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Emcee’s endangered species like manatees: A review of Talib Kweli’s “Gutter Rainbows”

Talib Kweli dropped a new disc. I love Kweli, but I wasn’t expecting much, y’know? He’s one of those artists I know I enjoy more intellectually than actually (that’s basically how I feel about all conscious rap, ‘cept Common, he’s the shit.) And I’ve been taking this Hip-Hop class this semester so I’ve been trying to change the way I look at music (and texts, and comics – it’s really, it’s this whole big thing I’m dealing with in regards to aesthetic shifts. Ignore my rambling)

So I did something while listening to this album I’ve never really done before, something Trev told me he does that I thought seemed kind of excessive, but decided to try anyway: I read the lyrics to the songs on the album as I listened to them.

Here’s how that made me feel:

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Illuminati Music.

ONLY ILLUMINATI MUSIC! ALL HAIL THE ALL SEEING EYE! IT CREEPS HARD AS A MOTHERFUCKER!

Seriously though, this song is a banger. Jay is still on his old man rap tip, which I guess can’t be avoided any longer (seriously, listen to how wheezy and tired his flow sounds) but this is still a, *ahem* “true radio banger”

Otherwise, sorry for the lack of music updates. Y’know how it is. Winterbreak was mad hectic and I’m getting adjusted to my new schedule (which features a banging Hip-Hop History class. Get like me.) buuut, it’s not like I’ve become deaf or anything. Here’s what I’ve been jamming to (other than the above)

Check it.

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Ground Up – Girls Who Smoke Cigarettes

I probably should actually review this jawn, but fuck it, I’ll get to it another time (which really means never) but all ya’ll should head over to Datpiff and cop that jawn. Trev tells me they do a lot of shows here in the illadelph (and I would assume they’re local but they don’t have a site I can find) so show them some love.


The Gorillaz new iPad produced album, “The Fall” has dropped!

Damon Albarn knows how to fucking deliver. He said we’d get the new iPad produced album by Christmas, and damn if it isn’t 20 minutes until Christmas and I’m streaming the motherfucker right now.

You can head over to the Gorillaz site and stream it right now…but you’ll have to do some registration bullshit. A download of the album is available to Gorillaz fanclub members right now but as Christmas gift to all of ya’ll, here’s the link.

Go crazy and Merry Christmas.

PS: I’ll review this jawn after Christmas festivities. Promise.


All You Get For Christmas Is Dubstep

Wanted to get a post in before I fell into my post-finals Winter-break coma. That post is just going to be dubstep. Enjoy.

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Eating My Words – REVIEW: Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday

Aight, Cass & Marv. I said I’d give Nick Minaj’s debut, Pink Friday, and I did so, begrudgingly. I mean, i could’ve been listening to a real banger like Redman’s new ish, Reggie, which just dropped today.

But nope, I decided to give it a listen so I could slam it and silence ya’ll.

(Un?)Fortunately I don’t have much to slam.

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New Music Round-Up *Updated*

What’s ill, people? Hope ya’ll are enjoying this find Thursday afternoon – I certainly am. Got a day off work so I’ve just been loafing about, scanning the blogosphere for new music. It’s still a little early in the day but there are def some gems floating around out there.

How would ya’ll like to hear some new Deadmau5, Dr. Dre, T.I., Em & Royce and, best of all, a new music video from an up-and-coming band straight out of the illadelph? I shouldn’t even have to ask.

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Tuesday’s Takeout

Well it’s another dreary day in the illadelph. Winter is rolling through, so not only is the concert season coming to an end but we’re starting to really get shat on by that terrible Pennsylvania weather.

I don’t like waking up with the world all wet, especially not after a night of really effed dreams. I can’t help but feel like there’s a correlation.

Yes. I am that self-centered.

Whatever, I’m not gonna bore you with my egotism, unlike yesterday, where I just threw words at you, today, I’ve got some jams (and various other goodies.)

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Tuesday Roundup: Dubstastrophes, Bro-step, Kid Shitty & Once-In-A-Lifetime Oppurtunities

What’s really ill? Just chilling at work (once again) devoid of things to fact-check, so I thought I might hit ya’ll with a little something-something.

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New Music Backwash

What’s really hood people? Sorry there’s been a lack of updates this week, been busy with school, working like a dog for Philly Weekly. Not really, that gig’s been chill, had to do a bit of a flyer safari today which would’ve been better if it wasn’t so hot, but all in all enjoyed it. I rarely ever go down to South Street because everyone always wants to go in the Spring and Summer when it’s filled with assholes. South Street on a weekday in the Fall is perfect.

Now, let’s get to some new music, shall we?

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It’s Friday, bitches. Time for some jams.

Dubstep.

Witch House

Bhangra-Soundclash-Dubstep

Mark Ronson/The Business Intl/Spank Rock

Mad Decent/Das Racist collaboration.

Need I say anymore?

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Music Jumps the shark: Runaway Love Remix

So it’s finally here, the remix of Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love” featuring Raekwon and Kanye West….and…yeah.

This isn’t the future we wanted.

Let me just put this out (in case it was in doubt) – Kanye and Raekwon come fucking hard on this track, and it’s helped even more by the fact that Kanye used a sample from the classic “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin To Fuck Wit.” That whole bit is great, it really is, it’s just the fucking Bieber I can’t get over.

I’m not going to sit here and wantonly knock the little Canuck. I legitimately have no beef with him, he can keep doing his thing because for the most part it doesn’t intersect into my daily life. But right now it is so I’m gonna have to escalate just a little bit.

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Kanye West: Monster Ft. Everyone In Rap And… Bon Iver?

I’ve been mad slow on my music tip these past few days with packing for school and what not. But here’s the newest track from  the busy Kanye West. “Monster” features Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver. I’ve only listened to it a few times, but it’s pretty good and Kanye continues to impress, garnering more hype for his next album slated to drop in September. Also, Nicki Minaj straight up murders this track.

-Trev

Listen Here:

For Keeps:

Kanye West- Monster Ft. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver


Afternoon Delight: 47 Seconds of the future, UGK town, Dubstep.

Just found out about this over at Pigeons and Planes. It’s from a track on the new Big Mike mixtape. Gotta give Weezy props for timing out the release of his material so it doesn’t seem like he was gone at all. He’s gonna make a big splash when he’s home in November.

Cascade – Lil’ Wayne

Check out the rest of what I’ve got for you this b-e-a-utiful afternoon after the cut.

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Manic Monday: 50 Impersonates Twista & Jules Falls In Love

Found this over at Blameaspartame and I’m pretty sure I’m in love, which feels comparatively better than feeling like dying. I’ve been feeling like shit since Saturday and it seems that I might have a ragweed allergy. My hands and feel itch so bad they feel like they’re on fire and my throat is as dry as the desert. Pray for me.

You know what didn’t help me feel better? 50 Cent’s terrible remix to Cee-lo’s amazing “Fuck You.” He only spits for the first minute or so, and it’s painfully obvious listening to Curtis stumble over his words that he really wishes he was a better rapper. Jump below the cut and give it a listen, hope your ears don’t bleed.

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New Music Barrage 3 of 3: “I’m on my Van Gogh, I don’t hear shit.

So here’s the last serving of fresh tracks for the day. If you follow along here at the Experiment, you probably know that I usually don’t cover hip-hop. Not that I dislike hip-hop or am incapable of writing about it, I just see it more fit for me to differ to Jules and Andy on the subject, they do know the genre a good deal better than I do. But I just couldn’t help myself from posting these two tracks that just hit the web within the last 24 hours.

First up is Cee-Lo’s new track “Fuck you”. Though it’s much more along the lines of a  funky soul song, it’s still from Cee-Lo, who is a rapper.  Cee-Lo posted it on his own youtube channel, promising a full video next week, with a single on sale October 4th. “Fuck You” is slated to be on Cee-Lo’s upcoming album The Lady Killer.

Last night Kanye dropped a remix of “Power” featuring Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz. I like a lot of Kanye’s music and I think that his super ego thing is mad entertaining and interesting. This remix here is a certified banger and is sure to help you start your weekend off right.


New Music Barrage 2 of 3

I could just as easily of put all this new music into one long post, but I felt that it was more appropriate if I grouped them together in their own posts. This one is solely dedicated to Sufjan Stevens and the new EP he just released on the internets like an hour ago. All Delighted People is what it’s called. It’s 8 songs that sprawl across 60 minutes. I never was a huge Sufjan fan, I appreciate what he did on Illinois, but a lot of his lyrical indie-pop just sounds the same to me. I know a lot of people do like him though, and what I’ve listened to of the EP so far isn’t bad at all. The title track is a sweeping epic that spans emotional tones.

You can buy the entire EP for a mere 5 dollars over at Sufan’s bandcamp page, or you can stream it in it’s entirety bellow. Enjoy all of the new music!


New Music Barrage 1 of 3

I’m still recovering from the Crystal Castles show. I’ve come to realize that my muscles (especially the ones in my neck and knees) are not used to the kind of raving that Hard Fest demanded of me. That’s alright though because it was totally worth the discomfort I’m experiencing now, and I’ll be better prepared for next time something like that rolls through Philly. There’s not much I can say that Jules or Andy didn’t already cover in their write-ups, so I’m not really gonna get into it.

It’s Friday. Normally I’d want to play something to get you hype about it being the end of the work week and time to party for a few days. But I’m still all partied out. I just want to chill out for the rest of my summer. I’ll have to do plenty of partying next week when I start school again.

So here are some tracks that came out recently that I feel we can ride out the rest of this summer on together.

A kind of bittersweet song from the twangy indie/surf group Real Estate. “Out Of Time” is their new single and is set to drop October 12th. It’s a nice, pretty little song that about sums up how I’m feeling now that summer’s coming to a close.

Next up is an 80’s song given a chillwave makeover. Experimental psych act Golden Ages took on Toto’s 1983 #1 hit “Africa” and released it with two other songs as The Africa EP. The song becomes a distorted mass of synth washes, hard hitting beats, and buried vocals. A great remake of a song that  is a little dated. Here’s the whole EP:

The original by Toto:

-Trev


Tunes To Fall Asleep Too Via Warren Freaking Ellis.

Just got the scoop for this EP over at the site of one of my (and Trev’s) favorite writers, Warren Ellis. Before seeing that, I can’t say I’d ever heard of Kim Boekbinder but after being on my fifth listen of her EP, The Impossible Girl ~ Chapter 1 I’m pretty glad I have. It’s folksy, it’s poppy and the bottom line is that it’s downright infectious.

Just give it a listen, it’s streaming above (and I feel like I shouldn’t even have to see that. You see a button and you should be clicking it.) You should also head over to Kim’s site and pay for the album, even if it’s just a little bit of scratch, so that she can eat while working on Chapter 2 (and 3, and 4.)

And since we’re talking about free shit, read FreakAngels and thank Warren Ellis for all the good things he gives us.

Now I shall try and get as much rest as I can before the Crystal Castles show.

PS: Wanna do something fun? Scroll through the .gifs here as you listen to the EP. It’s pretty fucking nutty.

-Jules


Dr. Dre is the Hip-Hop Equivalent of a Cocktease.

“I’m somethin like an X-pill, everything about me makes bitches start touching they selves”

Turn Me On

I’m not even going to make you guys wait until the end of the post to get at this new track, “Turn Me On,” an unfinished number which just hit the web. Not only is this song amazing (trust me, just listen to it) it’s also entirely infuritating. Why? Because the way things are looking it’s on a “possible” track for Detox, which is a damn shame because I think a completed version of this track could be a true hit. The track sort of reminds me of a more sophisticated version of Snoop’s “Sexual Seduction.”

It’s not even the production on this song that’s just great, Dre spits some fire. I really feel like I forgot about Dre’s flow. I think we all did.

Go be reminded.

-Jules


Sunday Salvo: Hip-Hop Bombs & Blogroll Escalation

A few weekends ago, fueled by beer, Beitcher (who writes over at The New Montreal) and I almost entered into what almost became heated argument over who we thought was the best hip-hop producer. I mostly held my tongue because arguments like this usually can’t go any place good (especially when people have been drinking.)

Shit, someone’s preference in producer usually stems a lot from where the musically worldview is coming from. Beitcher (and I say this in the nicest way) is a fucking Hipster and lives in the Hipster capital of the New World (Since Williamburg has been falling off,) this is why him busting out Diplo as his choice for greatest producer isn’t surprising to me.

Now I love Diplo but I definitely disagree with my friend’s opinion. For one thing, I think a lot of Diplo’s production is hit or miss. You either love it or you hate it and there’s no middle ground. Next, I think Diplo spends a lot of time banking on the kitsch of being Diplo. I don’t want to get into a long treatise about authenticity and how much Diplo has or is lacking it, but if you take a blonde hair, blue-eyed motherfucker, and put them next to M.I.A. or Switch, you’re going to draw plenty of attention from hipsters and bloggers. I’m not saying it’s wrong for an artist to cash in on their aesthetic…

…actually, I might be, just a little bit.

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Chocolatey Socrates & Other Hip-Hop Oddities

HBWS
Random things:
Don’t give stupid, drunk people you don’t know psychedelics. Please. Lars and Trev are lucky bastards for not having to deal with that mess on ice. Still, party was pretty fun.

I went to the Hard Rock Cafe last night (pre-gaming for the party, I guess) and met with an old friend of my older brother, Duce Blunt. He’s Public Enemies bus driver.

Tequila and Tonics are only good when I make them.

There’s no reason to smoke a pack and a half of Newports in a night.

Blogworthy things:

Some of my favorite artists (Weezy, Cud & Kanye) all decided to drop new singles this week. Here’s the rundown:

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Acquire Curren$y, have sexual relations with women

Sorry for the time between posts. I’ve been making my way through a couple albums and trying to figure out which I should write
about.

Curren$y’s Pilot Talk, released under Damon Dash’s label BluRoc Records (Curren$y’s first major label album) and produced almost exclusively by Ski Beatz (the genius behind Jay-Z’s excellent album Reasonable Doubt).

Let me just say this as a preface: if you aren’t down with smoking the reefer, you may not like this album as much as those of us who do. This is a slow moving creation, not hasty in what it tries to accomplish which seems to be a smokers dream, especially in the heat of the summer. It starts off with a very solid track in “Audio Dope II”. I imagine listening to this track in a smoke filled room, passing a lit blunt around. The bass is heavy and filling while the lyrics are slow rolling and almost without pause, a style I like on tracks like this. The next song, “King Kong” is, in my opinion, the weakest on the album so I won’t spend time talking about it. “Skybourne” featuring Smoke DZA and Big K.R.I.T is another dope track with a relaxed beat and bass. The flow is a little more aggressive, but it suits the song well. My favorite track, though, has to be “The Day” featuring Jay Electronica and Mos Def (Jay absolutely destroys his verse). This song has an entertaining beat, good rhymes, and bomb-ass collaborations. It’s an upbeat track in a fairly subdued album and is refreshing.

Pilot Talk is an album I’d throw on while lounging around my room. Its slow bass, rhythmic and continuous flow and good collaborations craft a very solid album with very few songs that will leave you dissatisfied, transitioning between songs well and keeping the general vibe of the album true. As Curren$y’s major debut (he has a shit load of mixtapes out), I’d have to say it’s very successful in making a decent summer album. This album will go on my lazy summer day playlist with the likes of Jurrasic 5, The Roots and Atmosphere.

Honestly, the whole album grows on me the more I listen to it, I only wish I were sparking up a little weed whenever I listen to it. If you enjoy getting high, try getting high to Pilot Talk, relax, and enjoy these hazy days before autumn takes ’em away.

-Andy


Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

It’s finally here. Today sees the official U.S. release of The Arcade Fire’s third full length studio album, The Suburbs. If you haven’t heard it yet then download it now or go get in your car and drive to the closest music dispensary and buy this fucking album. Right now!

Ok, now that you’ve got the album and you’ve listened to it, let’s talk about it. It’s really fucking good, right? Yeah, well, I would assume that goes without saying, but it has to be said at least once, for posterity’s sake or something. But yeah, The Suburbs.

It’s been 3 very long years since we last heard in full from the Montreal-based indie giant. Spring of 2007 saw the release of Arcade Fire’s sophomore album Neon Bible, a decent showing after the now classic debut, Funeral. That album launched them into indie stardom, garnering them rave reviews from even mainstream media outlets like “Rolling Stone” and “The New York Times”. The follow up was a bit of that dreaded sophomore slump, but honestly, how could you possibly conceive of being able to release something that could stand up anywhere near Funeral? Expectations ran high (I know I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Neon Bible) and the album turned out pretty decent. It had some really good songs on it like the single “Keep the Car Running” and. It was a good album, probably better than I give it credit for, I was after all expecting a lot after having fallen so hard for the band on Funeral, but it just didn’t have all the right parts in the right places, ya know? It was in need of a certain… je ne sais pas. What that album was really lacking was the fact that it wasn’t nearly as grand or as powerful as the Arcade Fire can truly be. That is not the case on The Suburbs.

The Arcade Fire have crafted a sweeping (dare I say sprawling) epic on a scale the size of the American Dream. They capture something that most people don’t really think about, though it’s all they really know; living in the suburbs. The Arcade Fire express clearly many of the same things that I’ve felt about living where I do: exhilaration, frustration, desperation, and, thankfully, hopefulness. It is apparent that much of the past three and a half years have been spent thinking about and planning for how this album was going to be constructed. And it shows. The album itself is heartfelt and honest, Win Butler and gang don’t feed us any bullshit, this is what they know and how it’s made them who they are. Obviously, this is probably their most “mature” album to date.

It’s not just a mature album though, it’s an album that matures as you listen through it. The album starts out unbelievably strong, filled with all of the boundless energy and vitality of youth. Songs like the single “The Suburbs” and “Empty Room” are undeniably catchy and, especially the latter of the two, pack the punch of a rebellious punk song along the lines of early The Clash. Tracks like “Modern Man” and “Rococo” are two of the more epic and stretching songs on the album. I mean epic more in literary terms rather than “epic pwnage” for instance. The story that they tell us is on a much grander scale than usual, transcending simply the life of one person, but instead appealing to a multitude of us; anyone who grew up in the suburbs can relate to at least some of what Win Butler is singing about. The whole album is epic in this sense.

There is a noticeable shift in tone at the track “City with No Children”, the album seems to start to settle into itself a little more around this point. “Suburban War” comes across as one of the band’s most mature tracks to date with its driven yet infectious riffs and inspired lyrics. This great song leads into the fast paced “Month of May”; I gotta admit, it’s weird hearing The Arcade Fire attempt something approaching a punk song. I do like hearing Win Butler sing “Now the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight” over the quick and bouncy beat.

After the near anarchy caused by the oddly placed “punk” track “Month of May”, “Wasted Hours” is one of the more assuring and uplifting songs I’ve ever heard The Arcade Fire make. I feel that the juxtaposition of these two tracks was purposeful and they are meant to feed off of eachother. We can see evidence of this when we take a look at some of the lyrics. “Month of May” leaves us with the image of wires being blown away in chaos and an orchestral cacophony accompanying it. “Wasted Hours” picks up, much more calmly, after the storm, with “Spent the summers staring out the window/ The wind it takes you where it wants to go.”  These self-referential lyrics appear again later in “Wasted Hours”  when Win Butler sings about driving “around and around”, a reference to the same word being repeated over and over again on “Month of May”. Every time I listen to the album I feel like I pick up on more of these little nuances that the band worked into the album, its actually really fucking cool.

The album has a great build-up going for it after those two songs, “We Used to Wait” is a nice ride through familiar Arcade Fire surroundings while the frailty and near hopelessness of “Sprawl I (Flatland)” work to make the album’s jewel shine that much brighter. The album has its emotional and musical crescendo with the catharsis that is “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” Régine Chassagne really outdoes herself here and totally kills this track. She sings with honesty and emotion throughout, complimented by the wonderful new-wave inspired synths and beats. The song still gives me slight chills whenever I listen to it.

Yeah. So this album is definitely an experience. One that does require most of your attention though, if you want to get the most out of it. Give it the time and thought it deserves, you really won’t be disappointed.

-Trev

Arcade Fire- Modern Man

Arcade Fire- Suburban War

Arcade Fire- Wasted Hours

Arcade Fire- Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)