Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hanging onto Emptiness

It's a busy day, but I don't wanna lose the momentum, so we'll see how far I get with this. As committed to the new as we are at Hectic, we don't want you getting avant-complacent, so today I'm taking it back all the way to 2003 with two possibly overlooked joints I rediscovered while harddrive reorganizing (remember when it seemed music couldn't get any less romantic than CD filing?)

Redman - I See Dead People

"Dead People" is a slightly weird variation on the typical Eminem goth beat - no emo chord progressions, just constant drum shuffle accented by pizzicato strings on every beat. But what I really love here, 'sides Redman - who, on medium form, is still pretty great - is just how disembodied the samples sound - curt, clipped broadcasts snatched from the ether. And I can never quite anticipate the jolt I get when Big L answers Reggie's I don't die with I was born dead: the ultimate tragic punchline from the worlds best lost punchline MC.

Scarface feat. Nas - In Between Us

This is, well, perfect. Those out-of-phase mournful sighs, the descending guitar figure, the delayed strings, the tinkly minor keys, thick handclap beat, so faultlessly arranged the lot of them, one of the best Nas guest verses ever - I mean, I was thirteen, I was nursing/ a knot in my face/ but chose another time and a place, that wearied, exhausted lament of a chorus, 'Face's voice... just.. yeah.

Okay, okay, some fresh stuff, but only cause it fits with today's emo-rap them and it's killing me right now -

Beanie Sigel - Feel it in the Air (feat. Melissa)

An empty, airy gray wash, the moment of calm when you're forced to accept the things you can't change, that silvery lite-jazz sax too genuinely affecting to be a parody of comfort music.

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