Jun 22, 2012

Fine Art Friday: June 22, 2012

ORI TOOR: The Gelatinous Animated Blobs of Color
Made up entirely out of digital forms pushing and pulling each other in balanced and symmetrical blobs, the video work of Ori Toor reminds me of watching a man o' war jellyfish suspended in the water and waiting for it to slowly strangle something with it tentacles. These can be hypnotizing and sort of feel like TV ads will be this entrancing on day, with just a logo hovering above it. Creepy but cool!

I have seen Hanson's work for years in various settings and they are always creepy but incredible to see in person. His "so life like it's crazy" resin sculptures study the concept of the human existence and all of the drab details of consumerism, tourism and other "sad but true" factors about life in general. Hanson died a few years ago, but his sculptures are still very present in museums around the world.

Here are 2 of my favorites: Dish Washer and Janitor

I saw these giant glowing fish made of recycled water bottles and thought of all the old ladies in NYC who I see scouring the garbage cans for recycled cans and bottles everyday. I instantly thought that maybe they are actually artists who do amazing things with wasted materials like this. Probably not, but it would be awesome to see something like this all over the city to remind people how wasteful we all can be....and how resourceful we can be at the same time.

Props to the artists from Rio de Janiero and the UN Conference of Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

Jun 20, 2012

New York is Red Hot!

Not much to say on this. The heat index is 95+ today in NYC and this is exactly what it feels like!

Video: Slum Village - Reppin'

It is hard for me to even call this a Slum Village song, but I am glad to see T3 still making music. Given how many versions of the group there have been, the new lineup is sufficient to keep the underground sound of the D alive.

Illa J seems to be the rap equivalent of Sam Worthington in Avatar, a sub for his famous brother, trying to make his own lane in a field dominated by veterans. It makes me miss Dilla that much more and the verbal gymnastics of Elzhi too, as T3 and Illa J and the mystery man hold their own, but seem to be lacking on any real stand out verses. 

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what they are doing, but it is a little like watching the Tupac hologram earlier this year.....you know the skills are there but it is not the same thing as hearing SV for the first time in all the glory of Fantastic Vol.2.

More like "Slum Villagers" then the real SV, but any positive tunes coming out of the D is a good thing. On to the next one!

Jun 19, 2012

Brother Ali x Jake One

Brother Ali has hooked up with Jake One for a full length album, Ali's fourth, entitled Mourning in America and dreaming in color. Both of these cats always bring quality music to the table, so I am sure it will be dope. I am hoping that Jake One will hook up all the Rhymesayers crew members with full lengths at some point, since the Freeway/Jake One album Stimulus Package was so well executed a few years ago.

Check out the Rhymesayers website for more info, but I will keep you posted as it gets closer to the August 21 release date.

To get an idea of what to expect, check the quote from Brother Ali himself:

“This is not just a new album, but a new chapter. There’s a kind of democratic reawakening in people at this point in time. I was really looking to take these topics and really hit them hard. To try to open ears and hearts and invite people to take some action and feel empowered. To be engaged and take some agency and responsibility for what’s going on in the world.”

Should be dope. Stay Tuned!

yU - I Believe (Oddisee Remix)

I'm a big fan of the yU sound coming out of the DMV (D.C. - Maryland - Virginia) area. He has been a part of the Diamond District "modern throwback" vibe and much more self-conscious hip hop coming out of the nations capital since the early 90's. He reminds me of Resurrection-era Common with a Southern drawl and links up with Oddisee, Kev Brown, Dunc (of DTMD), Apollo Brown and other torch-bearers of true school rap production from the hip-hop underground with regularity.

The "I Believe" remix above should be proof enough to check out more of his stuff and other offerings from the Mello Music Group.

Video: evitaN ft. Sadat X - 3 Kings

evitaN (Jarobi of ATCQ and Dres of Black Sheep) are a new hip-hop "supergroup?" that have started promoting a collaborative album of grown man rap for the newbies and the aging Native Tongues fan base. The video above, called 3 Kings, is a nice visual take on the song and shows the group themselves and many hip-hop icons chilling around the NYC area.

It is somewhat odd to finally, after 20 years and a documentary on the historic group, hear Jarobi rapping. Though I know he was a force behind the power of the Native Tongues movement, he was also a silent member. To have him rapping, or starting to rap, at age 40+ feels out of place, but paired with the more experienced MC's around him, it seems to work. I am still not sure how to digest Jarobi's rhymes, flow wise. His content is on point, as expected of a more mature MC, but the flow feels like he is reading it (probably is) and seems slightly off-beat (probably is) but I am waiting to see how the entire project pans out before trying to critique it too much. Dres still sounds hungry after all this time too!

Check out the video above (look for the healthy Kool Herc cameo) and let me know what you think.

Follow the evitaN crew on Twitter @Jarobione @Dresblacksheep to stay updated on the upcoming project!

Track produced by Will Tell
Photography by Adam McDaid
Directed by Emil Moller

Jun 18, 2012

Combat Jack X Prodigy: Quality Radio

The Combat Jack show spills on the week in news and catches up with the QB's Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Always fun to listen to with good questions and not-your-average interview style. Check otu the link before if you have 3 hours to kill!

CNN X Just Blaze = Summer Soundtrack

Though I haven't really followed either career's of CNN since the post Capone-jail-time or NORE's ill advised Reggaeton aspirations, I am always glad to see some of the Golden Era groups come together on some classic material. Though the video is filled with the endless "bitches and riches" cliches, the Just Blaze track and more mellow sound is something I appreciate in 2012. Capone and Noreaga can still make sounds that I can rock to and hopefully they can bring bringing the same quality material that made the "War Report" era so dope. 

I am by no means a thug, but I will always appreciate the grit of street life tales and bravado told to a classic, boom bappish, soundtrack. Here's hoping Mobb Deep and the rest of the QB can keep this sound alive!