Check It – DJ Blueprint’s Recommendations
February 28, 2008, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Edreys – ‘D.U.I.’ & ‘No Joke’

Edreys, born and raised in Buffalo, New York, created quite a buzz with his video on You Tube, with 300,000 views ‘I Like It’ in a month. Apparently he’s caught the attention of some label heads, so the future seems bright for this young MC who’s currently working on an album to be released in 2008. You should look out and buy a copy of his ‘D.U.I.’/’I Like It’ limited 45 now before they’re gone. Edreys will be on tour with Camp Lo and Prince Po in April and May, so if you’re a promoter or if you know someone who’s capable of putting up a show, get in touch and support real music.

The first track featured here is a nice breakbeat driven track with a sample you should be familiar with. The second is a remake of the classic Eric B and Rakim track, with new lyrics that take the track to a new level.

6th Sense – ‘It’s Time’

6th Sense, also from New York, is one of the artists that are part of the Rawkus 50, a project where they signed 50 artists and released digital albums on the label. The result is an album called It’s Coming Soon which was produced by 6th Sense and Frequency. Together they also produced ‘Think About It’ for Snoop Dogg’s The Blue Carpet Treatment album. The MC/Producer from New York also released a mixtape with Mick Boogie, available as a free download, called Go For It. The track featured is taken from the Go For It mixtape and was produced by Frequency.

You know we only feature quality music on this blog, so you really need to check out this pair of talented contemporary MCs.

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A Lust Attack – ‘Nikki’ Beat Deconstruction
February 25, 2008, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Beat Deconstructions, Breaks, Producers

Al Tariq – ‘Nikki’
taken from God Connections (Correct, 1996)

Otis Redding – ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’
taken from The Dock Of The Bay (Volt, 1968)

Although I’m not gonna bitch about a free ‘holiday’ in the Alps and the delights of skiing, it’s also fair to say that being an on duty teacher for nine days straight with a troop of 49 students all undertaking a potentially life-threatening activity carries with it a certain amount of stress. As a result, I think I’m more exhausted now than I was at the beginning of the half term break, with a mound of backed-up work that is nothing short of intimidating. Naturally, rather than tackle this immediately I’m shirking responsibility and getting back on the blog tip, a pleasure that I’ve sorely missed over the last fortnight. Gotta give yourself some time off, right?!

I didn’t actually listen to a huge amount of music whilst I was away, but when I did get a minute to shut myself off with a pair of comfy Sennheisers, it was Oh Word’s Valentine Mix that remained in pretty constant rotation bar a few ‘on the road’ personal classics. Amidst a fantastic selection of tracks ‘for sensitive thugs and their shorties’ it was Al Tariq’s ‘Nikki’ that had me bopping my head on innumerable occasions, a song that may have passed CD heads by as it was a bonus cut that only saw a release on the double vinyl LP. With Psycho Les and Juju chipping in a hand on the boards, it’s one of the best tracks to be found on God Connections, an album that easily stands its own against the crew’s formally united output.

I’m always a sucker for a mellow, sun-soaked guitar loop in a hip hop jam, and the sample lifted from Otis Redding’s ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’ is a certified gem. The song can be found on his posthumously released LPThe Dock Of The Bay, home to the song of the same name that will forever be intertwined with his legacy. The album is in fact a collection of singles and b-sides, with ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’ actually seeing an original release in 1966 as the flip to ‘My Lover’s Prayer’. It’s a great little number in which Otis expresses his refusal to be trampled on by a member of the fairer sex with the passionate delivery that certified his place in the annals of popular soul, and also a song that seems to have been lost in the numerous greatest hits collections that many people probably assume covers the entirety of his work. Why ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’ should have escaped the canonization process is somewhat beyond me, as it is as easily as good as his more obvious hits, but then perhaps therein lies some of its appeal. The musical snob in me lives on…

Production-wise there’s not a great deal of sample tomfoolery going on, with the first two bars receiving the loop treatment and some heavy drums, although there is some rearrangement on display during the chorus sections and the removal of the guitar’s upstroke that closes the first bar once the main beat drops is a pleasingly subtle touch. With the mellow vibe provided by the beat, Al Tariq takes the opportunity to wax lyrical about that special honey from the past with a level of sensitivity that is rarely seen amongst The Beatnuts’ camp (although a fair amount of ‘bedroom’ talk endures). The result is a rarity well worth savouring: ‘Nikki’ truly is a great hip hop love song.

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