Monday, April 30, 2012

Usher Will Make You Scream

It's been about two years since @usherraymondiv released a studio album, but it doesn't seem like that long ago because he released the five singles off Raymond vs. Raymond across a whole calendar year (More was released in November 2011, which was 349 days after Daddy's Home was released). Basically when you're a world famous artist who is known for writing, producing and performing great music, you have the ability to make one album go a long way.

One of the things I admire most about Usher is his ability to evolve and adapt his brand. He's proven he can do the R&B thing in his sleep, but recently he's started tinkering with EDM a bit. Seeing that my appreciation for EDM steadily increased recently, you can imagine why I was excited to hear him describe his new album as "Revolutionary Pop", which is a mix of Electronic, R&B, Soul and Pop genres. To me it sounds like this "Revolutionary Pop" that he speaks of on his new album Looking for Myself is exactly what pop music is in 2012. Even though it sounds like he's being Captain Obvious by coining a cliche term that describes something apparent, there probably aren't too many artists that can pull all those genres together and make it sound good...

...which is all the more reason you should give his lead single a listen. Surprisingly, it doesn't feature a big name EDM DJ on the production credits, but it's definitely headed straight for Top 40 radio and the clubs. Daps & lbs are in order for Shellback and Max Martin for weaving together a hit with Usher that is every bit as catchy and repeatable as his previous single More. Matter of fact, they both sound really alike, so if you enjoyed his slightly overplayed last single, you'll like this one too.

His new album drops June 12th, which means there's plenty more Usher to come this summer...#KeepItLocked

Usher - Scream (prod by Shellback & Max Martin)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tiesto Pushes Crazy to the Max

For those of you who tune in regularly, you've probably noticed that the music I'm writing about daily has shifted more and more to EDM. I know I clearly advertise my site as "What's next in Hip Hop and R&B", but to be completely honest, Hip Hop blogs are about as common as 70 degree days in San Diego. Just because there are a lot of people who like to share their opinion about new Hip Hop doesn't mean I like it any less, it's just a lot harder to have a voice when everyone is talking. Along the same lines, I'm not trying to say that the only reason I'm posting more EDM is because there is a general shortage of blogs who promote the genre. I do actually enjoy the music and I'm still going to post the new Hip Hop/R&B I enjoy, but you'll probably see less of the underground Hip Hop and more of the EDM in the near future.

Now that I've got that out in the open, how about some new-ish @Tiesto? I say new-ish because the track below actually hit iTunes back in September, but I heard it on XM this weekend and thought I'd share it because I've got a big enough ego to think that if I haven't heard it, neither have you. It's about as repetitively electronic as I can handle, which is why I posted the radio version rather than the full version. It's got ominous guitar riffs that will smack you in the face like a cup of dark roast Columbian coffee with offsetting high pitched synths. Maximal Crazy is a potent dose of Progressive House that blends well together in one big high energy concoction like #Audible5HREnergy.

Tiesto - Maxiaml Crazy (Radio Edit)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Damn I’m Killing Them, I Know They Feeling Me Now"

Anybody who took a glance at the tracklist to @bobatl's upcoming album Strange Clouds took notice of the track below. I say that because why you see @chrisbrown and @tip on a track with Bobby Ray, it's usually a safe assumption that the track will end up being a future single. While I can't confirm that, the easy listening hook and "I made it" style uplifting lyrics seem to support my future single prediction. It helps too, that @thedoctorluke surfaced on the production credits. Anything he touches lately has turned to gold and about 1 out of every 3 tracks the past two weeks has had his name on it.

Strange Clouds is slated to hit iTunes and stores on May 1st, but if you're chomping at the bit to hear it in it's entirety, all you need to do is go to his album page and give him a quick Twitter shout out to get full streaming access to the album a few days early. Kudos to Atlantic/Grand Hustle and B.O.B.'s A&R for thinking outside of the box and doing something that nobody has done before. They clearly get that the internet generation doesn't like it when record companies try and force you to buy an album as opposed to copping it for $Free.00 via various internet outlets. I like their new olive branch technique that requires only requires fans to do what they do on a daily basis by shooting out a quick tweet with the #StrangeClouds hash tag. Ideas like the tweet promo to gain streaming access prior to the album release are much more respectable than say releasing a few different forms of your album at different retail outlets to maximize the profitability of an album (see 5 bonus tracks on the Target version). At least give us the option of buying the bonus disk separate...#smh 

B.O.B. feat Chris Brown & T.I. - Arena (prod by Dr. Luke)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Videos of the Week April 27th

Stacked week for videos featuring three tracks I like quite a bit with Starships, Hammer Dance and Mind Your Manners. Is it me or is @Nas about to make a full fledged comeback this year? First it was the song produced by Heavy D (below), now it's the NFL draft on ESPN and a second single all this week. Some may want to hate saying he's old and his time has passed, but in my eyes there's always room for OG's like Nas in Hip Hop. Can't disrespect someone who has been around for so long and been through the things he has...#Classic
Nicki Minaj - Starships (Video)

Chiddy Band - Mind Your Manners (Video)

Nas - The Don (Video)

B.O.B. - Strange Clouds Album Promo

Slaughterhouse - Hammer Dance (Video)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chuck Inglish Makes Gotye Dance

In my mind, anything with the words Cool Kids or produced by @chuckisdope is automatically post-worthy. I'm talking everything from lesser known production credits to beat tapes, when Chuck gets behind the boards, I'm all ears. Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how excited I was to see the two tweets below earlier tonight...

Yep, I was that guy hitting F5 ever 5 or so minutes until it was posted and when it finally went up, I wasn't disappointed. It's not easy to take a slow, melodic track and flip it into something that's dance-worthy, but that's exactly what Chuck did. He did what many EDM dance remixes couldn't by sampling the vocals heavily, which showcased the best part of the track.

I'd be remiss not to give Chuck's new beat tape a shout out since he was kind enough to provide us some free dopeness tonight. Last week he released WRKOUT, which is a lot more of the same kind of instrumental awesomeness. Very simply put, you should know the name Chuck Inglish because he's one of the more imaginative, talented and unheralded producers in the game right now...#HandsDown

Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know (Chuck Inglish Remix)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Can You Blow My Whistle Baby, Whistle Baby?"

Seeing that @official_FLO can't do anything but produce singles that shoot to the top of iTunes charts, it's only fitting that he'd go three for three on singles on his upcoming album Only One Rida (Part 2). First it was @avicii sampled Good Feeling, which may never fall off the charts, then he came just as strong with the help of @siamusic on Wild Ones. Whistle on the other hand is a stark contrast to the other two, serving as more of an airy, sing along to an acoustic guitar. Sure, it's got the trademarked Flo-Rida repeatable hook, but the whistle is what embeds itself in your cerebellum after a few listens.

Good news is, Flo's new album is due out in July and so far he's chalked it full of nothing but singles. I've got serious doubts he can continue his torrid and insatiable desire for #1 singles, but you never know with the pace he's on. Shout out to @djfranke on the production in helping craft this soon to be hit. Whether it's Jason Derulo, Madonna, Chris Brown or Kanye, DJ Frank-E has gotten the attention of lots of great artists and deservedly so. Dude knows how to craft up a single!...#Underrated

Flo-Rida - Whistle (prod by DJ Frank-E)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"The Bigger the Bill, the Harder You Ball"

It may seem like @realwizkhalifa just released Rolling Papers, but surprisingly, it's been a whole year since his big time studio debut dropped. It should come as no surprise that Wiz is continuing to strike while the iron is hot with a follow up album titled O.N.I.F.C (Only N****a in First Class). I'll put it this way, if your brand of music was so well liked last year that you ended up making 11 million dollars in 2011, why not set a goal to make $100 million this year? Even better, why not push it to the limit and collaborate with @drdre while you're at it?

The track below, Work Hard, Play Hard is Wiz's very radio friendly lead single off his upcoming album due out August 28th. It's got the production pedigree with Stargate (who produced Black and Yellow and Roll Up) and @itsbennyblanco (produced Stereo Hearts and Payphone) cooking up the beat. The verses go harder than most Wiz tracks, but the hook is a sugary, 360 windmill dunk. You can bet the Taylor's will be coming out of the woodwork in support for his new single that is cut from the same cloth as his previous Rolling Paper singles. Me, I've got no problem at all with that since I was such a big fan of his last album...#NoSophomoreSlump

Wiz Khalifa - Work Hard, Play Hard (prod by Stargate & Benny Blanco)

Monday, April 23, 2012

"The Wealth Attracts You Haters Like Mosquitoes to a Well"

In what's shaping up to be a respectable sophomore effort, @bobatl's latest single off the album is about as real as it comes. Since it's now pop culture to talk about first world problems that fame brings, Bobby Ray took to the mic and aired out quite a bit of raw emotion on So Hard to Breathe. To be completely honest, when I saw @alexdakid and @BEIMAEJOR on the song's production credits, my expectations for the track immediately hit the ceiling. It's not a stretch to say that both are in my top ten favorite producers in the game, so I figured they could do no wrong collaborating with an artist in my live starting five.

While I wasn't exactly let down by the track, I also wasn't all that impressed by the track because it was pretty vanilla all around. The only real spice came from the anger and struggle Bobby spit on the track when he talked about flipping over tables as fans congratulated him on his million record sales. The live band feel and vocalization work well with his style, but there's a difference between a vocalist and a rapper than can hold a tune. I'm more of a fan of the Bobby Ray that raps and does a sing along hook. Sorta like @realwizkhalifa, who manages to do both and pull it off. On the flip side, I'm not as big of Bobby when he comes off as a vocalist.

Being let down is a product of expectations and when it comes to three of my favorite artists on one track together, I expect the world. I'm still excited as hell fro Strange Clouds, which drops in a week on May 1st. You can bet there will be more than a fair share of hidden gems on the album that neither you or I have heard yet. Check the snippets here, if you're super eager. Me I'm cool, I'll wait on the real deal...#Patience

B.O.B. - So Hard to Breathe (prod by Alex da Kid & Bei Maejor)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"I Said Girl What You Drinkin', Be Careful This Ain't Water"

Even though the left coast has been relatively forgotten since the inception of Gangster Rap, all is still well in the land of Hyphy. Enter the newest East Bay Area group to make noise, @startingsix. Made up of six friends with industry quality nicknames (Bread, Nic Nac, Riggz, Fess, Goose and Big Steve) who played high school basketball together, The Starting Six are about as close to accidentally famous as you get. What I mean by accidentally famous is they basically put together a home video of Thirsty (Part 1) that ended up getting 10,000 views the first week. Right now that video is up to 1.6 million views, but more notably, they did a much more party friendly version of the song in She Thirsty (Part 2). Video below...

Now if you're not quite up on how the Bay Area works, they're all about their slanguage. I swear I need a damn decoder ring to understand some of crazy, random, otherworldly craziness that @e40 pops off on some tracks. The Starting Six grew up listening to E-40 and Mac Dre, so it's no surprise that they're following in the footsteps of their predecessors. If you're not sure what thirsty means, you're not alone, I got you. In the past year or so, much has been made in Hip Hop of the terms thirst or curve, which Nerds At the Cool Table does an excellent job of describing with examples on their site. The terms are defined below:
What exactly is, “thirst,” or, “being thirsty?”
Thirst – the act of exhibiting blatant or subtle desperation for the attention, recognition, validation, or affection of another; in a sober state, the act may or may not be direct; in an inebriated state, the act is direct, aggressive, and forthright; at the root of “thirst” is horniness, and it can only be combated with a “curve.”

What exactly is “the curve?“
Curve – the act of combating blatant or subtle desperation for the attention, recognition, validation, or affection of another; a curve is most often indirect, but the meaning behind it is always implied; the things women or men say and do to avoid someone who is interested in them.
- Credit: Nerd At a Cool Table
Fellas, it's important to get up on these terms because you don't want to be called out on getting curved by a women. Nothing worse than getting called out and not even knowing it because you aren't up on the slang.

Slanguage aside, The Staring Six released their debut album titled Let's Talk About S6x last July. By now everyone has heard This Ain't Water, but their follow up single Yogi takes a page right out of @traviemccoy's book with their catchy, acoustic rap feel. Again to catch you up on the slang, Yogi means to have sex with a girl using no condom. As a quick sidebar, I love slanguage that is innately dirty, but is able to be hidden behind cartoons or children stories. What immediately came to mind after hearing Yogi, was Gonzo...and by Gonzo I mean this. I can't think of a more appropriately inappropriate video than the one below:

To sum it up, if you're into drunk, crazy party music, you'll probably enjoy The Starting Six because they practice what they preach...#AlwaysGoinHam

Starting Six feat Mann - This Ain't Water (She Thirsty Part 2)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Where They Do That At?"

It's been more than a minute since I've posted a solid R&B track, so I thought I'd mix it up with @sabisoundz's new one featuring @wale. The bouncy track is produced by everyone's favorite producer @thedoctorluke. Check the newly released video below produced by @timcruzlovesyou...

She's now three solid singles deep on her first solo album, which doesn't have a title or release date yet. First it was Wild Heart, then everyone's favorite featuring @cobrastarship You Make Me Feel. Safe to say there's plenty of hope for her solo career to take off and I'll have a vested interest in her debut album.

Sabi feat Wale - Where They Do That (prod by Dr.Luke)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Videos of the Week April 20th

I'm still not sure what to think about the 2Pac hologram performance with @snoopdogg and @drdre at Coachella this week. Was it really cool hearing a vignette of 2Pac rap again onstage? Yea, I'd say it was probably a pretty awesome, albeit chilling experience. I really hope the powers that be treat it with kid gloves like it's another form of human cloning. I say that because I might get sick to my stomach if some record exec forks over the money to choreograph a whole hologram show, so that he can rake in millions on the likeness of a legend. I slightly doubt it will come to that, but still, money talks and this week it was yelling.

As a quick sidebar, it was cool seeing @rihanna belt out Bob Marley's Redemption Song in concert. She's got the island accent and the high octane vocals to pull it off man. Sort of fitting I threw a @RITAORA video in there too this week. Maybe they really are twins? #Twins!!
2Pac Hologram Perfoms at Coachella with Dr. Dre & Snoop

Rita Ora - How We Do (Party) (Video)

Kevin Cossom - Overflow (Video)

Rihanna Sings Bob Marley's Redemption Song (Live)

Slaughterhouse - Hammer Dance MTV Preview

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Livin' Life Like a Race Car, Tryin' Not to Crash"

Just because you aren't a household name yet in Hip Hop doesn't mean that you don't already have the respect of Hip Hop opinion leaders on the internet. No, I don't quite have the audacity to suggest that I'm in that select crowd, but if you're an up and coming Hip Hop artist and you've got the attention of said opinion leaders, then you're definitely on the right path. I felt like I needed to preface this post with that statement because @SHAWNCHRYS is a great example of a really talented dude who does it all (writes, produces, raps). I've written about him on a couple of occasions and have tried to do my best to get his name out for that reason.

There's word that his debut studio album My Name is Shawn is coming soon and I'm betting that his catchy new track below will surface as a single on the album. His on-point, pitter-patter flow on Til the End of Tonight puts on full display his lyrical abilities over a simple beat provided by PM. I can promise you that after a few listens you'll be repeating the hook word for word. Add this track his other new one, H-Town and now we're talking about a pretty solid foundation for an album.

To catch yourself up on his music, I'd give his latest mixtape Silent Films for the Blind a quick listen. You'll be equally as entertained by the video for his track The Hangover. Lots more to come from Shawn and I for one am pumped for his debut album...#ComingSoon

Shawn Chrystopher - Til the End of Tonight (prod by PM)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"We Can't Wait to Burn it To the Ground"

Even though I primarily post Hip Hop/R&B/EDM music on a daily basis, there are a few Alt Rock groups that I've always really enjoyed. I've always believed that the most consistent and awesome live show that I've seen multiple times is @311. Big or small venue, their wide array of sounds and flavors always translates to a great live performance. On the flip side, if you want to attack it from a more classic perspective, Rage Against the Machine will always be on my concert bucket list. Now if they'd only get back together and go on tour...#IWish

In that same upper echelon of high energy, slightly Hip Hop flavored rock is where @LINKINPARK lives. Even though @CHESTERBE gets a lot of the publicity for being the lead singer, the main reason I've always been such a fan of Linkin Park is @m_shinoda. From the start the way he's been able to produce and rap on the majority of their singles has been the highlight. Also, Linkin Park aside, his Rising Tied album that he released as Fort Minor will always be classic in my mind. I'd be remiss if I din't give a shout out to Linkin Park's resident DJ/Turntablist @joehahnlp whose scratches, keyboard work and background vocals give the group an added element that not a lot of bands have.

Their new singles below, Burn it Down, is a characteristically synth laden, melodic track. It's got a whole lot of harmony from Chester, a few well delivered bars by Mike Shinoda and production from the legendary Rick Rubin. It's the Top 40 single that'll give their new album Living Things a solid boost in hype and sales when it hits shelves on June 26th. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pumped to hear their new album...#Anticipation

Linkin Park - Burn it Down (prod by Mike Shinoda & Rick Rubin)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Call Him Bobby Ray Bands

With the countdown to the release of @bobatl's new album Strange Clouds now less than two weeks away, there's a daily hope that a trickle of water will start to form in the form of a small leak. Today that hope came to fruition as Bobby Ray not only released another iTunes single So Hard to Breathe, but track #2 off the official tracklist also hit the superhighway today. I'd categorize the @LILCGRANDHUSTLE produced Ray Bands as a bouncy, catchy, repeatable track with a creative play on words. Everybody knows he goes by Bobby Ray and he loves talking about his shades, so why not call him Bobby Ray Bands??

In all seriousness, there's no way Strange Clouds will top The Adventures of Bobby Ray, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to be a great album. I'm a little worried after hearing his song with Taylor that he's drifting farther away from Hip Hop and closer to manufactured Pop, but I'm far from a point where I can back that statement up. We'll know more in two weeks, but for now I'm excited that there are still a lot of songs I haven't heard on the official tracklist. Arena featuring @tip and @chrisbrown and the two deluxe bonus tracks prod by @boi1da and @iamjimjonsin are a couple that come to mind. Here's to hoping I'm dead wrong in forecasting a less than classic album...#HaterIntheHouse

B.O.B. - Ray Bands (prod by Lil C)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"If Happy Ever After Did Exist, I Would Still Be Holding You Like This"

Tonight viewers of NBC's The Voice got a treat in the form of @maroon5's new single Payphone featuring @realwizkhalifa. Shoot Wiz even appeared out of thin air around the 2:34 mark to deliver his cameo verse on the track. Check the video hot off the press...

It's good to see @ADAMLEVINE leveraging his position as a judge on the show to get the new single some exposure. You'd be kidding yourself if you thought Maroon's lead single off their upcoming album Overexposed would be anything short of ridiculously catchy. I'd assess the track as an upbeat, uplifting track that steadily marches to the ebb and flow of excitement brought to a crescendo at the chorus. Credit is in order for the producers Shellback and @itsbennyblanco for seamlessly weaving in Hip Hop a sounding beatbox for Wiz to go in on toward the end of the track.

It's pretty rare that the full tracklist is already posted for Overexposed since the album is due out in two months on June 26th. Hey, more power to them if they can sell that many copies in advance, besides it's not a Hip Hop album, so the likelihood of it leaking already decreases by at least 50%. My guess is you have a solid week or two before this becomes all your friends favorite track. Don't sleep on it, be the opinion leader this time around...#LeadersDontFollow

Maroon 5 feat Wiz Khalifa - Payphone (prod by Shellback & Benny Blanco)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Concert Review: Nero and Dillon Francis

With all the hype I've been giving Dubstep of late on the blog, I figure it was about time I practiced what I preached by attending one of these high powered, electronic shows the kids are going to nowadays. Basically my decision came down to two choices: @nerouk at the Electric Factory or @bassnectar at the Liacouras Center. I know, I know, why don't you just go to both you ask? Well, the thought of me not being as thrilled with the genre as a who popped into my mind pre-concert, so I decided a dip a toe in to check the temperature before jumping in.

And so after my traditional delicious pre-concert meal at Silk City Diner, I decided to go with Nero over Bassnectar. As a quick sidebar, I really don't like diners in general, but Silk City is more of a foodie ho tspot than a diner. Where else could you get a delicious Pan Seared Lamb Burger?? #MouthWatering. Anyways, truth be told, I probably couldn't have gone wrong either way, but Nero's event was not only scheduled before Bassnectar, I also wanted to try something different saw European electronica as the perfect deviation from the norm. Little did I know, I'd also get to see a pretty solid and well known act in @DILLONFRANCIS.

There were a couple things that I learned right off the bat when I walked into the @efactoryphilly before Dillon's set. For one, I confirmed that Dubstep/EDM/Whatever you want to call crazy electronic music there days is a genre of our youth. When I pulled up to a parking lot that was completely empty, I first thought there was something wrong, then learned real quickly that it was because most of the concertgoers were too young to drive. There's always going to be a form of music that's young and rebellious and it just so happens Dubstep has earned that stigma in 2012. It truly is fascinating to see so many under the influence teens just trying to have a good time tripping out on flashing lights everywhere you look. Another thing I learned is that college age is the cut off for the floor/pit. I had the patience to stick out being shoved and bumped for the whole hour and a half of Dillon's opening act, but me and my kinfolk were not going to endure another hour and a half of that noise. Sure, Electric Factory requires you to be of age to be upstairs, which partially accounts for the age differential, but I don't think it would be much different if they allowed the youngsters upstairs.

I'm not sure if you caught what I said a couple sentences ago about the length of the opening act too. Never have I witnessed such a long set from an opening act! Maybe it was a harbinger of things to come and an indication of my age, but when I looked at my watch and it was 10:30 with the opening act still on stage, I was a little concerned. Still, I can't hate one bit on the set the Dillon provided that was chalked full of drum and bass samples to go with the high powered Dubstep/Electronics.

Finally, just before 11 PM, Nero hit the stage to one of the more powerful concert intros I've ever witnessed. You wanna talk about a hype entrance that will make your eyebrows stand and your eyes glaze over! The sensor input alone is comparable to being 3 inches away from a computer while watching a kaleidoscope screen saver going 150 mph. Compliments to the sound guy too because when the music is so synthesized and electronic, it's easy to over-do it and border on causing hearing damage. Evidence of the quality sound was exhibited when the beautiful @alanawatson was able to deliver her high pitched vocals on their hit Promises without getting completely drowned out by the electronics.

My two favorite songs the entire night were without a doubt their performance of Must Be the Feeling(below):

and their mash up of Reaching Out with the Promises instrumental.

Reaching Out was far from my favorite track on Welcome Reality, but when you mash it up with one of their best songs, you might as well hit the elevator to the top floor.

When the concert finally starting wrapping up around 1230 or so, I felt pretty numb. And since I was driving it had nothing to do with booze or that Molly the kids are talking about. I truly wasn't conditioned to endure the 4 hours straight of electronic music with maybe 30 words being spoken and no breaks in between songs. I can appreciate good bass, which is why Dubstep is growing on me, but damn man, I felt old trying to stick out the craziness. Maybe it would be been a different story had I gone all ham sandwich like I wish I could have, but I probably still would have been feeling the effects of waking up at 6 AM, working 9 hours then having 4 hours of electronica pelted at me with a bass cannon. All in all, it was an eye opening, enjoyable rush of energy that I was happy to have experienced first hand. Next up @Skrillex...#Bamboozle

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Said She Wanna Check the Pole, I Said Okay Sarah Palin"

It's rare that you see an artist leak two high profile singles on one day, but that's what @chrisbrown did on Tuesday. With one dope single under his belt in the form of Turn Up the Music, he figured why not knock out two and three at once? Sweet Love featuring the production of @polowdadon will serve as the second single and the track below, Till I Die with @bigsean and @realwizkhalifa will serve as the third single off his upcoming album Fortune, which is scheduled for a May 4th release.

The track below is my favorite of the two singles, but not by much. It's tough when you're deciding between singles produced by Polow Da Don and Danjahandz, who are without question top 10 producers in the game. The track is about as breezy and laid back as it gets with CB opting to go the lyricist route spitting verses with two of the best in the game. In looking at the recorded tracks on Fortune, I see tracks we have yet to hear produced by @therealrunners, @iamdrumma and @davidguetta, making me think that three singles is probably the tip of the iceberg. Even better it looks like he's tracked down his great white buffalo too, which more or less puts a bow on his comeback from public scrutiny...for now at least...

Chris Brown feat Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean - Till I Die (prod by Danjahandz)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Videos of the Week April 13th

Solid mix of Hip Hop, EDM, R&B and Pop on this week's lineup of videos. @bassnectar's Vava Voom video is like looking into a kaleidoscope with a @lupefiasco image at the end of it. Slightly trippy, not for epileptics, but overall does an adequate job of capturing the craziness of the track. Shout out to Malibu Red for the alarming disclaimer and subsequent product placement in the new @neyocompound video for Burnin' Up. Also noteworthy is @KENDRICKLAMAR talking up Coachella and @drdre's presence at the event. I'm more than a little intrigued to hear how they're going to pull off this Nate Dogg performance from the grave. You can expect that on next week's video post, but for now, stay safe tonight!...#Fridaythe13th

J Cole - Sideline Story (Video)

Bassnectar feat Lupe Fiasco - Vava Voom (Video)

Ne-Yo - Burnin' Up (Video)

Jesse J feat David Guetta - Laserlight (Video)

Kendrick Lamar Speaks on Coachella, Dr. Dre, The Recipe etc.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tiesto & Wolfgang Gartner Own the Night

Is it me or did the term EDM all the sudden become a widely accepted and used acronym on the internet? I mean, I'm not claiming to be the most pop culture forward blogger by any means, but when blogs that I read who primarily post Hip Hop all the sudden start using the term like it's common knowledge, it's noteworthy. Don't get it twisted though, I don't mind at all that there's a term encapsulating all sub-genres of dance music like Electro, Eurodance, Techno, House, Trance, and of course, everyone's new favorite, Dubstep.

Not that we're all on the same page with terminology, I'm here to inform you of an epic EDM collaboration. This week @tiesto and @WOLFGANGGARTNER released a ridiculously awesome song called We Own the Night featuring the vocals of @lucianacaporaso. Like just about every dance single, it takes a few minutes to build, but the apex of the track is about as dance-worthy as it comes. The synth madness and sultry vocals hit the spot and should be a potent recipe for a few rugs to be cut around the world. Perfect driving home from work on a Friday track, please don't hesitate to indulge in excess, preferably with the windows down...#DontBeSelfish

Tiesto & Wolfgang Gartner feat Luciana - We Own the Night

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bobby Ray and Taylor Swift Make Uplifting Music Together

"I wish I was strong enough to lift,
Not one, but both of us"
Yep, it's safe to say I'm just as surprised as you are to find a song featuring @taylorswift13 on my blog. I've always been pretty outspoken against everything that is country music, but I'm willing to make an exception for a member of my live starting 5, @bobatl. All the haters who thought Bobby Ray was going to take a step back on his sophomore album might want to hit the exits after listening to Both of Us.

I say that in all seriousness because if the track below doesn't become a #1 single on iTunes at some point, then I should probably stop writing about music since I have no idea what I'm talking about. Between Taylor's angelic voice on the hook and the substance filled sermon Bobby delivers on the verses, it's a well put together collaboration. It helps too that @thedoctorluke crafted instrumental is about as universally likable as it gets, maintaining a deep Hip Hop sound, but staying Pop/Contemporary enough that the most devout Taylor Swift country fan could probably still respect.

By my count, Bobby Ray is 3 for 3 so far for singles on Strange Clouds with Strange Clouds and So Good preceeding Both of Us. That doesn't even count Play the Guitar and Never Lost, which aren't on the official tracklist, but I'm guessing will be iTunes bonus tracks. Six months ago if you would have told me Strange Clouds was going to be half as good as The Adventures of Bobby Ray, I would have probably laughed under my breath condescendingly and answered politely with a "yea right." I couldn't have been more wrong and I'll continue to eat my words on May 1st when I gladly support Bobby Simmons by copping his album...#NoSophomoreSlump

B.O.B. feat Taylor Swift - Both of Us (prod by Dr. Luke)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Man We Out Here Tryna Function!"

Been a minute since I've posted a Bay Area track that is booty-shake worthy. I think @Drake's The Motto was the last hyphy track I posted, but E-Fonzarelli's new single Function is just as hype. Check the video for the original track below featuring @ITSAPROBLEM, @yg and @iamsu...

Much of the credit should probably go to @trenddaddy who crafted the beat, but @e40's slanguage laced verse is what will end up getting the most love I'm betting. You'd think he was speaking another language talking about "sucka repellant" and "word candy slang", but that's the norm for 40. My favorite creative concoction is his has got to be gorilla milk, but Captain Save a Hoe is a close second.

Call it value added with @chrisbrown on the remix. I'll take this version any day of the week over the original...#ThatsWassup

E-40 feat Chris Brown - Function (Remix)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Wiz Khalifa Samples Deadmau5 on O.N.I.F.C.

So I'm taking a routine lap around @realwizkhalifa's new Taylor Allerdice mixtape and I kept thinking that the sample on his track O.N.I.F.C. track sounded really familiar. The resemblance was subtle, but enough to warrant some follow up Googling. Since the internet is awesome, I was able to figure out what I was looking for and it ended up being @deadmau5's track with @kaskade off his Random Album Title album called I Remember...
Solid use of the sample by in-house Taylor Gang producers @imsledgren and @cardogotwings. Like only Wiz can do, he flips it into a smooth, repetitive Hip Hop track than ends up sounding strangely soothing. If you're wondering, O.N.I.F.C. stands for Only Ni**a In First Class, which just happens to be the title of upcoming sophomore album. No release date in sight, but I'm intrigued that @ADAMLEVINE is a confirmed guest on the album. One thing I know, it's not going to be as good as his last album and I'm totally cool with lowering my expectations in advance...#SafeBet

Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C. (prod by Cardo & Sledgren)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Cataracs & Waka Flocka Want All You Tonight

What do you get when you mix the production of @thecataracs with the belligerent yelling of @wakaflockabsm and the melodic vocals of a @kaskade track? An interesting, bass-infused party track. It's got The Cataracs signature synth horns and enough high energy shouting to make sure you understand it's supposed to be a loud party track. The reason it works, though, is the offsetting soft vocals that sample Kaskade's track All You (below):

I love the creative sampling among EDM artists and the track below is no exception. It's probably going to be released on The Cataracs upcoming about 12 that is due out sometime guessed it, 2012. It'll be the first studio release from the duo since 2009 and I'm hoping it'll be chalked full of plenty other interesting concoctions like All You. Cop it if you like it and don't forget to have a #HappyEaster...

The Cataracs feat Waka Flocka & Kaskade - All You (prod by The Cataracs)

Saturday, April 07, 2012

"Lamborghini Mercy, Your Chick She So Thirsty"

With Young Money garnering most of the attention in Hip Hop or late, it's about time something else G.O.O.D. came along. As captain of G.O.O.D. Music, @kanyewest personally saw to it that the lead single off the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music LP was on point like a decimal (©BobbyRay). Filled with verses from @bigsean, @pusha_t and @2chainz with enough one liners to keep it interesting, you can bet that this one will be in heavy circulation for the summer months. Either that or at least enough random white people singing just the thirsty, mercy rhyme because that's most repeatable part...#WhitePeopleIsms

Shouts out to @lifted_newfos for laying down a bassline on the track that had my subs singing in a way that can only annoy the neighbors. So much so that it deserves the vaunted, 808 Check label. Also interesting to note is Kanye's molly reference on his verse.
"Something bout Mary she gone off the Molly"
Yet another piece of evidence that electronic/dance music is starting to completely permeate every genre of popular music including Hip Hop. If you're interested in learning more about Molly, @pigsandplans has done a few articles like the History of Molly References in Hip Hop, as well as a commentary on Madonna's use of Molly at a recent Ultra Music Festival that had @deadmau5 a little heated over her desperation to stay relevant to young kids by using a term that they could associate with. Shout out to Pigeons & Planes for consistently coming through with creative, well written, entertaining articles.

G.O.O.D. Music LP out sometime this spring...#StayTuned

Kanye West Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz - Mercy (prod by Lifted)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Videos of the Week Good Friday Edition

Real busy last couple days for videos with @drake dropping his new Take Care video with @rihanna and surprising everyone with a double shot by simultaneously releasing a video with @liltunchi for HYFR. Shout out to Yoann Lemoine for directing the abstract video for Take Care where the random animals seem to strangely lock in the emotional energy in a symbolic way. You know art class type of stuff that get people talking because there's a lot to analyze...(let's be honest I have no idea what I'm talking about). All I know is Rihanna was lookin' like the white witch in Narnia. Also deserving dap is @idirectorx for the Jewish wedding themed, slightly more normal Hip Hop video with HYFR.

I think it was only fitting that I included @ritaora's new video for R.I.P. with @TINIETEMPAH. I say that because she's a spitting image of Rihanna in just about every way. Maaaybe she's a lil more light skinned and slightly thicker, but the alarmingly red lipstick and general sexiness routine comes off like a doppelganger. That's not a bad thing though, so don't even try and run with that like I'm hatin'. I'm pretty excited to hear the full version of @thekickdrums's new track featuring the polar opposites @_ASAPROCKY and @lanadelrey. Doesn't get much more interesting with a collabo than that! Have a good Easter weekend y'all!

Drake feat Rihanna - Take Care (Video)

Drake feat Lil Wayne - HYFR (Video)

Rita Ora feat Tinie Tempah - R.I.P. (Video)

Steve Aoki feat Kid Cudi & Travis Barker - Cudi the Kid (Video)

Preview of The Kickdrums track with A$AP Rock & Lana Del Rey

The Cool Kids, The Workaholics & Tommy Sandoval Preview LRG's Summer Lineup
"At LRG we don't grow up, we beast out"

Thursday, April 05, 2012

CyHi Holds Down the A-Town Like a Prynce

"Ridin' in the Cutlass smokin' on a black,
Man it don't get mo' Decatur than that!"
If you weren't sure whether or not Hotlanta was in fact the epicenter of Southern Hip Hop, your mind will be made up after listening to @cyhitheprynce's new ATL anthem. We've heard the rep yo home town team track like @slimthugga did for the Houston Texans and the rep yo state track like @DAREALPETEY did with Raise Up, but the attempts to uplift a large city as a whole have been few and far between. And that's probably for good reason because the absolute last thing you'd ever want to be known for is not repping your city to the fullest.

In other words, it takes some balls to try and cook up anthem that a city known for Hip Hop will be impressed by. With the help of two of Decatur's most notable alumni @bobatl and @iamtravisporter, Stone Mountain native CyHi was able to step up to the plate. I use the baseball reference because the Braves are mentioned quite bit on the track with Chipper Jones getting a special shout out. What will end up instilling the most pride is the Tomahawk Chop sample on the beat. Sure it helps that Bobby Ray and CyHi both killed their verses, but you can only do so much wrong with a dope beat like the one on A-Town. I wish I could come through with a production credit, but Google let me down. What I do know is that this is the first single off CyHi's new mixtape titled The Ivy League Club, so keep an eye out for that...#ComingSoon

CyHi The Prynce Ft Travis Porter & B.O.B.- A-Town

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

"Nah I Ain't Drunk I Just Text Badly"

I used to think it was strange that there weren't many comedians that tried to parlay their talents into Hip Hop careers. When you think about it, the skills set for both professions include confidence, a razor sharp wit and usually a solid stage presence. But then you get to listening comdians like @THEREALMIKEEPPS on tracks
like this or @KATTPACKALLDAY doing this track with @LILJON and you're left thinking, "ya know what maybe they're meant to be kept apart." The closest comparison I can come up with is an NFL player trying to play NBA basketball. The skill set is damn near identical, but you never see it happen.

Which brings me to the subject of my post tonight, @donaldglover. After hearing his debut album, Camp, in it's entirety, I'm more than convinced he can reach heights previously unreachable by comedians turned Hip Hop artists. Case in point, the 1:58 mark where he seamlessly transitions from funny storytelling mode into his next verse. Changing personas mid sentence without sounding stupid is not an easy thing to do, which is why I'm steadily gaining respect for this Donald Glover dude. So much so that I threw a couple $$ his way in the form of a future concert date. You can bet I'll have a lot more to say after I see him in person, but for now, how bout we stick to hoping for a full length mixtape? #WishfulThinking

Childish Gambino - Eat Something

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"You-You Know You Love This Life, Don’t Nobody Do You Like Me"

"I got a strong mind and kind heart
With a soft kiss but I love hard"

Another day, another extremely dope lead single. Today @tip came through with Love This Life, which is the first tome come off his upcoming album Trouble Man. On the track, T.I. exhibits a combination of versatility and maturity as he confidently brags about his ability to do his woman better than any other man over a storytelling beat by @1500ornothin. The lyrical depth, repeatability of the hook and general sentimentality really set the track apart and give it more than enough potential to grow into one of my favorite T.I. tracks. I know that's a tall order and I'm probably over-hyping it based on the first few listens, but simply put, it's a really well done track.

No word yet on when the new album will drop, but just like everyone else who is releasing lead singles right now, it's slated for a late summer release. Is it me or are rappers less likely to open up now that Drake has made it "cool" again to write song about how they feel? I know @tip has done it before with Whatever You Like, but that was a 100% bubbalicious bubble gum pop. Love This Life seems more unique and heartfelt in comparison, which is partly why it's resonating with me so much. I'm not sure I thought I'd ever see the day where T.I. mentions his heart three times in one track, but that's not a bad thing. Substance and vulnerability in Hip Hop is so few and far between that when it comes along, shout out to T.I. for keepin' it 100...

T.I. - Love This Life (prod by 1500 or Nothin)

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Recipe = Women, Weed and Weather

If you're like me, you damn near leaped out of you computer chair when you learned @kendrick_lamar's lead single off his new album featured @drdre. By now it's clear that the Good Doctor has chosen Kendrick as his protege to be Compton's new prince and deservedly so, since he's got more talent and tenacity on the mic than anybody in Cali (not named Crooked I).

If you're expecting a set the world on fire, classic Dr. Dre produced club banger, you're going to be let down by The Recipe. I say that because it's more of a smooth, laid back, breezy track that holds it's weight lyrically rather than with the beat. That's not to say that @SCOOPDEVILLE's production is anything less than head nod worthy, it's dope too in it's own right.

What I'm trying to say is it wasn't exactly what I was expecting or hoped for, but I do enjoy the track. It was cool to hear Dr. Dre on the mic contributing a couple verses on a track rather than chip in on the instrumental. The track is slated to be the lead single off Kendrick's upcoming Aftermath debut, Good Kid In A Mad City. No confirmed release date on the album (although there are late summer rumors), but a lead single goes a long way in pushing a release date. Hopefully this is only the beginning of future collaborations between the young and old Compton royalty...#BestIsYetToCome

Kendrick Lamar feat Dr. Dre - The Recipe (prod by Scoop Deville)

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