Friday, April 16, 2010

Hip Hop is Still a Real Thing

I was late to the Wu-Tang thing. I don't think I hit it up until 1997. But I remembering hearing that first album and realizing it would be a landmark even as time passed. And it still is. RZA's dirty beats and crackling record samples meets kung fu mystique still hold water today. The GZA really has managed to stay under the radar in a lot of ways, he still holds a ton of respect but he isn't quite Raekwon or Ghostface, he's more just kept at it and been consistent in his own quieter way. But that was his role: the quiet intellectual. But, GZA AND Cadence Weapon; now that's something special. In another world this song would be a monster hit. It's damn catchy and really Cadence and GZA are in fine form spittin' slang over this. Loved this one in '09 and it's still in my head.

Next up here is a double shot of Bullion. I suppose Bullion fits in with the whole Wonky scene. I don't know much about him, but he's incredible at looping samples around beats, and then chopping the beats to accent the samples. Does that makes sense? No. Well, listen to the songs, and you'll hear what I mean. Take his remix of 'Afrika', it almost sounds like that bass keeps slowing down on you. But then as he adds in that organ it almost levels everything out, so the song becomes smoother and you can latch on to that groove. It takes a few listens, but once you hear what he 's doing, you realize this is a guy absolutely in control. One of the strong suits of Bullion is to use minimal combinations of instruments/samples, and build songs around those few components. What's amazing is that his songs still have a sense of movement despite his minimal approach. It's all about creating layers with this guy, and then, chopping up the beats. This is a guy whose music rewards repeated listens, so don't be afraid to hit play on these tracks more than once.
<a href="">Say Goodbye To What by Bullion</a>

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