August 16, 2022

Soundtrack Soundcheck: Jay-Z (PART 2 OF 2)



Today we conclude our discussion about the various songs Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter contributed to different film soundtracks throughout his career. I don’t have a ton of new information to add to this introduction – you know who Jay-Z is, and I trust you’re aware of what “songs” are – but I would encourage those of you two jumping into this post blindly to read through the first half of this article, as it may likely answer any nagging questions you’ll have about why certain tracks weren’t included here. Everybody else, however, can skip straight to the body of the review, as that’s where the magic happens.

July 31, 2022

Common - Finding Forever (July 31, 2007)



Finding Forever, the seventh album from the Chicago denizen Lonnie “Common” Lynn, was released in 2007, but even though a mere two-year break separates it from its predecessor, 2005’s Be, the changes in the man’s career during that timeframe contain multitudes, all of which are attributed to one place: Hollywood. Although Common had dabbled with acting in tiny roles before, mostly on sitcoms and the like, he snagged his first feature film role in 2006 (in Joe Carnahan’s ensemble bounty hunter action thriller Smokin’ Aces, which featured a shit ton of recognizable names) and hasn’t looked back since. Whether that’s to the benefit or detriment of cinema is wholly dependent on whether or not you believe he acts exactly the same way in everything he appears in, but his filmography isn’t on trial here.

We’re supposed to be talking about Finding Forever anyway.

July 26, 2022

RandoMax Radio Episode #45!

 



I realize that a handful of you two might be confused as to why these mixes keep coming while the actual writing on the site appears to have dried up. For one thing, I never said the posts here were going to end, but I did warn that they would slow down significantly, and besides, that itch can be scratched by signing up for the Patreon, which has a ton of shit that should fit the bill. But I’ve burned out on these reviews before, as longtime readers will note, and I’m trying to be proactive to ensure that doesn’t happen again, so I mix it up a bit with these RandoMax Radio mix shows, which help me realize that music is meant to be enjoyed and not just critiqued. It’s helped my mental health out a lot, and hopefully you two are getting as much out of these as I am.

Episode number forty-five comes as, inexplicably, we seem to be living in a world that is somehow worse than it was last month at this time. I’m not sure why a group of people is so hell bent on sewing chaos and destruction wherever they go (oh wait, yes I do: it’s fucking greed), but as you prepare to fight the good fight, whatever that phrase means in your minds, I hope some of you find your ring entrance music here.

That tracklist will pop in when it’s good and ready, but for now you should press ‘play’ and let the surprises hit you like the waves at the beach, or, if you aren’t close to the coast or it’s just too motherfucking hot to step outdoors at the moment (I hear you, same), select the comparison of your choice and ride out.



Share this with whoever you wish. These are all great songs that deserve much wider audiences, so if more people listen to them, then the artists gets paid more by Mixcloud and all will be right in this world. Sort of. I can't control the political climate, sorry. Share/repost this mix across your socials, and while you’re at it, jump onto the Patreon and secure your spot to support the written word, since, as you’ve likely noticed, the posts over here are running much more infrequently. Every little bit helps keep these projects sustainable, and I would certainly appreciate it.

Enjoy!

-Max

July 13, 2022

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #25! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)

 

*DJ Clue voice* NEW SHIT!

There are now twenty-five of these suckers (not counting that early practice run), which means there are literal oodles of content for your fresh ears to enjoy. As you know, I only work with small-batch, high-quality vendors to handcraft each volume in the Max-Approved Mixtape, so you’ll find the standard ten tracks of fire you’ve grown accustomed to. I will say that there’s a section of this month’s mix that had me running it back repeatedly when I was playing my test copy, volume getting increasingly louder as I found myself thoroughly enjoying my own work. I mean, every episode is filled with bangers and you’ll never get me to admit otherwise, but this one? This is the one, my guy.



MAX-APPROVED MIXTAPE EPISODE #25:

1. Prodigy – “7th Heaven” (featuring Un Pacino)
2. DJ Muggs x Eto– “Victory” (featuring Willie the Kid)
3. Action Bronson – “Ray Lewis” (featuring Meyhem Lauren and AG da Coroner)
4. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Huzzah 2” (featuring Heron)
5. The Roots – “Without a Doubt” (featuring Lady B)
6. J-Zone – “38th & 8th” (featuring Al-Shid)
7. Earl Sweatshirt – “Wool” (featuring Vince Staples)
8. Mac Miller – “Nikes On My Feet
9. Gravediggaz – “2 Cups of Blood”
10. Tyler, the Creator – “Lumberjack”

These are all great songs that deserve much wider audiences (and Mixcloud actually pays the artists, which is always nice), so if more people listen to them, then the world could be a much better place. That line is cheesy as hell, but music does have that kind of power. Share/repost this mix across your socials, and while you’re at it, jump onto the Patreon and secure your spot to support the written word, since, as you’ve likely noticed, the posts over here are running much more infrequently. Every little bit helps keep these projects sustainable, and I would certainly appreciate it.

Enjoy!

-Max

June 28, 2022

RandoMax Radio Episode #44!



The summer season kicked off last week, at least for those of us above the equator (I see you, readers in the Southern Hemisphere, and I thank you for the support, even as my home country becomes a cesspool of psychopaths who are convinced that their book is better than everybody else's), which usually means a change in overall demeanor. The days get lazier and longer, the amount of clothing being worn dwindles down for everybody, and every decision made at night feels life-altering , given how drinking and smoking causes your body to interact with the heat. God, it’s so fucking hot. Music plays a large role in how these summer nights can seemingly last forever, and, as the hero I am, I’m here to provide at least one hour of that soundtrack.

I may be pushing episode 44 of the ongoing RandoMax Radio concern as the score for the summer, but let’s be real, I’m not Drake or Beyonce, I’m not reinventing the fucking wheel here. Some of this stuff you can easily dance to, yes, but that happens with every installment, which you should all go listen to immediately. The variety of musical genres and eras visited here are intended to be experienced, not just listened to, and, as always, the journey’s the thing here. That’s why the tracklist won’t be made available until a later date – just like the best summer nights, you should go into it with an open mind, allowing life to push you toward where you need to be.



EDIT: Here you go!

1. The Smiths – “I Want the One I Can’t Have” 
2. Common – “The Corner” (featuring Kanye West and Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets) 
3. Danny Brown – “Float On” (featuring Charli XCX) 
4. Empire of the Sun – “Awakening” 
5. Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Happy House” 
6. Rampage the Last Boy Scout – “Wild for da Night” (featuring Busta Rhymes) 
7. Foster the People – “Best Friend” 
8. Daft Punk – “Around the World / Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Alive 2007)” 
9. Bauhaus – “She’s In Parties” 
10. Black Moon – “Buck Em Down (Remix)” 
11. DJ Muggs x Eto – “Last Supper” (featuring Meyhem Lauren) 
12. Warpaint – “New Song” 
13. Mr. Kitty – “Neglect” 
14. Marion Hill – “Got It” 
15. The Alchemist – “Calmly Smoke” (featuring Evidence and Styles P.) 
16. Pheeyownah – “Stains”

Don’t forget, if this is your jam, I encourage you to share this with whoever you wish. These are all great songs that deserve much wider audiences (and Mixcloud actually pays the artists, which is always nice), so if more people listen to them, then the world could be a much better place. That line is cheesy as hell, but music does have that kind of power. Share/repost this mix across your socials, and while you’re at it, jump onto the Patreon and secure your spot to support the written word, since, as you’ve likely noticed, the posts over here are running much more infrequently. Every little bit helps keep these projects sustainable, and I would certainly appreciate it.

Enjoy!

-Max

June 13, 2022

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #24! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)

 



Episode 24 of the never-ending Max-Approved Mixtape sticks with the usual ten-track format, although I noticed this time around that the focus appears to be on older tracks, some from way back in the 1990’s and others from a few years back. There isn’t anything technically “new” on this month’s installment, but some of these may be new to you, so that still counts. Whether you’re familiar or not, they still demand a wider audience, and hopefully their respective placements can be a decent first step toward helping them receive the acclaim each deserves.

Press 'play' first, and think about what you’re about to hear later. There’s definitely a vibe of some sort to be found – click here to find out more!



MAX-APPROVED MIXTAPE EPISODE #24:

1. Mobb Deep - "Party Over" (featuring Big Noyd)
2. Big L - "Street Struck"
3. Crimeapple - "Elm Street" (featuring Daniel Son)
4. The Alchemist - "Boost the Crime Rate" (featuring Sheek Louch and J-Hood)
5. Clipse - "S.L.U." (featuring Ab-Liva)
6. The Purist x Westside Gunn - "Perfect Plex” (featuring Roc Marciano)
7. Billy Woods - "Windhoek” (featuring Mach-Hommy)
8. Blahzay Blahzay - "Sendin’ Dem Back"
9. Your Old Droog - "90 From the Line"
10. EPMD - "Rap Is Still Outta Control" (featuring Busta Rhymes)

Enjoy!

Until next post,

-Max

June 12, 2022

Playing Catch-Up With DJ Khaled and Statik Selektah Pt. II

Patreon subscribers already know about the ridiculous side project I've taken on on top of everything else I do on these damn sites (what can I say, being buried in work sometimes makes me feel comfortable - I know, my brain is broken): track-by-track, essay-length analysis of each album released by DJ Khaled and Statik Selektah. With these dueling series I intend to draw parallels between the two "disc jockeys" (I put that in quotes because only Statik actually works as a DJ these days) and their shared mission of delivering entertaining, engaging music while exposing as many of their famous friends to their respective audiences as humanly possible. Also, the catalogs of both men act as a who's who of their respective versions of our chosen genre for whatever year their projects were released, fascinating time capsules into what each believed hip hop sounded like in that moment.