It's been a long time coming but finally I have a cool blog that I can call my own. Most people reading will already know who I am. Discussions of hip hop and life will usually take place here when I have things to talk about.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Was it really that long since my last how time flies.

Ok....first off I'd like to thank all those people that wished me a happy birthday this past week and then sat around smoking cheap cigars at BP with me last friday. It was fun, tonight I head out to celebrate a friends birthday as well as hit up a show in North Van by my friend Tim.

I've Spent the past 2 days (off and on) sorting my CD collection (a huge chore) and find out that my Handsome Boy Modelling School CD and Brian Wilson's Smile are missing. Anyone know where they are? Let me know. Speaking of Brian Wilson, dope CD, I would highly recomend it to anyone, of course if you do happen to find mine, please send it back to me and go buy your own.

Also on the topic of CD's, Mixations 4 (aka 4.0) is officially out. You can only get a copy off me, so don't even bother looking. 32 tracks of hip hop goodness that others can testify to.

Seeing as it's Coming down to the end of the year it's prolly time to do one of those restrospective year-in-review things. Of course it will be brief because I really didn't care about all that much going on in the mainstream or anything. At 28 you tend to focus on other things, like writing pointless blogs to the grand readership of 1. Anyways, without further adeau here is my 2004 year in review.

"I'm Rick James Bitch" - Kind of Ironic that one little phrase ressurected Rick James career, then he died shortly after. Everyone and I mean everyone was using that phrase this year. Dave Chappelle is not everyone's cup of tea, but we are all in debt to him for that phrase (or maybe Rick James). Lastly you got all these kids going around using this that have no idea who Rick James is.....hell I hardly know Rick James. The only Rick James I know is Superfreak, where he sampled that MC Hammer song right. :)

Best Concert Experience of the Year - This was the year of no cash for me, so any sort of concert was a luxury. However I did make it out to Atlantis in Vancouver for Pete Rock and CL Smooth in May. Very nice show, on the eve of Pete Rock's new CD release. The only beef I had with the show is that they didn't take the stage till like 1am. for a weeknight to not be home until 4am is not good for anyone. Better time mangement next time please.

Biggest dissapointment - The Beastie Boys "to the 5 Bouroughs". Part of the Magic of the Beastie Boys was there ability to transcend every genre and through in a hodge pog of influences from everything under the sun. So what do they do in 2004, they release a plain old hip hop record. It was good in spots but I couldn't help but think the Beasties fell asleep one this one. Apparently the tour was dope though.

Other dissapointments - Talib Kweli (ironically penciled in as the Beasties opening act). Talib is a dope lyricist who hasn't really released a bad record until now. The Beautiful Struggle has it's moments, but just doesn't measure up to past releases. There are few acts worth the time in the Hip Hop mainstream right now so when a good one releases a bad album it hurts that much more.

Interesting Developements - Thanks to a Jay-Z retirement album, this year quickly became known as the year of the mashup album. After Jay Z released the Acapella's of his Black Album, different variations of the album were being circulated in underground circles. Perhaps the most famous was the Dangermouse "Grey Album" which fused Jay-Z with the Beatles White Album. By mid-year there was at least 30 by my count, all of which couldn't hold a candle to the original (save for the Kno version which was real nice). Really somebody should compile the best of the best and release a be all and end all version of this record. Underground Beat Phenom 9th Wonder (noted producer of Legendary Emcee thought I was gonna say Jay-Z) turned heads with two remix projects, namely God's Stepson (a remix of Nas' God's Son), and turned in one of the pre-mentioned countless Jay-Z Black Album variations. If you thought that the fad was over you thought wrong. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Linkin Park. Linkin Park teamed up with Jay-Z for an album mashup, that flew off the store shelves like hotcakes last month. Another noted mashup is the Beastles (Beastie Boys and Beatles). I'm sure there are more out there, but I'm kind of sick of the whole thing and not really eager to look.

The US election - Actually before I get into that I would just like to mention that Canada had an election back in June and it was a minority victory for the Liberals. Ok, now that's off my chest, what can I say, Americans are crazy. I think part of the reason that the United States is so powerful is the fact that they have never through their history done anything half assed whether it be bombing countries or opening McDonalds worldwide. Everyone there seems to take it to the extreme, be it an either rabid liberal or bible bashing conservative. Maybe the middle people don't vote cuz there isn't anyone to vote for. That having been said, i'm happy Bush won. Kerry strikes me as having few to many brain cells up there. I'm not a Bush fan but go for the devil you know.

Best Albums of 2004. It was a decent year for albums......everyone is gonna say that it was a good year but for some reason there were few albums that really grabbed me this year. What was good was good but not great. Perhaps the best in the mix was Brian Wilson's Smile, the story behind the record has prolly been explained countless times. Needless to say it lives up to the hype (which is huge). So here we go.

Dert - Fledgling
I'm not a huge fan of Tunnel Rats, but when resident beatsmith Dert dropped a solo disc I was interested. This is nothing like Tunnel Rats as Dert takes us on an instrumental odyssey through hip hop, jazz, electronica, and gospel.

Braille - Shades of Grey
Everything this cat has been associated with is quality, and unlike some other quality emcees this year his album did not disapoint. Braille bares his soul on this album, while picking diverse and quality beats. Majestic, classic.

Kanye West - The College Dropout
Kanye West was riding a high wave of popularity when this album dropped in February, and it shows that the talented beatsmith is actually not a bad rapper either. Jesus Walks was an awesome song even though every good thing becomes played out when radio and MTV get on it. Plus this record was pretty tight from start to finish once you strip away all the hype.

Jimmy Eat World - Futures
I have a soft spot for good harmonies and quality songwriting. JEW might seem sappy in parts, but come on guys can cry too every so often. This album is a cut between the classic Clarity, and the more radio friendley Bleed American, which makes it a perfect mix.

Brian Wilson - Smile
Brian Wilson is famous for being the genius behind the beach boys. In short this talented but troubled songwriter quit the road and started focusing on producing for his group. The amazing Pet Sounds would be a testament for their legacy, but rumours of another even more amazing album called Smile surfaced soon after. Ultimately Wilson never could finish the album and it has sat unfinished in the vaults for all these years. Fast forward to earlier this year when he was convinced to return to the project. Instead of finishing with the tapes he had he decided to rerecord everything with his group. Smart move as everything here sounds smooth from start to finish, but also amazing is just how vintage sounding it sounds. It's sounds clean and polished like one would expect from 2004 recording technology, but it really has that 1967 feel to it that was typical of the production of the day. The Beach Boys kind of get poo pooed now as the prototype pop/bubblegum group, but for a while there Brian Wilson was reaching heights with his group that were unmatched by eveyone except perhaps the Beatles.

Anyways that's 2004 for y'all. I'm off to celebrate Christmas. If anything happens in the 9 days of 2004 left I'll let you know.



Blogger nathan said...

some good reflections pauley. thanks.

December 23, 2004 at 11:44 PM  

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