Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Ridin Thru My City Wearin More Red Than Santa Claus"

Just when I had written off Hip Hop as as headed toward extinction, here comes a heat rock delivered by two of my favorites. While Rich Boy and The Game's verses will be the reason you listen to the track, you're going to remember the track because of Hit-Boy's absolutely bangin' beat. To say it goes hard doesn't do it justice, it THUMPS! (Hence the 808 check post label below). It's not enlightening Hip Hop by any stretch of the imagination, just a lot of tough talk and witty bars, but that works for me when it's done this well. If you're like me, you had thought Rich Boy was fading into ether as one of the best 'bama rappers of all time. It sounds like that legacy has yet to be fully imagined, which gives hope for the near future of Southern Hip Hop...#RidinThruMyCity

Rich Boy feat The Game - Ridin' Thru My City (prod by Hit-Boy)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Home of the Brave and Free, Free Just to Muder Me"

We may never know whether T.I. was planning on releasing his New National Anthem this week or whether the Michael Brown incident expedited the release. Whatever the case, it's a lyrically armed track that is pointed straight at guns and their impact on American society. It's an interesting track in that the Skylar Grey hook is meant for radio, but T.I.'s verses and ad-libs are no-holds barred. The bouncy beat makes for a fun listen, but the beat makes it tough to hear the underlying message he's trying to deliver, which is frustrating at times.

The track is set to surface on T.I.'s upcoming album Paperwork, which he's compared to Outkast's Aquemini and Jay Z's The Blueprint. That's a tall order, but New National Anthem is a definitely a step in the right direction. Again, let's all hope this renewed attention of gun violence in American leads to something productive for us all so that we don't keep seeing the same situation repeat itself...#NewNationalAnthem

T.I. feat Skylar Grey - New National Anthem

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Bad With The Rooftop Boys

I love it when I hear an electronic song that I'm not really crazy about that gets transformed into a much better version. Case in point David Guetta & Showtek's Bad that I was lukewarm at best on when I first heard it. But good things come to those who wait and here come the smooth, Tropical House upgrade courtesy of The Rooftop Boys. While the original was more of an in your face club track, the remix is much more suitable for a trip to the beach. While I can't really say that all EDM permutations are worthy of perpetuating, I'm still all about the momentum that Tropical House is gaining...#TropicalHouse

David Guetta & Showtek - Bad (The Rooftop Boys Remix)

Monday, August 18, 2014

J Cole Sees a Future Where We Can All Be Free

As each day passes, I do a brief check of Twitter hoping that the mess surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown will stop getting worse. Sadly, the response keeps elevating and the public outcry keeps escalating. I keep questioning what the bigger message we're all going to learn from this will be. Will it be related to race? Will it be related to the irrational escalation of force? Will it be the misuse of firearms? Will it be better training for officers? It all doesn't make sense yet, but I have faith that Michael Brown's death will not be in vain. It was needless and it was probably the tip of the iceberg of what's going on in a small town in Missouri, but so many people are tuning in now that there's a perfect opportunity for us to fix a problem that has been festering for years.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not half as close to what happened as J Cole has been at times in his life. But I applaud him for acting on his impulse to vent and use his voice to continue the conversation in a positive direction. Below is J Cole's message, which sets up his new track Be Free, which is a painfully emotional tribute to the memory of Michael Brown...#BeFree
"There was a time in my life when I gave a f*ck. Every chance I got I was screaming about it. I was younger. It's so easy to try to save the world when you're in college. You got nothing but time and no responsibility. But soon life hits you. No more dorms, no more meal plan, no more refund check. N*gga need a job. N*gga got rent. Got car note. Cable bill. Girlfriend moves in and becomes wife. Baby on the way. Career advances. Instagram is poppin. Lebron leaves Miami. LIFE HITS. We become distracted. We become numb. I became numb. But not anymore. That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f*ck if it's by police or peers. This sh*t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel. Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free."

J Cole - Be Free

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Honey, I'm Not Your Honey Pie"

First it was Kid Cudi making great music with the sisters Haim, now it's A$AP Ferg's turn to get in the mix. My skeptical side wondered how on the hell they were going to infuse Hip Hop into their funky single My Song 5? After a few listens, A$AP Ferg deserves a tip of the cap for his verse. His lyrics tell both sides of the story, providing a bit of balance to the one sided web of lies in the original version.

Haim's Days Are Gone album continues to be under appreciated in a lot of ways. Hopefully this new flavor of a previous single open a few more eyeballs from a different demographic. I'm still mad I missed the sisters at Outside Lands, but you better believe I'm going to find a way to see them in the next calendar year...#MySong5

Haim feat A$Ap Ferg - My Song 5 (Remix)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Smile, the Worst is Yet to Come"

Good ballads don't grow on trees. That premise is exactly why I always make a point to give a listen to new releases from Mikky Ekko. I'm not sure why, but his vocals remind me of a modern day Paul McCartney. The Beatles vibe is completely apparent on his new track Smile. The cautionary tale Mikky weaves has such a positive vibe, yet it forecasts the inevitable downfall. The tension between the two results in an interesting ballad that I still haven't fully wrapped my head around. No word yet on whether or not this will surface on an album, but if it does, color me excited...#Smile

Mikky Ekko - Smile

Friday, August 15, 2014

Videos of the Week August 15th

With the NFL season on the horizon, this week has a bit of a football theme with The Manning Brothers' Fantasy Football Hip Hop commercial leading the way. Was it me or did Broadway Joe play to his stereotype a bit too comfortably when he was feeling up on that woman mid-way through the video? On an even less serious note, how bout that super, extravagant Madden commercial? It shares the same silliness as The Manning video, but with a little bit more crazy. I don't even play Madden anymore, but that video got me pumped.

In other news, Fences new video with Macklemore is an entertaining and artsy watch. David Guetta put together a perfectly Western video for Lovers of the Sun. And last, but certainly not least, Ariana Grande is in fact decent looking and it's not everyday you see her shoot rockets out of her ta-tas...#Madden15
Peyton & Eli Manning Fantasy Football Hip Hop Video

FENCES feat Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Arrows (Video)

Ariana Grande feat Zedd - Break Free (Video)

David Guetta - Lovers of the Sun (Video)

Madden NFL 15 Madden Season (feat Kevin Hart and Dave Franco)

Photo Credit: YouTube

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