"The selective approach/provides the essential conditions for creative freedom... uh-oh!" —Madlib
People! Are your fingertips calloused? Do you have an unidentifiable bronchial condition from too much time spent in dusty record-store basements? Are you as up on obscure '60s Latin-jazz labels as you are on your own kids' names? Well, son, you might just be a beat digger. So you might just wanna bring your funky ass over to the Beat Digger Record Convention going down Saturday, June 17, in Pioneer Square; for more info on this dusty affair, stop by Respect Records or holler at the boy Rob Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go and find that next shit, dog!
After that, the beat minded would probably do best to hit up the Baltic Room to see Waajeed of the almighty Platinum Pied Pipers. Waajeed is a founding member of Slum Village and a Dilla protégé; suitably, PPP's superdope Triple P album is a breath of fresh air—followed by a hit of really good weed. Or, you can hit Showbox to do that same ol' two-step to the bangin' sounds of the homie DJ Scene and L.A.'s DJ Homicide (yep, the dude from Sugar Ray, but try not to hold that against him).
Did you guys fuck around and crown Busta Rhymes King of New York while I was asleep? I want answers, and I want 'em now. Seriously, though, does it seem like Bussa-Buss is a li'l full of himself to you guys, too? I'm listening to The Big Bang, and I'll tell ya, it's banging; only thing is, it's not really about Busta as much as it's about the top-notch production. I don't know what it is about Trevor Smith that always leaves me unimpressed by his lyrics, but the trend continues unabated here. It seems like dog constantly feels he's deeper than he actually is... Just check "Been Through the Storm," where Stevie Wonder sings the hook, and makes it clear that neither Busta's attempts at introspection nor Dr. Dre's sonic melodrama can measure up to the emotional depth a master can provide—even if the chorus is a little trite.
Today's overserious Busta is just not that appealing; we don't wanna hear how intricate he can rap, or how gully he is; it's sorta like if Missy Elliott suddenly demanded your respect as a lyricist. Oh, hell no! Look, Buss, we just want to be treated to some more of that bugged, pyro-Technicolor craziness; then we can go listen to, say, Nas if we want to hear some of that NYC-bred lyrical mastery. But maybe I'm just salty 'cause the exquisite "Where's Your Money" with ODB didn't make the album. I'm funny like that.
One album I ain't salty about, though, is Choklate's new self-titled LP. I know I don't deal with the R&B too often, but this shit is crazily on point. Vitamin D definitely did his thing as executive producer on this one—the sound is warm, seamless, and smooth. Vita, Jake One, Kuddie Mak, Jay Townsend, and Amos Miller all provide the perfect backdrops to Chok's silky, sultry vocals and I-love-you-and-this-music songwriting. Grown and sexy, Seatown style; gotta love that.