Song of the Day: Blue Scholars – Butter & Gun$ (Loyalty) [Live @ KEXP]

photo by Christopher Nelson

Every Friday, we deliver a different song from a local performer as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is Butter & Gun$ (Loyalty) by Blue Scholars, recorded live on KEXP 12/13/07.

Blue Scholars – Butter & Gun$ (Loyalty) [Live @ KEXP] (MP3)

Before gangsta rap was introduced and the hip-hop genre went mainstream, artists from all walks of life had found a place to vent their personal and social struggles. Unfortunately, the degradation of women, glorification of drug use, and celebration of the price of one’s car became more important than the identification of injustices, which was critical to the genre in the first place. Seattle’s Blue Scholars are among today’s gurus, not just regionally but nationally, who relate the real woes woven in the social fabric, not the fictionalized and over-glorified ones that have taken hold in the mainstream. Beatmaker DJ Sabzi shows his chops by laying down consistently good ’70s/’80s soul/r&b licks and producing for not only Blue Scholars but also for other Seattle up-and-comers and KEXP faves Common Market. MC Geologic, with one foot in academia and one foot in the streets, takes from his past as a spoken-word poet to deliver uninterrupted courses in urbanomics. Together, Blue Scholars seek to make good on the promise of their 2007 breakthrough album Bayani by doing what they do best: cranking out quality albums and touring non-stop. Due to overwhelming demand, the duo are performing tonight and tomorrow at WWU in Bellingham, WA. All other dates on the current US tour can be found on their MySpace page. Before you head out, sample this video performance of North by Northwest:

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  1. gary
    Posted January 25, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    i personally prefer the rhyming styles and music of artists like tupac and e-40. i agree with the politics of the blue scholars, its just not fun for me. so even though i dont really like the music or rhymes, i am glad that they are saying things about the wrongs in the world. and i hope their lyrics open their listeners eyes and ears to various atrocities that have been and and are being comitted. plus, im always cynical about artists who use politics to become popular and make money. (youll probably say “what about artists who glorify drugs and violence to make money”) and i will say “touche”. but dats how i like my rap.

  2. Posted January 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    i fell in love with this song on first listen when they played the in-studio. I’ve already stated, it will likely be my favorite song of 2008. I wrote a little post about the song
    I listened to it on repeat until it was off the streaming archive, so thanks so so much for posting it!

  3. Posted April 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I never liked hip hop until I moved to Seattle and had the chance to hear acts like Blue Scholars, Cancer Rising, and Common Market. I think this is the best so far; this song is outstanding lyrically and I love whatever the background arrangement is going on there.

    Regarding gary’s post, I don’t know if they’re really “using” politics. Blue Scholars have been hammering at the Iraq war now for quite some time; I suspect it’s more than a convenient market niche for them. These guys are also talking about local politics which I can’t imagine is a hugely profitable enterprise in any musical genre. I imagine what’s driving their popularity is foremost their talent, and the fact that their music is meaningful. I don’t hear a lot of hip-hop that carries messages like the Scholars’.

    Anyway, thanks for the track. Can’t wait to buy the new thing when it comes out.

  4. Graham Parrington
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    another northwest classic! the original Loyalty is one of my favorite tracks of any genres, and this is a great track as well. like most blue scholars tracks, even after being shocked by the relevance, quality, and enjoyability of their music from the first listen, the tracks grow on me and reveal complexity and subtlety with each listen. looking forward to mull over the Guns and Butter EP tracks!

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