This week is turning into a bit of an emotional nightmare. Trying to put on a gig at your local university is a bit of a health and safety minefield, there is so much red tape to get through I feel like I’m in a massive cobweb. If you ever try to do one of these things make sure you know someone who has done it before, otherwise you’ll end up in such a tangle you’ll write a blog about it.
Still, you’d think that the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been having with this would drive me towards something like Atmosphere or Cunninlynguists. However they haven’t, instead I’ve been listening to an album by Nas. Illmatic made me realise why there was so much hype surrounding Nas and why he is still regarded as a really good rapper. Up until I heard this album I thought he’d released a few good songs but the rest weren’t much more than average. This album, which in all honesty I should have heard years ago, proves that Nas has something that puts him better than the others. When listening to this, bear in mind Illmatic was written in 1994 and yet to my ears doesn’t sound dated. I’m going to put my neck out here and say he hasn’t done anything better, but heck if he can do this thats all that matters. Right, enough waffling, here is the first one, a bit of a me-against-the-world track.
The whole album is good, but its hard for me to pick out another song. I’d put in Halftime but I’ve already used that in one of my previous posts. Instead I’m going to switch over to something else. I’m sure many people have heard of Eric B and Rakim, they’re a duo from the mid-1980′s who some say optimise Hip Hop’s golden age. I don’t agree with Nas that Hip Hop is dead, but this is probably the type of stuff he was referring to. Still, here is a bit of a crazy song from the duo:
Their debut album is generally overlooked, and you’ll see why in a minute, but I wanted to flag it first because it is good in it’s own way. It is very minimalistic compared to stuff nowadays, but that’s beside the point, that isn’t what grabbed me with this. The point is that I’ve got a friend who’s thinking of growing his hair into an afro. When he does, I’m going to buy him a boombox, a huge fake gold chain, and we’re going to sit on the basketball courts all day long looking cool listening to this. Here it is:
The reason why I wanted to put that first is because of the sheer quality of the next track. It was made as a soundtrack for a coming-of-age movie concerning a young thug, which is probably like a poor version of The Wire season 4. Now, I don’t really associate it with jackin’ some n*ggas in the hood somewhere, I first heard this song on a (roller) blading game, ironically grinding along a really high ledge. Still, its a damn good song and the funky/jazzy feeling to this makes the track stand out from a mile off. This’ll be what me and Afroman put on when we’re playing basketball:
Added Bonus: Guess who the guy in the clips from the Film is?
My last track is something a lot darker. A mate of mine linked me to this track on youtube earlier today and I guess this is as real as some of this stuff gets. It’s a grim track with a twist at the end. It could be bollocks but for some reason I think it has some grains of truth in it. Ah well, its your choice:
Joey will probably like this, kind of like his point with Cage
Anyway, thats it for me. There are many other great Eric B and Rakim tracks out there, along with Rakim’s solo carreer too, so I’d like to suggest you check out “Don’t Sweat the Technique” if you haven’t already heard it. Right, my last nugget for you is a quote taken from Nas condemning Bill O’Reilly:
“People like me are supposed to let niggas like him know. I don’t take him serious.”
Damn, this must have done wonders for O’Reilly’s street cred.