Undie HipHop


babylon sister
I'm curious what you people think of this whole thing.

Initially when I started listening to underground/indie hiphop I was pretty dismissive, since I've got my head adjusted I've become fairly interested.

One guy I took an about face on was Sage Francis.

The general consensus on ILM seems to be that he's either too serious,
or joking and not particualrly funny.

But the guy has this political side that I'm really enjoying.

Has anyone heard the song Hey Gandhi?

Its really good, some genuinely political music and in the current political climate here in US.

So he has a sense of humor, he's political and he is pretty poetic.

Thats pretty much all I'm looking for in a lyricist.

Anticon I liked initially and now I just can't listen to say, cLOUDDEAD anymore.

Def Jux I never really got into at all, Aesop Rock's first album I like though.

Recently I've been listening to Buck 65, he's got his moments.

So any suggestions, opinions?

How about the slightly surreal Lex label?

Hiphop as brought to you by Warp.

Overall I enjoy grime and mainstream crunk much more than undie
but what do you think?


babylon sister
Well I'm fine talking to myself

I forgot a few things

Rhymesayers for me is a local thing, you know Atmosphere, Eyedea and Abilities, Brother Ali.

Brother Ali is everything I like about underground hiphop.

Shadows on the Sun reminds me a little of Solesides and a little bit of Killah Priest.

So yeah big up for Rhymesayers.

And I forgot Boombip

Seed to Sun is excellent, but it could be seen as IDM as much as anything.


can't be stopped
I don't really dig the attitude towards underground hip-hop on ILM, although of course I understand the criticisms. Certainly a lot of it IS backward-looking, but i feel like that's about as worthless a criticism as "mainstream hip-hop is dumb music" etc. - sort of beside the point or wholly inaccurate.

Yeah Sage Francis is great, because he tempers his political side w/ humor, unlike a guy like Talib Kweli whose politics amount to laundry lists of the world's problems. I really like the Cannibal Ox and El-P albums from Def Jux, two of my favorite albums of the 00s. Aesop Rock's Labor Days has its moments, and I think Mr. Lif and Murs have done some great work too. Every year there are odd random indie hip-hop releases I like too that come from guys who most people wouldn't recognize - last year, Louis Logic's album was pretty terrific (check out his ode to alcoholism, "Dos Factotum," and my personal favorite track "Idiot Gear.")

This year I've heard good things about the J-Zone album but I haven't had a chance to check it.

I'm also all over MF Doom's releases...I haven't checked the second Viktor Vaughn album, but Madvillain is easily one of my favorite albums of the year - his little jokes and one-liners remind me of my dad's sense of humor, plus the absurdity of a guy like Sun Ra, playing with words ("Mystery, My Story," etc) and the production is easily the best work I've heard Madlib do. MM Food looks like it'll be hot too.

Rhymesayers - I like Brother Ali and Atmosphere, they've released some great music too.
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babylon sister
I was thinking about this when I was driving around in my car today.

My major quibble with a lot of this is (undie), is that it is classicist hiphop, meaning two turntables and a microphone.

And then I'm thinking, "Wait you don't like something because its being true to its roots, thats a stupid reason to dislike anything"

So I'd say if you like hiphop from the early nineties, meaning A Tribe Called Quest or whatever,
you will probably like this.

But then I'm thinking, " This is all backwards, if you don't like commercial hippop because its materialistic, and dont like undie because its intellectual, you're just looking for reasons to dislike the music"

I guess my problem is this, the art of sampling is a varied and fascinating past time but I will always kind of see it as a limitation. Sampling can only take you so far.

Thats one of the many reasons I like grime so much. Yes it uses samples but they are just one of the many ways the musicians make the music.

Any comments on people buying vinyl on Ebay at exorbitant rates just so they can feel like they are part of hiphop?

It just feels screwed up, back in the day vinyl was the easiest way to make the music.

Now any kid with a ripped off copy of Fruityloops and Reason can make music, burn it to a disc, and bump it in his car. Thats demoing technology, same as dubplates.

Traditionalists and Progressives, can't live with em, can't live without them.

machine hugger

Have y'all checked in to Lyrics Born yet? It's alot in vein of Lex but a bit more fun. It comes from the Latyrx crew out here in SF. It's worth the check especially for the Cut Chemist track on there! that one track alone can split atoms.
I was a bit amazed that "gangasta" boy here (work) went nuts on Prince Po. And the Viktor Vaughn is worth checking although when listening you feel a bit pressed to say his tracks are a bit contrived. He tries too hard to create something unique.


was minusone
Antipop consortium live were not turntable based but still very much hip hop. All the members rapped and played electronic instruments, sometimes at the same time. I would definitely recommend the recent album by headset on stefan betke's scape records, which was made in germany I think, but with guest rappers including beans from antipop.


New member
well I'd recommend:

sage francis
mf doom (viktor vaugh 2 is weak though, don't bother)
Aesoprock's Float is one of my favorite albums
Company Flow and El-p's solo stuff...I wouldn't recommend cannibal ox though, most people love that album but I think it's stupid and a waste of el-p beats.
Bigg Jus
The Coup
Semi Official
The Goods
Definetly the older Solesides/Quannum stuff, I'm not too crazy about the latest Blackalicious stuff.
Time Machine

I don't think indie hiphop is really about the whole 2 turntables and a microphone, I think the people that push that shit more are those kids who are still hanging on to their 4 elements dream and for the most part I think most of the underground has realized how dumb that shit is. But then I might be giving them too much credit because there are still lots of shitty kids preaching it. I think most of those kids are those entry level underground hiphop fans, like people who enjoy dilated peoples or kids who think heiro is making classic records.

One reason I like indie hiphop is just because its kids pushing their own ideas and experiences outside of the traditional structure and just trying to be themselves. It brings fresh ideas and breaks from the norm. Unfortunatly a lot times the results are horrible but everyonce in a while someone makes a record worth listening too.

I don't think indie hiphop is as intellectual as many would like to believe. I do think that it challenges conventional hiphop more but I'm bothered by the idea that some kids think you have to be smart to understand it or that if you don't like it then you aren't smart enough or some shit.


babylon sister
thanks for the suggestions

umm thanks, that should do me as far as suggestions goes

it'll take me awhile to just check these guys out

one thing I got to be careful about is confusing my mental filing system with reality

I tend to think of hip hop as the genre name in its entirety

like rock and roll was a genre

rock and roll can mean a lot of different things, but there is the music that started it all

Chuck Berry , Little Richard

thats rock and roll

Kool Herc, Run Dmc

thats hip hop

but you know reality has to get in the way of my pat little theories

I think of groups like the Jurassic Five as being a little bit like punk rock ( back to the basics)

but generally I don't like groups who take things back to the basics

what I love about hip hop is its openmindedness to try new things, new ideas

so it would be sad if you got this wave of musicians who idolized the old skool, back in the day

and completely missed the point of the music

which was experimental, and openminded

doesn't seem to likely though


Well-known member
I think part of the trouble with this whole criticism of undie is that it assumes that the whole of non-commercial hip hop sounds like Def Jux. For me, there is loads of "undie" that I love, but none of it is weirdy-beardy mcs spitting over heavy metal beats about something incomprehensible.

I'd hold up a producer like J Rawls, for example, as somebody that makes really nice hip hop records without some special agenda, but just not in a style or through a distribution channel that will ever lead to mainstream success. I still love the "Essence of J Rawls" comp he put out a few years back, especially "Great Live Caper" with J Live.

But that's kind of a product of its time - I don't think there are many people still making this kind of stuff. A few years back you'd get these kind of melodic, laid back sample-based tracks that weren't either nostalgia-fests like J5 or experimental tomfoolery like Prefuse 73. I personally haven't been in a hip hop vinyl shop for at least 2 years, so I dunno what's going on nowadays - anybody care to comment?


from start till done
Backjob said:
weirdy-beardy mcs spitting over heavy metal beats about something incomprehensible.

that is too funny.

do any you guys get aussie hip hop - certainly not about to let itself outside "undie" territory, and has come a long way from the early days......

try and check out

mass mc
ken oath
lazy grey
bias b
lyrical commision
750 rebels
hospice crew

plus theres loads more so if you can search it down - give it a listen but remember the aussie accent isn't for everyone

p.s. croation hip hop rules - raw like old ntm


luka said:
jean grae is the one though. look out for her.
And, as a bonus, she's Abdullah Ibrahim's daughter, so maybe there'll be a Nas-Grae-Dara-Ibrahim quartet one day...


Well-known member
originaldrum - does that come out of Sydney or Melbourne? Cos I'm in sydney next week and would love to see aussie hip hop if there's any on...


can't be stopped
CoFlow doesn't sound like that either! Its more influenced by New York hardcore like Kool G Rap and Wu Tang and Mobb Deep. Minimalist, dirty, minor key.


Well-known member
I guess the confusion comes from my using the word "heavy metal" - I don't mean guitars, I mean that a lot of the beats have that dirty, grimy lo-fi sound, and are frequently deliberately atonal - all characteristics that I personally associate more with metal than with hip hop, hence "heavy metal". Get me?


from start till done
Backjob said:
originaldrum - does that come out of Sydney or Melbourne? Cos I'm in sydney next week and would love to see aussie hip hop if there's any on...

sydney, brisbane & melbourne - there should be somethin on i'll pm ya


Well-known member
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