Tinchy Stryder-Game Over ft. Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Example & Chipmunk

This track was premièred last week on the radio and I’ve been waiting impatiently for a good quality version. Thanks to London To MK, we finally have a CDQ of this star studded lineup.

UK stand up tall.

Tinchy Stryder – Game Over ft. Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Example & Chipmunk

DJ Absolut/Havoc/Sheek Louch/Joell Ortiz/Cassidy

One for the heads this morning. With a heavy-hitting lineup here it’s worth checking just to see who brings their A-game. The chorus is a bit generically annoying but Ortiz’ verse is a pleasure and without doubt takes the throne on this one.

DJ Absolut-If You Love Me ft. Havoc, Sheek Louch, Joell Ortiz & Cassidy

Lloyd Banks-Goodbye

Banks keeps churning them out for Blue Fridays and here’s another particularly impressive effort from the Boy Wonder.

I’m personally loving these weekly drops across the industry at the moment (shout out to Crooked I for starting that bandwagon) and it makes each artists’ music much more digestible than a 20 track, DJ-riddled mixtape which quite often ends up in my trash. Hell, I’m even enjoying Ye’s G.O.O.D. Fridays

Lloyd Banks-Goodbye

Nicki Minaj/Eminem-Roman's Revenge

I personally can’t stand this girl but I couldn’t help but be anything other than curious at how a collabo with Em would turn out. The impression I get from Nicki is that she always has a strong production team behind her and in this instance we’ve got some pulsating, almost halloween-esq boardwork from Swizz Beatz. Em comes in to spit two year-2000 Slim Shady verses and for me absolutely steals the show with his high energy flows.

(@Ajay – Do I categorize Nicki as ‘hip-hop’ yeah? *cringes*)

Nicki Minaj-Roman’s Revenge ft. Eminem

Kanye West, Pete Rock, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Curtis Mayfield and Charlie Wilson-The Joy

The most eclectic line-up since the inception of G.O.O.D. Fridays? It has to be up there.

Pete Rock serves up a deep, booming and atmospheric production that will definitely satisfy the hip-hop heads: it’s all about thick bass, pounding percussion and soul samples. It has to be said that Jay seems to have really upped his game on these GOOD Friday tracks, and both him and Kanye do decent jobs on verse duty, whilst Charlie Wilson and Cudi only really provide background vocals.

From top to bottom this is unquestionably a hip-hop track, and not the usual genre crossover you tend to find with ‘Ye’s material. Very replayable.

Kanye West-The Joy ft. Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield & Kid Cudi

R&B Fridays: Episode 72

Plenty to recap from the past week: Behind-the-scenes with Rihanna and Drake, new visuals from Nicki Minaj, a video for Dirty Money and Drake’s collabo, three mastered tracks from Ciara/Usher, Akon and Nicole Scherzinger, and finally the finished version of Jamie Foxx and Drake’s fantastic Fall For Your Type.

Click on for this week’s R&B fix.
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Quick Throwback: The Notorious B.I.G.

To make up for a somewhat absent past few Throwback Thursdays, here’s a straight up classic for everyone to enjoy.

Undeniable charisma with lyrics to match. Biggie really was one of, if not the, G.O.A.T.

RIP Christopher Wallace.

Audio here.

Buckwild Remixes G Rap/Nas-Fast Life

Fresh off his iconic Nineteen Ninety Now project with Celph Titled, Buckwild adds a favourable tinge to the 1995 classic collaboration between two New York giants.

The lyricism is out of this world as we witness two greats of the game go back and forth. However, the original beat often leaves a lot to be desired and sounds somewhat tame in comparison with the hard-hitting opening that 4,5,6 offers. Buck’s darker undertones therefore makes this an unmissable addition to Heads’ collections. This remix is so good it will be finding its way onto the end of my 4,5,6 playlist.

Kool G Rap – Fast Life ft. Nas (Buckwild Remix)

Kool G Rap – Fast Life ft. Nas (Original)

Kid Cudi-Marijuana

I’ve been generally unimpressed by the leaks/releases from his upcoming sophomore album thus far (with the exception of Mr. Rager) and whilst the title belies the lonesome and atmospheric nature of this track, this is the Cudi I’ve waited for.

One thing that always increases my interest in music is its synergy with the supporting media, whether that’s video or artwork: this track is perfect for the album art, enabling you to step into the picture and enhance the connection with the music. The melancholy production plays the biggest part in that, as the haunting choir vocals and wistful piano melodies combine a multitude of sombre mental images with the isolated feel of the album art. Cudi’s vocals are at their harmonic best, and his raw, grainy delivery meshes with the production to create an honest and emotionally involving track. A must-download.

Kid Cudi-Marijuana

Katy Perry-Firework Video

I’m increasingly impressed with what is being released by Perry. California Girls was hugely annoying, but since then her single choice has been very solid.

Firework displays the growing maturity in both her vocals and general musical stylings, as Mrs. Brand delivers as big a vocal performance as I’ve ever heard her come through with, fitting the grand nature (generally) associated with a firework nicely.

Production-wise, the implementation of orchestral elements alongside a pop-dance rhythm sets this apart as an empowering and uplifting club track with some depth and originality to it, even if the admirably-inspirational message is conveyed with relatively simplistic lyrics. Understandable though given her usual demographic, and doesn’t detract much from a decent song.

Joell Ortiz-Night Train ft. Novel

Novel is a name that’s cropping up more and more, in particular with collaborations with Joell Ortiz and fellow Slaughterhouse member Joe Budden. Although, it’s important to state Novel’s individual talent, and as far as soul singers go he’s in a lane of his own at the moment, which is typified by his recent excellent mixtape.

As far as this song goes, Joell goes on his storytelling tip which is supplemented by a great chorus by Novel to give us a track we can really vibe to and one that will be in heavy rotation on my iTunes. Download link just below, definitely worth picking up.

Joell Ortiz – Night Train ft. Novel Edit: Apologies, f***** up the link before.

Crystal Castles and Robert Smith-Not In Love

Originally found on Crystal Castles (II), they’ve managed to snare the frontman of The Cure to contribute his lingering vocals to a remix, set to be officially released in December.

I’m a fan of The Cure (Just Like Heaven is one of the all-time greats) so it’s great to hear Smith’s unmistakeable voice, especially when it works so well with this electronic style. Specifically, the verses contain a heavy retro influence on the production, and have an 80s sound that naturally works well with the veteran’s vocals. Shame that Alice Glass doesn’t duet with him on this to offer more diversity, but it’s a great track as it is.

Crystal Castles-Not In Love ft. Robert Smith

Rihanna & Drake-What’s My Name [BTS]

Behind the scenes look at Rihanna & Drake’s upcoming video from what promises to be an absolute smash hit.

Not going to lie, this video is pretty boring, but I’m definitely looking forward for the actual video to drop.

Audio can be guzzled from here, if you somehow missed out on it before.

S.A.S.-The Connect ft. Vado

London duo S.A.S kind of got left in the lurch after the Rocafella/Dipset break up, however seeing them collaborate with Vado (who is heavily affiliated with Cam’ron) is great to see!

Also a great coup in itself, what with Vado’s increasing reputation in the industry. Not only this, but this track is really good – one criticism I’ve had with S.A.S.’s music in the past is that the production hasn’t always been refined/mastered to a decent standard. No danger of that here with this, the production matches the undoubted talent S.A.S have.

S.A.S – The Connect ft. Vado

Nicki Minaj-Right Thru Me Video

After a few listens since it dropped, this has definitely grown on me and stands up as one of her strongest pieces of solo material. Whilst there isn’t much more solo material to compare it against, it still helps counter the claims that she can’t make good music on her own.

I was hasty in my criticism about the theme of the video when we got a behind-the-scenes look, as the characters add layers of emotion to the track, and hence a more personal connection with Minaj.

The key factor in achieving that connection is the ‘natural’ feel of the video : Nicki isn’t wearing any extravagant outfits or hairpieces, and it translates into adding an honest and genuine feel to the all-round experience. Add into that the likely familiarity of the relationship situation to many people, and you’ve got a potentially absorbing video that displays Minaj in a much more artistic light. Audio can be grabbed here.

Weekly Roundups

For this week’s Wu Wednesdays RZA brings back the Gravediggaz for a joint which sounds straight out of their 1994 debut. If you’re not familiar with Gravediggaz I honestly don’t have the strength to bother explain it to you so you are advised to visit here.

Secondly, we’ve got that new Crooked HHWR with Crook going in over Jay-Z and Usher’s Hot Toddy.

Gravediggaz – 2 More Cups Of Blood

Crooked I – Hip Hop Weekly Reloaded: Part 12 (Hot Toddy)

Tracks Lost In The Shuffle

The ‘shuffle’ being the hectic week I’ve had.

After the jump, a couple of Kanye-related tracks, a Cam’ron tribute to a fallen soldier, Sway, Grafh and a posse cut which features 3 heavy hitting New York rappers.

Oh and a collaboration between Jadakiss and Uncle Murda. In retrospect a pretty New York influenced post here, but would you expect any less from me?

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Young Back-Came Back

Produced by Drumma Boy, we have a new track from Buck which is set to be on his upcoming mixtape, Back On My Buck Shit Vol II, which is dropping on Halloween.

Despite all the financial and label worries Young Buck has encountered over the last year or so, he’s still coming out fighting and fair play to him – a lesser man would surely have been devoured by such issues.

As long as he’s making quality music, he’ll be ok I reckon, and this track is certainly a quality one. The production is on point, and definitely suits Young Buck’s style of motivational rap.

Young Buck – Came Back

Weezer Cover Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart

Didn’t expect this today/ever. Asher Roth’s favourite lady, Toni Braxton, gets her biggest hit revamped by Weezer, and they do a decent job with the classic track.

There’s no way they were ever going to match the emotion, atmosphere and vocal ability found on the original but as far as alternative covers go this is a good effort. I’m especially liking the intricate work they’ve put in with the guitars, as they avoid the obvious idea of just strumming the basic chords and instead inject some flair and creativity, particularly towards the end of the track. Worth a listen.

Weezer-Unbreak My Heart

T.I.-Ya Hear Me Video

One thing that surprised me about this track was just how replayable it is. It feels like a smart amalgamation of Tip’s older material (e.g. Rubberband Man) from a production side with the improvements and sensibility in his more recent material.

The Southern beat is extremely infectious, and has a vintage sound that is played up to full effect in this simple, but effective video. It looks and feels almost like a jam session, which adds plenty of character to the track and gives it that raw impulsiveness associated with jam/freestyle sessions of years gone by.

Murray didn’t like this track, but I do: if you haven’t already, see which side of the fence you lie on here.

Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon II Album Posters

Really sorry for not getting these out sooner: it’s far easier to forget to post pictures than it is to forget songs!

Looks like he’s going for the ‘movie’ theme again, which worked well last time out. Very gruesome posters, which could set the tone for the album.

Snoop Dogg and Marty James-New Year's Eve

A little early, but enough time to try and get the song established before the occasion happens!

Decent party track here, going with a much slower pace than your usual mainstream fare but still retaining a positive and upbeat flavour. Snoop’s first verse is probably one of his better ones in recent months (probably not saying a lot) and Marty James has a really likeable soul-pop hybrid voice that ranks as the highlight of the track. Not only a track that may have a bright future, but also an artist in Marty James.

Snoop Dogg-New Year’s Eve ft. Marty James

Klaxons and Charlotte Church Perform Twin Flames

Interesting story here. Apparently, they only had a few minutes prior to the recording of this video/audio to practice, for which Church definitely deserves some credit.

This was one of my (very few) favourites from Surfing The Void, and this performance is very good. Being an acoustic performance, it does naturally lose some of the original’s energy, but replaces it with a relaxed aura that makes it much more accessible to a wider audience.

Worth picking up the audio for this, which you can do here.

Dirty Money and Drake-Loving You No More Video

A strong choice for their next single, the Dirty Money trio and Drake drop off a decent video that fits the audio nicely.

The track has a very lonely, inner voice feel and that’s emphasised well here with the various isolated Diddy scenes, alongside the blank, lifeless colour schemes and scenery utilised throughout. I’ve developed a lot of appreciation for Drake’s verse in this track, and if you actually give it a good listen it’s got some very poignant lines: specifically, I really liked ‘how come every time that you’re suspicious I’m a liar?’.

Audio can be smuggled out of here.

Joe Budden-Follow My Lead Video

It’s not often we get music videos from Joey, and its always a welcome arrival when we do. This is one straight off that MM4 mixtape, which seems to be getting critical acclaim from all quarters.

I’ve not listened to MM4 yet, but this definitely has stoked my interest in doing so as it’s a mellow yet very introspective track that has that usual personal touch from Budden, with the topic of choice being a combination of a religion and relationships. This is mirrored nicely in the video, and it’s a solid all-round effort.

MM4 can be snagged here.

Trailer For The Upcoming Justin Bieber Film (Movie)

Great. You have to respect the business acumen of whoever is managing this kid: bringing out a film is the perfect move to capitalise on his audience before they grow up and turn emo.

As terrible as this will be, at least it will keep everyone under 16 off the streets for at least 2 hours. It may however result in the rest of us rioting, smashing windows, and tipping cows as we get stuck with insufferable fans getting giddy about it on Facebook, Twitter and so on.

Crime doesn’t pay kids.

Saigon – You Make Me Sick [Video]

Ladies and fans of Saigon will enjoy these new visuals from his upcoming The Yardfather’s Prologue EP.

Dude is pretty stacked, although he’s still a little guy.

No homo.

Celph Titled/Buckwild - Miss Those Days

One of my favourites from Celph Titled and Buckwild’s brilliant collaboration Nineteen Ninety Now.

“RZA rocking all the beats/SEGA with the Altered Beast/wasn’t safe to walk the streets with Jordan sneakers on ya feet!”

Read my review then go support the artists.

Celph Titled & Buckwild – Miss Those Days

AZ – The Calm

Been meaning to post this for a few days now. Some new AZ for y’all over a Statik Selektah beat. This can be found on his Doe Or Die anniversary re-issue. That’s great. But what I want to hear is that new Doe Or Die 2 shit.

AZ – The Calm