May 16, 2022

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #23! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)

 


Look, the world is garbage. There's this overwhelming sense of dread oozing from every corner of the planet, and no matter which side you're on or what ideology you choose to follow, the bullshit comes for us all eventually. That's not a good enough reason for you to check out the twenty-third episode of the Max-Approved Mixtape, but it is a diversion I'm certain you will welcome.

Episode 23 dives into hip hop tracks both relatively recent and not, some of which skated past your radar the first time around, all of which deserve your ears today. As I wrote last month, "Here are some songs I fucking love, and I'm willing to bet you will, too." I knew that statement would come in handy someday.

Press 'play', and then press 'play' again and again. And again. Memorize this shit. There will be a test later.



MAX-APPROVED MIXTAPE EPISODE #23:


1. Domo Genesis - "Power Ballad" (featuring Smoke DZA)
2. Brother Ali - "Red" (featuring Evidence)
3. Che Noir - "Ladies Brunch" (featuring 7xvethegenius and Armani Caesar)
4. Ka - "Peace Akhi"
5. Ankhlejohn - "The Church at Auvers"
6. Zoey Dollaz - "Blow a Check (Remix)" (featuring Puff Daddy and French Montana)
7. N.O.R.E. - "The Problem (Lawwwddd)" (featuring Pharrell)
8. Snoop Dogg - "It's In The Air" (featuring Jane Handcock and Uncle Murda)
9. Nas - "Meet Joe Black" 
10. Lloyd Banks - "Falsified" (featuring Ransom)

Enjoy!

Until next post,

-Max

May 2, 2022

My Gut Reaction: Pusha T - It's Almost Dry (April 22, 2022)

It’s rare when an artist who’s already been a part of the music industry for twenty-five years happens to be releasing your most anticipated album of 2022. That’s pretty much what’s happening here with It’s Almost Dry, the fourth solo full-length from Virginia coke rap maestro Terrance “Pusha T” Thornton, which follows several mixtapes, EPs (including a bunch released by his label, G.O.O.D. Music / Def Jam Recordings, that are merely compilations of his older work packaged to promote this very effort), projects from his former (and maybe current?) duo Clipse, and, of course, years and years of general inactivity (give or take a couple of singles and some guest appearances) as the man patiently waited, plotting his return like an egomaniacal supervillain..

It’s been a very long wait, folks, is what I'm saying, so this introduction will be light work so everyone can get to the actual music.

April 24, 2022

RandoMax Radio Episode #42!

 



This marks the forty-second glimpse into my personal playlist that I've offered up for your entertainment-slash-criticism since the beginning of the RandoMax Radio side project. I hope that those of you who are taking the time to check it out have discovered some songs that you now love, and perhaps rediscovered songs that you now see in a new light given a different context. Music is meant to be shared, and sometimes you just love something because you do, not everything needs a full write-up, am I right?

That said, I'm still writing, so stay tuned for more updates on that front.

The tracklist will be made available at a later date, but you already knew that. You've been with me long enough to know how this works.


Subscribe to the RandoMax Radio feed to catch up on previous episodes and to receive updates before they appear on either of the sites; you can also follow me on Twitter at @hhid_Max for pop cultural ridiculousness; and of course, you can leave your comments, complaints, memes, song and/or article suggestions below. Share this mix with five friends, and have them share with five of their friends, and then maybe, just maybe, this can translate into enough Patreon supporters to help boost the rate of new content. Gotta deal with the pesky day job somehow, right?

-Max

April 18, 2022

Soundtrack Soundcheck: Jay-Z (PART 1 OF 2)



The last time I ran an entry in this particular series was three and a half years ago. I know why it happened – hell, when was the last time you saw Max’s Book Club, am I right? – but that’s still not a good enough excuse for me, and I’m the guy running the site. I’m the one doing most of the listening and the writing in the first place. So I hope you both accept and engage with today’s post in the spirit in which it was intended: as an excuse to continue talking about artists whose discographies have previously been worked through to completion.

April 11, 2022

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #22! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)


Episode 22 of the Max-Approved Mixtape sure seems to have deviated from what this series originally was: article-length reviews of single tracks that I personally co-sign, posts which may or may not have been created as a way to extend the life of the blog at a time when I was dangerously close to burning out. Some of you two may miss the writing piece when it comes to these specific posts, but rest assured, the gist would be the same for each entry: "Here are some songs I fucking love, and I'm willing to be you will, too." Besides, if you truly miss the single-song write-ups, there's plenty of that stuff to go around over on the Patreon, which only costs $3 USD per month to access everything I've got. 

Anyway, enough shameless self-promo. Ten more tracks, all of which have been personally vetted by me for performance and general entertainment value. Some of these you'll know and enjoy, others you'll be introduced to for the first time, and they're waiting to make your acquaintance.

Hit that 'play' button and tell five friends to do the same. Music is meant to be enjoyed.



MAX-APPROVED MIXTAPE EPISODE #22:

1. The Game - "Ali Bomaye" (featuring 2 Chainz and Rick Ross)
2. Random Axe - "Chewbacca" (featuring Roc Marciano)
3. Def Squad - "Breaker 1, Breaker 2" (Uncensored Version)
4. Rakim - "Waiting for the World to End"
5. Ice Cube - "Ghetto Bird"
6. Baby/Birdman - "What Happened To That Boy?" (featuring Clipse)
7. Tha Alkaholiks - "21 and Under"
8. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Gimme the Loot" (Uncensored Version)
9. The Beatnuts - "Off the Books" (featuring Big Punisher and Cuban Linx)
10. ScHoolboy Q - "Oxy Music" 

After you've finished enjoying this month's mix and have shared it with everyone you know, click here for a list of resources you can use to help the citizens of Ukraine.

Until next post,

-Max

March 28, 2022

RandoMax Radio Episode #41!

 

We're now forty-one episodes into the RandoMax Radio side project, and I'm still enjoying compiling these brief glances at my personal playlists. It's important to find joy in your work, because otherwise you can get burned out really goddamned quickly, which is part of the reason the write-ups on this blog have slowed as of late. (That, and the Patreon, obviously.) That may seem like silly advice, pedantic as all hell, but the world at large is a fucking nightmare, filled with uncertainty coming at you from all angles, and when you have the capability to control something within your purview, you take it. Besides, we're talking about music here, which is designed to entertain and help ease your mind, so there certainly are worse vices you could be taking advantage of.

As usual, the tracklist will be made available at a later date, but that shouldn't matter as long as you're enjoying the ride. After giving this month's episode a spin, why not share what you have on your own shuffled playlist, helping the other reader get some new ideas and perspective?



EDIT: I think you two have waited long enough.

RANDOMAX RADIO EPISODE #41:

1. "Big Bang" - Cherry Glazerr
2. "Goldie" - A$AP Rocky
3. "Las Vegas Tango" - Gary Burton
4. "Fu-Gee-La" - Fugees
5. "Bernadette" - The Four Tops
6. "Kyoto Song" - The Cure
7. "Ghosts 'n Stuff" - deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire
8. "Wants & Needs" - Drake feat. Lil Baby
9. "IMYG" - Elodie Gervaise
10. "Earthtime Tapestry" - Spacecraft
11. "Sleep To Dream" - Fiona Apple
12. "No Problems" - Fat Joe feat. Rico Love
13. "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)" - Digable Planets
14. "Mondo '77" - Looper
15. "Take Your Time" - Pete Rock feat. Loose Ends
16. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" - The Beatles

Subscribe to the RandoMax Radio feed to catch up on previous episodes and to receive updates before they appear on either of the sites; you can also follow me on Twitter at @hhid_Max for pop cultural ridiculousness; and of course, you can leave your comments, complaints, memes, song and/or article suggestions below. Share this mix with five friends, and have them share with five of their friends, and then maybe, just maybe, this can translate into enough Patreon supporters to help boost the rate of new content. Gotta deal with the pesky day job somehow, right?

-Max

March 17, 2022

My Gut Reaction: Drake - More Life (March 18, 2017)

The word “mixtape” has a much broader definition today than it did when they were first introduced into our chosen culture. Back in my earlier days as a music snob-slash-nerd, when the world was tinted in that sepia tone you see in older photographs and walking backwards through the snow, uphill both ways of course, was merely just how one got to school, a mixtape was a literal cassette tape whose content was made up of various songs pulled from multiple sources, either mixed together by a disc jockey (the more creative of whom would soon begin blending, remixing, and otherwise altering the songs at will) or lovingly compiled by a music snob-slash-nerd at home, usually with a theme and copious notes (if it was created with a special someone in mind), both types circulating amongst friend groups, social circles, and outward. These soon evolved into DJ-curated mixes that typically included as-yet-unreleased material from some of the genre’s faves as well as exclusive content (usually freestyles over another artist’s beat, sometimes songs that couldn’t be officially released for whatever reason), so as to help the DJ stand out in an increasingly crowded field.