This should really go without saying, but after an incident I had earlier in the week I guess it needs to be reiterated; if you’re an artist, no matter what stage of your career you're in, if someone wants to give you press, make the time for the interview. If you’re one of the highly intelligent artists out there reading this, thinking “man, that’s a no-brainer,” you ain’t gonna believe this sh!t...
And you thought MTV's "Hottest MCs In The Game" top ten list caused an uproar in the hip hop community. Nominations for the 2010 Grammy's were released yesterday and Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Drake are all up for a few statuettes. Beyonce snagged three nods including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year, while Jay-Z oddly misses out on his "Blueprint 3" monster album missing the Grammy deadline; he's up twice in the same category for "Run This Town" and "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune" featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. West and Young Jeezy's "Amazin" is nominated for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group. Newcomer Drake continues his hot streak in 2009 with two nominations in separate categories.
While the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards tapped some of hip hops finest such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, Mos Def, Q-Tip and Eminem a chock full of rap albums were overlooked. Jadakiss, Rick Ross, and Fabolous are just a few names who were completely overlooked although their albums were the talk of hip hop conversations and all made decent debut on the Billboard charts. Rick Ross' "Deeper Than Rap" debuted at number one on the Billboard charts making it his third debut in a row.
DJ Food aka Strictly Kev - one of Ninja Tune's true veterans and powerhouses - returns with the next installment from his forthcoming, long-awaited album, "Stolen Moments." And while the personnel of "DJ Food" has changed over the years, as has the musical vision, the name is always a guarantee of the utmost quality.
"Sentinel (Shadow Guard)" is the first ever studio collaboration between Kev and longtime DJ partner and Solid Steel producer DK. A track of contrasts - harp, acoustic guitar and ringing electronics versus filthy bass, heavy drums and rattling percussion. All held together by Ninja labelmate King Cannibal working the mixing desk, the results are driving and sinuous, but subtle, too. "Extract from Stolen Moments too" is a further peep at the creepy piano theme which will be visited and revisited across Food's forthcoming EPs and woven throughout the album that will follow. "Brother John" is a tribute to the great John Rydgren, now sadly deceased, a pastor from the Lutheran church who subtly blended the word of God with the music of the day back in the 60s and 70s via his radio shows. This is classic Food - a seamless blending of vocal samples and musical goodness. "GIANT is voiceless cover version of the closing track from the classic "Soul Mining" album by The The. Literally years in the making and still not finished, The The's main man Matt Johnson has given it his blessing and will be providing a new take on the original vocal for the album next year. "Sentinel (Lunar Defence)" We end where we came in - kind of - a completely different take on the opening track transforms it into a brooding guitar-led theme that delves into dark afro-percussion without warning - beautiful and unsettling in equal measure.
We hate to be the bearers of bad tidings, but there are difficult decisions for Food lovers to make. The 12" single once again comes with an A2 poster cover of exclusive artwork by 2000AD artist Henry Flint with colours and design by Openmind aka Strictly Kev. On the other hand, the download comes with three bonus tracks, the "All Covered In Darkness" Mr P remiix suite. Ex-DJ Food veteran and sometime Cinematic Orchestra member PC (Patrick Carpenter aka Mr P) returns from a musical hiatus to deliver not one but three versions of "All Covered In Darkness." A favourite from the last Food EP, it features the dulcet tones of Ken Nordine and harmonies from The Dragons. He twists it from 4/4 to 6/8 time and back again, making it his own across an epic 13 minutes.
Maybe get both...?!
DJ Food cover
Tracklist: 1. Sentinel (Shadow Guard) DJ Food & DK 2. extract from Stolen Moments too 3. Brother John 4. GIANT (instrumental) 5. Sentinel (Lunar Defence) 6. All Covered In Darkness (Mr P remix) 7. All Covered In Darkness (Mr P remix in3) 8. All Covered In Darkness (Mr P beats remix)
5 Track 12" vinyl with poster cover
Side A 1. Sentinel (Shadow Guard) DJ Food & DK 130 bpm 6.32 2. extract from Stolen Moments too 86 bpm 3.47 3. Brother John 86 bpm 2.53
Side B 1. GIANT (instrumental) 108 bpm 8.10 2. Sentinel (Lunar Defence) 97.5 bpm 5.55
December 2, 2009—LOS ANGELES, CA—When you’ve been on the indie grind for a decade, you learn to disregard industry bullsh*t and forge your own path. For L.A.’s CookBook and UNO Mas, that means making a record that reflects maturity. This dynamic duo are back again with their sixth release, C & U Music Factory (Just-Us/Audio Sketch Book Records). Undoubtedly their most complete work to date, the 16 track collection features guest appearances by Evidence (of Dilated Peoples), Scarub (of Living Legends), DJ Rhetmattic (Beat Junkies), L.A. Symph alumns Pigeon John and Sareem Poems (fka Sharlok Poems), and vocalist Raquel Rodriguez.
“C & U is first record that I think truly represents our sound,” explains CookBook. “We’re not claiming to re-event hip-hop,” notes CookBook. “We’re just trying to do what we do best.”
Reminiscent of notable up-and-comers like Blu and Tanya Morgan, CookBook and UNO put a fresh twist on old-school hip-hop. On “When You Rock & Roll” Evidence calls out cats who sell their soul for the game. “They used to want advice/now they tryin to son me/It's funny how the tides change/When you rock n roll.” “Presente!” is a Latin-flavored track about family and ethnic pride. “Since I’m Puerto Rican and UNO hails from Mexico, our Latino fans always come up to us and ask when we’ll do a song in Spanish,” explains CookBook of what motivated the track. “We really did this for them!”
Thoughtful, cliché-free lyrics over mesmerizing beats and beautiful vocals, “Song of Our Lives” reflects two artists who have come full circle. CookBook and UNO trade verses about growing up. An ode to his sister who passed away, UNO raps about being the child of immigrants and the sacrifice his parents made for him to have the opportunities he’s had in life.
Like so many artists, CookBook and UNO have experienced the industry shuffle that goes along with the rap game. In ‘98, the two formed a group called LA Symphony with Pigeon John, Flynn, Joey the Jerk, and Sharlok Poems. In `99, the group’s critically acclaimed debut album, Composition No. 1, catapulted them into the national spotlight. Since then, they’ve released five full-lengths, and two EPs. The last record, Unleashed, was released in 2007.
Although the group is planning a reunion someday in the future, CookBook and UNO Mas stay busy at “the factory” churning out new projects of their own. Together they’ve released Stereo-types (2001), Robertson Bullies (2006), While they Slept (2006). Their fifth LP, The Overflow, resulted in 40,000 hits by the first five months. Last year, CookBook released a critically acclaimed, a retro themed concept album, I Love the 80s.
Production on C&U Music Factory handled largely in-house by CookBook with some help from JJ Brown, Muneshine, & Million Watts (CookBook & DJ Rif).
O.C. & A.G. Drop New Live Video, Oasis Now Available In Stores
O.C. & A.G. have posted a second live video from their Brooklyn CD release party on Nature Sounds’ YouTube channel. You may remember watching their performance of “Keep It Going” from the same Southpaw show which they released last month, but this time the guys are treating fans to their live rendition of the Showbiz-produced cut, “2 For The Money.”
O.C. & A.G. are also excited to announce that their debut album, Oasis, finally hit stores last week, just in time for us to give thanks. The legendary New York MCs and D.I.T.C. crew members may have over 10 albums between them under their belts, but Oasis is their first outing as a duo, and based on early reviews, shouldn’t be their last. Check out the title track below and see for yourself.
1. Oasis – Produced by Statik Selektah 2. Keep It Going - Produced by E Blaze 3. Give It Back - Produced by Lord Finesse 4. Alpha Males - Produced by Lord Finesse 5. Young With Style - Produced by Show and KC 6. Every Day Life - Produced by E Blaze 7. Think About It - Produced by E Blaze 8. Against The Wall - Produced by E Blaze 9. Put It In The Box - Produced by E Blaze 10. Boom Bap - Produced by Show 11. Reality Is - Produced by E Blaze 12. Contagious - Produced by E Blaze 13. Supreme Squad - Produced by Show 14. God's Gift - Produced by E Blaze 15. Get Away - Produced by Lord Finesse 16. 2 For The Money – Produced by Show 17. Pain – Produced by E Blaze
File under: for fans of Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, MF Doom, Blackalicious, Sage Francis.
Fort Wayne rapper Sankofa makes and compiles certified fresh raps in free for download EPs. Music with Friends 5 is the latest in Sankofa's series and, barring "digitalis", is generally considered his most lighthearted volume. Think of these tunes a reminder of summer when fall turns to a premature winter.
1: digitalis (prod. Ebro) 2: what better reason (prod. Geno) 3: tic tac toe (prod. adrien75) 4: let it be stated (prod. adrien75) 5: riding on (prod. Manic Depressive)
As this release is exclusively free for download, spreading the link is both encouraged and appreciated.