Always on the hunt for hip-hop on the positive tip, I recently picked up Giant Panda’s Fly School Reunion. I had good feeling before listening just because the LA-based trio is on Tres Records, along with one of my favorites, People Under the Stairs.
Fly School, the group’s first full-length album, proved my instincts correct. Without being overzealous in my defense of “backpack” rap, the album nails everything I love about a good hip-hop album: the lyrical interplay is seamless, production is consistent and the beats maintain a good-time vibe from start to finish.
Not to mention, Giant Panda is a walking example of social harmony, even if it wasn’t their intention. The trio is diverse (black, white and Japanese), which makes a track like Racist – a sarcastic yet sadly necessary statement on racial stereotypes – all the more sincere.
Giant Panda | Diggin’ in the Tapes
Giant Panda | Racist
- Question: Did everyone download Colin Meloy’s concert from NPR? I will consider splitting it up into separate mp3s if there’s a big enough demand (leave it in the comments).
- The Big Takeover makes note of a promising trend: purchase albums on vinyl and receive a coupon to download it digitally for free. The fantastic Merge Records has made this deal available on the Clientele’s Strange Geometry and Robert Pollard’s From a Compound Eye.
- Be sure to check out two new additions to the blog roll: Black Balloon and the newly launched Cable and Tweed.
- You’ve gotta be kidding: An iPod owner in Louisiana is suing Apple, alleging the mp3 player has the potential to cause hearing loss. Story here.