On her Rhymesayers debut, The Death of Frequent Flyer, local MC Psalm One demonstrates a remarkable fluidity–she changes moods like they were clothes, though her easygoing swagger is recognizable no matter the outfit. On “Rapper Girls” she decapitates female MCs with lines like “Never be more than that girl who raps good for a girl […]
One day Kendall College culinary student Pat Bertoletti hopes to run his own restaurant. But he may never be as famous for his cooking as he is for stuffing his face.
Mr. Lif’s congested, sandpapery voice and El-P’s cataclysmic production both commit aggravated assault on the eardrums, and on Lif’s new Mo’ Mega (Def Jux) they make an intimidating pair. This time El-P backs off from his customary otherworldly density, trying sparser, more industrial textures–steely electric guitars, jittery percussion, corroded keyboard sounds–that if anything make his […]
PREFUSE 73’s new Security Screenings (Warp) is as much a clinic as an album. Few hip-hop producers, mainstream or underground, are capable of creating such dense sampladelic patchworks–Scott Herren not only nicks from a sprawling range of genres, somehow making every chopped-up bit fit snugly among the others, but constructs his tracks so that they […]
Friday 14 SIMA BINA One of Iran’s greatest folksingers, Sima Bina specializes in the traditional music of Khorasan, the region of northeast Iran where she was born and raised. But she’s also spent years traveling and collecting songs from other regions that were in danger of disappearing–both because the oral tradition has suffered a general […]
Of all the one-MC-one-producer collaborations I’ve heard in recent years–MF Doom and Danger Mouse, Aceyalone and Rjd2, Common and Kanye–Murs and 9th Wonder have the most natural chemistry. On the new Murray’s Revenge (Record Collection), their second full-length, 9th’s lilting, soul-driven beats set a mellow mood that lets Murs’s confrontational, self-revelatory rhymes pull you in […]
I gave this Florida crew’s debut, And Now . . . (6 Hole), the number-eight spot on my 2005 top-ten list, but I should’ve put it higher up–maybe even above Kanye and all his Grammys. It’s the best feel-good hip-hop to come out in the past couple years–less a get-up-and-shake-it record than the kind of […]
In the PR for 20/20 (ABB/Capitol), MC and producer Evidence says the Dilated Peoples approached the new album like they were making a bunch of 12-inches: “We weren’t worried about how it was going to connect and if we had two love songs and one party song,” he explains. Thank the Lord. Given that the […]
The best moments on the new Grandmasters (Angeles Records), a collaboration between GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan and Cypress Hill producer DJ Muggs, are like flashbacks to when I was a pimply teenager listening to Liquid Swords too loud and driving too fast. Muggs does his best impersonation of RZA circa 1995, looping single-word samples […]
An ad hoc supergroup, archetypal Ipecac foolishness, and suddenly serious hip-hop from some southern jokers.
Friday 10 LEE BOYS This family sextet from Florida comes out of the sacred steel tradition–a black Pentacostal tradition of using steel guitar in church services. Reworking that sound and putting pedal steel up front, the Lee Boys have been picked up by secular listeners, packing ’em in at festivals around the country. Last year’s […]
Sallie Gratch hopes she can make people talk about the war.
Friday 27 BAKELITE 78 This local five-piece acoustic act takes its name from 78-rpm records and Bakelite, the plastic that was occasionally used to make them. They’re playing the Hideout to celebrate their self-released debut, It’s a Sin, a fantastic collection of old-timey music played in dedicatedly retro fashion. Not that front man Robert Rial […]
For me, listening to a Peanut Butter Wolf mix is like eating at an Indian buffet: everything’s delicious, but half the time I have no idea what it is. (Doubly embarrassing, since I’m not just a music writer but part Indian too.) In fairness, Wolf doesn’t exactly make it easy to follow along–his recent holiday […]
Our Section 3 regulars have made their lists. Even though some of them don’t believe in lists, man.