Friday, May 30, 2008

Camu Tao - RIP

Camu Tao and Jakki da Motamouth with Bobbito in spring 2000

Akbar, Copywrite, and Camu Tao on Bobbito's CM Famalam Show in spring 2001

Aesop Rock and Camu Tao on the Halftime Show in late summer 2003

Friday, April 11, 2008

Homeboy Sandman

Lionel Essrog, the narrator of Jonathan Lethem's novel Motherless Brooklyn, has Tourette's Syndrome. One of the ways his disorder manifests itself is in the manipulation of language. Occasionally, he hears a word or phrase which triggers a compulsion to turn the words upside down and inside out. In his head, Lionel's own name becomes Liable Guesscog, Final Escrow, Ironic Pissclam. Reference to an alibi causes him to tic, "Alibi hullabaloo gullible bellyflop smellafish."

This is what I am reminded of when listening to Homeboy Sandman. Listen to this first verse he kicked on Squeeze Radio's 5th Anniversary show last month. He digs into the words, using slant rhymes, alliteration, and assonance to explore every possible sound they inspire before moving on. Do his lyrics make any sense? Who gives a shit?

Word to your motherless

Here's a couple other verses:
A capella to close out Squeeze's anniversary show
Freestyling over a too-slow beat on the Halftime Show last November

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kamakaze - RIP

Kamakaze aka KL, of Screwball, died on March 28.

Here he is on WNYU in spring 2004.
KL on WNYU Halftime Show

This must be one of his last recorded performances, on the Halftime Radio Show's 10th Anniversary on March 5, 2008.
KL on Halftime's 10th Anniversary

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I don't know when this first performance is from. Some time prior to 1997 is all I can say. The Artifacts are joined by B-Wise and C-Style. If you know anything about them, or when this was recorded, share the wealth.

Part 1 of Artifacts on Stretch and Bobbito
Part 2

Ten years after their final group album, both El da Sensai and Tame One continue to make moves as solo artists. El was joined by a cat named Ink on the radio a few weeks ago.

Part 1 of Ink and El da Sensai on Squeeze Radio
Part 2

Tame also did his thing recently, accompanied by a couple MCs from his Boom Skwad crew. I gotta pull out those old Artifacts albums again; I usually preferred El, but Tame shows off mad zaniness here that I didn't really remember from him.

Tame One interview
Tame One, Rhino, Devlaree on Squeeze Radio

I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet, but Stretch Armstrong recently posted up a bunch of Tame One performances from the old 89-tec-9 days.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Polyrhythm Addicts

Eight years later, a new album sneaks out of nowhere. Hip-hop has been rejuvenated. Well, maybe not. These are just the type of cats whose records I don't usually check for, but they can be entertaining on the freestyle tip.

The first time I ever heard of Shabaam Sahdeeq was on Stretch and Bobbito in June 1996, rhyming back to back with Black Thought. (For more Black Thought, check here.) One of the things I like about live radio sessions is hearing combinations of MCs who wouldn't ordinarily interact with each other.

Shabaam Sahdeeq and Black Thought on Stretch and Bob

This probably isn't the greatest performance Mr. Complex ever gave, but he gets warmed up and flows pretty nicely after a bit. He teams up with Maestro, who sounds like a second-tier Chubb Rock. From November 1999.

Mr. Complex and Maestro on Stretch and Bobbito

Finally, the realigned Addicts (now featuring Tiye Phoenix) showed off their talents last week in support of the new album. Obviously, Shabaam has come a long way in the past decade (though he only spits writtens on this session).

Polyrhythm Addicts on Squeeze Radio