Wednesday, August 31, 2011

David Guetta Knows His ABCs

In case you've been sleeping in a cave or are too lame to care, @davidguetta just released an album yesterday titled Nothing But the Beat. You've heard the high profile singles, Where Them Girls At and Little Bad Girl, but it's my job to dig deeper to find the hidden gems like the one below, Alphabeat. You'll find the track below leading off disc 2 (the electronic disc) with an absolute elctro/rock/house BANG!

From the peaceful piano lead, DG lures you in, as if to tempt you to wonder how in the hell the song is going to turn into a club track. That's when the pace of the piano picks up before sharply giving way to a driving synth guitar riff that will force your eyelids backward. From there, Guetta shows off a bit with a cascading array of electronic samples that continue the riff in different pitches. If you were wondering why he's regarded as one of the best house producers, consider this as the newest exhibit A. Oh an add to it, his collaborations with Afrojack and Aviici on the electronic disc and the mention of the word classic isn't so far fetched.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and cop this album. Whether you use it as cardio music, a party starter or just something that will make you get up and dance, it does the trick and then some.

David Guetta - The Alphabeat

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Canadians Unite! Drake and Bieber Finally Team Up on a Track

Suffice to say, this collaboration was a loooong time coming and even though the finished product isn't quite as epic as I would have hoped, it's still cool to see @drakkardnoir and @justinbieber get together on a collabo. It was the first time I had really noticed a big voice changes in Bieber's harmony too, but to his credit, he's handling it quite well given the evidence on the track below. As I listened to the track, I really hoped to get a new remix verse from either Drake or Justin, but unfortunately they stuck to the original script.

Don't let my lukewarm reaction to the track ruin it for you, especially if you're one of those teenie boppers who salivate over Biebs' every word. It's aiiiight, but I'll hold out for a more high powered collabo in the future. A little less than two months before Take Care, I can't wait to hear that joint, Doing It Wrong that Drake did with Stevie Wonder...#Oct24

Drake feat Justin Bieber - Trust Issues (Remix)

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Mirror on the Wall, Here We Are Again"

You may be wondering just who in hell is pictured above with @BrunoMars. Far left is @philsmeeze (Phillip Lawrence), in the middle is @arilevine (Ari Levine) and of course Bruno rounds out the trio known as the Grammy Award winning production/writing team, The Smeezingtons. Yea, you've heard stuff by them and may not have known it like Cee-Lo's - F*ck You, Flo Rida - Right Round, Travie's - Billionaire, B.O.B.'s - Nothin on You, Bad Meets Evil's - Lighters and oh by the way all of Bruno's hits, Grenade, Just the Way You Are and Lazy Song. Saying they produce top notch, iTunes dominating hits is like saying Jigga and Beyonce's first child is going to be privileged.

Coincidentally, the track below, which is one of those really well placed deluxe, make you pay a couple extra bucks for one of the best songs on the album type of tracks. You'll find it on The Carter IV, which just hit iTunes today matter of fact. On the track you can expect a Pure Moods style instrumental with heartfelt, introspective verses from @liltunchi that show the deep, mature side of his music. As usual, Bruno brings his ever so melodic vocals on the hook that blends seamlessly with the harmonic tones and serious lyrics.

You were already gonna cop Carter IV, but you didn't know it would come with a track this deep. Don't hate, be pleasantly surprised like I was...

Lil Wayne feat Bruno Mars - Mirror (prod by The Smeezingtons)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Converse Invented the Morgue Dance Party

Yea I saw this one coming. Hah! Talk about predictable! Gonna have to be more original Converse, collaboration blending together the similar styles of @mattandkim, @ANDREWWK and @souljaboy is something that happens daily...especially with the whole morgue dance party theme on the video, totally played out! that I've got all the sarcasm out, seriously *WTF* is this track? This type of weird, genre blending music is almost too audacious, like a kid trying to fit in with everyone by incorporating bits of style from all the different cliques at school. I can't even hate on the finished product, I actually kinda like it. 98% of the reason for that is because Matt and Kim kick so much ass it's unbelievable, but that makes me think, what if they would have done this track by themselves without the completely out-of-left-field verses from two completely different walks of musical life? Yea, I'm afraid I probably would have liked it more had they gone solo, but now I'm left with this awful feeling like I have to reverse my lack of respect for Soulja Boy because he's done a track with Matt & Kim. #ThanksConverse

Oh well, such is life when something completely unexpected comes along, what can ya do? Well, I'm gonna continue listening to this strange creature of a track and continue wondering who in the hell was in charge of making Soulja Boy look like a zombie. #Fail

Matt & Kim feat Andrew W.K. & Soulja Boy - I'm a Goner

Friday, August 26, 2011

Videos of the Week

Plenty of new videos to go with a high profile cameo at one of Wayne's shows. Not just Hip Hop though, keep an eye out for that new Florence and the Machine lead single What the Water Gave Me.
Rihanna - Cheers (Video)

Kendrick Lamar - ADHD (Video)

Florence and the Machine - What the Water Gave Me (Video)

Bad Meets Evil feat Bruno Mars - Lighters (Video)

Karmin Music Covers Bad Meets Evil's Lighters (Video)

Lil Wayne Brings Out Drake to Perform in Toronto

Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie (Video)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Your Address is Now Cloud 9"

There's a strong correlation between songs I really end up liking and @ryanleslie producing them. That's not much of a stretch considering he was behind the board on the best Hip Hop track last year You Be Killin' Em. Put it this way, R Les knows how to market himself because every time he produces a high profile beat, he always releases the in-studio "making of the beat", like on Fly Together (below)...

It's not even showing off or rubbing it in everyone's face, dude is just crazy talented when you get him in a studio producing a beat. From scratch, there's so much that goes into the finished product and with every video he releases, I appreciate that more. Hard to mess with him on the synths and he's got a knack for throwing in three or four more elements that do nothing but further augment the synths. To put it lightly, his beats are more like orchestrated symphonies and I haven't been too proud to search daily for finished products of tracks that he produced.

Not sure what @redcafesd album this will land on, but you better believe this will serve as the lead single. Can't even hate on @rickyrozay, who did his thing on his verse too. Just a solid track front to back, neatly wrapped by ya boy R Les.

Red Cafe feat Rick Ross & Ryan Leslie - Fly Together (prod by Ryan Leslie)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weezy Chops Hov and B Down To Size

When it comes to Hip Hop royalty, generally there's a no-fly zone or heir of invincibility that protects the top dogs from any sort of disses or lyrical jabs. I'm not gonna include Kanye in that group because his temperament as an instigator is downright abrasive, so he attracts a lot of the hate that comes on him. I'm talking about the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Timbaland...the type of industry vets that have done so much work in the game that in some way shape or form, they've fed everyone they've touched and made very little enemies. Yea, I know this sort of thing has happened before and all remember the highly publicized Nas vs Jay-Z spat back in early 2000, but that never seemed to interest more than a lot of dedicated Hip Hop fans who knew the gravity of the situation.

What has the internet currently abuzz is @liltunchi's more than subtle jab at @s_c_ on one of his new Carter IV tracks It's Good. In general, I think everyone is overreacting and reading a little to heavily into the tea leaves, but I'm finding it interesting that Weezy had the audacity to give a "stay in your lane" shot across the bow at Forbes' top breadwinner of 2011. Sure, everyone is used to the braggadocio that goes along with making so damn much money you use $1 bills as Kleenex, but it sounds like Wayne got a little fed up with the extend Jigga went in bragging about his wealth, especially because it subtly going after Wayne's partner in crime/mentor Baby.

The original line Weezy was responding to was from Kanye & Jay's track H.A.M., which landed as a deluxe bonus track off Watch the Throne. The response came as more of a non-direct subliminal on Wayne's new track It's Over, lines below...
"I’m like really half a billi ni**a, really you got baby money, keep it real with ni**as, ni**as aint got my lady money.” - Jay-Z verse on H.A.M.
"Talkin’ bout baby money, I got ya baby money
Kidnap yo b**ch, get that how much you love yo lady money
I know you fake ni**a, press yo breaks ni**a"
I’ll take you out, that’s a date ni**a - Lil Wayne verse on It's Over
Yea I know shark week is over, but that line was like a stealth killer whale shot to a great white.

Suspected beef aside, @boi1da did his thing on the beat and I enjoyed a rare high profile verse from @therealkiss. Yea and about that feisty @drakkardnoir verse, damn man, did I hear a little anger mixed in there? We'll see if the whole pump your brakes subliminal is received with any response, but my guess is they'll hug it out and life will continue to go on as usual in Hip Hop because they've got too many mutual friends to actually beef. Time will tell...Carter IV drops on iTunes this Sunday, Aug 28th in case the leak hasn't come across your radar yet...

Lil Wayne feat Drake & Jadakiss - It's Good (prod by Boi-1da)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Keri Hilson and Kevin Cossom Are Both So Good

Ah yes the timeless question, Who Rocked it Better? Was it the writer who demo'd the track (@KEVINCOSSOM) or the artist who managed to put it on their album (@MISSKERIBABY)? Usually it's a cut and dried distinction because one of the artists knocked it out the park, while the other managed to make it their own, but still came up short.

This one is more like picking your favorite kid or for me, picking your burrito place. Usually it's Chipotle, but sometimes I can't help going to Baja Fresh because their salsa is so damn good. I've consistently been in both Keri and Kevin's corner (say that three times fast) and that's not just because they're both really talented, but they also rub shoulders with two of the best producers in the game @TIMBALAND and Danjahandz. While Keri is more known as an elite singer, Kevin is more known for writing and producing, but that doesn't mean he can't pull off his own ballad.

Case in point, his version of the song he wrote, So Good, produced by Danja and officially released as a deluxe bonus track on Keri's newest album, No Boys Allowed. It's really splitting hairs as to who did it better because every time I hear one version, I think it's the better one. You be the judge though, who rocked it the best?

Kevin Cossom - So Good (Solo Version) (prod by Danja)

Keri Hilson - So Good (prod by Danja)

Monday, August 22, 2011

David Guetta + DJ Afrojack Make Electronic House Sound Like a Video Game

Maybe this fell off the Daft Punk wagon on the way to the Tron Soundtrack? Genesis of the track aside, it was the track I immediately circled when the official tracklist of @davidguetta's new Nothing But the Beat album surfaced. Being big fans of both Guetta and @djafrojack, I was more than curious what would ensue when they both got behind the boards together on a track.

I call it well organized electronic chaos that does everything in it's power to force you to make strange gyrations with your body (kinda like this). While Game remains my pick for top Hip Hop album of the year so far, I'm not sure he'll be able to sell half the albums that Guetta is going to starting next Monday, August 29th when his new album drops. I haven't even gotten to his new song with Usher and have yet to skip a song. Can't go wrong with any of DG's uptempo, powerful brand of dance music that injects just the right amount of harmony into his nicotine addictive electro rhythms. Have I sold you yet? #WhoCaresILikeIt

David Guetta feat DJ Afrojack - Lunar

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"And I Ain’t No Hipster, Girl I Can Make Your Hips Stir"

New lead single off @MacMiller's upcoming Blue Slide Park LP. Slated for a Fall release, between this lil heat rock and Donald Trump's YouTube co-sign, it's looking like Mac's ascension to Hip Hop is continuing past his first album. Check the video below and feel free to cop the single on iTunes below...

Mac Miller - Frick Park Market (prod by ID Labs)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"The Best the West Has Ever Seen, No Disrespect to Calvin"

Ever since I first got wind of this new up and coming rapper outta Compton named @kendrick_lamar, I've been patiently waiting for his raw talent to shine through. Just like anything with the mythical D word attached to it, the Look Out For Detox freestyle got everyone's attention, but I wasn't sold yet. Fast forward to his first album, Section 80, which was an indication of great things to come with Hi Power being the clear stand out track and highlight of the album. Still, it was like seeing a seismograph rapidly jump up and down before the earthquake, but when was the ground finally going to open up?

Well, it finally happened when he got together with fellow Compton rapper @thegame on This City, which will appear on Game's upcoming R.E.D. Album. The whole track is just awesome, starting with the hymn laden, angelic beat by @COOLANDDRE that lays the groundwork for Game to stake claim as one of the top 5 rappers of all time ("Game, Biggie, Hov, prolly Pac, Nas, No particular order"). Debatable lyrical hubris aside, the hook is interesting in that it's damn near a whole verse and the only reason you can tell it isn't a verse is because it's repeated word for word more than once. Keeping it 100, the whole track is just one big intro leading up to Kendrick's acapella take off at the 4:27 mark. Ferocious, tenacious, raw, vicious...all applicable adjectives for the fury unleashed by Compton's prince. Press play and follow along kids...
"And I wear pendant on my shoulder
Soldier, like a lieutenant, and the coupe tinted
Got pulled over, Johnny always lock a ni**a down
Knowing damn well we don't wanna see the box like Manny Pacquiao
Little ni**a Mayweather size, ride like Pac
In his prime, thug life is now on radar
Til the federal come through and raid ours
Reminiscing when the LA Raiders
Was in my home, snapback fitted on my uncle's dome
And I don't condone d*ckriding, I'm addicted to
Westsiding, living in a city where the skinny ni**as die
And the semi bullets fly, but it turn me to a lion
Trying, and I mean that sh*t
Game came through, put the city on his back
I was in the city with a nigga, had seen that sh*t
"Compton!", a ni**a gotta scream that shit
Never went commercial, Never T.V. screened that sh*t
Can't block or screen that sh*t, now everybody sing that sh*t"
- Kendrick Lamar
Add this one to the growing list of collabs from the consistently dynamic duos of The Game + Cool & Dre. Oh and if you don't have enough incentive to go out and cop The R.E.D. Album, you're haven't been listening. I'm sticking to my album of the year prediction until something better comes out...#TakeItToTheBank

The Game feat Kendrick Lamar - This City (prod by Cool & Dre)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Videos of the Week

Interesting week with respect to videos with a lot of randomness (Donald Trump co-signing Mac Miller, Anne Hathaway Rapping?) mixed in with some interesting live performances and music videos. Thanks again @s_c_, every time you decide to bottle pop and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting your champagne, people find their way to my site because of this pic...
@JColeNC - Workout (Video)

DJ Drama's Oh My (Remix) Behind the Scenes

Anne Hathaway Raps on Conan

Game Apologizes to Sherriff's Department for Tweet

The Donald Co-signs @MacMiller as the "New Eminem"

Nicole Scherzinger - Wet (Video)

Jay-Z Poppin' Ace of Spades Bottles While Dropping' 250k in Miami

Kanye's Autotune Freestyle in Tivoli, Denmark

@kreayshawn Performs Gucci, Gucci at the Highline Ballroom in NYC

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kid Cudi is King of the Scary Lullabies

I gotta give it to whoever decided to call on @wizardcud and invite him to pitch in one the new movie Fright Night's soundtrack. There are few people that can pull off theatrical and haunting, yet appeal to the Hip Hop demographic...wait a sec...scratch that...he's the ONLY Hip Hop artist who can weave a twisted, dark lullaby over a cello-infused, rugged guitar riff of a beat. It's not just him either, his go to producer @dotDaGenius is just as culpable for the haunting sound that he has trademarked with Cudi on tracks like like Day n Nite and Perfect is the Word.

I can see why a lot of people dislike Cudi's music with it's depressing undertones and non-stop loner vibes, but I have the utmost respect for his work. Despite having a consistently optimistic view on life, for some reason I really enjoy depressing music. Maybe because it's such a stark contrast to how I usually feel and because of that, it causes me to feel through the lyrics. Or maybe I'm just completely full of shit and for some reason feel like justifying it to you out there because I feel weird for liking depressing music. Moral of the story, to each their own and I own a lot of Cudi and am proud of it.

If you haven't seen the trailer to Fright Night, it's a remake of the 1985 horror flick that has gotten some decent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (75% fresh). Credit is well deserved for director Craig Gillespie who not only directed the new Fright Night, but also used the same scenery from the movie when directing Cudi's video for No One Believes Me . Not gonna lie, Cudi looks like he's at ease with those vampire fangs...

Fright Night is already out in theaters and Man on the Moon III is due out Fall of 2012.

Kid Cudi - No One Believes Me (prod by Dot Da Genius)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Where's All the Girls Too Busy Studyin' to Make the Guest List?"

I'm finding it really hard to disagree with the growing consensus that @thegame sounds best over @COOLANDDRE beats. Sure he had a moment there with the good doctor, but when it comes to longevity and consistency of sound, he just keeps churning out dope music with the help of Marcello and Andre.

And who would have thought he and @drakkardnoir could rip it up with the chemistry they did on Good Girls Go Bad? Not that a feature with either of them would be a challenge to anyone involved, but with two differing styles, they meshed well over the slow, steady, bangin' instrumental. With all thes R&B tracks and cameo hooks Drake has put out of late, it was refreshing to hear him go in and spit a nice verse. Between this leak and Game's other tough new one Martians vs Aliens, The R.E.D. Album is starting to enter the discussion for album of the year. When 5 single worthy tracks have leaked prior to the album's release, it's almost to a point where anything beyond this is icing on the cake. And we still haven't heard a CDQ version of Game's new tracks with @realdjpremier or the other @IMADEITINC track or even the few Dr. Dre produced tracks.

I mean I'm enjoying Watch the Throne and I've got high expectations for Carter IV and Take Care, but 8 months into the year, find me another album that's this stacked front to back...#Crickets

The Game feat Drake - Good Girls Go Bad (prod by Cool & Dre)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"One Big Room...Full of Bad Bitches"

It's not everyday Hip Hop gets smacked up side the head by an audacious white girl from Oakland, who gives less than a fiduck about what you think about her. But then again, that's why I'm here writing about things like @iamdiddy lamenting over @kreayshawn's signing with Columbia over Bad Boy, mostly as a result of the 11 million people that decided to watch the video below..
Kreayshawn - Gucci, Gucci

If you're one of the few who haven't caught the Kreayshawn fever yet, then be prepared because you're about to get a whole dinner's worth. I say that because it's not everyday that record companies have million dollar bidding wars over you, or legendary bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers solicit you to direct their video for a comeback single. Shoot throw in a Drake co-sign and it's over before the leader of the "White Girl Mob" even got to a second single. If you're wanting to know more about her, look no further than her interview below as she goes into detail about getting ratchet...

Yea did I mention she's pretty comfortable in her own skin and has enough attitude and swagger to fuel a spaceship to Mars?

What's most interesting to me that as a 21 year old she can appeal to such a broad audience. Her IDGAF attitude will reel in the young and rebellious in a way comparable to what Eminem did when he first came out, yet high profile artists and industry execs see her as a rising, can't miss star. Somethin's gotta give and as I'm now nodding my head to Gucci, Gucci, I fully understand the appeal, but really need to hear more before I make a judgment. I gotta admit though, lines like "Now Google that, groupies follow me like Twitter, I'm rolling up my catnip and shi**ting in your litter" and "I got the swag and it's pumping out my ovaries" had me doin' a double take like...hol up did I just hear that?

Shoot if @1yungchris can become a hit overnight off the term racks and a catchy beat, I see no reason why Kreayshawn can't do that x10. Just ask MTV, who have her on the ballot for Best New Artist with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Foster the People and Tyler, the Creator. My best advice if you're betting on her to fail? You might wanna reconsider because every freestyle over her beat gains her even more notoriety. Doesn't hurt that one of them happens to be @liltunechi, whil @treysongz followed through the week with a Triggamix. Time will tell where she goes, but right now she's got Hip Hop's attention as a whole...

Lil Wayne - Gucci, Gucci (Freestyle)

Trey Songz - Gucci, Gucci (Triggamix)

Monday, August 15, 2011

"You Could Be My It Girl, You're My Biggest Hit Girl"

Chalk up another hit single for @jasonderulo with his new one It Girl. It's a solid follow up single to Don't Wanna Go Home and by my count, two top ten singles prior to his new album Future History, due out Sept 26th.

Unlike the first track, which was more at home in the club with the help of the classic
Show Me Love sample, this one is more of a triumphant, mid-tempo ballad. The whistle throughout the beat is creative and catchy when mixed with the acoustic backdrop. As usual, JD is on point with the vocals, hitting plenty of notes that us average-folk could only dream of hitting. Even better, the hook has an sing songy feel to it that urges the audience to sing along, which should do nothing but give it radio traction.

Interesting to note too, that hit-maker extraordinaire @jonathanrotem has yet to be publicized in the production credits for the first two singles. That's pretty cool because I'm sure Jaysawn didn't wanna always be seen as a cookie cutter element that is copied and pasted over his always top notch production. On that note, shouts out to @EmanuelKiriakou who did the beat on It Girl. For all you visual, picture book style learners out there, below is a newly released trailer of his soon to be released video for It Girl...

Future History...September 26th

Jason Derulo - It Girl (prod by Emanuel Kiriakou)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Proof That 808s Belong in the Kitchen

Seeing that @asherroth and @thecoolkids both represent a similar organic, old school Hip Hop sound, it's not a huge surprise to see that they're starting to collaborate more often. They've performed live a couple times together at SXSW, but it seems like their worlds have only collided on a few occasions in the form of surprise cameos at concerts and a features here or there.

That might change soon, evidenced by the video below of The Cool Kids performing in Asher Roth's hometown of West Chester, PA at The Note. What's most notable is that they didn't just perform Roll Call off When Fish Ride Bicycles, they also debuted the track below, In the Kitchen. Sofa king forward to the 5:21 mark for the new track...

Anybody else feel like @chuckisdope is one of the most slept on producers out right now? I feel like a lot of the beats Kanye puts out have that same heavy, old school, 808 feel that Chuck brings on damn near every beat. Maybe it'll be a Wiz Khalifa style come up where the fourth or fifth album is where he starts makin' waves? Even if that day never comes, you'll never have to go any further than this blog to heard any and every dope beat he puts out.

Keep an eye out for those Cool Kids/Asher Roth tour dates to be announced too. I've seen Asher in concert and am pumped that he's from near Philly, so the liklihood of him dragging The Cool Kids out east is highly probably. Still not sure how I missed the West Chester show, but you better believe it's not gonna happen again. As far as the song below, don't half step, play the damn track with some sort of's got the 808 Check stamp of approval, don't feed this Mercedes of a track that 87 octane...#StopTrippin

Asher Roth - In the Kitchen (prod by Chuck Inglish)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"I Tried to Pay Attention, But Attention Paid Me"

I mentioned the genesis of this track last night when I posted @liltunchi's studio video of him working in the studio on the track with @drakkardnoir. Now this is the heavyweight track I've been waiting for, with Weezy dotting his T's and crossing his I's on ever bar and Drake delivering a calm, but exciting hook.

The proverb worthy wordplay Weezy spits on damn near every line is exactly why he's on top of the game and currently ruling over Hip Hop like a King who understands what the new Hip Hop fan wants, and delivers it. The new school Hip Hop fan pays attention to ironic/metaphorically creative lyrics that make you think a little bit. In other words, everything he speaks on has a deeper meaning that makes you think. For example, "Karma is a bitch, Well just make sure that bitch is beautiful" or "I already know that life is deep but I still dig her" or "But I’m Ray Charles to the bullsh**". Nothing earth shattering about the vocabulary he uses, but he's presenting a fresh, new take on old proverbial phrases, which takes some creativity. Boom! Therein lies the appeal of why Drake, Weezy and Kanye continually set the bar higher with their lyrics.

Don't overlook that beat put together by @ProducerTMinus either, he did that. Also, word on the streets today is that this may not be the final version and that @rickyrozay is going to be featured on the final version here. Sorta apathetic about that decision, but after listening to the verse, Raaaawwwse did his part to fit in by elevating his game, I'll give him that. Still woulda liked to have heard a full verse from Drizzy Drake instead of just the hook. In a perfect world...

Carter IV...August 29th

Lil Wayne feat Drake - She Will (prod by T-Minus)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Videos of the Week

Man I can't wait til that new Weezy single drops with Drake. Carter IV, coming in two weeks...
Redband Trailer of Jonah Hill's New Movie The Sitter

Karmin Music Performs I Need a Doctor with Skylar Grey

Lil Wayne Working on New Single She Will feat Drake

Jay-Z and Kanye West - Otis (Video)

Wiz Khalifa - No Sleep (Video)

The Cool Kids Perform Roll Call With Asher Roth (Live)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Why You Gotta Be So Cruel?"

Even though my bread and butter is Hip Hop, R&B and lately,to a greater extent anything Electronic/Dance, I'd still have a void in my music arsenal without the likes of @marcbroussard. Ever since he released his first two albums, Momentary Setback and Carencro I've always really enjoyed his unique blend of soulful bluesy rock. I swear the first time I saw him in concert he looked absolutely nothing like what I thought based on his deep, bayou-soaked voice. I really enjoy the fact the he has the ability to create really positive, uplifting tracks like his staple Home, but also produce really thoughtful ballads like Jeremiah's Prayer and Gavin's Song. Shoot, he even got me in touch with my inner James Taylor with his always on point rendition of Never Die Young than he seamlessly rolls into The Wanderer.

Even better, he's got a new album out with a lot of really good music on it. First came his two lead singles Lucky and Only Everything, which were two great choices for singles. As an aside, I couldn't help but post his acoustic version of the latter...
That right there is a great snippet of just how talented his is both with the guitar and harmony. That's the type of music that shines through outside of the studio when you go see him in concert.

Evidently two singles we're enough, because below is his new video for his third single off the album, Cruel. It's a very radio worthy track that exposes those ladies who do nothing but use and abuse men because they can. I've got two words for the video, TWINS!!!!
Now that you're hooked, feel free and cop that new self titled album on iTunes and support one of my favorite artists...#DontBeCruel

Marc Broussard - Cruel

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"I'm Bulletproof, Nothing to Lose, Fire Away, Fire Away"

Yet another shot fired on @davidguetta's non-stop assault on American pop music. I used to say he has American pop music in his back pocket, but he's been wearing it like a crown with the steady stream of new music he's been letting loose from his upcoming album Nothing But the Beat, due out August 26th. Between his new single Titanium (below), and his new track with @liltunchi and @chrisbrown, I Can Only Imagine, I'm starting to doubt he's going to make a track that I don't like.

Maybe it's because I'll always be partial to dance music and club style techno/house music, but the beat build leading up to the hook by @siamusic is nothing short of epic. It's got that grandeur that all dance tracks strive for, but so many come up short in gradeur. This definitely does not and I'm not even mad for choosing Sia over Mary J Blige on the final version. There's a time and place for Mary J because she's classic in her own right, but this one needed a lil something different that Sia was able to provide vocally. If you're wondering what I'm talmbout, check out the demo below...
The track list is chalked full of awesomeness with cameos from Timbo, Dev, Luda, Taio Cruz, Snoop, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Flo Rida, Will I Am, Akon, Usher, Nicki Minaj...and he even keeps it real with an Afrojack and Avicii featured tracks. Gotta love it, it'll be a front to back sort of album, don't sleep on it...#Aug26th

David Guetta feat Sia - Titanium

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

"Coke on Her Black Skin Made a Stripe Like a Zebra, I Call That Jungle Fever"

Well...after one full lap through Watch the Throne, the cream rose to the top in the form of a wilderness sermon that kicked off the album with an absolute explosion. The rolling 808 thump and dull, repetitious guitar riff create an infectious backdrop that is characteristic of countless other @kanyewest beats. What you shouldn't overlook is the help that @eightyocho put in behind the scenes to help craft the sound and the well placed, on point hook that @frank_ocean delivered to send it home. I'm not a fan at all of @OFWGKTA, but I'm finding that I like so many new tracks that Frank Ocean is putting out, it's hard to hate on the group as a collective, solely because of him.

A whole lotta people are saying that Ye is killing Hov throughout the album on their verses, but it's not a fair comparison in my eyes. It's gotta be a little different for a producer who also raps because he has that extra investment in the track and vision of what it should sound like. I'll say this, Kanye is capable of dropping more audacious, shock value lines that will get more headline ink, but when it comes to being on point and telling a story through verses, it's hard to mess with @s_c_. It's like would you rather go with something like bacon ice cream over cookies and cream ice cream. Sure, bacon has the potential to really change your night and if you saw a headline you'd probably do a double take, but cookies and cream is always good no matter how you slice it and it'll always beat the plain flavors any day of the week. Yep, sometimes it's just easier to drive home a rapper comparison with an ice cream reference...#DamnIceCreamSoundsGood

Everyone is quick to judge and get their opinion out, but I'ma let it marinade a lil bit before forming an opinion. If you're looking for a quick standout and suggestion as far as where to start when exploring the album, don't even think about skipping track one because off the chain! #ThatsMyWord

Kanye West & Jay-Z feat Frank Ocean - No Church in the Wild (prod by Kanye West & 88 Keys)

Monday, August 08, 2011

"$50,000 on My Wrist, I'm Feedin' Eskimos"

It's been three days since @chrisbrown released his newest mixtape Boy in Detention and it already has over 110,000 downloads on datpiff. Just glancing at the production credits, I can see why everyone is flocking to download the new tape because it looks more like an album with @ROOKBEATS, @RYANMTEDDER (not to be confused with one of my favorite artits/producers/songwriters from @OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder), @9thWonderMusic, @Thabizness, @THEREALSWIZZZ and No I.D. Interesting too that most tracks on the mixtapes have Chris Breezy rapping ferociously at his own frenetic pace that he describes on Crazy and implements on First 48.

Put it this way, if you liked the way he sounded on Look At Me Now, you'll appreciate most tracks on the mixtape. Even better and probably a reflection on why it's so highly sought after, @justinbeiber drops a nniiiccee verse on the @therealbanner produced Ladies Love Me
Don't even trip, he killed that verse.

Anyways, the track below is my favorite off the mixtape and it features production from @BIGKRIT, who is steadily becoming one of my favorite artists/producers. The oriental flutes and heavy bass do more than enough to keep the track afloat. The hook by the King Remembered In Time was surprisingly awesome and really carries the track by imploring the listener to chant along. (As a side note, don't sleep on that Smokers Club tour coming this fall).

Consider this tape a present that's chalked full of high quality charity. In other words, in a death and taxes type world of certainties, free stuff like this is rare, so go cop it...#BoyInDetention

Chris Brown Ft Berner, Wiz Khalifa & Big K.R.I.T. - Yoko (prod by Big K.R.I.T.)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Children Being Born Now Will Never Get a Chance to Use Compact Discs

“It is not going to leak,” tweeted a confident John Meneilly

Here we are, less than 3 hours before the digital iTunes release and the only crumbs we've gotten from @s_c_ and @kanyewest's Watch the Throne come in the form of a 6 minute YouTube video that has 30 second snippets of the tracks.
30 Second Snippets From Watch the Throne
To put it in context, Beyonce's new album 4 leaked three weeks in advance, Eminem's Recovery and Drake's Thank Me Later leaked two weeks in advance, and Lil Wayne's The Carter 3 leaked 10 days prior to release. Shoot I thought Lady Gaga was queen of the world for finding a way for her album to not leak until 5 days before her release. I'd say it's about time for all the naysayers, who scoffed at Jay-Z's manager for confidently declaring last Wednesday that the record is "...not going to leak", to cut themselves a big piece of humble pie right now.

You might be wondering why it didn't leak or what all of this means? First off, it didn't leak simply because no physical copies have been sent to distributors. In other words, the album will initially only be available digitally, when the album, all 12 cuts plus four deluxe edition bonus tracks, will be exclusively released in digital format on iTunes. I say exclusively because their release plan is very unique in that they are allowing iTunes to exclusively sell digital copies of the album tonight at midnight on August 8th, four days before the thousands of other retail record shops get to sell the physical copy on August 12th. It gets better, the physical copy retailers will be able to sell will be limited to the standard 12 track album, since Jay-Z and Kanye struck a deal with Best Buy to be the only retailer who can sell the deluxe 16 track edition for the first ten days of sale until August 23rd. I'll let that sink in a little while you read the petition below that was put together by a huge group of unhappy retail outlets who are being hung out to dry by the decision...
"Dear Jay-Z and Kanye West,

Independent record stores serve our communities. Our passion is music, and we convey this to the millions of customers who come to our stores. That’s what we do.

Four years ago independent music stores across the country banded together to create Record Store Day. Our goal was to counter the negative media coverage about the supposed demise of record stores brought on by the closing of the Tower stores and to respond to the music business practices that fans deemed to be manipulative and onerous.

We reached out to the artist community to see if they would join us, and the response was overwhelming, with words of support coming in from Paul McCartney, Erykah Badu, Tom Waits, Chuck D, the Foo Fighters and countless others. Working with their label partners, many of these musicians created limited edition works of art, including vinyl and CDs made especially for music-specialty retail. Hundreds of these artists took the opportunity to perform, DJ, and interact with their fans in our record stores. Here in the U.S., Record Store Day lifted the entire music business by 8% and contributed to the growth in music sales. Record Store Day is now one of the biggest music events in history, with millions of people participating worldwide. We also continue to work throughout the year with labels, artists and managers and run regular promotions via physical independent retail and

We are responding to the bad news that your new album will not be available to independent record stores until after iTunes gets a window of exclusivity. We also learned that the deluxe version (which is what the true music fans who shop our stores will want, by an overwhelming majority) will only be available at Best Buy exclusively for a period of time. We believe this is a short-sighted strategy, and that your decisions will be doing great damage to over 1,700 independent record stores — stores that have supported you and your music for years.

We know that you are busy, and that you put most of your energies into creating great music, but we are writing to you in the hope that you will hear us and take the time to rectify this matter. As representatives of the independent record store music community, we are asking you to allow record stores and music fans equal access to your new album.

With the utmost respect. (signed Indie Record Store Owners)"
I'll bet you're pretty surprised that Jay and Kanye didn't feel the need to respond to the open letter?

So what does this all mean? In my opinion, this will turn out to be one of the more significant events in record industry history. I say that because no other artists have had the combination of audacity and power to control every variables relating to their record being released that like Jay-Z and Kanye did. And now, as a result, it's probably going to turn out to be a really eye opening case study when their record sells the exact same amount (or probably more) even when they staggered the physical release of their album.

The impact on industry stakeholders will be widespread too, with digital retailers (Apple), exclusive big business retailers (Best Buy) and the artists (Kanye/Jay-Z) being the big winners, while pirates/bootleggers and small Indie record stores and Amazon being the obvious losers. With the extinction of many brick and mortar retailers like Circuit City and Borders, moves like this should quicken the already rapidly declining physical sales and eliminate the possibility of Indie record stores to survive in the current market.

For me, that's sad because I grew up spending my allowance or whatever cash I could scrape together to run down to Sam Goody and cop whatever single or album I could get my hands on. That is where I grew my roots in Hip Hop, which has rapidly evolved itself into more of an internet driven, technology forward, digital distribution business model. As a blogger, part of my job is to keep my eye out for new music that you haven't heard yet that I personally like. Sure, the absence of leaks would limit my power and influence as a writer because I wouldn't be able to provide a heads up on music that will be coming in the future, but in truth, I don't mind one bit that Jay-Z and Kanye chose this route and prevented their album from leaking. It's not going to prevent people from ultimately bootlegging the album as early as tonight, which is a sad realization for those Indie record stores who feel like they're getting singled out and losing money for nothing, but it will be wake up call for all artists/record companies looking to maximize their profit by preventing the initial sales push of their album being squashed because everyone has been listening to it for weeks before people can actually buy it.

Like any other industry shift, chalk it up to Social Darwinism where the evolving companies ahead of the technology wave are reaping the benefits and eliminating everyone else with the old business model in the process. The best way I can sum it up, thanks Ye and Hov, you've managed to make a mid-twenties blogger feel old because there are probably kids being born now that will never know what it was like to buy or burn a compact disk...

Feel free to watch the last Watch the Throne trailer to surface before everyone shuts down iTunes in a couple hours...
Watch the Throne Trailer 2

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Ryan Tedder - I Am a Woman (Jordin Sparks Demo)

Being someone who prides themselves in giving limelight to talented individuals who don't get quite as big a piece of the credit pie as they deserve, it's not a coincidence that I write about Ryan Tedder frequently. I'd venture a guess that 90% of the people who are fans of @OneRepublic don't even know that he is the lead singer or that he does a lot of producing for other artists.

I'll take it a step further and say it takes some balls for any man to proudly demo a track titled I Am a Woman. Not just demo the track either, own it and rock it the F word out like you are proudly exclaiming your race from high atop a mountaintop. Put it this way, if I were to compare it to @jordinsparks's version, it'd probably be a push...

You be the judge, Who Rocked it Better? Demo version or published version?

Ryan Tedder - I Am a Woman (Jordin Sparks Demo)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Videos of the Week

With Drizzy makin' Headlines this week (literally), he gets a lotta ink this week deservedly. That track is growin' on me now, especially after seein' him perform it live in concert. In case you forgot, Watch the Throne is due out in three days and hasn't leaked other than Otis, which is some kind of accomplishment these days. No idea how they did it, but bravo Hov and Ye, as a blogger I am impressed man.

Drake Performs Headlines For the First Time in Windsor, CA
Drake Talks About New Single Headlines and Take Care
Drake Talks About Remixes to Marvin's Room, Calls Them "Flattering"
The Cool Kids - Down to Ride (Interview/Video)
Lil Twist feat Mishon - New Money (Video)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

"If God Was One of Us, He’d Probly Drink Vodka"

"In this forest, I’m a lonely tree, my limbs are covered in tattoos and my roots, they run deep"
Ah yes the lead single off Radioactive from ya boy from Gadsden, @Yelawolf. No need to glamorize this one, it'll punch you square in the nose, kick you while you're down and spit in your face. It's been more than a minute that @LilJon has produced a high profile single, but he's back with his own brand of crunk rock.

Don't get too distracted by the raucous beat either cause Catfish Billy takes no prisoners with his ferociously out there verses. I'll even throw out a crazy comparison and say I haven't heard anyone with a delivery as grimy, but creative as Yelawolf since the likes of ODB (#RIP). I'll let that maronate a lil bit...September 27th, circle that on your calendar...#Radioactive
Yealwolf - Hard White in the Club (prod by Lil Jon)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

"Oh...Sometimes...I Gotta Get a Good Feeling"

On first listen of @official_flo's new single Good Feelin, I had two thoughts. The first was, this track has @davidguetta all over it, with the euro-club vibe on the beat. Second, that sounds like @Jeremih on the hook? Doesn't it? At least the beginning does, not sure about the high note at the end of the sample.

Turns out I was dead wrong on the Jeremih guess and Etta James is source of the soulful vocals on the track. The beat on the other hand is a little more contentious...or will turn contentious soon. As the story goes and the internet churns with rumors, the track below was marked as being produced by up and coming Swedish DJ @avicii. Yea, that same DJ I wrote about because he got a jack moved pulled on him by Leona Lewis who took his instrumental and ran with it #1 single style. His Facebook post below should sum up how he feels about the false collabo...
Eaaaaaasssyyy Aviiiiici! Shots fired across the bow! But, wait a second...NFW! Did he get beat-jacked AGAIN? The YouTube video below could be the reason why he's ackin' all high siddity.
Yup, that my friends is the second jack move this summer and sadly, all indications are pointing toward both being Top 10 singles. I'm sure this type of "sharing" and "sampling" happens all the time, but not on this scale where big record companies are blatantly stealing other DJ's beats and turning them into lead singles.

We'll see what happens with the litigation, but out of all this, I've gotten a chance to respect the work that Avicii is capable of. My advice would be ride the same wave that David Guetta, Benni Benassi and Afrojack have and embrace your growing world wide appeal. Judging by your FB reply above, it sounds like you're going to try and go with the "keepin it real" route by shunning that terrible American Hip Hop genre since that would be selling out. My answer to that...have fun making your thousands of kronas (currently 1/6 as valued as the US dollar), while leaving on the table potential millions by continuing to market yourself as an underground DJ. If you want to make the top 30 like the DJs mentioned above, you're gonna need to widen your fan base to America dude.

(Climbsdown off the high horse)...Aaaannyways, the track below will presumably land on Flo's sequel to Only One Flo (Part 1), wait for it...Only One Flo (Part 2). Yea you got it, not once, but twice we get a reminder that there can be only one! #HighlanderStyle. We'll see how much $$$ it will take to clear the sample from Avicii's grasp, but something tells me that when big money talks, even the most stubborn European DJs will listen...

Flo-Rida - Good Feelin

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