Entries in Hip-Hop (3)

Thursday
Nov032011

New Amy Winehouse Single "Like Smoke" is Soulful Collaboration with Nas

 

 

MUSIC REVIEW: Amy Winehouse's "Like Smoke" is the bittersweet sneak preview of highly anticipated posthumous album.

By Robbie Woliver

Amy Winehouse and Nas made some beautiful music together.


Amy Winehouse's posthumous release, Lioness: Hidden Treasure, is a 12-track collection of songs new to the public and alternative takes on familiar songs. The highly anticpated album will drop in December.

BirthplaceMag.com previewed one of those new songs and it is a silky, jazzy gem, as retro and as distictively beautiful as anything that Winehouse has recorded. The Nas rap is equally soulful, and as smooth as a glide on ice.

Here it is:

The album's co-producer (along with Mick Ronson), Salaam Remi, acknowledges that this is not the album that Winehouse would have released herself, but why waste these precious tracks? As Winehouse sings, "Like smoke I hang around." Ahh, if only.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Still so sad.

"LIKE SMOKE" RATING: 10/10

LIONESS ANTICIPATION RATING: can.not.wait/10

 

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Friday
Oct072011

Yelawolf Release Slightly Delayed for Awesomeness

 

 

MUSIC-NEWS REVIEW: Alabama MC and Eminem signee Yelawolf's official Interscope debut has been pushed back a month, presumably (and hopefully) for the right creative reasons.

By Kenny Herzog

´╗┐We'll give Yela benefit of the doubt that he's cooking up more than hype.

 

Mobile, Alabama's mohawked MC Yelawolf gets his share of doubters. After all, he's a good-looking, skinny white guy covered in tatoos who's been signed (in part) to Eminem's Shady label off the strength of mixtapes and shelved tracks from a 2007 flirtation with SONY Records. But the man is nothing like whatever's trendy. Did we mention he's from Alabama? Or that he's just getting started on a mainstream stage while already in his early 30s? And that he's got a musical vocabulary, southern authenticity and dexterous, unpredcitable delivery that makes fellow Caucasian Kid Rock look like a hacky FM radio poser? 

Technically, his major-label bow arrived last year when his Trunk Muzik mixtape was released with additional tracks as Trunk Muzik 0-60. His first full-length of new material under the Interscope umbrella, Radioactive, had been set for October 25, but as announced today, will now see daylight November 21. You might be wondering: Another case of a hip-hop LP getting stalled for fear of leaks, or perhaps even a strategic move to avoid competition from other heavily buzzed albums hitting streets that week? (Coldplay, Justice and Kelly Clarkson are just a few of the big names touching down on the 25th.)

Not so, says Yela via press release, assuring fans that, “I needed to add some important finishing touches to the album, which resulted in the new release date. I have some surprises in store for the fans that have to be seen before the album comes out. It’s definitely worth the wait.” 

Having interviewed the charismatic burgeoning superstar last fall, I can attest that word seems to be his bond, so let's just take him at it for now. That, and the quality of lead single, "Hard White (Up in the Club)" with Lil Jon.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Don't say we didn't tell ya so.

OPTIMISM FOR RADIOACTIVE RATING: 8/10

OPTIMISM THAT IT'S DELAYED FOR ACTUAL ARTISTIC REASONS: 7.5/10

COME BACK IN A MONTH FOR OUR REVIEW RATING: Why Not?/10

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Thursday
Oct062011

AUDIO: 3:33 Company Flow Remix Menaces Like Vintage DJ Shadow

 

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Ambient noise-minders 3:33 follow-up their Cannibal Ox homage with a rework of Company Flow's Funcrusher Plus classic.

By Kenny Herzog

Is that an owl head? 

 

Whoever's guiding the careers of doomy, gloomy, heady atmospherists 3:33 sure can recognize a timely recording opportunity. The past year has seen a huge boom in nostalgia for grimy underground NYC hip-hop icons Company Flow, who reunited this summer for some live dates in the wake of their 1997 classic, Funcrusher Plus, getting boffo reissue treatment. 

And to advance their own new LP, Live from the Grove (out Nov. 1 via Parallel Thought), 3:33 have offered up their remix of Funcrusher standout "Krazy Kings." As a presumable cheeky nod to Flow's release of an eventual "Krazy Kings Too" on their End to End Burners EP, 3:33 have dubbed their interpretation "Krazy Kings Pt. III."

Dub is an operative word. Most of El-P's verses, along with the song's contagious vocal hook, remain in-tact, but his trademark retro-apocalyptic production is subbed out for 3:33's snarling dirge, which can't help but evoke DJ Shadow's Cliff Burton-cribbing low-end on Entroducing's "The Number One Song." Those with the proper headphones can hear odd, clipped spoken-word samples and an ominous ambience that reverberates at the mix's edge, rather than parallel with El-P's flow.

It can be easy to get lost into different tunnels of sound on "Krazy Kings Pt. III," which is its virtue and detriment. It's evocative, moody ear-candy, but does distill the primal snap of Company Flow's original and the tension between verse and hook. And, to some extent, it takes the ear away from El-P's twisted delivery and lyrical intelligence as a charismatic focal point. But 3:33 has officially got our attention, and after a sneak-preview of Live from the Grove, there's enough Salem-meets-APSE-meets-Teargas & Plateglass mystique to warrant endeavoring on their particular aural journey.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Hey, it's a free country. Which version do you like better?

COMPANY FLOW "KRAZY KINGS" ORIGINAL

3:33 "KRAZY KINGS PT. III" REMIX

Company Flow - Krazy Kings Part III (3 33 Mix) by PThought

 

IN OUR OPINION, THE REMIX GETS.... RATING: 6.5/10

INTRIGUE IN 3:33'S IMPENDING FULL-LENGTH RATING: Om/10

 

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