ESP Music Agenda: Albums Of 2010

So it is that time of the year again where I wrap it up with my top picks of 2010. So much great hip-hop out there and a lot of it I missed but will try to make up for next year. So lets get into with the list in no particular order.

2 Hungry Bros. – Back For Seconds. Listen to some of your favorite emcees from Homeboy Sandman, 8thW1 to L.I.F.E. Long over the delicious beats by 2 Hungry Bros.

Agartha Audio – The Hollow Earth. Producer Dig Dug makes haunting beats to allow his Uncommon Record brethens to rip the hollow earth apart.

Animate Objects – Danya and the Fail Present: The Shit. The second song on this album entitled, “Grow Ass Man” is the mindset to be in listening to this fine collection.

Apollo Brown – The Reset. Apollo Brown has the magical red reset button to bring hip-hop back to the masses.

Bobo Meets Rhettmatic – BMR The Mixtape. Not necessarily a hip-hop album but from the genius of Bobo (Cypress Hill) and DJ Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies) how could you not love this collaboration of live instruments and turntables.

Boog Brown – Grind Season vol. 1. Boog Brown will dominate any other artist of any gender and does it with class.

Butta Verses – Slow Down Ha Ha (Single). Butta Verses is exactly what you get on this song.

Chosen Few – New World Symphony. New Hiero affilialtes want to start a new world symphony and they deliver on that.

Clan Destined – A Story Never Told. Nice concept album of how some emcees pay to get on a mixtape and then it turns into something they didn’t want.

Count Bass D – Hartsfield JAXson. R.I.P. Jax. Count Bass D & DJ Pocket pay homage to the Jax with his rhyme partners from Binkis and others. Count Bass D & DJ Pocket deliver a great album with lyrics, beats and cuts, what else can you as for.

Damu The Fudgemunk – How It Should Sound – Volume 1 & 2. On the intro Damu The Fudgemunk says, “…interpret the title how you wanna..” and with the way he crafts his beats show that this is how hip-hop should sound.

Diego Bernal – “Besides…”. Deigo Bernal is a new name to me but his beats bring back that boom bap sound with a spanish influence that needs to be heard to believe.

Dillon – Cupid’s Revenge: The Ain’t Shit Suite. First Dillon gets a whole album of beats from Paten Locke and now he gets beats from Batsauce. If the album cover doesn’t give it away then be prepared for a interstellar ride about Dillon’s take on women and love.

Donwill & Von Pea – The Sandwich Shop. Donwill & Von Pea two-thirds of Tanya Morgan lift the beats from The Roots – Sandwich EP and do it a great service by delivering satisfying words to the music.

DTMD – The Basics (EP). Dunc and Toine Makin Dollas paying homage to EPMD with their name. The Basics have a head nodding sound that make you feel like this is straight good music with out no filler.

Dumbfoundead – Music. Dumbfoundead gives us a peak at his genuis with this free mixtape with him flowing nicely on every beat given.

Eminem – Recovery. This is the Eminem I remember from his first couple of albums and brings a great recovery for music. His song for Proof (R.I.P.), “You’re Never Over” definitely celebrates his life.

Fashawn & DJ Green Lantern – XXL & Orisue Presents “Ode to Illmatic”. What can you say about a tribute album to one of the best lyricist and his best album from one of the best up and comers. I guess this is enough, go get it.

Freddie Joachim – A.M. Freddie Joachim gives us another instrumental album that can be listened in the A.M. or P.M. and give you the most compelling melodies to enjoy.

Future Ape Tapes – Temples. If this is your first journey to the sound temples then you are in for a treat because they have now honed their skills to give you the spaced out music for your ears.

Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime – SomeOthaShip. With Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime guiding this ship they craft something that is meant to be heard.

Guilty Simpson – OJ Simpson. Guilty Simpson lays the verses and Madlib lays the beats, do I need to say anything else.

Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun. By far the one of my favorite albums of the year. Homeboy Sandman creates a whole album of  music that you can not stop listening to because of his flow and subject matter.

J Dilla – Donut Shop. J Dilla (R.I.P.) more of that neck breaking music from the producer that you all know and love including myself.

Jay Electronica – Exhibit C (Rob Viktum Remix). Rob Viktum takes a stab at remixing an already dope song with his own brand making it sound just as nice.

Joe Kickass – Let Me Introduce. Joe Kickass introduces himself as an emcee to watch for.JoeKickassLetMe

Joe Kickass – Mind Joe. After Joe Kickass introduces himself, he wants you to mind the lyrical gifts that he drops all over his full length.

Joe Scudda – Not Your Average Joe. Joe Scudda bombs your ears with his unrelenting flow that will not let you go even if you try to get away.

Junk Science – A Miraculous Kind Of Machine. Junk Science takes their signature hip-hop and  gives you some kind of miraculous thing to keep in your deck.

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The only man that I know in the industry that can do what he wants and still sell records. This time he is back on the some hip-hop stuff that will make you wonder where does he go from here.

Kenny Diaz Presents – The Lost Episodes V. 1 & 2. From 1995 to 1999 you can discover all of the lost hip-hop that still sounds contemporary for 2010.

Kooley High – B-sides and Rarities. Kooley High gives us all of the b-sides and rarities that we might have missed and you should thank them by getting this.

Little Brother – LeftBack. It is sad to say that this is the last Little Brother album but they go out with a bang and leave you waiting for their solo and different collaborations.

LMNO & Kev Brown – Selective Hearing Part 2. LMNO & Kev Brown lend their selective hearing to the godfather of soul, James Brown and make a soulful album of beats and rhymes.

Madlib – Madlib Medicine Show #1: Before The Verdict. The jury are back in and the verdict is that Madlib and Guilty Simpson do it again.

Madlib – Madlib Medicine Show #5: The History of the Loop Digga, 1990. Here is a record of Madlib beats from the 1990s and he even lets his CDP crew represent hard on this one.

Mainframe – e.q.e.p. If you like those joints that bump then you can get with Mainframe and Blu on this EP.

Marco Polo & Ruste Juxx – The eXXecution. The eXXecution is flawless with Marco Polo providing the beats that Ruste Juxx slaughters.

Meth, Ghost & Rae – Wu-Massacre. If you are a Wu fan and don’t have this album then it is time to get into the Wu-Massacre before you lose your life (or miss out on these three the hard way).

MF Borat – So Good to Me (Single). DigDug invents the perfect beat to let MF Doom make music so good to me.

MF GRIMM – You Only Live Twice: The Audio Graphic Novel. If MF GRIMM can do this with two lives then he needs to be granted many more.

MidaZ The BEAST – El MidaZ Affair. This is the MidaZ affair but invites us all to find out why he is a beast on the mic.

MidaZ The BEAST – Freestylin’ (Single). MidaZ freestylin’.

MidaZ The BEAST – Lost N Found (produced by Blue Sky Black Death) (Single). If this is in the lost and found then he must have more gems that we are missing.

Mos Dub – Mos Dub. Max Tannone remixes Mos Def with reggae dub music to give you a diverse sound clash.

MosEL – Just Thinking Out Loud. I am just thinking out loud that MosEL has made a something to be marveled.

Mr. Lif – Santa’s Got a Muthafuckin’ Uzi (Single). I always wanted this on vinyl because it was a limited edition cut out of Mr. Lif’s head with a santa cap but I have to settle for the craziest christmas rap of the year.

Murs and 9th Wonder – Fornever. Fourth album of Murs and 9th Wonder and they are fornever quitting.

Mystik Journeymen – Return 2 The Love. It is not a come back but a return to the love of hip-hop.

Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – Distant Relatives. Nas and Jr. Gong come together to give you a familar style that is paired nicely.

Obii Say – The Vinyl Proxy 1965. The vinyl proxy used by emcee Obii Say and producer Sinitus Tempo gives you a vintage mixing of new material that succeed on each song.

Oddisee – Odd Spring. Spring beats from Oddisee that move you in ways you didn’t think possible.

Oddisee – Odd Winter. Winter time is the theme behind this frosty instrumental album that will warm up your soul.

Opio – Mark It Zero. The Big Lebowski infused joint from one of your favorite hieroglyphics members but don’t mark it zero, mark it sick.

Pack FM – I F*cking Hate Rappers. Pack FM explains while he can’t stand rappers by rapping. It makes senses when you listen to it.

Persevere & Style MiSia – The Vintage Edition EP. Persevere gives the vintage edtion of his catalog so you can remember why he does his music.

Rah Digga – Do Your Numbers (Single). Nottz produced single (that is not on the album) to promote her newest album entitled, “Classic” and it sounds that way.

Rapper Big Pooh – The Purple Tape. Rapper Big Pooh reminiscences over this purple tape that makes you want more.

Ras Kass & DJ Rhettmatic – A.D.I.D.A.S. The album that I knew he could always make with him just spitting complex words and supported and paid by fans and myself alike.

Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute. Reflection Eternal took a minute to release this one but it was worth the wait.

Rhymefest – El Che. Rhymefest needed to start a revolution to get his album out and it should catch on.

Rocky Reason – Part Dark Matter. She has an alien introduce this album and that gives the overall feel for this spaced out piece.

Ski Beatz – 24 Hour Karate School. Ski Beatz harnesses the backdrops for emcees to karate chop on this one.

Slum Village – Villa Manifesto. Maybe the last Slum Village album and with songs like, “Earl Flinn” show that they never lost it.

Strong Arm Steady – In Search Of Stoney Jackson. Strong Arm Steady are bless with a whole album of Madlib invasion beats and it makes for one of the best of the year.

Tame One – The Hell or High Water EP. Junkwaffel lays down just the right beats for Tame One to black out to.

Tarica June – Moonlight Revolution (The Mixtape). This one came out of no where with some of the nicest lyrics from an up and coming emcee.

The Heart & Brain – Mbodiment. With 23 tracks and no filler it is a great accomplishment with everything working for this album from beats to rhymes.

The Residents – Open House. Munshine and Saint definitely have a open house that you should visit and will return to frequently.

The Roots – How I Got Over. The Roots always get over because they don’t settle for nothing but quality music and this one does it right.

TiRon – MSTRD. I have always liked mustard better than ketchup and TiRon proves that it is also true with his sound.

Toki Wright – BlackMale. Toki Wright is going to catch you by surprise. It is hip-hop that makes you feel empowered.

Tone Liv – Path Train To Jersey. Took the ride to Jersey with Tone Liv and now I understand why it was worth the trip.

Trek Life & J.Bizness – Rhymes Within Reason. They rhyme and produce for a reason and it is to create ample music.

Turbo – ElectroRockv5: Long Live Lightning Level Lyricism. Fifth album in the ElectroRock series and he still defies how much better he can get.

Unique Assassin – Spelling Bee Champ. If Unique Assassin was put in a spelling bee contest then he could spit every letter and make it sound extravagant.

Von Pea – Pea’s Gotta Have It. He said this is the album he wanted to make in school. It takes you back while still sounding fresh.

WEB & I.D.e.A – God’s Favorites. WEB & I.D.e.A are becoming one of my favorites and can be yours too after you give it a listen.

X.O. – One. One. Ten. After killing it on Diamond District, he does it again and again all over his solo effort.

Ecliptic Sight Review: Unthinkable

The movie, Unthinkable poses the question, how far would the United States go to protect itself from a terrorist? To answer the question is Samuel L. Jackson as the mysterious interrogator/torturer simply known as “H”. He is brought in with Carrie-Anne Moss as FBI agent Helen Brody to locate the nuclear devises that Michael Sheen aka Steven Arthur Younger/Youssef in the movie has planned in three urban cities across America. What happens next is a series of events revolving around the three interlocked and pushing each other to the limit. Youssef tries to keep quiet while H goes to town with Agent Brody trying to location the devises before H goes to far. The thing that makes this movie a must see is the way Samuel L. Jackson tackles the character H with a vicious portrayal and deeming everything he does is for the greater good. One quote from the movie that sums up his take on this is:

That man over there killed 53 people, some of them women and children and yet somehow I am the villian.

Carrie-Anne Moss steps in to play the softer side of the government and tries to use less evasive techniques. Michael Sheen shows a sinister calm while being put through the ringer by H. Overall the pace, the storyline and characters will keep you guessing until the end. Unthinkable will make you question yourself and make you wonder what you would do in this situation and maybe leave you without the answer.

Ecliptic Sight Review: Willie Green – …Of Heroes And Villains

…Of Heroes And Villains by Willie Green opens up to a noble harmony that will capture its audience with smooth and laid back tones for the opening two songs. Just then it takes, “A Turn For The Worse” with a haunting rhythm giving use a glimpse at the darker side of Willie Green. Each new song builds up the constant struggle, “…Of Heroes And Villians” to dizzying and awestruck of musical pleasure. By the time you are at the “Entermission” you don’t understand just how it will all play out. But wait here is “The Twist” to throw you off balance to the normal beatmakers that we are use to. Willie Green delivers us his musical child and if I had to pick one as my favorite kid it would be the, “Final Showdown”. The last two songs on the album have Nasa taking the helm on the first with billy woods closing out the album with perfect delivery. Also proving that the beats are emcee friendly. Willie Green’s …Of Heroes And Villains fluently blends cartoon soundbites with his own intricate instrumentals to give an enjoyable listen.

Willie Green-...Of Heroes And Villains Album Art

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The Peanut Butter & Jelly Party 2009: Photo Review

Coming back from another country and already back to my old ways. We attended The Peanut Butter & Jelly Party 2009 at the Loft on April 19. I found out about the event from and just had to go because it is rare to have Hip-Hop in Nashville, Tennesse. So here is my review on the event through photos.

This is the first thing I saw walking into the event. Also Syntax Records hosted the concert with most of the roster performing are on.
Syntax Logo

All the way to the top. These flyer arrows helped point us in the right direction.
Arrows Made Out Of Flyers

We arrived late so only got to see the last song performed by Scribbling Idiots but they were still getting the crowd crazy.
Scribbling Idiots On Stage

The lighting behind Scribbling Idiots enhances the show but they could do that with their energy alone.
Scribbling Lighting It Up

DJ Promote on the wheels of steel, putting in work for intermissions and performers.
DJ Promote On The Wheels Of Steel

How could it be a “Peanut Butter & Jelly Party” without the peanut butter and jelly, right. They served it all night with free milk and Rockstar energy drinks for backup.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Party For Real

Odd Thomas takes the stage…
Odd Thomas Takes The Stage

…and murders his set.
Odd Thomas

Propaganda has the crowd start with their hands in the air.
Propaganda One

Propaganda performance is so hype that the crowd keeps them up.Propaganda Fist

Kaboose grabs the mic and begins to make the crowd move.
Kaboose Grabs The Mic

Kaboose brings Royce 5’9″ with him but on screen in the same style as his album cover.
Royce 5'9" In Kaboose Style

Braille gets into his performance and makes the crowd follow.
Braille's Turn

Braille and Theory Hazit join forces to elevate the mood.
Braille & Theory Hazit

RedCloud delivers a stunning presentation with freestyles to spare.
RedCloud Performs

RedCloud and Kaboose compare mohawks.
RedCloud & Kaboose Mohawks

Overall the event was impressive and found some new artist to add to the music library. Here is the some of the free swag that was given away at the show and that’s it.
Free Swag

Ecliptic Sight Review: Vordul Mega – The Revolution of Yung Havoks

Vordul Mega is on a assignment to enlighten his listeners with visible wordplay on his first solo album. The Revolution of Yung Havoks was created on a preemptive tale of young minds (or havoks) wanting change. Vordul takes his time to craft each song into a story of struggle, frustration and overwhelming stress. He doesn’t stop there and leave it as a cautionary warning for the listener to sulk in the misery of his lyrics. Instead Vordul gives us solution with songs like, “Neva Again” and “Pray” with nuggets of knowledge dropped in each verse.

Each guest emcee seems to have been brought in to compliment Vordul and his storytelling rather than taking it over. The four emcees to grace, “The Revolution of Yung Havoks” are C-Ray Walz, Karniege, Jean Grae and a Cannibal Ox duet with Vast Aire on the song, “Handle That”. Vordul has worked with each artist on their albums or through his affiliations with Atoms Family, Cannibal Ox and The Reavers.

On the song, “Megallah”, Vordul asks: “Whose Mega? Question I ask self…”, that I am sure everyone has asked themselves one way or another trying to discover who we are. He answers this question and more with the entire album by basically saying that we all endure conflicts and go through hard times but we can not let it rule our lives and make us corrupt. Vordul Megallah would rather have us uprise and accomplish The Revolution of Yung Havoks.

Wu-Tang 8 Diagram Tour: Photo Review

Took a trip to Bakersfield, California and was surprised by my little brother Josh with an early Christmas present, two tickets to the Wu-Tang 8 Diagrams Tour. The concert was held at The Majestic Fox Theater and scheduled to start at 8:00 pm. We didn’t arrive until 9:00 pm and the concert started shortly after. My cousin Rick works at the Fox and took my pictures for me on the side of the stage with my camera. Without further ado the Wu-Tang 8 Diagram Tour: Photo Review:

Wait I only count six members of Wu on stage! Yeah Rza, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killah were snowed in and couldn’t make it.

Raekwon does his solo thing and moves the crowd.

Cappadonna that is a tight shirt, oh I mean tight rhyme skills.
Cappadonna Nice Logo

“Come on party people, all in together now, sing along” – R.I.P. ODB
All In Together

Method Man slapping hands with fans and then…
Meth With Fans

…Method Man standing on his fans.
Meth On Fans

Cappadonna was really hype the whole time and had the crowd pumped.
Cappadonna Solo

Photo ghosting with Ghost and Meth.

Crowd can’t get enough…

…and Method Man delivers with a solo.
Meth Solo

Looks as if Wu-Tang is even having a good time.
Good Times

Taxi driver to Pepsi man. Cappadonna quenches the crowds thirst.
Pepsi Man

Crowd picture and I’m not in it. Time to get out.
Crowd Photo