Oliver Wang from Soul-Sides join A Martinez in the studio for Take Two's weekly new music installment - Tuesday Reviewsday.
Below are their picks for what you should be listening to.
Artist: Joe Young ft. Method Man
Album: Invincible Armour
Song: Crack Babies
Joe Young, a German rapper who was basically taken under the Wu-Tang wing and embrace as a new member. His recent album, Invincible Armour doubles as a Wu reunion LP since it has veterans such as Raekwon, Cappadonna and - from the grave - Ol Dirty Bastard participating and that track, “Crack Babies” is vintage Method Man.
It’s not RZA on the track…but it sounds pretty close thanks to the work of producer Dame Grease.
Artist: El Michels Affair
Album: Return to the 37th Chamber
Song: Shaolin Brew
File this under the never-ending cycle of musical life but El Michels Affair is a group out of Brooklyn known for creating the kind of dramatic, soulful tracks that you might have heard Wu Tang sample back in the day, only they took it one step further by releasing a series of singles and albums that are basically them creating instrumental versions of Wu Tang songs.
On this latest effort, they have covers of every thing from GZA’s 4th Chamber to Raekwon, Ghostface and Nas’s “Verbal Intercourse” but I loved that they included “Shaolin Brew,” which is a cover of, true story, a St. Ides malt liquor commercial WuTang cut back in the early ‘90s.
Artist: Black Sheep Dres
Dres, one half of the hip-hop group, Black Sheep, has steadily been trying to work his way back into the conversation after what felt like decades out of the loop. What’s interesting to me is how these days, the hip-hop landscape is so vast that there is a niche for a rapper like Dres to still stay in the mix…I’m not sure that would have been the case, say, 10-15 years ago.
Artist: James Brown
Album: In a Jungle Groove
Song: Give It Up or Turn It Loose
This past weekend, we lost two giants of funk music: Junie Morrison of Ohio Players and drummer Clyde Stubblefield, aka the original funky drummer.
Stubblefield has been described as the most sampled musician in history but he earned next to nothing because, as the drummer, he doesn’t get publishing credit. That said, I think anyone who knows about the important of James Brown has always recognized how vital his corp of drummers, especially Clyde Stubblefield, were to his revolutions in rhythm.