Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Damn, it has been awhile...

Just hopped up on here to see exactly how long it has been and realized...shit...we haven't done anything worthwhile in a minute. Please excuse the laspe but with the holiday weekend and all, you know. Catch and I took a timeout to go out to the beach house for the weekend for some much needed R&R. Good times, good food, good liquor...can't ask for much more. So let's get to it...

Catch and I found ourselves talking one day about hip-hop vs. rap...we found that our opinions are, some what, different. It is hard to fit an artist into one category...as I explained to Catch my opinion is this...hip hop tells a story that story can be uplifting or grimy. To use the words of KRS One, "Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal, emcees spit rhymes to uplift they people". Rap, on the other hand, to me is all "rappin bout blunts and broads Tits and bras, menage-a-tois, sex in expensive cars...." Does one hold precidence over the other...in my opinion, naw I like them both. Shit, some days gimme some Brotha Lynch, NWA, some of that ol'gangsta shit...others I just wanna chill to some amazing beats and smooth lyrics.

So here we go...feel free to hit me up with your opinions...what do I consider hip hop vs rap? Like I said, not all can fit into one category and some cross genre's from time to time so it will be interesting to see how this all works out. Hip hop for me is emcees like, but not limited to...KRS One, Mos Def, Common, Lifesavas, Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, Run DMC, De La Soul, Jurassic 5...anything where true emceeing is the forefront of the music. Rap is more along the lines of...NWA, Snoop, Lil' Wayne, Ghostface (or all of the Wu), Scarface, etc. Some of the most influential artist, in my opinion cross both genres...2Pac, Biggie, Jay-Z, Outkast, Kanye, Lupe, Digital Underground, Public Enemy...and the list goes on and on.

That all leads into 3 cats that I feel are real hip hop artists. From production, DJing, to emceeing...they do it all. I am not sure how but each is linked to one another through either production, beats, or featured on the others album. Two of these dudes is from the NW, the other is from Florida by way of LA. Ohmega Watts, Braille, and Surreal...have been gettin mad play on the iPod recently.

So if you ask Lucious D's she'll tell you that she told me about the first 2 years ago and that I blew her off...now that is not entirely true. I mean I do blow her off on occassion, and may or may not have on said occassion, but I just needed a longer listen. Ohmega Watts landed in Portland after having been born in Brooklyn and lived in Florida for a bit. You wanna talk about do it all, this cat does it all. Production, beats, rhymes, the cat even has a DJ gig called "The Fix" every Thursday at The Someday Lounge. His albums, The Find followed by Watts Happening, are laced with intricate beats, live music, and a calm flow. My only negative is that, at times, the beats and breaks are almost TOO intricate...but he makes it work. You can check him out here.

Braille is another dude from Portland that I got turned on to through listening to Ohmega Watts, and even Catch had a say in this too. Braille has just released his fourth album, The IV Edition, in April or March. If you like lyricist then this is a great album, not to say that the beats aren't on point...I mean with production from Marco Polo, Ohmega Watts, Kno from Cunninlynguist, and Rev Shinez of the Lifesavas it is hard to go wrong. The title track "The IV" and "Many Stories", though different types of songs, show his ability to rhyme and tell that story be it in a "club banger" or slow laid back tone. You can read up on him here.

Surreal, the third and final emcee, hails from Florida but is featured repeatedly on Braille and Ohmega Watts tracks. Ohmega Watts even has some production and beats credits on an album that I got from HHB. The album features production and appearances from The Soundproviders, Ohmega Watts, Kero One, Braille, Sivion, MoO, Theory Hazit, Tony Stone and more. Surreal's album, Future Classic, with DJ Balance is some laid back, easy listening hip hop. Honestly, I can listen from begining to end and not find a track that doesn't have something that I can chill to. You can check some of his music here.

So Imma put up the a track from each for your listening enjoyment...the most listened to tracks from each album. Have a listen, cop their albums, and lemme know what you think. Peace.

Ohmega Watts - Where It All Started


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