Obviously, the big news this week is some seriously sad news: 101.1 The Beat Jamz host Curtis "Scooby" Senior passed away last weekend. It was a sudden, unexpected passing — the kind that makes you question your own mortality. As John Gotty put it over at The Smoking Section:
He was one of “the good guys” who served as de facto ambassador to Music City. A person who helped not just the music and entertainment sides of Nashville but the city-at-large. At almost any large community event, Scoob was there working diligently as a person who sacrificed his time and efforts to be an instrument for bringing people together for parties, charities and many other shared experiences. A full spirit who I can honestly say I never saw looking sad and troubled. He always greeted you with a slight smile — usually followed by a hearty laugh right after — and a glimmer in his eyes.
Scoob's presence is already missed on the radio dial, and as time passes I'm sure we'll feel the loss even more in our hip-hop community. I have the sneaking suspicion that Scooby's impact on the local scene was bigger than any of us realized and certainly was not limited to cutting up on the late show.
But, in keeping with my Irish ancestry's knack for inappropriate behavior during times of mourning, let's move on to some party and some bullshit.
* Kaby, who's been tearing up shows all over town lately, dropped his latest mixtape, Season Flavors, this week. It's definitely the most consistent tape I've heard from him yet — Halloween Massacre 3 had some strong songs but it was kind of all over the place — Seasonal Flavors finds Kaby honing in on the roughneck gutter-prog sound he's become known for. You can cop the tape at 2Shared.
* Spoken Nerd is back! And — I'm sure this won't be a surprise — his new track "Big Beards" is as irreverent and absurd as ever. As member of the Beard-luminati (we're on a secret quest to destroy all the world's grooming products) I wholeheartedly endorse this track. Nerd's new record drops this spring and features production from By Lightning!'s Joel "J. Dahl" McAnulty.
* Psychedelic beats smoothed out on the instrumental tip with a rock appeal to it — it's like Bell Biv Devoe but totally not! In any way! Except that I like it. I'm pretty sure that BBD never used microscopic biology films for their visuals. Grab more Jota Ese goodness over here.
* Remember Valentine's Day? Did you remember to cop Chancellor Warhol and Gummy Soul's new tapes? Go do that now.
* So when I get bored I tend to search for "Nashville hip-hop" on YouTube. Most of the time it's really sad and depressing. It's a total drudge to sort through all the cell-phone-photo slide shows with vocals recorded on calculator-watches. But occasionally you find something cool, like this track from SMART ALiQs. I have no idea who these dudes are but the record has a fun backpacker bounce and the vocals are reminiscent of early, not-yet-self-obsessed-and-totally-depressed Eminem. If you're a Smart Aliq and you're reading this, holla at yer boy — I wanna hear this mixtape.
* This is another one I found just sifting through the detritus on YouTube. It's lo-fi, there's no visuals and they maybe should have eased of the vocal reverb, but there's an ill string/flute sample and all my longtime readers know that's about all it takes to pique my interest. So, ladies and gentlemen, meet Treymarkedup.
* One last pick from the random YouTube pile! This track by The Was (Not to be confused with Was [Not Was]) is probably the most hi-fi of the bunch — definitely the most accomplished of the new tracks I heard this week. Built around a heavy soul sample and some righteous guitar, "Never Be Satisfied" has a very rugged, Midwest vibe and some gorgeous tones. I'm looking forward to hearing more from these kids.
* And before I forget, the Birth of the Originals tour is tomorrow night at 12th & Porter. My dead-tree-edition self has something to say about it:
This, ladies and gentleman, makes us brim with pride. We love local hip-hop blog 2Ls on a Cloud, and we were super-stoked when they started booking local shows with local artists. But to see them stepping it up with national talent and hitting the road is just awesome. That the national talent happens to be Sir Michael Rocks — one half of hipster-hop progenitors The Cool Kids and a primo solo artist in his own right — is even cooler. You might even say it's the coolest. Throw in some of our favorite local rappers and DJs — Crisis, Young Rell, Open Mic, Petty — and it becomes clear this is going to be one of the hottest shows around. As 2Ls' headmistress D'Llisha Davis put it, “Tell me Music City isn't trying to make moves and I'll tell you you're foolish.”
Gotta hot show, dope video or scorching new tape? Hit me up on Twitter or email music[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.