Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pick of the Week #12: Illinoize

Are you a DJ? The economy getting you down? Unemployed or underemployed? Why not try a mash-up?

Initially, my pick of the week was going to be Brother Ali's The Truth Is Here EP - some B-sides from 2008's The Undisputed Truth, and a couple of unreleased tracks - but then I came across Illinoize (which, incidentally feats. Brother Ali on the track "Night Zombies/Talking My Shit").

My initial reaction to the idea of the 'remix tape' was, man this dude wants some attention... and that's probably part of it, I imagine, but the beats are HOT! It probably helps that he's decided to feature some of the best rappers from the last 20 years (IMHO): Outkast, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane & DJ Premier, Brother Ali, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious); and the man responsible for the best album of this decade (yes, I think its better - at the moment - than Funeral or whatever other crap-assed album you were thinking of). But, I guess that's the beauty of this album... its all in the selection. Everything, each one of the 7 songs fits, and fits really well. There's no excess, no filler, just songs that work.

If I knew more technical stuff about music, I could probably explain more specifically/accurately/vividly about why all this works so well. Starting from the beginning "Star of Wonder/None Shall Pass" ft. Aesop Rock - "Star of Wonder" of course, hilariously, being a Christmas song - TOR allows the beat to drive the music and just subtly allows Suf to creep into the background and give the album just a little different flavour. By the time I got to track 7 and you see "The Dress Looks Nice on You (one of the prettiest Suf songs)/Make You Feel That Way (the cool, laid back Blackalicious track)" I wondered how the hell it was going to work... and, miraculously, TOR finds a way to blend the two tracks in a way where Suf's guitar just adds a little flourish to the beat, and allows GoG to maintain that chill flow...

The executive summary: This could very well be the best album of the year. And, while I might be the exact target audience for Illinoize (I'm love Suf, and every hip-hop artist on the album)... TOR really sets himself up for success.

[mp3] The Dress Looks Nice on You/Make You Feel That Way ft. Gift of Gab
The Tallest Man/I Like It ft. Grand Puba

Oh yeah, you can download the whole album at

Pick of the Week #1: Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8:
Gentlemen Husbands
Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley
Pick of the Week #10: Alela Diane
Pick of the Week #11: K'naan


ack said...

man, that Grand Puba remix is so good.

Anonymous said...