The world of electronic music gets noisier and more crowded by the minute, with few artists truly standing out. Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus is busy creating his own universe, one that refuses to be defined by a category or genre, mixing jazz, hip hop, R&B, and experimental electronic music to make something new entirely. His fifth proper album, You’re Dead, pushes his metaphysical sound with a 19-song concept album, centered around Ellison considering his own mortality and mourning those he has lost.
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Killer Mike aptly describes R.A.P. Music when his first line explodes out of the speakers. “Hardcore G s**t, homie, I don’t play around”. This is not exactly my first introduction to Killer Mike, but is the first time I have decided to experience a full Killer Mike record. If Killer Mike isn’t ringing a bell, you may remember him from guesting on Outkast’s “Snappin’ & Trappin'”, or maybe better from his single off his debut album, “A.D.I.D.A.S“. Whether you were familiar or not with Killer Mike before R.A.P. Music, he is a name that deserves attention after his latest offering.
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^^Incredible Lineup, Meh Festival
How does one review a Coachella? It is hard because you are taking a weekend that is very much a personal experience that involves close friends, music, and the good times you create (or don’t). Some people go to try and catch as many concerts as possible in three days. Some merely use it as an opportunity to explore how many drugs they can fill their body with in three days. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Some people go for the art. Some people probably just go for their friends. Teenagers go to fit in or to look like a rebel. Old farts go to feel young and seem hip. I even heard Bear Grylls showed up to film an episode of Man vs Festivals in order to properly demonstrate exactly how to drink copious amounts of alcohol in 108 degree weather without dying (I think the trick had something to do with mixing every drink with pickle juice). Personally, I only go for the Ferris wheel.
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All it took was the one and only Coachella music festival to bring Tupac back from the dead…at least in Obi-Wan Kenobi hologram form. A hundred grand plus and the unequaled genius of Dr. Dre was what proved necessary to display Tupac’s hologram performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Gangstaz” with Snoop Dogg (for those with a more technical interest in the technology used, see this article). The shocker is that, from the youtube videos and first-hand reports, the hologram actually looked pretty good. This may not prompt the esteemed writers of LxL to rush out and buy tickets for the inevitable tour of Tupac reborn (who am I kidding, I’m in), but it did get the ball rolling on which deceased musicians we would like to see show up at a music festival near us. Our preference would be that these legends show up in hologram form, as opposed to zombified (aka Bob Dylan’s most recent tours), because zombies give us the willies. Enjoy, and let us know who you would like to see brought to computer-generated life.
10. Notorious B.I.G./Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Alright, so maybe the connection between Notorious and ODB are tenuous at best (Jay-Z sampled ODB’s “Brooklyn Zoo” for his track “Brooklyn’s Finest”, which contains a verse by Notorious). But with the power of post-humus production, we would like to see a Watch The Throne-esque collaboration featuring Big Poppa and Big Baby Jesus in a feast for the ears. Yes, ODB went by Big Baby Jesus for a period of time during his late-career nosedive.
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The amount of venom spit by Todd and Wes toward Dr. Dre’s late-millennium masterwork The Chronic 2001 had me all kinds of worked up last week. In fact, there was a lot of hate aimed towards Dre that was simply baffling to me. Despite the wide-ranging barbs directed at Dr. Dre, I would like to limit the scope of this post to The Chronic 2001, the main reason being that I think this album is the true culmination of all of Dre’s talents and far superior to The Chronic (1992 edition). So instead of writing ten thousand words, and including arguments about how the careers of Ice Cube, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, etc. essentially sprouted from Dre’s fertile loins, I will try to stay on point. Not that there would be any appreciation by Todd or Wes of Ice Cube. Cube didn’t get killed by firearm like Biggy or Tupac, so white kids in the 90’s didn’t pay attention to him (note: blows Tupac out of the water). But, I digress. I’m also going to try to stay away from arguments about why Dr. Dre is still musically relevant. I think the 2010 killer single, “I Need A Doctor”, speaks for itself.
So what I’m going to do is start addressing particular comments, starting with the most fair, and advancing to the most absurd, trying to limit my comments as much as possible to The Chronic 2001 and ripping on Todd and Wes.
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Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
Mac & Devin Go To High School
I summarily ignored Snoop and Wiz’s joint when it came out a few weeks ago. I added up all the parts in my head and came out with an opinion before ever listening to the album. Here is how my thought process went.
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