Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tunes of 2006: Blue Scholars + DJ Shadow

I came late to the Blue Scholars party, but I don't think I'm the only one. This Seattle hip-hop duo released their self-titled long-player initially in 2004, and then re-released it in 2005 after growing acclaim, but I didn't catch onto it until earlier this year (after getting hipped to it by FotF Scratch). Among contemporaries, the Scholars are definitely on the old school/melodious tip of Jurassic Five with jazz and R&B flourishes.

I've gotta say, I don't find much in today's hip-hop that I can relate to or even really enjoy, and I feel like an old, white fuddy-duddy when I opine how great rap was back in late 80s/early 90s. So it felt good to finally discover some new hip-hop that was full of meaning and musical range as well as just damn catchy.

And while I'm on this hip-hop tip, I didn't find DJ Shadow's latest project, The Outsider, as much as an abomination as many others have, but it also wasn't completely successful (but that's what happens when an artist is willing to take some risks). Still, this hook-up with Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker is a damn catchy tune.

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