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)
Weekend Rap Up: Sonny Shotz (of The Dean’s List), Big K.R.I.T. ft Yelawolf, Face Tha Music ft Jon Connor + Asher Roth
“Wait for it. I promise you the best shit, just…wait on me.”
Sonny has been doing a lot of solo work lately, apart from his group The Dean’s List. I don’t really know what that’s all about, but I’d think he’d want to build off the hype from The Drive In WITH the rest of the group. And maybe after they actually get an album out and he makes a name for himself outside of the internet, he can ditch the dude’s that got him there and make all the money for himself. Just seems a little premature is all. I still really like dude’s music a lot, so I’m not complaining, just saying.
(MP3): Sonny Shotz – We Good
Damn, I’m lovin this shit right here. The keys baby, the keys! Once again K.R.I.T. kills it with the production. This one’s off the hold me over mixtape titled Last King 2: God’s Machine while we wait for K.R.I.T.’s debut album Live From The Ungerground. I love when these two get together on the track.
“Persistence overcome resistance.
The Black Album was such an incredible project, and My 1st Song was definitely a personal favorite of mine. Great use of the vocal sample to go along with the jazzy dope beat. First listen to Face tha Music, conclusion; diggin it.
Asher recruits dude from Chester French to sing the hook for this positive chill jam. Real nice vibe to this one. I really like Asher’s mentality and I seem to be getting into most everything he’s been putting out in the past year. Check it out.
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 told her everything, I mean nothin really. I say everything cuz everything is always silly. And when we smile is when we we really live, so when we…..”
Sorry to disappoint anyone, but there will be no wifey wednesday post this week. I know, I know, you are all devastated. But I’ve been doing some blog soul searching trying to figure out what it is I want out of this shit. I mean, I enjoy putting other people onto new music, because if you’re a music junkie like me, you know the type of feeling that comes along with finding your new favorite jam. Even if it turn out to be just the jam of the week, you know it’s still a good feeling. Plus it makes people happy. I like making people happy.
But I also gotta take into account what I really get out of it. This might sound stupid, but someone once told me I should share my writing, because it might affect and/or help someone. That might make me sound like a self righteous asshole, and maybe I am. I’m not gonna lie though, and say I don’t really do it for my own selfish purposes for the most part. But maybe I put someone onto some shit like Big K.R.I.T., and the only reason why they listened to the song was because they skimmed through my write up about how the industry puts people into categories they made up and then use their voice, face, and raps to create a product (not a person) that they can sell to the ignorant masses, and went, hmmmm. Maybe someone relates to the way I connect with Joe Budden and finds comfort in the similarities between our experiences.
I don’t know, I don’t wanna post shit with no real write up, just cuz it’s new and someone might like it. I gotta be selfish sometimes. Not even selfish, just do me. Set a precedent too, you know cuz I don’t wanna get to the point where it’s all about ya’ll, and I post shitty songs to get more hits and give more people free songs to download, and then I forget what I’m even all about (I was gonna use this as another metaphor here, but sometime I gotta leave it to the imagination). That never works out, ever. Plus anyone can post a bunch of new songs that bang. I mean, pretty much everybody does. So for the time being I’m gonna try to post some real shit that will allow me to write some real shit.
“most people stop for signs but I’ve driven through it. If It don’t touch my soul, then I can’t listen to it” – Big K.R.I.T “The Vent”
This dude Sonny from the Dean’s list knows whats up. Might seem like he’s just saying the same words and shit that don’t make much sense, so take some time to listen. But I hear dude.
I can’t say enough about Big K.R.I.T. He epitomizes what Hip Hop should be. Thankfully with K.R.I.T., it’s looking more and more like what it will be. We’ll never lose the ringtone rappers, because Americans really like to drink and party, and a hard beat with mindless lyrics is the best way to get it in. I’m not trying to act like I don’t enjoy that either, but I appreciate and enjoy the opposite much more and just want people to recognize that this is what Hip Hop really is. By the way, I still don’t understand why people are so infatuated with other people’s riches….I find the monologue at the beginning of this song ironic in that K.R.I.T. dispels the notion described by an A/R but still speaks really fast to make sure you know what he’s all about within the first 20 seconds of the song.
Game is another real rapper whom I thoroughly enjoy listening to because of his perspective on life and rap. Yeah, his perspective on life is slightly different than mine because of the way he came up, but why should that mean I can’t get into it and still share some views? It’s like if you’re interested in sociology and the study of other cultures, these songs are your study guides. And then you have Yelawolf who grew up in poverty as well, actually homeless up until a couple years ago. Both dudes represent stories of adversity, hard work and success.
I don’t know enough about these guys yet to really figure out who the mastermind behind the production is, but dudes make JAMS. Seems to me like just a couple college kids enjoying the shit out of life right now, while providing good music for everyone else to enjoy the shit out of along with them. I see big things in the future for these guys.
What is rap when you really break it down? It’s poetry over instrumentals. Some are better poets than others. Some poets you can relate to and actually find inspiration in. This is what I look for in Hip Hop. Ironic that I just found this guy the day after I started applying to go back to school. Made the mistake the first time in trying to get a degree in something I thought would make me marketable in order to find a job to make money. I’m a little older now and know what I’m really meant to do, and could really give a fuck what kind of money I make….Both songs come off EP “A Piece of Mine.”
“You can be the best at what you do
but it doesn’t matter cuz it means nothing til you’re paid.
I’d rather stay poor doing something that I love
Than to ever be rich doing something that I hate”
“Get off that plane, change your flight,
it aint too late to save your life.
You still got time to change your grind,
you don’t know what can make you shine until you try.
The lack of passion makes a man feel worthless,
so I’m forever grateful that I know my purpose”
Red Cafe is definitely an artists I thought should have blown up by now. He’s got the distinct voice, solid flow, clever punchlines, and usually really good beats. Time will tell, but I think he’s still got something in store for the mainstream. I really like this mixtape “Above the Cloudz.” Check out my favorite tracks below.
Weekend Rap Up: The Dean’s List, Chip Tha Ripper, Big K.R.I.T., Fashawn ft J. Cole, Nike Nando, Young Dro ft Trey Songz, Killer Mike ft T.I.
Finally got through a bunch of mixtapes I’ve been sitting on the past couple weeks and in turn have some quality shit for ya’ll in this weeks “rap up.” Kicking it off is this group called The Deans List. Normally I pick out my favorite track from a mixtape to include, but I could barely narrow it down to two songs from this masterpiece. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go download “The Drive In.” I really like the direction these guys are headed.
The Dean’s List – Dear Professor (right click, save as to download)
The Dean’s List – Light Up The Sky ft Dani Ummel (right click, save as to download)
Next up we got this Chip joint off the recently released “Gift Raps.” Pretty mellow project, and this feature right here is no exception. Super smooth and super dope. Chip was the biggest snub when XXL mag released their 2011 Freshman Class without him included. I don’t really take that list very seriously, but I would imagine it’d be a cool feeling to be included, and Chip deserves that. Seriously though, OJ Da Juiceman made it in 2010….
Chip Tha Ripper – Plural (prod. by Blended Babies) (right click, save as to download)
Big K.R.I.T. did however make the XXL list. Probably could have shut that magazine down had he not. If you’ve followed anything I’ve posted, you know how high I am on this dude. I don’t think he will be losing that swagger anytime soon. This one come’s off “Hometown Here: The Best of Big K.R.I.T (presented by KevinNottingham.com).”
Big K.R.I.T. – Swagger Back (right click, save as to download)
Damn, J. Cole keeps putting in work in every direction. I posted the “Smallville” joint he produced for XV a while back, and that was the first time I was introduced to dude’s production skills. Here’s another jam in which he provides the hook for as well. Thoroughly impressed again. This one’s off Fashawn’s recent release “Higher Learning 2.” Fashawn got mad skills himself. Real talk about real struggles.
“Wonder why my young brother stuck on reefer
Because the state refuse to pay good teachers
While the rich kids watch from the bleachers
I ask Jesus, let some light creep in”
Fashawn – Nothin For The Radio ft J. Cole (prod. by J. Cole) (right click, save as to download)
Here’s a solemn, introspective joint from the up and comer Nike Nando. I don’t want to try and compare my struggles to any of these rappers because comparatively speaking, my life has pretty much been a cake walk. Still doesn’t mean I can’t hear their words and relate it to my own situations. This one comes off “Love Day.”
“I give good advice but I cant manage to take it
I develop foolish pride due to those situations
A bit emotional, I use to be ashamed
of what I looked at in the mirror, drive myself insane”
Nike Nando – Born To Lose (right click, save as to download)
This next one comes off Young Dro’s “Equestrian Dro.” Not a fan of this project at all, honestly. I’m kinda over this type of shit, but I still like something upbeat to get down to every once in a while. Dro usually can be counted on to fill that void. There’s obviously still a large demand for these types of jams, cuz of all the artists I’ve featured so far, Dro is the only one really getting paid.
Young Dro – Strip ft T.I. & Trey Songz (right click, save as to download)
Love this beat + sample. Killer Mike is a beast and T.I. always adds some quality hype. Rock this one loud with the bass up and you might cause a scene. That’s how I roll.
Killer Mike – Ready Set Go ft. T.I. (right click, save as to download)