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Kool Keith And L’Orange (Noah)

August 28, 2015

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When I started writing for Side One Track One a million years ago, I think I was hip. Not totally hip, but you know, savvy enough to understand my phone and to spend way too much time scouring the internet, and my own inbox, for new music to turn on a whole wave of people to. And then I kept writing and, as it happens, I got older and I stopped understanding The Internet and I just wanted to listen to Counting Crows and cry into my Pepsi Clear. Even today, as I’m going through my list of recently enjoyed music and trying to pick something to share with you folks, I end up on a Kool Keith track. I saw Kool Keith open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 17. I saw him again at RKCNDY (rest in peace) when I was 18 (he threw plastic bags full of chicken and Capri-Sun into the audience before pulling a woman’s shirt off). And now, here I am, telling you folks, that his sort of new song with ace producer L’Orange (featuring contextually old school emcee Mr. Lif) is great. Because, well, hip or fucking not, it is. It isn’t a heater of a song, it doesn’t race along or use KK’s bizarro flow to spice anything up, but it still rolls, low-key like a mid-morning blunt. Kool Keith sounds like he just woke up, picked up his microphone and started laying down verses while L’Orange’s beat (sample heavy with a tweaked and twisted guitar riff) gets him to sit up and say something. It’s classic Keith with a surprisingly classic beat, and you toss in Mr. Lif’s nasally chatter, and well, this is, for more reasons than not, a pretty classic sounding jam. Which, giant hipness-shaped hole notwithstanding, seems right up my alley these days.

:Kool Keith And L’Orange – Twenty Fifty Three (Featuring Mr. Lif):

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L’Orange And Jeremiah Jae (Noah)

May 6, 2015

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I used to be all about rap. I went through an unfortunate period where I thought ska and power-punk were just swell, and in the aftermath, three chord progressions still churning in my mind, I went the other direction. I found hip-hop. And for years I shunned all other forms of music that didn’t have a thudding beat and some sick flows hovering above them. There are still huge gaps in my musical knowledge because of these errant years where nothing else was let through the gates but rap, rap and more rap. Now, I’m 33, and after a ten year break from beats, I’m starting to find my way again. And in recent weeks the duo that’s been slicing through the jungle is L’Orange and Jeremiah Jae. I don’t know how young these kids are, or what their musical background is, but whatever they might be, these two bleed true blue hip-hop. They know it too and the songs, gritty and raw with an unmistakable hint of boom-bap bounce riding hard atop it all, drip with tweaked allusions to lyrics and sounds of the music that came before. Beyond all that though, this is just good, solid hip-hop with a strong, but not overwhelming, showing of cameos that under the control of L’Orange on the ones and twos lend just that little bit extra to every song. Sure, the end of the album is murky (in an almost classic sense) and not every song explodes off of it, but when they do (the Gift of Gab collaboration All I Need comes to mind), they really do. This isn’t sound aping, this is a whole new thing, one you should probably listen to right now.

:L’Orange And Jeremiah Jae – Taken By The Night:

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