Record Label: Fat Beats Records
Packaged in a tip on "mini LP" jacket with 10x10 poster
On September 4, Southern California’s Blu & Exile return to their collaborative origins with the release of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, the long-anticipated followup to the duo’s landmark debut, Below the Heavens.
Featuring Fashawn, Homeboy Sandman, Johaz of Dag Savage, Black Spade of Hawthorne Headhunters, and ADAD, the new album on Fat Beats / Dirty Science is both an evolution from and complement to their first: a cohesive, kicked back collection of hip-hop buoyed by Blu’s gymnastic wordplay and Exile’s soulful, sample-driven beats. While Blu’s penchant for introspection and analysis remains intact, his perspective ebbs from the sun-soaked nostalgia of Below the Heavens to a more playful realm where raps about lost love and forgotten dreams find equal footing with those about Gondry films and delivery cheesecake. Together Blu & Exile have taken the raw materials of rap and crafted charmingly idiosyncratic, album-minded mu- sic that transcends coasts and continents alike.
As with Dilla & Common, Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, there’s a kindred understanding between Blu and Exile that invites instant ease and empathy. Although Exile has produced tracks for Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Akon, Aloe Blacc, Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall, and Mobb Deep, it is with Blu that his production feels most at home. Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, though undoubtedly a logical progression in both sound and scope, defies all the hype, precedents, and expectations to reaffirm the duo’s position at the forefront of LA’s burgeoning beat scene.
Double LP including 72-page screenplay, metallic o-card (sleeve), 2 LP printed sleeves. 2013 sophomore full-length album from writer, actor, standup comedian and rapper Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino. The recording process for the album began in 2012 and continued until October 2013. Because the Internet features guest appearances from Chance The Rapper, Jhene Aiko and Azealia Banks, with production handled by Gambino himself, Christian Rich, Thundercat and Ludwig Goransson among others.
Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1, originally issued in 1993, is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. The Gang Starr MC had a unique vision, bringing together a diverse group of jazz players both old and new school like Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Ronny Jordan (check out his solo on the track "No Time To Play"), Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers with vocalists like Carleen Anderson, N'Dea Davenport (of the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar. Combining the best of both worlds brought newfound accessiblity for both genres with Guru explaining that "Jazz's mellow tracks, along with the hard rap beat, go hand-in-glove with my voice." Jazzmatazz proved to be both highly influential and a huge commercial success and the album's strong reception led to a series of releases that also includes Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (1993), Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul (2000) and Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4 - The Hip-Hop Jazz Messenger: Back to the Future (2007).
In celebration of Björk’s mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the release of the Björk: Archives book, One Little Indian is reissuing the Björk vinyl back catalogue, and for an exclusive period the vinyl will be coloured to the hue that personifies that album character. Limited run of 5000 copies. Never one to shy away from collaboration, Bjork pulls in the help of Mark Bell (from LFO), a fourteen-piece brass section, and Malian, Congolese and Chinese guest musicians, as well as the commercial hip-hop and R'n'B beat-meastros, Timbaland and Danja to input into her 7th studio album. The two tender duets with Antony Hegarty as tension respites from an album that is often heavily electronic, bold, fierce and brilliant throughout.
Kid Cudi is a fascinating rapper, claimed by the backpackers for his work with Kanye West on 808s Heartbreak but equally loved by the mash-up club kids who went ape for his "Day N Nite" single, especially in its nu-disco remix from Crookers. His debut album was deep in the category of "much anticipated" as soon as it was announced, but when the promised game changer finally arrived, it became obvious that Cudi had already changed the game, and maybe debut albums aren't what they used to be. With its narration from Common and a track list broken into five "acts," Man on the Moon: The End of Day is almost as conceptual as its name implies, kicking off with a spaced-out slow roller coated in strings while Cudi states "Welcome, you're in my dream now." You most certainly are. What follows is Pink Floyd-styled story where the real world pain of "Soundtrack 2 My Life" mutates into sci-fi fantasies from the dark side of the moon. Along the way, brilliant samples -- like a bit of OMD's esoteric album Dazzle Ships -- and innovative sounds from Cudi and special guests Emile, Ratatat, and MGMT slowly shuffle the listener through the man's spliff-fueled exploration of space, a place where the artsy escape ridicule but fall prey to crushing isolation. With its bleeps, the hooky "Day N Nite" belongs, but the follow-up single, "Make Her Say," is a glorious mix of glitz and vulgarity with Kanye and Cudi twisting a Lady GaGa sample from "Poker Face" into "Poke Her Face." While it lightens the mood just before things turn ponderous, it barely fits. If it wasn't for the song, it would be as if Cudi launched his career with his own 808s, and therefore anyone looking for a more gripping kickoff should seek out either of his widely available mixtapes (A Kid Named Cudi or Dat Kid from Cleveland). This first official release is a soul searcher and may require more patience than your everyday debut. Still, the chilly, complicated Man on the Moon perfects the futuristic bleak-beat hip-hop Kanye purposed a year earlier, and rewards the listener with every tripped-out return.