What’s good, Shield readers. Since I’ve moved on to writing columns and Andrew’s busy with college applications, we really haven’t done much music content this year. I wanted to get back in the groove, so to speak, so we’re launching a new series here at the Shield: “Scheuerman Spins.” Every issue, Mr. Editor-in-Chief (yours truly), will curate a mixtape for your consumption. While the music will be as diverse as possible, there will be no categories like the old mixtapes. I’m just going to play the music I want to play. Take that, Molinari.
Anyway. Let’s get going!
It’s a new month, so that means that there is a new J Dilla beat tape out. The late legendary producer has had his unreleased catalog plundered in recent years to create new compilations and beat tapes catering to his hardcore fans. While I think it’s a little messed up that his catalog is being exploited the way it is, the beat is a great mood setter for the tape.
“Good to Be Back Home”
Charles Bradley is the undisputed leader in the current old-school soul revival. His voice is filled with experience, pain and suffering that few aspiring soul artists nowadays can even come close to matching. He also has the best instrumentation in my opinion, especially on his new album Changes. “Good to Be Back Home,” my favorite track from this album, demonstrates this mix of great vocals and instrumentation better than any other/
This find is a classic case of me spending hours on Spotify clicking around trying to find the most obscure music possible. In this case, I was trying to find some Brazilian hip-hop gems, which this song definitely is. Coming from the West Zone of São Paulo, RZO leans more on the side of gangsta rap, but this song is a great anomaly in their discography.
A Tribe Called Quest
When I heard that one of my favorite groups of all time, A Tribe Called Quest, was coming out with a new album, I was excited but a little nervous. However, I was blown away by what I heard. In this release, Tribe captures the sound they had on their first few albums, but updates it with a modern sensibility. No song exemplifies this like “Enough!!” which features scratches from their classic “Bonita Applebaum” paired with a modern sound.
“B. for B.B.”
I found this song digging for samples over the summer and fell in love with this entire album instantly. Hank Mobley brings a classic hard bebop quintet sound that I love. I know that jazz has fallen out of popular favor in recent years, but it remains one of my favorite genres and the one that taught me everything I know about music.
What can I say about The Diplomats, or Dipset, as they’re commonly known? I’ve been bumping the classic New York group and their masterwork, Diplomatic Immunity, since the spring and have loved every moment of it. Dipset’s style could be characterized as harder early Kanye, with pitched-up samples and aggressive boom-bap drums. “My Love,” my favorite song off of the album, features this same formula with its pitched-up sample of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.”
Next up is this track from Australian future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote. I’ve always liked them a lot for mixing different brands of alt rock, hip-hop, funk, and soul together into a really unique style. This song seems progressive despite a relatively straightforward construction. These elements blend to make a really interesting song, something Hiatus Kaiyote excels at.
“11_9_10 Asleep on the 22”
This track comes off of the outtakes and remixes collection from electronic producer Shlohmo’s acclaimed 2011 album Bad Vibes. Shlohmo’s more organic and abstract style is apparent throughout this release, but especially on this song. The beat features many of Shlohmo’s fingerprints, such as offbeat and unusual percussion and melancholy flourishes.
“Take This Heart of Gold”
This Chapel Hill, NC roots band has been one of my favorites to listen to as of late. Whereas their discography is full of more stripped-down music, their newest album Blindfaller has featured more full band arrangements than ever before. The result is a folk and roots album that sounds like country music with a foot in the past and a foot in the present. “Take This Heart of Gold” stays true to this trend and closes out this playlist with a mellow note.