The fourth edition of Fort Wayne, Indiana-based emcee Sankofa's 'Music With Friends' series is the most cohesive, tightly-produced collection of the set. In fact, it just might be his best individual project not mostly produced by me or the elusive FANGFACE.
Producer Purify puts in some really impressive, true-school-flavored work behind the boards that capitalizes off the aesthetic established on 'The Tortoise Hustle.' He even puts his own spin on some of my tricks, like the big Rock-guitar beat on "Invisible Guns" and the early '90s psuedo-fastrap beat on "Birkencrocs."
Oh, and Sankofa and guest Rhymewise37 remembered to rhyme back-to-back on "Rapping Force," just like I told them to do on "Sing It Backwards" from 'TTH.' I mean, they really do make an amazing tag-team, don't they?
As of this morning I'm officially adding another name to my list of favorite contemporary rappers. The name in question belongs to Micah James, an eclectic Los Angeles-based emcee so-far best known for his collaborations with The 87 Stick-Up Kids and a guest appearance on Serengeti—who's also on my list—and Hi-Fidel's group Friday Night's recent self-titled LP.
All it took was one listen-through of the "Peachfuzz"-jacking "Underage Girls" from his new mixtape/demo 'Agoraphobia' to sell me on James' skills. Tracks like the Craig Mack & Grimmace-referencing "MacDope Pro"—delivered over Aphex Twin's "Bbydhyonchord"—and the not-quite cover of The Cure's "All Cats are Grey" pushed me over the edge.
If you've ever dug anything from cats like the aforementioned Serengeti, Blu, or The Cool Kids—or you just wish Hip-Hop artists were as witty, creative and atypical as they were back in the late '80s and early '90s—you need this shit. But if you need more convincing before you take the huge risk and download a free mixtape, here's a video for the track "Lightskinneded."
Israeli born singer/songwriter/playwright Oren Lavie's album The Opposite Side of the Sea came out in 2007 in the UK and went on to sell 20 copies. However, similar to fellow Israeli Yael Naim, his single "Her Morning Elegance" was picked up by a company for an advertisement, in this case a for Chevy Malibu ad. The song gained popularity and now, Lavie is releasing his album in the States.
The video for "Her Morning Elegance" was released just last week. It's a really sweet stop motion piece in which Oren Lavie gets into the dreams of a young chanteuse sleeping in her nice loft apartment.
The Opposite Side of the Sea is being released in the States some time this year. Check out more of Oren Lavie's music on his MySpace page.
As a way to deal with the craziness of my immediate and extended families, I'd like to vent here on Imageyenation.com by posting a few choice email and IM conversations that I‘ve had with them.
Names have been changed to avoid me getting more shit from these people.
So Iron Giant and I recently adopted a dog that we named Scully. We’ve been on a huge ‘X-Files’ kick thanks to that tragedy of a show ‘Fringe.’ Below is a mass email that I sent out to various friends and family announcing our little poop factory's arrival. *Pictures Included*
We‘ve finally gotten around to taking some pictures of our new dog Scully (Kindra and I have been on an x-files kick).
Scully is petite 32 pound stray that we adopted from our local dog pound. She’s taken to us rather well and is settling in quite nice. When the pound took her in they guessed that she was about 3 years old but at her final vet exam they changed that to 1 year old. Sooooo long story short, she's pretty much a puppy and she's a pain in the ass with all her stored up energy. But she's a good little dog and is picking up on our routine pretty quick.
Not to get too sappy on you all but it's really nice to know that this dog who was an emaciated stray finally has a warm place to sleep. It sort of tugs at our heart strings how she carries/hauls her new bed from room to room.
Pistol Youth is an alternative band from Australia. From what I've heard, they sort of sound like Weezer, but a bit sadder. The video for their single "In My Eyes" is pretty hilarious and yet simultaneously scary. Basically, director Isaac Rentz took some classic moments from the hit TV show 'The Golden Girls' and put the members of Pistol Youth's faces as the four main characters.
If you already have Kid Robot's previous collaboration with Stones Throw Records—the Madvillain figure—you need this 8'' Lord Quas action figure—which is available in yellow and blue and comes complete with action brick and spliff—so they can play together.
I throw quite a bit of hate at MTV, but I must admit, their early morning video programming is on point.
I caught this as I was ironing up my shirt for "Flannel Friday" and I've been singing along to it all day. Flosstradamus and the lovely songstress from Chairlift, Caroline Polachek, hooked up with Green Label Sound for this one and if you hit up their website you can download it for your own sing-a-long enjoyment!
The last time I saw Mr. Ocean he looked like this.
Dude celebrated his 59th birthday today, and he's looking better than ever.
I guess since Kanye is rocking the Billy Ocean/Theo Huxtable/Walter Payton shag now, Mr. Ocean had no choice but to switch it up. After a looooooong hiatus he's got a new album set for release this February titled 'Because I Love You' and is currently touring the UK.
Scientists have developed a pill that when swallowed sends signals to a 3G phone network about the drug's effect on your body.
The pill still works as an ordinary drug that a patient might take to control a health issue such as heart trouble or a psychiatric disorder.
But it also has digestible sensors that are made of food products and are activated by stomach fluids. Once swallowed, the sensors can send a digital signal through the body to a receiver. The receiver date- and time-stamps, decodes, and records information about the drug and the dosage. It also measures and reports heart rate, activity, and respiratory rate.
Qualcomm is helping connect the receivers, designed as small bandage style skin patches, to 3G phone networks, USA Today reported recently. Patient information can then be sent to hospitals, doctors or relatives.
Obama's inauguration speech reminded me that I had a question...Is it possible to win an election without the whole "God Bless America" song and dance? Morality, inspiration, gay marriage, abortion (and countless other issues) do not equal religion.
Although I'm happy about the outcome of this election, I wonder if Obama would have stood a chance without any motivational references guest starring the "Big JC."
"This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny ..."
Mr. Obama is an exceptionally intelligent and inspiring man. He is the first breath of political fresh air that I've experienced in my lifetime — I know, you were thinking Rod Blago, but no. Still, I'm waiting for the day when separation of church and state actually means something.
No, I'm not talking about our soon-to-be President Barack Obama, I'm talking about the star of the feature film 'Black Dynamite!' In fact, he's so badass he deserves three different trailers!
Just watch out, there are boobies and foul language in these trailers so they might not be "safe for work." Not that a real playa would do something as uncool as getting a "day job" or anything like that.
If you're thinking this is a 1970's Blaxploitation flick you're only half-right. It's a brand new 2009 Blaxploitation flick, starring Michael Jai White and an all-star cast of supporting actors and actresses!
There's no release date as of yet, but Sony Pictures just picked it up following its debut at this year's Sundance Film Festival. So look for it on a silver screen near you some time later this year.
In case you didn't know, Animal Collective's new album 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' is not only their best yet, but is hands down the best album of 2009 to date. The former freaked-folks give their psychedelic Chamber-Pop a Rave-ready makeover, and the result is the ultimate in drugged-out hipsters-versus-hippies bliss.
One of my favorite songs on the album is "My Girls," a sentimental ode to familial love and Communist theory set to sludgy beats. San Antonio, Texas-based remixer Mexicans With Guns (alias Ernest Gonzales) tweaked it a bit, adding squelchier synths, sub-bass and four-on-floor beats, ratcheting up its dancefloor appeal even more!
Animal Collective's eight full-length album 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' is out now on Domino Records. Ernest Gonzales' most recent record, 2007's 'While On Saturn's Rings,' is also in stores right now but on Exponential Records.
I must have been sleeping through the Summer, because somehow I missed this gem.
I don't know if I'm missing something because I've never seen the movie 'Step Brothers'. But this clip makes me feel a little uncomfortable, a little bit nice, and totally impressed with Steve Nash's tootsie roll-robot-moonwalk dance.
Washington, D.C.-based progressive Hip-Hop crew Panacea—comprised of emcee Raw Poetic, producer K-Murdock and DJ/producer Damu the Fudgemunk—have three classic LPs— 2005's 'Ink Is My Drink,' 2007's 'The Scenic Route' and 2008's 'A Mind On a Ship Through Time'—to their credit.
Hot on the heels of their outstanding third full-length comes a remix edition of their stellar sophomore set, titled 'The Re-Route,' featuring all new mixes by the likes of Cool Calm Pete, DJ Spinna, former Jurassic 5 DJ Nu Mark, Nicolay, Joe Beats, Newman of Giant Panda and DJ Mekalek of Time Machine!
The digital-only release, from Los Angeles-based Glow-In-the-Dark Records (home of Time Machine), hits online retailers iTunes, Amazon, Napster and other download services on Tuesday, January 20th. But you can peep the exclusive audio for Imageyenation dandy Cool Calm Pete's mix of "Square 1" right now!
Panacea "Square 1 (Cool Calm Pete Remix)" feat. Point Blank
In 2008 a bunch of white girls from Columbus, Ohio called Hot Cha Cha made a song called "It's Hard to Be a White Boy in 1992." In 2009 director Kurt Vincent shot a video for it which displays said girls' punky foxiness in all its glory.
"It's Hard to Be a White Boy in 1992" is from Hot Cha Cha's debut Exit Stencil Records EP 'Rifle, I Knew You When You Were Just a Pistol.' It was one of my additions to the exhaustive "Best of 2008" we finally posted last week.
Apparently Australian Synth-Pop/Psychtronica duo Empire of the Sun actually live in that fantastic Tarsem Singh-esque world from their album cover. Or at least they visited it to film the surreal and beautiful new video clip for their song "We are the People."
"We are the People" is the newest single from Empire of the Sun's debut album 'Walking On a Dream,' which is out now on EMI Records. It struck a balance between MGMT, of Montreal, Animal Collective & Neon Neon, and was a standout of late 2008.
Themes of hope and change are central to "Running Shoes," the new single from Brooklyn's Junk Science they just put up for free download. It's the first single from 'A Miraculous Kind of Machine,' the third full length, and second for the Definitive Jux label, from the Nuclear Family-affiliated duo of Baje One and Snafu.
The song was written after Barack Obama's history-making victory in last year's presidential election. And while it's certainly inspired by Obama's win and his "yes we can" message of optimism, it's not a political song. Like most Nuk Fam material it's about the hopes, dreams and crushing reality of real, working people's lives.
There's no official release date set for 'A Miraculous Kind of Machine,' but it's due sometime this year.
Emeyesi and I were chatting the other day about movies we love and need to watch again and again. I remembered that I wanted to Netflix the 2004 John Waters film 'A Dirty Shame'. Unfortunately I can't watch it instantly on my computer so I decided to get a little fix while I wait for it to come in the mail.
An uptight, middle-aged, repressed woman turns into a sex addict after getting hit on the head, and she then falls into an underground subculture of sex addicts in suburban Baltimore.
Below is a clip from the movie which takes place shortly after Tracey Ullman's character Sylvia Stickles begins her transformation into the sex goddess she was born to be. Now, if you've never seen a John Waters film here's what you can expect; full frontal nudity, sexual conduct you would have never expected existed, and full frontal nudity. Yeah I said full frontal twice but I might as well prepare you cause it happens.
I think the following clip is a good way to introduce John Waters. His films have a way of taking things that are taboo and basically telling them to get over themselves. Which is very refreshing in a way. Yeah, you'll see a penis in the following clip but instead of being appalled by it Waters tries to make you say to yourself "Meh, it's no big deal. It's just a cock." and then move on.
For the more obscure and taboo topics Waters again pulls no punches and just throws them in your face but he does so with a full explanation. You're never just left in the dark about anything in a Waters film as he puts forth great effort to educate you about the topics he introduces as well as use these topics as a technique to entertain you. But he's definitely the type of person to just lay the cards out on the table which can be quite shocking at times.
The best advice I can give you is to watch with an open mind and remember that you see nudity all the time. It's natural baby...Plus you might find out something about your sexuality. Also, it's pretty effing hilarious!
Descended the stairs. The signora then showed and baggage rolling into the water. All the thrashing closed in on him. 'let's start at once. Thank from their drive, and the girls hastened upstairs. Ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced.
It's been a while since I posted some fresh spam poetry.
Murdered what's thatmurdered ? Dr. Larraby looked bristol,
anyone saw a lady in a bright blue coat her. But when she
heard her uncle's name, there i cried. How do you explain
that? The doctor looked am most in danger from. Your wish
for me to stay.
When the Imageyenation posse went to see Zack Snyder's re-imagining of the zombie classic 'Dawn of the Dead' we all agreed that it needed more of that zombie baby. In fact, Emeyesi and I both suggested that the zombie baby should have eaten its way out its mother's womb. Apparently somebody agreed...
That somebody is rookie writer/director Paul Solet, and his sure-to-be-offensive new horror flick 'Grace,' which appears to be about an undead cannibal baby, was selected for exhibition at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Kinda makes me wonder how all those Mormons are gonna feel about this one?
For the past few months I've been hearing about numerous large-scale layoffs here in NC.
Today I heard that Canadian based Nortel is filing for bankruptcy due to "...a sharp drop in orders from phone company clients" according to MSNBC.com
Watching the economy unravel has been a surreal experience which I assume is much like being in the middle of the ocean on a sinking ship. At first there's just a bump but you go about your business. Then you start hearing rumors that there's a problem. Before long your helplessly watching the water rise and trying to figure out what went wrong.
My neighbor has worked for Nortel for so long that it wasn't even called "Nortel" when he started. A few months back when the company started laying people off I was worried for him and his family, but luckily he had been with the company for so long that they kept him on salary. But now with this bankruptcy filing, I can't help but look back at the layoffs as that initial "bump" and now we're trying to figure out how we got here.
Business in my office has gotten increasingly slow over the past two months. Some projects are in construction phase but there are only a handful of new clients coming in. Architecture is always susceptible to fluctuations within the economy, but as I sit here for the 3rd week in a row milking my details for the umpteenth time I can't help but think that it's only a matter of time before I'm standing in line at the unemployment office wondering what went wrong.
How do you feel about the future of your job? Let us know!
The notorious, metal-mask-wearing emcee/producer MF DOOM hasn't released a solo album since his 2004 sophomore disc 'MM..Food.' But today he uploaded a new song called "Ballskin" to his MySpace and revealed that he'll be dropping his long-awaited third full-length 'Born Like This' on Lex Records later this year.
Frankly the song sounds a little weird to me, with Doom coming off markedly burlier on the mic, his flow spilling out in a more measured manner over the track's straightforward Boom-Bap beat. My reaction to it isn't nearly as visceral as the first time I heard "Hoe Cakes" before 'MM..Food' dropped, which had me in a state of ecstasy.
The tune is called "Ballskin" though, so you know DOOM's cracked sense of humor remains intact. And his wordplay and punchlines are clever as they've ever been, even if they're both a bit more subdued here by the production and lower-key delivery. All in all it's just good hearing new DOOM and knowing there's an album to look forward to.
Oh, and if you think that DOOM mask hoodie is the shit (as I do) you should order it from Minneapolis institution The Fifth Element, the retail storefront owned by Rhymesayers Entertainment, online.
Somebody thought it would be a great idea to make a movie that takes elements from 'Dark City,''The Matrix,''V for Vendetta' and the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy and mashes them all up together.
That somebody is writer/director Gerald McMorrow. The film--which stars Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green and Sam Riley--is 'Franklyn.' And it looks freakin' dope! It hits theatres (in the UK) on February 20th.
If you ever wished more bands sounded like 'Violator'-era Depeche Mode, but with a funkier Electro/House edge you're in luck! Santa Clarita, California duo Mechanical Hands Electric Heart have the formula for all that late-80's-style Alternative Rock/Club Music fusion down to a science!
Speaking of science, the Chris Buongiorno-directed b-movie-inspired video for their song "Emergency Broadcast" is a fantastic example of how "weird science" going wrong can actually go right! The song is from their self-titled album, which dropped this Summer on Roam The River Records.
So I just came across the new video from Swedish band Fever Ray at Discobelle. I watched it, not knowing anything about the band or anything. Let's just say, I may already have a favorite track and video from 2009. The song is super dramatic and moody, the perfect type of track for a gray snowy day.
The video is even darker. The theme lies somewhere in between suspense and horror. A lone boat on a river, a creepy old house that is littered with either people sleeping or dead bodies, a chick whose face is painted to look like a skull? YES, PLEASE!
I've been coveting these Nike SB 720° Dunks, fashioned after Atari's vintage skating-themed arcade game 720°, since they dropped this Summer. Thanks to eBayer jcnice08 who put a pair of size 13's up for competitive bid I finally got 'em, and for a sweet price to boot!
I fucking loved the 720° arcade game back in the day and sunk many a quarter into its boombox-bedecked, oddly-angled-joystick-having shell when I was a kid. Its groundbreakingly original subject-matter, sleek polygonal design, refreshing gameplay, killer-bee attacks and signature "skate or die" warning made for one addictive game.
The kicks themselves caught my eye with the combination of muted and bold colors and the checker-board pattern interior. Now that I got I 'em I'm happy to report they look really pretty on my feets.
New York-based emcee Bisc1, who is down with the Embedded Records crew and friendly with Imageyenation homies the Nuclear Family, released his debut album 'When Electric Night Falls' early in 2008. Fresh for '09 he's back with a fancy remixed version of the album, called 'The Strange Love Project: WENF Remixtape,' which boasts remixes from Cassettes Won't Listen, Omega One and Nuk Fammers Scott Thorough and Snafu amongst others. It also comes with a collection of complementary artwork by a whole host of artists who were tasked with interpreting Bisc's music in a visual medium.
To download the "freemixtape" you'll need to give Bisc your name and e-mail address. And if your monitor's set to a low screen resolution you might have trouble viewing the download page which requires a lot of screen space and doesn't have any scroll-bars.
New Millennium ATLiens Hollweerd are back with the follow-up to this Summer's 'Edible Phat' project, another "mixtalbum" called 'Electricity Showroom.' Once again it's another 100% free album-length download, and just like their last one it's packed with eccentric Dirty South awesomeness.
Los Angeles-based beatmaker Dert is a former member of Christian Rap crew Tunnel Rats who's produced for other vaguely Christ-friendly Rap acts including Visionaries member LMNO. These days he's qouting RZA, paying homage to Dilla and sampling the shit out of Björk for a free downloadable album called 'Talk Strange: A Beat Tape Inspired by Björk.'
The title is pretty straightforward insomuch as it's an 18-track beat tape built around samples of various original songs and remixes from the Icelandic weirdo's extensive catalog. It's also free to download, which is something I suggest you do since the Dilla-esque Boom-Bap beats it showcases are all pretty freakin' dope.
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