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Busta Rhymes, Sleigh Bells, Zoe Keating, and Shad


Late Stereotoid! Did everyone enjoy their weekend? You better have! Here's some new tunes for your weekday from Busta Rhymes, Zoe Keating, Shad, and Sleigh Bells.

Album: Anarchy
Artist: Busta Rhymes
Label: Elektra Records
Released: 2000
Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
Sounds like: A True Salute To the Gods

Busta Rhymes was someone I used to look up to when I was a kid, despite my parentís best efforts to introduce me to more family friendly tunes. Itís wasnít the vulgarity or the vivid imagery presented in Bustaís rhymes (pun!), but ultimately his presentation that hooked me. Back when I was a kid, Busta Rhymes looked to me like someone who enjoyed the hell out of what he was doing.

10 years since Iíve given the album Anarchy a proper listen, and I still maintain the belief that Busta Rhymes enjoys the hell out of what he does.

Anarchy can be summed up in five words; shit you fucking jam too[/i.]. Thatís what I loved about Busta back when I was a kid. He ultimately made music that no matter who you were, youíd find yourself bobbing your head. This is a quality thatís present in most, if not all East Coast rap, but by the time Busta Rhymes comes to [i]Anarchy, heís successfully mastered the craft of music that makes people black.

Yes, it should be a scientific fact by now; listening to Anarchy has an 80% chance of making you East Cost Gangster. You may or may not like that fact, but itís a reason why Anarchy is so good. It presents an excellent picture of the East Cost lifestyle though driving beats and incredibly impressive imagery.

Lyrically, this album is genius. I could go quote for quote of snippets of Anarchy that surprise me, excite me, make me laugh, and ultimately keep me hooked on Bustaís every word. While his lyrical explosiveness is obvious, the reason heís able to convey his message so effectively is how he presents his rhymes. Busta Rhymes displays an uncanny grasp of rhythm and flow, able to take a simple beat, and rap lyrics around the beat in such a convoluted yet simplistic way, that it gives that full result of ďdamn, this guy knows what the fuck heís talking about.Ē

Beat wise, this album is genius. Youíll get a nice mix of the general rap tropes that happened back in the day; youíve got your jazzy tracks and your subtle bass and sample tracks, but youíve also got some tracks that benefit from a slight infusion of Jamaican Rastafarianism. And Bustaís presentation changes accordingly with the current feel of the beat. Youíre given a collection of tunes thatís ultimately some of the best music to listen to while driving through Brooklyn with your window down and head rocking like youíre from the hood.

Thereís so much good in this album, and itís all because it feels as if Busta Rhymes had too much damn fun composing it. Complete stories (and I mean compete stories, drama, twists and all) are told in their entirety in some tracks, while others play off the Y2K theme of world destruction and reformation. Busta displays the ability to spit lyrics continuously with no sign of flow interruption or even a hint that he had to think before he spoke, something that is somewhat missing in hip hop now-a-days. But ultimately, Busta makes music that pulls you in and doesnít let you go until he done with you, and at that point you donít want him to stop.

So yeah, you should totally go find a copy of this Anarchy. Itís visceral, itís brutal, itís complex, itís incredibly gangster, and overall, itís one of the best things to come out of the last decade. In the immortal words of Busta Bus, buy this album, pop it in/rip it to your MP3 player, and ďsit down and bounce to this shit.Ē

Personal favorite tracks:

Enjoy Da Ride, Fire (Official Music Video), and Get Out (Official Music Video)

TL;DR: In my opinion, one of the greatest albums from one of the greatest rappers of our time. Pick it up and break your neck.


Album: Into the Trees
Artist: ZoŽ Keating
Label: Independent
Released: 2010
Genre: modern classical
*Sub-genres cello, avant-garde, ambient
Sounds like: Classical music mixed with innovative electronic layering.

I should really stop taking my music tastes for granted. I must cease my belligerent cynical non-sense, and accept this fact: music will never become dull. It might be all too obvious to said that Ė and believe me this is the last time youíll hear me saying this-- but I cannot emphasize enough, on how certain records go to my head like a thunderous roar of brilliance.

Pardon my overly romantic induction, but I get very passionate about what I listen to. And ZoŽ Keatingís music is no exception. Once again, the wonders of the Internet have brought me to this talented cello player. Into the Trees is an absolutely delightful mix between classical and experimental music. Everything is put together like puzzle pieces. Each sound, electronic sample, percussion, and cord tapping are marvelously assembled into a symphony. She is in fact, capable of layering everything in a cohesive and minimalist way that would make every ďone-manĒ band burst into envious rage.

Her cello is bold and strong; incredibly uplifting, and precise. Keating is an amazing composer, able to truly capture the essence of her field. She plays her cello with vigor, and as mentioned before; is able to blend everything back into a melodic and sophisticated manner.

The feel of Into the Trees transcends over its classical roots. Some songs sound almost like alternative rock, while others flirt with ambient in the more symphonic pieces. She is also an information architect, which makes her approach music like a true engineer. Just by listening to her songs, you can clearly hear the complexity of her compositions.

I may not have heard a lot of classical music in my days. But, I can safely say that the innovation and shier originality that ZoŽ Keating brings to the table is enough to make me fall in love with her music. She is talented -- dare I say a perfectionist Ė and it totally shines through in Into the Trees.

This album is brilliant.

Personal favorite tracks: Escape Artist, Optimist, The Path . Honestly though, the entire album is fantastic.

TL;DR: She is the ďKaki KingĒ of cello players. Bold and innovative; I think I just had an eargasm.


Album: When this is over
Artist: Shad
Label: Shad
Released: 2005
Genre: Hip-Hop
Sounds like: If Boards of Canada and Talib Kweli had sex.

Itís very refreshing to hear an album like When this is over, and an artist like Shad, for that matter. Weíve all got over our k-os fix a long time ago, and forgot about the Great White Northís potential. So, Iíve decided to pick his first album over the newer ones, (his latest dating back to last year) because like many artists Ė especially in Hip-Hopó earlier albums are the most consistent and inspired. Believe me, his discography is good, but I personally think When this is over is his best one.

The album is the product of a literate old-school Hip-Hop fan. The zeitgeist of the Golden Age transcended in both his lyrics and his beats. Speaking of which, his lyrics are top notch, conscious and intelligent. The Street Life vibe that we usually get from contemporary Hip-Hop albums is absent from this record. Some rappers just ďget itĒ, heís one of Ďem; a slick-rhyming cat settled in London, Ontario.

The Underground is an absolute jewel for hard-knocking rap music. When this is over debunks tenfold my pessimism towards modern Hip-Hop. Once in a while Ė which is becoming more and more frequent these days -- thereís going to be an album that completely wrecks everything in its path, and provide the perfect package. Itís almost too funny to think that Madvillainy came one year prior to it, too. There is mad quality in Hip-Hop nowadays; you just have to look for it.

Shadís flow is excellent, but the real hook of the album is definitely the beats. Highly comparable to Madlibís or even The Pharcyde, the crate digging duty was freaking boss, dare I say, (almost De La Soul-ian). Itís not a terribly funky album, but it takes so much from acoustic and borderline ambient rhythms, that itís actually much more laid back.

When this is over is full of flavor and master lyricism. His most recent album flirts with pop, especially in the beats --possibly because of the higher production quality-- but his lyrics are always on point. If youíre into k-os, Rascalz or Cadence Weapon; I think youíll find something to like in Shad. Canadian rappers always surprises me, and Shad only reaffirms that quality rap can come out of the indie scene without sounding like a club-record, (Iím looking at you Cadence Weapon).

Personal favorite tracks: I Get Down, New School Leaders , Out of Love , Wild

TL;DR: An incredible Hip-Hop record. Intelligent lyricism, hypnotizing beats; independent Hip-Hop never sounded so good.


Album: Treats
Artist: Sleigh Bells
Label: Mom + Pop Recordings / N.E.E.T.
Released: May 11th, 2010
Genre: Noise Pop
*Sub-genres Bad Ass
Sounds like: The most bad ass noises you have ever heard.

I want you to think of the most bad ass music you can think of. Need some more time? Thats fine. ......... Ok, you got it? So what is it? Slayer? Metallica? Black Flag? Well here is your new go to for bad ass music and it is not metal at all. As it turns out the most bad ass album to come out in years is Treats by Sleigh Bells. Yeah you heard right ... this totally bad ass band is called Sleigh Bells.

Sleigh Bells are what is commonly conisdered as "noise pop" which in my brain typically translates as they make a bunch of noise for the sake of making a bunch of noise. This is not the case with this band. While they do create quite a bit of noise, what they're doing dosen't sound messy or unplanned. They are very bass driven with lots of raw guitar licks thrown in. This is just a super fun band guys, I'm super cereal!

One thing that makes these guys so fun is that their songs seemingly aren't really about much at all. For instance one of my favorite songs on the album, Kids, is just about a group of friends spending the day at the beach. Now I usually am one of the first to critisize a song for being shallow and not really about anything of worth. Even though that is my usual stance I do believe that on occasion you just gotta have a meaningless, fun album to just throw on and feel good about. Something you don't really have to think about or pay that much attention to. This is that kind of album.

This is Sleigh Bells first album and I really can't reccomend it enough! I absolutley adored this album and cannot wait to see what this group does next. I see great things in their future. So please, please, please do your ears a favor today and listen to these guys!

Personal favorite tracks: [Editorís Note: Crackity left this blank so letís say his favorites were track..1, 7 andÖI dunnoÖ4.]

TL;DR: Sleigh Bells are bad ass, if you want to be a bad ass listen to Sleigh Bells

-Crackity Jones
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About Stereotoidone of us since 7:53 PM on 03.05.2010