If you're asking yourself, "who is Kenna?" now is a great chance to get familiar. Chains featuring Shimmy Hoffa (Chad Hugo) is off his upcoming 3rd album. A VA representative and backed by The Neptunes (his first album was produced entirely by Chad Hugo), Kenna has managed to stay under the radar for the last few years. His 2nd album, Make Sure They See My Face, was awesome and featured two of my favorite tracks from 2007, "Sun Red, Sky Blue" and "Say Goodbye To Love"; the latter has a Lupe Fiasco remix which is just everything a song should be. Check it out.
After signing with Kanye and G.O.O.D. Music a few years ago, Bentley finally dropped his debut album C.O.L.O.U.R.S. on iTunes on 4/26/11. Here is a single from his debut album. This song is worth the purchase.
Before listening to this awesome FreeLP, I was really expecting some generic "southern rap" music. I was unbelievably wrong. This Florida emcee impressed me so much, I'm posting this project despite the fact that Paul Wall is on it. Of the 11 songs, I had 6 that I wanted to include samples of in this post (as opposed to the usual 3); I mean even his "Victory (Interlude)" was incredible. Guest appearances include: Freeway, Billy Blue & Jase, Carlyle Anderson, The Strangerz, Paul Wall, Mann, and Shonie.
17 year-old, West Coast emcee/producer Luke Christopher, recently collaborated with Asher Roth to bring you Roof Tops (below). Both songs were found at Luke's website. I've only heard these two songs from him but I'm already eagerly anticipating his next release. According to his site, mixtape coming soon.
After several months of built up anticipation, Fly U finally gives us The Greater Than Club. They even decided to give a FREE download, a physical copy, and a iTunes digital download as different methods to get it. Support the artist, it's only $7.99 on iTunes.
The 21 year-old UK artist released an original version to this song last May. It seems this version is a bit more lo-fi on purpose to give it that indie sound. Jai Paul is currently signed to XL Recordings and this version of BTSTU is available now on iTunes.
By now most of you know of Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover. If you don’t, now is good time to get familiar. His recent, Freaks & Geeks EP, is earning him some major attention and even landed the title track in an Adidas commercial. I knew him as Troy Barnes long before I knew of him as Childish Gambino, but being a fan of Glover’s character on Community didn’t affect my opinion of his music. Had his music been terrible, I would have gladly written him off as an “actor turned rapper” and never listened to him again. That wasn’t the case. From the first track off of Freaks and Geeks, “Be Alone”, all expectations of a CG simply being a “gimmick” were shattered. I can’t lie, I was late on Childish Gambino especially considering I didn’t even know he rapped until the end of March. Come to find out, Glover has not only been rapping but even producing (under the moniker mcDJ) for several years. This post is dedicated to spotlighting his from I Am Just A Rapper to his recent Freaks & Geeks EP. CG released 2 mixtapes, titled Sick Boi & Poindexter, prior to I Am Just A Rapper however, Glover dismissed them claiming he had to “hide behind gimmicks” resulting in a less authentic listening experience. It’s important to note that CG and Ludwig Göransson (Composer for Community) have collaborated to produce many of Childish Gambino’s tracks. After listening to these 4 CG releases, I think it’s safe to say Glover is at his best when his lyrics are focused on his internal struggle and duality of character, as well as his sense of mortality. When he’s not airing out his dirty laundry, the resulting product is some of the best “guilty pleasure” braggadocio you can find.
Paris Jones, 2010 Roofie Award Winner for Best Production (Song) as well as 2011 All-Freshmen Team member, sat down with TOTR to talk about his recent release (The Black Hour EP), his previous work, his creative process, and where he wishes to go from here.
Released via Mickey's tumblr/soundcloud, this is what Factz had to say about this track:
"I did this remix for Hey Champ back in 2010. I really like this song. The flow I used on this inspired the flow for the Mona Lisa track I did on I’m Better Than You. This is one of my favorite features to be honest. Check those guys out & check back for a new song tomorrow!"
Over the past couple of months, it seems everybody is jumping on this Odd Future bandwagon. I haven't listened to all of Odd Future so I'm not jumping on the bandwagon but I am a fan of Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean. For those of you who don't know about Earl Sweatshirt, he released this FreeLP in 2010 at only 16 years of age. The release was met with much acclaim however, once his parents found out what he rapping about, they sent him out of the country to finish his schooling. Complex Magazine believes to have found him in Samoa attending a boarding school. Many have praised Tyler The Creator's production on EARL and rightfully so. The gritty, raw, and untraditional beats have opened up the door for Hip Hop to take a step away from the Pop route it has ventured into and revert back to experimental days when artists weren't afraid to take a chance.
What draws me to Earl is the the intricate rhyme scheme he applies to each individual line coupled with the maniacal content of a lunatic who escaped an asylum. When combined, the two elements create a listening experience comparable to a viewing of A Clorkwork Orange; obscure, disturbed, ultraviolent, and even kind of beautiful in some odd way. After listening to a few bars of "Earl" you'll realize you haven't heard anything quite like this. I disagree with the horrorcore tag many are slapping on Earl Sweatshirt. In my opinion, his content is similar to Eminem's Slim Shady LP in terms of shock value. Well thats about as much of a review as I'm going to write for this. Enjoy the music.
While everybody has been all over "Pumped Up Kicks" I've failed to see the what all of the hype is for. But now that The Knocks have remixed it, it's finally earned a spot on both TOTR and my iPod. Artwork by Trish Lopez.
In case you haven't heard of Freelance Whales yet, this New York quintent has been making quite the impact on the indie scene fusing Indie-Pop/Electro/Folk. In 2009, Freelance Whales didn't let their lack of popularity stop them from performing and took the subway platforms around the city. That's about as indie as you can get. Side note: "Girl U Want" is a cover of the Devo song of the same name.
After several great leaks, 2 trailers, and simply a ton of hype, Zero Heroes has finally arrived. Guest appearances include: Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, CyHi Da Prynce, Patrick Stump, Erin Christine, Vado, and even Kristina Rose! Zero Heroes also boasts production from long time collaborator Seven, Just Blaze, J. Cole, Omen, Swiff D, and The Awesome Sound.
Comprised of emcees Logics and Newsense with band members Danny Perez, Manny Patino, Ralf Valencia and Keith Cooper, ArtOfficial is a live instrument hip hop crew based out of Miami. Having heard some of Logics solo work I can honestly say he seems to have found a better fit for his talents with AO. Led by a head nodding drum pattern and addicting horn riffs, Migraine seems less like an ailment and more like a treatment for modern day music. Migraine is the first single off of their upcoming Vitamins & Mineral project, coming soon.
Most you may not know about Moka Only but I strongly suggest you acquaint yourself with him now. This guy seriously drops music like Braylon Edwards drops passes. To top it all off he only drops quality music. One of the most underrated producers, I only found out about Moka because of a friend of mine (who is a producer) introduced me to him. Honestly, I've yet to hear something I didn't like from him. "Grab Grab Grab" is off of Moka Only's 2007 album, Airport 5, available on iTunes.
"Fall FWD" is the follow up to YC's 2010 release, "You're Welcome". YC The Cynic's debut project was more of an appetizer that gave us a taste of what was soon to come, while "Fall FWD" is the entree we've been waiting for. With most songs being in the 2-4 minute range, the listener is never left wondering "when will this track end?" and instead boasts a quality > quantity mentality. Guest appearances by Sene, Homebody Sandman, Soul Khan, Von Pea, and several others help round out "Fall FWD". I can sit here and try to formulate a verbose description for this LP but all that needs to be said is, "Fall FWD" is the epitomy of traditional hip hop.
Cris Cab is new to TOTR but if this song is any indication of what's to come, I'm sure this singer/songwriter/producer will be featured regularly in the upcoming months. Only 17 years-old, the Miami-native Cris Cab, draws inspiration from Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Sublime, and Coldplay. "Good Girls" effectively blends elements of multiple genres, while lacking a certain sell-out factor that most of his peers have a tendency to resort to.
With 4-XV-11 approaching, Vizzy releases another track off of Zero Heroes. It seems he's continuing with underdog theme and the result is another anthem for those least expected to achieve. Can't wait for Friday.
After hearing Spree Wilson's newest release, The Never Ending Now, I set out to find more music from him. I stumbled upon his Evil Angel EP (released in 2009), a 5 track (6 including the bonus track) preview of what was still to come. While you can find "I Believe She's Lying" on his latest release, I strongly suggest downloading the Evil Angel EP so you don't miss out on quality tracks like the ones listed below. It saddens me that it has taken me this long to hear Spree Wilson but better late than never.
Spree Wilson has hooked up with presenting partner Converse to bring fans his debut full-length, the highly-anticipated The Never Ending Now. The project is composed of 14 fresh tracks showcasing the full range of the ATL singer/songwriter/rapper/producer’s diverse talents and influences. Included are reader-acclaimed leaks “I Believe She’s Lying,” “Love You Better,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” “Everything I Own” and “No Use in Runnin’.” Joining Wilson on the guest tip are singer Esthero and fellow Booth favorite Novel. Production comes courtesy of No I.D., Shoden!1, Tony Reyes, Matt Friedman and Spree Wilson himself.
"...I guess 2010 is the first year you gave a shit..." For most people that quote may be true but for many of Bobby Ray's fans, we "gave a shit" since 08. While I will admit that I haven't been a fan of B.o.B. since his first release (The Future), I have been a fan since "Who The Fuck Is BoB?" which was released in 2008. I failed to realize how much music Bobby Ray released before his debut album. Several songs including Lonely People, Camera, Use Your Love, and Cloud 9 appeared on mulitple mixtapes and rightfully so. They all exemplify Simmons' ability to create music outside the box without missing a step. Many including myself would argue that he is best when working outside the box. The two songs that made me a fan of B.o.B were "I'll Be In Da Sky" and "Generation Lost". A quick listen to either song will give you a taste of B.o.B's electic musical style as well as his self-aware/conscious lyrics. Seeing how you already know B.o.B and are familiar with his style, let's just get right to the music.
First time posting a track from UK emcee, Ghostpoet but I guess it's better late than never. Really just a great song aided by subtle yet perfect production. Ghostpoet's twitter description states, "Getting older, sometimes wiser, could be happier, going somewhere." That's pretty much the essence of this song. "Survive It" can be found on Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam which can be purchased HERE.
Off of the collaborative project from UK producer Star Slinger and Tennessee producer Teams. One of those tracks where the producers manage to make an instrumental a song in it's own right. While this is only the second track I've heard from Star Slinger, many are already calling him 2011's answer to Dilla. I guess only time will tell. This track is free but the rest of the project can be purchased at Mexican Summer.
New J. Nolan single released via twitter this morning. Expect more to come from Nolan in the upcoming months. (Side note:The picture isn't the official cover art but I thought it was fitting. It's actually work from Alexey Mikhaylov spotted at Geek-Art)
By now I'm sure most of you know that during the Lupe vs. Atlantic Records debacle, 2 songs were taken from Lupe and given to label-mate, B.o.B. Those songs were "Nothin On You" and "Airplanes". With that said, here is the latter and I have to say, it would have fit Lasers perfectly.
Stumbled across this yesterday via Future Sound's Bandcamp and thought it was worth posting. It's only a 4 track EP but filled with pretty cool music. I think it's Theophilus London meets Flying Lotus.
The prelude to The Boombox Diaries is here. The Cassette Chronicles compiles several of Nitty's already released tracks as well as a few new tracks and even 2 snippets. Featuring production from Paris Jones and 6th Sense with guest appearances from Paris Jones, Outasight, and Donwill. You shouldn't even be reading this, just download it now.
Hungarian producer Peter Bergmann, better known as We Plants Are Happy Plants, remixes Hans Zimmer's title song to Inception. I cut down the intro because it's just a 45 second dialogue clip from the movie from the above scene.