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Old 09.12.2014, 03:20 PM   #1081
Severian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
ok, so this is a prime example of 'different but overlapping tastes.' Of course, I totally disagree on Em (and I'm not sure how you wouldn't like something like "Criminal" w/ Hov, but I digress...), and while I *technically* disagree on 50 - meaning I don't see him as any sort of savior or whatever, I completely agree that he was programmed to be a star. Y'know for all the talk he did of seeing him "in the club," apparently that's not what Curtis was like at all. Meaning he was all biz. When I read Prodigy's book he talked about how if you knew Curtis you'd never see him drink or smoke because he was just too focused on work.

I've heard this as well. He definitely has the same kind of work ethic as Jay-Z. He was all about execution: he had a vision, and he was methodical and completely driven from the beginning. I've read multiple accounts of his almost manic approach to project completion, and I think he is a lot like Hov in the sense that he alienated some of the more laid back, party rap people he worked with by being almost nothing like the public image he'd created for himself.

Problem was, he just wasn't an artistic visionary of any kind. He was an entertaining rapper, and he was business savvy and perfectly capable of being a legitimate multimedia icon, but the marketing and branding were the sources of his true talent. Unlike HOV, who has always been, at heart, a badass rapper with a very natural, innate talent for spitting fire like a motherfuckin' dragon.

Jigga took that unpolished, organic, "slam-dunk" style of rapping, and made stellar records that were so consistent and successful that they eventually brought him into this corporate, talent-scouting and label rep role... Then he built an Empire, took over the biggest label in rap, and started buying franchises.

But skill and musical talent were at the heart of his success. 50's a creature born of hype-machine marketing, and that's where his talent lies. This is why he is not going to make it through the gauntlet of time. He'll appear in movies and commercials and shit long after his rap career breathes ita dying breath. Unfortunately, if Animal Ambition wasn't that dying breath, then the next one will be.

Eminem's more talented. Eminem will be remembered. 50's more fun. For me at least.
HOV will stay relevant until he stops making music, even if his music declines (as many would say it already has) to the point of being pathetic. The critics can say shit like that all day, but he's still the most heard voice blasting from speakers in inner city neighborhoods. And he's still selling millions of albums, and he's still adored, by old farts and young people alike.

Did I mention I like Jay-Z? What about Wu-Tang Clan? Surely I mentioned them.
Oh, Kanye... Did I forget Kanye?

I like Jigga, Yeezy and Wu-Tang. *blush*
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Old 09.12.2014, 04:27 PM   #1082
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
I'm just talking about the flow. I mean, Em has a verse that is so rapid it's insane and then flips to a way slowed down flow. It's awesome. Impressive.




Yeah crazy right? Ye made 808s - and it sort of seemed to 'create' a new sub-genre. The sensitive dudes who sing... and rap. The rappers who's 3rd single from every album is a sensitive singing ballad. Whatever. But yeah Drake has become the prince of that. For sure. Ugh. It's funny, I almost find the whole thing annoying. Like I kind of want to not like Drake. But then I end up liking his albums a lot. Every. Friggin. Time.

But you right, 808s is a modern classic. Funny how it seems to be almost the Ye album that nobody remembers.

Related: I feel like "Amazing" is *maybe* my favorite Kanye single ever.

("Mercy" is a strong contender)

Recently read an article on some meh-quality hip hop webzine about 808's being Kanye's best and most influential album. It's definitely the record that set him apart from the crowd... (Well, honestly Late Registration and Graduation are just as unique, but the don't represent the same kind of "big picture" artistic vision.

808's proved that Kanye could be, essentially, whatever he wanted to be. It's not like he changed into a neo-soul crooner permanently. He just said:

"look, this is where I'm at. It's not 'me', none of my albums are 'me,' but they represent a piece of me from a particular time. And right now I'm feeling kinda fuckin' down so I'm a take shit back to basics and feed you snapshot of my soul at this moment in time"

If he's stayed in that mindset, and continued making that kind of music, the album would have lost it's value and Ye probably would have ruined himself. Instead, he moved right along and kept making albums that reflected his mindset at different moments in time. That's why his discography is so fucking perfect it makes Radiohead's run look about as varied as Green Day's. Every album is infused with that motherfucker's heart and soul, which (like everyone's) are constantly in a state of growth and change.

808's started a trend that really turned him into a fucking master of his trade.

And yes, "Amazing" was one of the songs that made me give up and stop resisting: the very first time I heard it, I went from "man I hate that guy" to "OK I surrender- that was fucking unreal, where do I buy it?"

Seriously, it was that simple.
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Old 09.12.2014, 05:07 PM   #1083
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^great post.
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Old 09.12.2014, 06:00 PM   #1084
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yo sev, I've been listening to Blowout Comb this week. I loved that album growing up. Was a huge DP fan back then. And always thought it was better than Reachin'. But hearing it now... fuck. It's been 15 years at least. And I'm just like - I can't believe how amazing this record really is. So so so amazing. They were really just unbelievably in the zone and the shit made them implode. It sucks.
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Old 09.12.2014, 06:15 PM   #1085
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The more I listen to this week the more I think Still I Rise is perhaps Makaveli's greatest record, in some respects its even BETTER than 7 Day Theory, though that may just be how I feel right now, and this may change back in the near future..

The fact that is an obvious reference to Maya Angelou is brilliant for a gangsta rap record because simply put, Maya Angelou is a motherfuckin gangsta!


Letter To The President is a crucial track, raw, blatant, in your face.
Still I Rise is almost like a biography for me, I literally get emotional.
Secretz 2 War is my anthem from the Makaveli bootlegs..
Baby Don't Cry is one of Tupac's most underrated tracks..
As The World Turns is an epic track with a fresh beat and flow.
Black Jezus is one of the best rap songs ever, deeply spiritual reflection.
Homeboyz should have been Tupac's final club song, its too much fun for rap
Hell 4 A Hustla is a great track ruined by this remix cuz the original producer
High Speed is a crucial message, "slow it down baby boy gonna be alright.."
The Good Die Young is one of Tupac's most deeply personal tracks..
Killuminati is the weakest track on this album, but still pretty good.
Tear Drops and Closed caskets feels like the sequel to Live and Die in LA
Tattoo Tears is a crucial reflection on death&dying which is this record theme
U Can Be Touched a reminder of our own limits, weakness, and mortality
Y'all Don't Know Us is also a crucial underground track representing "thugs"
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Old 09.12.2014, 06:29 PM   #1086
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thanks for that post, suchfriends. I'm gonna make that album a priority. I have it on my harddrive, but it sounds like something I should add to my physical collection soon and spend some time really paying attention, thumbing thru liner notes, etc.

There's something alluring about it being a single disc too. I feel like there was too many double albums after his death, and it made shit hard to digest in a way.
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Old 09.12.2014, 06:41 PM   #1087
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
thanks for that post, suchfriends. I'm gonna make that album a priority. I have it on my harddrive, but it sounds like something I should add to my physical collection soon and spend some time really paying attention, thumbing thru liner notes, etc.

There's something alluring about it being a single disc too. I feel like there was too many double albums after his death, and it made shit hard to digest in a way.

I miss those liner notes and sleaves, I haven't seen them since I bought that record in 1999!
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Old 09.12.2014, 09:54 PM   #1088
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
yo sev, I've been listening to Blowout Comb this week. I loved that album growing up. Was a huge DP fan back then. And always thought it was better than Reachin'. But hearing it now... fuck. It's been 15 years at least. And I'm just like - I can't believe how amazing this record really is. So so so amazing. They were really just unbelievably in the zone and the shit made them implode. It sucks.


Hell yeah, Blowout Comb is an all time favorite of mine, and I always forget about it when a list needs to be made, or people start talking "classics."

I recently purchased a promo-only copy of just instrumentals and beats from the album by DJ Jedi. (it was a two disc package so I actually thought it was a deluxe of the original album. Cover art was almost exactly the same.)
Anyway I bought it used but it was in a plastic sleeve. When I got home and geared up to play it, I opened it up and saw that only one of then CD slots actually contained a CD. The other was totally empty.

So I took it back, and the dude who sold it to me said it was just "funky promo packaging" and that he was "pretty sure it was only one cd, and that nothing was missing." And I thought "the only other thing that would go there is a booklet, and there's also no booklet, so fuck this noise"

I mean, I spend a lot of time with promos. I'm helping a local record store by taking home a ton of promos every week, and writing summaries of them, which I then return to my buddy who owns the place. He thinks I'm some sort of music need or something because he always buys what I tell him I like ... actually, he buys the stuff I like as much or more than he buys the stuff that I think will sell.

Anyway, I got my money back and left the Jedi beats cd in the 2xCD container at this crappy hole in the wall place, and I wish I hadn't. THATS how much I love Blowout Comb. I want a deluxe reissue of that shit to drop ASAP. Fucking great record.
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Old 09.12.2014, 10:26 PM   #1089
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It really is incredible.

Writeup to follow...
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Old 09.12.2014, 10:36 PM   #1090
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so I pre-ordered the A$AP Mob album from their site.
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Old 09.12.2014, 10:42 PM   #1091
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holy F, A$AP Rocky & Danny Brown doing "1train" live... https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=nloFRX-ruo8 ...leave it to Danny Brown to show up w/ green hair and Frank Zappa shirt. That dude is awesome.
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Old 09.12.2014, 11:17 PM   #1092
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love Danny Brown, one of my fav writers in the game.

"And now a nigga 30 so y'all don't think that hurt me
That the last ten years I been so fucking stressed
Tears in my eyes let me get this off my chest
The thought of no success got a nigga chasing death
Doing all these drugs in hopes of OD'ing next, Triple X"
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Old 09.13.2014, 08:21 AM   #1093
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisereductions
MMLP has:

Kill You
Who Knew
The Real Slim Shady
Remember Me
I'm Back
Bitch Please II

Encore has:

Evil Deeds
Mosh
Rain Man
Big Weenie
Just Lose It
Ass Like That
Encore

...I mean, yeah Relapse is like all Dre. But those 2 albums are half-Dre-ish.

Anyway, I agree that Relapse has great production. And I do like a lot of that album.
Same Song and Dance is like a movie. Deja Vu captured his drug addiction perfectly.. and Stay Wide Awake, oh my.

"soon as my flow starts, i compose art like the ghost of Mozart"!
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Old 09.13.2014, 02:24 PM   #1094
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also:

 

Digable Planets - Blowout Comb - 1994 - Pendulum Records
Digable Planets' sophomore album is the true definition of a hidden gem. After the success of their debut thanks to the hit single "The Rebirth Of Slick," the group relocated from Philadelphia to Brooklyn in an attempt to surround themselves with the sound of New York hip hop and infuse it further into their jazz-hip hop blend. Whereas the first album heavily sampled classic jazz tunes, Blowout Comb supplements the samples with a lot more live instrumentation giving the music a much more open feel. Their new homebase (and stature) also allowed them to hook up with other like-minded rappers, which leads to some fantastic cameos by Guru, Jeru The Damaja, and Jazzy Joyce. There is so much standout material here that it's hard to really call much of it "standout," which is a complement. It's such a finely crafted record from beginning to end - with a true sense that they were creating a whole rather than just recording songs and grouping them together haphazardly. For example, the second song "Black Ego," stretches out comfortably at seven minutes, never wearing out its welcome but instead feeling like a soulful jam session. There's never a feeling of "let's get on with it! This is only the second song!" Instead it just makes you want to relax deeper into your chair and get onboard with the journey ahead. "Borough Check" opens with a (possibly?) live intro of DP and Guru and then transitions into a piece that heavily samples Roy Ayers' "We Live In Brooklyn Baby." The Jeru duet "Graffiti" is just as interesting with its live vibes. Later "K.B.'s Alley" grooves a bit on the same beat that will later reveal itself in full form as "9th Wonder," perhaps DP's best single of all time. And then the album closes out with another seven-minute track, the wonderful "For Corners" which would be a great closer with its first instrumental half alone. All in all this is a brilliant album that needs to be recognized far more than it is. It's' just a shame that it took the group imploding to create such a masterpiece.
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Old 09.13.2014, 03:41 PM   #1095
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The Roots - The Tipping Point - 2004 - Geffen Records
After 2002's Phrenology it seems as though The Roots were unsure of where to go next. They knew they wanted to do something different, but what? The answer came together natural: go back to basics. The jam sessions that bred The Tipping Point (as usual, outlined extensively in the liner notes by Questlove) seemed to point to a desire to get back to making music the way The Roots did in the early days. Perhaps that's why this album is their most streamlined in years. When's the last time you saw a major label rap album with a mere ten songs on the tracklisting? But oh what a focused ten tracks they are. This is a lean album... and technically it has a couple of bonus songs hidden at the end. It's also an album that pays serious respect to the Golden Age. Opener "Star," is built over a sampling of Sly Stone's "Everyone Is A Star," complete with Sly himself crooning in the background, and then evolves into an almost shapeless jam session that will eventually mirror the loose closing track "Why (What's Going On?)" which of course could be seen as a titular reference to Marvin Gaye. However most of what's in between these bookends is a love for 80's and 90's hip hop. Not only the hip hop that made Questlove and Black Thought want to start a band to begin with, but ultimately the same hip hop that they would be early peers with as well. "Guns Are Drawn" for instance is reminiscent of mid-90's beats built on simple keyboard stabs (Sadat X's "The Lump Lump" comes to mind for one). "Stay Cool" purposely samples the same Al Hirt beat that was the foundation for the classic De La Soul single "Ego Trippin' Part 2." The track "Web" goes back even further to the very beginning of The Roots as a band - with just Black Thought rhyming intensely and Questlove almost struggling to keep pace. It's an amazing (though brief) performance that was attempted with "Thought @ Work" on Things Fall Apart but sounds even more developed here. However the best homage here - and one that may be missed by many listeners is on "Boom!" when Black Thought does an entire verse personations of two of his own heroes - Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap. This is really an incredible vocal performance that needs to be heard to be believed. While The Tipping Point is probably mostly remembered by its lone single (and weakest album cut) "Don't Say Nuthin'," (produced by ex-Root, Scott Storch!) that's a total shame. This is really The Roots at their most focused and actually a very easily approachable intro for anyone that's not already a fan.
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Old 09.13.2014, 04:37 PM   #1096
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Insane Clown Posse - The Amazing Jeckel Brothers - 1999 - Island
ICP is one of those groups that people love to hate. And in the past I've actually argued that they have a certain niche they fill, not unlike an entertaining B-movie. I've also argued that even if they're not the most talented MC's (though to be fair there are certainly worse), they are indeed competent entertainers. However, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers does nothing to back up my claims. If this were the first ICP album I had ever heard, I'd probably side with the haters as well. Jeckel is the follow-up to the rather successful Great Milenko, and as such seems to find the clowns attempting to somehow one-up themselves. So what we get here is more of the same... only less thought out. For instance "I Want My Shit" starts off a pretty straight forward rap song, but is then completely derailed by a horribly obnoxious screaming nu-metal chorus. It's both jarring and idiotic. The album sounds rushed in that sense that not much comes across like fully finished ideas. Oh sure we've got those creepy carnival instrumentals from Mike E. Clark throughout, but even his work suffers on this record where in the past he's generally been the one responsible for ICP's best tracks. The single "Fuck The World," is at least funny to hear once, as it's the aural equivalent of that episode of South Park where they use the word "shit" 200 times. The cameos by Snoop and ODB do very little to help, though "The Shaggy Show" uses Snoop as a character in their world which is at least an interesting idea. Strangely, the one track that seems to stand out here is "Another Love Song," which samples Beck's "Jackass," (or Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" depending how you want to look at it) and is a love song murder fantasy that is at least a reminder of the kind of silly satire that ICP can pull off when they're not on autopilot.
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Old 09.13.2014, 05:22 PM   #1097
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Beastie Boys - Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds Of Science - 1999 - Grand Royal
This collection is really frustrating to me. As a huge fan of the Beasties, I feel like this should be the greatest compilation ever. But it really just doesn't sit well to me as a cohesive whole. I think perhaps if it were a single disc, it could have been a lot tighter. But I'm always personally thrown off by compilations that don't either have some sort of theme, or at least present themselves chronologically. Maybe if disc one had been all the singles and disc two all the deeper cuts it would have worked better for me. Instead we have a pretty crazy package that includes well known singles, remixes, b-sides, and unreleased tracks (including a couple from the unreleased Country Mike album). To be sure, there's a lot of good stuff here. It's just the format that makes it one I don't reach for often. Perhaps part of the problem for me is that the albums proper are just so good, that's easier to feel like listening to a specific one instead. Though it might sound funny to say, even as I say all this I'd still consider The Sounds Of Science to be totally necessary for any fan of the group. The fact is that there are enough rarities here to make it worth owning even if you already have all the individual albums. Obviously the single "Alive" is included here, but tracks like the previously unreleased "Live Wire," Fatboy Slim's remix of "Body Movin'," or the video version of "Three MC's And One DJ" all make this worth picking up. In fact, it makes me hope that we'll eventually see a full release (or two, or three...) of nothing but rare and unreleased Beasties material. Although ironically I think I'd suggest this to fans even more so for the liner notes that have nice long pieces written about each track. In a sense, these stories are the part that will really anthologize these songs more successfully than the compilation did by itself.
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Old 09.13.2014, 06:56 PM   #1098
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Ghostface - The Pretty Toney Album - 2004 - Def Jam
After the poorly handled Bulletproof Wallets it's no surprise that Ghostface would switch to a new label. His Def Jam debut is phenomenal. Though there's enough high quality cutting room floor material to fill several more albums, everything he kept is top notch. Right from the beginning you can sense that Ghost (who for some reason dropped the 'Killah' for this release) is having a blast just cutting loose being himself. The intro finds interviewers asking him a bunch of hilarious questions ("how has the game changed since you revealed your face?" - total fan service), and then leads into the outstanding "Biscuits" produced by True Master. Other production credits are varied, with RZA showing up only twice. But somehow that works on this record much in the same way the variety of producers made Jay-Z's The Black Album so exciting. And speaking of Jay-Z, the cover of The Pretty Toney Album is actually taken from the concert that Fade To Black was filmed at. And perhaps there's a message there. Ghost, on stage at Madison Square Garden, surrounded by hip hop legends and peers. Indeed this is really Ghostface at the top of his game - liberated from Epic and seemingly invigorated to really be the creative weirdo that he is. In fact he handles production on two of the songs here himself. "Holla" is a wistful soul ballad not unlike his "All That I Got Is You," that uses "La La Means I Love You" as a backing track. But his production for "Save Me Dear" is the real standout. Soulful, triumph horns blare as Ghost professes his love as only he could ("I'ma sell my guns and with the cash I'ma take you to Vegas"). Elsewhere Ghost teams up with members of D-Block on both "Metal Lungies," and the frantic "Run" which features a beat that actually uses sirens to chase the vocalists. Interestingly, none of the guest shots on this album are from Wu-Tang members. Though that may seem weird, it helps make this feel like the first time Ghost truly went solo outside of the Clan, and in a lot of ways makes it feel like one of his most unique albums. Don't get me wrong, it's flawed for sure. That cover art looks pretty cheap I suppose. The single "Tush" with Missy Elliott comes across as pretty silly. There's a few more skits than necessary (though they tend to be short and amusing, in fairness). But for all its faults, this is a brilliant album. It's weird, funny, personal, and downright impressive. It is Ghostface at some of his most creative without going off the deep end and completely losing the listener. It is in my opinion an often overlooked modern classic.
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Old 09.13.2014, 07:51 PM   #1099
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Digable Planets - Blowout Comb - 1994 - Pendulum Records
Digable Planets' sophomore album is the true definition of a hidden gem. After the success of their debut thanks to the hit single "The Rebirth Of Slick," the group relocated from Philadelphia to Brooklyn in an attempt to surround themselves with the sound of New York hip hop and infuse it further into their jazz-hip hop blend. Whereas the first album heavily sampled classic jazz tunes, Blowout Comb supplements the samples with a lot more live instrumentation giving the music a much more open feel. Their new homebase (and stature) also allowed them to hook up with other like-minded rappers, which leads to some fantastic cameos by Guru, Jeru The Damaja, and Jazzy Joyce. There is so much standout material here that it's hard to really call much of it "standout," which is a complement. It's such a finely crafted record from beginning to end - with a true sense that they were creating a whole rather than just recording songs and grouping them together haphazardly. For example, the second song "Black Ego," stretches out comfortably at seven minutes, never wearing out its welcome but instead feeling like a soulful jam session. There's never a feeling of "let's get on with it! This is only the second song!" Instead it just makes you want to relax deeper into your chair and get onboard with the journey ahead. "Borough Check" opens with a (possibly?) live intro of DP and Guru and then transitions into a piece that heavily samples Roy Ayers' "We Live In Brooklyn Baby." The Jeru duet "Graffiti" is just as interesting with its live vibes. Later "K.B.'s Alley" grooves a bit on the same beat that will later reveal itself in full form as "9th Wonder," perhaps DP's best single of all time. And then the album closes out with another seven-minute track, the wonderful "For Corners" which would be a great closer with its first instrumental half alone. All in all this is a brilliant album that needs to be recognized far more than it is. It's' just a shame that it took the group imploding to create such a masterpiece.

liked the way you describe this listening experience. you just kinda naturally relax when you hear it. been awhile since i heard this and remember it slowly slippin in the background but still good though. can't really dig this shabazz palaces stuff btw.

think i got this and gravediggaz 6 feet deep from columbia house back in the day. damn, maybe i was some grungy backpacker proto hipster hick. hip hop wasn't always my 2nd fav genre.
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Old 09.13.2014, 07:59 PM   #1100
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^a fond memory that I have: I bought Gravediggaz 6 Feet Deep, Outkast's Southerplayalistic and The Roots' Do You Want More the same day, man. Just this crazy day.
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