Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I don't know shit about hip-hop.....

So, its time for a confession. As the title of this post suggests.....I don't know shit about hip-hop. Its true. I realize this might be quite a shocker to most of you, but I've never been a big hip-hop person. So, this past week or so, when some "new" hip-hop fell into my lap, I didn't know what to think of it.

RadioKGB was recently asked to check out some music by a rapper who calls himself K'naan. We were asked to give it a listen and then post what we thought about it, as well as list some info on the guy. Sounded like a great idea to me, but here's the deal.....as I mentioned earlier, I don't know shit about hip-hop. I don't know what is considered good, bad, or even tolerable hip-hop. So, to combat this problem, I figured I'd just give the songs a listen, then post them and let you (who is likely much more knowledgeable than I) tell me what you think.

Identity crisis: Is he a rastafarian or a rapper.....or both?!?!?!

K'naan is a dude from Somalia, that left the war-torn country and now calls Toronto his home (quite a culture shock if you ask me). He just finished up a US tour with Stephen Marley and is planning on dropping his first album here in the US later this summer. I, currently, have access to two live cuts of his songs. But, to be quite honest, what I'm hearing actually sounds a little more reggae to my untrained ears than it does hip-hop. But iTunes is definitely telling me the guy's a rapper. WHO DO I BELIEVE!?!?!?

So, what I'd like to do is post these songs and let you give them a listen. Then, give me your opinions down in the comment section. So, here are the songs....The first, Be Free, is my favorite of the two. But I really like the drumming in the second one.....so, i don't know, just let me know what you think.

K'naan - Be Free
K'naan - In the Beginning

And while we're at it....reggae and hip-hop are both genre's which I currently know nothing about. So, if you've got some suggestions of bands or artists I should check out to jumpstart my listening, please let me know. I'm interested in giving both of these a try. And please, give suggestions other than Bob Marley and The Roots. I've got those, but I'm looking for something else. Thanks everyone.



gerdon said...

Yeah, its not too bad. I wouldn't call it hip-hop, but I wouldn't really call it reggae either...maybe some other kind of world music? It reminds me a little of Michael Franti and Spearhead. Some other good reggae or whatever you want to call it might be Femi Kuti, Peter Tosh, Steel Pulse, or Burning Spear. They're all pretty sweet. I've seen Spearhead, Kuti, and Burning Spear all at Bonnaroo. Man, puts me in the mood for some reggae.

ryan said...

If it puts you in the mood for some reggae....I'd go ahead and call it reggae:)

But thanks for the suggestions. I've heard Franti, and I heard Kuti at Bonnaroo also (its possible the heat affected that opinion). i'll give the others a check. I'm really looking forward to checking out reggae AND hiphop.

PS....are all the people you suggested reggae, or are any what you would consider hiphop as well?

Thanks Gerdon.

gerdon said...

Alright, just because it puts me in the mood for reggae, doesn't mean it is reggae. I'm no reggae historian, but I thought it had something to do with Rastafarianism.

Personally, I wouldn't call any of the people I suggested hip hop, but I guess I have a skewed/uninformed view on hip hop. I always thought hip/hop was related to dancing, rap, and a sort of scat singing.

PS - it probably wasn't the heat affecting your opinion...

ryan said...

No, no, no.....i didnt' mean that it a bad way....i was just curious, i don't know any of the people you were suggesting, that's all. Didn't mean to sound like a smartass.

I'm just really am interested in checking out both of those types of genres and I know nothing about what is involved with both. I didn't mean to shortsight your suggestions. I would just also like to find some hiphop artists. that's all.

gerdon said...

Alright smart ass, why don't you back up.

No, I didn't take it like that...well, maybe, but don't worry about it. You are a punk little smart ass. You sir, have a reputation!

I don't have much room to talk in terms of hip hop or really about reggae either. Bryan is more of an expert on Marley at least, so he might have some insight. Hip hop, I'm in the freakin dark.


Brandon said...

I thought I'd add something to this one, although I too am no expert on these subjects.

I can't add much to the reggae, because unfortunately I think a lot of it is crap. Dance hall is the absolute worst. I only listen to three reggae artists and they are Marley, Burning Spear, and Steel Pulse. I do love these artists though and they are always in the rotation.

As for hip-hop, other than the Roots, I like some of the work of the following artists: Common, Talib Kweli, Count Bass D, Crown City Rockers, Jurassic 5, Nas, People Under the Stairs, Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Granted I don't like everything these artists produce, I like enough to keep on listening.

My favorite album is probably "Reflection Eternal" by Reflection Eternal, which was Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek. Again I don't like every track, but there are plenty of solid tracks.