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?
Wifey Wednesday: Drake ft Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean ft SupaNatra, Cocaine 80s, Drake & The Weeknd + The Dream ft. Big Sean
Wifey Wednesday is back! I’d be lying if I said I do it just for the ladies, cuz these are my jams right here. Love the smooth shit, man. Plus it’s real to me. I been through some shit, I know some girls been through some shit. That’s one of the reasons why I’m feelin’ a lot of Drake’s music. Yea, he can play it cool and talk about all the chicks he passes through without care, but he also talks about the girls that actually make him stop and say, this chick is for real. He drops a smooth one for us off Take Care, with a little bit of help from his boy weezy…
If you’ve been down with the FUNK, you know I’m diggin Frank Ocean. I don’t remember the whole background to this song, but I’m pretty sure it’s just another Frank Ocean song that this Billionaire Boyscout dude took and remixed with a verse from SupaNatra. I need to get up on my Frank Ocean. Of course I love the piano keys, but really liking this dude’s verse as well. Gotta have some kind of musical connection, or at the very least common ground, with a chick. Well, for anyone who loves music.
I hope you listened to my dude Bilkha and copped that cocaine 80’s shit. I’m super high on this joint right here. It comes off his first tape with No I.D. called The Pursuit. Currently, top play on the commute. Sooooo smooth. I feel dude with the lyrics, too.
“you hear it coming from the television
you hear it coming from the mothafuckin government
girl I just wanna tell you something different
thats why I fuck witchu cuz I know you be listenin”
My boy also posted that JAYBeatz mashup featuring the aforementioned “The Real Her.” Well, dude also created a nice lil mash featuring both Drake & The Weeknd’s perspective versions of “Trust Issues” (The Weeknd won), while mixing in a lil bit of the original “Im On One.” Check it out. If you really liked either one of the originals, I feel like you gotta be on this one.
Lastly, in case you missed that free album (aka mixtape with high quality original beats) that The Dream (aka Terius Nash) dropped a lil while back, check this joint featuring Big Sean. I was sleeping on this one, but I’m not now. Plan on skipping the foreplay when this one drops. I don’t really know what sexin’ right has to do with ghetto though….
Something For The Radio: Machine Gun Kelly ft Mike Posner, Silver Medallion ft Shwayze + Bow Wow ft Lil Wayne
Maybe these aren’t 100% radio-friendly, but it’s just about as close as you’ll see me get to the commercial appeal. First up we got Diddy’s attempt at a more pop friendly version of Yelawolf. Not to hate, but he just seems more like a product than an artist to me. I don’t know, is it wrong when I see a skinny white rapper with tatted sleeves and a stage name including the words “Machine Gun” I think cliche now? Maybe it’s just that he’s signed to Diddy. Anywho, I am a fan of this one. That may have to do more with my guilty pleasure Mike Posner on the hook, but MGK definitely keeps me interested throughout. This one is supposed to be a part 2 to Mikey P’s early mixtape hit “Drug Dealer Girl.” That’s a stretch, to say the least.
I found this one about a week or so ago and it’s been growing on me at an exponentially high rate. As of today, it is definitely a current favorite (actually #2 behind Common’s Blue Sky). I don’t really know what specific electro(?) genre to correctly categorize this in, but that’s okay. I hate labels. It’s a major jam, that’s all you need to know.
I came across this one, so I figured I should post it. I’m still not sold, but I know some of the more commercial accepting hip hop fans can dig it. Here’s to Lil Weezy trying to resurrect Bow Weezy’s career. Why? I have no idea. Take it for what it is though. This one could be quite the club banger. And if you’re a Wayne fan it has to be the greatest song in the world, right? Wayne NEVER puts out sub-par material anymore….
I know what the people want, and surprisingly we agree sometimes. This is a little more like what we’ve been waiting for from Weezy since we heard about the Carter IV what, like 6 months ago? That first attempt at a single (“How to Love”) was absolute garbage. Here he gets back to something a little more familiar. Something he’s more well versed in. Wayne is probably the best rapper ever to half listen to. That’s no disrespect because really, he has perfected the simplest while most clever flow ever. I acknowledge the fact that if you do pay closer attention, you’ll gain even more respect for his rhymes. But you can’t deny the fact that his punchlines are quite easy to comprehend and catch, therefore making him pleasing to the greatest array of listeners. Gotta admit his vocal texture has a lot to do with his popularity as well. Unlike Rick Ross, who must attribute ALL of his popularity to his vocal texture. He’s so useless they even cut him out of the official version, I believe. But hey, I gotta take advantage of every chance I can to rag on officer Ross, so I included the version with his weak ass verse. I know some of you like his voice too. See, I’m lookin out.
Wifey Wednesday: The Club Edition ft Cobra Starship & Disco Fries, Calvin Harris & Benny Benassi, Kap Slap + More
So I apologize to all my ladies out there who have no interest in this hardcore club shit. I’m not trying to discriminate, I got all of you. But this week I just came up on a lot more of this progressive/dubstep/”chill the fuck out” type club shit. I can’t lie though, when it’s not out of contral “womp womp” style, I can dig it. DJ’s, add em to the set.
So this next couple came off this DJ (?) Kap Slap mixtape called Audio Appropriation. I haven’t been out to the “club” much this summer at all. Shits expensive, not to mention pretentious as fuck. But I can’t lie, if I was out and already in the zone, I might be lovin’ life on the dance floor over this shit….maybe. Otherwise add it to the marathon playlist and chug it out to the bad ass beats.
The jury is still out for me on this dubstep shit. Some of it turns out really well. Then some songs have only short sections that turn out really well while other large chunks make me want to take a bat to whatever device is dispersing this “music” into the air. I don’t know, maybe it depends on the mood and the scene. But just in case any of you love anything that involves Khaled’s “Im On One”, or were surprised to hear this 2010 remix favorite,”I Love You So” sample on Watch The Throne….then here you go.
(MP3):DJ Khaled ft Drake & Lil Wayne – I’m On One (KillaGraham Remix)….ha, just got the name. These wannabe D-boys are so clever
So I was reading the new Simmons on Grantland about the NBA lockout, and this part just kinda of stood out to me…
“Because that’s what this lockout is about: stubbornness in its rawest form. The league is too proud to change. The players are too proud to admit that they’re a huge part of the problem, and that we wouldn’t be in this mess if more of them took pride in the deals they signed. Both sides would rather point fingers instead of figuring out how to improve their product going forward.”
I feel like that is where we’re at in politics right now. All this debt ceiling, tax percentages, revenue sharing, posturing for upcoming elections, its all a bunch of bullshit. Politics in general is all a bunch of bullshit. No one really means what they say and no one really says what the mean. Now I don’t really know the whole story because obviously it makes me vomit to even try to follow these ass clowns and their agendas, but from what I’ve read on CNN, it seams as though Obama continuously gives up some in negotiations (to the dismay of many democrats because of all that posturing bullshit) but like the greedy owners, Republicans don’t end up budging one bit on their end. This because, like the NBA owners who easily have enough money to withstand not having an NBA season, the Republicans in congress will let us go into default and be straight with whatever national/global financial crisis ensues. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my opinion.
They’re actually very different situations in that the Players actually already have the money, whereas Obama and the Democrats are asking for more. I just hope it doesn’t play out one sided in Washington or the NBA because things definitely need to change, but we need to move toward middle ground. Obviously that means the Democrats/NBA players have a responsibility in this as well. One subject they probably need to address is spending. But regardless, both sides need to start being creative and stop being too proud. And the Owners/Republicans need to stop being so selfish and think about the big picture, America/NBA as a whole, and not just how it affects them personally since they have the upper hand. I really don’t know all the facts, I just hate people who are too proud to practice GIVE and take.
I do have some music to go along with this unrelated rant, and it’s songs 25-11 on my best of the funk rap list. I mean, I post at least like 4 times as much rap as I do anything. There’s no way I could narrow this down to just 10. Check it out.
11. Skizzy Mars – Profound ……”everybody trying to avoid me, NBA lockout.”
I’m pretty sure I had something super insightful to say last night right as I was about to fall asleep, but I was too lazy/unsober to get up and make note of it….That really pisses me off, you know? I need to carry/sleep with a tape recorder so I can “note to self” like Norm McDonald and remember shit to write/talk about.
Anyway, I do remember this morning, and I was thinking about discipline on the way to the bus stop. I have no idea why, but looking back, I wonder if this might have anything to do with my hangover on the way to work…Anyway, I was just thinking about how much discipline it takes to be non violent. And despite what Nas says in his book of rhymes, Gandhi was no fool even if it seems as though the Machiavellians are the ones always getting ahead. Could you imagine what this world might be like had there been no Ghandi or Martin Luther King to provide some balance opposing those who believe it takes “the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on” (wikipedia) to accomplish their goals? Their ideas will never die and their accomplishments will forever give idealist like myself hope for the people.
Anyway, I guess I‘ve just been on this anti-“hard” tip for a minute. And well the opposite of hard is soft. And since I’m not really into being all hard and shit anymore, that must mean I’m Chris Bosh soft, right? So maybe I am kinda, but shits really not that black and white. Since college though, I have been all about the peace and love (how can they say marijuana is a bad thing?). Actually, always been about the love, just catching up with the peacefulness lately. That’s why RnB has always been one of my favorite genres. Not so much the faster RnB, mostly just the “slow jams.” Yeah, I love me some R. Kelly. This year was HUGE thanks in large part to the emergence of The Weeknd. Dude is gonna blow up big time. By the way, the top of this list is on some classic grammy type shit. I mean some of the best songs I’ve heard in yearZUH, let alone the first half of this one.
3. Frank Ocean – Novacane…..you gotta check the music video for this song. Really fuckin cool, especially how they visually describe the feeling of not having feeling (numb)