EARL SWEATSHIRT: PRETENDING TO GET IT

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Earl Sweatshirt: Huey (Tan Cressida, 2015, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside)

We interrupt the alphabet aerobics to play you something off of Earl’s latest album. All calliope beats, everything.

365 Days of Soul, #95

OG STYLE: ACTIVATE WHILE I CAPITVIATE

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O.G. Style: Catch ‘Em Slipping (Rap-A-Lot, 1991, I Know How To Play ‘Em

Just because you were on Rap-A-Lot didn’t mean you couldn’t be flipping jazz samples back in ’91. (This whole album is absolutely worth copping).

365 Days of Soul, #94

NHT BOYZ: RUNNING DOWN MAC

NhTBoyz: 6 In the Mornin’ (NhT Boyz Music, 2010, Power Triangle)

First off: unexpectedly good video, esp. with all that ambient shit at the beginning.

Second: those first set of verses, where he’s playing on S.F. puns, are just golden.

“Grabbed my .40 and my 9 like I’m from Frisco
Let his ass Fillmo’ like he from Frisco
Left from red for his gold like he from Frisco.”

East Oakland, represent! Oakland tree sticker

365 Days of Soul, #93

MUDKIDS: OVER YOUR HEADS LIKE CUMULUS

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The Mudkids: Another Journey (Surf, 2000, 12″)

Always loved how this one sounded; that guitar (steel?) loop is so distinctive and the track’s got this great energy to it. I ran into one of the group’s main members in a record store in Indiana circa 2002; I think I had forgotten they were even from Indy until that moment.

365 Days of Soul, #92

LARGE PROFESSOR: WHO REMAINS CHECKING

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Large Professor: Listen (Blast Off) (Geffen, 1996, 12″)

Junket’s Robbie Ettelson has part of the story behind what the hell happened to Large Pro’s solo LP but all I know is that folks were hype in ’96 at the idea that LP was about to drop The LP. As far as teaser 12″s go, this 3-song single was both enough to whet our appetite and then, as it turns out, hold us over for a while until we realized “uh oh, something went wrong.” Surprised this was left off […]

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KENDRICK LAMAR: CHURCH

Kendrick Lamar: Rigamortis (TDE, 2011, Section 80)

No doubt, I’m loving To Pimp A Butterfly (just wrote a new piece about its L.A. connections) but especially with all the hyper-jazziness of parts of that new LP, I keep coming back to my intro to K. Dot. “Rigamortis” still feels like a cotdman revelation every time I hear it.

365 Days of Soul, #90

JAY-Z: HOW TO DO THIS, SON

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Jay-Z: Show You How (Roc-A-Fella, 2002, The Blueprint 2)

I thought most of The Blueprint 2 was overstuffed, yet another double album that truly didn’t need to be. The fact that Jay-Z ended up releasing the pared down 2.1 was all but a bizarre acknowledgement of that. Yet, just when I was ready to completely give up on the album, Jay and Just Blaze team up for this bonus cut, making us all wonder “how come the whole album couldn’t have sounded like this shit?”

365 […]

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INTELLIGENT HOODLUM: SHO IS FUNKY

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Intelligent Hoodlum: Microphone Check (A&M, 1990, Intelligent Hoodlum)

1) I always preferred Intelligent Hoodlum as a name over Tragedy.
2) Marley Marl had good taste in funky piano beats back in the day.
3) I don’t get how more people didn’t mess with that Temptations’ loop.

365 Days of Soul, #88

HOUSE OF PAIN: ON THE STRENGTH

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House of Pain feat. Diamond D: Word Is Bond (Remix) (Tommy Boy, 1994, 12″)

As someone who loves covers and remixes, there was no better time than the mid-90s when it seemed like labels were happy to green light a dozen remixes for every single they released (I’m exaggerating, but only a little). Case in point, “Word is Bond,” appears in combination with at least three different songs (including “Legend” and “On Point”) and while the original version already featured Diamond D, they remixed it for the 12″ and […]

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GRAND PUBA: SHRED MCS LIKE CONFETTI

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Grand Puba feat. Sadat X: Play It Cool (Elektra, 1995, 2000)

There’s a long list of ’90s rappers that we all felt like should have had bigger careers. It’s hard to say Grand Puba “missed out” given 1) he made a successful turn from a so-so group (Masters of Ceremony) to heading up one of the most important groups of the early ’90s (Brand Nubian) and 2) turned that into a pair of solo albums on a major label, all within barely half a decade. Yet Puba, like […]

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