French Montana – “Don’t Panic” (prod. by DJ Mustard) Aug11

French Montana – “Don’t Panic” (prod. by DJ Mustard)...

For a lead street single for his Mac & Cheese 4 mixtape/album, French Montana is throwing the gauntlet down. Maybe DJ Mustard constructed the piano melody in seconds, maybe he slaved over the melody for days. Either way French over some production with pace makes him sound hungrier. That’s a good thing. He’s got a famous girl. He’s got some momentum. Now he just needs a follow-up track to go over the top and prove Excuse My French wasn’t a fluke. edit: “Don’t Panic” is not out on iTunes. (link)...

G-Eazy feat. Remo – “I Mean It” May30

G-Eazy feat. Remo – “I Mean It”...

I didn’t know anything about G-Eazy and his single, “I Mean It,” until it popped up repeatedly in my suggested videos on YouTube. The 2010s formula for white rappers is you trade on their whiteness whether it be preppy, punky, Jew-y, girly, or angsty. Honestly I had seen G-Eazy’s name and face on Spotify and thought it was some iteration of G. Love & Special Sauce. All the stereotypes aside, I feel that G-Eazy harnessed his true lyricism and technique to create a familiar yet unique sound for “I Mean It.” The production hits hard. His confidence/arrogance is catchy. I can fuck with this. It’s not thoughtful music, it’s midnight-marauding-after-a-great time music. We can use that. And this video is funny as fuck. That other newsgirl can get it as...

Ab-Soul feat. Action Bronson and Asaad – “Stigmata” May30

Ab-Soul feat. Action Bronson and Asaad – “Stigmata”...

Ab-Soul is unsung hero of Top Dawg Entertainment. If Kendrick Lamar is point guard and ScHoolboy Q is the power forward, then Ab-Soul is wing player that does a little of everything. Jazzy production, rapping, a little singing, a hip hop artist who creates music from a slew of angles. “Stigmata” is a record that doesn’t need Action or Asaad. Ab-Soul’s lyrics and voice are clearly the star; it’s a shame that the features were even included because they are definitely up to task. Maybe other higher ups realized this because the promotional video takes a very literal pass at Ab’s lyrics and omits the features. These Days… coming June 24th....

Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Danny Brown – “Six Degrees” May27

Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Danny Brown – “Six Degrees”...

Ghostface and Danny Brown do their thing lyrically. The sonic bed laid down by Canadian trio, BADBADNOTGOOD, is not bad, but the guitar immediately evoked “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg “The Edge” by David McCallum. I mean, it’s not the same cadence or melody, but it felt familiar. Anyways this record is off an upcoming EP with Starks and BBNG. The single is available on iTunes now....

Cam’ron & A-Trak – “Dipshits” May14

Cam’ron & A-Trak – “Dipshits”...

While posthumous Mike, Ariana, and Iggy seem to be frontrunners for 2014’s Song of the Summer, none of them with invigorate a 90s/00s hip hop head more than this supernova track, “Dipshits,” from Cam’ron and A-Trak produced by Just Blaze. The ascendant organ loop over the buzzing drums takes me back to “Come Home With Me” Killa Cam. But this record is more robust, more energizing, and more triumphant. Cam’ron is… well, I’ll let Cam tell you what he is, Mami backed up and said she see the difference. ‘You’re mature, handsome, mixed with a lot of ig’nance.’ And that is Cam’ron’s universal appeal. (((pause))) He flips a phrase with the best of them. He can paint stories about the drug trade, living in the city, or slaying chickens with ease. His flow, at his best, is effortless to the point that even his double time raps never feel forced. And Cam paired with a Just Blaze beat is just magic. I can’t even fuck with Champagne Dame’s boss ad lib at the end or Juelz Santana on the hook. When will the Federal Reserve EP be released? Soon. Fucking press play already. Then press replay after 3 minutes 44 seconds. Repeat. Fuck, this is good!...

Stitches – “Brick In Yo Face” Apr30

Stitches – “Brick In Yo Face”...

How did I find this shit? OnSmash certainly has a large repository of videos, but maybe I should be checking WorldStar because that’s where Stitches has amassed 6.6 million views for his debut video, “Brick In Yo Face.” This is my favorite song right now. http://t.co/VJIjLEsngI — Harley Morenstein (@HarleyPlays) April 28, 2014 I can’t front, this track is hype as fuck. Stitches has a mixtape ready to go, No Snitching Is My Statement. In an interview with Complex, he states Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa are his influences and that comes through in his cadence and flow throughout his mixtape. His voice crackles and snarls track after track even when the production can’t elevate to his energy. But it’s on his video where Stitches rampages around like brahma bull in a shanty house. The screen is too small for his personality. I mean, it’s a straightforward song lyrically. He loves selling blow. My complaint is about the music blogs who think, “hmmm Stitches is white, but he ain’t like the platinum selling white rapper who swept the Grammys. However, I will make the comparison anyways.” WTF chump journalism. And yall get paid for this shit, Nelson Liu and Confusion. Come on. Let artists be just artists instead of saying this is like that. Bump this shit, it’s blissful ignorance. Stitches is unsigned …for now. And dude has an AK-47 tattooed on his face…ffffffff...

Big K.R.I.T. – “Mt. Olympus” Apr29

Big K.R.I.T. – “Mt. Olympus”...

The Mystery Overbearing Hater is a hip hop trope. It motivates rappers to become defensive, channel that energy into battle raps, and reinvigorate debates on who’s the best today. KRIT has been an ongoing battle with this mystery hate. He’s universally respected, but maybe the stigma of Mississippi, which did not affect David Banner, keeps KRIT from realizing his potential fame. I’m not as enamored with this track as many commenters and bloggers. Rapping fast with fury doesn’t make it good (see: Kendrick Lamar), but I still think this is better than a great majority of the shit out there. Low bar, I guess....

DJ Khaled feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and French Montana – “They Don’t Love You No More” [tags] Apr29

DJ Khaled feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and French Montana – “They Don’t Love You No More” [tags]...

I keep listening DJ Khaled’s newest posse cut looking for redeeming qualities. Meek Mill comes out of the gate with ferocity. Rick Ross delivers a nice bridge verse well within his range. French Montana is once again relegated to hook-singing and hype-manning. DJ Khaled talks at the end of the record to qualify for royalty checks. And Jay Z somehow finds himself in the studio ready for battle. I mean that was Jiggaman’s goal when he compared some “soft” unnamed rapper to a lacrosse team. Or maybe he had so much to say, you can excuse Jay for flying way off beat on the opening bars of his verse. It doesn’t matter. Mike Zombie delivers a lazy production job taking the “Started From The Bottom” beat, substituting church bells for keyboard lullaby, and adding strategic gunshots. Keep riding that horse into the ground. Overall, this DJ Khaled track is sloppy as fuck. You can’t dance to it. It doesn’t feel like elevating jeep music. It’s just another rap dirge put upon listeners to reinforce our hate against haters....

Kid Art feat. V.Cha$e – “Imperial” Apr25

Kid Art feat. V.Cha$e – “Imperial”...

The biggest problem I have writing this post is not writing “Ink” when typing Kid Art’s name. Art. Ink. Fuck. I will say this. Kid Art and V(inny) Cha$e wreck the “Long Red“-based production....

Kool A.D. feat. Lakutis and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Tight” Apr23

Kool A.D. feat. Lakutis and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Tight”...

Over some mesmerizing production by Toro Y Moi, Kool A.D., Lakutis, and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire spit some unorthodox rhymes showcasing each rapper’s unique style. Kool A.D. from alleged defunct group Das Racist is big on wordplay. Lakutis is definitely energy over precision. And personal favorite (((pause))) eXquire kills his verse although it was far from focused or his best work. From Kool A.D.’s Word O.K. mixtape available on Bandcamp....

Flatbush ZOMBiES feat. Bodega BAMZ – “My Team Supreme 2.0” Apr22

Flatbush ZOMBiES feat. Bodega BAMZ – “My Team Supreme 2.0”...

More of that hallucinogenic drug talk that yall love. From their Better Off DEAD mixtape....

A$AP Mob feat. A$AP Twelvyy – “Xscape” (video) Apr22

A$AP Mob feat. A$AP Twelvyy – “Xscape” (video)...

I will admit that I cannot identify Twelvyy in a lineup of the A$AP Mob members without using deduction. Rocky looks like Harriet Tubman. Ferg has the round head and throwback gold grill. Nast is the skinny one. Yams has that Gorbachev-type birthmark on his face. So Twelvyy must be one of the other dudes, and according to Wikipedia, there’s a lot of other dudes. But what I will say is that Twelvyy is a better than average rapper. Is it a diss to say he kind of has a French Montana-type flow. I mean he did shout out Max B. French does seem to have an above average number of features and hot singles than you’d expect. Buoyed with a beat that sounds straight out of a Portishead open session, and this song is a hit in my eyes. My eyes don’t mean shit, but you should click play and judge for yourself. The lead single from the A$AP Mob album, L.O.R.D., is available on iTunes. (2dopeboyz) UPDATED with...