Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chiddy Bang- "The Swelly Express"

One of the best mixtapes I've ever heard. Absolutely necessary for anyone who likes good music. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Here's a pretty sick mixtape from the guys at Cookin Soul in honor of All Hallow's Eve.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Music (Weezy and Drake)

Wayne is back to his old form. Here is his version of "Run This Town" off the upcoming No Ceilings mixtape. 

Also, say what you want about Drake's "Best I Ever Had" (it's overplayed, over-hyped, it's awesome, it's terrible). All I know is this remix is excellent. Try not to smile while listening to it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Clipse, Game, and (not new) Ra Ra Riot

After a long day of visiting Lacock (the town they filmed Harry Potter in), I decided to throw some new music up. The Clipse track I've been waiting a long time for, as it's got Cam'ron, and Clipse overall are pretty sick. The Game track came out Thursday, but it's still real good. It may or may not be on his upcoming album. And a bonus Game song, which samples Imogen Heap's excellent "Hide and Seek." Last is a track from Ra Ra Riot which I've been listening to non-stop the past few days. Awesome.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Throwdown (New Weezy and friends)

New Dwayne Carter off his soon to be released No Ceilings mixtape. (Dropping Oct. 31st) Takes a page out of The Drought 3 book and lays down some lines over "Swag Surfin." Nice to hear some Wayne without the auto-tune, Young Money features, or guitars. 
Also one of my favorite mash-ups in a while. Who knew T-Swift and Errsher could work this well?
Another sick mash-up. This time it's the blog-darlings the XX vs Biggie and Tupac's "Running (Dying to Live). It's been around for a few weeks, but I've just started to get into it. Good stuff. 
Now for the best. Chiddy Bang have been around for a little while, and provide sick lyrics over awesome indie samples, provided by Xaphoon Jones. Here's two of their new songs. Yea the second one samples Sufjan Steven's "Chicago" one of the greatest songs of all time. You heard me right. Major props to PMA for having the exclusive drop to this. Their new mixtape The Swelly Express drops Oct. 29th. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taking the Stairs

Not only is taking the stairs a healthier alternative to taking the elevator, and a good way to burn calories, but it is also an awesome group. Comprised of Mike and my friends Chris and Matt, Taking the Stairs provides an acoustically driven, folksy kind of sound, much akin to the likes of Bon Iver meets Explosions in the Sky. Make no mistake, Taking the Stairs is a band all its own. It's easy to get lost in the soundscape woven with plucking guitar strings, and quite frankly I often have. The band also provide corrosponding photographs for each song, adding to the overall musical experiance, as well as providing an interesting context for the music, something that is unique to this project. In the end, I highly recommend listening to these guys. Their talent and creativity will amaze you. So take the stairs, you'll be glad you did. 
You can grab their Ep here: Taking the Stairs

And deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire "Ghosts N' Stuff"

Sharam feat. Kid Cudi "She Came Along"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Boi feat Gucci Mane- "Shine Blockas"

Here is a new joint from one of my favorite rappers of all time off his (hopefully soon) to be released album "Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty." This song bumps, plain and simple. Though it is basically November, and I, as well as Mike I'm sure, are trying to establish our Best of 2009 lists, this song has definitely made its case to be on mine. Sampling Teddy Pendergrass' "I Miss You," (not the first Outkast shout-out to Mr. Pendergrass "...cooler than teddy pendergrass sippin a milkshake...) Big Boi kills this track, delivering his lines with the confident rapid fire delivery you would expect. And Gucci actually ADDS more to the track than detracts from it. His nye-understandable lines seem to work well in contrast with the classic R&B sample, and the tempo suits his rapping style. Just when you think hip-hop is dead (or dying) a song like this comes around and restores faith. Now we must simply wait for the whole album to drop. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Wiz Khalifa

Sorry for the lack of updates guys, but I have been really busy lately with school and everything. Anyways I was browsing Pigeons and PlanesLink a few days ago when I found out that one of my favorite (also in my top 10) artists is putting a new CD out. Wiz Khalifa is putting out a CD called Deal or No Deal on November 24. The amount of hype is unreal for me at least. He also released a song that will be on the album known as This Plane. Check it out here!

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top 10 MC's In the Game (Part 2)

Since Min Soo already gave his list of the top 10 mc's in the game, I figured I should probably voice my opinion on the matter. (I was in wales this weekend, which is why my response is tardy (not to name drop that I am in a foreign country or anything). Anyways, my list is based on a combination of talent and buzz I guess you could say. Therefore, rappers who are popular may not necessarily make the list. So without further ado, here it is:

10. J. Cole
The one thing I can say about J Cole is that the man has passion. That is the biggest thing which separates him from many other mc's. One of my favorite songs of his is "Show Me Something." This is what first got me interested into J Cole. The violin laced track exudes a melancholy story of a man asking God to show him his way in life, and about growing up on the streets. While this story seems familiar, Cole makes it seem genuinely real, especially in the chorus, even saying "I'm a man so I cannot let these tears fall," exposing himself to the listener. Cole's two mixtapes The Come Up and The Warm Up, continue with in the strong effort of "Show Me Something." Signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, it appears as though more good things are to come. 

9. Drake
Oh man. Drizzy Drake. What a huge year. So Far Gone was arguably the biggest record of the year, even though it was only a free mixtape up until a few weeks ago. "Best I Ever Had" is probably the biggest track of the year. Drake was signed to Weezy's Young Money Label, and was featured on the biggest posse-cut of the year (and maybe ever). But underneath all of this hype, Drake is a pretty talented rapper. His flow is pretty good, and his lyrics are also above-par. The track "The Winner" serves to highlight Drake's skills away from the more highlighted So Far Gone. Here Drake describes his rise to prominence, sighting the hardships, and showing how far he has come (though going from Degrassi to rap royalty isn't exactly a rags to riches story) . Anyways, Drake does have some good lines in this song, as well as many others. So once you wade your way through the hype and fifteen year old girls signing Best I Ever Had, Drake proves that he is, in fact, worthy. 

8. Kanye West
I'm really happy for you and I'mma let you finish but....Yes the commotion caused by the "Taylor Swift" incident and rumors of re-hab have brought out the Kanye haters in full force. Also the fact that he has not dropped a real "rap" album in a while make his inclusion on this list a little questionable. But the simple fact remains, although he hasnt been rapping much (yea a pretty unremarkable verse on "Forever"), Ye is one of the best in the game. When he produces a track, you know it is going to be fire. While Kanye's rapping skills may not quite be on pair with the likes of his colleagues, his choice of samples and production quality are second to non. There is more to rapping than just being able to link sentences together with rhymes. Kanye is the complete package. 

7. Kid Cudi
Cudder doest not really fit into the typical mc mold. His slow, emotional style comes off as being more sung than rapped. His surreal and spacey beats are starkly different from the trunk rattling bass which has become synonymous with mainstream hip-hop these days. However, this is what makes Cudi so great. His debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Days, is one of the best albums I've heard in a long time. Cudi's melancholy lyrics and distinctive voice weave a tapestry of sound which pulls the listener in. Before putting out MotM, Cudder released a myriad of mixtapes, which prompted the popularity of "Day N' Night." However one of my favorite Cudi songs is "She Came Along." This song samples Patsie Cline's "Strange," which seems like an odd choice. However, the sample works perfectly with Cudi's flow and voice. It's really good. See for yourself: 

6. Royce da 5'9''
One fourth of the Slaughterhouse, but in my opinion, the best. Royce seems to always deliver no matter what track he is on. Where he shines is in the delivery and lyrics. Royce possesses a more hardened flow than the likes of J Cole and Kid Cudi. His delivery is rapid, confronting the listener with a bombardment of metaphors and one-liners. The track "Gun Harmonizing" displays Royce's lyrical talent. Here he scats and takes gun sounds and molds them into the chorus.

5. Jay-Z
The man just won't go away. And for that we are truly thankful. While personally The Blueprint 3, didn't live up to (my very high, and possibly unreasonable) expectations, it was still a solid album non-the-less. While it lacked the swagger and boisterous I'm-the-best attitude of The Blueprint and The Black Album, (and why would it I guess; Jigga has already proven he is the in a truly elite category) the BP3 did showcase the new, more diversified Jay. With guests such as Rihanna, Ye, and Drake, as well as Alicia Keys, Jigga showed that he is able to adapt to the new music scene, while still being successful. And whether, or not this is Jay's last album, he certainly has proven, beyond all doubt, that he is one of the best. 

4. Wiz Khalifa
The Ojo (Min-Soo, Mike, whatever he's going by these days) and I have been absolutely loving everything Wiz has been putting out lately. His Flight School mixtape is one of the best I've heard, since maybe The Drought 3. Wiz comes from the little heralded (at least in the rap circuit) city of Pittsburgh. He gained some notoriety with his song "Say Yeah" which samples Alice Deejay's timeless eurodance song "Better Off Alone" (which I could write an 4 page ode to by itself). However, Wiz encountered some issues with his label, and eventually dropped them. However, he still managed to put out FS, which is amazing. Wiz showcases his diversity on the tape, using a variety of beats, and even everyone's favorite voice synthesizer, auto-tune. But everything he does works remarkably well, creating an excellent blend of unique beats, unreal flow, and great rhymes. Hopefully Wiz puts out an album too. 

3. Lil Wayne
Yea, I know. It's Lil Wayne again. You can't escape him. It seems like the man doesn't sleep (and from what I've read, this might be true). It seems like he's always on tour, or featured on a track, or putting out another mixtape. While he didn't put out an album this year, Weezy has not relinquished is influence on the rap game as a whole. His verse on "Forever" was typical weezy: a seemingly unrelated string of lyrical wordplay, but it still works. Remarkably well in fact. Now, I don't happen to like Wayne's foray into "rock" music, with the auto-tuned trash of "Hot Revolver" and "Prom Queen." However, despite these issues, Wayne continues to shine. Wayne's verses as a guest, while at times sub-par for him, would be the best verse of some rapper's lives. In the end, Wayne can spit. Period. 

2. Raekwon
From the bowels of the early 21st century (I can't believe I'm saying that already), and spawned from the likes of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and Supreme Clientele, Raekwon has once again reared his head, ready to make his mark on the game once again. Despite not releasing a studio album since 2000's Supreme Clientele Raekwon has certainly not lost any of his ability from the Wu-Tang days. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt 2 has already established itself as one of the best albums of the year, and one of the best all time. From the beginning it is obvious the Chef has cooked up something special. Raekwon comes at you hard, with the lyrical precision of a laser guided missile. There are too many songs on the album to highlight, as the entire thing shows to prove Raekwon's talent and ability. The Chef, in essence, is hip-hop at it's core. He is gritty, real, and devoid of the gimmicky effects which plague mainstream hip-hop. I think the first song (Return of the Northstar) off OB4CL2, exemplifies this best: Raek is the Northstar, an established, guiding light for others to follow.

1. Eminem
Ok, so I know Relapse was kind of a let down. Ok I know it was a big let down. But you can't let that stand in the way. Em's prior work alone could justify his placement on this list. However perverted, psychotic, and just plain messed up Em's lyrics are, there is no denying the wealth of talent he has. His flow and lyrical combination are unmatched. It sounds as if he is constantly trying to attack the listener with an assault of brilliant metaphors and one-liners, a skill no doubt honed by years of battle-rappers. That brings us to another point. Em is real. He could give a shit what anybody else thinks. He will rap about anyone or anything. Take for example his diss track to Mariah Carey "The Warning." This is Em at his best. Em exposes himself, but at the same time utterly tears apart Mariah and Nick Cannon (much like a real life Rabbit vs Papa Doc). I know Mike already highlighted this in his post, along with the download, but this song is certainly worth mentioning twice. So while Em's studio stuff was not up to his normal standard, "The Warning" proves he has lost nothing. Also check out his verse in "Forever." The best verse on the track BY FAR. And that's saying something, considering he had to outshine Drake, Kanye, AND Weezy to do it. In the end, Em's exclusion from MTV's list of Top 10 Hottest MC's in the game, is blasphemous. However, as usual, I'm sure Em could give a flying fuck. And that's why he's number one on my list. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top 10 MC's In the Game

So recently MTV put up a list of the Top 10 MC's in the Game right now. I saw the list on another blog I use all the time called Pigeons and Planes. Check them out, really sick! But anyways, I totally disagree with the list. So I decided to do a Top 10 list myself. Here it is and let me know what you all think!

10.) Drake
He has blown up in the past year. He's got a really good flow not and just good beats to go along with his songs. His "popular" songs don't really show off his talent. Some of his songs are okay but most of them are really solid. Here's a sample from his mixtape Property of October. This one's called Ignant Shit.

9.) Jadakiss
One of the most underrated in my opinion. Such a good flow and the lyrics are solid. His mixtapes are much better than his CD's that he puts out in my opinion. Here's one called Flow from the Al Qaeda Jada mixtape.

8.) The Game
Wow one of the best in my mind. Since he has left G-Unit I feel that he's been a much better rapper and Doctor's Advocate is one of the best CD's in my mind. Maybe it's because it's one the first rap CD's I had but I love the whole CD. Now I'm just awaiting to hear some good stuff from Black Wall Street. Try listening to this one called Hustler's from the Mixtape You Know What it is Volume 4.

7.) Cormega
He's pretty unknown but the first time I heard his stuff it was unreal. He's an excellent
lyricist. I wish I knew more about him but I don't know that much. I'll post up the first
song I heard from him and it's called The Saga.

6.) Jay-Z
What can you say? It seems like he's been in the game forever and he's one of the best
that has ever lived when it comes to rapping. The Blueprint 3 was a hit and the hype
was right. It was one of the best CD's this year. Here's one of my personal favorites in
the song Lost Ones from his Kingdom Come album.

5.) Nas
One of the best lyricists of all time. What else can you say about this guy? He's only put out some of the
best albums that we have ever seen. From his Illmatic album to his newly Untitled, everything he has put
out there has been great! Here's a link to the song Second Childhood from Stillmatic.

4.) Wiz Khalifa
One of, if not my favorite one on this list. He put out arguably one of the best Mixtapes this year with Flight
School and he seems to be on the rise. Watch out for this guy, he's going to be big sometime soon. He's got
a good flow and he can do anything from using the autotuner to just rhyming to spittin game. Here's a song
from Flight School known as Teach U to Fly.

3.) Raekwon
I really never listened to this Raekwon until recently and boy am I glad that I started listening to him. His
newest CD, Only Built For Cuban Linx Part 2, is amazing. There really hasn't been a song on this album that
I haven't liked yet. I definitely feel as this album could easily be rap album of the year. Here's a spin off of
Jay-Z's Brooklyn We Go Hard, known as Staten We Go Hard.

2.) Weezy
The most well known MC in the game right now. It seems like he's worked with absolutely everyone and
he's doing everything to be at the top of his game. Now, I'm not a huge fan of his auto-tuner stuff but he's
been working on his auto-tuner game lately it seems. Also, The Carter III was one of the best rap albums
this past decade. His mixtapes are unreal. Let's face it, he's at the top and he's doing everything to try to stay
at the top. Here's a personal favorite known as We Be Steady Mobbin'.

1.) Eminem
He wasn't even on the MTV top 10 but he's number 1 on mine. He has put out so many hit CD's it's not even
funny. Relapse in some people's opinion's was a disappointment but he put out one of the funniest songs
of the year in The Warning. He has worked his ass off to get to the top and just look at his albums that he's
put out before. The Marshall Mather's was an unreal album at the time that it was put out. He deserves to be
number 1. Here's The Warning from him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Post

Hey guys,
My buddy Andrew and I decided to start a blog about music and what's going on today in the music industry. We'll be hitting you with songs that we love, new material from artists, and whatever else we can find. We're going to try to hit on all genres but will be geared towards indie music and hip hop!

Peace, Mikey