It doesn't really get more blatantly occult than this week's Monday Magick entry, "Devil's Son", courtesy of Harlem native and Diggin' In The Crates crew ambassador Lamont "Big L" Coleman. The tune was originally intended to be featured on the emcee's 1995 debut 'Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous' and was actually released as the album's first promotional single on white label 12'', but was ultimately deemed "too dark" and left off the final tracklist.
Built around two vocal samples of rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones ("When I as 12, I went to Hell for snuffin' Jesus" from Main Source's "Live at the BBQ" and "I'm wavin' automatic guns at nuns" from MC Serch's "Back to the Grill", still two of the veteran artists best performances) "Devil's Son" finds Coleman sort of picking up where Mr. Jones left off lyrically. He busts stream of conscious couplets enumerating his various evil or Satanic qualities in a signature horrorcore style over thick, Jazz-flavored production from D.I.T.C. co-hort Showbiz which lends the track a churning, bubbling quality not unlike a witches cauldron or how one might imagine the pits of Hell sounding. Most of his lines, as outrageous as they are, are played for comedy, or shock value, and they certainly succeed, both in amusing and shocking. It's been alleged that Coleman originally intended the line "and I kill chumps for the cheapest price, I'm rollin' with Satan, not Jesus Christ" to end "I'm rolling with Satan, fuck Jesus Christ" but was urged to make the change by associates who felt he'd "gone too far". Regardless, "Devil's Son" is a classic of mid-'90s Hip-Hop, especially of the so-called "horrorcore" genre, and a standout in Big L's cannon which includes several incredible records.
Sadly Big L was murdered on February 15th, 1999 at 45 West 139th Street in his native Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest. At the time of his death he had guest starred on numerous classic hits, released one solo LP, put out a string of successful singles, had fronted the horror-themed supergroup Children ov da Corn featuring Killa Cam (a.k.a. Cam'ron) and Murda Mase (a.k.a. Ma$e), and was preparing his second album, 'The Big Picture', which was ultimately released posthumously in 2000.
Music is magick!
Leader of LA's beatmaking avant-garde Flying Lotus both loses and uses his head in the gruesome David Firth-directed video clip for "Ready Err Not".
The video, which features a ton of blood and disembodied limbs, reminds me of a mixture of painter Robert Williams' outrageous imagery and tool member Adam Jones' stop-motion animation for his band's videos.
"Ready Err Not" is on FlyLo's newest LP 'You're Dead!'
, which is out now on Warp Records.
The other day I stumbled upon "Roll My Weed" from singin'-ass dude Bridge and ganksta-ganksta-ganksta-ass dude ScHoolboy Q.
I was feeling the very TDE-sounding beat and catchy-ass hook, and certainly didn't mind looking at all the different flavors of sexy-ass ladies on display.
But I couldn't help noting out-loud that I couldn't relate to the song's sentiment since pretty much all the weed I've ever smoked has in fact belonged to some female acquaintance or another.
If you're the kind of guy who buys songs (and weed) you can download "Roll My Weed" from iTunes, Amazon and Google.
The fourth and final entry in Monday Magick's month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" comes to us via psychedelic cover band extraordinaire Vanilla Fudge. It was suggested by my co-worker Bruce, a record collector, raconteur, and 30+ year veteran of the firm where I'm currently employed. Interestingly enough, despite being another cover of a well known tune, it appeared on the first of their records to feature mostly original material, 1968's 'Renaissance'.
Like last week's entry from Bloomfield, Kooper, and Stills, the Long Island-bred psyche-Rock crew's take on "Season of the Witch" is lengthy, clocking in at almost eight minutes! It's also one of the few genuinely creepy versions of the song I've heard, as the band's signature psychedelic vibes take a turn for the paranoid. Slow and sparse, with creeping organs and ceremonial, almost call & response style vocals, replete with ranting, spoken word breakdowns, it feels druggy and esoteric, which honors both Donovan's original intentions in writing the track, and the weird occult overtones it lends itself to so well.
Vanilla Fudge would go on to release two more studio albums after 'Renaissance' before breaking up just a year later. Various members of the group did go on to take part in other projects over the years.
Music is magick!
I feel like Tiga's one of those big name dudes from the world of Electronic Dance Music production and disc jockeys who can be kinda hit-n-miss.
But for the most part he's managed to deliver dope joints and avoid some of the "EDM star" pitfalls that have swallowed a lot of his contemporaries whole.
"Bugatti" is definitely an example of one of his "hits" with its simple, clean throwback production and vocals.
I mean, that bassline that comes in at 2:08? That's what I'm talking about!
And the video is ill too, extending the minimalist, old school production aesthetic to the visuals.
Besides, anytime anybody mentions a Bugatti I can't help but think of my man Hagbard Celine and his gold Bugatti in the 'Illuminatus!'
Young Ringgo Ancheta spent his youth without electricity on a commune in the forests of rural New Jersey. His parents were members of a terrorist cult in the Philippines granted asylum here in the US. His father was a scientific researcher at Princeton. Eventually he made his way West, learned to make beats, settled in Los Angeles, and changed his name to Mndsgn.
That's pretty cool.
So is his new video for the Towa Tei/A Tribe Called Quest interpolating "Camelblues", from his debut Stones Throw LP 'Yawn Zen'
. Directed by Ross Harris, it features some awesome footage of Southern California thrift store locations and a whole bunch of keyboards that should make you say "oooh, I want that!"
The third week's entry in Monday Magick's month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" comes via an epic voodoo-Funk rework of the tune courtesy of Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills. It comes from their 1968 "all-star jam" album 'Super Session' and takes the shape of a nearly 10 minute long extended "jam" take on the song.
Initially meant to be a collaborative jam session featuring Bloomfield (of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Bob Dylan fame) and Kooper (again, known for backing Dylan, as well as forming Blood Sweat & Tears), the session soon grew to include Stills (who had just left Buffalo Springfield) after Bloomfield failed to show for the second day of recording. That said, the lengthy and languid version of "Season of the Witch" that appears on the album could probably more fairly be billed as a Kooper, Stills track. The song's uniquely funky groove, serpentine bassline, shuffly drum break, and churchified organs have provided sample fodder for a number of notable Hip-Hop tunes, including one where A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip raps about having anal intercourse with a woman already engaged in copulation with Black Sheep's Mr. Lawnge. What? Orgy raps? Could we be talking a little sex magick here?
I doubt that. But regardless, this remains one of my personal favorite cover versions of a widely covered tune, cut in a unique style, by an amazing group of musicians. Kooper is still around, recounting storied legends from the golden age of popular music where and when ever he can. Stills, as you may know, went on to form another supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, which had a huge amount of success during the post-Hippy era. Sadly, Bloomfield passed away from a drug overdose in 1981.
Music is magick!