R&B Fridays: Episode 46

Some very good music from new upcomers in this episode, and I expect you’ll definitely find a new artist to latch onto in here. Some stuff from R&B Fridays favourites such as Bruno Mars too of course, and plenty of it with a total of 21 tracks making the final cut for this episode.

Click on for that weekly R&B fix you’ve been begging for. Don’t pretend like you weren’t.

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Faithless-Not Going Home Video

Faithless are back on the block with the release of Not Going Home, the first single from upcoming album The Dance.

Upon first listening to the track it sounds like a true return to the epically-euphoric style that saw them attain such an iconic status in the late 90′s. The single itself is set for release on the 3rd of May, with the album coming out on the 14th.

Audio Download available here.

Arcade Fire Announce New Record!

As an ardent fan of their work, it seems like ages since Neon Bible; the most recent Arcade Fire album, was released- and although only back in 2007, its seems like almost too long since we have heard anything new from them.

Now however, the wait is almost over as the Montreal band are said to have completed work on their latest record, said to be set for release in the late summertime. News which is likely to send ripples of excitement amongst fans of their, organic, sinister, Baroque-pop style.

The band has also confirmed that they will peform much of their new material during their headlining performance at both Leeds and Reading festivals in August 2010. Will Butler, member of the band and brother of lead vocalist Win, spoke of his excitement of the prospect of performing the new tracks live: “We’re really looking forward to playing the new songs live, like an inventor emerging from his basement after a year’s work.” If you’re not familiar with the work of Arcade Fire and wondering what the hype is about, click here.

This upcoming record joins the list of much anticipated indie albums coming out this summer.

Maino-Survival of the Fittest (Original Version of Eminem's Not Afraid)

After the shenanigans surrounding the Forever beat, Boi-1da appears to have whored out another beat before it reaches its final destination. I always like these surprises though, and coming from a top rapper like Maino this should be a good listen.

Will it be better than the Eminem version? I doubt it, but that’s no indictment on Maino’s ability, and I fully expect him to deliver some good stuff.

Maino-Survival of the Fittest ft. August

Some Single Artwork

K'naan, David Guetta and will.i.am-Wavin' Flag Video

As much as I love this track, I’m both too tired and too busy to have watched this video yet. The song is amazing though, so I definitely will do so soon.

Edited with thoughts: Really good video. Fits the song really well by not going for too much, and letting the track do the work. Nice variety of scenes, with some warming parts shot in Africa (not sure where?) accompanied by some decent live footage.

Must voice my appreciation for K’naan’s range of hats. Boy, that guy has a lot of hats.

Audio is here.

Quickblast: New T.I. Track

A leak from an upcoming T.I. mixtape, haven’t checked this out myself yet (Blame Drake and Eminem for that!) Get the goods below.

T.I. – Welcome Back To The Trap

Eminem's New Single: I'm Not Afraid and Recovery Artwork

Another treat for you here, new single by Eminem- and it’s pretty damn good. There are a few DJ tags over this. You know we don’t normally post that, but this couldn’t be ignored. Don’t worry though, we’ll post a proper quality one when available.
Edit: Bringing this back to the top because we have the CD quality version without the annoying DJ drops. Click here to get hold of it.

Em usually comes out with a silly/fun 1st single. In fact he’s done that for every album he’s released. Not this time, this is a serious track, which are the types of songs I think Eminem does best. On the basis of his recent tracks, and now this, his new album Recovery promises to be immense.

2nd edit (Ajay-182): Added the album artwork for you all too.

Kele Okereke-Tenderoni Exclusive

The Boxer,
the debut solo album from Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke, is something which myself and many other eager listeners already tout as one of the most anticipated albums of the year, reaching playlists everywhere on the 21st June. So, as you’d expect, I was pretty pumped when I saw that Tenderoni, the first single from the upcoming album had been leaked onto the net today, and, listening to it for the first time, it did not disappoint.

The curiosity that surrounds The Boxer is due largely to Kele’s dynamic musical style, making it difficult to think of exactly what genre his solo work might fit into. The only clue would be to look at the transition of styles through the three existing Bloc Party albums, moving from Silent Alarm‘s raw almost punk-like rock, to the deep electronic beats sometimes characteristic of Dubstep, in Intimacy.

Tenderoni itself is an atmospheric, pacey amalgam of the trance, electronica and indie electro styles, laced with the typically edgy vocals we’re used to from him. The name of the song itself, deceptively not a cut of Italian meat, but urban slang for ‘young pretty thing’, in itself highly indicative the dark urban vista that this awesome artist creates with his eclectic sound. Cast your cursors below to hear the track in its entirety.

Damian Marley and Nas-Friends (Final Leak We Will Post From Album!)

Having already posted 4 or 5 leaks from this album, I’m not comfortable with dropping any more so please be aware this is the last one we’re giving you.

Every single one has been really good (and diverse!) so far, so you shouldn’t need any more motivation to get that album in a couple of weeks. If you do, this track will be it. Switching styles once again, this one is definitely more reggae-based and so mellow that I just punched myself to make sure I’m still awake.

Perfect, sublime example of how to give reggae a modern twist, and throw an infusion of hip-hop in for good measure. Summertime music right here.

Damian Marley & Nas-Friends

We Are Scientists: Rules Don't Stop

Feast your eyes on this; the new and ’strangely stylish’ video for Rules Dont Stop, the latest single from We Are Scientists. The combination of the videos surreal and in-your-face aesthetic, and the punchy beat of the track certainly remind me of the kind of form the band reached with mainstream hit album With Love and Squalor. Lead single from their upcoming album Barbara, set for release on June 15th, gift your ears with the audio download here.

Throwback Thursdays Vol 24

Having yet to dedicate a TT to my favourite hip-hop act it’s fair to say I’m a little bit like a kid in a toy store right now. I can only apologise in advance for what may come across as a rather biased review.

Out of all Mobb Deep’s back catalogue (and what a back catalogue!) I wouldn’t have predicted I would be dropping this one. It is, without doubt, a banger. However, ‘banger’ isn’t always the term I would associate with the Mobb. ‘Gritty’ and ‘harrowing’ are much more on point (I’m yet to hear a more perfect example of these words than the Hell On Earth LP). The point is, and bare with me there is one, is that Quiet Storm signals an end of an era. Many (and I’m not sure where I fall on this) feel Quiet Storm was Havoc’s last first-class beat. Others savour Quiet Storm as a dying breed (released March 1999) before hip-hop as we knew and loved was changed forever. Wherever your opinion lies, no one can deny Mobb Deep’s contribution to hip-hop. → Continue Reading

Drake's Second Single - Find Your Love [Produced By Kanye West]

Great beat by Kanye, sounds very 808s & Heartbreaks like. Just from that you can gather that this is much more on an R&B tip than Drake’s 1st single, Over. Yeah enough analysis, this is going to be a massive hit for Drizzy Drake, you’re going to want to check this one out. Click below to get the track.

Drake – Find Your Love

Lupe Fiasco-I’m Beamin’ Video

Love this track, and there’s a good chance I absolutely adore this video. It’s fun, it’s a little playful and it’s very smart. You have to love videos with kids in them, and this is really good stuff that embellishes the audio immeasurably.

The track has been mixed a little differently for the video, and it’s a nice version (original can be taken here) that I look forward to accquiring. Still loving the original, and give it some playtime in my car on a regular basis.

It’s a very good video and audio combo that should certainly be checked out by everyone, as you’re likely to enjoy at least one of them, if not both.

2010: An Indie Odyssey

Seeing as this is my first post on OTU, I believe a look at times ahead for indie is in order! Times of veritable excitement these are too, so exciting in fact that I literally had a crisis when I saw the just who was releasing music in the summertime. In anticipation of this, here are the three albums that I expect to dominate playlists over the coming months…..

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B.o.B-I See Ya

Did I say I was only going to let go of 2 bonus tracks? Yes. Am I giving you 3 instead? You better believe it.

This one is the opposite of the previous one, and is instead a very hip-hop affair. B.o.B is like a brilliant rollercoaster; he takes you in one direction, and then whips you back in another. It’s like analysing two or three different artists!

Anywho, the hip-hop fans will definitely dig this one as Bobby gets his rapping game on with some nice flows and over a decent beat. One to bump loud in the car.

B.o.B-I See Ya

Game, Pharrell and Justin Timberlake-Ain’t No Doubt About It

A version of this leaked a few days ago with DJ tags and wasn’t great on quality. I don’t deal with that rubbish, and I’ll give you the real thing. No tags.

This one will divide Game fans. It’s a very mainstream soundand certainly puts a dent in Game’s fabled beat selection skills. It’s a good beat, don’t get me wrong, but for me it’s not a Game beat at all. Having said that, his flow is pretty decent and you have to credit the guy for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something new. JT and Pharrell bring everything you’d expect from them on this, with some decent vocals and adlibs throughout.

Mainstream/chart fans will really enjoy this, whether you’re into Game’s music or not. Being into Pharrell/JT will be enough for this one. Sadly, that does extradite the hip-hop heads who like Game on his raw tip, but there we are.

Game-Ain’t No Doubt About It ft. Justin Timberlake & Pharrell

B.o.B-Letters From Vietnam

Again, this is a bonus track some of you may have and others won’t, and the second B.o.B bonus track of the day comes in the form of this rock-inspired effort. Absolutely no hip-hop going on in this one, and this is definitely straight out of Bobby’s alternative side.

As you’d expect, it suits him perfectly and is a really well-delivered track. Certainly up there with the most emotive tracks B.o.B has made, this is one B.o.B fans (and rock/alt fans) should really enjoy.

B.o.B-Letters From Vietnam

The Game - Shake Video

New video for The Game’s ‘Shake’ track. Wasn’t a massive fan of this when I first heard it, but it grew on me loads. If you missed this the 1st time round, go get the audio for this by clicking here.

B.o.B-Can I Fly

Alright, so there are a whole heap of bonus/additional tracks for the album as there are quite a few different versions of it going about: I’m going to try and make your life easier by giving you two of them today. Hopefully if you bought the album, you should have a couple; which ones purely depends on where you got it.

The first, Can I Fly, is a fantastic track that has that unmistakeably unique B.o.B sound, blending in a whole range of genres into one great track. Absolutely adore the hook on this one, and when combined with the beat it has an oddly motivational feel.

No matter where your allegiance is placed in terms of genre, I dare you not to enjoy this track. Superb stuff.

B.o.B-Can I Fly

Goapele and Mos Def-Different

Been a very hip-hop based 24 hours, so let’s take it another way. I knew nothing about Goapele before this track, but a Google has led me to believe I probably should have. Really feeling this soulful track, and it’s a case of the Maxwell situation whereby I’m probably going to go back and check out the extensive back catalogue as a result!

Smooth, mellow vibes all the way through this one, and the Mos Def feature is a nice addition. If you’re after something with a classic, organic sound then this is definitely one to go for. You know my love of soul/neo-soul by now, and this certainly gets my stamp of approval. Night dwellers (talking 3am UK time here) are going to love this one.

Goapele-Different ft. Mos Def

Who Dat, The First Official Single From J. Cole’s Upcoming Album

With B.o.B’s album cycle nearing completion, we needed one of the other great upcomers to step up and start theirs. Enter one of OTU’s favourite sons, J. Cole (and probably the hip-hop heads’ favourite upcomer of the new breed).

The first official single from the upcoming Cole World album, the Roc Nation signee drops a great track off. The beat is pretty hard as you’d expect, but does have a nice bouncy edge to it which will definitely assist its appeal. Everyone knows Cole can rap, and he does a great job throughout. Has a bit of an old school T.I. feel to it.

J. Cole-Who Dat

Damian Marley, Nas and K'naan-Africa Must Wake Up

What a lineup. Some of the best and most creative artists in music right now get together for a track from Damian/Nas’ Distant Relatives album. I’ve only given it one listen thus far, but it sounds awfully smooth and was a really good listen. Some really conscious lyrics over a great summer beat with a fantastic hook, this is definitely one that everyone can enjoy. Click below to share the love.

Damian Marley & Nas-Africa Must Wake Up ft. K’naan

Eminem Freestyles Over Beamer, Benz or Bentley and Over

With Em’s latest single Not Afraid set to be with us on Friday, he drops off a quick freestyle over two of the more popular beats right now. Unsurprisingly, Em tears into these beats and makes a lot of the other guys who’ve remixed these beats look like chumps. The Daffy Duck line at the end is just plain ridiculous!

Eminem-Despicable Freestyle (Over and Beamer, Benz or Bentley Freestyles)

B.o.B, Playboy Tre and T.I.-Bet I Bust Video

I’ve got loads of stuff for you tonight, starting with the latest video from B.o.B’s album (which was released today, in the US at least…).

This track has grown on me a lot, and definitely has that southern hip-hop sound running through it. The video is big and colourful with nice variety throughout, and it definitely fits the track really well.

Audio can be swacked here for you latecomers.

Pac Div-Don't Mention It Mixtape

Wow, I had no idea this was dropping so soon! Probably the best group coming out of Westside hip-hop right now, Pac Div drop off their newest project. I really enjoyed the last one, Church League Champions (can be grabbed here),  and I’m absolutely looking forward to this. I’ve heard Rollin’ from this so far and really enjoyed it.

Anyone looking to check a fresh sound in hip-hop should definitely give this one a go!

Pac Div-Don’t Mention It

T.I.-I'm Back Video

I’ve had this track on repeat, and on very loud ever since it dropped. Tip is at his intense best throughout, and the video compliments that perfectly: that’s not to say he wasn’t intense before, but he’s coming with some serious passion and grit on this one. Great job on his first set of visuals since the prison release.

I’ve been 50-50 on Tip’s style for the longest time, but after his prolonged absence I’m really beginning to realise that he is a huge asset to hip-hop. I can’t think of too many rappers who’ve had his huge, widespread success but remain as raw, hungry and passionate with their sound (outside of Eminem, I’m struggling).

Audio can be procured here.

Hate Is The New Love: Eminem vs Everlast vs Limp Bizkit

Inspired by Ajay’s HITNL feature a few weeks back, up this week we have a bit of a cross-over beef between hip-hop fans-favourite Eminem, rapcore-rock band Limp Bizkit and House of Pain/La Coka Nosta spearhead, Everlast.

Although there are two alternative stories to how Eminem and Everlast’s beef started, it all stems from Em ignoring/not recognising Everlast at a concert back in 1999…

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Game and DJ Skee-The Red Room Mixtape

Game drops off his highly-anticipated mixtape right on schedule. Building up to The R.E.D. Album, I’m definitely looking forward to checking this one out. There have been a couple of leaks from it already (which you can root through here), and Game fans will be itching for this one. Without further ado:

Game and DJ Skee-The Red Room