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)
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.”
So I finally realized in order to get outta this funk (no pun intended) I just gotta get back to what I do to feel that sense of accomplishment and the rest will work itself out. After a good 2+ hours of playing catch up on the blog scene, I got a real hot set for you in this week’s Rap Up. I’m still a little hungover, somewhat mentally drained, and really wanna get back to “The Wire,” so forgive me for being short with this post and skipping the details. I got a lil something for all my hip hop heads though (including that hard shit), so make sure to at least skim through all of the songs. I guarantee you’ll find something you like. Thanks for tuning in again, coming up on some heat like this makes it all worth it, trust me.
Damn. I knew today was gonna be a miserable day when it started out with the news of one of my all time favorite artist’s passing. Seriously? I won’t hear another hook by the most melodic man in hip hop history? This man could make the raunchiest lyrics sound like hymns from heaven. Akon could become a billionaire and be featured on every number one hit, every year, for the rest of his career and could never match what Nate Dogg accomplished. When Rap was at its height in the 90’s, Nate Dogg was there. Not just there, but a major catalyst. When youngsters began to infiltrate the game with hits in the 2000’s, Nate Dogg was there…making them classics. When gangsta rap died and the West Coast fell off, Nate Dogg was the only one who remained relevant. Not only did he remain relevant, but he remained true to his style; never sold out, no matter who the hook was for. His voice was one thing, but his melody was what really set him apart, in my mind. There’s not another singer who can rock the beat like him. And if anyone ever says you gotta rap, you can’t sing to be G, just bring up Nate. He wasn’t just another gangster artist who gained popularity because of the rebel mentality of the youth either. He truly was gifted musically. I probably owe my love and appreciation of Hip Hop to this man. I mean, we all fell in love with Regulate, but I literally fell in love with Hip Hop because of that song right there. I could go on for days, but I’ll just let the man speak for himself. Even though you’re gone Nate, your melodies will live on forever.
I don’t know who I’m feelin more here, producer Smiles Davis or this Tabi Bonney dude rhyming. Im gonna have to take a closer listen to this mixtape they got called “Postcards from Abroud.” Sounds pretty good so far.
Tabi Bonney – We Can’t Fly ft Aeroplane (prod. by Smiles Davis) (right click, save as to download)
Llody Banks’ Hunger For More 2 has been out for some time now, but this is still me shit. Em kills it as usual. My admiration for Marshall Mathers has never been higher ever since Recovery dropped. I couldn’t stand dude back in the day. I mean, his flow was always nasty but I hated the bullshit he would rap about. I like the transformation Em. Banks comes hard as fuck, too.
Lloyd Banks – Where I’m At (ft Eminem) (right click, save as to download)
Soulful story teller Jay Electronica let’s the mic have it here on this one. Saw this dude in a small venue a couple years back. Of course he wasn’t headlining, that would be my boy Nasir. Loved it. Makes sense, though. They both seem to “kick knowledge” if you know what I mean. Also, they kinda just go off without any flow parameters and without ever slowing down (see Nas – Queens Get The Money).
Jay Electronica – Jazzmataz (right click, save as to download)
Split second goes over Kleerup “Until We Bleed.” Although I’m not quite sure what the original is actually saying, I get kind of a tragic/eternal love type vibe from it. So Split Second takes the beat and spits their own love story, just in more words. I really like the beat here and always like Lykke.
Split Second – Until We Bleed ft Lykke Li (right click, save as to download)
Wiz Khalifa’s attempt at auto-tune. Eh, its actually not as bad as that sounds. I like a lot of what I hear from Wiz. Content isn’t that expansive, but I got a feeling that won’t stop him from making several hits in the near future.
Wiz Khalifa – Big Screen (right click, save as to download)
This Philly shit is pretty nasty. Young Chris and Black Thought always deliver, but a couple verses I could do without here. The beat is nasty though, so I’m not mad at 8 minutes of that Red Cafe “Hottest in the Hood” shit.
Young Chris ft Eve, Black Thought, Money Malc, Fat Joe, Fred the Godson, Diggy Simmons, Jermaine Dupri & Game – Philly Shit (mega mix) (right click, save as to download)