As per every year, the only thing we check the BET Awards for is these excellent ciphers, and this year is no different.
The 2012 edition brings you some utterly superb lineups, with the clip up here being a personal highlight as it features several of my favourite upcomers-A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Childish Gambino and Angel Haze, alongside newcomer Driicky Graham. The rest of the ciphers feature the likes of T.I., B.o.B., Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, DMX, Eve, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, DJ Quik, Xzibit, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Hopsin and more.
Plenty of promise, click on below to check out all of the ciphers. Who do you reckon had the standout performance? Big fan of Joey Bada$$ with the cipher up here, and my winners for the rest are below.
The production utilises thick, very bassy synths for the most part, much like E-40′s Function, giving the track a powerful intensity that’s capitalised on in a very different way to the aforementioned track. X’s natural aggression means that rather than convert this into a club anthem, it’s instead a track that has more grit and punchiness about it via X’s raps, and the synergy of beat and vocals makes this a track that almost feels like it’ll hop out of the screen and start shoving you around a little bit. A very physical track that pretty much bullies your eardrums.
One that hasn’t even been in danger of leaving my rotation since entering it way back in May, this is easily my favourite club/mainstream hip-hop track in recent months. That bassy, indescribably thick production is head-meltingly addictive and screams out ‘hit!’, whilst Problem lays down another stick-around hook that holds everything together strongly. On top of all that, you’ve got a lineup with some of hip-hop’s biggest names contributing verses. It’s tough to top that for a club banger.
40 Water opens with a good verse, with his distinctive tones meshing well with the beat, before Jeezy jumps in to really take the track to another level, with his rough voice making this the highlight verse. Chris Brown steps up next with a surprisingly listenable verse, and he’s followed by French Montana, who’s little disappointing on this one, before Red Cafe closes it out with a solid contribution.
The video packs in a ton of cameos, from Big Sean to Freddie Gibbs, and it’s always fun to see the hip-hop community turn out to lift a track to a better status. Definitely worth a watch and listen, and you can grab the audio right here.
Didn’t see this collabo coming. Really, really feeling this summery, airy beat and the hook makes me laugh an awful lot. I won’t ruin it for you, you’ll see why when you hear it.
Onto the bit everyone is reading this for-the 50 verse. My first impressions are that this sounds like the 50 Cent we remember. For some that’s a good thing, for some a bad-it reminds me of his more mainstream verses, largely due to the verse, but I actually find myself really liking his verse just because it sounds so much like ’04 50 Cent.
Maybe it’s because most other rappers are flowing the same nowadays, and 50 brings it a little differently, but there’s something about his verse that I find strangely replayable. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
Whenever I look for a random/pointless picture for a non-artist specific post, I always end up with cowboys. Maybe we should turn the site into a country music hub.
Anyway, in complete contrast to that, pick up two tracks below featuring 5 rappers on each. One is full of Eastside rappers, and the other with 5 from the West which makes for a nice bit of variety for you.
Unusual episode this one. I actually had a vast majority of this material with me by the end of Saturday night and could have probably written an entire episode right there. There was a great deal dropped later in the week too, making this episode 19 tracks deep and in terms of quality it’s potentially one of the best yet.
Click below for new/unreleased music from Usher, Ne-Yo, Bruno Mars and many more. As usual, a couple of newer artists in there too. Before you do though, be sure to grab this fantastic Christina Milian track that Indi liberated (and consequentially robbed from this episode!) earlier this week.