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a reason to look forward to april February 22, 2008

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the roots’ next cd: track by track:

On April 29, the Roots will unveil Rising Down — the latest step in the six-member Philadelphia hip-hop band’s 15-year evolution on record. The darkly funky, politically charged project is now almost done after more than a year of recording, though it is currently missing contributions from planned guest artists Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Q-Tip.

Earlier this week, EW stopped by the Manhattan studio where rapper Tariq ”Black Thought” Trotter, 35, and drummer/producer Ahmir ”?uestlove” Thompson, 37, are working on some final touches, and scored an early listen to the still unsequenced 12-track set.

”RISING DOWN” (possible alternate title: ”Humdrum”) Guest rappers Mos Def and Styles P join Trotter in unleashing a slew of dystopian imagery over heavy, atmospheric synths. ”It’s not an intro, but more an introduction to the topical theme of the album,” Trotter says. ”Mos kicks it off from one perspective. My verse is about global warming and how the world is all haywire. And Styles P is rapping about prescription-drug campaigns, the stuff they advertise on TV, all the crazy side effects. We’re all dealing with different aspects of the state of the world.”

”BLACK’S RECONSTRUCTION” Trotter raps for 75 bars straight on this lyrical exercise, spitting effortless game (”Smooth like the dude Sean Connery was playing”) over a dirty drumbeat and foghorn-like tuba moans. ”It was a first take,” notes Trotter. (Show-off!) ”That’s a song in the tradition of ‘Web’ and ‘Thought @ Work’. It’s become something that die-hard fans check for, that extended freestyle, minimal chorus, hard-hitting lyrical joint.”

in hip-hop album news… January 30, 2008

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okayplayer:

In a shift from their previous two releases, The Roots’ Rising Down is STACKED with guest appearances. In addition to crew regulars Dice Raw, Truck North, P.O.R.N. and yes, Malik B, confirmed guests include: Mos Def, Common, Kweli, Peedi Peedi, Styles P, Wale, Patrick Stump, Mercedes Martinez, Chrisette Michelle. Also rumored to appear are Q-Tip, Lupe Fiasco, and Jay Electronica.

jamaica observer with erykah badu:

I have three albums coming out this year, the first one will be released on February 26 (her birthday) and it’s gonna be called New Amerykah,” Badu says, adding that the next, Return Of The Ankh is scheduled for a July release.

“The other one’s gonna be called New Amerykah II and it’s gonna be a totally digital experience.”

Removing an ebony puff of her larger-than-life afro from her face, Badu explains the meaning of “totally digital experience”.

“You’ll purchase (instead of a CD) a USB stick, each will come with a specific code that you punch in. That way you’ll get to upload a new song every month for the next 10 months.”

Her digital ideas, however, don’t stop there!

“I’ll also be starting a magazine called Freaq, it’s gonna be dedicated to arts, politics, beauty, fashion, photography and technology,” shares the 36-year-old, adding that she also manages her own Myspace page.

“I feel so inspired. My religion is Art, I do the creator’s work best in that medium,” she says.

“You don’t see the head-wrap no more, no ankh? That’s because I am that. I don’t have to have nothing on me. It just takes the things that I have buried inside of me to become who I am. I’m just happy in my day”

 

talib kweli – momma can you hear me January 30, 2008

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kweli, kanye, mos, & common

unreleased…from the eardrum sessions…produced by kanye west:

& don’t hold your breath for this one, but good news nonetheless on the reflection eternal front:

Lastly, Talib Kweli confirmed that he’s closing out the year with a reunion with Hi-Tek. “People asked for it, so we got back together, and we’re working on that.” Albeit sparse on details, Kweli promised the project to be released before the close of 2008, and revealed that recording was underway.

from the vaults January 16, 2008

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some hip hop for the heads…not rare, but raw…

ice cube – a bird in the hand:

common – hungry:

pharoahe monch – mayor:

common’s jesus & obama freestyle January 13, 2008

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um.. this was interesting.

feeling soulful January 3, 2008

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unreleased song from when black thought was living in l.a. and collab’ing with dilla…

black thought: “…i took the inell young sample to dilla and commons crib in la when we did workinonit and cant stop this. i took the sample directly from a kenny dope mixtape and just looped the beginning. dilla upped the stakes by choppin up the whoo hoo hoo hoooooos” to make it more random/ less repetitious but it was still bangin with just that intro and the slightest bit of echo u hear from the previous kenny dope jawn bleedin in. its just a demo tho. crazy how certain songs just bring about that “feeling.” nahmean? anyway, aintaboutnuffin. all to gravy.”

the roots – please don’t go:

&

cody chesnuTT’s “serve this royalty” from the headphone masterpiece…that sax + organ is so so good…

kg’s most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2008 December 28, 2007

Posted by KG in hip-hop, misc, music, top ten lists.
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in no particular order & assuming that they actually come out…

mos def – the ecstatic
erykah badu – badu iz um?
the roots – rising down
88 keys – death of adam
atmosphere – tba
ghostface & mf doom – swift & changeable
supreme team (madlib & karriem riggins) – tba
black thought & danger mouse – dangerous thoughts
lil wayne – tha carter III
nas – the n
q-tip – live at the renaissance
common – tba
andre 3000 – tba
gnarls barkley – tba
talib kweli & hi-tek – reflection eternal 2
mf doom & madlib – madvillain 2
dr. dre – detox

update for new entries: murs & 9th wonder – sweet lord

idle warship – party robot

kg’s top ten albums of 2007 December 27, 2007

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i decided to link to random youtube videos of songs from each album…

10. blu & exile – below the heavens

9. lupe fiasco – the cool

8. arcade fire – neon bible

7. radiohead – in rainbows

6. spoon – ga ga ga ga ga

5. panda bear – person pitch

4. feist – the reminder

3. common – finding forever

2. lcd soundsystem – sound of silver

1. kanye west – graduation

honorable mentions go to 2007 releases from oh no, animal collective, of montreal, jay dee, justice, rilo kiley, and the cunninlynguists. hot chip would’ve made it if their album came out a bit earlier and amy winehouse would’ve if hers came out a bit later. i decided not to include compilations and mixtapes but honorable mentions in that realm go to stones throw’s b-ball zombie war, j*davey’s land of the lost, and dj soul & okayplayer’s assorted donuts.

figuring out a top ten tracks list is going to take me a while…

update: belated honorable mentions to waajeed’s the war lp, the good, the bad & the queen’s self titled album and the veils’ nux vomica even though that was officially 2006 i think…