Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz” Apr15

Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”...

When Wiz Khalifa released the audio for “We Dem Boyz” back in February, I thought this record was pretty terrible. His last album, O.N.I.F.C., also suffered, I think, from a bad lead single, but recovered with multiple singles with features. Or maybe because production from Illangelo or I.D. Labs is far superior than the other dudes on his boards. I guess the catch with “We Dem Boyz” is that it’s repetitive and lazy. Maybe that’s on the producer, Detail, who has created massive hits like Lil Wayne’s “How To Love,” Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love,” and RLTLK favorite: Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin Ass Niggas.” Maybe I just need to be a turnt up state of mind to get this record. Mid-morning is not the time. Early in the morning to wake up or late at night to get turnt up. “We Dem Boyz” is available on iTunes. Blacc Hollywood is scheduled to be released later this year....

Alicia Keys feat. Kendrick Lamar – “It’s On Again” (video) (prod. by Pharrell Williams) Apr14

Alicia Keys feat. Kendrick Lamar – “It’s On Again” (video) (prod. by Pharrell Williams)...

Katy Perry tries with “Roar” and fails. Shakira tries with “Empire” and makes barely a ripple. Alicia Keys attempts with “It’s On Again” and ensures her indelible mark by enlisting the hottest Black rapper in the game and the hottest producer in the game today. Granted Alicia has made a career belting out torch songs straddling pop and R&B crossover sensibilities for over a decade. So when she made “Girl On Fire” a couple years ago, making a pop theme for a movie franchise seemed like a natural step. Here we are with Alicia’s 80s-influenced anthem featuring a needlessly aggressive 16 bars from Kendrick Lamar....

Childish Gambino feat. Problem – “Sweatpants” (video) Apr14

Childish Gambino feat. Problem – “Sweatpants” (video)...

Third single from Childish Gambino’s highly underrated album, Because the Internet. Hat tip to my man, Dan Cutts....

DJ Premier feat. Lady of Rage – “Chemical Burn” Apr10

DJ Premier feat. Lady of Rage – “Chemical Burn”...

DJ Premier has a brand new website, Premier Wuz Here. Check it out already! I believe it may be a partnership with Serato or a place to resurrect the lyrical careers of back-in-the-day rappers like Papoose and the aforementioned Lady of...

Killer Mike – “The Boonies” (prod. by The Alchemist) Apr10

Killer Mike – “The Boonies” (prod. by The Alchemist)...

Killer Mike’s win streak continues with his ode to The Boondocks, the militantly bawdy cartoon about two young brothers living with their Granddad in a suburban neighborhood. Per Pitchfork The Boondocks Mixtape, which is out on April 16, features songs from Smoke DZA, Lil Herb, Chevy Woods, Problem, Roscoe Dash, Two 9, Skeme, and more. It’s hosted by DJ Drama, Don Cannon, and Trendsetter Sense. I still have my trepidations about Season 4 since the show’s creator and showrunner, Aaron McGruder, had no hand in this year’s cartoons. I’ll watch it regardless, but I will definitely be checking for McGruder’s next project, Black Jesus, with a greater sense of...

Atmosphere – “Kanye West” Apr08

Atmosphere – “Kanye West”...

Pigeons and Planes has a revealing feature with MPLS rap veterans preceding the release of the 8th album, Southsiders. When we first saw the tracklist for Southsiders, the title “Kanye West” had a lot of people wondering. Well, here it is. “I wanted to write a song about loving something so much that you submit to the moment,” says Slug. For a rap act who I have really tried in vain to champion amongst my friends, I was initially put off the use of another act’s name to gain traction. I get the song, which I also really like. Ant’s production is still a great fit for Slug’s everyman storytelling without being droll. But I also get 21st century marketing. I want Atmosphere to get as much as shine as possible. (Pigeons and...

Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Herb – “Chi-Raq” Apr08

Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Herb – “Chi-Raq”...

Any other rapper, male or female, would be getting universal respect for dropping such a fierce verse. However, I am sure Nicki knows that her standing as rap’s current queen is tenuous and polarizing. Sonically, the beat is a more of a throwback to late 90s super underground instead of mid 10s Chicago drill music. From Nicki Minaj’s upcoming album, The Pink Print....

The Roots – “When The People Cheer” Apr07

The Roots – “When The People Cheer”...

I cannot do a write-up that does the same justice as Eddie Stats did on Okayplayer. Just recognize that Greg Porn and Black Thought embodied fully-fleshed characters created with great lyricism. The musicianship is at full power. And this is music for grown, thoughtful people that just happens to involve rapping. From the new Roots concept LP/anti-rap opera titled …And Then You Shoot Your...

Watch The Duck feat. T.I. – “Girlfriend??”...

This is my big criticism of the video. I hate the exposition that bookends the video with the Cheaters TV show and the bootleg Bill Burr/Joel McHale host. Just get into the video. Trust me, folks ain’t checking music videos for story arcs. Plus people can figure out she’s humpin’ around. All that said, another awesome track juxtaposing dubstep with Southern funk. T.I. is a bonus. I can take or leave him, but he does validate these dudes. They need to be bigger. And if this is the first time you’ve heard of Watch The Duck, check the video that got me open, “Poppin’ Off.” Then cop the Anatidaephobia EP on iTunes now....

Slum Village – “Yes Yes” (video) Mar28

Slum Village – “Yes Yes” (video)...

J Dilla is officially to producing that 2Pac is to emceeing. In other words, how is Dilla still producing for folks eight years after his death? Amazing! Ha. Ghost production, indeed. Anyways this is the current incarnation of Slum Village. There is lone survivor original member and terrible MC, T3. Then there is the far less talented little brother of Jay Dee, Illa J. And the other dude who I’m not even bothering to research, Young RJ. RIP Baatin. This video has to be a farce, right? Shout out to camera holder and mouse mover, Ryan Lightbourn, for making a decent looking video with a ton of questionable visual decisions. Why are there so many establishing shots of the crew looking bored at the TV? Didn’t they already have a “Disco” video (OMG this video is also terrible!) which did not involve a disco? Why continue the tired fake Soul Train motif? Could they any actor better than the terrible John Amos wannabe to be the fake Don Cornelius? Can I get any information on the light skin girl in the video who you think is going to sing/rap/speak but is really just the delicious eye candy? If you’re looking for lyrical content, this ain’t the joint. At least, this incarnation is consistent with previous Slum Village lineups in that respect....

Jay Electronica feat. LaTonya Givens – “Better In Tune With The Infinite” Mar17

Jay Electronica feat. LaTonya Givens – “Better In Tune With The Infinite”...

On RLTLK I berated my co-host unfairly about her dislike of the newest track from Jay Electronica. In short I questioned whether her lack of understanding of the track manifested into her dislike. Meanwhile, the entire time my very few casual listens of the track had not gleaned any real answers for me about the song other than Jay Elec’s continued desire to create music at his pace, not your desired pace. Built upon the soundbed of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Bibo no Aozora” (not Trey Songz, although this record is killer as well), Jay chooses two recorded spoken monologues to open his track. The first is The Honorable Elijah Muhammad speaking on the disappearance of Nation of Islam founder, Master Fard Muhammad. The second monologue is Professor Marvel speaking to runaway Dorothy at the beginning of “The Wizard of Oz.” Then after 90 seconds, Jay goes into a screed acknowledging his inability to convey his message on his own terms. To create art in the best way he knows how. His detractors. His hounds. His desire to come home and make a his own place in the world. With Sakamoto’s dirge setting the mood, Jay Electronica slows the listener down to get his message across his way. You have to listen more than once. You have to listen with open ears and a open mind. And then the beauty of Jay’s message, both in the opening recorded monologues and in his own bars, come through correctly....

Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money freestyle Mar14

Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money freestyle...

Meek Mill has already dropped an opening single, “Heaven Or Hell,” featuring Jadakiss and available on iTunes. Next Meek Mill took to Revolt TV to announce his album title and release date. Now exclusively through Karen Civil, Meek Mill drops a freestyle to let the public know where his mind is at. #Dreamchasers #MMG …why I am putting hashtags in a WordPress post?...