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The Curious Case of Esthero (From 2009)

Esthero 2010

The Curious Case of Esthero

The love affair started with lyrics that were desperately sexy, haunting and vulnerable:

I could give you

The most delicious kisses on your face

You see I need you to be addicted to me

I am calm now in the corners of his mouth

I am still now, I will not live without

I am pure now, safe inside my final home

Accompanying a beat best described as sci fi apocalypse-n-bass—from the maestro DJ Krush—“Final Home” introduced me to the wonder that is Esthero. The previous year (1998) I’d heard Breath From Another, and thought that it was a great, if somewhat uneven album. Esthero’s voice was dynamic, but some of the beat choices undermined the vocals to the point where I almost wrote her off. Fast-forward ten or so months, and then I hear “Final Home”. It was one of five songs that made me cry. The other four are “Mississippi Goddamn” by Nina Simone, “Little Wing” by Jimmy Hendrix, “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode, and “Georgia” by Ray Charles. I played the song many times in a row and was hooked. Continue reading

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Childish Gambino – Camp: A Review (From 2011)


Confession: For a very long while now, me and hip-hop have been on the outs. This rift feels like the slow-motion dissolution of a very long and complicated relationship – Can it just die, already? But there is a tether, something that won’t allow me to let go completely. It’s easy to cocoon myself in the recollection of the good times, sit there, basking in the nostalgic glory of that initial boom-bap love affair. But most of what I feel is nostalgia. Smiling when I first heard 3 Feet High and Rising, feeling that rush of adrenaline when the life changing force of The Low End Theory spilled from the ancient Panasonic; or hearing The Roots Organix and all was right and good with the world. Even now, there are a few hip-hop artists that I will buy (yes, buy, not download) religiously: The Roots, Roots Manuva, Aloe Blacc, El-P, but there aren’t too many who fall in the rarified sphere of me parting with my cash. As you can tell (and I’m sure I’ll be accused of it) there is a certain ‘type’ of hip-hop I enjoy. I want it to be smart, witty, and have a certain whimsy. Hip-hop needs whimsy. Trust. Continue reading

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Hip-Hop is Grown, Son!

FourElementsHipHopWhenever I hear someone utter anything pertaining to hip-hop being a youth culture, my conspiracy brotha kicks in: ‘See? They are just trying to keep the black man infantilized so that they can circumcise us whenever they want to.’ It’s ridiculous (not to mention hypocritical) to take shots at Jay-Z’s age when the Rolling Stones have a cadre of necromancers on staff to resurrect their carcasses once a year. Hip-hop is an adult; deal with it. Continue reading

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Taste Nirvana Brand – Thai Coffee

Normally I don’t drink anything out of a can. You have no idea what is lurking in there, down in the depths of murky liquid. I was a mile or so (if you can believe that) away from a Starbucks or a Peet’s coffee spot, and I needed a a jolt (not the cola). I stepped into a Vietnamese market because they had posters of coffee and tea drinks in their window. This was the first one I saw. It was just the right amount of cold–I’m more of a room temperature water and tea guy. I popped it open, peered inside (you never know) and took a sip. The sip morphed into a swig that changed to a gulp. Smooth. Not too sweet. Strong coffee flavor. Most coffee drinks are sweetness with a hint of coffee. This was the opposite. It took me seconds to drain the 10.5 fl.oz can. No aftertaste. No aftertaste is a really big deal. If you like cold, sweetened coffee that doesn’t taste like hot death after consumption, and doesn’t give you the jitters because of an obscene amount of caffeine, give this a try. But remember to look in the can before you drink it. You never know.

Health information:

  • Contains both milk and soy.
  • 19g of sugar
  • 15 mg cholesterol
  • 210 mg sodium
  • 170 calories
  • Comes in a can you can’t see into