NEW MUSIC: “May Day” – Prometheus Brown (prod. by Sabzi)

 

Hopefully by now you’ve seen Pro Brown’s spoken word commentary in the Seattle Times on the recent (and not so recent) gun violence plaguing Seattle.

It’s unsettling to see how regional (cough! *socioeconomic* cough! cough! *racial*) delineations in the city contribute to the imbalance in news coverage of identical acts of violence. But I don’t have to tell you that ’cause you already know, right? RIGHT? Here’s Geo acting as the much-needed voice of reason over a Sabzi beat you might find familiar. And if you have an extra moment in your day, make sure to check the Comments section of the Times piece. Some of the shit on there is abhorrent. These are our neighbors, fam. SMH.

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NEW MUSIC: Yesler & Cine Riddims – Sabzi

Click album cover to purchase.

Two new beat tapes from Blue Scholars’ producer/DJ, Sabzi. The first is Yesler, a 20-track collection of instrumentals designed “to accompany your reflecting and daydreaming in the car, collegiate studying, or hours spent on graphic design work.” (Saba’s words.)

Click album cover to purchase.

And the second is Cine Riddims, the now-familiar instrumentals to Blue Scholars’ 2011 album, Cinemetropolis. Put your own raps over Sabzi’s slaps and embarrass your friends and family today!

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DOWNLOAD: “Roxy” – Brothers From Another (prod. by Sabzi)

Taco Tuesday is the title of the new EP by Brothers From Another, due June 12. “Roxy” is the first single. That’s available for free below. I’m guessing an incalculable number of Mexican eating establishments across our fair nation offer a “taco Tuesday”-type promotion, but none can compare to the inestimable meal deal of Seattle’s very own Taco Del Mar. I used to indulge my fish taco jones every third day of the week when I lived out there. It’s part of the reason why I got fat. Not sure where I was going with this other than to say it’s hard to find a decent taco in NYC. Real talk.

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NEW MUSIC: EXIT 163A – Sabzi

Click image to purchase at Bandcamp.

The always generous and gregarious Sabzi unleashed this massive collection of new/old instrumentals from his vault on the first day of Spring 2012. From his Townfolk website:

NAW RUZ MOBARAK!

it’s the first day of Spring and i have new old instros direct from the TOWNFOLK studio to the holes above your earlobes.

in the spirit of cleaning house, i’ve dug even deeper in the crates (ok, computer folders) and compiled another tape of unreleased beats—some of which date back almost 9 years.  this one is massive: a collection of beaterinos, slappers, nuggets, sketches, and concepts (finished and unfinished) never before heard until now and available for a limited time at a special New Year price of 5 bucker bills.

wishing you a happy and prosperous year, full of fresh starts and new beginnings, son!

(Borrowed from Blogs is Watching.)

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VIDEO: “Seijun Suzuki” – Blue Scholars (dir. by Jon Augustavo)

When Cinemetropolis dropped last year I spent more than a few good minutes of my time trying to figure out the context of Geo’s second verse in “Seijun Suzuki.” That was because there didn’t seem to be any. Ah, but there’s the rub, fam: There is always context for the man’s lyrics. I eventually got the chance to ask him about it and for that see, here. In the meantime, just enjoy the entertaining video for the track, directed by SEA rap video extraordinaire Jon Augustavo.

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NEW MUSIC: Townfolk Instrumental Chronicles – Sabzi

Photo via The Stranger. Click for Sabzi's Bandcamp page.

Well look-y here at what we found hidden behind the tree! It’s a late Christmas gift from DJ/producer Sabzi: All of his instrumentals in six tidy, easy to collect volumes. Below is the first which he titled Ravenna. Click here for the rest.

(Okay, this actually wasn’t late at all. Our favorite dood from Blue Scholars dropped these between Christmas and New Year’s and we’re just getting around to posting them now. Don’t blame us, we were on vacation!)

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VIDEO: The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project (feat. Blue Scholars)

It’s fairly clear from this clip that Sabzi should be the (un)official third host of The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project, a semi-regular comedic freestyle session that occasionally features prominent guests (like Blue Scholars, for example).

For the uninitiated: Hari Kondabolu is an up-and-coming (sorry, I hate that term) comedian who has roots and connections in Seattle. Check out his steez, here. His brother, Ashok, is the third member of Das Racist; and if you don’t know who that is, well then why are you even reading this? Get out of here. Now. I’m serious.

(Via Blue Scholars’ tumblr.)

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DOWNLOAD & REVIEW: Charles – Chev

Click album cover to D/L.

Somewhere inside Chev’s 17-track debut album is an outstanding eight to ten song EP, dying to get out. That’s not to say the long-time coming Charles is a disappointment. Rather it’s a greater reflection of an MC who’s had much on his mind for a minute now, too much to adequately express on a few standout guest shots on tracks by more established Town artists (summarized well by the rapper himself, here).

The first time Chev really caught my ear was on “Certitude” (a joint from Common Market’s 2008 Tobacco Road). His deep, commanding delivery added weight to Sabzi’s synth-heavy composition and his reality rap point-of-view counterbalanced RA Scion’s philosophical wanderings. There’s much more of that grounded perspective on Charles. Chev’s preferred lyrical topic is observations on the hustle, and the fact that he’s in the midst of his own makes him an expert. “Simple Math” is an engaging opening track with commanding head-nod courtesy of Jester. “Beau” pays tribute to lost lives and features a dusty jazz-inflected beat by Def Dee. My favorite song here, though, is the Sabzi-produced “Yesterday” which takes Chev’s nostalgic reflections and Hollis Wong-Wear’s swirling guest vocals, and plants them firmly in early 90s R&B territory.

Charles does go on too long, and Chev over-extends himself with the number of verses on a few tracks, but it’s hard to fault him for putting in work. If you’re first hearing him on this album, it’s his vocal aesthetic that will immediately grab you: a low-pitched, technically proficient flow. Chev’s is a fairly new voice in the local scene that resonates much louder than those of many more well-established ones.

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