i've listened to this so often since it's dropped that i decided to go ahead and write a track-by-track or beat-by-beat review..
first off i gotta reiterate the unique dopeness of this tape's structure..this literally feels like you're listening to an old cassette tape the way the songs mold into each other and shit..u get a full appreciation for it by having to listen to it in entirety each time..
above all, this shit is GRIMEY...the title and theme of "medical strain" weed and hindu kush is perfect cuz this is like that sticky glittery shit that smells beautiful and gets you FUCKED up, this is that shit manifested into a beat tape..
i'm gonna list the joints by the approximate time they begin..
Intro--fade right into that ol' funky-ness to set it off, some nice vintage Beatjitzu kung fu cuts set the atmosphere and then:
1:32--straight up dirty grimey-ness...upon first hearing this beat it reminded me of the old old Sunz of Man sound (i'm talkin pre-"Last Shall Be First", like the shit on Old Testament) and so fittingly there's that Killah Priest quote cutting in here...
3:30---one of my favorites on the whole tape...sample is sweet and i'm continually amazed at your skill when it comes to dropping the perfect drums over a sample...this is perfect
Bruce, i can't believe u dug out that "respect ya maker, Master-Allah-King-Equality-Ruler" quote, i thought i was the only one that had that shit---from a crazy rare 60 Second Assassin accapella freestyle..
5:11---more sickness, i love the sound of this one---tough to put my finger on it, maybe like some Indian shit? i dono....but i love it and the drums are dope..
altho the more i listen to the tape this track feels like it's just the joint u listen to in the waiting room to prepare u to witness the amazingness of the next beat
7:05---Jesus, the harp sounds always get me....this is just mesmerizing right here..i think i've said this before in commenting on one of B's other beat tapes but u seem to have a specific talent when it comes to making beats that combine a deep, mysterious sound and feel with absolute GRIMEY ass fuckin drums and making that shit come together in perfect harmony..
9:45---so many ridiculous chops and quotes in between the last joint n this one, sorta like an interlude and the samples are just from all over the place...awesome shit, and settin the tone for that "Medical Strain" feel that i pointed out..(the FX work so perfect throughout this tape too, especially here)
this is one of the simpler beats on the tape, drums are phat as always tho...and perfect sample yet again: "Wu orchestra, what, fancy talk-magic"
11:14---"Bruce Li...in a life and death struggle with the forces of evil"
Where do u come up with this shit!?!?!?
this is yet another fuckin awesome beat, a powerful rolling bassline and a nice little melody that, when bumping this in the car, makes the outside world appear to be a movie that you're watching....this is straight up dope music..
12:39---in the Hindu Kush vein, this beat reminds of that feeling where you've just been blastin the bong (or bowl, blunt, whatever) really hard and now you've just sat back and relaxed to let the feeling hit u slowly...this is THAT feeling...that's what this beat is..
goddamnit i love this tape..
14:39---oh shit! BANGER right here..sample is dopely cinematic, just some classic street cement hip hop man..i swear B you are a fucking master at this shit fam, you and that SP-303 were made for each other....i hope u just embrace that fact and keep puttin this kinda shit out for us cuz I absolutely love it..
17:30---a whole smattering of different sounds, quotes, samples splatter at u before this joint starts...another simpler one, i don't really wanna call it "filler" cuz that's demeaning but this is like a perfect interlude and albums (for lack of a better word) that flow perfectly usually have this kinda thing...a calm little intermission for u to gather yourself and get your bearings back so u realize exactly what's goin on....just in time for this:
19:42---without a doubt, my favorite joint on the tape...absolute fucking BANGER right here, set off perfectly with a Raekwon quote..
don't really know how else to say it...for a hip hop fan (i mean, that bangin' grimey hip hop) this is the equivalent of a ridiculous bong toke of crazy good weed, one of them where u don't even cough or anything--it's just like ".......wow" (with a cloud in front of u)..
"Wit mad trees, we don't sleep we just lie in the grass!"
22:32---take notice: i must again reiterate how remarkably this whole thing was put together (not only is the musical quality of each song so high, but the actual crafting together of one cohesive unit is done to perfection) as in right here..After that monstrous head-boppin banger, it's followed up with a good 30 seconds of crazy quotes (not sure who from but he sounds like a maniac--"Pete Rose, FUCK YOU" haha) and scratches, etc. to let you settle down again for a sec...
and the next beat shoots in and it seems to embody perfectly the feeling you're at right now at this point of the tape; this beat feels like "it ain't over yet, keep it movin" and now you're on some adventurous Egyptian caravan journey in the desert or somethin--THAT's the sound of this beat (i swear, throw it on and read what i just said)..
24:45---the roller coaster, or 'stroll thru a dark forest while tokin a blunt with a friend' (however your particular interpretation of this beat tape experience might feel) is starting to approach its end now..
this beat's got the same kinda tone as the opening one and it's another calm grimey joint with bangin' drums, some mad funny yet fitting samples/quotes (the Madlib influence is apparent and well-executed)..
27:15---oh my fuckin God, the quote!: "Imagine just how long it took, for me to master this the Art of Noise is hazardous"
One of my top 3 favorite beats on the tape right here...gotta send them off with another SICK ass beat...the hi-hats (if that's what u would call that sound) are off the hook and done to perfection...and the sound and feel of this beat just fits seamlessly with everything else we've been hearing throughout the Hindu Kush...matter fact, upon reflection this track right here is Hindu Kush. If each track were titled this one would be the holder of "Hindu Kush" cuz it's just that spiritually-high-off-grimey-ness sound..
29:40---"B-B-B-B-Bruce Li" just keep blammin' it at us for a reminder of whose music we've just had the privilige of listening to for a good half hour or so..
if the last joint is titled "Hindu Kush" then this one is the Cosmic Dance of Shiva
absolutely perfect outro beat...yet again, just like every other track, this one perfectly compliments the whole thing---this tape is ridiculously cohesive..
it took me a bunch of listens to really have it sink in how amazing this tape is but I think it's hard to argue with it...this shit is without a doubt a CLASSIC for the Audio Booth and Wu-Tang Corp in general....
Bruce, Lord B, whatever: this is some of your best work ever...a masterpiece...you are a fuckin freakishly gifted SP lo-fi savant, my friend...
i swear, with this (and the same thought occurred to me with the Double Feature tape from a while back too, which i think u said you freestyle'd the whole thing) i wish u would've had a documentary filmed of you making this shit on that machine...cuz this shit is straight up brilliant..
KEEP IT UP!