Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lady Gaga feat Beyonce - Telephone (Crookers Remix)

Picture above is from their upcoming video for their recent collaboration for the song Telephone, off Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster Album.

Now I know you've all heard the original version of Telephone and every girl I've spoken too raves about this as being one of their favorite tracks off on The Fame Monster. Seems the Italian production duo known as Crookers decided to take the track to another level with an uptempo, electro, Hip House version of the track. Some people don't like it when an original song is remixed or re-done, but generally speaking, anytime a slower or mid-tempo song is remixed into a faster beat, I end up liking it.

Maybe it's the DJ in me and I enjoy getting a chance to play a song that wasn't previously dance-able or club-ready. This is one of those instances and I would gladly rock this track while DJ-ing. The duality of people in the club not only being familiar and knowing the lyrics to a song, but also dancing to it is as close as you're gonna get to a sure thing when it comes to entertaining a dance floor. Can't beat that when you're DJ-ing and to this day I've never had someone with the balls to voice their displeasure about a song when the whole club is singing the song word for word while dancing.

Give it a listen...

Lady Gaga feat Beyonce - Telephone (Crookers remix)

Aaaand just in case you liked that one so much, check out two more Crookers' remixes of two of my favorite Cudi tracks...really like the end result of these two mixes and they're a big reason why I'm now always on the look out for their remixes...

Kid Cudi - Day n Nite (Crookers remix)

Kid Cudi - Embrace the Martian (Crookers remix)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2 New Jason Derulo Tracks - Outta This World and Message in a Bottle

Pictured above is ya boy JD performing at the NY Jets rally before they heroically fell to the unstoppable Indianapolis Colts...and before you're quick to call me a bandwagon jumper, read the piece above titled "About the GWDJ" and note that said High School was in the great state of Indiana, which automatically gives me a license to rep Naptown's own Indianapolis Colts.

Getting back to the music, here's two more tracks by Jaysahn Derulo with the first and newest having single worthy potential and engineered by none other than JJJR Rotem. He's Sean Kingston-ing the shit out of Derulo's upcoming album, stocking it with single after single and making it damn near impossible for people to avoid his music and buy into him. To be honest I'm a little surprised In My Head has caught fire like it has, quickly becoming a song that everyone in the club knows and sings along to (happened twice in front of my eyes last weekend). It's never going to reach the appeal level that Whatcha Say did, but it's still no doubt a legitimate, potentially platinum single and a great great move by the Derulo camp because Whatcha Say wasn't exactly upbeat enough of a song that you'd hear it in the club...In My Head is though.

To put things in perspective, this new track Outta This World is a lot more similar to Whatcha Say in that it's a slower ballad, but instead of the sad lyrics, it has a lot more uplifting feel to it. Gotta love those whiney synthesizers that JR has become known for in the background. Solid effort that while may not be single worthy, is definitely a lot more than a filler track on an album that is clearly destined for platinum status after his first two singles have been gobbled up and consumed by mainstream radio. Give it a listen:

Jason Derulo - Outta This World (prod by JR Rotem) Hott!!!

As a bonus, here's the newest version of a demo originally done by Jackie Boyz titled Queen of Hearts...

Jackie Boyz feat Jason Derulo - Queen of Hearts (prod by JR Rotem) Better!!

...which then turned into She Flys Me Away Better!!
Jason Derulo - She Flys Me Away (prod by JR Rotem) Best!!!

...and has now finally landeed on the title being Message in A Bottle

Jason Derulo - Message in a Bottle (prod by JR Rotem) Good!

Only things for sure are the facts that the song is definitely produced...and produced quite well by JR Rotem, one version will be on his upcoming album and also the Jackie Boyz are and will continue to be slept on despite their crazy talent.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Tony Collins - Whine For Me

Been a little heavy on the Hip Hop of late, so I'll mix in a little R&B from one of my favorite up and coming artist, Tony Collins from BK. This one is a little slower than some of his previous tracks, but still really well done vocally. This proves he can serve up the slow jams and cater to the ladies a bit.

If you're wonderin' what he's like performing, give the following video a look...I'm liking the live band feel. Dude's got plenty of soul in the voice...

Check it...
Tony Collins - Whine For Me Hot Slow Jam!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

808 Check: DJ Khaled feat Young Jeezy Plies Rick Ross - Put Your Hands Up (prod by The Runners)

Ya know what? I was half way done with this post before I realized it would be wrong not to picture the production crew responsible for this felony assault on your eardrums. Again, if you ain't know, The Runners are pictured above from left to right Jermaine "Mayne Zayne" Jackson and Andrew "Dru Brett" Harr. Yea they are responsible for these songs here. Saying their beats are particularly bass heavy is a bigger understatement than Gilbert Arenas saying it was a bad financial decision to bring guns to work ($147,000 per game?? ouch!! It's ok support your homie and grab one of these hot "Free Gilbert" shirts, appropriately placed amid the old Washington Bullets logo).

Anyways, back to this absolutely BANGIN Runners beat...this track can only be played loud and if you have any sort of subwoofer plugged in at or near or in the vicinity of where this song resides, please do yourself a favor and give the foundation a little massage...I know I did.

As an aside, not really a fan of any of these verses from Jeezy, Plies or Rick Ross, but who cares, it's like yelling at an aquarium "OMG I just saw a fish"...Really dude? know what I'm mean, it's part of the scenery, so in essence they are to me auxiliary elements of what you end up hearing. In my world that's all Hip Hop is sometimes, beats and rhythms with people saying words that don't usually matter...and the degree to which it ends up mattering or having an effect on me has to do with the level of creativity, intellect that goes into the wordplay and these three rappers aren't necessarily known for that. Not trying to be a hater or take anything away, all three rappers are heavyweights in their own neighborhood of Hip Hop and just because that street isn't necessarily one I like to travel down often doesn't mean it doesn't get respect from the block.

Enough talk, give you speakers some sugar and turn the dial to the right a lil bit...

DJ Khaled feat Young Jeezy Plies Rick Ross - Put Your Hands Up (prod by The Runners) HEAVY!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2 New Drake Tracks..."I Used To Think You Played Too Much, But I'd Rather Go Def, Than Lose Touch"

Couple new unreleased, slightly cooled out tracks by Drizzy Drake. The first being an organic sounding Hip Hop track, centering around a few unheralded talents Von Pea from the group Tanya Morgan and Phonte of Little Brother. Little Brother especially has been a group that has been always gotten a lot of respect despite being relatively unheard of by the masses. This little shot of Phonte on the track gives you a quick glimpse of why.

You can tell this track has been dusted off the shelf since Drake's verses sound like a lot like some of the earlier material he released, where he was still figuring out where to go with his verses and how to deliver them. For example, the verses on this track sound a little quick and less deliberate compared to his new stuff...oh yea you probably don't hear a ton of talk about Phantoms or blowing a ton of money. It's amazing what a year's worth of practicing and working with great artists can do when you add to it a whole lotta of new-found confidence. If anything, just listen to this so that you can fully appreciate the growth he's underwent...

Drake - My New (feat. Von Pea & Phonte) (Prod by Nottz) Unreleased Drake!!!

Second track is a little rough around the edges since it's an unfinished version of the track, but the collabo with Colin Monroe is a good look. More or less of an ode to under appreciated in relationships. Hats off to you out there if you're ever in a position to smile in the face of that person who previously thought you weren't shit and now wants another chance to appreciate you. Lot of good quotables by Drake on this one:

"See the difference with me I don’t forget the past
And you gave me nothing so I’m gonna give you nothing right back, like…"
Where were you when I…
Would’a loved the person you trying to be now
its funny I’m the dude that you dying to see now..."

"Its funny you managed to be around for the present
All puns intended, your funds are mended"

And my personal favorite:
"You coulda told me before that your heart wasn’t in it, fine
but don't try and get a start at the finish line"

Check it...
Drake feat Colin Monroe - Where Were You Hott!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dan Black feat Kid Cudi - Symphonies (remix)

See I love collaborations like this...the ones where you're left thinking what genre would you place that song in...Pop? Maybe Hip Hop due to the Cudi collabo? Truth is, this Dan Black character has been tagged as "British electronica artist" or whatever that means? He used to be in a alt rock band and now he's interesting and wierd enough to collaborate with the Moon Man.

It's music without a face, I dare you to put a tag on it. Part of the reason I've got so much respect for Cudi is because he isn't afraid to cross musical boundaries (see collabo with David Guetta, MGMT, and potentially Travis Barker, Green Day, Kings of Leon on his upcoming album Cudder).

Add this one to the list. It sounds like Rihanna's Umbrella beat with the addition of some choir style hymns. Like a lot of Cudi's stoner dreamy music, it takes on a heavenly mood, sorta Enya style...yea I just went there, don't hate on Pure Moods, you know someone who owns the album and there was a time and place where it was played that it didn't bother you...

Give this one a listen though, it'll hopefully put you right where you need to be and give you somethin' to zone out to on the iPod...

Dan Black feat Kid Cudi - Symphonies (remix) Great Collab!!!

Bonus Update Video:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bobby Ray gets Shook!

Ah yes, a lil' new ish from Bobby Ray. This my friends is how you keep your name out there, I'd compare it to that little stop by to the friends house you don't wanna hang out with. You go over there on you way home when you know you only have like 5-10 mins to stop in and say hi. Yea, just enough to keep that friend off you case for never hanging out with them and always being too busy to hang out.

That's (generally speaking) is what freestyles are used for in Hip Hop. Just a stop by to make sure you haven't forgotten about them and in Bobby Ray's case to keep his name circulating in hopes of building buzz for his new album B.O.B. - The Adventures of Bobby Ray that's due out May.

Always helps to use a classic beat too and you can't get much more immortal or classic than the Shook Ones Part II instrumental. Who woulda thought a southern drawl could sound so at home over this beat? Lofty, but attainable goals though Bobby Ray..."I really ain't famous til Obama know my name".

Give it a listen and share in the excitement of new stuff comin' from the current Prince of the ATL:

Bobby Ray - The Biz (Freestyle) Hotttness!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Rihanna - Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) (prod by Swizz Beatz)

This might be the one quickest big time collabos to come together and for a relief effort. 100% of the proceeds from the Hope For Haiti Now album (including this song obviously) will go to the relief effort, so instead of posting a download link, you can stream it below or do your part in helping by considering giving up the 99 cents to the relief organization, Partners in Health, that is trying to get Haiti back on it's feet. FYI - "Haiti Mon Amour" translates to "Haiti My Love"...and here's a chance to show Haiti some love by purchasing the song on iTunes.

Here are the lyrics too for all of you at home that want to follow along:
[Jay-Z - Chorus]
When the sky falls and the Earth quakes
We gon put this back together
We won’t break

Sa Pa Sé, my Port-Au-Princes
my Haitian Gods and all of my Princesses
Our condolences as you fightin’ against this
we’re right by your side as we tryin’ to make sense of this
heavenly father help us see through these problems
and for those thats left accept them into your garden
so here’s my theory, the country’s already starvin’
so we sacrificed many to shed light on all of them
God please pardon, I speak from the heart
its the only way I see this tragedy befall on them
so lets get involved with them, hand to hand with them
arm to arm with them til they get strong again,
When the sky falls…

(Rihanna and Bono – hook)
Can’t wait until tomorrow
Haiti, Mon Amour
Haiti, Mon Amour
Not gonna leave you stranded, alone, alone
oh no


[Jay-Z Verse 2]
Learn from the past, New Orleans was flooded
So we know we just can’t rely on the government
We under the rubble again, here we go rumbling when
When we gon catch a break, my friend lost his mother and then
And then, Carline lost her uncles and them
Buried with no caskets, they just put covers on them
lyrics courtesy of
And the tears fall, and we fight back
Story ain’t done, it can’t end like that
Nah not like this, tomorrow’s survivors gonna carry on your name
You live on inside us, your memory’s alive with us
You inspired us, to rebuild this country, you just guide us

It’s not the angels that are on their way
its not the bells of Santa Trinite
the people waiting, position vacant(?)
for hands to help, not just to pray


[French singing]
Haïti va s’élever
Tu vas te relever
Nous nous éléverons
Ensemble ensemble ensemble

(not gonna leave you stranded…)

we gon put this back together we wont break
we gon put this back together we wont break
we gon put this back together we wont break
we gon put this back together we wont break
-Credit to KillerHipHop for the lyrics

Give it a listen and again consider purchasing, obviously it couldn't be going to a better cause, every dollar counts...

Jay-Z feat Bono, The Edge, Rihanna - Stranded Haiti Mon Amour (prod by Swizz Beatz)

Buy song on iTunes

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Artist Spotlight - Sean Garrett

This post is a little misleading in that there isn't much new about Sean Garrett, other than him finally deciding to crank out a few singles for himself. He's considered somewhat of a legend as far as writing and producing songs the past seven years. Folks break out the Adderall cause you're about to get learned with a history lesson on your boy Sean here.

Let's start with writing and production credits, I'm going to list a top 10 (this post would be waaay too long if I listed them all). I'll list them in bullet format for emphasis:
  1. Usher feat Lil Jon-  Yeah!
  2. Beyonce - Diva, Ring the Alarm, Get Me Bodied, Upgrade U, Check On It
  3. Chris Brown - Run It, Gimme That, Wall to Wall
  4. Ciara - Goodies
  5. Nelly feat Paul Wall - Grillz
  6. Jamie Foxx - DJ Play a Love Song
  7. Fergie - London Bridge
  8. Pussycat Dolls feat Snoop - Buttons
  9. Enrique Iglesias - Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)
  10. Ludacris feat Chris Brown - What Them Girls Like (notice the initial shout out by Luda for SG?) 
Do I have your attention now? Yea, needless to say when Jay-Z nicknames you "The Pen" for writing so many hits, you know you're doin' sumthin' right.

Sidebar: What has always and will continue to baffle my mind is how all these legendary writers, demo singers and producers never get the credit they deserve for being instrumental (literally) in most of these hits. It's like giving all the credit to the players and completely disregarding the Coach and General Manager's role in the success of a team. Maybe I value creativity and intellect over god given ability, which is why I'm forever in the corner of the unsung heroes (producers, writers) of the music industry, but in my opinion they deserve just as much if not more for the finishing product.

Back on subject, I bet you didn't know that Sean has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, most recently with his work on Beyonce's I Am Sasha Fierce album. He's also got a pretty recognizable tag line in many songs, most memorable in Chris Brown's - Wall to Wall...

"Smash on the radio, bet I penned it..."

Previously unheard of legendary Ghostwriters like Ne-Yo and Ryan Tedder have managed to step out of the shadows into the limelight to create a name for their own music lately and I'm hoping Sean Garrett is able to do the same for himself. He's got the right frame of mind going into the album, calling himself an "underdog" and noting that "Sean Garrett as an artist is what fans are missing". On the flip side, he's got the swagger and confidence of a seasoned industry vet, exclaiming in his own Terrell Owens sort of way that:
"I'm a f---ing superstar artist/writer/producer, and I will give my fans what they want and what they're asking me to give them: a phenomenal album. I'm the underdog, man, I can't go wrong. I got nothing to lose. Underdogs can't lose." - Sean Garrett
Definitely not short on confidence and after writing so many hits for other artists you can understand why he is so confident in his abilities.

Below you'll see three of my favorite new songs of his. The first being the lead single with Gucci Mane off the aforementioned upcoming solo album. Described by MTV as "a hypnotic chorus over a sneakily insidious snare beat and a hook that instantly grabs your ears", I can't disagree, I couldn't have put it better and definitely sold this one short on last month's Song List I released. I've never been a fan on Gucci Mane, but I am a HUGE fan of Shondrae Mr. Bangladesh Crawford, feel free to check out his growing list of production credits here. He's one of the few producers these days that is not afraid to let loose the gorillas in the trunk, but not at the expense of ruining the track with bass (see Lil Wayne - A Milli). I'll admit, I always thought that beat was overplayed a bit by everyone in Hip Hop...buuuut...after hearing A Milli live in concert I was taken aback (literally) by the elegance of the low bass exploding from the speakers. True beauty...but before I get off subject again, check out Sean Garrett's new upcoming single...

Sean Garrett feat Gucci Mane - Up In Your Heart (prod by Bangladesh)

Just in case you thought his tracks would be dominated by show stopping beats, here's great example of his vocal ability. His soft vocals go well over the rolling percussion of the beat. This is more of demo track since it's a lil' heavy on the instrumental and light on the vocals, but it's got serious potential. How about him gettin' after those vocals with a little intensity at the 3:05 mark of the song. Goodness...the man knows how to create catchy material, check it out...

Sean Garrett - Throw Me To The Wind

I'll leave you with a bubbly trunk rattler orchestrated by Bang-la-dash(board) with Yung Joc. Bubble gum lyrics aside, this one begs you to play it loud and enjoy the repro-con-cussions. Give it a listen and next time you hear Sean Garrett's name, sing his praises so he can become another household R&B name rather than a mythical behind the scenes writer...

Sean Garrett feat Yung Joc - Smooches (prod by Bangladesh)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just When Tiger Woods Thought He Was Safe in Rehab...Maino - Tiger Woods

I'm a couple weeks late on this, but it's been sitting in the queue of things I wanted to share. Some would see this as Maino piling on, maybe being a little too opportunistic. Considering his recent intentional sympathy gaining PR move to check into a sex rehab clinic, maybe it is adequate timing.

When it comes to people calling each other out in Hip Hop, it's as common as Tiger winning a major (happens a couple times a year) and if you accept this sugar coasted diss for that without taking it too seriously, then no feelings get hurt. Hey at least in the picture above he's prayin' for Tiger right??

It's hard to find someone sympathetic to the situation Tiger created for himself, I guess it was only a matter of time before some random rapper immortalized his plight on wax. I supposed if Mr. All the Above wouldn't have done it someone less well known would have done it. Honestly, I'm just glad it's outta the press so we don't have to keep hearing about hoeswomen comin' out the woodwork to get paid everyday. Yea he screwed up, but people trying to make a buck off another person's misdeeds doesn't sit well with me. Still worth a listen cause of the chorus:

"I got women in the burbs,
Women in the hood,
Yea my wifey mad cause she know I'm no good,
Man I'm just a dog I'd be faithful if I could,
But I'm Tiger Woods, yea I'm Tiger Woods,
Go Get'um Tiger, get 'em Tiger!

Maino - Tiger Woods Ouch!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Raise You Glasses....Surf Club - Cheers to the Hustler

Producer Chase N' Cashe (Young Money, Lil Wayne) has a young squad of musicians/artists that form The Surf Club. The group consist of Hit-Boy, B. Carr, Chili Chil & Cashe , as well as the very underrated TY$L is on the hook. TY$L is so unheard of, I challenge you to go find his myspace. In face I'll take it a step further and give a little unsigned hype love with TY$L on the hook:

YG feat TY$L - Toot It & Boot It Unsigned Hype!!!

Back to the lecture at hand...Surf Club, they seem to be a talent bunch of cats coming together with a whole lot of great production. They are self described as a mixture between NERD and Dipset. Let me connect the dots here, I may not have made proper mention of this when I posted Lil Wayne's Drop the World track with Eminem, but in the fine print you would have noticed that song is produced by Hit Boy & Chase N Cash. Similarly, you may notice on my New Music bar on the right a certain BANGIN! track titled Pass the Dutch by Young Money feat Lil Wayne & Drake. Bet you can't guess who that is produced by?? Let me go another step further by saying both producers (Hit Boy and Chase N Cash) work under Polow Da Don's Zone 4 label, most recently known for driving the success of Keri Hilson's blossoming career, as well as Ciara and Rich Boy etc. Despite the sun not being able to get to them, it seems like anything underneath that Zone 4, Polow umbrella is pretty hot at the moment.

Seeing that songs that I like usually have the same shelf life as a banana (I'm talking when it's green and you get it from the grocery store and it's brown by the end of the week), when a song gradually grows on me like this one and I end up having a growing appreciation for the way a track is put together (i.e. that banana gets greener the longer it sits on top of the counter), that's telling. It's a gift and a curse being consistently haughty and promiscuous with music because like Jigga I'm always "On to the Next One", but having the self awareness to understand that allows me to use it for a barometer for certain songs like this one that are better than I first gave it credit for on first listen. You got me?

This track remind me of how much I enjoy Hip Hop ballads. Soft tone, strong words, smooth vibe...great ingredients. For all of you at home who care enough to know who is on what verse, 1st - Hit-Boy, 2nd - B.Carr, 3rd - Chili Chil, 4th - Chase N. Cashe. Check it out:

Surf Club feat TY$L - Cheers to the Hustler (prod by Hit Boy)

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Time's Movin Fast But Not Fast Enough, So I'm Speedin..."

I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong and I was dead wrong to not put this in my Top 25 on last month's Song List I sent out. This is the newest single off Omarion's new album released last Tuesday, Jan 12th titled Ollusion. There's just enough desperation and pleading emotion in Omarion's voice on this track to feel what he's goin' through. Like always I took this track a step further thinkin' to myself.

So much in life is about bein' in control and when challenges are presented, being able to slow things down and keep your cool is an invaluable asset. I can understand the sentiment Omarion is trying to convey, the second you get the feeling that things are going wrong in a relationship, it's so easy to go 90 mph on the highway of life with millions of what if's like what can I do to fix this? Should I fix this? Regardless, similar to the way the song is presented, I'm not patient and I like for there to be definite answers...but with love and emotion things aren't usually concrete and don't have a simple answer. That alone has driven me 90 mph nuts before, so I feel this track...

Take it for what it's worth to you, nice work on the ballad O...Check it out...

Omarion - Speedin New Single off Ollusion!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Month of Usher...Welcome Back Mr. Raymond

It's been quite a while since I've seen such a high volume of quality tracks from one artist find their way out on the I mean (same thing these days right?). Yes, Love in this Club was good and Moving Mountains was great, even classic I'd dare say with Usher's emotion soaked lyrics and Danjahandz's picturesque beat, but his album Here I Stand in it's entirety wasn't anything to write home about and not near the caliber of some of his other efforts like My Way or Confessions.

So what has changed since 2008 this is going to make this new album a return to classic Ursher material? Well for one, as of this summer he's now divorced from his former wife Temeka Foster, which surely will have some sort of emotional toll good or bad on his music. I'm not sure about Usher but some of the most creative stuff I've ever produced, created or written has been shortly after a break up...I'm guessing the reason for that can be blamed on the heightened emotion levels I poured into what I was doing. Hopefully we get the same from him with this new album...

Which brings us to his new project, Raymond vs Raymond, which is supposed to drop on March 2, 2010. Originally slated for a December release, the album has been pushed back with plenty of rumors regarding a relationship with a competing record company employee as well a plenty of...well...leaked promotional tracks. It remains to be seen if the below tracks will make the final cut, but honestly I don't think it matters whether people hear it now or hear it later, it's quality material that will sell no matter what in my opinion.

Here are my five favorite new Usher tracks:

1. Usher feat Nicki Minaj - Little Freak (prod by Polow Da Don) Sexy!!!

This track is quite a bit more lyrically explicit than any Usher track I've heard. The track says to me he's got that post-break up swag back and he's back to being in touch with how much the ladies have always loved him and just how far he can take that. Of course it doesn't hurt to have Polow da Don drop a crazy hot beat that amplifies the already overtly sexual lyrics. I don't really mind Nicki Minaj's verse either, she's finding her niche in the Hip Hop game, especially with her growing contingent of Barbie followers. Hot track and I'm guessing soon to be cleaned up radio hit.

2.Usher - There Goes My Baby (prod by Jim Jonsin) Nice Slow Jam!!!

My second favorite is more of smooth slow jam of sorts that is set off perfectly by none other than the man himself Jim Jonsin. Impossible to go wrong with him or Polow for that matter, but this one is on a grown and sexy slow jam tip. The beat takes a turn for the dramatic at the end when he goes semi-acapella and hits a few of those high notes. Really makes you think about how proud you are of that dime piece you managed to fool fall in love with you.

3. Usher - Foolin Around (prod by Jermaine Dupri & B. Cox) Slow Jam!!!

Now this one may actually end up being my favorite, but it hasn't quite had the opportunity to marinate on me yet. This is more on the U Got it Bad and Nice and Slow level of slow jams. I mostly blame B. Cox and his mastery through writing and producing R&B tracks. It really is ridiculous how many great songs he's been behind, give this one a quick read to get yourself learned on a legend.

4. Usher - So Many Girls (prod by Danjahandz) Hot Club Track!!!

Just for good measure why not throw in another slightly edgy and dark, in your face, upbeat banger with Danja. Keeping up with the whole single vibe, noting just how many girls there are out there, Mr. Raymond is definitely back on his grizzly adams if get what I'm sayin'. This one will be sure to catch the attention of all the ladies who enjoy the upbeat, in your face synthesizers that Danja is known for.

5. Usher - Oh My Gosh (prod by Will I Am) Hooot Club Song!!!

Yea, I could be accused of taking a nap on this one on first listen. This time I turned it up a little louder and it's definitely likable in that very radio friendly, measured clap sound that Will I Am/Black Eyed Peas have become known for. It does go pretty hard though, despite not sounding like an Usher track...or at least anything he's done previously. That might be a good thing though, this one is a little too simple lyrically for me to really love, but the way the beat keeps changing pace is pretty awesome, especially when it morphs itself into a slow jam around the 3:30 mark. Well put together track...

Bonus: Alright I couldn't keep it to 5 tracks, again there's just waaay too many US-HER quality tracks circulating, I couldn't do justice with 5.

6. Usher - Slippin Hot Slow Jam!!

Had to throw in another piano laced slow jam. This one warn boyfriends to not take your girl for granted cause " got caught slippin, now your girl's gone missin, now you're alone wishin'". Never fun to be on the losing side of the battlefield of love...this one ranks up there with R Kelly's - When a Woman's Fed Up.

Great producers, a mix of up-tempo club songs with a couple more classic slow jams...Raymond vs Raymond is gonna be exciting...Welcome back Ursher!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"On Pandora With the Rest of My Kind, Now You Old Cause I Invested My Time..."

Having accumulated much respect for Joey through his years of continually unappreciated albums, freestlyes and tracks that didn't reach the mainstream, it's pretty exciting when he releases new material like Money's On Me and Keep On, both produced by J. Cardim.

The first, Money's On Me was my number one rated Hip Hop track this past month on the Song List I send out. It's simply put, Budden at his best. There aren't many tracks that truly reward you from giving it a full listen like this track. If you're wondering what I mean, have a little patience through the first minute of the track and wait for the beat to change as Joey simultaneously puts his effort into four wheel drive, absolutely trucking anything in his path. A testament to how a true Hip Hop veteran has the ability to match the intensity of the beat by stepping his game up lyrically. J. Cardim, daps & lbs on the beat with that horrific, Halloween style synthesizer on the beat, shit is crazy!

Give it a listen:
Joe Budden - Money's On Me (prod by J. Cardim) Hooooottttttt!!!
Listen here

As far as Keep On is concerned, @Mousebudden again turns a glorified freestyle into a forceful, head nod worthy effort. Just in case you thought his verses were lacking new pop culture references, he touches on the Haitian earthquake, the Pants on the Ground viral phenomenon, Teddy Pendergrass's passing this week, the Leno/Conan drama, Lane Kiffin's hiring this week, even beating me to the punch on my next post with the "Ushering in the New Year screaming Daddy's Home" shedding light on the ridiculous amount of great new Usher material this past month. I've always had an appreciation for artists that in a very smooth, subtle, not-over-the-top way can bookmark their freestyles in time with notable US/World events that people will remember through the years.

Solid effort Joe, keep doin' your thing on the internet. Most artists pay people to rep them and do the same sort of promo work you do by yourself all over the internet because they either don't see it as important enough to spend time on it or don't have the knowledge you do in utilizing technology to get ahead. Check out Move On...

Joe Budden - Keep On (prod by J. Cardim) New Joey!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Drake - Successful (Unreleased Verse)

Pictured above from left to right is Fabolous, Young Jeezy, Lebron, Drake and Blu (Akon's brother if you couldn't tell by looks) at Lebron's 25th birthday party. Bet that party was lame...HAH!

It isn't too often that it takes months after a classic song has released for an unheard verse to leak. With the way music circulates these days, who knows how this was kept under wraps for so long. Either way, it's undeniable the instrumental to that song put Drake in some sort of zone where he was able to create such a calming mood that hits you lyrically like a ton of bricks made of swagger.

Every time I listen to this track I gain an appreciation for some element of the song that was previously under appreciated to me. This unreleased verse is not an exception as Drizzy maintains the same quiet confidence as he did on the original track. Give it a listen:

Drake - Successful (Unreleased Verse) Hot Verse!!

In case you've been under a rock for the past two years and have yet to treat yourself to a calming shot of creative lyricism, here's the original track with Trey Songz on the hook and Lil Wayne chipping in a verse.

Drake - Successful (feat Trey Songz & Lil Wayne) Classic!!!

As an aside, today I was reading through my a XXL Dec/Jan magazine I bought for a flight last month and I was still more than casually entertained by a few answers Drake gave in his fill in the blank questionaire. A couple samples:

1. While Lil Wayne is gone I will hold that shit down.
7. I need a girl who understands life better than I do.
9. The one thing I miss about Toronto, compared to anywhere else, is feeling far away from my dreams.
12. The greatest piece of advice I ever got was to write it all down as it happen, because eventually you become numb to it, and I got that from Tip (T.I.)
20. My most-prized possession is your girlfriends heart. (my personal favorite) - XXL Dec/Jan

Can't hate on confidence, especially when he manages to say things in articles, freestyles and songs that give you access to his personality, but articulate his story in such an eloquent way that he manages to be intellectually relate-able to his audience, which resonates with me personally and makes me think about things in my life that I can relate his words to. That's all music really is to me personally, something that evokes emotion and makes me feel and think about life. I realize not many people get into the intricacies of a song like I do, but there isn't anything more important (in my opinion) than lyrics and how they are delivered...which is why I've gained such an appreciation for Drake. Real-life stories and witty lines become creative food for thought, which is interesting as hell when you put a beat behind it...just sayin'...that's the root of the appeal, the draw that has sucked in Hip Hop fans and anointed him as the next prophecy. The good thing is, he's not naive enough to get lost in why he has become so well-liked:
“The best part about So Far Gone was that I didn't focus on structure. The only thing that was consistent was the story and the emotion. That's what I want to do with this album. I make music for people to get lost in it, so, as long as it takes you somewhere, then I've succeeded.” Drake (Source)

Thank Me Later due out March 2010...can't wait to hear that Light Up track with Jigga

Monday, January 11, 2010

808 Check: Paul Wall - I'm on Patron

I've always considered myself a child of bass, a more than casual fan of the way the rear view vibrates eliciting what I consider to be a brain massage of sorts when enjoyed in moderation. The way I see it, my adoration for Southern Hip Hop at an early age (14-15 years old) could be considered the bass...(did I spell that wrong?), I mean foundation for my for love for Hip Hop.

Back in the day travellin' the country countless summers playing baseball I can remember my boy Rashard (I see you!) who shared with me what I've come to respect as Southern Hip Hop before it hit the radio and became famous a la pre-T.I., where the likes of UGK (RIP Sweet Jones), Three Six Mafia and Scarface reigned supreme without commercial recognition. At the time it was more of a cult following, but now largely due to T.I.'s commercial success, some light has been shed on this under-appreciated facet of the Hip Hop game.

From getting taught first hand the subtleties of throwin' bows from Three Six (2:15 in the video) and eventually a on lil' grimier tip with Pastor Troy's version of throwin' bows, dancin' all slow like they do in the South thanks to one of the most influential DJ's of all time DJ Screw (pictured in the banner at the top of this site to the right of the J). Man I even found myself buying this album, for like $18 or whatever crazy prices they were charging at Sam Goody at the time (yea you remember havin' to cop those $3 singles cause you had to save up for the full albums), all because I couldn't stop listenin' to track 5, Ink.(listen here and note the beat switch at the 56 sec mark as if a gallon of sizzurp was poured on the track..."I'm so Crunk, I'm I'm so Crunk, I'm I'm so I'm I'm so CRUNK!")

Anyways, enough of the history lesson, back to the first song in quite a while from Paul Wall that has grabbed my attention. If you have some sort of speakers with either a woofer or somethin' that's over 10 inches, feel free to bang this out in the deck...

Paul Wall - I'm on Patron (prod by Beanz n Kornbread)

As a side note, don't sleep on the up and coming production duo Beanz n Kornbread aka "The Coolest Producers Named after side dishes".

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Cool Kids - Free Throws

Midwest and (most notably) Chicago folk stick together, hence the picture above (Credit). In case you've been power nappin' the past two or so years, I'll provide another brief introduction. Mikey Rocks aka Sir Michael of the Rocks and Chuck Inglish (note his myspace says he "makes beats and cuts grass") make up the undeniably fresh group The Cool Kids.

I'd say the same impact Drake had me this year, The Cool Kids had the year before in '08 with their Totally Flossed Out EP. If you note the GWDJ banner at the top of the site, you'll notice both Drizzy and Cool Kids are in a meticulously selected group of my favorite artists, mostly because of how much of a breath of fresh air both their styles of Hip Hop are to me.

With that being said, The Cool Kids decided to drop a little Christmas present by way of a short 4 track mixtape (also featuring Don Cannon) titled Don Cannon & The Cool Kids – Merry Christmas (you can stream all four songs on their website, they actually get it that people are going to find a way to get their music for free so they might as well provide it for free).

My personal favorite on the mixtape is Free Throws, which features an infectious rolling bassline and characteristically low key, but consistently on point verses from Chuck and Mikey. It jengas my mind (boggle gets too much credit) that they are able to keep coming up with organic, homegrown samples to make their brand of Hip Hop sound so alien (sort of like the way Outkast carved such a unique niche in Hip Hop) that it's become a challenge to find tracks that aren't likable.

The Cool Kids - Free Throws Hott!!!

Just one DJ's modest opinion, but I feel like their new album When Fish Ride Bicycles is going to be an effort that won't soon be forgotten since it will be their first non-EP, non-mixtape studio release. Let me break it down real simple as far as potentially important life events for me in 2010, from 1 to 5 with 1 being most important:

1. Dr. Dre - Detox (if it ever comes)
2. Drake - Thank Me Later
3. Kid Cudi - Cudder
4. The Cool Kids - When Fish Ride Bicycles
5. My Birthday

Here is a short description from The Cool Kids on what to expect from their new album, When Fish Ride Bicycles ("It makes me wanna go eat a cherry danish"...haha):

As a bonus here's my favorite song from their past mixtape titled Knocked Down, which shows their ability to not only push the originality limits with a bass infested, 808 style knock, but also showcases their knack for weaving in and out with such a laid back, cooler than a polar bears toe nails style demeanor. Give it a listen:

The Cool Kids - Knocked Down Best track off Gone Fishing!!!

Also note the video:

Monday, January 04, 2010

Did They Do the Sample Justice? IYAZ - Solo vs Janet Jackson - Again

When I first heard IYAZ's new track Solo, I'll admit, I had mixed emotions. Like many other JR Rotem produced singles like Kingston's - Beautiful Girls (sampling Stand by Me), Mann's - Ghetto Girl (sampling Uptown Girl), or even Rihanna's- SOS (sampling Tainted Love)...the familiarity was there and it draws you in immediately. I'd venture a guess on first listen that 9 out of 10 people would say they like the newly sampled pop/R&B versions of a couple truly timeless, we're talking like 1961 Ben E King and 1964 Gloria Jones type of timeless, songs.

Now I'm not exactly saying Janet's song Again is or ever will be as unforgettable as any of the aforementioned classic oldies, BUT it is personally one of my top 5 favorite Janet tracks (maybe Together Again, Rhythm Nation , What Have You Done For Me Lately or even Doesn't Really Matter...if you were wondering). It's definitely my favorite slow jam of hers...from the delicate piano to complimentary flute to the soft, harmonious, love drenched, emotion laden vocals. When it comes to slow jams, it's damn near impossible to match this effort.

It remains to be seen whether JR's new protege IYAZ will live up to the Sean Kingston-like hype and walk in his shoes one day. I don't think his first single Replay will ever reach the height of Kingston's Beautiful Girls, but that's not meant to belittle it's current place as one of the most recognizable songs out right now.

You be the judge, do you think they paid Janet respect with the sample or did they fall short in a failed attempt?

Janet Jackson - Again
Cop via iTunes

IYAZ - Solo (prod by JR Rotem)
Cop on iTunes

GWDJ Verdict: Although it pains me a bit to see such a classic Janet track be shared and even mentioned in the same sentence, I think the subtlety of the sample wasn't bad and it was different enough that it didn't tarnish Janet's version in my mind. Clearly not my favorite sample, but overall not terrible. Still love Janet's version waaay more than anything IYAZ will ever put disrespect, Janet is a legend

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Lil Wayne feat Eminem - Drop the World

With Lil Wayne's new rock album Rebirth being pushed back since only 1 million copies were printed and now the leaked version will feature new tracks than the one that was released. Kinda sad really that Lil Wayne's late decision to push back the album resulted in a shipping mishap causing 500 Amazon customers, who had pre-ordered the album, to receive the it on December 14 when he had delayed the release to February 2010.

Who knows now when we may see the real Rebirth rock album since it's going to be hard for Dwayne to produce new tracks with his year sentence he just received.

Regardless, my favorite track on the leaked version of Rebirth was Drop the World featuring Eminem is a lock at being on whatever new album Weezy decides to put out. If he's smart, he'll just make it into a single right now since everyone who cared about his upcoming album is currently listening to it since it leaked.

Weezy F lays two classic verses on this track...adding a professional concoction of thought provoking lines laced with sadness, joy, confidence, anger...basically a 150 mph roller coaster of emotion if you will. Beware before you listen below, it's not for the faint of heart, the expletives are landmines releasing said emotion. Personally, it sucked me in like black hole on first listen. Pretty rare these days that I get a feeling listening to a track that makes me want to slow it down and pick it apart word for word to gain a full understanding of what an artist is trying to depict. Here's a little glimpse:

I got ice in my veins, blood in my eyes
Hate in my heart, love in my mind
I seen nights full of pain, days of the same
You keep the sunshine, save me the rain
I search but never find, hurt but never cry
I work and forever try, but I’m cursed, so never mind
And it’s worse, but better times seem further and beyond
The top gets higher the more that I climb

Lil Wayne continues on the second verse:

I know what they don’t wanna tell you
Just hope you’re heaven-sent, and you’re hell-proof
I-I walk up in the world and cut the lights off
And confidence is the stain they can’t wipe off
Huh, my word is my pride
But wisdom is bleak, and that’s a word from the wise
Served to survive, murdered and bribed
And when it got too heavy I put my burdens aside

Let's not discount too the contribution Eminem makes on this track. I've been extremely critical of his two releases this year Relapse and Relapse: Refill because they are a digression of what we had become used to hearing from him as he grew up quite a bit on each one of his albums. He admitted himself that Relapse came out sounding like the Slim Shady LP because he was still getting all of the drugs through his system and going through withdraw. He deserves nothing but credit on this track and also on Forever for staying away from the crazy and tiring one liners and actually rapping and sounding like himself rather than a corny ventriliquist.

Give it a listen if you're having a bad day and wish you could pick the world up and drop it one someone's f'in head:

Lil Wayne feat Eminem - Drop the World Great Collabo!!!

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