Detroit Hip Hop is on the rise again, with a bountiful plethora of solo artists and groups paving a way and staking a claim in the 21st Century Hip Hop marketplace. And among them is The Regiment, the lyrically inclined take-no-prisoners Boom Bap Hip Hop-centric duo of Osi and IseQold that are helping to paint a more positive yet still unrelentingly uplifting vision of Hip Hop from Detroit that not only entertains, but also educates, motivates and encourages. I had the chance to listen to their latest album, Live From The Coney Island (a reference to the many independently owned mom and pop restaurants that are scattered all over the Motor City for those that don’t know), and I can say without hesitation that I was thoroughly impressed. The Regiment’s latest project has to be one of the most solid, engaging and cohesive albums I’ve heard in a while from the Hip Hop genre: not littered with a bunch of songs that don’t fit together, and not necessarily an over intellectual concept album, either. Just straight up raw Hip Hop that’s not interested in fleeting stardom. It harkens back to 90’s era East Coast Hip Hop but doesn’t sound dated or preachy in the least, even with the positive swagger and spin. Definitely not the standard, run-or-the-mill Hip Hop music that we’re so conditioned to these days. The entire album is available for streaming and downloading on DJBooth.net, with production primarily from the Legendary Nick Speed. Peep the included link and check out just a few of the songs below. I’m definitely hoping to hear more music from The Regiment in the near future and beyond.
2014 is filled with a ton of big time music anniversaries, especially for Hip Hop. For many of us that came up as pre-teens and teens in the 1990s, it was a transformative decade for Hip Hop, and 1999 was an even more transformative year for the genre. That said, it’s officially been 15 years since Marshall Mathers released his debut album, The Slim Shady LP. What do you even say about this joint? Truthfully, there’s so much to BE said, because a young and broke Eminem would soon have the attention of the entire world with his debut. It was everything that Hip Hop is, isn’t and is supposed to be: alternative, clever, violent, sarcastic, strange, humorous, offensive, grating, maddening and genius. Aided by the long-established brilliance of Dr. Dre, Eminem was able to do what many other emcees could not on songs like “Just Don’t Give A F**k”, “Rock Bottom”, “Bad Meets Evil”, “My Name Is”, “Brain Damage”, “Guilty Conscience” and “My Fault”: create songs that bridged a gap between working class sentiments and mentalities and amazingly dark yet powerful lyrics on everything from his childhood to the struggles of a young, poor father to any twisted, demented idea that came to his mind. And we gobbled it up. I won’t go into too much detail, because those who know remember it very well. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, take a listen to one of the standout tracks from The Slim Shady LP, “Brain Damage”.
Just got sent this new track from Detroit’s own Microphne Phelps. An interpretation/interpolation/remix/freestyle of Ms. Badu’s “Other Side Of The Game”. Mic really puts his foot in these lyrics and doesn’t seem to let up for a minute, reaching a rapid-fire pace that few can hope to rival. Check it out on his Bandcamp page:
Just checked out this awesome interview with the legendary (though he would never call himself that) DJ Jazzy Jeff via HipHopDX.com and Montreality. Much love to both outlets for giving this to the world because Jeff definitely drops some knowledge and brings back some memories for folks. LOVED it!
Here’s another video from Hip Hop duo Passalacqua out of Detroit, MI. They were the recipients of funding from the Kresge institute in Detroit and are going to be part of this five-day multidisciplinary celebration in the city celebrating visual, performance and literary artists among many others. Check out the video of Brent and Brian giving a peek into their musical world and all they’re trying to accomplish in Detroit in the video just below.
Check out this cool little video of a journey all the way from Detroit, MI to Austin, TX with a band of courageous, intrepid indie artists and some of their supporters/friends as they head to SXSW 2013. I got the chance to meet them and they’re really good folks. Although that’s not a surprise since they’re from my hometown. Only bad part is that I missed one of the pop up shows that some of the artists did down in Austin, as well as a house party, but hey, you can’t make it to everything at SXSW. Regardless, get a peek and do your research on the likes of COLD MEN YOUNG, PASSALACQUA, JAMAICA QUEENS and many more doing their thing up in the D.
The posthumous celebration of the life, legacy, creativity and music of James DeWitt Yancey aka Jay Dee aka J Dilla continues in this special episode of Crate Diggers, care of FUSE, which can also be seen on HipHopDX.com. Dilla’s music has changed a lot of peoples’ lives and it’s just a shame that he’s not here to see his true impact on the world. But there are plenty of people, including many in this documentary, that work tirelessly and selflessly to keep his true legacy alive and his music reaching more hearts, minds and ears. Being from Detroit I feel a special connection to Dilla. Not because I knew him or any of his folks, because I did not, but because of the humility he seemed to display on a regular basis, even though he had such an amazing talent that he honed and perfected every day. Enough of my blabbering: just watch the doc!