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...

Major Lazer feat. Pharrell Williams – “Aerosol Can”...

As Diplo’s Major Lazer gets stretched further and further away from its Jamaican dance roots and closer to modern American dance music, at the very least, it’s keeping people’s feet moving. However, the luster is gone leaving Diplo to scramble for bigger acts to fill the voids of his construction and continue to draw the masses to his music. Last year Diple enlisted Bruno Mars and 2 Chainz for that “Bubble Butt” calamity…that video is a debacle. Celebrity guests abound in “Scare Me,” before finally coming back to Jamaica for “Watch Out For This (Bumaye).” So the smart thing to do is make a visually appealing yet simple presentation for “Aerosol Can” which was accomplished in spades by using graffiti legend, Mike Giant. Apocalypse Soon is out now. (Karen...

Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself” Apr17

Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself”...

From the very time I heard of Sky Ferreira on the “Everything Is Embarrassing” record, I figured her management was trying to position her as a young “Borderline“-era Madonna. The processed blonde with the hard-scrabbled tough urban white chick look all seemed a bit forced. Sky has a much stronger voice and has a earnest ability in her storytelling and lyricism. In fact, her songwriting focuses much more on loss, failure, and tragedy. This is not pop-friendly fare, but some of it is wrapped in the bacon-y goodness of sunny melody such as this record, “I Blame Myself.” So the video’s storyline is that Sky is a gang leader in Los Angeles. Sure, that’s artistic in some way. I have no qualms with that. It’s a weird juxtaposition like Lily Allen’s video for “Hard Out Here.” Sky Ferreira's new video is a #racist mess. She, white woman, dances in Compton in front of #POC: http://t.co/ef1dPjQcwz H/T @noahmichelson — Alex Berg (@AlexfromPhilly) April 16, 2014 OH CRAP! Somebody on Twitter cried “RACIST!” And it didn’t even come from Black Twitter. BTW I fucking hate this new PC term I’ve only seen on Twitter: #POC, which means “person/people of color,” a new reappropriation to talk about not-white people. This above tweet is almost as ridiculous as #NotYourAsianSidekick or #CancelColbert. There are real racists shooting up Jews and racist mayors who agree with the shooter. Let art be art, folks. Anyways, I like the song. The album, Night Time, My Time by Sky Ferreira is available on iTunes. Cop that shit! Until the exclusivity runs out, you can check the video out at SSENSE....

Jordan Brand releases image on Air Jordan XX9 colorways Apr17

Jordan Brand releases image on Air Jordan XX9 colorways...

Air Jordan XX9 launches in 2 colorways this September: pic.twitter.com/HfEBAgTjwT — Heidi Burgett (@heidiburgett) April 17, 2014 I’m not a sneakerhead by any stretch. I can point to the only 2 pairs of Nikes I’ve bought that were over a $100. Nike Air Trainer Max 1991 AKA The Bo Jacksons AND the Nike Shox BB4 AKA The Vince Carters So needless to say, I’m not a fan of animal print, OKC/Charlotte colorways and expensive shoes in general. But they’re nice to look at....

Jaded Incorporated (Mayer Hawthorne and 14KT) – “Cocount Sofa” Apr15

Jaded Incorporated (Mayer Hawthorne and 14KT) – “Cocount Sofa”...

I keep playing “Coconut Sofa” over and over again because it’s so damn catchy yet so puzzling. It’s a 80s tribute like some lost Cars song but with some hip hop sensibility courtesy of 14KT. What I try not doing is watching the video because the fake tattoos are hella creepy. Especially when the rendering makes the “tattoos” look like brands in the models’ skin. Anyways I was going to write about this record last month, but they pulled the video. Now with the release of their second single, “People Change,” I felt I had to go back to the superior lead single. Jaded Incorporated’s album, The Big Knock, will be available on...

Sigma – “Nobody To Love”...

In January London dance duo Sigma released a series of uptempo remixes to Kanye West’s “Bound” to great success. Basically by subtracting Ye’s raps and the Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s vocals and adding drum-and-bass, the UK massive have made this their #1 single. With a dual Beckys gallivanting through South African beaches and countryside, this could be a hit anywhere. (Complex) Original swirly flavor with Ye and...

SZA feat. Isaiah Rashad – “Warm Winds” Apr15

SZA feat. Isaiah Rashad – “Warm Winds”...

If you are sleeping on SZA, wake the fuck up! I hate how my peers (late Gen X, old Millenials) can’t admit that new artists are making game-changing music. Leading the way is Kendrick Lamar’s music group, TDE, which signed both SZA and Isaiah Rashad in the wake of K-Dot’s success. This song is delicate yearning and fractured beauty …like the rest of her work. Cop SZA’s EP called Z on iTunes. (This is...

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....

Lana Del Rey – “West Coast” Apr14

Lana Del Rey – “West Coast”...

Back in February Lana Del Rey tweeted about her upcoming album, Ultraviolence, and working with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Me and Dan Auerbach are excited to present you Ultraviolence pic.twitter.com/aRAZYscwYd — Lana Del Rey (@LanaDelRey) February 20, 2014 Today Lana released the first single, “West Coast,” a slight departure from her 60s-styled pained ballads from last album and stepping away from the torchy soundtrack songs she has recently released. Now that she’s a bonafide hitmaker, Lana is bravely and adeptly taking the right artistic steps to become a complete artist. While many wrote her off a beautifully crafted vessel for breathy out-of-love songs, Lana has found a lane. I’m a big fan of “West Coast” because it feels comfortable but very original in a turns and fits of musicality....

The Black Keys – “Turn Blue” Apr14

The Black Keys – “Turn Blue”...

Damn this song is deeper than a river. From the second verse: When the music is done and all the lights are low I would remember the times where love would really glow Like a dream I had before my world turned blue When the light inside would only shine for you Produced by The Black Keys and Danger Mouse, here’s what Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney says inspired the album’s name, “Turn Blue could refer to: A: Suffocation B: Sadness C: Numbness from extreme cold D: A Cleveland late night TV host from the 1960s named Ghoulardi E: All of the above.” Pre-order Turn Blue now on iTunes and get the first two singles, “Fever” and the title track....

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...