Terrace Martin’s band ft. Kamasi/Glasper playing NYC ++ DJ Quik & MC Eiht end feud with great new LPs
Longtime rap producer and frequent Kendrick Lamar collaborator Terrace Martin is also a jazz bandleader, and earlier this year he released his first album with the supergroup he assembled, The Pollyseeds, Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1. It follows his 2016 album Velvet Portraits. The Pollyseeds include jazz great and fellow Kendrick collaborator Kamasi Washington on tenor sax, jazz-hop keyboardist Robert Glasper, Compton rapper Chachi (aka Problem), singers Wyann Vaughn and Rose Gold, and others. If you haven't heard the album yet, you can stream it in full below.
Terrace Martin and The Pollyseeds have at least one live show booked at the moment, NYC's Brooklyn Bowl on December 5. Tickets are on sale now.
Problem released a new collaborative album this year with Compton legend DJ Quik, the Rosecrans LP, an expanded version of last year's EP of the same name. Among other things, the album features DJ Quik's first (and second) collaboration with fellow Compton legend MC Eiht since they ended their lengthy, storied feud. (Eiht is on the last two songs.) The album romanticizes LA the way Illmatic romanticizes NYC, and you can feel the warm LA air on those retro-futuristic G-Funk beats. (Quik gives the album the veteran touch it deserves and Problem, who has clearly learned from his city's legends, helps Quik breathe new life into his classic sound.) Being such a love letter to Compton, it's the perfect album for for DJ Quik and MC Eiht to unite on.
MC Eiht also released his own new album this year, Which Way Iz West, his first in 11 years and a collaborative effort with East Coast legend DJ Premier. Most of the guests on the album are from the same scene that birthed Eiht, including Tupac's former group Outlawz on "Shut Em Down," West Coast originator WC on "Represent Like This," former Death Row spitter Lady of Rage (who destroys it on "Heart Cold," living up to her name in 2017 as much as she did on The Chronic), Eiht's former Compton's Most Wanted groupmates Tha Chill and Boom Bam on "Last One's Left," Kurupt on "Gangsta Gangsta," Xzibit on "Medicate," and Cypress Hill's B-Real on "Pass Me By."
Which Way Iz West isn't just MC Eiht's first new album in 11 years, but also his first since Kendrick Lamar helped introduce the "Streiht Up Menace" hitmaker to a younger audience by featuring him on good kid, m.A.A.d City's partial title track "m.A.A.d city." To hear Eiht tell the story himself in a 2013 interview with HipHopDX, he admits that Kendrick could've used his Aftermath/Dre connections to get just about anybody, but that Kendrick came to Eiht because it was the best match stylistically. "When I talked to him about the direction of where he was trying to go with the song, and how he was saying his album was basically telling the story of his life in Compton, it was a perfect match," Eiht said. "[Kendrick] was like, 'When I thought about the song, and I thought about growing up in the city, the first thing people said was you need to get with Eiht. He’s a perfect storyteller.'"
To bring things full circle, Kendrick (who, again, is a frequent Terrace Martin collaborator) also included three DJ Quik albums when making a list of his favorite albums of all time for Complex in 2012. So if you've been playing DAMN. a lot this year and haven't heard Which Way Iz West or the Rosecrans LP yet, you might wanna change that and you can hear both below, along with that Terrace Martin album.