SOME STUFFS: Kidz In The Hall ready to bust out with new albins

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Naledge and Double O are Kidz In The Hall, and they are ready to present a new albin (a/k/a/ “album”) to fans in the form of what they’re calling Land Of Make Believe (Duck Down). The group says they’re in a new phase of making music, and felt that some felt they were “backpackers” and “hipsters”. For the monumental third album, they say that you can just call them dope.

The album has them doing tracks with Amanda Diva, The Kid Daytona, Marsha AmbrosiusJust Blaze, Colin Munroe, and MC Lyte. The album was produced by Double-O “with no samples”, which should be interesting in itself.

Here’s what the cover will be:
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The first single from the album, “Flickin'”, is currently available through iTunes.

REVIEW: Sean Price’s “Kimbo Price”

Kimbo Price Sean Price is really to kick anyone in the jaws without regret, hell you might get hit and not even know what happened to you. Despite the length of the songs (23 in total) on this CD, Kimbo Slice (Duck Down/Fat Beats) may be promoted as a mix tape-type situation but it holds up very well as an album. It’s album length, but these songs come and go without thought and goes right into the next one,a bit like a Monty Python episode. It shows that when you’re able to deliver the goods, you’re also able to change your name throughout your discography. Sean Price states that he would like to be known as “Megasean”, and maybe in a month or two he will switch his name again. The approach here is raw, loose, and as hard as a ruthless street fight. If you listen to this as a traditional album, it may come off as a hip-hop opera. From afar, these songs may not have a cohesive theme, but the overall vibe is one of strength and dominance, that of an MC who someone who is proud to call himself Kimbo Price (Vision/Duck Down). This is that no-nonsense hip-hop shit. I can imagine a few people saying this is nothing but hip-hop for those with short-attention spans, but they’re not listening that closely or deeply.

Rock and Law join up with Sean Price in the bitch ass “Hot”, while St. Maffew‘s appearance in the blues-based “Weed & Hoes” is a celebration of hot bitches and choice pakalolo. “Suicide Door” may begin with a tentative-rock edge, but then the beat kicks in and as Price talks about how he just came out fresh out of his mom’s pussy, he’s figuratively and literally going in deeper. It’s random at times, the way subjects come and go, but as much as it’s not meant to sound like a proper album, it is. It’s what made those old mix tapes of yesteryear so powerful. Now, what makes this different from a younger artist who may do random songs for the sake of being a superstar? Execution and knowledge of what makes a good rap song great. A lot of artists are nothing but mindless blah blah, and Sean Price isn’t mindless, nor delivering any level of blah. In these short-but-sweet songs, he’s on a mission towards releasing yet another album, and yet I wish more artists would treat their mix tape missions thet same way Prince does, because this is a certified winner.

REVIEW: KRS-One & Buckshot’s “Survival Skills”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Ever wanted to hear an album created by hip-hop’s elder statesmen? Look no further than a new collabration between KRS-One and Buckshot, Survival Skills (Duck Down).

The “survival skills” in question are of course surviving in this game known as hip-hop, or at least the financial and commercial game. Both KRS and Buckshot talk about how you really need not only skills, but the knowledge on how to survive in a wicked marketplace, or you’ll end up in someone’s mental cut-out bin before you know it.

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect with this album. I’m a huge fan of both of these MC’s, but what I liked about it was that their input is equally balanced. I call them “elder statesmen” because that’s what they are, and you hear age and real life experiences in their voices, especially in tracks like “Clean Up Crew”, “Connection”, “Thing Of All The Things” (the latter featuring K’naan) and “Amazin'”. KRS is no longer the guy who had Scott La Rock next to him, but you hear someone who has the battle scars, seen the verbal and literal feuds, and isn’t afraid to attack even while he is preaching peace. Then you have Buckshot, whose days as a “Shorty” made him someone to watch and listen to in the mid-90’s. Today, his swagger and sly attitude is still heard in his lyrics, and he’s more confident in his singing that doesn’t go overboard nor is it destroyed by bad sound effects or filters. In fact, “Robot” is a middle finger to Auto-Tune and more specifically to artists who choose to show their lack of talent and skills over a messed up voice effect that had been done, and better, by the likes of Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, and Roger Troutman. These guys aren’t so much angry as they are pissed at how the music has been molded into something else. One may argue that newer audiences mean a new approach to the music, but these scholars are saying that artists and fans need to take it back to the essence, because not many people today have it or know what it is. When Slug of Atmosphere joints them in “We Made It”, one can only imagine Slug being approved as someone with substance and skills.

A few people on various online boards have said that the cover art is corny and should have never been approved. It might be that, but I also interpret it as two guys who are not afraid to brave the elements. They aren’t just guys who rhyme lazily just because it sounds good with funky beats. To say this is yet another return to the boom bap would be too easy, for fans who know and respect hip-hop will tell you that “the real” has always been amongst us. Yet it’s perhaps not a coincidence that this was released at a time of the music’s uncertainty. What this album becomes is a guidebook full of lessons and tips on how to keep the traditions alive and vibrant. The dawn is not here yet.

SOME STUFFS: Blue Scholars know the true definition of “OOF!”

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I have to say something here. In the early days when Blue Scholars used to post around on various boards, they showed how much they were doing to shed light on hip-hop from Seattle. All this time I didn’t know that Geologic had roots in Hawai’i. He sounded like he had the accent, I felt it, hell I knew it but it had taken me three years to discover this fact?

I mention this because with their new deal with Duck Down, they’re calling their new EP OOF! and were about to go on tour in Hawai’i for it. I was thinking “oh shit, these guys are going to be laughed at for calling their EP OOF!, that’s not going to go down too well.” When you’re raised in Hawai’i, you tend to discover the profanities of the ethnicities so that if you’re within ear range of someone cursing you out, you’ll know if they’re talking stink to you or not. OOF! is a variation of the Samoan word “ufa” (ooh-fa), which is pretty much saying “fuck you” (or “ufa mea”). Now if you want to get more raw, you as a man can step up to a lady and go “wow tita, you like uf or wot?” In other words, “hello my lady, would you like to have sex or something?” Or to be more blunt, “wow, you like fuck?”

Thus, calling your EP OOF! would have been hazarous, but now that I know Geologic has some roots in Hawai’i Nei, then I know he’s being clever for the sake of being clever and also understanding what it’s about. In fact, the OOF! EP is all about the other side of Hawai’i that isn’t promoted by the tourist industry, the Hawai’i that I know very well. People on the outside may know Honolulu and Waikiki, and of course Maui. But how about Wahiawa, Kaliki, Makiki, Pauoa, Nu’uanu, Nanakuli, Kahuku, Waianae, Waipahu, and Ewa Beach? They may look like little dots on an Oahu map, but they are smell sections of the island that is my home, little areas that are like individual neighborhoods, each with its sense of quirks, tastes, and people. This is the Hawai’i that Blue Scholars take to heart, and it will be great to hear what they were able to do with it.

Basically, it’s a Hawai’i that some don’t want you to see or hear about, to the point where some local people are embarrassed to say it’s the Hawai’i they live in. Ten years ago, I did an album called Without Breath where I talked about my hopes, fears, and dreams of returning home to the place I still hold dear. For Geologic, along with DJ/producer Sabzi, it’s the same thing.

This EP, along with their Duck Duck deal, will no doubt bring them to the forefront not only as Seattle artists, but as hip-hop artists ready to make a bigger impact on the marketplace. Will this also help shine the light on Hawai’i’s vast hip-hop scene? Perhaps indirectly it will also show the brotherhood of Pacific Islanders and their love of music, creativity, and community. OOF! indeed, faka, you like beef? Shoots, we go t’row blows in da Tamashiro pahking lot.

(Until the EP is released later this month, you can download a track from it for free by clicking to BlueScholars.com.)

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5717003&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

OOF! from Blue Scholars on Vimeo.

SOME STUFFS: Seattle’s Blue Scholars partner with Duck Down

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Congratulations are in store for Blue Scholars, who will be working extensively with Duck Down Records. According to a press release, Blue Scholars are not signing with them but are using them as a means to promote and market their music. This most likely means Blue Scholars are able to have more of a say in what they release, while the Duck Down name will definitely bring them more attention.

The first project from this new union will be an album called OOF!, which hopefully will not offend any Samoans. Blue Scholars also have the Caffe Vita Coffee Co. on their side, which may or may not mean that the guys in Heltah Skeltah will be more wired than ever before.

Either way, congrats to the Blue Scholars, Seattle representing and perhaps changing the music industry as we know it. In truth, it’s about being a few steps ahead of the game. Pacific Northwest kickin’ it!