Notorious Indi’s Best of ‘09

2009 was one hell of an interesting year. We saw the comeback of Eminem, albums by the 2 other big names of hip-hop in Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and once again we waited all year for Dr. Dre’s Detox which never came. It’s fair to say that despite this the year hasn’t been dominated by the big boys and we’ve seen a gradual change in hip hop – the gangsta rap of previous years has steadily evolved into what can be described as ‘Hip Hop Hipsters’. Kanye led the way back in 2004 and by 2009 the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Wale and Asher Roth have emerged.

Click on to find out what I considered the best and the worst to come out this year. → Continue Reading

Throwback Thursdays Vol 7

Slick Rick isn’t your conventional hip-hop artist. Firstly he was born in London so possesses a quirky Cockney/American combination accent. As an infant Rick The Ruler was subject to an accident which rendered him blind in one eye so is often seen sporting his characteristic eye patch, and thirdly and finally, Slick holds a great sense of humour evident in his lyrics of which shall be a focus of this week’s throwback.

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An Interesting Bit Of History on Drake's Forever

I noticed something very strange a while back. My music library was on shuffle, and a song called Bring It Back by Kardinal Offishall featuring Rock City came on. Nothing weird there, until I heard the beat: The very same beat used for Drake’s super-collabo Forever. Now, I bet you’re thinking ‘so what? loads of people freestyled that beat’. Right, but wrong. This track was from early October 2008.

The original version of Forever (with Lil’ Wayne/Nut Da Kid) was on a November/December 08 mixtape, and the final version was August 09.  A bit of research showed me that other sites believed it to be produced by Konvict, despite production credits on Drake’s version going entirely to Boi-1da. I haven’t seen anyone else bring this up, and I might be late on this but it was just by sheer coincidence this popped up (about 2 months ago…I forgot to put it up!), and it seemed worth informing you all!

Kardinal Offishall-Bring It Back ft. Rock City

Benzi x Mick Boogie x D Star-Motivation 3, Hosted by Mike Posner

This is a definite must-have for fans of electro, dance, uptempo and even dubstep music. This is a 53-track (!) mixtape made up of short tracks (only 2/3 are over 2mins long) which are mainly comprised of electro remixes of hip-hop tracks. There is a lot of variety though, with artists ranging from Wiley, Trey Songz and Crookers to Drake, La Roux, Rusko and many more.

Definitely something worth throwing on in a party rotation. If you’re using it for that purpose, you can actually download the whole thing as one long track, which is probably the best way to listen to it. For those of you who want it seperated, that version is below too.

Motivation 3-Single .mp3 file

Motivation 3-Seperated tracks

Lil Shun Is The Future. Seriously.

I dropped the ball. I dropped it really bad here. I saw this kid’s name pop up in my inbox a few times recently, but just sort of skimmed it and highlighted it for later. I assumed it was going to be some kid rapper, who would annoy me.

I was incredibly, horribly wrong.

This 11-year old is an unbelievably gifted singer. I watched this video thinking I had nothing to lose, and initially thought it was him and Young Dro just playing around and some funny stuff would go down. Then, about 45 seconds in my jaw dropped. Watch for yourself.

This kid has a phenomenal voice, and I urge you to grab his free EP below. I’m fast-tracking this into my iTunes, as this boy is going to be a big deal. A very, very big deal. He immediately strikes as me as being more charismatic than fellow child prodigy Justin Bieber too. Watch this space.

Lil Shun-I Am Shun Hendrix

Two Feature Heavy Tracks

A quick one from me. Both tracks are pretty dope, and definitely worth grabbing even if you’re just a fan of one/some of the featured artists. The Statik Selektah track is especially good, considering it has a frighteningly talented line-up.

Smoke DZA-Marley & Me (Remix) ft. Asher Roth, Devin The Dude, Curren$y & June Summers

Statik Selektah-Come Around (RE:Union Version) ft. Talib Kweli, Termanology & Royce da 5’9″

Kid Cudi Previews 2 Tracks From His New Album

Cudi kicks it acapella to preview a couple of tracks from the upcoming album Cudder, expected to be released Summer 2010.

The first one is here, and the second can be viewed after the click.

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Keeping It Simple

I’m too tired for full reviews/individual posts right now.

Charles Hamilton-Normalcy
-New mixtape from Charles. I heard Air Agains from this recently, and that sh*t goes hard! Looking forward to listening to it all.

Susan Boyle-I Dreamed A Dream (Nottz Remix)
-Lol. Get it, because the idea of Susan Boyle and Nottz is too ridiculous not to.

Royce Da 5’9″-Pick Ma Balls Up
-Royce freestyle destruction over Em/Wayne’s Drop The World. It isn’t actually the official instrumental, it’s a remade version, but you get the idea. This is friggin’ great though tbh. I’m enjoying his Invented Sex reference too.

The Bravery-Slow Poison

Having a BlackBerry has thankfully reminded me of a worryingly-high number of emails that got lost over this busy December. This is one of them. Slow Poison is a very, very UK-scene sounding track, and I guarantee that those of you into the current UK indie/indie-techno vibe going one will really enjoy this.

Oh, and because I haven’t got the audio to give you for this, how’s about a free Bravery guitar instead? Click here for that. Don’t say I don’t give you anything.

Termanology and Young Chris Freestyles

Couple of freestyles for you below. The first is Termanology delivering some bars over Eminem’s 3am, and the second sees Young Chris taking a spin on Drake’s Fear. Not sure why Fear has suddenly emerged as a freestyle favourite, it’s been around for a while. Not complaining though.

Termanology-3am Freestyle

Young Chris-Fear Freestyle

Lloyd Banks-V5

New mixtape from Lloyd Banks dropped today, and can be grabbed below. I’m assured this is pretty decent, and to be fair most will admit Lloyd does have some ability.

Lloyd Banks-V5

DJ Earworm- Top 25 Tracks of 09 Mash Up

Fairly ronseal post really. Seemingly decent mash up from The Earworm, my only disappointment being that for whatever reason The Black Eyed Peas made it into the charts this year, due to some idiotic purchasing from the general public. Top 3 worst “bands” of all time. Terrible, just terrible people.

Worth a listen/ watch though.

Forgot to add you can get the track from his website here.

Ajay-182's Best of '09

In what can best be described as a fitting coincidence given the retrospective nature of this particular post, 2009 was very much a year of hindsight. I rediscovered artists I’d neglected, I discovered artists who I’d simply ignored, but most importantly I began to see the fundamental flaw in my appreciation of music (especially hip-hop) and how I probably got it wrong.

Don’t make the same mistakes. Click on to grab some unmissable tracks, and of course my discoveries from the year gone by. I’ve thrown in a couple of lists too, as I know some of you can’t deal with excess reading.

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Crooked I-Fear Freestyle

Crooked I goes in on the very-likeable beat from Drake’s Fear. I did enjoy the original, and maintain it’s probably Drake’s best rapping performance to date, but Crook does damage this beat up pretty bad. I’d go as far as to say he goes a little too hard at times for such a chilled beat!

Crooked I-Fear Freestyle

Shaun Boothe and Talib Kweli

Excuse me for saying this, but this is genuinely one of the better hip-hop tracks I’ve heard recently. I honestly mean that.

The beat captures that neo-soul feel I love so much, and does so will a helping of old-school flavour. Talib and Shaun (who I hadn’t heard of before this) have a fantastic back-and-forth which makes this track really compelling listening.

Really nice surprise this track turned out to be. Be sure to check this out.

Shaun Boothe-Concepts ft. Talib Kweli

Michael Jackson-This Is It Video

Visuals for the MJ single, directed by Spike Lee. Haven’t checked it out yet, but apparently it’s a nice tribute to Michael, and fits with the track.

Nathan and Flo Rida-Slippin’ Final Version

This was quite a popular track a few R&B Fridays ago, and the final/mastered version surfaced a day or two back. Those of you who enjoyed it should grab this completed version, as the quality is significantly better.

Nathan-Caught Me Slippin’ ft. Flo Rida

Sunday’s Classic Collabo: Digital Underground and 2Pac

This will forever go down as one of the very first songs that started my hip-hop love affair. More importantly, it will go down as 2Pac’s official rap debut. Technically, Pac was kind of considered part of DU at the time, but as it was his debut it’s generally been listed and accepted as a feature spot.

This track is timeless old school hip-hop, with a feel-good production and smooth raps. I’ve forever maintained that Shock G is probably the most overlooked rapper when people talk about early 90′s hip-hop, and his ability is displayed clearly on this track. His alter-ego Humpty Hump was hilarious (again, evidenced in this track) and this versatility just testaments further to Shock’s ability.

Pac’s guest spot is superb, with a fast-flowing verse and some neat rhyme schemes creating a really enjoyable verse (which has been my ringtone for about 6 months!). Genuinely recommend everyone grabs this track, as it’s such a complete piece of hip-hop and a historic one too.

Digital Underground-Same Song ft. 2Pac

Jay-Z & Game Blends by Cookin’ Soul

Cookin’ Soul and Don Cannon present their latest mash-up/blends project, this time taking Game and Jay-Z and putting their spin on them. I have a sneaking suspicion this could be rather good, and I usually steer clear from these sorts of things (Mick Boogie/Terry Urban projects aside!). Hip-hop fans looking for something a little different in this quiet period should give this a go.

Cookin’ Soul presents The Red Album (Game & Jay-Z)

R&B Fridays (on Saturday): Episode 28

You thought I’d forgotten? Shame on you. I’m allowed a day off for Christmas.

The last R&B Friday of 2009 is packed to the rafters, with 21 (!!) tracks from a glut of good names. Beyoncé (with a Ne-Yo assist) anchors the bunch with a surprisingly high number of tracks in this one, and there are of course many other superb artists waiting for your attention after the click.

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Don Cannon and The Cool Kids

Next up is a 4-track effort from The Cool Kids and DJ Don Cannon. The Cool Kids’ style is one which is (somewhat unfortunately) being pretty jacked in hip-hop right now, with their blend of old-school vibes and electronic elements becoming present in the music of many other acts.

You can preview the tracks below, and if you like it grab it for free from the same link.

Don Cannon and The Cool Kids-Merry Christmas

J*Davey-Boudoir Synema

And we’re back with a glut of new music dropped over the last 2 days.

First up, a short mixtape/EP from the superbly-eclectic J*Davey. This 5-track effort is available for free and will hopefully live up to the growing expectation and buzz they’ve created. They’re such a unique sounding duo, and I hope they do bring the goods here. Use the search bar (or the categories) to check them out if you haven’t before.

J*Davey-Boudoir Synema

Murray’s Best of ’09

So I think we are all in agreement: 2009 has been quite a year for hip-hop. It has seen the return of Em, Jay has completed his Blueprint trilogy and 50 has had so much beef you would think he will be full up for Xmas (*cringes*. Yeah that was bad).

Aside from the big names dropping their albums, we have also seen some highly anticipated underground acts dropping LP’s too. This is my Best Of ’09 list and contains some real gems so don’t let the year go past before getting your hands on these.


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The Best of 2009…It Was Always Coming

Yes, that is Fabio Capello brilliantly photoshopped onto a flaming background.

As well as that, we’ve got a little treat for all of you lovely readers: 3/4 of the writers are preparing Best of 2009 round-ups, instead of going the cheap route (as many others will…) and shoving it all into one unreadably-long post.

We’ve all got different tastes and opinions, so be sure to keep your eyes open for each of them between now and next week, as I promise they’ll all be worth reading and may result in some musical debate. We have that sort of power.

Angels & Airwaves-Hallucinations

This pleases me hugely to be honest. I love Angels & Airwaves, and it’s superb to have some new music from them. It’s been over 2 years since the release of their last album, so forgive me if I’m a tad excited. This will be a far from neutral review.

This has that brilliantly distinct AVA sound, with the delayed guitars creating the dreamscapes and getting that anthemic feel that these guys are so good at making. The chorus is typically memorable, and it’s definitely becoming something they get right on a very consistent basis. The verses are also typical AVA, with extravagant emotional descriptions accompanied by the all-encompassing view DeLonge has no problem with expressing.

Really good track, and importantly it doesn’t stray from what they do best. I’m always harking on about how artists/bands should progress and evolve, but frankly I want these guys to stay like this forever! They’ve got exactly what I look for in alternative music nailed down to a tee: long may it continue.

Angels & Airwaves-Hallucinations

Wale-Bed Rock Freestyle

If only all of my favourite rappers had this kind of work ethic.

Wale drops yet another freestyle, this time going in over Young Money’s Bed Rock. You already know I’m gonna be a fan (despite not having listened to it yet) and he’s probably going to make the original rappers on this look like amateurs.

…Oh…wait…they took care of that themselves.

Wale-Bed Rock Freestyle

Throwback Thursdays Vol 6

Many people first heard B.I.G. with his opening verse on Craig Mack’s Flava In Ya Ear Remix. However, over a year before his feature, he dropped his first solo track Party and Bullshit which surfaced on the Who’s The Man? Soundtrack in 1993.

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I Should Get Fined For This

I’ve been AWOL for the last 24 hours, so I’m having to put together another catch-up post. Lots of decent stuff for you below (predominantly hip-hop), be sure to click on and make up for a quiet 24 hours in your iTunes library.

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Young Forever Video

Why is this song called Young Forever, when the chorus clearly goes Forever Young?

I was never really completely sold on this track and think that it’s quite overhyped (like most of The Blueprint 3…), but I know it has it’s fans so this one is for you.