Hip Hop ’09
I’ve been disappointed with hip hop over the last few years; there really haven’t been many releases that have inspired me. However, 2009 has actually been a pretty good year. We’ve seen some great releases from P.O.S., Brother Ali, Dälek, as well as the Del/Tame One collaboration. Here are few more recent releases that have helped inspire a renewed interest in the art form:
BK-One – Radio do Canibal
BK-One, also known as Brother Ali’s DJ, teams up with Benzilla to produce a fantastic release with a stellar line up of guest appearances, including Black Thought, Grouch, Aceyalone, Myka 9, Abstract Rude, Raekwon, Slug, Brother Ali, P.O.S. and Murs. The sound is blues/jazz with a healthy dose of Brazilian funk.
Anti-Pop Consortium – Fluorescent Black
Antipop were the epitome of the independent artist for years, especially with their classic release, “Tragic Kingdom.” After taking a few years off, they’re back and haven’t missed a step, dropping abstract rhymes over their unique brand of electro-hop beats.
DJ Spooky – The Secret Song
A decade ago, DJ Spooky was dropping all kinds of albums. Each had some great tracks, but overall, the albums fell a little flat. Now, on his first studio album on many years, DJ Spooky has taken jazz, dub, hip hop, electronica, and a little rock and blended them to create a solid, cohesive work of art. With help from Boots Riley, Rob Swift, Zimbabwe Legit, Mike G from the Jungle Brothers, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Thurston Moore and The Post-Modern Jazz Quartet, “The Secret Song” is a sonic masterpiece.
Jay Are – The 1960’s Jazz Revolution Again
Jay Are is collaboration between J Rawls and John Robinson of Sciencz of Life. It features some excellent jazz based tracks, however, considering the albums title, I expected a little heavier jazz vibe. There are a few missteps, but overall, it’s a pretty good album.
Wax Tailor – In the Mood for Life
While it still may be a uniquely American art form, hip hop has spread world wide and some of the best music has come form overseas. Wax Tailor, a French producer and DJ, is no exception. Over the last few years, Wax Tailor has released music that is very moody and atmospheric. Balancing a mix of classic mid-90’s hip hop, soul and unique vocal samples from old movies, his music is very moving and soulful.
So, as I said, it’s been a good year for hip hop, and we still have a few more releases with potential to come before the year is out:
- Masta Ace & Edo G – Arts and Entertainment (Nov 3)
- Themselves – Crownsdown (Nov 3)
- Gift of Gab – Escape 2 Mars (Nov 3)
- MF Doom – Unexpected Guest (Nov 10)
- Rakim – 7th Seal (Nov 1)
- The Roots – How I Got Over (TBD)
- The Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt 1 (TBD)