Friday, December 19, 2014

Videos of the Week December 19th

Definitely an EDM heavy top five this week with Avicii's The Nights video leading the way. The video is a great anecdote for how music videos can be great tools for increasing excitement about song. The unbridled, live life to the fullest vibe of the song fits like a glove with the extreme sports driven visuals. In comparison, Madeon's new video for You're On is a bit more of a futuristic story. The mix of special effects and subtle branding make for an intriguing story.

For those who need a dose of crazy, you'll enjoy the fun mix of tribal and Hip Hop dancing in Skrillex's new video for Dirty Vibe. If you want some interesting content that will give you a bit more background on Zedd. It's crazy how these behind the scenes documentaries are about the only way we can see just how talented some of these EDM artists are. Last but definitely not least is another Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake skit. This time they are teenage kids at summer camp who just want to sing a little Third Eye Blind. That's all I got y'all catch ya on the flip side after Christmas...#TheNights
Avicii - The Nights (Video)

Madeon feat Kyan - You're On (Video)

Skrillex With Diplo, CL, & G-Dragon – Dirty Vibe (Video)

Zedd Moment of Clarity Documentary

Camp Winnipesaukee w/ Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"I Am One of a Kind Like a White Lion"

Wait...a Maroon 5 and Big Boi collaboration? Huh? Yea, that was my initial reaction too as I struggled to wrap my brain around hearing a Daddy Fat Sax verse on Animals.

Unfortunately, the collaboration didn't quite live up to my monumental expectations. Here I was hoping the beat would be transformed to reflect a southern Hip Hop, bass heavy sound, only to find out that Big Boi's verse was cut and pasted into the original version. When I say cut and pasted, the transition to his verse was more than a little rough around the edges. Yes, Big Boi brought the thunder on his verse, but it didn't mesh well with the beat and seemed out of place. If anything this is a testament to how difficult it can be to mesh two different styles without taking into account how everything sounds as a whole. It's surprising because Big Boi and Adam Levine are crazy talented, but not all good things go together when special attention isn't given to blending two things together...#AnimalsRemix

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kendrick Lamar Drop New Song on The Colbert Report

Boy, sometimes gifts come in strange packages. A couple years ago if you would have told me that Hip Hop artists would be releasing new tracks on Comedy Central in 2014, I would have questioned what you are smoking. But, that was exactly the case when Kendrick Lamar performed his new yet to be titled track. Normally I'm not one to post live versions of tracks before they get the studio quality stamp, but there's so much live instrumentation on the track that it makes a really good first impression.

Before you fast forward to the new jazzy, storytelling driven track around the four minute mark, you should give the interview a watch. In the interview Kendrick touches on things like rapping vs storytelling and being anointed by Snoop as the king of west coast rap in between a lot of witty banter from Colbert. Since I don't know what the track is called, what Kendrick's new album is going to be called or even the proposed released date, you're just going to have to sit back and enjoy a modern Hip Hop leader continue to show everyone what being "in your prime" looks like...#KendrickLamar

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas is Coming, Time For Some OWSLA Eggnog

Now that OWSLA has firmly cemented themselves as one of the top EDM labels in the business, it's only fitting that they put out the first (of presumably many) Christmas compilations. Prior to listening to the track below, I had not heard of Ghastly or Mija, but talent seems to hang out with each other, so commander Skrillex's co-sign definitely helped. What ensued was a whole lot of wobble and futuristic house vibes. The Lil Jon feature is only a sample, so don't get too excited (or let it prevent you from listening). Where house tends to be chill and funk filled, the brand of house on Crank It is much more of the party starter variety. Overall, it's an interesting track that tore at the corners of what I thought I knew deep house was supposed to sound like...#Eggnog

Ghastly & Mija feat Lil Jon - Crank It

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Tell Me I'm Awake, Paradise Awaits"

As the anticipation for a full length debut album from ZHU continues to build, I continue to wonder exactly what we're going to get. I say that not because of the mystique surrounding ZHU's identity, but because I am genuinely interested in the direction he's is capable of expanding EDM. Clearly, he's got a lot of Hip Hop influence and that was further confirmed by the recently released remix of his own track Paradise Awaits. Check the original below for reference...

Where the original is bubbly and upbeat, led by ZHU's falsetto vocals, the remix takes on a completely different stance. The verse by DC's own Goldlink sets the tone on the noticeably deeper, funk filled Part 2. The song as a whole is a harbinger of great things to come in my eyes. All these 20-30 somethings who grew up with Hip Hop in the 90s need a grown and sexy segue to something more easy listening and funky. When I think of what that means, I envision something like what you hear below. I know one thing is for sure, I will be a happy camper if ZHU is able to put together an entire album of stuff sounding just like this...#ParadiseAwaits

ZHU feat Goldlink - Paradise Awaits (Part 2)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Madonna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna"

Love him or hate him, Lupe Fiasco is one of the most intelligent and creative Hip Hop artists in history. There aren't too many artists in the music industry that require you to listen to their songs a few times before being able to fully understand the message they're trying to push across. Madonna is a great example of that as it pays homage to the mothers of the world who fight tooth and nail for us to succeed as we progress through life. Yet, many times we let them down because of how we act or behave. The core of the song invites us all to question why we allow that let down to happen.

The track is a tasteful critique and succeeds in large part because of the soulful humming on the beat concocted by DJ Dahi. For those of you keeping score, that's two notable beats I've posted by Dahi in the past week, so he is fully on my radar. If you're digging this track as much as I am, you can cop it for free via iTunes as a gift for purchasing the pre-sale of Lupe's upcoming album Tetsuo & Youth. It may have taken months and years for a new album to finally come to fruition, but the wait has been well worth it because Lupe is delivering some of the best work of his career...#Madonna

Lupe Fiasco feat Nicki Jean - Madonna (And Other Mothers In The Hood) (prod by DJ Dahi)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"I Wanna Runaway Cause You and I"

Usually The Chainsmokers are the ones responsible for introducing me to a new up and coming artists. This week, Dillon Francis took a turn by introducing me to Galantis, who had previously been in my blind spot. If you haven't heard the Swedish duo's original version of Runaway, it's catchy as hell...

The high pitched sample has an ear worm effect that sticks with you. Dillon found a way to leverage that sample while also adding in a bit of bounce on his version of the track. Instead of being happy and progressive house-y, it's much more hard hitting and head nod worthy. In general, I appreciate when a track has the ability to be mellow and dance-worthy, but have an alter ego that is much rowdier. This is a great case in point because both versions (and Kaskade's version for that matter) are likeable in their own ways...#Runaway

Galantis - Runaway (U & I) (Dillon Francis Remix)

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