Album Review: Playdough – Hotdoggin’

Playdough - Hotdoggin'

Hip-Hop is creepin’ up from the underground… and it’s a GOOD GOOD thing.

Hip-Hop artist Playdough is back with his first solo album in 5 years. A constant feature in the hip-hop collective Deepspace5 Playdough has been adding colour, flavour and cleverness to the underground hip-hop scene for a while now…

Playdough is coming FRESH after the creative efforts of Deepspace5’s 2010 album ‘The Future ain’t what it used to be’ and while what he adds to Deepspace5 is great… it’s even better to see him step out on his own again.

Often hip-hop albums can get ‘same old same old’ but Playdough doesn’t head down that track and has worked really hard to get the tracks sounding fresh and unique… and the tracks always take you somewhere… so often in main stream hip-hop you have a pimped up guy jumpin’ round and making noise on a track that goes nowhere and you leave neither inspired or enlightened.

Playdough gives you a healthy 1-2 punch- leaving you a little bit groggy… this album is deep in style, deep in creativity, deep in the groove and  deep in lyrical content that will leave you deep in thought while you’re spinnin’  another great Playdough lyric/groove mix in your head… well after the music has stopped.

Hotdoggin’ is like an anti-gravity button on your stereo… you cant help but have your feet leave the ground

AND… it’s Groooovy baby… in fact it’s so groovy Bootsy Collins may have to call the cops to ask where his groove went.

With all the fun and creativity on this album Playdough is able to keep it all pretty tight and this is a really well done album, especially since Playdough is able to show us some crazy skill while at the same time showing some of his heart… something that’s not easy to do in hip-hop.

If you like all the greats like Jurassic 5, De La Soul, Tribe called Quest and The Beastie Boys and Deepspace5

or if you think Christian Hip-hop can be more than Toby Mac then get your teeth into this album!

8/10

Have a listen to it (and then buy it on the link below… )

www.playdough.bandcamp.com

or iTunes

Album Review: Beastie Boys – The Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

The bomb has finally dropped… and the new Beastie Boys album is nearly upon us.

This album has been brewing for at least 3 years This album was originally going to be released as The Hot Sauce Committee Part 1  and set for release September 2009 (with singles ‘Lee Majors Come again’ and ‘too Many Rapper’ already released that year) However when Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with cancer the band pulled back a bit.

H.S.C. pt2 is the first full sounding B.B. album since ‘To the 5 Boroughs’ was released 2004 with the Grammy award winning  instrumental album ‘the Mix-up’ in the gap.

And so  May 2, 2011 the world will once again taste Beastie Boys… and they are back with their full bag of tricks.

From the very first funky notes of H.S.C. pt2 you know that you’re in for something special with ‘Make Some Noise’ a classic Beastie Boys sound.

Something that makes the Beastie Boys such a special group is they are able to push forward by constantly looking back or as NME said in 2004  ” the Beasties are re-examining hip hop what it was, what it is, what it can be” and this is highlighted by the very next track ‘Non-Stop’ with the kind of bass line that Bomb the Bass used for their 1994 track Bug Powder Dust.

Before you know it you’re at the track ‘Too Many Rapper’ featuring rapper Nas… with that familiar ‘growl’ pulsating through the whole track.

It’s really easy to be caught up in the this album… it’s so familiar yet so new, that real balance between making something both sweet and sour and hot – all at the same time. Just as you’re about to get complacent at what the Beastie Boys have laid out in front of you as you soak in that groove, and they chuck a spanner in the works… and they don’t rock harder… they break it down with some dub styles… laying down a fresh, clean, smooth summer sound with the track ‘Don’t play no game’.

Beastie Boys continue to look back as they seem to tip their hats to the Sugarhill gangs 1970’s funk infused rap with the track ‘Funky Donkey’ but they also seem to take a look back at their own albums with the intro for ‘Long Burn the Fire’  sounding like it should be on ‘the Mix-up’   and then of course ‘Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament’ which is a fully instrumental song bringing back a new softer dubbier side of the group.

Finishing the album with the track ‘Crazy Ass Sh*t’ is a stroke of genius – especially since it was the most ‘normal’ Beastie Boys track on the whole album.

This is an album to get… it fulfills all your hip-hop dreams… the fun and the groove of groups like The Sugarhill gang, Run DMC, De La Soul and Jurassic 5… but this album pushes hip-hop to some place new.

For those who love the Beastie Boys but would like to play them round your kids they have also released a ‘clean version’ with none of that fowl language that can make some groups sound like they need a thesaurus.

8/10

Lest We Forget – Easter & ANZAC Day combined.

Artificial poppies left on the Waitati cenotap...

Image via Wikipedia

In New Zealand 25th April is the day we celebrate ANZAC day… the day when we remember the service men and woman who sacrificed their lives  who fighting  at Gallipoli  in Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

This year it just happens that it falls on Easter Monday, which has made some people upset because it takes away another public holiday.

However I think it’s perfect.

Why you may ask?

There are a number of reasons like:

It reminds us of how important life is… and how we are to fight for it, yet straight after Easter it also reminds us how frail we are and how the fight of this life is for ‘something bigger’… and it’s bigger than the countries our service men/woman fought for.

It amazes me that ANZAC services get bigger and bigger as more and more younger people turn up… and this excites me. It excites me because it means that people still realise the importance of a life given. I had the privilege of marching in the ANZAC day parade in Melbourne a few years ago when my Grandpa was still alive and I was moved to tears as I walked the streets and people yelled “thanks for fighting for us guys” and “thanks for our freedom”… it was a moment in my life I will not forget.

With Easter and ANZAC day together we may loose a holiday but we are infused with this amazing knowledge of how important it was to have someone give their life for you… our servicemen and woman

But Jesus took it one step further – and this step was the most important.

The rose again from the dead.

“Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.” – Dr. S. M.  Lockeridge, (1976)

We can be filled with this amazing knowledge that because Jesus died AND rose again for us we know that something more than our Freedom on this earth is secured… but our Freedom for all eternity.

How important is it that we remember what Christ has done for us… and continues to do for us.

This long weekend we remember

Lest We Forget

‘Shadows’ (chorus) – David Crowder Band

When shadows fall on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When darkness falls on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When all seems lost
When we’re thrown and we’re tossed
We’ll remember the cost
We’re resting in the
Shadow of the cross

The difference is he rose again…

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

If you read the Bible and turn to the book of Acts the church was born out of one moment… and one man was in the middle of it all.

Jesus.

Yet he wasn’t there.

What made him so special?

Although Jesus said powerful words it wasn’t just his words that made him different, it says in the Bible that he “spoke with authority and the people were amazed” however it could be said that Buddah said words that could be considered wise… and people follow him too… or what about the Koran isn’t that full of wise words that people follow?

It wasn’t his death that made him special either… lots of people have died for having faith in all types of religions.

So what was it that took a bunch of cowardly fishermen and made them into people that were willing to be beaten up and thrown into prison for what they believed in?

It wouldn’t just be mere words… their leader had died, and they ran away.

The thing that made Jesus different to any other great teacher or leader was…

THE RESURRECTION!

That’s right… he came back to life.

In Acts it says that thousand of people became Christians after hearing the story of one thing… the ‘R’ word – Resurrection. They all knew about Jesus’ death, it was only a few miles from where they were… and it wasn’t years ago… it was a few months ago. This was FRESH this was REAL.

It needed to be something that was SO BIG that it turned the major religion at the time and TURN IT ON IT’S HEAD!

Resurrection.

They had seen other people who rose up against the Romans be crucified… and they stayed dead… every single one of them.

Other teachers, other leaders… dead… and they are still dead.

But the resurrection was something that no one could deny, over 500 people saw him, within weeks of his death.

Jesus Christ, not only rose from the dead… but he changed a whole religion within months of his death and resurrection.

Jesus Christ not only rose from the dead… but he saved your soul from a eternity in Hell.

Jesus Christ not only rose from the dead… but he was the only man to do so.

Buddah… dead.

Muhammad… dead

Jesus Christ… the difference is he rose again.

Jesus Christ… the difference is he’s the son of God.

Face to face with the cross.

Icon of Jesus being crucified

Image via Wikipedia

When I see pictures about Jesus being crucified on the cross I see these amazingly tall crosses with everyone standing under it looking up to Jesus.

While this image looks great in a painting as you see the backdrop of the grey sky… Its not a really accurate depiction of how it happened.

Through the passing down of knowledge through history we know that the Romans crucified Jesus… And because of this we also know that they crucified people on a cross that was not much higher than the crowd itself.

The Romans were known for their torture techniques, and part of their reasoning behind a cross so low was so that they could get people up close to the action… They wanted people to smell death… They wanted people to see the pain in peoples eyes…

They wanted people to Remember.

Crucifixion was a deterrent.
Don’t mess with the Romans.

I wonder if God was also saying to the people on that day… Look into the eyes of Jesus… This is what freedom looks like… This is the pain MY SON is willing to go through to set YOU free from death and hell… REMEMBER.

The Lion King vs The Little Princess vs Harry Potter

Harry Potter Lightning

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The Easter holidays have begun in our house, which is GREAT… however we are in Christchurch, we’re still having aftershocks AND to add insult to injury… it’s raining.

The rain… changes everything.

Instead of battles in the backyard as the kids (all 5 of them) create their own wee imaginary worlds we have the battle of the remote… and it comes down to movies.

We have kids from the ages from 8 to almost 2 so we need to have movies that are family friendly enough for everyone. This weeks movies are The Little Princess (not intentional Abi) , The Lion King, Harry Potter, Tinkerbell and Bob the Builder… the fight is ON.

But what it has made me think about is how different people respond to different types of stories.

I’m currently going through the book in the Bible of Acts and one thing that James (the brother of Jesus) says is that we should leave each other alone as far as how people approach the Gospel.

You see some people come from a traditional Christian background and they a used to hearing and responding to the Gospel message a certain way.

While some people are not from traditional backgrounds and like to hear it in a more contemporary way.

So what’s that got to do with movies?

Well I have 5 kids they are all brought up with the same values and they are brought up in similar school systems and they all go to church… but the way they all take it in is very very different. In the mix I have twin girls born 14 minutes apart… yet one is a ‘Princess girl’ all things pink….all things fashion… all things girly. While the other likes imaginary worlds and animals. It’s amazing these kids live with each other all the time, yet they are so different.

So why do we expect Christians to fit in with one style of worship… we have guys wanting church to be more blokey… ladies wanting more songs about Gods love… and youth wanting more electric guitars.

The answer… don’t get offended by someone else’s worship… and don’t try and offend other people in their quest to worship God more.