, and kind of like you, I only learned this a little while ago. I remember being in the Hot 97 offices when that track with Omega called “We Represent” got played the first time on the station, and I was bugging out when he was dropping some lines in Spanish. Sure he only said shit like “boricua,” “dimelo,” “perico,” “jefe,” “wepa,” “baja panties,” and of course name dropped Floridita’s on some Harlem shit, but he still spoke some Spanish…even if it was all the words that anyone can string together if they live in in the western 140′s long enough. It got me wondering where he was from, and lo and behold he is indeed half Puerto Rican. Anyway…I post this video because it was a song that otherwise flew under my radar, but I remember it for being probably the most low budget, hood ass visual accompaniment to a song to come from a guy with keys to a Bentley ever. Then again, what else would I expect from something with the WSHH logo plastered all over it…
Happy Puerto Rican Day to all of y’all celebrating it. I’m definitely going to be browsing twitpics of the madness. See y’all at the after parties.
This week someone I consider a musical hero was taken from us. Gil Scott-Heron’s voice influenced my writing, the music I listen to, and more. It was people like him who so passionately and articulately spoke out about injustice and struggle who motivate me to try my best to do the same. Though the last few years of his life were certainly difficult and he is hopefully free of pain and at peace now, it still definitely hurt to hear that he was gone.
His delivery of words, his cadence, his calm yet furious anger, the tone of his voice, the passion behind his work, the pain that translated through his songs…it created a final product so utterly moving that I can hardly think of any other person’s music I’ve ever heard that can do what his does to me. Nina Simone, perhaps. He was definitely a legend.
For this week’s Sunday Sounds I bring you a few of my favorite Gil Scott-Heron tracks. This is what I listen to when I gaze at the NYC skyline on a summer night to make sure I remember to slow my own life down a bit sometimes. RIP, Gil Scott-Heron.
From Secrets, “Angel Dust” has been sampled quite directly by some of my favorite artists including Hasan Salaam and Joell Ortiz. Scott-Heron’s drug use was widely known, and with “Angel Dust” he gave listeners a glimpse into that life.
“brother living in a cell, doin’ time at the county jail, you might think his life is hell, but he told me that’s the first room he ever had to himself, waiting for the axe to fall”
We Almost Lost Detroit
This track is even more important in the present as the world has been watching the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. “We Almost Lost Detroit” challenges nuclear power, in such a poetic way that you barely realize it. It has been sampled by Common among various other notable emcees. This performance of the song was dope.
The story of the ladies man. “well he loved pretty women from Canada to Mexico, and he loved to see them coming and hated when they had to go, macho man before macho ever came to town, and the only problem was not enough of him to go around, you know he had more romances than airplanes got gauges, had more romances than a phone book had pages, he’s a legend in his own mind, and God’s gift to women, on a day God wasn’t giving up a thing”. I feel like playing this song when I see how some of the men in New York City stay acting sometimes. Should have paid more attention to this track years ago.
Last night I went out on the town with a model and someone who might as well have been a model. Needless to say we heard the words “Hey Ma” quite a few times. But it never sounds quite as good as when the Diplomats say it…
“You never find love in this atmosphere, sometimes you gotta find a better place to be in, maybe go to a mountain, do a little skiing, so I finished up my drink and I said goodbye, and got home before the sun kissed the sky…”
It’s a beautiful day in Virginia. I’m talking like 80 degrees and sunny type shit. Where’s the BBQ at? I love how I’m going to go back to Brooklyn and it will probably be a cool 50 degrees and raining. Ugh. On to the sounds…
I told a friend to check out Blitz the Ambassador recently and one of the things I sent him was this video. Stereotype was a great fucking album. Looking forward to his new one, I believe it’s dropping in May. Happy birthday to me!
I also was discussing music with some people last night and Saigon’s new album came up in conversation. This is one of my preferred cuts off Greatest Story Never Told.
I caught a flat tire last night. It’s still not changed because, well, I just don’t feel like it. But it made for good inspiration to make my Sunday Sounds focus on things that have to do with cars. So yeah, consider this your automobile “tune” up. Oh yeah, nothing but corniness with that one. Mmmm, bad joke.
This week was an interesting one, to say the least, but one dope thing about it was that I’ve run into a ton of people while out and about at parties, events, and while doing random shit in NYC. I figure what better stuff to listen to this Sunday than the sounds that these people actually create? Here are five of my favorites from people I ran into throughout the last seven days. I wonder who I’ll see this week?
Soul Khan…that rare breed of emcee that can destroy you in a battle and make a dope track in a studio setting. Trust me, that’s harder to find than you would like to think.
There was a lot of that Colt 45 Blast drink at Southpaw this week. And a life size cardboard Snoop Dogg. Did I mention there was a lot of alcohol? I couldn’t find the bravery to try it though. Colt 45 drunk is a whole other type of drunk.
I was out of town, stuck in I-95 traffic, and quite frankly in one hell of a weird mood when I got back to NYC last night, and I decided against doing my usual Sunday Sounds or even turning on my Macbook. Hell, I fell asleep with my phone on vibrate, which if you know me well, will realize that is something that never happens. No, I fall asleep with my ringer on full blast with my phone in my hand in a chair at SXSW. Ask around, there is picture evidence of that somewhere but I’m not about to tell you who has it.
But rather than skip it, I’m going to take the “better late than never” approach and hit you with my sounds of Sunday…on Monday. So yeah. Here’s Sunday Monday Sounds.
I was driving around with a friend today discussing some music, and most importantly my lack of quality CD’s to listen to in my whip. We were talking about shit that is or isn’t hot right now, and Adele’s name came up. They have been loving her album, and I still hadn’t listened. It was the motivational kick in the ass I needed to finally get that album and sit down and listen to it. I’m still not the whole way through, but that’s partly because I have this track on repeat. She can sing. And ouch, that subject matter. I can’t listen to too much of this or else I’m going to go a little crazier than usual.
Torch is a cool guy, but really I’m posting this one for the Rick Ross feature. Why? Because I actually had a legitimate, long conversation with my mother while in Virginia about Rick Ross’ beat selection. Yes, my mom. In her words she likes that “ratchety sound” he always uses. I know what she meant, not sure anyone else would, but the fact I discuss things like this with my mother is…well, I guess you’d have to know my mom to understand.
Also around the same time my mom and I had the Rick Ross beat selection conversation, we also compared and contrasted the musical similarities of Drake and Frank Ocean, since the internet seems to see a parallel, and I can’t say I disagree. And what better way to find a real answer to that than to play both artists’ music for a woman who knows nearly nothing about either? The consensus was that “nostalgia,ULTRA” sounds pretty damn similar to “So Far Gone”.
I don’t usually post tracks from mixtapes because I find it awkward to listen to a single track with DJ cuts all over it when it’s not in the sequence of the original project, but this isn’t too obnoxious on its own. DJ GI Joe featured this on his “I’m Going In” mixtape that we put out when he turned himself into the feds, and this was one of my favorite tracks on the whole project. It definitely speaks to me in a different way now than it did in early 2010 though, that’s for sure. If you want to hear it without GI Joe’s embellishments at the beginning, head on over to Chachi’s bandcamp.
I’ve been sick all week and today was finally the day I felt like half a human being again. So truth be told I didn’t spend much time kicking back listening to music like I normally would on a Sunday, I was more out and about running errands around Bushwick and Williamsburg and trying to see the sunshine firsthand for once again. But of the few sounds I’ve been around, these have been my favorite ones to hit my ears thus far today…
“wherever my beamer goes, you know that I’m drivin’”
R.I.P. Guru. Still got that clingy ex around? Time to do some Spring cleaning…on to the next. And while I’m dishing out RIP shout outs, RIP to DJ Megatron.
Gang Starr – Ex Girl to the Next Girl
I want to see Dipset live sometime. It must be crazy. I’ve seen some of them literally rap in front of my face at video shoots and shit, but it’s not the same as an actual show. Maybe soon?
Because I finally took My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy out of my car’s CD player, and I’m kind of wondering why. Oh, right, it was to start listening to that huge stack of CD’s I magically acquired at SXSW. Right. So far none of them are better than Kanye’s last album, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. That shit was amazing. I think I might put it back in the CD player next time I hop in the whip. I can’t believe I’m not sick of it yet, and yes, I actually purchased that album. A physical copy at that, from a Best Buy in Connecticut. I’ve gotten my money’s worth and then some.
I think this is the third time Ms. Phillips has made it to a Sunday Sounds post…that must be saying something. And Esther, girl, I feel you on this one. Tell ‘em!
“You promised me good loving, but you just ain’t got the knack, you promised me a penthouse, but I wound up in a shack, the brand new dress you bought me was an old potato sack, you gave me seven children, hey baby, I want you to come on and take ‘em back”