Beats, rhymes, and sweater weather. What we’re listening to this week…
They say you are what you eat. We think that applies as much to your musical diet just as it does to your food diet. This week we’ve been getting our essential hip-hop vitamins and minerals from After the 9 to 5, the new album from the DMV-area production duo The Other Guys. This is a nicely balanced beat album, with a few well-placed cameos from Brooklyn emcee Von Pea, and Washington D.C. emcee yU. The Other Guys are standing tall in the tradition of using carefully selected old school soul/R&B samples to create sounds that play well in your car and in your house.
This continues to be a strong year for hip-hop, whether for the mainstream artists, or for the up-and-comers. The Chicago-based band Sidewalk Chalk is the best thing we discovered last month. The eight-member group gives you the full range of musical goodness: vocals, rhyming, live instrumentation, powerful songwriting and thoughtful lyricism. If you’re new to the group, you should start with the video for their cover of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright. From there, you’ll be ready to get into their debut album, Shoulder Season.
“And I speak in a lotta hood analogies / For my speech I shall make no apologies / And I don’t care if the scholars don’t acknowledge me / As long as my students come and tell me that they proud of me / And they can find inspiration in the lines I spit / And they can tell that their lives what inspired it.”
– From the song “Dean Bailey”
Just because there are no nationally televised protests appearing on your cable news and social media news feeds does not mean that the work of getting free has stopped. Karega Bailey, the Oakland-based poet, educator and activist has dropped Peace King, a force of rap, poetry, beats, truth, and love. This is music for the people putting in work on the front lines in places and spaces all over the country. Oh, and then there’s his video for the song Last Kut, which is the kind of “grown-up swag” you need in the morning while picking out your outfit for the day.
We finish the week with something chill. Christian Scott, the New Orleans-born trumpet player, composer and band leader has released his latest album, Stretch Music. Christian’s songs are perfect for the fall season… for staying in, for staying up late, for getting stuff done, or for doing nothing and just being with that special someone. If you need a place to start on this album, we like the track The Corner (feat. Braxton Cook).