ASK US: CHILDREN’S STORIES

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An anonymous reader asks:

Curious to know what rap music you listen to, if any, with your daughter? I rarely play my favorites – other than the occasional Tribe or De La – and I’ve always been concerned about my daughter (who is 8) hearing the misogyny and homophobia, not the curse words. (This isn’t to say ATCQ and DLS aren’t guilty, because, I mean, “Infamous Date Rape”? Really, Tribe? I digress for now…) The older she gets, the tougher the call, because I’d really like to share […]

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ASK US: WHAT’S UP WITH NEW VINYL?

Arun asks:

Hi O-Dub,

I was wondering if you’re still buying new hip-hop vinyl these days. There were a couple soulstrut threads on how vinyl quality is going down and prices are going up, and Serato makes it easy to spin digital. I could be wrong about this, but it also seems like fewer rap singles are being put out on vinyl.

(Editor’s note: “Thanks” to Ned Raggett, people have been treating this like an article which…it’s not. That said, perhaps I may have overstated some claims so in the interests of toning down some of […]

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MINI-MIXERS

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Anonymous asks:

Mini-mixers: I know you were curious about this yourself a while back and considered the irig since the Columbia GMX is almost impossible to find.What’s the verdict? What do you use?

I bought the iRig but I haven’t actually used it “in the field.” I can talk about my logic in choosing it but first this: I didn’t really “need” a portable mixer. The only reason I bothered was because I have a pair of Columbia GP-3s and aesthetically, I wanted a small mixer to use […]

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THE VINYL MARKET

Eric S. asks:

I was wondering if you think the bubble of highly inflated vinyl prices will burst anytime soon, so I can finally afford some of the pieces I’m currently coveting, or if I’m just gonna have to wait for the reissues, or play crappy vinyl rips (not yours) with serato (if I had serato)?

There’s no simple answer to this since it depends on a few factors, perhaps the most important being: “what genre are we talking about?”

Let me back up a second though. […]

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SUMMER CHILLS

Question from Luca:

I’m amazed from Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness.” I really want to do a playlist with all the mood of this song. Chill out jazz, slow and relaxing, something meditative. Could you tell me some song like that, without voices, just instrumental?

Answer: Funny, I was just thinking the other day about how good Idris Muhammed’s “Loran Dance” is and that would very much fall into the groove you seem to be talking about:

I’d suggest the entire CTI/Kudu catalog could be cherry-picked to find other songs in this vein though I […]

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UMCS, CHARLES BRADLEY, AND OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Question from Nick: “I was wondering if you know what the beat is that the UMC’s freestyle over on Stretch and Bobbito’s radio show. I am pretty sure that Stretch put together beats, so it may be something he created. Regardless its classic case of how good stripped down drums and bass can sound.”

Answer: I don’t recognize it as an instrumental from an existing song from that era though it could certainly have been from a more independent release that would have flown under my radar then. I do think it’s more realistic that it was a […]

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NOT SELLING OUT, THAT’S A NEGATIVE

Question from Damien: “I was wondering today…who introduced the RnB/Soul side to the hip hop? The one we can hear in Mos Def’s or The Pharcyde’s tracks? Was there any tension about this at the time, some kind of opposition between the aggressive tone of some early 90’s releases and the smoothness of some others?”

Answer: There’s two separate questions here so let me tackle the first.

First, it’s a bit odd to try to talk about how R&B was “introduced” into hip-hop insofar as rap music’s roots come out of soul via funk via disco. I mean, […]

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OUTSIDE MY WINDOW, I CAN HEAR A RADIO…

Question from Tolo: “there’s a song that’s been hunting me for days, I think you wrote about it but my memories are hazy. It’s a funk soul number (early 70s?) that DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist used to play. I remember the lyrics saying something like “he’s number one.” Sorry, I realize this is pretty vague.”

A: That’s actually more than enough info, you’re talking about this song:

Have a question? Ask us.

LEAVE THE GUILT, TAKE THE PLEASURE

Question from Karl: “Back in 2002, I was fortunate enough to interview El-P during the height of Definitive Jux’s fame for my college newspaper. Aside from being extremely gracious with his time and enduring what I’m sure were, in hindsight, relatively inane questions, there was one thing he said which has stuck with me since to this very day. When I asked about his “”guilty listening pleasures,”” he rightly and summarily dismissed the notion, saying if he genuinely liked something, he wasn’t ashamed to admit it. Really changed some of my attitudes towards music. What are your views on”guilty […]

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THE MEDIUM AND THE MESSAGE

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Question from Argonaut: “As someone trying to send albums out to “press people” what’s the proper way to do so in 2013? Back in day you could send a CD and press release and sometimes you get a review or feature (back when they had magazines) but now its almost worthless to press a physical CD so how do you submit it press. Zip file of the whole album? A streaming link of a song/album? It seems like everyone could just send […]

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