You know, there are a shitload of hip-hop mixtapes out there. One could probably fashion a profession of some sort just listening to everything out there. Assuming you have less time to spend listening to everything that comes within earshot than i do, let LET do the work for you. In this edition, we’ve got the latest from Jams Dean, the Nocturnals and Tom Caruana.
(Warning! Blog-on-blog love to commence in 3, 2, 1…)
i stumbled upon The Criterion Collection completely by mistake. Letters Have No Arms!, one of the numerous music blogs i frequent with some regularity, had a post on a site dedicated to artwork inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. As most music bloggers do, they threw a couple of tracks down to get their readers into the appropriate mood. i glazed over the post multiple times before downloading their suggested tracks myself, and was immediately blown away by Jams Dean. As the beginning of Karen O. and the Kids’ “Igloo” starts up before turning into a loop, i immediately knew this was going to be one for the indie backpackers, no doubt. i immediately went in search of this Jams Dean, only to discover it’s the same cat who made some interweb waves with “Chicago Girls.” While Jams has an above-average flow and his lyrics range between damn tight and more than passable, it’s the beats that are going to keep the kids coming back for more. Not only does he use the aforementioned Karen O. loop, he also samples Charlie Brown, the Beatles, and Mr. Fred Fucking Rogers.
Speaking of Beatles samples, Tom Caruna of Tea Sea Records, a 28-year-old music teacher and producer from Brighton, England, has spliced together the Fab Four with the Wu-Tang Clan. While comparisons to the Grey Album are easy and obvious, TC delves further than that. While he uses all Beatles samples, they’re not all necessarily the original Beatles recordings, often shading with orchestral versions from the ’60s of the originals. The end result is a more wide-reaching pastiche. i won’t go so far as to say it’s better or worse, because we’re really talking apples and oranges here, but i will say that as a stand-alone product, it’s a damn fine piece of work.
Last but certainly not least, i found the Nocturnals somewhere in my interwebtial travels of late. i downloaded it from Rap Reviews, but as you can see from the link, background info is sparse. Google turned up a post that eventually linked to a MySpace page, so, sadly, once you follow that link, you know as much as i do about the band. Since the Interwebs have failed us so miserably here, i guess this cat is WAY underground. Substrata, perhaps? Regardless, while his samples are much harder to place than those previously mentioned, they are no less ill, not by a long shot. His harder to place choices make for some dope beats, and that’s all that really matters, right?