Category Archives: Throwback Jams

[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?

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[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

[Throwbacks] [Conscious, Underground Hip-Hop:] Charles Hamilton – Writing in the Sky // [Unsigned Hype] I-An-I – My Grind (feat. Willow Smith) & chad. (Purple Reign)


Throwback Post:

Charles Hamilton – Writing in the Sky [Soulful Sample]

Charles Hamilton’s timeless “Writing in the Sky” was a bonus track off of his early mixtape, The Pink Lavalamp. Sampling the timeless R&B/Soul hit by The Stylists “Betcha by Golly, Wow” the song is a very calming and inspiring anthem with Charles spilling his heart out over the track. The echoing soul-filled vocals in the background sample further contribute to the chill, spacey ambiance set by the song.

Hamilton has largely been quiet in terms of releases since his short run from around 2007 to 2010. He has recently begun to re-enter into the industry, however. Hamilton was featured on the soundtrack for the break-out music-industry drama and TV-show, Empire. He raps alongside songwriter group, The Invisible Men on “New York Raining”.

Charles Hamilton with The Invisible Men – New York Raining (feat. Rita Ora)


[Indie Underground Hip-Hop | Conscious Rap:]

I-An-I – My Grind (feat. Willow Smith)

I-An-I is a little known hip-hop group introduced to me by my brother, that released a stunningly “real hip-hop” mixtape titled, Free Love around 2010. Released through I-An-I’s music group Purple Reign, the EP is chock full of “real hip-hop” beats, smart, conscious lyrics and soulful samples.In the underground banger “My Grind” I-An-I samples Will Smith‘s daughter and pop music songstress, Willow Smith. With a very catchy hook and some quite emotional heartfelt lyrics, “My Grind” is not a song to be missed by rap enthusiasts.

“Free Love” is not Purple Reign’s only “fye” extended play, member of the group, chad. (born Chad Charles) released a similarly scorching hot, authentic underground rap album, Conquering Lions with some amazingly clever raps and one-of-a-kind beats you won’t hear anywhere else. Here are a few standout tracks from that mixtape, which can be found on DatPiff, Bandcamp and ReverbNation.

The Set:

Me, Myself & Hennessey (Tell Me – Smilez & Southstar Sample):

Int’l Fly Niggas (French Music Sample):

Curren$y & Alchemist – Smoke Break


[Real HipHop] Throwback Article: Smoke Break – Curren$y & Alchemist from their highly lauded “Covert Coup” mixtape.

Some songs are just too good not to repost. The ones that come up on shuffle mode and just so happen to be exactly what you feel like hearing (crazy right, or is it?). Mine for the day was the ever-classic “Smoke Break” by semi-underground ex-Young Money front-runner Curren$y.

After a long day of sorting through new electronic, house and trap (street rap not the overdone EDM genre). Hearing this come on with Spitta’s ever masterful — bars on ‘one hunnit’ swag as usual, combined with the lazy, riding on Cloud 9 type beat with heavy instrumentation, laid down by none other than acclaimed Hip-hop producer Alchemist rounded out a good, long productive day.

Notable lyrics:
The style done got switched up

Cause the last one got bit up,
Yeah lil homie y’all can get down,
but I bet y’all can’t keep up!

[Epic Ambient Trance] Vector Lovers – Neon Sky Rain // Some History: Waxing and waning on EDM Music


Neon Sky Rain – Vector Lovers

Welcome to another EDM Origins post, this time featuring “Neon Sky Rain” one of the standout tracks from independent artist Vector Lovers, an alias for British EDM producer, Martin Wheeler. The song incorporates a very spacey-vibe with futurstic, space-like synths and chords, reminiscent of distant solar systems. The track, released back in 2003, was so far ahead of its time, it isn’t even funny. EDM artists today could take a page from songs and artists like these, who clearly came from a background, foundation and genuine love for electronic music they create. Not like many of these “iMac DJs” or “DJs” who just learned what “Darude – Sandstorm”, or “specialize” in Trap or another fad genre. Continue reading [Epic Ambient Trance] Vector Lovers – Neon Sky Rain // Some History: Waxing and waning on EDM Music