Lupe Fiasco-Words I Never Said [Video]

One of Lupe’s better efforts from Lasers gets the visual treatment here with some powerful scenes to compliment those accusing lyrics.

I don’t particularly know much about Lupe but from the opinions I’ve heard about the LP, I’ve come to the uneducated conclusion that fans feel it’s a shame more material like this wasn’t involved on Lasers.

The video itself is shot in an intelligent way, capturing that anger towards the powers that run society. Strong metaphors are utilised throughout perhaps the most startling being the ‘human-muzzle’ whilst Lupe appoints himself as the only person able to speak his mind. Can’t help but feel the director of this took some inspiration from The Clockwork Orange.

Audio here. (Buy Lasers here.)

Tyler, The Creator-Tron Cat


From underground obscurity to hip-hop phenomenon, it’s fairly accurate to say that quite a bit has changed for Tyler and his team over the past few months. With Goblin’s May 10th release date only around the corner, here’s the latest drop to compliment the superb Yonkers. Tron Cat continues that haunting, electric production that Tyler has become known for and the lyricism is as hard-hitting and controversial as always. Not quite as grabbing as Yonkers, but by now we’re starting to get a good feel for Goblin.

Tyler, The Creator-Tron Cat

Edo G-Fast Lane (Produced DJ Premier)



I got pretty excited
when I heard this yesterday so it’s only right that you have the opportunity that I had too.

Heads, you already know what hip-hop stalwart Edo G has to offer the mic, but let’s be honest here; this is all about the Premo boardwork. The greatest producer of all time comes through with his characteristic, smooth and delicate piano keys in-tact with KRS-One, Guru and M.O.P. scratches creating that signature Premo sound. It might not be his best ever beat, but it’s classic DJ Premier and deserves your attention on that basis alone.

Edo G’s A Face In The Crowd can be sampled here and copped on 17th May.

Edo G-Fast Lane (Produced DJ Premier)

Bad Meets Evil Producers Speak On Upcoming EP

Couple days ago we heard that first drop from Royce and Eminem’s upcoming Bad Meets Evil EP. Having liked what we heard, here’s a little more to keep that appetite nice and moist.

MTV caught up with the numerous producers involved in the project (Havoc, Mr Porter, DJ Khalil and Bangladesh) with each giving you their own little insight into what to expect.

All I’m going to say is:

Havoc: “It sounds like you going down a dark hall with a whole bunch of monks just screaming at you.”

Skepta-Community Payback [DJ Whoo Kid Hosted Mixtape]

DJ Whoo Kid has been doing a fair bit for the UK scene lately, hosting mixtapes for Tinie Tempah and Giggs, and here we see him host Skepta’s new mixtape. Skepta’s been in supreme form over the last few years, his Doin’ It Again album comes highly recommended by me, as does this mixtape (which also features the likes of Chipmunk, JME and P Money).

You can stream and give it a listen over on the left, and you can click here to go download it for free.

Bad Meets Evil-Fast Lane


It’s been in excess of a month since I last put fingers to keys (on here at least, I’ve still managed to churn out hip-hop randomness on my Twitter) so forgive me for any evident rustiness. Regardless, a joint like this speaks for itself and thus renders my job here today somewhat easier.

So Eminem and Royce recently announced that the long-awaited and anticipated Bad Meets Evil EP was finally on the horizon for June sometime. Fast Lane forms the first drop from the EP and serves up a healthy dose of what we all expected: razor-sharp, tongue-twisting, triple-time lyricism from two emcee’s back on top, trading bars back and forth like it’s 1999 all over. Now y’all can’t hate on that.

Bad Meets Evil (Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″)-Fast Lane

Scams-Lost For Words

The Scams sound is rock/pop music without bullshit and without boundaries. It’s about heartfelt harmonies and searing melodies, carrying openly sincere words.

I have a very love-hate relationship with the British Indie scene, but every once in a while a track will catch my ear and genuinely impress. Scams’ Lost For Words did just that, bringing together a sense of refinement via an indie-pop sensibility alongside a captivating edginess in its riffs and certain vocal sections to deliver a well-rounded piece of light rock. At times the audio mastering seems slightly off, but that’s just the pedant in me talking!

The video is very well-produced for a relatively unestablished band though, with relatively dark, claustrophobic scenes of the band juxtaposed nicely with the scenic, more expansive views of the video’s female subject. Lots to enjoy there, and the audio backs it up nicely. Worth a watch for fans of the genre.

Erin Christine-For Your Love


As the Erin Christine buzz continues to mount, she lets loose of her latest single to really cement her status as one of the better upcoming singers in the game. Fantastically consistent vocals once again, and those of you who’ve followed her on here will know that she can genuinely sing: just watch this for proof.

This one has a slower, more pop-balled influence with a simple, key-driven melody supplemented by lashings of percussion, creating an atmospheric backdrop to complement her voice. Topped off with a catchy hook, this is yet another great effort from Erin. 3 for 3 by my count.

Ludacris-F5 (Furiously Dangerous) ft. Slaughterhouse & Claret Jai


It’s often discussed who’d make a great 5th addition to the lyrical machine that is Slaughterhouse, and it’d be hard to argue against the case for Ludacris to be this fabled 5th member (not that there’s any chance Slaughterhouse are looking to recruit!). So seeing this collaboration immediately piqued my interest, what with Luda’s penchant for mind-altering guest verses, and Slaughterhouse….well, being Slaughterhouse.

So the result we find here is 5 great verses filled with many a clever punchline, over a pretty decent beat. What I didn’t expect was the awful chorus, which quite simply makes my head hurt. Shame about this annoyance, because this would make a brilliant song with a better thought out hook. Definitely worth picking up by you hip hop lovers out there regardless of this though, as you won’t really find a better bunch of lyricists who are still relevant in the game today.

Ludacris – F5 (Furiously Dangerous) ft. Slaughterhouse & Claret Jai

Dot Rotten-Normal Human Being [Video]

Edit: Bringing this back to the top as Dot Rotten has made the audio for this available for free. He’ll also be releasing the rest of the EP for free over the next couple of weeks. Click here to go to his website and get hold of this track.

Often people like to pigeon-hole UK urban artists into a certain type of genre and when they step out of said genre, they get vilified for it. For me this is counter-productive: as, in my opinion, the best music is the most innovative music i.e. just something that goes against the grain. From Ed Sheeran’s Collaborations EP, Dot showed he can make music that isn’t necessarily grime in origin.

Here’s his latest video for a song which is from his upcoming EP, Above The Waves. The video was actually shot in Paris, which makes for something rather different to what we’re used to when it comes to music videos in the UK. It certainly fits in well with production!

The Lonely Island-Motherlover

The sequel to the fantastic D**k In A Box, if I recall correctly this actually premiered on SNL a few months back. However, it’s now hit the internets ‘officially’, and is slated for The Lonely Island’s Turtleneck and Chain album.

Reprising their roles as the corny 80s/early 90s singers, Justin and Andy bring another dose of hilarity, this time dedicated to satisfying the other’s mother. Typically, its lyrically pretty graphic and hence makes for some laugh-out-loud moments, aided by the various shenanigans going on throughout the video.

Not as good as D**k In A Box, but that was never going to be an easy act to follow. Funny in its own right, and worth a watch!

Diskjokke-Panutup


Some mighty fine chillout electronic music right here. Not a genre I know a great deal about, but there’s no question that a good bit of chillout house/electronic is difficult to dislike, regardless of your taste.

Diskjokke serves up a wonderful blend of airy synths, frolicky key notes, and soft percussion to produce an atmospheric, progressive piece that will prove both incredibly addictive and hugely relaxing. The progressive aspect is very subtle throughout, and doesn’t inexplicably burst into life, rather adding extra layers piece-by-piece and creating an uplifting middle portion. For those of you looking for some easygoing background music, you could do a lot worse than grab this.

Diskjokke-Panutup

Unsigned Hype: Stuart Newman


There’s a lot to like about a British acoustic artist that can successfully blend together a commendable range of diversity, and yet remain true to the natural emotion and organic vibe of acoustic music. Brighton’s Stuart Newman does exactly that, and brings forth a sound that will surely satisfy both casual and dedicated fans of this musical style.

Tracks such as Cry Wolf utilise Stuart’s flexible vocals by bringing a positive, upbeat tint on the natural laidback vibe of his voice, whilst instrumentals such as Atmosphere suggest he’s got the ability to craft engaging musical pieces. Having been through the majority of his back catalogue, he has the ability to combine the two: should his sound continue to mature, there’s no doubt he’s got a big future ahead of him in the UK acoustic/alternative scene. Click below to grab his entire first album, and the demos for his second. Both are free of charge, so you’ve essentially got no excuse (unless you have no hands).

Stuart Newman-Single but Defective
Stuart Newman-Studio Demos (for second album)

StartYourOwnRebellion and J. Cole-Let It Go


Let me off with the lateness on this one, I’ve been enjoying it so much I assumed I’d posted it!

SYOR are signed to Cole’s Dreamville imprint, and bring that motivational, passionate edge that can be found frequently in Cole’s catalogue. Musically, they bring it in a more alternative manner, blending together a pop-rock sensibility with hip-hop fundamentals to deliver a diverse effort that introduces them in superb fashion. The production brings an atmospheric vibe that really plays up to the internal monologue nature of the lyrics, whilst a sharp guitar riff adds that motivational edge for the hook. Solid feature from Cole too for that co-sign, though this is certainly strong enough material without it. Lots of potential here, and you can grab both this track and the mixtape it originated from below.

StartYourOwnRebellion-Let It Go ft. J. Cole

StartYourOwnRebellion-LP3020

R&B Fridays: Episode 97


Lots of slow jams and collaborations in this week’s episode, some of which are certainly noteworthy not only for their lineup, but also as they’re potentially quite prominent singles from upcoming albums.

Recap from this week’s postings: a new Jagged Edge mixtape, Ryan Leslie’s latest video/single, visuals for J*Davey’s fantastic Raincheck, and finally a very unexpected UK-US collab between David Banner, Estelle and Daley.

Click below for the 97th instalment of R&B’s most revered institution.

→ Continue Reading

The Freeze Tag-The Hustle


I’m aware the video/short audio review for this was already posted, but having got my hands on the audio, I felt it worth giving this a little more shine (plus, I can throw the Hamster Kid EP artwork up!).

I have a theory about ‘dedicated’ music fans: if you’re really excited about a mixtape/album/EP that no-one you know will have heard of, you know you genuinely love music. It’s a great feeling when the music truly delivers too, and the forthcoming EP from Cassettes Won’t Listen and Bisco Smith (as The Freeze Tag) is definitely my current ‘pet project’.

Blending thoughtful, slickly-delivered raps from Bisco with a superb production comprised of soft guitar licks and heavy percussion, the track offers a mellow aspect alongside a head-nodding vibe, finished off with a melodic, melancholy hook. There’s a crossover style here, with an alternative feel seeping in amongst the hip-hop sensibility, and it makes for very enjoyable listening. Don’t sleep on this.
The Freeze Tag-The Hustle

Jagged Edge-Love Potion (The Remedy Mixtape)


Finally, after months of intermittent but very enjoyable work, it looks like Jagged Edge have got their act together for some full-length projects.

With their next album The Remedy (tentatively) scheduled for June 21st, the boys have taken to the internet to let loose of a pre-release mixtape, comprised of a few (not all) of their classics (Let’s Get Married etc.) alongside snippets of tracks set to be on their new LP. It’ll certainly be worth a listen based on their recent form, and will fill out newer R&B fans’ collections with the older JE material. Get to grabbing below.

Jagged Edge-Love Potion (The Remedy Mixtape)

Elzhi-Detroit State of Mind


Looking forward to this oft-delayed, much anticipated Elmatic project from Elzhi, and it looks like it’s finally coming on 10th May.

That hype is about to increase 1o-fold with El’s take on Nas’ classic NY State of Mind. Borrowing the key-laden, thumping instrumental of the original, Elzhi comes through with some clever raps packaged in a smooth, clear delivery that makes for a very enjoyable remix. Naturally, surpassing the original is out of the question but this is a very fitting tribute and a solid set of raps on the ever-replayable production. Shouts to Matt for coming through as usual: Elmatic, May 10th!

Elzhi-Detroit State of Mind

Lethal Bizzle-Mind Spinning [Video]

New single from Lethal Bizzle which will be dropping on the 19th of June. This video follows on from the events that transpired in the Pow 2011 video where Lethal B and friends successfully rob a bank. This track is far more dub-step in nature which is complimented very well by the video which portrays a very confused Lethal B.

Interesting video to watch for sure, and I’ll definitely be buying the single when it’s released.

Asher Roth and Nottz Raw-Enforce The Law Video

The track itself is/was one of the more enjoyable head-nodders to emerge late last year, and its fair to say that the vibe of the track didn’t create any expectations for a mini-movie style video. Looks like you’re in for the same pleasant surprise I recieved, as this is a very well produced video that throws an interesting plot in over the superb audio.

Lots of interesting highlights to pick out, as the video veers between light humour (the Top 40 Mix CD for example) to grittier, more ‘underground’ style scenes with guns and drugs making various appearances. I won’t ruin the actual plot of the video for you as it’s really worth a watch, and will certainly get you replaying that audio once again.

If you’ve not grabbed it already, grab this track and a few others on the free Rawth EP.

XV-Watch Me Go


Having reached 25,000 followers on Twitter, XV took to the internets to let loose of this J. Cole-produced effort that didn’t quite make the cut for the recent Zero Heroes mixtape.

It’s not the first time these guys have worked together, with SmallVille being a previous work of the duo, and it appears they’ve got some decent chemistry as this is another enjoyable effort. A fairly soft yet punchy synth makes up the primary melody, and works comfortably alongside various vintage samples to create a fairly simple and memorable production. It works nicely to bring the emotion and tone of Vizzy’s voice out, and when coupled with some solid raps throughout it’s a very easy and likeable listen.

XV-Watch Me Go

Bilal-Little One Video

Up there as one of the best soul tracks of 2010, Bilal releases much-delayed visuals for this track from his Airtight’s Revenge album. One that has only just left my rotation recently (after a 6-7 month stint!), this is an enormously replayable song that combines raw, unfiltered vocals with a melodic melancholy in the lyrics that is incredibly captivating.

The video certainly does justice to the song, with a solemn tale of a family raising their ‘little one’ that is later diagnosed with Autism. Always nice to see the spotlight on issues otherwise ignored in the public domain, and it’s certainly a fitting cause for this emotional track. Being mixed in with some dark, isolated shots of Bilal works nicely to both give him some camera time and keep the sombre vibe of the video intact.

Definitely worth both a watch and a listen, and I’d highly recommend you did both. Pick up that Airtight’s Revenge on iTunes now.

Fabolous-The Soul Tape (Mixtape)


As Indi put it recently, Loso’s been on a decade-long run of good form and every project of his tends to be met with high expectations, with Fab generally delivering the goods. This is no exception, and having heard a few tracks from the tape (including this), I’m hopeful that this one will live up to its inevitable hype.

Supposedly, true to its title this is largely comprised of soul-influenced productions, which will certainly make for something a little different in Loso’s back catalogue, as well as potentially being an enjoyable listen irrespective of that: soul and hip-hop blends are always nice, you can never have too many! Click below to grab the project.

Fabolous-The Soul Tape

J*Davey-Raincheck Video

Easily one of my favourite tracks from the fantastic duo, Raincheck is a smooth track that maximises the sultry stylings of Jack Davey’s vocals, whilst successfully challenging Brook to switch up the standard slow jam formula to something befitting the eclectic nature of J*Davey’s music. It’s difficult to dislike this song when the synergy between vocals and production is this good, and with that intangible and uncategorisable sprinkling of their music, you also get a piece of bedroom music very different to almost any other.

The video doesn’t disappoint, with that sexy slow jam vibe capitalised on with lots of bedroom scenes, and a deliberately-paced style that keeps things relatively simple, which is a welcome change in the often-experimental world of their material. It’s a solid video all-round that does its job in fleshing out the audio. Definitely worth a watch, and the audio can be grabbed on their free EP here.

Curren$y and Alchemist-Covert Coup EP


Should be a very solid listen. The Alchemist consistently serves up great beats, and being on the boards for the entire project commands attention. Curren$y certainly can get it done on the mic when he’s on form, and hopefully he’ll be on song for this EP.

I’ve caught two of the tracks from this to date (Full Metal and the Freddie Gibbs collab), both of which were very enjoyable listens with strong productions and a little more diversity from Curren$y on his raps. Hence, I’ve got high hopes for this (free) EP and would certainly recommend grabbing this below.

Curren$y and Alchemist-Covert Coup

David Banner, Estelle and Daley-Benz

Quite the unexpected collab here, as Banner hooks up with two UK talents for his latest effort. In a similar manner to Gorillaz’s Doncamatic, this track ends up being a bit of a showcase for Daley rather than for the actual ‘title’ artist.

I assume Banner helmed the production, and he serves up a vintage soul-inspired production that certainly suggests he’s much more than the ‘southern’ hip-hop beats he’s been previously known for. Very bouncy, upbeat vibe to this one that compliments both Estelle and Daley well, with Daley making the most of his fairly extensive vocal exposure with a catchy, rousing performance. One that could easily crack the mainstream, but may get repetitive for the rest of us.

Video is very lively and colourful, and has a nice freedom about it that captures the vibe of the song well. Does the job well enough without ever really excelling, and fits the song in that sense by being decent, if unspectacular.

Ryan Leslie-Glory Video

Expected to be on his upcoming Les Is More album, this is both a change of direction for Ryan and also one of his more personal tracks to date.

Usually, I’m not a fan of singers trying to rap, but here R-Les proves the rare exception with an immensely introspective and honest lyrical performance, addressing topics from his perennial status as ‘underrated’ to his personal life. There’s no particularly intricate wordplay or metaphors, but the simple lyricism works very well in tandem with Leslie’s empassioned delivery. The edgy and progressive production works to emphasise that raw, honest vibe with spiky guitars and crashing drums closing the track out in an energetic and memorable fashion.

Very solid track, and I’m very surprised at how likeable this track is for a ‘non-rapper’. Video is made up of live and ‘candid’ footage which doesn’t break any boundaries, but fits the feel of the song nicely.

Prodigy-The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP

Mobb Deep’s Prodigy certainly can’t be accused of slacking since being released from his prison stint, and he comes through with his first official full project since that release.

We’ve caught one or two tracks and videos in recent weeks, though it appears none of them (or at least none I’ve come across) were destined for this EP. Can’t really complain about that as its always nice grabbing a bunch of unheard tracks, especially from someone whose reputation is certainly benefitting from that novelty of ‘finally being home’. Download courtesy of Complex below.

Prodigy (of Mobb Deep)-The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP

Girls Love Shoes Ft. Dave Raps-Stars


“The electrifying L.A. based pop duo known as Girls Love Shoes teams up with Dave Raps for this amazingly inspiring track. This is where genre lines get smashed, and overflowing with invention, “Stars” delivers unexpected lyrical depth, shimmering synths and a sonic spirit that makes you move as much as it makes you dream. With edgy verses from Dave Raps alongside the soulful and alluring vocals of Nadia Fay, this track will insight a riot in your imagination.”

Cannot say I know too much about either Girls Love Shoes or Dave Raps but based solely on this track, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for both acts. Dave Raps does no harm to his burgeoning reputation with a pair of solid verses delivered with hunger and fire that feels at home on a synth heavy electro beat. Stars is an atmospheric, chilled and infectious song that I’m certain will clock up numerous plays in my Itunes; it’s not a song you interrupt. A stream and download of the audio is available below.