Music News

'06 Pandemic Poll; the So Much Silence edition

So Much Silence is an awesome little music/mp3 blog run by a guy named Kevin Murphy, who seems to have pretty goddamn good taste in music. He also does some pretty nifty shit, like putting together a mix of the "Essential Q-Tip Mix," side A of which he posted today. He's also got a tight-ass Four Tet remix by Jay Dee (R.I.P.) up on the site to look for. Anyway, though he sent over a top 3 list rather than a top 5 list, he sent mp3's along with them so it's easily forgivable. Here you go...

Here's a few words on my top 3 hip-hop albums (with some label mp3s in there) ... hope you enjoy:

After a down year in 2005, hip-hop rebounded with one great release after another. These three happened to hold my attention the most at the exclusion of other memorable discs: Ghostface's "Fishscale"; the Roots' "Game Theory"; the Coup's "Pick a Bigger Weapon" and Plastic Little's "She's Mature."

3. Murs, Murray's Revenge (Record Collection) Hands down, Murs is one of the best storytelling emcees, a guy who always sacrifices the obligatory rapper bravado for vulnerable street tales. 9th Wonder holds down the production again, and Murs opens himself up, bravely balances humor ("Dark Skinned White Girls" in which he name-checks the Cure and Morrissey) with sincerity ("Love and Appreciate").


2. Cadence Weapon, Breaking Kayfabe (Upper Class Recordings) In an era of name-brand cameos to sell records, it's an accomplishment in itself that Edmonton's Cadence Weapon spits every verse here, save for a secret track at the end. No filler, friends. His production is synth-heavy grit and his lyrics are grounded in reality: "You must think and wonder / why I drink 40s and memorize bus street numbers / well I don't have a license / but I'm trying to gain prominence / because I'm living in a house with a fridge full of condiments."


1. Oh No, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms (Stones Throw) Using samples derived solely from the work of Galt MacDermot (Hair composer), Madlib's little brother puts together a concept album of a different sort with a guest list of great emcees (De La Soul's Posdnuos, Vast Aire, Murs, among others). At 22 tracks, it threatens to become bloated, but Oh No's production holds it all together.

"Smile a Little Bit" w/Posdnuous:

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Brendan Kelley