Django Django continue to prove they’ve got the best taste in music when it comes to bands. This time around they’ve gotten all hip hop on us, be advised it’s not not your played out 2013 hip hop stuffs, instead they’ve taken it back and delivered a nostalgic selection of perfection dropping tracks from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Tha Alkaholiks, De La Soul, Nas, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, Outkast and plenty more.
School’s in session… and If you don’t know, now you know suckers!
After schooling New Yorkers on etiquette via numerous unsanctioned interventions, artist Jay Shells channeled his love of hip hop music and his uncanny sign-making skills towards a brand new project: “Rap Quotes.”
For this ongoing project, Shells created official-looking street signs quoting famous rap lyrics that shout out specific street corners and locations. He then installed them at those specific street corners and locations.
Shells went all city and posted over 30 signs quoting the likes of Jeru tha Damaja, Mos Def, Nas, Kanye West, CL Smooth, GZA, and RA the Rugged Man. ANIMAL followed. Ride along with our video below. Follow @TheRapQuotes for more.
In short, he’s an eccentric, middle aged Canadian who interviews zeitgeisty musicians (though sometimes hall-of-famers). His interviews are usually pretty astoundingly researched with Narwuar often pulling out gifts for his interviewees that reveal details about their taste, history, influences or habits that are usually ridiculously obscure. I think he’s one of those phenomenon that really needs to be seen rather than explained so without further adieu, here are a few poignant Nardwuar interviews:
NARDWUAR vs ODD FUTURE
NARDWUAR vs ED SHEERAN
NARDWUAR vs A$AP ROCKY
NARDWUAR vs HENRY ROLLINS
Then though, there are other less cooperative interviewees…
Scottish quartet Django Django recently took over the 6 Mix on BBC for two hours and played a crazy eclectic mix of music including jams by Cat Stevens, The Clash, Major Lazer, Paul McCartney, Daft Punk, Nas, Grace Jones and many many more (42 to be exact)
It’s always refreshing when a band has great taste in music and based on this selection as well as the tracks the guys always put up on their Facebook page as part of their ‘album of the day series’ they have it in spades.
Check out the YouTube playlist we put together featuring the bulk of the tracks complete with videos where possible below
Stream the audio of the whole affair below via the player below or better yet download it for keeps HERE!
We recently caught up with artist/graphic designer/all round nice guy Mark Drew to chat with him about his new clothing label Chronic ¥outh which drops in a few select Australian boutique stores this week. We asked Mark to tell us a bit of the back story and to choose three tracks that helped inspire and shape the label. This is what he had to say! -
I’ve been based in Tokyo for 3 years now. After doing China Heights in Sydney for so long, I wanted to step back and focus on my own work. I’m still involved in the gallery and regularly participate in group exhibitions here and back home, and over time realised that there wasn’t much difference in the artwork I was making for those shows, and tshirt graphics. If I’m not working on a job, or hanging out, I am thinking about what personal project to do next, so this was going to happen sooner or later. Same story as everyone who does an independent tshirt label, just felt like I wanted to make the kind of things that me and my friends would wear, and if other people liked it too, then that’s great, and will allow the label to grow. Half of my income is from graphic design (the other half from artwork), and with client jobs there is always a bit of back and forth, so doing this on my own means I can make things exactly how I want. Almost everything I have produced in the last six or seven years (paintings, zines, screenprints, graphics for other companies etc) has had music based references, which is where the name CHRONIC ¥OUTH comes from - and that’s basically the concept of the brand. Referencing the music and associated culture that I love. This first drop is just for Australia, having arrived in stores THIS WEEK! Australian stockists are Spares in Melbourne, Halfsleeve in Sydney, and 1Up in Perth. The official webstore and Japanese retail are planned for 2013.
As for the music, I still listen to probably 70% of the same stuff from when I was in high school, when the albums were dropping for the first time. Those crates are pretty deep, so let me choose 3 quick gems for you!
Nas ft. AZ - Lifes A Bitch (Arsenal Remix)
I love Illmatic as an album, and it gets regular play. For a long time I had forgotten about this version, and lately it came up at a club night I was at here in Tokyo. Not just the new pace of the remix, but having AZ’s verse come in pretty much the second it starts gives it such a “get to work” feel. Motivational stuff!
The Pharcyde- Soul Flower (Remix)
Can’t pass this one by… I saw Fatlip, Slim Kid Tre and J-Sw!ft perform the entire “Bizarre Ride” album live last weekend (twice!). I don’t think a month has gone by in 20 years that I haven’t listened to it. Maybe during my psy-trance stage in ‘97? Anyway, you can’t have a bad day when you listen to Soul Flower.
Tha Dogg Pound - ” Puffin On Blunts And Drankin’ Tanqueray”
No matter how much I remember myself as an East Coast guy, its actually a pretty even split. And that’s the theme of one of the C¥TYO prints - EAST and WEST. This West Coast gem was hidden for a long time and bumps hard. It may have a repetitive feel to some people, but personally, I have it ON repeat.
Shouts to CHINA HEIGHTS, THE SERPS, and FOR THE HOMIES. One what? One love!
This UK doco put together by Jamie Oliver’s production company and presented by actor, DJ, MC and lifelong hip hop fan Idris Elba (The Wire) debuted on UK TV last year. Featuring stars from both sides of the Atlantic (Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Nas, Rakim, Debbie Harry, Jessie J, Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder and N Dubz, to name just a few), How Hip Hop Changed the World counts down the defining moments of a culture that exploded out of the wastelands of 1970s New York and went on to become one of the most dominant global economic, political and social forces of our time.
From the birth of turntabalism to the UK grime artists who are now conquering the world, this two-hour special reveals everything you need to know about hip hop.
Check out the special in three installments below.
I loved hip hop and, on a whim, I would buy any tape, record or CD I could find with a black guy rocking a gold chain on the cover – there was only a handful of mags, no internet, no guides – everything was guesswork with a pretty disappointing hit ratio. I wrote my own raps – terribly, skated every single day – terribly, and dreamt of kicking game to the girls in my grade without my head exploding in a crimson blush…
At 17 this kid leaves me baffled. I just don’t understand how someone so young can be so, so good. The handful of crisp, no budget videos circulating before his mix tape dropped were dripping with promise and had us throwing around comparisons of a 19 year old ‘Illmatic’ Nas (speaking of Nasir – he may have dropped his finest yet : check it!), weathered and wise way beyond his years.
This week Joey dropped ‘1999’ – a free full length album (mix tape - not mixed, not a tape). It’s outstanding. His beat selection is superb – whether pillaged from the catalogues of some of the masters of dusty boom bap (Lord Finesse, MF Doom, Lewis Parker) or freshly produced for the release, they all jigsaw together in a cohesive style reminiscent of ‘95 – the golden era heyday of hip hop, the year Joey was born (the year after I finished high school).
There is no ‘throwback’ style about this kid – he honestly just exists in a different Era. His dense metaphor and word play are strictly of the standard of today’s finest and reveal themselves further with each repeated listen. His songs bounce around between braggadocio, gritty love songs and cautionary tales, and a surprisingly conscious track about the expected career paths of young black kids in New York.
Aside from the sterling production, aside from the great visuals and the prematurely advanced lyric and flow, the thing that I am finding increasingly confusing are the pop references he chooses. So far I have caught Chaka Khan, Michael Jordan, Color Me Badd, Run DMC and Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ – while not exactly obscure, they are definitely not the source material you would expect a 17 year old to find relevance in.
Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew are definitely going to have to weather comparisons to Odd Future. Like OFWGKTA, they are young, grimey and skate – unlike members of that crew though, Joey Bada$$ doesn’t depend on rudimentary shock value to break through and get noticed, it’s all skill here. Sure – his tracks are occasionally peppered with the ignorance of a puff chested teenager trying to be a bigger man than he is, and DO NOT follow him on twitter, but ‘1999’ is one of the finest, true school hip hop releases I have heard in a very, very long time. Don’t Sleep.