It’s tough to quite pinpoint why, but Krit’s music just doesn’t seem to stick with me. There’s clearly talent there, demonstrated well on some of his features, but for some reason I don’t find myself replaying much of his material at all despite his heavy critical and hip-hop community acclaim.
Could this be the project to change that? The features will certainly help. Bun B, Smoke DZA, Wiz Khalifa and Trinidad Jame$ appear alongside the ubiquitous (for better or worse) Future, whilst 9th Wonder contributes a beat to a project otherwise fully helmed by Big K.R.I.T. himself. There aren’t many rappers I find myself latching onto these days, but I do find myself pulling for this guy to be one of them, purely for his multi-talented nature and the regularity with which he delivers work. Stream and free download below.
It’s fair to say that for most of the hip-hop community, the jury’s out on whether CyHi’s got enough to really make an impact. He seems to have had some great opportunities, from several features on Kanye’s much-loved G.O.O.D. Fridays series a couple of years ago to his inclusions on the Cruel Summer album, but never seems to do enough to stand out.
It’s another chance to change that here, and he’s got a great cast of supporting acts to help him boost his reputation. Guest spots include Childish Gambino, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Smoke DZA and several more, whilst the production lineup features Lex Luger, Beat Billionaire and a couple of newer names behind the boards. Generally speaking, I’ve tried to support CyHi’s work where possible, and here’s hoping the Atlanta native can now justify that; find out for sure with the free stream and download below.
I don’t give this guy nearly the attention he deserves in my iTunes. He’s dropped off several projects in recent years which the hip-hop community seems to have met with relative approval, and yet I’ve not fully committed myself to listening to any of them yet.
This will change now. It appears that not only do hip-hop fans appreciate this guy, but his peers do too as the features on this tape make for salivating reading: Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Twelvy and many more. For a mixtape that mostly came out of nowhere, that’s quite the list he’s assembled and I’m sure most of those don’t lend their names lightly. If, like me, you’ve neglected DZA’s work, there’s pretty much no excuse now and I’ve got complete confidence that he’ll deliver the goods here. Free grab and/or stream below.
Talk about label craziness. ABN representative and Grand Hustle-affiliated Trae Tha Truth drops a brand new tape for the hip-hop heads, hosted by Maybach Music Group’s DJ Scream. Any other labels want in here?
Clearly, everyone wants to be associated with Trae. It’s easy to spot why as his very unique delivery makes him instantly stand out from the crowd, and clearly Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, T.I., Young Jeezy, R. Kelly and many more agree given that they all makes appearances on the tape. Almost every track has a big name attached to it, and here’s to hoping Trae can hold his own and prove he belongs up with those names. Grab the enormous 20-track mixtape for free below.
It’s a Southern party for Big Boi’s first single from his next solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, as the Outkast member grabs newbie Big K.R.I.T along with Houston old heads Bun B and Pimp C (from beyond the grave).
Heavy bass and a simple vocal sample anchor the track, whilst a few additional hits of keys, synths and electronic samples interject themselves throughout for little injections of liveliness, and the result is a beat that feels very much new-school (very close to something The Cool Kids would produce) but with a heavy Southern swing thrown into the mix. The raps are strong from top to bottom, courtesy of a series of excellent flows from each artist, in addition to Big Boi’s wordplay, K.R.I.T.’s slick delivery, and Bun’s effortless presence. A solid single that’ll play well enough in the mainstream crowd, whilst satisfying the hip-hop heads.
undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.
With the concept for The Roots’ upcoming undun album explained, this short yet rather powerful clip of what is essentially just a shootout has a more poignant context. Particularly excellent is the hint of ambiguity: it’s not totally clear which of the two shooters is Redford. The viewer’s sympathy clearly extends to the character that is killed, but the final scenes of focus on the killer suggests the expansion may instead happen on this character, and hence throwing an interesting dynamic out there prior to the album release. A gritty, dark short clip, this is certainly worth watching as an opening to what comes next from this story. The full audio is here, and be sure to grab that album on December 9th.
Much anticipated music from The Roots’ upcoming 13th album, undun, slated to be the first true concept album of their long and storied career, and it’s a hugely enjoyable listen.
Soft synths combine with a laidback percussion to provide a smooth, relaxing backdrop, creating a laidback atmosphere that bleeds into the vocal work right from the off. The raps are extremely solid from start to finish, as both Krit and Black Thought come through with introspective, thoughtful raps to capitalise on the production, whilst the soulful hook further enhances the mellow quality of the track. Excellent effort, and looking forward to that album on 9th December.
New material from Gilbere, a man who’s likely to get some real shine soon given that he’s just taken part in the annual BET Cyphers (due to make their way to the internet any moment now!). Similarly, Big K.R.I.T. has just featured on T.I.’s comeback single, arguably his biggest co-sign to date, and one that should see his profile rise.
Interestingly, K.R.I.T.’s opening verse has a heavy T.I. influence, particularly his delivery in a speedy, tongue-twisting flow combined with a strong southern twang, whilst his lyrical content isn’t left wanting in what’s a very enjoyable opener to the track. Gilbere follows up with some enjoyable bars of his own, blending together introspection, ambition and energy, and whilst the delivery is relatively unchanged throughout, they’re still two cohesive verses that make for good listening. Solid all-round effort.
“In celebration of our 4th annual Freshman issue, we linked up with DJ Whoo Kid for the 2nd year in a row to release a mixtape showcasing the up-and-comers’ talents. XXL’s 2011 Freshman Class: The Mixtape features brand new music from Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Lil B, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, Lil Twist, Fred the Godson, YG, Cyhi the Prynce and Big K.R.I.T. as well as some welcomed, surprise collaborations.”
Can’t say I agreed with some of this list when it was released, but we’ll see if my mind is changed by what those I doubt put forward on this tape. Aside from that, it’s always good to grab new material from the likes of Yelawolf and Kendrick Lamar, so this should definitely be one to add to the collection.
Big K.R.I.T. has been tipped for good things this year and thus you should look our for his music, which should become more prominent as the year goes on. From the man himself:
“This is the 1st leak of my new Album “Returnof4eva” (artwork by Eric Bailey) The song is called “Dreamin” I produced the beat as well. I feel this is a perfect representation of my music at this exact moment in time bc it could have gone either way for me. This was all a dream a year ago. Now i am living out my dreams everyday. This is a personal & special record to me & i hope it inspires you to follow your dreams like i did. Motion Family shot the video for this yesterday, Thats coming soon. In the meantime u can get the song & all updates from me at Returnof4eva.com.”
A very well produced, thought-provoking song. Click here to get your paws on it.
Some welcome visuals for a track that’s been played on my laptop and my car many times over the past few weeks! The video itself has many clips of Chamillionaire’s travels across the globe, from the Middle East to South America. It’s great to see, as it not only fits the nature of the song but it’s also good to see Chamillionaire the person, and not just Chamillionaire the rapper.
You can grab the excellent audio for this by clicking here. Very much looking forward to hearing even more new material from Cham in the near future.
New heat from Chamillionaire, reminding us all of his talent. Probably paved the way (on a mainstream level at least) for the likes of Drake with the switching between singing and rapping, so it’s great to hear him come out with some new music.
This song is really good too, sounds like something straight off his criminally underrated Ultimate Victory album (which came out in 2008). Hopefully Cham will be releasing a new album soon; now that he’s off Universal records who he had many a trouble with over the last couple of years.
Here’s the video for a remix from one of the standout tracks from Big K.R.I.T.’s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here album. Featuring two rappers from the South who currently have a rather large buzz about them, this is one track you don’t want to miss out on.
Surprisingly a mellow one, this is a song you can just listen and chill, it especially feels to me a summer song you can just laze around to. You don’t need it to be a particular season to laze about, (especially here in the UK with there being snow everywhere you look at the moment!) so download below and enjoy.