The Impossible Kid @aesoprockwins #HIPHOP

It should be no surprise that I'm a fan of Aesop Rock.  He's the type of hip hop artist that can rap about drawing or painting and I buy it.  Sometimes artists try really hard to be the creative outcast, but most times, they aren't successful (not Aesop Rock).  Since None Shall Pass, Aesop Rock released Skelethon, a few collaboration projects including Lice with Homeboy Sandman and now The Impossible Kid.  The visual artists that created the album art for the last three projects were Jeremy Fish (None Shall Pass and Lice), Aryz (Skelethon) and now Alex Pardee (The Impossible Kid).  Album art says a lot about a project and I follow the work of all three of these artists.

The Impossible Kid was produced by Aesop Rock who has been developing his signature producing skills since I first realized he produced a significant number of his tracks back on the Felt 3 project with Slug and Murs.  Def Jux days had Aesop Rock rapping over El-P and Blockhead beats here and there, but if you've heard those projects, the vibes can be dark, sometimes melancholy and also heavy hitters.  The Impossible Kid isn't as melancholy or dark, but there is still a undercurrent of eerie sounds that make it a continuation of Aesop Rock's overall body of work while reaching into new directions.

Speaking of Aesop Rock's production credits, there is another project that was just released with Blueprint called Vigilante Genesis.  Make sure to check it out as well via the link below.   Vigilante Genesis EP on BandCamp  

 

Ronin

Source: https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-00014753382...

Run The Jewels 2, @killermikegto @therealelp #hiphop

RTJ2, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), 2014

What more can I say about Killer Mike and El-P?  This is an "I told you so" moment because I've been listening to El-P and Killer Mike for a long time now.  My attitude toward a lot of the music industry has centered on the fact that clowns get record contracts and exposure because they will do the dance, fit the role and be the puppet.  Artists like El-P and Killer Mike have stayed true to their art, kept experimenting and now, they are reaping the benefits from teaming up with each other and pushing the envelope.  Artists like these two deserve the recognition and it's encouraging to see them get to the level of coverage they are.  Put simply, media coverage doesn't necessarily mean that the artists is better at what they do, but in this case it does.

RTJ2 is my favorite album of 2014, easily.  I love hip hop and 2014 has been a slow year for me not only because my life has been changing course, but because I think there has been a lot of garbage out there.  If you don't have RTJ2, get it!!!  Also, check out my drawing inspired by the first night I heard the project.  Just as a side note....there are dope collabo projects out there like Barrel Brothers, The 1978'ers, Prhyme and a few more.

RTJ2
RTJ2

Ronin

Rhythm Roulette by @MassAppeal #hiphop #beats

Rhythm Roulette, Mass Appeal

For someone like me who just got a Akai MPC 500 for Christmas and considered hip hop to be part of who I am, a video series like Rhythm Roulette was something I appreciate for several reasons.  First, it's simple.  Blindfold a producer in a record store.  They pick 3 records at random to sample from to make a beat and they record the process.  That's beautiful.

A lot of people don't have any clue what goes into the music side of hip hop because they only hear the melody and the beats aren't performed live.  Some people don't even understand the lyrics either.  I had a conversation someone a while back had no idea that Homecoming (Graduation) by Kanye West was about Chicago...and she called herself a "hip hop head".  What people hear on the radio is one thing....Rhythm Roulette is something completely different.  They get well respected and talented hip hop producers to do what they do and document it.  It's honest, creative and real, which is what the hip hop that I like is all about.  Check out the full playlist above.

Enjoy!

 

Ronin