hip hop Tag

Stuff I’ve Been Listening To – Synths

Loose Ends (UK) – Hanging on a string 1984
Always loved Loose Ends and this classic track from them.

Welcome welcome. Here is a new post with some of my favorite synths, mostly across soul, jazz, funk, hip hop, and rock. I didn’t always know that I loved synths, I just like good music. But after hearing some chatter about synths in general and some of the machines created to make the sounds, I thought I’d share some of my favorites, not the best synths ever. This is totally subjective. Enjoy.
Little Dragon (Sweden) - A Place to belong (2007)
This is the first Little Dragon song I heard from my boy Miguel. Fonky.
We Are King (Minneapolis/LA) – The Greatest (2015)
Agggh, one of the illest soul groups of recent to write and produce w/ synths!!
Squarepusher (UK) – Plaistow Flex Out (2001)
Was turned on to Squarepusher by my homie and drummer Valentino 
Pink Floyd (UK) – On the Run (1973)
Always loved this Pink Floyd album! 
Kool & The Gang (Jersey City) – Summer Madness (1974)
Classic joint from a classic jazz, rock, soul band.

What is this? 

This series is called “Stuff I’ve been listening to” and this is my place to share music that I listen to while I work, process, decompress, and live life. Some of it is new, some old. But I’m always listening. I share in the hopes that you will find something that inspires you. Please share with a fellow music lover.

Satoshi & Makoto (Japan) – Crepuscule Leger (2017)
New! Don’t know much about these cats, but I dig it.
Jneiro Jarel (Philadelphia) – Soul Starr (2005)
Discovered Jeniro aka Dr Who Dat? at the record store and became an instant fan. 
Björk (Iceland) – Hyperballad (1995)
Heard Bjork through one of my best friends in the 90s and was blown away
Zion I w/ Mikos da Gawd (Oakland) – Saving Souls (2016)
RIP Zumbi, this is one of countless synth flavored Zion I songs

Did you miss the last installment of this series? 

Stuff I’ve been listening to 23: More Jazz
Stuff I’ve been listening to 22: Instrumentals
Stuff I’ve been listening to 21: Raps
Stuff I’ve been listening to 17: Soul
Stuff I’ve been listening to 19: UK Artists
Sexual Harassment (Midwest US) – I need a freak (1983)
House party track tried and true. First heard it as a child.
Chaka Khan (Chicago) – What Cha Gonna do for Me? (1981)
Radio classic on kiss fm in the Bay
Marcos Valle (Brazil) – Naō Tem Nada Naō (1973)
Found this cut via Madlib!
Kraftwerk (Germany) – Numbers (1981)
These cats are German, but this is straight up electro classic hip hop material. 

Ok, one last one fam….
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (Austin) – Kids (2016)

Discovered the guys through the Stranger Things soundtrack which was both old and new, simple, yet amazing! Reminds me of 80s movies and that was the point! Keep listening to new and old music. There are tons of great artists still coming out with music. If you’re not sure where to look, check out your local DJ, playlists, mixes, and your local independent radio stations……

Ashley T Visual – Beats!!


Just got hip to this producer via YouTube and love the beats she makes. Lots of different styes from this multidisciplinary artist. Her first EP is up on Bandcamp and you can follow her channel here.

Dig this? Check out the last post I made about JAZZ i’m listening to.

Stuff I’ve Been Listening to 22 – (Instrumentals)

Wha gwan? I got hip to this group through my mom who loves “The New Birth”. This group “The Nite Liters” is an off shoot or sub group of the New Birth and its the band I believe. Anyway, dig it. LINK . If you’re new. Every year I share some music that I love from many genres. The core is Black music. Take a listen to these instrumentals and beats! The Nite Liters – KJee (Louisville, 1970)
Slept on this album. I dig this beat. Alchemist has so many bangers across his career. Link to listen.
The Alchemist – No Window Tints (FETTI) (Los Angeles, 2018)

Don’t know much about Peruvian Pysch or the hisory of cumbia, but I love this instrumental version of “Botecito” by Los Orientales de Paramonga. I wrote about this song back in 2014 here on the Muphoric Sounds blog.

Los Orientales de Paramong- Botecito (Paramonga Peru, 1972)
This entire LP is headphones/ ride out music. One half of the Stuyvesants, brother Allmos made this dope album. Aromas is my favorite song off this.
Allmos- Aromas Naturalle (Portland, 2017)
Kokoroko is an amazing band lead by trumpeter Sheila Maurice Grey from the UK and I love their mix of jazz, high life, funk, and everything in between.
Kokoroko-Age of Ascent (United Kingdon, 2022)

Love this dude DJ Harrison. First heard him via Ivan Ave from Oslo. He’s a multi-instrumentalist from Richmond Virginia and is also a member of Butcher Brown. His bandcamp is full of incredible beat tapes like this. Pen Eyes 9 is my favorite.

DJ Harrison- Pen Eyes 9 (Richmond,VA, 2021)

This whole LP is fire. Jahari Massamba Unit is drummer/producer Karriem Riggins and producer Madlib. Merde is my favorite track from the album.
Jahari Massamba Unite – Merde (Detroit/ Los Angeles, 2020)
Kiefer is such a dope musician. His work as a producer and jazz pianist is instantly recognizable when you hear it. Peep his catalogue.
Kiefer – Superheo (Los Angeles, 2021)

This is a dope cut from vibraphonist and vocalist Roy Ayers. Produced for the 70s Blaxploitation flick Coffy starring Pam Grier. Fans of Hieroglyphics will recognize this one from Casual’s first LP.

Roy Ayers – Brawlin Broads( Los Angeles, 1973)
I became familiar with “The Putbacks” through Hiatus Kaiyote and I dig the way they play alone and with other artists. This is my favorite track from this album.
The Putbacks – Hold on (Melbourne, 2018)

I grew up listening to this band and I love Sade. If you go back and listen, the band included an instrumental song on most of the Sade albums including their solo Sweetback album. Siempre Hay Esperanza is dope but this is my favorite.

Sade – Mermaid (United Kingdom, 1992)

Georgia Anne Muldrow, the producer and vocalist has a ton of records under her belt including an album by Elzhi entirely produced by her, and several instrumental LPs such as Vweto 2. This is my favorite from that album.
Georgia Anne Muldrow- Bass Attack Rap (Los Angeles, 2019)


If I were a producer I would add an 808 and some drums to this interlude produced by Lianne La Havas and Geo. Its my 2nd favorite track on this album. But as it stands, I would listen on repeat for days.

Lianne La Havas – Out of your mind (London, 2020)

That’s it, there are so many more like this snippet from Oddisee’s new material but thats it for today. If you like discovering new music check out some of these other posts I’ve made over the past few years. Remember, even though you may have a sweet spot for a specific era or period, there’s always great music to be discovered and appreciated. Some of its old, and some is brand new! The best way to hear that new new is through your local favorite DJ. Playlists are great too, but hug a human through your speaker.

Stuff I’ve been listening to 21: Raps

Stuff I’ve been listening to 17: Soul

Stuff I’ve been listening to 19: UK Artists

Stuff I’ve been listening to 20: Remixes

EDIT: Added later

ESG (Emerald , Sapphire, & Gold) – UFO Classic rock/hip hop shit

Power Struggle (MC) Documentary

Yo, brother Nomi aka “Power Struggle” (Beatrock, Odd Jobs, Kill the Vultures). Bro is an educator, musician, and organizer who not only writes about the struggles of working class people and does it with incredible hip hop songs. Nomi is from Minneapolis but he’s been in the Bay for nearly 20 years and a comrade in this work to make art from the heart and simultaneously speak about the struggle for liberation whether it be specifically about Pinays, People of color, the Filipino diaspora, or young men of color. 

Listen to his new LP! Out on Beatrock music!

If you’re in the Bay tomorrow you can catch him performing and listen to his new LP in Frisco!
And if you don’t know him check out this short documentary about him by Eric Tandoc
Dig this? Check out this remix of Dead Prez’s “Hip hop” by Pele Durian Funk

Stuff I’ve been Listening to 21 – (Raps)

What up tho? This is not a playlist of all time greatest rap songs, my favorite rappers, or even the best raps to come out in the past 6 years. These are just a few songs that I remember playing over and over by various MCs. Mostly in the US and the UK.
Every year I upload a bunch of songs or podcasts that I’m listening to. Because music is such a big inspiration for me as an artist I do this pretty frequently. Theres so much music coming out compared to when I was a teen. I’d say DJs are still the best way to hear the good shit. Going to festivals is good. So is checking out playlists on streaming services.
Some folks I’d like to mention that you might have passed up because they’re got enough buzz are Freddie Gibbs x AlchemistBabies & Fools, Nipsey Hussle-Double Up, Nas-Speechless, annnnd, what are you listening to rhyme wise? Like, you play it on REPEAT type shit.
Ok if you missed some of the previous playlists like this I made feel free to check out some of them here:

That’s it fam. If you missed this hip hop documentary, check it out. Its the legendary Souls of Mischief!

Stuff I’ve been listening to – 20 (Remixes)

Otis Redding- Sitting on the dock of the bay DJ Spinna remix 2021

Listening to this remix of Otis Redding the other day reminded me how a good remix can really light up a depressing day. With isolation from family, friends, and restrictions I look for inspiring things to share. And I started this series of blog posts, to share good music new and old. The majority of this will be hip hop, soul, and reggae but I know many genre’s have their dope remixes.


Brandy – I wanna be down IAMNOBODI remix 2013

The Roots – Silent treatment Da Beatminerz Remix 1995
Maylee Todd – Hieroglyphics Tall Black Guy Remix 2012
Mega Banton – Sound Bwoy Killin Salaam Remi Remix 2000
Teedra Moses – Be your girl Kaytranada Remix 2013
The Pharcyde – She said Jay Dee/Dilla remix 1995

Little Dragon – Seconds Syd The Kyd Remix 2010

A remix is a restructuring of an existing song. It could have the same beat and different verses, the same lyrics and a different beat, or a slight change that makes the song slower or faster. Either way it is an improvement of an existing song. These are some of my favorite remixes. It’s not comprehensive, it’s a list of what I like. Feel free to comment with your fav remix!

Dead Prez – Hip Hop w/ Sault Pele Durian Funk remix 2020
Capelton -Tour Dynamik Duo Remix 1994
De La Soul – Stakes is High w/ Fela Amerigo Gazaway Remix 2011
E40 -Tell me when to go Trackademicks Remix 2006
And there are so many more. For instance, the Luniz “I got 5 on it” remix, A Tribe Called Quest “Bonita Applebum” remix, NWA‘s “Dopeman” remix, SWV “Right here”, or the Black Hippy Remix of “That Part” by Schoolboy Q. Ahhhh there are so many lesser known artists w/ dope remixes too. What’s your favorite remix?
Want to hear more music? Check out my posts from the past!
Stuff I’ve been listening to 19 – UK Artists
Stuff I’ve been listening to 18 – House Music
Stuff I’ve been listening to 17- Soul
Stuff I’ve been listening to 15 – Jazz

Black is Beautiful 2022 – The Black Resurgents


“The Black Resurgents” is a historic dance group from Oakland California. There were many dance groups back then but these gents became the official dancers for the Black Panther Party! They also stood out performing at talent shows, concerts, and events all across Oakland and the Bay. For those that don’t know Boogaloo, Strutting, and Robotting come from the Bay. Oakland, Frisco, and Richmond to be exact. And this group was one of the pioneers of this dance. Rick the Robot, Mr Penguin, LA, and The Crowd Pleaser along with others formed the group in 1971. They danced to funk! They moved their bodies with the music and the moves groups like theirs The Black Messengers, Close Encounters of the Funkiest Kind, Media Cirkus, Demons of The Mind, Granny and The Robotroid, P-T 3000, influenced dancers all across the world and can be seen in the moves of Bay turf dancers, hip hop choreography, and in dance competitions. 
A crew of them got together and created their own alliances and a yearly event called the Boogalaoo Reunion to reclaim that name from white supremacists and to celebrate the culture in dancers both young and old. Their continued performing educates the next generation and gives context to where all these people got their moves from. Shout out to Traci Bartlow who is a part of this lineage, The Malonga Casquelord Center, Destiny Arts, The Hyphy movement, and East Side Arts Alliance for keeping dance alive! 

Sources: The Strutters Room, KQED Arts, Doug Harris, TheBlackResurgents.com

2018: Peep this piece I did of Alvin Ailey

In case you’re following along with me, here’s the last one I did this year: The Warehouse Club in Chicago!

Gratitude – Lunar Heights


The words, feel, vibe, and subject matter are resonating big w/me today. These cats have been rocking for at least 15 years and one of them was a teacher to my son in Oakland. Big respect to Spear of the Nation and Jerneye!
To cop music from them: lunarheights.bandcamp.com/
In case you missed it, here is some recent music I was feeling from the UK.