Music Reviews

Odd Nosdam Featuring Jessica Bailiff – “Untitled Three” – [Anticon.]

abacus   10/15/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

god damn is this a collaboration to write home about. Odd Nosdam stands at the helm of hip-hop’s avant-garde with his crooked, broken, bottom heavy beats pickin hard at the heart strings; add Jessica Bailiff’s distant dream-laden vocalizations to open and close and a lethal injection of instrumental beauty from herself and her partner in pageantry Jesse Edwards (not to mention local cat Dax Pierson cutting deep with the melodica and other goodies on a particularly moving track), and you get some of the most gorgeous production I’ve heard on anything that can claim street cred. passionate, raw, but dare i say ethereal? definitely not

MC Sub-Zero Permafrost & LYDSOD – “My Brass Instrument” – [LYDSOD]

mickeyslim   9/10/2014   7-inch, Hip Hop

Hip-hop/brass-band/psych/noise orgy! MC Sub-Zero Permafrost spits raps overmusic from the project LYDSOD (a very sarcastic acronym for Live Your Dreams Stay Off Drugs), an acid drenched psych coalition from Brooklyn.

Very high pitched vocals, not sure if it spins correctly at 33 or 45 (I think its 45). The tuba and trombone add a zesty spice to the hip-hop flavor. The B-side wanders a bit into the noisy side of things, which I know a lot will enjoy. Throw it on the turntable and enjoy..

FCC: Both sides :(

Automator, The – “Music to Be Murdered By” – [Homebass]

abacus   7/28/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

rare 1989 early tracks from bay area legend bringin us filthy fresh cuts of classic boom bap soul clap hip hop. old skool Emu emulations and scratch happy samplage with fluid rhyme schemes on Funky Sound and Dance, Murdered the busiest on the production. Bonus Noise dropping into instro tracks and a run in with APV Patrol along with some fine scratchables on the short track. throw on your Reeboks and Get Down to that triple-threat Jenny homicide

Aleister X – “Half-speed Mastered” – [MVDaudio]

humana   7/25/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

Aleister X has a British accent and performs in New York City, wearing black face paint and strange robes (hints of Cy Thoth, sans the voice). Rap is the most dominant medium here, although there are other elements to vary things. Lots of references to Beach Boys songs (“Bad Vibrations” and “California Gurls”). He worked with Lee Scratch Perry on the 2008 Repentance album.

Fresh Finesse – “You Ain’t Sayin’ Nothing” – [Micro Mini]

Naysayer   4/20/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

It’s 1989. Some of you might still have your high top fade and some crazy baggy pants. You probably bought twelve inch vinyl singles. You may have even bought this by Fresh Finesse. Distributed by Trumpet Records from Fanwood, New Jersey, which kind of says it all, Finesse’s “You Ain’t Sayin’ Nothing” is the perfect sample of 1989 MCs, flyboys, breakbeat culture. Four versions of “You Ain’t…”, the story is pretty much about why FF is the one to listen to because he is the best and anyone else is going down. FF’s MC style is smooth and sure, easy to hear, clear and to the point. This is when fighting was done with words and the winner got to wear the biggest “gold” chain. Great beats. Sample from Gaz’s 1978 Salsoul recording “Sing Sing”. And there is a Bonus track that is all about FF sweet talking a girl, using so many lines to try and get her home and to be his. FF even rhymes “relinquish” with “extinguish”. Refrain is a male soul singer going on with FF’s message. Essential stuff. And when you all leave the station, I’ll lock the doors, put this on, pull out my piece of cardboard and breakdance the night away.

Blackhouse – “Blackhouse, The” – [Fatbeats]

rasbabo   4/9/2014   CD, Hip Hop

The Blackhouse-
???He do the cuts She do the beats??? DJ Romes and Georgia Anne Muldrow
A cool LP with funky beats and samples. Some tracks remind of of city sidewalk breakdancers bustin
moves on the cardboard. Others are deeper and stonier. Drop the needle and pick your potion.
My only regret is that some of the tracks are short; they get to the hook, roll on it a while and then fade
out. Wish they went further with some of these grooves, or bridged a few together.
Still good, still dope.
I liked the title track and the B-side most.
When America crashes and burns, we’ll all be in the Blackhouse.
Ras Babo

Chrystal Oak – “Post Romanticism” – [Hiss Tapes]

MSTiZA   4/9/2014   Cassette, Hip Hop

Chrystal Oaks is Swedish rapper, Prosperous. According to his bandcamp page, Prosperous has been on the Swedish Rap Scene in crews PLANT OF TRAILS, ASSIMILATED SPECIES, and BRIEFCASE ROCKERS. This release is from the Finnish Hiss Tapes cassette label. Considering that Prosperous has collaborated with Subtitle, it’s no surprise that the tracks are experimental and alternative hip hop. There isn’t little to interpret, his skills rapping in English are clear. There are noisier elements in several tracks, begging the question as to what is used in production. With a growing trend in indie hip hop heading towards angst/rap/scatter/assault, this cassette is refreshing. It’s more palatable for those fearful of the more aggressive sounds. I am looking forward to learning more about Prosperous, his previous releases, and the Swedish rap scene.

RP Boo – “Legacy” – [Planet Mu Records Ltd.]

MSTiZA   4/2/2014   CD, Hip Hop

This is RP Boo’s first solo release. Previously his work has been featured on Planet Mu comps. He is known as a pioneer of the Chicago electronic beat movement known as footwork. Footwork is truly a genre of it’s own. The dance that accompanies these sounds blends house and breakdance into it own spastic footwork based style, hence the name. It is frenetic, repetitive, disjointed, rhythmic, anti-rhythmic, and much more or less. Boo is a zeitgeist for this scene.

Mr. Aeks and Opski Chan_Pushers and Prophets

japanic   2/3/2014   Hip Hop

As a supporter of local (Bay Area, CA) sounds there’s something that I find really satisfying about listening to import releases by your favorite hometown heroes. This cassette tape release limited to 100/100 comes to us by way of Hiss Tape of Finland. In 2014 do yourself a solid and peep this effort from 408 representatives (San Jose, CA) Mr. Aeks & Opski Chan. If you don’t know your South Bay underground rap timeline, Aeks has been doing dirt on underground rap joints since the 90’s – with his hand on production of some favorite classic & contemporary projects. Op has been dropping jewels on tracks since the 00’s – both on solo projects and collaborations. Pushers & Prophets is made up of the necessary ingredients for a classic underground SJ release – one part rugged rhymes & one part dope beats that will make your head nod; have you light one up or both. If you are unable to get your hands on a cassette copy you can find the digital version at http://opskichan.bandcamp.com/album/pushers-prophets

White Mic – “Fighting Off Success” – [Hiss Tapes]

MSTiZA   1/9/2014   Cassette, Hip Hop

This is the cassette release of the 2012 album. This cassette comes to KFJC via Hiss Tapes a label out of Finland. White Mic is one of the original members of Bored Stiff. White Mic delivers a direct take on aging in the independent hip hop world. With little effort he takes strides approaching the subject. There is no burden to carry in his endeavor to articulate this paradigm. He is clear in his delivery. This is a refreshing voice from a man in an genre in which the artists or MCs don’t get infinite opportunities to withstand the changing of the culture. The sound is filled with nostalgic but innovative beats and delivery while remaining grounded. Tune in to this and turn it up.

White Mandingos, The – “Ghetto Is Tryna KIll Me, The” – [Fat Beats]

honeybear   12/17/2013   CD, Hip Hop

Rap and Punk???? It???s Happened before, check out DeeDee King! Murs, Darryl Jenifer (Bad Brain???s Bassist), and Sacha Jenkins (former Rolling Stone journalist and VH1/MTV Producer) hit the ground running with this ???Fuck You??? to the music industry. Comprised into a concept album about a man named,Tyrone White. Who is a black man that is looked down upon in the Black Communtiy for loving Punk Rock and White Women. He starts a band and gets a deal, falls in love, battles the evil racism of the major record labels, and learning to except what you are/never bowing down to what other want of you. Kind of has the ???Tommy??? or ???Lola Verses Powerman??? vibe going. A lot of this album feels like filler, but the gems on here shine very bright. Nice mix of Hip Hop, Punk, Classic Rock & Reggae. Samples from harDCore Washington DC bands (Bad Brains and Minor Threat)! This was a pleasant surprise!

Mad Dukez + Fresh Kils – “Gettin’ Gatsby” – [Deep Thinka Records]

Dianthus   10/30/2013   CD, Hip Hop

Crossing over borders by way of musical hip-hop forces are the duo Fresh Kils and Mad Dukez. On Gettin’ Gatsby , Buffalo based rapper Mad Dukez explores some of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel by way of free-flowing lyrics about sacrifice, success , money and excess. His vocal style and charismatic flow shines on tracks like “Decadent Dilemma” and “Brother Bookie”. The album could not be complete without Toronto’s Fresh Kils operating the decks and setting the scene with fresh beats & well placed production to compliment Mad Dukez freestylin’ gab. Try and stand still while the funky drums set the stage for “Bootleg Bartender” but be ready to listen to this cd more than once to really start to like it.

No Peddlers and The Massdist Allstars – “Rap Album Mixtape 2012” – [Self Released]

abacus   10/23/2013   CD, Hip Hop

East-coast white-boy juvenile-delinquency flop-hop freestyling from Colin L and his ragtag team of suburbanites. Skillfully offensive in both content and delivery, sloppily spewing bumblefuck lyricism about premature ejaculation, racial preconceptions, substance abuse, social awkwardness and much much more. FCC ALL TRACKS!! (except 13) No point cleaning up here… as it says on the cover, this SHIT IS NASTY: gratuitous language throughout often dabbling in obscenity (AVOID TRACKS 4, 9). The production is the highlight here with all sorts of rip-off sampling and old school boom blap beats that’ll get you bumpin for sure. This is ghetto streets like sippin Natty Ice 40s in your mom’s basement and smoking crystal in the backyard. Self indulgent silliness. Hip-Hop purists can suck it.

Hip Hop for the Hill – Vol. 8 / October 2013

japanic   10/19/2013   CD, Hip Hop

01_Queensbridge, NY veteran MC Tragedy Khadafi teams up with Tragic Allies from Lynn, Massachusetts create some rugged poetry. 02_Northern Cali’s Big Sammy rhymes large and is co-signed by Gurp City. 03_Often under appreciated MC/Producer Count Bass D collaborates with often underrated MC/Producer MF Grimm and bring you the knock! 04_Law Professor Mom + African poet/activist Dad = Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future. RZA (Wu Tang Clan) on the beat. 05_Grand Killa Con includes Gurp City residents Luke Sick & Central American record digger Brycon. 06_Ruff raps from Brooklyn MC Hannibal Stax over rugged noise from East Coast Producer Marco Polo. 07_MC/Producer/Record Label Owner/Author/Drummer J-Zone speaks on the trials & tribulations of an aging rapper. 08_La Femme Deadly Venoms is made up of DJ Battle team Celskii & Deandroid, Lady Fingaz and Crown City Rocker’s keyboard virtuoso Kat 010. Bay Area stand up because these ladies can get down! 09_Solid showing from veteran DITC OG MC OC. Always on cue when he?? spits game. Da Beatminerz on production. 10_When the Operator Chan is in the place the 408 is well represented. When Sol Plus 10 (Sub Ren) is in the place the 408 is well represented. Give this track full of rap magic a spin! 11_Tony Touch & Mash Out Posse get you inebriated on some 80 proof rap. 12_Tony Touch & Thirstin Howl III serve up some up north type jail recipe rap. 13_Walt Sicknin bring some ice cold raps from “Chilly Philly”.

**A brief disclaimer – This is not a music compilation release by KFJC, nor does this radio station or its staff claim ownership of any songs herein.


Opski Chan – “Super Duty Tough Work” – [Isolated Wax]

abacus   10/15/2013   CD, Hip Hop

Debut full-length (2011) from San Jose native Opski Chan, a disciple of classic hip-hop purity. Old school, stripped down beat-heavy production with smooth spooky samplage that verges on haunting its so dark, cinematic at times. Fresh, rapid-fire lyricism ranges from the typical ego tripping to more contemplative and introspective, with the intellect increasing as the album progresses. Creative wordplay from all (rhyming Elmo with elbows, money makin and cuttin bacon) that incorporates plenty of off-rhyming and alliteration, keeping our ears perked throughout. Production by Barry Bones with cameos by Cutso, Antwon, D-Styles and Tape Mastah Steph, all local legends of sorts. Load up your backpack with walkman and paint cans and hit the streets, this is your B-Boy soundtrack.

Group Home – “Livin’ Proof” – [Payday]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2013   12-inch, Hip Hop

Originally out in 1995, so this tickled my Spider senses, and
I remember KFJC’s Spiderman playing Tha Realness from the 12″
single, and Ken always extolled the virtues of DJ Premier who
is on most of the cuts here. For Premier fans, one of the three
records in this a set of “instrumentals” (which for DJ’s please
note may still have some vocals scratched in on the chorus
sections). Group Home on the mic are two guys from Gang Starr
Lil Dap (with lip twisting slight lisp quipping synapse
slipping grammar damage) and Melachi the Nutcracker (with
the well-enunciated thin-but-not-emaciated more logic locked
and glock cocked cliche clicking in the pocket). On “Sacrifice”
Melachi starts things out with a Morris-Minor sped up intro
that makes him sound like an angry infant, but then that beat
has some killer junkyard guitar and sax punctuation. Isaac
Hayes? “4 Give My Sins” has cool dramatic tension in the
beats, and horns hiding around the corners. I think the stuff
that has a dark, sort-of-spacey vibe (electric piano samples
turn into stars) and shimmering cymbals is Premier work…and
while much deserved love goes out to the production here, I
have to say that MC’s, I do think add to the flavor of the
pieces more than the flack they get nearly 20 years after the
release of this. Cliches may have been on the way back in the
day, but I think this is how Brooklyn felt and sounded back
then, and here’s Livin’ Proof…

-Thurston Hunger

Raekwon – “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” – [Loud Records]

incognito   10/6/2013   CD, Hip Hop

It’s hard to come up to say something new about “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” – it’s a legendary album from Wu-Tang’s golden age. Raekwon’s first solo album, heavily featuring Ghostface, the two focusing on themes of crime, drugs, inner city life and growing up in the projects of Shaolin (Staten). It’s a cinematic, huge album that launched an entire generation of rappers into imitating and trying to adopt the mafioso hip hop genre. RZA is at the top of his game here, blending his own raw beats with samples from 70s funk and soul, mafioso and crime films and of course, kung fu movie samples. I’ve always thought this was a Rae and Ghost album more than it is a solo effort, with many members of the Clan and Nas featured on a lot of tracks.You’re probably not going to hear this one getting any play during day time – this is raw and uncut. WuTang forever.

Thes One & Raashan Ahmad – “Doin It” – [Tres Records]

Dianthus   10/1/2013   12-inch, Hip Hop

Thes One and Raashan Ahamad have been friends for over 9 years. Their other groups People Under the Stairs and The Crown City Rockers kept them busy until they were able to make this release. “Doin’ It” pours on the 70’s flavor with lots of drum kicks and funk-filled loops. “Good Co.” deals out a smooth beat, while Thes One and Ahmad trade rhyming lyrics like Garbage Pail Kid cards. “Allright” is equally funky with shine and flare and a high-hat beat that is extra crispy. If hip-hop is not your thing, all the tracks have instrumental versions to get your party groovin’ and your booty moovin’. I can dig it. Can youuuu diggg eeeettt?

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