Tag: AZ

New Video: Sav Killz’s Ode to Summertime in Brooklyn

Born Jamel Hampton, Sav Killz is a Brooklyn-based emcee, who grew up in both Flatbush and Bedford-Stuyvesant, and initially was involved in the city’s hip hop scene as a graffiti writer, known for his tag Savage. In 1997, Hampton started rapping on the block under Savage Killa, based on his graffiti tag, which he later shorted to Sav Killz. Interestingly, Hampton got his professional part as part of the Wu-Tang Clan cypher, honing his skills at 36 Chambers Studio and Restoration Plaza, and he was part of the Sunz of Man and Brooklyn Zu cyphers.

Since the early 00s, Hampton has released a number of mixtapes that have received attention both across the city’s indie hip-hop scene and the blogosphere. And building upon a growing profile, he has opened for the likes of Kool Keith, Jadakiss, Slick Rick, Saigon, AZ, The Beatnuts, Rakim and Foxy Brown. Earlier this year, Sav Killz released his Bangers and B-Sides 2 mixtape, “hosted” by his longtime producer and collaborator DJ J-Ronin — and the mixtape’s latest single is the Camouflage Monk-produced “Brooklyn Summer,” which is centered around a looped, slow-burning, Roy Ayers-like jazz-fusion sample featuring twinkling Rhodes electric piano, big horns and a sinuous bass line over which Sav Killz rhymes about how Brooklyn always keeps it 100 every single day; but underneath that there’s a nostalgia about hanging out in the park on a glorious summer day with your homies, listening to your favorite tunes, while someone barbecues.

Directed by R.Hendrix, the recently released video was shot at Brooklyn Bridge Park during the Team Magnificent Get Low photo shoot and evokes summer days hanging out in the park with the homies.

 

Planit Hank is a mysterious but up-and-coming, underground producer whose latest effort, the Night Before Purgatory EP is slated for release next month — and the EP finds Planit Hank collaborating with a who’s who of gritty, New York street shit hip hop, including M.O.P., AZ, Canibus, Chris Rivers, Styles P, Kool G. Rap, DJ Evil Dee and a few others. “Life in Crooklyn,” the EP’s latest single is centered by a production that’s equally soulful and mournful as it features an atmospheric and looped horn sample, tweeter and woofer rock boom bap beats and scratching by the incredible DJ Evil Dee. Jeru The Damaja, Buckshot and AZ all wax both nostalgically and heartbreakingly about their rough and tumble childhoods — Jeru The Damaja talks about all the people he knew and loved, who were tragically murdered, with the recognition that without music, he may have ended up much like those he remembered; AZ proudly rhymes about repping Brooklyn all day; Buckshot, arguably one of the best emcees ever manages to pay tribute to BIG, make a brief point about gentrification but while pointing out that gangster shit is still there — and always will be there. But along with that the song focuses on the lack of older heads giving guidance to young cats in the way that happened for these legendary emcees. What makes the track intriguing to me is that it manages to view things from an older perspective but without sounding like crotchety old men, screaming at the clouds and the young cats about how everything fucking sucks, and how the music the kids listen to these days is awful; nor is the nostalgia within the song maudlin. If anything, it speaks to how powerful music can be — that it save the lives of people in desperate circumstances.