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Tag: Nas

The Friday Five: February 10, 2012

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

N.T., Parts 1 & 2” by Kool & The Gang (from Cutmaster Swift Presents: The Breaks, Volume 2, 1999)

Prior to penning the wedding band anthem “Celebrate,” Kool & The Gang dropped some of the funkiest instrumental breaks this side of Parliament-Funkadelic. Originally featured on 1971’s Live at PJ’s, the “N.T.” actually stands for “No Title.” No points for originality there, but it more than makes up for it’s lack of an original title with its sprawling funk movements.

O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (from Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials, Volume 11 (1979-1991), 2006)

I dare you to listen to this record without bobbin’ your head.

Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder (from Songs in the Key of Life, 1976)

Seems as if we’re shuffling between the bedrock of hip-hop breaks and a hip hop classic. Where Kool & The Gang’s nameless jam supplied the breaks for Kool G Rap’s “Truly Yours” and Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” Stevie’s “Pastime Paradise” was the bedrock of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

Gratitude” by Beastie Boys (from Check Your Head, 1992)

Ha! Here’s a funky bit of irony: track 16 on the Beastie’s Check Your Head, it’s a groovy little track called “Live at P.J.’s.” That aside, I’ve always loved this track.

So Alive” by Love and Rockets (from Sounds of the Eighties: 1989, 1995)

Dammit, iTunes! You had me going.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: April 29, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Manifest Destiny” by Jamiroquai (from The Return of the Space Cowboy, 1994)

If only every plonker that bought Travelling Without Moving for “Virtual Insanity” had reached back one release, they’d find the acid jazz informed soul-funk of Return, and be all the better for it.

“The Body That Loves You” by Janet Jackson (from janet., 1993)

One hundred percent throwaway track from an otherwise awesome record. At this point, though, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis could do no wrong. Must be something in the waters of Lake Minnetonka that removes local artists ability to edit themselves.

“One Mic” by Nas (from Stillmatic, 2001)

I’ll be damned if I know anything about reppin’ this or any hood, but I know there are few that can challenge Nasir Jones in this moment. Built on a sliver of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” the track maintains the stark intensity of the original, bubbling over as Jones’ frustration manifests in increasingly tense verses and resolves with the request for a more simple life.

“Again” by Lenny Kravitz (from Greatest Hits, 2000)

I’m just going to go ahead and say it … what the fuck ever happened to Lenny Kravitz? The featured new tune on his greatest hits package, this tune is plain lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I dig it, but it is late ‘90s power balladry 101. Where’s the “dig my heart out of my chest with this rusty spoon” emotion of a tune like “It Ain’t Over, Till’ It’s Over”? Further than that, this came out over ten years ago! Paging Mr. Kravitz … I’m doing something I don’t often do, and hitting the “skip forward” button.

“Knockin’ Da Boots” by H-Town (from  MTV Party to Go, Volume 5, 1994)

Aww yeah! That, boys, is the sound of some panties dropping.

What’s on your shuffle today?