“the first records that i played never played me, and i can still play them today because they stay true”
I’ve been thinking a lot about 90s hip hop… partially because i’ve had Tribe’s People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm on repeat for the last few days, but also because i often look to the “good ol’ days” of Hip Hop for inspiration. (Disclaimer: i don’t believe that Hip Hop culture or rap music were “pure” during the 90s. In fact, i believe that many artists promoted the exact same stuff i dislike now, only in baggier clothes. I do, however, think that there was more variety than there is now. There was Tribe and Bahamadia to balance out some of the more violent and misogynistic elements.) Because of that, i’d like to share some tracks that crossed my mind and entered my ears in recently. They remind me of why and how i became so passionate about rap music and Hip Hop culture. I play them today and they don’t let me down!
A Tribe Called Quest — “Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)”
Heather B — “If Headz Only Knew”
BlackStar — “Definition”
Greetings! Welcome to the 1st Tru Skool Tuesday of 2013! This week i wanna feature artists who have tread similar geographic spaces as me, particularly VA and Philly.
First up is this great video from Philly-honed producer, emcee, singer, and band leader, Hezekiah. I love this video and song. They capture the beauty of a city that is largely characterized by it’s “philth.” Better yet, he gives the Philly grime an aesthetic quality that i feel when listening to some of the best 70s soul singers!
I’ve been a long-time fan of the Soul Students. After not hearing much from the various artists from that collective, i was very happy to see this video. Directed by Stephen Miles (aka Dicap), it demonstrates how some of my favorite artists have grown over the years!
I recently met Richmond native, Eso Tahreek, here in Philly where he now resides. The internationally respected producer-emcee has a plethora of DOPE work that the will definitely benefit the hip hop world when released. As you wait for those tracks, check out Eso’s Soundcloud page for a taste of what’s in store!
These are my favorites:
Hip hop is a cultural force that never ceases to amaze me. From artists creative use of words to create their “raps” to the ever-evolving use of samples and original production, there is always something new and exciting happening. I find this to be most true when i find/am introduced to emcees and groups that originate from places outside of the United States.
One example of this is Wagëblë who’s “name connotes the communal meeting place for the people to discuss the issues that affect their lives; the group’s philosophy originates from the name’s associated acronym, Wax Aduna Geddu Ettu Baatin Lemu Elek, which essentially means that Wageble feels that their calling is to speak truth to the world about the essential spiritual knowledge of life in order to ensure a positive future.” This Tru Skool Tuesday includes a couple examples of Wagëblë’s music and message. Check them out and enjoy!
- Much Love
Oddisee is coming to Philly thanks to our good friends, Record Breakin’ Music! The DMV producer/emcee has been a staple in my hip hop collection since i first heard him and Kenn Starr… back in ’02 i think? I wish i could remember the name of the track. A friend gave it to me, because it was “real” hip hop that i could play on my radio show! Anyway, i digress…
This installment of True Skool Tuesday includes a few of my favorite Oddisee tracks. If you’re in Philly, then look for me at the show on 10/24.
This song solidified my obsession with Muhsinah, so it must be included in today’s post. Thanks Oddisee!
Lupe Fiasco is one of my go-to guys for clever lyrics and “dance friendly” positive hip hop music (yes, i like Lasers). After teasing me with tracks like “SLR” on his Friend of the People mixtape, i was happy to give Food & Liquor II: Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 a listen. This week’s Tru Skool Tuesday features a few of my favorite tracks. Thanks Lupe!
- Much Love
“How Dare You” F. Bilal
The tracks are some of the random tunes that i’ve been playing over the last few days. The Mulatu track was a pleasant surprise from an email list that i don’t remember signing up for! LOL. Friends put me on to Ian Kamau and Sa-Roc. I’m always happy to support them and hope that you’ll do the same! Enjoy.
– Much Love
Peace & Blessings! This edition of TST is inspired by my hip hop crate, DJ DuiJi 13 (he’s always reminding me of the jewels), and my man Ryan from VSU! Try not to hurt your neck as you listen to these hip hop throw backs!
- Much Love
The World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey DJ”
Das EFX – Mic Checka
Queen Latifah – UNITY
Fu Schnickens – True Fuschnick
I first came across Synik while researching dope artists to include in Radiant Souls Vol. 2. Well, the Zimbabwean emcee recently released his FREE album via his website! Download it, give it a few listens, then share it with others who appreciate hip hop music and culture from all over the Sonic Diaspora!
I may be late, but i only recently got hip to XO from Washington, DC. I’m looking forward to his upcoming mixtape, “The Color Grey.” Check out his first two releases from the project and check out XO’s back catalog on bandcamp.
– Much Love
This is the track that had me searching the net for “XO” for a few minutes. XO demonstrates his talent with words to deliver a description and critique of his hometown. The beat gets me amped… i’m barely able to type as i listen, because i want to jump up, throw bows, clap, and be rowdy more generally.
I love the concept of this video. What if “knowledge” (in the form of books) could be used to take out one’s enemies? I believe there would be more reading taking place. Maybe the more thought-provoking the book, the more dangerous it would be. Of course, the weapons should be directed mainly against the root of oppression. Hmmm….