Wednesday, November 5, 2008

BOX:: Zion I, The Knux, Evidence, B-Real

Slow golf clap for you America, slow golf clap indeed. Believe me, I know the last thing you need is another Canadian trying to weigh in on your politics (lord knows we aren't in a position to talk), but you get so much stick for the nutty stuff you do, that I figured a pat on the back wouldn't hurt when you get things right. And electing Obama was certainly the right thing to do.

So while you've still got plenty of work to do down there, for today let me just say big up and kudos to you, USA, you are all right in the Hill's book...for today at least, we've got our eye on you USA. Anyhoo, in celebration, here's a selection of some solid hip hop jams we've received in the last few weeks. Have to say, this might be one of the best editions of BOX! we've had, so let's get to it.

This "up-with-people and viva Obama" re-work of a PE classic by Bay area underground stalwarts Zion I is a rather great way to kick things off wouldn't you say? Trying to cover classic hip hop jams is really tricky, and often just doesn't work, but I think this is pretty solid. I've always liked Zion I - AmpLive is a really talented producer and Zumbi is a natural MC, so I welcome any new material from them, but their upcoming mixtape which features more classic hip hop re-works and some "indie rock and electro goodies" sounds pretty decent.

If you follow non-sucky hip hop with any kind of regularity, then you've likely heard of The Knux already, two brothers originally from New Orleans, now calling Hollywood home. The have a fair bit of what the kids call "buzz" on the internet these days, and I like what I've heard from them (perhaps I'll review their full-length, if someone can send it to me. Someone, anyone? Honestly, I'd review more hip hop if people would send albums I want to hear. Mini-rant over). These guys are kind of in that hipster-ish hop space, and like to experiment, but they can rhyme, and they certainly keep that true-school hip hop in their mix. Or something, I like this.

Oh I know friend, when I got this I was also like, "jebus, Really?", but the fact that might, at any moment, beam into the room behind me and smack me with whatever saucy chapeau he was rocking scared me off that line of thought. Well that and the fact that Evidence's Dilated creds mean that he'll always get a listen here at the hill. I think does an ok job on this actually, handling the chorus on this somber track which features Ev, Phonte of Little Brother and newcomer Blu examining their mortality via rap verse. It's from Ev's upcoming new release, The Layover EP, and isn't bad, with NC producer Khrysis providing the Dilated vet with a track that's right up his alley.

I know, you've also been wondering what B-Real has been up to when he isn't doing song-intros for Whitey Ford's Johnny Cash covers. Well wonder no more, he's been working on a solo album, and as this jam shows, he's obviously been working on giving Suzanne Vega another hip hop-enabled 15 seconds of fame. I think we're all thankful for that. This isn't bad, and I think a B-Real solo album could be decent, but he'd better have some solid production, and hopefully he limits the cameos by people that I don't know, like this Young B. chap. Also, there better be room for at least a Sen-Dog shouted-chorus appearance, have to keep ole Sen busy.

I posted two songs from DJ Babu's upcoming Duck Season 3 in the last BOX! I did, so I wasn't going to post this one here, but goodness of this simple beat lured me in, and the combo of Doom and Sean P going flow for flow proved too irresistible to pass up. So Babu is BOX-worthy once again. Plus, after Doom finishes a verse with "innards", Sean P says "innards, Lynryd Skynyrd, why did I say that, not to fuck up the ebb & flow of said track" which is the kind of nonsense we can get behind here at the hill. Good song.

Posted at 1:10 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 8:44 PM, Blogger The R.O.B. did sayeth:

Love this new-ish segment...

I got suckered into buying the Knux album, and haven't listened to it all, but I'll post some thoughts when I do...


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