Thursday, August 6, 2009

BOX:: Buff1, The Beatnuts & Warren G.

Well, due to hectic-ness here at the hill as of late (some of the hectic-ness is of the very welcome variety), we've been hitting you with plenty of one & done style posts. Well, I wanted to try and get in a post that involved more music for you fine folks, and since none of my semi-regular features contain more music than BOX!, and because it's been a while since the last one, BOX! it is. I think we've got a good one for you, so enjoy.

MP3:: Buff1 & Danny Brown - Go Off (prod by J Bizness)

Buff1 seems to have arrived on the scene recently along with a bevy of other new school MC's that are setting blog-hearts all aflutter (or PR company hearts at least). But Buff has a couple things going for him that separates him in my eyes: 1. He's an MC who is not only damn good, but he appears to be interested in being an MC - not an actor, a fashion icon, or a professional celebrity. 2. He's from Ann Arbor, and a Michigan fan such as myself will always be won over by such an address. Facetiousness aside, hip hop needs MC's whose main interest is MCing, and Buff has a bit of a Nas quality to him, which is also plenty welcome. Buff is joined on this braggadocios track (provided by Cali producer J. Bizness) by fellow Michigan MC Danny Brown, and I have to say, it's pretty good stuff.

MP3:: Warren G. - Swagger Rich f. Snoop Dogg & Cass

The G. Child returns! From that futuristic Detroit funk, we head out to Cali to re-visit one of the pioneers of the infamous G-Funk sound that is equal parts revered and reviled when looked back on now. I always like Warren though, obviously his melodic flow and simple yet appealing flow made for some catchy songs, but Warren & Co. just seemed to have more fun than Dre & them. That said, I can't say I had a ton 'o fun listening to his latest offering. It isn't bad by today's "club banger by numbers" standards, but it's a little boring - the beat isn't really up to Warren's old standards, and the female vocals are not getting it done. And using "swagger" that much in a song seems to make it sound dated even before it gets a proper release. But hey, it's good to see Warren back in the mix.

MP3:: Alexipharmic - Stardust f. P.O.S., Grynch, Cas One and Sarah Smalley

Ok, something still from the West Coast, yet completely different is up next. I knew nothing about the complexly named Alexipharmic before being sent this song, but he seems like an interesting guy. His latest album as written while on a 30 state roadtrip where he interviewed random people along the way, and he weaved the resulting stories into his songs. He's also donating 50% of the proceeds from his music to charity, which it certainly admirable. If the rest of the songs on the album are like this guitar-laced track, he deserves to generate a nice chunk of charity change. Fellow indie MC's P.O.S., Grynch, and Cas One join Alex, and Sarah Smalley's sultry vocals provide a good example of how female vocals can enhance a hip hop song in certain circumstances.

MP3:: Outkast vs Ratatat - Wheelz of Steel (Dave Wrangler Remix)

This is kind of cheating, as I usually don't include remixes or mashups, but oh well, I like this. And Wheels of Steel is a great song that I hadn't heard in a while, in fact, I haven't heard ATLiens in a while, so I should go do that. I suppose I should also mention that this remix was done by a fellow named Dave Wrangler, who has a remix album coming out soon. So check him out.

MP3:: The Beatnuts - Watch Out Now

MP3:: The Beatnuts - Hot

Now this is really cheating, as I wasn't sent anything from The Beatnuts at all. However, the Nuts are playing here in Halifax tonight at The Paragon Theatre, and that's pretty awesome. And if I can't play some Beatnuts when Psycho Les & Juju are in town, I don't know when I can. Right, so you've got one of my favorite Beatnuts jams, Watch Out Now (Which is also their second best flute usage), and Hot, which features frequent Nuts collaborator, and Hill favorite, Greg Nice.

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