Sunday, July 31, 2016

"We Ain't Never Gettin' Older"

At this point, it's becoming a forgone conclusion that any new Chainsmokers single will ascend to the top spot on iTunes charts. How far Alex and Drew have come from those guys who could make a great remix to now being in the drivers seat of contemporary EDM. Their new single featuring Halsey goes where no other Chainsmokers song has gone before. More specifically, Drew rocked out the vocals throughout the track. If you're late to get in on The Chainsmokers, they generally outsource talented vocalists for hooks and verses. Not this time, though.

Serious dap is in order for being ballsy enough to say "we got this" by handling everything from the beat to the songwriting to the vocals. Even though their personalities would have you 100% convinced they are perpetually the life of the party, nothing about their talent as a duo is a joke. They can make music and even though they're getting into the vocals now, they never disappoint when it comes with picking vocalists to collaborate with. Basically Halsey is stellar and if you've ever hooked up with an ex and immediately regretted it, this song's for you. You know what they say, the bump into always leads to the backslide. Don't let it happen y'all, it's never worth it...#Closer

The Chainsmokers feat Halsey - Closer

Friday, July 29, 2016

Videos of the Week July 29th

Any week that features a new seven minute video from Kanye is probably a noteworthy week in a lot of peoples' eyes. It's hard to ignore how cinematic his videos end up being, but somehow they all seem to fit the dark, edginess of his lyrics. In his new video for Wolves, he shed tears, he walks around in expensive jackets, his wife makes a cameo and there are plenty of models walking around in black and white attire. Have your opinions about Kanye, but he makes provocative act in a lot of ways.

In the land of other videos, there was a whole lot of entertainment on Fallon. Starting with G-Eazy and Tory Lanez's performance of Drifting on Fallon, Jimmy brought out the A list this week. If actors are more your bag, Will Smith did his best to show what it means to make an epic entrance and Matt Damon is a really convincing liar, but Jimmy has an uncanny ability to sense the truth. If only we could say the same for Matt who fell hard for a lie. Rounding out the week was an interesting collabo between JoJo and Wiz Khalifa. I've always been a big fan of JoJo, so seeing an edgier side of her with Wiz was the most entertaining video of my week. It probably won't be for you, but hey, some of us crush hard and don't let go of said crush years later...#FApologies
Kanye West- Wolves (Video)

G-Eazy and Tory Lanez Perform Drifting on Fallon

Will Smith Makes Multiple Grand Entrances on Fallon

Matt Damon Plays Box of Lies on Fallon

JoJo feat Wiz Khalifa - F**k Apologies (Video)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"You Only Live Once So We Never Take the Day Off"

Over the years, Hip Hop soundtracks have went by way of the dinosaur. As a teenager looking to soak up any kind of provocative music, I grew up listening to soundtracks like The Nutty Professor, Friday, or The Players Club. The albums always seemed like a treasure trove of singles, which generally resulted in me heading to Sam Goody to buy the entire album. How times have change for both music buying and music compilations.

Until today, I hadn't caught wind of the upcoming movie The Land. What makes said upcoming movie noteworthy is that Nas took the reins on producing the soundtrack. For a bit of context, check out the trailer for the movie that Erykah Badu and Machine Gun Kelly both play roles in...

Out of the songs I've listened to off the soundtrack, my favorite so far has been Pusha T and Jeremih's Paid. I'm not used to King Push rapping on an uplifting track, but the combination of Jeremih's vocals, an infectious piano led rhythm and a few hot 16s, it makes for a pretty easy-listening track. If I were to pick a second favorite, it would be Erykah and Nas's soulful and rugged This Bitter Land. I've only listened to a few tracks on the soundtrack, but ready throw Nas dap for temporarily bringing back the Hip Hop soundtrack into my world...#TheLand

Pusha T feat Jeremih - Paid

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

R&B House That Will Leave a Love Mark

As a fan of 90s R&B, I feel like I've been tapping my feet for the better part of a decade for the genre to evolve. Sure, there have been a few bright spots like Tory Lanez and TroyBoi who continue to serve up slow trap songs with a heavy dose of R&B influence, but generally speaking, it's been either non-existent or stuck in them mud. As I say that, here come the Bixel Boys with Jarell Perry with a new house/R&B jam. Off top Jarell will suck you in with some soft vocals over a steady tempo leading up to the hook. Then, post hook, you get a steady dose of swanktastic bass, reminding you that the track is still very much hitting at heart of easy-listening, house music. It's not a usual R&B flavor, which is why I found it to be notable enough to share with y'all. Hopefully songs like this serve as a much needed example of R&B artists who have the courage to re-imagine a stagnating genre...#LoveMarks

Bixel Boys feat. Jarell Perry - Love Marks

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Forget a Thunder Clap, How Bout That Viking Clap?

Where would the world be without underdog stories in sports? I ask that question because of what Iceland did in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Stop me if you've heard this, but they were the smallest nation to ever qualify for a major soccer tournament and then went out and beat the brakes off soccer perennial power England. For reference, Iceland would be the 23rd biggest city if it were to located in England.

Since everyone loves a good cinderella story, their team spirit captivated millions of people. The captivation didn't lead to a victory over France, but people did finally catch onto their loud Viking Clap cheer. Check it below if you need a frame of reference...

All in all, a pretty manly cheer. And it didn't go unnoticed by Tritonal and Cuebrick either. Together they used the cheer as a slow build up to their new Iceland jam. The cheer sample made for a unique intro to an electronic track. Around the two minute mark you'll understand why the track is fit for a festival. Tip of the cap for the Iceland soccer team for stealing our hearts and paving the way to unique EDM tracks like the one below...#VikingClap

Tritonal & Cuebrick – Iceland (Viking Clap)

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Hello, Would You Pick Up the Phone?"

With political views as omnipotent as air these days, you could imagine what a new single from Lupe Fiasco would sound like. Yet another emotionally charged, pointed lyrical assault airing out all the ills that are eroding away the fabric of America?, not even close. Instead, Lupe used his unique storytelling super powers to craft a tale of loneliness and longing. With the help of stellar vocals on the hook from Eric Turner, Lupe managed to capture that pleading feeling of really wanting someone you love to answer your call and getting no answer. The tone of the hook drifts from hopeful to downright angry, which is a feeling we've all experienced at some point. If you're looking for a sign that Lupe is still capable of making emotional, thought provoking music then you're going to enjoy Pick Up the Phone...#PickUpThePhone

Lupe Fiasco feat Eric Turner - Pick Up The Phone

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wyclef Makes a Rare Deep House Cameo

I've always been a Wyclef fan. Ever since The Fugees, I've enjoyed his diverse collection of music. Even though he claims that his first record ever was a House track on Big Beat Records, I don't remember hearing it. My lack of recollection made his cameo on Gorgon City's Zoom Zoom all the more enjoyable.

Deep House is in full effect to the point of it sounding monotonous on the collabo below. Gorgon City knows how to make a classy club beat, but they haven't deviated too much from their go-to sound. I enjoyed the novelty of hearing Wycelf's unique vocals over a swanky club, but I wasn't blown away by the end result. Hopefully you find it to be more than a novelty like I did...#ZoomZoom

Gorgon City feat Wyclef - Zoom Zoom

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"I Will Jump Right Over Into Cold, Cold Water For You"

If you're looking for a hyped up single, it does get much more buzzy than a Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber single. If you're a Belieber, then you might remember reading him hyping new material back in early July...
Well...that track finally came to life today in the form of Cold Water. It's about as slow of a tempo you'll find for a Major Lazer track, but it has enough Dancehall rhythm to eliminate questions. Along with some soothing Bieber vocals, you'll also get a nice verse from Diplo protege MØ near the end of the track. All that being said, it's tailor made for top 40 radio, so enjoy it quick before the masses get to it...#ColdWater

Major Lazer feat MØ & Justin Bieber - Cold Water

Friday, July 22, 2016

Videos of the Week July 22nd

It was a slow week for videos, word is bond. There was a whole lot of nothing when it came to new music videos, so here's this week's top five dollar store video bargains. Leading the way by a large margin was seeing rappers genuinely react to Rich Chigga's Dat $tick video. If you haven't seen it yet, go here to watch it because it's not something I could do justice describing. Lord knows we need more tough talking, buttoned up, fanny pack wearing, gun toting, mean mugging, sixteen year old Asian kids. Hate on it all you want, but you can't look away from a car crash, even if you know it's manufactured. Despite all that, gotta admit, his flow was lit.

Also dropping this week was a series of videos from Deadmau5 detailing some of the work he does with NVIDIA in crafting these incredibly advanced computers. It's a fun watch if you're a hardware nerd who doesn't mind when engineering crosses over with music. In the land of late night, Idris Alba and Fallon did their best to karaoke their way into our hears, while Missy and the First Lady did in-car rapping with James Corden. And last, but not least, I would have felt weird not finding a way to timestamp this week in history as Pokemon Go found a way to create a new category of gaming with the use of augmented reality. Evidently all your favorite DJs love Pokemon too and rappers are even riding the wave. I've only played it a bit, but hell, I'm more amazed with how impactful it is in getting people to move and explore their surroundings...#PokemonGo
Rappers Reacting to Rich Chigger's Dat $tick Video

Episode 2 of Deadmau5's "The Deadmau5 Project" with NVIDIA

Idris Alba and Jimmy Fallon Play Box of Microphones

Michelle Obama and Missy Elliot Rap During Car Karaoke With James Corden

Hardwell Trolls Ultra Europe With the Pokemon Theme Song

Photo Credi: YouTube

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Hip Hop Community Has an Opinion on Donald Trump

Well...I guess the week that Trump gets "officially" nominated as the Republican presidential candidate is as good of time as ever to make a strong statement. For those who caught Part 1 back in April, you're not going to get a different beat, just a new, interesting mix of lyricists. Needless to say, it should be telling that two out of the maybe five well-known white lyricists in Hip Hop chipped in verses on Part 2. If I were to pick a favorite bar on the track, it'd be Macklemore's standout line below...

"Your politics are like a Starburst pack, nobody f**cks with the orange one"

Maybe I'm a sucker for intelligent verses, but by far Macklemore stood out on the track as the most quotable. It isn't the type of track to do much more than give Fox News something new to complain about, but if you're interested in taking the temperature on where Hip Hop is at, you've got a clear signal on this one. It will be interesting to see how much pop culture influences the upcoming election because I have yet to hear any pop culture star embrace the Donald publicly. Sure, those who would be influenced by pop culture stars may represent a small slice of the voting pie, but it's hard to ignore a shot over the bow like the one below...#FDT

YG feat G-Eazy & Macklemore - FDT (Part 2)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

ZHU Has Us All Eating Out of the Palm of His Hand

When it comes to Deep House, you'd be hard pressed to find an artist better than ZHU. Sure, his mysterious persona adds to the intrigue, but the dude makes some sexy music. Take for example his new one, Palm of My Hand. It has a full minute and 40 second whiny guitar lead in that will leave you wondering where the hell the song is going. Then, the groovy, addicting baseline drops in around the two minute and 15 second mark and all is well with the world. It's another lounge quality single that will be landing on his upcoming Generationwhy album making its digital landing on July 29th. If you speak French, you're probably pretty bummed out by the sad outro. Something about it being delivered in French makes it all the more loathsome. Still, can't hate on it one bit for being another reason to hop on the ZHU bandwagon...#PalmOfMyHand

ZHU - Palm of My Hand

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Clear the Way For the Prophets of Rage"

Holy crap here come the Prophets of Rage!!! Before I let my excitement get too out of control, here's a quick refresher. The Prophets of Rage are a supergroup composed of Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy. The group holds the instrumental fire of RATM with guitar wizard Tom Morello and the lyrical spitfire dynamism of Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Basically it's like gasoline mixed with lighter fluid combined with jet fuel. There's no shortage of energy on this dream team of OGs.

So without further ado, here's their lead single, appropriately titled the Prophets of Rage. If you're a Rage Against the Machine fan, you're going to love the shotgun start and guitar chord explosion off the top. The lead in grabs your attention and then Chuck D hits you in the face with a hot 16. Then comes the non-stop pounding and controlled chaos of the hook. After alternating verses from B-Real and Chuck D, they close the track with a crowd surf worthy, face-melting breakdown. For someone who grew up listening to all these guys, this was almost too much awesome to handle all at once. If you like the track even half as much as I do, you're going to love it...#ProphetsOfRage

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Just Want You to Raise My Roof" doesn't get much more pop culture relevant than a comeback single from Britney Spears. About 16 years ago, she was the definition of Pop music, but she hasn't evolved her music over the past decade, which has resulted in her popularity dwindling. It's been about three and a half years since she's released new music and I'll admit, back in 2013 I was just as tired of her music as you were.

But to her credit, Britney came through with something new and relatively fresh sounding this week. Make Me Move is more of a super slow trap ballad that relies heavily on her sultry vocals and a rock solid cameo from G-Eazy. In fact, in not sure she could have picked a better rapper to deliver a verse on the track. His easily understandable diction and meaningful lyrics fit the vibe of the track to a T. If you're looking for a club banger, you'll be sorely disappointed, but if you're open minded enough to not let your pre-conceived notions of Britney get in the way, you might end up liking her new one...#MakeMeMove

Britney Spears feat G-Eazy - Make Me...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mat Zo Says No Thank You To Vanilla EDM

With EDM becoming a household genre, I'm finding myself constantly on the look out for interesting dance music that finds a way to distinguish itself from the crowded mess of over-synthesis. Experimentation within the genre by artists like Baauer and RL Grime are the banana chocolate habanero basil flavors I seek out tasting over the usual vanilla offerings. Feel free and throw Mat Zo's recent Punjabi infused heat rock into that mix as well. Sure, the serious secret service sounding, NSA sound bites seemed ill-fitting, but honestly, he could he thrown in some court TV audio samples over that beat and it still would have been absolute fire. If you're with me in believing that risk taking and experimentation should be awarded, head on over to his Soundcloud page to pump up Hello NSA beyond the 10K+ listens it's gotten in the past 48 hours...#HelloNSA

Mat Zo - Hello NSA

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alan Walker Reimagines Your Favorite Weekend Anthem

At this point, it'd be an understatement to say that Alan Walker is a breakout candidate. His releases of Faded and Sing Me To Sleep have jolted him onto the scene and generated a ton of buzz. That buzz was amplified a bit more this week when he released a remix of Coldplay and Beyonce's Hymnn For the Weekend. Check the video below for a refresher if you're not exactly sure which Coldplay hit I'm talking about...

Pretty jubilant track right? Well, Alan layered in some of his wobbly, celebratory synths to turn it into a head nod worthy remix. Add to that Beyonce's sparkling vocals that seem like they were made for the remix. Get used to hearing the name Alan Walker because it doesn't seem like this streak of great music is stopping any time soon...#HymnForTheWeekend

Alan Walker vs Coldplay - Hymn For the Weekend (Remix)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Videos of the Week July 15th

With late night TV continuing to be on a bit of a summer break, music again dominated the top 5 videos this week. First off, if you didn't catch the ESPYs, it turned out to be a heavy show overall. Lots of cultural messages and heartfelt stories throughout. Among those stories was a new song by Chance the Rapper's new song he made as tribute to Mohammed Ali. What a great performance to properly commemorate a true legend.

In the land of music videos, DJ Snake, BANKS and Tiesto came through with new videos. In DJ Snake's case, conflict led to a fiery ending. In Tiesto and John Legend's case, there was some cost saving holograms and dirty dancing in the streets. Then there was the BANKS video. Not sure I have words for what that was all about. Lots of creepy images, caressing of manakins, and an overall sultry vibe, which she's become known for. She's the queen of dirty, seductive lyrics and she delivered just that with her new video. Last, but not least, there was the ODESZA after movie at Red Rocks. Having now been to Red Rocks and seen a show, I can now sort of imagine how awesome it would have been to see them perform a set there. Such a great performance at a legendary venue...#RedRocks
Chance the Rapper Peforms New Song as Muhammed Ali Tribute on the ESPYs

DJ Snake feat George Maple - Talk (Video)

BANKS - F*ck With Myself (Video)

Tiesto feat John Legend - Summer Nights (Video)

ODESZA Aftermovie from Red Rocks Performance

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Concert Review of Jon Bellion at The Fillmore in SF

It's been a long time since I've felt compelled to do a concert review after a show. That's partly because I'm a lot busier now and can't get to as many shows, let alone write about the ones I do attend. That isn't a reflection of my passion for music, it's more of a reflection of how free time becomes less abundant when your 20s are in your rearview.

Old man status aside, I witnessed a special show this week when I got the privilege of seeing Jon Bellion perform live for the first time. Prior to the show, I knew it had all the potential in the world to be a memorable show. Not only is Jon on a rapid come up following his latest album's release (The Human Condition...stop reading now and cop it if you haven't already), but he's not quite a bit enough name yet to justify performing at an amphitheater sized venue. As someone who has witnessed over 100 shows, that's exactly the stock you want to buy. The act that hasn't quite made it big yet, but has super star written all over him and is performing in a more intimate venue. That venue just happened to be the world famous Fillmore in the heart of San Francisco. The setup was perfect and it appearred the stars were aligning for his 14th straight sold out show to live up to expectations.

Before I get into how the headlining set went, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to both BlaqueKeyz and SonReal for their on point performances. Opening acts play an important role in setting the stage for the headliner and they both left every ounce of what they had on stage. You could tell that SonReal wasn't used to performing to that hype of a crowd and it provided all the foreshadowing needed to guess how well the main act went.

Prior to Jon's set, there were occasional chants of his name in an attempt to get him to come out a bit early. It didn't change anything, but it did nothing but add to my anticipation of what was to come. And what eventually came was one of the top 10 most memorable shows I've been to in my life. Rarely have I ever attended a show where the *ENTIRE* audience is singing every song word for word, but that was the case on Monday night. There was an under current of undeniable lyricism that helped maintain a steadily high energy level, yet half the tracks were ballads. It was such a unique mix of singing, rapping, beatboxing, instrumentation, and beat samples that you never really knew what to expect. The only thing I did expect was something awesome to happen when someone brought him out an MPC-thingy as the limelight focused squarely on him, center stage. Normally I'd record a minute to give y'all a taste and not contribute to the over-recording of every minute of concerts that we seem to be devolving to, but I couldn't force myself to press stop recording when I saw him put together his hit track Maybe IDK from scratch in front of the entire audience. It's literally too awesome to describe, just press play...

So...yea...that happened and I witnessed it in person. It ranks up there with a lot of solo acoustic ballads and instrumental solos that I've seen through the years. It's a testament to his unique skill set because there aren't more than a handful of people on earth that have the confidence and talent to build an entire track sample by sample in front of a live audience.

And the rest of the concert was no different. I left with more favorite songs of his than I did going into the show, which is always a sign of something special. If there's one thing I can leave you with, it's to make seeing his show a priority in your life. It's one of those "worth mortgaging the house for" type of events where price of ticket and day of the week should matter very little. I'm so serious about it that I'm going to embed the rest of the dates of his Human Condition tour below so you don't even have to find out if he's coming to your city.
Salt Lake, Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit, Toronto and Pittsburg - you are all crazy because there are still tickets available for his show. To the smarter folks in Minneapolis, Chi-town and NYC - although its a bummer you missed out on the box office tickets, don't feel bad paying 4 to 5 times face value because its worth it. The only comparison I have to his show was when I saw Drake perform at Theater of the Living Arts in Philly back in 2010 before he became the most streamed artist in the history of the world. He's probably less than six or so months from becoming a household name (#PixarMoney), so here's your chance to see him before he's all your friends favorite artist...#TheHumanCondition

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"I Been Waiting For the Fire, I Been Waiting For the Storm"

I always have a tough time coming to terms with whether not to post ID tracks. If it's a concert version of a track and the artist is trying to generate hype for an upcoming track, I get it. If it's a situation where the artist is waiting to get their ducks in a line and someone not within their inner circle decides to share it with the world, that's when I start wondering whether it's a good decision to put an internet billboard up endorsing it. Keepin' it 100, not sure where this one lies on the moral spectrum, but I was moved enough to feel like you needed to be warned of its arrival.

Before you get all pumped for another Major Lazer club banger, consider yourself forewarned that this one is much more of a mellow, melodic track. Knowing that, it's still about as smooth and catchy as it gets for dance music in 2016. Can't say for sure who to credit on the vocals, but we'll know soon enough when this gets its official time in the limelight with a legit release. Until then, feel free and wear out the Soundcloud tires on this somewhat HQ version...#MajorLazer

Major Lazer - ID

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Rise Up to See, Oh Let Me Be"

As Trop continues its crash course toward Pop, Thomas Jack continues to be one of the leaders of the charge. His new one with Jasmine Thompson, titled Rise Up, is another swanky example of how infectious Tropical House can be when done well. The flutes and lively baseline will be what you remember, but the vocals succeed in getting you to sing along as you nod your head. It's not quite the awe-inspiring anthem that Rivers was, but if I'm going to compare every one of his tracks to that measure, he's in for a lot of failure. Instead, I'm cool with giving it a casual thumbs up in hopes that you give it a fighting chance of reserving a spot on your latest playlist...#RiseUp

Thomas Jack feat Jasmine Thompson - Rise Up

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jay Z Delivers a Spiritually Provoking Message

Boy...where to start with all that has gone on over the past month. Hot button topics like terrorism, gun violence, violence by/toward police officers, and mental illness have all been pushed to the forefront of cultural relevance due to a lot of deadly events. I'm not going to get up on a soap box and tell you how to think about it all, but I will offer an anecdote. Today while listening to the Dallas police chief being interviewed he said explained how a few people were arrested during the aftermath of the tragic attack last week. When talking about whether they were suspects, he had to explain that they were suspects because guns were being used to attack police officers and the people who were arrested were wearing assault rifles and gas masks while protesting since THAT IS LEGAL TO DO IN TEXAS. Two of those assault rifle toting suspects were released without being charged and one of the three didn't have a permit and was slapped with a misdemeanor charge. I know all of this was secondary to the tragic situation where many officers were shot and killed, but the fact that the Dallas police had to immediately treat people who were acting legally as threats in that situation should mean something. If acting legally by carrying around a threatening weapon is that close to being illegal, why should it be legal in the first place? Food for thought as the event was sadly another instance of unchecked mental illness that manifested itself through violence with weapons towards others.

To give context, Jay Z released Spiritual shortly following the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile deaths. On the track you're going to get a lot of raw emotion and reflection from the Jiggaman. Although its release was prompted by two African American deaths at the hands of police officers, it's much more than a generic, Black Lives Matter PSA. Instead you're going to get an introspective dive into issues of his youth and parenting without having a father of his own. There's a summoning of strength through reflection that will hopefully resonate with a lot of listeners. Below is a tweet that he released following the incidents and release of the track. Overall, I'm impressed with how strong and articulate his message comes across and I can only hope the strength of his words acts a positive step toward substantive discussion of timeless cultural issues that never seem to go away...#Spiritual

Jay Z - Spiritual

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jauz & Marshmello Go on a Magical Trap Journey

In an attempt to keep the momentum from Shark Week going, Jauz reeled in his fluffy friend Marshmello for a tasty new banger. You'd like to think that collaborations of this magnitude bring out the best of both parties and I'm glad to report that mission was accomplished on Magic. You've got some sharp, intense chords from Jauz mixed with bubbly, whimsical synths throughout that will remind you of #mellogang. Both styles are brought together through a vibrant, deep baseline that serves as a reminder of how both are more than capable of speaker rattling, trap goodness. All in all a fun collabo from two of the biggest rising stars in EDM...#Magic

Saturday, July 09, 2016

"Could Be Looking' At You From a Freeway Trailer"

I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but there's something special about Francis and The Lights' new single Friends. It's definitely not the flashiest sounding tracks you'll encounter, but the star power behind this track is awe inspiring. First you've got Francis and The Lights featuring two legends, Bon Iver and Kanye West. Then, you dig a little further and find Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat and Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend) in the mix. Wowsa that's a collection of talent right there!

I'd characterize it as an eclectic Indie ballad? That's the best I got, but what I do know is that despite it's perceived simplicity, it has a timeless, feel good vibe to it. The quiet snappiness, slight autotune and steady ebb and flow of synths do an amazing job at managing the emotions of the track. It's hard not to resonate with the heartfelt lyrics too, which give it an added level of awesomeness. I'm not sure how this mess of awesomeness of a song came to be, but I dig every bit of it...#Friends

Friday, July 08, 2016

Videos of the Week July 8th

It's an understated lineup, but this week's top five is chalked full of a lot of new artist that I'd call emerging favorites of mine. Led by the joker/mad lyricist Lil Dicky and the mysterious Marshmello, there's plenty to be excited about below. If you've never seen Lil Dicky on the mic, you need to see him hold his weight next to Desiigner and Anderson .Paak in this year's 2016 XXL Freshman Cypher. Then, if you're stuck on thinking Lil Dicky is merely a rapper, take in his new video for Molly. Needless to say, there's a bit more depth and storytelling than you'd expect from an up and coming rapper.

If EDM is what you crave then I don't need to tell you how much you need to make an Electric Forest pilgrimage. I haven't been to all the festivals, but I do appreciate the wrap up videos and how well the capture the sentiment and energy of the festival. Speaking of EDM, #mellogang rolled deep on the Alone video. He may make happy-go-lucky dance music, but you can't hate on how carefree and fun it is to listen to. And last, but probably first, the behind the scenes look at how the Hundred Waters, Skrillex, Chance the Rapper collaboration came to fruition was a really cool watch. Seeing how the vibed off one another and the remix organically came together was a fun watch. It's easy to assume that these live performances just come together, but in reality it usually takes months of making it right before we finally get to listen to it. Such a fun collabo...#ShowMeLove
Desiigner, Lil Dicky, Anderson .Paak XXL Freshman Cypher

Lil Dicky feat Brendan Urie - Molly (Video)

Electric Forest Festival Wrap Up Video

Marshmello - Alone (Video)

Behind the Scene on Hundred Waters Collaboration With Skrillex & Chance the Rapper

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Sam Gallantry Will Lead You Through the Gateway

Might as well keep the fresh instrumental Trap rollin' this week while it's hot. Last night it was TroyBoi, tonight it's twenty year old Scottish up and comer Sam Gallantry. His new track, The Gateway, will take you on a soothing three minute adventure. It's equal parts bouncy and melodic with a whole lot of bass to boot. Feel free to zone out to this one on your Friday commute home and while you're at it, head on over to the El Rey Theater in LA tonight or tomorrow night to check out Sam's set...#TheGateway

Sam Gellaitry - The Gateway

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Everyone Bow to Sensei Troyboi

If you were to pick a genre of music that most closely fit my tastes as a listen, it would be instrumental Trap. I don't need any vocals trying to make it better, just give me some heavy bass, some mellow synths, some percussion and a DJ choppin' it up. Like for example, what TroyBoi does literally every time he decides to release a new track. His newest on, Sensei, straddles the fence of being a rowdy, but chill track. It's have ethereal, high pitched samples, half calming 808 bass. The intentionally raw choppiness is what takes it over the top for me, though. Forget all this refined, over-synthesized music, give me a couple stutters and cuts throughout to make it interesting. All I'm really trying to say is Troyboi is dope and y'all should give him a solid look...#Sensei

Troyboi - Sensei

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Turn Me On, Getting Closer Now, When You Call My Name"

First off, I hope everyone had solid 4th of July. Wherever you were, I hope your weather was warmer than it was in the frigid Bay Area. Whoever said the coldest summers exist in the Bay was not even close to joking.

Anyways, how about some Indie pop turned boomy EDM? If you're like me, you haven't heard of Phantoms before. After hearing their new single, Call My Name with Skylar Austin, I'm glad to have found them. They give off a lot of easy-going, carefree vibes with their music, which I dig. Before I get into the remix, give the funky original a listen...

I know, pretty digable, right? Well, then Dillon Francis took it upon himself to go all boom, clang, pop on the original for a slightly faster, more hype dance floor quality version. It has that ever so enticing gradual drop that teases you all the way to the bottom. My favorite part is the speedy tempo change around the 1:30 mark that makes it seem like the vocals are being sung while running. Cool effect and overall a pretty dope remix, all things considered...#CallMyName

Phantoms feat Skylar Austin - Call My Name (Dillon Francis Remix)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

"You're Just Another Brick and I'm a Sledgehammer"

It's hard for any Rihanna song to go unnoticed, but when you throw the promotion of a major motion picture into the mix, there's a 0% percent chance the track won't be rammed down your throat. Enter Sledgehammer, the power ballad from the upcoming Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Even though the movie is a little less than three weeks from being released, that won't stop the hype train from gassing up.

Three interesting things to note about the track. 1) Sia did the writing, which means she needs some dap for setting Ri Ri up for sucess. 2) The video follows the part movie/part music video style that's now commonplace for top soundtrack songs. I was expecting a few more cuts of the movie in the video, but I also appreciate that it wasn't entirely centered around the movie because that's what a trailer is for. 3) Who knew Rihanna was a big Trekkie? If you're interesting in learning more about how she grew up watching Star Trek, give this featurette a quick look...#Sledgehammer

Rihanna - Sledgehammer (written by Sia)

Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Novel Concept - Treating Weekdays Like the Weekend

Anytime you see Icona Pop featured on a track, you know it has a high likelihood for becoming a pop anthem. This time they latched onto a concept that will without a doubt resonate with the millennial crowd. With the help of Louis the Child's vibrant chords, the Swedish duo embraced the YOLO vibe of Weekend, encouraging listeners to not feel like they have to wait until Friday night to pop bottles. If you're not in the partying mood, you'll probably want to turn this off immediately and dismiss it as "just another Pop song." But, if you're at the end of a long week and feeling like letting go, you'll find yourself singing this one to yourself in the car...don't lie...#Weekend

Louis the Child feat Icona Pop - Weekend

Friday, July 01, 2016

Videos of the Week July 1st

As we go full steam ahead into Summer, it seems like music videos are beginning to take over the top five. Maybe it's an overall lack of interesting late night skits, or it could be an influx in breath taking performances and music videos. Speaking of performances, this week was absolutely dominated by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar. You won't see many performances quite like their rendition of Freedom at the BET Awards. How they managed to include that much water on the set without electrocution is beyond amazing. So much splashing and wet hair swinging. Then you throw in some K Dot spitting on the mic. GAME OVER!

In the "all the other videos" category, there was plenty more music. Let by a throwback filtered Majid Jordan video for Make It Work and a very chill video from Gallant for Miyazaki. Who needs multiple camera angles when you've got a nicely set table and a bottle of wine, right? Then there was the silhouette inside the ice cube appearance by members of X Ambassadors, A$AP Ferg and Jamie N Commons in Low Life. Lots of pain and desperation in that one, but a great track. And last, but not least we've got the latest GWDJ appearance by The Chainsmokers. This time they performed their latest #1 single, Don't Let Me Down with Daya on GMA. Their live performance has come a long way to the point where they can captivate an audience no matter what venue they're performing at...#DontLetMeDown

Beyonce & Kendrick Lamar Perform Freedom at the BET Awards
Majid Jordan - Make It Work (Video)

Gallant - Miyazaki (Video)

X Ambassadors feat A$AP Ferg & Jamie N Commons - Low Life (Video)

Chainsmokers & Daya Perform Don't Let Me Down on GMA

Photo Credit: BET

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