Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Kept My Phone on Silent Every Since You Got a Ring"

I know Big Sean catches a lot of flack for mixing the singing with rapping, but there aren't many artists who can do what he does. In my eyes there are five artists in Hip Hop that can legitimately story-tell with a mix of singing and rapping: Big Sean, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, B.O.B. and Kid Cudi. I wouldn't go as far as to say I like Big Sean's music as much as the other four, but it's between him and Kendrick Lamar for my Live Starting Five in Hip Hop.

With his recent release of Beware, Sean Don will be three singles deep on his upcoming album, Hall of Fame, due out August 27th. It's become really hard to get away from his first single (Guap), I wasn't a big fan of Switch Up, but I'm really liking his new one. With a memorable, but simple beat by KeY Wane, a characteristically witty 16 for Lil Wayne and some harmony for Jhene, Beware hits the mark as a mellow warning for all those fellas out there breaking hearts. If you're a fan of quippy, light-hearted, stream of consciousness Hip Hop, you'll be entertained by the track below. Mark it down, August 27th...when Big Sean proves that there is no such thing a a sophomore slump...#FFOE

Big Sean feat Lil Wayne & Jhene Aiko - Beware (prod by KeY Wane)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"How Could I Ever Repay, I.O.U."

As someone who believes producers are a bigger predictor of track success than the artist, a good move to get my attention is to find a way to get a big name producer to fork over a beat for you. There's a good chance I'll be able to tell whether it was money or talent that enabled you to procure the beat, but I've found that more often than not, getting a producer co-sign is usually an indication of talent. So for example, when your lead single is produced by The Runners, then Danjahandz produces your remix, big huge red sirens go off in my head that force me to listen.

Enter, Luke James, who is signed to Danja's NARS (New Age Rock Stars) label. Evidently he'll be opening for Beyonce this summer on some of her tour dates, which is another nice feather in his cap. In case you haven't heard the original version of I.O.U. that came out in early February, check out the lyric video below.

The original is cool and all, but the remix with Wale blows the original out of the water. On the remix Luke manages to pull a Trey Songz/Kevin Cossom and sing/rap his way to multi-dimensional success. I'm a big fan of artists than can pull off both, so you better believe I'll be keeping an eye on Luke's upcoming debut album Made to Love due out July 16th...#NARS

Luke James feat Wale - I.O.U. (Summertime Remix)(prod by Danja)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Videos of the Week June 28th

In case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen the hundreds of Samsung commercials that Jay-Z has been putting out, I should probably let you know his new Magna Carta Holy Grail album is coming out in then next week. As much as I kid, I'm pretty pumped to give the high octane, super-produced album a listen. I enjoyed Wale and Big Boi's new visuals and it was pretty cool to see some genuine excitement from Drizzy as he made his whole crew take shots out of his Grammy. If you want some shock and awe, give cute little Aaralyn's death metal a listen...#ShockValue
Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail "One Too Many" Commercial
Wale feat Sam Dew - LoveHate Thing (Video)

Drake Receives His Grammy...Then Takes a Shot Out of It

Big Boi - The Thickets (Video)

6-Year Old Little Girl Screaming Death Metal on America's Got Talent

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"I'm Callin' Shots, Call Me Don Julio"

I can't remember the last time Tech N9ne collaborated with a high profile producer. That's more of a compliment than anything because most artists need outsourced production to succeed. Not Techa Nina though, he's made a living for over fifteen years sculpting his own "sound" and making a living off of his unique delivery and edgy-Hip Hop. I'll put it this way, Hip Hop in general isn't as entertaining live, but that rule of thumb does not pertain to the show Aaron Yates puts on. I'll never forget Slaughterhouse open for him in the middle of nowhere in Reading, PA.

Anyways, Tech is preparing to release his thirteenth, yep count that, thirteenth studio album. As I mentioned, the production is what caught me off guard on his new one below featuring Wiz Khalifa and B.O.B.. The Drumma Boy produced beat on See Me is on point and sets the table nicely for Wiz and Tech to go in on it. When it comes to lyrical delivery, nobody (other than maybe Twista) can go fast to slow like Tech. I wouldn't be surprised if Tech finds a way to get to twenty studio albums, but even if he doesn't I'll always have the utmost respect for the way Tech has build his Independent empire. Keep a look out for Something Else, which hits stores in about a month on July 30th...#StrangeMusic

Tech N9ne feat B.O.B. & Wiz Khalifa - See Me (prod by Drumma Boy)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Rap Song That Very Few Will Ever Understand

As someone who has recently been to multiple foreign countries (ok, Ireland may not count since they speak English), I have a growing appreciation for folks who are multi-lingual. Being able to understand someone speaking another language is one thing, being fluent in a second language is another thing...rapping in five different languages on the same track is a bit mind blowing. I don't care how simple you may think the lyrics are, Andrew Huang  is on another level linguistically because he managed to combine English, Spanish, French, Swedish and Mandarin all on one track. Check the video below of him executing the track in studio with the extremely necessary paint by numbers style, read-along lyrics for Vass Tunga...

It's one of those novelty experiences that you simply admire because you understand how far away you are from being able to pull off something like that. Serving as icing on the cake, he put together an interesting explanation video for how he came up with the lyrics. Tip of the cap to you Andrew Huang, you just accomplished something that I had never seen...#FirstTimeForEverything

Andrew Huang - Vass Tunga|iTunes

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hip Hop and Dubstep Compliment Each Other Well

Rarely do I ever re-post songs, but I'm going to make an exception today because when I posted the original version of Do or Die back in December, it was a choppy radio edit. Today the visuals came out for the Flux Pavilion and Childish Gambino's collabo, which prompted the second wind. Check out the video below...
The CDQ of the track is much more palatable and gives the Hip Hop/Dubstep mash even more credibility. The track comes off as even more methodical and even slower than the original I remember. I enjoyed the end of the track too, Flux showed off a bit by seamlessly mixing in the synths to the heavy dub beat. I said it before and I'll say it again, hopefully there's more Hip Hop/Dubstep collabos to come...#DubHop

Flux Pavilion feat Childish Gambino - Do or Die

Monday, June 24, 2013

Amel Larrieux Stands For Neo-Soul

Taking a trip off the usual path tonight on a jazzy interlude hosted by Amel Larrieux. The phrases "easy listening" and "soulful vocals" immediately come to mind when listening to her new one, Afraid. The single is long overdue since it's been about four years since she last released an album. As a result, her upcoming album, Ice Cream Every Day has fans coming out of the woodwork. To the kind viewer who is looking to host one of those grown and sexy dinner parties, I'd consider making a time investment into Amel's discography to uncover gems like Sweet Misery...#Afraid

Amel Larrieux - Afraid

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ellie Rocks Out I Need Your Love Acoustic

Rarely does an EDM track translate seamlessly to an acoustic version, but then they're not all sung by the beautiful and talented Ellie Goulding. You'll probably recognize the track as Calvin Harris's I Need Your Love, but in case you don't check the visuals below...
With a little piano and an acoustic guitar, Ellie's serene vocals shine through like there's not a cloud in sight. Her soft, raspy delivery is so distinct that you'd be hard pressed to find another comparable singer. Even though Hip Hop and Dance music is the capitol I push on a daily basis, I wouldn't hesitate to see Ellie live in concert...#INeedYourLove

Ellie Goulding - I Need Your Love (Live Acoustic)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"All This Capitol, It's Like I Left the Caps Lock On"

It's only fitting that Drizzy leak a couple freebies the day that tickets for his Would You Like a Tour? goes on sale. Like many, I was F5-ing the sh*t out of the Ticketmaster website this morning and copped a set of pretty nice seat for his visit in October. It looks like I'll be seeing him live three weeks after his new Nothing Was the Same album drops on September 17th.

Out of the four tracks that were posted to OctobersVeryOwn this morning, the quick favorite is his freestyle with J Cole that pays homage to Jodeci. The lyrical assault is very two albums ago, so when I heard the line "Drizzy still got some 06 in him", I nodded in agreement. These creative, lyrical gymnastics sessions set the bar for freestyles circa 2010. What I mean by that, is that Hip Hop has evolved (or devolved depending on how you look at it) into a genre that is still all about rappers making claims about why they're better than you, but now they do it in much more creative ways. You don't hear too many freestyle battles anymore, which is a shame, but at the same time, it's an indication that Hip Hop artists don't need to be able to freestyle to be successful anymore. As a quick sidebar, that's why Eminem became so popular and continues to be one of the best because he has the ability to come up with freestyle content instantly and when he's in attack mode, his delivery is unmatched. Yet, his delivery is only half the reason why he's been so successful because his other-wordly wordplay is what made him the living legend that he is today. His multiple generation spanning skill set has almost single-handedly helped shape and influence this next wave of rappers who make it a point to ramp up the wittiness and wordplay when on the mic.

As a long-time fan, I appreciate the track below and it really helps balance out the "man, I'm not sure I'm as big of a fan anymore if all his tracks are going to sound like Started From the Bottom" sentiment. In short, I hope y'all appreciate it as much as I did...#NothingWasTheSame

Drake feat J Cole - Jodeci Freestyle

Friday, June 21, 2013

Videos of the Week June 21st

Definitely not the norm putting two commercials in videos of the week, but let's just say there were a few companies who stepped it up this week in anticipation for the 17.7 overnight rating that game 7 of the NBA finals recorded. That's good for 2nd place all time for an NBA game on ABC only trailing the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics game 7 in 2010, which had an 18.2 overnight rating. Nike's voicemail bit was creative and if you're not extremely excited about Jay-Z's upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail album, then you are no friend of mine. Pretty cool to have a company buy a million of your records before it even comes out. Too bad Billboard hit the brakes on that auto-platinum status!

In other news, more people need to hear the story of reformed pimp and author Iceberg Slim and Nardwuar is still a strange cat. Have a good weekend y'al, I'll leave you with this gem...#SignsThatYoureRatchet

Jay-Z Game 7 Samsung Magna Carta Holy Grail Commercial

Nike Commercial Lebron's Voicemail Post-Championship

Iceberg Slim (Official Trailer)

Juicy J feat The Weeknd - One of Those Nights (Video)

Nardwuar Interviews Logic

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Star Slingin' on a Thursday Night

Am I the only one who wants really badly that Star Slinger would tour around the US? There's an outside shot I could catch him in Chi-town, but he seems keen on primarily staying in the UK on his side of the pond. Can't blame him, if I made great music I'd make people come check me out in my home territory too.

Anyways, the English version of Darren Williams let loose a funky rendition of Miguel's Adorn this week. The remix has a little bit of everything from Hip Hop to electronic to a bit of reggae/calypso vibe toward the end. It's a funky take on a love makin' track that stays true to his upbeat, piano-filled style. Feel free to cool out to this one and don't miss Miguel opening for Drake this fall...#WouldYouLikeATour

Miguel - Adorn (Star Slinger remix)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Kids, Kids Are Gonna Do What They Want"

I'll be the first to admit, I did not know who Mikky Ekko was until he surfaced on Rihanna's track Stay. It goes without saying, he shined all over that track vocally and was a worthy choice for the duet. Long story short he hails from Nashville, TN and had previously been known more for his writing prior to Ri Ri puttin' him on.

You can consider his Benny Benassi and John Hill produced lead single Kids his starting point toward a major label debut album. The track is about as easy listening as it gets with it's catchy, electro-pop sound. I find his southern folk-ish style Tom Petty-esque delivery interesting over soothing synths and I'd normally characterize him as an Indie artist, but this single will probably get it's share of top 40 love before it's all over. Keep an eye on Mikky, he's got a unique style that's worthy of note...#Kids

Mikky Ekko - Kids (prod by Benny Benassi & John Hill)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kanye Has Blood on the Leaves TNGHT

I'm still at a bit of a loss trying to wrap my mind around Yeezus. Maybe I'm missing the whole artistry of it because I love Daft Punk and I love me some Hudson Mohawke and they both heavily contributed to the album's sound. After a couple laps, I'm still struggling to pick a favorite and I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that I'm not a big fan of the abrasive tone of the album. It's clearly written with anger as a driving force, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because emotion can be a driving force behind the creation great music. Kanye sort of backed that up that angry assertion today by posting an American Psycho inspired Yeezus promo on his website today.

So if had to pick a favorite, it would be the Blood on the Leaves, which features Tony Williams and samples Nina Simone's Strange Fruit and TNGHT's R U Ready? Click below for the old school sample..

Whatever happened to the joyful 808 sound and the uplifting music? Maybe the album will grow on me, but for the time being, I'm not as excited as the general populace...#Yeezus

Kanye West feat Tony Williams - Blood on the Leaves (prod by Kanye West, TNGHT & Mike Dean)

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Oh, Luxury, Chidi-Ching-Ching Could Buy Anything"

Now that Kendrick Lamar has asserted himself as the next big, influential Hip Hop artist, it might be time to give his TDE (Top Dawg Ent) labelmate some much deserved attention. ScHoolboy Q is a well-known name around Hip Hop circles, but beyond those circles not a ton of people realize he's released two albums already. His most recent album Habits & Contradictions received really favorable reviews from Pitchfork (8.4/10), Billboard (3.5/5) and XXL (4/5). You might have even heard his track with A$AP Rocky, Hands on the Wheel that sampled Cudi's Pursuit of Happiness?

Even if you haven't the good news is his upcoming album, Oxymoron is scheduled to drop in 2013. Last weekend he debuted his new single, Collard Greens at Bonaroo last weekend...

Pretty cool how he infused a little reggae twist to the live version. At the very least the steady knock of the THC beat with Kendrick's verse should pique your interest enough to nod your head to this one...#BlackHippy

Schoolboy Q feat Kendrick Lamar - Collard Greens (prod by THC)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"You're a Stay At Home Dad and That's Not Gay"

Man what a perfect track to post on Father's Day. Seattle's own Macklemore & Ryan Lewis let us have a freebie today called Stay at Home Dad that does a great job of highlighting a demographic of fathers that generally gets mocked and overlooked. The track was previously released as a bonus track on their 2010 The vs Redux EP, but since it's been a few years they generously gave it away today.

There are too many quoteables to count, but below are a few of my favorites from the track:
"You make the cheese Ill bring the guac"
"Shit is 4 o'clock, time for Oprah (Oprah, The gospel of the Lord, for dads who stay at home"
"Now keep on bringing the green baby, and Ill keep on tossin' salad"
Big fan of the open questioning of gender roles and giving credit when credit is due to an often thankless responsibility. Shout out to all the dads out there, raise a glass for all the say at home dads...#HappyFathersDay

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Stay At Home Dad

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Avicii is About to Wake Up the Music Industry

I know, I know Yeezus leaked last night so you're probably expecting me to have picked out a favorite to post today. I'm leaning toward Blood on the Leaves, but On Sight goes pretty hard. Stay tune for tomorrow, but for today, in light of Kim and Kanye's baby being delivered five weeks before it's due date the day after his album leaked, the internet has jokes. Shout out to P&P for being Johnny on the spot and bringing to light gems like the one below...

Kimye aside, I'm actually a lot more excited about the radio edit of Avicii's long awaited lead single to his upcoming yet to be titled album. For those who weren't at UMF (Ultra Music Festival) and missed my post on Hey Brother, Hey Sister, Tim is making an attempt to combine electronic music and country. While a whole lot of hardcore electronic fans quickly ran to social networks to bash him for his trail blazing efforts, I thought the move was brilliant. Personally, I've never been a fan of the country sound because of it's lack of flair. Sure there are a ton of different types of country songs that have a wide range of styles and tempos, but the genre has always hovered around the same sound and style for decades. It's about time someone like Avicii tried to take the acoustic/banjo with bluegrass elements out of country and apply it to a more dynamic genre of music. According to an anonymous comment on the last Avicii post I had, the new sub-genre is called "Newgrass." Can't confirm whether that's true, but with the soothing vocals of Aloe Blacc and the genius of Avicii, something new is coming to life in the form of Wake Me Up and I really like it...#WakeMeUp

Avicii feat Aloe Blac - Wake Me Up (Radio Edit)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Videos of the Week June 14th

Whoever thought up the idea to create a cruise experience based on electronic music deserves an award. There's a slim chance I'll attend, but Holy Ship! is a forward thinking idea that I hope more and more cruise companies adopt especially with all the poop cruises and such of late. In other news, Drake evidently loves FIFA and plays a lot of it. Oh, and Skylar Grey released another relatively dark video that involves some tent snuggling and playing the piano in the right? To round out the top 5, Wiz and Alicia chipped in new videos for recent singles. Solid week overall for music related visuals...
Skylar Grey - Wear Me Out (Video)

Wiz Khalifa - Paperbond (Video)

Holy Ship! Promo Video (EDM Cruise)

Drake Introduces FIFA 14 at E3

Alicia Keys - Tears Always Win (Video)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"My Chevy Hop Scotchin' If You Ask Me"

Unbeknownst to me, there has been a production competition co-hosted by McDonalds and Vibe called "The Big Mix" taking place over the past few weeks. The best decision they made surrounding the competition was to let Big K.R.I.T. select the finalists. Now that K.R.I.T. has unquestionably taken over the reigns as the most influential producer of southern Hip Hop music, his opinion on what's "hot" should be taken with more than a grain of salt...matter of fact it should probably be taken with an entire salt lick.

Long story short, the contest started with ten contestants and those ten contestants were eventually whittled down to five finalists. Out of of those finalists, Foreign Allegiance was eventually crowned the champ and they earned a chance to work with K.R.I.T. on a new track. Check the video below for a quick behind the scenes look of What You Know About It...
Straight up, the track is bangin'. Given, I'm a heavy lean toward the sound of southern Hip Hop (pun intended), but between the keyboard lead in and the sampled screwed hook, K.R.I.T. was given a more than sufficient platform to shine on. Big ups to Mc D's and Vibe for bringing this thing together...#TheBigMix

Big K.R.I.T. - What You Know About It (prod by Foreign Allegiance)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tiësto & Dyro Make Paradise Together

With the amount of worthwhile electronic music that gets released on a daily and weekly basis, I'm trying to make a habit out of posting a new favorite EDM track every Wednesday. Partly because it's "Huuuump Daaaaayyy yeeaaaa! (love that) and folks in the working world sometimes need that extra something to help them down the homestretch of the week. What better choice than a fresh new Tiesto collabo with Dyro, which amounts to a crisp, harmonious dose of electronic rhythm. Newly minted visuals below...

There's a certain minimum level of quality that Tiesto always seems to surpass, which makes it difficult sometimes to critique his music. He's got Greg Maddux-like consistency with his music that won't necessarily dazzle, but it always gets the job done. Most people would be surprised to hear that he's 44 years old, especially because of how well he's managed to blend in with the new electronic music movement that is marked by artists that are almost half as old as him. Betcha didn't know that his Club Live Vol 3 album is coming out next week, did you?...#ClubLife

Tiësto & Dyro - Paradise

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Go Stupid, Get Stupid, Because We Said To Do It"

Who is in the mood for some ridiculousness? Good, because The Lonely Island just concocted some f*ckery that not only poke fun at pop music, but does it in a way that's so over the top that you can't help but watch. There's no intro that will do justice to the visuals below...

Putting Diddy and Paul Rudd in the mix definitely amplified the train-wreckness of it. This one is right up Paul Ruud's alley, but seeing Diddy doing choreography that includes the "Indiana Jones", inflating a woman's behind with helium, stepping on broken glass and drawing a dude naked (in that order) was what made the video. The Wack Album just hit iTunes today, so if you're in the mood for some outlandish music that will make you laugh and blush a bit, I'd highly recommend.

The Lonely Island feat Diddy, Paul Rudd & Robyn - Go Kindergarten

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Girl I Miss the Way It Used To Be"

It's been three years since Mike Posner released his debut album, which seems like a really long time ago. Lucky for us, he's loading up for round 2 in the form of his sophomore album Pages. Never short on creativity, Mike put together a two minute promo for his upcoming album due out this fall. It's quick, but full of useful inspirational tidbits like, "I never thought the words in the margins would get me a job and now it feels like my whole life is a margin"...

As far as the lead single to the album (below), The Way It Used To Be is a made for radio, gently electronic pop track. It starts off the way you'd expect a Bruno Mars track, but it eventually morphs into a likeable, sing-along ballad. You may say I'm drinking the pop Kool-Aid, but what's not to like about Midwest boy trying to live out his dreams...#TheWayItUsedToBe

Mike Posner - The Way It Used To Be

Sunday, June 09, 2013

"Don't Say a Word, Listen to My Body Talk"

Having just seen Afrojack at the Indy 500, I jumped at his latest assist on Nayer and Jason Derulo's new single Body Talk. Make no mistake about it, it's a pop track, but I've always had soft spot for the talents of JD since the days of when he was keepin' it on the Hush. The duet works well over a synth laden soca track that shows the South Florida influence of the 305 native, Nayer. It's a fun track that will have more than a few ladies singing along to the carefree vocals. In other words, it's coming to a radio station near you...#YouveBeenWarned

Nayer feat Jason Derulo - Body Talk (prod by Afrojack)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

"Just Copped a Maroon 5 No Adam Levine"

Now that J Cole's upcoming album Born Sinner has all the sudden become readily available on the internet, it's time to start dissecting it a bit. I'll start tonight by posting his subtly aggressive lyrical assault on Forbidden Fruit. If you can get past the vulgarity and sexual references, there's a lot of lyrical creativity through metaphors and wordplay that will probably get overlooked. If it were up to me, I would have been thrilled to hear Kendrick pitch in more than just a hook, but you can't always get whatcha want.

Born Sinner is scheduled to hit iTunes on June 18th, so if you're on the fence about purchasing, feel free to stream the whole album here. I don't have an informed enough of an opinion to pass judgment, so stay tuned for more to come...#BornSinner

J Cole feat Kendrick Lamar - Forbidden Fruit

Friday, June 07, 2013

Videos of the Week June 7th

You might ask, why would I post an EDM video of scantily clad women playing dodge ball? that I've gotten the stupid question out of the way, feel free and also check out Asher Roth's Wayne's World "game on" spoof that he released to promote his upcoming Greenhouse Effect Vol. 2 mixtape. Also, I've said it a few times, I really enjoy the Decoded videos where artists are able to peel back the layers and tell the story about how a track came together and ended up sounding the way it did. Real cool to hear Fabolous share his thoughts on his classic Breathe. If you're in the mood for the more run of the mill music video, One Republic just released a new visual for their Counting Stars single and Kevin Cossom did his own take on Miguel's Power Trip. Overall, I'd like to think there is a solid mix that ranges from salacious to serious this week...#Asphyxiation
Autoerotique - Asphyxiation (Video)

Asher Roth - Game On! (Promo Video)

Fabolous Breaks Down His Hit Breathe on Decoded

One Republic - Counting Stars (Video)

Kevin Cossum - Power Trip (Freestyle) (Video)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ever Heard of Sam Smith? Dude Can Straight Up Sing!

Good god almighty! That was about what came out of my mouth after I picked it off the ground shortly after hearing the pipes on your boy Sam Smith. The only other comp I can think of is when I heard Michael Buble's voice for the first time. Before you go thinking he sounds anything like Michael Buble, pump the brakes. Sam is more of a traditional vocalist that you'd hear on say an American Idol or The X Factor. I mention X Factor because he hails from the UK and I'd venture to guess that he'd do quite well if he decided to compete on the show. If you're wondering what he's got, his acoustic version of Lay Me Down is all you need to hear...

Yea that's that type of ballad that gets the ladies all excited. Some might even say it's borderline BMM and I'd second that notion. Even though I've strayed away from posting ballads, I will willingly make an exception for an artist who actually got his big break by being featured on Disclosure's single Latch. Further proof that talented artists always find a way to open doors for other talented artists...#NSACalledToTellMe

Sam Smith - Lay Me Down

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

"You Really Think You Ready To Fly, Make Some Noise"

In an awesome turn of events, it would appear that Rusko has just signed with Skrillex's OWSLA label. What is OWSLA you ask? None other than the elite rabbit army from the 1978 British animated film Watership Down. Who else is signed on to Skrillex's OWSLA label you ask? None other than my current favorite, Sub Focus.

Yea OWSLA is the becoming the current home of some of the best Dubstep and drum/bass combinations in the game. Using a Jay-Z sample, Rusko goes 100 mph and literally Take(s) Off into an electronically charged drum and bass tantrum. This one isn't for the faint of heart, feel free and left click and drag to the cardio playlist...#OWSLA

Rusko - Take Off

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

"I Feel Like Old Blue Jeans, 'Cause You Wear Me Out"

It's getting to the point that I'm so confident I'm going to like Skylar Grey's music, I immediately start crafting a post before I listen to her tracks. Sure, it helps that she again has stellar, top notch production from JR Rotem on her new single below, but her talent as a vocalist is undeniable. She continues her edgy storytelling with lyrics like...

"Smartass little girl, always on the run, playin' with fire and daddy's gun"

...but then she reels you back in on the melodic hook that analogizes the act of nagging being like an old pair of jeans. Lost in the shuffle of great singles that she has released recently like C'mon Let Me Ride and Final Warning is that both were preceded two years ago by her debut single off (Invisible) off her upcoming album Don't Look Down. I'm at a loss as far as which one is my favorite, but Wear Me Out ranks up there. Going four solid singles deep before releasing your album is a feat that is going to make it really difficult to resist iTunes on July 9th when her album hits iTunes...#WearMeOut

Skylar Grey - Wear Me Out (prod by JR Rotem)

Monday, June 03, 2013

J Cole Says Be Proud of That Crooked Smile

The only way to conquer negativity is with never-ending positivity. That opinion may as well be the tag line for J Cole's new single below featuring TLC. In fact, Cole recently sat down with Esteban Serrano of Fuse to talk about the inspiration behind the track...

Money may get you a lot of things in life, but it doesn't always buy you happiness because with money comes envy and scrutiny. The type of scrutiny that would make anyone self-conscious about their looks. The world could use more songs like Crooked Smile that empowered people to be themselves in a world full of hate. Keep the positivity comin' and take'em to church Cole! Only two more weeks til one of the most highly anticipated albums drops...#BornSinner

J Cole feat TLC - Crooked Smile

Sunday, June 02, 2013

"When a Fire Starts to Burn and it Starts to Spread"

Earlier this week I was introduced to the UK electronic band Disclosure through Toro y Moi's remix of their You & Me single. Now that they're on my radar, might as well keep the upbeat funk going. Their latest single below reminds me of a lot of the group exercise anthems of the 90s, which is now novel twenty years later. I'm talkin' like Rhythm is a Dancer style heavy synths with repetitive vocal sample.

What prompted me to post the track was their video release for the single, which captures the evangelical vibe of the track and takes it to a zombie-like, WWE level with some of the silly behavior...

If you're eager to cop it because you just loved those jazzercise classes so much back in the day, fear not, their new album Settle is scheduled for a Tuesday, June 4th release. Personally, I'm tickled that gospel and EDM are mixed below and it needs to happen more often because When a Fire Starts to Burn is funk-filled disco madness...#Settle

Disclosure - When a Fire Starts to Burn

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Chuck Inglish Does it For the Love

Now that The Cool Kids have parted ways, I feel like a kid who is going through divorce. Now I need to get to know Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks on their own as individuals, which is a little strange because of how well they worked together. It's as if they're both fighting for the love of fans this week as they both released solo mixtapes. Sir Michael just let dropped his While You Wait mixtape, while Chuck released Droptops via Karmaloop.

Seeing how much I enjoy the production value that The Cool Kids brought to the table, it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm posting a Chuck track first. His new one with Asher Roth is throwback as hell with the repetitive rolling beat clap that lays the foundation for some laid back verses from the dynamic duo. Now that I'm looking at the tracklist, I've already posted the majority of the tracks on Droptops, which speaks to how much of a gift it is to be able to cop it for free. It's heavy, well-produced Hip Hop that will take you back to the 1990s when folks were just starting to harness the power of an 808 drum machine. Go do yourself a favor and cop it...#Droptops

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Chuck Inglish feat Asher Roth - For the Love

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