June 16, 2007

Whose World is This? The World is Yours

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To give everyone a little taste of what is to come in my blog, I want to use these entries to express my thoughts on music, culture, travel, and politics. In brief, I am an African and Latin American studies major and hip-hop DJ traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe this summer, and this will be my written recollection of my experiences. I am off to Washington, D.C. tomorrow in order to take part in a program called Humanity in Action, a fellowship designed to facilitate the study of human rights abuse in Europe with the Holocaust as a historical point of reference. After the orientation in D.C., the American fellows will jump on a plane and head to Berlin, where we will meet the European fellows and complete the international portion of orientation. We’ll divide into our country teams (fellows are sent to five European countries in groups of 20) and then depart for our respective destinations. I will be headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, for four weeks to study Danish political policy and minority rights within Copenhagen. Should be tight.

I will update from D.C., but until I do, here is a small track list of the music I’m feeling at this current point in time:

List temperature: Chill
(Temperature scale: Chill through Blazing hot, more variations to come).

1. The Roots — What They Do: Chill track from Illadelph Half-Life. Check the video too. Black Thought and ?uestlove shoot a video designed to make fun of the wasteful materialism of today’s rap game and they succeed in showing the absurdity of hip-hop’s current state, so check it out and get a laugh.
2. D’Angelo — Lady: Classic neo-soul track from D’Angelo’s album Brown Sugar. Excellent drum and bass-lines complement D’Angelo’s high-pitched and always soulful vocals. You can definitely lay the pipe to this one.
3. Kool and the Gang — Summer Madness: This track bats clean up of the bunch. Smooth keyboard and bass set the stage for an unbelievable synth solo. A must for any summer music collection.
4. The Game — Ol’ English: Produced by Hi-Tek, the slow, West-Coast beat carries this track all the way through with no rough patches. As my friend and fellow DJ LBX would say, “Ol’ English is to Hi-Tek what Still Dre is to Scott Storch.”
5. Clips — Mr. Me Too: Although Pharrell drops some corny lines in his verses, the beat is just too hot for this song to be underestimated. Although many of his beats sound the same (note similarity of this track to Snoop’s Drop It Like It’s Hot), this is still a highly enjoyable track. Definitely check it out.