Thursday, January 29, 2015

Listen to New Cuts From Kanye West & Rihanna, Vic Mensa, and Travi$ Scott

Both Kanye West and Rihanna are gearing up to release their respective album this year. Last Sunday, they released a collaborative song featuring Paul McCartney entitled "Four Five Seconds". McCartney supplies an acoustic guitar that both West and Rihanna croon over. It's stripped down, simple, and quite frankly, lovely. While Kanye's so far untitled album has been said to sound "hellish", but this new single, and "Only One" also featuring McCartney couldn't be more different.

Vic Mensa has been grinding over the last year, working on this next project and touring heavily. He just recently dropped a new track with past collaborator Kaytranada called "Drive Me Crazy". Kaytranada is a Canadian producer, who creates hip-hop/electric beats, and produced Mensa's "Wimme Nah". This new track, which is technically Kaytranada featuring Mensa, is much less hype than "Wimme Nah", and sounds very spacey. It's a slick track that'll appear on Kaytranada's debut LP, and Mensa will also be dropping a new project entitled Street Lights soon.

Three days ago, Travi$ Scott announced a tour with Metro Boomin and Young Thug (sadly no stops in Louisville). This is for his debut album Rodeo, and he also dropped two new tracks, which will probably appear on this album "Nothing But Net" featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR and Young Thug, and "High Fashion" featuring Future. I like these songs, but I don't love them. Scott is a master at combining lush trap beats with explosive vocals. But "Nothing But Net" has this weird auto-tune throughout it, a grimy over-all sound, and PARTYNEXTDOOR's feature is wasted on a half-hook. And the production on "High Fashion" sounds pretty stagnant, which is very unlike Scott. Nevertheless, I can't wait for Rodeo, which supposedly may be dropping this March.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: B4.Da.$$ is Joey Bada$$'s Illmatic

On January 20th, Joey Bada$$ released his debut album B4.Da.$$ was dropped on the same day as heavy-weights Lupe Fiasco and Lil Wayne dropped projects. But, the Pro Era's album shone, and will probably be a contender for album of the year.

Bada$$ is well known for his classic, East Coast hip-hop sound. You'll find plenty of it on B4.Da.$$, as well as a variety of other complex sounds. The album is chock-full of boom-bap drum lines, and smooth jazz instrumentations but sounds takes the 90's sound much further. Bada$$ and his producers (which range from big names like DJ Premier, Hit-Boy and J Dilla to Pro Era affiliates Chuck Strangers, Kirk Knight, and Statik Selektah)  created a rich, gorgeous twist on Joey's classic sound, and even ventured into completely new beats for Bada$$. "Black Beetle" sounds somewhat like a G.O.O.D. Music beat, and there is a lot of fast paced of production, like on songs "Teach Me" and "Escape 120". Production-wise, this is without the strongest Bada$$ project.

This album was released on Bada$$'s 20th birthday. The word-play and themes on B4.Da.$$ makes Bada$$ sound wise beyond his age. Every single track, usually very subtly, showcases Bada$$'s view on life, crime, society, money, self-esteem and the government. There are obvious parallels between B4.Da.$$ and Illmatic, but while on Illmatic each songs has a specific story, B4.Da.$$. weaves together Bada$$'s thoughts, experiences and stories throughout the whole album. This allows his listeners to just chill back and enjoy the music, or bump it at a party, or actually feel his messages.

There are a moderate amount of features, and they all work well. On "Like Me", BJ The Chicago Kid harmonizes perfectly with Bada$$. Chronixx adds a slick, yet dark verse to the gloomy production of "Belly of the Beast". Keisza, who made "Hideaway", is a great addition to the bouncy "Teach Me". The oddest feature is Raury. He lends an ending verse on "Escape 120", and while his verse is great, there isn't a ton of chemistry between the two artists, and it sounds like a surprise every time I hear the track.

I have very few negative things to say about the album. A bit more insight on Joey's life would be nice, and some of Joey's sing-songy flows don't work too well. My main complaint is that there isn't a ton of consistency throughout the album. The ending track, "Curry Chicken", doesn't do a great job wrapping up this album, but it is a nice ode to his family. There isn't a single song on this album that I don't like. It's a wonderful project, and I recommend it to anyone who likes old-school hip-hop, or hip-hop in general.

Lyrical Skill- 4

Technical Skill-4.5





Notable Tracks- "On & On", "Save the Children", "Christ Conscious", "Like Me", "Belly of the Beast"

Overall Rating- 4

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: "No One is SaFe" is a Fun Follow-Up From Trinidad Jame$

Trinidad Jame$ has had a rough couple of years. After his multi-platinum single "All Gold Everything", he completely failed to capitalize on his success. Last year, Def Jam dropped him, due to his inability to release an album. I honestly enjoy Jame$'s music, his mixtape 10 PC Mild from 2013 was filled with straight bangers. Three days ago, Jame$ dropped another mixtape No One is Safe, and while it isn't there is very little lyrical finesse, the mixtape is still very enjoyable.

NOiS is the follow-up to 2012's Don't Be S.A.F.E. (Sensitive as F-ck Everywhere), which spawned "All Gold Everything". This sequel is heavily rooted in ATL rap music, with features from OG Maco to Scotty ATL to Peewee Longway. There are a variety of sounds on this mixtape, but there is a very strong EDM and synth influence in the productions. I do enjoy the features, but many of the songs sound like they are skewed to the featured artist instead of Jame$. For instance, "Only N Atlanta" with Peewee Longway and Offset has the hype, bass-heavy sound that both artists are known for, while "ALLAU" with OG Maco sounds stripped down and has a lot of screaming rap in it. That being said, I think Jame$ is starting to find his sound. On his solo tracks like "Talk That Sh-t Trinidad" and "Jerome N The House" showcase repetitive, slower verses from Jame$, and a combination of blaring instrumentation and tints of synth elements. They sound like Trinidad Jame$ signature bangers, which is great. Jame$ is not a lyrical rapper, and probably will be. His lyrics are stupid-fun, like from "T James Express" where he says "All aboard the p-ssy train, I choo choo in that thang".  I think he'll always need features and good production to keep his sound alive, but I do enjoy his sound. Hopefully 2015 will be better for Jame$.

Lyrical Skill- 2

Technical Skill- 2.5

Production- 3.5

Listenability- 3.5

Features- 3

Consistency- 3

Notable Tracks- "Only N Atlanta", "ALLAU", "Jerome N The House"

Overall Score- 3 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rome Fortune Releases New Song, Also Heads to Jail

If you haven't heard of Rome Fortune yet, now is the perfect time to catch up. He's an eccentric Atlanta rapper with a blue beard, and a knack for being able to flow over basically any production. If Fortune's on a track, you know it's gonna be a banger. He released an awesome, varied mixtape last year entitled Small VVorld, and earlier this year dropped a collaborative EP with OG Maco,who he works frequently with, called YEP. Out of the unique, newcomers from Atlanta like ILoveMakkonnen, Father, and OG Maco, Fortune is probably the strongest rapper.

Most of Fortune's songs are pretty hype, but today he dropped a more personal song called "Pure". But sadly, Fortune also announced that he was heading for jail. He turned himself in due to his "stupid ass past" catching up to him, according to his Twitter. Luckily, he said that he'd only be in jail for about a month, so in that time make sure you get up-to-date with this up-and-coming rapper.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Listen to Raury's Uplifting Track "Fly"

In the midst of a small tour through Florida and Alabama, ATL musician Raury, released a new song entitled "Fly". The song was apparently written right after the news that Darren Wilson wouldn't be indicted was announced. But unlike many of the other songs about the announcement that are spiteful and angry, Raury takes a different, and much better approach. Raury sings that we'll fly above all of the darkness that's plaguing us currently, and looks towards a brighter future. The song is entirely acoustic, and relies much less on instrumentation that Raury's last project Indigo Chilc, but this helps his message get across better. Be on the lookout for his debut album, and listen to the new track here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Albums To Be Released This Year

Last year was definitely not the best for major label releases. No hip hop album went platinum, and no album sold over 200k before December. And many promised albums were left open. But, 2015 looks as if it will be huge for hip hop releases.

First, what we know will be dropping. Joey Bada$$'s debut album B4.DA.$$ will be released on January 20th, as well as Lupe Fiasco's Tetso and Youth. Action Bronson's debut album Mr. Wonderful will be dropping on March 24. So far, those are the only officially announced to be dropped, but their are plenty other albums that will soon be announced.

Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment's free album Surf was announced late last year, and was supposed to be released before the end of the year, so it'll probably be dropping soon. Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock were also supposed to be releasing albums by the end of 2014, but never did, so they both will probably be releasing their respective albums in the first quarter of this year. Lil Wayne said that Tha Carter V will also be released in the first quarter, but amid major label disputes this may not be happening. Drake, Migos, Nas, Meek Mill, Raury, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Gang, Macklemore, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples, Domo Genesis, Danny Brown, Pusha T, Miguel, James Blake, Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, A$AP Rocky, Ferg, and Nast, and Run The Jewels have all either announced that they will be releasing albums this year, or are working on another album.

There are a few other big names who haven't officially announced yet, but there is a very good chance they'll drop. Both Kanye West and Frank Ocean haven't said anything about new albums, but have dropped a new song each, and many others have rumored that they are done, or almost finished with their albums. Another Watch The Throne album is also heavily rumored to be released soon. And Jay Electronica's Act II: Patients of Nobility has been delayed and delayed for years, but it is possible that 2015 will be the year of Jay Elect.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Another Crazy Connection in Gambino's Videos

A few months ago, I posted an article about some very strange connections between Childish Gambino's music videos. And today, Gambino posted another video, which seems like further proof that he's an alien.

We left off with the "Telegraph Ave" video. It's filmed in Kauai, and features Gambino and Jhene Aiko just hanging out having fun for most of the video, until the end. Gambino gets hit by a truck in the last minute of the video, and two armed men come out and try to attack him. But Gambino is wounded, and out of his damaged body come tentacles, that kill the two men. His next video is "Sober", which is off of his EP Kauai, which is a notable connection.

"Sober" is entirely shot in a small dinner, just like the "Sweatpants" video, but the only occupants are Bino and a girl. Bino tries to hit on a girl by dancing to the song, and she seems to find it funny, until she gets her food and leaves. But in the beginning of the video, Bino's dancing is very odd, and at times he looks like a zombie, and definitely not human.  He doesn't really speak either, and just creepily looks at the woman. She gets annoyed and moves to a different table, so Bino starts to dance more normally. But this dancing still isn't very normal, as he moves at times unnaturally, without really moving his feet, like at 1:54 and 2:59. Also during the beat change of the song, the lights begin to flicker and Bino starts getting more concentrated in his dancing. He does slip the girl a note saying he's high, but that doesn't really seem true considering his behavior.

I think this video comes after the "Telegraph Ave" video in the storyline. Jhene Aiko, who Bino is in love with, probably left him after seeing he's a murderous alien between the two videos. I also think that the alien has a larger control over him now, seeing as he talks very little and moves so strangely. But Bino is still trying to find love, and shown throughout his album, EP, screenplay, and videos, so he tries to "flirt" with the girl at the diner. Of course, this could all be wrong, as I've said before, but I will continue to update this site when more information is available.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Release: New Song and Big News from Action Bronson

Last year, Action Bronson released one of the best songs of the year, "Easy Rider". The psychedelic track matched perfectly with Bronson's smooth, yet crazy rhymes. This was the first track off of his album Mr. Wonderful, but we haven't heard any new songs or information, until yesterday. Out of no where, the Flushings rapper dropped "Actin Crazy". The song features the same ridiculous, but smooth as hell verses from Bronson that we know an love, but with a laid back production from none other than Noah "40". I can think of few odder pairs then Drake's main producer and Bronson, but the track sounds awesome.

And that's not all that Bronson released. He tweeted out his tracklist, which is below, along with the features (Chance the Rapper, Mayhem Lauren, Chauncey Sherod, and of course, Party Supplies and Big Body Bes). He also announced that the album will be released on March 24th. The album isn't available for pre-order yet, and the album artwork still hasn't been released to the public as of yet. But peep the tracklist below, and get excited for the debut album from Mr. Wonderful himself.

1.  Brand New Car
2. When I Rise
3. Terry
4. Actin Crazy
5. Falconry
6. City Boy Blues
7. A Light In The Addict
8. Baby Blue
9. Only In America
10. Galactic Love
11. The Passage
12. Easy Rider

Monday, January 5, 2015

Things I Missed: "Indigo Child"- Raury

A blog is versatile, and I can basically write whatever I want. I set certain boundaries for myself, to make this blog as professional as possible, and one restriction I set was to write about recent music. But some projects fall through the cracks, and are too wonderful to not write about. So I'm creating a new section, entitled "Things I Missed", where I will be writing about old releases that I found recently and I fell in love with. One such project is Indigo Child by Raury.

Raury is an 18 year old Atlanta native, who has recently been co-signed by the likes of Drake, Kanye West, OutKast, Lorde, and others. And for very good reason. Last year, Raury dropped his first full length mixtape Indigo Child. About half of the thirteen tracks are skits or interludes, often featuring fighting, but the rest of the project is pure bliss. Raury blends together rock and hip-hop to create an entirely new genre, somewhat similar to The Love Below, but less funky. Raury sings/raps over huge, grandiose folky/rocky production. Raury sounds like a mix of Andre 300, Bon Iver, and Kid Cudi all in one. Not only is his production amazing, but Raury altering between signing and rapping will keep your attention. Foreverness is a major theme on this project, whether dealing with the foreverness of love, or dealing with becoming numb to your surroundings. Indigo Child is a amazing accomplishment for a seventeen year old, and I can't wait to hear more.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Listen to Two New Tracks Released On New Years

While everyone else was out partying, two huge rappers were working. On New Years Eve and Day, both A$AP Rocky and Kanye West released new songs

The first, by Rocky, is called "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2". We heard a short snippet of it in the "Multiply" music video. Similarly to "Multiply", the production isn't too complex, but still sounds great. And Rocky stunts all over the track. Hopefully everyone blared this track at their New Years party.

The second song is called "Only One" is Kanye's first solo song since Yeezus. Forget the arrogance, or the "hellish" sounds that his next project is supposed to sound like, "Only One" is a touching, personal song from the point of view from Kanye's late mother. The song has accompanying vocals from Ty Dolla $ign and keys from Paul McCartney. While the song is very surprising, and it's great to hear Kanye getting personal again, their is a slight autotune throughout the entire song that gets pretty obnoxious. But it appears like Yeezy, and Flacko, season are finally here.