» LATEST FEATURES
LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
MUSIC» The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
First up, some October releases we missed…
If you've been listening to any Boot Camp Click/Duck Down releases over the past few years, you've probably heard Ruste Juxx spit a verse or two on various albums. But he's finally on his own, sort of, with Sean Price Presents: Indestructible (Duck Down). Price doesn't actually appear on the record; his role is executive producer. In certain ways, this album is what Jesus Price Superstar should have been. His snarky flow aside, the best asset for Juxx is the interesting, non-conformist beats he chooses to rhyme over. Songs like "Let Me In," produced by Dan the Man, find him rapping over a breezy, bouncy funk/jazz beat. There are missteps, like the cookie-cutter "Grave Digga." But Juxx more than redeems himself with the sequel (in spirit, anyways) to Masta Ace's "Jeep Ass Nigga," "System on Blast," and the excellent lead track, "Wipe Off Ya Smile." He's joined by some unknown names, including Blaze and some kid named Lil' Vic, but Juxx holds it down on his own.
Pitbull's new single, "Krazy" (Mr. 305), was actually released just before October - September 30th to be exact. Despite my better instincts, I have to say that this shit is nice. The Miami native is wildly popular, and this single shows exactly why. Featuring the once ubiquitous Lil' Jon shouting all over the track (what else?), the chorus is impossibly infectious, as Pitbull schools us on all the people who get crazy and instructs to actually "jump up and get crazy" over a sing-song synth line. It's stupid, unadulterated, made-for-the-club bliss. So be it. Let's hear how an entire album of this sounds.
Un-fucking-believable. Yet another Kottonmouth Kings release. What am I supposed to expect from The Green Album (Suburban Noize), their tenth? Groundbreaking new ideas and suddenly dope rhyming? It ain't gonna happen. Try weed, weed, weed, and weed. I've said it before, I'll say it again: for some reason, this N2Deep-aping group is bizarrely popular, at least among white suburban wannabe gangstas. I didn't get it then, I don't get it now. The main redeeming value of this album is that a percentage of its profits will be donated to organizations including Life Rolls On and SurfRider.
Shamefully, we seem to have missed talking about Madvillainy 2 (Stones Throw) here at Glaciers. But not to worry, it's not an actual sequel to the classic MF Doom/Madlib project Madvillain. This is a remix album, available as a digital download and as part of a massive box set available from Stones Throw. Still, it's nice, nice, and nice. Full of vintage, dusty jazz, weird samples, and Doom's always appreciated and by now very familiar rhymes. I guess this'll have to tide us over until the proper album.
This one's another from September, and I only have a sampler to base my feelings on, but Termanology's new album, Politics as Usual (Nature Sounds), is pretty nice. The first single, "How We Rock," with an old-school, '90s-sounding, sinister-funk Premiere beat, features Bun B and Termanoloy getting his Big Pun flow on. And if you heard his last mixtape, you'll be familiar with "Watch How it Go Down," where he verifies his Pun admiration. Judging from these few selections, it sounds like an album to take a chance on.
Mobb Deep's Prodigy has been quite prolific as of late: the excellent HNIC, the bumping Return of the Mack, and now Product of the '80s (Dirt Class). He's currently serving time on a gun charge, which is really too bad, but he's left a bunch of material to tide fans over until his release. Product features material from the HNIC 2 sessions, and judging from the quality of most of what is included here, there's no wonder that he wanted to find a home for these songs. You've probably heard "In the Smash" before on DJ Premiere's Inside Lookin' Out mixtape, featuring Big Twins, a song that makes me hyper every time I hear it. But tracks like the eerie "P Keep Spittin'," with strange bird samples hidden amongst its synth-beat, and the old-school "Anytime," featuring Un Pachino, are also great. This is updated '80s rap and you should go listen to it now.
The Knux have been on everyone's radar for a few months now, due to the imminent release of their debut, Remind Me In 3 Days… (Interscope). Sounding like a cross between The Nonce and Outkast, with many of their often-interesting beats featuring electric guitars and stuttering snares, they deserve some of the interest they have accumulated. But over the course of the hour the album takes to play out, there are many moments where some editing would have been appropriate. "Fire" is soulful if sort of traditional, while "Cappuccino" is innovative, but there are some annoying r'n'b vocals scattered throughout. The worst part, however, is that at times The Knux seem overly impressed by their self-proclaimed "cool." It is, indeed, cool to see a new hip-hop group that is doing their own thing, but this record would have fared much better cut down to 45 minutes.
The late, great producer and MC J Dilla's little brother, Illa J, releases his debut album this month, Yancey Boys (Delicious Vinyl). So does it live up to the creative vision of his amazingly talented and sadly deceased kin? Well, Illa is his own man, so maybe it's not fair to compare it, but the answer is no. Illa J raps and sings over a bunch of unreleased beats created by J Dilla before his death, but it seems that these beats were shelved for a reason. They sound like they didn't quite live up the Dilla standard, all cut from the same mid-tempo, smooth jazz/funk cloth. Perhaps Illa is the better lyricist, rapping about things like watching Purple Rain with a lazy cadence and softly crooning his feelings. But for my money, I'd rather listen to Dilla's semi-competent flow over his many groundbreaking beats - his personality just shone through brighter. For diehard fans of Dilla and his legacy, this album is obviously a must-hear. The rest of you can skip it, though.
LoDeck and Omega One have a new album coming out, Postcards From the Third Rock (Johnny 23). This is solid underground hip-hop, a cut above the norm as far as this sub-genre is concerned. Russian-born Deck sounds like a combination between Planet Asia and Aesop Rock, and spits rhymes putting him on par with both. Omega One creates crisp beats that sample from rock, jazz, soul, and funk, but he manages to make this formula sound relatively fresh and interesting. Guests here include C-Rayz Walz and Karnegie.
OK, that's all for now, so until next month… e-mail with thoughts and insults, and send me yer shit! I'll listen to it. Glaciers is ghost like Casper.
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.
See other articles by Jonah Flicker.
» MEDIA DOWNLOADS
» GOT STICKERS?
--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.