Weekend Rap Up: Kendrick Lamar, DJ Drama ft 2 Chainz & Meek Mill & Jeremih, 1982 ft Big K.R.I.T., S-Preme, Bas + Jon Connor
You know, I get really frustrated with rap music sometimes. First of all, there are way too many rappers nowadays. And second, way too much money and fame gets credited to undeserving/untalented assholes. But it’s dudes like Kendrick that keep me coming back. You see, there will always be the business aspect corrupting the game. And there will always be wannabe rappers over-saturating the internet. But there will also forever be masterful young talents coming up under the radar that eventually, with enough push from the true hip hop fans, will get their chance to shine and rep the genre the right way. Exhibit A…
I couldn’t NOT post a 2 Chainz song if I even tried. The dude is literally EVERYWHERE. I gotta say though, this is probably one of the more respectable verses I’ve heard from him. Although, I do try to avoid him at all costs, so what do i know. I will say this also; I don’t hate what the dude is doing. I know I hate on him, but it’s more of me hating on the game. Is hip hop really turning into a hype machine likened to fashion trends decided by some clown overseas (exec) who passes that down to someone famous (rapper) who then leads the sheep of the world to follow suit? Regardless, I like this song. Thank you Meek Mill and Jeremih.
I’m a big fan of the sound that Statik creates for Termanology to showcase his lyricism. It seems only right for Big K.R.I.T. to jump on that same canvas and deliver his “indestructible flow.”
This dude is a spitter, period. He’s not your typical “hard” gun/coke/money rapper. It’s crazy to think about in today’s ego-infalted materialistic rap game, but get this; dude lets his rap skills do the talking. Waaaaoooooooowwwww.
I just recently discovered this Bas dude, and I think more than anything I just like his vibe. He seems like a chill, lighthearted dude with a nice flow and natural content selection. He’s not reaching like some of these clowns trying to make up for their insecurities. I dig that shit. This joint is pretty smooth btw.
Sometimes I get sucked into looking for new songs for hours on end. It’s like a nervous addiction that can’t be stopped once begun, or at least until I find that joint that finally satisfies my hunger for the day. I almost gave up this morning, but told myself I’d give it one more page of listens before I call it a day. Much to my delight I found this Jon Connor link at the bottom of the page (page 17 to be exact) and took a listen with hopes he would quench my desire. Oh, and it was good. With a little help from BRIX’ utilization of a sample from one of thee GREATEST RAP SONGS OF ALL TIME (along with the chipmunked Gavin DeGraw hook, as pointed out by the wifey), JC and his uncanny lyrical prowess comes through in the clutch.
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?
My Brain and My Music: Wale, NORE ft Busta+Game+Waka, J. Cole, Schoolboy Q ft Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. [Clams Casino remix] + Outkast [Urban Noize remix]
I oftentimes find it difficult to organize my thoughts. That’s why you’ll see me jump from subject to subject like a lil kid with ADD. So let me outline my thoughts for a second so that I don’t forget to mention the random but semi-related thoughts that had originally popped up in my head on my commute home from work: MTV’s Hottest MC’s list, fads, and hipsters. Go.
To me, being one of the Hottest MC’s is nothing more than being the flavor of the week. The logic that goes into naming someone “the hottest” is the same logic that currently has television producers making god knows how many Kardashian or Jersey Shore reality shows. So please, if you’re excited that your favorite MC made the cut, just realize it really has little to do with their lyrical pedigree. It’s gonna be fun to find out who on that list becomes the next Spencer & Heidi…
Basically what that list is describing, and paying respects to, is how much hip hop is all about fads nowadays. I can’t really get mad at MTV though, because fads dominate our entire culture. Look at all those damn NBA stars with their fucking non prescription black glasses. It’s kinda sad when you look at rap or NBA stars as whole, but then you come to find a guy like D. Rose (or in hip hop terms, Big K.R.I.T.) who stands unfazed as his own man when everyone around him dances like a clown. It’s not so much him being different than most stars that makes him so fucking awesome. It’s more so him being his own awesome self that makes him different…
It’s hard for me to put my finger on the whole “hipster” movement. I wouldn’t consider myself a hipster per se, but I definitely have some hipster qualities. Do I like some things more for the mere fact of being different? Possibly. But more than that, I really just have different tastes and thoughts than what is pumped out to the masses. But honestly, do I hate on Young Jeezy and Rick Ross more than I actually dislike their music? Yea. Do I try to convince Bulls fans to give Boozer more credit despite actually despising many facets of his game myself? Yea. But in a day and age when everyone seems to comply with the same thinking, ideas and tastes that TV, radio and other media outlets constantly shove down our throats, I feel it necessary to implant myself in the opposition to make sure I am still thinking for myself. And while doing so, I figure I ought to provide that other perspective to those who have probably had the same agreeable conversation with eachother not wanting look like the lone fool who actually owns a different opinion. In the end, I will like what I like because I like it. I think it’s just as stupid for someone to like (dislike) something ONLY because its’s unpopular (popular), just as much as for someone to like something ONLY because it’s popular. So don’t call me a hipster because I rag on shit that gets too much praise, and I won’t call you a poser for liking shit that isn’t all that great in the first place. But in the end, I’d still rather be different and labeled a hipster than be the same black frame wearing (mine are prescription) dancing clown (only on the dance floor) that safely fits in with the crowd.
Oh yea, here’s some new hip hop shit I didn’t get a chance to put out this weekend….
Wale – Purple Swag Freestyle (right click, save-as to DL)
N.O.R.E. – Lehhhgooo (ft. Busta Rhymes, Game & Waka Flocka Flame) (right click, save-as to DL)
J. Cole – Grew Up Fast (right click, save-as to DL)
Schoolboy Q – Blessed (ft. Kendrick Lamar) (right click, save-as to DL)
Big K.R.I.T. – Moon & Stars (Clams Casino remix) (right click, save-as to DL)
Outkast – Royal Flush (ft. Raekwon) (Urban Noize remix) (right click, save-as to DL)
This.Is.The Remix: The Hood Internet (Wale vs Kavinsky), Ted Smooth (Drake ft. The Weeknd) & Trae Tha Truth ft. Big K.R.I.T., Jadakiss, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B., + more
…or I guess it should read, “THESE. ARE. The remixES.” If you didn’t know, I am quite fond of “the remix.” Even when it’s not quite as good as the original, it’s still refreshing to hear a good song in a different light, or from a new perspective.
First up we got a quality mashup from one of the best. The Hood Internet takes Wale’s Chain Music and throws it over some dark, whiteboy electronic instrumental courtesy of Kavinsky. Never heard of dude(?), but….diggin it.
Next we got this simple Ted Smooth remix utilizing some slowed down percussion from Biggie’s “I Got A Story to Tell” mixed in with Drake’s “Crew Love.” Pretty subtle addition, but new life nonetheless.
Lastly, we have a classic example of the hip hop remix. Whenever someone is lucky enough to snag a beat/hook like this, it’s inevitable that they’ll be at least 10-15 rappers trying to jump on that shit. The original was star studded enough with the likes of Wale, Wiz, Lupe, and Big Boi, but it just got another lift with some even NEWER schoolers (K.R.I.T., J. Cole, Kendrick) and more importantly, the REAL Mark Morrison! WHOOOOOAAAAAAAAAOOOOHHHH!
Weekend Rap Up: e-dubble, Maffew Ragazino ft. Das Racist, Ground Up ft Young Chris, Schoolboy Q ft Kendrick Lamar + Chip Tha Ripper ft Bun B
Let’s get right into it. I love where this dude e-dubble is coming from with his lyrics. I can really relate to the way of thinking. But this song really isn’t something to ride to with your boys, it’s more personal. If you dig it you dig it, if you don’t you don’t. Theres really no in between.
“They cut the arts budget, they cut creative costs
They see themselves with wrinkled faces and no Audemars
The truth hurts but we stronger for revealing it
concealing where we fucked up’s no way to deal with shit”
Now to make a quick u-turn in the lyric category, I bring you Maffew and those silly basterds from Das Racist. What can I say, I guess I understand how some artists are more appealing simply because of their beat selection…But despite the lack of congruency and content in their rhymes, the dude’s are pretty creative with the flow. I do really like this Grizzy Bear sample though.
Ok, it’s getting late and I’m trying to get to bed at a decent time tonight so I’m gonna be short with this next one….Love the flute. Love the vibe. Love the flows. Don’t be fooled by the pigment.
My dude Bo put me onto Q a while back and I would like to show my gratitude by sharing some standouts from his mixtape titled Setbacks. Now, I had heard of this Schoolboy fella before the mixtape, but only as part of Black Hippy, and considered him nothing more than a sidenote to Kendrick Lamar & Jay Rock. Personally, I still put Kenkrick “light years ahead,” but like the former, Q really can spit some intelligent, hard hitting rhymes. Even though most of the content revolves around that coke game/block mentality (shockingly, I can’t relate), he delivers it in a fashion that, to me, separates himself from the Rick Ross & Young Jeezys. It’s just not as ignorant and falsely glorifying as the raps you hear from those other dudes. More importantly though, even when it is that ignorant glorifying bullshit, it’s not delivered with a simple minded, lazy ass flow. Sorry, but sometimes beat selection is confused with mic skills and I feel the need to balance shit out.
Schoolboy Q – LigHt Years AHead (Sky HigH) (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Schoolboy Q – Druggy’s Wit H*es (ft. Ab Soul)….haha, shot out Luc Longley
I was actually kinda let down, again, with Chip’s latest mixtape effort. I feel like dude is lost in trying to find the balance between staying true to himself and finding fame. It’s hard to hate on dudes for that sometimes though. It’s like, even if you did have something more important to say, no one was there to hear you before you reached that next level. It’s hard to tell whether those concession are really worth it though. Maybe B.o.B and Wale can help with that question….In any event, I still found more than a couple joints I was quite fond of off Tell Ya Friends. Check out my two favorites…
Weekend Rap Up: Kendrick Lamar ft Busta, Wale ft Rick Ross, 2 Chainz & Trey Songz, Red Cafe ft Trey Songz, Wale & J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa & Snoop, Sway ft Lupe Fiasco, Asher Roth, CYNE + 1982
Sorry for the hiatus, but your boy was in a little bit of a funk. And not the good kind of funk you’ve come to regularly find on the funk. Nah, this funk had me boycotting my Beats altogether. You ever just get sick of music? Shit, that’s hard for me to come to grips with, but that’s kinda how I was feeling.
Rap music really pisses me off sometimes. So in actuality, it’s not all that inconceivable to find myself needing a break. I may have been warming back up to the thought of throwing on my Beats and bingeing through all my go-to blogs to see what’s up in these streets, but then I witnessed the most obnoxiously arrogant, not to mention annoying, encore in live rap show history; Watch The Throne. “N’s in Paris” is not the most amazing song ever. It’s not even the best Jay or Ye song. Therefor, what would warrant playing it over and over as if to achieve the Guinness World Record for consecutive playbacks? The opposite of D. Rose, that’s what. I mean, the show was AMAZING (minus Kanye’s boring Amber Rose dedication set) but I literally ended up leaving the UC pissed off after that shit. It was especially disheartening to look around at the 10,000+
stans fans encouraging this type of behavior in the first place. Moving on…..
I’ve found myself with some extra downtime this weekend and decided it was a good time to get back at it. After a long discovery session yesterday, I have a good amount of new music I’ll have to share throughout the week. But let’s start off with that rap shit.
Now I’m not going to pretend like I know every new artist out there, or equivalently have heard every new song from the up and comers I’ve already been introduced to. But I do know this; Kendrick Lamar is going to be making one of the biggest leaps in the rap game coming up in 2012. Not as big as K.R.I.T., but seriously, listen to this shit. Kendrick is nice as hell.
Kendrick Lamar – Rigamortus (remix) (ft. Busta Rhymes) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare
I’ve always been a big fan of the soulful scratches from Statik Selektah. Team him up with the knowledge kickin’ Termanology and there you have the underground masterpiece known as 1982. If you’re into the head nodding lyrical shit, check it out.
Never heard of these guys but immediately after hitting play for my first listen, I had to snatch this chill ass shit. I have a real love/hate reaction to short songs like this. I love them because of their simplicity, but I hate them because they always leave me wanting so much more. Oh well, repeat.
Asher and Blended Babies come together again to create that nonsensical head nodding shit Asher’s skill set adhere so well to. Another simple beat with a beautifully rhythmic flow to match.
Asher Roth – Common Knowledge (prod. Blended Babies) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare
This one comes off Wiz & Snoop’s “Mac & Devin go 2 High School” soundtrack. I don’t really know the details of the movie. Are they featured in the film as well? I don’t really care, actually. I’m not that big on Wiz or Snoop, but this one seemed pretty smooth. Chill shit.
This is the opposite of chill. Following the vibe of his latest mixtape, Friend of the People, Lupe hops on this UK native’s high octane jam sure to get you a speeding ticket if left on repeat in the whip.
Sway – Still Speedin’ Reloaded (ft. Lupe Fiasco) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare
And finally, we have remixes to two of my favorite commercially appealable jams of 2011 featuring some more popular names from the year. Shout out to the producers on both of these, since beats are basically 90% what we’re talking about when we’re talking commercial appeal, right? Regardless, shit is bangin’.
Red Cafe – Fly Together (remix) (ft. Trey Songz, Wale & J. Cole) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare
Wale – Bait (remix) (ft. Rick Ross, 2 Chainz & Trey Songz) (right click, “save as” to dl) or @ Hulkshare
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)