Hey all, in case you missed it, yesterday was my birthday, and my pops came through with an iPod Nano(no I didn’t already have one). Of course it’s already filled to the maximum, and I have been rocking nearly non-stop with music. May of you may wonder, “what does a dj listen to on his iPod?” Well, I’ll tell you here. And no, I am not basing these choices on anything in particular, not on whether it’s on Billboard or some hipster blog or anything other than that I like them. I don’t expect any of this to be the next BIG thing, just sounds good on my iPod (radio ready or not, who cares). Good Music fi’ listen…
1. Chicha Libre: Sonido Amazonica! : Barbs Records – Chicha Libre is an anomaly, a modern American band playing a kind of music that was popular among the working classes of northern Peru in the 1960s and 70s. Which isn’t all that weird when you consider the scores of North American and European Afrobeat bands, as well as others like Dengue Fever pattern themselves on Cambodian garage rock. Call it reverse imperialism, or the new egalitarianism, but do jam to them ’cause it’s still good.
Tony Harmony “My Body”
2. Various : Black Stars Ghana Hilife : Out There –2. Ghana’s mesh of hip-hop, reggae, and R&B with highlife, West Africa’s long-standing pop style. Artists such as Tic Tac, on his mega-hit “Kangaroo,” meld trebly highlife guitars and a tough dancehall beat with English lyrics, while songs like V.I.P.’s “Ahomka Wo Mu,” a similarly massive hit, are almost entirely in the Twi language, backed by African rhythms… As informative as it is infectious and club-ready, Black Stars is certainly one of the best of 2008.
3. Raashan Ahmad : The Push : OM Raashan Ahmad inhabits a particularly tenuous position in the current hip-hop spectrum: somewhere between the conscious stylings of early Mos Def and the mainstream mindset of Kanye West. If he weren’t so unabashedly in love with the idea of hip-hop itself, Ahmad would undeniably sway one way or the other–more likely the former. But with his boisterous claims of lyrical love, his debut solo release The Push–he was formerly the MC frontman of California troupe Crown City Rockers–is a blend of glossy flows about the highs of superstardom and the lows of everyday life, the perfect mixture of braggadocio and thoughtful introspection.
4. L.V. & Dandelion : CCTV / Dream Cargo : Hyperdub – The New digital ep from Kode 9’s Hyperdub label is raw busines. L.V. produces what Dandelion vocalizes in the clever “CCTV” that functions as the title for the release. This is the dubstep that I love, that echoes the reggae and dub that informs the genre. Warrior style, Dandelion delivers on “CCTV” while “Dream Cargo” simmers as a virtual b-side to this incorporeal release. Perfect for the lateness, early for the hip.
5. Immortal Technique w. DJ Green Lantern : The 3rd World : the torchbearer of politically conscious and independent hip-hop. Stylistically, he’s more Wu-Tang than Tribe Called Quest – his rhymes are way heavier than those of most of his underground counterparts – but the content is revolutionary. The best independent hip hop album that has come out in recent months, angry and full of barbs honed on the Truth and aimed straight at the heart of babylon. Fire!