Feb 1, 2015

The Roots

In 1993 while I was in New York shopping for audio cassettes, the colors black and white struck me with regards to the group.

I had never seen or heard anything about The Roots until I walked into that New York record store. In league with AC/DC, Prince and Metallica, I saw the Organix audio cassette. I was curious about it but didn’t press the issue.

Everyone around me was going nuts over Distortion to Static and I just wasn't on board. We'd watch the video and I wasn't moved as much as them. Some of my friends went looking for the 12" single and I again didn't feel it as strong. They'd have to do better than that.  

All that went out the window after I heard Illadelph Halflife. Once I got slapped in the face with Respond/React, What They Do, Clones and Concerto of a Desperado, I made sure I got a copy of Do You Want More. They got the answer in reverse.

I guess what concerned me is the direction The Roots has gone over the last few albums. From Game Theory to Rising Down, they have gotten darker and barely recognizable as hip hop. Yet, I still want to hear whatever they put out.

Illadelph Halflife is one of those albums that take you back in time and you remember the glory days of hip hop. Thank goodness I learned my lesson before Dynamite on Things Fall Apart!

The Suite Delight new time slot is Tuesday morning 1-2am EST on www.ckut.ca & 90.3 FM.

If you haven't already, please make yourself familiar with the link below for more of your favorite show and mine.
Below are some podcasts to bring you up to speed.  Click here to download them and more.
Check out the player below as well as the more recent playlists.

The Suite Delight - May 27, 2014 Playlist:

1. Quantic & Anita Tijoux - Doo Wop (That Thing)
2. Sola Rosa - Turn Around Ft. Iva Lamkum (DJ Vadim Remix)
3. The Seatbelts - Cat Blues (Mr. Scruff Remix)
4. James Brown - Funky Drummer
5. The Cactus Channel - Wooden Boy (Part 1)
6. The Roots – Don't Feel Right feat. Maimouna Youssef
7. J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) - Love Movin' feat. Black Thought
8. Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell
9. Termanology - How We Rock Feat. Bun B
10. Marco Polo - Lay It Down Feat. Roc Marciano
11. Buff1 - Never Fall feat. Black Milk
12. The Extremities - New Season feat. Ohmega Watts & Moka Only
13. Lords Of The Underground - Tic Toc (Remix)
14. Lone Catalysts - The Ultimate (Kev Brown Remix)

The Suite Delight - 2014-05-13 Playlist:

1. Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (Remix) feat. Das-Efx
2. Kurious - Baby Bust It
3. De La Soul - Breakadawn
4. Gang Starr - Code of the Streets
5. Souls of Mischief - That's When Ya Lost
6. Del - Mistadobalina (Remix)
7. Snoop Dogg - Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None)
8. Keith Murray - Incredible feat. LL Cool J
9. Jay-Z - (Always Be My) Sunshine featuring Babyface & Foxy Brown
10. Queen Latifah - Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here
11. The Roots - Adrenaline
12. Poor Righteous Teachers - Rock Dis Funky Joint
13. Digable Planets ‎– 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
14. Camp Lo - Luchini (This Is It)

Melle Mel

No one has described the destitute state of poverty-stricken urban societies better than Melle Mel in The Message.

Grandmaster Flash - The Message by hushhush112

The only thing more devastating than the truth of his 1982 lyrics is that the problems he rhymed about still plague those societies.

Tupac Shakur - Me Against the World

Me Against The World is quite possibly the most emotionally charged and moving hip hop album considering the events surrounding its release.

While apartment-sitting for a friend during the summer of 1995, I saw the Me Against The World CD in their collection and decided, against my nature, to give it a listen.  It was the first Tupac album I would ever hear in its entirety.

After the initial listen, I understood why people that talked to me about Tupac spoke the way they did.  I realized my bias towards East Coast hip hop could have denied me the experience of listening to Shakur’s songs.  I had not heard an MC that deeply poetic, prophetic and profound.  No East Coast MC managed to move me and conjure up emotions with his lyrics and delivery like Tupac.

Dear Mama is in my top 5 most moving hip hop songs ever heard recorded.  The rest of the album has other special songs as well.  I remember Old School and Lord Knows causing me to pay closer attention to the lyrics and production as the songs blasted from the stereo speakers.

June 16 marks the anniversary of Tupac Shakur's birth.

Rudy Ray Moore

I believe that had Big Daddy Kane not featured Rudy Ray Moore on a track from Taste of Chocolate, I would have learned of the legendary comedian a lot later in my life or quite possibly never.
On his third classic album, Big Daddy Kane goes toe-to-toe and verse-for-verse with the randy Rudy Ray Moore.  Kane was already among the elite MCs of the day but many of my generation barely knew of Dolemite/Rudy Ray Moore.
Rudy Ray Moore is of course victorious and proved to the younger cats like myself who and why we know of Dolemite.

Many years ago, Rudy Ray Moore appeared in Montreal for a screening of Dolemite.

Me being the blogger that I am, I ventured to see the comedian at the Imperial Theatre. 
I don’t really remember much about the night but these few details.

If I saw Dolemite, I don’t remember much about the film.  I would need to see a scene or two to refresh my memory. 

What I do remember was what happened prior to my departure from the Imperial Theatre.  I think I was half expecting him to perform stand up comedy at some point while he was onstage but that didn’t happen.  I thought he was going to be present for a question and answer period about his movies and comedy.   That didn’t happen either.  Instead, Rudy Ray Moore began to sing-talk sexually laced lyrics that managed to get the crowd to erupt in boos. 
The screening and booing of Rudy Ray Moore occurred dangerously close to the 1am mark.  Anyone who uses public transit to get to and from the suburbs into town understands that time was neither on my side nor Rudy Ray Moore’s.  I would have loved to see and hear how the events manifested but I had to leave to catch a bus.

Part of me would have booed him too had it not been for the respect I had for him being an influential part of the culture I held near and dear.  If it is not known yet, I love very good stand up comedy.  To not get it makes me angry à la Marvin the Martian.

Another part of me was saddened to see the legend get treated that way in my hometown.  He was an old man on stage getting booed.
Quite frankly, maybe it was best I didn’t witness what happened in my absence.  It is already bad enough for me to connect Rudy Ray Moore to the unpleasant booing surrounding me as I left the theatre. 



Run-DMC was my introduction to hip hop. 

I was too young to understand what Rapper's Delight was. I just remembered that it sounded a lot like Chic's Good Times. 

Walk This Way reached me and I loved it. After Michael, Lionel and Prince, I saw them as role models relatively close to my age. Raising Hell was a breakthrough to me and opened the doors for Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Salt & Pepa, LL Cool J and Whodini to come into my life.

Proud to be Black would plant the seeds of my Afrocentrism during the late 80s/early 90s. No one was saying that to me other than Run-DMC and I eventually learned that they took that page out of the James Brown playbook.


Congratulations to Run-DMC for being inducting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Who would have thought that over twenty years after their debut on the scene, they would be considered Kings of Rock?

R.I.P. Jam Master Jay

Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star

By 1998, Rawkus Records emerged as the only solution for hip hop at that time. In those darkest hours, my brightest hope was Black Star.

On my last trip to New York of the 1990s, my crew and I saw a yet-to-release-their-album Black Star perform in a Bronx park. While watching them, I felt I was watching my future of hip hop in front of me. I believe I did in many ways.

The Black Star album is what I wish more rappers aimed at creating.

I tried not to abuse or overkill that album. I wanted to return to its wonder and amazement similar to the day I opened the wrapping and popped in the CD player for the first times.

If you agree on a number of levels that hip hop's best days have come and gone and have not yet seen Mos Def or Talib Kweli perform live solo or together, do yourself the favour and check them out when you can. In your darkest hour, they may be the Black Star you seek.

Miles Davis - On the Corner

I heard the song On the Corner by Miles Davis twice and both times blew my mind. I was at Cheap Thrills when it played on their stereo system.

The next time I heard the song was at a record convention where the DJ played the song.

 I’m probably the one who moved and grooved the most while perusing the crates.

The tune is nearly 20 minutes long and makes it difficult for me to play it on my radio show.

The mind blowing first part of On The Corner is presented here to start your journey.

 I remembered to add that album to my collection so that I can move and groove to it anytime I want.