Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chick Gaynor - Noir 2 (Prod. Louseph Bruise Em')

Maryland's Chick Gaynor has be quietly working on his next project THE BELOVED, aside from last years "Sophistirachet" we haven't heard much from him. Well late last night the Slug God decided to drop "Noir 2" featuring some ill production from frequent collaborator Louseph Bruise Em'. Seems like every time Chick and Lou get together the product is always top notch (collab project maybe?). Chick has always been one of my favorite artists, he brings a unique energy to any track, so it's good to hear some new material from him. With his EP's release date slowly but surely approaching hopefully we'll get more tracks from it. I haven't hear much from his upcoming project but if Chick can stick to the level of quality he has become known for, I have no doubt that THE BELOVED will be some of 2014's best. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ScHoolBoy Q - Break THe Bank (Prod. By The Alchemist)

Q links back up with The Alchemist for this ill cut off Oxymoron. February 25th. Pre-order now.

[EP] CRASHprez & *hitmayng - fear itself.

CRASHprez is back with his latest project fear itself. which is his second collaboration with producer *hitmayng. The two have become a force to be reckoned with , CRASH seems to be at his best when paired with production from his partner and this project further proves that. On fear itself. CRASH seems to be more focused then ever, his message is clear and this is the best it has been delivered since his last EP I Hate All You Rap Niggas: A Thesis. CRASH is wise beyond his years and isn't afraid to speak his mind, social commentary largely makes up the EP's subject matter, however CRASH does get very personal on this project also. This very well may be the best project CRASH has put out, it is definitely a improvement over his last collaborate effort. All in all CRASHprez is one of those few artists who actually has something important and worth while to say every time he spits, all I can do is recommend you listen and soak it up. One of the early highlights of 2014 for me.

[Video] Pusha T - Suicide ft Ab-Liva

Pusha T releases visuals for "Suicide" one of the standout tracks from his solo debut My Name Is My Name, directed by Nathan Brown who seems to have taken a page out of DONDA's book keeps the visuals to a minimum theme. Towards the end Ab-Liva's silhouette makes an appearance.

mattVISTA - Vignettes ft Smokei Grey & Moonlight Mask

Fort Washington native mattVISTA has come along from when I first heard him way back in 2011, his sound has evolved since then moving from a electronic hip-hop base to more of a acoustic ambient base at least for this track "Vignettes". Which is unlike anything I've ever heard from the DMV area, Matt truly is in a league of his own. Most producers have the ability to switch up their sound but this is a true example of being versatile, a absolutely great track.

[Video] ScHoolBoy Q - Man of The Year

ScHoolBoy Q lives out every man's dream being trapped on a exotic island with beautiful women and weed. I can't say this was the video I had in mind when I heard the track originally but it looks like Q had a lot of fun filming it. Oxymoron February 25th.

Isaiah Rashad - RIP Kevin Miller

In what mostly likely will be the final drop  from his upcoming debut project, "RIP Kevin Miller" is TDE's Isaiah Rashad's strongest release since his debut "Shot You Down". This is the type of sound TopDawg has been missing with a solid release date of January 28th, judging on the few tracks from the EP Cilvia looks to be one of the most promising projects to be released in 2014. Check out the tracklist here.

Re-Drop: Isaiah Rashad - Brad Jordan


Toronto Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD released "CS60" the latest single from their upcoming LP III. BBNG has been one of the most creative musical acts in recent years and if their third album sounds anything like this that trend will continue. 

Chief Keef - Pull Up

Almighty Sosa sends "shots" back at the Migos who supposedly dissed Keef on their track "Jealously". I personally don't hear anything specific mostly subliminal and I honestly didn't think that Migos even dissed Keef in the first place. This shit just bangs. Remember the days when rappers would say each others names on tracks? Guess I'll just wait for Complex to make a list detailing how this "beef" started. Eh...

Chuck Inglish - Legs ft Chromeo

For his latest single "Legs" Chuck Inglish enlists electrofunk duo Chromeo and takes it back to the 80s with the retro sound. I can't say I expected this collaboration but it is a pleasant surprise. 2014 looks to be a busy year for Chuck not only does his debut album Convertibles release on April 8th, he also recently announced that he and Mikey Rocks would be ending their hiatus and reuniting as The Cool Kids to drop their album Shark Week this year.

Manuel Fresco - Andromeda

Producer Manuel Fresco is back with his latest track "Andromeda" and as you can probably guess from the title it features a space theme. I have to give props to dude he sent me this track a while back before it was finished and I definitely didn't think it would end up sounding like this. This honestly might be my favorite track from him. Fresco remains to be one of the few producers I actually enjoy listening to and a promising one at that. Every time I hear something new from him it's always an improvement over the last, not too many artists I know can do that. Be sure to check out his debut project 19 and look for more material from him in the future.

Grammy Family - Stony Creek Lane (G-Mix)

Grammy Family (rMell, Miles Meraki & Matt McGhee) looks to build upon their success from 2013 and they definitely start the new year off strong with the remix g-mix to Jaylen!'s "Stony Creek Lane". With their buzz growing with each release look for 2014 to be a big year for the collective. #GRAMFAM2K14

[Album Stream] Step Brothers - Lord Steppington

Since joining together to form Step Brothers way back in 2009 Alchemist and Evidence fans have been waiting for the duo to release a project. After being in the works for a few years Lord Steppington is finally available, featuring guests such as Action Bronson, Domo Genesis, Roc Marci, Styles P, The Whooliganz, Fashawn, Rakaa & Blu.

Stream below courtesy of Rhymesayers:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ciscero - Winter's Song (Prod. by Kaleo)

Maryland's own Ciscero dropped "Winter's Song" a short but smooth track for all us folks stuck inside while going through this crazy winter storm. The main thing I like about dude's music is that it's different from most of the stuff I've heard from the DMV. Just like his last drop "All I Need Is Soul", laid back production and smooth flows, it allows you to focus in on what he's spitting instead of just nodding along to the beat. Props for that.

High Class Filth - Filth Y Moi II

It's been a year since I've had High Class Filth on the site, mostly due to me and my loafing, the homie has definitely been busy. After dropping the excellent Perfect Nudes Forever back in May, Filth kept busying by releasing a few tracks in between the months and landing his first album placement on A$AP Ferg's Trap Lord co-producing the track "Cocaine Castle" along with Subdaio, you can say 2013 was a good year for the young producer. Filth looks to build upon that success and start the New Year off strong with the follow up to last years Filth Y Moi.

On FYM II it's pretty much the same formula as the last, however after using Toro's first two albums Causers of This and Underneath The Pine, this time around Filth mainly uses tracks from Chad's latest Anything In Return. Which is a pretty big task in itself seeing how that album gained a lot critical acclaim and ended up in the Top 5 of most Album of The Year lists. If anything it shows just how much confidence Filth has in himself and his abilities.

As I stated earlier most of the material is taken from 2013's Anything In Return the tracks being "Cake" "Rose Quartz" "Harm in Change" "Grown Up Calls" and "Never Matter" leaving "Talamek" as the sole song sampled that's not from the album. I must say I hold this album in high regard and Filth did every track justice, especially "Rose Quartz" which is my favorite. I was both hoping and worried that Filth would pick that one to sample but he definitely killed it. After seeing what he was able to accomplish last year I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for Filth. I know one thing that I can always expect when it come to him and that is great music, for me as a fan, that's more than enough.

Download or Stream below:

Iamsu! - Stoner (Remix)

Bay Area standout Iamsu! remixes Young Thug's "Stoner" and absolutely kills it, good to see $uzy still on his shit in the New Year. Props to Fresco for the find.

[Album Review] Akoko - CAT•A•RAPS

Way back in February of last year I got hip to Akoko through their excellent collaboration with SIR E.U simply known as "Thee Hipókolypse" featuring some crazy lyricism and great production from Plue Starfox. Akoko comprised of Sugg Savage and Sloane Amelia, is a group based in D.C. and one of the best acts from the area which already features great talent (if you follow this blog, something you'll know). I type this next sentence fully aware of what I'm stating and I stand by it.

Akoko is the female version of Outkast.

Hopefully you haven't exited out of the page and are still reading this, if so thanks if not...well...I guess you really can't see this so...yeah...back to what I said. As I got further and further into CAT•A•RAPS I couldn't help but think this over and over. Sugg and Sloane not only match the legendary ATLiens in terms of chemistry as a duo but also in creativity. If you haven't seen any of their videos I suggest you stop reading and do so. See what I mean? They aren't the typical "I'm a boss ass bitch. My pussy good. 5 Star Chick" that most female rappers seem to be. Just like how Andre and Big Boi aren't typical "My nigga, my nigga. Cars, clothes, bitches" rappers. They're both different but it doesn't come off as forced to stand out it's just natural. 

One of the most overlooked things in Hip-Hop now is track chemistry, in today's Hip-Hop collaborations are rarely about genuine respect for other artist's craft but about a quick cash grab. Even today's music groups are more of collectives, just a bunch of artists behind one brand but not really a music group. Akoko is a group. The ladies flow and trade off each other perfectly, their chemistry is one of the main things that made me initially make the comparison.

With that being said I've already spent too much time on the subject and I want this to be a review of CAT•A•RAPS not them as a group. To get to the project itself, barely released before the New Year, it definitely was one of the sleeper hits of 2013. I had high expectations after hearing them initially and I can say that after hearing the full project they were definitely met and even exceed at times. 

I knew coming in that CAT•A•RAPS was going to be different but I didn't expect what I ended up hearing. To call this a rap album would be incorrect, it's more than that. Combining elements of Neo-Soul, Electronic, Alternative and even some Reggae CAT•A•RAPS transcends the genres to become something truly unique. Sloane and Sugg never sound out of element either, whether clever wordplay, viscous bars, rapid multi syllables flows or even beautiful harmonizing they can do it all and well. 

I don't want to bore you with anymore reading (there is already a lot) I try to keep these short but this review was different. 2013 was a great year of music and finding Akoko and CAT•A•RAPS are among my personal highlights. There isn't much else to say other then listen and hopefully you enjoy CAT•A•RAPS as much as I do.

Standout Tracks: A++, Deadly Venom, Dogma (The Sparrow), No Offer, Royal Flush, The Blair Witch Project & Thee Hipókolypse

+ Excellent lyricism
+ Great track presence 
+ Multi displays of high level emceeing skill
+ Creativity

- One or two lacking tracks


[Album Review] Cal Rips - BELIEVE

Every now and then I forget to add a link, word or stream when making a post. When it's really bad I become Loaf God and forget to post entire projects whether due to a busy schedule or just pure laziness. Unfortunately this is one of those times. I found myself listening to BELIEVE today by the great Cal Rips and thought "Damn I forgot how good this was, let me go tweet the link to the post" and much to my dismay there was no post to link. I really don't know how I forgot but I figured better late than never (although some might disagree). 

Production wise this is definitely Cal's strongest project yet, everything transitions well. This is one of those rare tapes that you can run front to back without skipping a track or two. Cal never lets the album get stale, as soon as you're thinking the project is getting too somber, he picks it back up. Thanks to producers such as Matt McGhee, Day X and rMell who are behind two of my personal favorites "Winning" and "Flashing" and Clayt Da Great who is behind most of the tape's highlight tracks.

I always talk about progression when it comes to Cal but this time around it's different. Cloud X to #Thumbs Up was a slight improvement, Chemical X was a major one. With each tape Cal got better, either with beat selection, lyrically or content wise, on BELIEVE it's more of a matter of being consistent. He's come into his own as a artist he knows what works and what doesn't. This tape is more of a refinement of already shown skills and that isn't a bad thing at all. Cal is a great rapper and if his last project showed promise, this one proves it.

All in all BELIEVE will make you exactly do that, not only in Cal as a rapper but as a true artist.

Standout Tracks: Winning, Flashing, Match 1, AV & Deuce Bigalow

+ Great production and raps
+ Very cohesive (front to back no skips)
+ Strong content
+ Good guest features

- Sound quality on some tracks
- Not rapping on that jazzy ass intro (lol)

8.5/10  [Recommend Listen & Download]

Jaylen! - Stony Creek Lane ft Matt McGhee

Grammy Family's Jaylen! and Matt McGhee, two of my favorite artists right now, link up for something sinister in "Stony Creek Lane" don't let the innocent track name fool you. That's all I'm going to say. Press play and enjoy...oh and be sure to look out for Crumbs.

Re-DropJaylen! x Miles Meraki - Trippin'

[Beat Tape] Louseph Bruise Em' - STUCKinTheSeven

Louseph Bruise Em' aka Latin Lou aka Young Lou is back with a all new beat tape entitled STUCKinTheSeven around twenty minutes long and apparently made all while stuck in a basement. Lou proved he has the ability to create excellent production in no time back when he collaborated with SIR E.U on HÜLAGÜSH (which was made in less then 24 hours) and this project further cements that. Featuring only instrumentals, aside from a few drops from the immaculate Dookie Armstrong50 Cal. and a preview of a song from his upcoming project Give Me Happy. From random DJ Paul vocal samples (great song choice Lou) to what I believe has to be the song that plays in Heaven's elevator right around the twelve minute mark and those unorthodox sound patterns that we've come to expect from Lou it's all here stuck in the seven right along with Lou. To wrap this up, in what has since become a tradition, as I always say good shit Lou and I hope you make it out that basement my deserve it.

Stream & Download below:

20syl x Kendrick Lamar - Sing That Shit

French producer 20syl takes Kendrick Lamar's excellent verse from Game's "The City" backs it with some original production from himself to create "Sing That Shit", a pretty interesting combination to say the least. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Isaiah Rashad - Brad Jordan ft Michael Da Vinci

Chattanooga's own Isaiah Rashad dropped a new track "Brad Jordan" paying homage to Southern legend Scarface featuring fellow Tennessean Michael Da Vinci. Although previously stating his debut project Cilvia would be out by the end of December, obviously that didn't happen, no word on when it'll drop until then keep this, "Ronnie Drake" and the "Shot You Down (Remix)" in rotation. Hopefully Cilvia will be worth the wait and not the disappointment that Travis Scott's Owl Pharaoh was.

Seems Scarface might've even heard the track himself judging by this tweet. 

[Mixtape] Iceburg Jettson - The People's Champ

The People's Champ the first official project from Iceburg Jettson since adopting his new moniker is full of growth and change but if one thing remains since his Willie Jetts days, is that the dude can make some good music. TPC is one of those rare projects that has a track for everyone, whether you wanna chill, ride around, get hype, smoke or even something for your lady, you'll find it on here. The production is excellent from swanky-bounce to slow and screwed to soulful samples it all works. Credit to all the producers. Jettson not only uses the production but his rhymes to paint a lifestyle of a luxury and riches on most tracks. However, TPC is also very personal something his last tape Commercial Free did well. Touching on his home situation, mother and thoughts, it's easy to hear tracks like "92' Ric Flair" and "Million Dollar Championship" and write off TPC as another braggadocio rap project but it's not. 

Continuing his improvement from CF, lyrically this is Jettson's strongest outing not only having tight verses but flow and concept wise everything is done well. With TPC Iceburg has successfully reinvented himself as an artist, whether intentional or not. He has traded in his violent/weird flows found on "Freaky Friday" and "Facebook Kill" for "93' Lexus" and "All I Do" both which feature a more laid back approachable sound. Personally both work, although I find TPC has more replayability because of that and due in part to the catchy hooks/rhymes something that I've said Jettson is underrated in the past for. Few artists in the game, especially indie wise can match him in that category. All together The People's Champ marks a career best for an artist I feel has yet to even reach his peak, I'm definitely excited to see and hear how Iceburg improves in the future.

Standout Tracks: Intro, 92' Ric Flair. 93' Lexus, Million Dollar Championship, Elder Toguro & Spend Da Night

+ Great replayabilty
+ Cohesive sound
+ Great production
+ Improvement shown

- Two or three lacking tracks
- Mundane sound towards end of tape

8.5/10  [A Recommend Listen & Download]