Tag Archives: throwback

[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]

 

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[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?

[Throwback Hip-Hop Jams:] Kanye West – Slow Jamz (ft. Twista & Jamie Foxx) // KiD CuDi – Pillow Talk & Cleveland is the Reason


Throwback Jamz [Hip-Hop]
Slow Jamz – Kanye West feat. Twista & Jamie Foxx

She say she want some Marvin Gaye,
some Luther Vandross, a little Anita
will definitely set this party of right!
Say she want some Ready For the World…

[Chill Hip-Hop]
Pillow Talk – KiD CuDi

So don’t be shy, I ain’t going nowhere, I’m here for the night
So move closer, bring your body to mine, let me hold you right
Don’t be mad, I ain’t going nowhere, I’mma sleep here by your side

[Check out more similar-sounding songs from both artists at the bottom of this page]


In today’s Throwback Jams post we’ll be revisiting two classic hip-hop/rap tracks from two of the most influential names in current hip-hop music. The first is the timeless classic and one of media mogul, Kanye West‘s breakout singles “Slow Jamz” with back-up from the none-other than legendary performers Twista and Jamie Foxx.

This soulful staple of the genre samples the iconic Luther Vandross’ “A House is Not a Home”. Twista delivers sonically pleasing, rapidly spoken verses, characteristic of his masterful lyrical delivery on “Overnight Celebrity” which came out around the same time. Jamie Foxx channels R&B legends of the past with his back, and foreground singing. Slow Jamz – 5/5

Next up from none other than the “Moon Man” himself, one of his more mellow and chilled-out tracks, but nonetheless an aural masterpiece. Kid Cudi’s “Pillow Talk” exemplifies everything that was right about the “more than just different” rapper out of Shaker Heights, Ohio who came across as that “weird kid in high school who was also talented.” The song features dreamy soundscapes and vocals mixed with playful, hip lyrics (I know you think I’m shady, but….I ain’t gon’ fuckin’ bounce, fuckin’ bounce). Check it out and relax with some of the spacey music Cudi is well known for.

Ever since the first Cudi song I heard, “Heaven At Nite” through a friend of mine, I knew Kid Cudi (Scott Mescudi in the real world) was going to soon be a household name. In fact, coincidentally, a girl I met at a bar here in Atlanta a few weeks back from Ohio tole me she went to Shaker Heights High School with Cudi, was in the same class year and even attended a few parties that he was at.

This source found out of pure serendipity, told me that Mescudi rolled with a big group of friends back then, and most kids at the school thought he was cool. Mescudi was labeled weird and a “stoner kid” in those days.

“Everyone knew that Scotty smoked, in fact him and his friends would always try to get me [and my girls] to come smoke with them…I knew he rapped and did music but never imagined he’d be famous” -Gina

Kid Cudi – Cleveland is the Reason

Little Brother – I See Now (feat. Kanye West)

Kid Cudi – Just What I Am (ft. King Chip)

[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

[Throwbacks:] [Industrial/Tech House] Two Fingers – Stripe Rhythm // [2 Electronic/Alt. Rock songs from:] Bloc Party – Compliments & Letter to My Son


Our first throwback comes to us from electronic producer, Two Fingers, with his bass thumping, head-bangingly good track “Stripe Rhythm.” Props go out to [adult swim] for playing this gem during their bumps.

Last, but certainly not least we have the alternative/electro band you can never go wrong with, Bloc Party. Their hauntingly good, rhythmic string of consciousness that is “Compliments” is worth taking note of. “Letter to My Son” is another epic Bloc Party cut, much more alternative rock in feel and sound. Don’t sleep on either!

[Throwback] [Trance] Not Ferris – Love is Alive (Original Mix)


Starting out “Love is Alive” sounds like your run of the mill trance or house tune, but stick it out and the song develops into an aural masterpiece. Initially, the seemingly simplistic melody evolves into one the most unique, aurally pleasing songs I have ever heard. Released in 2008 by Not Ferris this floor-filler uplifts the mind and the soul.

[Throwback Hip-Hop] Wale – The Crazy


Let us remember a simpler time from before when Wale hadn’t fallen off yet (another gem of his below). From Wale’s fourth and arguably, most successful release “The Mixtape About Nothing” helped further increase Wale’s hype as he began to rise as a new artist.This hype would eventually be his downfall as once Wale achieved mainstream success, his signature sound would be lost from its more independent, underground beginnings. Don’t get me wrong, several other artists have committed this musical sin as well. A few that come to mind are some artists who were on the come-up in my early college years: Wiz Khalifa (a shame really) or KiD CuDi. Not all were sunk by this however, some artists even kept their original sound, or lost it but still rose to popularity, a la Big Sean, Juicy J, 2 Chainz the list goes on…

Wale’s follow-up “More About Nothing” continued the Seinfeld theme from the last tape and, despite a few gems, did not achieve its predecessor’s acclaims. Nevertheless, one of the better songs “The Break-Up Song” is one of the few that reminds us of Wale’s “old” sound. Even more so in his first inital breakout single that launched him into the spotlight around 2007 “Nike Boots (Remix ft. Lil’ Wayne)