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OutKast: ATLiens

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The early 90s for Hip Hop was almost exclusively an east coast/west coast game. So when Outkast came in hard for the south with their excellently produced debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmusik (1994), it was absolutely groundbreaking. While I agree that this debut was one of the best that Hip Hop has seen, I think that Outkast’s most defining piece is their second album ATLiens (1996). For one, second albums always show more of the artist’s intention than the attention-seeking debut. With ATLiens we were able so see how relentlessly creative and well versed Outkast could be. Andre and Big Boi showed more initiative on the production for this album, which lead to an ultramodern almost offbeat sound that most people weren’t ready for at the time but fell much more in line with their innovative personalities. Abandoning much of the ‘playa’ vibe from their 1st album, Outkast delved into content that was reflective and life affirming without being preachy, giving us a needed fresh perspective on the ghetto life. ATLiens’s highlight is that it is lyrically unparalleled; truly showcasing how masterful Andre and Big Boi can be with their tongue twisting flow and their complex rap imagery. Never have I heard two MCs work so well together. As they trade verses their raps merge in perfect synergy leaving us with a thorough narrative. If you appreciate rap for its essential element of storytelling, you’ll understand that this is a timeless record.

Label: LaFace

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Music

Damian Lillard Illest splitter in the NBA

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Portland Trail Blazers killed all the rumors about who is the best ill splitter in the league by dropping a mean freestyle (not off the dome) to a classic beat during his recent visit with “Sway in the Morning” at the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City.

“Gridin in the gym / So I can live through the recession”

“I tried to y’all” – Damian Lillard

What did y’all think of the DAME’s lyric’s?

 

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Toronto Hip-Hop artist C Black drops Cory Joseph Anthem

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There’s no doubt hip-hop and basketball go hand in hand like a sweet alley-oop. We already know “Rappers want to be Ballers”, and “Ballers want to be rappers.”

Over the years we’ve seen the likes of many mainstream NBA players attempt and fail to generate any buzz with their rap careers, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Chris Webber all dropped singles that flopped and eventually ending their childhood ambitions of wanting to be the next Nas or Jay-Z.

With the growth of Canadian Basketball, also comes the growth of Canadian Hip-Hop.

Luckily for Pickering, Ontario native Cory Joseph he has no ambitions of dropping an single or an album, at least not that we know of. Instead, Coryjo, the NBA would rather let Toronto artist C Black let you know what’s up and what’s really good!

“You on that Steve Nash, we on that #CoryJo, he grew-up and blew up, now that’s how the story go!”

Respect to 2014 NBA Champion Cory Joseph  and Major Oaks and Pepperwood! 905 coming strong!

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Foreign Exchange: Love In Flying Colors

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I know, I’m mad late on The Foreign Exchange. I was only introduced to this duo, Phonte (Rapper/Singer) and Nicolay (Producer), in the past few months by their new album Love In Flying Colors. I’ve been following Phonte as a rapper for a while now so I’m not sure how this missed my radar but I’m glad I picked up on it now because it showcases a whole other side of his talent that I never knew. Though people tend to categorize The Foreign Exchange as a Hip-Hop duo, there is very little Hip-Hop on this new album, except for maybe that quick 8-bar in ‘Right After Midnight’. Love In Flying Colors exposes much more of an Experimental Jazz and RnB essence, where much of the focus is on the production and melody. Phonte’s singing voice, unsurprisingly, has just as much flow as his rapping, and with the attenuation of words, his rich voice lingers pleasantly on the beat. As for Nicolay’s production, each track is crafted with intricate layering that is built together seamlessly so that our ears explore different musical perspectives without feeling overwhelmed. The album has elements from Hip Hop, House, Jazz and more, yet it never feels like it steers from it’s unique sound. For those who’ve been following The Foreign Exchange for a while, this album may be a little more experimental and jazzy than you would have expected but as a new listener, it got me hooked.

Label: +FE Music

 

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