Wednesday, August 30, 2006

your boy barkindji building

we jump off the bridge
when we get home we play some didj

I’m guessing that the Wilcannia Mob is a group of kids from the Barkindji aborigine population northwest of Sydney. Chris Lemon-Red has been mad decent enough to let me hear a track called ‘Baakan DJi Boys’ credited to Aemon, Keith, Wally, Lendl & Collaroy. Wally, Keith, Collaroy and Lendl are definitely part of the Wilcannia Mob credited with the track ‘Down River’ (Sounds like Buddy on the last verse but I can’t be sure that it’s not Aemon).
I first heard ‘Down River’ at the very end of the uploaded Damage Control show around the end of July featuring Diplo in a cameo on the wheels (or files or whatevs) in Houston and you can hear it in the podcast called ‘Mad Decent Worldwide Radio # 6 - 4 Day Weekend Happiness Mix.’
‘Down River’ uses the didgeridoo as a kind of bassline with a beatboxed loop over it… all of it sounding very improvised on the spot and then chopped up and synced later in the studio. But the incredible Baakan Dji Boys vocals are what set the bar for the gulliest delivery of the year. Aussie kids Wally and Keith rock the field-recording mic with an accented growl of slang and ‘local talk’ that is new to my ears and instantly addictive. If you’re not a fan of the cathartic rawness that is ‘favela-funk-style-rapping’ you should probably turn away from ‘Aussie-aboriginal-child-rapping now. The raps are rough, simple and, sometimes, on-beat reworkings of rap phrases that have filtered into the Wilcannia area mixed with local slang and sing-songy chants and rhymes that, I imagine, could have been made up by the kids this summer… or possibly handed down by generations. Their references to fishing and ‘the bridge’ (possibly the Myers St. centre¬lift bridge of Wilcannia pictured above?) keeps the content local but when Wally says “Check my video clip on your TV screen!” on ‘Baakan Dji Boys’ you can hear that they’ve got ambition to get beyond ‘the bridge’… or at the very least he’s inherited the phrase meant to convey that type of ambition. Hopefully more information (and more rap-tunes from the Mob / Boys) will be surfacing soon via the Mad Decent camp. Get ready for more of that southern (hemisphere) rap.

Wilcannia Mob - Down River (Mad Decent Edit)

peedi files

crakk with roots?

Roots tried Mac… and now PC...

Maybe Beanie and Jay weren’t shocked by the news of the Roots asking Peedi Peedi Crakk to be their ‘fifth Beatle’ (or ‘fourth’ depending on who you talk to). It was almost as odd as picturing Peedi as, well, a Beatle.

Nothing galvanizes splinter groups more than a common enemy as I figured the fans of The Roots and Peedi would be united against the idea. I assumed the boards would echo my initial outcry… only from the other side of that elusive line in the hip-hop sand. But I try not to blog while angry (or very often for that matter)… and as the success of ‘Long Time’ calmed my nerves the Philly crossover concept became more of a “Why not?” I am one for Peedi Crakk on just about any type of beat… that dude just ratatats his own riffs over the main beat so why not Roots music.

Debates of street cred and album sales motivations should take a backseat to the intentions (and execution) of the art and you have to give ?estlove credit for having love of all types of sounds and particularly for recognizing an MC that is often dismissed by fans of the ‘classics.’ The idea that Black Thought is ready to not only share the spotlight but, most likely, vibe off of the energy that the former ‘Pedro the Gigolo’ provides is actually pretty exciting. Hov seems willing to try just about anything to get the PC buzz going. As the mainstream Ne-Yo route gives way to the more collegiate Roots route, trap-&-B fans can only hope for a future with an odd duet of the Snowman and the Crakk-man... polar poetical pace be damned! I’m sure much of this has been discussed on the boards but you know there are lines in the sand that I don’t venture over much. Funny thing is it seems like all of this was news to the Prince of the Roc, too!

Apparantly Peedi’s future features Bun B, some dancefloor friendly stuff and “a whole different level of music” from his Intense Prince imprint. Here are a few snippets from the past that might evoke some of that.

Peedi Peedi and Bun B – Hound Dogs
Peedi Crakk – Shake
Peedi Crakk, Freeway and Oschino – Pocket Full of Bullets

Thursday, August 17, 2006

run forest run

bird flip and banner

The Urban Forest Project is up around the Times Square area as well as the internets area. Almost 200 visual artists and designers were invited to contribute a banner with the concept of ‘urban forest’ as inspiration. The banners will be up through Halloween and then they will be made into tote bags and auctioned off to raise money for visual arts students. And you can order a T-shirt of any banner!

Wifey’s Goodesign banner is shown above and on the site.

Friday, August 11, 2006

kelis wasn't there...

(here she is)

…But I was. On first listen to ‘Kelis Was Here’ the reaction is ‘Damn, this is it!’ The desire for Kelis to hit the capital-S-followed-by-exclamation-point Superstar!-moment is very, very strong and it is almost satisfied here. Her unwillingness to take the easy route hasn’t prevented her from seizing the opportunity to have a quite-solid follow-up to ‘Bossy’, an unexpectedly funky about face to the genius new-wave silliness of ‘Milkshake.’ The album is sexy almost the whole way through whether it’s soul, hip-hop, rock or new wave. And Mr. and Mrs. Jones do their usual bizarre kinky joint… but it is a real banger this time. At times Kelis opts for straight up bizarre but always in a different way than you might expect. Witness the Latin ‘fiesta’-like instrumental break towards the end of the album. Unfortunately it’s oddness fits a bit too oddly with the rest of the tracks. Of course, she brings the quirky space-case vibe that Alt-and-B divas like Joi and Badu tap into but Kelis would never be mistaken for neo-soul (even with Saadiq on the boards) or a galactic soul-queen visiting Earth. She is urban through and through even in her most far-out journeys, spacey synthesizers are just ‘80’s versions of a futuresound. She will occasionally communicate with the mothership funk (this time quite literally on ‘Whats’ That Right There’) but she speaks via around-the-way chirps rather than psychic incense-itivities. Street smart in high heels, she can’t help but convey the ‘I ain’t takin shit but you can still tie me up’-type honey eye contact. I love the noise of the next single ‘Blindfold Me’ featuring hubby Nassir but my pick is the Shondrae backed ‘Ah Shit’ featuring Smoke in which Kelis exclaims, of course, “Ahhh shit!” but reminds us “I can make the whole song taaalllk shit!” The knocking drums and the odd muted squeak/bloop immediately hook. ‘Handful’ is a very simple track and vocal consisting mostly of Kelis closing a sing-songy rapped vocal with a soda-commercial sound of ‘buh-buh-b-buh-buh’ providing a bubbly throwback hook that you immediately want to sing along with. And she’s got lots of those moments on the album from the guilty pleasures of chanting “Fuck them bitches” to the back-and-forth with Will.I.Am (“Whats’ that right there?/ This right here?/Ain’t nothing but a little something that I got.”) to the rock-inflected vocals of “I Don’t Think So” that rhyme the words “chance” and “in my pants.” The easy listen of the Cee-lo helmed “Lil Star” works well but the standout on the chill side is the dreamy “Living Proof” with synthy high-notes over a club thump that bring up memories of Black Sheep’s ‘Strobelight Ho.’ Although “Weekend” is an annoying mis-step Will.I.Am proves again that his non-BEP tunes can be unqualified successes in respectable pop. And that pretty much describes the whole album. Unfortunately I have to wait until the official release for a second listen but it will be the second of many, many many. Bet.

Track and Producer list
1. Intro
2. Bossy / Shondrae
3. What’s That Right There / Will.I.Am
4. Till The Wheels Fall Off / Will.I.Am
5. Living Proof / Raphael Saadiq
6. Blindfold Me / Polow, Sean Garrett, Dr. Don
7. Goodbyes
8. Trilogy / Scott Storch
9. Circus / Raphael Saadiq
10. Weekend / Will.I.Am
11. Like You / Knobody
12. Ah Shit / Shondrae
13. Lil Star / Cee-Lo
14. I Don’t Think So / Dr. Luke
15. Handful / Sean Garrett
16. Appreciate Me / Damon Elliott
17. Have a Nice Day / Sean Garrett
18. (Hidden Track) Fuck Them Bitches / Will.I.Am

Good tunes that already leaked…

The banging second single…
Kelis, Nas (produced by Polow, Sean Garrett, Dr. Don) – Blindfold Me

The addictive hidden track…
Kelis (produced by Will.I.Am) – Fuck Them Bitches

The one with the opera sample…
Kelis (produced by Knobody) – Like You

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

poppa large...

...big shot on the east coast