We’ve always received a certain amount of love for our Sessions and other interviews, but there’s always room to expand on creativity. I wanted to tap into a different aspect of interviewing that allowed the subject to be the only voice heard. No need for interference; let them tell their own stories. And I wanted to find room to focus on people (not just artists) that I find influential, brilliant and admirable. On days when I feel like giving up, I watch these people work and feel compelled to keep going. Their drive makes me want to work harder, causing me to rededicated myself to the culture I’ve loved for decades now.
I asked each of them the simple question, “What’s on your iPod? What music is dominating your playlist? Inspiring you? Keeping you charged during a long day’s work? Barring no genre, what are you listening to?” Then, I asked them for a brief few lines on each of their choices. Ultimately, it only helps to diversify everyone’s playlist, perhaps turning you on to certain acts and opening your ears towards a new perspective used for hearing others.
And so we kick shit off with DJ Skee.
Checking his Wikipedia (because it’s always accurate, right?) would gives one all of the actual factuals needed to know that Skee’s official. But interacting with this guy, he’s ten times wiser than any DJ I’ve ever crossed paths with. A couple of weeks ago, he did some guestblogging at XXL and composed some of the most well-written pieces on music and behind the scenes mechanics that I’ve read in a while. The kind the kept a short-attention, click-happy cat like myself focused on reading what he was going to say next. And then there’s the fact that our paths crossed recently for two artists we were both supporting indepently from each other (twice on mixtapes for both Jack Splash and Freddie Gibbs), so I think the guy’s got good taste.
Sidebar: It may be a little known fact but Skee’s a sneakerhead. A real sneakerhead, not one of these “I got money now and I’m gonna buy a collection” sneakerhead. He reminded me of a pair of kicks I sold him ages ago. I want those joints back too, Skee.[audio:http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/crushin-feelins.mp3%5D
Freddie Gibbs – “Crushin’ Feelings”
Real street Hip-Hop is back! Over a sick Statik Selektah instrumental, Gangsta Gibbs goes in. No hook, just straight spittin’. Matter fact, str8 killa, no filla (mixtape coming soon!).[audio:http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/erykah_badu-window_seat.mp3%5D
Erykah Badu – “Window Seat”
Erykah is back and this is just the warmup. Wait until you hear her second single (hasn’t leaked) that features a Sylvia Striplin sample (think Junior Mafia/Biggie “Get Money”). WOW. Grammy time?[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130152_6i9s2/03%20Same%20Kind%20of%20Man%20Final%20Master.mp3%5D
Nikki & Rich – “Same Kind Of Man”
When Lauryn Hill meets the Supremes while hanging out with Alicia Keys listening to Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” this is the outcome. Yes I said it. Do yourself a favor and get up on them (the current single is “Cat & Mouse“).[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130153_5qllj/04%20You%20Don%5C%27t%20Have%20to%20Leave.mp3%5D
Mike Posner – “You Don’t Have To Leave”
Posner is dope, really has his own style and a unique lane. His new mixtape is great, the live show is amazing, and this is just what I happened to be listening to last. Really like his stuff and can’t wait for his true debut album.[audio:http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/it-aint-nothin-btc-intro2_dirty.mp3%5D
Cypress Hill – “It Ain’t Nuthin'”
Just listen to the beat and lyrics, then watch the Skee.TV/Matt Alonzo-directed video. Yes, Cypress is coming back strong in all categories. Seriously dope Hip-Hop, fresh out the box.[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130155_vwbsu/11%20Steady%20Mobbin%5C%27%20%28Featuring%20Gucci%20Mane%29.mp3%5D
Lil Wayne & Gucci Mane – “Steady Mobbin'”
I know its old, but has been stuck in my head non-stop for the past year. Just now really getting the mainstream attention, Gucci spits one of his best verses, and Wayne is just… Wayne. The greatest in Hip-Hop (maybe music?) right now. Yes, I finally admitted it. Hate on.[audio:http://www.snapdrive.net/files/591135/Damian%20Marley%20%26%20Nas%20-%20As%20We%20Enter.mp3%5D
Nas & Damian Marley – “As We Enter”
The concept is dope, both artists are incredible, but for some reason I didn’t really give it a chance. I just finally listened to this today and,wow, I slept. Dope record.[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130154_un1ga/11%20Be%20My%20%232.mp3%5D
R. Kelly & Jack Splash – “Be My #2”
Don’t sleep, R. Kelly has some bangers on his new album (“Echo,” “Crazy Night,” etc.), but this is the jam. Backed behind a Jack Splash Prince-esque sounding beat, Kells goes in on all the non-Elin’s. Tiger should have found this for all his 304’s.[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130151_3t3ib/01%20Hey%20Hey.mp3%5D
Dennis Ferrer – “Hey Hey”
For those Vegas late nights, this is my house song of the moment.[audio:http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/my-type-main-mp3.mp3%5D
Baby Dollz – “My Type”
L.A.s got a couple up and coming pop princesses and this record just hit L.A. radio hard. A guilty pleasure with the sample everyone will know.[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130157_oljgp/David_Banner-Slow_Down_prod_9th_Wonder.mp3%5D
David Banner – “Slow Down”
More true Hip-Hop. The best song I’ve heard in a LONG time. Listen to every detail, vocal cut and a CRAZY 9th wonder beat that is infectious. And the song has a real message behind it. DB/9th Wonder collab album coming soon. Salute Mr. Crump. Please don’t sleep people.[audio:http://www.filefreak.com/files/130164_emnhv/Black%20Chukkas.mp3%5D
Gilbere Forte – “Black Chukkas”
New artist, new music and a Chris Robinson video coming soon. Remember where you heard about it first.