Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Ain't Talkin' Bout Apple But iMac"

What the hell, why not let a mix of young G's and OG's from south of the Bay Area have a crack at Drizzy's track The Motto? With the video in the editing room ready to drop this week, the hype will only continue for one of the most bangin' tracks in 2011. Obviously y'all recognize uncle @snoopdogg, but you may be hearing about Compton's own @defjamyg and LA's finest, @nipseyhussle. Both are steadily making a name for themselves and the remix below should lend credence as to why.

Only thing I wish I could have gotten out of the nice remix below is a different verse from @drake. You wanna talk about re-upping a single's potential, all that would have been needed is a fresh, new verse. Kinda #weaksauce that the version below is edited too, but beggars can't be choosers. Keep it locked for the real version...we keep it 100 in this area of the internet. Compton/LA area rap should never be censored under any circumstances. I can only think of one video to describe how I feel about the remix below being edited...
#Classic + Nick Swardson

Drake feat YG, Snoop & Nipsey Hustle - The Motto (LA Remix)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"I'm Straight Like 12:30"

Man @bobatl must have heard me raving about @mikeposner's new mixtape The Layover. Not even a full week after Mikey P dropped his front to back classic tape, Bobby Ray let loose his new tape, Every Play Is Crucial. On it you'll find features from @liltunchi, @tip, @eminem, @bigkrit, @bunbtrillog to go with production from Ryan Tedder and @iamjimjonsin...#Exhale. Yea, that's wassup, absolutely star studded like you'd expect from a studio album.

Below are my two favorite tracks that may get lost in the shuffle among the high powered collabos. The first is what you'd expect from track with @roscoedash on the hook. It's laid back, high energy with plenty of horns and a repeatable hook. Oh yea, don't sleep on the quotables B.O.B. sprays all over the track either.

B.O.B. feat Rosco Dash - Guest List (prod B.O.B. & Kutta)

All I needed to see on the second track is that Ryan Tedder was on the production credits. It's got a One Republic type of uniqueness to the beat, which is cool. It's another one of Bobby Ray's addictive sing alongs that you'll find yourself singing after a few listens. Go ahead and try it and don't be bashful about copping the mixtape, it's free and 37,000 have already downloaded it...#WorthThePricex10

B.O.B. feat Spodee - Wrong (prod Ryan Tedder)

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Drake Over My Dead Body Remix

Apologies for missing yesterday's post y'all. It's a rarity, but there are a handful of times in a year where I'm inundated with family stuff and just can't get something up. Back on the grind today though, starting with a picture (above) from @drake's new video shoot for The Motto featuring @MistahFAB and @e40. Why not invite the Bay area's finest on a video shoot for a song that's reppin' the 505 and 707. As an aside, is it becoming a new trend to make a single out of a bonus track? I say that because it makes sense to push the deluxe version hard to maximize the profit, but why it is only starting to work now for artists? #FoodForThought

Anyways, the real reason for this post is to shout out one of UK's finest DJ's in @StarSlingerUK. He managed to inject a dance-able rhythm to one of my favorite Take Care tracks. That's no small task considering how slow and melodic the original track sounds. Take notice of the chipmunk echo on the vocals too, nice touch. My only critique of the remix is how jumbled the sound becomes when adding in another element to the rhythm. Yes, you can still hear the vocals clearly, but it's a bit of chaos when all put together. If you're in the mood for chaos and are a fan of Drake, give this one a listen...otherwise, I'm more than happy referring you to the original, which I'll always like better than any other version...#TakeCare

Drake - Over My Dead Body (Star Slinger Remix)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"We All Want to Believe in a Beautiful Lie"

"What would you do if this was your last day on earth?
As for me, I'd be doin' exactly what I'm doin' now"
I've always been a big fan of @ryanleslie and I've been pretty clear about that from the beginning. Dude is a wizard with the keys, percussion and anything else you could imagine that would be in a beat. If you don't know what I mean or haven't been privy to all of his in-studio videos, you need to watch him in his element to understand...
From the start of the beat with the drums, to the layer after layer of syntheizer samples, it's really cool watching him do his thing. Shoot, he can even put most rappers to shame on the mic over his own beats. The complexity of all of his instrumentals become a lot more apparent when you can see all of the elements being added one by one.

The track below is scheduled to surface on his upcoming album Les is More, which was scheduled to drop a couple times already, only to be pushed back. R Les keeps telling us it's coming and it's slated for Fall 2011, so I'll remain hopeful, but mildly cynical that it'll drop before 2012. Whatever the case, it's going to be a great album and everyone should be grateful that a finish product will be delivered at any point considering how much adversity the album has underwent.

Ryan Leslie - Beautiful Lie (prod by Ryan Leslie)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Videos of the Week

In case you missed it, there were a whole lot of great performances last week at the American Music Awards. To see all the performances, feel free and visit idolator here. Also, you may have missed the brief lyrical spat that @ludacris had with @drake and @bigsean. I doubt much will come of it since none of them really preach negativity and they all still respect each other. Every rapper borrows from the next rapper at some point, so saying anyone is sampling from another artist is like saying you saw another human eat food and it was the first one you've ever seen do that...#DontTrip

Really cool seeing @flo_tweet cover Drake's new material too, don't miss that below...
Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa - Young, Wild and Free ft. Bruno Mars

Florence and the Machine Cover Drake's Take Care

David Guetta & Nicki Minaj Perform Turn Me On at the AMAs

Drake Performs Headlines at the AMAs

88 Keys feat Colin Munroe - Wake Up Call (Video)

Ludacris - Bada Boom (Drake & Big Sean Diss) Beef?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"I'm the Bomb, I'm Dynomite, Pyro"

New single off @tip's upcoming 2012 album Trouble Man. Pyro is supposedly the first "official" single, following the two promotional singles, Here Ye, Here Ye and I'm Flexin'. It's a self described, party track that has an upbeat, live band feel to it thanks in large part to @theebandgeeks. This is the first I've heard of Two Band Geeks, but I'm diggin' the beat on this one.

Trouble Man is slated to drop in February 2012, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it got pushed back because the folks at Gran Hustle find themselves at an impasse trying to clear samples and whittle down the 45 tracks that were recorded for the album. In the grand scheme of things, probably not a top 20 T.I. track, but still a worthy single. I also liked I'm Flexin', but I still have yet to hear the clear standout track that all T.I. albums are known for. It'll come soon enough and lord can only hope DJ Toomp is behind it.

Oh yea...Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

T.I. - Pyro (prod by Two Band Geeks)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"No Light to Guide My Way"

It's safe to say that chapter one of @wizardcud's journey into the realm of psychedelic rock is now complete. Last night he let loose a flurry of tweets forecasting the release of his new track. The boldest statement is shown below...
Is Break a little different than the usual sound of his music? Slightly, in that the instrumentation is more focused on heavy, tripped out guitar riffs rather than beats and percussion. Content wise though, it's the same brand of loneliness and despair that we've become accustomed to with his first two albums.

It is revolutionary? Maybe in a sense that no other Hip Hop artists have tried to channel their inner Pink Floyd, but maybe that was he and @dotdagenius are going for? Regardless of reason, it's definitely different and I still haven't wrapped my mind around whether or not I'm a fan of it yet. I can tell you I'm excited that I'm cautiously excited to hear WZRD's debut album due out January 30th. Despite the isolated feel of the track below, Cudi hinted at their being radio friendly content on the way. No word on what the new album will be titled, but you can bet the end product will be polarizing in that critics will either hate on it to the extreme or call it revolutionary...#ICallItInteresting

WZRD - Break (prod by Dot da Genius)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"I See Some Ladies in Here Tonight I Might Marry"

Unless you're @thecoolkids, @RYANLESLIE or @LUPEFIASCO, it's rare to have an album as delayed as @YOUNGJEEZY's Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition. Jeezy began making records for the album two years ago and it's finally going to be released on December 20th. To date, the two singles we've heard are Lose My Mind (and remix feat @drake) and F.A.M.E. feat @tip.

The track below has yet to be labeled a single, but there's no doubt it'll be one of the first tracks everyone will skip to because of the name power on the features. It's been a real long while since we've heard new verses fromthree stacks, but after this one and Drake's The Real Her, I'm hoping the rumors of a 2012 Outkast album start gaining some steam. Shouts out to @m16beats who did his thing on providing a simple instrumental that serves it's purpose in enforcing the celebratory tone of the track. All in all, not my favorite track, but it's cool getting to hear three industry heavyweights on a track together.

#TM103...Dec 20th

Young Jeezy feat Jay-Z & Andre 3000 - I Do (prod by M16)

Monday, November 21, 2011

"You Could Go Hard or You Can Go Home"

This has the making of being the most hyped and overplayed single of 2011. It doesn't take an idiot to figure out that putting @Jagger_M, @iamwill and @jlo on a track together will result in the largest possible demographic reach when you factor in the different genres. Call this the perfect Super Bowl track because it's @bep style pop, which is like crack these days and correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't all three performed at the Super Bowl? Not sure on J-Lo, but you get my point.

This is slated to appear on Will's new album fashionably titled #willpower. First of probably many hash tagged album names this next year I'd imagine. One of those consume it before it gets to the masses type of tracks. For me I'll give it a week before I leave it to the hyenas of contemporary radio. This, the epitome of pop...#EvenMyParentsWouldLikeIt

Will.I.Am feat Jennifer Lopez & Mick Jagger - T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sample Justice: Mike Posner Takes on Elton John & Oasis

Want in on a little secret? There's a reason why mixtapes can sometimes trump studio albums when it comes to quality. Two words...Sample...Clearance. Ask yourself, do you think @Oasis and Elton John would allow @mikeposner to sample their biggest hit for free out of the kindness of their heart? FOH! Course not!

So what's the best way to get around it? Make a free mixtape featuring a bunch of great artists and offer it for free on datpiff on a customized page with a countdown to hype it up. Today it will drop in it's entirety and it's an absolute beast as a whole. I can say that without hearing all of the tracks because I already really like four of the tracks. They're not only noteworthy samples of classic tracks featuring some of my favorite rappers (@bigkrit & @BunBTrillOG), but even more amazingly, they're produced by Mike Posner himself. To a layman, that may not mean much, but flipping two classic and trying to mold them into your own sound is not a small task.

Even better, Mike understands the value of making great music to increase his buzz. How did the tracks leak prior to the release of the mixtape? See below, it's simple...
Suffice to say he's making a lot of good music of late and making my job as a blogger easy as hell. There's no telling when Posner's sophomore album Sky High will drop, but if it's half as awesome as his newest mixtape, it'll be pretty epic. After one lap around The Layover, I see no reason why it can't be in the discussion for best mixtape of the year. To put it simple, Sample Justice was served in both instances below, no hatin' over here, he did that...#BunBVoice

Mike Posner feat Bun-B - Rocketman (prod by Mike Posner)
|Download Mixtape

Mike Posner feat Big K.R.I.T. - Wonderwall (prod by Mike Posner)
|Download Mixtape

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"You're Like a Laserlight Burning Down on Me"

Continuing his onslaught on American Dance/Pop music, @davidguetta cooked up another heat rock. This time he hooked up with @jessiejofficial on a track that was included on the Nov 9th re-release of her latest album Who You Are. Seems to be the trend these days to make a really solid single post-album launch and use it to give your latest album sales a boost. Can't hate on that and to be fair, you can still cop the individual track via iTunes if need be.

The formula is the same, but like Coca Cola, why fix it if it ain't broken? With the build up leading to the chorus, I'd bet the farm that this will be on more than a few college pre-gaming mixes. Ah yes, the "we drank last night, but need some upbeat music to rally" mix. Y'all know what I'm talmbout, press play and break out that 30 case of Stones or Natty and rally the troops...#ILovedCollege

Jessie J - Laserlight (prod by David Guetta)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Videos of the Week

Man, I'm pretty solid on the fact that @coldplay is on my concert bucket list. They definitely play in concert and their SNL appearance was a testament to that on a much smaller, more intimate scale. Pretty cool to see @drake bring out @MACHINEGUNKELLY while performing in his hometown of Cleveland. Is it me or does it appearance wise like @jackiechain74 isn't what you'd expect when you think of Southern Rap? That's what's great about Hip Hop, you can find a dude who doesn't look like he'd fit in completely blend with two of the best in @BunBTrillOG and @bigkrit. Don't sleep on that @Wale album either, it's been out a few weeks on iTunes...

Jackie Chain feat Bun-B & Big K.R.I.T. - Parked Outside (Video)

Wale feat Miguel - Lotus Flower Bomb (Video)

Drake Performs Make Me Proud & Brings Out Machine Gun Kelly in Cleveland

Coldplay Performs Paradise on SNL

Coldplay Performs Every Teardrop is a Waterfall on SNL

Taio Cruz - Troublemaker (Video)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"I'm Throwed to the Side Like a Lateral"

Recently, every time I look for new music it seems like @bigkrit's name is all over it. I can't confirm it, but based on context clues, i.e. the slightly screwed hook, I'm guessing K.R.I.T. was behind the beat. Put it this way, if you're not singing the hook to yourself after the second listen, you must not have an appreciation for Southern Hip Hop. Even better, @BunBTrillOG chipped in on a verse, which served as icing on the cake for an already awesome track.

@bobatl's new mixtape, Epic: Every Play is Crucial is where the track below,5 On the Kush, is first supposed to land. I say first because the track is also tentatively slated to land on his new studio album Strange Clouds in March 2012. No firm date on the mixtape, but since his first single off Strange Clouds is already out, I'd be willing to bet coming soon is a safe bet.

Anybody else really enjoying all this great Southern Hip Hop that's dropped lately? I know I'm biased because much of my love for Hip Hop music originated from songs that sound exactly like the track below, but it's really cool seeing the impact K.R.I.T. is beginning to have on Southern Hip Hop. He's doing his best to keep the screwed and chopped flame alive by evolving its original sound to be more contemporary. When I say contemporary, I mean most screwed and chopped tracks don't ever make it to singles, but K.R.I.T.'s sampling of the sound is less abrasive and easier to listen to. Evidence? #PressPlayBelow...

B.O.B. feat Bun-B & Big K.R.I.T. - 5 On the Kush

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"I’m Embarrassed, I’m Feeling Like a Suicidal Terrorist"

Out of all the tracks that ended up on the final tracklist for Take Care, one of the most overlooked tracks will end up being an interlude. I use the word overlooked because for some reason, the leaked version of Take Care had track #7 (below) attached to the end of Marvin's Room. Since most folks had already heard Marvin's Room, it's not a unreasonable to think that most people who copped the leak, completely missed @kendrick_lamar's small, but potent contribution to the album.

This is exactly why Kendrick is rapidly ascending to the top of Hip Hop. At first, his alien, disoriented flow is awkward. Then all the sudden the beat rolls in and the delivery he unleashes a perfectly measured barrage of lyrical mastery. The speed, timing and tone of every syllable perfectly matched the beat to a T. As simple as the instrumental (provided by @ovo40) ended up being, the gentle, rolling rhythm is incredibly soothing.

As far as interludes go, it doesn't get better than this. Drake was nowhere to be found on the interlude, but the addition to the album is going to be huge. I'm pleased that the final iTunes version of Take Care will have this as a separate track, rather than attached to the end of track 6. On a related note, if you like what you hear below, make sure and give a listen to Section 80, which was one of the more slept on albums in 2011. Kendrick may not get his big break til Detox, but in my mind, he's already arrived...

Drake feat Kendrick Lamar - Buried Alive (Interlude)(prod by Noah "40" Shebib) (iTunes)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"I Got This Drank in My Cup"

If @1yungchris can come up with a single that every artist in Hip Hop wants to be a part of, then anything is possible. I preface my review of the track below with that statement because you probably haven't heard of Kirko Bangz yet. Proof that the codeine and promethazine, white styrofoam cup with a Jolly Rancher is alive and well, Kirko fully represents H-town and everything that it stands for.

What's interesting to note is that there hasn't ever been a big R&B artist to ever come out of the Houston area. Will @kirkobangz be the first one? Hard to tell, but his lead single has Hip Hop talking, which is a good enough start to a career. Check his new video for Drank in My Cup below to see what everyone is talmbout...

Who says autotune is dead?...#NotMe. There's always room for thuggish R&B and that's what you can expect below. It'll be interesting to see which big name Hip Hop acts hop on the remix, but my vote is for Twista. It'll probably end up being some combination of Lil Wayne, T.I. and T-Pain on the remix, but I can always hope. Keep an eye out for Kirko's new mixtape Progression 2 and feel free to peruse Progression over at datpiff or the remix to his track What Yo Name Iz feat Wale, Big Sean and Bun-B if your interest is piqued...

Kirko Bangz - Drank in My Cup (iTunes)

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Take a Shot For Me..."

"May your neighbors respect you
Trouble neglect you, angels protect you
And heaven accept you..."
As promised, I told y'all I was going to take a few laps around Take Care before I made any judgments. Now that I've got my cardio in and I've had a chance to figure out which tracks I find myself gravitating to when I browse through the album, I've picked a favorite in Shot For Me. The timeless, nostalgic feel of the track is downright addicting. To start with, you've got @OVO40 providing the perfect slow bass with snaps over heavy background synths. Add in an SWV - Anything sample, a double shot of harmony and emotional lyrics that conclude with a perfectly executed toast by @drake, and you've got the makings of a really great slow jam.

There still isn't anybody close to as emotionally accessible than Drake in Hip Hop and this track is a great example of why that is a fact. The struggle to try and maintain certain relationships during his ascension to success is clearly something that he's needed to vent about through his music. It's as if he still misses that girl from back home who didn't really believe in his lofty dreams and now that he's worked to make those dreams come true and proved her wrong, he's subtly saying "I knew I would make it and you should have believed in me." Keeping it 100, past relationships are a great source of motivation and maybe that's another reason why I find Drake's music so accessible. True or not, there's a lot of bits and pieces to hang onto in every one of his verses, which is why so many people listen when he talks.

Take Care hits iTunes in a matter of hours at midnight tonight and both you and I should do our part in showing our appreciation...#CopIt

Drake - Take a Shot (prod by Noah "40" Shebib)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Exotic Dancer Strut, I Would Tip You For Walkin'"

I should have known why I liked the new remix to @DEVISHOT's track, Kiss My Lips, so much. One Google search later, lo and behold, @thecataracs were responsible for the beat. Now before you go getting excited that this track might have been on that Dev album you copped back in September called The Night the Sun Came Up, it's not. Instead, it's a remix of the album version, so you'll probably have to wait to grab the single on iTunes when it's posted instead.

I wish more artists would flip non-single tracks into singles by allowing "(insert Hip Hop artist)" to add a verse. In this case it was @MYFABOLOUSLIFE, who is about as good as you could get for a token hot 16. It adds the spice that some otherwise average tracks need to become relevant. Now I'm not saying I still wouldn't have shouted out Dev on this track sans Fab because of original Cataracs beat, but the verse made it even more post-worthy. Let me know if I'm off base on that, but pop tracks with Hip Hop verses seem to be the formula for success these days on the radio.

It's probably going to be tough for Dev to shake the Ke$ha comparisons, but as long as they both keep making upbeat, catchy pop music, I'll continue to be a fan of both equally...#UpbeatPopWithSassWins

Dev feat Fabolous - Kiss My Lips (Remix) (prod by The Cataracs)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"1, 2, 3 and 4 Come On Let Me Know if You Want Some More"

Sometimes timing can be unfortunate when it comes to releasing a single. Let me clarify, sometimes when an artist releases a new single within a week of their album dropping, it has the potential to get upstaged by other tracks on the album as a result of their album leaking early. Case in point @rihanna's new single You Da One (scheduled to hit iTunes tomorrow) compared to the show stopping potential of her collaboration with @s_c_ on Talk That Talk.

In the grand scheme of things, it probably won't matter too much in the long run because both songs are legit and will end up getting massive airplay and lead to the ultimate multi-platinum goal for her new album Talk That Talk. Combine both tracks with her lead single,We Found Love and you've got one hell of a start to an album. You'll find too, that the best part of the track or catchiest element is undoubtedly the beat provided by Stargate. He did wonders with @REALWIZKHALIFA's singles and this one should end up being just as successful. Don't overlook @esterdean's influence on the track, presumably on the writing credits. She's penned more than a few great tracks on her own.

In taking a look at the final tracklist of Talk That Talk, there's still an @AlexDaKid track, two more Stargate produced songs and a No ID beat in the mix. In other words, if you thought the first three tracks were good, there's a whole lot more where that came from. Talk That Talk drops on iTunes on November 21st and there's no word yet on when the track below will be a single, but you can bet it will eventually get the same airplay as Run This Town. Add her release to Drake, Yelawolf, Pac Div and you've got a absolutely stacked next couple weeks of releases. Strange timing? I think not...#BlackFriday

Rihanna feat Jay-Z - Talk That Talk (prod by Stargate)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Videos of the Week

Not a huge week for videos, but all the tweens will appreciate the new @BrunoMars video with all the twilight clips. Cool to see @drake perform Make Me Proud in Happy Valley during a week where there wasn't a lot of pride on campus. It's interesting too, to hear an artist like @BunBTrillOG chip in his 2 cents on the whole scandal. It's going to get worse before it gets better, I just hope all those allegations about pimping little kids doesn't end up being true. #NeverLeaveYourKidsAlone
Bruno Mars - It Will Rain (Video)

Drake Perfroms Make Me Proud at Penn State

Bun-B Speaks on Slaughterhouse and Penn State Scandal

Big Sean Speaks With Peter Bailey on NBC NiteCap

Wale Performs Lotus Flower Bomb on Jimmy Kimmel with Miguel

Wiz Khalifa's WK Today Celebrating Amber Rose's B-Day

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Give 'em Hell, Turn Their Heads, Gonna Live Life Til We're Dead"

Leave it to Ryan Tedder to turn an otherwise mundane track into a crescendo of emotion filled vitality. That's the best explanation I have for @GYMCLASSHEROES's new single The Fighter off their upcoming album, The Papercut Chronicles II. From the soft, piano lead in to the rolling march of the beat, it's as if @TRAVIEMCCOY decided to throw a few verses on a well put together @onerepublic.

It's a well put together single and should push the sales meter just as much as their lead single Stereo Hearts did. Coincidentally, their new album will be out the same day as Take Care on November 15th. With four singles and 11 tracks on the album, it's packed full of goodness and repeat-ability. This one had me singin' in the car and I'd suspect it could have a similar effect on you...#JustWait

Gym Class Heroes feat Ryan Tedder - The Fighter

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"Workin' With the Negatives Could Make For Better Pictures"

If you're looking for a typical, "what you'd expect when @drake and & @liltunchi collaborate" track, you'll probably be in the group of fans that put HYFR near the top of your list of best Take Care tracks. On the track, Drake goes slightly out of his element with a machine gun flow on the first verse before pulling down the landing gear and smoothly passing the baton to Weezy on the hook. The back and forth storytelling and one liners offer a constant reminder of why they both comfortably sit atop the Rap game when it comes to trend setting and creativity.

One big thing that hopefully won't go overlooked in the construction of Take Care is the Canada-heavy, home grown production. With multiple production credits going to @producertminus and @ovo40, the success of the album will have a lot to do with their efforts on the album. It's interesting too, that @boi1da only contributed production on one track (Headlines) after providing a couple beats on Thank Me Later. Don't worry for a minute, though, because the continuity of Drake's well-known sound has continued in an even more original form with his new album. Jury is still out on the verdict for Take Care, but you better believe the lyrical content and meaning behind the album is as deep and personal as you'd hope...#Nov15th

Drake feat Lil Wayne - HYFR (prod by T-Minus)
|Cop It

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Big K.R.I.T. is the New South

Even though I could probably spend the next two weeks dissecting every Take Care track a day at a time, I'm trying to mix in a little variety with the non-stop Drake . Hopefully that's a good thing, even though my analytics tell me that my @Drake posts garner the most attention. Anyways, there seems to be a growing trend in Southern Hip Hop to include @bigkrit on a lot of material. We're not just talking obscure features like on up and coming Alabama native @jackiechain74's new track (below). We're talkin' household names like Luda, T.I.P and The Roots.

That may be surprising to some, but I was sold every since I heard Hometown Heroes with @Yelawolf. That track is a perfect example of why K.R.I.T. has not only been able to find a niche, but further the screwed and chopped styles that artists like DJ Screw, Pimp C, Three Six Mafia and 8ball & MJG created. What was once a facet of underground Hip Hop has bubbled to the top thanks to a lot of high profile singles by the aforementioned artists. I was fearful that with the deaths of DJ Screw and Pimp C, screwed/chopped Hip Hop music would go by the way of the dinosaur. Luckily, with the death of Pimp Chad came a new Southern messiah from Mississippi that fully understands and is readily able to reproduce the slow, drawn out samples that fans of screwed/chopped music came to love.

I present to you, two exhibits below that put on full display K.R.I.T.'s talents as both a producer and artist. The first will be the lead single off his forthcoming album Live From the Underground, due out in 2012. He got on camera to discuss why his album was pushed back from a Sept 2011 release to an early 2012 release.

It's interesting hearing him talk about sampling and how it slows down his creative process. Man...wouldn't life be great if every artist could sample whatever they wanted without repercussions? #Anarchy

If you're within the confines of your household and not with any youngins, feel free and peruse the NSFW-style video for Money on the Floor. It really doesn't get much better than hearing @dareal_8ball & @pimptypemjg over a slow Southern beat. Takes me back to 8ball's double disk album Lost that had me hooked on Memphis Rap like 13 years ago. One of the coolest things about Hip Hip is seeing artists like Big K.R.I.T. collaborated with veteran artists that have been in the game for decades. Mixing old with new can be toxic, but when it comes to Southern Rap, it's a treat.

Big K.R.I.T. feat 8ball, MJG & 2 Chainz - Money on the Floor
(prod by Big K.R.I.T.)

Jackie Chain feat Big K.R.I.T. & Bun-B - Parked Outside
(prod by Big K.R.I.T)

Monday, November 07, 2011

"Jealousy is Just Love and Hate at the Same Time"

Welp...the day we've all been waiting for. Some liken it to an early Christmas, but if I were a betting man, I would not be afraid to predict that the majority of my presents this Christmas will not be as fulfilling as the first listen of Take Care. All it took was a few listens to tracks like the one below, Over My Dead Body and Take a Shot and I was sold. On first listen, the comparisons to So Far Gone are fair and have the potential to undersell the potential of the album.

The best part of today's leak? Drake's reaction or lack thereof. In a world where artists are quick to get insecure and lash out via Twitter, in essence biting the hands that ultimately feed them, Drake instead took the high road by remaining positive that it only leaked a week before it hits shelves.

Isn't he the type of dude you just want to support? He knows your mind is mostly made up if you choose to download the leak, but is so grounded and confident in his product that he has the audacity to look a potential theif in the eye and say, "You know what, you're gonna feel so damn guilty when you listen to this that you're going to want to pay for it." I paraphrase, but in essence that's what he's saying and I find his demeanor somewhere in between badass and exemplary. You're going to be better off by listening to him, simple as that.

I never thought I'd compare any release of his to his first mixtape and maybe I'm a victim of the moment who has a very skewed view, but the indications are pointing toward greatness for @drake's sophomore album. I rarely have time to do album reviews, but I WILL make an exception for this album in the coming week or so. At the risk of making too many knee jerk reactions from one lap around Take Care, I'm gonna use a little self restraint and let it soak in a bit before I gush too much. For now, enjoy the first track below and let the @OVO40 beat marinade a bit as Drizzy kicks off his new story with help from @chantalkreviaz...

Drake - Over My Dead Body (prod by Noah "40" Shebib)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

"I Never Sleep With My Back to You"

It's getting to a point where I refuse to believe @frank_ocean is in any way related to the debauchery of @OFWGKTA. Not only was nostalgia, Ultra (damn near 1/4 of a million DLs on datpiff by the way) a complete 180 from everything the group has done as a collective, but everything I've heard post-mixtape has been just as heart-felt R&B filled. Case in point a new-ish song called Back, that may or may not be on his condensed EP version of Ultra titled nostagia, Lite. While there's no firm release date of the EP, you can bet it will be sort of an all-star version of Ultra, with a few new ones to make sure that people who heard the mixtape, still buy the album.

There was plenty of good reason why Kanye and Jigga recruited Frank for a few hooks on Watch the Throne. His brand of soul and harmony is smooth and unique, which is hard to do in genre filled with so many artists that sound the same. There's something to be said for freshness and he's clearly got it. Shouts out to @DapoTheGreat on the production too, it's easy for an artist to succeed with a piano driven beat like the one on Back. Lots more greatness to come, for now I'm content with the thought of Frank Ocean becoming such a household name.

Frank Ocean - Back (prod by Dapo)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

"I Had Money When the DVD Was a VCR"

Cyphers and remixes like what you will see experience are a big reason why Shady Records 2.0 is about to become a juggernaut. I must have fallen asleep the whole month of October when I missed posting Shady Records' ridiculous 9 minute cypher (brought to you in part by @Sprite, @bet and hosted by @realdjpremier). If I were you, I would open up another window with Control N (another tab wouldn't make sense here, trust me) and follow the lightning fast lyrics word for word (brought to you by Rap Genius).

That cypher is awesome on so many levels because every one of the artists bring a unique delivery, yet all are armed with the same next level lyrical creativity. It epitomizes the reason why I've always been a huge fan of every Slaughterhouse rapper, Yelawolf and Eminem. They use words as weapons within their music and find ways to weave in pop culture references that make you think. I'm not sure whether people don't care or just plain can't keep up with the intellect they deliver on tracks, but if you take the time to read what they're actually saying, it's usually entertaining on a nerdy-funny level. Case in point @joebudden's line:

"You Super Mario thugs is in the wrong room
Gotta figure here, you won't get bigger if you on shrooms"

I said in a post last week that I wasn't a big fan of @Yelawolf's lead single Hard White in the Club, off his upcoming album Radioactive. That all changes when you mix in @Tip and @DaRealSlaughter and subtract @LILJON background yelling. Hard to decide whether I like the cypher or remix better, it's more like which high class flavor you're feeling, Eminem or T.I...#CantGoWrong

Yelawolf feat T.I. & Slaughterhouse - Hard White in the Club (Remix)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Videos of the Week

Key takeaway from this week's lineup of videos is that @common has a knack for producing art. Not only was Blue Sky a moving song to listen to, but the video was equally as motivational, emotional, well put together and symbolic all at once. As far as under appreciated artists in Hip Hop, there are few who have done it as long and been as consistent as Common has over the years...#Respect

 Enjoy your Friday night folks...
Common - Blue Sky (Video)

Big K.R.I.T. feat T.I. - I'm Flexin' (Video)

The Roots feat Big K.R.I.T. - Make My (Video)

Pac Div - Posted (Video)

Jason Derulo - Breathing (Video)

Throwback Drake Video Pre-Young Money

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Hank Gathers I'ma Ball 'Til My Heart Stops"

Even though @NickinMinaj may have the flamboyance and swagger to steal the show when it comes to females in Young Money, @shanell_snl was touted the Young Money Princess far before she ever came along. Seems @liltunechi, @drake and all the folks who rep YMCMB are fully aware that you probably don't know who Shanell is and see that as a problem. The track below should serve as a proper introduction because when Young Money get's together on a lead single, you better believe there will be no half steppin'.

Not only do Drizzy and Weezy contribute verses on the track, but @COOLANDDRE chipped on the production, making it a fully star studded track from front to back. What I like best about it are the samples all over the place. They including Paul Davis's I Go Crazy (background jingles) and most recently Luther Vandross's Closer I Get To You. I love the retro samples, believe it or not I Go Crazy was a top 10 hit back in 1977 and you may remember Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway doing the original version of Closer I Get to You in 1978. That some classic, classic R&B. It doesn't get more timeless than those two slow jams...(Respect the #BMM hashtag)

No word yet on when this will surface on an album or what the title will be, but you can bet it'll get more than a few spins on Top 40 radio with the heavy names on the track. Don't sleep on Shanell man, she's got sort of an angelic Keri Hilson-type powerful voice (exhibit A). The real question should be who is the second best record company in Hip Hop? #Rhetorical

Shanell feat Drake & Lil Wayne - So Good (prod by Cool n Dre)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"Press the Stunt Button, Crash Dummy"

One listen is all it takes to figure out why this track is so dope. The beat, presumably provided by @double0kidz, is simply disgusting and addictive to the 10th power. Sure it helps that the verses by @NaledgeKIDZ and @KILLAKYLEON are up to par, but take out all that synth drum ruckus going on in the background and it's not a standout track.

This is slated to be @KIDZINTHEHALL's upcoming album Occasion, due out on November 22nd. They are in a rare class of Hip Hop group like @chiddybang, @ITSPACDIV and @thecoolkids who are talented and unique enough with their music that they can keep impressing their grassroots, underground audience, while managing to garner more commercial success with every album. I'd say their newest release should continue on that path. Put it this way, if they're saying that Occasion is much better than their last album Land of Make Believe, then I'm all in on this one because I was a big supporter of LOMB. I still haven't gotten sick of Take Over the World, that track is timeless in every aspect. I can only hope to find a track equal to it on their new effort...#StayTuned

Kidz in the Hall feat Killa Kyleon - Crash Dummy
| iTunes

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"You Only Live Once, That’s the Motto...YOLO"

I can honestly say I've never heard a @drake track like the one below. It's as if he decided to channel The Bay Area by unleashing his inner @e40 or @tooshort or Mac Dre (as he references in the track). I say E-40 because even though I've never been a huge fan of him as a rapper, I've got a ton of respect for the Hip Hop culture he played a huge part in shaping as a reckless, lyrical swaggerninja© (respect the copyright). The way Drizzy and @liltunchi go in on this track remind me of his unabated audacity on the mic, especially with the booty shaking bass brought to you in part by the versatile @producertminus.

I'm happy that this was a (somewhat) OVO sanctioned release and as par for the course, pretty solid body art on the post. As an FYI, YOLO means Y.ou O.nly L.ive O.nce, like the hook says. No need to go all the way to Urban Dictionary, I put it in the title in an attempt to state the obvious. Even though this is slated as an iTunes bonus track, I'd still give it top billing as far as tracks we've heard so far on Take Care. Peep the official tracklist below and feel free to become visibly excited that you don't recognize the majority of the tracks...#Anticipation + #Nov15th
1. Over My Dead Body
2. Shot For Me
3. Headlines
4. Crew Love (Feat The Weeknd)
5. Take Care (Feat. Rihanna)
6. Marvin’s Room / Buried Alive Interlude
7. Under Ground Kings
8. We’ll Be Fine
9. Make Me Proud (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
10. Lord Knows (Feat. Rick Ross)
11. Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude
12. Doing It Wrong
13. The Real Her (Feat. Lil Wayne & Andre 3000)
14. HYFR (Hell Ya Fu**in Right) (Feat. Lil Wayne)
15. Look What You’ve Done
16. Practice
17. The Ride
iTunes Bonus Tracks:
18. Hate Sleeping Alone
20. The Motto (Feat. Lil Wayne)

Drake feat Lil Wayne - The Motto (prod by T-Minus)

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