A couple days ago, I blogged about a new feature on the AV Club called Random Rules. They have celebrities and whatnot put their iPods (or their iTunes, or their non-iPod MP3 players, or their WinAmp) on shuffle and write a graf about the first five songs that come up. No cheating.
Here’s mine, but what’s yours?
I was a Michael Jackson fan as a kid, I only came to Prince in college. I had dismissed it all as synth-pop garbage in my mind, but boy was I wrong. This is actually one of my favorite Prince songs, from Controversy, which is a cool album. Not as good as Dirty Mind, but the same kind of hard synthy funk that he moved away from when he got REALLY big. He played this song at a show my girlfriend and I went to at the Fillmore, Valentine’s Day two or three years ago. Great show, although there was a group of REALLY drunk late-30-something white women who were REALLY awful.
Killer Mike — Niggas Down South
This is from The Killer Mixtape, which he put out last year. Killer Mike might be the most underappreciated rapper out. He can really, really spit. He’s got flows and his lyrics are great. He’s sort of like Big Boi, but he has a ferocity in his flow and voice that Big Boi doesn’t. His voice has impact. “Ask your older brother ’bout me / I’m O.G.”
D’Angelo — Playa Playa
This is from Voodoo, which is among my favorite records of all time. It’s a vibey record, which is a word for shitty Maxwell albums and stuff, but the only other records that can match it for me in that department are Blowout Comb by Digable Planets and Fresh by Sly & the Family Stone. Not just a make-out record. I saw the Voodoo tour (again with my girlfriend), and it was probably my #1 concert experience ever. I await the followup patiently.
(an episode of This American Life)
Not sure if this counts. I’ve heard almost literally every episode of This American Life.
Raphael Saadiq — Uptown
This is a great song from Saadiq, who coincidentally produced “Untitled” from Voodoo. He was also a member of Tony Toni Tone. It’s about conflicts over leaving the hood.
Akon — Gunshot (Fiesta Riddim)
This is from this great mixtape Akon put out last year called Illegal Alien Vol. 1. I dunno if there were more volumes, if so, I should get them. I love Akon’s voice… it’s tough to find a male singer suited to singing what’s basically hip-hop. Akon’s voice is thin, but it’s really haunting. It’s spry, too, or maybe sinewy. He can sing with hip-hop phrasing and it sounds right. The best song on this mixtape was a “freestyle” over the beat from Anthony Hamilton’s “Comin From Where I’m From” called “Senegal,” about Akon’s childhood in Africa.