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Clyde Smith on Hip Hop Culture & Politics
now at: www.hiphoplogic.com

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   Sunday, June 29, 2003

Delay of Game

Normally I'd have my weekly update posted but I've got multiple projects going on and this one's getting delayed. So here's the deal, in the next day or say I'll have reports on Cosmic Legaci, Iconoclast and the All-Mighty Playas. And, believe me, that covers a lot of aural territory. Soon thereafter, I'll be reporting on Pauly Snubnoze and Mr. D-Note.

Then I'm taking a vacation. I mean, I'll still go to work but I'm taking a few days off here and there and not returning to this blog till August. So if you're sending me something in July, it won't be reviewed till sometime in August. However I will review things pretty much in the order I receive them and, so far, I'm still able to discuss everything I've gotten.

So check back soon, very soon, for this week's report.

   Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Hip-Hop Theater Festivals

I just found out about a series of Hip-Hop Theater Festivals including an upcoming free series in Washington, DC. For information about other festivals, check out Hip-Hop Theater Festival.

   Sunday, June 22, 2003

Weekly Report - Buddy Klein

"Music Inspired by A Man Apart" introduces Buddy Klein to those who don't know him, including myself. Although I run NC Hip Hop Online and Klein's from my hometown Raleigh, NC, I hadn't run into anything about him. Of course, NC's overrunning with talented artists who don't have widespread visibility and I'm not living there now so I'm out of touch. I also haven't found much about him online except for this interview at Blazzin.

An interview on the cd shows him to be a pretty fun guy who doesn't seem too hung up on himself, at least he seems to be having a good time and not frontin'. So all power to him as he confronts the music industry.

Somehow Vin Diesel got onto Klein and wanted his music for "A Man Apart", a flick that was actually shot before "XXX" and hasn't been received nearly as well since it's recent release. Jeruz produced the tracks and they have an appropriate quality, polished production and Klein's lyrics are appropriately hard. Klein does has a nice flow and you can check out his freestyle abilities on the cd.

There are various websites up but the one that's supposed to have his music video, which you've probably already seen on MTV or BET, links to "URL not available." Obviously I'm behind on this Buddy Klein thing so it will be interesting to see where it goes.

   Sunday, June 15, 2003

Weekly Report - Soul Purpose's "Breaking Records"

As I've mentioned before, I really am digging the soon to be released (any minute now) Soul Purpose album "Breaking Records" on Coup d'Etat. It's got an infectious energy and includes some smart statements without belaboring the issues. Guest artists include Pumpkinhead, The Juggaknotz, C-Rayz Walz, Wordsworth, and 427.

This cd draws on talent from both coasts, which is kind of cool. That ends up giving it a lot of its breadth in terms of vocals and lyrics. Coup d'Etat's site describes the production team, Koncepts and Zvi, as the "core" of Soul Purpose, which might explain why Mazzi (The MC) ends up playing second fiddle. But that's just conjecture on my part.

John Richards gives it a brief but positive review at kexp. You can also check out bits and pieces at Undergroundhiphop.com and at Sandbox Automatic.

This really is the strongest new album I've heard in a while and Soul Purpose comes across much better in this context than on the compilation cd A Blow to the State that I first heard them on.

See, I can say nice things too.

   Sunday, June 08, 2003

Weekly Report: Introspection, Akrobatik, Future Plans

I've been thinking a lot about this reviewer thing. I don't like trying to do it nearly as much as doing my rants of 2002. I'm just not interested in detailed analysis of the kinds of things that most reviewers talk about. So I guess I'm doing something else, something more bloggish. By that I mean something that relates more to the web and is kind of like a diary or journal. For instance, I enjoyed my response to Cherrywine much more than my response to Akrobatik, neither of which I loved. But if you look back over the last couple of weeks you'll see that my response to Cherrywine gave the reader something else to go to. I enjoy doing that. I also enjoy ranting and being obsessed by details that other people don't notice or don't care about. So that's what I'm going to try to do from now on.

So here are some Akrobatik links to complete my response to "Balance":

Interview at MVRemix.com
In this interview Akrobatik closes by telling people to formulate their own opinions, don't listen to MTV, etc. I would add, do find people that speak the truth and people to speak the truth with. And pay attention to but don't be dictated to by artists, critics, marketing staff or politicians.

Review at Raw Roots
Stu loved Akrobatik's new album "Balance" and dubbed it a classic. It's not really but, there you go, so many opinions, so big a world.

Review by Rob Albanese at JUNKMEDIA
Albanese saw Akrobatik in the early days and he ties this in to his listening of "Balance," an album he found uneven but worthwhile.

Sean Fennessey at Neumu
And here's a review that gets a little closer to what I feel in finding that the album had good elements but was missing something.

So I'm supposed to be doing a response to the upcoming Soul Purpose album "Breaking Records" and I will. Soon. I promise. I'll also be discussing Buddy Klein who did some of the tracks for Vin Diesel's newest flick "A Man Apart". This coverage will include more discussion of the websites themselves cause both Buddy's and Vin's sites are overdesigned and have multiple elements that get in the way of finding anything out. They look cool but after you go back a few times they're a real pain in the ass.

I'm also planning to do more website coverage in the future. So beyond just providing links I'll be looking at various web design and information flow issues. Plus, I've found more hip hop blogs so I want to do some coverage of that.

If there's anything you want me to be responding to, let me know. There's lots more out there on the net.


   Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Midweek Report: Cherrywine's "Bright Black"

Well, I extended Memorial Day weekend for another weekend. But I'm back, thank goodness.

But I'm not sure Butterfly, I mean Ishmael Butler of Cherrywine, formerly of Digable Planets, will be that happy. Actually I doubt he cares whether or not I dig his new album, "Bright Black," so I'll just get it off my chest.

I'm drawn in by parts of this album, recently released by DCide Records, but overall I'm not really feeling this one. It could be one of those things that kicks in later on. Some albums are like that, especially if they're kind of unique. And this album is unique, some old school synth, funk oriented grooves, interesting lyrics but it still feels like it's missing something.

However other people feel differently:

Eric Waggoner of the Seattle Weekly seemed to dig the album and got some background information as well.

Glenn Gamboa considers it a form of Conscious Rap in his Newday.com review.

Dave Heaton of PopMatters got very detailed in his positive assessment.

And you know all the members of the Yahoo Cherrywine Group were feeling it.

You can check out a track from "Bright Black" for yourself. And check back soon for my more positive thoughts regarding the upcoming release from Soul Purpose, "Breaking Records."


   Sunday, June 01, 2003

My Bad

Delay of game.

Back Soon.