That cradle sure is cryptic, Mommy.


Jun 17, 2005


The Bottom Line What? I don't have anything to say. Go away.

Yes, it has been about eighty years since crypticcradle (Eric to those of us cool enough to know his name) sent me his mix. I know, I'm terribly unpunctual, and there's a good chance that unpunctual isn't a word, so I'm also inarticulate. Still, better really, really late than never, right?

I don't know. Probably not, actually, when you consider that it's me.

Part one of the mix "Easy Jobs and Sweet Chocolate" (haha, I remember that conversation...is that lame?) brings us Candy Wrappers, which I noticed is the "hip-hop" part. Since I have been known to say that mainstream hip-hop often appalls me, this should be interesting. (Or, you know, not.)

1. "The Buzz Kill" - Sage Francis (Rating: 5/5): Sage Francis ain't happy. That's the impression I got with repeated listens of this track--that, and he's a pretty sharp guy. The musical background is very synth-heavy and sounds kind of like the song is creeping up on you and is going to kill you if you turn around (yes, I do make connections like that, got a problem?). I was going to give this song four instead of five because I thought it was a tad overlong, but then I noticed that he paraphrased one of my least favorite poems in a sardonic way ("Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Take them back/
Your homeless tempest-tost to me? Take them back") and bumped him up to five.

2. "Lo-Fi Funk" - Blueprint f. Aesop Rock (Rating: 4/5): When I first listened to this, I wasn't paying attention to the lyrics because I was busy dancing around absentmindedly to the almost freakishly fun music that accompanies them. The second time around, I got the lyrics and heard a whole lot of anger at our President, mainstream rap, Will Smith, unkempt people--anyone listen to DC 101.1 here? You know the gentle reminders? Well, this song is one big gentle reminder.

3. "New Man Theme" - Mr. Lif (Rating: 3/5): There is something distinctly pop sounding about this song, and it sounds like I've heard it before. There's a lot of...I don't know...swagger here, I guess, and I like it...I was going to give it five stars but it got a bit old with repeated listens. Dammit.

4. "All That You Are" - The Foreign Exchange (Rating: 5/5): I. Love. This. Song.

Allow me to repeat that one: I love this song. I love the little back-and-forth dynamic and the subject matter and the soul music background and the fact that it exists. I just...it just...and then I...and...just listen to it, okay? (However, I hate that it isn't on the radio.)

5. "Modern Man's Hustle" - Atmosphere (Rating: 2/5) Oh, wah...slow R&B type song, it would seem. For one of those kinds of songs, it's a pretty good one...for just a song in general, I don't like it very much. Not a big fan of that style.

6. "I See Colours" - Edan (Rating: 5/5) I bet he does see colours...that's what happens when you drop a ton of acid the way Edan must have to come up with such a psychedelic sounding song. I could swear that I hear an old acid song in the background here (is it the Doors? I can't really tell) and I love that kind of music. It's my guilty pleasure, but Edan's too good to be guilty here...this is one of the artists whose album I ended up buying thanks to this mix. (As it happens, I love it. Cool.)

7. "Battery" - Aesop Rock (Rating: 5/5) I got an Aesop Rock bootleg at a store based on the quality of this song (least, I think it was a bootleg--the poor sod behind the counter was veddy nervous about selling it to me), because I love how...atmospheric it is. I love the dark, atmospheric music and the introspective, atmospheric lyricism and...I just like it, okay? No one ever said I had to make sense.

8. "Beautiful" - Masta Ace (Rating: 4/5) This is different from most of the others, I think. I like how much warmer it sounds musically, and how much less negative and "look at me, I'm a gangsta, watch me kill this guy!" this is when compared with most mainstream hip-hop and crunk. Masta Ace doesn't hate life, he doesn't hate you, and there's a good chance he doesn't want you dead...how rare is that?

9. "Rain Water" - Brother Ali (Rating: 10/5) Whoa. Epic much?

Yes, epic much. I have come to the conclusion that what Brother Ali did to come up with this song involved ripping a few pages out of his journal and putting it to music. He questions everything that he knows here, but he still seems to have a huge amount of faith in his life, and that's another uncommon theme in hip-hop. Therefore, it's more than welcome here.

Pshh. Who says I don't like hip-hop? You converted me, Eric, you sly boots.

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