Archive for April, 2008


Let Me Put You On Game: The Soul Edition

When you listen to a lot of Hip Hop, it’s only natural for you to explore other genres to see their influence on Hip Hop. The first soul album I bought was Al Green’s Call Me, which is still one of my favorite albums of all time. From there I just went on to the basics, Marvin, Isaac, Curtis, Donny, Stevie, Aretha, etc. At first, I felt like an idiot when I realized RZA didn’t compose I Can’t Go To Sleep, but after discovering soul classics, soul music became one of my favorite genres. So I figured I’d share the love with ya’ll. Once again, this is by no means a definitive soul list or anything like that, but these are the songs that made me fall in love with soul music. Maybe they can do the same for you.

Let Me Put You On Game: The Soul Edition Mix


in chronological order

1. Intro

2. (What A) Wonderful World by Sam Cooke: Sam Cooke was a soul pioneer. He really broke through barriers and achieved mainstream success while not sacrificing his messages (A Change Gon’ Come). He gets underrated a lot, and some people think of him as boring, but check out his album One Night Stand: Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 which is one of my favorite live recordings.

3. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man by Aretha Franklin: The queen of soul. Her lyrics were poetic and her voice was mesmerizing.

4. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone: Nina Simone is one of my favorite female singers. She just embodies everything that comes with soul music. Her music was often political, and she wasn’t your average soul singer singing about love on every track.

5. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding: I don’t listen to too much Otis Redding, but this song and his debut album of the same name paved the way for a lot of soul musicians.

6. Walk On By by Isaac Hayes: This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I was pissed when I realized the Wu basically just rapped over the instrumental. Isaac Hayes sung with such passion.

7. We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue by Curtis Mayfield: Curtis is arguably the most soulful soul singer. His music just took you to a different place. Kanye didn’t create Touch The Sky by the way. Anyways, this is one of my favorite songs by Cuuuuuuuuuuurtis.

8. A Song For You by Donny Hathaway: One of the most underrated soul singers. He could compose some beautiful ballads, and this one is my favorite of his.

9. Sweet Wanomi by Bill Withers: Bill Withers is a real unique soul singer. He kind of had a country music sound to his music. You probably know him best for Ain’t No Sunshine, so I figured I’d play something else of his. He’s got a great voice too.

10. Tired Of Being Alone by Al Green: Alright, Al Green is my personal favorite, and one of my favorite musicians of all time. I can’t even explain it, just listen to him sing his soul out.

11. I’m Still In Love With You by Al Green: Just what this man could do his voice…damn…just listen.

12. I’ll Be Around by The Spinners: There were plenty of soul groups, but few had a lot of success. Most just had one hit wonders. Still, The Spinners were pretty successful, and this is a great song.

13. Down And Out In New York City by James Brown: The Godfather of Soul. You know how you have that one big hole in your music collection that you’ve been meaning to address? Well James Brown is that hole for me. I just haven’t really gotten around to his music yet. Which is weird, because he’s one of the most sampled artists in Hip Hop. Still, everything I’ve heard from him, including this joint, is great.

14. Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye: I know, I know…you’ve heard this song a million times. It’s been raped by movies, TV shows, and even commercials. I was going to choose a different Marvin song, but I don’t care. Pretend like you’re hearing this one for the first time. Marvin is the face of soul music, and his work needs to be studied to understand music today.

15. Living For The City by Stevie Wonder: Stevie is another legend. He has also had such an impact on the way music is today. I don’t listen to him enough, but this is one of my favorite songs of his.


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Mood Music: Da Grind by Masta Ace

Why: Tryna make that money before this summer/college!!

Da Grind (feat. Apocalypse) by Masta Ace

Da Grind Lyrics


The Time Has Come & A Mix For Mary

“Oh I hope I live to see the day they make it legal. So all the people can see what I’m smoking ain’t evil.”

Whenever America makes a decision on an important issue it seems to be set in stone. Prohibition, although immediately deemed a failure, lasted for fourteen years. Inequalities regarding civil rights lasted for centuries. Hell, even with the anti-war sentiments in our country, there is talk of spending another 100 years in Iraq. However, prohibition, civil rights, and now Iraq, were all seriously reconsidered and eventually overruled (or will be overruled by Obama). Marijuana was outlawed as early as 1915. The question is: when will our society take an honest look at marijuana and the war against it?

Americans have very little input in how we decide what is right or wrong for our society. The people in power of our country collectively make an ethical decision and then convince the rest of America that they are right. People are content with this because we’ve been taught to think that these elected officials know what’s best for us. Unfortunately, many of those elected officials have been corrupted by the game of politics to the point where they are more invested in special interest groups and lobbyists than the common interests of the people. We have also been taught that in order to remain powerful in the world, we must not question these decisions, and never admit our mistakes. We’ve all heard politicians dodge questions to save face, but it’s rare that we hear a politician assume responsibility and admit a mistake. Eventually, some mistakes are admitted, and some decisions rethought.

In the history of the United States, it has been very difficult to change our way of life and correct a mistake we made in the past, especially when that mistake has been so deeply rooted in our society. For example, racism and white supremacy was so engraved in the minds of Americans that the Civil Rights Movement went through an arduous struggle to achieve equality. Although that struggle is not over, the progress made since the 1950’s has been immense. This progress and change was sparked not by the empty words of politicians, but rather by the activism of everyday Americans. The people finally woke up and realized that the supremacy plaguing the country was unjust and inhumane. Even though they had been taught that separation and inequality was the logical law of the land, Americans rejected inequality and fought to make a change. The issue of marijuana is getting to a point where it needs to be reevaluated by all Americans.

Despite the cannabis plant being used for thousands of years, it was outlawed by America in the early 20th century. In that time period, America was experiencing both an influx of immigrants and the Great Migration. With white America’s fear of their way of life being threatened, immigrants and blacks were looked down upon. Marijuana was slowly becoming more popular in mainstream America, partly because of the Jazz music scene. Yet through propaganda like Reefer Madness and yellow journalism, marijuana suddenly became a huge problem that needed to be dealt with in order to protect America. So while the mainstream was focused on prohibition, and convinced that marijuana was detrimental to society, the government quietly made marijuana illegal. This was done abruptly and without much scientific research. Since then, marijuana has still been looked down upon, and with the continued fear tactics used by the media, is seen as a dangerous drug that needs to be regulated. However, I believe that the general public is on its way to waking up and rethinking our views on marijuana.

Much like race nowadays, marijuana is an issue that we are taught not to talk about. We’re expected to simply accept the social fabric of our country the way it is and not question the decisions politicians made almost one hundred years ago. Well, those decisions were misinformed and based off of the manipulation on the fear of Americans. And now, the people in power see no point in legalizing marijuana. The legalization of marijuana would also hurt the already powerful legal drug industry. The drug corporations that produce Prozac, a drug that has a stronger dependency than weed, would do everything in their power to ensure that marijuana stay illegal in order to protect their finances. And of course if politicians preferred smoking fatty blunts over downing bottles of scotch, this war wouldn’t even exist. Yet they’re stuck defending their mistakes. The war on drugs has been a complete failure that only further hurt communities instead of helping them. In war there is an enemy. For the war on drugs, the “enemies” we have chosen to fight reside in communities that need our support rather than a war. And we’re wasting valuable resources that could be devoted to greater causes. In 2003 over nineteen billion dollars were spent on the war on drugs. And the numbers have only been rising since then. So it is on the common people of the United States to question the decisions made on marijuana. To do this, we must first overcome the messages against marijuana that the media has beaten into our brains. After reevaluating marijuana with an open mind, we must demand change.

It won’t be easy, and honestly, although this issue needs to be addressed, I don’t believe it’s important enough to spill blood over. The illegalization of marijuana was a mistake we made long ago, yet is a decision that still hurts our society. We need to admit we were wrong, and then collectively, as a unified, free-thinking nation, reconsider our stance on marijuana. This revolution of the mind is a huge challenge, but America has always greatly benefited from its people rising to that challenge.

A Mix For Mary

19 songs, 1 hour 3 minutes, STREAMING/DOWNLOAD LINKS BELOW

1. Intro

2. Smoke Buddah by Redman

3. Love Me Sensi by Chip Fu

4. Hits From The Bong by Cypress Hill

5. Interlude

6. I Got 5 On It by Luniz

7. Dro (feat. Magestik Legend) by One Be Lo

8. Weed Song by Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony

9. Smoker’s Emporium by Buckwhead

10. Bob Marley Interlude

11. Mary by Freestyle Fellowship

12. High by Busta Rhymes

13. Lower Da Boom by Artifacts

14. No $ No Toke by Jaylib

15. Pack The Pipe by The Pharcyde

16. Legalize It by Peter Tosh

17. Brain On Drugz by Boodah An Da Bandit

18. Splattitorium by The Pharcyde

19. Motha by Devin The Dude


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Mood Music: Celebration by Kanye West

Why: I had some problems before, but see I let ’em go. Finally got that college drama worked out…you know what this is: It’s a celebration bitchezzzzzzz!!!

Celebration by Kanye West (zshare)

Celebration Lyrics


Dig Deeper Vol. 2 Mix

Some more slept on 90’s songs and artists for ya’ll to enjoy.

Dig Deeper Vol. 2 Mix


1. Where’d You Get Your Bo Bo’s by Yaggfu Front: After creating a buzz in the Hip Hop scene, this group from North Carolina dropped their debut album Action Packed Adventure. It had jazzy beats with playful lyrics, but didn’t get the recognition it deserved.

2. Lyfe ‘N’ Tyme by The B.U.M.S.: This is a two man group outta Oakland who came out with a unique album in ’95 called Lyfe ‘N’ Tyme. It’s got funky beats on it, but you can also hear the east coast influence. A lot of great cuts on this album, and this one is one of my favorites.

3. Fakin’ Jax by InI: I guess if you’re related to a Hip Hop legend you can easily put an album out. InI, composed of Rob O, Marco Polo, and Grap Luva (Pete Rock’s brother) recorded Center Of Attention around ’96, but due to label issues, it came out in 2003. It’s still a slept on gem, with some of Pete Rock’s best production.

4. Flippin’ Off The Tip by Bustin’ Melonz: I don’t know much about Bustin’ Melonz. They came out with Watch Ya Seeds Pop Out in ’94 and then disappeared off of the face of the Hip Hop world. Still a solid album.

5. Stress by Organized Konfusion: This is the second album from Organized Konfusion, a group composed of Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch (yes, that one…do you know any others?). They’re not as slept on as the rest of the people on the list, but they still aren’t respected as one of the best underground groups of the ’90s.

6. Keep It Live by Jamal: Bet you this song gets stuck in ya head. “1-2 to tha breaker 1-9-9-5, Jamal represent and keep it live!” Jamal somehow teamed up with Erick Sermon to release the dope album Last Chance, No Breaks at the age of only 16 or 17. He was down with the Def Squad, but faded into obscurity.

7. Heels Without Souls by Hard 2 Obtain: Hard 2 Obtain came out with Ism & Blues in ’94….that’s all I really know. Real dope album though, another example of jazzy beats and playful lyrics.

8. Can U Feel Me? by Saafir: Remember that guy in the beginning of Menace II Society that got carjacked and shot? That’s Saafir. He’s got a unique style from an Oakland rapper, he’s not really about gangsta raps. This song is off of his ’94 debut album Boxcar Session.

9. Time To Build (feat. DMX, Ja Rule, & Jay-Z) by Mic Geronimo: When this was recorded in 1995, DMX, Ja Rule, and Jay-Z were just starting their careers. Mic Geronimo was just as popular, if not more so, than these now famous rappers. Sadly, after his album The Natural created a lot of noise, Mic Geronimo fell off. He still introduced a lot of people to the future of Hip Hop (for better or worse…you decide).

10. 1,2 Pass It Remix (feat. Mad Lion, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun, & Jeru The Damaja) by D&D All Stars: I just had to include this. I don’t know how I only heard of this song a couple of months ago. This song ranks up there with the Crooklyn Dodgers series in my opinion. D&D Studios just brought together all these amazing rappers who were on top of their game (and Mad Lion) and got Premier to do the remix. The results are this classic. Dope video too.

11. Time’s Up by O.C.: O.C. was well respected in the ’90’s, by I rarely hear anybody give him his props nowadays. That’s why I threw this timeless classic on the mix. To remind ya’ll…when O.C. was in his prime, nobody was fucking with him.

12. Jungles Of Da East by Scientifik: Nobody really knows much about Scientifik or his ’94 debut album Criminal. I’ve heard people compare this album to Illmatic before (not quality wise) because he got a bunch of big name producers like Diamon D, Edo. G, Buckwild, & RZA to work with him. I was a little underwhelmed when I heard it, but it’s still a good album. Unfortunately, Scientifik died before he had a chance to leave his mark on the rap game.

13. Suspended In Time by Group Home: I often wonder if I could’ve gotten a beat from a top tier producer back in the day. I guess it’s all about who you know, but shitty rappers were getting dope beats all the time. Maybe I’m hating…Group Home wasn’t that bad, but their debut album Livin’ Proof wouldn’t have been shit without Premier. A lot of people think Living Proof is Premier at his best.

14. Money Talks by Double XX Posse: The trend continues. This track was produced by Lord Finesse (thanks Eric). I’ll never understand it…amazing rappers fail because they can’t get good production and mediocre rappers prosper because they can. I don’t care though, I still bump this song.

15. Whutcha Want by Nine: Nine was dope. He had a real distinct gravelly voice. This is his hit single off his debut album Nine Livez.


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Mood Music: Waiting In Vain by Bob Marley

Why: Sometimes you can’t do anything but sit back and wait to see how things play out. You just gotta look at the situation from the right perspective and know that everything will be alright.

Bob Marley & The Wailers: Waiting In Vain (zshare)

Waiting In Vain Lyrics


Instrumental Mix

Because sometimes you don’t need words. And sometimes, I don’t have time for them.


Instrumental Mix

23 tracks, 1 hour 6 minutes DOWNLOAD/STREAMING LINKS BELOW

1. Intro
2. 1983 by Flying Lotus
3. Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt by DJ Shadow
4. Narco Trip by Guts
5. How I Feel by Wax Tailor
6. You Don’t Have To Go by Onra & Quetzal
7. You Still Believe In Dee by Bullion
8. Dusk by Waajeed
9. Watching Smurfs On Shrooms by J. Dilla
10. Que Sera by Wax Tailor
11. Listen Baby by Johnson & Jonson
12. Beat 09 by J. Dilla
13. Ohhhhhh by Oh No
14. Gobstopper by J. Dilla
15. Slim’s Return by Madlib
16. Sleeping Like A Dog by J. Dilla
17. The Boss by Pete Rock
18. Skunkfunk by Guts
19. Cut Out To FL by RJD2
20. Escucha Me
21. Ethnic Majority by Nightmares On Wax
22. Arts & Police by Onra & Quetzal
23. Am I Free by Wax Tailor


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