#Bandcampgold-Resistance by Brandon Coleman
Albums have hearts and souls. I need all of them. My favorite Freddie Gibbs album is ESGN because he was so angry at Jeezy and his old label for mismanaging him that his mind was spiraling down the most angry heinous pathways possible and some days I’m there with him. That album has a heart for the worst days. Resistance has the opposite heart. It has love and joy and funk. It makes my five year old and my wife dance together. When the horns start on the song Sexy and the bass drops my family loses it.
I didn’t know about this album until I went to see Kamasi Washington live. Coleman is his pianist and Kamasi stepped back so he could launch into his lush composition Walk Free. It has the soul of a Donny Hathaway love song with gentle instrumental touches and admirable composition. I vowed that the next wifi connection found would bring me to his album!
The kids say things like “It’s a mood” and sound creepy to me but this album is one. Brandon Coleman does his Roger Troutman thing through the talk box but he doesn’t lean on it. It’s not a shtick. He’s written real songs that are well formed and funky which leaves the Vocoder as an additive you forget about after a while. While Sexy is funky and lets loose it is followed by There’s No Turning Back which is its equal in glimmering smooth horizontal excellence. It glides by at two minutes and twenty seconds leading into the title track which is even shorter (one minute and fifty one seconds).
This is where I confess that you’re not me and you may not have the same taste. Coleman is part of that West Coast jazz contingent with Kamasi (same folks worked on To Pimp A Butterfly with Kendrick). His influences are people I LOVE LOVE LOVE from Freddie Hubbard to Troutman to George Clinton to Dre to Quik. I am a die hard West Coast sound guy and nothing is funkier than Addiction (with killer guest work from Sheera). These songs slap and groove while maintaining a high IQ in musical execution. Most people would have made a song like Love the somber/poignant come down in the album but he turned it up, made it bounce like a pop song so that the concept can taste as good to your ears as it should to your heart; as it should to your everyday interactions. This is my kind of dude so Resistance is my kind of album. The boldest protest made by it is the earned smile it wears while playing in this world of ghastly madness. I wonder if Stevie Wonder has heard this album?
Stream or buy Resistance below:
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Tagged #BandcampGold, #ESGN, Bandcamp, Brandon Coleman, Freddie Gibbs, funk, George Clinton, Jeezy, Kamasi Washington, Resistance, Roger Troutman, Soul
Sample Snitch: The exciting G Funk perfection of All Eyez On Me
All Eyez On Me is the best double album in the history of hip hop. That is not a hot take. If you listen very carefully it is not the dark foreboding cryptic record Makaveli is perceived to be. It is fun and fully engages its female audience in a way we all keep saying “didn’t happen in the 90’s or really before Kanye/Drake”. On Run Tha Streetz he actually starts a verse by giving women advice on how to keep “a playa” and this was NOT the norm. Even songs that may seem misogynistic are interesting to look at from a perspective analysis. Wonda Why They Call U B___ is maligned but think about the phrasing of it, the song is directed right at his female audience. When Too Short made songs about B’s he was talking to his homies, obviously male listeners, fellow pimps/hustlers that was his constituency. 2pac understood he had a deeper female fanbase than other rappers (possibly because of emotional/personal content in the past or songs with complex/empathetic female characters like in Can U Get Away off Me Against The World) . He wanted to explain his logic to them so they would understand his perspective and he wanted to explain groupies to them on All About U.
The reason some of the depth gets lost is that this album slaps from front to back. If you look at the samples listing the source songs is the absolute best funk playlist of all time. Rather Be Ya N_ samples I’d Rather Be With You by Bootsy Collins. A song so legendary it has been sampled from 1991(N.W.A.-I’d Rather F*** You) through 2016 (Childish Gambino-Redbone). The baseline from Never Gonna Stop by Linda Clifford is instantly recognizable not just as the backbone for the title track on this album but the meat of Nas-Street Dreams song off It Was Written. One of my favorite songs from All Eyez On Me was always Check Out Time because of how insane it was that I was listening to a song about my favorite rappers checking out of a hotel. That sample is Candy Rain by Soul For Real who were a new jack swing act on Uptown Records alongside Heavy D & Guy. You’ll find multiple Roger Troutman and P-Funk samples. Whatz Ya Phone# pulls from a long crazy song by The Time called 777-9311. Darling Nikki is present on Heartz of Men, all of the music sampled moves at a legendary pace. 2pac wanted a party record that could double as his last will and testament.
He takes I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl) by Instant Funk and concocts the deeply meditative posse cut Got My Mind Made Up featuring Daz, Method Man, and Redman. No sleepy jazz samples or minimalism, All Eyez On Me is maximalist funk pulled through the Makaveli paranoid awareness. When he wants to slow down he pulls the heartbreak right from the melody of Brandy by The O’Jays and infuses it in the chorus and content of Life Goes On. At an hour and ten minutes it is still supernaturally well-paced because the subtle groove of Life Goes On becomes the menacing braggadocio of Ain’t Hard 2 Find. His words are magnificent but we shouldn’t forget the magic carpet of funk that brings him there.
Remember Curtis Mayfield helped produce this song
Slap the taste out of anyone who talks down to Bootsy…do it for hip hop.
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Tagged 2pac, 2pac Shakur, All Eyez On Me, Bootsy Collins, Candy Rain, Darling Nikki, I'd Rather Be With You, Linda Clifford, Makaveli, Me Against The World, Never Gonna Stop, Roger Troutman, Sample Snitch, Soul For Real, The Time, west coast hip hop
EP Review-IVRY by 100S
Pimp rap is a hard thing to explain support of. All you can say is that when it works its amazing. The job of a pimp is to make you choose his or her services, so a great pimp rap musical experience should be just as engaging; something that sucks you in and draws you to its center as if by hypnosis(at the very least manipulation).
The production on IVRY distills elements of ratchet, funk, cloud rap, and anything else that will seduce listeners into the 100S world. The sound of IVRY is so important this project has five executive producers (three of which have production credits). 100s is not only one of the executive producers but one who shares two credits on songs that straddle styles. One of them is Thru My Veins which is 50% cold blooded bluster “Perm on my back, rolllin’ through these streets never pack heat I shoot when I spit…” and 50% super catchy chorus. It has a lot of the open reverberating space that cloud rap had but with a blustery 808 build you might associate with the trap sound. F*ckin Around is the other one he had a direct hand in and it’s the first moment you can stop and say Roger Troutman would have loved this song. West coast funk is deeper than Dr. Dre it goes back to Con Funk Shun and beyond and this song carries it all. While the funk bubbles 100S stays in pocket with harsh rhymes like “Who said the best things in life are free must have never met a mother#$%@* like me!”
Different Type of Love will transport you to that post-disco R&B Rick James frame of mind as if Daft Punk and DJ Quik merged power sources. These songs are so unexplainably catchy. You can play them in a car with whoever and they will just sing along never thinking about what the heck they are actually saying. IVRY is a total of eight songs and at least three feel like solid gold West Coast smash hits that should have been in my mp3 player years ago. All the rest fit from the intro to the last track. People have been trying to tell me about 100S (FME Contributor DL for one) but I was never swayed either way until I first heard the cooing chorus of Middle of The Night over that amazing drum pattern. I remember thinking, “Wow, now I have to go back and listen to Ice Cold Perm again.” Better late than never there.
Stream or download IVRY below: