Toot Loudly, Toot Proudly
Clear Soul Forces
“Get No Better”
Detroit Revolutions (2012)
Revolution indeed. Big Sean might be the name out of Motown most novice hip-hop heads are familiar with, but Clear Soul Forces bring a nostalgic sound reminiscent of the days of Grant Hill Sprite commercials. “Get No Better” brings a vibrant, jazz-infused sound that you can’t help but bob your head to. With Detroit Revolutions being their first major album to date, expect more things to come from the Clear Soul force.
“Come in Out of The Rain”
Say what you will about George Clinton, but the man is arguably one of the most innovative, daring, and truly talented musicians and songwriters of our time. In 1970, after leaving the Motown scene with his band The Parliaments, Clinton went on to form and lead the two bands that would eventually become Parliament-Funkadelic. While his group, Funkadelic, entered the scene in 1970 with their self-titled album that stayed true to their new psychedelic tones, his other band, Parliament, was planning on playing to a totally different tune. The track “Come in Out of the Rain,” off of their debut album Osmium, captures the essence of the culture at the time. Keeping in mind that many overlook this album entirely, consider this track an introduction to what is a truly eclectic and noteworthy album.
Kids These Days
Traphouse Rock (2012)
With “Doo Wah”, as with many of the other tracks off of their debut (and only major) album, MC Vic Mensa and the Kids from Chi-Town find a way to beautifully blend harmonizing vocals, horn and rhythm driven rock, and emcee skills that would make any logical midwest hip-hop junkie erase Chief Keef from their lexicon. Despite disbanding less than a year after the album dropped, it’s impact on the Kids’ careers is evident, as they all have branched away into separate successful musical pursuits.
Although hints of The Pixies might make you think initially of Tyler Durden, I assure you that this is a track that holds true to the bands originality and diversity. Hopefully at some point they will all get back together.
“God Loves Ugly”
God Loves Ugly (2002)
Back in the early 2000s when Lil’ John was busy exploiting himself for every possible penny, and MTV was on its way to becoming the most egregiously shitty media outlet in recent history, there was something independent and pure coming out of the Twin Cities. With the title track off of this 2002 indie-rap staple, Slug spits the self-depricating truth that very few can with such success. In a time where excess and flash was the name of the game, Slug and the rest of the Rhymesayers label were slapping on their dirty gloves to carve out there own path. With it’s simple beat and razor-sharp lyrics, “God Loves Ugly” is hard to compete with.
Ridin’ Dirty (1996)
The Underground Kings. UGK for short. Composed of members Pimp C and Bun B (“Big Pimpin’), the Texas duo understand seitz. They get it. With “One Day,” a sample from the Isley Brothers becomes a next generational seitzin’ masterpiece. 1996. Southern rap pre-Lil’ John. Before the sell-out. Before the crunk, before the trap, there was the Dirty South G-Funk. And it was positively dirty. The South has a deep history, a current and long-lasting depression, and racial divides that are still evident, though subtle. UGK understood that, and wrote about it. Big Boi and Andre understood it, and wrote their version. Cee-lo even understood it before he became a pawn in the whole game. And Dave Chappelle, the true Def stand-up voice of that generation, also got it.
Every good vibe has a good voice behind it. Rest peacefully Pimp-C.
“Can I Kick It?”
A Tribe Called Quest
People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)
Any time a hip-hop song can successfully sample work by the late Lou Reed, you know it’s going to be pretty damn solid. “Can I Kick It,” off of the Tribe’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, does what Reed did with jazz-infused cerebral rock to the state of hip-hop at the time. During the early 90s, so much was going on in different areas of hip-hop. While the G-Funk style was becoming more and more popular, and political-infused rap drove much of the scene thanks to the greats like P.E., KRS-One and others, Q-Tip and the Tribe moved to their own beat. Sampling more jazz-based tracks, they were able to use positivity and wholesome vibes to carve a niche into the genre.
For those of you out there that have always asked yourself “Can I Kick It,” The Dirty Glove definitely agrees with ATCQ. You most certainly can.
“Baby’s Got Sauce”
G Love and Special Sauce
G Love and Special Sauce (1994)
We follow up one great 90s debut album with another. G Love and Special Sauce brought a sound to the mid-90s that was so far ahead of their time. The poetry and overall laid back smoothness of G Love’s delivery is what makes this song, and album, such a classic. Similar to ATCQ in their ability to successfully break away from the mold of the times. In a decade of music that was dominated with less-than-happy lyrics (listen to some Alice in Chains or Public Enemy), the Sauce was unequivocally special.