Battery Records to release long-awaited Q-Tip album Kamaal the Abstract Innovative recording cements Tip’s rep as greatest MC/producer of all time
New York, NY- In these hard times, we can all stand a ray of hope. Hope in hip-hop now comes from the legendary Q-Tip, he of A Tribe Called Quest fame. His long-delayed album Kamaal the Abstract, slated originally for release in 2001, is finally dropping September 15th on Battery Records. A musical hybrid, Kamaal was commendably avant-garde at the time of its creation. Amazingly, it’s even more apropos in 2009; given the dearth of musical merit and capable MCs in today’s hip-hop, the time is ever-so-right for Tip.
Kamaal the Abstract is an intensely idiosyncratic and revealing record. To that end, Q-Tip produced the entire album himself, even playing several instruments. What comes from Kamaal is a daring mélange of soul, supa-cool jazz, headnodding hip-hop, and organic pop magic in the vein of Stevie Wonder or Prince. Check for the superlative figures of saxophonist Kenny Garrett, a one-time member of Miles Davis’ ensemble, on the breathy “Abstractionisms.” Or the fluid flute lines of Gary Thomas, another Davis sideman, on “Do U Dig U.” Elsewhere, note Tip’s ambitious production, arrangements, and even sung stylings.
But make no mistake: Kamaal the Abstract still boasts all the earmarks of Q-Tip’s inimitable mic control. Listen to him blaze through a spiced narrative on “Even If It Is So.” Or paint vivid images on “Blue Girl.” The album has been re-mixed and re-mastered for sonic impact, though it retains the original album artwork. Neil Levine SVP/GM of Battery Records is proud to release this buried treasure from Q-Tip: “Kamaal the Abstract/Q-Tip is a true visionary and ahead of his time. These songs sound more contemporary now than when they were first recorded”. Kamaal the Abstract drops September 15th. Better late than never.
Okay, so it's been a week since the unexpected passing of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. So many mixtapes and free music has been put out, giving a tribute to MJ, during the past week. So let this be a PRE-Free Music Friday, with every single mixtape placing as a tribute to Jackson in any way shape or form.
DJ Ayres’ Michael Jackson Mix
[Here's a mix of MJ's greatest hits done in chronological order for FREE 99 DOLLARS.]
DJ Premier - R.I.P. Michael Jackson Tribute Mix [Y'all already know whenever Primo hit the turntables, it's equivalent to an atom bomb. However, this special explosion is dedicated to the man wearing a silver glove as he Moonwalks into history. Primo digs into the crate playing all of Michael Jackson's greats. You should already know to check this one out!]
[J.Period really knows how to make tributes to all of the well-deserving artists, dead or alive. This is a very fitting dedication to MJ and this proves that J.Period does not prove any different. THis contains his greatest hits as well as exclusives and never-heard-before demos and rarities.]
Tracklisting: 1. Workin Day & Night (Demo Version) 2. Workin Day & Night 3. P.Y.T. (Re-Edit) 4. Wanna be Startin Somethin 5. Mama Say/Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough (Interlude) 6. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough (Demo Version) 7. Let’s Dance (Shake Your Body Down to the Ground) 8. Dancing Machine 9. Billy Jean (Demo Version) 10. Can You Feel It? 11. Off the Wall 12. Rock With You 13. Say Say Say 14. Smooth Criminal 15. In the Closet 16. Remember the Time 17. I Wanna Be Where You Are 18. It’s Great to be Here (Remix) 19. Can’t Help It 20. Ah One Two 21. Heartbreak Hotel 22. I’ll Be There 23. Right Here Interlude 24. Human Nature 25. It’s Your Thing 26. Rockin Robin 27. I Want You Back 28. ABC 29. Bonus: Man in the Mirror 30. Bonus: Stranger in Moscow 31 Bonus: Lady in My Life
Those are all as a MJ tribute for now. If you have any MJ tributes you would like to send to RapReviews, please send them to email@example.com. "Free Music Fridays: Raise Up the Heat Edition" coming tomorrow!
Artist: Rick Ross f/ Masspike Miles Title: Cigar Music Label: Def Jam
If you think Rick Ross is a phony and a clown, stop reading now. I've already long since reconciled that his rap persona is an act, and in truth there are no shortage of studio gangsters in the music industry anyway. How many of us would be happier if Rick Ross really sold drugs and did the real prison bids that would come with them? Over the glittering Roosevelt Harrell III (b/k/a/ Bink!) beat, sounding like an alternate take to the Charlie's Angels theme (R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett), Ross clears this up for anybody who still doesn't get his shit. "You sell weed? You sell coke?/If I was sellin dope, baby I'd be sellin both/But I'm sellin records, everything I touch gold/Better yet check the record, three milli' sold." I've said all along that Ross gravelly delivery and lyrical storytelling prowess set him apart, and on "Cigar Music" the beautiful musical backdrop create even more of a gap between him and everybody else. Stop hatin' already.
Artist: Pleasure P f/ 2 Pistols Title: Boyfriend #2 Remix Label: Atlantic Records
I had no idea who Pleasure P was when this hit my inbox, not the least bit aware of his membership in Pretty Ricky nor that his solo career had been blowing up on the radio. Honestly though it takes a lot for any R&B artist to hold my attention for more than 15 seconds when I've got stacks of rap albums and singles from aspiring artists to the ceiling, and when I'm chilling and not reviewing shit the latest Joe Sanga isn't going to be my first choice for relaxation. The fact I even hit play on this one is an indication I thought Pleasure P was a rapper on the basis of his name alone. You'll forgive me that I can't tell you anything about the original song, but this remix with 2 Pistols is alright. The rap isn't that special, he's a "bawler" who's gonna "spawl her," whoever Ms. Cheating on Boyfriend #1 is, so it's actually P and whatever producer who made this track making it special. "I know you like it freaky, so I'm gonna give it to you/(I'm boyfriend #2) And we don't fuss, don't fight, don't argue/cause second place always got a whole lot to prove/So whenever you get in the mood.. just call." This might just be the 2009 version of TLC's "Creep" with the roles reversed. The high end of the ivory keys mingles with synthetic strings and an understated beat, although on the whole the remix may be a TAD overproduced - even less would have been more. I don't hate it and for any R&B single I played by accident, that's high praise enough.
Artist: JAB f/ J. Strode Title: Alright Label: FrontStreet Records
Fledgling label FrontStreet Records are trying hard to make a name for themselves on their "52/50 Campaign" compilation, with this single being the latest to branch out from that album. It's also the FIRST one that I've listened to, and although I was initially skeptical it's... well, forgive the pun but it's alright. This is a song tailor made for the club, as we stand behind JAB and an interested female, overhearing their conversation about what he can do for her. There's a little bit of clever wordplay, nothing mind-blowing, but lines like "I don't treat you like a (w)ho...le lot of the chicks I done hit before" are enough to catch my attention. His partner J. Strode is a tolerable singer for the hook, not likely to win America's Got Talent, but not embarassing himself or JAB either. I'll be a little more inclined to check for FrontStreet now after hearing this one.
Adam B: "Not only do I have 14 great joints in this edition of The Adam B Experience, but, as an added bonus, I actually say interesting things in-between songs! Yes, I know, sounds crazy, but it's true. Enjoy one full hour of dope music AND witty commentary! Hit me up with feedback at AdamB@RapReviews.com." The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE for listeners at RapReviews.com - no worries about downloading or sharing this show. Tell your friends to check out the freshness of ABX right here at RapReviews.com!
Hip-Hop Shop is the precursor to K4D every week on Sunday night. On Episode 37 we're featuring popular underground rapper Braille, who just a few months ago released a brand new album with Symbolyc One called "Cloud Nineteen." If you would like to sponsor Hip-Hop Shop please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The Hip-Hop Shop is 100% podsafe so distribute to your friends and tell them to visit RapReviews.com!
Most people know the AOK Collective as a crew of some of the dopest emcees in NYC. What they might not realize, however, is that there are two females in the crew, Jaq and Alex, AKA Nola Darling (pictured L to R). The duo aren’t seen at a lot of shows in New York because while Alex is from the city, Jaq is an LA resident. When they do get to hit the stage, though, they aren’t just there to be part of the scenery, they’re there to rock the mic and every time they do they prove that they have no problem hangin with the boys. This week I caught up with Jaq and Alex to get the details on what it’s like being the lone female members of AOK, what they’ve learned about Hip-Hop through their world travels, and what Blair Underwood and a royal crown have to do with their story.