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....

French Montana – “Don’t Panic” (video) Aug14

French Montana – “Don’t Panic” (video)...

When I create these writeups, I try not to get too deep. I’m not a journalist or an industry dude. I’m just writing to write. When I source an article, I usually have a lot of choices because everyone is just copying off each other like a Marketing class full of Pakistanis. So when I notice that white women’s gossip rag, Us Magazine, is writing about the latest French Montana video, I know my Moroccan brother has slipped his dick into the big time. The whole article is written with trepidation and false juxtapositions. Doesn’t the author remember that Khloe Kardashian was dating a crackhead ballplayer before French Montana. “Bound 2” … part two? Why because it’s a Kardashian appearing in a rap video? Come on Rachel McRady. You’re better than…. hahaha no, she ain’t. She’s a Millennial gossip rag writer who went to James Madison. Isn’t that an East Coast safety school? Anyways. It’s just another rap video rehashing a movie for their video motif. At least the track is hype. (MTV / Us...

PARTYNEXTDOOR feat. Drake – “Recognize” Aug14

PARTYNEXTDOOR feat. Drake – “Recognize”...

PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Recognize” featuring Drake is a sleeper track that needs to be blasted at strip clubs across North America. Or at the very least, every creeping muthafucker or booty-called bitch driving to their destination to do their dirt should be enveloped in PND’s sinister atmosphere. “Recognize” is the anthem for disloyalty. And as PND’s plaintive voice transforms into something akin to Young Thug and the track reaches a crescendo, here comes Drake when he doesn’t need to save the day. While I am certainly somebody who really appreciates and likes the juxtaposition of opposite voices, this track is all PARTYNEXTDOOR. A word about the video. Those Megan Fox clones lip syncing to the track are Kendall and Kylie Jenner. In 2014 we give passes to white girls mouthing the word “nigga” because ultimate white girls put their mouths on niggas. I digress from my cynicism. In a day when Chris Brown (America’s Sweetheart) is the dominant R&B primary singer and the radio allows clones like August Alsina, Kid Ink, and Kirko Bangz orbit around Brown, it is a fucking coup for a new artist like PARTYNEXTDOOR to have two of the most well-known females in the world cameo in his video. On top of that, this track is a fascinating, well-constructed R&B track with emotion to rival other R&B indie artists like FKA Twigs or Toro Y Moi. “Recognize” should be ubiquitous on the singular strength of PARTYNEXTDOOR’s creativity. The Drake feature helps. Kendall and Kylie cameos help. Put this nigga on. PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO is out now on iTunes. (Nahright/October’s Very Own) PARTYNEXTDOOR – Recognize ft. Drake from PARTYOMO on...

Flosstradamus feat. Elkka – “Rebound”...

The new Flosstradamus single “Rebound” featuring Elkka is a slower and sexier track vastly different from their high energy work but still appealing. Too many times electronic artists will settle for a light touch on vocals, but Elkka’s vocals are assured and strong throughout the track. This is really a pop tune encased in an EDM candy shell. Since I like it, I am assuring its demise. “Rebound” is available on iTunes. (V...

Jeezy feat. The Game and Rick Ross – “Beautiful” Aug14

Jeezy feat. The Game and Rick Ross – “Beautiful”...

Photo by Prince Williams – ATLpics.net From the moment the track starts, the falsetto melody haunted me, not because of its tones, but because I could not place the sample. It was a foreign group, I believed, but maybe Galt MacDermott instead. I couldn’t stop thinking about the voice. Rather than searching through my sample archive, I hope to find another artist who sampled the same track. I started with Dilla, but that was not right. Maybe MF Doom…I combed through all his Special Herbs. What a gold mine but no dice. It felt like something Curren$y would use, but I couldn’t find it there. I should’ve looked harder. Eventually I cheated and let the Internet eventually tell me. C-Section posts were growing on Soundcloud. I knew younger ears would tie it together. And there it is: Cortex – “Chanson D’un Jour D’hiver” I can finally focus on the meat of the song. Jeezy, (The) Game, and Rick Ross are actually almost engaged in a 3-man weave. So many times an artist will have a song with two features, and the customers receive a track comprised of verse-hook-verse-hook-verse. Since all 3 men have a smooth, conversational flow, riding over the French jazz sample is a natural fit. Actually anyone with a nice flow can spit over a Cortex-driven and sound good. Because the more I listen to “Beautiful,” the more zoned I get into Black Metaphor’s drums riding underneath the soprano(?) vocals. Anyways #SeenItAll coming soon. “Beautiful” is out now. (2dopeboyz) To learn about Cortex’s influence on current rap...

Bilal – “Sirens II” (prod. by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) Aug13

Bilal – “Sirens II” (prod. by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad)...

Adrian Younge is a producer of stylish retro soul music. He has put out his own albums and worked with the Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, and Souls of Mischief on recent, separate projects. He has also the music composer for the movie and TV series, Black Dynamite. And if the drums sound familiar, but you weren’t familiar with Adrian before this post, then you should know now that Timbaland sampled Adrian’s original track, “Sirens,” for the “Picasso Baby” track for Jay Z. Where does Ali Shaheed Muhammed fit in with the new “Sirens II” track? Along with Adrian Younge, they are overseeing with the production of Bilal’s new album. Now we’re all acquainted, luxuriate in the sounds again and again....

Erick Arc Elliott – “Love Shawty”...

I get the sense Erick Arc Elliott AKA Erick the Architect never wants to pigeonholed as a rap producer. His production work has been varied, and now he releases an instrumental track “Love Shawty” with sprinkles of vocal samples from “Shut Up” by Trick Daddy and friends. But now with the marching band horns and early 00s trap drums scrubbed away, Erick serves up a bed of ethereal bells and bouncing drums. And for some reason Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” popped into to my head. Although if you did flip the track to 45RPM… I digress. “Love Shawty” is a great exercise of how to repurpose and re-imagine hip hop beats and tropes into something slightly against tradition. Soundcloud says this is from Arcstrumentals Vol. I. I want that immediately....

Ariana Grande feat. Zedd – “Break Free” Aug13

Ariana Grande feat. Zedd – “Break Free”...

First things first, this track is a very polished example of EDM pop capped with a more-than-capable vocalist. Ariana Grande can make a song like this every year and make a lot of money. I’m not saying it’s my favorite. I’m saying people will really like it, DJs will remix it, and the song can become ubiquitous all on the strength of her voice. But the video is a hot fucking mess of Nickelodeon-styled sets and acting. The set and artifacts are rife with fake Illuminati symbols that idiots like Mark Dice will actually spin into real Illuminati mumbo jumbo. But come on, this is really just an Astronaut Jones skit bacon-wrapped in EDM and Ariana anti-gravity cheesecake shots. I feel bad for Jeannette McCurdy, who is probably sitting at home in Studio City or Santa Monica or wherever snorting her last line of coke from the baggie she stole from her ex-boyfriend director (You’re the Worst reference…WATCH THIS SHOW!). RIP Sam & Cat Anyways I hate that I chose sleep over writing this blurb last night, because I so many more funny bits. The camel toe. Ariana’s washing her hair move. How Big Sean sidegraded from one hot Hispanic actress/singer to a waifish Hispanic singer/actress. How distraught I became when an ad-free video finally succumbed to the cliché Beats headphones, speaker, and app combo at the very end. Seriously does anyone outside of a music video set actually use the Beats Music app? If you say you do, I won’t believe you. And what the fuck is a Zedd? Don’t tell me is the crane operating fake DJ white boy at the end of the video spliced between the kissing male dancers? It is. ffffffffffff. “Break Free” will be Ariane’s My Everything album....

Joey Bada$$ – “Big Dusty” Aug12

Joey Bada$$ – “Big Dusty”...

“Bitches lie. Niggas lie. Numbers, too.” The genius of Joey Bada$$ is how he infuses his conversational flow with so much symbolism and wordplay. Because his lyrics demand deciphering, the musical backdrop must be equally soothing and complex. But for his major label debut, Joey’s voice is more ragged and vigorous belying the laidback nature of his 1999 album. This is a man who has had to bury his best friend while carrying the dual burden of leading his Pro Era crew and fashioning his own solo career. “Big Dusty” is not what you’d expect for an opening single. Densely rhymed and coldly constructed, the track is a throwback to the mid-90s East Coast days when NYC rap was counterprogramming to the West Coast glossy G-Funk era. Joey is not going to win over his generation of 2nd half Millennials with old jazz loops and gruff braggadocio rhymes, but he will collect more loyal followers who will definitely wait attentively for the next salvo from the B4DA$$ album. Purchase “Big Dusty,” produced by Kirk Knight, on iTunes: (link)...

Jaded Incorporated – “The Big Knock”...

My definition of jitting after watching one video with Brandon “Jitting Jesus” Hobbs: footwork + jumprope pantomiming + next level shit. I almost tore my Achilles reclining into my chair to type this out. Hobbs tears through the track in a furious dust cloud. The album, The Big Knock, by Jaded Incorporated is available now....