Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All Hail The Pharoahe!

Um, no, not this one, cool as all that business is. Rather, I am referring to the one and only Pharoahe Monch, 1/2 of Organized Konfusion and creator of my favorite Godzilla-related song of all time. I mean, that Wallflowers cover of "Heroes" kind of introduced me to Bowie, so that's not all bad. But "Simon Says" is the jam.

Anyway, Monch has a new album, Desire, out today, which I picked up but haven't had the chance to listen to yet. But in honor of the new record, here's an incredible freestyle of his from the pre-album mixtape The Awakening over one of my all time favorite beats, the Pete Rock Mixx of PE's "Shut 'Em Down". Oh yeah, as with most hip-hop I'll post here, the language may not be suitable for all environments.

Pharoahe Monch - Shut 'Em Down Freestyle

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Inaugural

So, here it is, another mp3 blog. I hope to at least do it well.

For this first post, I'm highlighting three finds from the 25-cent 45 bin at a Half Price Books in Indianapolis, all primed for some summertime listening. Let me know what you think.

The Impressions - Check Out Your Mind

First off is some blistering psychedelic funk from the master, Curtis Mayfield. "Check Out Your Mind" was the title track from Mayfield's last LP with the Impressions before embarking on a storied solo career. It's an anti-dope (though still, uh, dope) song, featuring a sales pitch for your own mind. I hadn't heard the track before, but as soon as I saw the label I was guessing it was a winner. Thankfully, I was right.

Dave & Ansell Collins - Double Barrel (Instrumental)

Another find I was immediately excited by. "Double Barrel" is well-deserving of its rocksteady/reggae classic status, and I was hoping for some kind of dub workout on the b-side. It's actually just a straight instrumental of the a-side, though fortunately it keeps the whole "I...am the maginificent" intro bit. While the vocal is a great bit of nonsensical early DJ toasting, the instrumental highlights the dueling keyboards vibe of the piano vs. the funky organ. All around goodness.

Shabba Ranks - Original Woman

This last one was the big surprise. Using the same Shelly Manne loop as Jeru da Damaja & DJ Premeir's uber-classic "Come Clean," but placing it in a hip-hop/dancehall context, Shabba crafts a solid pro-woman anthem, at least from what I can make out of the words.