Thursday, September 24, 2009

Song: Mos Def – Travellin’ Man (Remix)


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Leaving to be on the road for a month brought none other than one of my favorite Mos Def songs to mind, Travellin’ Man (Remix). In this song, Mos Def raps about the challenge of leaving everything that you know and love behind in order to go pursue better opportunities.

Using a slightly adapted chorus of the song Leaving On A Jet Plane written by John Denver, Mos Def pours his heart out on the track as he laments leaving his girl while he goes touring to try and make it as a rap star. Mos uses a masterful metaphor when he raps the line “this thing called rhyming no different from coal mining, we both on assignment to unearth the diamond”. In this line he’s saying that being a rapper is laborious work at times and that the ultimate goal is finally being discovered and recognized for the hard work you put in. And in order to make it big time, Mos knows you must be willing to sacrifice what you love by leaving it behind sometimes.

Below is the video for the original song, which is still awesome, but in my opinion not as good as the remix.



There aren’t many other rappers who are as versatile as Mos Def. What other rapper do you know that can flip a track from spoken word, to soulful singing, to pitching hard yet intelligent lyrics and backing all three with passion and emotion. Listen to him in the song Modern Marvel and you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

“Got a lot of things I got to do, but God willing I’m coming back to you”...I Mos Definitely will…

Another great song to check out about leaving:
Wyclef Jean – Gone ‘Til November

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update: Keepin' It Fresh

My first show on tour

Dear readers,

As some of you know, I will be leaving to be the Assistant Tour Manager on the Perez Hilton Presents tour, which means I will not get to post as frequently as I would like to. But you know me…I wouldn’t deprive you of your new rap music (I’m not that selfish). A few noticeable updates to the blog for starters as I make my way through the country via tour bus…

1) The new email subscribe feature at the top right (as some of you getting this know) is pretty awesome. It’s a great way to get updated every time I have a new post (Although the emails do not show my posted videos, so come back to the site frequently!).

2) Check the labels feature on the right of the page so you can search the posts by category if interested.

3) New streaming music files for individual songs (not albums) with downloads for individual tracks.

4) Put your mouse on the top right corner on any of the links on my page and you can play Youtube videos within my page or preview a linked Wikipedia article.

5) More improvements to come…this is just the start.

Please leave some love, suggestions, comments, and feedback for me below. Next post will be up shortly. Thanks!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Artists: CunninLynguists

The name says it all… However, these Kentucky boys (Deacon the Villain & Natti [since 2004]) aren’t just wicked with the tongue; they also have one of the finest producers in the land (Kno) supplying the backdrop for their “Stunning English”.

Above: Kno & Deacon the Villain

Their first album release Will Rap For Food came out in 2001 (just Deacon & Kno) and is without a doubt an underground classic. Deacon does most of the rapping on the album with Kno kicking in some raps on many of the songs as well as providing all the beats except for just one track. Their songs Fuckinwichu and Thugged Out Since Cub Scouts are great examples of how these guys like to play with humor by embracing sarcasm and satire, and the song Halfanimal is an awesome showing of wordplay and puns by Deacon. The track Lynguistics is one of the best on the album, with an upbeat track that uses a classical violin sample as the backdrop for a back and forth rap between Deacon & Kno. And on a more somber note, the song Mic Like A Memory is a tale of hardships over a lonely-sounding horn sample. All in all, these songs and all the others make the album a stellar debut to their then just budding career.

In 2003, the CunninLynguists came back for another round with Southernunderground, their follow-up album that added another rapper to the group, Mr. SOS. And once again the 'Lynguists repeated their formula for success while tweaking their sound to feel a little bit more mature. Songs such as Seasons and Old School are reflections on hip hop’s past (while humorously fabricated in Old School) while the last 3 tracks Appreciation (Remix), Dying Nation, & War are politically charged songs dealing with Bush and the September 11th attacks. And my favorite songs on the album Southernunderground, The South, & Nasty Filthy give you a feeling only extremely pure hip hop can, like the “that’s what hip hop is supposed to sound like” feeling. Download these two albums that I’m posting and listen to them…again…and again…forever.

CunninLynguists – Will Rap For Food (2001)
CunninLynguists – Southernunderground (2003)


"Don't worry bout this dirty south, 'til its mud floods ya front stoop..."
 
Note: This song is not on the two albums above. I'm posting this one because they don't have many videos.

P.S. The CunninLynguists have released a whole slew of albums and mixtapes since. This was just an introduction to them. If you like what you hear, I'll review the rest of their albums.

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