In the second part of tonight’s celebratory festivities (click here if you missed the first) we’d continue with content from FatKidOnFire’s JPN contributor fameONE. Brandon was kind enough to fire this write up (much akin to the first ever post he wrote for FKOF) of a mixtape that caught his ear the other day.
Two days ago, I found an absolute gem online and gave it a full listen.
So without further ado, it’s over to fameONE and ‘Wake Up! Radio’…
Mainstream music has a negative stigma attached to it. If something is mainstream, or too popular, then the immediate belief is that the music is fabricated garbage designed to entertain the idiot masses. That’s not to say that this much is an untruth, but it’s a matter of perspective. Esteemed hip-hop band The Legendary Roots Crew, or ‘The Roots,’ for short, have their roots deeply planted in hip-hop’s underground of grassroots listeners. But with such a deep history with hip-hop listeners, they have become mainstream-underground. John Legend, a very mainstream r&b and modern nusoul singer made popular by kanYe West, has a voice that is reminiscent of r&b storytellers of the 1970s. The Roots and John Legend recently collaborated with an underground mixtape DJ, J Period, to release Wake Up! Radio.
The mixtape features 32 tracks that are solid, well produced and well mastered enough to be released as an actual LP. The production relies heavily on sampled songs of soul/funk/r&b records of yesteryear and is well matched with Black Thought’s lyrical acumen. John Legend accents each track he’s featured on. Not all of the songs are an original, though it gives the mixtape itself a compilation feel with its many interludes. Still, with tracks like Misunderstood by Common and instrumentals like Summer Madness by Kool & the Gang used as transitions from track to track, it may be some of the best collection of hip-hop tracks released in quite some time. The overall goal, which is steadily implied throughout the mixtape, is that the public needs to wake up because hip-hop is still alive.
Much to my surprise there hasn’t been too large of a buzz about the mixtape since its release earlier this week. With so much fuss about the Grammy awards, Nicki Minaj’s outfits and Lady Gaga, good music has been lost in transition. This is the accepted reality of being rooted in the underground. Without a doubt, this is the hip-hop that many music lovers are missing in the 21st century. This is the hip-hop that purists and casual fans can both agree on. This is where the underground reaches out to the mainstream rap game just to prove it is still relevant.
If you want to give J Period, The Roots and John Legend’s ‘Wake Up! Radio’ mixtape a listen click to DOWNLOAD.
If you have any thoughts on fameONE’s write up, or thoughts on anything else you’ve read let us know either via the comments section below or through one of the other forms of contact (email, Twitter and Facebook).
Peace, love and respect.