Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Jams

So I've been slacking and it most definitely has to do with these awful winters in Chicago, but here are some certified HITS that are DOIN IT.



DJ Khaled ft Young Jeezy, Plies, Rick Ross-Put Your Hands Up

Monday, January 18, 2010

Album Review: BK One - Radio Do Canibal

There are few albums that inspire me to write a review almost immediately; usually I hear one, put it in the mental rolodex, and move on to another, with the intention of eventually getting around to it (lazy, I know). However, this is one of those LPs that really makes you stand up and take notice; so much so that I felt compelled to bring it to the forefront. So, how good is it? To the highs and lows my friend.


As suggested by the title, BK One (best-known for being Brother Ali’s DJ) brings a Latin/South American influence to the album, which is immediately felt in the intro, entitled “Ivan Tiririca.” This instrumental track features a slower, melodic sample, followed by a vocal sample. Ultimately, it’s something you can picture rolling to in the streets of Bogota.

The second track, “Gititit,” is a funky banger that Rhymesayers has made a staple of its repertoire, and it fittingly features Brother Ali and Slug. Both MC’s rock the bass-heavy beat with their distinctive flows, touting Rhymesayers skill and passion and giving love to their Minnesota roots. As Ali quips, “Yes just bless this, come and have a party with two fresh Midwest kids, some of ya’ll are probably gonna catch this message, we give it to you real, flex a little skill, maybe a pay a couple bills, chill…”

Immediately following is one of my favorite tracks on the album, entitled “Mega.” Featuring Haiku D’Etat (consisting of Project Blowed veterans Aceyalone, Myka 9, and Abstract Rude), the beat is a rasta-esque mix of pan flute samples, timely bass, and nice percussion, followed by an incredibly addicting vocal sample that graces the chorus. The trio accompanies the beat perfectly, amounting to a very impressive track.

The best track on the album, “Here I Am,” features a crazy trio of Phonte, Brother Ali, and The Grouch. The slower-paced beat features a short sample (can’t tell what instrument it is, but it’s niiiiice) that’s amazingly effective, combined with a dope bass line and appropriately-subdued percussion. Each MC crushes the beat in their own signature way, delivering poignant rhymes and distinguished swagger. This is a must-listen.

Another track worth mentioning is “Philly Boy,” fittingly featuring Black Thought. Incorporating another somber beat, Black Thought spits his signature flow without a chorus, spitting bar after bar without a break. While Black Thought is impressive as usual, what really caught my ear was the instrumental outro to the song. BK One clearly has an ear for samples, and he showcases his production skills for the final 1:48 of the song, just letting an incredible beat ride out properly. While writing this I tried to explain the outro in further detail, but I just couldn’t find words that I felt would do it justice. Lets just say that this is a must-hear as well.


Honestly, I can’t think of much to put in this section. I could have put more tracks into the HIGHS section (“The True & Living” featuring Raekwon and I Self Devine, “18 to 21” featuring Murs), but I thought I should keep it to 4 for the sake of length. If I have to write something here, I would say that the album features too many mellow beats, and it would have been nice to hear some variation in the production. However, I’m going to end up complimenting BK One anyway; even if there are too many mellow beats, those beats are really impressive. There isn’t much to dislike.


This is an album hip hop heads will remember; to be sure, BK One’s first installment is one of the most impressive debut albums I have ever heard. There are few holes; there are 19 tracks, the production is top-notch, and the guest spots are incredible (Slug, Brother Ali, Haiku D-Etat, Raekwon, I Self Devine, Phonte, The Grouch, P.O.S., Blueprint, Murs, Scarface, etc. I mean, have you EVER seen a list like that on a producer’s debut album?). However, what may be most impressive about this output is that each guest is appropriately placed on each track. BK One clearly has a special ear; he made the beats, had a vision of who would be perfect for each beat, and followed that vision. His intuition was right on; each MC fits each track like a custom glove. I can’t stress this point enough; a lot of times producers load their projects with impressive guests, but on many tracks the MC’s don’t fit the production. An artist’s flow will seem out of place. BK One nailed every song. That is extremely rare, and truly impressive.

Rating: 5/5

- - J- JB

Snippet of New Nappy Roots - "Ride"

We at HITS have always been supporters of those boys from Kentuck, and we're happy to report that a new project is on the way (4/20). A video snippet of a nice track called "Ride" has surfaced, and it sounds legit. Outkast vibe to it; definitely a Dre-3000 type flow mixed in. Check it out here. One.

- JB

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lupe Leaked Track - "I'm Beaming"

So it seems that tracks rumored to be on Lupe's next effort, LASERS, are beginning to surface. It's anyone's guess whether this will be on the official release, but check out the Neptunes-produced "I'm Beaming." I would bump this.

- JB

Monday, January 11, 2010

Late Night With The Roots

As you must know by now, the Roots are the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. While Jimmy Fallon hasn't been that funny, the Roots are the shit, and their performances on the show have been impressive. They've come out with a 17-track collection, and it's solid. PMC saw this on 2dopeboyz, and we had to pass it along. Check it out here.

- JB

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Album Review: Clipse - Til The Casket Drops

As mentioned in recent posts, the VA duo that perfected coke rap has returned with a third release. The first two LPs were certified bangers, and the hip-hop world has endured many pushbacks and delays in anticipation for this album. Did Malice and Pusha T make it three in a row? Highs and lows, here we come.

The Highs

“Freedom,” the first track, is the perfect intro to a long-awaited album like this one. Sean C and LV provide a dramatic, pounding beat, complete with a pointed, distorted guitar rift, string hits, nice percussion, and a memorable vocal sample – “speak of freedom, sing of amber, waves of grain.” Malice and Pusha T lament about how their fame and fortune have affected them, and the lessons they’ve learned. Beginning his verse with the notion that “music ‘s been nothing more than a self-made prison,” Pusha T concludes with the phrase, “my critics finally have a verse of mine to jerk off to…I owe you all.”

Directly following is “Popular Demand (Popeyes),” probably the best song on the album, all things considered. The Neptunes provide a banger, showcasing a nice piano riff, horns, and fitting percussion. Pusha T and Malice provide the “father of coke rap” lyrics that fans have come to love, and Camron guests with his signature slow-yet-poignant flow.

Other nice tracks include the well-known singles “Kinda Like A Big Deal” featuring Kanye, “I’m Good” featuring Pharrell, “There Was A Murder,” where Malice and Pusha T showcase a surprisingly effective rasta flow, and “Door Man” and “Never Will It Stop.” Produced by the Neptunes and Sean C and LV respectively,the Clipse kill each beat in typical fashion.

The Lows

First, this album is only 13 tracks. For all the hype and anticipation generated by the pushbacks and delays, that is terribly short. A duo as acclaimed as this one cannot take such a long time between albums, hype the album the death, then come with only 13 tracks.

Secondly, while there is some quality work here, the rest of it seems filled out by throw-away NERD beats. Listen to “All Eyes On Me” and “ Counseling” and you’ll know what I mean. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly a let down.

The Good Word

To be sure, I can’t say this is a bad album. Although there were reports that the Clipse were looking to branch out and use different producers for the majority of the album, in the end they stuck with the Neptunes, which was definitely the right decision. The combination of Pusha T and Malice with Pharrell and Chad’s production is one of a kind; using a slew of different producers would forfeit the unique sound they produce.

For a normal artist, this would be a nice output, although short. However, we’ve come to expect a lot more from these two. The length of the album is disappointing, and although there are 4-5 nice tracks and 2-3 that are decent, the rest are uninspiring. Pusha T and Malice can do better; if anything, the next project should be longer.

Rating: 3 out of 5

- - J- JB