Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[Video] Nitty Scott, MC - Skippin' Clouds

Nitty Scott, MC is one of the best female rappers in the game right now and slowly but surely gaining a buzz with tracks like "Flower Child" and "Skippin' Clouds" she is proving she knows how to make a well crafted concept record and further the concept by having excellent visuals. Be sure to check out the video on YouTube to see the explanation behind the video (mainly because I'm being too lazy to reiterate it) and to support her latest project The BoomBox Dairies Vol.1 and look out for her next project The Art of Chill sometime later this year.

[Video] Inside Cover: Mac Miller & ScHoolBoy Q

Mass Appeal reveals the behind the scenes footage for Mac Miller and ScHoolBoy Q's cover shoot. If you follow Mac or Q on Vine you'll surely recognize a few scenes.

[EP] Nomad - Mythos

The Nomadic One is creating something special with his next full length project The Royal House of Thebes, so in the meantime he dropped an EP called Mythos a rough draft of a concept that will be fully explored and fleshed out on RYoT. Below is just a small taste of what to expect from it. #GodRap

[Video] Chance The Rapper - Everybody's Something

Chano releases some dope visuals for "Everybody's Something" from his critically acclaimed Acid Rap.

A$AP Ferg - Hood Pope

The Trap Lord A$AP Ferg switches it up for his next single and becomes the "Hood Pope" mostly singing over the ambient production. After "Work" and "Shabba" both being high energy hype tracks it's nice to hear Ferg slow it down and still be able to create a banger. Ferg's ability to switch up his flow from slow to double time and sing is something reminiscent of Bone Thugs N' Harmony, yet he finds a way to make it unique all to his own. I'm very excited to see what else he has in store for Trap Lord, he definitely is proving himself to be one of the most versatile and creative new age artists. Trap Lord in stores August 20th.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Joey Bada$$ - Norwegian Breakfast

The Smokers Club recently dropped OIL:710 in honor of a new smoker's holiday 7/10 featuring many of guest one in particular Pro Era's Joey Bada$$, whose track "Norwegian Breakfast" featuring some ambient production stands out from the pack. 

Tourist - Stay

Every now and then I like to switch it up on Digital Drop and give you something behinds Hip-Hop/Rap, I recently came across this joint while on SoundCloud and it's pretty dope. It's a track called "Stay" from London producer Tourist the track itself is very minimalistic sans a vocal sample and a synth melody. I personally don't like electronic music all that much but this is definitely nice. Check it out and let me know what you think.

[Mixtape Review] Rashad Stark - VIGILANTE

Since dropping his project SOAR 2 last October, Rashad Stark made it clear that he was not a stagnant artist. Showing major improvement in his rap and especially production skills, it set him apart from being known as Steezy's sidekick to being his own artist. With VIGILANTE Rashad set out not only to improve once again but establish his own sound and for the most part he does. 

VIGILANTE is definitely an improvement over last year's SOAR 2, overall better rapping, production and little nuances such as track placement set it ahead of his previous effort. VIGILANTE feels like a more complete project due to all of these reasons, while I felt SOAR 2 had more of a mixtape feel. Rashad made strides in improving his subject matter with a much mature and dark sound featured on this tape think "Carnage II" from SOAR 2. Which was probably the best track on SOAR 2 due to its subject matter that dealt with Rashad's various personal issues. VIGILANTE does have it's "Bxtch I Think I'm Yeezy" moments but they are far and few compared to the much more personal material.

When I spoke with Rashad during our interview last year, he spoke about VIGILANTE and how he wanted to find his sound. I don't necessarily think he does on this project but he comes damn near close. Due in part to better production choices to fit his voice and flow and an overall more consistent quality verse wise. Over the 12 track project you'll learn about Rashad the man and the artist. I think with his next project if he continues on the path he established with this and SOAR 2 he'll definitely find his niche. 

One of the main highlights of the tape is the various artists featured on the tracks. All do an excellent job in not only contributing to the track but improving it as well. However, I definitely think we can all agree that Akoko's Sugg Savage stole the show on many of her appearances on the project. Kudos to her. Also, gotta give credit to Rashad for putting together a nice list of guest artists. A few of my favorites being "GODS" the spiritual successor to "Chrono Triggers", both which feature MiggFAM and Mike of Doom to "All Black Susanoo'" featuring EZITO and the aforementioned Sugg Savage. Credit to all who were featured really.

Overall VIGILANTE impresses for the most part, there was little I could find wrong with it. I could do without the 12 track one hour duration and the sometimes over the top anime references and lines but those are more of personal issues than actual detriments to the project. As of now VIGILANTE is a career best for Rashad, who continues to improve with each tape and come closer to finding that sound that he can call his own. 

Standout Tracks: GODS, All Black Susanoo', Just Hold Me, & Real Nigga Anthem 

+ More mature/personal subject matter
+ Excellent features
+ Coehisive sound
+ Improved lyrical and production skill

- Over the top lines/references 
- Short track list, long duration
- No track featuring me


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sophisticated - Coup De Grace

Fresh off his last project VXXIXCIII,  Sophisticated recently stated he had been the studio experimenting with new flows and sounds, "Coup De Grace" is the product of that experimentation. Starting off slow, Sophisticated slowly picks up the pace as does the beat and homie proceeds to blackout over the duration of the track. The production switch up was nice and the new flows worked well over both beats. Successful experiment I guess. Be sure to check out my write-up for his VXXIXCIII project as well.

GodFlow - Resurrection

The duo of KoolKluxKlan members Cal Rips and Loui J come together to make GodFlow and that's exactly what they do on their track "Resurrection", with some ill production from SNB's Rashad Stark the two absolutely go in definitely one of my favorite tracks so far this year.

Iceburg Jettson - 92' Ric Flair ft Aceology

The artist formally known as Willie Jetts has been reborn as Iceburg Jettson and is back with a new track "92' Ric Flair" to signify his rebirth. Featuring a smooth sample from "The Mack" by Willie Hutch (ironic huh?), that most will remember from Three 6 Mafia's "Poppin' My Collar", Iceburg and Ace go in and trade bars about the Nature Boy over the Blvckspvce production. Wouldn't mind hearing more collaborations between these two in the future. Be sure to look for Jettson's The Peoples Champ mixtape later this year.


I was recently introduced to The SNB's own Day X, after hearing his production on various DMV artists projects I decided to see if the man himself had a project. That is when I discovered DON'T WORRY released back in June it is Day's most recent work to date. Initially I only knew of his production skills and that's what I mostly expected a instrumental tape, little did I know Day actually raps and does it quite well.

One of the things I noticed of the course of my listen was that his subject matter was rather mature compared to the other SNB members I know of. It was a nice change and helped to set him apart from his fellow group members. The production is the main highlight of the tape for sure as Day is already ahead of most in that category. Lyrically he does well as I stated earlier, a high point being "TheDayIShine" where I found him most impressive. Only thing I can knock is that the vocals could've been mixed better but I understand the quality issue that most indie artists have, it definitely doesn't take away from the project itself though. Other than that DON'T WORRY is another impressive project in the growing catalog of the SNB.

Check out the tape below.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

[Video] Earl Sweatshirt - Hive ft Casey Veggies & Vince Staples

In his latest video Earl Sweatshirt takes us for a trip through a dark and desolate cul-de-sac (imagine Ed, Edd & Eddie on an Acid trip). "Hive" is reminiscent of that grunge/grime sound that catapulted Earl and OF into fame way back in 2010. With Casey handling the hook, Earl and Vince give you the narration for the creepy visuals. Doris available August 20th.

Nomad - Living Myths

After originally scrapping his EP Mythos, lyrical wordsmith Nomad is back with a new single "Living Myths" from the newly revived project. As per the norm with him everything from the production to the engineering was all handled by No' himself. With all the Greek mythology references in this track it's almost as Nomad is giving you a history lesson. Better study up, because Mythos drops July 30th. #Unsung.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Denzel Curry - Live This Shit (prod. by SpaceGhostPurrp)

The Aquarius Killa Denzel Curry unleashes a flurry of rhymes over some menacing production from SGP. One of my favorite tracks to drop this year, loads of lines/references to catch! Hopefully Curry and Purrp can work out their differences so the two can get back to working together. Look for Curry's Nostalgic 64 to drop later this year on September 3rd.

Tia Nomore - MONDAY ft SIR E.U & Cal Rips

Oakland's Tia Nomore has been on my radar for sometime now, after hearing her impressive project 13TH GRADE earlier this year, it only cemented the good things I've heard about her. "Monday" her latest track featuring the Klan's SIR E.U and Cal Rips, sees the trio going in over Danny Brown's "Outer Space" the three do well in matching the original track's energy while creating something unique of their own. 

Also be sure to check out Tia's 13TH GRADE I never got around to posting it but I definitely recommend it.

[Video] Yung Simmie - Lean With The Sprite

Raider Klan standout Yung Simmie dropped some visuals a while back for the first single from his upcoming project Shut Up and Vibe due out July 16th.

[Video] A$AP Ferg - Shabba ft A$AP Rocky

Trap Lord August 20th. Shabba!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Mixtape] Amber London - Tru 2 Tha Phonk

Recently Raider Klan's first lady Amber London dropped her massive 26 track project Tru 2 Tha Phonk and aside from the length issue I thoroughly enjoyed the tape. It's apparent that London has been influenced by her homestate of Texas and her mentor SGP. Over the course of the tape, Amber London proves she isn't your average female rapper coming through with some of the hardest bars I've heard this year. 

Her true talent shines on tracks such as "Back Bussin $$$" "Servin Fiendz" "Swangin & Bangin 95'" "Get Respect" "Smokin x Chokin" and the hardest track of 2013 by far "Choppa Got Dat Ass Shakin Like A Hoe On Da Flo Nigga". You can essentially listen to these few tracks and grasp the vibe from the whole project but if you like what you hear I'd definitely recommend a full listen. 

Chick Gaynor - Sophistirachet ft Cal Rips (prod. by Clayt Da Great)

Moving on from his last project Chick Gaynor is back with the first single "Sophistirachet" from his upcoming The Beloved EP. Backed by groovy production from Clayt Da Great, Chick and Cal spit that new gospel about these hoes. Good vibes from this track. Good shit Slug Gawd. 

Jay-Z - Dead Presidents 3 (prod. by Young Guru)

Jay-Z took to Twitter (rare) a few days ago for a cool Q&A session with his fans and after being asked where DP3 was, Hov decided to give Young Guru the green light to release the track.

A$AP Ant & A$AP Nast - The Way It Go/Trillmatic

While in Japan for their tour A$AP Mob members Ant and Nast shot videos for their respective tracks "The Way It Go" & "Trillmatic". Good to hear new material from Nast hopefully that solo project is coming soon.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Samsung's Magna Carta Holy Fail and Music's Battle with Exclusivity

On his latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail Jay-Z spits the line "Might crash ya Internet, and I ain't even into that" lyrics from "Somewhereinamerica" that would prove prophetic. Right around midnight on July 3rd, officially the 4th, millions (literally) of Samsung owners took to Twitter to celebrate and gloat at their apparent win over iPhone users. After years of hearing the praises of the iPhone and Apple, Android users finally had their moment in the spotlight thanks to Jay-Z and Samsung's 5 million deal. Well at least that was the idea, soon as many found out, millions of people using the same app to obtain the same album at the same time would prove problematic. Samsung users all over immediately went from ecstatic to disappointed as they stared at a blank screen or an error message as many reported.

While Samsung users were cursing the company all over social networks, iPhone users sat high and mighty on top of the mobile device world once again. As Samsung was sorting out an solution, others fled to Google for streams and leak links for the newly released album. Once learning that Funk Flex of Hot 97 was running a stream of the album, I decided that was the best of a bad situation. When Flex wasn't ranting and dropping Flex bombs (or wind sound effects as they sound to some) I was quite impressed with what I heard. After about an hour I had the album available to listen to sans Flex, while my cousin who is a Samsung owner still was on a blank white screen "patiently" awaiting for his album. That got me thinking what did Samsung exactly accomplish with this deal?

Aside from the publicity from the deal Samsung did nothing to exactly change the perception of the Android vs iPhone debate, if anything it gave fuel to the latter's side. That is how it may seem on the surface but if you really read what came with the MCHG app, Samsung might've made a win out in the long haul. Before accepting the download the permission settings for it pops up to display this and while Mike gets credit for noticing I'm sure millions of others didn't even bother to read that. Now what Samsung will do with those permission settings still remains to be seen but I'd say that would be a nice consolation price to a little public embarrassment over a crashed app.

Although one of the main things that was pushed was the exclusivity of the deal and the fact that Samsung users would be the only ones with MCHG until it was released for the rest of the world on July 7th. That too got me thinking about exclusivity when it comes to music in general. We live in a day and age where albums hit the Internet faster than they hit the retail shelves, sometimes days or weeks and in rare cases months before expected release dates. While some artists choose to ignore when their album leaks others take notice, such as when Wayne decided to create a project from the leaked material off the Tha Carter 3 into a EP appropriately entitled The Leak. Some even take to their respective social media accountants to address the leak and ask fans to still support the album if they enjoyed the leak.

Now while record labels and artists still haven't found a solution to this particular problem, digital release is widely seen as the next step in the way music is released. If Samsung and Jay-Z taught us anything with their deal it's that digital release is not the solution that some have been labeling it as and if anything it comes with its own problems. Sure the album didn't technically leak as it reached its intended digital release date but it also didn't go as smooth as I'm sure Samsung thought. Many couldn't access the album and in some cases such as mine, non Samsung owners had the album before actual Samsung owners. Imagine if those same people would've paid $10.99 for that album only to not be able to access it while others who illegally downloaded it listened. While I don't think we'll ever solve the exclusivity issue in music, at least not as long as technology evolves the way it does, I do think that if done right digital release can at least quell the issue of leaks. Exclusivity on the other hand is another issue entirely on its own...and something that even a major company and Jay-Z can't solve.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[Video] The Process: Ab-Soul

In the latest video for Complex's The Process series, Peter Rosenberg sits down with Ab-Soul in this brief but in depth interview. The two go over Soul's origin, his battle with Steven Johnson Syndrome, his writing process, personal life and more.


In celebration of his recent birthday AceGawd dropped a project full of unheard/unreleased material and even two sample tracks from his upcoming tape FREEDOM check it out.

A$AP Ferg - Shabba ft A$AP Rocky

A$AP Ferg is back with the latest cut from his upcoming album Trap Lord, on "Shabba" Fergie and Rocky pay ode to legendary reggae artist Shabba Ranks and spit some jiggy raps over some upbeat production. Trap Lord due out August 8th.

[Video] Hodgy Beats - Alone

Hodgy drops some creative visuals for "Alone" off his Untitled 2 EP. More Odd Future videos like this creative and unique without being overly weird.

[Video] Freddie Gibbs - Lay It Down

Gangsta Gibbs lives up to his namesake in the video for "Lay It Down" as Freddie and his goons show you around his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

[Mixtape] Problem - The Separation

Compton's own Problem drops the No DJ version of his mixtape The Separation. If you haven't heard it yet, Problem expands his sound while still keeping that signature hyphy sound he is known for. One of my favorite tapes of 2013 so far. Check it out.