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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday playlist of the week: 6/30/09

Ok, since I still have no playlists (I know its a work in progress) I figure I'll have to give another playlist of my own this week. You know I love to do this anyway. And now, because the internets need to be exposed to more good music, here's my picks of the week (Note the MJ prominence):
1. Michael Jackson - PYT (Pretty Young Thing)
2. Kid Cudi - Sky Might Fall
3. Wale - Um Ricka (Feat. K'Naan)
4. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
5. Michael Jackson - Human Nature
6. Kanye West - Paranoid (Feat. Mr. Hudson)
7. Mr. Huson - Supernova (Feat. Kanye West)
8. The Killers - Spaceman
9. The-Dream - Fast Car
10. Chester French - She Loves Everybody

Not only am I (& apparently everybody else) is listening to MJ more lately, but I'm really digging the 80'sy sound right now. You all know the drill, comment me w/ your playlists or random songs you're into right now & I'll post next Tues,


Monday, June 29, 2009

G-shocks...where is this taking me?...the village?

Ok...so in the not too distant past, I blogged about how I'm really digging g-shock watches right now. However, over the weekend I got the cold slap of reality that I really needed. I was dead-bent on bying a new watch so bad, I was about to settle for a white g-lide g-shock, which I have turned down several times, until:
*enter 2 "hipster-ish" guys (whose g-shocks looked meticulluosly color coordinated w/ their clothes) behind me*

Hipster A: Hey man look at this, here's the g-shocks
Hipster B: Aw man, I need this red one.
Hipster A: It's a plain one
Hipster B: Yeah, but I love the color

Hipster A: I'm loving this one, it matches my pradas, you know the pair.
Hipster B: Aw man, that joint would look good on you.
That was my cue to exit, w/o a new watch. Is that where the g-shock train leads to; on the midnight train to San Francisco!?! I'm begging someone to hit me up in comments to explain if people like the watches b/c they are hip or just because they are unique.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why Conscious/Backpack Rap Will Never Be Radio-friendly

*spotted on:

Before you write this post of as some teenie-bopper ignorance, I'd like it to be known that I like what people would consider conscious/backpack rap. I mess w/ Common, Lupe, Q-Tip & etc. Being a fan of this music is not the same as being a stuffy elitist who scoffs at anything w/ even a smidge of radio-friendliness.

First, just take a look at the picture. You'll notice backpack rappers like Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli & J Dilla looking like a awful 70's theme office party on LSD. That right there is just one example of how conscious rappers doesn't even try to become radio friendly. Take that in mind the next time you comment about why the radio never plays "real music" on whatever hip hop blog leaking the new Gucci Mane coaster of a mixtape. Also, to be honest, if I wanted to learn, I would turn off the ipod (b/c backpack rap is never blasting through a car "down the block") & pay attention in school. I am a full time student, when it's education time, it's education time and when it's fun time, I'm not in the mood to be lectured (especially b/c backpack rappers do not know how to make catchy hooks). Elitists: just enjoy "your music" & don't always feel the need to bring the mood down.

And now: Hop out of bedddd/ turn my swag onnn/ take a look in the mirror like wasup. Yeah

RIP Michael Jackson

Being born in 89, I really wasn't part of the MJ phenom. However, being the ubiquitous artist he is, I know the effect he had on music today (via influence & samples) so I felt it was only right to acknowledge.

Sidebar: PYT is one of my favorite summertime songs.

Mr. Spaceman

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Playlist

Last week I started "Send Proto your playlists". I am asking you, the public to send me your playlists via the comments & by the next Tue I will post a playlist w/ something from everybody. We're putting people on to new music. Along w/ this blog, I'll post the playlists on facebook & twitter. Since no one submitted anything (it's a growing process) I'll just give my playlist as of right now.

1.Wale - Chillin' (Feat. Lady Gaga)
2. Chester French - The Jimmy Choo's
3. (MF) DOOM - Gazillion Ear
4. Wale - Wonder Why (Feat. Big Sean, Ken Starr & Mike Posner)
5. Cam'ron - Cookin' Up
6. Kanye West - Paranoid (Feat. Mr. Hudson)
7. Mark Ronson - Oh My God (Feat. Lily Allen)
8. A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation
9. Young Jeezy - Who Dat
10. Kid Cudi - Day N Nite

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chester French - Love the Future album review

D.A. Wallach & Max Drummey are the singer & producer duo known as Chester French. Over the past year they have been accumulating a very diverse/unique fanbase from many factors:
1) They are a pop group.
2) They are the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams & whatshisface)'s new artists.
3) They spent 2 weeks as MTV artist of the week
4) They stay on hip hop blogs as the "when you need a break from rap artists".
5) Random cosigns from: Q-tip, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri, Common, Lindsey Lohan & Ja Rule.
The cd is in a nutshell: hip hop flavored surf-rock from Harvard graduates, which sounds awful, but it works mostly. The best songs are usually combinations of rock guitars, synthesizers, hip hop break beats, along with D.A. Wallach's poppy vocals. Also, the cd switches from dramatic Portuguese, to surf rock/pop, to "Hey Ya!", then country with ease. Though it shows the group's range, it is also the biggest flaw. The collection as a whole can appear to be pretentious and cheesy, in it's attempt to appeal to everyone. Lines like "Just another shorty w/ a fatty" & "[Kan]Ye said there'd be Drunk & Hot Girls" prove how at times they seem desperate to appeal to the hip hop base. Not to mention, at times Wallach's voice can be annoying and Drummey's production can be a little too quirky. All in All, the whole cd is full of hits and misses. Either the song are fun and catchy or just corny. However, it was definitely an interesting listen.
8.2/10: Listen to: The Jimmy Choo's, She Loves Everybody, Not Over You
Avoid: Neal & Beneath the Veil

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Real talk: G-Shocks

* pic spotted on

As much as I blog about my hate of hipsters, from a first glace at me you would think I am one. Why? Do I wear Vans? - Never. Do I wear painted on Levi’s? – Levi’s yes, painted on, no. Wait- is that a G-Shock: Yes. Apparently, one of the hipster du jours are the colorful digital watches that came out around the eighties (Really anything colorful & 80s = hipster bait). Personally, I like G-Shocks. I only have 1 (black/green 2008), but I plan on copping a new one by Summer’s end that will set me back 99$. When you think about it, less than 100$ on a watch you can match w/ clothes makes sense. Also, the battery life on them are crazy. Not to mention, who can resist the whole futuristic retroisms of the design. If you have money to spend and you are looking for something to match your gear. Invest in a G-Shock and save the extra 69.99$ you would have spent on the J’s. It is a recession you know.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wale - Back to the Feature review

Wale, one of the Freshmen XXL claimed was the future (before ex-Tim Horton doughnut cashier Drake was the next big thing), finally dropped his 5th official mixtape. The tape in 22 songs and loaded w/ guest appearances (ie Back to the Feature-duh). Wale's last two mixtapes, since signing w/ Mark Ronson (producer/pimp/dealer to Amy Winehouse) have become critically acclaimed and this one follows suit. Production-wise, 9th Wonder does most of the beats, which leaves the tape w/ a very 90's feel to it, with the samples & boom-pap drums. Also, the couple Mark Ronson beats are his best in a while ( as in not post Amy Winehouse sounding). The flaw of the tape may be it has too many guests. Sure Bun B, Black Thought, Lady Gaga, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, etc. sound good on paper, but it looses what made the last two tapes so good. They were mostly Wale just rapping. Here te amount of guests do not take the focus off Wale completely, but start to get boring after a while, if you're listening to the tape to hear Wale. Another flaw of the tape is when Wale tries to go catchy, rather than lyrical (a la Chillin'). Nightlife is a prime example of a song that probably was just made to give the mixtape a mainstreamish appeal, while leaving the real pop sensability for the album cuts. Overstuffing guests & poppish fails aside, the production is the best of all of his mixtapes & lyrically Wale is on par as "100 Miles & Running" or "The Mixtape About Nothing".

8/10: Listen to: Rhyme N Reason, Say it Again, Um Ricka & Wordplay
Avoid: Chillin' (Catch vs 9th) & Nightlife

I'm sorry - Drakeamania must be stopped!

* pic spotted on :http://sashayandswagg.blogspot.com/2009/04/aubrey-drake-graham.html

So I'm driving off from my job so I turn on the local (NY/NJ) hip hop station Hot 97 & what do I hear for the 3rd time today (mind you I have only been in my car for like 1hr collectively today)- of course "You the you the best/ Best I ever had, Best I ever had". I'm used to that now, so I turn to the other hip hop station (105.1) & what do I hear? yup that same awful song. I actually turn to Top 40 radio & endure Lady Gaga singing about riding the "disco stick", to avoid this song. At least that's over...so I think, only to turn back Hot 97 to that one mixtape song from that hipster chick bait of a mixtape. Really Hot 97? You're on this guy's "disco stick" (apparently that's the new "lollipop") so much you're playing mixtape cuts?! Then, no lie I deal with the song, then turn back to 105 to "And we like her/ And we like her too".

That was the last straw: This greasy bodega looking, child soap star, Vanilla Lil Wayne needs to be stopped. I am calling out to any guy to tell me honestly, what is the big deal?! I can see the mindless Plies/Bow Wow audience falling for him, but grown men?! This has gone too far. Please step up your standards people.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

50 Cent - War Angel LP mixtape review

Who doesn't know 50 Cent? Even if you aren't a fan of hip hop everybody knows "Fiddy Cent" because not only has he become ubiquitous this decade, but he has actually become the "gangstER rapper " archtype. White, Black, Asian, when you think gangsta rapper, you picture 50. However, he became succesful in a time when America was in love w/ hard rap & even flops at that time sold like 200,000. Now that that era is over, he has had a hard time controlling the pop audience, as well as gaining respect from the hip hop audience. This mixtape is supposed to be his return to gritty rap.

From the get go, you'll notice he's using a screw-like effect on his voice for most of the cd (which IMO makes him sound like Ja Rule ironically), which gets annoying really fast. He has never been the best lyrically, but what got him over was his voice and his ability to craft catchy hooks. Since most of the mixtape is w/ this altered voice, a lot of the grimy, yet polished beats are sort of wasted. 50 hardly ever strays away from his comfort zone of gritty lyrics & sex and he still doesn't, but the vocal effect really ruins things. It turned a collection of predictablly listenable 50 songs into (let's be real) a piss ass Hell Rell "street album". I guess, however, 50 sticks to his evil gutter character rather than strives for anything Pop on the mixtape, which will please his base. My thing is if he had to picked characters he could have picked a more listenable/entertaining guise; I probably would have loved this cd if he did it all in the Pimpin Curly voice.

6/10: Listen to: CREAM 2009, I Gotta Win, I'll do anything
Avoid: London Girls, Cocaine

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Send Mr. Spaceman your playlists

Brainstorm: In order to establish a relationship w/ my future readers, from now on every Teusday (new release day) I will be making playlists of all the submitted playlists by you, the readers. So from now until next Mon., send me your playlsits at the moment, I will evaluate, then I will post a collective playlist next Tues. Its like how you try to put your friends on to new music, well just think of me & the future readers as your new freiends. Whaddup.


Free Max B?...really?

For all of you that don't know who the hell Max B is & why he his a trending topic on twitter, he is an awful mixtape rapper/singer who was convicted for masterminding a robbery turned murder last week. (If you really wanna know his highlights google "she likes to play on the side kick ooww lol) He also used to be Jim Jones' spare cavity a while ago & even traded his publishing away to him to get him out of jail the last time. The topic of this post is to just make one thing clear; he deserves what he got. He orchrestrated what turned out to be someone's murder & he deserves to pay for what he did. T everyone saying free Max B, because they like his "music" they really are deluded & need to grow up.

Free: Nelson Mandela, Not Max B

Monday, June 15, 2009

Real talk: swine flu

* spotted on http://www.flownerds.com/home/author/strider/

All jokes aside the H1-N1 bka swine flu isn't showing signs of stopping. It's recieved the pandemic title and Rutgers New Brunswick has even reported 2 cases. While Google still lets me control this virtural soapbox (I know who butters my buns -pause), I just want to tell everyone to be careful, wash hands, & don't put yourself in situations you shouldn't be in.

Mr. Spaceman

Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. album review

"I'm way too intelligent to play on my intelligence" - Young Jeezy

Some artists fail because they try to be something they're not (see: 50 Cent circa 2007) while others do well playing off their strengths, rather than dwell on their obvious weakness (See: Plies's surprisingly long shelf life). The Black Eyed Peas began as the prototype 90's backpack rap group & (let's be real) slowly sold out to become one of pop's biggest groups today. In this cd, they finally tell hip hop to rot & die & embrace electro-euro-pop for an interesting listen. Other than "Boom..." & "Imma Be", with all the euro-disco beats, screwed vocals & autotune, the cd is pretty much Daft Punk's Discovery 2009. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but it is far from hip hop. That aside if you're into raves, glow sticks, synthetic narcotics & anything else associated with euro-disco, this is your soundtrack. If not you'll probably end up listening to all the songs for a min. (as opposed to all the way through). If you're big on Pop go ahead it really isn't the worst thing ever, but I would suggest you'd buy Daft Punk's Homework. You'll get the same effect as well as hipster points, & the pop crowd loves hipster points.

5.5/10 Listen: Rock That Body, Missing You, Alive
Avoid: The rest of the cd

The Air Yeezy's...really?...

I like Kanye West, I like looking fashionable & I like Nikes, but really...what kind of hipster crackhead would walk out the house wearing this? Glarring bright colors, a gaudy strap, & a southern chick thick tongue make this sneaker look more like a Hall-O-Ween costume than a shoe. Especially w/ the recently unisex painted on jeans guys seem to be rocking now, you'd be walking out the house looking like a cartoon caracter. I'm sorry but these shoes should only be for Kanye's die hard knob slobberers or if you wanna dress like Protoman (which ironically this blog is somewhat modeled on)
* pic spotted on http://www.sdsuwebteam.com/eric/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kanye West - The College Dropout Classics Review

The "real hip hop heads" can be some of the most obnoxious residents of the internet. Along w/ Southern Rap & Hipsters, they claim you can't be really into hip hop if you haven't heard certain lps; Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, Nas' Illmatic, Biggie's Ready To Die, etc. However, as time goes by & those lps get older, it means younger listeners have to listen to dated music as their classics. I decided to periodically review old cd's that have been called classic to see if by today's standards they are that good.
One of the few cd's that has come out relatively recently that is claimed classic status is Kanye West's debut The College Dropout. To be honest classic is thrown everywhere these days, but this cd fits that title, but for content more than actual artistic quality. Content-wise, the cd tackles a lot for a 2000's lp. Issues like how important is continued education really is, employment, racism, materialism in hip hop, gold digging women, ethics of providing for family by legal vs illegal means, and more. Not to mention almost every beat on this cd is good, original (as sampled beats get) & actually affected hip hop after the release (sampling, string arrangements & even autotune on a rap cd 5 yrs ago!).
The problem with the cd is Kanye West, at that time was a average rapper (today he really isn't the best, but he's def improved). It kind of feels mixtape-ish when there are so many guests & interludes on a cd. Then when Ye finally raps, he really doesn't even rhyme a lot of the time. (you know when rappers use accents to make thing rhyme like do' (Door) & wo' (Wall)). To sum it up, the cd as a whole is great musically, filled with substance, and was groundbreaking. It's just if it came out today, it would be a hipster/backpacker fav, but that's about it.
8.5/10 Listn to: We Don't Care, All Falls Down, Jesus Walks & Two Words

Drake - So Far Gone mixtape review

Aubrey Graham bka Drake is apparently the hottest new artist in rap right now. Girls like him, Dudes like him, even I don't think he is without his talents. Also, he played a character on Degrassi, which says a lot if you can from a teenage soap opera star (in a wheelchair nonetheless) to a respected rapper. I figured with all of the buzz of his song "Best I Ever Had" I would give the mixtape a listen.

First, I had the preconcieved notion that he was just some pop-rap little wayne knock-off, because of the single, but listening to the mixtape...I was right. This mixtape def is appealing to the ladies (even when he isn't singing) & "hipsters" ( covering songs like Kanye's Say You Will & others from Santigold, Lykke Li & Peter Bjorn & John as well as the dark, 808s & Heartbreak-esque synth beats). One thing can be said though, he can rap. He isnt the best in the world, but he has talent. What ruins this tape for me is 1) the signing w/ and w/o the Autotune. He has an alright voice, but it is a very POP voice. The ladies will eat it up, but what guy really wants to hear that. 2) Since I can't stand Lil Wayne, his appearances, not to mention Drake's flow are constant reminders of Lil Wayne. Those things aside,I was expecting worse.

7/10 Listen to: Lust For Life, Ignorant Shit & Say What's Real
Avoid: Houstatlantavegas, A Night Off

5 songs you need to hear right now

Ok, so before I start reviewing (trashing) anything, I guess its appropriate that you know my taste, so I think I should review 5 songs you need to hear, because they are so good or the equivalent of recording a bowel movement(in no order). After this I'll be giving my opinions/reviewing upcoming aspects of music & current culture that interests me.

1. MF DOOM - Rapp Snitch Knishes: In my opinon Daniel Dumile (aka MF DOOM, Madvillain, Danger DOOM, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers & King Geedorah) is one of the best rappers/ hip hop producers ever. I would seriously recommend googling any of the aformentioned monikers. That aside, the song has the best rap chorus (& probably the only chorus of DOOM's career)of the 2000's, crazy/ funny lyrics over a looped breezy guitar solo & bass & drums. It's really that good. Too bad Doom only raps on the 2nd verse.

2. Lupe Fiasco - Kick, Push: I am not a skater, I have never wanted to skateboard, nor have I ever wore a pair of Vans a day in my life (nor do I intend to), but this song is just cool. Its one of those story telling songs, about a skater guy who's pretty much a reject falling for a skater girl (of which I assume she's no stranger to knee pads) over chilled out horns and synths. Def one of my favs.

3. The Diplomats - Push It: This is one of the worst songs ever. Cam'ron is one of my fav rappers, but damn this is awful. Think 4 grown men not even rhyming, talking about "dookey love", "ra ra na na ha ha I keep that blam blam" & quoting "Me so horney" over Salt N Pepa's "Push It". It really is worth a listen, because it's so bad.

4. Soulja Boy - "Turn My Swag On": What the hell is he saying? Other than the chorus the song is just 3:26 min of a dilluted teen spewing random cliche's w/ an incredibly bama-ish (country) sounding accent. Easily the most obnoxious ringtone (no one listens all the way through) ever.

5. Chester French - "The Jimmy Choo's": This is very left of center from what I usually listen to, but for pop/rock I really like it. Though the singing lasts for like 2 min. the guitars, organs, and synths make the song. Cool song, especially for the summer.