Kate Tempest is a poet/MC with some heady, heavy rhymes. Her style is very much spoken word and in this video, works well with KwAke Bass’s disjunct, electronic beats. She covers some very sombre and sobering topics and her delivery is a little mesmerizing. Even though the content wasn’t happy per se, I found myself really enjoying how nimbly she wove her phrases together, floating above the beat at times then locking right into it with powerful repetition.

Everything about this production is tight. From the band to the beats to the flow to the recording, it’s damn near flawless. I always have extra respect for hip-hop artists that are backed by live bands, and this production is especially fun to watch because it’s just so damn tight, from beginning to end. It’s a compilation of three songs that just meld together without a single hiccup. If you like hip-hop and you don’t know Black Milk yet, after watching this, you’ll definitely be hooked. Enjoy.

Eligh has solo stuff, but is part of the Living Legends Crew and other configurations. One of his solo albums, Therapy at 3 is a collab with AMP Live and has really struck a chord with me, musically, but content-wise as well. I haven’t always been an avid Eligh fan, but I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated his fast, steady, rhythmic flow that has a bent towards the positive.

Where to begin with this one? I discovered this through an article on Herbie Hancock’s influence on early hip-hop. It’s taken from a 1983 performance at the Grammys where he was recognized for his breakout hit, “Rockit.”

He’s definitely one of my all-time favorite jazz pianists, but admittedly, he gets a little out there (and not in a good, free-jazz sort of way). Many fans love his early forays into funk and of course his seminal album, Head Hunters, but this is a whole other level. The music here has to be appreciated, but in addition, there’s so much going on in this video culturally, it could probably be the basis for a whole thesis in several subject areas. I would love to know what you think.


Lyrical Acrobatics: ZZZ Top by Aesop Rock

There are many great MCs out there with not only poignant rhymes, but great rhythm and delivery of their lyrics. I’ve been a fan of Aesop Rock for a while, but here’s a newer track I just found today that embodies some of the things I love about hip-hop and his style. Here’s an excerpt from ZZZ Top off of Skelethon (check out all the verses):

Somebody in a cultivated moment of distrust, composed themselves enough to magic-marker “Zulu” on these chucks, they was tryin to do the buckle font from ‘renegades of funk’, in a 3d frame of exploding brick, and whiz-lines for the locally motion sick, beyond gross but evoked a host of “oh dip” where a social neurosis owned the whole strip, heart of a cat with a lark in his mouth in the marrow of waiting his guardians out, flashlight, chisel tips, milked venom, pistol grip, images relocated from milled vellum to scissor kick, silent agreement at hand, king of the hill for a queen of the damned, she in the doorway seething began “that clean white pair had a 3-year plan!”, oops, capital “zed”, radical “u” in the cut, truly to beautiful “l”oser it up, “u” and he done, collateral damage a future alum, that key to Shambala, planet rocking, Bambaatta, sample chop, churning out a cancer for the vandal squad, analog, and he finds, animated colors on a page, like synthesized cultures on a stage

And here’s the track for your listening pleasure. The words and the way he flows them together are not to be missed: