Since I finished working last Friday, and since I don't go back to school until the 29th this month, I'll hopefully have lots of free time to catch up on old and new shit I've been sleeping on. Between driving lessons and jamming sessions, these next few weeks should make for a great end to an otherwise typical summer vacation.
I re-re-listened to Madlib and Mamao Conti's Sujinho. I was underwhelmed at first, but now I can't really understand why. I feel Madlib's skills as an arranger have improved tremendously since his early YNQ days, and Conti gave him some solid breaks to work with. It may sound a bit like muzak on surface inspection, but as always with Madlib, there's a lot going on underneath the pleasant sounds. I'm sure this is going to one of those records I'll spin regularly in my dorm that'll lure passerbys in and convince them of my superior taste.
I also managed to give AZ's new N.4.L "mixtape" a listen, and found it rushed and mediocre (even though it can be found at the Virgin Megastore, I guess AZ chose to label it a "mixtape" to denote its sloppiness). What is it with DJs feeling the need to rewind "nice" lines ad infinitum during the MIDDLE of a track? AZ still has the whole multi-syllable rhyming thing going for him, but it's AZ, it's what we've come to expect. Aside from that incredible banger "The Secret" (which is hampered by DJ Absolut's need to rewind and have Raekwon remind us that he has a feather in his cap 5 times), most of the other songs are forgettable. Aside from spitting some braggadocio mixed with 5% theology and speaking generally on "the system" and generally on black violence (although if you fuck with him he WILL get you), the closest he gets to the concept is "Runaway Slave," where he raps about being a runaway slave. And to be fair, it's actually well-executed, but c'mon, is that the best you can give us? This is what I was afraid Untitled was going to be.
In any event, I finally listened to that "Motown 25" joint with Elzhi and Royce, and all I can say is what the fuck! Hand me a late pass.