This edition of Ghetto Palms ended up being kind of a greatest misses for 2010—the only thing the beats really have in common being that I’m kicking myself for not including them in an earlier blend. And like any other stepchild, each one has a story so I guess I’ll just tell them all and be done.
“Dance & Dingolay” is the newest and most rated, a fall 2010 tune that is a definite contender for Carnival 2011. I caught the initial vapors from ZJ Sparks (twitter) and then Jillionaire linked me with the full Swahili riddim run (email). The Rainbow Arabia refix is also pretty new but of course has already been posted on FADER. (What? I read FADER, too). I’m not even sure how I missed Onyenze track, except that Ben Lebrave from Akwaaba is a nice dude and is generally on some fair trade, liberte-equalite type shit where he spreads love equally instead of giving me special treatment, so that’s probably to blame. Schlachthofbronx’s re-imagining makes it kind of a dream-baile rubdown and is one more reason why you should go to Mad Decent and cop their new Nasty Bass EP when it drops next week.
Denise Belfon, “Dance & Dingolay” Swahili riddim
Rainbow Arabia, “Without You” Nzugunzugu mix
Onyenze, “SD5” Schlachthofbronx remix, (Akwaaba music)
SubSwara f. Zuzuka Poderosa, “Tambores,” Triggers
Tigerstyle f. Miss Rimpi, “Bol! Bol! Bol!” Mystics, Martyrs & Maharajahs
Machel Montano f. Pitbull, “Alright (Ramajay)” Mr. 305 remix
Download: GP 129 Swahili Blend
Which brings us to Zuzuka Poderosa. Not only did I get put up on her by Joel from Tropicalia in Furs way before she had music out or had even built up her cult following at NuBlu, but I am also friends with Dave Sharma of SubSwara who I am pretty sure is murderizing the percussion on this track. So you would think I would have the jump on it. But I tried to get fancy and hold off until I could blend it with another Zuzuka track called “Pyaar Baile” an Indo-Brazilian bailewood banger that I accidentally debuted at Basement Bhangra when Dave and Rekha (who produced the track) brought it through to test-drive the mix on big speakers. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) “Pyaar Baile” is a prospective first single from a future Rekha project, which means the world is not ready to hear it just yet. So here I am, being dumb-late in hyping up SubSwara’s Triggers instead of early for the Zuzuka/Rekha combination.
Speaking of bhangra, Tigerstyle also sent me a clip of “Bol! Bol! Bol!” way before their album came out, but never the full-length track (fear of bhangra pirates, I guess) and I just got around to getting it from Rekha in one of our end-of-the-night horsetrading sessions. “Ramajay” brings us full circle back to Trinidad, which is appropriate cause Trinidad have the hype right now, not just because its February but because it’s 2011. Somehow it was simultaneously too mainstream and too underground to show up on my Ghetto Palms radar—which is to say it’s doing exactly what a Pitbull track should. It wasn’t until it made Jilli’s year-end trinitech list that I truly checked for it in all its mainground/understream genius; those chutney drums, those slutty house vamps. Sure, it is ostensibly repping Port of Spain and Miami but If this track was a person it would be a nice Indian girl from DC who is rebelling against her parents with gogo boots and and a tattoo. I just wish Pitbull had made her his one true love and introduced her to the Top 40 world instead of that fucking hotel song.