Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Recently interviewed the BK emcee via email (I can't front) for Exclaim! Click the excerpt below for the whole interview and my review of his new album Gutter Rainbows. Spoiler: it's pretty dull. I'm all about that 80s Brooklyn bump on "I'm On One". The new style.
Conscious rappers don't age well and Gutter Rainbows, Talib Kweli's fifth solo album, doesn't shake this preconception. Fresh off last year's solid Reflection Eternal reunion, Kweli is largely on autopilot over terrycloth production and soft batch R&B choruses; the best songs here energize Kweli by linking him with hard beats. "Tater Tot" is a compelling audio cinematic about an Iraq veteran, while Marco Polo's swirling strings and trumpets on "Palookas" set up fierce spitting from Talib and Sean Price. Kwe flows lovely on "I'm On One," Khrysis's beat rolling and knocking like '80s Brooklyn. Kweli and Jean Grae connect for verbal manslaughter over the ominous organ rolls and bumping bass of "Uh Oh." The warm, sincere "Friends and Family" sees Kweli warmly reflecting on his rap career thus far. Treat Gutter Rainbows as a dry run for Prisoner of Conscious, his next studio album, and it goes down much easier.
Also reviewed Ghostdeini's new record here. "Black Tequila" is the jam.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Been quiet round these parts lately while I've been busy with school and freelancing. Recently penned some writeups on underrated albums from last year at the Passion. Here's my take on Starlito & Burn One's Renaissance Gangster, click on the quote below for the whole spiel:
After years of commercial pressure, Lito throws out punchline after punchline, his laconic drawl expertly weaving through Burn One’s warm, country-fried production. Lito carries the album without a single feature, largely. “What Was I Thinking” ably showcases Lito’s unconventional flow and writing over the same David Porter sample RZA rocked for “Duel of the Iron Mic”: “Lito Israel/they Palestine/that’s why some of his raps come off like battle rhymes.” He then refers to his red haired weed as Madeline.Also wrote about the excellent Cotton Jones record, Tall Hours In The Glowstream. Below, a lovely performance on the record's standout song, "Somehow To Keep It Going". Serious Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood vibes.
Plus: reviewed the Golden Dogs concert Thursday for Exclaim!
Spoiler: it was a fantastic gig.