David Banner and 9th Wonder: Death of a Pop Star (Interview/Review)

Posted in funky snob, music on January 25th, 2011 by urbanguy

You likely aren’t ready for David Banner and 9th Wonder’s Death of a Popstar, but listening to Banner’s Mississippi-baked drawl sans his beats isn’t as disorienting as you’d think. Then again, how could it be? With 9th Wonder’s sure hand on production, Banner expounds upon all the socio-political issues that have been on his mind.

Got the chance to chat with David Banner recently. Passionate dude. My interview and review of Death of a Pop Star is live over at Exclaim!

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Deaf Ears Podcast Episode 14: Kanye West

Posted in funky snob, music on January 16th, 2011 by urbanguy

It’s another episode of the Deaf Ears Podcast! Cam and Ryan discuss Kanye West with the help of Toronto hip-hop heavyweight More or Les in a spirited “three way dance”.

Listen and learn…
- Kanye vs Jay-Z: Who has REALLY paid da cost to be da boss?
- Point/Counterpoint: Is there a place for pink sweater vests in hip-hop?
- Is Kanye a lyrical lightweight?
- The terror and WTF-isms of 808s and Heartbreak

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Jazmine Sullivan – “10 Seconds” Video

Posted in funky snob, music on November 15th, 2010 by urbanguy
YouTube Preview Image

Don’t mess with Jazmine.

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Chrisette Michele: Epiphany (Video)

Posted in funky snob, music on March 17th, 2009 by urbanguy

The Funky Snob is not a huge fan of Chrisette Michele for some reason. Something about her voice and the earnestness of her musical content doesn’t connect. Totally irrational I know but hey. I’m being unfair because homegirl is talented but she doesn’t hit me like a Jill Scott hits me. At least not yet…I think.

This joint is…okay. Catchy little ditty but I bet I’ll get tired of it fast. Curious to hear the new album though.

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Jennifer Hudson: If This Isn’t Love

Posted in funky snob, music on February 15th, 2009 by urbanguy

I like this song, minus the hella annoying dude talking nonsense all over the track.

Not a classic by any means…more a lightweight R&B/Pop number that panders to the American Idol crowd.

But the Funky Snob can dig it for what it is.

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Raphael Saadiq: The Way I See It

Posted in music on December 20th, 2008 by urbanguy
Whether you know him best as the front-man of ’90s R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné, as a part of the R&B super-group mash-up that was Lucy Pearl or from his largely overlooked solo affairs, underrated is the suit that best fits Saadiq.

The Way I See It is impressive not so much for what it is but what it isn’t. All too often musical throwbacks tend to be mimeographically challenged, coming across as phoney and forced. Backed by a live band, smooth Motown-styled reverb and a studied, minimalist production approach, Saadiq’s foray into classic soul doesn’t just sound authentic, it is authentic and wouldn’t sound the least bit out of place chilling in pop’s old vinyl collection.

Case in point: joints like “Sure Hope You Mean It,” “Love That Girl,” “Keep Marchin’” and the sublime “Oh Girl” recall elements of Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and the Stylistics, and rep pure retro soul but sound fresh, not fusty.

And even for a jaded and disaffected music reviewer, there’s still a sense of awesome when the phone rings and dude on the other end of the line answers with, “Hey, man, it’s Raphael Saadiq.”

full review: http://exclaim.ca/musicreviews/generalreview.aspx?csid2=849&fid1=34351&csid1=127

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Elzhi: The Preface

Posted in music on August 28th, 2008 by urbanguy

With an album title like The Preface, it’s as if Elzhi is promising that the best is yet to come. And what the criminally underrated MC delivers in the meantime is more than enough to tide us over.

With this long awaited solo entry, the Detroit-based Elzhi and quintessential “rapper’s rapper” builds off the momentum created by his recent Europass tour mixtape. Obviously known best for his work with Slum Village, Elzhi breaks out on some lyrically aggressive heat that demonstrates that hip-hop can still be about rhyming substance and style in the new millennium.

Backed by the typically solid production by fellow Detroit native Black Milk, The Preface, much like Elzhi, defies definition and is more concerned with hitting you with a wide array of different conceptual looks than playing it safe for those expecting strictly Slum Village-style bangers. Standouts include “The Science” and “D.E.M.O.N.S.,” along with the superlative “Colors,” a lyrically deft number that should be hailed as a candidate for best of 2008.

With The Preface, Elzhi is poised to get the recognition he’s been due, and is living proof that those complaining about not finding good new hip-hop simply need to know where to look.

The full article here: http://exclaim.ca/musicreviews/beatsandrhymes.aspx?csid1=125

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Janet Jackson – Discipline

Posted in funky snob, music on February 26th, 2008 by urbanguy

Damn Janet…you ain’t aging well. And the plastic surgery is not a good look.

The feedback on first single Feedback?


Plus each new album you release seems to adhere to the law of diminishing returns. Now, The Funky Snob knows that you got a raw deal with the “wardrobe malfunction” fallout and your last album wasn’t as bad as they say, but damn…Discipline is disappointing.

Boring even.

Digitized megapop ain’t really doing it for me — not to mention the overt sexuality vibe is more corny than carnal.

I love me some Janet but she’s now in her forties. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I would love to hear to mature, souled out Janet…on the “That’s the Way Love Goes-meets-Let’s Wait Awhile” tip.

Just because it’s Janet, The Funky Snob is going to give Discipline a few more listens, just to see if it grows on me.

But only because it’s Janet.

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R&B in the nineties was so good…

Posted in funky snob, music on December 22nd, 2007 by urbanguy

even lesser known joints like this one:

Elusion – Reality

…kick the holy hell out of what’s passing for R&B these days.

Running out of love? That’s the same way I feel towards today’s R&B.

There’s nothing remarkable about Elusion (even given the fact that it’s two sets of twins) or their one “hit” (I use the term really loosely) Reality.

A simple and typical R&B song from the 90′s. TLC lite if you will. But it still bumps. It still exemplifies the energy that music of that era possessed. I dare anyone to say otherwise.

So where is Elusion today?

Probably the same place mainstream R&B went.


I Feel You

Posted in funky snob, music on December 17th, 2007 by urbanguy

Passable cover of the criminally unknown track “Skyy Can You Feel Me” from Raphael Saadiq’s Instant Vintage (2002):

I’ll overlook the thin singing just cuz I dig the original so much:

Definitely revisit Instant Vintage if you missed it the first time around.

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