Picks of the Week: pt. 2

In part two, I’m going to cover some new, new stuff…and some stuff that came out during my hiatus, that maybe you know nothing about…or only heard about.   If you’re hip to any of this stuff – congrats….you have good taste.

Shafiq Husayn – Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka

Ever the user of Kemetics (google it), Shafiq continues the excess in expansive funk that Sa-Ra is known for.  A-Free-Ka actually has a double meaning – the obvious Africa…..and then, the true Kemetic meaning – infinity.  And it is definitely infinite…..it just seems to go on in one direction, and all directions.  In control, and not at all.  (Shouts to the label Plug Research…)  A great album.

Souls of Mischief – Montezuma’s Revenge

Yeah – the “’93 til Infinity” guys are back.  It’s not really a comeback, since they’ve had some albums since back then, but this is kind of a reintroduction of sorts to newer fans.  They are still coming with the witty rhymes….the battle raps…the funny raps…story raps.  They still have it.  On top of that – Prince Paul is on the tracks, and they are a good match. Very enjoyable from end to end.

Gilles Peterson – Gilles Peterson Brazilika

As a Gilles fan, I tend to pick up his stuff as soon as someone puts it out.  As a fan of Brazilian music, I tend to pick up stuff as soon as someone puts it out.  So…you put the two together…I got a guaranteed pleaser.

Fashawn – Boy Meets World

Another cat that people may not really be up on.  When this came out – it was bumped for at least 3 weeks straight.  I listened to the album once through almost every day.  Dude is just nice…real smooth….but real.  He’s just himself and not trying to sound or be like anyone else.  He has this West Coast’s Nas comparison hanging around his neck because of his age….and I can see it, in a way.  But I actually think he’s a little bit more self aware, where Nas was aware of what was going on around him.  Fash seems to be very comfortable with himself, in a way Nas doesn’t always seem to have down pat.  And that comes across on every track.  The other plus is the fact that Exile produced the album – which lends a nice backdrop for Fash’s story rhymes.  Nice collabs with Blu, Evidence, Aloe Blacc, PA…and some others.  One of the better albums of 2009.

The Clientele – Bonfire of the Heath

One of the most consistent, if underrated…or maybe underexposed, bands of the 2000’s.  Interestingly enough, the London band doesn’t seem to get a lot of love in their home town – which is a bit odd, and probably why they aren’t as known as they should be.  They sound kind of like an old 60’s Brit-pop group, transported to today’s instrument selection.  If you like that kind of music every once in a while – this is for you.  Love the throwback cover.

Diamond District – In the Ruff

A banger album, if there ever was one.  Straight up East Coast grimey hip hop.  Dope beats – dope rhymes, with the DC feel.  But I think this went under the radar with a LOT of people.  There aren’t any tricks and hit singles – it’s a no-frills, “real as real can get” album.   Oddisee’s sample choice are basically top notch – Yu and X.O (and Odd) come hard on the lyrics.  Just nice all the way around – good for anytime of the day.

4hero – …presents Extensions

This is 4hero reinterpreted by a collection of hand-picked artists, in the mostly nu-jazz genre, but a little live breakbeats in certain areas.  It’s the chill-out album you might here at a spa or something….but something cool to settle down with.  Nice for the 4hero fans out there, like myself.

Just realized I could do a part 3…but I will hold off.  This should hold you down for a little bit.

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