Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Frozen in Time, Always Be Mine, Baby Boy You'll Be Young Forever"

About a month and a half ago I posted the tagged version of the track below and hinted at it being the lead candidate for best track on her upcoming Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album, due out April 3rd. My opinion hasn't change in the slightest after taking a lap around her newest release. @thedoctorluke produced track is every bit as catchy as her lead single Starships and proves that despite her reputation for being solely a lyricist, she can carry a tune and hold her own on a ballad-sounding track.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on this becoming a single at some point because it's so ridiculously repeatable and catchy. It'll probably follow Va Va Voom (which is different from the Bassnectar/Lupe VaVa Voom that just dropped this week), which seems to be destined to become a single too. Head on over to Billboard for a track by track review if you're eager to start developing opinions on the album before it drops this week. Early indications point toward it being one of the more notable Hip Hop albums in 2012...#WellSee

Nicki Minaj - Young Forever (prod by Dr. Luke)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Videos of the Week March 30th

After watching trailer #2 of Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming movie The Dictator, I find myself getting reeled in. I had no idea @john_c_reilly, Anna Faris, and even better, Jason Mantzoukas(aka Raffi from The League) are in the movie. I was 50/50 on Borat, but this one looks like it has potential beyond the sometimes tiresome awkward situational humor that Sacha is known for.

You need to see @drake's impersonation of @liltunchi too. Not only is it on point, he's got his whole joking to serious demeanor down to a T! That's good stuff, almost as good as this tonight...#CyaThere

Dev feat Enrique Iglesis - Naked (Video)

The Dictator (Trailer)

Drake Channels His Inner Lil Wayne (Video)

T.I. feat Travis Porter & Young Dro - Hot Wheels (Video)

Timbaland Talks About Making Are You That Somebody with Aaliyah

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Don't Be Scared Just Take it to the Head"

I was just thinking today, when was the last notable Hip Hop soundtrack? I'm talking like The Nutty Professor, The Players Club or Friday type of compilations that had a hot new song from just about anybody and everybody in Hip Hop. Other than a few exceptions, they went by the wayside like Surge and Crystal Pepsi.

Like any window of opportunity that closes, another one opens. The extinction created opportunities for DJ's like @djkhaled and @djdrama, who have filled that void with similar All-Star collaborations. Below is the newest collabo featuring @liltunchi, @chrisbrown, @nickiminaj and @rickyrozay off Khaled's upcoming album Kiss the Ring. If you don't pay attention closely, you might miss @therealrunners on the production credits. It's not their typical show stealing beat, but it does the trick for the new mid-tempo single that should find it's way into the top 40 soon enough.

DJ Khaled feat Chris Brown Nicki Minaj Rick Ross & Lil Wayne - Take it to the Head (prod by The Runners)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"This Ain't Rated PG, This Rated PJ"

If Starships was the extravagant appetizer, Champion is the meat and potatoes of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. I say that because the lead single was meant to be indulged by the masses, whereas real Hip Hop fans will have more of an appreciation for the stripped down, lyrics driven song below. Usually I'm quick to pounce on a @drake verse, but I gotta tip the cap to @nas for going 187 on his verse. When I heard his new track, The Don, featuring a beat produced by the late Heavy D, I was hopeful there would be plenty more coming from Nasir. Guess I was right to be hopeful...

The track below will surface on Nicki's new album Roman Reloaded, due out next Tuesday, April 3rd. There are a couple tracks on the album I'm already fond of and will probably end up posting in the next week. Keep it locked for that and shout out to @dainternz for the smooth instrumental that does a great job of keeping it simple and allowing a few of the best to do what the do on the mic...#GreatLyricists

Nicki Minaj feat Drake, Young Jeezy & Nas - Champion (prod by Da Internz)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Justin Bieber Wants to Be Your Boyfriend

Now that @justinbieber has more million followers (19) than he is years old (18), it's safe to say he is probably the most popular artist ever to be that age. Maybe it was a coincidence that the Social Networking revolution happened as soon as he was making it big, but you gotta admit, getting 60 mentions per second twenty four hours of the day is some pimp shit. Even better, out of the 65 million tweets that are posted daily, three out of every 100 tweets concern the Biebs. An employee of Twitter was quoted saying, "At any moment, Justin Bieber uses 3 per cent of our infrastructure. Racks of our servers are dedicated to him." Oh yea, that was back in 2010 too...#GTFOHWT

The real question is, does he even need to market his music? I ask because, let's say only one out of 19 twitter followers who hang on his every word buy his album. That's still a platinum album solely on a small fraction (5.2%) his followers, which is beyond nuts. I used to be proud that I was on his bandwagon right after One Time (which now has 288 million+ views on YouTube), but what's the point anymore. I don't say that out of anger or disgust, more out of exhaustion. I mean I still like his music, but it get's tough to keep cheering for the undefeated team after a while if you know what I mean.

Commentary aside, I do like his @mikeposner produced Whisper Song sounding new single Boyfriend. As soon as I heard the intro, all I was waiting for was the line "wait til you see my d***!", anybody else think that on first listen? I would have gained so much respect for him if he would have went that route (#StreetCred). His new single is scheduled to appear on his upcoming album Believe, due out sometime in 2012. It's every bit as sing along as you'd expect, but I can't hate too much on the inclusion of the acoustic guitar and subtly mischievous whisper tone. The shelf life on this one will be like a comet in the sky for me, but that isn't going to prevent me from sharing it before it gets pounded into your skull by top 40 radio...#YoureWelcome

Justin Bieber - Boyfriend (prod by Mike Posner)

Monday, March 26, 2012

David Banner and Big K.R.I.T. Love Mississippi

If @THEREALBANNER wasn't enough to put the state of Mississippi on the Hip Hop map, the combination of his continuous presence and the emergence of @bigkrit has officially it's relevance with a concrete stamp. You wouldn't think that Southern flavored Hip Hop would have anything to do with classic R&B, but with the help of @mr_lee713, they managed to flip Jodeci's classic Love U 4 Life into a bangin' track. Peep the original below if you need a refresher and managed to avoid every school dance when you were growing up in the 90s...

The single is supposed to surface on David Banner's upcoming mixtape, Sex Lies and Video Games due out on May 22nd. The mixtape is part of "The Movement" for artists to start controlling their own licensed content. The idea came from comedian @louisck when he performed and recorded his set "Live at the Beacon." Below is an excerpt taken from David Banner's website explaining himself...
"The goal of Sex, Drugs & Video Games is to show the world urban music is still valuable. And how am I going to do that? Well, I’m glad you asked. I need 2 million of you to download this mixtape for free (click the link below), then I need the same 2 million of you to donate at least $1 to the movement, but feel free to donate more! There is no maximum donation.

And what’s the “movement” you may ask? THIS MOVEMENT IS TO START CONTROLLING OUR OWN MUSIC, MOVIES, AND CONTENT… PERIOD! WE ARE NOT SIMPLY CHARACTERS IN A VIDEO GAME being controlled by the invisible hand. Once the goal is met, I’m going to shoot a movie that will drop May 22, 2013, a portion will go to charity. Big shout out to Louie C.K. for the motivation!"
Honestly, I like what he and Louie are doing. They're cutting out the middle man and trying to legitimately get compensated for what they did without having to deal with fees and securing their own content. It feels like a navigation of the grey area that is online music right now because it's very much so against locking down content with chains like DRM and it's trying to persuade people who download for free to have a conscience and give a couple bucks for a piece of property that someone else is providing for your entertainment. I love outside of the box ideas like this and I hope it catches on to a certain extent because the business model of online music will always be flawed because technology is always one step ahead and the people who enjoy music don't want to get raked over the coals for increasingly high album costs. I dream that someday there will be a happy medium with ideas like "The Movement," but I fear that it'll always be a cat and mouse game that ends in a lot of frustration.

For our own personal gain, David and K.R.I.T. put together this nice visual display of the track. Don't be afraid to support him on his quest to get his bread up for entertaining y'all...#CreativeCompensation

David Banner feat Big K.R.I.T. - Believe

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Vava Voom Enter the Room, This the Tune, Bada Bing Bada Boom"

It's hard to describe the sound of the track below, but that's mostly because I've only started to try and wrap my head around this Dubstep movement. At first, it sounds like a bouncy, bass-infested Hip Hop track with carnival synths and a cotton candy coated hook. Then around the 2:44 mark, it flips the Dub-switch and @bassnectar does his thing driving the track into a wawa down spiral to finish the track. I'm going to play Captain Obvious here and say Vava Voom sounds pretty delicious if you've got a sub-woofer in deck. It's the lead single off Bassnectar's album Vava Voom, due out April 10th. Feel free and give his quick and creative album preview a listen below...

If you remember, this isn't the first Bassneck @LUPEFIASCO collabo I've posted. Couple months back I posted Lupe's remix of the Bassnectar produced track
Lights originally by @elliegoulding. At the time I had never given the time of day to Dubstep, but the fact that an artist I liked decided to dabble made the genre intriguing. It proved to be quite the gateway drug as I've immersed myself in the who's who of the genre, so much so that I'm now going to concerts. Now Dub-Hop doesn't sound out of the ordinary and it's safe to say this new kid on the block that is taking over party music has gained a lot of Facebook friends in a short amount of time...#VavaVoom

Bassnectar feat Lupe Fiasco - Vava Voom

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Swizz Can Make the Street Knock A$AP

Let me back up a little bit and provide a formal introduction to @_ASAPROCKY. The cliff notes versions is that he hails from Harlem and blew up on the scene last year when his mixtape LiveLoveA$AP dropped. To give you a glimpse of how far he's come in a matter of months, his mixtape has been downloaded over 300,000 times on datpiff (since October). His lead single off the mixtape, Peso, found it's way onto Hot 97 last August and the rest is history. Check the video below where he talks with Karen Civil on everything from his tour experiences with Drake and Kendrick Lamar to the comparisons of A$AP Mob to ODD Future and how he wants to collaborate with @lanadelrey...

Put it this way, when you get an opportunity to open for @drake, it's only a matter of time before everyone knows your name. Needless to say his stardom will only continue to ascend as he is set to release an A$AP Mob album in May and a debut studio album on July 4t titled LongLiveA$AP.

It helps too when yo get to rub shoulders with some of the best artists/producers in the game like @therealswizzz and @araabmuzik. The track below is slated to surface as the lead single on Swizz's new mixtape Limitless. I've added araabmuzik to my concert bucket list because honestly I'm tired of watching his damn YouTube videos and being amazed. I wanna step it up and be amazed in person because dude has a special talent the way he can maneuver the MPC. The beat on Street Knock is no exception and if you've seen him work in studio, you can hear the individual elements of the beat and picture how he's putting them together. It's a steady banger and an ample opportunity for you get a better feel for the take no prisoners stance that A$AP takes when he's on the mic..."Gaddammit I'm a genius, swagger is the meanest"

Swizz Beatz feat A$AP Rocky - Street Knock (prod by araabmuzik)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Videos of the Week March 23

Some high profile videos flew across the radar this week with @lanadelrey's Blue Jeans video leading the way. By far, the most entertaining watch for me this week was hearing @royceda59 recount @SLAUGHTERHOUSE's past week on tour. Just the SXSW story alone was worth the watch because you rarely hear an artist openly admit that they were worried another legendary artist was going to upstage them. That's gotta be a baaad feeling when you're headlining, about to go on stage, and @kanyewest plays two or three tracks that ignite the crows and make you go SON OF A BITCH, HOW ARE WE GONNA TOP THIS?? It's that type of down to earth real talk that makes me respect the hell out of them individual artists and as a group. Now if they could only hit Philly on a night besides this Tuesday, I'd really be pumped...#WishfulThinking

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Video)

Slaughterhouse Vlog Episode 2

Game feat Kendrick Lamar - The City (Video)

OnCue - Kinda Late (Video)(prod by Just Blaze)

Trey Songz - Sex Ain't Better Than Love (Video)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know Dubstep Remix

Not gonna lie, iTunes get's another assist on the one below. My bet is you heard @gotye's insanely popular single Somebody That I Used to Know by now, which puts you a little ahead of this guy in terms of keeping up with pop radio. The phrase insanely popular seems about right for the whooping 122 million views that the interesting video has collected since last July. If you've been living under a rock or have a serious blind spot when it comes to pop music like me, feel free and join the masses and add to the growing total of views below...

In an attempt to salvage a little pride by being months late on this one, I felt it only right to provide a little value added with a house remix by @tiesto and a Dubstep flavored mix cooked up by @KDrewMusic. It really depends on what type of mood you're in as far, which one you prefer, but I'd tip the scale toward KDrew's version because it showcases the hook more heavily throughout the track. it's hard to go wrong with either because the original is so unique and eclectic that it reels you in on first listen. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out Gotye's album Making Mirrors, as well as @kimbramusic for her contribution to the unassuming, but potent track.

Keep an eye out for Wouter's performance of the track below on @nbcsnl on April 14th. You can betcherass I'll be including that in my weekly Friday video post...#YouCare

Gotye feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know (Tiesto Remix)

Gotye feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know (KDrew Remix)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Big K.R.I.T. Got This

Embedded in every notable Southern Hip Hop artist is an persistent desire to be the best. At the center of that desire is an a unwavering confidence that @bigkrit puts on full display with his new single I Got The Here off his upcoming album Live From the Underground. In a not so subtle way, the track barrels forward through all adversity like Kobe in the 4th quarter. It's the ultimate, you can't stop me track lyrically that maintains it's Southern roots through an unmistakable Mississippi drawl.

Just last week K.R.I.T. promised that his new album would find a way to hit stores in June. Along with that announcement came a new mixtape, 4eva N a Day, to tide us over until the real studio debut comes through. I haven't been able to narrow down a favorite yet, but I'm a sucker for screwed up samples, so Me and My Old School Guitar is in the lead right now. Man if his studio debut is half as good as all the mixtapes he's released the past two years, we're all in for a treat this summer...

Big K.R.I.T. - I Got This Here

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"I'm Tryna Break Ya Back, Break Ya Back"

With Shock Value 3 on the horizon, it was only a matter of time before @timbaland hit us with a lead single that will challenge any subwoofer you might own. The beat is heavy like a ton of bricks and the synths set a dark scene that is more mysterious than radio friendly. Don't get it twisted though, this will still probably end up in play for Top 40 radio because it's just catchy enough lyrically to hang with the bangin' beat.

I say catchy too because it's synonomous with @devishot who released one of the better albums last year in The Night the Sun Came Up. Feel free to add this to the unconfirmed tracklist with the predecessor single Pass At Me. Word on the streets is that Timbo's new album will be hitting iTunes around June, but that's always subject to change. Shoot I'm just happy that I have a front to back quality full length album to look forward to this summer. Sad that type of assumed quality is more the exception rather than the standard these days, but it makes you appreciate the great ones that much more...#Legendary

Timbaland feat Dev - Break Ya Back

Monday, March 19, 2012

"You Know What We Doin', Whiskey For Communion Tonight"

All it takes is one big track to make a name for yourself in Hip Hop. Sure, it helps that your one big track features a legendary name like @justblaze. For me, that's what got me to sample it, name brand recognition. It's sad and sometimes I feel like a snob for doing it, but in a world where time is curren$y, folks like me who review music don't have the time to listen to everything. The best advice I can give to an aspiring artist is to get someone on your track that a lot of people know.

A cameo or feature will get your foot in the door enough to kick in wide open if you bring the heat like @MyNameCuey. This track reminds me a lot of one of my favorite hidden gems by @chrisyoungraps called Bottles of Fiji Water & a Beautiful Girl. It's got an infectious hook and a equally upbeat vibe on the beat brought to you by Just Blaze and @XpartysuppliesX. OnCue is everything his name says. He's able to go bar for bar on the verses and isn't doesn't sound out of characters singing his own hook.

For all of you hardcore fans who made it out to SXSW last week, you may have caught him performing throughout the week. Word has it he's got a new Just Blaze produced video for his song Kinda Late faeturing @mikeposner and @eightyocho. You can bet there's plenty more to come from one of BK's finest up and comers. Keep it locked here because this past week I just became a believer in all that is Cuey...#BoutToBlowUp

OnCue - New Religion (prod. by Party Supplies & Just Blaze)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Avicii's Levels in Reverse

Could @avicii's Levels be the most audibly pleasing dance track of all time? I say that because despite @official_flo's blatant beatjacking of his original instrumental, I'm starting to get the feeling that music fans appreciate his version more. Considering how many more people in the US know Flo Rida compared to Avicii, that's a pretty big deal.

That's only the beginning of why it's such a legendary beat too. As the story goes, @georgemonev put the icing on the cake when he cemented the track's other-worldly status by flipping the synthesizers in reverse. I know what you're thinking, the only time I've heard a track in reverse has been to hear some crazy hidden message. Not the case with this one as the original song maintains it's catchy, dance-worthy sound, but with a completely different sound. I can't say I've heard anything like it before, it's nuts on so many Levels. The folks over at P&P put it best when they said, "It’s like a fucking rainbow captured in audio form."

Needless to say, there's a 100% chance I will be mixing this in at my next gig as a change of pace, rabbit-out-the-hat style surprise. Lead in with the original, flip it in reverse, and coast home with Flo Rida's radio version (©). Let 'em know...#YouHeardItHereFirst

Avicii - Levels (in reverse) (George Andrev edit)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cypress Hill and Deadmau5 Collabo

To the casual listener, Hip Hop and Dubstep sound like two different brands of music that should be kept apart. I say that too because I can count on one hand the amount of Hip Hop/Dubstep collaborations I've heard to date. (I'm not counting Dubstep remixes of Hip Hop songs either, I'm talking a Hip Hop artist collaborates with a Dubstep DJ or group)

Since I'm a fan of both genres you can probably guess how I'm going to react to @cypress_hill's new track with @deadmau5. Most probably think this is an out of left field collabo, but the proof was in the pudding when new of Cypress Hill's new collaboration album with @RUSKOOFFICIAL surfaced. If you're not sure what to picture, look no further than the video below for their lead single together calledRoll It, Light It...

Since @b_real420 and @ogsendog have always been known for having an unrivaled intensity on the mic, branching out into Dubstep seems like a logical progression in my eyes. Their in-your-face, unapologetic delivery blends well with the equally audacious electro rhythms that Dubstep is known for. Hopefully this ends up being one of the first dates in a long relationship between two genres that are taking over more market share of popular music by the day.

Oh and don't sleep on that Cypress X Rusko EP due out in April...#DubHop

Cypress Hill feat Deadmau5 - Failbait

Friday, March 16, 2012

Videos of the Week March 16th

Slightly Hip Hop heavy on my weekly video report this Friday. I found myself wondering more than once today why in the hell I wasn't at SXSW with all the other sane minded individuals who enjoy music for a living and don't have an 8 to 5. With the music portion about half way through, there have been videos sprinkling in like @BIGKRIT's performance of The Vent. Surely there will be more to come, but until then there's plenty of other commercial videos to tide you over...#HappyStPattysDay

Wale feat Rick Ross & Meek Mill - Ambition (Video)

Big K.R.I.T. - The Vent (Live at SXSW)

B.O.B - So Good (Trailer)

J Cole feat Missy Elliot - Nobody's Perfect (Video)

Classic Reebok Campaign With Tyga & Mike Posner

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"We Are Young, So Let's Set This World on Fiiiyah"

On a daily basis, I take a lot of pride in posting music that you otherwise wouldn't hear on mainstream radio. Whether it be due to the track not being formally released or whether it's sole purpose is to stay unreleased, I really don't like following the crowds. Not so much the case with tonight's post.

If you'll notice, I've got a handy widget on the right sidebar showing the current top ten list for most popular iTunes tracks. The track below by @ournameisfun just happens to be holding down that #1 spot with their beyond buzzworthy track We Are Young. The track (subtly) features the lovely and talented @janellemonae and recently surfaced on the group's debut album Some Nights. Before I go into my overly descriptive rant, feel free and take the temperature of the track by watching the video, which does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the track.

On first listen, you can't help but think it has the potential to be a timeless track. I say that because my mind immediately went to Queen because on the track they are able to evoke the same type of unbridled emotion that came out of a track like We Will Rock You. When the calming lead in gives way to the everyone-sing-along chorus at the 49 second mark of the track, I couldn't help but get a little nostalgic and think about all nights out at bars that I could barely remember in college. It's a song that goes beyond accessibility; simply put, it's a shot of youth to the old and a real-life anthem for the young. It's a modern day Piano Man because it's the type of song you'd want to close the bar with. I can picture me and a group of my friends with our arms around each other's shoulders swaying and drunkenly belting out every last word on this track.

By the time a new single cracks the top 10 in iTunes, I've usually written it off as just another great track that was chewed up for days by contemporary radio, only to be spit out months later when it's been milked for every last drop. It's refreshing to know that there are still tracks that fly out of left field and come out of nowhere before exploding like a nuke in our faces. The light is still bright on this one and I've got a good feeling that no matter how much of a beating Top 40 radio gives it, I'm still going to enjoy this one down the road...#Timeless

Fun. feat Janelle Monae - We Are Young

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dance Music is Blessed to Have Avicii

It seems like every week comes a new @avicii track that I discover and ride until the wheels fall off. Driving back from NYC this weekend, I just so happened to be riding out to Sirius's Channel 51 (BPM) and found myself having a full on dance party in the front seat like this dude...

God bless the crazy Romanian truck driver. And they want us to stop texting and answering calls while driving in the US. #Fuckery

Anyways, the track below is well over a year old, but that isn't going to dissuade me one bit from posting it because in my mind, if I haven't heard it then you damn sure haven't either (#humblebrag). The original track was crafted by a Tom Hangs, which is just another alias for Avicii. The original mix of Blessed isn't all that much different, but since the extended cut is longer, I say why not? As a sidebar, I usually hate the extended drawn out versions of dance tracks, but that hatred seems to disappear quickly when I'm listening to the soothing electro rhythms of Sweden's finest DJ.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention @shermanology in this post because they're a continually slept on group that always finds a way to pop up in music I enjoy. They just released a new Can't Stop Miami mixtape via Soundcloud that you may enjoy if you like their presence on Blessed. Best explanation I have for the mixtape is electro craziness with soulful vocals. Even better, the track below is featured around the 6:40 mark of the mixtape. Just a whole bunch of uptempo dance music, which is a welcome pick me up on a Wednesday...#HumpDay

Tom Hangs feat Shermanology - Blessed (Avicii Extended Edit)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"I Take My City Everywhere That I Go"

Like a lot people, I heard the track below and thought to myself, I know I've heard that somewhere. Turns out, it's an upgraded version of the original track Take My City off @djdrama's latest album Third Power. It will be re-purposed on @therealcrookedi's upcoming mixtape Psalm 82:6. You might be wondering what Psalm 82:6 entails?

"Says the Lord, You are gods and children of the Most High."

That aligns well with his whole Circle of Bosses (COB) movement and seeing that he's one of the few Hip Hop god of the West, the shoe fits.

Crook's new mixtape was supposed to hit the internet on March 8th, but since he's waiting on a few guest spots and cameos, it's looking like the week of the 22nd is more realistic. Shout out to @bobatl on the hook and Grand Hustle's own @NARDANDBNATION for the production. I'd call this a wholesome appetizer for the main course that is set to drop on May 15th when Crook and is clan on witty friends release Welcome to: Our House. I'm interested to hear what Eminem's executive production skills sound like when working with the uber-talented foursome. In the words of @madbacker57, CAN'T WAIT!

Crooked I feat B.O.B. - Every City (prod by Nard & B)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Deadmau5 x Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone

One of the best things about electronic music is that anytime an artist produces a hit single, at least a handful of others remix the track and make it their own. The outcome falls somewhere between symbiotic cannibalism and a show of genuine respect for the other artist. Personally IDGAF what the reason is because when the chips falls, it's the attentive consumers that win through all this cross-pollination.

Take @calvinharris's latest single I'm Not Alone for example. I had the fortunate choice of deciding between the more traditional house version that @tiesto brought to his remix of I'm Not Alone; or, the more progressive house version that @deadmau5 crafted on his version of I'm Not Alone. While both are both very different and very awesome in their own respects, I picked Deadmau5's version because it resonated with my current mood a little more than the former. Simply put I was in the mood for some smooth electro rhythms and it doesn't get much more soothing than Joel Zimmerman's Pure Moods quality synthesizers. If I would have been in more of an energetic, hyped up mood I probably would have posted Tijs Michiel Verwest's version.

Key takeaway, you can't go wrong with either and luckily you can buy them both in one place if you feel so inclined...#LoadedSingle

Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone (Deadmau5 Remix)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

JoJo's Sexy To Me

Suffice to say, any new track that I find is produced by Danja is an automatic post. Simply put, dude knows how to handle his craft and make high energy tracks that suck you in and make you move. This time it's @JOJOISTHEWAY's turn to ride the Danjatrain to success with her new club hit Sexy To Me. Even though I've always caught hell from the fellas for openly supporting her first two albums JoJo and The High Road, which we released when she was 14 and 16 respectively, it hasn't stopped me from writing about her music. You see over 18 women drooling over Bieber, so why is it not ok for me to be a fan of JoJo's music when she's just as talented? #DoubleStandard

Matter of fact I saw an interesting de-motivational poster that touches on this very subject. Don't even get me started on Twilight...
I digress, but what's really important is that you know JoJo has an album coming out titled Jumping Trains due out in April. In case you missed it, back in September she released her lead single from the album titled Disaster, which served as more of a powerfully emotional ballad and showed off her vocals a bit.

If you were to ask me, I'd pick her new single over the lead single, but I'm biased because of the Danja beat. Still with names like @only1darkchild, @boi1da, and @timbaland listed on the production credits for her new album, you better believe I'll eagerly waiting for April to come...#DontSleepOnIt

JoJo - Sexy To Me (prod by Danja)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Biebs Knows How to Live His Life

I used to think that @FAREASTMOVEMENT was relevant solely because of the stupid dope production of @thecataracs, but now I'm starting to think they're simple a living breathing placeholder for upbeat dance music. Think about it, what more do you need to make it in pop music when your group can dance and you have all sorts of legendary beat makers like the aforementioned Cataracs, @RedOne, @MrBangladesh and @davidguetta crafting hits for you? Shoot a @justinbieber cameo is icing on the cake when you continually churn out solid club hits.

The below track, Live My Life, will serve as their lead single off their upcoming album Dirty Bass, which should hit shelves in May. Isn't it fitting too that just as Biebs turned 18 last month and bought a $10.8 milli crib, he happened to provide a hook that's all about livin' your life? Hey play on playa, 18 million Twitter followers and you made about $3 million per follower last year, which makes you officially the most ballin' 18 year old on the planet...#LiveYourLifeSon

Far East Movement feat Justin Bieber - Live My Life (prod by RedOne)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Videos of the Week March 9th

Plenty of visual goodness arrived this week in the form of a few official videos and a couple concert videos. Unbeknownst to me, @s_c_ is performing at SXSW and @americanexpress is doing their very best to make you aware of that by releasing some pretty exclusive footage of his concert at Carnegie Hall. Beyond that I was slightly moved by @flo_tweet's new video for her single Never Let Go. Not a big surprise there considering how powerful her music can be. I said it earlier this week, if you're up for an interesting listen, give WZRD's album a chance because it's got a few hidden gems mixed in there. I'm not usually a huge buyer of behind the scenes stuff since I tend to favor posting the end product, but I'm pumped for @thegame's new video for The City with @kendrick_lamar. I loved that song when I first heard it and after a bunch of listens that has not changed, which is strange because I'm quick to fall out of love with even the dopest tracks. Have a good weekend y'all and holla at me if you're in NYC this weekend...

WZRD (Kid Cudi & Dot da Genius) Perform Teleport to Me, Jamie on Conan

Florence and the Machine - Never Let Go (Video)

Jay-Z – Public Service Announcement Live at Carnegie Hall

Robin Thicke feat Lil Wayne - Pretty Little Heart (Video)

Game feat Kendrick Lamar - The City (Behind the Scenes)

Havana Brown feat Pitbull - We Run the Night (Video)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Calvin and Ne-Yo Let's Go

Now that everyone is familiar with Scotish DJ @calvinharris through his work on tracks like @rihanna's We Found Love and his track with @iamkelis, Bounce, it's time he starts to put together a streak of solid singles. It's probably a good thing that his new single with @neyocompound sounds like We Found Love Part 2 because that track is still burning up iTunes as we speak. It's every bit as uptempo and dance-worthy as it's predecessor with enough electronic rhythms to carry a whole club for a solid four minutes.

No word yet on what Calvin's sophomore album will be called, but the lead single below should provide more than enough positive momentum to send him on his way toward another gold album. This will make a fine addition to my newest cardio mix and an equally viable party starter for DJ-ing this weekend...#LetsGO!

Calvin Harris feat Ne-Yo - Let's Go

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Some New Kane is in the Building

If you've read my blog before you know that a lot of the music that I enjoy and end up writing about has more to do with who produced the track rather than who performed it. That may seem backwards to a lot of you who don't attribute the success of your favorite artist to the producer or engineer who put in time behind the boards to craft the instrumental, but you probably already subconsciously think the way I do without knowing it. I say that because obviously the suits who invest a lot of money into artists want them to succeed and they attribute success to selling albums and making music that will appeal to a wide demographic, so that lots of people will buy it. You could argue that train of thought is also what is diluting the hell out of popular music like 40 proof CVS vodka, but that's a whole can of worms I'm not about to get into today.

What I can tell you is that @KANEBEATZ is one of the few producers in the game today that I will ride out with. When I say ride out, I mean that no matter who he works with, there's a pretty damn good chance I'm going to like the finished product. Again, I can say that because I have a lot of respect for the work that producers do in a thankless profession whose job is to make the "talent" look good.

I grouped all these tracks together on one post for two reasons. First, to provide perspective on why I feel like it's more worthwhile to follow the music that your favorite producer is responsible rather than your favorite artist. Second, to give some exposure to two other artists you may not have heard of but may end up liking with the help of a Kane beat. In other words, you may not have heard of @mrdontrip or @LAZEANDROYAL, but you damn sure have heard of @tip, @ludacris, @djdrama and @youngjeezy. Call the first one, We In This Bitch, the gateway drug that gets you hooked on my theory and open to expanding your Hip Hop interests.

Sidebar: smh to Luda for his, "Altoid can of blue pills that's my X-box" line. No matter what anybody says about Luda, nobody can take away his on-some-other-shit type creativity on the mic...#WittyIsAnUnderstatement

DJ Drama ft. Young Jeezy, T.I., Ludacris & Future - We In This Bitch (prod by Kane Beatz)

Don Trip - Lawyer (prod by Kane Beatz)

Laze & Royal - Winner (prod by Kane Beatz)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Kid Cudi Channels His Inner Kurt Cobain

The biggest takeaway I was left with after taking my first lap around @wizardcud and @dotdagenius's new WZRD album was "I can't believe they covered a legendary Nirvana track." It was one of the biggest mind (f word)s I've been blindsided by in quite a while when reviewing music. Why was it such a big surprise? For starters, shame on me for having absolutely zero familiarity with WZRD's tracklist. As a result, I missed the Nirvana connection completely prior to listening to it. Second, I can't believe Cudi had the audacity to cover a track that is so legendary. I say legendary because anybody who has seen the haunting and distinctly memorable MTV Unplugged session was moved in some way shape or form by watching Kurt Cobain perform acoustic that night with Nirvana. The video below sums up how memorable the show was as Kurt ended the set with an exclamation point in the form of Where Did You Sleep Last Night...

Before I get into the new school version, you'd all be better off knowing how far back the original Bluegrass version of the track goes. Little known fact (thanks to Wikipedia), the song also goes by the name of In the Pines (Bill Monroe) and Black Girl (Huddie Ledbetter). Even better, the song's origins date all the way back to the 1870s when it was first an Appalachian folk song. To me it's crazy how little Leadbelly's version that was produced back in 1940 has evolved from the version that Nirvana popularized. Crazy, but also awesome to see American folklore unfold through the generations and becoming timeless as a result.

Fast forward to the present and you can appreciate how Cudi has some serious balls for trying to tackle such a challenge on his first rock flavored album. I'm not going to try and gas you all up by saying his cover of the track was near as good as the original, but I will say that I found it noteworthy and memorable that he chose to do his own version. What I really wanted was for him to do was absolutely cut loose on the last part of the track like Kurt did by belting out the eerie "MY GIRL, MY GIRL, DON'T LIIIIEE TO ME, TELL ME WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT?!?!?." Maybe that was part of making it his own, but I feel like if he would have went a little psycho and added a little yelling, I may have gotten a little more hype over it.

In case you missed it WZRD's album just dropped last week and thanks to Cudi's record company, not much effort was made to make the public aware of that. You'd think that would result in the album facing an uphill battle with sales, but 70K sales in the first week is not bad at all. That's right Cudi, you tell Universal what's up. They don't deserve to rake in the profits for being retarded enough to not believe that your rock album would sell. As side note, I hope you take the high road when the dust settles and don't deprive your fans of MOTM 3 in a fit of vindictive rage against your label. Your music speaks louder against authority than any twitter post and if one thing's been made clear through all this, it's that your music is powerful and your fans don't need it shoved down their throat to appreciate it...#PlayOnPlaya

Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Unplugged)

WZRD - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Rita Ora is the New International Lady of Roc Nation

Take note y'all, there's a new international lady of Roc Nation. She was born in Kosovo, grew up in London and goes by the name of of @ritaora. She was discovered by the way of an A&R rep who introduced her to Roc Nation in 2009, which led her to eventually crossing paths with the one and only @s_c_. If you're paying really close attention, you may have noticed her cameo appearances in the Young Forever and Over videos in the past year too, as well as her latest promo commercial with Skull Candy headphones...

I gotta say I've never heard Rita pronounced in such a distinguished British manor that makes it sound like she'd saying Ree-uhh, but that's cool. Anybody else think she bears a striking resemblance to @rihanna in the video above? Ironic doppelganger aside, she's starting to gain a lot of attention with her debut single Hot Right Now. It features the production of fellow Brit @djfreshdnb and is a great combination of fast paced synths with drum and bass and high octane vocals..

Rita's got the voice, she's got the looks and it would appear she's not lacking one bit in charisma either. Kinda helps to have the ear of Sean Carter when it comes to someone investing in you too...#Fortunate
If I were a betting man, I'd say it's a safe bet she's on the rise to super-stardom. I'm not just saying that based on one song and a little financial backing from Roc Nation either. Sure all of the above helps, but I'm a bigger fan of her choice to enlist the help of @chaseandstatus to come through with a finished version of @drake's demo version of I'm Ready For You as her second single. It was cool for me when I first heard Rita's version and was able to sing along word for word because I had put Drake's version on heavy rotation about a year and a half ago. Was I waiting for Drake's "Red lipstick on the wine glass, cameras in my mind fast, black lingerie, white diamonds what a contrast" last verse on Rita's version? You're damn right I was, but unfortunately it didn't come to fruition and instead @TINIETEMPAH chipped in on a verse. Not a fair trade in my book, but you can't always get what you want. Both versions of the track are below, keep an eye out for Rita's debut in the coming months...#StarWatch

Drake - I'm Ready For You (Original Version)

Rita Ora feat Tinie Tempah - R.I.P. (prod by Chase & Status)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Wiz Says No To Drugs...Well Sort Of

It's not everyday you hear an anti-drug anthem from one of the most well known celebrity stoners. I say anti-drug because @RealWizKhalifa makes a very clear distinction in the track that he says capitol N-O! to any drug other than marijuana, which isn't considered a drug to him. Maybe 5-10 years ago saying something like that would be shocking, but with every passing day it seems like more marijuana legislation goes up for vote as a new state pushes toward legalization. Not that it would matter to Wiz whether or not his habit is socially acceptable since he's been outspoken for years about his love for sweet Mary Jane, but it helps that it's less looked down upon.

In my opinion, his new track Mary x 3, off his upcoming mixtape Taylor Alderice due out March 13th, is just as on point as @wizardcud's weed homage anthem. It's every bit as laid back as all of my favorite tracks off Rolling Papers. From the methodical verses and sing along hook, it all works when put over the simple and calm instrumental provided by @CardoGotWings. Fear not Taylors, it doesn't sound like there's any sort of change in the way Wiz is going about making music post-Rolling Papers, especially now that he managed to lock up @darealamberrose this week...#HolyHugeDiamond

Wiz Khalifa - Mary Mary Mary (prod by Cardo)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Skrillex and Knife Party Like Animals

Now that I'm learning the who's who in Dubstep, I'm starting to fully grasp it's appeal. It's a style that's not as fast as techno or house, but the high powered electro-synth rhythms as every bit as high energy and dance-worthy than it's predecessors. The track below, Zoology, is an unreleased collaboration between two of the genre's most recognizable names in @skrillex and @knifepartyinc.

This is now the second Knife Party track I've posted in the last two weeks and you could I've been busy of late trying to catch up on their music. I was never a fan of Pendulum, even though I understood that they had a pretty devoted following, but I can't help but wonder what fans of the rock group think of @rob_swire and Co.'s decision to drift away from drum/bass rock into electo-synth craziness. Between the characteristically quirky synths and the animal noises, there's a whole lot going on in the track below. I'll applaud the fact that the track succeeds in taking the listener to the jungle, Dubstep style, which fits the description. I wouldn't hesitate to put this one on if the party has any inclination of getting out of hand. When I say out of hand, I mean like Project X out of hand. Still not sure what to think of that preview or the mauling it's taken in the press lately, but the presumed craziness and Todd Phillips presence has piqued my interest...#AmericanPieHumor

Knife Party feat Skrillex - Zoology

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