Weekend Rap Up: B.o.B.,The ILLZ, YONAS, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Dave Raps, Nas ft Rick Ross, Pusha T ft. Swizz Beatz, French Montana ft. Drake & Wayne & RossMeek Mill & Wale & MMG + More
How unnecessarily long is that title? Lots of featured appearances in this week’s Rap Up, and more than a couple different styles and sounds at work as well. One particular sound that stands out from the rest is The ILLZ. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a BIG fan of the indie rap movement. You know, that introspective shit over simple guitar strings, piano, and other indie rock samples. They really are a perfect match for eachother. The lyrics are meant to be listened to intently, and the musical backdrop is one that not only eliminates unnecessary distractions but also elicits emotion in of itself. That’s why I dig The ILLZ. The dude reeks of realness. B.o.B. is the same, when he’s at his best at least. Unfortunately being at your best and making money are two separate things these days in the music biz, or at least in hip hop. So you might not find many more like this off Strange Clouds, but that doesn’t take away from great pieces like this.
The ILLZ – Closer (Temper Trap sample)
Yonas is another up and comer you should already be mindful of. He’s been doing his thing in the mixtape game for a few years now, and eventually he’ll have built up a distinguishable enough rapport with his fan base that he can put out pretty much any type of record and he’ll sell some. That’s the name of the mixtape game, right? Love the pre-fame mixtape game (see B.o.B.). YONAS really isn’t on that level yet, but he definitely knows how to take someone else’s hot beat, and no matter how played out, make it his own so that you can listen again.
Freddie deserves a considerable amount of respect for his lyrical game. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t have a tag line to repeat 12+ times a song, and he doesn’t spit so utterly simple and slow that you could teach a 2 year old to
be ignorant as hell follow along. Sometimes it does take a beautiful soul sample like this to truly appreciate him.
Dave Raps delivered one of my favorite songs of 2011 in “Alive” off his mixtape H.Y.P.E. So I copped his latest effort AKA Dave Ruffin and spotted this lil gem. Take a listen.
Ohhhhh boy! Life Is Good is almost here. Nas drops his latest studio effort on July 17th and I can’t wait. Nas is my favorite rapper, hands down. There’s no one like him. We’ll talk more when his shit drops and I get the full effect. In this one, Nas calls out all the fakers out there that really aint shit. Ross delivers an excellent verse by the way. I’m serious. I might be too hard on him. I just can’t get over the fact that he literally only raps about 4 things; cocaine, cars, money, and girls he would never fuck without the first 3.
Since I’m on the subject of Rick Ross, I might as well just jump head first into that m-m-m-m-maybach music. I like this mayback music…kinda. The Meek joint is off his mixtape Dreamchasers 2 and dude does justice to one of the greatest instrumentals/songs of all time; The Fugees – Ready or Not. The Power circle joint is off Self Made vol 2. I must say, that’s a helluva lineup MMG is touting.
I know, I know. I’m not supposed to post shit I don’t truly listen to. But even in this next one’s case, there IS a time and a place. It just so happens that that time and place doesn’t fit into my usual listening patterns. This Pusha joint I can fuck with on the regular though. Does Swizz Beats do anything but drive around in his fancy cars anymore?
Memorial Weekend Rap Up: A$AP Rocky, Swizz Beats, Big K.R.I.T, Dom Kennedy, Aesop Rock, Juicy J, Freddie Gibs, 2 Chainz, Mac Miller, Asher Roth + More
In the words of the legendary Timbo, “It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to.” I don’t feel like getting into the excuses for my hiatus, nor can I say it won’t happen again. But I will say this; If someone wants to pay me for the hours I spend looking for legit, quality music (especially rap, which is like trying to find classy wifey material out at the club. You can do it, but shit, listening to some of that garbage can take a toll on ya), not to mention writing something halfway intelligent about it, then by all means let me know and I’ll never take another day off the rest of my life. Any who, let’s get right into this cuz I got plenty of material for ya’ll all week long…
This dude A$AP is blowing up fast, and so far he hasn’t swayed from his original style. One can’t count on that forever, so enjoy the early material while the gettin’s good. Attention all producers: Please keep making bangers for this dude. ***Updated: This was previously featured on the Funk back in April, but this guy is wayyy behind still… and it’s that good***
Joe Budden has a line in the forgettable club anthem “Fire” from his early years that goes, “I’m glad producers charge so high for they tracks. Now they do it all, you just applying the
wrap rap.” In most cases, it couldn’t be more true. Now I don’t know how much “La Musica de Harry Fraud” costs, but I bet he makes a pretty penny. I can’t get enough of this hypnotizing masterpiece right here. Thankfully, Action and Rif don’t fuck up the packaging.
I just came up on this one this morning, so I haven’t listened to it long enough to determine if it has any replay value. But Gibbs and Tip rarely disappoint, and the beat is decent enough for a “ridin’ round the city” mixtape.
Add this one to the aforementioned “mean muggin’ in the whip” mixtape. I had this one blasting with the windows down last night, ooh wee.
I usually rip on artists with unimaginative slow motion flows, but none of that matters if the beat is right. And this my type of banger. Seriously though Dom, “money give me a boner?” Really?
I’m more embarrassed that I’m sharing a song with 2 Chainz rather than Justin Bieber. I just don’t understand why 2 Chainz pops up everywhere nowadays and has a stan-like following? While I may have just answered my own question, still, It’s slightly more annoying than the Gucci Mane phase. At least Gucci came out on the scene and from the start made a name for himself earning the right to bank off the stupid noises that came out of his mouth over hood beats. 2 Chainz on the other hand, literally had to make a new name for himself so no one would associate him with his worthless early years as Tity Boi. It’s just more evidence of rap being overcome by the business suit strategy. Seriously, here we have an artist simply renaming himself yet providing the same garbage, just as a company would rename themselves after a scandal or something yet producing the same shitty product. And people buy it! What the fuck people, we as consumers have the power to demand better. Fuck, I’m just getting myself upset. But seriously, this instrumental is a problem and Justin
Timberlake 2.0 Bieber kills the hook.
Another remix featuring some artists that should not be allowed to spit more than one verse at time. One of my favorite cuts off 4Eva N A Day. Live From The Underground finally on the way!
Never heard of this Bas dude, but I’m definitely feeling the flow and the way he flips Rihanna “You Da One” into what most respectable dudes would probably now say to Rihanna after years of showing us just how little respect she deserves/demands. But damn, she fine.
Hopefully you made it all the way down to the bottom cuz I had to save the best for last. I’ve been rocking this on repeat for almost a month now and until today, only the below lines really made any sense to me. Aesop Rock does not make easy-listen songs for first grade level listeners to be able to follow along. I suggest you do as I did, which is enjoy the impeccable flow over the adrenaline fueling instrumental for a while and then take a gander at Rap Genius’s line by line interpretation : http://rapgenius.com/Aesop-rock-zero-dark-thirty-lyrics#note-697016. ”
“Are we supporting the artist or enabling the addict
I mean, I guess it matters to me
I wish it mattered to you
How a thousand virtues
Kick the same bucket like Chinatown turtles”
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)
This one comes off Chamillionaire’s newest mixtape Major Pain 1.5. Cham isn’t your typical southern rapper, but even the most unique, anti-establishment rappers can’t resist an instrumental and chopped & screwed hook as dope as this. Feel me? Just listen.
This song might take a couple extra listens to really grab you, but once it does, the grip won’t slip. I heard this “City Kids” joint from these dudes a lit bit ago, but wasn’t a huge fan. Still, I decided to download their newest mixtape, Up Before The World, to get a better sampling. I’m sure glad I did, because I can’t get enough of this song right here. Dudes got that quick, conversational type flow that may require a lil more attention than most, but you’ve got to expect that here. The piano and voice sample throughout the instrumental are perfect.
I’ll keep posting STS until he becomes a common name in hip hop circles while discussing the hottest newcomers in the game. Dude is nasty, nuff said. No surprise, Joell Ortiz delivers here as well. This one’s off the recently released Demand More.
This is another one of those powerful type instrumentals that can take you for a trip on its own, regardless if you’re already driving around without a destination in mind. But the only journey that really matters is the personal one you embark on everyday you wake up. One in which you don’t even need to open your eyes in order to put miles on the dash. Ironic that I could go on that trip for free simply by closing my eyes with my professional headphones on. Instead I choose to drive around blasting my below average car stereo to clear my head, all the while burning money through my gas tank. Always seem to make things more complicated/difficult than necessary. But hey, if the shoe fits….
This one comes off Curren$y’s newest mixtape Covert Coup. Not a huge fan of the project as a whole, but this one definitely stood out as his most solid contribution. Giving props to my dude Pip on the title won’t hurt his cause. Btw, reference #2 to Pip in this weeks Rap Up. I wonder which Air Pips he’s talking bout? Probably the original Nike Air Pippen. I’m not a fan of the one’s with the rain drops on the side and I do think I’m one of the few that really liked the one’s with “AIR” written along the side of them.
I’ll close it out with this smooth freestyle from Mac Miller released last week after reaching 300k twitter followers, I think. The beat comes from an old People Under the Stairs joint called San Francisco Knights. I said it before, I wasn’t a big Mac fan when I first heard his shit. But I can’t lie, the more and more I hear, the more I’m starting to really appreciate dudes talents on the mic.
Weekend Rap Up: New Nipsey Hu$$le, Cam’ron & Vado, Kendrick Lamar, Saigon, STS ft Freddie Gibbs & More
Nipsey goes in on this one like he’s never heard of a marathon before. I think his name might actually a detriment to his exposure, at least in my personal experience it was. It must be the ever-cliche word “hustle” as part of his name, not to mention it’s spelled incorrectly in order to fit another dollar sign, that gave me the impression I’d be wasting my time with the stereotypical “drugs and money” raps. Anyway, don’t let the name detract you (if it even would, I think I may be in the minority here) because although much of the content fits the stereotype, dude still brings real raps to life.
Nipsy Hu$$le – The Mansion
Let’s switch it up and slow it down with some new killa Cam. This one takes me back to those Diplomats/Purple Haze days. Cam’ron is clever in the simplest way possible, so it’s pretty funny when he delivers those straight to the point punchlines. Gotta enjoy this one if you’re a fan of vintage Cam, but can’t say that I’m waiting around for Gunz n’ Butta to drop.
The original is pretty old now, but this remix is fairly new. I love the simple tweak they made to the beat during the hook, kinda feels like it increases the tempo a lil bit. Anyway, this one is definitely worth a listen and a good opportunity to introduce yourself to some of these new comers.
“This is physical and mental, I won’t sugarcoat it
You’ll die from diabetes if these other niggas wrote it
And everything on TV just a figment of imagination
I don’t want a plastic nation, dread that like a Haitian”
Something about J. Cole production just brings out the best in these rappers. And understandably so, his beats are fucking nasty. Kendrick is becoming one of my favorite “Freshmen” because of his honesty, thought-provoking lyrics along with the fire/effort in his voice. The 23 year old is wise beyond his years. Pay attention to the lyrics.
“I’m filled with this realness, rappers happen to lack it
I’m flabbergast that you got a platinum plaque for that wack shit
All the real gangsters they on their way to bein’ dead or in jail
They don’t make records to sell”
I find it funny that Saigon even got offended and started that beef with Joe Budden in the first place, seeing as though they’re actually very similar rappers. Although, Saigon actually does have a much nicer flow. I think the main difference in terms of content is that Saigon spits realness outside himself, where Joe spits the realness inside. I think this one hit the net a month or so ago and should be coming off the long awaited Greatest Story Never Told. You couldn’t have picked a better title even after the fact. I really hope his buzz has not come and gone inhibiting him from ever dropping that LP because I really like listening to Saigon speak his mind through beautiful raps.
STS is like the skinny, southern version of Twista. Dude spits so quick it’s hard to even catch most of his rhymes, yet he still puts forth thought and effort into each and every line. Freddie Gibbs comes with his A-game and compliments STS real well here as well.
Never heard of this TIME dude until his latest mixtape – Overgrind 2: The Critic. It’s just a decent project IMO, mainly because the production is lacking. This particular song here is the exception; Saxophone is killin it! TIME flows real nice while kicking some realness for your brain in this one.
TIME – The Truth (prod. TIME)