Thursday, March 31, 2011

There Will Be No Future if You Mess With Bobby Ray

"Fresh to death, I see you in the afterlife
I eat bars, eat beasts for my appetite"
Damn! Sounds like someone lit a fire under @bobatl with the ferocity he attacks his new 2 minute freestyle No Future. Supposedly it's a diss track aimed at Odd Future after their click's leader @fucktyler called B.O.B. a “f*ggot” on the track Yonkers. Now before I pass judgement, let me make clear I'm generally a fan of weird, alternative forms of Hip Hop. I'm almost ashamed to say I, (like many others) went through an ICP phase and still get a few chuckles out of @therealroyce59's (at times) twisted lyrics.

With that being said I did the stop in your tracks and slowly turn your head around HUH?!?! with an eyebrow raise (for good measure) when I heard people arguing that Tyler the Creator shoulda been on XXL's Freshman cover. Look I can dig the gothic, dark, creepiness of @techn9ne's face painted appearance because he's a crazy talented lyricist, but to this point I am absolutely not feelin' the intentionally disturbing and manufactured shock value of Tyler's music thus far. Sure, it's easy to favor the more established, popular artist, but show me somethin' of value Odd Future...#RealTalk

It's good to see Bobby Ray isn't getting too comfy with his newfound success. Always good to have someone coming after you when you're on top and it looks like there's no let up in sight...

B.O.B. - No Future

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who Rocked it Better? Adele, Mike Posner, John Legend - Rolling in the Deep

Continuing the week long promotionfest of @officialadele's music, I'm feeling foolish for not having posted her most widely recognized, lead single off 21, Rolling in the Deep. In case you've been living under a rock aren't one of the 28 million people who saw the video on YouTube, check it out along with the track below for your convenience...

Adele - Rolling in the Deep

There's no secret that the way she pulled off the original version by channeling the deepest soulful harmony imaginable, it'd be hard to top it. Enter fellow Grammy award winner @johnlegend, who adds his own classy brand of soul on the cover. Did he do it justice? I'll take Adele's original, but I appreciate the male version and would still put it on a mix for either of my parents...#OnlyTheClassyHipHop

John Legend - Rolling in the Deep (cover)

That leaves the wild card, @MIKEPOSNER who adds has his own gentle swagger to the original. I'm a bigger fan of his version than John Legend's because I dig the electronic vibe and scratches added in, making it sound completely different. In other words, it had to sound completely different to even compete because there isn't a voice out there that can compete with the 1000 cc's of soul injected into the original version. Call it runner up or best alternative version, either way, thumbs up, like button...all that ish, it's well done...

Mike Posner - Rolling in the Deep (cover)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adele and Forte Set Fire to the Rain

I'm waaaay late, but fully running behind the @officialadele bandwagon. I haven't heard a woman with as much organic soul in her voice since @jossstone and I'd even go as far as to say she's twice as good as @iamduffymusic despite sounding eerily similar. Right now I'm zoning out to her rendition of @311's Love Song and the only thing that's missing is that whiny background guitar riff that sets offsets the sappy lyrics to perfection.

Not to be discounted is @gilbereforte's emotional verses that find a way to match the powerful hook delivered by Adele on the original track. My girl just said, "This reminds me of Rihanna and Eminem" and I can't disagree, the raw emotion can be compared to I Love the Way You Lie. Also deserving mention is @UnknownNick aka Twice as Nice who weaved Gilbere's verses in while adding a Hip Hop touch to the beat, preserving the quality of the original and taking it a step further to make it appeal to Hip Hop heads.

A+ track, clearly one of my favorites this month, not enough praise or time of day to give this one justice...

Adele feat Gibere Forte - Set Fire to the Rain (Remix)

Monday, March 28, 2011

"We All Gotta Grind I Do Mine With Instrumentals"

"Don't go between your legs before you even learn to dribble,
And the man that has a lot I bet he started with a little"
Amid the mixtape chaos of the past three weeks, you may have passed over @dopeitsdom's newest effort The Original Dom Kennedy. I won't pass judgment if you did pass it over, I'm finding myself still trying to make it through one lap of all the newness that has dropped on the past month. Still, you NEED to at the very least give it a pass over, especially with @chuckisdope adding his personal touch on a few beats.

The one below is a clear standout, like on the level of Watermelon Sundae type good. With the West Coast still searching for an identity to progress past the G-Funk movement provided for so many years by Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop, I'm hoping artists like @therealcrookedi, @ITSPACDIV or @dopeitsdom can stake their claim and put their stamp on the left coast. For now I'm gonna keep pushing Dom's music because he's got a smooth sound goin' on with his unassuming flow and boisterous delivery. Hard to put my finger on a comparison, but who needs one, you be the judge for yourself...

Dom Kennedy - Goodbye (prod by Chuck Inglish)

Bonus: Feel free to stream or download the mixtape below thanks to datpiff...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Do it Like Beyonce and Put it on Sean"

It's been a minute now since @bigsean's lead single My Last feat @chrisbrown dropped, but I'm finding it hard to replace on my iPod as time goes on. I'll admit, I'm really starting to dig Big Sean's lyrical style and the way he goes about his rhyme schemes and punchlines. It's easy to see how he and @drakkardnoir influenced each others styles and have used it to create a new generation of wittiness and pop culture creativity to their verses. For example,
"Since I signed to Kan’, I’m Louie Vuitton Sean
Up in Benny Han Han eating all the wonton
Rose rose over a little Chandon
Put her hands down my pants now she rocking Sean John"
Incorporating Hip Hop styles while weaving it creatively into something personal with the Sean John line is cool because it goes a step further intellectually than just rhyming. Makes you think type of ish gives the listeners incentive to pay attention and I can appreciate that type of depth. The main reason for the post is to showcase the video for the track released this week, so check it below...
Watch out for Finally Famous: The Album, due out May 3rd off Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music label. Kanye's production plus Big Sean's lyrical ability is something to write home about, so there's plenty to look forward to on the debut. Honorable mention goes out to Chris Brown who seems to be back to making a whole lotta great music too, which is appreciated. Hopefully he can keep making breakthrough music, rather than breakthrough windows...

Big Sean feat Chris Brown - My Last

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Formula For Club Success = Taio Cruz + David Guetta

Anybody else reminded of Simon Says on the intro?
The Simon Says synthesizer backbone is only the beginning as it progresses into a trance/R&B uptempo club track where @taiocruz does his best @iamwill impression. Let's be honest with the help of autotune they sound damn near identical, but that's not always a bad thing. I'd want to sound like Will I Am if it meant I was going to have a top 25 single.

What's the common thread? Yep you guessed it, the producer behind the majority of what makes it into clubs these days @davidguetta. The fact that his style is so popular here now only means that European music has been a step ahead for a quite a while now. France has been hearing and perpetuating his style since the early 1990s when he was in his teens and hosting clubs nights that featured uptempo club flavored Hip Hop. I'd argue that it's a lot easier to look good and be world famous collaborating with the talent he's rubbing shoulders with now, but that's another argument that'll be saved for another time.

Who knows if this is throw away track or the beginning of another Top 10 album, all I know is it's a great track to add to a party/cardio mix if you're the type to partake this weekend...

Taio Cruz - Little Bad Girl (prod by David Guetta)

Friday, March 25, 2011

"No Socks And My Boat Shoes, Guess I'm Eating Good Like Whole Foods"

So Rolling Papers made it's way onto the internet a week before it's true release, which isn't too bad considering how in demand it will be. Still need a few more listens to get a album review together, but early indications are that they are a few tracks you haven't heard yet that you'll really like. Below is one of them and it's very G-funk like a lot of Wiz's music. Maybe it's because he's been hangin' out with the Dogfather of late or because they both like to roll up the same paper planes when they smoke.

Regardless of why, the slow and steady knock of this one will have you noddin' your head as @realwizkhalifa and @currensy_spitta trade laid back raps. Real smooth, this Curren$y cat is starting to grow on me a bit, he's got that mumbled delivery and grimy way he goes about spittin'. One of my new favorites, give it a listen and check Wiz at his album release party turned smoke session in Chi-town this week...
Wiz Khalifa feat Curren$y - Rooftop

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can't See the Top of the World? Must Be Cataracs

Yea I know, I'm like 6 months late on this track, but let's be honest, I had no clue who @thecataracs were until they produced Like a G6 for @fareastmovement. That track will forever light up dance floors and that's mostly due to the irresistibly uptempo beat Campa and Cyrano put together. If you're expecting a G6-like track, you're expectations aren't going to be far off with Top of the World. It's every bit as club worthy and the addition of @DEVisHot's angellic vocals on the hook is icing on the cake (video below)...

The mellowness of the chorus giving way to the eye popping, dance yourself clean electro madness is what took this track to the top of my playlist. Got a cardio mix? This one's for you, don't sleep on it any longer than I did, it's criminal the hibernation I let happen over this track. You can expect me to make a concerted effort to post more music by The Cataracs to make up for it #HopeYoullForgiveMe...

The Cataracs feat Dev - Top of the World

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Where Was I When the Rockets Came to Life, And Carried You Away Into the Alligator Sky?"

I'll admit I got sucked in just as much as the average person did to @owlcity's Fireflies. Their music is bubbly, contemporary pop with an electo-synth finish that kills on radio, there's no doubting the catchiness of their sound. What's surprised me though, is that their music has been somewhat accepted by Hip Hop, like when @therealcrookedi went in on their hit. There's nothin' that screams acceptance more than spittin' a few bars over someone else's beat...
Turn the page to 2011 where Owl City is set to release a new album titled All Things Bright and Beautiful. The lead single is featuring one of my favorite up and coming artists, @shawnchrys, who donates a few uplifting verses that mesh well with the cheerful mix of quirky harmony and strings that dominate the track. Destined for radio, I'll give this a thumbs up as a solid genre-blending collaboration.

If you're interested in their new album, they released a trailer for their new album with samples of a few cuts...
Owl City feat Shawn Chrystopher - Alligator Sky

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

B.O.B. Takes On Sinatra, New York

It's not everyday someone as high profile as @bobatl undertakes a task as large as covering a classic Frank Sinatra track. To his credit, he doesn't turn it into a slow ballad, deciding instead to borrow the familiar piano intro and run with it over a garage band sounding drum sample. You may be thinking to yourself, I have already heard a sample of this track, but where? It was on EA's new video game release Chysis 2 trailer that's been aired of late (below)...

Not really sure how the track has anything to do with the video game, but what the hell, Bobby Ray has become Hip Hop's most marketable new artist (even ahead of Drake I'd say). Either way it's pretty ballsy to try and pull off a cover of a track that no man, woman or child should touch without finding a fail-safe way to make it their own track for risk of desecrating it. There's no possible way anyone coulda done it better than Franky though, that's my word...

It's a push on the Sample Justice verdict, I mean I love Bobby Ray and I'd consider myself a fan of the track, but there are some tracks that are so pristine they should be untouched and unsampled. I'd put this in that category....buuuut keep this music roll you got goin' on B.O.B., your consistency in churning out great music is starting to become legen....wait for it...wait for it...hope you're not lactose intolerant...dairy...#ThanksFortheCornyJokeNicFulton

B.O.B. - NY, NY

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buzz Track: Bizzle feat Jin - Forgive Me (prod by Boi-1da)

Not too many Christian rappers have the ability to get their music into heavy circulation on the blogsphere, but then again, you don't see many of them getting set up with beats by @boi1da. Enter Bizzle, aka The Christian Rapper. He recently released a mixtape in January titled Bizzle The Messenger 3, but you may know him more from when he took some shots a @s_c_ last year...
Pretty ballsy for a Christian rapper to aim for the top in voicing criticism about one of the best, but how else are you going to differentiate yourself from the masses? If you're wondering why he did it, below is a lengthy explanation of why @MyNameIsBizzle went in on Jigga, Kanye, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc..
"1. Why I did it? For a few reasons. To those who feel I did it for exposure; who am I? LOL! If you can't answer that, then I'm no good at advertising because I didn't even tell you the product or where you can go to find it. If I wanted exposure, I would have given out my myspace and twitter at the end. =) The truth is, I don't want to be famous, but after watching Christ be disrespected and learning about Jay-Z and a couple of others, I guess my emotions and Love for God got the best of me. I mean, most of you would defend your best friend if someone slandered their name, so I guess you can say Jesus is my best friend.

2. To those who have a problem with me using the N-Word; I apologize for any offense. But I did think it through before hand and decided to include it, because I'm not perfect and I use that word everyday. I felt it would be fake of me to leave it out of the record just so I could look like a better Christian. Being Christian doesn't mean I'm perfect. It just means I'm forgiven and I strive daily to be better and get closer to God.

3. Am I a Christian rapper or just a rapper that's Christian? I guess if there's a difference between the two, you would say I'm a rapper that's Christian. I'm not a Gospel rapper, though I am working on my music and moving in that direction. I'm sure you may hear some older records surface and maybe you should so that you can see how far I've come rather then seeing the word Christian and assuming where I should be.

4. Can Jay worship or believe in what he wants? Yes! This record is not about that. It's not a diss record. It's a "let you know the truth so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you still want to listen to him" record. LOL! It was for those people who heard the record and chose to delete him out of their ipods and jump off the boat when they found out what the destination was. I was also inspired by young singer/actress Tiffany Evans' heart to come out and make the statements she did about Satanism in the industry. It took a teenage girl to speak up when a lot of these so-called hard men in the game wouldn't.

One thing this song did that I didn't expect it to do, was let us know how far we are from Christ. I never expected to see so many "F God" and "F Jesus" comments. It hurt my stomach to read some of those. I'm sure a lot of us didn't know that so many of our peers felt that way. But never the less, God loves them all the same.

Once again, sorry If I offended some of you with the N-Word. I'll work on that. I may be a little rough around the edges but my heart was definitely in the right place. I appreciate all of the love. To my fellow Christians, in no way did I intend to set a bad example for the Kingdom. But people need to see that we too have flaws and that God will accept you with them. Love yall, and God Bless!!!"
Regardless of opinion on whether I think Bizzle was right in being critical, you gotta admire him for standing up for what he believes in despite it going waaaaaay against the grain. If he didn't have any talent no one woulda taken notice, but he went in on it and made a few people give a double take, in a sense reaching out and getting to quite a bit of Hip Hop fans with an equal admiration in his faith and beliefs. Can't personify his movement better than his t-shirt here...
Faith and history lesson aside, his new track with @AYOJIN and Boi-1da goes HARD! Found it interesting that it is self described as That "Change Your Life" Music by Jin on his blog. I've always been an admirer of Jin's lyrical abilities and his I Gotta Love track with @kanyewest will always be one of my favorite Hip Hop tracks. Maybe it's the vindictive side of me, but the perspective and tone Jin has on the track is awesome and is perfectly supplemented with the beat's heavy clap and high pitched sample delivered by Mr. West.

Don't let all the God talk scare you away, it's still quality Hip Hop...#TryItYouMightLikeIt

Bizzle feat Jin - Forgive Me (prod by Boi-1da)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Overnight Celebrity Visits the Island

Got another submission from The Friendly Giant this week, this time mashing @twistagmg and @kanyewest's classic Overnight Celebrity with @pendulum_music's The Island (Part 1).  Honestly had never heard of Pendulum prior to his submission, but I'm digging the electro rock vibe they've got goin' on with this track. Put it this way, you'd never usually hear Twista goin' in over a mid to uptempo beat like this one. The beat is heavy enough to blend with Hip Hop, but the elctro-synth element is what makes it unique.

Give a it a look and send some love to The Friendly Giant while you're at it...

Twista feat Kanye West vs Pendulum - Twisted (Friendly Giant Mashup)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Girls Play the Victim So Well, Joan of Arc"

New track by R Les off his upcoming release Les is More, set to be released on July 4th. All things considered with his laptop being lost and then found in Germany after a cool million ransom was put up, it's great to hear the album is finally set to be officially released.

Like only he can, @ryanleslie recorded and released the track all in one day. Unlike most artists, R Les fully understands the use of the internet as a tool for getting his music out and getting people to talk about his music. Not only did he create a web page for this track, it comes with some stylish cover art, fully lyrics and download link. Not much more you could ask for from my perspective and I feel like he deserves some dap for going with the grain in making it easily sharable and artistic for bloggers.
And don't think this is some throw away track either, it's a powerful track that attempts to put more accountability on women by shedding light on some females who enjoy playing the Joan of Arc role in being the victim. Not that it's a woman's fault for getting played on occasion, but some games bad women play on good dudes cross the line. For example, the voicemail at the end of this track or R Les talking about writing from a jail cell, filling the pages with a mix of spiteful rage and sorrow over the girl he once cared about.

In my opinion R Les is at his best when he goes hard on the verses and soft on the hook, like on the song below. Throw in a guitar sample over some synthesizers and you've got a noteworthy track worth a few listens...

Ryan Leslie - Joan of Arc

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mickey Factz Goes In On Daft Punk's Derezzed

Seems like this whole Hip House trend is continuing with a lot of the new, up and coming Hip Hop acts taking on electronic house beats. On the freestyle below, @MICKEYFACTZ takes on Daft Punk's Tron flavored Derazzed and manages to keep up lyrically with the frenetic tempo. Pop culture is eating up faster paced music and in a reactive way, Hip Hop is segmenting itself by evolving it's own sound to include the shift in musical tastes. Being a fan of club, house, techno...really anything upbeat and danceworthy, I'm open to the trend continuing despite old school Hip Hop heads being resistant, making it a racial issue in saying that Hip Hop is somehow selling out by embracing music traditionally well liked by "white people". With artists @bostonsboy, @MacMiller, @asherroth, or @napalmlive breaking out, it's safe to say Hip Hop is becoming more open minded to assimilation of Caucasians and that's nothing but awesome because objectively, how else is Hip Hop going to expand to a larger demographic?

Little food for though on a Friday that is worth pondering over a speaker rattling mix of fast paced Hip Hop...

Mickey Factz - Distressed (prod by Daft Punk)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Fan of Erin Christine Naked

I don't blame you if you haven't heard of @imerinchristine yet, but I'm bound and determined to end that by the end of this post. To get acclimated with her talent, I'd visit her YouTube channel or just click the embedded video below of her covering Beyonce's Halo..

Girl's got some pipes, which augment her ability to tickle the ivory and isn't pretty obvious she's got the looks to pull it off. Voices like this don't go unnoticed and I've got that feeling like it's only a matter of time before she gets a record deal and the chance to follow in some of her idol's shoes (Alicia Keys, John Legend, Stevie Wonder).

Below is a remix to Erin's newest single Naked featuring up and coming Hip Hop artist @xtothev. Serious dap is in order for the verse delivered by X to the V, with lines like:
"Just for me to say this to your face, I was waitin' two months, and if we break fast, I won't make it to lunch"
"But if you'd be my Harvey Dent, that's my better half, one day I'll put you in a ring like Everlast". The two make for a great and completely unexpected duo, but two artists I'm really looking forward to hearing more from.

If you like the track below, you'll probably like this one too with XV, Vado, CyHi and Erin all gettin' together on one track. Talk about a buzz track chalked with talent...

Erin Christine feat XV - Naked (remix)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indie Artist Spotlight: Two Door Cinema Club

Below is one of my favorite songs of the last couple months; it's a @PASSIONPIT remix to the song Undercover Martyn, by Two Door Cinema Club. Passion Pit has spent their time between records quite well, doing a handful of remixes for a variety of artists, including: Gaga, Bruno Mars, and OK Go, among many famous others.

Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn (Passion Pit remix)

@tdcinemaclub, on the other hand, is a band from Northern Ireland, who gained much deserved notoriety when they opened for Phoenix on last year's U.S. tour.

They had a single that did some damage in the UK, called, I Can Talk, that is solid, but unspectacular, and far from my favorite on the record. To be honest, I much prefer Cigarettes in the Theatre, as it seems to better encapsulate the band's fun, festive mood, and it showcases the band at their best melodically.

Check it out...
Two Door Cinema Club - Cigarettes in the Theatre

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Red Ralph Laurens, the Double R Sittin’ on a Hill Like Lauren"

This past week has all but quieted any sort of notion I had that Charles Louboutin needs the good Doctor to release a platinum worthy album. The ironic thing is, @drdre is mentioned in the production credits of 6 outta 19 songs *tentatively* on his upcoming album, but that's neither here nor there. Yea, you could say I've fully bought into the hype of his upcoming R.E.D. Album, first with his Jim Jonsin produced track with Yelawolf - Rough (which hasn't yet been confirmed on the final tracklist) and now below is the lead single on the album featuring everyone's favorite feature @liltunechi.

Definitely one of the more dope intros to a song in recent memory by @COOLANDDRE who take the Kernkraft 400 Zombie Nation sample and flip it into a slowed down, rolling, percussion-fest that sets the table for @thegame to go IN on a 4 minute pro-Blood, 2011-style-as-close-as-we're-gonna-get-to-gangsta-rap track. From procliaming he "Made the letter B more famous than a Red Sox fitted", to holding down the Cincinnati Reds, to shouting out Su-Wu on the track, it's pretty clear he's still got a whole lotta pride in what color he reps. But I guess that's why it's called The R.E.D. Album and whatever expectations you have for the final album, you should probably reconsider them after seeing production from @jonathanrotem, @PolowDaDon, @timbaland007, @kanyewest, @imadeitinc, @realdjpremier, @MAESTRO, @eminem to name a few...and that's on top of 6 @drdre tracks with 3 @COOLANDDRE tracks. Did I mention Drake, Gaga and Big Boi are *tentatively* on the album too? JFC, is this the album to end all Hip Hop albums?

Whether it be mid or late 2011, I've got this circle in RED marker as my pick for the Hip Hop album I'm most excited about this year...

Game feat Lil Wayne - Red Nation (prod by Cool N Dre)

Monday, March 14, 2011

"They Can’t See Me, But They Feel Me, I’m Basically Braille"

Chalk another (soon to be) hit up for British rapper @chipmunkartist, this time enlisting the services of the beautiful @MissKeriBaby on his new made for radio track In the Air. Between this and his collabo with @chrisbrown on Champion, it's safe to say he's one of the few British artists who have been able to seek out top notch US talent and as a result, appeal to a greater audience. He's young, he's got the ability to connect with noteworthy Hip Hop/R&B mainstays and there's something so different about his accented flow that intriguing and different, which adds a whole novelty to his music. Sometimes it can pay to be a trail blazer (just ask Greg Oden) and that's exactly what Chipmunk is turning out to be with the singles he's released so far.

What remains to be seen is if he can sell records in the US? Jury is still out with In the Air hitting iTunes yesterday, but the real question will be if his upcoming album album Transition, due out on April 18th,will get some SoundScan love. Hopefully his A&R step up the promotion on theses two solid singles, which (by American Hip Hop standards) already qualifies his upcoming album as a noteworthy effore (sadly).

Better hitch a ride on the bandwagon, it's about to get a lil' crowded if some of these Chipmunk tracks start circulating on US radio. Lookin' forward to his new track with @treysongz titled Take Off....#StayTuned and give the homie some love on iTunes.

Chipmunk feat Keri Hilson - In the Air (prod by Harmony)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"So Tonight Let All of Your Pain be Champagne"

I'll admit, I was curious as hell when I saw the picture above of @thegame, @yelawolf and @iamjimjonsin kickin' it in the studio about a month ago. Mostly excited at the the prospect of two really talented Hip Hop artists coming together on a Jim Jonsin beat, but honestly hoping the collabo would be lyrically meaningful since the aforementioned artists can drop some really thought provoking stuff when they decide to.

What the track ended up being didn't disappoint, with Jayceon concocting one of the more forceful and creative verses in recent memory. To be fair, I'm a big Game fan because his voice is one of the most powerful in Hip Hop when he chooses to write and deliver verses like the one below. To me, there is no middle ground with his work, it's either quickly passed over or excellent in ever way. This represents the latter, feel free to follow the word-play by-play on the 2nd verse...
"The living, the dead
These Dre beats, my head
My life, featuring Wayne
That was Jayceon, this is Game
Adjacent to the fame aint chasing a damn thing
So tonight let all of your pain be champagne
I cant tame my killers but I can tell them chill
I might give you a pass depending how I feel
The bi polar bear
They said the end of the World is comin I know it’s here
Cuz California cold this year
Detox, R.E.D
MC’s dead
Kill them softly like Lauren Hill
Skin heads goin K-K-Krazy cuz a n-gga in a foreign wheel
We all born to die, some of us born to kill
If that don’t wake you up I hope tomorrow morning will"
While the track is dominated by Game's aggressive delivery and creative wordplay, I was initially hooked by the sample on the beat. It sounded so familiar, like one of those classic piano samples everyone has heard and hums every time it comes on, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Turns out Jim sampled Pearl Jam's timeless track Black (below)...
Cool how it all came together, but even more that Game touched on Drake and Bieber getting shafted at the Grammys (like he did when Missy beat him out years ago). Also found it interesting to hear Yelawolf speak on his newfound fame and how it feels to go from being relatively unknown to everyone wanting your autograph. Sounds like to me, he's one guy you know won't be changed one bit by fame because of what he's come from. Kinda cool and easy to relate to, which is why it's hard not to root for someone like that to succeed. Only a matter of time, maybe an album or a @Eminem collab or two and he'll be a household name. You can take that to the bank, as well as this one being in heavy circulation on any and all playlists I make...

Game feat Yelawolf - Rough (prod by Jim Jonsin)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Free Hip Hop With a Bow On It

Tis the season for Mixtapes and what better way to start than a much anticipated release from Cleveland native @chip216. With the whole tape produced by 1/2 the @coolxkids with @chuckisdope behind the boards, the level of quality Hip Hop throughout is assumed. Every beat will have you nodding your head and admiring the *fresh* as you listen to Chip methodically flow with his his in your face, but cool as a summer breeze delivery.

Between as the Twitter chatter and blog and merchandise love Gift Raps is getting, it's no surprise this has over 26,000 downloads in datpiff in less than two weeks. As far as this week is concerned, it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Mixtapes. You've got @ITSPACDIV - Mania (10K downloads), @macmiller - Best Day Ever (61K downloads), @dopeitsdom - Original Dom Kennedy (4K downloads, @BEIMAEJOR - Throwback (3K downloads) and to top it all off the other half of the Cool Kids (@sirmichaelrocks) is releasing The Rocks Report on Monday. Put it this way, plenty of homework to do for bloggers and Hip Hop heads alike when it comes to sifting through the heap of free music we've been provided this week.

Below are my two favorite tracks from Gift Raps, the first with co-prod credit from the Blended Babies. If you've been admiring the @charliesheen saga unfold, you'll get a chuckle out of the tweet below as it relates pretty well to the motto on Plural...
Chip Tha Ripper - Plural (Prod by Chuck Inglish & Blended Babies)

As far as best beat on the mixtape is concerned, easily the absolutely bangin' Everyday Chillin beat that has Chuck's paw prints all over it. Love the simplistic, heavy sound all over the track...

Chip Tha Ripper - Everyday Chillin (prod by Chuck Inglish)
Feel free to stream the whole tape below or download it here...

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Mashup Worth the Price of Admission

For the second straight week, 17 year old mashup artist known around the blogsphere as The Friendly Giant has mashed two completely different songs with polar opposite tempos from two different genres. This week, it's one of my personal favorite club bangers of 201, @WakaFlockaBSM's No Hands getting put in a blender with @TAIOCRUZ's Higher.

Prior to listening, it's easy to doubt that the two tracks would be able to mesh together like some basketball shorts, buuuut don't judge prior to listening, you'll end up bein' that guy everybody hates because he likes the original so much, he can't conceive it being mixed into a more likable track. Please someone point out to me the seams on this, I'm having a hard time with each listen finding a place in the track it doesn't match up. Great way to resurrect two independently awesome tracks that had lived out their shelf lives.

S/O to Eli, good look on the track, keep the creativity comin' man...

Waka Flocka feat Roscoe Dash & Wale vs Taio Cruz - Hands Up High (Friendly Giant Mashup)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Life's Hard And it Feels Like Diamonds"

When @LUPEFIASCO's long awaited album Lasers (Love Always Shines Everytime Remember 2 Smile) finally found it's way onto iTunes this past Tuesday, it was received with a lot of negativity. After a few listens of the album, I feel like the frustration and negativity surrounding the album is mostly justified, but given the circumstances, the expectations shouldn't have been as high as his first two albums. From the dispute with his record label Atlantic that caused the huge delay between albums, to the way Lupe keeps claiming he hates his new album, to the different (heavily electronic) sounds and controversial lyrics, there hasn't been a shortage of opinions on his newest release.

But, if we've learned anything in the past week with @charliesheen, we now know it's abundantly clear that any publicity is good publicity. Case in point, Lupe being on track to sell over 200k in the first week, which will surpass both his previous debuts, which were (presumably) much more coherent and quality releases. Selfishly, I was hoping Lasers would go double glass so that Lupe could be released from Atlantic and get back to guiding his own spaceship and making his brand of original music. Don't get me wrong, I like his two pop anthems on the charts right now as much as the next person, but we've got tons of other artists that fit the radio mold, who are incapable of making music that is as deep as what we heard on Food & Liquor and The Cool.

Unfortunately, barring some unforeseen event that would cause his contract with Atlantic to terminate, Lupe is now probably going to continue to be used as a cash cow for a record company he hates and subsequently forced into making more music that he doesn't personally like, but will sell. If you're a Lupe fan and are expecting storytelling tracks like The Cool (below), then you're going to hate his new album and the 180 he did with his new album's "manufactured" sound. I'm tellin' you, lower your expectations prior to listening to his album, it's best for all involved...
Alright now that you're in the right frame of mind with expectations back in the ballpark, below is my favorite track on the album. This track, All Black Everything and Letting You Go represent the only glimpses of the artistry that I really admired on his past two albums. The sythesizer gives the track a dreamy feel, which meshes well with the harsh, somber lyrics Lupe bleeds on the track. Fitting for the struggle he went through in making the album...
"There’s only two ways, out, of, here,
If you’re too late you’ll be trapped here, forever.
There’s only two ways out of here,
One’s through the door, the other’s through me"
Lasers isn't what you should expect from Lupe, he admitted it himself. Sadly, iTunes and SoundScan don't always reward quality and a few hot singles can salvage just about anything. I hate the trend, but it's the climate we live in now, so take what you want from Lasers, just make sure it's with a grain of salt...

Lupe Fiasco feat MDMA - Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Hip Hop Fans Indulge in Sam Adams

After looking at the picture above, you wouldn't be crazy if you did a double take and thought @BostonsBoy and @MACMILLER were somehow related. I'm sure that's not the first time someone has made that obvious, skin deep comparison, but it is interesting how many white rappers are coming out of the woodwork these days. To be fair though, Sam Adams has been on his grind a little longer at the ripe age of 22 and doesn't have the support of a label mate to carry the torch like the 19 year old MM.

You may have heard when he blast onto the scene with his remix of @AsherRoth's I Love College or when his debut album outsold Lil Wayne and Rick Ross on first week sales on iTunes amid rumors of the hype being manufactured. To clear the air, below are a few facts you may not know about Sammy...
FACT: Sam Adams is a descendent of John Quincy Adams
FACT: Sam Adams is NOT named after the beer (despite both being from Boston)
FACT: Sam Adams used to go by the nickname Wiz (real name is Samuel Adams Wizner)
FACT: Sam Adams went to Trinity College in Hartford, CT and was captain of the soccer team
As an intro to his music, check out the video for one of his more well-liked tracks, titled Driving Me Crazy...
The track above was off his debut album Boston's Boy, which was the center of controversy and had everyone scratching their heads due to the sales it had without any label backing. As a sidebar, who really cares if he did purchase albums to create a buzz for himself? I don't because if you don't put your mouth where your money is in Hip Hop, people aren't gonna listen anyways. Case in point, his newest mixtape Party Records (below brought to you by @DJWHOOKID & @DEEJAYjCASH), which has a track on it that caught my ear when I heard it on Shade 45 this week.
It's called Summer Techno and it sounds exactly like the title says. The beat is marked by a fast paced, electro, Hip-House rhythm with a sugary hook that serves as the icing on the cake. Easily a standout track as I made a note driving to go and cop it, which you should too since he's offering the album FREE! Consider this a warning shot, jury is still out on whether I'm a buyer, but I'm diggin' this track (even though it dropped 6 months ago)....

Sam Adams - Summer Techno

Oh by the way...if you're in the Lehigh Valley area, you should go and check him out with @Wale and @IAMKNAAN at Lafayette college on April 14th...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"It Go Green Light, Go Weezy Go, I Like to Taste That Sugar, That Sweet'N Lo"

It seems like now more than ever, regardless of how hardcore or gangsta rappers may claim to be, none of them are above dropping a hot (and seductive) 16 over a slow jam. Blame that on the Hip Hop leaders and their penchant for gettin' in where the $$$ lives and realizing that sometimes it takes goin, in on a soft, syn laden pitter patter beat to get some love on iTunes/the radio. Find me two better at it right now than @liltunechi and @drakkardnoir, the only argument I'd even listen to is for @TIP or @MYFABOLOUSLIFE to be in the discussion.

Oh yea, it helps that everyone is still infatuated with the sounds comin' out of @iamjimjonsin's keys too. Can't hate, I still have yet to hear a Jim Jonsin beat that hasn't eventually ended up in the hands of someone who could turn it into a hit. I'd say this puts a bow on a pretty damn impressive upcoming album from @kellyrowland, although it's odd to see a artist release four singles before the albums hits shelves. Commander was a classic track though, and I really thought Grown Ass Woman shoulda gotten a little more love than it did, especially from women who it had the power to inspire. By my count that's three rock solid singles if you count the track below, which is more than most albums nowadays.

Even if you're not an R&B fan and this isn't your cup of white tea (#MoreAntioxidants #StepYourGreenTeaGameUp), it's always fun to hear Weezy F in his element, methodically spittin' swagger dripped seduction bar after bar...#LLWeezyF

Kelly Rowland feat Lil Wayne - Motivation (prod by Jim Jonsin)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Dungeon Fam's Aleon Craft

Does anybody else miss the Dungeon Family as a collective? Like that sound you'd hear on Even in Darkness, with plenty of Organized Noize, a healthy serving of soulful hooks by @theladykilla & @sleepybrownatl that glued together verses from the likes of Three Stacks, @bigboi and @mike_bigga. I know I know, we've gotten glimpses of the soulful undertones from the likes Bubba Sparxxx, Knarles Barkley, Cee-Lo and Big Boi, who have represented the click to the fullest (individually), but collectively...I miss tracks like White Gutz below that were so cot damn chalked full of rhythmic drum and bass mixed with ATL soul that it was hard to fully appreciate at the time...
Why does all that matter, because we've got a newcomer to add to the family, @aleoncraft. Below, you'll find a new one off his newest mixtape Mothership Decatur, due out April 7th. Similar to White Gutz above, the track has all the elements that make Trans DF Express run. The epicenter of southern Hip Hop is Atlanta and when I think of the ATL, the members of Dungeon Fam are who come to mind when I think of the catalyst to it becoming what it is now. Aleon fits right into the fam with his otherworldly lyrics and fast paced, enlightened flow. Don't discount the beat either, which was orchestrated by @smka and fits into the Dungeon Fam sound like a size 22 on Shaq.

Heads up in a month when the tape drops, I gotta feelin' between Battlefield LA, Paul and Aleon, this next month is gonna be taken over by the extra terrestrials...
Aleon Craft - Look Twice (prod by SMKA)

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