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February 2006 Archives

February 7, 2006

Sway - "This is My Demo"

Sway, as heard on the latest Clinton Sparks mixtape, is one of tne of the biggest names in much-vaunted the UK Grime scene, and is dropping his full-length album "This Is My Demo" this week. I've been skeptical about Grime's ability to crossover here, but speaking for myself I like Sway's stuff quite a bit. Here's some info from ukhh.com:

Tell us about “This is My Demo”, who produced it, the lyrical themes on it and what you hope it to achieve:

“This Is My Demo” is my first album, my debut and it’s the only project I intend to release on my own, off my own back. I set up a production company where I have up and coming producers coming up underneath me called Dcypha Productions and I’ve just come in conjunction with a group of guys called Alliance Recordings Inc and we’ve come to get together to bring to you my debut. Basically, my whole career is going to be based on my career. So the themes that are going to be on my album are going to be about before I get signed, when I get signed to what goes on in the industry. So the listener will go through what I go through in my career. That’s why this album is going to be called “This Is My Demo”. The second album is called “This Is My Album”. From then, I won’t say anymore. The titles are quite creative. I’ve planned it all out. If it all goes to plan… the concepts on it are everything I’m going through now. Like, I’ve got a tune on there called “Crash” about driving lessons and about how I crashed my dad’s car. It’s comical but it’s real. I’m talking about how driving lessons cost too much and road tax and shit people don’t rap about. I’ve also got a track called “Slow Down”, which is about club violence that’s going on. I’m taking the mick out of people who get a bit funny when “Superthug” comes on. Not everybody wants to do what you’re doing so consider that when you’re running around stepping on people’s trainers. I’ve got songs on there touching on deeper subjects. I’ve got a song about abortion. I’m really against abortion even though I know a lot of friends who’ve been through it. I know a bit about it, and I’m against it. I’m not condemning it but just letting people see it for what it actually is. If you make a mistake, other people don’t have to suffer for it. It’s a wide range of different songs. It’s 12 tracks at the moment and it’s 80% produced by myself. Other producers are coming onboard at the moment. It should be a good project.

Ursula Rucker "Ma'at Mama" Album

A new CD from the noted spoken-word-speaker and Roots colloborator.. Chart Attack up in Canada is not feeling it:

Ursula Rucker is a smart, passionate woman and a well-respected spoken-word slinger who can no doubt hold a live audience spellbound with her verses about black culture, female pride and the general state of a messed-up world. Too bad her style isn't well suited to the CD format, a deficiency that's evident on Ma'at Mama. This disc is long on Rucker's repetitive, asymmetrical cadence and strident politics, but what it lacks is strong backbeats. Only the horn-powered "Rant" qualifies as a truly enjoyable listen. More representative is "Black Erotica," with its clinical and cringe-worthy description of oral sex. Personal empowerment is a noble goal, but Rucker makes it sound like no fun at all.

Boomkat offers a kinder judgement though:

First things first; a bit of etymology for your perusal... A distant cousin of the Indo-European linguistic tree, 'Ma’at’ is taken from ancient Egyptian and represents the Kemetic principle which presumes an underlying foundation of universal order and balance. The Mama bit? Get a dictionary hobo! The latest release from Ursula Rucker, 'Ma'At Mama' could readily be lost in a cloud of joss-sticks, as people interpret her spoken word lyricism and social consiousness as another album of worthy (but ultimately dull) polemic. Yet for those who stow away any preconceived prejudice prior to departure, 'Ma'At Mama' is a coruscating treat. Opening with 'Humbled', Rucker (alongside Sonia Sanchez) weave a tapestry of burnt-sugar dialogue around grand-standing choirs, compressed breaks and tongue-clicks. This is what the radio station in The Warriors would have sounded like on Valentines night... From this soft-centered opener, 'Rant' (featuring Malene Younglao) is a spasm-bucked slap of horn-popped hip-funk; over which Rucker lists the ills of modern society, whilst somehow making it all sound like an MTV-felling Beyonce from an alternative universe. If only The Herbaliser had heard this first, they might not have bothered with 'Take London'. Elsewhere, 'Libations' indulges in some RIP list-action (the effect; Saul Williams sans a chromosome), 'Poon Tang Clan' is a brittle drum break garnished with honeyed discourse, whilst album closer 'L.O.V.E' is a starry-eyed dedication to the eponymous emotion - bolstered by swathes of Stevie Wonder-strings. Mama Mia!

February 13, 2006

New Jay Z Album with Dr. Dre.. Or Is It Kanye West?

Various reports have surfaced about Jay-Z preparing a new album, with somewhat different ideas on who is producing the project.. one story has Dr. Dre helming the project, while the other has Kanye positing himself as the beatmaker.. interesting cuz I happen to know that Jigga has also worked on new material with another producer, who is not Dre or Kanye. I can't comment further except to say that I heard the beats in question, and they are beyond ridiculous. Hope those will see the light of day if and when this album materializes..

Here's the story that claims Dr. Dre is in charge. Keep in mind that historically speaking, "new album produced by Dr. Dre" has usually translated to "new album that will never come out":

Jay-z : new album with Dr Dre ?

Jay-Z is supposed to be retired and focusing his energy on running Def Jam Records, but he seems to be itching to get back in the studio. The rapper, who won a Grammy Award this week for his "Numb/Encore" collaboration with Linkin Park, is allegedly working on a new album with Dr. Dre, which he hopes to release this summer. A music business insider told the New York Post’s Page Six, "The big gossip of the Grammys is about Jay-Z. After saying he was going to retire when he became president of Def Jam so he wouldn’t compete with other artists on his label, he has a record coming out in June. To make matters worse, Dr. Dre is producing the record, which is huge because Dre hasn’t produced an album in years."

The insider added, "Dre is on rival label Interscope, and while Def Jam and Interscope are both under the Universal umbrella, people have their noses out of joint. This album will be huge. But first of all, Jay is not using a Def Jam producer, and second of all, he will be competing with his own artists. Not cool. His ego is so big he can’t not release an album. He is a president of a label and should not be doing this..."

And here's the Kanye remix of the story:

West reveals Jay-Z is on the comeback trail

Kanye West has blown rap mogul Jay-Z's big comeback surprise by announcing he's on board to produce the Def Jam Records boss' next project.

Jay-Z announced his retirement in 2003, and has been dogged by rumours of a comeback ever since. He has always maintained he has no plans to return to the charts, but now West, who produced his The Blueprint album, reveals the rap boss is staging a comeback in an interview in the new issue of men's magazine Playboy.

The Jesus Walks hitmaker says: "I'm producing Jay-Z's new album. I'm doing the whole thing." And when interviewer Rob Tannenbaum reveals Jay-Z once offered to pay him $1,000 (€836) if he ever came out of retirement, West tells the journalist: "Well, he's about to pay."

February 16, 2006

Dilated Peoples "20/20" Album

The new one from Dilated Peoples, "20/20" enters your vision (wah wah wahhh) this coming tuesday.. here's the word fromvibe online:

Their fourth and most lucid effort, 20/20, though devoid of chart-topping hits, contains thought-provoking concoctions like the minimalist backpacker anthem “Back Again.” On the track, Evidence proclaims, write rhymes,” over a stuttering bass line. The articulate “You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run” — about life’s unpredictability — exhibits the group’s improved rhyme schemes over funky scratches and a lively piano. Despite a few failed revolutionary anthems (“Firepower,” featuring Capleton), DP still has enough verbal ammunition to ignite the mind.

Keak Da Sneak "Kunta Kinte" Album

Kunta Kinte is the new album from Keak the Sneak, a progenitor of the Hyphy movement that's finally getting noticed outside the Bay Area. Here's hoping it'll make a dent in these NY radio playlists currently saturated with all the worst of the south. Information is scant, but here's the tracklisting:

1. Lights Camera, Action - Keak da Sneak
2. Runnin - E Forty, Keak da Sneak
3. Superhyphy - Keak da Sneak
4. Light Green - Keak da Sneak
5. All N Moe Doe - Keak da Sneak, Team
6. Booty - Keak da Sneak
7. N.I.G.G.A. S Got Game - Keak da Sneak
8. Keak Sneak - Keak da Sneak, Lil Mo
9. Dope House - Keak da Sneak
10. New Millinium Sport - Keak da Sneak
11. Grow Up - Keak da Sneak, Team
12. My Type - Too Short, Keak da Sneak
13. Yeah - Keak da Sneak
14. Get It - Keak da Sneak

February 22, 2006

Common "Finding Forever" Album

Common says his new album shall be entitled "Finding Forever," due out who knows when. Hokey title? Perhaps, but then again this is the guy who wanted to call his album "The Is-ness."

Common's new album “Finding Forever”

Common is about to hit the studio to record a new album, to be entitled “Finding Forever.”
The follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2005 LP “Be” will feature songs the Chicago rapper hopes will stand the test of time.

Common has started work on his seventh album, "Finding Forever". "Finding Forever really means to find a place in music where you can exist forever," Com explained. "Music can be forever if you make it from the heart, if you make it from the soul and it’s good. And I look at music like Bob Marleys or Marvin Gayes or Stevie Wonders or A Tribe Called Quests, that’s forever music. And I’m continuing on the quest to make forever music."

Common has big plans for the album, "I want to work with Kanye again," Common said. "And I would love to work with Dr. Dre because it’ll be something fresh for me because I feel like he’s someone who is a classic producer. I like people who can consistently do it throughout time and be great and I feel that Dr. Dre is one of those individuals."

In other related Common news, the rapper has finished filming “Smokin’ Aces”, a dramatic crime film due out later this year. The movie also features Alicia Keys’ on-screen debut alongside Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven and others.

Lil Jon "Crunk Rock" Album

I'm not sure what "Crunk Rock" means, but I like anything with E-40 on it.

Lil' Jon Reconciles With TVT; Preps Crunk Rock

After saying that he would never record for TVT Records last year, Lil' Jon and the label have finally reconciled and worked out their differences.

Jon will now follow-up the double-platinum Crunk Juice with his next release on TVT, entitled Crunk Rock.

"After a long battle and negotiations with TVT, we worked out our differences. TVT cut the check and now it's time for me to get back to work," said Lil Jon, who is currently touring in Australia with 50 Cent. "Crunk Rock is going to be some next level sh--."

The new album is the rapper/producer's first album as a solo artist, and will be introduced via it's first single, "Snap Yo Fingers," featuring E-40.

Once Jon returns from touring, he will hit the studio to finish up Crunk Rock, as well as work on work on the long-awaited debut albums from BME/TVT Records female rapper, Chyna Whyte, and silky songstress, Oobie later.

Crunk Rock is expected to hit stores later this year.

February 24, 2006

Pharoahe Monche "Desire" Album

Finally!hurry up and get it out there for us. Info from sixshot:

Pharoahe Monch will release his sophomore album, Desire, through a new deal with the Universal-distributed Street Records Corporation (SRC).

Due later this year, the album features a guest spot from Justin Timberlake and was produced by Lee Stone and Denaun Porter.

Steve Rifkind, who also founded the now-defunct Loud Records, formed SRC three years ago through a joint venture with Universal. According to Rifkind, SRC won a bidding war between Bad Boy, Eminem's Shady Records, and Sony over Monch's new material.

"On a creative and business level, I've never been this excited," Monch said via a statement. "I've had the time to work on this album, and being a perfectionist, it's really come to fruition. It's very soulful, very gospel, a fresh, new sound for me. It shows so much growth spiritually, almost as if I'm a new artist. When I play the record for people, that's how they hear it. Desire will be Monch's first album since his 1999 debut Internal Affairs.

February 25, 2006

Placebo "Meds" Album

New album out March 13th.. Placebo? Meds? Get it? Har de har har. Here's an Amazon review with a track by track breakdown:

Placebo have once again captured their unique alternative sound in an entire record. Although some of the track have a very pop related genre, there is still enough mysterious and dark music to satisfy. A slight step down from sleeping with ghosts. Similarly as with previous records the songs are growing on me with time.

Thankfully i have heard a pre release demo of this CD so forgive me if my ratings differ from yours.

1. Meds - A very solid opening for the record 8/10
2. Infra Red - Catchy melody, less than original lyrics 6/10
3. Drag - Another solid track, again very catchy 7/10
4. Space Monkey - Typical dark Placebo song. Amazing 10/10
5. Follow The Cops Back Home - Slow, melodic, thoughtfull 8.5/10
6. Post Blue - Would fit in the same genre as Bitter End, Will probably become a Placebo anthem 9/10
7. Because I Want You - Disapointing in my opinion 6/10
8. Blind - Gentle mix of vocals and instruments, very solid track 7.5/10
9. Pierrot The Clown - Slow, moving, not as catchy as previous placebo tracks 7/10
10. Broken Promise - Brilliant. Very well written and performed 9/10
11. One Of A Kind - Hinges on if you think the melody is annoying. Personally i think it is 6/10
12. In The Cold Light Of The Morning - One word. Soothing 7/10
13. Song To Say Goodbye - Well built up track, Brilliant Placebo lyrics 9/10

Ne-Yo "In My Own Words" Album

Another test for President Jigga as one of his new Def Jam artists, Ne-Yo makes his debut with the "In My Own Words" album on Feb. 28th. The word from Vibe.com:

After penning hits for his R&B brethren (Mario, B2K), Las Vegas-bred Ne-Yo gets in touch with his inner front man for In My Own Words, his dazzling debut.And his attention to detail is key, as demonstrated on the well placed church-rooted organs of “Let Me Get This Right” or the multilayered harmonies of “When You’re Mad.” But it’s Ne-Yo’s natural ability to bring together the key ingredients that proves he’s a musician wise beyond his 23 years. “So Sick,” for instance, offers a catchy melody, heartfelt delivery, and deft lyricism all in one. “Gotta change my answering machine now that I’m alone / ’Cause right now it says that we can’t come to the phone,” he sings.

While Ne-Yo is an impassioned singer, the album’s momentum eventually wanes, due to either occasional mushiness (“Get Down LikeThat”) or overproduction (“Time”). Yet, Ne-Yo devotes much space to original, engaging com- positions such as “Stay,” his energetic ode to music that cleverly samples DeBarge’s“Stay With Me.” With one listen, it becomes apparent that his love for music isn’t going anywhere anytime soon...

Kid Rock "Live Trucker" Album

Do people still care about Kid Rock albums? I guess we'll find out this week.. here's the info and track listing, press-release style:

Kid Rock has unveiled details of his first-ever live album, dubbed "LIVE TRUCKER." The 13-track set, which captures the American Bad Ass and his Twisted Brown Trucker band in all their on-stage glory, is set to hit stores on February 28th.

Recorded at various Michigan locations in 2000 and 2004, "LIVE TRUCKER" finds the multi-platinum Son of Detroit and his band lighting up home state arenas with their genre-smashing high-octane musical brew. The album includes volatile versions of Rock's biggest and baddest hits, from hard-driving faves like "Cowboy" and "You Never Met A Motherf**ker Quite Like Me," to powerful ballads such as "Picture" and "Only God Knows Why." Needless to say, no Kid Rock concert collection would be complete without full- blown takes on Rock's classic anthems, including "Bawitdaba" and "American Bad Ass."

"LIVE TRUCKER" features guest appearances from longtime Twisted Brown Trucker members Uncle Kracker and the late great Joe C, as well as the "Redneck Woman" herself, Gretchen Wilson, who joins Rock on-stage for a special rendition of "Picture." In addition, the album includes a previously unreleased cover of the funked-up classic, "Outstanding," originally made famous by the legendary Gap Band.

track listing:
1. "Son of Detroit"
2. "Bawitdaba"
3. "Cowboy Intro"
4. "Cowboy"
5. "Devil Without A Cause"
6. "Somebody's Gotta Feel This/Fist of Rage
7. "Picture (featuring Gretchen Wilson)"
8. "American Bad Ass"
9. "Rock n' Roll Pain Train"
10. "Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp"
11. "Motherf**ker Quite Like Me"
12. "Cocky"
13. "Only God Knows Why"
14. "Outstanding"

Matisyahu "Youth" Album

A second album from the famed Hasidic Reggae Chatter who is mistakenly desribed as a rapper almost every time I see him mentioned. I think he's been a little overhyped at this point, not saying he's wack though. Just overhyped. Some words from his Rolling Stone profile:

There's one thing Hasidic reggae man Matisyahu won't do on his new U.S. tour: stage dive.

"There's a law that no man and woman may touch unless they're married," says the twenty-six-year-old MC. "I was caught doing it. So I checked, and, no, can't do that anymore -- there's women touching you for sure. That, and I also I got dropped once. I took, like, six people down."

His religious beliefs also prohibit Matisyahu -- who dresses in the traditional bekishe (long black robe), gartel (prayer belt) and black hat -- from shaking a woman's hand, though he did look this interviewer in the eye.

Fresh off his acclaimed Live at Stubb's CD, the Brooklyn rapper is readying his second studio album, Youth, due January 31st, with help from famed world-music producer Bill Laswell (Mick Jagger, Motorhead, Herbie Hancock). Backed by his band -- guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Josh Werner and drummer Jonah David -- Matisyahu has been laying down tracks in Laswell's New Jersey recording studio.

"I think we go into uncharted territory on this album," says Matisyahu, who freestyles, toasts and sings. "Bill is genius with dub reggae, which is like techno but more spacey."

The album features two songs from Live at Stubb's -- "Warrior" and "King Without a Crown" -- but the remaining tracks are new, including the title track which also serves as the first single. "It's a song that has a stepper beat and a phat bass line -- kind of like the Police," Matisyahu explains. "The chorus goes into a hip-hop thing, and there's a hard-rock solo in it."

Matisyahu, who sometimes extracts or reinterprets lines from the Torah in his songs, looked to his own troubled youth for the single's lyrics: "Fire with the flame of the youth/Got the freedom to choose/You better make the right move." Born Matthew Miller, he skipped school and smoked pot while growing up in a reformed household in White Plains, New York, before becoming frum (devout) and moving to the nearby Hasidic community of Crown Heights.

"It's the idea of a teenager not just rebelling for the sake of acting out," Matisyahu, now married with children, says of the song, "but really becoming an adult and taking charge of the situation."

Speaking of youthful indiscretions, a Matisyahu stage dive is captured in the video for "Youth," but he says all isn't as reckless as it appears. "We made sure [the audience] was all men."

About February 2006

This page contains all entries posted to New Albums / CDs in February 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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