You can put a cat in an oven, but that don't make it a biscuit – Sidney Deane


Mixtape Monday: Childish Gambino’s “Royalty”, Terry Urban ft. Nas x Amy Winehouse + Chi Duly x The Weeknd

I was out of town all weekend and still adjusting to life back at work so I haven’t been up on enough new music to share any specific jams. But it’s been too long since my last post, so here’s a couple of mixtapes I’ll be paying closer attention to over the next week that I think you might find appealing as well.

Donald finally released his latest mixtape effort on the 4th (I think) after weeks of leaks. Definitely looking forward to diving into this one to uncover what’s been running through Mr. Glover’s mind. Good thing I have a 45 minute commute to and from work….

Childish Gambino – ROYALTY

Terry Urrrrrrrban has created what I can only assume to be another masterpiece, as I have yet to get into it. But the thought of Nas’ lyricism over some Amy Winehouse melodies has got me pretty excited. I have a feeling this will be one of those tapes that just doesn’t get old. Just press play and let it ride.

Terry Urban – Me & Mr. Jones

Chi Duly gives The Weeknd a little bit of a kick with this next one. It’s been out for a minute but I just came up on it, so in case you haven’t yet…

Chi Duly x The Weeknd – Balloons of Haus


Soft-Ass Sunday: Josh Jakq, Ellie Goulding, The XX, Dean Blunt + Lemonade

This post is all about that baby-wipe-soft music that makes you feel like a real man. I mean, you have to be pretty secure with yourself (or just really soft) to rock out to this shit. No but for real, don’t throw these songs on with your dudes around. As a matter of fact, it’s nothing to “rock out” to at all. Just something serene to keep the peace in private. In fact, I’m indoors on a beautiful day, alone making mac n cheese right now and it’s just perfect.

I really like this dude’s voice, and the accent works too,  but boy does he need to do something about that look of his. Musically, the simple drum and echo combo in this one is literally hypnotizing.

Josh Jakq – See You Later

Ellie does her best impression of The Weeknd with the cover of his break out jam “High For This”. Ellie really can’t fuck with the original vocals, and the mood of the beat is way too light in this one, but I’m still diggin it.

Ellie Goulding – High For This

Now this one is on some Weeknd type vibes. Gil Scott Heron comes to mind as well. I spent a minute trying to look into this Hype Williams (?) product and what this Narcissist II project is all about, but only a minute, so I’m still kinda confused. Regardless, the aura built in this song is kinda/super intense. I like that. That’s why it was really sad to see the Celtics exit from the playoffs and, ultimately, the end of KG in Boston. Man, would I love to see him in red. Sorry if you felt that was random. Just a natural stream of thought.

Dean Blunt – The Narcissist ft Inga Copeland

This is another one where the beat just takes me to a peaceful place. The vocals aren’t bad either.

Lemonade – Neptune

Haven’t really come across anything from The XX in a while but this one really caught my ear. Nice little kick Bruno (I’m assuming that’s his name, unfortunately for him) added to this mellow jam. Good vibes.

The XX – Infinity (Bruno Be Remix)

Terry Urban – Born Ready To Die (Notorious B.I.G. vs Lana Del Rey)

Download Terry Urban – Born Ready to Die (Notorious B.I.G. vs Lana Del Rey)

Oooooh Weee! I’m loving this shit right here. If you’re like me, maybe your taste in hip hop music has gotten slightly more sophisticated since high school. What once got me hype as hell (Archie and J Kwon anyone?) no longer strikes that same chord. Maybe I’m just more lame tame. But in any event, the overemphasized bass and snare is getting way too old. But the wordplay still hits harder than ever, especially since I listen to more lyrical shit these days. And when a mixtape like this comes along that emphasizes that slick wordplay from one of the greatest ever? You know I gotta put my people on.
Alongside Mick Boogie, Terry Urban is the best to put together mash-up mixtapes. Just like previous masterpieces (RE-Living Thing ft Peter Bjorn & John  , 1988 ft Adele and Viva La Hova ft Jay-Z & Coldplay) Terry employs some of the most innovative up and coming producers to chop up the beautiful sounds of Lana Del Ray as the backdrop to the impeccable lyricism from an all time great. Check out my favorite joints off this amazing Biggie/Lana combo.

(click to download @ hulkshare)

FTW ft Method Man (prod. by Terry Urban)….Don’t be fooled by the Lana samples, this is still the hardest shit I’ve heard in a minute

Crack Paradise (prod. by Judah)

Wrong Game (prod. by nVMe)

(new) Music Please!: B.o.B., Usher & Diplo, Kid Cudi, G-Eazy, K’naan ft Nas + Santigold

I know, I know. I’ve been slacking again. This time it’s not just because I’m sulking in a sea of laziness, at least I don’t think….Although, now that I do think about it, I have been kinda depressed lately. And after a week without any physical activity, I’ve now worked out two days in a row, which has always lead to improved mood and greater motivation…fuck it, I don’t feel like analyzing my psyche right now….

The reason (I thought) I haven’t been up on the new music tip lately is because I’ve been without my Beats By Dre. Now that I think about it, this may also be a contributing factor to my depressed state. Fuck, I seriously think I have writer’s A.D.H.D. Back to my point; music isn’t even enjoyable without my Beats anymore. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but still, It’s pretty sad. I sound like a fucking snob, I know this,  but that’s what happens when you’re introduced to something significantly better than the alternatives. Like my smart phone, for instance; I never had one up until about 4 months ago, and I was perfectly content with the device that did what it was supposed to do, which is make phone calls and send text messages. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without my smart phone.

Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t been introduced to some things (this does NOT include my Beats). In terms of society as a whole, there’s so much that we don’t really need at all, until we get it, and then can’t imagine living without. Technology, for example, makes life extremely convenient and simple. But doesn’t it also have significant negative effects in that we’ve become completely complacent to the fact that we now rely on it to do EVERYTHING for us? And in turn, does it not make us terribly lazy as human beings? Like that Siri shit. People are going crazy for shit like this.

My point is…well I don’t really know if I have one. It’s just something to think about, I guess. Because there was a time when people lived simple lives. They didn’t need millions of dollars to buy anything and everything they could get their hands on, and they were perfectly happy. Maybe even more happy than people today. I mean, kids are doing fucking heroin and shit in high school now to get away from it all. That is, if they’re not shooting the place up before taking their own lives. Shit’s fucked up. I won’t even get into the irony of that last example, as drugs are comparable to that feeling of finding something one might not want to live without once they’re introduced. Well, I guess I did just get into it kinda…

One more message to the kids, which goes along with the theme for today: ALWAYS wrap it up.

B.o.B. – So Good

Usher – Climax (prod. by Diplo)

Kid Cudi – Dose of Dopeness

G-Eazy – Marilyn (ft. Dominique LeJeune)

K’naan – Nothing to Lose (ft. Nas)

Santigold – Disparate Youth

Best of….The Funk’s 2nd Half of 2011: Top 25 Favorites

Well, 2011 is about to come to a close and I just wouldn’t feel right without throwing up some kind of list of my favorite discoveries. I feel like I’ve been avoiding an end of year post like this mainly because the daunting task of narrowing down the multitude of songs I’ve come across into a list of my top 25 makes me anxious as hell. You know like before you write a paper in college, and you have no outline, no main points, and literally no idea where to start? Yea that’s the feeling. Shit, once I sit my ass down, throw on my Beats and just start listening, the next 3 hours or so it takes to write something up really does fly by. Anyway, I’ve made a lot of positive changes this year, most notably assembling, and writing on, the Funk.

As I’ve indicated in the past, I’ve always enjoyed sharing music with people. Putting people onto new shit that makes them happy and the thanks I get for doing so, in return, makes me happy. More important than the recognition though, this blog has allowed me to share some of my opinions, feelings and frustrations about a range of topics. These not limited to just music and sports, but including political and social ethos, as well. And for this, I thank you. Ideally, I would love to open everyone’s mind to another way of thinking, or at least help them look at things from another perspective. But selfishly speaking, I’ve already put myself in a better place just by revealing these thoughts and freeing up some tension in my ever congested mind. If I said it then I meant it.

In essence, the Funk is an extension of myself. I’ve had some highs and lows this year. There’s been stretches of constant positive output, followed by intervals of negative energy. Motivation was oftentimes apparent, but apathy was never able to be fully shook. One minute everything is clear as day, only for the next to be more confusing than ever. What has always been evident throughout though is the music that accompanies these times. Music will (should) always be a medium for honest expression. And that’s what the Funk is all about. Next year is about figuring out, and then cutting out the waste.

Check out my favorite songs from the second half of the 2011 and search for “Best of the Funk” for the others from the first half.

25. ASAP Rocky – Palace (prod. by Clams Casino)

24. The Weeknd – Trust Issues

23. Chip Tha Ripper – Great Time

22. J. Cole – Nobody’s Perfect (ft. Missy Eliot)

21. Raveonettes – Apparitions

20. Lil Wayne – She Will (ft. Drake)

19. ASAP Rocky – Trilla (ft ASAP Crew)

18. Azealia Banks – 212

17. Julian Moore – October 20th

16. Jay Z & Kanye West – Murder To Excellence

15. Common – Ghetto Dreams (ft. Nas)

14. Trae Tha Truth – I’m On (ft. Lupe Fiasco, Big Boi, Wale, Wiz Khalifa & MDMA)

13. The Roots – Stomp (ft. Greg Porn)

12. Jay Z & Kanye West – No Church In The Wild (ft. Frank Ocean)

11. J. Cole – Can’t Get Enough (ft. Trey Songz)

10. Mike Posner – Marauder Music (ft. Blackbear)

9. Wale – Focused (ft. Kid Cudi)

8. The Weeknd – The Birds Pt. 1

7. The Roots – The OtherSide (ft. Bilal Oliver & Greg Porn)

6. Childish Gambino – Heartbeat

5. OnCue – Can’t Wait

4. Cocaine 80’s – To Tell You The Truth

3. Big K.R.I.T. – Money On The Floor (ft. 2 Chainz, 8ball & MJG)

2. Drake – Crew Love (ft. The Weeknd)

1. Common – Blue Sky

Mashup Monday: “Black and white music?! Now nigga that’s a mix-tape”

First of all, let me say this; rappers need to do something with the N word. Seriously, I want to be able to write/sing lyrics to songs and not feel the need to censor myself from what is almost definitely the most used word in the hip hop vernacular. Now, if they don’t want to get rid of it altogether then at least make some sort of declaration that it’s okay for a white dude like me to repeat the word when referring to lyrics. I know Chris Rock already told me its okay, but I’d prefer a representative from the hip hop community set the record straight so I don’t feel awkward.

Anyway, that Childish Gambino line from “Bonfire” ironically makes sense of why I like mashups. I really don’t like putting labels on things, especially labels like “white” & “black” to distinguish what each perspective race listens to. But in very general terms, up until this point, most people would call rap/R&B music “black” and rock/indie/alternative/electro as “white.” So in those very general (not to mention extremely stereotypical while completely ignoring all other races) terms, that Gambino line reminds me of the way most of my favorite mashups seamlessly combine the aspects I love from both “black” and “white” music into perfect harmony. The promising thing to think about is how in 20 years or so that Gambino line wouldn’t even make sense. We’re well on our way to creating a beautiful blend that supersedes all labels. This is why music will save the world, btw.

This one features the aforementioned lyrics from Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire” over the beat, and with the hook, for T.I.’s “Bottle Poppin”. I’m not a big fan of the “Bonfire” joint, mainly because the beat is wack. T.I.’s beat on the other hand? Dope. So it was nice to get a fresh perspective of Gambino’s lyrics over music I can stand to listen to. In an unrelated observations, Donald’s verses kinda make T.I.’s version seem a little lazy, imo.

DJ 21azy – Make That Fire Go Pop (Childish Gambino // T.I.) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

This one comes from same dude above, DJ 21azy. I’m pretty sure that’s pronounced “too lazy” but I’m not sure. It’s definitely written as the number 21, but I think he’s just being clever. I like it. And with this next one, not only does he continue batting 1.000 but he provides a great example of that whole white/black thing I was rambling about earlier.

DJ 21azy – Can I Get Those Colours (Notorious B.I.G. & Skizzy Mars // Grouplove & Xaphoon Jones) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

I don’t know how I can still stand to listen to these vocals, but it’s a problem similar to the way I’d start vibe-ing HARD if “Turn my Swag on” ever came on in the club/at a party…smh. This definitely has not happened enough since I left college. I really need to hit a dance floor again soon!

Waka Flocka // Alesso & Sebastian Ingrosso – Hands Free Calling (DJ Spryte & Benzi Edit) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

I don’t know that I even really like the Zeds Dead part of this song. Well, I guess they mixed the whole thing, so that doesn’t make sense. To be more specific, I don’t like the hardcore dubstep vibration part at the 1:20 mark. I guess I’m just not a big fan of dubstep? I don’t get it. Because I like some light, simple dubstep sounds. But sometimes that noise just sounds like…horrible noise. Seriously, they always have so much good going for them. Why do they always have to fuck it up with that crazy noise? The beginning? Perfect. Why not just keep it at that? Btw, I am actually a big fan of that Blue Foundation song “ Eyes on Fire.” Shout out L Boogie for putting me on.

Zeds Dead – Eyes on Fire // Jackie Boy (Zeds Dead VIP Remix ft Omar Linx) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

Omar Linx ft Blue Foundation – Jackie Boy (prod. Zeds Dead)
(right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

I threw this one in just for the hell of it. Definitely fits the theme of the day. Unfortunately, classic rock is not my favorite “white” music, but I can dig it.

KO – Classic Rock vs Dirty Hip Hop (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare

Drake – Crew Love (ft. The Weeknd)

If you haven’t heard by now, Take Care leaked….I did come across this one individually at GMAD or HHU though and I think I’m going to hold off on listening to the rest until the official release. I’m starting to look at downloading music in a little bit of a different light. I mean, most of the rap/hip hop music I come across is purposely leaked to the internet for free, so that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the full length studio albums that I feel guilty about. I’m not gonna pretend like I never do it anymore, but for artists I respect and know are going to put out something of quality? Gotta support ’em and pay up, even if the label reaps the most benefit.

But back to this song, I’m really glad Drake went with a “The Weeknd” type of song instead of taking dude out of his element and trying to throw him on some YMCMB garbage. I still have questions about this “The Weeknd” fellow. Does he have a producer with him? Does he produce all his shit himself? Does he realize how annoying it is to have to use “The Weeknd” as a proper noun over and over? Regardless, I love this sound, and really like this song. Reminds me of something off his first project, House of Balloons. I hope The Weeknd can fight off the mainstream makeover, because it’s coming. Very soon.

(MP3): Drake – Crew Love (ft. The Weeknd) (right click, “save as” to dl)