Thursday, November 5, 2009
New & Improved Sirius XM Commute
During my last few months on the full-time music beat at Machine Gun Funk, I began an infrequent piece called "The XM Commute". Every morning, after dropping Jalen off at school, it's just me and my satellite radio. Roughly six-and-a-half miles of surface streets and stoplights allow me the opportunity to hear at least three songs in their entirety.
After a three-year absence, I thought it time to bring back the "Commute" since (1) it's convenient blog fodder; (2) it should kinda-sorta satisfy those of you who want me to do more music stuff and (3) I'll take "infrequent" over "month-long baseball feature" any day of the week and twice on Fat Tuesday.
Sirius XM Channel: "Backspin" (Old school hip hop)
Some links may be NSFW, so click with caution…
Pharoahe Monch – Simon Says: Wow. I hadn't heard this cut for awhile. I remember loving it when it dropped ten years ago, but save for the Godzilla-lifted beat it's surprisingly, retroactively awful. Pharoahe's one of those acts whose skills were inversely proportional to the strength of the attempts to commercialize him (see also: Budden, Joe). I can't be mad at him, though. He's still the same artist who dropped one of my favorite collabos of the decade.
Father MC – Everything's Gonna Be Alright: Lord, how I miss the early 1990s. Y'see, kids, back then we paid full price for rap albums with only ten tracks while the accompanying music videos could feature women in bandanas and shirtless dudes in suspenders. This one fits the 1992 rap template to a "T" with its obligatory harmonizing (Jodeci! All of them!) and forgettable party lyrics that are overwhelmed by the familiar sampling. Nearly 20 years later, no one remembers that Father MC indirectly brought Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mary J. Blige into the limelight. Or, we're still trying to forget.
Big Daddy Kane – RAW: This was the 1988 remix of his 12-inch version from a year earlier. Kane's one of those acts who gets much love as a hip hop pioneer of sorts, but still might be underrated to a degree. He stood out amongst the genre's first Golden Age (1986-1988); he inexplicably assisted Patti LaBelle during her 15-minute renaissance in 1991; he killed it on one of my all time favorite unreleased Tupac tracks. And, did y'all see Posse? Kane's death scene moved me like no other…until Tyra Banks' unintentionally hilarious final moments in Higher Learning.