The past couple weeks have been pretty relaxing, a lot of NCAA tournament watching and having the joy of Michigan basketball making its way to the Final Four, one of the most unbelievable University of Michigan accomplishments in my lifetime.
Good music has been in constant rotation though, check out these three groovy tracks I’ve been listening to lately:
1. Kurupt – Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha feat. Daz Dillinger
A classic jam from one of the few remaining members of the Death Row dynasty in the mid to late 90’s. This song is off his 1999 album of the same title, one of the standout songs from a project that remains a classic over the years. While the album received Gold, it often stays forgotten about in my circle. Unfortunate, because the album boasts a lot of impressive songs that I consistently enjoy. The opener I Call Shots, the West Coast posse cut Neva Gonna Give It Up, and of course the classic Ho’s a Housewife that also ended up on Chronic 2001, all deserve honorable mention. This song always stood out the most for me, though.
2. B.o.B – We Still In This Bitch feat. T.I., Juicy J
This selection is a little different from most of my other Monday Groove selections as being from a more radio friendly artist. B.o.B really succeeds with this one though, getting two huge features from big time names, as well as writing an infectious hook that is guaranteed to stick in your memory. T.I.’s recent string of features has been impressive, showing that he is putting a lot of effort into his craft. B.o.B and T.I.’s bouncy flow fit nicely over the quick bass-heavy Mike Will Made It beat. While Juicy J’s verse doesn’t do quite the same thing, there’s just something that stays entertaining about his lyrics. If this is the direction that B.o.B is heading in, then a lot of catchy music should be coming in the future.
3. Kool G Rap – Fast Life feat. Nas
Continuing with the trend of collaboration tracks, what could be better than a classic song between two Hip-Hop legends? 4,5,6 (which this song is on) was released at a very important period for both of these artists. For Kool G Rap, this marked the beginning of his solo career, the first album released without DJ Polo. For Nas, 1995 was a great year. Illmatic had just released a year earlier, with It Was Written right on the horizon.
On this track in particular, it’s interesting to notice that both rappers use similar flows, rhyme schemes and subject matter. Of course, that has to do with the nature of the song, and the idea trying to be expressed. Another interesting aspect of this track is how much Nas draws influence from Kool G Rap’s innovative style (he’s not alone, many other rappers have as well). For him to be on a Kool G Rap record at this period in time, was almost a passing of the torch in ways. I’m not sure if this was something they were going for, or something that has stood the test of time as being such.
Overall though, its one of my favorite Kool G Rap songs of all time. When people chop it up with me about Hip-Hop, and the topic of Kool G Rap comes up, this is one of the first songs I would show to them. A pretty dead-on example of what he had to offer throughout his career.