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Ian's Summer Jamz #1, 2 & 3

11:06:00 AMPaul

Bandwagoning Ryan and Paul, I thought I'd let the group know what I'm digging into this season, mostly while driving up and down the West Coast.

I'll never not feel some shade of social guilt for claiming to love any soul, funk, hip-hop or jazz. I don't know if that's just the all-pervasive guilt I was trained to feel about everything or a larger guilt implied by society as a whole, and if so, from which end of society it comes I know not. I just love rhymes. I love Edna St Vincent-Millay, John Keats and The Treacherous Three. I suppose good hip-hop unifies regardless of race or economic background and isn't simply divisive or based on class or skin. So, no, I didn't have it very hard growing up, not financially at least, but There are so many mc's that have cut records that, musically, are just astounding. Here are three faves:

Wow. I always knew the name Just-Ice, mostly courtesy of KRS and BDP, but this track, apparently produced by KRS, is catchy as scabies... but in the good way. I love the piano and the drums and although simple, the interplay between them is tense and provides a damn good foundation for the knowledge dropping in milliseconds. True, I was not there, but this track makes me wish I woulda been, poverty, police brutality and all.

Now, anyone who's ever engaged in any serious discussion about hip-hop with me knows I am a full-fledged East Coast kinda guy, but King Tee, a West Coast pioneer, just floored me when I first heard this track. I think it's real impressive when an MC can sound forceful yet loquacious, intelligent yet whimsical and more or less rock that beat like a fiend. I guess what I'm saying here is that "flow" doesn't always have to sound evasive or lithe, just unique.

So taking it back east, Jungle Brothers were almost all I listened to about last summer. I have a vivid memory of walking to, from and near Tree House and Foremost Liquors with Straight Outta the Jungle cycling. It's back this summer by accident, happy accident and lemme share. The ELO sample version is better known, I think, but this version of a super famous J Beez track is my preferred. It was the first I heard and more to the point, it features a heavy Sly sample, and Sly is simply the greatest thing to ever happen to music. Sammy B gets it. Like that.

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