Three-Year Sentences – Criminal Slang Anniversary

Three years ago I started a little blog called TM that evolved into what we know as Criminal Slang today. Over the years, my writing & design skills have significantly improved & I have this website & my other influences/supporters to thank for that. It was only natural that I put them front & center on the cover of this project.

[The download is at the bottom for you busters that wanna just scroll down. I ain’t mad!]

Three years ago I started a little blog called TM that evolved into what we know as Criminal Slang today. Over the years, my writing & design skills have significantly improved & I have this website & my other influences/supporters to thank for that. It was only natural that I put them front & center on the cover of this project. Three-Year Sentences is filled with tracks that have resonated with me in one way or another. Most of the tracks/artists have been featured on Criminal Slang, with several notable exceptions.

It was really hard narrowing down the selections, because such a wide variety of music gets mentioned or featured on the site. I could have easily crammed another album worth of material into the tracklist, but I factored in listener fatigue and ultimately, the editor in me cut it down to a much more manageable 1.4 hours of listening time. I think it gets the job done. There will be a mixed version of 3YS &, I’ve just decided (right now, in fact) to release a B-Sides collection of tracks that didn’t make the final playlist.

So, for your consideration, Criminal Slang Presents: Three-Year Sentences. Commentary below…

Nas – It Ain’t Hard to Tell – Trackmaster Scourge Remix

The phrase, ‘Criminal Slang’, as far as this blog is concerned, began with Nas and was then adopted by Big L before his untimely passing. I have often said that Criminal Slang embraces the misguided perception of the powerless often held by the powerful. Despite this desire for academic explanation – bottom line the name is hard and it gets a reaction & that’s why I chose it. This particular version of the Illmatic classic is blended with a Janet Jackson one. NL based producer/revisiter Trackmaster Scourge flipped up Ms Jackson’s Let’s Wait Awhile and unknowingly, created the official Criminal Slang anthem.

Despite the name Criminal Slang, I’ve never stuck to just covering the latest in assault weapons & gangster rap tunes because that just ain’t like me & I think this remix attests to that. G’s like (Thrifty) ice cream too…

Mandeep Sethi ft Deacon LF – Sweet Talk (Blissful State)

The first track that I ever heard from Mandeep Sethi was a mixtape cut of him rapping over Deadringer – the RJD2 instrumental. I respect this young man because he walks the walk before he talks the talk. He’s a proud progressive & practitioner of the Sikh faith. I would highly suggest checking for him.

Last I’ve heard, he recently completed a tour of India and is likely back in SF making music and raising awareness for progressive causes and ideas.

14KT – Verbal Intercourse ’06

A young lady & I were discussing an upcoming show that she was attending, and she mentioned that 14KT was on the bill, to which I replied with full confidence,

“You mean 14 Karat, right?”

Obviously, I was wrong & she did not hesitate to point that out to me in a text message. Anyway, this cut is the first one off his Nowalataz record and to me is very Dilla Donuts-y. Being from the mitten probably has something to do with that. Ypsilanti stand up!

Blockhead – Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer?

Anyone that knows me, knows that I drink a ridiculous amount of this classic clubhouse favorite. I order it at restaurants, make it at home and at the soft drink fountains. When Arizona Ice Tea decided to offer it in the tall can, I forgot all about grape drink! I don’t pretend to know what inspired the title for this instrumental, but I do know that they are both equally good.

Latyrx – Lady Don’t Tek No

Solesides/Quanum Projects went through a few changes between 96-97. This record is basically a primer on Bay-Area chicks – capturing their hip sway on the bassline and their quick wit in the claps (clap-clap). Have you ever noticed that Bay Area chicks have higher cheekbones than LA chicks? No? I guess it’s just me…

Keak Da Sneak ft. E-40 – T-Shirt, Blue Jeans & Nikes

This track ain’t for goin’ dumb like it’s 2005…this ain’t that feel-good concious music either. This is some straight-up Yay Area gangsta music that you crease up your ‘fit to. Bang it in the whip, it knocks…

JR Writer, Hell Rell, 40 Cal -Don’t Fool with the Dips  (A-Trak Remix)

A-Trak kills it on the remix. Typical Dipset cockiness, topics (crack, killing, threats,  guns, crime, bitches) & the general aura of ignorance that makes this life enjoyable. This is probably the best Dipset bench-rider track ever recorded.

Guilty Simpson – Clap Your Hands

I said last year that in ’10 I hope that Guilty Simpson gets more popular. I don’t see why he isn’t. Maybe when more people get off that, ‘punk smoov shit’ (Criminal Slang points if you know the reference), and get with that real – then Guilty will get his due…PS Dilla killed careers with this one off the Chrome Children record.

Common ft. D’Angelo – So Far to Go

Common likes to sex broads too. That’s what I learned from this record. I learned that it’s okay to speak intelligently, spark minds AND use slick double entendre to get the panties in your pocket, in three time-zones. There are two versions of this beautiful Dilla produced track, this one was featured on Finding Forever. In the B-Sides collection, I’ll include the other version. I think the hook alone speaks volumes about budding relationships and the patience they require.

Michael Jackson – Starlight

This is the original demo version of Thriller. You’ll probably wonder what happened to all the spooky sound effects and why you’re getting the lyrics wrong. It’s you, not the song, learn to love it or leave it alone. RIP MJ

Sammy Chand – The Coronation

Personally & professionally – I owe a lot to this guy. Raised in East London & Los Angeles, of Punjabi heritage, Sammy Chand combines bhangra, electro & drum&bass elements into something fresh & brand new on The Coronantion. This is a Criminal Slang exclusive off his upcoming album Tale of a Crown.

M.I.A – XR2 (Tigerstyle Remix)

This is one of the first tracks that I featured on Criminal Slang. I kinda turned a corner after this post, because this was around the time that MTV killed their niche Asian networks and I started sharing my opinions publicly. During this time, I was interview by Sabrina Ford at the Columbia Grad School of Journalism (home of the Pulitzer) for 801 Magazine. I realized then that this was a worthy pursuit, and that I could reach people far & wide.

Drake ft. Yeezy, Weezy & Em – Forever (Nosaj Thing Remix)

Nosaj Thing slipped this one in just in time for NYE ’10 playlists. I wanna hear this one through a massive wall of bass cabinets.

Weezy – I Feel Like Dying (Flying Lotus Remix Inst)

This track is drugs, Flying Lotus tracks have a way of disorienting you without ingesting substances. In this economy, we’re good like that.

Zion I – Silly Puddy

Amplive’s production on Mind over Matter was very drum&bass driven and Silly Puddy was it’s more laidback cousin. A classic joint that always gets demanded whenever The Grouch is in the building with them.

The Foreign Exchange ft Musinah – Daykeeper

I shut off The Grammy’s once I learned that The Foreign Exchange didn’t win. I saved two hours of my life. It would have been poetic justice if they had.

Jay-Z – City is Mine (Hov Report Remix)

The Hov Report is a series of Sammy Chand remixes that we put together off the cuff in the studio. He’ll want to do a remix, we’ll throw out ideas for songs & I’ll find the a capellas for them. While he works on putting the track together, I’ll work on cover art. It’s a fun way to spend an evening in the studio.

Wale – The Perfect Plan

Call it a bucket of irony or keen foresight, just listen carefully to the lyrics on this track and then recall what happened to Wale’s project the first week it shipped.

Mark Ronson ft Kenna – Amy

Because his Version project got pushed back, I ended up having this record 3 months in advance, which is obviously one of the perks of maintaining a blog.

Mayer Hawthorne – Your Easy Lovin’ Aint Pleasing Nothin’

I unfollowed King Britt on Twitter for what I interpreted as bitter-ass music snobbery in regard to Mayer Hawthorne’s popularity. It sucks, because I like King Britt. No shit sherlock, there’s a world of lesser known Tamla/Motown tunes that people should be up on. I wonder if he ever considered that a kid coming up today barely has a connection to the music of the 90’s, let alone the 60’s/70’s? Anyway, stylistic appropriations aside, issues of race & music aside, A Strange Arrangement is a good record on it’s own merits & this tune is one of my favorites.

Nneka ft 2Pac – Mind vs Heart (J.Period Dubplate)

It’s a little odd to hear Tupac on anything that doesn’t scream Roger&Zapp, but I’m okay with it. Nneka is a name that I hope you’ll be hearing more in conversation this year; her ’09 collab with J.Period is just the beginning…

Hawderk & Jansport J – Season Finale

We covered the High Power Moves release extensively on Criminal Slang last year, & it’s good to see that their project is getting traction – they just recently announced a March tour with Basicali & Trek Life that is adding more dates by the day…this is my personal favorite and when I started the programming for this record, the first and last tracks were all I had set.

So here we are, three years later. Thanks for reading over 1600 words about 22 songs and the #1 Blog in East Covina.

– DataOne



One Trackback

  1. uberVU - social comments on February 6, 2010

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by hhwire: Three years ago, Criminal Slang was born – read & download & then RT……

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