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DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh PrinceHe's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Jive/Real Gone, 1988. New Copy 2CD ... $18.99 19.99
One of those rare moments where a mainstream hit goes onto preface years of creative talent to come – even though the whole thing might have seemed like a bit of a one-off at the time! The young Will Smith is fantastic as the Fresh Prince – full of charm, at a level that really upped the game for so many other MCs at the time – especially because both his lyrics and his subject matter weren't maybe the most cutting-edge, but could really come over strong, thanks to the inherent stardom in his presentation! We could well argue that Will on the album introduced the whole idea of a crossover hip hop star – one able to do just about anything – but the whole record would be nothing without the creative skills of Jazzy Jeff – who went the complete opposite way after his pairing with Will – more expressive, more experimental – and even more firmly committed to the underground. Yet it was also that easy bridge between underground and fame that made early hip hop albums like this so great – as Jeff brings forward so many great musical moments on titles that include "Live At Union Square", "DJ On The Wheels", "My Buddy", "Rhythm Trax House Party Style", "He's The DJ I'm The Rapper", "Hip Hop Dancers Theme", "Jazzy's In The House", and "Human Video Game". Great 2CD version – featuring the songs missing from the previous single CD – "He's The DJ I'm The Rapper", "Hip Hop Dancer's Theme", "Jazzy's In The House", and "Human Video Game" – plus 11 more mixes, all the varying 12" takes on "Brand New Funk", "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble", "Nightmare On My Street", and "Parents Just Don't Understand". CD
Also available He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (with download & bonus album) ... LP 22.99
 
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Chris Dave & The DrumhedzChris Dave & The Drumhedz ... CD
Blue Note, 2018. New Copy ... $10.99 11.98
Funky drums and a whole lot more – a crackling Blue Note album from Chris Dave & The Drumhedz – maybe one of the few on the label to ever carry a parental advisory sticker! The sticker's well-placed, though – as Chris doesn't just drum, but also opens the door for a host of strong guest stars to provide plenty of lyrical content – a large lineup that includes Anderson.Paak, Bilal, Tweet, Sy Smith, Donald Rose, Krndn, Sir, Stokley Williams, Eric Roberson, Phone Coleman, Goapele, Anna Wise, Shafiq Husayn, and others – all of whom bring enough range of expression to match the energy of the Black Radio project from Robert Glasper! Like those records, this set's one that you never would have expected from Blue Note years back – but it's also a great example of the way the label's trying to find a new energy of expression in jazz – as Dave's drums work with keyboards from James Poyser, organ from Marcus Hodge, guitar from Isaiah Sharkey, and other great instrumental contributions from the likes of Keyon Harrold, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. The sound of the set is as diverse as its many collaborators – and titles include "Job Well Done", "Lady Jane", Trippy Tipsy", "Universal Language", "Rocks Crying", "Spread Her Wings", "Destiny N Stereo", "Clear View", "Atlanta Texas", "Whatever", "Sensitive Granite", "Cosmic Intercourse", "Dat Feelin", and "Black Hole". CD
 
 
 



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