Since you just heard how a DJ sound/The name Marley Marl, I will break it down... —MC Shan, "Marley Marl Scratch"
Peace to Marlon "Marley Marl" Williams, a dude so legendary, so crucial to the development of this hiphop music, that to call him legendary doesn't do justice... I gotta send some love and energy his way because word is the rap pioneer, fresh off the release of his collaborative effort with KRS-One (forever deading the infamous BDP/Juice Crew beef), suffered a heart attack. Reports say the 44-year-old Marley is recovering in stable condition. Show your love by copping his joint with Kris, called Hip Hop Lives—a much-needed sentiment, and a rather surprisingly banging album to boot. The House of Hits is still in full effect, thank god.
I love seeing hiphop rock not just the usual stages in town, but the ones not traditionally known for propping up the boom and the bap. Hiphop at much-loved indie institutions like the Comet, the Crocodile, the Sunset... there's just something about seeing the form outside of its normal trappings that's so fun. So check Re-bar Thursday, June 14, to catch Unexpected Arrival, Kublakai, Sadistik, George Zelaya, Grieves (w/DJ Swervewon), Outrageous (w/the Shootem Down Gang), Thrill, and Ripynt. I haven't even been in the place since those old Tablet-thrown nights where I'd often get dangerously loaded and pass out in a nearby doorway. But I digress—what better place to see a roster full of up-and-coming (or actually on the come-up, as in the case of UA) hiphop than a good ol' grimy-ass bar?
Dem boys at Mass Line Media recently dropped two new videos, for Gabriel Teodros's "No Label (Esma Remix)" and the Blue Scholars' "Back Home." Both were directed by Sabzi's bay-bro Zia Mohajerjasbi, who did a great job. Check www.masslinemedia.com or YouTube it up if that's your twist. It is mine!
Last but not least, that new album from Vallejo's Turf Talk is ri-goddamn-diculous. Don't ignore me like you did last time—West Coast Vaccine is one of the best albums to drop this year easy; the LP's chief producer, Rick Rock, clearly understands the whole continuum of West Coast (gangsta) rap, giving a FRESH '80s dope-dealer swagger to E-40's obscenely talented cousin. Slap-silly tracks (more mobbed-out than hyphy) sport booming 808s, electro twerks, and god-honest cuttin' 'n' scratchin' like contraband Starter jackets—the way god intended it. Jake One (who contributed to Turf's classic debut, The Street Novelist) got the memo, too, lacing an ill Mantronix homage, "Sick Wid It Is the Crew." Turf is definitely in full West Coast—resuscitation mode, too, stepping up his already dangerously expressive vocal signature with a range of styles and cadences that keep his brutal grind rap ever engaging, similar to my other favorite West Coast MC of the moment, southeast San Diego's Mitchy Slick... Damn, they would sound ill together... Labels, you need me to A&R for you! Y'all are not cutting it right now.