Smoke Break – Curren$y & Alchemist
You can never go wrong with Curren$y, arguably one of the best indie/underground rappers out there. I was first introduced to the Hot $pitta, formally through Wiz Khalifa in their smash-hit, critically acclaimed mixtape How Fly. However I first heard of Curren$y in the mid 2000s when he rapped alongside Remy Ma and Young Money frontrunner Lil’ Wayne on the popular single, “Where Da Cash At.”
“Smoke Break” comes from another highly praised Curren$y mixtape, Covert Coup, which was produced by famed hip-hop producer The Alchemist.
The style done got switched up
Cause the last one got bit up,
Yeah lil homie y’all can get down,
but I bet y’all can’t keep up!
Life Under the Scope – Curren$y
“Life Under the Scope” was also one of Curren$y’s early hit songs back when he was very much still Unsigned Hype. Many think Young Spitta has stayed true to his roots, while fellow rapper he came up with, Wiz Khalifa, has largely abandoned them (Blacc Hollywood does capture some of Wiz’s early spirit, but not enough). I, like many others, are still holding out for a How Fly 2.
Criminal – The Roots, Truck North & Saigon [REAL HIP-HOP]
Our next throwback is another real hip-hop jam, this one a collab between The Roots, Truck North & Saigon. “Criminal” has a very interesting beat, lyrics and feeling to it that makes me reminisce to the beginning of Fall or cold, wintry days.
Monday, they predict the storm,
Tuesday, they predict the bang
Wednesday they cover the crash,
And I can see it’s all about cash
They got the nerve to hunt down my ass,
and treat me like a criminal…
Our throwback selection for the day are some tracks from the mid 2000s. First up, released in 2008, we have the ever classic “Criminal” by The Roots with Truck North & Saigon. This is real hip-hop to its fullest, coming out during an era that marked the come-up of conscious, real and meaningful hip-hop (as opposed to snap music and whatever else was on the radio at the time). It was these fandoms of non-mainstream, but current hip-hop rappers that gave fuel to and led to the discovery of some of the games’ biggest names today: Wiz Khalifa, Kid Ink, Lil B, Curren$y, Mikey ‘Sir Micheal’ Rocks, Big K.R.I.T., Action Bronson and more.
Around the time I heard this song I also was shown another good song for real “hip-hop heads”, “The Far Left” by rapper Evidence, produced by and featuring famed producer, The Alchemist and also backed by the very talented Fashawn. The pounding beats drive into a powerful message carried into tonal bliss by a sick sample. The music video even features a very artistic expression of the lyrics as flash cards. Check it out below under my rock throwback highlight.
For Rock, today on shuffle I heard a rock song that takes me back to my high school days. Released in 2005, Oceans Away is characteristic of much of the rock that was coming out during those days. Though some might describe it as a bit emotive, its lyrics and overall sound are very catchy. Don’t get me wrong “emo-rock” back when I was in high school was big, especially with the “rocker” chics and some of the more “scene” kids I used to run with. It was during this stage I discovered Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Killswitch Engage, Gym Class Heroes, The Receiving End of Sirens, Death Cab for Cutie and many other artists I still at least listen to from time to time, and definitely will always respect and admire their works.
[CON’T from above: “The Far Left (feat. Fashawn & The Alchemist) – Evidence”]