Monday, October 31, 2016

"Feel My Heat, Bring Your Body Right Next To Me"

I've always been a huge fan of how well The Knocks are able to blend together Hip Hop and House. It may not have the upbeat funk that their previous single with Lemaitre had, but their decision to collaborate with Sam Nelson Harris of the X Ambassadors was a good look. Heat is much more of a chill ballad, but the mix of bright, bouncy synths work really well with the stellar vocals. The cover art sets up the single really well with a grown and sexy tone the comes through the speakers when you press play. It's already been added to The Favorites, but choose your own adventure with the lease or buy...#Heat

The Knocks feat Sam Nelson Harris - Heat

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Two Birds, One Stone My Aim is Amazing"

Speaking from the perspective of a longtime Drake fan, his stream of consciousness freestyles represent his best work. Thinking all the way back to So Far Gone with Say What's Real or even 9AM in Dallas, he's at his best when he's ripping off bars one after another and spewing his inner dialogue on the mic. To this date, he's always seemed to rise above all the disses and subliminal messaging that finds a way to leak out when success comes your way. That's what made all this Kid Cudi business that much harder to palate.

Let me explain. In case you missed it, Cudi checked himself into rehab soon after releasing a very candid post about his inner turmoil. With all the unchecked mental health issues we have as a society, it wasn't a surprise to witness the out pour of support in his decision to seek out help. Then Drake started releasing new music and in one of the four tracks he released that will be a part of his More Life compilation, he took some shots at Cudi. But he did so in the most Drake way possible, subliminally throwing shade at his mental health issues in the most even-tempered diss you'll ever hear. Below are the lyrics that are drawing universal ire this week...
You were the man on the moon
Now you just go through your phases
Life of the angry and famous
Rap like I know I’m the greatest
Then give you the tropical flavors
Still never been on hiatus
You stay xanned and perked up
So when reality set in you don’t gotta face it
It worth asking, was it bad timing for this particular release given the Drake probably didn't anticipate Cudi going into rehab right before the song being released? Was it kicking a man while he's down like everyone is claiming? Sure there's even more smoke given that Lupe Fiasco also aired Cudi out this week and now Kanye is being drug into the mess because his name is all over the production credits. I don't know what to believe, honestly. I'm a fan of all these artists' work, but Drake did cross the line by calling him out. Drake should know better than anyone too because he's one of the most transparent, introspective artist on the mic. My guess is there will be a mending of fences at some point, but it can't feel good that a few lines in the track is distracting from the overall point of the track. Hopefully when we get to hear additional tracks from More Life, they will have the same degree of thought put into them without the added negativity...#TwoBirdsOneStone

Drake - Two Birds, One Stone (prod by Noah "40" Shebib)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"I've Got Heaven, Right Here on Earth"

In the world of House music, it's usually all about the DJ and rarely about the vocalist being featured on the track. Chris Malinchak is the noteworthy exception to that statement. Smooth isn't a strong enough description for his vocals, it's more like pillow-soft mixed with grown and sexy. His new one, Wonderful, utilizes a smooth piano and percussion instrumental that he's able to layer on soulful vocals on top on. Yes, it may not be the most exciting track, but it's the type of easy-listening music I want permeating through my earbuds after a long day. Admit it, you were singing the hook after the first listen weren't you? I know I was and it was...#Wonderful

Friday, October 28, 2016

Videos of the Week October 28th

I'll be honest I was pushed and pulled a lot of different directions this week when putting together this week's top five. I say that because this week ran the full gauntlet of emotions from playful to sad and serious to funny to whimsical and eventually landing on downright outlandish. Starting with The Chainsmokers new video for Closer with Halsey, we got to get another dose of on screen chemistry between Halsey and Drew. Really cool to see the guys portray such a nostalgic story through the video.

Then, the top five took a turn for the serious with Macklemore's gripping video for Drug Dealer. At this point we've all been touched at some point by the opioid epedemic in America, so it's about time we start shining the light on legal drug companies to highlight their contribution to the mess. Kudos for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for taking the issue head on. I included the Zeds Dead video because this week needed a dose of playful claymation to blend with the other vastly different moods. Different moods like silly when Fallon and Timberlake went back to Camp Winnipesaukee to sing everyone's favorite Alanis Morissette song. And to end on a completely outlandish note, I had to give my buddy John Bradford some love in the top five this week for his role in Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa's new Bossed Up video. For those wondering, he was the accountant who grabs the manila folder from Juicy J at the 19 second mark. It's the most odd, yet stereotypical rap video mixing corporate accountant team shenanigans and strip club scenes. Who knows how the concept came to be, but love to JB for doing his part as a straight edged accountant that gets quickly turnt up...#BossedUp
The Chainsmokers feat Halsey - Closer (Video)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat Ariana Deboo - Drug Dealer (Video)

Zeds Ded feat Rivers Cuomo & Pusha T - Too Young (Video)

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake Sing "Ironic" at Camp Winnipesaukee

Juicy J & Wiz Khalifa - Bossed Up (Video)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, October 27, 2016

"If the Devil's in the Details, Then I'm Satanic"

If you thought Drake was going to let a full calendar year go by without releasing new music, think again. In a month's time he'll be releasing a slew of new tracks that will be surfacing on his More Life "playlist". It wasn't me that chose the word playlist either, take it from Drake himself...
“I’m off like mixtapes, I want to do a playlist. I want to give you a collection of songs that become the soundtrack to your life, so this More Life: The Playlist. Like I said, dropping in December. All original music from me. You might hear some tunes from the family on there. Just really excited. I had a great tour, I had a great summer. And most people would like go probably take a break, but for me I just want to get right back to it. Be with the people again." - Drake
So there you have it. It's not going to be mixtape, it'll be a collection or playlist of songs that will have some type of deeper meaning to your life. I'm not sold on that bar being reached with Sneakin', but it's a smooth Hip Hop track nonetheless. Featuring a noteworthy cameo from 21 Savage, it takes on much more of a steam of consciousness freestyle than a well rounded track. It's a fresh nugget worth a few listens, nothing more or less. At the very least, I'm excited to hear what will follow in December...#MoreLife

Drake feat 21 Savage - Sneakin'

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

HudMo Gets Shanghaied, Pours Hype on Watch Dogs 2

It's fair to say that I treat every "Hudson Mohawke has a new album coming out" announcement like it's the night before Christmas. The anticipation is palpable and I damn near fumble when trying to move the cursor to press play on a new track of his. With that being said, Christmas is coming early this year, starting with his new one Shanghaied. The track, along with fifteen other new ones, will be dropping on the upcoming Ded Sec - Watch Dogs 2 (Original Game Soundtrack) in about two weeks on November 11th. What's Watch Dogs 2? Well, it's a video game and you can watch the trailer below...

Creating new music for a game is nothing new, but it's rarely done by entirely by the same person. What I like best about his new one below is that it's a bit more stripped down than a lot of his other releases. Once you get past the 3:15 mark, you get a much more intimate of a vibe on the track. I'd like to use this as exhibit 1A for those of you that think a lot of these EDM artist merely sit back and press play on records. There's a lot more that goes into it and I'm looking forward to hearing where HudMo takes this electronic orchestra of sorts...#Shanghaied

Hudson Mohawke - Shanghaied

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Militant Michael Might Go Psycho, On Any Ally or Rival"

Back like they never left, Killer Mike and El-P are out to rage again with their recent announcement that a new album is on the horizon. Talk to Me is the first single off their upcoming Run the Jewels 3 album, which is a follow up to their previous Run the Jewels 2 album from 2014. It's crazy to think it's been over two years since their last album dropped, but that's probably more of a reflection of how the album steadily grew on everyone that gave it a chance.

Their new one is every bit as rugged and grimy as you'd hope from the duo. Packed with enough bass to make your eyebrows raise and spitfire verses that steadily deliver a powerful punch, it's abundantly clear there's plenty of vigor left in their music. You don't listen to their music to chill, you listen to it to get hype. This falls in nicely with that notion, so enjoy it loudly if you're a fan RTJ. Head on over to Adult Swim and download this sucker for free before you have to pay for it...#RTJ3

Run the Jewels - Talk To Me

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Forget Your Game Plan and Your X's and O's"

Who the hell is Ojivolta you ask? Good question, I too required some schooling on the duo. Evidently we're all more familiar with their music than we thought because the LA duo of Mark Williams and Raul Cubina were the masterminds behind the production of Jon Bellion's breakthrough album The Human Condition. Considering how awesome that entire album was, it was a rare moment of instant credibility that they gained in my mind.

Add to that the fact that their new single, Game Plan, also features Jon's vocals and you've got yourself an exciting release. Saying that their new single follows a similar style to 14 tracks on JB's latest album is an understatement. You could have easily convinced me that this is a bonus track on a re-released version of the album. It comes equipped with edgy, yet inspirational lyrics that you'd expect when this trio gets in the studio. If you're like me, you'll be singing along after the first listen and bouncing around to the various cuts and samples sprinkled throughout. It's becoming abundantly clear that these guys can collectively do no wrong right now, so feel free and jump on the bandwagon before it's completely full...#GamePlan

Ojivolta feat Jon Bellion - Game Plan

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Breathtaking Collabo Between Alesso and Dillon Francis

Finally, the long awaited collaboration between Alesso and Dillon Francis has arrived in its full glory. And what a beautiful love child it ended up being, mixing the styles of two of the most prominent EDM acts. Take My Breath Away will reel you in with a ballad-esque vocal build up, only to give way to an easy-listening, Top 40 drop. I say Top 40 drop because it's much more soothing than edgy and let's be honest, that plays best to the masses. I dig the extra bounce when the tempo begins to pick up too, it's a much needed element to differentiate the track from what you'd usually hear from each of the individual acts. If you've been waiting for this as long as everyone else has, here are the obligatory iTunes and Spotify links for your listening pleasure...#TakeMyBreathAway

Alesso - Take My Breath Away (Co-produced by Dillon Francis)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

More Melodic Rhythms From marshmello

First off, I can't tell you how pumped I am to finally cross "seeing marshmello in concert" off my bucket list in a few months. To this date, he's been elusive, always seeming to come to town when I had prior obligations or when I was out of town. On January 21st, I'm assuming I'll be privy to new material like his new single below. Last week I shared his collaboration with Far East Movement and Chanyeol. This week mello carried the momentum forward with Walking Out. The vibe leans more on the chill dubstep side, but manages to maintain the same high pitched, melodic style that I've grown to love. You're not going to start a party with this one, but it's more than adequate for zoning out to. You know the drill, iTunes or Spotify if you're interest is piqued...#WalkingOut

marshmello - Walking Out

Friday, October 21, 2016

Videos of the Week October 21st

In what can only be described as a rare week, this week's top five was dominated by music videos. With all the politics and subsequent late night comedy, you'd think that there would be more opportunity to blast the candidates. Yet, we're all probably so tone def to the madness that the numbness paved the way for music videos to step into the spotlight this week.

Even though all five are music videos, only two of the five I'd characterize as traditional music videos. Led by Pharrell's favorite up and comer Maggie Rogers debut single and Dillon Francis/Will Heard's strange new video for Anywhere, there was plenty of personality in the mix. That's when it all started drifting off the usual path. Porter Robinson and Madeon put together an Anime video for Shelter, which isn't really my thing, but you mind find it interesting. Then they was ZHU's eleven minute short film themed off his latest Generation Why? album. It truly does profile as more of a movie than a music video that made for more of an interesting watch. And then Chance the Rapper came through with the most unique video of the week. Shot completely on an iPhone, he and his cousin Nicole came through with a really solid video for How Great. My guess is many more people will follow suit on his homemade approach, but I really doubt they'll be able to match the energy that he and Jay Electronica brought to the shoot...#HowGreat
Maggie Rogers - Alaska (Video)

Dillon Francis feat Will Heard - Anywhere (Video)

Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter (Anime Video)

ZHU - Generation Why (Short Film)

Chance the Rapper feat Jay Electronica, and Francis & The Lights - How Great (Video)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stranger Things Theme Get's Bonfired

As both a Strangers Things (Netflix show) and Childish Gambino fan, you could imagine how floored I was to see that both were combined together. I'm generally hesitant to post mash-ups, but this one was too hard to pass up. Not only is there the 1980s synth nostalgia from the Stranger Things instrumental, but there's also the nostalgia of Childish Gambino when he was ripping out hot 16s left and right. If you're like me, when you listened to the mash up below, you thought it sounded very familiar lyrically. Here's the original for those that need to catch up...
Bonus points for those who were able to immediately recognize the track as Bonfire from Childish's Camp album back in 2011.

As far as the mashup is concerned, it's a clash of two different moods with the instrumental amplifying the spooky and the verses projecting pure aggression. It's hard to tastefully blend moods the way this mashup did, which is why it's deserving of a post. As a side note, I'm equally excited to hear What So Not's remix of the theme song whenever it decides to drip drop all over the internet. Is anyone as excited as I am for season two to hit Netflix? Probably not, but join me in raging to this molotov of mystery below...#StrangerThings

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"It Ain't Deep, We Ain't Gotta Lose Sleep, Baby"

With years worth of artists trying to be their own unique snowflake in music, it's legitimately hard to do something "new" as an artist. That being said, I'm not sure that I've ever heard an R&B track that starts off with a 41 second acapella freestyle. And not just any acapella bars, a Nas verse effort that spotlights a lot of the gun violence issues having to do with people and police. Even though Nas's intro will get the most publicity, the vibrant bassline, whistle sample and hook are what stuck with me the most. You could convince me that Nas looping around for a final verse around the 3:30 mark was the highlight, but the track as a whole is the gift that keeps on giving. I really hope the next generation of Hip Hop artists learn from Nas's ability to come off intelligent when making a statement on the mic. My inclination is that I haven't seen much of that intellect and creatively lately from Hip Hop artist, so hopefully over time the artists like Nas and Kendrick Lamar will continue to set a positive example for others...#GoDeep

Robin Thicke & Nas- Go Deep

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Baauer Goes Hip Hop on Night Out

Seeing that my sweet spot for music drifts between Hip Hop and EDM on a daily basis, it shouldn't be a huge surprise why I like Baauer so much. He also rides both sides of the fence genre wise and does more than a lot of DJs by pushing the limits and blurring the lines between each genre with every single he releases. Despite his penchant for pushing boundaries, his new one Night Out definitely skews heavy on the Hip Hop. Featuring a crew of rappers that neither you or I have heard of, he managed to put together a bangin' track. The beat bounces, hits hard, and it provides a steady tempo for the fivesome to take their shots on the mic. On a side note, I'm a much bigger fan of this track than his other new one, Paauer. The latter was a bit too balls to the wall and crunk for my liking, but I appreciate the hell out of his experimentation....#NightOut

Baauer feat KEPHA, JB, kZm, PETZ & Chaki Zulu - Night Out

Monday, October 17, 2016

90s Flashback: MGK and Camila Do Fastball's Bad Things

As a daily purveyor of music, I've grown increasingly critical of artists when they decide to cover or sample songs. The years of music consumption has made me jaded of artists trying to make a name for themselves by piggy backing the success of others. In other words, it's so easy to take a noteworthy single, make a few changes and call it your own. There's an added level of respect given to original singles and that's the way it should be in my opinion.

All that being said, Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello (of Fifth Harmony) knocked Fastball's Out of My Head sample out of the park on their new single, Bad Things. For those of you who grew up on 90s music, there's a thick slice of nostalgia that's ahead when you press play...

Back in 1998, that was everyone's favorite song, hands down. And to their credit, the duo of MGK and Camila did their part by weaving together a stellar Hip Hop ballad. Led by a hook that will lure you in from the start, you want to keep listening. The tempo was perfect for MGK's pitter-patter flow and if there's one thing he does well, it's heartfelt verses. Follow me over to Spotify to put it on repeat for a few laps, y'all...#BadThings

Machine Gun Kelly feat Camila Cabello - Bad Things

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hardwell and Jay Sean Pen Moving On Anthem

For some reason, upbeat, lyrically spiteful post-breakup tracks have always resonated with me. That description may seem oddly specific, but I bet you can think of at least three songs off the top of your head that would fall under that category. A few that come to mind for me are Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know, Cee-lo's F*ck You, and Usher's U Don't Have to Call. Feel free and throw Hardwell and Jay Sean's new one in that motivational, "I'm moving on" playlist of music you keep on hand in case things go south in your current relationship. Thinkin' Bout You is about as pop EDM as they come, but that's mostly because of Jay Sean's silky smooth vocals. Credit to Hardwell too, who knows all too well how to use progressive house as a vehicle for creating tracks that skyrocket to the top of the charts. You know the drill, iTunes or Spotify if you're intrigued...#ThinkinBoutYou

Hardwell feat Jay Sean - Thinkin' Bout You

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"I'm All Yours When You Really Wanna Take Me There"

It never crossed my mind, but a Far East Movement and marshmello collaboration makes a lot of sense. I know that probably sounds super contrived now that I have the song below as an frame of reference, but wow, what a dope track. The stop and go, choppy verses that Far East have become known for fit really well over the bouncy synths that marshemllo churns out. I'm gushing about the two headliners, but Tinashe's hook might be my favorite part of the track. Her mellow vocals cut provided the steadiness to allow the choppy verses to work. And taking it one step further, I got an intro to Chanyeol, a member of the South Korean/Chinese rap group EXO. To me, he may as well have been part of Far East Movement he fit their style so well. You know the drill, add this sucker to iTunes or Spotify before your friend tells you about it...#FrealLuv

Far East Movement x Marshmello feat Chanyeol & Tinashe - Freal Luv

Friday, October 14, 2016

Videos of the Week October 14th

Live performances were the name of the game in this week's top five. Led by The Chainsmokers and Desiigner's 360 video from their recorded performance at Austin City Limits, the bar was set high from the start. It was set high, but Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals brought every ounce of funk the set of Ellen when performing Come Down. I'm still in awe of how he's solving the timeless problem of Hip Hop not being able to be translated into a live show. "You're damn right it can be and this is what it should look like," says Anderson. And even though it's probably more of a personal novelty to me, seeing Slushii, Skrillex, and Marshmello share the same decks on a B2B2B was a cool sight. I don't expect you to be interested enough to watch the hour long Shanghai set, but if you skip around you might just be as entertained as I was.

Then there was the trippy forest video for Frequency that Kid Cudi self-directed. It was about what I expected from Cudi, but music aside, I'm in total support of him tackling his demons head on and seeking help this week. It takes a real man to admit when he needs help and I'm extremely glad he reached out before doing any harm to himself. In case you missed it, here was his incredibly brave and transparent note about why he was choosing to seek help during a time when he's releasing an album. And in case the music wasn't entertaining enough, there was that time Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon made their way through NYC's scariest haunted house wearing GoPros. There's always something funny about seeing comedians get scared to death, even if it's staged...#WhatNow
The Chainsmokers' 360 Video for Closer and Desiigner's Panda at Austin City Limits

Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals Perform Come Down! on Ellen

That Time Slushii, Skrillex and Marshmello Performed an Epic B2B2B in Shanghai

Kid Cudi - Frequency (Video)

Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon Visit a Haunted House

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"I Don't Wanna Know Know Know, Whose Taking You Home"

A cheerfully somber tropical sing-along from Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar? Sounds good to me! I'll be the first to admit, this isn't at all what I expected when I pressed play, but that's not a bad thing. In hindsight, the cover art and playful font on the cover art should have been a clear sign pointing toward a tropical vibe. It's awesome how far Trop House has come, so maybe this is the first of more Trop Pop to come?

Labels aside, it was hard to really dig in on Kendrick's verse because of the playful vibe of the track. He's is in his zone when he can put his storytelling on full display without having to compete with such jingle-friendly beat. All that being said, hearing Adam Levine and K Dot on a track together was a fun novelty. With this track, Kendrick makes another solid addition to his growing list of collabos. Of his latest cameos, his contribution to Sia's The Greatest has been my favorite. Enjoy this one responsibly before Top 40 takes it behind the woodshed...#DontWannaKnow

Maroon 5 feat Kendrick Lamar - Don't Wanna Know

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"My Drug Dealer was Doctor, Had a Plug from Big Pharma"

I've got two hot takes regarding Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's new single Drug Dealer with Ariana DeBoo. First off, there's a right way to execute politically or societally charged viewpoints in music. That way is graphic, emotionally charged storytelling. Want to know what I mean by that? Pretty play below or listen to his previous attack on prescription drug usage through his song Kevin. Where most people yell and scream trying to get you to listen to empty words, Macklemore takes his time by using poetry and harmony to deliver an forceful message.

Second, it's about time people who have influence start attacking the legal drug industry. It's honestly hard to tell the difference between a pot dealer and a doctor. Traditionally we trust licensed doctors, but as "Big Pharma" continues to focus on growing their bottom line, you have to be skeptical when they incentivize doctors to "push their drugs." I know not all doctors are beholden to the companies that supply the drugs, but the fact that we've gotten to a point where we have to question whether a doctor has our best interests in mind when he prescribes a drug should be the point where people start paying more attention.

Hat tip to Ariana DeBoo for the stellar hook on the track. Between Macklemore's emotion storytelling and her soft, but powerful hook, Drug Dealer was able to drive home it's important message...#DrugDealer

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Ariana DeBoo - Drug Dealer (Co-prod by Joshua "Budo" Karp)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kaytranada and Chano Been Drinkin' All Night

Now that the Cubbies have conquered the Giants and their even year streak of winning championships, it's time to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than a funky remix from Kaytranada. Before getting to the "extended joint" give Chance the Rapper's original version of All Night a listen...

Where original version has a methodical pace to it, the extended mix has a bit more tempo to it. The extended cut amplifies the instrumental grey area between the vocals and puts a greater focus on the repetitious ringing synth rhythm. Nothing against the original, but I'm much more of a beat guy and this is another great example of why that is the case. Feel free to cop this one for free and enjoy the fact that things in life this good are never free...#AllNight

Chance the Rapper feat Knox Fortune - All Night (Kaytranada Extended Joint)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thanks to DJ Mustard, It Was a Cold Summer

Unfortunately, we no longer live in a world where Hip Hop producers are the tastemakers of pop music. About a decade ago, the likes of Timbaland, Polow da Don, and Danjahandz were the secret sauce that made music turn into hits. Now, I'd go as far to say that most Hip Hop fans wouldn't be able to name more than one producer of Hip Hop music. Noteworthy beats are now put together by EDM artists who are generally front and center when performing, rather than being back up support like in Hip Hop.

Given all that, there's still one producer in Hip Hop who is still doing his part to carry on the torch superstar beat makers. DJ Mustard just released his second full length studio album and as expected, it's filled with many household names you wish he'd collaborate with. After a brief sprint through Cold Summer, my favorite of the thirteen tracks is Don't Hurt Me with Jeremih and Nicki Minaj. It's the track that reminds me most of all the booty shake worthy club anthems that I usually associate with DJ Mustard. It has the snappy flair and smooth synth undertones that you expect from a track that starts with the signature "Mustard on the beat" intro. Take my favorite with a grain of salt, but don't let me stop you from taking a deep dive on the album. In fact choose your own adventure here on iTunes or Spotify...#ColdSummer

DJ Mustard feat Jeremih & Nicki Minaj - Don't Hurt Me

Sunday, October 09, 2016

"Girl Put Your Love On Me, Cause I Won't Let You Down"

Good things happen anytime an artist records with a live orchestra. You might not be able to tell it from listening to Galantis and Hook N Sling's new one, but Love On Me started from a great instrumental foundation. Add to that a vibrant, high pitched vocal sample mixed with calypso style steel drum synths and there's a lot to like about the end result. It's songs like that will be needed tonight when watching another presidential debate chalked full of yelling and mud slinging. Feel free and hit mute on the television tonight and replace it with this ray of sunshine when you've reached the breaking point tonight...#LoveOnMe

Galantis & Hook N Sling - Love On Me

Saturday, October 08, 2016

"That's All We Need, Beneath With Me"

Remember that oft-teased collaboration between Kaskade, deadmau5, Skylar Grey? Dating back a full year, Beneath With Me has been hyped as a massive collaboration and this week it finally dropped in its finality. It's not quite on the Scud Books level of anticipation for me, but there's no doubting how well this trio fits together.

For starters, when you combine Skylar Grey's dark, haunting vocals over a symphonic chord progression weaved together by two of EDM's best, good things are going to happen. Even though it's been trimmed from the original six minute version that was originally leaked, the slow and steady build up and eventual calm, but energetic release has deadmau5's paws all over it. It's dramatic and steady, while finding a way to be exciting. That's not an easy thing to accomplish, which is why it immediately was added to my list of favorites...#BeneathWithMe

Kaskade & deadmau5 feat Skylar Grey - Beneath With Me

Friday, October 07, 2016

Videos of the Week October 7th

Out of all weeks, this was the week for awe inspiring performances. That's not to discount the two buzz worthy music videos in this week's top five, but the live acts were on point like a decimal this week. Led by Chance the Rapper's stunning all-star collabo turned reprise performance of Blessings on Fallon there was a clear pecking order of the top three live acts. Following close behind was Big K.R.I.T., dressed as a police officer, delivering an incredibly passionate spoken word performance of Kenneth Whalum's Might Not Be Ok. There have been many Black Lives Matter protests, but this one seemed to strike a chord with me and all that were watching. Rounding out the performances was everyone's favorite new pop song from The Weeknd. Performing on SNL, he truly stole the show, balancing swagger with harmony like a champ.

If you're able to sneak past the live videos, then have no fear, Kygo has you covered with his new video with Julia Michaels for Carry Me. It was good enough to close out the Olympics, so you better believe the video came correct. And in case you were living under a rock the past 24 hours, you may have missed Bruno Mars' new single. It's filled with as much dancing and funk as you'd hope for in a Bruno single. I wouldn't go as far as calling it Uptown Funk part two, but the similarities exist. Either way it's a fun watch and you'd better get used to hearing it because Top 40 radio isn't going to get tired of 24K Magic for a while...#24KMagic

Chance the Rapper Performs Blessings (Reprise) on Fallon with Anthony Hamilton, Ty Dolla $ign, Chano, Raury, and D.R.A.M

Big K.R.I.T.'s Spoken Word Performance for Black Lives Matter at BET Awards

The Weeknd Performs Starboy with Daft Punk on SNL

Kygo feat Julia Michaels - Carry Me (Video)

Bruno Mars - 24K Magic (Video)

Photo Credit: YouTube

Thursday, October 06, 2016

"We Made a Lane of Our Own, We Ain't Assimilators"

A few weeks back Zeds Dead made their GWDJ debut with their collaboration with Diplo on Blame. I'm not going to pretend to know the scope of their talents or abilities, but I'll say this...I'm intrigued. I am because the two tracks that I've written about are so different that I don't even know where to start.

I guess I'll start with their new single with Pusha T and Rivers Cuomo. Here I was thinking an EDM/Hip Hop collaboration with some stellar cameo vocals was on tap and what I got was a mellow sing along. You might be thinking that's a bad thing, but it actually came together pretty well. Too Young has a couple of things going for it. For one, good luck trying to avoid singing along to Weezer's own Rivers Cuomo on the hook. Second, Pusha T eats these slow, poppy beats for lunch. His brand of storytelling plays really well on tracks with this slow of a tempo. This one will be surfacing on Zeds Dead's upcoming Northern Lights album due out in about a week. Given my lack of experience with their music and overall curiousity with their music, you better believe I'll be running a few laps around the album when it drops...#TooYoung

Zeds Dead feat Pusha T & Rivers Cuomo - Too Young

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Showtek and Major Lazer Will Turn You Into Believers

When I think of Major Lazer, crazy tribal beats with high pitched synths and a whole lotta bass is what comes to mind. Add to that a steady dose of reggae vocals and dancehall vibes and you've got a party damn near every time you press play. What's ironic is that their new single with Showtek isn't the tribal anthem you'd expect given their previous releases. Instead, Believer delivers much more of chill trap vibe with a few racy build ups mixed in. The reggae vibes are still in the mix, reminding you that you're not too off the usual path, but it's a track that will run the gauntlet of tempos to keep things interesting. All in all, it lived up to the high expectations I had prior to pressing play, which is no small task...#Believer

Major Lazer & Showtek - Believer

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

"Ain't Nothing Free 'Bout the Freeway"

If Louis the Child isn't on your list of noteworthy up and coming EDM acts you need to wake up. Despite the fact I've only posted two of their tracks to this daily internet billboard, they've been on a roll lately as they dive into the world of original music. I've waxed poetic for years about how The Chainsmokers were able to shed the "remix DJs" label by absolutely killing it with their own music and now it looks like the duo from the Windy City may be next to break out.

Their new one features the vocals of Evalyn and puts on full display a vibrant Future Bass sound. While Fire is more chill than in your face, it finds a way to be memorable with a jammin' chord progression post-drop. The vocals do a great job of building up the drama before they hit it out of the park post drop. Chalk another one up for Louis the Child as the continue to seep into playlists around the globe...#Fire

Louis the Child feat Evalyn - Fire

Monday, October 03, 2016

Passion Pit's Sleepyhead Gets a JAUZ Flip

Why is it that Indie music is so remixable? I've always wondered that as genres from Hip Hop to EDM continue to dip from the never-ending rolodex of Indie tracks. For example, you can twist any Passion Pit track a million different ways. Is that because of the unique, falsetto vocals or the lack a memorable instrumental?

I don't have the answer, but I do have a brand new example of how EDM as a whole continues to embrace Passion Pit's style. Here's the video for the original version of Sleepyhead, which came out back in 2008...

Man, it's something about those high pitched vocals that stick with you. Speaking of high pitched vocals, what happens when you speed up Passion Pit vocals and add in some basic samples? You end up with what JAUZ created when he Future Bassed the living hell out of the original track. The tempo addition is much appreciated as it results in a much more vibrant sound. The effort is evidently one of many that JAUZ is getting ready to let loose, so join me in getting excited for what the near future is bringing from one of my favorite DJs in the game...#Sleepyhead

Passion Pit - Sleepyhead (JAUZ Remix)

Sunday, October 02, 2016

"Surfin' on My Own Way Baby"

Welcome back to the amusement park that is Kid Cudi's life y'all! It's been a struggle for me to lock in on where Cudi's music has been headed the past few years, but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to listen to each new release of his and hope for the best. The reason for that is because the music he makes will always be far from formulaic. Despite the lows from a few misses he's had recently, the limitless ceiling of his music forces me to be excited every time I press play on one of his new releases.

Speaking of new releases, he just let loose two brand spankin' new ones this week with Frequency and Surfin'. Back in March, I posted the initial version of Frequency, so you already know what's good with that track. Surfin' on the other hand is backed by a Pharrell production, which puts it on an entirely different level. It not only sounds like nothing Cudi has done before, it's also so delightfully Skateboard P that you'll be sick to your stomach. From the marching band style percussion lead in to the new funk vibe with complementary all points directly back to the genius that is Pharrell. I'm a little wary that it's a complete 180 from the moody Cudi music that I grew to love in the past, but I have no doubt there will be plenty of that when Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' finally drops. His new album was supposed to be out by the end of September, but we'll have to wait a bit for a few sample clearances to get the green light before the four act, full length EP (tracklist below) finally drops...#Surfin

Kid Cudi - Surfin' (prod by Pharrell)

Saturday, October 01, 2016

"Don't Trust Nobody, Said Only I Could Touch Your Body"

With most artists, when I hit play on a new track, there's a baseline expectation for what I'm about to hear. Cashmere Cat is not like most artists because I never know what to expect from him. My best guess for his music is somewhere in the melodic trap neighborhood, but he does so much instrumental experimentation that it's hard to get a bead on him.

For his latest single, he hooked up with uber talented vocalists Tory Lanez and Selena Gomez. Trust Nobody is a easy-listening, almost tropical trap sounding track that will gently pop and clack it's way into your good graces. It's a light snack, not a heavy banger, know what I'm sayin'? Press play if you're in the mood to cool out or add it to your latest Spotify joint if you're getting turnt...#TrustNobody

Cashmere Cat feat Tory Lanez & Selena Gomez - Trust Nobody

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