This month I was having my exams (which didn’t got very well, I only passed two out of six. I hope the next exams will be my last ones). This had two cons in my geeky life. The first is that I didn’t do anything for Gentoo, and I mean nothing (apart from a quick and failed attempt to package the enterprise branch of kdepim, which I’m going to blog the following days even if I don’t succeed). The second is that I lost FOSDEM, which I went the past two years and promised myself never to loose again. A lot of Gentoo Developers went though and had a terrific time (I have to say it again, I officially hate you). As a side note, I wanted to participate to KDE’s Klassroom about porting apps to KHotNewStuff 3, but I missed it as it started a week before I had time to do anything
What I really enjoy though in my exams periods is that I have the chance to listen to a lot of music. As a result I also have time to organize my large collection of Rap music. The last year (maybe more) I store my music in two folders: The first is with music ready to be imported to Amarok’s database, and the other is with tracks that have wrong ID3 tags and will mess my collection. The list is still huge, and since it always grows magically, I don’t think it will ever be done. The real subject of this post is to present some old and new tracks that I digged recently, but before going there, I want to say first that current system of handling tags is not very helpful, especially when it comes to compilations, mixtapes or DJ/Producer/Radio show presented tracks, where there are multiple artists. The "various artists" entry in Amarok is definitely a step forward, but still, it needs more. Plus some other issues that I don’t want to advance now. Hopefully after my exams I will have plenty of time to start working on those ideas.
Let’s get to the point. After a lot of digging I got some new magnificent albums, and also had the chance to discover some old diamonds that I already owned. First on the list is the new R.A. The Rugged Man album, named Legendary Classics Vol. 1. This album contains old songs (even from the Crustified Dibbs times’), and R.A.’s tracks in compilations (Soundbombing, Wu-Tang meets Indie Culture, etc) and other artists’ LPs (like Jedi Mind Tricks’ Uncommon Valor). So, basically it’s not a full new LP, but rather a compilation with 8 new tracks, and lots of other artists included, Kool G Rap, Hell Razah and Blaq Poet to name a few. This is pure classic, I recommended it without a doubt. Of course, a week ago I saw this crazy dirty fat guy live in Thessaloniki, more to follow in the relevant post. There have been two videos after the release:
Next is Plague Language: Farewell Archetypes Vol.2, a compilation of the Canadian label Plague Language. I knew some of the artists like Penny and Noah23, but this specific album was a diamond, a bomb in my head, something totally unexpected. It’s the first time I heard some of the artists featured in this compilation, like Ceschi and …Of Proletariots, and they were an amazing surprise to me. Who are you people, who flow like water? I am definitely going to check out more work of those. A perfect album from the beginning to the end.
One very recent album is In Search Of Stoney Jackson by Strong Arm Steady. The album includes verses of Planet Asia, Phonte (of Little Brother), Chace Infinite, Sick Jacken and Oh No to name a few, and is entirely produced by the genius who goes by the name Madlib. I am a big fan of Madlib and it is a common belief nowadays that he is one of the most talented producers out there. I don’t have anything else to add, just listen to this. Madlib created a classic album.
Speaking of Madlib, the other half of Madvillain, DOOM himself, left his million aliases to the past (MF Doom, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah) and shortened his name. Under this name he released two albums last year, a full LP called Born Like This and a compilation called Unexpected Guests (with some of his old tracks, plus tracks released in other artists’ albums). Yes, the album is another DOOM-style sound that we all loved from the man behind the mask. And remember ALL CAPS WHEN YOU SPELL THE MAN’S NAME. Also, the new Madvillain album is very close. There have been videos on youtube with J-Rocc and Madlib playing tracks of the new album. I just can’t wait. I hope it will be half as dope as the first one.
Time for some Canibus! This guy has released my favorite album, Rip The Jacker, in 2003, that made me change the way I listen to this music. He and Stoupe of Jedi Mind Tricks made a 10/10 album that is still my #1 choice if I want to prove to someone why I listen to Hip Hop. This guy released a new album named Melatonin Magik, full of epic instrumentals and his nasty voice on the top, bringing a war atmosphere in the space. He came back to battle rap, and even more back, to dissing Eminem again. This was not a clever move imho. He even tricked D12 (along with rapper DKZ) and created a song that disses Eminem, with his crew in the track. Well, I don’t care about beefs anywayz, so I don’t care much about his specific decision. I really enjoyed the album though, and what I enjoyed more is that at last, after so many years, after so many albums, Canibus chose some cool productions for this one. And accidentally I found out that there has been released a Rip The Jacker Instrumentals album that made me go crazy!!! I was expecting this one since I first heard the original one, about 6 and a half(!) years ago. This is a must for everyone.
Last but not least, my beloved Antipop Consortium reunited and I had no idea! Only recently I found out that they had released a new album called Fluorescent Black. It was in the usual strange antipop style. I really enjoyed it as I hadn’t listened to any new of those guys for years. I wonder how many of those hardcore hip hop listeners can appreciate the supremacy of this group.
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