Saturday, May 07, 2011

What I've Been Listening To

I have an 8 gig iPod mini, so what I choose to put on it says a lot about what I'm into at a particular moment. Right now hip-hop is winning out with 220 songs. I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop lately. I have the new Vast Aire (of Cannibal Ox fame) to review, and I'm also working on reviews of the new Aztext ep, and have been meaning to review Open Mike Eagle's Unapologetic Art Rap and Madlib's last album for about three months. I also got Pharaoh Monche's new album, which has convinced me that I respect him more than I like him. Maybe if I listen some more.

The album that has been getting heavy rotation is Has-Lo's In Case I don't Make It, which I reviewed last week. I complained in my review of how it was a downer and dragged towards the end, but it has stuck with me. He's a great if understated album, and it is a heartbreaking album. In the same vein, I bought OC's Word...Life. He was a contemporary of Big L and part of the Diggin in the Crates crew, only where Big L excelled at bravado and wicked one liners, OC is a much more thoughtful rapper. I've only given it a few spins, but already I love it.

I'm also loving Big L's Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous. I wrote about it a while ago, but it has stayed on heavy rotation. It's classic 90s East Coast gangsta rap in the vein of the Notorious BIG or Nas, but without the remorse. Big L is rude, crude, and raps about robbing and killing people in the most creative way possible. Here are just a few choice lines:
"This ain't Cali, it's Harlem, nigga, we do walk bys"
"Me bein' a virgin, that's idiotic/cuz if Big L gots the AIDS every cutie in the city got it"
"I wasn't poor, I was Po'/I couldn't afford the O-R."

On a less offensive note, I have also been listening to the new TV on the Radio. I had decided I didn't like them that much after I lost interest in their last album, Dear Science. My problem with them is that they are too complex, and there is too much going on in their songs. Which is an idiotic thing to complain about. Nine Types of Light is a mellower album, but their instrumentation, songwriting, and sound is so rich and rewarding. I'm a fan.

Here's a video someone made for my favorite song on the album, "Keep Your Heart."

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