Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BOX:: Junk Science, John Forte & Pugs Atomz

Greetings from the hill on this fine mid-February humpday, at least I hope it's fine where you are - we're bracing for yet another snow storm tomorrow, but today is quite nice. But what better way to prepare to face another blast of winter than with our semi-regular rundown of the best hip hop songs we've been sent. I won't front, I've been slacking on the BOX! front, and this has resulted in a stack of tracks to pick through. That should theoretically mean that we've got some quality jams for you today, so let's just get right to it and see if that's the case.

This is Old Money's second BOX! appearance, and it features another remix by their producer Konrad. It isn't strictly hip hop per se, as there is a distinct lack of rapping, but hey, it's Santogold! The kids like Santogold, right? Despite (or perhaps because of) her blog-hype, I hadn't heard much of her, but I like this remix plenty. Konrad's beat alternates from a simple guitar hook & electro drums combo to a heavier drum & bass sound, and it's a good fit. After two BOX! appearances, I'd be interested in hearing some original Old Money material for their next one.

Junk Science is the Brooklyn duo of MC Baje One & DJ Snafu, and although I wasn't familiar with them before they sent us this song, it turns out they were on Iller Than Theirs' last EP, which I mentioned in a previous BOX!. It seems Junk Science are planning the upcoming release of their 3rd album, and so Running Shoes is just a little teaser of what's to come. And tease it does, as I think it's a great song. The beat mixes bluesy guitars and thick golden age-approved drums, and it's a perfect backdrop for Baje One's nimble analysis of his current place in this world. Good stuff hear, I'm up for hearing the new album!

Blacastan. Yes, Blacastan. With a name like that, I honestly had no idea what this was all about, but it turns out this Connecticut MC was discovered by the legendary duo of Steezo and Dooley-O, and that was enough for me. Blacastan served a long bid after being sentenced as an adult at 16, and taught himself to rhyme along with the radio. He had to of been listening to nothing but gritty NY rap, because he has a classic flow that reminds me of someone (like sounds exactly like them), but I can't put my finger on it. How Can You Be So Sure reminds me of Ghostface, at least in subject matter, as Blac narrates a tale of getting capped in the dome and robbed.

You've likely heard of John Forte, if not from his early career as a Fugee-collaborator and the release of the albums Poly Sci and I,John, then perhaps from his conviction on drug trafficking charges and subsequent pardon by Bush Jr. Is GW Bush a closet hip hop fan? I thinking it's more likely that he's secretly a genius than any kind of fiend for the boom and the bap. Either way, it's good to see John Forte out of the hoosegow, and making music so soon. I don't have either of his previous albums, but he does fine work here. And this Talib Kweil fellow, he does some justice to the Kanye track as well.

Considering this week's OSM featured Brand Nubian, and was inspired by the fact that Sadat X is popping up everywhere these days, it only seems right to post a track here that he features on. Pugslee Atomz helps us out in that regard with a track from his upcoming album. Pugs Atomz is yet another talented Chicago MC, and further proof that Chicago is the place to look if you fancy yourself a hip hop purist. This is a funky track with a nice sing-song chorus in between solid verses from both Pugs and Sadat. Good stuff here.

Posted at 2:50 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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