Friday, December 29, 2006

School Was My Hustle ( Nawledge and Double O are Kidz in the Hall)

“Hello everyone, my name is H.I.E.C., and I have a listening problem…”. As long as I can remember I have had an identity crisis when it comes to hip-hop. Everything about my profile says backpacker, but my eardrums beg for the beats of the streets. I suspect that if Freud was still around, and dug hip-hop, he would have some convoluted theory for this psychological schism.

I suspect Nawledge and Double O, would be able to relate to my – dilemma. The ‘Kidz’ profile says backpacker, but within their mild-manner-solidly-middle-class fa├žade lurks the beast of the streets – these Kidz are hungry. It’s easy to dismiss them as tourist within hip-hop, given their Ivy League pedigree (University of Penn). It’s easy to assume they aren’t rugged for the game, given the backpacker following they will build fairly quickly. It’s easy to downplay Nawledge’s lyricism because he lacks the patois of the latest mixtape. It’s easy to wax poetic on why Double O’s productions won’t ever warrant platinum status, because the beats are too ‘clean’.

I suspect the Kidz will go platinum one day because of the backpacker following, Nawledge will become the most slept on MC since Black Thought, and they will last longer and hang tougher than most of the d-boys on the grind.

Definitely, checkout the Kidz' Hustle…in ’07.


Jay Dee – Donuts (J.Dilla). Donuts is the first of two discs dropped by J. Dilla in ’06, and the last one he authorized. Of the bat, I should disclose that I am not a fan of the posthumously released product of the hip-hop artist – insert favorite artist’s name here. However, I may need to make an exception for Mr. Dilla. Donuts is simply…bananas. If you like beats there’s nothing to dislike about this disc. If you like hip-hop there’s nothing to dislike about this disc.

Simply...bananas.

Game Theory (The Roots) I have been a long time listener and Roots Crew devotee – Organix anyone. This is not to say that I am ‘blinded’ to the less than stellar product put out by the crew – Phrenology anyone. The Roots have managed something that seems to escape most of mainstream hip-hop: a cohesive group, consisting of multiple MCs, with the work ethic of a jazz outfit. While groups/crews breakup -The Roots bring it. While solo artist continue to believe a show consist of them rolling out of bed onto the stage – The Roots bring it. While I thought they had fallen off with Phrenology, The Roots prove with Game Theory they can still bring it.

It’s so hard to believe they’ve only blinged out, gone platinum, once – with the seminal Things Fall Apart. Here’s hoping they end up with some precious metal for ’07.

What follows are a few compilations that are worth searching through the bargain crates for, looking for at your local summer stoop sale, or simply worth begging your friends for:

Blues Masters Volume II: Classic Blues Women (category: Blues)
Ultra.Chilled 01 (category: Chillout/Downtempo)
The Last Time I Committed Suicide Soundtrack (category: American Jazz)
Termanology presents Hood Politics IV: Show & Prove (category: Mixtape)

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