RJD2 / OPEN MIKE EAGLE + PAUL WHITE / ODDISEE / PLANET ASIA & DJ CONCEPT [#GeekSwag Reviews]: Fortunate Ears.

RJD2 - Dame Fortune - Released: 3/25/16
RJD2Dame Fortune – Released: 3/25/16
"MonSithNor" Moody @TravMoody
“MonSithNor” Moody
@TravMoody

From the guy who delivered the ultra hypnotic, now famous Mad Men theme, to the sonically-enhanced soundscapes that justify his name similar to the more famous droid counterpart, comes Dame Fortune, RJD2‘s 7th solo album in 15-years. Yeah, this boy’s been making music for a minute. If you’re curious because you heard RJ can mesh hip-hop/Philly funk/jazz/Motown into an often deep, scathingly mesmeric sense of electronica, this album is certainly not a bad place to start, relating more to his chef d’oeuvre, Deadringer, than any other. Dame Fortune‘s strength is also its weakness, too; as the concept is there, but the execution offers too many chopped heads…

Unlike that of his debut — and the majorty of RJD2’s widely respected discography — Dame scatters around from Run the Jewelsish electric basslines (“A New Theory”) to slow, simmering strings of “PF, Day One” that completely suspend the adrenaline. “Saboteur” (featuring the soothing vocals of Phonte of Foreign Exchange/Little Brother fame) is more in line with what diehards will enjoy; the head-knocking basslines, clashing drums and built-up percussion essentially make this one a beauty. There’s just too much going on with “Your Nostalgic Heart and Lung”, which offers a rapid drum-and-bass send-off that only the man making this in the garage will likely adore. But! RJ goes and drops a Soul Position on us, as “Up in the Clouds” features the hard baritone of oft-collaborative emcee Blueprint and even harder marching drums. And other than the sorta mundane, Steely Dan-influence of “Band of Matron Saints”, Dame Fortune offers plenty of spacey, new sounds that should keep both longtime listeners and new curious ears gassed. 3.75/5 Bibles.




OPEN MIKE + PAUL WHITE - Hella Personal Film Festival - Released: 3/25/16
OPEN MIKE + PAUL WHITEHella Personal Film Festival – Released: 3/25/16
"Deacon E" Esko @eskobts
“Deacon E” Esko
@eskobts

Well produced, well organized, and thoroughly entertaining. Open Mike Eagle + Paul White deliver a great album that will only ask you to do one thing. LISTEN! Do people do that anymore? I sure hope so. Hella Personal Film Festival has great lyrics that will not only make you smarter but also make you laugh. While Paul White’s production is top notch and matches the mood of every song, it lacks the turn-up vibe that most people are looking for these days. However, with the success of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, I feel the world is ready for that. HPFF kinda feels like TPAB had it been rewritten for a stand-up comedian…

HPFF has that personal touch-your-soul-with-relevance kind of vibe, but stays light hearted enough for you to laugh at your own outrages and insecurities. The song “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)” may not be completely understood by some people, but the overall subject matter of the album is relatable to anybody. “Check to Check” made me want to throw my phone in a river. This album feels very human and organic, it never gets boring and brings laughs when you least expect them. There’s a time and place for everything; play this album anywhere other than the club and you’ll love it like I did. 4/5 Bibles.

And, in case you’re wondering…




Ryan "Salvation" Scott @radio_adventure
Ryan “Salvation” Scott
@radio_adventure
ODDISEE - Alwasta
ODDISEEAlwasta – Released: 3/23/16

Oddisee (clever name, bro) has dropped a new, seven-track EP on the world and it is free, so download here! The mixtape serves as a kickoff to the rapper’s larger 2016 plans which includes a massive tour and an instrumental album in May. That being said, it is a good kickoff. Not great, but good…

Honestly, this review is probably going to sound more negative than it is meant to be. Alwasta is a good listen front to back. The lyrics make you think and it pretty much avoids the hip hop stereotypes of “I like pussy,” “I smoke lots of blunts” and “money is neat.” It does sound a lot like muffled drums and atmospheric, not-so-bass-heavy indie hip-hop. It is Atmosphere-esque, but never quite hits that kind of high. The lyrics are thought-provoking, but not on a Kendrick level. Though, put this EP on in the background and you won’t find yourself wanting to skip a track. If you are a hip-hop fan who needs to hear every single listenable thing that gets released, this is a must download. Although yet to take in the pleasure, I do get the impression dude would kill it live. 3/5 Bibles.




PLANET ASIA & DJ CONCEPT - Seventy Nine - Released: 3/25/16
PLANET ASIA & DJ CONCEPTSeventy Nine – Released: 3/25/16
"Pontif" Tony Pattawon @thepattawontron
“Pontif” Tony Pattawon
@thepattawontron

Remember back in the 90s when you were listening to groups like Wu-Tang and you would listen to their metaphors and lines? It felt like they were speaking in a code. While you could “get” the majority of their lines, some bars had to be cracked and only a chosen few had the hidden knowledge to decipher the madness and get the message. This is the feel you get listening to Planet Asia & DJ Concept‘s new joint, Seventy Nine. The name of the album and overall theme itself is code 79 — the atomic number for Gold. Fresno’s Planet Asia, with his gutta raspy voice and onorthodox flow, gives you that code that should have fools wondering what he going to say next and how he is going to say it…

Not to pun, but there are golden lines throughout the album aplenty and even a slight Sean Price resurrection in “Festival.” Not surprisingly, this “Pontiff”‘s favorite song on the LP is “Sacred Sermons”. Concept’s beat will put you in a trance as Planet A casts the spell, leaving listeners in a universe of higher thoughts (or…maybe I was just high while listening). There’s even a dope Coming To America reference included “like Prince of Zamunda coming out of customs”.  All in all, Seventy Nine is a very solid, soulful joint filled with lyrics listeners might even learn something from. 3.5/5 Korans.




BLU & RAY WEST - Crenshaw Jezebel - Released: 3/25/16
BLU & RAY WESTCrenshaw Jezebel – Released: 3/25/16
"Alter Boi" Frank Simonian @scarletdadspidr **Guest Contributor**
“Alter Boi” Frank Simonian
@scarletdadspidr
**Guest Contributor**

“Millenium Falcon when we breeze.” Since the inception of #GeekSwag, GHG has been tenacious about providing information on the connection between Hip-Hop and geek culture. This was another gem. Crenshaw Jezebel is an EP ton of heart. 45 Apples brings together West Coast MC Blu and East Coast Producer Ray West. The nine track EP also features 45 Apple’s own AG, Dave Dar and ES-K. I was not expecting songs about love & relationships. I thought Drake had that market cornered. Jokes aside, Blu’s introspective lyrics and wordplay flow smoothly and seamlessly on top of Ray West’s beats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BDbv9GdWgE

They couple well together like the White Russian I had this morning when I gave it a listen. (Cliché considering there is a song titled Black Coffee. I know.) It is refreshing to hear new Hip-Hop that is not trying to repeat the same formula emcees this day and age are following. I mean–“Saturday Morning Cartoons”! Even better than both coasts blazing music together is having a Left Coast MC hold it down and represent with a lot of heart. And plenty of soul. “I’m not a rapper, I’m a writer/ You a biter with a wire.” #Fresh 3.5/5 Bibles.

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