Brookline Stand Up

No Room Service, Just Snacks And Shit
April 20, 2010, 6:36 am
Filed under: Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Loves It

My favorite blog (other than Brookline Stand Up, of course) is called Snacks and Shit. It’s no NPR or anything, but it’s hilarious.

It was started by two comedians from LA who select rap lyrics, examine them and them post their amusing analyses for all to enjoy. They describe the purpose of their blog in the very first post:

“This blog is about rap and hip-hop lyrics that are absolutely absurd, ludicrous, nonsensical, ridiculous, basic, basically stupid, basically bad, basically basic, or preposterous. We also take some lines and examine them literally. In the words of one of our critics, we are “willfully obtuse”. Call it what you want. Hopefully we don’t get capped. You have to understand that we really do love rap and all of these artists that we kid about.”

The best part about this blog is not just that the posts are golden, but that these guys genuinely appreciate rap music. It’s almost as if they are lovingly teasing the likes of Kanye West, Gucci Mane and Jay-Z as if they were old friends.

One of my favorite posts pokes fun at a Dr. Dre line from Jay-Z’s “Watch Me.”

Ahhh love it. Check out more at


Juvenile + Passion Pit = Surprisingly Ferocious
April 16, 2010, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Juvenile, Loves It, The Hood Internet

Looks like Brookline, MA-based alternative group Passion Pit is getting some street cred in the world of hip hop. I mentioned in an earlier post that hip hop group Chiddy Bang sampled from Passion Pit’s “Better Things” for their track “Truth.” Now here’s a sick mash-up of Pit’s “Sleepyhead” and Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up.” I realize that neither of these tracks are actual collaborations, but way to rep for Brookline, Passion Pit.

Check out “Back That Sleepy Head Up” from mash-up duo The Hood Internet below.

Two songs that I dig separately and never would have imagined would sound so brilliant together. Genius. I had never heard of The Hood Internet before my friend sent me this tasty little gem. I was intrigued, so I checked out their page and blog and found that Chicago-based DJ ABX and DJ STV SLV regularly mash up hip-hop and indie tracks. I listened to a few more of their clips, and while “Back That Sleepy Head Up” is still my favorite by far, The Hood Internet is definitely worth an extra listen or two.

Check out The Hood Internet and let me know what you think of ’em. And, for that matter, mash-up artists in general…yay or nay?

Just Sayin’
April 14, 2010, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Damian Marley, Loves It, Nas

I love this collaboration from Damian Marley and Nas. Not only is Nas’ sound a bit more mellow than usual, but Damian Marley’s reggae influence gives the song a really unique, relaxed feel. Enjoy!

“Road to Zion” – Damian Marley feat. Nas

3 Reasons to Love Chiddy Bang
April 12, 2010, 1:52 pm
Filed under: Chiddy Bang, Loves It

I like to think of myself as a music sponge. I am constantly reading about and listening to new artists, taking recommendations from friends and mulling over their tracks as I go for a run, walk to class or ride the T to work. Every once in a while, an artist comes along that is just SO effing good, they are all I can listen to for days or weeks on end. As you can probably guess from the title of this post, my ensemble du jour is Philly-based group Chiddy Bang.

My good friend and fellow hip-hop blogger Frank only just introduced me to this group a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, I won’t pretend to be an expert and will just fill you in on the top 3 reasons for my current obsession.

1. Two words: Fresh. Beats. I feel like I use the term “fresh beats” a lot, and I realize it makes me sound like a tool, but sometimes that’s just the best way to describe an artist’s repertoire. Obviously lyrics and overall sound are important when it comes to evaluating artists, but as long a song’s got a good beat, I dig it. Hell, I even like V.I.C. and Soulja Boy Tell Em’s abominable “Get Silly” simply because it’s so heavy on the bass. But I digress. Chiddy Bang’s unique amalgam of electronica and hip hop goes beyond booming bass. One of my favorite beats of theirs pairs tight snare with a sample from reggae group Desmond Dekker & the Ace’s “Israelites.” Check out Chiddy Bang’s “Get Up In The Morning” below.

2. Speaking of sampling… This statistic is in no way based on any actual research, but I would guesstimate that 95% of rappers and hip hop groups have sampled from other songs at some point in their careers. Some do it more than others (ahem, KANYE) and some just flat out can’t pull it off. Chiddy Bang does a masterful job of not only incorporating other artists’ music into their tracks, but selecting groups from outside the hip hop/R&B/soul categories. Their first and probably most well-known single, “Opposite of Adults” expands upon MGMT’s “Kids” but their best, in my opinion, samples from Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” Check out my favorite Chiddy Bang track “Because” below.

Chiddy Bang also collaborates with Passion Pit on “Truth” (another personal favorite of mine) and The Roots’ Black Thought on “Slow Down.”

3.  They’re just a couple of youngin’s. If you’ve been reading/listening to everything in this blog post thus far, you have undoubtedly realized the powerful talent this group brings to the hip hop genre. Now get ready for me to drop a bomb…they are FRESHMEN IN COLLEGE. That’s right. Frontman Chidera Anamege and DJ Xaphoon Jones’ EP The Swelly Express documents their journey as two Drexel University freshmen who were discovered by “the industry” after performing at a couple of parties. Go back and listen to them again, this time keeping in mind that these guys are 18-19 years old. If they’re this awesome already, imagine where they’ll be in a couple of years.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think of them so far – are you feeling Chiddy Bang or no?

The Sky Might Fall, But I’m Not Worried At All
March 24, 2010, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Concerts, Kid Cudi, Loves It

Next night, next concert. My love for Kid Cudi has slowly developed since I lived in Paris last Spring and got down to Crooker’s Remix of his hit “Day N’ Nite” at least once a night.  It’s undeniable that it’s a great party song, but I had some initial doubts over whether Cudi had any relevance outside the nightclub.

As I started to gather and listen to more and more of his work, I began to realize that “Day N’ Nite” was just the tip of the Cudi iceberg. His repertoire runs the gamut from mellow and pensive (like “Man On The Moon”) to bumpin’ hip hop (like  “Already Home” with Jay-Z).  He even worked with electronic rock bands MGMT and Ratatat on his eclectic single “Pursuit of Happiness”.

I was very curious to see what Kid Cudi’s unique and versatile sound would be like live. Would I feel like I was at a rap concert? A techno concert? An R&B concert? I still couldn’t tell you what genre the show most resembled, but whatever it was, it worked.

First off, the venue. The House of Blues was the perfect style for Kid Cudi. Just the right size for there to be a ton of people with a lot of energy, but not so big that you don’t feel like you’re actually at the concert if you have shitty seats (trust me, I’ve been there one too many times.) Though as you can see from my pictures and videos, I had a sick view…sorry, had to brag just for a sec.

But more importantly, the Kid. He started off with a high energy excerpt from “Already Home”, the track off of Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 that I mentioned earlier. (Oh and that is definitely not me squealing in the background in the tail end of that video…definitely not…) He proceeded with a set list that included “Daps & Pounds,” “Day N’ Nite,” “I Poke Her Face,” “Man On The Moon,” “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Up And Away,” “Sky Might Fall,” and “Pursuit of Happiness” (not in that order.) Bummed that he didn’t perform my all time favorite “T.G.I.F.”, but I definitely got some new Cudi favorites out of the deal.

I touched upon this in my review of Sam Adams, but I’ll say it again anyways, seeing an artist live can really make or break your fanhood. I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of Lil Wayne until I saw him once in concert three years ago, and look where that got me. That being said, I am now just short of addicted to Kid Cudi. Several times throughout the concert, the DJ would stop and Cudi would take to the microphone solo. Not only is that a bold move when you’ve been running around breathless on stage, but it really highlighted the richness of his voice and the musicality of his lyrics. I think that kind of stuff gets lost in recordings.

Below I’ve posted videos of two of my favorite performances of the night:

“Sky Might Fall”

“Soundtrack 2 My Life”

I also LOVED his performance of “Pursuit of Happiness” but I sacrificed taking a video of it so that my friend could hear her favorite Cudi song live via phone. Gotta love technology. But anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert in all (if you haven’t picked up on that already) and will definitely continue to explore Kid Cudi’s collection.

If you are a Kid Cudi aficionado, please share your favorite tracks with me either here, via email ( or on Twitter (@aedubois). I need all the recommendations I can get!

Thank God For Jurassic 5 and Free WiFi
March 14, 2010, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Jurassic 5, Loves It | Tags: ,

One Thanksgiving I was en route to North Carolina when I got stranded at Dulles Airport right outside DC. I remember thinking to myself right around hour 3 of trying to get booked on another flight, “The last airport I’d want to be stranded in is Dulles.”

I’d like to revise that previous statement. I am currently trying to get back to Boston after spending my spring break at home in Rochester, NY and am stranded in the Rochester International Airport. By the way, International = Canada. And even though I’m not technically “stranded”…more like they’ve delayed my flight in 10 minute increments about 4 times, this is without question the worst place to be stuck. There are two terminals, a McDonald’s, a Subway and a Hudson News. Needless to say, I’ve been spending some quality time with my iPod.

Thanks to me and my brother’s long-held tradition of trading newly acquired music every time we’re both home, I’ve fallen in love with Jurassic 5 while I rot away here at gate A11.

This alternative hip hop group is probably best known for their singles “What’s Golden” and “Work It Out” (a collaboration with Dave Matthews that has an almost smooth-jazz-like feel.) J5’s brilliant blend of modernity and 70’s soul samples reminds me at times of a less-cheesy Sugarhill Gang, but when it comes down to it this group is a unique force of its own. At the risk of sounding cliche, their beats are always fresh, their rhymes tight, and I have yet to find a Jurassic 5 song I don’t like.

As far as my recently expanded Jurassic 5 collection, I have their most recent album, Feedback (2006), in its entirety, and a couple of songs from Pre-Historik Rarities (2003) and Power In Numbers (2002), so my suggestions below are based on that. As always, if you think I’ve skipped over any noteworthy J5 tracks, let me know.

Below is the song “Radio” from their album Feedback, which I happen to be slightly dancing to in my seat right now as it plays over my headphones. If only it were socially acceptable to start a dance party in an airport. This sorry group of travelers needs to liven up.

And that handy dandy video has the lyrics too! Well there ya go. Here are some more suggestions for those of you that are just discovering J5. For all of you experts out there, please feel free to contribute!


Ode To Weezy F.
March 12, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: Lil Wayne, Loves It | Tags: ,

Before I blog any further, I just need to clear something up. I love Lil Wayne. I know, I know, his lyrics can be questionable at times and his voice sounds a little bit like a constipated baby, but I just cannot get enough of his music. That probably sounds like it’s supposed to be sarcastic, but I really mean it.

And I have every reason to hate him, too. A couple of years ago I paid out the ass for tickets to see him and Jay-Z co-headline a concert at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston (awesome, right?) Well, apparently Weezy was packing heat and refused to pass through the stadium’s metal detectors. Although tickets to a Jay-Z concert are NEVER a waste of money and Hov completely killed it, I was very disappointed that Weezy didn’t deem his fans important enough to leave his gats on the tour bus. I went through a short phase after that where I told everyone he and I were in a fight, but we never really broke up. Within a couple weeks I had his songs back on my workout playlist and everything was peachy keen.

I mean, come on. How can you not love a guy who has about 4 baby mommas and got his prison sentencing delayed because he needed eight hour surgery on his GRILL?? And while many would argue the opposite, I kind of love the fact that Lil Wayne has collaborated with everyone and their mom in the music industry. Obviously he’s had a few misses (I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I think about the “rock” album he released) but the fact that he is constantly spewing out hits with the hottest artists in the business means that I always have new Wayne to listen to. I mean, I’ve listened to Britney Spears’ Circus about 800 times…it’s time for some new music, girlfriend. I never have that problem with Weezy.

I even have some Weezy on my iPod that I’ve never heard before. Okay, to be fair, I typed “Lil Wayne” into my iTunes Library and 249 tracks came up (not unhealthy guys….not unhealthy) but I’m trying to prove a point here. A couple weeks ago I had my iPod on shuffle during my insanely boring commute from my internship in downtown Boston and discovered this tasty little collaboration from Weezy, Fabolous and Juelz Santana:

You Ain’t Got Nuthin’ – Lil Wayne feat. Fabolous & Juelz Santana

(Weezy verse starts at about 3:20)

This video’s sound quality doesn’t do the song justice (the bass in particular) so I highly suggest you download it if you don’t have it already. But anyways, to sum up, in a completely non-sarcastic fashion: love that Weezy is a collabo-whore, love the constipated baby voice, love Weezy. I promise for all you haters out there that I won’t write about him too much but just thought I’d put it out there.

What do you think of Lil Wayne? Yay, nay or aight?