Showing posts tagged music

Verbal Threat - Reality Check (Prod. by DJ Premier)

I use to work at the shoe store Journeys in a ridiculously small and poorly placed outdoors mall in Yuma, Arizona. Journeys would send out a disc once a month for the store DVD player. Each month, the new disc would contain songs, old and new, that would play as the store’s soundtrack. Well, if you could stomach the bullshit that covered 98% of the disc, you would sometimes find some gems. (I discovered Aesop Rock (kind of) through one of those discs.)

Long story longer, this song was one of the gems. The first time I heard this song it grabbed me. The DJ Premier production is mesmerizing in the laid-back, head nodding way that Premier has mastered. The drums are chill, but instantly induce movement of one’s cranium. The piano key sample chimes in and then drops leaving room for a car ignition sample (that alternates every two bars with more keys). The car starting noise was a simple way of doing something interesting without being distracting or taking away from the simplicity. The cuts that serve as the chorus are just some good ol’ Hip Hop shit.

The emcee duo of Verbal Threat come through and lace the song with some rhymes that are as fresh as they are vintage. The song is an ode to the golden era, and sends nods to both coasts and their styles of Hip Hop.

I would play this song over and over when I was opening the store. I memorized the time it would play on the disc, I would fast forward to it and then rewind it when it was done. Over and over and over.

This song got me through some long mornings.

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DJ Premier ft. Rakim, Kanye West, Nas & KRS-One - Classic

I don’t remember exactly why, but this song came out as a promo for a Nike Air Force One ad campaign. Whatever the reason, this song is ill as fuck.

A DJ Premier beat is never a bad thing. Never. Take that, and add three of the cleanest emcees EVER in the form of Rakim, Nas and KRS. After that, add Kanye West who was two albums deep into his soon to be storied career. There’s no bad verses here. Everyone comes correct. Kanye’s could be seen as the “weakest”, but only because Nas, Rakim and KRS are dropping hella jewels.

Rakim : “Timeless, so age don’t count in the booth. When your flow stay submerged in the fountain of youth.”

Nas : “Oh, you went platinum? Yeah, that’s nice. Now let me see you do the same thing twice.”

KRS-One : “I got no jewels on my neck. Why? I don’t need ‘em. I got your respect.”

(KRS-One Bonus : “Rappers spit lines that are mostly illegal. Emcees spit rhymes to uplift their people.”)

Shit. The icons came in and slayed, and Kanye dropped some heat on a Premier beat. Even the video is dope! (The quality of this one isn’t that great though. Thanks youtube.)

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Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says
From his album, Internal Affairs (1999)

This was the first Pharoahe Monch song I ever heard. It was the only one I ever needed to hear.

I was a little young for Organized Konfusion, but this song dropped when I was 10 or 11 years old. At the time, it was just Rap to me - but later, I would grow to understand and appreciate it as some of the first “underground” Hip Hop I experienced. Pharoahe is no joke.

"Y’all know the name, Pharoahe fuckin’ Monch, ain’t a damn thing changed!"

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So much new music coming out soon! I’m going to be broke. From top to bottom : The Ghost Inside - Dear Youth, Mike Mictlan - Hella Frreal, Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary, you+me - Rose Ave., Run The Jewels - RTJ2 // #music

you+me (Dallas Green and P!nk) - You and Me

I didn’t see this coming, but this song is really good! Dallas and P!nk’s voices work so well together! I can’t wait for this project to drop in October.

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The Devil Wears Prada - Sailor’s Prayer

"Sailor’s Grave" is my favorite song off of TDWP’s latest album, 8:18. This video is outside the box and I’m stoked they were brave enough to do something like this. Most Hardcore or Metalcore bands out there wouldn’t dare do something like this (if I’m wrong, correct me). Not only does it tell the story of the song visually, but its ending resonates pretty well for a video made with puppets. 

Check it out, then listen to 8:18. It’s some of Prada’s best stuff to date.

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Every Time I Die - In The Studio w/ Keith Buckley

This is my favorite of the “In The Studio” segments from the recording of From Parts Unknown for numerous reasons. Here’s a few : 

1. I consider myself a writer and a fan of writing, so lyrics and vocals are always my favorite stuff to dig into.
2. Keith is one of my favorite writers/vocalists in any musical genre. Listening to him explain his lyrics and the motivation behind them is like a sports fan getting to practice with their favorite athlete. Sorry if that’s a poor analogy.
3. Hearing Keith describe what goes on with him personally, and how those personal issues affect the writing/recording are not only interesting and insightful; but it means something to me on a personal level. Knowing that someone I look up to creatively thinks about and goes through some of the same shit I think about and go through is reassuring and helpful. 
4. Watching Keith pull off the “angel of death” scream from “Idiot” in real time is impressive. That’s one of the many blistering moments from the album and he nails it.

So yeah, this is my favorite segment. Every Time I Die rules. Kurt Ballou is the man. From Parts Unknown slays. Listen to it.

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Every TIme I Die - In The Studio w/ Jordan & Andy

Another behind the scenes look at the recording process of From Parts Unknown, but this time with a focus on the maniacal (in the best way) guitar duo of Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams. Watching these guys work makes their recording and live shows all the more exciting! Their separate dudes, with separate influences and styles that come together and make magic happen. 

My favorite part is when Jordan explains the way he writes. It’s awesome getting a direct insight to why he writes the way he does. It’s also cool seeing Kurt Ballou compare/describe Jordan and Andy’s styles; how they’re alike, how they’re different, what’s so great about their combination,etc. 

I just wish these videos were longer. Last part, Keith’s vocals, is next on the queue.

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Every Time I Die - In The Studio w/ Kurt Ballou

Every Time I Die always do a good job of documenting their recording experiences. I love seeing how they work in the studio, how they work together, how they come up with parts, etc. They’re an incredible band with a pretty deep catalogue, but they continue to keep things fresh without abandoning the style they forged over the years of their career.

From Parts Unknown may possibly be my favorite album from them. It was produced by Kurt Ballou of God City Studios (and Converge). Seeing ETID bring their style and creativity to Kurt was exciting and interesting. He’s worked on some killer records (besides making/being a part of a few himself), so I was anxious to see what he would bring to ETID’s record. Here’s the ETID “In The Studio” segment with Kurt.

Two more to follow…

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Every Time I Die - Thirst (Noisey Premier)

ETID is back! This is the first new song from their upcoming album, From Parts Unknown, titled “Thirst”. It was first debuted on their headlining tour with letlive. and Code Orange Kids, but here we have it in studio recorded form WITH a visual treatment. It’s a brief song, but it oozes ETID’s character throughout; blistering riffage, ready-to-mosh heaviness and Keith Buckley’s mix of vocal styles. It’s reminiscent of older ETID material, which will be pleasant to old fans and new. I can imagine this one being a crowd pleaser on Warped Tour this Summer. Check out the video above presented by Noisey, and hit the link below to pre-order the new album!

From Parts Unknown Pre-Order 

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