Category Archives: Throwback Jams

[Throwback Jams] [Pop/Dance:] Utada Hikaru – Exodus ’04 (Double J Remix)


Exodus ’04 (Double J Radio Mix)
Utada Hikaru

Through traffic jams and Tokyo
New music on the radio
We’ll say goodbye to the world we know…
this is our exodus, this is our exodus

Today’s throwback jam comes from Japanese American songstress, and Kingdom Hearts series soundtrack headliner, Utada Hikaru. This upbeat dance remix is a great re-work of her original “Exodus ’04,” a slow, but powerful pop ballad with Asian strings telling the story of Hikaru spending time living in both New York and Tokyo.

The lyrics are powerful and Utada is always an excellent vocalist. I recently blogged about a new remix of her most iconic song “Simple & Clean” the original theme song to Kingdom Hearts, that was released for the recent “2.8 Remake” on Playstation 4. Be sure to check out Utada’s Japanese and American albums for more.

Other notable songs:
Heart Station – Utada Hikaru [Japanese]
Hotel Lobby [English]
Kremlin Dusk [English]
Passion / Sanctuary [Passion is JPN, Sanctuary is ENG]
Easy Breezy [English]
Let Me Give You My Love (Prod. Timbaland) [English]

 

[Throwback Track:] L.A. Leakers – Pull Up (feat. Kid Ink, Sage the Gemini & Iamsu!) & [Trap EDM/Rap] Gas Pedal (Salva Remix)


[Throwback Track:]

[Kid Ink:]
I know, I know you been waitin’ all night (it’s all right)
I know what you wanna get full of (I’m bout to pull up)
Pull up, I’m bout to pull up…

[Iamsu!:]
Goin’ in, more bars than a lifer
Send a text, bet she pull up like a diaper
Hyper, active, ballin’ no practice
Smokin’ on sherbert, we don’t smoke cactus

Our throwback tune for the day is the L.A. Leaker’s “Pull Up” featuring Kid InkSage the Gemini and Iamsu!. This 2015 rap track has a highly danceable and energetic beat and was used in many 2015 Vines in conjunction with dances like “The Whip.” Kid Ink’s chorus is pretty damn catchy and well I’d be damned if Iamsu! didn’t just deliver the best verse I’ve ever heard from him. Definitely miles over what he and Sage “showcased” in “Gas Pedal” do yourself a favor and check this song out! Also check out trap EDM producer Salva’s remix of Sage the Gemini and Iamsu!’s “Gas Pedal.”

[Real Hip-Hop/Rap:] Erykah Badu – Trill Friends (Kanye West Real Friends Remix)


[Real Hip-Hop & Rap]
Erykah Badu – Trill Friends (Kanye West Real Friends Remix)

Homeboys, and some of them we wish we never knew at all…
Homegirls, and some of them we wish we never knew at all…

R&B goddess and hip-hop‘s ephemeral, ‘realest b*tch in the game’s’ take on Kanye West’s “Real Friends” puts a sweet, touching spin on the calming head-banger. With an instrumental beat characteristic of Kanye himself, as a producer; Badu raps and sings over a prominent 4-bar loop of the song to make a point about friends. The repeating hook (and even elements of the original song) have a very J Dilla or No I.D. feel in being different and unique, but still clearly hip-hop.

According to Badu, these days we use the word “friends” far too loosely and ambiguously which results in most of us having homeboys and homegirls that we wish we never knew at all. “Real Friends” are a problem that have plagued humans since existence. Who are our real friends? How do we feel when our so-called homeboys and homegirls turn out not to be our friends? In this Internet age, it’s common for us not to have any friends, except online or through social media, or to think we have friends then catch them slighting us on social media, or not having our back online.

Who do you consider your “friends”, your “real friends”, your “homeboys/girls”? A psychologist once told me that he thought we should do away with the word “friends” altogether. He claimed the increased rates of “falling out” with friends is due to our own high expectations we set for people who are our “friends”. When they don’t live up to these expectations we feel disappointed (if a friend doesn’t like and comment on ALL your posts, or is usually in tug with you everywhere but in one instance you can’t find them/count on them).

We have to remember that friends are simply that, friends. Of course some of us have certain friends we can count on more than others, but in general when we start placing them on pedestals or expect them to always have our back we being searching for and expecting someone who goes beyond a “friend”. Think about that as you go about your day.

Kanye West’s Original Song:

[Throwback Hip-Hop & Alternative Rap] KiD CuDi – Super Boo // Nicolay – What It Used to Be (ft. Wiz Khalifa) & More…


[Throwback Hip-Hop]: Origins of Alternative Rap

[Chill Rap w/EDM influence]
Super Boo – KiD CuDi (produced by Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi)

You can be my Super Boo, oh oh
You can be my Super Boo, I need you,
to come…and chill with me
Come on, 1…, 2… Check!

[Electronic Rock/Hip-Hop]
Alive (feat. RATATAT) – KiD CuDi

[Electronic Hip-Hop]
Glock Nines (RATATAT Remix) – Beanie Sigel feat. Jay-Z

[Smooth Hip-Hop/Rap]
On G’s – Curren$y

[Indie/Underground Conscious Rap]
My Grind – I-An-I

[Dope Rap over Dope Beats]
Step Up – Busta Rhymes [prod. by J Dilla]

Today’s throwback post would be remiss if I didn’t start it off mentioning a few of the players responsible for the massive growth of alternative hip-hop through the 2000s. For those not in the know, think “rap music that you wouldn’t hear on the radio” then think about why you don’t hear it on the radio. Sure, in some cases maybe it’s not a good song, or maybe it doesn’t have the mainstream, wide-audience appeal, and that’s what makes it great.

I had the good fortune of being exposed to many of these artists that produce real hip-hop: this genre ranges from still hard-banging (just not radio friendly) Cam’Ron, Vado, Action Bronson, BIG K.R.I.T., Jay Electronica, Curren$y, Nipsey Hussle, producers Araabmuzik and J Dilla, among many more. On the lighter side of alt. rap, you’ll find the Kid Cudis, Breezepark, Two-9, Lil B “The BasedGod”, Murs & 9th Wonder, Aesop Rock, 88-Keys and more.

Some of these artists would be considered underground. Some were alternative and moved into the limelight: Wiz, Wale, Curren$y, many of the rappers featured in XXL’s Freshman lists in the past several years apply as well.


[Alternative, Conscious Hip-Hop]
What It Used to Be (feat. Wiz Khalifa) – Nicolay [produced by 9th Wonder)

The world has changed so very much, from what it used to be…

No Future – 9th Wonder & Buckshot [from The Formula]

Eyes on the future, what to do, do?
Must I feel they’ll be no future? What to do, do?

[EDM Origins: Trance House] [Throwbacks] // [Hard Trance / House] Future Breeze – Second Chance // [Ambient Trance/House] Michelle Williams – We Break the Dawn (Karmatronic Remix)


[Hard House/Anthem Trance]
Future Breeze – Second Life (Club Mix)

For Our EDM Origins of today we have two very influential and treasured songs from my music library. Both released during the forefront of EDM’s emergence into American culture during the ripe year of 2008. Our first selection “Second Life (Club Mix” by Future Breeze is a highly slept on, heavy bass-synth trance track I happened to stumble across on iTunes one day.

[Spoiler:] For the young and restless skip ahead to the 3:01 mark for the epic drop. The song continually builds over futuristic synths that were likely foundations for the Future House and Synth House we have today. After a nice little intro the music cuts. Slowly but surely a tiny synth chord begins, growing louder, until the epic drop that rides out for the rest of song. Trance lovers will not be disappointed.


 

[Ambient Trance/House]
Michelle Williams – We Break the Dawn (Karmatronic Video Remix)


Next up, how can we forget Karmatronic’s magnificent remix of Michelle Williams “We Break the Dawn”. Turning the song into a groovy, downtempo and danceable house track. This remix stands out to me today the same way it did when I purchased it solely off its 30 sec. preview back in 2008. It’s one of a growing minority of older songs I still keep in 8000+ library. I guess it’s the overall natural feel of the melodies blending into something smooth and harmonic without losing the original’s identity. A welcome change from a time awash with similar “remixes” of pop music and Top-40 hits that populated dance charts throughout the early to mid-2000s.

This remix is a great song for riding, relaxing, getting things done, or just to find your own little groovy moment in it.

Cheers.

[Throwback: Emotive Hip-Hop] Best of Joe Budden: Sidetracked // Other Deep, “Emo” Rappers – Cudi, Cinos, Charles Hamilton


[Emotive Hip-Hop Throwback:] Joe Budden – Sidetracked // More deep-emotive hip-hop at end of this post:

[Coldplay “Lost” sample:]

Just because I’m losin’
Doesn’t mean I’m lost,
Doesn’t mean I’ll stop
Doesn’t mean I will cross…


From The Dope Chronicles (Feb 2015)

Song: Sidetracked |
Album: Halfway House |
Year: 2009

“I’ve lost so many relationships, is it, just because I don’t relate to shit?”

Source: Best of Joe Budden v.2: #28 Sidetracked

Joe battles with an inner issue in this song. Is there something deeper in this song that what’s on the surface? Maybe. To me, it seems like his old friend depression is the cause behind his lack of focus and flip-flop of things.

At times he’s pumped, he’s motivated, he’s ready to hit the studio but then there’s days where he doesn’t want to do that. He sees it as pointless. It’s a waste of time.


This throwback post recalls one of Joe Budden‘s “unreleased” tracks from his 2009 mixtape Halfway House, an EP many speculate, Budden wrote while depressed. As someone who has dealt with bouts of the ailment myself I can relate in parts of his “Sidetracked” song [Sometimes I wanna make music/sometimes I feel it’s just useless…] a deep recollection of the darker side to fame over hip-hop beats (and a sick Coldplay sample).

In general, I try to avoid depressing music but there are times when it feels right to me (especially during the colder months). Sometimes the raps can hit close to home and stir emotions, at other times (to me) these songs may be sonically great, or have a sick beat/sample but the depressing lyrics turn the would-be banger into a “pity-party” that I probably wouldn’t play around other people at least not for cranking round the city or getting ready to hit the clubI feel neutral as this music certainly has it’s place; some of Kid Cudi’s greatest tracks are fairly sad. But, Cudi balances it pretty well.

This mixtape of Budden’s, a lot of Charles Hamilton’s music, almost all of Cinos‘ songs I’ve heard (apart from Rain Zone) and even some from Lil B squarely fit this bill. How do you feel about songs that are sad?

Other Good Sad and Emotive Rap Highlights:

Kid Cudi – Going to the Ceremony

Charles Hamilton – Happy Ending
https://www.youtube.com/bP4yaxRVIjg

Cinos – Lighthouse Zone

Cinos – Rain Zone (not emotive, but just damn good)

Cage – Blood Boy

[Hip-Hop/Breakdance Origins] [B-Boy Rap Beats] KRS-One – Steady Bounce


[Breakdance Hip-Hop:] Steady Bounce – KRS-One

Steady bouncin’ them jeeps on the New York streets
steady bouncin’ them jeeps on the New York streets
steady bounce-steady bounce-steady bounce….

For this Hip-Hop & Rap Origins post we’re featuring a classic, beat-heavy KRS-One track dedicated to b-boys and b-girls. From the album Strickly For Da Breakdancers & Emceez “Steady Bounce” is relatively simple in its structure and layers — and that works perfectly here. The result is a certifiably, windmill-ready mix of beats and repeating hooks harkening to the days of olde; sweats, fresh sneakers and bodies contorting over cardboard boxes on the sidewalks and them city streets.

Check out more from KRS-ONE here:

KRS One Website
KRS One Twitter