Weekend Rap Up: B.o.B. ft Big K.R.I.T. & Bun B, The Dean’s List, Lloyd Banks ft ASAP Rocky, Nipsey Hussle, Nas & Amy Winehouse, Freddie Gibbs & Cults + MGK & Skrillex
Let’s see, what have we missed in the past week since my last post? Well, Take Care dropped and I am not only thoroughly impressed with the sophomore effort, but thoroughly entertained as well. I always thought Drake was at his best as an RnB artist, rather than a rapper, and this album accentuates those talents. My favorite tracks are “Crew Love”, “Buried Alive Interlude” (which btw is performed by Kendrick Lamar), “Make Me Proud”, “Doing it Wrong” & “Practice”. Also, Childish Gambino dropped his freshman effort titled Camp. I’m also really liking that one as well. Some of his lines are a little repetitive, but his perspective, as well as sound, is brilliantly refreshing. My favorite tracks are “All the Shine”, “Heartbeat”, “Les” & “Hold You Down”. Hmmm, what else. Oh yea, the “nuclear winter” of the NBA began. Players showing resolve and willingness to actually lose money in order to take a stand against owners and their unrelenting demeaning attitude of superiority along with neglect for fair bargaining has a lot of people upset and unfortunately, out of work as well. As only he can, Bill Simmons lays it out there perfectly for everyone to understand the many different perspectives and motivations at play in this labor situation with his most recent Grantland article, MUST READ CLICK HERE. Whether it turns out to be a devastating move for the players or not, I respect and support it. I’m tired of arguing my position, and frankly anything NBA related, at this point to explain it again. But fuck, I still don’t know what I’m going to do all winter without Derrick and my Bulls though. Anyway, check out a variety of rap jams you may have missed out on too….
Omen dropped his mixtape Afraid of Heights a week or so ago. If you passed it up without a second glance, take a listen to this one and you might think twice. Really liking this jazzy joint.
Omen – Look of Lust (ft. Kendrick Lamar & Shalonda) (right click, “save as” to dl)
This is THAT jam right here. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, that means it’s currently dominating my most played on iTunes/iPod. Cults + Gibbs = good music + good raps. What a surprisingly amazing combo.
Cults – Bad Things (Remix) (ft. Freddie Gibbs) (right click, “save as” to dl)
Another example of good music + good raps courtesy of Nas & Amy. Great collaboration of two of the most talented ever. Unfortunately, there won’t be enough unreleased music like this to keep new Amy Winehouse in our radios forever. RIP Amy.
Amy Winehouse – Like Smoke (ft. Nas) (right click, “save as” to dl)
This is also a definitive jam. Big. K.R.I.T. has been showing up on all of the south’s finest in preparation for Live From The Underground’s 2012 release. This one kinda feels like an International Players Anthem part 2.
B.o.B. – 5 On The Kush (ft Big K.R.I.T. & Bun B) (right click, “save as” to dl)
The Dean’s List – Unbelievers (right click, “save as” to dl)
This one comes off Bank’s most recent mixtape The Cold Corner 2. Pretty solid project if you’re a fan. To a lesser extent than K.R.I.T., ASAP is gonna be a very common featured artist for the foreseeable future.
Lloyd Banks – Make it Stack (ft. ASAP Rocky) (right click, “save as” to dl)
This one’s from Nipsey’s recently released The Marathon Continues. Gotta love what the west coast has recently been producing, talent-wise, with guys like Nipsey and Kendrick Lamar to only name a couple. Great message from Steve at the end of this song.
Nipsey Hussle – Who Detached Us (ft. Steve Jobs) (right click, “save as” to dl)
I think I might slowly be turning into a MGK fan. That’s going too far, but I’m definitely open to the possibility upon hearing more solid material. He sounds just like a less rugged & raw version of Yelawolf. I’m pretty sure that’s a legit comparison and not just because they’re both white. Anyway, this one is off The Madden brother’s (Good Charlotte) Complex sponsored mixtape, Before Vol. 1. Surprisingly, a lot of solid artists/sounds are featured on the project. I’m not particularly a fan of the hardcore Skrillex sound at the end of this song, however.
The Madden Brothers x Machine Gun Kelly x Skrillex – OHMYGOD (OMGMGK) (right click, “save as” to dl)
I’m not normally into that ignorant drug/gun rap, so for me to cosign this shit right here, you gotta know it’s some real music. You won’t find anything to get hype to in the club, unless of course your idea of hype is drinking cough medicine. If you are more of a downer, then this is your shit. I’ve said it before, you gotta give credit to these producers. I’m looking forward to hearing more out of Clams Casino and Beautiful Lou, in particular. At the same time, Rocky’s style and flow can’t be overlooked just because he’s ignorant as hell. And trust me, I’m not celebrating his ignorance. I’m celebrating the good rap music he’s created with his mic skills and the honest interpretation of his life.
I’ve shared most of these songs already, but in case you just got up on FUNK, please let me catch you up. Albums rarely have 5-6 songs that really kill, let alone mixtapes. I will say this; as soon as he REALLY gets paid (he said he signed for $3 mill with Sony while Sony exec said he didn’t get half of that) I bet he falls off 10x worse than Lil Wayne. That’s a cheap shot, I’m sorry. I just gotta bring Weezy fans back to earth every so often. Or every chance I get. But who gives a fuck what I think? Go download ASAP Rocky’s LiveLoveA$AP and formulate your own opinion. Seriously though, if you don’t think “Palace” is the perfect intro to set the tone for ASAP, then I don’t know if you know your rap music.
“Uh, god damn, how real is this?
I know them ho niggaz gon’ be feeling this
East coast nigga, but how trill is this?
Still don’t give a shit my ignorance is still a bliss”
Weekend Rap Up: A$AP Rocky, Wale ft Big Sean, YONAS, Notes to Self ft Fashawn + Freeway ft Wale & Mayer Hawthorne
That pretty muthafucka A$AP drops some more heat for us, this coming off his mixtape LiveLoveA$AP dropping tomorrow. The Harlem native rarely lets a solid piece of production go to waste. Grab your best heard speaks (BBDs preferred) and just chill on this shit.
Ambition dropping Tuesday 11.1.11! Go buy that shit. This track off the album is produced by club happy Diplo, and is very interesting to say the least. Big Sean is a great choice for guest feature on this instrumental, btw. I could see this one getting some “slight work” in the club.
Yea, I know this instrumental (The xx – Intro) has been remixed and/or spit over more times than Adele, but I still love it. Not to mention YONAS is the perfect MC to come in and give it an entirely original feel. Dude has been doing his thing over all types of dope shit lately. Check the previously FUNK featured Aloe Blacc “I Need a Dollar” sample, as well.
(MP3): YONAS – Can’t Knock Me Down
(MP3): YONAS – I Need A Dollar
Something smooth with a real nice sample for your listening pleasures. Fashawns’s feature is what caught my eye and made me take a listen to this one, and rightfully so. He spits a quality verse and pretty much carries it with the hook. Ya’ll salty? I hear em though. “Guess I’m tired of being Mr. Polite.”
And one more smooth one for you, this time from the rarely softish Philly Freeza. This one’s got a slightly more positive vibe than the song above. I liked the original, but this time around on the remix Mayer Hawthorne sings the sample on the hook and Wale adds a quality verse. Mayer must have some nice hip hop connects or something, because he’s always popping up on tracks with real solid names. I’m not mad at that, though. And definitely not mad at the Wale feature either. This is off Freeway’s recently released mixtape, The Intermission.
Yeah, I’m back with that rap shit. Let me be more specific, that lyrical rap shit. First up we got Mr. No Day’s Off going over Hov’s classic Black Album track. Are you not entertained? No? Well then you didn’t really listen.
First of all, GLC is absolutely perfect for this hook. I don’t know why, but it just sounds so right. And second, XV is always nice, but this Emelio Rojas (2nd up on the mic) dude is no slouch himself. He’s starting to stand out. Be on the look out.
I have stated previously on the FUNK that it was more the beats than anything that left me with a positive outlook on Mr. Rocky. But that’s starting to change. I don’t even really like this beat that much, but maybe that’s why his impeccable flow stands out so much. Bottom-line, while the content isn’t very expansive, I am impressed with the skills.
I guess this is an old CuDi joint that leaked as “Do it Alone” before his debut LP, Man On The Moon, dropped back in 07. It’s just now being released in it’s mastered version. Definitely the CuDi you’d come to expect.
“Remember you’re not strange. But you are not the same, mayne.”
(MP3): KiD CuDi – Bigger Than You
Ok, if you’re mad that this is in my Rap Up post, then you must not have listened to Murs murder the second half of the song. But regardless, if stupid girls like Kreayshawn get any kind of consideration, then this bad bitch McKenzie deserves some credit herself. Give it a shot, it’s a nice change of pace.
Beautiful Lou….simply beautiful. Honestly though, I can’t give all the credit to Lou on this one. Despite the lack of depth in lyrical content as well as tired topics presented, the ASAP crew all deliver on point flows that almost makes me really listen to what they’re saying. They kinda got the Bone Thugs name thing going on with the whole ASAP in front. Only difference, Bone had names that actually incorporated the word, like Wish Bone, Flesh n Bone….well I guess only 2/5 were actually clever, but I still think it sounded better/smarter than simply putting the word “ASAP” in front of random individual nicknames. Midwest 1 – East Coast 0.
Anyway, I really wouldn’t have any interest in the “Always Strive And Prosper” crew if not for the production they’ve come with so far. So if not all, 90% of the credit still goes to Beautiful Lou. I will say this also though, I don’t hate on the ASAP crew for the shit they rap about. Because they actually sound sincere. It’s not some rich, 30+ year old veteran rapper talking about guns, sex, money & drugs for clichéd purposes. These young, 20 somethin’ year old dudes from Harlem really live this shit and really don’t know any better, or at least that’s the impression I get. Not that it’s cool, but like I said, sincere. And sincerity is way cooler than cool. But regardless, it’s definitely a jam. In fact, it’s thee jam of the week.
Weekend Rap Up: Chip tha Ripper, Fabolous ft Trey Songz & Red Cafe, Asher Roth, Crooked I, Main Attrakionz ft ASAP Rocky + L.S.D ft Phonte, King Mez & Charlie Smarts
Got my fantasy football draft tonight and I haven’t done any research yet, so I apologize for some of the short descriptions but I just don’t have time to get too insightful. As far as fantasy goes, I’m not too worried about my unpreparedness though, most of it is luck. And anyway, the best part of fantasy football is just gettin with the dudes during a live draft and then constantly talking shit from then on throughout the rest of the season. It helps when you have a good team but I’m really not the best fantasy manager. This is because, like music, I find it hard to draft (or get into musically) a player (artist) if I don’t like/respect them as a person. Was never very good at separating business from personal feelings….or anything and personal feelings for that matter.
Chip. tha. Rip. Reeeeeeally diggin this one right here. I’m lovin beat and especially the way Chip’s vocals match up with the overall vibe. Sounds like something to unwind to during the after-party, or maybe the opposite to kick the night off with the dudes. Probably follows a similar mantra as “Two goin’ at once. I like my girls like I like my blunts.”
“I was uncool before the uncool became cool”
(MP3): Chip tha Ripper – Great Time
This one can keep the party going as well. Fab is one of the most underrated rappers in the game. He consistently produces quality verses no matter the type of feature. The B.I.G. sample and Trey Songz hook make for an ear pleasing, easy listen.
Asher continues to impress me more and more this summer. He just went from an afterthought, to a “I’m definitely going to check out that album as soon as it comes out” type rapper in my book. Beat smooth, sample dope, rhymes tight. Real talk.
(MP3): Asher Roth – Ampersand
Slaughter in the house. I mentioned underrated earlier about Fab, but if that is the case, then Crook must be considered invisible. Even when people talk about Slaughterhouse I feel like Budden, Royce, or even Joell get the majority of the credit. While Joe Budden is close to my favorite rapper, I still gotta say that lyrically, as far as flow and punches, Crook is actually #1 out of the group. Talk about a group of rappers that really fit together on a lyrically conscious level, though.
I really have a hard time paying attention to the lyrics in this one for two reasons. One, I don’t expect to be impressed with anything rapped because these dudes are not lyricists. But more importantly, the other reason is because this sample is one of the coldest of all times. And I’m not talking the U.G.K. vocal sample, I’m talking about this Art of Noise (how creepy is this video?) beat sample. Took me a frustrating amount of time to remember where I knew it from, but the word “Freak” was the clincher that came to mind.
(MP3): Krayzie Bone – 2 Many Freaks (ft Play n Skillz & Adina Howard)….CLASSIC!
I’m not a huge fan of Little Brother, but mostly because it’s hard for me to get into 9th Wonder’s production. You know, kind of similar to the J. Dilla type shit. I know both dudes are respected to the utmost, but I just never really got into it. I still think Phonte is a sick spitter though, and while this beat is of the same soulful spectrum, this time shit’s got me bobbin’ back and forth without a doubt.
Weekend Rap Up: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mac Miller, Styles P ft Busta & Rick Ross, Yonas, ASAP Rocky + Joell Ortiz & Joe Budden
Literally got something for every type of hip hop fan this week. I’m gonna pop this shit off with the Seattle native Macklemore who brought us the creative “Wings”, which was featured on the funk several months ago. This time Mack takes on a hypnotizing beat that literally can’t be withheld under any ceiling. Currently on repeat.
Of course a cosign from Donald Trump, claiming him the next Eminem, brings Mac Miller to the top of the rap game….smh. Anyway, this is his first single from his debut LP. I kinda dig it, but still don’t see this lifting him to any sort of mainstream success. But what the fuck do I know about mainstream? Funny, one of his lines states “these losers always going with whats trendy,” when trendy is kinda how I feel about Mac’s popularity.
This one is for my boy Eder who’ll be taking his John Wall flex out to thee Ohio State to get his graduate academic on. Gonna miss arguing about Rick Ross and all that “hard” shit in the rap game. Fuck hard, this shit his harsh. Hwuh! But seriously, thanks for the support despite the fact most of my material is soft as baby wipes. Respect.
Aloe Blacc’s “I Need A Dollar” was in instant classic in my book. I don’t think I’ve heard an interpretation/remix that I haven’t fell in love with. This one of course, is no different. Don’t get too lost in the sample though, cause Yonas delivers true story through rhyme you ought to pay attention to.
(MP3): Yonas – I Need A Dollar
This dude ASAP Rocky has been making some noise over the world wide web the past couple months so I thought I’d catch ya’ll up if you haven’t heard from him. Not my favorite type of rap, not even close. But I’m not too smug to say I still don’t enjoy a couple joints like this in my rotation to change up from the usual conscious shit. Like he says right from the start, “this is for my niggaz getting high on the regular.”
(MP3): ASAP Rocky – Purple Swag
(MP3): ASAP Rocky – Peso
Talk about switching up, this is that conscious shit I was talking about. I talk about how powerful rap can be, and Joell is a perfect example. Any rapper can tell a story. Even ASAP Rocky is telling a real story in the songs above. But only a select few rappers can, and are willing to, deliver the story behind the story. It’s a story that isn’t told enough, and when it is, seems like no one really listens. Reminds me of a tragically dark tale told by Joe Budden. Take the time to really listen to them while I think about how much I miss 2pac.