Friday, November 30, 2007
Female MC's are lacking as of late, but this debut album from Melbourne's queen of hip hop is a refreshing reminder that girls can rap too. Released on November 24, 2007, this is definitely something you should try to get your hands on. Single handedly produced by BVA while A-Love gives that beautiful female touch.
A-Love - Love Is
Choice37 - Choice37 [Untapped Sounds.2007]
Beautiful debut album from Captions (formerly Longevity Crew) member Choice37. The album was titled "Diligence" overseas, but the US release features ALL NEW tracks and a brand new cover! The sounds...beautiful, soulful, introspective, and thought-provoking. Definitely one album you NEED to pick up this year.
Choice37 - Back To Cuba ft. The Earl & Lauren Santiago
Hyde Out Productions - 2nd Collection [Hyde Out Recordings. 2007]
The Hyde Out production team returns with another masterpiece, and a new beat crew member--Emancipator. The album holds true to the Hyde Out sound (which is Japanese influenced), and features the usual suspects--Nujabes, Apani B, Substantial, Uyama Hiroto, Pase Rock, and more! If you're looking for smooth jazz hip-hop styling, this is a something you need.
Nujabes - Sky Is Falling ft. C.L. Smooth
Ohmega Watts - Watts Happening [Ubiquity Records.2007]
Ohmega Watts is one of my favorite DJ/Producer/MC's to date. This triple threat is a member of the west coast's Lightheaded crew, and returns with straight heat. This time around Ohmega flexes his talent to put live jams together, and it works! Reminiscent of Madlib on the boards, this multi-talented musician offers something special to those that are more than fans of Hip-Hop.
Ohmega Watts - Triple Double ft. Theory Hazit
Y Society - Travel At Your Own Pace [Tres Records. 2007]
Insight and newcomer Damu the Fudgemunk unite to form the Y Society. Insight is definitely a beast on the mic, but what most of you didn't know was that he was one of my earliest mentors in the rap game. I owe a lot to this guy putting me on, and this album reminds me why.
Y Society - What's Next?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
There's a buzz on the streets, and it's all coming from the name G Koop. Hailing from Boston, and residing in Oakland, G Koop is a producer/musician that molds classic sounds with live instrumentation.
His music is forward looking, while embracing the sounds of the past; combining styles into a sound that is only his own. As a result, Koop's production is quickly gaining him recognition among those in the know.
"I try to keep my sound evolving. There's a lot of amazing cats out there that I have to compete with and fuel what I'm doing. "
The last year has seen Koop working with Fiber, Prozack Turner, Foreign Legion, Sub Krew, Nerve, Oh No, Roc C, Shania D, and Damariz Pairo. In addition his playing has graced the recordings of Jake One, Young Buck, Lil Scrappy, Nelly, 2Pac, Venison, Emile, and Veterano. The future is looking bright for G Koop.
"Even though time has shown that there's gonna be a lot of ups and downs in this industry, I try to rest easy knowing that no matter what, I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing!"
Today, I got the privilege to speak with G-Koop
G-Koop: SUP MAN!
Descry: Wassup man, what’s crackin’?
G-Koop: How you been?
Descry: Pretty good, how bout you?
G-Koop: Can’t complain.
Descry: To start it off, what’s your name and background?
G-Koop: I’m a musician, come producer, come engineer, come…music scholar.
Descry: Did you play any instruments when you were younger?
G-Koop: I started playing music when I was eight years old. I picked up the flute. I always to play guitar, but moms wanted me to try flute for some reason. It did not last. It lasted for about a month, and then I got my first guitar—it was off from there. I started off with guitar, went to bass, keys, harmonica, what else…synthesizers.
Descry: What equipment are you working with?
G-Koop: Production-wise, I use Protools, Recycle, and Reason. [I don’t sample from records], but I use Recycle to loop my own audio recordings. I play all the instruments myself, so I’m basically sampling myself and using Recycle to input the sounds into a sampler in Reason. I also have a large selection of vintage equipment—old synthesizers, guitars and amps, classic mic preamps, and microphones that help me achieve that vintage sound. I do a lot of sample interpolation work for a lot of other producers.
Descry: Sample interpolation? What is that exactly?
G-Koop: Basically, other producers come to me when they have a sample they want to work with, but they want a particular element of the sample. For instance, they might just want the keys, bass, or guitar sound in the sample and be able to have more freedom to work with it. On the other hand if they can’t clear the samples (maybe because they don’t have rights to use the master recordings) and they still want to use it, they’ll come to me and I’ll replay all the parts for them here in the studio.
Descry: How did you first get started on interpolation work?
G-Koop: Um…really, I guess the first guy that used me for sample replays was Jake One (G-Unit/De La Soul). He came over to the studio, saw that I had crazy equipment, and said “I’m about to put you to work man.” So it started like that, and from there the word just spread out…through referrals…the internet…stuff like that.
Descry: Who are some of the artists you’ve done interpolation work for?
G-Koop: I’ve done replays for 50 Cent, Lil’ Scrappy, The Mighty Underdogs (Gift of Gab, Lateef the Truthsayer, and Headnodic), Lanz a new artist on Interscope, and various other artists whether they be on indie or major labels.
Descry: If a producer wanted to hire you for sample interpolation work, how would they go on about doing that?
G-Koop: They can get to me on the website: http://gkoop.com/. My email’s rob[at]gkoop.com, and I’m also on Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/gkoopmusic)
Descry: Aside from the sample interpolation work, do you do any other production work for artists?
G-Koop: I just did some work for Nelly on his new album called “Brass Knuckles” called Self Esteem featuring Chuck D (Public Enemy). Got some production work on the new Foreign Legion album called “Night Moves.” Fellow Subkrew member Nerve is about to release his debut album “Deliberate Thoughts.” Jake One has a record coming out as well called “White Van Music,” I’ve also got some stuff on there.
Descry: Is there anything we, as listeners, should be looking out for next year?
G-Koop: I’m working on a record right now with Marc Stretch from Foreign Legion called the “Handclap Technicians.” It’s gonna be all original stuff, collaboration with me and him and other cats in the fam. Look for that maybe Summer ’08. I’m trying to get a new G-Koop mixtape out, but I’m so busy working with all of these other artists. Also look for Descry: What are your songs mostly about? Do you cover any specific themes?
Descry: What are your songs mostly about? Do you cover any specific themes?
G-Koop: Unless I’m working with a specific artist, I go off of music that inspires me. I try to pull influence from different directions and mold it into my own sound somehow. It all comes back to the live instrumentation that I work with, and what kind of sound I can pull out of the equipment.
Descry: Who are your inspirations musically, and what do you have banging in your box?
G-Koop: Definitely Miles Davis. I’ve got to give my respects to him, and listen to ANYTHING he’s done and all the cats that worked with him—Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane. You know…that heavy jazz influence. As far as Hip-Hop goes, I listen to J-Dilla, Madlib and Jake One…um…Prozack Turner, Marc Stretch, Mr. Rath, Nerve,
Descry: Do you do anything else besides play music on your freetime?
G-Koop: I like to watch movies…tv…cook and eat good food. I try to work out when I can to put my body in shape, but overall music keeps me pretty tied up.
Descry: Word, any last plugs or things we should know about?
G-Koop: Hmm, I dunno. Don’t think I can think of anything at this point.
Descry: Word, it’s all good. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk.
Oh No & Foreign Legion - Kali Distortion (Prod. G-Koop)
Lil Scrappy ft. 50 Cent - Ni**a, What's Up? (Prod. Jake One, Sample Interpolation. G-Koop)
Mr. Rath ft. Nerve - Knight Life (Prod. G-Koop)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Ghostface. You know him--member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan... but did you know he's releasing a new album though? Did you also know wanted to bring rap and Wu-Tang back on the map? His answer, the "Big Doe Rehab." The album is set to arrive on December 4th (a week before the slated new Wu-Tang Album "8 Diagrams")
My review? It ain't no Supreme Clientele (of course), but for 2007...it's mighty solid. Granted MF DOOM is nowhere to be found on this record, he is fairly substituted by Grind Music producers Sean C and LV (aka Bad Boy's reformed production team, The Hitmen--SEE: Jay-Z - "Roc Boys"). Yeah, the same dudes who produced six tracks on Jay-Z's "American Gangster" have produced six tracks for Ghost on the "Big Doe Rehab" ("Toney Sigel," "I'll Die For You," "We Celebrate," "Paisley Dart," "Shakey Dog," and *...see the credits) Although the bulk of the album is produced by The Hitmen, this is not to say that the other tracks aren't smokin' hot. Mixtape king Scram Jones, produces a beautiful...yet eerie, string piece (see Yapp City" below) perfected for that Wu sound. Another veteran, Anthony "Acid" Caputo [Ghostface's engineer], contributes three bangers as well ("Walk Around," "Supa GFK," and "Killa Lipstick") . Though the veteran's def got some nice play, that's not to say the newbies didn't get to shine. Up and comers Frequency ("White Linen Affair"....check out his DOPE joint on Snoop's last album, the Blue Carpet Treatment), Ant-Live (Yolanda's House) and Baby Grand ("Rec-Room Therapy") help Ghost extend that soul sound to the masses.
All that aside, here are a few previews of the record. If you're feelin' it, go buy it cause dude deserves our support! The Big Doe Rehab. 2007. Def Jam Records.
Yapp City ft. Trife & Sun god
Yolanda's House ft. Raekwon and Method Man