After some deliberation I decided to scrap the TV, comics and wrestling categories on here and push them all in to section simply named “Everything Else”. I felt that people were more interested in my music writing and it’s what I’m the most passionate about. I will still be writing about other stuff, just not enough to warrant it having separate sections.
With that decision made I wanted to up the music content on here and what better way to do that than a bi-weekly top ten? Now this isn’t you’re regular top ten, it’s just 10 tracks that have been on my mind throughout the last couple of weeks and want to share with the world. These top 10s will include music old and new, from all genres (but you know me, it’s always going to be mostly hip-hop) and will be put in to YouTube playlists for ease of listening.
So without further ado, here’s the first edition of Mook Life Music. Enjoy.
Ghostface feat. Trife Da God – Biscuits
After checking out Ghostface’s latest album ’12 Reasons To Die II’ and feeling a little bit disappointed I was compelled to go back and listen to some of his earlier releases. Now where most people would go straight to Supreme Clientele, or maybe even Fish Scale, I have a real soft spot for ‘The Pretty Toney Album’. It might be because it brings back good memories (I bought it as a teenager, the week it came out and played it every morning for weeks when I did my paper round) but I love this album, to me it’s a classic; soulful but gritty beats and an intense, emotional Ghostface. This track exemplifies that greatness and features a very hungry Trife Da God with a savage verse. I’ve no idea what happened to Ghostface’s short lived crew ‘Theodore Unit’ but it’s a shame that we never got to hear Trife reach his full potential.
Van Hunt – Rub My Feet (Suddenly)
I stumbled across this wonderful album a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been playing this track on repeat since. I don’t know anything about Van Hunt but his latest album ‘The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets.’ is an incredible piece of neo soul with a variety of vibes. ‘Rub My Feet (Suddenly)’ is a beautiful and haunting track with a pitched up vocal sample, deep bass and plucked strings as a backing to Hunt’s soothing voice. Lyrically I’m not sure what the meaning is but it sounds poetic and adds to the slightly unsettling vibe.
Gray Matter – I Am The Walrus
Seeing Glastonbury all over the TV and my Facebook feed I found myself in an increasingly rare mood where I actually want to listen to some kind of rock music. My first stop on the trip down memory lane was the post-hardcore band Gray Matter and their rawkus double LP ‘Food For Thought / Take It Back’. There are so many amazing tracks on the album but ‘I Am The Walrus’ really sticks out to me because it’s such a sublime cover. They took The Beatles original and made something completely new, full of raw energy but with the same infectious riffs of the original. Skateboarders reading this will probably recognise the song from seminal skate video ‘Sorry’.
ILoveMakonnen feat. Rome Fortune & Rich The Kid – No Ma’am
I’ve been very interested in ILoveMakonnen for a while now; he makes strange music and it took me a while to figure out if I actually liked it or not. After hearing this track I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely do like it, very much so. From 808 filled party vibes to bizarre low fi crooners, Makonnen is one of the people really pushing boundaries in hip-hop right now. This track is absolute fire and has had me dancing in the sun (when it actually shows its face) for the last few weeks. The beats on a lot of Makonnen’s tracks have this child like feel to them that really suits his voice and never fails to put a smile on my face.
Black Mountain – Set Us Free
While watching the latest season of True Detective (which I’m really enjoying, all the haters just need more patience) I got a massive blast of nostalgia when this song started playing in the background. At first I had no idea what the song was, but after a good half hour of concentration (because looking online is cheating) I remembered this wonderful band. Perfectly fitting for True Detective, these guys make epicly melancholy music, the kind Led Zeppelin would have played if they got really sad.
Sunchase – Ultimate Survival
For me this is the archetypal tech drum ‘n’ bass track. Punchy drums, heavy sub bass and just the right amount of melody in the form of an enchanting high pitched synth. I first heard this tune on Loxy’s CX1 podcast (which is still one of my favourite DnB mixes ever, go find it if you can) and it just blew my mind, it became one of those songs that me and my housemate would skip through the mix just to hear. Make sure you have some decent speakers/headphones when you play this, you need it to appreciate the utter brilliance of this track.
P Money feat. Desperado – Banditt Riddem
The grime movement is back in full swing and is showing no signs of letting up any time soon. While many people have been raving about JME’s latest release and getting hyped for Skepta’s forthcoming album, P Money’s ‘Money Over Everyone 2’ has passed most by, which is a shame because this tape goes too hard. This new mixtape is almost wall to wall bangers and Banditt Riddem is one of the best. The beat is ridiculously hype with some classic grime sounds in there while both P Money and Desperado both drop killer verses.
213 – So Fly
It’s late July and here in the UK we still haven’t had much of a summer, but that wont stop me listening to summer classics as soon as the sun does come out. ‘So Fly’ is the last track on the ridiculously underrated ‘The Hard Way’ album from 213 and has one of the most luxuriously smooth and sun filled beats ever made. The light violin riffs and triumphant brass bursts make you feel like you’re basking in the heat, even when the clouds are over head. Snoop, Warren G and Nate Dogg do the beat justice with their trademark gangsta vibes. A perfect track.
Denzel Curry – 6 Billion Dollar Nigga
Soon after dropping the fantastically psychedelic and abrasive double EP ’32 Zel / Planet Shrooms’ Denzel delivers some insane visuals to a brutal short track that deserves to be on a proper release. Denzel is creating a few different but equally unique sounds and this is one of my favourites. Spacey yet aggressive beats with loud, distorted vocals, this track is filled with so much raw energy and anger it’s taking hip-hop in a fresh direction.
Skyzoo feat. Westside Gunn – Luxury
Skyzoo has been making consistently dope music for years now and is slowly but steadily cementing himself as one of the New York greats. There is a certain clarity to Skyzoo’s raps that really shines through, his flow is precise but not over complicated and his lyrics are well thought out, usually following a theme throughout his albums. His latest album is so New York and it is so good, this is East Coast rap at its best. ‘Luxury’ features some accomplished rapping from Skyzoo over a boom bap style beat that shares a sample with Quest’s classic ‘8 Million Stories’.