In two weeks, we’re gonna hit my most anticipated week of August where we’ll have new album/EP reviews for the Arctic Monkeys, fun. (with Nate Ruess, who used to be the frontman for The Format), and, the release I’m most excited for, a new EP called OOF! from the Blue Scholars. So in honor of that last one, today it’s a free download of the Blue Scholars’ self-titled, first album, released in 2004.
Out of Seattle, the Blue Scholars are probably my favorite hip hop act right now. They have two members, one MC and one DJ, a formula that works well if done properly (see Gang Starr), and they do it more than properly. I discovered them about this time last year, and I immediately fell in love with the sound. The beats are original, and the lyrics are sharp, giving them a deadly one-two combo of creativity and intelligence, the two things I look for most in hip hop.
What I really love is that all of their songs matter. By that I mean that they are always either talking about issues or telling interesting stories. No matter what they’re doing, they make you want to listen, and that’s a telltale sign of good music. “Commencement Day” is a brilliant song I highly suggest listening to. It’s a beautiful criticism of the American eduction system, and the best part is that there isn’t a wasted syllable. Every part of the song means something. The hook is also pretty killer, with a great message. Listen to it.
“Sagaba” is my favorite track from the Blue Scholars, and it’s the last track on their 2004 self-titled release. The album was re-released later with 3 extra tracks, so in that case it’s not the last track, but I have the first version, without the extra tracks. The song just feels so loose and relaxed. It just floats along to me, and it’s a great song to just chill to. I could go on forever about this group. They’re fucking phenomenal. I can’t stress that enough.
Either way, you can find a free download of the first release of their 2004 self-titled album here, and there’s another free download of their last release, a 2008, digital-only release entitled the Butter & Gun$ EP, available right here. They’re both .rar files, so you’ll need some program to open them, if you don’t already have one (for PC try 7-Zip, and for Mac try UnRarX, both free). Don’t forget to hit up SadSteve for single song downloads. The Blue Scholars selection is pretty good.
Be sure to check out Sabzi’s (the DJ) other project, Common Market , which is just as good as the Blue Scholars. Enjoy!