Time for this week’s mixtape round-up. And to help curb those first full week of classes blues and send you out for a weekend of college football and Labor Day debauchery, I got you some jams.
First up, one of my favorite artists. K’Naan has teamed up with J. Period for a series of three mixtapes honoring some of K’Naan’s own inspirations. Episode one of The Messengers series pays homage to fellow African Fela Kuti. If you haven’t heard of many artists out of Africa, that’s ok, but if you have it’s probably been Fela. K’Naan remixes and reworks some of Fela’s classics to pretty amazing results. And keep on the lookout for the next two installments. Number two will cover Bob Marley while number three is – get ready for this – Bob Dylan. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know. It’s gonna be so nice.
What’s Good?: “Ololufe Mi (Messengers Remix),” “The Story of Fela (Open & Close)”
This next one was unexpected. I still scroll the iPod wheel to Dom Kennedy’s Future Street/Drug Sounds, and I’ll probably be doing the same for Best After Bobby, his new joint. I’m not going to say it’s as good as FS/DS, but it’s quality material. His team up with the LA Leakers is only some verses over popular beats, but that’s all you really want to listen to sometimes. You don’t even have to listen to the beats, cause you already know those, so you can pay attention to the knowledge Dom drops.
What’s Good?: “Left Side, Right Side” Feat. Ree$e & Skeme, “Arrived on Time”
I’m a big Beastie Boys fan – which really tore me up when I heard about MCA – so I have to post this. Check You Head, an album which harkens back to the Boys’ punk past, was never on the level of Paul’s Boutique or License to Ill, but this whole idea is cool. Max Tannone, who also put together Jaydiohead, is back again with Doublecheck Your Head. I’ll let him explain:
I made the project in support of the Beastie Boys recent reissue of their “Check Your Head” album (one of my personal favorites.) The concept is that the Beastie Boys are mashed up with themselves, rapping over tracks sampling their own instrumentals, with all vocals and sampled elements coming from “Check Your Head.”
Pretty cool stuff.
What’s Good?: “Jimmy Namaste,” “Skills to Lighten Up”
If you still need something local, peep UNC’s Lexicon and his I Am NC tape. Lex will also be dropping something new real soon.
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