G-Unit (Buck, Kidd Kidd, 50 Cent) – “Ah Shit” Aug18

G-Unit (Buck, Kidd Kidd, 50 Cent) – “Ah Shit”...

RIP Eric Garner RIP Michael Brown RIP Ezell Ford It’s open season on Black men and the cops are hunting....

Que feat. 2 Chainz – “Rich Problems” (prod. by DJ Mustard) Aug18

Que feat. 2 Chainz – “Rich Problems” (prod. by DJ Mustard)...

With a lot of rappers like Que, standing out from the crowd of similar voiced rappers with similar subject matter may be feel like an impossible victory. You can hook up with the producers of the moment. You can pay exorbitant cash for an A-List feature delivering a B-List verse. You can write that impossible hook that will infiltrate the minds of listeners. The field will always be crowded, and talent is not a limiting factor. But my belief is that “Rich Problems” can stand alongside today’s trap records and strip club anthems. Que’s raspy voice can create space for him as a unique voice in this rap game. He’s two-for-two after the release of his last single, the slow burner “Standout” featuring the hottest rap vocalist now, Ty Dolla $ign. Que’s new mixtape, “Can You Digg It” will be out August 19. That’s tomorrow! (This Is...

Charli XCX – “Break The Rules” Aug18

Charli XCX – “Break The Rules”...

Is Charli XCX’s “Break The Rules” the record that finally breaks through and properly introduces her as a major pop star? Doubtful. The track is too good. The hook is catchy. Charli’s voice is still youthful but powerful. But the production is not pop, it’s pink punk pop (I think that’s how Buzzfeed…yeah fucking Buzzfeed… described it). I don’t wanna go to school. I just wanna break the rules. Boys and girls across the world Putting on our dancing shoes, Going to the discotheque Getting high and getting wrecked. I don’t wanna go to school. I just wanna break the rules. Sure there are classic trap and drop elements in the song, but I feel like this song could’ve been a hit in the 90s and 00s. I want this song to succeed. I want Charli XCX to succeed; she has talent for days. But in the jaded world of 2014, Charli’s pink anarchy anthem will likely need a supplementary boost from a commercial outlet. Or maybe I’m just out of touch and that goofy cancer movie she wrote a song for will propel Charli XCX to pop stardom. That would be nice....

Your Old Droog – “Sleepers…” Aug18

Your Old Droog – “Sleepers…”...

First things first, if you ain’t familiar with Your Old Droog, do yourself forever and start on his Soundcloud. I’ll wait. . … ….. ……. . … ….. …….still waiting . … ….. …….he’s pretty fucking good, right . … ….. ……. Now he’s got himself a track from another rapper who probably understands a lot of the pitfalls Your Old Droog will encounter in his nascent rap career. Personally I am not a fan of Mac Mi… errrrr Larry Fisherman’s organ-driven menacing minimalist beat. Here’s a chance for a collaboration that could actually net some dividends because of the accompanying star power, but this track ain’t for anybody but the most independent of rap heads. YOD’s still attacks the beat but not with the gusto of “No Message” or “Free Turkey.”...

Kwabs – “Walk” Aug17

Kwabs – “Walk”...

What do I know about Kwabs? Pretty much what Okayplayer has told me. And then what Okayplayer told me again. Then after distilling it all down to “he’s a Black British R&B dude” I see he’s a contemporary of Grey Worm AKA Raleigh Ritchie. (What you didn’t know the captain of the Unsullied could sing so well? And while hasn’t he unleashed his dulcet tones on Missandrei? And when is Season 5 of Game of Thrones dammit?!!!) I digress. And I disagree with the commenters. “Walk” may not have the gravity of Kwabs’s previous single, “Pray For Love,” but here the emotion is everlifting and vital. This is put-the-battery-in-your-back music. I can fuck with that. Eventually “Walk” will be on iTunes, but his other work including “Pray for Love” by Kwabs is available....

Nicki Minaj – “Pills N Potions” / “Anaconda” Aug17

Nicki Minaj – “Pills N Potions” / “Anaconda”...

This summer Nicki Minaj has release two diametrically opposed tracks leading up to the release of her album, The Pink Print. “Pills N Potions” is a pensive letter to someone who causes great pain but more love for her. While “Anaconda” is her ratchet, pop-rap anthem devoted to her ass. The thought that both these records will share space under the same album is amazing. On the same album will be Nicki at her most visceral, martial, and combative. You could say the first 3 singles were so Nicki could reclaim her status as lyricist back on par with her verse on “Monster” while the last 2 singles are keep her broader audience. What bothers me is extreme novelty of “Anaconda” following the probing earnest of “Pills N Potions” and how people reconcile the two tracks. Nicki has built her image on her beauty, her body, her rapping ability, and her pop sensibility. It’s one thing to make it pass the hip hop community after “Super Bass” but to do it again after “Starships” is a triumph. Those songs may work for a pop audience but are rap poison, but here Nicki is. It really shows how starving Hip Hop is for a female MC to transcend. “Pills N Potions”...

Wiz Khalifa feat. Nicki Minaj – “True Colors” Aug17

Wiz Khalifa feat. Nicki Minaj – “True Colors”...

The real appeal of Wiz Khalifa has always been his sensitivity. ((((pause)))) While Drake catches heat for being a sensitive Negro, Wiz has never been shy to talk about his drive, loyalty, and ethic. So when you have a song like “True Colors” which initially sounds like a cheap rehash of the Cyndi Lauper OG track. But isn’t that the eternal battle of reconciling Wiz Khalifa’s music with the man? His music can feel cheap and pop and his delivery hazy and half-hearted, but as a listened again and again to “True Colors,” it’s his narrative of resilience that won me over. I mean I wanted to say something about his ridiculous appearance or something about his inexplicably famous wife, Amber Rose, or how Nicki murdered her verse. But I’m sure Wiz knows who he is and this track is here to shame me. Who am I to measure him as a man? He’s selling records and booking shows. His message is empowering. It always has been. Wiz Khalifa is still the unlikeliest of rap stars. While bigger couples in rap culture are dodging rumors and scandal, here are Wiz and Amber and baby boy still making it. Blacc Hollywood will be released on August 19th. (2dopeboyz)...

J Cole – “Be Free” Aug15

J Cole – “Be Free”

I’ll let J Cole speak. Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free – Cole RIP Michael Brown #handsup...

Hudson Mohawke – “Chimes”...

“Chimes” from Hudson Mohawke sounds very familiar. Oh yeah, it’s on that Apple MacBook commercial with the stickers. Well, now that he’s getting paid, let’s talk about the music. Back in the day, selling out was taboo, but that was creating a song with pop flourishes. Creating a song as a soundtrack for life or a movie was no damn problem. It’s still true today. Some situations to play “Chimes” at maximum volume: to put that battery in my back and go hard to synchronize with shit falling down around me for my football/basketball highlights mix VIDEO MONTAGE! to get others hype when the party is dying down BTW I only noticed the chimes after the 2nd play. Now I really listen for them. That’s the thing about trap, the quietude then the jarring. Keeps you on your toes. But dem horns doe! Chimes EP by Hudson Mohawke will be out on September 29....

Waze & Odyssey vs R. Kelly – “Bump & Grind 2014”...

From reading the C-Section of this video, people really don’t like Waze & Odyssey’s reinterpretation of R. Kelly’s “Bump n’ Grind” as a house song. They point out the direct sampling of the Nightcrawler single “Push The Feeling On” and ridicule the usage of the wrong album in the video. (“Bump n’ Grind was on 12 Play obviously, not TP-2.com, even though that cover is far more ridiculous and indicative of the ego of Robert Sylvester Kelly.) Anyways I can’t be bothered by all this electronica minutiae and trifling. All I know is the shit is 4×4 and built for dancing and drugs and girls. And dudes like me have to find any way to find joy in this monotony, so if the song happens to include the Pied Piper of R&B, I like it. Oh shit, I almost forgot to include my video observations because there are so many bizarro folks on display. that’s clearly Dan the Automator as Chinese Urkel flip the table…turn up! a Black male mannequin?! nice fat cholo who doesn’t look especially Mexican enough with fake James Harden the Wendy’s girl is the Bear!!! Socko! that’s the most G’d up sign language I’ve ever seen the video would’ve been better with R. Kelly Waze & Odyssey have a large library of stuff, although I’ve never heard of them until this. Just stick with the formula: one 90s/00s R&B song + two 90s dance songs + wacky video = profit! Come on now, Ginuwine needs a check,...

The Voyagers – “Human Nature” Aug15

The Voyagers – “Human Nature”...

When I think of large rap groups dropping a posse cut, you think Wu-Tang Clan, Pharcyde, Fab 5,… I could go on and on. But it’s 2014 and the easy comparison is to Odd Future or Pro Era. Nevermind I’m lost. Just fucking listen to these dudes. Feel the energy. And if you like it, get the album, The Rise of the Black Kings....

Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross – “New Flame” Aug14

Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross – “New Flame”...

First things first about Chris Brown’s latest single, “New Flame,” doesn’t this sound similar to Mario’s “Break Up” but without the jarring Bangladesh-produced drums (and shitty marble-mouth raps from Gucci Mane and worthless verse from the songwriter). I mean Mario’s single was very hot back in 2009, but Chris Brown has constructed a very polished pop-R&B track with his king predecessor, Usher, and a very adept rapper, Rick Ross. And as usual, Chris is the only R&B singer bringing challenging choreography to the video dance game. “New Flame” will be on Chris Brown’s oft-delayed album called “X”. Not to be confused with Ed Sheeran’s album “X” which you’re supposed to say “multiply” because he’s clever. I guess....