Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow Instrumental Album

This was the first record I owned when I started owning vinyl again. It was given to me as a free promo by Hoodlum's when I picked up my copy of Blazing Arrow. I took it to the show Blackalicious performed on ASU campus and got it signed by The Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel and Lateef the Truthspeaker who was on tour with them as well. I then stuck it in a drawer where it got dinged up and developed a light ring because I didn't really know how to keep records in good condition yet. Anyway, I eventually started buying records and the guys at Eastside's taught me how to take care of it, so I no longer commit crimes against vinyl.

This album is exactly what the name implies: just the instrumentals from Blackalicious' groundbreaking Blazing Arrow (go buy it. It's the greatest hip-hop album I've ever heard). While this double LP set was no doubt intended to be used by DJ's, I listened to it straight through. It was an enlightening experience to dig a little deeper into what makes one of my favorite albums great. I could hear all the little nuanced instrumental bits that were buried underneath a barrage of Gift of Gab lyrics on the original album. I can't say that it's better to listen to this album this way, but it was certainly an interesting experience.

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