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Just kidding. Almost everything important, at least as far as hip hop goes is right here, thanks to Skillz. This is a great track:

Skillz – Rap Up 2008

I’ll be doing a couple other wrap up posts over the next couple days, probably.

So it’s been over a month since there’s been anything of interest on here. We dropped the ball on our up-to-the-minute coverage of 808s and Heartbreak the week it came out. We all sort of concurrently decided that our interest in blogging and music criticism had faded.

But, it’s been a month of reflection for me (not really), and I’m on vacation, and I’m back in America, where I have been doing music criticism for the last four years in some capacity, so I’ll still be on that grind somehow. From here on out, I’ll be resuming my music editorial duties for The Carl, so you can probably catch the odd blog post from me over there at their website.  I guess it’s bizarre to keep blogging on here, but I plan to start updating at least a little more frequently because all my unexpressed opinions need a home. I’ll also try to link to stuff I write elsewhere. And this way Greg and Gabe have a home if they ever want to come back. So welcome to the New Everything All of the Time, more commonly known as Some Stuff Occasionally.

The point of this is that I want to make a shout-out to my cousin Hannah, who I recently discovered has a good hip hop blog that you can now find on our blogroll.

Also, here’s some music I’ve been listening to lately:

The Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind: Laid-back R&B from Phonte of Little Brother. You can lounge to this all day.

The Very Best – Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are The Very Best: Classified as Tropical/Dance in its genre column, this mixtape is worldly and dancy, references the entire spectrum of bloggable music, and is fun as hell. Also it’s available for free download here.

Blu & Exile – Below The Heavens: I’d been meaning to listen to this for a long time, and I wish I had done so earlier. Blu is a great MC: expressive, autobiographical, funny, and emotional, and Exile’s beats are gorgeous. This is one of the best hip hop albums I’ve heard in the last couple of years, and it deserves all the praise it’s gotten.

Black Milk – Tronic: It’s past imitating Dilla and on to its own legacy for this collection of great beats and hard-hitting raps from one of Detroit’s finest.

Those are my notes for now. Welcome back. Oh, also that Greg’s not writing anymore, I’m not putting up those social bookmarking links. Nobody used those.

The bad news: Gabe’s mixes are no more. We received a DMCA notice today, which doesn’t sound like something I want to deal with. So that’s that.

The good news: We have an email address. All musicians, publicists, and adoring female readers can feel free to contact us at gregkyleandgabe@gmail.com. (Who the hell had already taken everythingallofthetime@gmail.com, I don’t know.)

That’s it.

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I forgot to mention, I started a travel blog. I’m going to write about studying abroad in South Africa like once a week, hopefully. Check it out.

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Check it out

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It’s pretty easy for me to come up with at least one reason a day that Bill O’Reilly sucks, thanks to Keith Olberman, but when someone, like, say, Nah Right gives me a reason, I really pounce. Here he is making fun of Nas for “peddling the ‘N’ word to children.” I won’t bother to refute his arguments because they are self-evidently dumb.

But you know what I really hate? The way that conservatives have turned the whole “N word” thing around on black people. As if Bill O’Reilly is the sanctimonious protector of race rights and Nas hates black people because he uses the “N word.” Because Fox News isn’t racist. Anyway, here’s a little comedic gem of Bill O waxing poetic about Nas’ inability to sell records and all the ways in which this is promotion for his album. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt, Bill, but why are you so upset? Is it because he uses the “N word?” Or because he eviscerates you on that album?

[redlasso id=”aa0463fd-94c2-444f-93ad-3f538102d74d”]

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Kanye West is going to be performing at the Democratic Convention. Also, Barack Obama might be appearing at Lollapalooza. Man, Democrats are so much hipper than Republicans. Although John McCain does have the endorsements of, well, no musicians, as far as I can tell. I guess music is a sore subject for Republicans these days.

The GZA released a dis track towards 50 Cent. I’m starting to feel bad for 50. I mean, he’s kind of out of the picture now. It may be all about album sales, but T.O.S. kind of hit the P.O.S. mark on that, at least by G-Unit standards, so I don’t know what 50’s spin is these days.

Okay, I like Freeway, even if this song has nothing to do with free speech in the way that, say, Nas might mean it. But damn if I don’t hate snitches. Plus, it’s a good track:
Freeway – “Freedom of Speech”

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There’s a considerable list of hip hop related news and tracks that I’m excited about today, so rather than giving each the post it probably deserves or I would give it on a slow day, I’m just going to summarize:

Jay-Z has already mentioned that he’s ready to get back in the studio, and it might be even more interesting given the fact that Timbaland claims that he will be producing the whole next effort. Obviously, Jay can get pretty much anyone to produce for him, but Timbaland claims that they want this album to have “10” “Big Pimpin'”s (their previous collaboration). We’ll see. Timbaland was pretty hot two years ago, but his style has sort of stagnated since then. I’m dubious, especially considering Jay’s record of following good albums with disappointing ones. I mean, I thought American Gangster was pretty good.

Flava Flav’s got a kid! Does this mean that there won’t be a Flavor of Love 3? What will I watch at the gym now? I’m probably going to gain weight because of this.

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T.I. revealed the cover of his forthcoming album Paper Trail, due out on September 9th, yesterday. It’s all artsy and stuff:

Paper Trail

It kind of reminds me of Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait. T.I. says, in an interview with MTV, “I wanted to try something a little more different. The illustration for Paper Trail pays an obvious homage to my rekindled affinity for writing my lyrics down as well as displays my commitment to keep my art slanted towards the abstract.” Considering how well writing down his lyrics has worked so far (see “No Matter What,” “What Up”), I’m glad that he’s making his lyrics central to his art, since T.I. is honestly pretty capable of rapping entirely on charisma. Hopefully we’ll get some painfully twisted personal insights delivered with a swagger that only T.I. can muster. I have a feeling, or really just a hope, that this album will be the actual artistic breakthrough that T.I. was trying for with T.I. vs. T.I.P. I think I’m projecting too much onto this album cover, so I’ll stop.

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