The Knife "Tomorrow, in a Year, 2 CDs," Mute
"Tomorrow, in a Year," was written as accompaniment to an opera about Charles Darwin as written by performance group Hotel Pro Forma. Unearthly synthesized sounds are tethered to the terrestrial with strong operatic singing, and snippets of birdsong and other field recordings. With a challenge to musical aesthetic and gobs of creativity, this soundtrack-like recording is at once an eerie poem and a beautiful saga.
The story of Darwin, his relationship with his daughter (she died young) and his book "Origin of the Species," as expressed in music, takes science, ties it into knots, rockets it into the stratosphere, and drags it gently back down to the Galapagos Islands. The first disc of the 2-CD set is abstract, while the second one includes more rhythmical music as well as some lyrics. Trust The Knife, and its collaborators on the album, Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, to give you a cutting edge, picturesque and extra-bizarre listen.
*****Shelton's Single of the Week: "Rock Me Baby"*********
EDITOR'S NOTE: let's face it, steve miller has
always been trailblazing. his sound is great in the car. the guitarist/singer
deftly sidestepped the flashier excesses of shopworn psychedelia and
concentrated on clean rockers and supple blues. the cat has become famous with masses
by creating steady, effortless rock & roll.
Stacie Rose "Shotgun Daisy," Enchanted
Stacie Rose is very sweet and very real. She deals with the issues that we all deal with from time to time, turning them in poetry and sending them out into the musical stratosphere. Sometimes she is country, other times folk, other times slow rock. However, it is the quality of her voice that unites the songs. There are many layers to her voice, a richness that mixes neatly with her soprano tone.
The stories that Stacie Rose tells come from her personal experience. It is possible to hear how certain songs on the album could be transformed into a radio hit, if picked up by the right producer. Catchy choruses and a steady rhythms make "Shotgun Daisy" an overall satisfying singer-songwriter listen.
*****Shelton's Single of the Week: "ORLANDO," BY MIRIAM MAKEBA*********
EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITOR'S NOTE: LET ME MAKE IT VERY CLEAR: PUTUMAYO IS MY FAVOITE LABEL IN
Jackson Browne and David Lindley "Love Is Strange: En Vivo con Tino," Inside Recordings/ADA
"Love Is Strange" is a live album, recorded during a tour in Spain by acoustic gurus Jackson Browne and David Lindley, and Spanish percussionist Tino di Geraldo. We get to hear, up close and personal, carefully crafted songs as well as their introductions as given by Browne in Spanish and English.
The music itself features various acoustic stringed instruments along with subtle percussion. Though the title of the album indicates that it might include mostly love songs, there are, in fact, a wide variety of topics even-handedly covered, from love to economic hardship, from war to hard work. Browne is well-practiced but still excited about the songs. Browne and Lindley please the audience on this album from start to finish.
******BEST ALBUM OF THE WEEK*********
Shelton's Single of the Week: "TAKE IT EASY"
EDITOR'S NOTE: JACKSON HAS REFINED AND PERFECTED THE ROLE OF THE DARK, SENSITIVE SINGER-SONGWRITER. HE HAS SERVED AS A COMBINATION OF BARD, SEX-SYMBOL AND INTELLECTUAL MENTOR, AND HAS FOCUSED ON EVENTS IN THE WORLD AROUND HIM SINCE THE MID-'80S. DAVID LINDLEY HAS BEEN A LONG-TIME SIDEMAN TO JACKSON BROWNE. HE'S A SCRAGGLY-HAIRED ARTIST AND HAS NEVER MET A STRINGED INSTRUMENT HE DIDN'T LIKE. THE CAT IS ONE-OF-A-KIND. IN OTHER WORDS, FUGGETABATTIT.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "Uni-5: The World's Enemy," Asylum/Reprise/Warner
Bone Thugs, welcome back! For the first time in 15 years, they are in their original line-up, and bringing some more hits with that mellow R&B-hip-hop melding that they are famous for. Their voices sound slick, though not at their most creative and exciting, and the music is about 50 percent great and 50 percent okay.
The lyrical play on the album follows suit. It's fun to listen to, but like the rest of the album, it's just not living up to the high potential of Bone Thugs. Still, if you are long-time fan, you should get this ticking, slippery smooth reunion album, because Bone Thugs still have a sound that is often imitated but never quite duplicated.
Shelton's Single of the Week: "THE COVER OF THE ROLLING STONE"
EDITOR'S NOTE: these great days shelby lynne has never experienced a
creative difficulty in her life. she sings like a real person with wildly
expressive capabilities instead of a country mannequin hynotized by technique. lynne
sounds like no one except herself, a woman with a tragic past, alabama
roots, a voice that exposes real beauty and woundedness and strength.
Parachute "Losing Sleep," Mercury/Island Def Jam/Universal
Charming modern boy-rockers Parachute send us off to a land of love and longing and eye-gazing regrets. It's rock music with the emotion of piano tinkling and the croons of a young romantic. The album has a hipster sensitivity but pop sensibility. The vocalist, Will Anderson, does not shy away from falsetto touches, and while he often sounds torn-up over a relationship, he knows how to have fun too.
With an array of rhythms, touches of white-boy R&B, but an overall pop feel, Parachute manages to break out of its niche as just another pop-rock band. There's nothing ground-breaking going on, and the lyrics are all simple love songs, but the album isn't one-dimensional, either. Their sound is catchy enough to have been broadcast across the nation in a lotion commercial. Besides, you won't be able to take your eyes off the cuties.
******ARTIST TO WATCH!!!*******************
Shelton's Single of the Week: "GHOST"
The Water Tower Bucket Boys "Sole Kitchen," Hearth
For four hipsters playing around with Americana, The Water Tower Bucket Boys hold it together well, and sure sound like they are having fun. They aren't exactly revolutionizing this concept of indie-punks getting into old-time and bluegrass, and they aren't going to become famous because of this album. But the recording is inspiring, and makes you want to dust off your old banjo.
The Bucket Boys venture off here and there in less traveled directions - the ballad, the goofball song, the punk-like rhythm. However, what makes the album most engaging is that each and every song on the album is an original, and the lyrics are quality. Give the album a close listen, and you won't be disappointed. In fact, you'll be smiling.
Shelton's Single of the Week: "HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN"
EDITOR'S NOTE: THE MAN HAS NEVER RECIEVED THE INCREDIBLY HIGH STATUS THAT HE DESERVES. MAYBE SOME DAY HE WILL.
Peggy Lee "Come Rain or Shine," EMI
Peggy Lee, powerful jazz singer and witty songwriter, was most active in her music career throughout the fifties and sixties. While she clearly drew inspiration from the jazz of her time, she didn't shy away from passion of rock n' roll. When she covered songs, she could always make it a classic with her skilled vocal handling, whether it was originally an oldie or it was hip with the kids.
Everything we hear on "Come Rain or Shine" is down to earth - except for Peggy Lee's incredible expressiveness. It's a feel-good collection, for the most part, with "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," "I've Got the World on a String" and "Big Spender." But whether she is high-rolling or down-and-out, Peggy Lee owns the stage when she beings to sing.
************LATE BUT GREAT***********
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "FEVER"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: PEGGY LEE'S ATMOSPHERIC RECORDS CAN BE ENJOYED BY ALL FANS. SHE IS ONE OF A KIND. FUGGETABATTIT.
Keith Chagall "Invitation," Master/KCA
Ok, Mr. Chagall, you are definitely bring us the spirit of a tropical beach with "Invitation," and we would like to drink a Pi§a Colada right about now, but do you really need to plaster your album art with winking girls in bikinis? Now that the beef is out of the way, it's safe to say that this is a fun album that really will transport you to a sunny, flower-filled reality, where Latin beats meld with crooning jazz.
Chagall may not succeed in seducing all the women he reminisces about here, but he'll show you rollicking, carefree beach music, with talented playing and pleasant lyrics. The Spanish guitar and the easy rolling rhythms are the highlights of the album.
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "LOVIN' HER WAS EASIER (THAN ANYTHING I'LL EVER DO AGAIN)"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: MARK IS THE ONLY ARTIST I KNOW WHO WOULD HAVE THE NERVE AND THE SKILL TO SING SONGS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY CLASSICS FOR ARTISTS LIKE WILLIE NELSON, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, WAYLAND JENNINGS, ETC. THE MAN IS A REAL HONKY-TONKER WHO PARLAYED A SOLID GROUNDING IN CLASSIC COUNTRY INTO CHART-TOPPING STARDOM. THAT HE'S BEEN DROPPED BY MAJOR LABELS SHOWS YOU WHERE OUR PROFIT-ORIENTED SYSTEM IS FUCKED UP. THE MAN HAS ALWAYS HAD A TRUE TEXAS VOICE THAT CONTAINS BOTH THE KNACK FOR HUMOR AND THE DEPTH FOR HEARTACHE. I'LL DRINK TO YOU TONIGHT.
Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon "Wu-Massacre," Wutang/Island Def Jam/Universal
When they are conscious and when they are not, when they are poppy and when they are rugged, whether they slice and dice like a manga comic or they sprint through overgrown urban jungles, Wu-Tang will always be the best. On "Wu-Massacre," three members of Wu-Tang tear it up. Lyrically, they are less than feminist, but they're on with their flows. The beats are driving, sample-based and overall fantastic (especially the RZA track, of course).
The "bitch this, bitch that" gets kind of old. The violence in the title is apparent throughout the recording. And the whole thing is way too short, at just 30 minutes. But if you are longing to get a suckle of Wu-Tang milk, the voices you have known and loved for more that 15 years are back to give you more.
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "THE GOOD DIE YOUNG"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: FOR A LONG TIME, THE SCORPIONS WERE VERY POPULAR IN
EUROPE AND UNKNOWN IN THE USA BECAUSE THEIR LABEL WOULD FORK
OVER THE BUCKS FOR A SERIOUS TOUR. WHEN THAT CHANGED, THEY
ROARED FORTH WITH A FULLY FINISHED SOUND, HONED AND POLISHED BY
THE BAND AND ITS LONG TIME PRODUCER. THEIR SOUND WAS SLICK, MIXING
CRUNCH AND MELODY IN A RECIPE FOR THE RAGING ROCKERS THAT THEY
Kaiser Cartel "Secret Transit," Daniel/Sony/Red
Think of moonlit serenades strummed in smoky rock clubs. Sometimes you shake your hips, and other times you just close your eyes and wish the songs were written as Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel lusted after you. This band seems to have it all: male-female duet vocals, catchy sing-along sections, varied melodies and colorful lyrics.
Lovely production, partly by the guy who worked on "Aqualung," hip rhythms and beady keyboards round out the sound. The recording for "Secret Transit" was done in an old London church, lending the subtle echoes in the background genuine spookiness. The album isn't overstated. Instead, it is sexy and original enough to catch the attention of even the most jaded indie listener.
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "ALLIGATOR ALLEY"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: SINGER-SONGWRITER JIM LAUDERDALE HELPED LAY OUT THE BLUEPRINT
FOR THE AMERICANA MOVEMENT EARNING HIGH CRITICAL MARKS FOR ECLECTIC SERIES OF
ALBUMS THAT SPANNED HARD COUNTRY, SLICK POP, ROOTSY ROCK AND ROLL, BLUES,
FOLK, R&B AND BLUEGRASS. HE WAS ALSO RECORDED BY SUPERSTARS LIKE GEORGE
STRAIT, VINCE GILL AND GEORGE JONES AMONG MANY OTHERS. COMMERCIALLY, THE MAN
HAS TOO MUCH INTEGRITY FOR HIS OWN GOOD, BUT CRITICALLY, LAUDERDALE IS AS
INTERESTING AND HEARTFELT AS IT GETS.
The Kentucky Headhunters "Live/Angora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio," Mercury/UMe
Country wailers The Kentucky Headhunters make guitars sing, drums strike and hearts pound with this official live bootleg recording of the Angora Ballroom show in 1990. The Headhunters are totally honky-tonk and yet almost metal. Since getting its start in 1968, the band is still shaking things up with songs like these: from start to finish, every song is high-energy, completely danceable, and takes a matter-of-fact, often humorous approach to life.
The music seems to say, "Life's crazy, might as well have fun." This concept is important to remember, and gets pushed to the wayside all too often, what with broken hearts, economic downturns and everyday stress. So take a moment to turn all of that off, and groove down to these old-timers, even if you did miss their concert 20 years ago.
***********LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL*****************
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "TAKE ME BACK/OLD KENTUCKY HOME"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: YOURS TRUELY FIRST MET HER IN THE 1980S, WHEN HER FIRST ALBUM CAME OUT. I'VE NEVER STOPPED DANCING TO THE GREAT MUSIC MELISSA HAS PLAYED. SHE IS A TRUE HARD-ROCK IDOL SUITED TO A BIG, BLUESY VOICE, BUT ALSO A SUBJECT - SEXUAL DESIRE - TO WHICH EVERYONE CAN RELATE. SHE HAS NEVER LOST ANY OF HER BITE.
Ratt "Infestation," Loud & Proud/Roadrunner/Warner Bros.
It's a relief to hear some genuine glam-metal just when you are beginning to think that the entire world has gone to pop-punk and death-metal seed. Long-time rockers Ratt spin off epic guitar solos with plenty of sustain, clanging high-hat, discernable, hollering lyrics and long, repeating choruses throughout the album's fluorescent songs.
Best of all, this good old sound is coming from a brand new album with all new tracks. Sort of gross and entirely radical, "Infestation" gives you just what you expect from Ratt in all its highest-energy glory. Get ready to dork out on some hair metal.
*******Shelton's Single of the Week: "TAKE ME HOME"**********
EDITOR'S NOTE: AS EDITOR OF "HIT PARADER MAGAZINE" FROM 1980 TO 1990, LONG-HAIRED CLASSICS WERE A TREMEDOUSLY KILLER PART OF MY LIFE. STEPHEN PEARCY'S INCREDIBLE VOICE HAD THAT TOUGH THING DOWN COLD, AND THEY MASTERED THE L.A. SCENE. THE BAND IS STILL ALL-KILLER-NO-FILLER. FUGGETABATTIT.
Various Artists "Working Man's Blues," Hip-O/Universal
From Merle Haggard to Mark Chesnutt, from Steve Earle to Alabama, "Working Man's Blues" collects working-class country blues that tell tales of labor and, well, what happens when there is no labor to be had. Most of the tracks reflect modern country musicianship, giving a swinging sound to a long-time tradition of singing about being a working person.
Tracks like "Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous" and "Working Man's Ph.D." remind us that the only way to get through life under capitalism is to have a sense of humor about things. That is, until we are able to make a few changes to the system. Use this album for inspiration, to build your feelings of solidarity with other working people, or just for a smile at the end of a long day on your feet.
************POLITICAL ALBUM OF THE WEEK*******************
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "MERLE HAGGARD'S WORKIN' MAN'S BLUES"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: SURE EVERYBODY THINKS THAT COUNTRY ARTISTS ARE A BUNCH OF REDNECK, RIGHT-WING, PRO-AMERICAN ASSHOLES. BUT NOW PEOPLE LIKE GILL, HAGGARD, JONES, ETC. ETC., HAVE PROVED THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE PLIGHT OF THE REAL WORKING MAN.
The Stanley Clarke Band "The Stanley Clarke Band," Roxboro/Heads Up/Concord
An interesting fusion of jazz and minor-keyed rock, bassist Stanley Clarke works closely with the other musicians in his band to cook up something that, while mature, orchestrated and clearly produced, has an edge as well. The self-title release is not afraid of the spooky. It is not afraid of distortion. It is not afraid of blues and funk.
The electric bass played by Clarke speaks and churns in turn. Vocals are limited to non-lyrical singing and noise detailing. Some of the best moments of the album are when it ventures around various continents for influence. The album is appropriate for a wide variety of ages and audiences: it could be interpreted as either clean and straight, or twisting and unconventional.
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "SONNY ROLLINS"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: A BRILLIANT PLAYER ON BOTH ACOUSTIC AND ELECTRIC BASSES, STANLEY CLARKE HAS THE EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY TO PLAY JAZZ WITH THE VERY BEST. HERE AGAIN, HE PRESENTS A RELEASE WITH GREAT MUSIC AND MORE INDICATION OF HIS PRODIGIOUS TALENT. FUGGETABATTIT.
Black Prairie "Feast of the Hunters' Moon," Sugar Hill
We are all lucky to be living during a time when the folk movement includes a lot of old-time and gypsy music because the sound of it is so darned pleasing and fun to listen too. Black Prairie includes some members from the Decemberists, as well as other musicians from Portland, Oregon. The instruments: accordion, dobro, Weissenborn, bazouki, archtop guitar, acoustic bass, cello and violin. The songs: almost all original. The result: beautiful and haunting, minor-keyed and gyroscopic, moody yet often danceable.
Listening to this mostly instrumental album allows you to completely appreciate the traditional threads Black Prairie skillfully weave into music that can tell a story through melody and harmony alone. When there are vocals, they are subtle, and fit in to the sound of the band like a shining pearl into a bowl of colorful seashells. If you are the type who listens to the music of a band before the lyrics, or if you like burlesque, typewriters, cool felt hats and other things old-timey, you need to check out "Feast of the Hunter's Moon."
**************** NEW ALBUM OF THE WEEK**********
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "WHISPERS"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: GREAT BLUES MUSIC, SOUTHERN BOOGIE, SWEET SOUL AND SPACE ROCK
REFLECT THE INHERENT ADAPTABILITY OF CALE'S GREAT SONGS. YOU MUST BUY THIS
Rob Stone "Back Around Here," Earwig/Burnside
Enjoy the bitter-sweet swingin' blues of Rob Stone. His traditional 12-bar blues sound is set up in tandem with plenty of brass instrumentation and 1950s style arrangements. His sense of humor is up with the best of blues artists. From "I Need to Plant a Money Tree," for example: "I got three dollars in my pocket/But I'll be spending four/The check I'm about to write you/Gonna bounce right off the floor!"
Rob Stone shows us a glimpses of Chicago both from the time when people were just getting their bearings after WWII as well as from today's urban struggles and joys. The soundscape of "Back Around Here" bristles with pavement pounding, shining fluorescent bar signs and the smiling faces of a dancing audience.
EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my true heroes. Her singing is so unique it's like speaking. She's completely naked within a song.
Willie Murphy "A Shot of Love in a Time of Need, 2 CD Set," Red House/Muff Ugga
A funkster from the Midwest music scene, Willie Murphy continues to pump out the jams with this uppity, danceable collection. One CD is dedicated to new songs, while the other collects previous release by Murphy. According to Murphy himself, "There's no political stuff on this album, which is pretty unusual for me." However, the spirit of his music - the feeling that what's needed in the world is a little more love and a little more dance - is rebellious in its own way.
Murphy is a experienced musician, and he shows his writing abilities on "A Shot of Love." He comes across as sweet and fun, but it's nice to imagine that just beneath the surface, there is a thoughtful man who strives to change the world with the music that he makes.
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: singer/songwriter robert earl keen has a tremendous
following outside of his home state of texas. he is best known for his
beer-friendly live shows and remarkable anthems and the white-trash yuletide classic
"merry christmas from the family" . closer attention reveals a writer with a
novelist's eye for character and narrative detail and a sharp ear for catchy
Jeff Healey "Last Call," Canada/Factor/Stony Plain
Jeff Healey gives us one last surprise. This posthumously released album represents a vast and beautiful twist to his usual blues rock. "Last Call," except for the modern production, might have come right out of the 1920s or 1930s. Jazz guitar, piano, and even trumpet and violin, show no trace of the hum-drum that has largely become jazz guitar today.
He sings as if in a warm little cafÇ on a chilly night. He plays as if all that exists are your awaiting ears. Most of the songs on "Last Call" sound like they belong on the "Amelie" soundtrack. A couple of tracks break this theme and venture into the world of old-timey jazz-blues. If you are a long-time Healey fan, be prepared to see another side of this recently-passed artist. If you are a young, hip kid who's nostalgic about the music of the '20s and '30s, you should get this collection of classic covers.
"SO NICE GOTTA DO IT UP TWICE" (created by the original NYC D.J., Jocko, 1955)
******Shelton's Single of the Week: LAURA"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: THE LATE GREAT BLIND GUITARIST DIDN'T RECEIVE THE WIDESPREAD EXPOSURE HE DESERVED. PERHAPS HIS GUITAR PLAYING WAS SIMPLY TOO EXITING. HE TIGHTENED UP HIS SOUND WITH STRAIGHTFORWARD ROCKERS AND COVERED ALL MUSIC PHENOMENALLY, FROM COUNTRY TO BLUES TO ROCK TO JAZZ. NOBODY PLAYED THE GUITAR LIKE JEFF HEALEY.
Texas Hippie Coalition "Rollin'," Carved
After reading the title of this band, the true sound of its music is a merry little blood-curdling surprise (of course, the record label should have been a dead giveaway). The Texas Hippie Coalition - THC for short - fits neither into glam metal nor black metal categories. Instead, it goes light on the double bass, opts for clear, understandable lyrics and sounds like it should be blared from a Harley. The melodies themselves have that grayish sheen that makes metal so hardcore.
With true Texas spirit, these rockers love guns, those pointy electric guitars from the 1980s, and to turn up the volume. So get ready for some hard metal with a sense of humor.
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "TIGHT FITTIN' JEANS"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: FIRST OF ALL, ANYBODY WHO DEVOTES AN ALBUM TO HOWARD ZINN IS A FRIEND OF MINE. AND SECOND OF ALL, THE MAN HAS TRULY, THANKS TO HIS MUSIC, LIVED A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.
Ben Prestage "Love at Pineapple Willy's, 2 CD Set," Independent/CDBaby
Ben Prestage is a charming country-boy-come-bluegrass-punk with more than his share of the talent in the world. He is a one-man band, using homemade rigs in order to create a guitar, bass and drum setup that can be played by him all at once. Picking and strumming and generally using great finesse to bang out even the grittiest tunes, Prestage will capture your attention at home just as he did for his audience that night at Pineapple Willy's.
Live albums can be hard to record. This one sounds pretty good, considering it is an independent release. Most importantly, though, Prestage's fantastic playing, high energy and sometimes goofy lyrics come through loud and clear. This is not a serious album, but it is seriously fun, and it's great to hear real southern styles from a person who grew up in a genuinely remote part of Florida.
******Shelton's Single of the Week: ""FOGGY RIVER"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: BY THE TIME HE WAS IN HIS MID-THIRTIES, KENTUKIAN
RICKY SKAGGS HAD ALREADY PRODUCED A LIFETIME'S WORTH OF GREAT
MUSIC. HE'S DONE IT AGAIN.
Orianthi "Believe (II)," Geffen/UMG
"Believe (II)" is a new edition of Orianthi's first major-label album. Containing four new tracks from the female Australian electric guitar rocker, "Believe (II)" updates 1980s rock for the new millennium. The 24-year-old has never been able to hold back her love for guitar, and has played with the likes of Carlos Santa, Steve Vai and (gasp!) the late King of Pop.
Orianthi, in recent years, has decided to channel her musical passion into creating her own songs. Badass and fun, the music isn't anything you haven't heard before, but it does boldly wail its way into the forefront of today's plugged-in rock scene. Hopefully, Orianthi will inspire a generation of youngsters to pick up a guitar just as she was inspired by the hard rockers of the 1980s.
***************If You Like Music You're Gonna Love This******************
******Shelton's Single of the Week: "WORKING MAN'S CAFE"*************
EDITOR'S NOTE: ONLY AFTER RELOCATING TO BROOKLYN DID COMMON BEGIN HIS MOST ARTISTICALLY FERTILE PERIOD. THE ANTI-GANGSTA RAPPER HAS A MONUMENTAL PROFILE THESE DAYS. HE'S DOCUMENTED HIP-HOP'S CREATIVE DECLINE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, HE HAS CREATED A HYPNOTIC TURN INTO THE NEW HIP-HOP DIRECTION OF TODAY OF REALITY.