These “original” tracks feature some swell breaks ‘n’ beats ‘n’ what-not but, to be honest, the Kleptones aren’t nearly as interesting when abiding by copyright laws… This post is merely an excuse to plug their new mash-up-and-more theme album, A Night at the Hip Hopera. After giving the Flaming Lips a b-boy makeover with Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots, the audio kleptomaniacs are back at it with a similar tribute to Queen. To have a listen, head over to Waxy.org, where you’ll find the complete album for download as well as a collaborative dissection of the countless samples used therein.
This one’s for my Mizzou people, you know who you are. Not only is Approach the best MC ever to hail from Kansas City, he swings a nice lisp (especially audible on “Hey Y’all”) and makes his own funky beats. This is straight-up party fodder for your mind à la J5, Lyrics Born, Talib Kweli — and ya don’t quit…
Allen Avanessian (Plug Research) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel, Postal Service, Figurine) hit the lab with a hard drive full of devolved beats and glitch-and-paste collages, then invite a who’s who of electronic and hip-hop innovators to muse over the sparse foundation. The result ranges from head-nodding to chin-stroking; this track, featuring verbal gymnast Subtitle flowing over what sounds like a dying music box, exemplifies the latter.
Raashan Ahmad unleashes a brief history lesson of dance moves whilst Zeph moves the crowd with his disco flash production.
Instrumentally sparse, lyrically thick head-nodders that — while decidedly unpretentious — exude the confidence of b-boys who know they’ll be around for a while.
Sinewy, smokey grooves bob and weave to Azeem’s verbal left-right combos. Major league hip hop at home in the underground.
While their older material was oddly bouyant conscious hip-hop, Oddjobs’ latest (“Hypnotize”) turns down a dark alley toward straight-up griot poetry.
Halifax’s art-hop pioneer evolves his doomsday mic checks into full-blown audio armageddon (see “Storm Clouds & Silver Lining”) for his Ninja Tune debut.
Not rap, not jazz, not spoken word — at least not as you know it. Refreshingly tight live sessions that manage to reference Run-DMC and Mother Goose in the same verse with only a slight smirk.