Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Applejaxx Review

I reviewed Jesus High on RapReviews this week, the new EP from Christian rapper Applejaxx. Not my thing. I'm working on a review of ANOTHER Christian rap group, Carnival, for next week. Me reviewing Christian rap is like someone with a wheat allergy reviewing a pastry shop.  Good for what it is, but not my cuppa.

Speaking of artists with religious views that conflict with my own, I've been getting really into Dillinger's CB200. He's a dancehall artist most known for his song "Cokane On My Brain." He's got a lot of other great songs that aren't so novelty-ish, and I'm loving that album. "Plantation Height" is one of my new favorite songs, and I love it even more than the Mighty Diamond's original, "I Need A Roof."

I've given the Guilty Simpson/Madlib collab, O.J. Simpson, a few spins. Surprisingly, Madlib is the weak link on that project. Half of twenty-four tracks are given over to lame skits where he basically plays back (Melvin Van Peebles?) comedy skits. It's half-assed, and takes away from the music. Guilty continues to be inconsistent as an MC, but "Coroner Music" has been one of my favorite songs since it was released earlier this year."

I'm also reading Rip It Up and Start Again,  a book on the post-punk scene of the late-70s early 80s. It talks about how much British bands were influenced by dub and reggae, especially in the bass. You can hear it in the rolling bass of Gang of Four, and in Jah Wobble's driving bass on PiL's "Poptones," one of my favorite songs ever.

PiL's whole second album, Metal Box/Second Edition, was song after song of bass-heavy death disco. I was in love with that record as a kid, and it still sounds good today. I also loved their follow up, Flowers of Romance, which was totally stripped down, with just bass, drums, and strings. I need to buy a copy of that. My 13-year-old self bought a cassette of that album at the Wherehouse on 41st ave in Capitola, and then listened to it obsessively while playing Nintendo, trying to figure it out.

I'm also thinking of buying the new Roots album. I haven't really gotten into anything they've ever done, although I've always liked the IDEA of them.

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