Your man J-Live is finally dropping both his original debut album and a new one very close to each other. The Best Part, originally supposed to be released a couple years back on London, and recently bootlegged, is finally seeing an “official” release courtesy of your friends at
. Also dropping by the time you read this is J-Live’s follow-up,
All of the Above
(Coup D’Etat Entertainment), which is more of J’s inimitable charisma, verses for days, and some real nice production. This cat is dropping classic rap in the tradition of De La Soul or Brand Nubian.
Also long-awaited, Blackalicious are following up their slept-on
(MCA) in May. If you’re familiar with what Gift of Gab and Chief XL bring to the table, then you’re like me and already counting down the days. If not, then this should be a proper introduction to this Sac-town by-way-of-the-Bay duo’s steez. Impeccable production and undeniable lyrics are what these cats are known for. Mark this down on your calendar.
From Toronto, your man K-Os has been doing it for a minute. A couple of indie joints over the years have built up his local cred, and his debut album more than lives up to expectations.
(EMI) is one of those spiritual/soulful/vibey-type albums, some sing-along shit with deep, meaningful songwriting. A classic? It’s a little too early to call it, but I’m feeling like that when I listen to it.
One of my favorite joints over the last couple of years was Herbaliser’s
After wearing through two copies, I’m happy to tell you that their new one Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ninja Tune) is finally dropping. If you know what to expect, it’s the unexpected. Ridiculous production, and a few serious guest vocalists make this another winner. It must be something in the water over there.
On the G tip, I just got a chance to check out a couple of DVDs. Kurupt’s G-TV, and Tha Liks X.O. Experience (Fortress Ent.). Both of these give you exactly what you want—backstage footage, guest appearances from the whole Dogg Pound and Likwit crews, crazy drunken party antics, exclusive music, and, of course, the girls. I highly recommend that all rap fans pick up both of these DVDs, and get a real taste of the life of your favorite MCs.
Also on the visuals tip, check out Culturama Vol. III. This is a collection of underground music videos, featuring the likes of Swollen Members, Styles of Beyond, Jigmastas, Moka Only, and others. For info on where to order it, check out
I can’t remember if I already reviewed Casual’s He Think He Raw (Hiero) last issue, but even if I did, I don’t mind mentioning this killer album again. The haters are not gonna be liking the direction Cas’ is going, but if you listen to his old stuff, you know he always had this album in him, and it just had to come out. It is beyond belief. Too damn good for its own good. Finally, Cas got some beats that he can flow over, and he kills ’em.
What’s going on with Kelis’ Wanderland (Virgin) album? The shit is so banging and heads are just sleep-sleep-sleeping. Damn, sorry girl. They just don’t know.
Aiight, here’s some other stuff I’m on right now. If you get a chance, pick these up and let me know what you think. The Avalanches - Since I Left You (Sire); New Flesh - Understanding (Big Dada/Ninja Tune); Daz - Who Ride Wit Us (DPG); Various - Good Night Musics (GNM); Aesop Rock - Daylight EP (Def Jux); Various - HipHopHotSpot.Com (HHHS); Don Cash – Motion Pictures (Indie); Sage Francis - Personal Journals (Anticon); Various - Def Jux Presents II (Def Jux).
This column is dedicated to Dawn Robinson for obvious reasons.
Oh yeah, I just want to say Peace, since I think this might be my last column. It’s like a week late, and they’ve already told me like 9 times to stop handing in my column late, so I might be fired.
FRITZ THE CAT
If you want your stuff in here, send it to: Fritz the Cat, VICE, 383 Queen St. W., Toronto ON, M5V 2A5 Canada. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.