20 Watts

Releases of the Week, Week 6: Stones Throw Records and Shawn Mullins by 20watts
March 19, 2008, 12:14 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: ,
Various Artists – Stones Throw 102: In Living The True Gods

It’s not very often that you hear hip-hop and innovation in the same sentence but Stones Throw Records leads the way in both. Stones Throw Records is an independent hip-hop label based in California that specializes in alternative rap and soul music. This incredible blend of music really comes out in their newest DVD release, Stones Throw 102.

The DVD is a follow up to the CD/DVD Stones Throw 101, released in 2004. It really gives an inside look into what it takes to make incredible hip-hop. Being a huge Charizma fan, I loved the behind-the-scenes look “Studio Time 92.” Also, one of the greatest beat makers, J Dilla, is featured on this DVD and it contains an hour interview with the mastermind himself.

The music videos are also very good and they give amazing visuals to the music they’re representing. The Madvillain and J Dilla videos are especially good. They help the viewer connect to the music in a different way and make them ponder what the music is really trying to represent.

The thing I have always loved about Stones Throw is that they are always looking to do something different. This DVD really shows that and although some of the tracks can be a little “out there” it is definitely a positive direction for hip-hop. Stones Throw 102 is a great sampler for those not familiar with this incredible record label.

Shawn Mullins – Honeydew

This is the perfect album to cure your country and blues sorrows. Despite the fact that Shawn Mullins has been around since 1991 I have only recently stumbled upon him. I really like his guitar playing and on certain tracks, such as “Homeless Joe,” it really brings out the true feeling of the music.

The only downfall is that most of the tracks sound very similar but if you like this style, there should be no complaints. The instruments help compliment his raspy “down south” gruff of a voice. This particularly comes out in “Leaving All Your Troubles Behind” when his lyrics tell a beautiful story and paint an incredible picture. The single “All In My Head” is a great reflecting song and although it may not be the most rocking song in the world, Mullins uses both his lyrics and instruments to create amazing images.

Overall, this is a great find for country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll fans that want to drift off somewhere else.

– Zach

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