Friday, October 3, 2008

BOX:: DJ Babu, Ayatollah, 9th Wonder & Buckshot

If you're ever wondering what a busy two year old, a newborn, and a recovering wife gets you - it gets you tired, that is the main thing is gets you. Oh, and happiness too, I should mention the happiness. However, it's high time I get back on the post-train, as leaving all the work to Ack is stressing him out a bit I think. But big up to the Ack for his kind tribute post and for keeping OSM up and smoking during my hiatus, he does fine work that chap. But like Jack Torrance and Homer, "all parenting and no blogging makes Shane a something, something", so let's get back to biz with a BOX! post.

This one has kind of a "producer" theme, which is pretty appropriate considering how important production is in today's hip hop climate. Quite simply, if the beats aren't quality, your album is going wood in the hood no matter how much fire you spit. Enough waffle from me, let's get to it.

What's not to like about Babu? Beat Junkie, champion DJ, member of Dilated Peoples and the Likwit Junkies, the man has an impressive resume. He's also developed into a solid producer, as the work on Duck Season's 1&2 showed, and after a 5 year break, Babu comes with the third installment. The track list indicates a pretty solid album, with appearances from indie-faves like Sean P, MF Doom, and Percee Pl, as well as Canada's MC king Kardi, Babu's own son Niko, and of course his Dilated bredren Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience. Dearly Departed, the lead single features a latin inspired beat, and an appearance from hardcore kings M.O.P. - a combo that works better than one might guess. It's hard not to enjoy the Mash Out Posse though, no matter what kind of beat their riding. The second song we were sent, My Opinion features someone named Bishop Lamont, who appears to be affiliated with Aftermath, but it's the piano-laced beat that makes this worth a listen.

Ayatollah is the nom-de-knob-twiddle of Lamont Dorrell, a producer from Queens who has worked with a fairly heavy list of MC's (Wordsworth, Vast Aire, Guru, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, and the aforementioned M.O.P.), but his claim to fame still appears to be producing Ms. Fat Booty for former Cosby Mysteries co-star Mos Def. All well and good, and this is a pretty solid jam, but I'll be honest, I'm mainly posting this song because I like the name. Brolic is a great word, I'd heard it plenty, but never knew how it was spelled. Now thanks to Ayatollah, I do. So let's all thank him by checking out his latest instrumental album, Drum Machine.

How about a second NY producer with an impressive resume, but not the recognition to go with it? Domingo has produced tracks for tons of folks, but his golden-age affiliations stand out for me (Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Das Efx, Kool G. Rap, KRS-One, Rakim). Makes me think I should've perhaps have checked out his '07 release The Most Underrated before now, but oh well, late than never and all that good stuff. Here's a short but sweet sample, of that album, a remix version of Cold World, which features buzz-having MC Termanology over a thumping track that has a bit of an early Wu-vibe in my humble.

Now to the opposite end of the recognition scale for producers, 9th Wonder has received his fair share of attention from his work with Jay-Mogul, Mary J. Blige, and Erykah Badu, but his collaboration albums with Murs and Buckshot, amongst others, show he's still got roots in the underground. Right here we have an unreleased track from 9th and Buckshot's collab from earlier this year, The Formula. It's a pretty catchy, James Brown-laced ode to New York that kind of showcases Buckshot moreso than 9th. It seems Buckshot recently had an unexpected hospital stay, so we'll play this one for him and hope he gets back to making wacky videos soon.

All right, let's wrap up this producer-filled edition of BOX! with some local content. Fresh Kils is one of the better producers to come out of Halifax recently (my fawning reviews of his work with Mr. Quibble and The Extremities can back up that opinion), so any remix he does is worth a listen in my humble. This one here is a redux of the intro from Brockway Biggs' recent album, In Awe Of Simplicity, which also features two excellent DJ's: DJ STV and Skratch Bastid. Brockway has a unique flow that doesn't tickle everyone's fancy, but the lush, uptempo track Kils provides him with might be enough to win him some new fans.

Posted at 10:00 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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