Top 5 Artists I’ve Been Listening to Lately
So I was sitting at the coffeeshop the other day talking with my friend Charleston Chew (sometimes Chu) and sipping a macchiato
Chu is one half of the rap duo Snacktime! (the exclamation point is in the title, don’t worry I’m not that excitable) along with his twin brother Dizzy the Kid. They’re really cool guys to work with and great performers if you ever get a chance to see em.
So anyway, Chu, Chew, or Charles (whichever you prefer) and I were discussing that while Snacktime! is generally labeled a Hip Hop act and GSRV Music a rock act…what we’re listening to doesn’t necessarily directly correspond to the music we’ve released in the past. Charles said he had been listening to a lot of rock oriented music while for the past 2 months I’ve been listening almost exclusively to hip hop.
Now while I could go off on a whole tangent about the evils of genre-lization and it’s inhibiting nature on the artist…I’m not gonna do that. Not only because it’d be whiney and pretentious
and I already made the macchiato comment
but also because I’d only be delaying the real point of this blog…the Top 5 artists I’ve Been Listening to Lately:
1) Eric B. and Rakim
Eric B. and Rakim were my gateway artist into the world of hip hop and they’re definitely on my Top Ten Artists of All Time (coming soon). In the same way that I sometimes take Led Zeppelin for granted due to listening to them so much when I was younger, I often take Eric B. and Rakim for granted because of how easy they both make their music seem. However, the musical complexity of Eric B’s production and Rakim’s calm collected flow (he allegedly was the first to introduce internal rhyme into rap) is still amongst some of the best material that was put out in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Just try not to enjoy this:
My friend Amir introduced me to Common Sense back when I started college. Initially it was No I.D.’s production off of Resurrection that attracted me. However, the in depth lyricism and insight in his verse is what keeps me coming back. One of the first rappers to take a serious stab at the West Coast gangsta movement.
In an era where hip hop has only become more commercial, indulgent, and conditioned…Black Star still remains a pertinent light in the night sky…and what a groove.
Yeah you read that correctly.
Ok, ok so 2Pac and Hill never collaborated during Shakur’s lifetime (not that I know of). But I recently found a delectable summer song combination that I feel compelled to share.
While I can’t get behind all of Shakur’s lyricism, he’s undeniably one of the most influential rappers of all time and his deep tone and skilled rhymes combined with Dr. Dre’s thick in your face production is pretty awesome.
So now for the song combo…
On the way to the beach I listened to “California Love” by 2Pac, followed up by “This Kiss” by Faith Hill. Laugh if you must…but don’t knock it in ignorance.
Ok so it probably seems like I’ve been seriously neglecting any new skool hip hop…and you’re right. My ears haven’t been frequenting anything far outside the 90’s recently
Why would you want to?
But in any case this is a group that couldn’t be more new since they just released their latest EP a few weeks ago.
Charleston Chu and Dizzy the Kid formed Snacktime! not too long ago while they still graced the halls of a New Jersey High School. Even then they were some of the most talented MC’s I knew and now they continue to be some of the most formidable rappers when it comes to speed, syncopation, and lyricism. Be on the lookout for Snacktime!
Here is one of their latest tunes from their new EP Orphans remixed by DJ Mike Manfready:
and an ol’ collab I did with them last year
So that’s it…should keep you busy for a while. Considering how long this took me to put together I’d hate to see what’d be like to make a top 10…
Well until then…