Sean Rose and Gilbere Forte-SMMERTME SUNSHNE NGHTFALL EP


Very pleased to get some new material from Gilbere, having finally exhausted his absolutely superb Eyes of Veritas mixtape from back in February. It surprises me that he still gets slept on given the diversity and depth of his rapping ability, but hopefully projects of the aforementioned mixtape’s quality will ensure he gets his credit eventually, hence I’ve got hopes and expectations pinned on this one!

Don’t know much about Sean Rose, though his one feature on Gilbere’s mixtape was on my favourite track from the entire project, Tonight, which certainly bodes well for this EP. Forte’s frequent vocal collaborator Selina Carrera also makes a few appearances on the EP, and she’s certainly not to be ignored either, possessing a hugely captivating voice that suggests she’s also one to watch. Free grab below.

Sean Rose and Gilbere Forte-SMMERTME SUNSHNE NGHTFALL EP

Lupe Fiasco and Trey Songz-Out Of My Head Video

The dancing, the courtship of an attractive model, and the squeaky-clean vibe of it all: not only does it perfectly mirror the audio, but it’s a paint-by-numbers chart rap video that Lupe exudes a surprising (well, sort of) level of comfortability in.

The song was certainly not the worst on Lasers by any means, but that’s hardly a compliment given some of the absolute sewage on there, and it was still very rooted in the ‘pop rap’ style that Lupe had previously denounced. This particular track certainly found its highlight in a catchy, well-delivered hook from Atlantic labelmate Trey Songz, a situation also mirrored in the video as Trey probably steals the spotlight by adding a little energy and passion, as well as coming through solidly with his choice of attire. A nice summer vibe flows through the video too, along with bright, expansive cityscapes and a cheesy ‘storyline’, all working to capturing the feelgood nature of the song. Given there wasn’t much to work with, it could have been a lot worse.

How To Make It In America: Season 2 Trailer

HBO are seriously putting the work in, and having recently released the season 2 teaser for Boardwalk Empire, they’ve also let the teaser loose for this superb series. My TV viewing will increase exponentially when these two shows return!

HTMIIA is undoubtedly one of the most feelgood, easy-to-watch TV shows in recent memory, drawing rightful comparisons with Entourage but with somewhat more relatable characters and realistic storylines. There isn’t too much given away here but I did catch a couple of stills involving Rachel, suggesting her role in the series isn’t quite finished yet, whilst a couple of newer characters appear to be given some focus alongside those we already know and love. It was also previously announced that Kid Cudi’s Domingo character will have a more prominent role in the next season, which will undoubtedly be interesting viewing.

Before you ask, the song in the trailer is Theophilus London-I Stand Alone, taken from his upcoming debut album Timez Are Weird These Days (July 19th).

Linkin Park-Rolling In The Deep (Adele Cover)

Criticise Linkin Park’s recent material all you want (I certainly have), but there’s no denying that fundamentally they’re pretty talented guys. This is a wonderful example of the power Chester Bennington has in his voice, delivering a rousing acoustic rendition of the ubiquitous Adele single, and doing real justice to the original’s raw, hugely emotional vibe.

Watching someone perform in such an unfiltered manner generally makes for compelling viewing, but the performance here surpasses that particular generalisation by virtue of being hugely replayable, and is most definitely worth watch. Note the crowd claps towards the last third, and how horribly out of time they are. At least 50% of them were thinking of a different song, of that I have no doubt.

Pete Rock and Smif-N-Wessun Speak On Dr. Dre Vs DJ Premier

In support of their latest drop Monumental (cop here) Pete Rock and Cocoa Brovaz drop by with Vlad TV for a quick interview.

Here we have the threesome discussing the somewhat problematic question (in some people’s eyes; not mine I hasten to add) of who is a better producer: Dr. Dre or DJ Premier.

I think Rock covers it perfectly by stating how it’s difficult to compare the different New York gritty yet funky samples of Premo versus Dre’s famous laid back G-Funk.

Good stuff.

The Lonely Island-We'll Kill U

Not only are these guys back with a new funny, but it also marks the return of the We Like Sportz/Just Two Guyz duo, who are frankly brilliant. This ‘sequel’ is exactly in keeping with the previous two videos: it ramps things up a notch from its predecessor, and has bundles of the ridiculous awkwardness that makes this duo so entertaining.

It’s probably not quite at the level of the classic We Like Sportz, but gives it a pretty good go and as with most of their videos, it’s still good for a few laughs. A notable moment is definitely the popular hip-hop quote at the end (I won’t ruin it), which will definitely draw a smile out of you. Turtleneck and Chain available now!

J Dilla-Last Donut Of The Night Video

Overdue isn’t the word! From what I gleaned, Stones Throw held a competition of sorts to see who could make the best video for this track, with the winner being released as the official visual: It appears this particular video took that accolade.

This was one of the most popular beats on the seminal Donuts album, hence releasing a visual after the intervening years of posthumous appreciation represents an enormous risk of upsetting Dilla’s many fans. However, those fears are unfounded and these guys have done a very good job with the soulful soundscape, wrapping it into a video full of donut symbols, and plenty of circular symbolism to accompany it. In particular, the cyclical rise and fall of the uniformed officer is poignant, as he slowly shifts from hungrily eyeing up his tray of donuts to a heroic phase, and eventually deteriorates back from heroism into gluttony as he looks on despairingly whilst the last donut of the the night is unceremoniously guzzled by only the relaxed, non-cyclical character. There’s plenty more to be gleaned (but I’m out of space), and regardless it’s both an enjoyable watch at surface level and a superb listen.

Coldplay-Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall Video

We were treated to the audio some time ago, and Coldplay cement their ‘comeback’ (why is it always referred to as a comeback when artists launch a new album cycle?) with this video.

As with most Coldplay visuals, this is slickly produced and boasts some enjoyable effects to keep viewers engaged throughout. In particular, the stop-motion cinematography used captures the frenetic, energetic style of the audio, turning what would otherwise be a relatively unremarkable video into something more distinctive. A similar transformation is made by the lashings of colour used throughout in both the paint and outfits, contrasting nicely with the somewhat grim, industrial settings they’re surrounded by, and hence offering flashes of brightness that turn mundane scenery into a more positive environment. A decent video for a mainstream-friendly song, it’s both a solid watch and listen. Available on iTunes for those that don’t already have it.

The ILLZ-ILLZSENTIAL (Free Download)


Jersey up-and-comer The ILLZ has hooked up with DJBooth.net to present ILLZSENTIAL, a street album covering the highlights of his musical career to date.

“Released to commemorate the two-year anniversary of his debut project, This is…(The W.C.A. Session EP), the project features 15 previously-released records from the freestyle series alumnus, as well as five bonus remixes. ILLZ flies solo throughout ILLZSENTIAL, flowing over the boardwork of Coldcut & DJ Krush, ILL Tal, Rekevin, Eliot Lipp and many more.”

This is a great project for people yet to sample the brilliance of The ILLZ or even the hardcore fans like me who seemed to be missing a few of these tracks!

Download here.

 

DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Drake and Lil' Wayne-I'm On One Video

A fairly unremarkable video for one of the mainstream’s favourite songs right now. It certainly won’t blow anyone’s mind, but the arrogant, lavish essence of the audio is captured well enough with lots of extravagantly-priced items and standard carefree behaviour.

The cityscapes work very well with Drake’s hook in particular, adding an atmospheric visual to the slower first half, and injecting energy into the more lively second part. Drake also appears to have been taking items from Rick Ross’ wardrobe of fashion disasters with one of his outfits, baring his chest and adorning it with some unnecessarily large jewellery. Nothing to note aside from that, purely a video that will further etch the song onto mainstream minds. Audio is here.

Patrick Stump and Lupe Fiasco-This City

Chicago natives Stump and Lupe collaborate once again (forgot the first time? Click here), this time dedicating an uplifting anthem to their home city from Stump’s upcoming Soul Punk album.

Decent enough track too, blending together elements of pop, alternative and R&B for a bright, positive track with a potentially huge mainstream appeal. The vocals are as captivating and catchy as ever from Patrick, with a heavy Michael Jackson influence evident in his opening verse, and though the lyrics aren’t anything spectacular for a man of Stump’s ability, it’s clearly a chart-targeted track which reduces the need for over-complication. Whilst Lupe will inevitably be criticised for being featured on a ‘pop’ track given the heavy backlash of his very poppy Lasers album, his contribution isn’t bad at all, coming through on a speedy flow with decent lyrical content to provide a reminder of what he does have in his locker.

Tracks From Lloyd Banks' Cancelled Cold Corner 2 Mixtape


This picture represents Banks turning his back on what he’s good at: the mixtape scene. I’m talking specifically about cancelling his Cold Corner 2 project in favour of another subpar album. I know I’m a little late on this, but it’s hard scrutinizing every tweet of each emcee you follow. Trust me, I feel just as cheated as you. I had been ignoring the following four tracks as they dropped earlier (around April/May) this year as I often do with projects I want to keep fresh from start to finish. Anyway, Banks comes heavy on each joint as he always does with his mixtape material and recaptures that gritty sound which went a little missing on HFM2. Getting To It Mandatory is gutter.

Getting To It Mandatory
Misery
Spread My Wings
Money Chase ft. Fabolous

Drake-Marvin's Room Video

Given that this wasn’t expected to be an official single, it’s a nice surprise to get some visuals here. Great timing from Drake too, with the horde of recently-released remixes threatening to take the shine away from the quality of the original.

The video isn’t anything complicated, and essentially follows the lyrics as Drake drinks his way through the night, whilst propositioning with an old flame in a classic ‘drunk dial’. Good use of dim lighting and night scenery throughout, playing off the sombre, isolated vibe of the audio nicely, whilst the slowed-down section towards the end makes for a nice switch-up, representing those blurred moments from the night that we’ve all surely experienced. The stop-start filming style also tries to recreate that stuttered memory feel, though it does leave the video feeling a little fragmented at times, and whilst that may be intentional it doesn’t make for entirely smooth viewing. Only a minor criticism though, and it’s a solid enough video for a very enjoyable song.

Audio can be grabbed here.

Idle Warship, Jean Grae and Jay Knocka-System Addict


Having been a big fan of the music that the Idle Warship trio (Talib Kweli, Res and Graph Nobel) put out back in 08-09, I’m glad to see them continue the collaborative work with this effort. Interestingly though, Talib doesn’t actually feature here and this is an all-female track, which makes for a nice change of pace in our testosterone-filled rap world.

Grabbing Jean Grae along for the ride is most certainly a welcome addition, and she opens the track with a quickfire flow that brings a nice dose of energy to match this lively, uptempo DJ Khalil production. She’s followed up by Jay Knocka who delivers a decent verse of her own, sandwiched between some catchy vocals from Res and Graph, who step in with two hugely listenable vocal verses. Certainly, it’s easy to enjoy that blend of both rapped and sung verses, and backed by a bouncy production it all combines for a solid all-round track, with hopefully many more to come.

Idle Warship-System Addict ft. Jean Grae and Jay Knocka

Boardwalk Empire: Season 2 Teaser

Hugely excited for the next season of this superb drama. The period charm combined with some genuinely superb acting from the likes of Steve Buscemi made for enthralling and captivating viewing in the first season, and it looks as though the second season is going to ramp things up somewhat.

I won’t spoil it for those of you that haven’t finished season 1, but it’s fair to say the season ended in exciting style with the story arcs for the forthcoming season being started, and here there are strong hints of the direction in which those arcs will be going. Watch and enjoy.

Wu-Tang Performing Gravel Pit At Glastonbury [Video]

As the UK’s BBC pioneers to slowly strip down everyone’s free will I was going to post a 40 minute long video of Wu’s set at Glastonbury over the weekend. Alas, the BBC picked up their solitary rotary dial telephone to call someone at YouTube to politely request that that said footage was removed. Up there with the Daily Mail for everything that’s backward with the UK.

What I have managed to find is a 2:21 clip of the Method Man show performing Gravel Pit, presumably the track the BBC and Glastonbury thought was the Wu’s best work (*shrugs*).

Warning: Contains very strong language like ‘ass’.

Rant over.

Eminem-Space Bound [Video]

Em’s fourth single from last years’ superb Recovery gets the visual treatment here with a starring role for former pornstar Sasha Grey.

As to be expected here, the video captures Em’s introspective tip and whilst telling a story through the cinematography still manages to keep the focus on Em adding emphasis to his lyrics. And that’s probably a good thing as I find it hard to take Sasha Grey seriously having seen what she’s capable of.

If the audio to this is new to you then I recommend you crawl out from that rock you’ve spent the last year under.

Knowledge Medina-The 9mm (Prod. Soul Theory)

My pledge to listen to artists I’ve never heard of is starting to pay dividends. On the strength of Knowledge Medina’s last drop I posted with Reks I was rewarded with my bravery to click on once more. Sombre piano chords set an ominous undertone for this joint with Medina riding over with his raspy, sincere vocals. Top stuff this and I highly recommend you click ‘play’ even if you don’t decide to download for free.

R&B Fridays: Episode 106


Some really interesting remixes this week, with the works of R&B poster boys Drake and Frank Ocean undergoing treatment from their peers. Of course, there’s a sprinkling of original material too with a range of styles represented.

A fair bit to recap on from the week gone by: a James Blake and Drake mashup mixtape, a very enjoyable R&B throwback from will.i.am, strong slow jam from Lloyd’s upcoming album, brand new material from Drake, and for some reason a video for Enrique, Usher and Lil’ Wayne’s collab and Britney’s latest single. Click below for this week’s goods and services.
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Kool G Rap-I Am (Prod. Ceasar and PStarr)


G Rap teams up with the production house Ceasar and PStarr for a cut off their upcoming War Music LP which features the likes of Styles P, M.O.P, Red Cafe, Smif-N-Wessun, Saigon and more.

As much as it pains me to say this, this is better than anything which G Rap mustered together on his latest release Riches, Royalty & Respect. Although it is undeniable G Rap has slowed down since his prime, he’s still bringing the heat with the vocals it’s just his beat selection on RR&R was atrocious. I’ll still argue with anyone that he is the G.O.A.T. Dead or alive.

“The boss of all bosses, I own racehorses and a fortress, corridors with olympic torches and Mona Lisa portraits.” – It’s A Shame

Kool G Rap-I Am

Kendrick Lamar-Hol' Up


Probably the last drop we’ll post from K Dot’s upcoming Section .80 which hits stores July 2nd. I love the melodic, lightly horn infused instrumental on this which Kendrick does a good job of deciphering. With that said (and we all know I’m still yet to be convinced of this boys ability to rhyme) I would have liked to hear an East Coaster over this. Maybe I’m just being too critical. The boardwork alone will get it some spins on iTunes anyway.

Oh, the artwork (left) is dope as hell. July 2nd the date.

Kendrick Lamar-Hol’ Up

Britney Spears-I Wanna Go [Video]

I honestly can’t tell you why I’m posting this. The Internet is a terrible thing. One minute you’re listening to the latest leak from Section .80 (That’s up next) then before you know it, you’re watching posting the latest single from Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale album.

I had this on cassette. Make of that what you will.

Now I think I’ll go hide from Ajay before he fires my ass.

Jean Grae and DJ Drama-Cookies or Comas (Mixtape)


The hugely anticipated mixtape from Jean Greasy arrives right on time, and I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of takers on this free 11-track project.

It’s fair to say Jean’s really developed her reputation and fanbase with her entertaining tweets, being very responsive to fans as well as broadcasting her natural wit, and certainly stands up as one of hip-hop’s true beneficiaries of Twitter. This project comes at a great time to capitalise on that growing buzz, and the releases we’ve heard from it so far suggest the whole tape should live up to the hype. Free grab and stream available below.

Jean Grae-Cookies or Comas (Hosted by DJ Drama)

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Enrique Iglesias-Dirty Dancer ft. Usher and Lil Wayne [Video]

Probably the first lesson we learn from our parents is: “Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do.” This is one of those times.

As I’m holding the ‘day shift’ down, after some considerable deliberation, I’ve decided that it would be mean to keep this from some of you for too much longer.

I genuinely struggle to know what to write about this. There’s a lot of the colour blue. Some girls pole dancing. Lots of strobe lighting effects. And The Mighty Boosh’s very own The Spirit Of Jazz makes an appearance. Oh, sorry, that’s Lil Wayne.

We’ve got the audio kicking around here somewhere.

Game Ft. Chris Brown-Pot of Gold


The already-leaked Pot of Gold gets an official release on the 28/6 and is being billed as the second single from Game’s much fabled The R.E.D. Album.

Lending his vocals to the track is Chris Brown, whose vocal delivery on the hook, chorus and bridge is superb and in my opinion steals the show. The production is another strong point, with The Futuristiks lacing Game with laidback, acoustic guitar and drum-driven work, giving Game the ideal platform to spit his reflective thoughts and feelings. A pleasant little number from Game and Chris Brown that I imagine should appeal to the mainstream crowd and get quite a bit of airplay. Stream below or grab on iTunes.

Mac Miller and Talib Kweli-Family First


Some of Mac’s recent work has been very consistent, and here he drops off a new effort with Kweli to celebrate reaching 500,000 fans (that’s some serious numbers for a non-mainstream rapper!) on Twitter.

Solid laidback production suits both rappers comfortably, with a short, simple two-verse structure that makes for very easy listening. Mac’s husky, relaxed flow taking to the easygoing vibe smoothly and brings some likeable work out in his bars, whilst Talib’s more nasal delivery offers a sharper, clearer verse that contrasts nicely with Mac’s. A quick and enjoyable listen.

Mac Miller-Family First ft. Talib Kweli

The ILLZ-In Between Us [Video]

I’ve run out of superlatives for The ILLZ. One of my favourites, if not my favourite, from The ILLZ’ (insert superlative of choice here) The Pursuit which I still bump at least once a week.

The visuals here perfectly depict the subject matter in question with both parties grappling with the pressures and joys that the modern day relationship brings. The use of one single room here works well as it showcases a timeline of their life together throughout different snippets.

You can get your hands on this alongside the whole of The ILLZ’ back catalogue, FOR FREE, here. Do it. It’s brilliant.

Re:Definition 2011 @ The Hackney Empire - Thursday 7th July


Year after year, RE:DEFINITION successfully aims to tell the tale of an area that lies at the crossroads where old values meet new ideals. Last summer’s presentation was a genre-blurring live concept album which brought together some of the biggest names in urban music, as part of the Create11. This year, Urban Development have teamed up with the Barbican and Create11 to present you with a collective of musicians, emcees, vocalists, actors and dancers on July 7th at The Hackney Empire.

Fusing live performance, multi-media and theatre on a journey that encompasses love, conflict, tradition and aspirations in east London, performers are KANO, GHETTS, TALAY RILEY, ROXXXAN, DONAEO, JAY NORTON, SELAH, SCRUFIZZER, MIKE HOUGH, MPHO, LOVELLE, MIKILL PANE, LADY CHANN and ABEL MILLER. Each artist’s tracks and lyrics will form the story that is RE:Definition.

With visuals coming from music video director and producer JAK FRSH, who’s worked with Wiley and Tinie Tempah amongst others, it’s back over to MATTHEW ‘EXCALIBAH’ XIA to direct the show. Visit www.barbican.org.uk or www.urbandevelopment.co.uk for tickets.

Be smart and support not only UK music, but the depth of creativity and originality on show here. If you’re down in the London area, don’t insult your own intelligence-get involved (no, I’m not making a commission!).