Listen Here – Spotify
“A playlist of tracks that were featured on MattsMusicMine.com from the week of January 10th – 16th. From Reviews to Streams, never miss a track with these playlists that are uploaded every single Sunday till I drop dead.”
Featuring: Skull Cult, Snail’s House, GROUSE, Antonello D’Orazio, Armand Hammer, The Alchemist, Blueprint, Bob Dylan, Funeral Mist, Soup, Discordance Axis, Fracture, Kanye West, Nas, Blu, Enjoy, Noise Trail Immersion, Earl Sweatshirt, Zelooperz
Track List: Braindead, Who Are You, SUPERGIRL, Rank Outsider, Robert Moses, God’s Feet, Drown, Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, Gates Of Eden, Deiform, Kingdom Of Color, Vacuum Sleeve, Biscotti, Heaven And Hell, Meet Joe Black, Wu For The Children, People Call Me Blu(e), Lounge Thoughts, Demmiurgo Del Non Ritorno, Vision
Listen Here – Soundcloud
Probably My Favorite Track To Recent Memory
Not many rappers in 2022 need no introduction, but Nas has been materialized in the rap history books not only for having one of the greatest debut records with Illmatic but for being able to spawn an unlikely career revival after seeming to be dormant for well over a decade.
His King’s Disease series formed over that revival and started like defibrillators to the ears of hip-hop fans where old school and new school could live in harmony. The production work from Hit-Boy becomes this Batman and Robin way of hip-hop motion picture work on Magic, a nine-track record that just barely misses the 30-minute mark.
Opening with “Speechless,” Nas has aged like a fine but articulate poet that finds a sparkle underneath Magic. “Speechless” is a sluggish, but solid affirmation where Nas is rekindling some of that prowess with each verse.
He illustrates, “I’m 21 years past the 27 club, it’s like I went back into my past, and then I sped it up. Robert Johnson, Winehouse, and Morrison found where Heaven was. Heaven on earth, this shit is magic with no fairy dust.”
While being able to admit to the clock continuing to spin for Nas, he carries on with “Speechless” as the beat becomes open like a ribcage on the hook/chorus. He illustrates, “Dope dealers, street hustlers, pop cases. Throw dice on pavement, cop chases. Big gamblers, skullies, hide faces. Gang wars, hot spots, police raid it. Left ‘em speechless, left ‘em speechless.”
The following track “Meet Joe Black” sounds more similar to what the mid-90s brought audiences through this boom-bap snap while samples of boxing bells ring the ears. Nas becomes quicker to wordplay and switches his flow, especially on the hook where he runs in triplets.
He illustrates on the hook, “Run me the keys, run me the B’s, run me that flow back. Your top three, I’m not number one, how could you post that? I wear the crown, the city is mine, you cannot hold that.” He finishes the hook by shouting nearly, “I’m not the one to go at, you fuck around meet Joe Black,” before a gunshot rings the ears similar to the way the boxing bell dings.
Later pieces, “Wu For The Children” is a trip down memory lane where Nas takes Hit-Boy on this bar for bar recreation of a summer barbecue in the city nights. Where lights are all around, Nas seems to stand far from the grill and instead reminiscences in this nearly somber, but thankful tone.
Especially with lines that describe, “ Tallest buildin’ in Manhattan, sippin’ on Manhattan’s. Listen to The Manhattan’s, Queens to Brooklyn, oh what a feelin’. I shoulda had Grammy’s when Ol Dirty said “Wu for the children.” He later goes on to focus more on the missteps of a career, but also the monuments of valor too.
He says, “Shoulda did that remix verse on ‘Gimme The loot’ for Biggie. Me, Jay, and Frank White is like Cole, Drizzy, and Kenny.” It is touching and one of the most emotionally drawing moments for Magic.
As a whole, the record comes like an appetizer for King’s Disease 3 but also spends enough time as a standard to return to. Having the gull of a primarily solo record for Nas, he works best under shorter run times of collections tied together over one centralized theme; control.
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Produced By: Exile
Scratches By: Exile
Animation By: Quelle Chris
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Once a year this fondness and endearment spawns particularly for Bob Dylan, and more specifically the half-electric, half-acoustic playstyles of his mid-60s records. From Blonde On Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited, or more importantly, the first of the electric beginnings, Bringing It All Back Home.
Released in 1965, Bringing It All Back Home is this beautiful articulation between being a stream of consciousness-based writing from Dylan and is a complete step away from his folk origins. While this split the lines on his previous fans and new fans alike, Dylan becomes a visionary to sound here and over 11 tracks are compelling even nearly 60 years later.
Opening with “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Dylan bases most of Bringing It All Back Home around these grooves of folk that introduce electric guitar and keys. While Dylan covers the acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica, keyboards, and quite obviously vocals, he also recruits a plethora of instrumentalists to orchestrate in this marching army.
Musicians like Steve Boone on the bass guitar and Bobby Gregg on the percussion. Alongside follows Paul Griffin on the pianos with Frank Owens. Layering comes from John P. Hammond and Bruce Langhorne who also assist on guitars.
Moments where these other instrumentalists shine through come from the first seconds on “Subterranean Homesick Blues” where a triumphant display resembles what sounds like a jamboree where every element both traces Dylan and also is able to live within their own merit.
Dylan, who is more outward and experimental in his lyrical themes here is a key component to why Bringing It All Back Home is so drastically different than his previous work. Pieces like “Outlaw Blues” where Dylan features this rumbling instrumental of strumming guitars and stomping percussion.
Dylan describes, “Ain’t it hard to stumble and land in some funny lagoon? Ain’t it hard to stumble and land in some muddy lagoon? Especially when it’s nine below zero and three o’clock in the afternoon.” As the second verse enters, Dylan ramps the instrumental with these break sections that bridge each piece together. The instrumental will cut as he says the last line of the verse.
He pushes on to illustrate, “Ain’t gonna hang no picture, ain’t gonna hang no picture frame. Ain’t gonna hang no picture, or hang no picture frame. Well, I might look like Robert Ford, but I feel just like a’ Jesse James.”
Other pieces like “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” are a comedic take on the adventure to America from colonists and pilgrims. He illustrates, “I was riding on the Mayflower when I thought I spied some land. I yelled for Captain Arab I have you understand. Who came running to the deck, said, ‘Boys, forget the whale. Look on over yonder.’”
This track in particular is where Dylan starts to lose consciousness of reality and decides to start to dig his heels into the strange and almost ambiguous style of writing. Most of “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” can be dissected by each verse as Dylan packs so much writing into one track.
One final look into the mirrored gaze comes in “Gates Of Eden” where the entirely acoustic playing from Dylan is one of the last instrumentals heard by the audience. Not entirely complex, but the writing is more of a descriptive storybook that turns pages like verse.
Dylan describes, “Of war and peace, the truth just twists. It’s curfew gull it glides upon four-legged forest clouds, the cowboy angel rides.”
Like one last desperado tale before the whiskey is finished, Dylan continues on “With his candle lit into the sun though its glow is waxed in black. All except when ‘neath the trees of Eden.”
One line in particular sticks out through each listen which describes, “To those condemned to act accordingly and wait for succeeding kings. And I try to harmonize with songs the lonesome sparrow sings. There are no kings inside the Gates of Eden.”
And it may come as no shocking matter, but Bringing It All Back Home constructs in this nostalgic beauty but also in the same stance becomes timeless. The subject matter while oftentimes difficult to directly relate to, has moments where intense emotional writing shines through and cuts into the mind like a serrated scalpel.