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Ish’s Favourite Albums of 2010!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2010 by Ish

15. Distant Relatives – Nas & Damien Marley

This album was overlooked by a lot of people, even me. It’s solid effort and a generally good album. On quite a few songs however, I could’ve done without Nas (it was worse before, I used to feel it should have just been Jr. Gong’s LP), especially where Damien Marley’s dropping better bars than Escobar but hey, gotta commend the collaborative work. It’s something refreshing for hip-hop.

Favourite Tracks: “Land of Promise (feat. Dennis Brown)” | “Patience” | “Africa Must Wake Up (feat. K’naan)”

14. Thank Me Later – Drake

With this selection, it was a matter of admitting I listen to Drizzy more than I’d like to admit (check my lastfm, dude has like 900 scrobbles in my library) or placing Rick Ross’ Teflon Don in this spot (an album I initially liked then easily became bored with). Thank Me Later was a solid debut, the cohesiveness of the album works well overall. I think the divide here is what you preferred more of Drake if you’ve known since the Comeback Season days: more rapping or more singing? I felt it was a balanced mix of both methods for the most part.

Favourite Tracks: “The Resistance” | “Light Up (feat. Jay-Z)” | “Show Me a Good Time” | “Shut it Down (feat. The-Dream)”| “Thank Me Now”

13. Concrete Jungle – Nneka

This was a hidden gem for the whole year. Please check this girl out. In a way, you can this potential of a reincarnated Bob Marley in her. Her presence as a female artist is very refreshing, especially in regard to her subject matter on this album. The project itself is well done on production and writing. It came out in January, albeit easy to forgot about releases from then, this was certainly not one of them. Looking forward to more from this lady.

Favourite Tracks: “Heartbeat” | “Mind vs. Heart” | “Africans” | “Walking”

12.  The Sea – Corinne Bailey Rae

I got a crush on Corinne. One because she’s so friggin’ cute, but more importantly because her voice is so soothing. In my listening of this and her first LP, The Sea has a greater sense of funk to my ears. I believe she experimented more with the sound scape and still managed to sustain her bubbly-soulful sound of the first album. It’s good music to relax too, and probably impressive to a chick. Or it makes you look soft, but idgaf! =P

11. Pilot Talk – Curren$y

This is cruise control hip-hop. Nothing of substance beyond race cars and weed jars. But that’s the beauty in Pilot Talk and all of Curren$y’s work, regular joe lyrics combined with technically impressive rhyming ability. People underestimate the high spitta’s skills, dude’s got it, and shows it on this album. With the majority of production from Ski Beatz, it delivers something more fulfilling than merely “weed rap.” Don’t sleep on this dude. JETS!

Favourite Tracks: “Breakfast” | “Seat Change (feat. Snoop Dogg)” | “Life Under the Scope”

10. Contra – Vampire Weekend

I was a fan of Vampire Weekend’s first self-titled release back in 09. It’s funny how they released Contra exactly one year later. This was a January release, but it stayed prevalent with me throughout the year. Their afro-pop sounds are happier on this project, the tempos are speedier, it’s a joyful piece of work. What I always liked about these college indie-folk is their lyrical depth. The diction in their verses is certainly of caliber of their Columbia University education, but even more impressive is the wit of the stories they tell. Solid project.

Favourite Tracks: “White Sky” | “California English” | “Diplomat’s Son”

9. B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray – B.o.B

B.o.B is the poster boy of how to successfully come from underground backpack league and become successful in the mainstream. He found the right people to feature on the album to expand the range of his fanbase (i.e. Airplanes) while keeping it hip-hop. Not to mention you can categorize it as southern rap if you’d like, Bobby Ray had excellent timing with this release besides it being a very good piece of work. It shows that folks didn’t miss out on this album, but if you did, go purchase.

Favourite Tracks: “Past My Shades (feat. Lupe Fiasco)” | “The Kids (feat. Janelle Monae)” | “Higher” | “Lovlier Than You”

8. Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager – Kid Cudi

I’m definitely a fan of Cudder and was highly anticipating this album. More dark, more sorrow filled, more catchy and addicting melodies. He further defined his sound of intergalactic insane marijuana joy from the first Man on the Moon. I was thoroughly impressed by how the production went to the next level. The only con of this work, is how much you wish Cudi would step it up lyrically. And of course it’s understood he’s not super spitter or anything of the sort, but even where the writing shines in many places, there’s some mediocore spots. Besides that, a really good effort. I don’t put it over The End of Day, but this was well done regarding expectations.

Favourite Tracks: “REVOFEV” | “The Mood” | “Mr. Rager” | “GHOST!”

7. New Amerykah Part II (Return of the Ankh) – Erykah Badu

It’s Erykah Badu…what do you expect? Has she ever dropped a whack album? Not really. With the always common theme of “love” in music being her catalyst for this second entry of the series well, it’s pretty lovely. There’s a nostalgia to consider, this album brings that feeling of 90s soul that she made her very own staple in. What feels so Badu 2010 about it is the playfulness of synth sounds fused with breakbeat/R&B rhythms. It’s a “new funk” if you will. I loved this front to back.

Favourite Tracks: “Window Seat” | “Gone Baby Don’t Be Long” | “Fall in Love (Your Funeral)” | “Incense” | “Out of My Mind, Just in Time”

6. Sir Luscious Leftfoot…The Son of Chico Dusty – Big Boi

Big Boi damn near made a classic with this one! This kinda got overlooked too. People fiend for anything Outkast related these days and this was a good entrée. It has all the ingredients that they’ve implemented into all their work, it’s just missing Andre 3000. But forget that, because Big Boi as a solo emcee always was, and is certainly is on the album, thorough. I think he definitely showed his ability to standalone and do something dope. Cop this if you haven’t already!

Favourite Tracks: “Shutterbug” | “Be Still (feat. Janelle Monae)” | “The Train Pt. 2”

5. Brothers – The Black Keys

It was great to have a straight up Blues album to be one of the standouts for music in 2010. I went back to previous entries of their discography before sitting down with Brothers. Doing this showed me how funkier they got with each project. Compared to the other albums, Brothers has this amplified focus on soul, or grassroots blues, and the lyrics are just spot on. Some of the best writing I’ve heard all year. Great album here.

Favourite Tracks: “Next Girl” | “Ten Cent Pistol” | “The Go Getter” | “I’m Not the One”

4. Plastic Beach – Gorillaz

As a major fan of the Gorillaz I will say, Plastic Beach is not better than the first two albums. However, this is by slight margin, my reason being that some songs on here become skip-able. Yet there’s a cohesiveness of the tracks overall that lacked in the other albums. Transitions here between songs are well done. The five year gap between this and Demon Days shows the expansion of their range with instruments, especially with synths. Plastic Beach is more “pop” than trip-hop, this is a good thing. The Gorillaz type of pop includes plenty of depth in instrumentation and melody. It’s great for what it is. Loved this album.

Favourite Tracks: “Sweepstakes” | “On Melancholy Hill” | “Empire Ants” | “Plastic Beach”

3. How I Got Over – The Roots

The Roots body of work just got iller with How I Got Over. From front to back, each track is well done from production to verses. What I absolutely loved about this album was the collabs that are featured: Blu, Phonte, Monsters of Folk, etc. A mighty fine effort here, it’s The Roots people, that’s usually always good.

Favourite Tracks: “Dear God 2.0” | “Right On” | “The Day” | “How I Got Over” | “The Fire”

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – KanYe West

Yeah yeah best album of 2010, perfect reviews, Kanye’s ultimate comeback, blah blah blah. Without feeding into all of that, this is a fantastic hip-hop album. Even though several album cuts we’re thrown out as singles and G.O.O.D Fridays joints, these still hold a lot of weight in the album’s sound scape. There’s no question now of Kanye’s prowess as a rapper with this work. The verses here are a pinnacle of his lyrical methods since he first started rapping: merge and mesh issues of social class issues and art forms. I feel for hip-hop, this is a valuable work to keep and always observe. For Kanye as an artist himself, you took it there yo. I feel he can take it even further.

Favourite Tracks: “Dark Fantasy” | “Hell of a Life” | “Blame Game” | “Lost in the World” | “All of the Lights”

1. The Archandroid – Janelle Monáe

This was the best album I heard all year. Yup! It’s even better than Kanye’s to me. Sonically, Janelle made this so cinematic you would believe it’s a soundtrack to a movie. Mind you this her mainstream debut. This is something the mainstream needed. Everything is near flawless on this. The more I listen to it, the more I feel this is the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for the decade. Song for song, it’s impeccable musicianship. She’s always been a gem, I cannot wait to see what she does next. For now, this is a wonderfully made album.

Favourite Tracks: “Locked Inside” | “Cold War” | “Tightrope” | “Oh Maker” | “Neon Valley Street” | “57821” | “Say You’ll Go”

There were so many projects I wished I listened to, these we’re solely based off the albums I purchased and listened to in full playthroughs. Lemme know what your favourite albums this year were.

Here’s a toast to a Happy 2011! More living, more loving, more progression, and more amazing music! Happy New Year! =)



Ish’s Favourite Mixtapes of 2010!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by Ish

Here’s my favourite mixtapes of the year, ranked by my opinion. Keep in mind, these are the projects I consistently listened to throughout the year, there were plenty of other mixtapes that were dope as well. I’d go into full detail descriptions of why each tape was so dope to me, but save that for a later post. Click on each title for a link to download them for free! GO GO GO!

20. There Is No Competition 2 (The Funeral Service) – Fabolous

19. Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz – Dead Prez

18. Мишка Presents Trillwave – The Hood Internet

17. Trunk Muzik – Yelawolf

16. Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst – Joe Budden

15. Smokee Robinson – Curren$y

14. Kush & Orange Juice – Wiz Khalifa

13. TheMixtape Mixtape – Dom O Briggs

12. Friday Night Lights – J. Cole

11. Don’t Mention It – Pac Div

10. The Letterman – Phil Ade

9. Tacklebox – The Cool Kids

8. From The Westside With Love – Dom Kennedy

7. More About Nothing – Wale

6. (O)verly (D)edicated – Kendrick Lamar

5. Ode 2 Dilla – ScienZe

4. The Sounds of Music – Dom O Briggs

3. Group Think – HumUni

2. Hall Pass – ScienZe

1. MSTRD – TiRon

Download all of these folks, they’re all FREE! Just click on the links of the names of each project, help with the preservation of good hip-hop out there. Thank you in advance. What were your favourite mixtapes this year?


Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 by 91mega
Third Eye Opening

Our First Feature Of The “Third Eye Opening” Will Be At Urban Word’s Uptown Open Mic On November 18th. It Is Called “Third Eye Opening” Because It Focuses On You As The Audience Opening Your Minds To How Hip Hop And Poetry Correlate And Collaborate Seamlessly. Performing This Feature Allows Us To Become Avant-Garde Performers. It Is A Mix Of Our Work As HumUni, And As Spoken Word Artists. You Will Be Entertained, You Will Learn New Things. You Just Have To Use Your Third Eye.

Artist Spotlight: Kendrick Lamar

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 by Ish

Been checking the Compton MC out since earlier this summer. Dude is dope to me. In specifics, I appreciate the heart he puts into the product, you can feel it. The dude is honest in lyrics and I also like his experimentation in flows. Most recently he dropped his latest project (O)verly (D)edicated which you can purchase on iTunes to support the artist. Last night it’s been available for free download via Kendrick Lamar himself. Look out for this guy and his whole “black hippie” movement. It’s something refreshing to keep an eye on. One of my picks for XXL Freshman Ten 2011 for sure.

Music video from the OD project. I love this cut, one of the best hooks I’ve heard this year. “Cut You Off”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Gonna go work on some really cool promotional stuff HumUni has in store for the upcoming month. And write my 16 for today. Support great artists like Kendrick Lamar and us!

Have a wonderful today and a pleasant tomorrow.


Dopeness of the Day: Superhero Remix

Posted in Uncategorized on August 22, 2010 by Ish

Check out this graphic mashup of classic hip hop album covers remixed with the heroes and villains of the Marvel/DC universe. By Kenny Keil

Check the rest of the photostream here

For Schlussel by Ka’mone Felix

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2010 by Ish

Filmed and Edited by Ishmael ‘Ish’ Islam

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For Schlussel by Ka’mone Felix, posted with vodpod

Mega Speaks On The Making Of “G&G”

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 by 91mega

We were dying to get into the studio after HumUni Party. We had just reached like 4000 somethin plays on MySpace. But We always felt and we say to this day “HumUni Party” was just an introduction to the world. The response to it was unexpected. That was our “OK, We’re a group, we make songs, this is our first song” song if that makes sense. It turned into this epic high school party jam. But anyways, back to the we’re in the studio with Tek and we’re talking about new material and he’s playing these beats, I think in this session we picked the beat for My Reasons too. So the G&G beat plays and we’re nodding to it, like crazy. First thing me and Ish think about is “Bombs Over Baghdad” by Outkast. It just had that feeling and that energy sonically. It sounds like a big record. And the rhythm is different than what you find in today’s hip hop. That’s another reason why we really liked it. Honestly me and Ish was originally like, yo, G&G is gonna be the one thats going to smash.

So Tek gives us the beat to write to in our own respective space, come back next week for the next studio session and rock it. I think we had like a week. A day before the session, we didn’t have the record (mad funny cause that always happens). Mind you, we’re in school, this is a Friday. Had to be cause the session was Saturday. So me and Ish text each other like yo, we need a hook. So we meet up and started bumping the track. this was the first record we did where we worked in the same space, like trading ideas for hooks and verse, what we wanted to song to be.

He got the beat on his iPod, so we’re listening to it on his headphones. Now mind you all day I was listening to Raekwon’s Only Built For Cuban Linx. And one of my favorite joints on it is “Can It Be All So Simple”. The hook for that track is go like, “dedicated to the Gods and the Earths, dedicated to babies who came feet first”. So that sparked an idea in my head “this is dedicated to the DJs and B-Boys” and so forth. In the second line I say “this is dedicated to the mother’s goin P-Noid” like how Bilal said “paranoid” on the Clipse song “Nightmares”. So G&G is already inspired by an Outkast song, a hook by Raekwon, and slang from a Clipse song (OHDEE).

The session was mad fun too! Just alot of re-takes…Tek kept wanting us to bring up the energy. He like “it has to be….more…huge” It had to be like an event. He really worked on the bridge with us, all the “hey! you! there! moments” we recorded like 3 takes of us doing that and then Tek worked his magic, making it sound like this chant…same thing with the “Higher, we gon take ya, we gon take ya” section. The ending is funny because Ish and I we’re in the booth together finishing the song, just finished saying the last “Brooklyn” and I was getting ready to say “aww i messed up” i thought i messed up somewhere and then something happened, I think Tek stopped playing the beat that’s why if you listen close, at the end you can hear Ish say “why we still talkin?” and i start laughin. Then we play the whole song and that just fit! Like wow! That was almost a blooper moment for the DVD and it ended up being a perfect ending for the record.

G&G is our coming out party, i think it served as a better introduction to HumUni than “HumUni Party” did. That’s why at the end of my verse I say “After HumUni Party we done celebratin, time for more educatin and elevatin” Like, yo HumUni Party was nice but, this right here,…this is what we’re really about.

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