With the longest January in recent memory (or is that every January?) coming to a close, I think we’re all glad to put that one in the rearview mirror. In Vancouver, we spent most of it in a see saw battle between blizzards and torrential rain. After the liquid deluge of last week, today showed positive signs that landed me at the beach with ‘Dog of the Year’, Charlee, and some brief glimpses of sunshine. Sure, it was colder than the hearts of most of my exes, but any sanctuary from the wet stuff in these sun-deprived months gives the brain a much needed boost of dopamine.
Tomorrow’s forecast: 20 cm’s of snow.
Here we go again. Time to break out the chains on the whip and dig through a fresh dump of pacific powder. While we’re at it let’s chip a chunk off the glacier of music that has emerged over the last few weeks. We’ve had a big couple weeks in music with Grammy’s and a blistering performance by Pop’s biggest Latin divas, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, at the Super Bowl this past Sunday. You can argue lip syncing opinions (did anyone think they wouldn’t) all day, but you couldn’t deny the overall performance value of the megastars. You dance like that you get a pass on the lip-syncing argument. Fight me.
In the spirit of latin music’s heaviest hitters of the moment shining in Miami, we’ll dish some flavour on this version of Beats and Pieces with one from last year, that managed to slip under my radar. But before we get to that let’s dish out a fresh disco appetizer courtesy of two of my all-time favourite DJs, A-Trak and Armand Van Heldon. The Duck Sauce is back baby! Empty the bottle.
Smiley Face by Duck Sauce
Loco Contigo by DJ Snake, J. Balvin, Tyga
This next joint took me back to what made me fall in love with hip hop back in the day. This has got a vintage 90s vibe, which should come as no surprise coming from Erick Sermon off his latest release, ‘Vernia’. featuring Raekwon and N.O.R.E. taking you back to some of life’s greatest earlier memories, like your back not hurting. Exercise your neck.
My Style by Erick Sermon ft. Raekwon & N.O.R.E
Homeboy Sandman is one of my favourite MCs, right now. I could dust this section with a key of props for the dude, but I already did that here, so peep that piece if you want to know a little more. I haven’t given the album my full attention yet, but after thoughtful scan, I picked out a few standouts. Homeboy has the propensity to spit deep and clever bars over beats with, minimal or no drums. The first main standout would be track two’s ‘Far Out’ off his latest offering, ‘Dusty’. Second would be his song ‘Pussy’ which I can assure you is not about cats and is pretty hilarious. Peep that one on your own time. For now….. This.
Lookout by Homeboy Sandman ft. Quelle Chris & Your Old Droog
Rounding this out on this instalment I’ve got to divvy out a little somethin’ somethin’ for my house heads. Once this stuff gets in your blood, it ain’t leaving. And that is perfectly fine with me. Loulou Records is a solid label with a great sound worth checking out. Not over the moon for the vocal chop but the bass line makes up for it in spades.
World by Maik Jhony
JT James is a DJ, producer and writer based out of Vancouver, Canada. A veteran of the DJ and recording worlds. he has produced several projects in the genres of hip hop and electronic music under various aliases such as James Divine, Track Nicholson and Sandy Villanova. Be on the lookout for his upcoming single with underground hip hop legend Ras Kass and his electronic music collaboration with James Landau, in 2020.
Cover photo by Josh Hild