Theophilus London and Sara Quin-Why Even Try Video

Big fan of this track when it first dropped, and whilst I didn’t end up replaying it as much as I thought I would, there’s no denying it is a solid track.

The video is pretty offbeat and most of it has a very candid feel, with a paparazzi-style focus that adds a slightly different perspective to the track. Initially, I felt it wasn’t the direction I would have chosen as it seems to cheapen the audio a little, but the video does progress in a manner that uses the ‘real’ filming style well by portraying the evolution of the characters’ relationship.

The photoshoot scenes add the necessary hipster scenes, and round off the video fairly well. It’s not a classic by any means, but it’s decent enough and does improve over the course of the video. Audio can be listened to here if you’re not familiar..

Chipmunk-In The Air ft. Keri Hilson [Video]

As I mentioned earlier this month, Chipmunk has been working with Keri Hilson! Another extremely good look for him and no matter your opinion on him, he is doing pretty unprecedented stuff at the moment. I just hope this opens doors for other UK artists.

Visuals are nothing to shout about and is rather forgettable to be honest. The song itself is another good effort from Chipmunk, with it actually being a better lyrical effort from him than he gave us with Champion. Keri Hilson gives us a classic Keri hook, and looks good doing it, not quite as re-playable as the Chris Brown collabo though.

Audio is available on iTunes now, with his new album being released 18th of April.

Katy Perry-E.T. ft. Kanye West [Video]

Visuals for Kanye and Katy’s pop collaboration, and with a title like E.T. the video was always going to be sci-fi themed. I did fear that they’d make this video pretty cheesy, but thankfully I was wrong! The CGI effects look great and it makes for an interesting video to watch. You can’t say that much about the large quantity of pop videos out there.

Alarmingly Katy Perry looks quite frightening for the majority of this video too. Having said that, in the final scene she looks weirdly hot.

That’s a nice cue for me to shutup! Grab audio from here.

OTU Teams Up With Earbits For Streaming/Radio Platform


After much discussion and deliberation, we can finally bring you the collaboration between the talented and dedicated folk over at Earbits and the beautiful people here at OTU.

So, what exactly is this? To quote Earbits, ‘It’s a personalized streaming radio with cojones. No ads, no commercials, no subscriptions…just bad ass music. Explore and connect with killer bands across a huge variety of genres. Check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter. Share songs with your friends. Skip as much as you want. Or, just listen like a lazy bum.

All of the music is hand curated by our team of self-proclaimed experts. We’ve got killer artists like Weezer, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, Alkaline Trio, and double Grammy winners like Arrested Development, Dave Samuels and Mads Tolling, and a bunch of others who you may or may not have heard before. But we know you’ll love them, because we don’t approve music that sucks.’

Being OTU, you know you’re going to get heaps of diversity, and a mixture of familiar music and introductions to potential breakout stars. I’ve played around with it myself, and have no doubts that you’ll find something to your liking, and will definitely find some great new artists! It’s completely free and you don’t even need to stay on OTU to use it: feel free to open it and go elsewhere.  Cast your eyes rightward (new word?) and get listening!

DJ Alexei Presents: Drizzy Settles The Score (Drake vs. The Fugees)


A mashup album that pairs Drake with The Fugees’ classic The Score. This mashup marks 15 years since the original release of The Score, and on the project Alexei updates the original Fugees’ album with new verses from Drake, as well as Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, and Q-Tip.

“The Score is easily my favorite hip-hop album of all time and I still listen to it regularly, often before I sit down to work on my own music,” says Alexei. “To keep it exciting after 15 years, I decided to spice it up a bit. The Score has texture and soul that you don’t find much in today’s production. Put that and Drake together, and you have an incredibly fun listen.”

Should be  very interesting listen. Inevitably, there will be those that are ‘outraged’ at ‘desecrating’ a classic but give it a chance first as Alexei is certainly a talented dude, and I’m sure he’ll retain the essence and brilliance of the original.

DJ Alexei Presents: Drizzy Settles The Score (Drake vs. The Fugees)

Together Returns With Ms Dynamite & Mums Of Death - Cable London [Event]


(via Urban Development)

“Head down to club Cable on April 2nd for Ms Dynamite, Mums of Death (Drums of Death & Mumdance) – UK Debut, Hatcha, Girl Unit, Deadly Rhythm Soundsystem, Tom Lea (Fact).

Ticket Prices: £8 Early Bird / £10 Advance, Door Price: £13 / £10 Students
10pm – 6am
Location: Bermondsey Street Tunnel, London, SE1 3JW. Nearest tube: London Bridge.
Tickets are available from: https://wefearsilence.databeats.com/event/65

WIN WIN and Alexis Taylor-Interleave Video

Psychedelic, offbeat and full of graphics and special effects. For the first time, I can use that description along with the phrase ‘it’s exactly as I expected the video to be’.

The ethereal, uneasy nature of the video was going to be difficult to capture in a video, and they’ve most certainly picked the right approach here with a futuristic video that utilises contrasting light very well, as all of the agitated, colourful effects are permanently set to a dark background: it really does represent the audio well, as the darker production being offset against Alexis’ slightly brighter vocals almost matches that particular contrast.

Audio for the original can be grabbed from here, and the more uptempo dance remix here.

Mateo-Love & Stadiums Mixtape


In previous years, Mateo was ‘just another R&B guy’. However, two things suggest to me that he’s finally realising some of the early potential he showed: firstly, the undoubted quality of his recent track Power was a massive eye-opener, and really showed the quality he possesses as a vocalist. Secondly, the features on this mixtape suggest there are some big names who believe in his ability, with Goapele in particular being a very surprising and interesting addition.

Most R&B mixtapes in recent months have reverted to that hip-hop/R&B crossover that has been done to death, and I have a gut feeling that this will not be doing that. Instead, I’m preparing myself for a rather good R&B tape that could really mark the arrival of Mateo.

Mateo-Love & Stadiums

XV and Miami Horror-Foreign Exchange Student


Very nice track from XV. Coming through on an retro-uptempo vibe, Vizzy lays some uplifting lyrics about a lady of his interest over a fantastically perky production that has a hugely adddictive summer vibe.

The beat brings a crossover style, blending pop, dance and alternative together to deliver an uptempo, bouncy funk that emits a hugely infectious positivity. Those ‘happy vibes really fit the brighter weather we’ve (occasionally) seen recently, and this is certainly nicely timed. Vizzy’s been on a great run of form with both his beat selections and raps recently, and the latter are once again a nice show of diversity as he runs through the qualities of what sounds like a pretty awesome girl! Hugely uplifting, and definitely worth checking out to brighten your day.

XV-Foreign Exchange Student ft. Miami Horror

Raphael Saadiq-Stone Rollin’ Video

The title track from Raphael Saadiq’s upcoming album, Raphael once again blends together old school, original R&B with funk and soul to deliver a diverse and engaging track.

The production catches the attention right from the off with an almost country-style influence on its driven yet uplifting guitar riff, and is built upon with multi-layered instrumentation that keeps the track dynamic and ever-changing. Couple that with the usual raw, confident vocals of Saadiq and you have another very enjoyable vintage-inspired jam.

Really enjoyable video too, with the dim and dusty basement bar playing off that organic, retro feel of the audio nicely, and contrasted equally well by the sultry, considerably sexier shots with the woman of Raphael’s lyrical desires. Very enjoyable.

Big K.R.I.T-Returnof4eva [Album]

As a 2011 XXL Freshman, many people have had their attention drawn to Big K.R.I.T. Well here he gives us a free album for us to not only enjoy, but to get to know what he’s all about.

I really liked his first single from this album, so I’ll be checking this out too. You can listen to the whole album to the left, and also download it below.

Big K.R.I.T – Returnof4eva

Swizz Beatz and Eve-Everyday (Coolin’)


After a brief hiatus, Swizzy’s #MonsterMondays returns with the first single from his upcoming album, Haute Living. Swizzy serves up one of those slightly off-beat productions that can go either way, but I’m not sure it works for me.

Sacrificing most of the percussion for claps and clicks feels a bit 2007 (and even then I didn’t particularly like it), and the lack of thicker drum loops highlights the shrill nature of the synth, which eventually become a bit painful on the ear. However, as with most Swizzy productions, it may be one that grows on you with more listens. The raps aren’t classic by any means, but Swizzy takes on the relatively unusual beat fairly well, whilst Eve definitely takes the award for best verse on the track with a decent performance.

Swizz Beatz-Everyday (Coolin’) ft. Eve

The Five One-Happy Meals (Outdoor Improv)

In this video “The Five One” perform our song “Happy Meals” which we play live very often. We love to recreate our songs and playing this song acoustically feels so right.

A warming short from OTU’s favourite group, as they come through with a quick rendition of one of their original pieces. Definitely getting a positive vibe from this one, with a bright and uplifting quality that befits their (enviably) summery surroundings. Each member makes a telling contribution, and I’m looking forward to hearing the full, finished version.

Holy Ghost!-Wait and See


Can’t say I’ve heard any of their material before, but the alternative-dance-pop stylings of Holy Ghost! won me over here. Wait & See is a retro, uplifting effort boasting a production that feels as though it was lifted right out of the 80s, fused with a more modern electronic sound and layered with light and catchy vocals. Hence, it’s a very positive, squeaky-clean sort of sound that will really appeal to the electro pop and alternative pop fans, with the summery vibe of the track likely to prove very addictive for those who venture to give it a listen. You can preview and download it for free below, and also buy it from there if you’d like to support the duo.

Travis Barker, Game, Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross & Lil’ Wayne–Can A Drummer Get Some Video

Very solid video for the mega-star collaboration from Travis Barker’s debut album (which is out now by the way folks!). One of those songs that’s very easy to listen to in a playlist, it’s also one of the few genuinely likeable all-star tracks amidst a sea of them.

The video has a sketchy, alternative cinematography that keeps things dynamic and interesting, whilst the artists come together in an old-school ‘band’ style that gives this a very organic feel. Being interspersed with shots from various street/outdoor scenes is OK and whilst the scenes themselves fit with the audio nicely, the constant switching does get a little distracting at times in taking the focus away from the more enjoyable ‘band’ scenes. Solid video content-wise though, and definitely embellishes the audio. Be sure to grab that album!

Lupe Fiasco-Who Are You Now ft. B.o.B


Lupe Fiasco let loose a free song earlier on Twitter today (a sign of the world coming to the end!?) featuring B.o.B. He also revealed this to be a leftover track from Lasers that he didn’t end up finishing. I have absolutely no idea why, as this is better than almost everything on the finished version of Lasers. A pulsating beat, followed by a decent chorus and some fun raps from both Lupe and B.o.B, both of whom flow to the track superbly. It’s not even overly a conscious record, and sounds fittingly like the type of song Atlantic Records would have wanted on the album.

According to Lupe, this was meant to be a peace offering (or a STFU) to those who think he doesn’t put out free music or cares about his fans: instead, it raises more questions and confusion over the direction he took with Lasers. To add some salt to the wounds, Lupe had planned to put Cee-Lo or Janelle Monáe on the third verse of this rather good track. Lupe Fiasco – Who Are You Now ft. B.o.B

Joe Budden-Ayo ft. Emanny


One of the most introspective rappers in the game right now gives us some unreleased material. I think this was meant to be on his upcoming album The Great Escape, but I guess it hasn’t made the cut. That suggests to me that The Great Escape is going to be a fantastic piece of work, as this unreleased track (featuring talented singer Emanny) is one I’m enjoying a lot. From the hook Emanny provides, to the production, to Joey’s lyrics – there’s nothing I can fault with this.

One for Joe Budden fans to grab hold of, and a good start for those who’ve yet to really hear any of Budden’s music before. Joe Budden – Ayo ft. Emanny

Yasmin-Finish Line ft. Wretch32 [Remix]


UK punchline king Wretch 32 hops on Yasmin’s excellent Finish Line. Good to hear a little from the male perspective of this subject matter, which is supplemented with excellent metaphors from Wretch, as we’ve come to expect from him.

You can listen to this track via the stream below, and also check out the music video for the original version over here.

Waka Flocka Teams Up With SB.TV & MySpace To Find UK’s Hottest New Rapper


“Having sold over 2 million copies of his Stateside hit single ‘No Hands’, rap sensation Waka Flocka Flame turns his attention to the UK with the launch of an exciting new competition in conjunction with Myspace, SBTV and Warner Bros. Records.

To enter the competition, aspiring rappers need to download the instrumental version of ‘No Hands’ from www.myspace.com/lookwakanohands. The entrant will then need to record their own lyrics over the instrumental, upload the track to their own profile under the title No Hands MySpace Comp and then complete the entry form on the competition’s profile page. One winner will win a breaking artist prize package consisting of a release of the track by Warner Bros. Records, superstar promotion courtesy of Myspace and a Warm Up session on SBTV (www.sbtv.co.uk), the UK’s leading youth media channel on YouTube with over 42 million views.

The competition closes at 2pm on Wednesday April 13th.

Pretty cool competition, which is open to everyone folks…even you!

Adele and Gilbere Forte-Set Fire To The Rain Remix


Been really enjoying Gilbere’s work in 2011, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best candidates to jump on the type of passionate, angsty tracks that Adele has become known for.

Over a captivating blend of piano and light percussion, Gilbere delivers some of his best verses to date with a melancholy and deliberate delivery that emphasises the introspective and thoughtful lyricism he brings. The synergy of production and raps is hugely successful, and when combined with Adele’s rousing vocals on the hook, it comes off as a well-rounded remix.

The biggest compliment I can pay it is this: it doesn’t encourage me to listen to the original in the slightest, as I’m 90% convinced that it’s not going to be half as good. I’m yet to really buy into this Adele hype either, so if you’re like me, this will act as a nice dose of her work without being too much. Pick up Gilbere’s Eyes of Veritas if you haven’t already, it’s one of the best mixtapes of 2011 thus far!

Adele-Set Fire To The Rain Remix ft. Gilbere Forte

Hodgy Beats (of Odd Future)-Mystery


And the Odd Future bandwagon rolls on. Today, we’re stopping off with arguably the second most prominent member of Odd Future, Hodgy Beats. Dropped last night/this morning depending on your timezone, Hodgy comes through with some very solid raps that aren’t as ‘shock factor’-based as Tyler’s style, and hence makes for another nice show of versatility from the OFWGKTA crew.

I’ve not managed to get through much of their back catalogue yet, so this is one of my first exposures to Hodgy’s ability, and he’s clearly got some ability. His style here isn’t anything particularly revolutionary, but is very enjoyable thanks to his clear delivery and solid lyricism. Production on this one is superb, with Bambeeno serving up a wistful soul sample and lining it with hard-hitting drum work.

Hodgy Beats-Mystery

Grafh-Kush Freestyle [Video]

Grafh’s been perennially underrated over the last 5 years or so. Lyrically he’s up there with the finest and in terms of punchlines there aren’t many better.

Here we see a little in-studio video of his recent freestyle over Dr. Dre’s Kush. This further validates my feeling that maybe Grafh should step up his beat selection if he wants people to stop sleeping on him, as he sounds great on this. Audio available below.

Grafh – Kush Freestyle

Travis Barker and Friends-Can A Drummer Get Some? (Diplo Remix)


Prior to this track, I either hated or loved Diplo remixes. It seems that hallowed ground of ‘it’s alright’ has finally been found, as this remix is decent. Switching out Travis’ rock-influenced production for an electronic blend of synths, various noises and a solid percussion, Diplo transforms the feel of the song into a futuristic style that’ll really appeal to the dance/electro heads.

Much praise is deserved for managing to completely revamp the beat and still making the raps fit nicely with the movement of the production. My natural lean toward hip-hop/rock means I was always going to prefer the original, but this is certainly a solid remix.

The Reeflex-I Don’t Think This Is Hip Hop [Album]

“The acapellas used on this album are from Stik Figa’s From The Top EP (oddisee.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-top-ep) and TiRon’s MSTRD (thecafeterialine.bandcamp.com/album/mstrd). Go buy the albums. They’re well worth it.

This album, however, is FREE. Don’t let the “Buy Now” thing throw you. Just put a zero in the price field… unless you want to throw some money my way. Then, by all means, go for it.

And if you bothered reading this far, here’s your reward: there’s a hidden bonus track when you download.

If you want to use a beat: alexei1990 [at] gmail [dot] com”

I’m listening to this as I type out this post, I’ve only heard the first couple of tracks so far, but this album from producer The Reeflex is sounding rather good indeed.

As you can see/read above you can go grab this album for free, either by clicking ‘download’ on the player there, or getting it from his bandcamp page. I’d recommend doing so, seems to be perfect for some Sunday evening chillin’.

Alpines-Ice and Arrows (Dark Sky Remix)


Huge fan of the original (go here for that), and this remix is certainly a nice compliment to its predecessor. Dark Sky puts together a blend of chillout and electronic to restructure the track into a more mellow yet dance-driven effort: those on the electro/dance/house (etc) side of the spectrum will really enjoy this.

The progressive nature of the production only serves to further that appeal, with various new elements added throughout to keep things interesting. Whilst not surpassing the original in terms of brilliance, it’s a very enjoyable listen nonetheless that works nicely alongside the original rather than in its place.

R&B Fridays: Episode 93


Another short episode in terms of new tracks, but that’s the price we pay for me being forced (Murray’s been begging me) to deliver this on time. However, I’ve opted to use this ‘free space’ to throw in something a little different: I’ve included a couple of throwback tracks that you may be unfamiliar with, but are certainly worthy of attention. Would love to hear some feedback on them too, as I’d like to incorporate throwbacks more often!

This week’s recap is Chris Brown heavy, with a feature on both Keri Hilson’s latest video and Big Sean’s first video from his debut album, as well as a brand new video of his own from F.A.M.E. There’s also a new video from Lloyd, and a great track that didn’t make Frank Ocean’s brilliant mixtape.

Done? Good. Click below for R&B Fridays: The 93rd edition.
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Keri Hilson and Chris Brown-One Night Stand Video

Chris Brown’s really putting the work in with his recent spate of features, and here he hooks up with the ever-lovely Keri Hilson for her latest single.

Having not quite got around to listening to Keri’s recent album, this track is entirely new to me and I’m certainly a fan. The slow, sultry nature is a little more intense and passionate than your usual slow jam, and hence makes for a nice blend of styles. Both come through with very solid performances, which isn’t entirely surprising given their respective track records on this bedroom music style.

Video fits the song nicely, with a dark and steamy feel enhancing the lyrical and vocal vibe. Nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of style, but it doesn’t need to be here and the video presents the song in a very good light. Naturally with CB involved, there are snippets of dancing thrown in throughout, and they mix things up nicely with the duo’s joint routine being particularly enjoyable.

Big Sean-My Last ft. Chris Brown [Video]

Visuals for Big Sean’s first single from his forthcoming album (not sure when it’s being released, but I’m looking forward to it!). Ajay got it spot on with his analysis of the track, it’s very reflective and celebratory at the same time and despite it having a rather mainstream sound, (largely thanks to Mr. Chris Brown) Big Sean doesn’t sacrifice the cleverness of his lyrics that we’ve all come to love from him.

To further strengthen the reflective and celebratory mood, Sean shares some footage of him and his friends kicking it in 2006, where he was first trying his hand at this profession. Seeing him enjoying himself in the present day amidst the home-made footage, in addition to the somewhat sombre tone of the production, really hits the spot. I couldn’t couldn’t help smile watching the video, and I’m not even 100% really sure why.

Hoping this turns out to be a very big hit for Big Sean, it certainly has the potential to be.

Eminem, Yelawolf & Slaughterhouse-Shady 2.0 Boys [Live]

Oh man, what I would have given to have been in Detroit to see this live performance from the next generation of Shady Records.

Not the best quality of sound, given it was filmed by a spectator in the crowd, but it’s good enough. Hell, even if the sound was worse than terrible I’d still have posted this. Great seeing the dynamic of these collection of rappers on stage together, you can tell their rapport is genuine.

Go grab the audio for this by clicking right here. If you haven’t done so already, get yourselves on the Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf bandwagon now…by the end of the year there will be no room.