Tre Hardson – “Liberation”
Abby Berendt – Assistant Music Director KCSU
It’s time to let go with Tre Hardson, former member of one of Hip-Hop’s most under-appreciated groups, the Pharcyde. His latest album, “Liberation,” released in September 2002, is a venture filled with more soul and jazz than ever expected from a rapper who used to shout, “Yo’ mamas got a peg leg with a kick-stand!” But on this effort, Hardson shouts out many thanks to the likes of Chali 2Na (Jurassic 5), Kim Hill, N’Dea Davenport, Nikka Costa, and Evidence (producer Dilated Peoples). “Liberation” is a “tale of what we go through in life; we are ever-evolving and changing.” The solo-debut album proves Hardson has matured and expanded his musical stylings. “Liberation” is filled with incredibly poetic, sexy, groove-filled lyricism, and sample-free beats. It’s true R&B, soul and hip-hop all mixed in to one. Love him, cause he loves you. Listen to Tre Hardson on Your Radio, 90.5 KCSU!
Roni Size – “Touching Down”
Malik Idbeis – KCSU RPM Director
Roni Size follows up his crossover hit, “Reprazent” with his new studio album, “Touching Down.” This time around, Size goes solo and gets rid of the guest emcees and concentrates on intense drum and bass, and he hits it out of the park. “Touching Down” incorporates the nasty drum programs and extremely funky and original basslines to keep this album fresh. Songs such as “Vocoda Funk” keep things grooving and full of flavor, while “Sorry For You” has an incredibly intelligent sound perfect for that hip bar that keeps you on your musical toes. Overall, Size has created a quality drum and bass album, although it is not for the faint of heart. If you like solid drum and bass then this album is for you, so turn it up and get nasty! Check out Roni Size on 90.5fm every Sunday night from 10 p.m. – midnight on In the Mix.
Ramallah – “But A Whimper”
Peter Fryer – KCSU Metal Director & Prime-Time DJ
Ramallah Palestine, is the “epicenter of all the atrocity and inhumanity associated with the region,” according to Rob Lind aka “White Trash Rob” of Blood for Blood fame. You’re not going to find the personal anecdotes as with BFB, but a general hatred for the world. Ramallah is a solo project by Lind, and features guest vocals by Jacob Bannon, singer of Converge. The music is heavier than a Mack Truck filled with lead, and angrier than rabid dogs in heat. The music is, at times, palatable, with occasional melody intertwined. A glimpse at some of Ramallah’s sentiments clarifies: “your leaders/they’re killers/ they’re liars/ what they do in your name/ to make the bodies pile higher.” With only eight tracks clocking in at less than 14 minutes, it seems too short. However, Lind’s intensity, Bannon’s vocals, and the heavy riffing kick too much ass to go unnoticed. Make sure to listen for Ramallah on The Dreadful Hours Tuesday nights from 8-10 p.m.
The Roots – “Phrenology”
Yosef Assafa & Jeremy Newsom – Urban Department
Internationally respected Philadelphia based hip-hop band The Roots, blessed the hungry ears of hip-hop appreciates with their fifth album, “Phrenology” on Nov. 26. The highly anticipated album came at a time when hip-hop was losing its sense of art and creativity. Over the years The Roots have relaxed us with their jazzy live band composure, motivated us with their poetic hip-hop anthems, and kept us wanting more with their one of a kind style of delivery. The brand new album “Phrenology” added a rock ‘n’ roll component to The Roots hip-hop origin. The lead man for The Roots, Black Thought, proved he is one of the most inventive lyricists in the hip-hop game. The album addressed issues such as the exploitation of women, love, unfaithfulness, our corrupted society, and, most importantly, quality music. Talib Kweli, Musiq, Nelly Furtado and Jill Scott were some of the artist that joined The Roots in this incredible musical journey. Check out The Roots everyday on 90.5 KCSU, and on Cypher Sessions, Sat. 10 p.m. – midnight.
Northstar – “Is This Thing Loaded?”
Brian Quint – KCSU Volunteer
“Northstar is the greatest band ever,” said Taking Back Sunday, a band who recently brought Northstar on their tour. With a mix of energetic anthems, irresistible la da da’s, intricate guitar work and a tad of enraged screaming, it’s hard not to sing along with songs such as “Rigged and Ready” and “Broken Parachute.” Nick Torres’ lyrics are reminiscent of Saves the Day’s Chris Conley’s, at times, with lines like “There’s something about a morning without that perfect picture… F*** you and the future we don’t have.” For fan of pre-mainstream Jimmy Eat World, “Is This Thing Loaded?” has catchy harmonies and beautiful melodies that get better and better with every listen. Listen to 90.5 KCSU for all of the “greatest bands ever.”
The Early November – “For All of This”
John Holland – News Director
Drive Thru records has a reputation of signing the Backstreet Boys of the emo scene with bands like the Starting Line and New Found Glory. I was convinced that nothing good would ever come from this label. Then I saw The Early November live, bought their CD, and was proven wrong. Sometimes you think you’re listening to Dashboard Confessional but then you realize that it’s too good and too rockin’ to be that guy. There isn’t a bad song on the album, although “I Want to Hear You, Sad” sounds like it came from a teen movie. The music is great, the live show is even better and the singer’s name is Ace. Can anything bad come from a guy named Ace? Listen for The Early November every Monday night on Prom Night with Johnnie5 and Blush next semester from 10 p.m. to midnight.