Monday, April 29, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stu Bangas Will Slap You, and Your Mom.

Sometimes, you just need to sit down, put the headphones on, and zone the fuck out. I just did that, and I'm still doing it. In fact, I can't stop. I'm not zoning out as in falling asleep and shit, it's more like someone keeps slapping me upside the head so I will pay attention. When I was a kid, my Bishop taught me how to golf (yes, I just said "Bishop"), and he was brutal. Pulling my hair straight ahead of me so I wouldn't move when I swung the club, etc. Listening to this production is kind of like that. It demands my attention.

Recently, I was reminded how hard this shit is when I was finishing up my first listen of Ill Bill's The Grimy Awards. The album was just coming to an end, and then THIS hit me over the head like a shovel:

CLANG! Maybe some of ya'll haven't been knowing about Stu Bangas. To that I say SHAME ON YOU.

Go HERE and check out his latest release. Also, I'm not going to educate you too much about who he has worked with. I think it's more important that you discover that for yourselves. Just remember that name, and start paying attention. That's what a good lil' Hip Hop head would do.

Have you noticed I can't stop posting these Soundcloud widgets? Maybe you're even annoyed by it? Well, to that I say EAT A DICK. These beats are so good that it would be a damn shame if you didn't just click on over to Stu's SOUNDCLOUD and listen for a while. Then maybe you should BUY SOMETHING. Follow him on Twitter. I do, and that is not just a trivial thing. I actually don't follow a lot of people, and I tend to rotate. Watch an artist for a few days, get bored or worse: annoyed, then click that "unfollow" button and never look back. I've actually been following Mr. Bangas for quite a while, and I plan to continue. Smart, talented, and not full of himself like a lot of artists are. We also seem to share similar taste in movies, at least some of the time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RA The Rugged Man Takes You To Church.

Talib Kweli once listed some of his favorite verses of all time on his Tumblr page. One that stood out to me was RA The Rugged Man's verse on "Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story". The track, off Legendary Classics: Volume 1 which featured Jedi Mind Tricks, definitely showcases Rugged Man's lyrical prowess. Thing is, EVERY MOTHERFUCKING TRACK HE'S ON DOES THIS. Sorry, I got a little excited there. My point is, I feel RA has been slept on. Despite being an independent veteran of the Hip Hop movement, champion of the so-called underground, accomplished writer, and insane lyricist, few self-proclaimed Hip Hop heads I speak with will list him as one of their favorites. This is a damn shame. I mean, shit, even Notorious B.I.G. stated, "and I thought I was the illest" in reference to Mr. Thorburn.

With the mutual respect Talib and RA have for each other, it comes as no surprise that there is collaboration between the two on Rugged Man's forthcoming album: Legends Never Die. I knew it would be dope, but this shit right here?

I don't think a post about Rugged Man is complete without a movie reference, so, to quote The Stranger (The Big Lebowski): "Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's just the man for his time and place."
Hip Hop needs RA The Rugged Man, and it's about damn time we get another album out of him. Legends Never Die drops April 30th, and if you don't pull out your Palm Pilot (or whatever new-fangled gadget the kids use nowadays) and mark the date, I'm pulling your card. That's right. you are no longer allowed to call yourself a Hip Hop fan.

Now watch this video:

And maybe take a look at what Talib Kweli and Mr. Green have to say about him:

If you're still not convinced about the relevance of this man in Hip Hop culture, I'll have to repeat the words of Flavor Flav: "Can't do nuttin' for ya man."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Return of Swollen Members: A Hip Hop Odyssey.

Years ago, I was given the opportunity to interview one of my all-time favorite MC's, MadChild of Swollen Members. It was a daunting experience for me. I was nervous, excited, and struggled to keep cool and make it a semi-professional interaction, being such a big fan of the Misguided Angel. The troubling thing about it was the new album due to be released. Armed To The Teeth, their first project in
quite some time. MadChild was just barely sober after several years of hardcore prescription drug abuse, and I felt like the album was very indicative of that. It didn't sound like Swollen Members. I wanted to be honest with him, in a respectful way, about my opinion. There were some awkward moments, but at the end of what turned into and hour-long conversation (it was interrupted a few times by him declining several other scheduled phone interviews), we were new friends. He invited me to hang out at the next possible date, which turned out to be an interesting experience for Benny and I at Nuemo's, and later on the SM Tour bus and at their hotel.

I have since had conversations with artists that were once close with Mad (such as Evidence) and constantly wondered about how Swollen Members and the Battle Axe Family (what was left of it) would rise from the rubble of their leader's self-destruction and rebuild. My hope was that he would be able to stay sober, and eventually get back to making the music that won my allegiance as a fan in the beginning.

I should clarify that there were parts of the new music that I loved, but parts that made me shake my head in confusion. This did not compromise my loyalty. I promised MadChild that I would continue to support the group, and keep an open mind to the direction they were going. I had faith.

Next came Daggermouth, Monsters II, and some solo releases by both MadChild and Prevail (who, by the way is a BEAST on the mic as well). I have the utmost amount of respect for Rob The Viking and Prevail for standing at Mad's side, even as the ship seemed to be sinking. If they had bailed, none of this new music would have been created. The new material showed promise. A gradual return to their roots. During our interview, MadChild spoke of an upcoming project called  Beautiful Death Machine that would have an unmistakably familiar sound and feel. A rebirth of the group as the same entity that created Balance, Bad Dreams, and Monsters In The Closet; laced with the wisdom, experience and formidable skills they had gained through the toil and hardship of their lengthy careers. I couldn't wait to hear what was next.

Fitting that this video depicts the group..... uh, WORKING, because that is all they do.

Here's the crazy thing: IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. The album is here and it is everything I hoped for. With the always sharp production of Rob The Viking and C-Lance; features by Slaine, Ill Bill, Vinnie Paz, Esoteric, Celph Titled, Apathy, and Snak The Ripper; I'm blown away. This is true hardcore Hip Hop at it's finest.

I recently listened to an interview with MadChild on Conspiracy WorldWide Radio. Mad's voice sounded different. More determined and focused than ever. It was inspiring, to say the least. You can check out that interview HERE.

Support Swollen. You can support real Hip Hop by purchasing the album and other merch on their website HERE.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shut Up and RAP. MC S.A.V. Frankenstein Flow parts 1 and 2.

While BrainSlice was sitting on his ass, drinking gargantuan amounts of whisky and watching Boardwalk Empire, THIS happened:

Shameful. Just tragic that I first heard this on a podcast out of the UK. Big thanks to Montana and Menace from Conspiracy Worldwide Radio for bringing it to my attention. Gasface to Catch and Benny

Part 2:

Seattle Hip Hop. 'Nuff said.