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Blackalicious – the craft

Posted on: January 20, 2008

Work on The Craft began two years before the release date, when producer Chief Xcel gathered musicians to lay tracks for the album. The band was organized around accomplished French cellist Vincent Segal (already appeared on the “Blazing Arrow” record) and included bassists Teak Underdue (Dead Prez) and Carl Young (Spearhead), percussionist Alfredo Ortiz (Beastie Boys), guitarist Sebastian Martel (Femi Kuti), and keyboardist Herve Salters (Femi Kuti, Honeycut, General Electrics). Bay Area soul singer Ledisi, her father, the Southern funk pioneer and “prophet of soul” Larry Saunders, and singer Kween made central contributions as well. Working in Xcel’s Oakland studio, the band cut 120 songs – only 14 were selected for “The Craft”.

After both group members spent time with other projects; Gift of Gab with a solo album and Xcel with his underappreciated Lateef and the Chief collaboration Maroon; the two came back for a healthy serving of funk, soul and late 60s rock – to name just the main ingredients of this awesome hip hop record. The searing guitar riffs, melodic keys, bass-laden beats fusing together to create an effective backbone to the hip hop foundation, always in a steady balance with Gab´s driving flow and lyrics. The live instrumentation are so seamlessly integrated into Xcel´s samples that it’s often difficult to pinpoint what’s what, but the result is record which melts down the booundaries of hip hop, while keeping the roots of that culture alive! Another Quannum Projets sureshot, because the magic in “The Craft” is that it doesn’t get stale with time, the beats and rhymes only get fresher and fresher.

A breath of fresh air for all backpackers.

(file is down, leave a comment if you wish a reup)

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1 Response to "Blackalicious – the craft"

Wazzup?
I’m diggin ya site! I found it thru WAKE UP YA DAUGHTER and it’s definitely got a cool vibe. I was wondering if you were interested in swapping links? My website is undergroundreign.com and it’s filled with fresh new mixtapes from a variety of artists. Check it out and let me know what ya think. thanks.
King James

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