Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Who Rocked it Better? Nelly or Rich Boy?

Tough call on this one as super-producer Jim Jonsin finds himself pictured above between Nelly and Rich Boy for good reason. Seems he is the mastermind between the beats below with very little difference between the two instrumentals, leaving both with high probabilities for commercial success. Let's be honest, between the depth of the bass, the subtle guitar riffs and the harmonic chorus, both tracks could easily be hits.

Unfortunately, Rich Boy doesn't have album plans til 2011 (Resurrected in Diamonds) and Nelly has the commercial appeal of Britney Spears. As such, Nelly took what is going to turn out to be Rich Boy's original  track and has turned it into a lead single off his upcoming album 5.0 due out Nov 5th. His version has softer vibe to it both lyrically and beat wise with the addition of some soft-rock guitar. Should sell some records and find it's way onto a top 100 singles chart even

But just because Nelly is destined to sell more records off his version does that make it better? In the words of my man @therealcrookedi, "Oh hell to the naw!". @CARTIERBENJAMIN's version is a much better use of the beat as Rich Boy manages to match @nelly_mo on the harmonic hook, but brings a whole lot more Hip Hop and less bubble gum on So Look Good. His southern drawl fits like track like Usain Bolt, sounding a lot more at home over the heavy bassline than Nelly did on his version. Between this track, She Luvs Me (She Luvs Me Knot) with PolowGo Crazy with Yelawolf and an upcoming Dr. Dre collaboration there's some serious $$$ to be made out there Maurice! The south is buzzin' of late with the emergence of @yelawolf and @bigkrit, I can't think of a better time to get some of these singles out, especially when you've got @iamjimjonsin and @Polow_Da_Don behind the boards.

Take it for what it's worth, the common denominator is great production from Jim Jonsin, but when the verses are taken into account it's a TKO.

Rich Boi - So Look Good (prod by Jim Jonsin)
| Download

Nelly - Just a Dream (prod by Jim Jonsin)
| Download

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Louis Vuitton Shoes, She Got Too Much Pride, Her Feet Killin' Her, I Call It Shoeicide"

Yea it happened again...The Takeover...where a song I recently added to the iPod and have yet to listen to completely takes over. I'm talkin' like that triple-take you instinctually find yourself doing when a fine woman passes and you can't help but become fixated. There is little doubt in my mind that when Ryan Leslie and Fabolous get together on a track, it's not fair to everyone else in Hip Hop...all other artists might as well sit back and watch the clock wind down to zero because it's O-V-E-R W-I-T-H!

Case in point, their first notable collab last year with @misskeribaby in the mix with Everyday, Everywhere, Everything. See video below:

Man I remember when the snippet of that track leaked and I thought it was Christmas. Come to find out the full version with Fab's verses took it to another level of audio meth style addiction.

In comparison, the new one below is off @MYFABOLOUSLIFE's new EP titled There Is No Competition: The Grieving Music EP due out tomorrow Aug 31st. I've always been a huge fan of John David Jackson's wordplay since he entered the rap game, he's creative on a whole different level with his lyrics and comparisons. Case in point his little 5 percenter, where 95% of the world will probably pass over it wondering WTF he's talking about. Start of the 2nd verse:
"Yea I know that's what they all says,
She got a donkey with her, Juan Valdez"
If you don't remember Juan Valdez, you must not drink coffee, see pic below:
Sure it's plain to say a girl has a nice ass, but to take it a step further with a Juan Valdez reference is just plain stupid and deserves far more praise than I'm able to give with letters and words on a blog. Serious...serious daps & lbs are in order for that quotable.
Other lines like:
"Shorty in the streets
Still handle the home
Enough class for wine
Still handle Patron
When them other girls call I hand her the phone
And she hand em the tone"
and he even puts a wrap on the track with a Drake-esque semi-acapella heartfelt ending...
"And you just came from the gym clothes
And a fitted cap
And some Timbos
And a pair of flats
Well trimmed toes
Camera in the mirror BBM pose"
I'm inclined to say this might be my favorite track in the past month, it's that front to back good. When it comes to paying homage to women creatively on wax, there are none better than F-A-B, y'all remember Can't Let You Go? Maybe the wit is what makes it all worth it, but when you give him a top notch beat to take off with, there aren't many better at weaving words together like Fab.

UPDATE: Check the video..

Shouts out to @RYANLESLIE on the beat too, you're still on the All-Underrated producer team and still amaze me with magic you pull on them keys man. I'm tellin' you, the track is Pringles good man, one play won't do it justice...

Fabolous - You Be Killin' Em (prod by Ryan Leslie)
| Download

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Yeeaaa...To All My Houston Texas Country Muffins"

Interesting collaboration between three of my favorites all time that will serve as the lead single to Pimp C's upcoming album The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones due out October 5th. It's always touchy when an an iconic artist passes away and albums/songs are released after their death. Case in point here, where Pimp C passed away in his sleep in Dec 2007 due to sleep apnea and now three years later an album of his is coming out.

Regardless of the artist, it's easy to throw out names like Biggie and 'Pac in comparison, to me it always comes off as somewhat forced when the deceased artists' verses are cut and pasted over new beats. If Drake would have made it out before Pimp Chad's passing in 07, I would probably be doing cartwheels over this track and hyping it as the greatest thing since @justinbieber. I found it interesting too when J. Tinsley of TSS polled the opinions of other respected bloggers on the track and found it to be mediocre with hardcore UGK fans on one side and those in favor of Drake on the other. First off, mad respect for being disciplined enough to not listen to it and wait for the album to drop. There are things in life hold myself accountable to that kind of discipline, but listening to music is not one of them. As such, I'm torn because I consider myself both and can see both sides. On one hand, I can't see Pimp C rhyming over such a new age, sorta pop sounding track in comparison to...well...everything he had done in the past. It's like his verse went hard over a radio track and caused a bit of a mismatch as a result.

On the other hand the tag team of @drakkardnoir and @boi1da manage to make an upbeat, head nod worthy track with a catchy hook that will probably manage to find it's way on the radio. I could have definitely gone for more of a full verse from Aubrey, but I'm betting the last thing he would ever want to do is outshine a deceased legend on his own wax. If that was the case, golf clap for classiness.

Dissenting opinions aside, I think it's safe to say that Bernard went to town on his verse and stole the show. I think that's what made UGK so dynamic because you had @BUNBTRILLOG who can sound great on both pop/radio tracks and also the grimy, Texas joints that Pimp was known for and they did together as UGK. Take it for what it's worth, it's an admirable effort on a track that is fighting an uphill battle with polar opposite fan bases and when you take into account the fact they were never able to all get in the studio together.

Pimp C feat Bun-B & Drake - What Up (prod by Boi-1da)
| Download

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"I Never Felt So Alive, Like I Do Tonight"

Wait a sec, haven't Akon and Guetta collaborated before? Oh yea I think it was called Sexy Bitch maybe??...yep I think everyone on earth heard that at some point #TwicePlatiumSingle. All kidding aside, a little known fact about that song is that @AKON saw @davidguetta perform in England, approached him about collaborating and they hit it off immediately...like literally after the concert was over they went to the studio and created Sexy Bitch because Akon had to catch a 6 AM flight. You can't make that kind of stuff up. See interview below...

I've got nothing but respect and admiration for that type of sporadic, live in the moment style collaboration from two open-minded, uniquely talented artists. I say open minded because neither cared that they hadn't really met previously, worked together previously, or even make the same type of music...they both had respect for each other's work and hit it off. It's like a love at first sight, but with music and from that came made beautiful baby named Sexy Bitch out of that energy. Maybe that went a little far...but still, point taken.

Fast forward now to collaboration #2, which is a little tamer than the first, but sort of has that I Got a Feeling vibe to it. Before you jump all over that comparison, I'm not saying it's going to be as big, but in a smaller scale it has that joyous, feel good harmony and calming europop/dance vibe to it. Just a feel good track all around, one that I feel like if I was drunk in a club, would probably go crazy and dance like nobody is lookin'. You know what I'm talkin' bout, you've done it before, it's a comforting feeling of being able to live in the moment and let go, without having a care in the world. I hope this makes it out for that purpose and I'm betting this will somehow turn into a single off one of their upcoming albums, probably Guetta this time.

Give a listen y'all...

Akon - Once Radio (prod by David Guetta)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sample Justice: Rick Ross - Audio Meth vs Mobb Deep - Shook Ones (Part II)

You had better come strong with little to no half steppin' when attempting to sample a revered Hip Hop classic like @HAVOCMOBBDEEP and @prodigymobbdeep's Shook Ones Part II. It's kinda sad most people now associate the original beat of this track to the video below:

...but I digress, Em did kill that freestyle and that scene still gives me chills when I watch it. The way Em tears down his own character, battle-rap style, leaving the Away Team crowd in complete favor of him before he drops the mic like it's white hot (pardon the pun).

Pre-8 Mile, I had every single bar of Mobb Deep's original version memorized...I'm talkin' Biggie - Juicy kinda memorization. I agree with Diddy, you can't call yourself a fan of Hip Hop if every single word doesn't fly out of your mouth when that classic comes on.

While I tend to favor Prodigy's verses over Havoc's on most tracks, it's like splitting hairs on this one with both being on point like @oneandonlycp3. Matter of fact, please do yourself a favor if you're not familiar with the original by pressing play below.

Mobb Deep - Shook Ones (Part II)
| Download

I'm betting if you're not active among the blogs you probably missed the bonus track off @rickross305's new album Teflon Don titled Audio Meth. Couple things I really like about this track, for one, @THERUNNERS did a great job at taking the most notable part of the beat and running with it (dammit I need to stop the puns). It wasn't too over the top and they meshed it well with Ricky Rosay's style in my humble opinion. Another great addition to the track was NY's own Chef Raekwon, who gave it the NY flavor that the original track had with both Havoc and Prodigy being from Queensbridge. @raekwon has been bringin' it of late and killed double R on his own track...#Truth

Overall a solid use of the sample, I've got no beef with the way The Runners sampled it. If you haven't heard it make a point to check it out because other than B.M.F., this was the highlight of his new album...

Rick Ross feat Raekwon - Audio Meth (prod by The Runners)
| Download

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dj K.Millz Makes Bmore Club Take Flight

Maybe it's because I can appreciate techno/dance music or that I love to go David BeckHAM! in the club every now and again. Either way, the no-holds-barred unapologetically uptempo vibe of Bmore club music appeals to me, especially when it's in a Hip Hop remix setting. Enter Dj K. Millz, reppin' dirty Jerz, straight outta Newark with pride and putting on full blast the art of mixing Bmore club.

If you want more samples of his work float on up to his SoundCloud to check out a few more of his mixes and remixes. I've found a lot of his new mixes on a blog I follow appropriately called www.baltimore-club.com, which is without a doubt the best place to get your fix for Bmore club tracks. After listening to this track, I found myself re-liking the original B.O.B. track all over again, even after radio has continued to milk it for all it's worth, not just running it over with a steamroller...but also backing up over it juuuust to make sure it's completely smashed into our brains.

On the post I copped this track off, Dj K. Millz is quoted saying:
"If you hear anyone else remaking this song into a bmore mix, please shoot them."
I completely agree, you killed this remix, it's dead and if someone attempts to top it, they deserve to be dotted for their ignorance.

Hell of a remix, it's like hitting F5 on a webpage you frequent daily after it's been down for a couple days...#WaaayTooNerdyOfAComparison

Give it a listen...

B.O.B. feat Hayley Williams - Airplanes (Dj K. Millz remix)
| Download

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buzz Track: Shawn Chrystopher - Catch Me If You Can

Haven't heard all that much from @shawnchrys since his last Mixtape that was more than little slept on by a lotta people, but gave me plenty of material to allow the shine a little light get on him. Matter of fact this track is well worth the 99 cents that they are charging you on iTunes for one of the better Hip Hop singles this summer. The track below is the rumored first single off Shawn's upcoming LP You and Only You, due out Oct 19th. If his upcoming album were a dinner, Catch Me If You Can could be considered the fine white table cloth setting marked by the shiny cutlery around the table. The track will live up to the previous sentences' imagery and no pun intended, serve as the jumping off point for Shawn Chrystopher.  

I'm not trying to fill you up unleaded either, this one goes hard in a unique, not swagger jacking anyone by any stretch of the imagination sorta way, both beat and lyrics wise. E-quipped with a few one liners that will stick with you like "I am the only one like a missing kidney","she said she love my mind, I said I love her brain, but somehow I don't think we said the same thing" and"you ain't never in motion, like a dead verb", combined with a beat that claps you in the face on the hook, giving the track that needed energy boost that makes you wanna repeat the hook and waive at any hater. After a little research, it isn't a huge surprise that Cameron Wallace or Ferris Bueller who produced the track, was also mentioned on the production credits of Upgrade U by Beyonce. Same sort of bangin' sound on the beat on both tracks, but no hateration comin' from this way, shit sounds fantabulous with a side cookies and cream, it's that good...

I for one will be sharing this with everyone within listening distance of my car as I wave hi to the haters mean muggin'. Oh yea, and in case you missed it last March, check out his latest mixtape titled The Audition, available for free to download off his site honourrollstudent.com. Shawn Chrs is a smart dude and you'd be hard pressed to find another college grad that is as devoted to Hip Hop as he is...

Give it a listen x 3....I see you....Hi Hateeeerrs!!

Shawn Chrystopher - Catch Me If You Can (prod by Cameron Wallace)
| Download

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Rumble Young Man Rumble, Life is a Trip, So Sometimes, We Gon’ Stumble"

There was a ton of chatter on Twitter last week from @kanyewest putting on full display his raw excitement surrounding his Power (remix). And his inspiration came from an eclectic group of professionals...#Understatement
Picture that..Kobe Bryant, @MOSDEF and @therealswizzz in studio? No seriously, picture it below...interesting mix of Power in the below...
Interesting combo, but but the finished product blew me away with Swizzy taking it a notch above what I thought was possible for a song I was originally lukewarm on. As a sidebar, it's pretty entertaining to witness the mutual admiration/borderline love-fest going on between @kanyewest and @justinbieber. Let's be honest if you have over 783,000 people following you on Twitter and you choose to follow one person and that happens to be Justin Bieber, it's going to draw attention. How in the hell a Kanye, Bieber and....Chef Raekwon? track is going to come to fruition is beyond me, but I wouldn't put it past them to make it work.

Shouts out to Kanye's blog, Kanye University for giving everyone the first listen on an extremely dope remix. Do 'Ye a favor and cop it on iTunes if you're feelin' the original and wanna support his work. And as usual, mad respect for @s_c_ for his contribution to this track and it's really hard for me to disagree with Kanye's statement that Swizz is one of the best ever after  hearing the trunk rattling madness that the second half of this remix turns into.

Check it out...

Kanye West feat Jay-Z - Power (remix) (prod by Swizz Beatz)
| Download

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ode to the Ambitious Woman

So as you may have noticed over the past year, I'm a faithful Entourage fan and this year there was a new cast member brought on to the show, pictured above Dania Ramirez. Coincidentally she happened to be #63 on AskMen.com's 2009 99 Hottest Women poll, more than a few spots behind the absolutely beautiful Emmanuel Chiriqui who cracked the top 15. Anyways, this season Dania is playing Alex, the former employee of Turtle, turned business partner and developing love interest. She initially quit her first job working for Turtle because she thought he was just trying to hook up with her, opting instead to be jobless rather than be seen as a sexual object.

...which serves as the basis for this post (yea I know pretty weak transition, yes I am guilty of just wanting to post a picture of Dania Ramirez, deal with it), an ode to the women out there who strive to be known for intelligence rather than looks...who have the ambition to be successful on their own and not rely on a man to survive. This post comes on the heels of a weekend where I was fortunate enough to meet two successful women who both have great jobs and had no problem confidently speaking with passion about their current career, as well as their desire to know and do more with their job in the future.

To me there is nothing sexier than a woman with the confidence to look you in the eye when you first meet them, then go on to tell you about their current college field of study/job and what they strive to be in the future. Don't get it twisted though, there is a difference between being an Independent Woman and an ambitious woman. They aren't always mutually exclusive characteristics, for example a woman can be independent and support herself working at a fast food restaurant (not knocking that, I know a lot of single mother's gotta do that to get by, y'all are heroes for that), but lack the ambition to go to college in order to one day gain salaried employment. On the other hand, yes, it usually takes a woman to already be innately independent in order to be ambitious because let's be honest, it's hard to be independent if you're living off a secretary's salary... kinda like J. Cole said on his latest track Blow Up:
"This for n****s not satisfied for secondary, this for my sisters who aint satisfied with secretary
Which brings me to musical basis of this post from two of my favorite new artists. I don't know about you, but I am an avid analyst of lyrics and tend to favor artists that align with my personal beliefs/values through their stories/lyrics. I know, you're going to argue that I don't know if they mean what they say on tracks, but more than ever transparency is in with Hip Hop. Luckily, we've had some breakthrough, stand up artists emerge in Hip Hop like Wale and Drake, who refuse to be anyone but themselves on tracks and put an emphasis on portraying their own reality through music, which usually let's us in on what they personally believe and value.

Like for example on Wale's new poetic track appropriately titled Ambitious Girl, which is more of a Def Poetry Jam style story paying homage to the woman who would "rather chase your dreams,
then to try to chase these men". Check the lyrics below:
"Ambitious girl, the drive-drive me crazy
I’m tryna...stay with you, lay with you
I’ll pay you tuition, pray with you if you ain't intuition
I’m tryna f*** the sh** out your aspirations
See, the last one I dated, I hated
We wake up, I go to work, she leave out
Come back with some make up, high heels, and a purse, or
Worse I ask, “Babygirl, what you aspire to be?”
She reply to me like, “why you perspiring me?” b****...
Pardon me if I’m sweating you but,
I wanna see something else in you before I invest in you
Ambitious girl, (what you sitting for)
I’d rather you tell me to hit you later,
Because you gotta finish a paper
Then to be in my face asking for a rosay cup
See these b**** can’t cut in yo business
I’m in love with your business
And your productivity is the reason I interest, ambitious girl
See, I like the person that you are,
But I’m in love with the person that you have potential to be
And all your dreams sharing with me
And your secrets baring with me
And the flaws, you aint even got to mention to me,
Ambitious girl, you just wanna win, and you’d rather chase your dreams,
Then to try to chase these men
That try to chase these skirts
that try to chase these shots with flavors that not even as sweet as her
My ambitious girl, I won't forget you,
I just reflect on how I aint met you, yet boo
You somewhere, getting your life in order
So for the time being, I hope this (overscribe) might support her
Support her, or work her, she worth it"
That's how I see it, my ambitious girl is too busy gettin' here life in order than she doesn't even know her life is on a crash course headed for mine. And when the collision is about to take place, she'll say or do something to get my attention, which at first will make me like the person she is, but admire the hell outta the person she strives to be and has the ability and potential to become. @WALE knows what's up...#SelfFulfillingProphecy + #LimitlessFaith

Wale - Ambitious Girl
| Mixtape

Even better, you know Drake, who makes it abundantly clear that he has a thing for successful, older women, was a big source of inspiration for this post. In the interview below, he and Sway talk about how older women have the experience and maturity to show you things in life that younger women, who don't usually know what they want and haven't experienced as many things, can't bring to the table. See below:
Below @DRAKKARDNOIR ends his new single Fancy by giving his own 16 bar salute to the women out there "with enough more to loan us" and the "women with diplomas", "especially the homeowners."
Better late than never,
But never late is better,
They tell me time is money, well we’ll spend it together,
I’m down for whatever,
You just lead the way,
We go to dinner you don’t even look at me to pay,
Mature women with more than me were the first to tempt me,
And Jason had this girl Tammy with a purple Bentley,
How she got it I aint never get to ask,
I just knew that she was fine like a ticket on the dash,
Yeah, but shout out to the homeowners,
The girls that got diplomas,
And enough money to loan us a little something extra,
Should we ever need it,
If it sounds like you then let me hear you repeat it
Sidebar: To me there's nothing more attractive than a woman who doesn't tote on you and when you go out with them, they don't expect you to pay. Let me be clear I'm talking dating here, different rules apply to couples, but to me, all I look for is willingness. If you're willing to offer to pay for yourself, that's all I need in order for you to gain my respect because I'm not going to let you pay either way, but to me it's an opportunity for women to make a good impression because a lot of guys value that. Maybe I've seen too many women who don't even feel obligated to talk to you when you buy them a drink, but that's just me and what I've experienced with my own two ojos.

The fact that young artists in their early 20s are openly appreciating successful women is positive for Hip Hop. They're placing ambitious women on a pedestal and whether or not that will ever have a tangible effect on women who listen remains to be seen, but regardless, I'm just proud that I can stand behind and support artists around my age who see eye to eye with me (generationally speaking) on admirable qualities like being ambitious that make woman attractive. Sure beats the hell out of Hip Hop in the 1990s where women were seen as objects...at best.

Cheers to the successful/ambitious women out there who don't need a man...but are willing to be convinced (by me) that an equally ambitious man might not be bad for them. Knowledge is sexier than whatever size breasts the good lord may have provided you, you can take that to the bank...even on Sundays. #SheBetterAtLeastHaveABootyThough
Drake feat T.I. - Fancy (prod by Swizz Beatz)
Links taken down, please go to iTunes and purchase a copy

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keri Hilson - Breaking Point (prod by Timbaland)

With @misskeribaby's harmony and Timbaland's production, you really can't go wrong. This is no exception to that last opinion, as Keri tells us all what happens when a woman reaches that point...you know when the steam starts coming out the kettle and such? Definitely an empowering track for women, preach on KH, hopefully your message gets out to the emotionally damaged women out there that need a confidence boost.

There's a limit to anyone's love, regardless of man or woman and the last verse that starts with "Some women just tolerate too damn much!" is a good use of the limelight to reach out to the ladies. All things considered, that's a good look Keri, just keep the tracks with Timbo comin, y'all are like peanut butter and jelly when put together...

Check it...

Keri Hilson - Breaking Point (prod by Timbaland)
| Download

Friday, August 20, 2010

Drake feat Lil Wayne - Miss Me Video

Just in case y'all missed it, Drizzy and Weezy now have two singles out on the radio with Miss Me and Right Above It...damn shame @liltunechi gotta be locked up while this track hits radios around the world...

At least we have to look forward to the Welcome Back Weezy concert on Nov 5th, possibly at MSG, the night after he gets released from Rikers???

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Throwback Thurs: "Me, I Cried Out 'God!', You Dared Me in the Dark"

Last week Three Six Mafia, this week Passion Pit...you had to see that coming right? I don't think there's a transition from last week to this week that would ever do that justice, but I'm continuing the Indie/Synth/Electro mood I've been in of late. I decided to Throwback Thurs about 15 months back to May '09 when a group from Cambridge, Massachusetts called Passion Pitt decided to drop a debut album that I equate to MGMT's Oracular Spectacular. Their debut album, Manners, made some serious waves and generated a them pretty huge, devoted fan base, especially in Europe. I compare the two bands because they've got that same out there, weird electro sound, with even more off the wall lyrics. As an anecdote, here's the beginning of my favorite track of theirs, To Kingdom Come:
That's a frosty way to speak
To tell me how to live next to your potpourri
All this talking pulls my teeth
I believed in you, you believed in...Me!
Wrap your head around that for a sec...but don't try too hard because you may cease to give a sh** after you realize the allure of the track is the high pitched harmony on the hook, blending with the jumpy, but well meshed keyboard and synthesizers that provide the organized electro chaos concoction that ends up being a surprisingly soothing and funky beat. If you're wondering what they look like in action...or at least a wacky, produced version of what they look like, check out their video for To Kingdom Come below:

Man those dudes look like some serious nerds, which couldn't be cooler to someone who blogs daily and has a job in IT #GetAtYaBoyGWDJ. Their weird videos make the MGMT comparisons even more dead on, but I'd give the more filled with funk nod to the Electric Feel-ers, while @passionpit has clearly become a bigger hit overseas in the UK as more of an electro Indie hit, dominating British dance floors. To summarize @whereismgmt = American funk, @passionpit = British funk...am I off base on that?

Regardless, two good bands that you should probably get learned on before some Brit calls you a bloody square!

Passion Pit - To Kingdom Come

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"If They Try and Tell Me Time is Money, I'll Spend it With You"

Nice R&B collabo between singer/producer Sean Garrett and ya boy Drizzy Drake. Since no one recognizes that Sean Garrett has produced 15 #1 singles (currently good for 5th place on Billboard's list of producers with the most #1 singles), I hope that his upcoming second album, Courtesy Of, blows up.

Real relate-able track as @SG harmonizes about that special feelin' ya get when you first trip, stumble and eventually fall in love and wanna tell errrbody 'bout it. I'm liking a lot of this R&B stuff he's been puttin' out of late and starting to think he could probably pull off a front to back R&B album. I guess the trial run will be his upcoming mixtape due out "very soon". On par with about any other cameo he's made, @DRAKKARDNOIR manages to always steal the show with one line(s) on the track that sticks with you...that line you hear, rewind, and take a sec to wrap your mind around what he's trying to articulate. On this track it's the line:
“Just keep fightin’ for our lovin’,
Baby I’ll defend it too,
And if they try and tell me time is money I’d spend it with you”
Pretty cool his Thank Me Later album only took 5 weeks to go platinum and this week he was honored to gain his millionth Twitter follower.
Don't even begin to try and sleep on Sean Garrett because he'd be stupid not to save some of those platinum singles for himself on his own album. Whether you realize it or not his presence is being felt in your stereo right now with tracks like Get It All and Massive Attack with @nickiminaj. Hopefully Courtesy Of lives up the extremely high bar he has set for himself with his previous success as a producer.

Give it a listen...

Sean Garrett feat Drake - Feel the Love
| Download

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"This is the Song For My Haters, Y'all Got Me Feelin' Like the Greatest"

Lately, hearing tracks like We On, Who Dat, and recently Premediatated Murder, I've been steadily gaining quite a bit of respect for Jermaine or Maine as he used to be known as. Each track I've heard of his is building off the last, surpassing my last favorite track with every new track.

And the track below Blow Up, is by far his best effort to date. He'll always bring the creative wordplay, but the beat on this track is legitimately bangin' and considering he's the one who produced the track, daps & lbs are in order. When I gave the track a full listen I couldn't put my finger on it, but the beat reminded me of a track and I kept playing the beat over and over in my head trying to bring back some lyrics. Thank the lawd for Google is all I gotta say because that song just happened to be Common's track The Corner, produced by none other than @KanyeWest. Check it below and tell me it doesn't remind you of Cole's new track...

It always takes just the right amount of timing, confidence and audacity to forecast yourself blowing up, but it's damn near the norm these days for up and coming artists to talk it before they live it in order to legitimately blow up. I can't hate on that one bit because you have to talk like you're better than everyone else in order to become it. There are only so many soft spoken Joe Mauer's out there, most everybody else (at least in pro sports and Hip Hop) has to create their own self-fulfilling verbal prophecy in order to convince people who have the resources to invest that you have the confidence to be unflappable. It's a double edged sword though because there is nothing worse than someone who talks mad ish and never backs it up...

If you aren't convinced yet that @jcolenc is on some other ish lyrically listen for the quote-ables below:
"This for my n****s that ain't satisfied with secondary,
This is for my sistas who ain't satisfied with secretary"

"They say what you fighting for the game is on life support
And Gary Coleman just passed, life is short"

"Momma say I should reconsider law school,
That means I wear a suit and bent the truth and feel awful,
Hell naw, got a degree but what that cost you
You make a good salary just to pay Sally May"

"You mean to tell me everything gon be fine
If I call your hotline and pay 29.99?"
Hard for me to bet against him blowing up, especially with tracks this hot...be on the look out for his new Cole World, due out on October 26th, which will include the track below...

J. Cole - Blow Up (prod by J. Cole)
Link taken down by request please go to iTunes to download

Monday, August 16, 2010

"I Keep 'Em Comin' Back Like a Recidivist"

If you haven't heard of Laws, I'll take part of the blame on that one as I've been quietly bangin' out his 4:57 PM Mixtape since February and more recently, his re-release of that tape with the song below titled 5:01 (Overtime). Shouts out to Djbooth.net for hosting both mixtapes and allowing you the ability to cop both tapes with that ominous $0 bill that keeps floating around the internet. Let's just say ya boy is rich off dem C-Notes akacero stacks...#DontKnocktheHustle.

Anyways, if you're a fan of intelligent, well crafted verses then it would be in your best interest to do a right click save as when you go to Djbooth.net to check out his mixtapes. For instance, I wasn't even schooled on what the hell a recidivist was until I heard this track and looked it up. Turns into a pretty good line when you consider how recidivists are repeat offenders or ones who keep coming back to crime. I'm pretty torn on which version of Hold You Down I like better, the remix with Big K.R.I.T or first version where he goes in on his own and spits two crazy verses with lines like:
"Rhymin' only when the camer-as come, I'm a boss M Bison and Gannon in one"

"You want to take it back well I'm good,
My back-pack got an axe to cut my own path through the woods,
As long as that's understood,
We can sit straight,
I just changed my life off a free mixtape"

"But if you think I think jewelrys fake well then you way off,
I got enough charm that Jacob could take a day off"
The only thing that matches the credit-worthy craftsmanship on @lawshiphop verses is the slightly trippy, but head nod worthy backdrop laid by none other than Khalil Abdul-Rahman. You want a fresh sounding Hip Hop track, there's no better producer out right now than @IMADEITINC at adding in a unique rock sample or concocting an upbeat head banger. Check the original track below...

Laws - Hold You Down (prod by DJ Khalil)

And you know I couldn't leave you hangin' without posting the newer version off 5:01 (Overtime), especially with @bigkrit adding a verse to an already bangin' track. Even better this version has a video, so you get to see three up and coming lyricists up close and in person...no I didn't forget you either @emiliorojas, your verse was just as noteworthy with lines like"
"I'm still a sarcastic, Brazilian bastard, whose piece of the pie is thicker than Sicilian"
"Haters gettin' lazy comparin' me to Eminem, Eh?, Not quite, I'm just the sickest ever since"

"Aimin' right a Solar's face when I pull it, and write truly yours from Guru on the bullet" (GREAT LINE...R.I.P. Guru #SolarIsDeadWrong)
...3 for 3 on verses plus one when taking into account the beat....evidence below...

Gotta love the grimy MI-SS-I-SS-IPPI flow with K.R.I.T. line:
"Who would thought it? Southern eyes on the rise, muddy water flow, I'm cat-fish deep fried"
Find me another track out right now that has three verses as solid as the ones on this remix...

Laws feat Big K.R.I.T. & Emilio Rojas - Hold You Down (remix) (prod by DJ Khalil)
| Mediafire

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kid Cudi - Mr. Rager (prod by Kanye West)

After listening to the track below, I came away thinking "that sounds more like the Scotty we're used to", in terms of the sound of this track compared to his past album MOTM. From the steady drums orchestrated by @KanyeWest, to the slightly inspirational, but completely dark and haunting lyrics, it fits the mold of Solo Dolo to a T. You can definitely hear that signature beat kick on the chorus as the Louis Vouitton Don puts his stamp on the the psychadelic dream state that Cudi takes us to.

Maybe it's me because I can dig the artistic courage that it takes to be so blatantly weird and out there, but these tracks @TheRealKiDCuDi summons from his disturbed conscience are interesting at worst. The one below has yet to fully grow on me after a few listens, but the early forecast has it becoming one of my favorite songs soon. You wanna talk about a match made in heaven, listen to 808's and Heartbreak and tell me Cudi isn't a perfect match for Kanye's beats...

With Cudi's new album MOTM2 being pushed back to October 26th, we'll see if this still makes the cut, but early indications are that he didn't want it to get out since he usually posts to his blog tracks that he wants to share.

Give it a listen...

Kid Cudi - Mr. Rager (prod by Kanye West)
| Link taken down by request

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Buzz Track: "Drinking Old Cheap Bottles of Wine, Sit Talking Up All Night"

Every now and then when a non-Hip Hop song catches my ear, I start to like it so much I feel inclined to post it (See 2AM Club). After a year's worth of feedback showed me some of you internuts out there like that 2AM Club post the most, I'm going to try and made a concerted effort to mix in a few contemporary/acoustic/dance tracks to set off all the Hip Hop material. For your indexing pleasure, I've started the Contemp Buzz Track label at the bottom and added it tot he 2AM Club post.

So I'll kick off my newfound sentiment with a new-ish track from an Irish rock band The Script, titled For the First Time off their upcoming album Science and Faith due out September 13th in the US. I know I know, it's starting to get some heavy rotation on the radio already, but it's got that nostalgic, everyone-can-relate-to-it sorta feel to it. When I say that I mean for example Graham Colton's track Best Days, where you can relate in so many ways to the chorus:
Don't wait for someone to tell you it's too late,
Cause these are the best days,
There's always something tomorrow,
So I say let's make the best of tonight,
Here comes the rest of our lives
While the Graham Colton track is more of an uplifting tale, giving the listener a shot of 100 proof positivity, enabling those who listen closely to spin their current life situations in a positive light, The Script details a more bleak, fighting to survive in tough economic times tale on For the First Time.
With the current worldwide economic situation fluctuating for the worse in recent years, it's these realistic tales that serve to document what it was like back then for generations after us to listen to. With lines like:
She needs me now but I can't seem to find the time
I got a new job now on the unemployment line
And we don't know how
How we got into this mess is a god's test,
Someone help us cause we're doing our best
She's in line at the door with her head held high
While I just lost my job but didn't lose my flight
But we both know how we're gonna make it work when it hurts
When you pick yourself up you get kicked in the dirt
I can't relate much to what's going on in the UK as far as the economy is concerned, but if it's anywhere near riddled in recession like the US economy has been the past couple years, then a track like this should hit home with quite a few people. It helps too that the lead singer Danny O'Donaghue steals the show with his harmonious vocals, making the subject matter of the track not seem so bad after all. Delivery is big and most people probably won't even notice the austerity of the lyrics and will mainly focus on undeniably catchy harmony...which is a good thing.

In case you haven't heard it, give it a listen and do yourself a favor and check a sneak peak of the video while you're at it...

The Script - For the First Time
| iTunes link coming

Friday, August 13, 2010

"You Say You Got Baggage, Well I'm Packed Too, Plus I Got a Sex Pistol, Pointed Right at You"

So evidently Drake's new album, Thank Me Later didn't have quite enough R&B on i...so as a result, he's going to release a all R&B mixtape as a follow up to Thank Me Later. Check out the interview below at the release party for the new Blackberry Torch (shouts out to GlobalGrind on the coverage), which by the way received mediocre ratings today from the telecom department at my J.O....

Product aside, it's cool that @DRAKKARDNOIR is embracing the whole writing off his Blackberry and isn't afraid to front like he always thinks of shit off the brain like he's a freestyle rapper. That's not him, he's an intelligent witty dude who, if given the chance to think up subject matter over time will continually come up with wordplay that is mind blowing and creative enough to satisfy even the harshest critics.

Which provides a perfect transition to the song below, presumably a new cut off his R&B flavored mixtape called I'm Ready For Ya. I heard a snippet a couple weeks back and apologies for the two quick tags before the first and second verses, but this track is absolute fire. The hook reeled me in on the snip with the whole:
"Yeah I hear you talkin’, don’t know who you tryin’ to flatter
Got my mind made up. I-I-I’m ready for ya
I’m in control, but with you bein’ the man
You don’t seem to understand that I-I-I’m ready for ya"
...but after hearin' the verse at the end, it was game over. If you wanna talk about taking back the fortress when it comes to getting back in touch with his fan base after his solo excursion on TML, this is the path that will continue the hype and further his name and universal fandom. I say universal fandom because out of all the albums I've shared with my Song List subscribers, TML was BY FAR the most listened to. I really thought Eminem or B.O.B would pull away, but after a month, the verdict is in, the people listened to Drizzy Drake the most...hands down.

I'm not leavin' you hangin' either, the verse below takes I'm Ready For Ya from a B- song to a legitimate A...check the verse:
Red lipstick on the wine glass, cameras in my mind flash,
Black lingerie, white diamonds, what a contrast,
I know you get impatient as the time pass, you say you want it fast,
Define fast...cause I can speed it up and make it last
And i could audition for this, and i could be part of the cast
And i could produce for your future, i could co-direct your past,
And make damn sure that you never forget it,
I'm ready,
I'm with it,
Still here like a statue, pink champagne, green ink in ya tattoos,
You say you got baggage, well im packed too,
Plus I got a sex pistol,pointed right at you “BANG!”,
The baddest women ever in the heart of south,
Proven over and over again thats why I'm hard to doubt,
Plus imyoung money ’till the death, I took the Carter route
I'm more than ready too, hope of something that you thought about
Versatility is defined by tracks like this where an R&B hook lures you in, only to get finished off by a TKO caliber verse. Revel in this and hope for more to come because there isn't anybody else out who could execute two distinct styles like ya boy Drake did on this one...

Enjoy friends...

Drake - I'm Ready For Ya
| Download

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Throwback Thurs: Three Six Mafia - Da Summa (remix)

For me Three Six Mafia will always be considered classic because of the way they poured gasoline the torch of Southern Hip Hop in the late 90s and early 2000. They put M town on the map and meshed so well with Texas Hip Hop acts like UGK that they helped contribute to a unified, slowed down, heavy sound based off the rampant use of that Barre, Lean, Texas Tea...whatever you want to call it, just ask JaMarcus Russell if you want some.

Their music was a big reason why I grew into a big fan of Southern Hip Hop and hate if you want, but they did win an Oscar back in '06. Little known snack of wisdom here, did you know their original group name was the Backyard Posse? Glad they changed their name and despite different group members like Crunchy Black and Gangsta Boo leaving the group to pursue solo efforts, the dynamic duo of @therealjuicyj and @DJPAULKOM have remained a nucleus that has held together their sound throughout the years.

By far my favorite album of theirs is When the Smoke Clears: Sixty Six, Sixty One, which was released back in 2000. In know that album front to back and for good reason, so many of the tracks on there were so unapologetically hard with undeniably in your face Southern swagger. Since then I can't say I've listened to any of their albums front to back and it's a little more evident they've lost the griminess of their music and sound. But that's neither here nor there, it's Throwback Thurs, so we're here to celebrate what was dummies!

As an aside, I chose this track because I heard that well known whiny, back and forth synthesizer on @yelawolf's track Love in Not Enough that made Triple Six's Da Summa (remix) track below so notable. Girl had Yeller broken hearted in the chevy...

And to take it a step further, the original sample was from Rick James's track from 1992 titled Hollywood. Peep the slow jam below with that crazy synth backdrop...
...Shoot even @BOWWOW on Outta My System and Devin tha Dude sampled it on Anythang, but I'm throwing that in as more of a footnote. Respect to Devin for what he did with the beat though, he's one of the unheralded artists out there that deserves more dap. Matter of fact let me throw in a clip of his version because it's right up there as far as doin' the sample justice like Three Six did...

I dunno about y'all but this summa has been hotter than a muffffuggin rainforest jungle in the desert...wrap you minds around that pita bread sammich...and give it a listen, classic Three Six from '07...

Three Six Mafia - Da Summa (remix)
| Download

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"If You Fall on the Concrete, That's Yo Asphalt"

A surprisingly upbeat track from 'Ye from around the way...today. Coming by way of his newly revamped blog, Kanye University, we get another glimpse of what his upcoming album Dark Twisted Fantasy (formerly Good Ass Job) is going to sound like. I can see his first single fitting into a dark and twisted fantasy, but this one has more of a celebratory, welcome back sounding vibe to it. Gotta love the obligatory Free Weezy shout out too...

For all of you that missed Kanye's crazy moving picture video for Power, give it a look below. There's no doubt the track has an epic sound to it, from the chanting to big beat to the unapologetic verses...the video does all that high intensity plenty of dramatic justice. Check it...

I like Beyonce on this track to be honest, she is most of the reason it sounds so uplifting. Shouts out to No I.D. and Lex Luger on the beat too, they did their thing setting the tone for an upbeat track. Despite the positivity oozing from See Me Now, it's hard not to appreciate the track for its lighthearted tone. It should serve to balance out all the other heavy, dramatic material that will eminently fill up Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Give it a listen...

Kanye West – See Me Now f. Beyonce & Charlie Wilson (prod. Kanye West x No I.D. x Lex Luger)
| Download

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Without Me You’re a Dime, But With Me You’re a Buck Fifty"

One of my buddies from the other side of the state asked me last weekend why I have been sleeping on Wiz Khalifa. He pointed out that a couple weeks ago he took the crown for Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010, beating out Snicki Minaj by almost double 70,000 votes to around 40,000 votes and that his #kushandorangejuice TT is still averaging 78 tweets a day, 4 months after it was released in April.

My reaction to his facts were at first a little disbelief. First, I was shocked that artists like , Donnis or even Yelawolf weren't even in the running for MTV's Hottest Breakthrough artist of 2010 and that J. Cole, Diggy and Travis Porter made a subpar Top 5 showing in the vote. Seems like it turned into a popularity contest, which was a little easier to comprehend when I read Wiz achieved top Google search topic momentarily as well as reach #1 on Twitter with his #kushandorangejuice TT. In other words the MTV vote was more or less a popularity contest and lo and behold, ya boy @REALWIZKHALIFA has one dedicated following (over 250k Twitter followers as well as other fan accounts @wizkhalifa_fans).

Alright dude, maybe you're right, maybe I haven't given him his due and fully jumped on the bandwagon despite making his latest single This Plane a multi-song list top 10 track. As a result, here's a little limelight Wiz, whom you probably know holds down The Steel City to the fullest. He also reps Taylor Gang, that consists of his closest friends, presumably from Taylor Alderdice High School outside of Pittsburgh. What you may not know is that his real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz, but his stage name Wiz Khalifa comes from the Arabic word khalifa which means successor and Wiz is short for wisdom. Roughly translated, he's a modern day wisdom successor/representative. His last studio album Deal or No Deal reached the #1 Album on iTunes the day it was released in Nov 2009.

Since then he has dropped the aforementioned Kush and Orange Juice mixtape that he provided free via Twitter and Dat Piff. Interesting that Pitchfork gave the mixtape a 7.2/10 grade, noting that it was "suprisingly relaxed and easy listen." My favorite track on the mixtape without a doubt is the very laid back, steadily knockin' Never Been. That beat goes hard on a real chilled out tip...check out the newly filmed video and track below...

Wiz Khalifa - Never Been
| Download

With all the talk of smokin' on every track, there's probably good reason for the chilled out sound of the mixtape. Is it me or does Wiz sound like he is getting real comfortable in the game and sounding more and more like a Hip Hop veteran? I feel like it's almost illegal for him to be called a breakthrough artist when he's done 7 mixtapes prior to Kush and already had a widely known single like Say Yeah.

What's also notable of his growth as an artist is his willingness to try different sounds, like he did on the track Fly Solo below. It's an unreleased track that comes off sounding more like a B.O.B. or Wale track with the live band and guitar sound than anything he's done. As you've probably been able to tell if you read frequently, I really like it when artist push the barriers of music and experiment with different genres. This type of track let's him show off his lyrical talent and very nonchalant, easy delivery, which I feel like I haven't done justice in giving him props for. Couple quoteables too....
"See you be catching feeling’s now and I be catching planes
The story of my life, you’re just another page"
"But everythings good until it goes bad
And your gonna tell all the people about the fun you used to have
It hurts when it don’t last
No easy way saying bye
So I’mma spread my wings and head for the sky"

Wiz Khalifa - Fly Solo

Lots of quality material coming of late from the Wiz kid and there will be no falling asleep at the wheel on his progress from here on out, as I've gained a great deal of respect for not only his talent, but also his underestimated following that has jettisoned his launch into the Hip Hop mainstream. Don't miss him if he's coming to a town near you...I definitely won't miss the Waken Baken tour, especially because Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf are opening for him...talk about a 3 for 1 deal...

eXTReMe Tracker