Posts Tagged ‘ice cube’

Sounds Like Summer – Volume Four

Sunday, July 25th, 2010
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The fourth installment in our Sounds Like Summer series. Somethin’ for your car, somethin’ for your hangout spot, or just somethin’ for you to chill to. Hella shouts to dirt_dog from TROY for the artwork. Download link, tracklist and links to the rest of the series after the jump.

— Snoop Bloggy Blogg
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Dr Dre – My Life

Friday, June 25th, 2010
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With the release of the damp squib “Under Pressure” last week let’s rewind the clock 15 years or so with one of the most anticipated albums that never was. Fresh out of jail after a 6 month bid, Dr Dre hit the studio to work on two new projects: a collaboration LP with Ice Cube and his sophomore album The Chronic 2 – Poppas Got a Brand New Funk. Notorious for taking his time on production, Dre’s stalling came into conflict with Suge Knight’s policy of taking the best music available for the next album release. In this case, it would be 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me that benefited from songs that were supposed to be on Dre’s projects, namely the first single “California Love” and “U Can’t C Me.” This turned out to be the tipping point for Dre’s decision to depart the label as he soon contacted Jimmy Iovine and in alleged conversation told him “make me a deal and I’ll make you some hits.” Chronic 2 and Helter Skelter were dead in the water, leaving the impressive “My Life” perpetually unreleased. A musical autobiography, the track details Dre’s career from spinning at Eve’s After Dark to spearheading the West Coast revolution with Death Row. I’d hoped that WIDEawake Ent. would give us a remaster of this but that appears unlikely with the current turmoil at the label. In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with these two versions: the original “Smokin’ Weed For Hours” track and the re-tweaked and renamed “My Life.” They’re essentially the same song with a couple of different beat switch-ups. I’ll be putting “My Life” on our Death Row Unreleased compilation launching tomorrow. Two discs, 30 tracks, dedicated for the zigganz that was down from day one.

Dr Dre – My Life
Dr Dre – Smokin’ Weed for Hours

— Snoop Bloggy Blogg

Sounds Like Summer – Volume One

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
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Since my thermometer is finally crackin’ 70 this week, I thought it might be time to throw together a mix for the summer. Lets do it the right way though. 10 volumes from here to September, 16 tracks per clip. Somethin’ for your car, somethin’ for your hangout spot, or just somethin’ for you to chill to. Our A-Alike blog TROY runs a series called “Sounds like the 90s,” so we’re gonna call this one “Sounds Like Summer.” Volume uno below.

— Snoop Bloggy Blogg

Sounds Like Summer – Volume 1
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01 E-40 – Nah Nah ft Nate Dogg
02 3xKrazy – West Coast Shit
03 Da Brat and The Notorious BIG – Da B Side
04 Erick Sermon – Music
05 Snoop Dogg – Lets Get Blown
06 Kilo Ali – Love in Ya Mouth ft Big Boi
07 King Tee – Dippin (rmx)
08 Dam Funk – (My Funk Goes) On & On
09 Scritti Politti – Tinseltown to the Boogiedown ft Mos Def and Lee Majors (Ali Shaheed rmx)
10 2Pac – To Live and Die in LA
11 Ice Cube – You Know How We Do It
12 Boogiemonsters – Honeydips in Gotham (Monster rmx)
13 The Dove Shack – Summertime in the LBC
14 Big Mike – Burban & Impalas
15 Rich Boy – Boy Looka Here
16 Big Tymers – Still Fly

Callin’ Out Names 2

Friday, April 9th, 2010
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1. B.o.B. – It took him sometime but he finally has a commercial hit on his hands with Nothin’ On You.. Atlantic Record sure does love those “Superstar” like tracks don’t they? I don’t really have much hate on this topic but I just wanted to compare Nothin’ On You to Superstar. That’s all I got…

2. Ice Cube – STFU you old fake angry Gangsta rapper. You’re rich bitch! You have millions in the bank and Disney movie scripts up the yin yang. I know we ALL want the old Cube to return but it ain’t happening. Never can you reach the levels of success Cube has and return to Death Certificate form. Sorry, move on. If there is one good thing Cube could do before he retires its help W.C. put out more albums.

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3. Too $hort – Gay album title or Gayest album title of all-time? Please retire now Todd.

4. E-40 – 40 Water just released a double album and it mostly featured the production of his son. It also featured tons of filler. Remember E-40’s best album? Well it’s called The Mail Man EP and it was a fucking EP! Get the the point?

5. College Frat White Rappers – Could we all Paypal the N.O.I. to smash these fucking mudsharks until they just disappear completely? Die, die, die.

Related Link:
Callin’ Out Names 1

Timlaska’s Top Ten-est Albums of All Time #1

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
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Before we get started lets recap and see how we got here:

Number 10

Number 9

Number 8

Number 7

Number 6

Number 5

Number 4

Number 3

Number 2

Honorable Mentions

The other day someone on the boards, I think it was Thun, said something along the lines that I should own up to being just another 30 something boom bap dinosaur. Which of course I am, I am in my 30s and I do feel that hip hop’s best years have come and gone. I don’t long so much for a return to the sound as I do for a return the ethics and creativity of the day. I miss the spirit of originality that was brought to the table by the artists we still love and admire some 20 plus years after the fact.

I get that the music of our youth is always going to resonate more and that there will always be ebbs and flows with the quality of a genre. The problem is that we are now pushing 15 years of the same album, style, video, and albums. The music is horribly stagnant from a creative and artistic point of view.

It is a giant game of follow the follower, where everyone is hanging on to some ideal that they think the music is all about whether it is the underground artist who wants you to believe it has always been about the art and that materialism is a new phenomenon or the newest pop sensation that thinks they are paying homage to the old school ideals by being the hyper success of the week and being hot in the streets. And you know what both of those points of view are fine, they are limiting and wrong but they are fine. Hip Hop has moved to a place where the idea of fitting a prototype is more important than the idea of being unique and therefore fresh. The creative spirit, the idea that the art is a manifestation of the artist’s personality, beliefs, and experience is seriously lacking in today’s music. Where other genres got fat and hit a lull, causing a groundswell of outsiders to reclaim the music in their image and ideals, rap has remained the same entity for the past decade and a half. The saddest part is that now you got 40 year olds trying to appeal to 15 year old girls. There is something incredibly creepy and sad about it.

That was really the point of this exercise, it was not to say “Hey Paid in Full is a classic because it has some classic songs” or “Straight Outta Compton is a classic because of its impact” or even “Ready to Die matters because it changed the game” no, the goal was to look at the album as an artistic expression both in itself and of the artists.

nation_millions

So I guess it is no surprise that Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is our number one album. Not only is it an artistic masterpiece, but it is single most important album of the past 30 years. I don’t think I am speaking hyperbolically here. The impact it had on the culture as a whole is undeniable. But like I said I am not here to argue the impact the album had but the artistic merit.

The combination of Chuck D and Flavor Flav is a brilliant pairing that has been discussed ad nauseam and I have no desire to force that on you again. We get it, the combo worked. I want to talk about the Bomb Squad. I feel they just have not gotten their due. The production work on this album has yet to be touched by any producer or production team in the 22 years since it’s release. You can take your Premo’s, Dre’s, Large Professor’s, Pete Rock’s, Rza’s, etc and they are all production midgets when compared to the work on this album. Not only did they set the mood for the bombast that was Chuck D, they built a sonic canvas that is pure genius.

To this day, with the right set of headphones I am still picking up on things I haven’t heard, and I have been listening to this record for 22 years. It is a maddening jenga puzzle of production, if there was one false move the whole project would crumble, but they didn’t miss a beat. The Bomb Squad is the most ahead of their time visionaries in the history of hip hop. I know sample laws have changed and an album like this could never be created today, but I think that is bullshit. The samples while helpful were only tools that helped them build a wall of sound that defined Public Enemy and eventually early Ice Cube. I think they would have done it no matter the tools they had. It was in them and of them. And it is because of them that Nation of Millions is Timlaska’s Top album of all time.

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Timlaska’s Top Ten-est Albums Ever #5

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
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ice-cube-sts-240bb033009

So we finally cracked the top 5, and I have had this album slated as high as number 3, but with the inevitable reshuffling that comes with shit like this I had to move it down to number 5. I also had to decide between two albums by the same artist for this slot. I knew I wanted one of the first two Ice Cube solo records it was just a matter of which one. Was it the one that I romanticized as being better than it was, or the one that I never really gave a fair shake too? Either way it is hard to argue against either of these albums making it into any top 5 anywhere. I think his stretch from Straight Outta Compton through Death Certificate is one of the most dominant in the history of hip hop. If you were to take the best 3-4 year periods for rappers since the start of the genre it is hard to find someone that had a better stretch than Ice Cube during this time. In fact I might have to explore this at a later point.
Since I was torn on these albums let’s do the side-by-side comparison.

Rapping – Ice Cube was a better technical rapper on Amerikkka’s Most. It’s hard to argue against that. He hit on all cylinders – flow, voice, cadence, storytelling, battle raps, style, etc. On Death Certificate he was still quite capable and delivered a powerful performance but the technical side suffered a bit. He became a bit one dimensional running couplet after couplet. I think on Death Certificate we start to see the very early stages of what became of him on Lethal Injection and everything that followed. The fall off was small but it is there.

Advantage – Amerikkka’s Most (any truth to the rumors that Del helped him write this?)

Production – This one was a shocker for me. For my money there has never been a greater production team than the Bomb Squad, so I expected this to be a landslide win for them. However the more I listened the more I realized that the work that Sir Jinx did on Death Certificate surpasses the work they did on Amerikkka’s Most. To the point that I now have trouble listening to Amerikkka’s Most. He took everything that was great about the first album and then made it his own, giving Ice Cube a signature sound as opposed to sounding like PE light. It is an amazingly impressive work.

Advantage – Death Certificate (by a much bigger margin than you might remember)

Content – While Ice Cube does what he did best on Amerikka’s Most, the content itself is pretty one dimensional, a few battle raps, a few stories about scandals chicks and a few gang related tales; it is really a myopic world view. On Death Certificate, while still hitting on the same topics, he opens up his scope more and turns his lens on race relations, economic hardships, the realities of gang life and bagging stank broads, as well as the expansion of gangs and crack, the problems in the black community within the black community. It is a stronger effort that ultimately made Ice Cube a more rounded MC.

Advantage – Death Certificate

Guest Appearances – Death Certificate didn’t have Yo-Yo

Advantage – Death Certificate

Overall – I expected Amerikkka’s Most Wanted to run away with this. It held a special place in my heart but once I put them side by side it became more and more obvious that Death Certificate is a much better record. The production is stronger, the content and rapping is more complete, and the album seems to move much better and doesn’t suffer from being too long and stagnant portions the way Amerikkka’s Most does. Both albums are terrific but Death Certificate is a better album.

Winner – Death Certificate

DC

Download Death Certificate Here