Getting down on some Mos Def

I just had that kind of experience where an album hits you really hard. You realize how damn good something is and why other people listen to it, like it, and refer to it. It happened the first time I listened to Illmatic, the first time I heard Biggie's first album, it hit me when I happened upon the Canadian rap scene, and it happened again the other day.

I was walking around through the industrial district of South East Portland. Not a bad neighborhood by any stretch but certainly not pretty or quaint, but a good place to jam on nineties hip hop, get some graffiti done (if that's your jam), or just wander around taking in the parts of the world that aren't so glamorized.

Enter me, turning on my Zune freshly out of a coffee shop where I was reading F Scott Fitzgerald and listening to math rock whilst sippin' on a perfectly pulled shot of espresso expertly crafted into an Italiano. I'm wandering down the street and I have an urge to throw on some tunes I don't listen to much. Scrolling through the artist list after a binge of Victor Vaughn, Madlib, MF Doom, and their projects, I decide to give Mos Def's Black on Both Sides a shot. I mean, it's not like I haven't heard this before, it just felt right this time.

Man, I was bumpin' down the street, totally immersed in the smooth flow, the masterful production, the seamless transitions between tracks. The feeling and flavor drew me into a different era of hip hop, back towards the golden age, back towards the seminal albums that formed hip hop into what it is today.

Totally entranced by this now-perfect album, by the time I got home I had listened to it through once, and now, almost a week later, I've probably listened to it at least eight times. This album is raw. Fresh, precise, perfect hip hop.

Wordburglar - Rhyme O'Clock

This is FRESH. You can't have a Wordburglar video without at least a little bit of ridiculousness and you'll see what I mean when you watch this new joint from Backburner champ Wordburglar. Rhyme O'Clock is the first single from Burg's upcoming album 3rdburglar, which is the album that I'm most excited about this year (not to say that there aren't other awesome things coming out too). Coming through as the king of silly wordplay, Burg teams up with past collaborators More or Les, Fresh Kils (Juno nominee!), and Uncle Fester on vocals, production, and cuts, respectively.

The flow of the tune, chorus especially, is reminiscent of their previous collaboration on Burglaritis Spit Fresh, but it still stands out as its own track and only pumps up the Portland fans for this upcoming release. This video outlines what is sure to be an excellent album. B-boy braggadocio and nerd swagger combine to bring you Rhyme O'Clock. Enjoy it!

More about 3rdburglar:
Aside from tearing up 10 tracks on 2011′s Backburner: Heatwave album, its been 2 years since Wordburglar last dropped a full-length solo album (2009′s underground hit Burgie’s Bassement) and it’s with great pleasure that we’re preparing to unleash 3rdburglar, Wordburglar’s third full-length release of all-new material. Featuring 14 tracks of original lyrics, beats & cuts blended meticulously with ‘Burg’s patented style, every track is a stand-out. 3rdburglar also features production from Juno-nominated producer Fresh Kils & long-time collaborators Beatmason, Timbuktu and Uncle Fes, with guest appearances from Canadian rap cohorts More or Les, Chokeules, Garthim-Master and Timbuktu as well as Los Angeles underground rap legend Riddlore (Chillin Villain Empire/Project Blowed).

3rdburglar drops May 2012. The release party is happening in Toronto at El Mocambo on May 11, 2012 for only $10. Features additional performances from Ghettosocks, More Or Les, Timbuktu & Choke and Dream Jefferson.

It's definitely gonna be a good show but I won't make it because I live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy yourself, you lucky Canucks.

More info @
and Wordburglar's Bandcamp Page
and on Facebook

I moved to Portland

There's a point where every person who writes a blog gets distracted with real life. That's just the truth; you know it and I know it. I like writing about the hip hop that I listen to and sharing the jams and won't deny it but sometimes I find myself caught up in work and all of the projects that regular life throws my way. I've got a finished mixtape that I just need to write about before I throw it up here and there are some seriously rad releases that I need to tell all ya'll about but here's a slice of my life instead.

Recently, I moved to Portland, Oregon, a food hub of the world which has a burgeoning hip hop scene. I missed a show up here recently with Kool Keith but that happens. I did catch the end of a show yesterday in which Sole was headlining but I didn't get to see Josh Martinez, Ceschi, VTRN, and Bleubird. I got a job as a server at a pub and I work for free doing kitchen prep at another joint. I'm adjusting to all the radness that this town has to offer but I don't even have internet in my house and thus don't blog much right now.

Life is good. Portland is tight. I'm about to get down on some hip hop myself because I haven't rapped on stage in a couple years and just the energy of the show last night made me want to get back in that game.

Currently listening to: Moka Only: Airport 3