Flatbush Zombies - Demos

There is something about these two that entertains me. The music is generally good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not as if they’re constantly dropping 10/10 material. However, they exist beyond the music, and it’s utterly ridiculous imagery like this that enamours the duo to me.

In a generous spirit, Erick of the Zombies let loose this collection of nine unreleased tracks from 2012 sessions, possibly around the time of the recording/release of the breakout D.R.U.G.S. mixtape, in what appears to be a very popular release. Whilst it’s all offered as one long mix (much to the detriment of us iTunes librarians!), the feedback is convicing enough to give it a go anyway- the Childish Gambino feature on one of the tracks doesn’t hurt either. Check the whole thing out below, and look out for more from the Zombies soon.

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Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Full Album Stream)

With an incredible number of collaborations, joint albums, productions for other artists and much more under his belt, one of hip-hop’s hardest working men is gearing up to release his 5th solo studio album next Tuesday (18th).

It’s been fun watching Statik’s reputation grow from a bubbling-under producer to one of hip-hop’s premiere acts behind the boards, and it appears most of the genre feel the same way; features are beyond plentiful here, with appearances from Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Blu, Joell Ortiz, Mac Miller, Flatbush Zombies, Bun B, Prodigy, Action Bronson and many, many more in what is a fantastically-stacked lineup. Of course, there are several producers/DJs who tend to get a slew of guest spots on their albums (Khaled, Drama etc.) but given their tendency to hire predominantly mainstream or ‘pop rappers’, it’s refreshing to get Statik projects that are generally full to the brim with MCs that do the genre justice. Stream the full project over at NPR below, and be sure to support next week if you’re a fan.

Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Album Stream)

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Flatbush Zombies-MRAZ (Video)

Their D.R.U.G.S. mixtape got a decent amount of play from me, and whilst it’s not to everyone’s taste, their combination of diverse productions and fairly uncomplicated raps makes for easy listening that helps fill out any playlist. With that said, there weren’t too many standout tracks (though the beat on SCOSA was insane), and hence this recently-released effort shot straight to the top of my highlight reel for the crew.

The production’s got a lovely blend of smooth sample, laidback percussion and a subtle set of upturns and step-ups both within the verses and moving into the hook. It’s a well-crafted beat that’ll work with almost any rap style, and hence the Zombies take the chance to mix it up with their deliveries, lacing the beat with both crisp, intense raps and some more easygoing work, offering a good blend of styles to bring out different elements in that superb instrumental.

Visually, it’s a good fit too. The subject matter is unfussy, focusing primarily around the performances of the track, but doing so via a set of filters and effects that throw a touch of quality and uniqueness to proceedings, particularly the sharp lighting effects and occasional shift to slow motion. It’s easy listening and viewing, and should appeal to many.

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Kilo Kish-Creepwave ft. Flatbush Zombies

Kilo Kish fans, don’t be confused (as I was): there is already a track under this title, but it’s been heavily reworked for this version from her upcoming K+ mixtape.

Coming in at just over 6 minutes long, this one features an extended intro lines up synths that are atmospheric and airy synths alongside those of a darker, more ominous persuasion for an aura-filled intro, before throwing percussion into the mix for a hit of intensity. The track then comes back to the recognisable synths of the original’s opening, though the changes are soon noticeable, with a couple of additional lines and re-recorded vocals that sound much crisper than the previous version. Add to that new backing vocals, a good Zombies feature and a great instrumental section to close, and this is a worthwhile upgrade that definitely trumps the original. A good track that sets the mixtape up nicely, and with Childish Gambino, Star Slinger, Earl Sweatshirt, The Internet and more set to feature on the mixtape, there’s plenty more to look forward to.

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Fool's Gold-Loosies (Full Album Stream)

After celebrating five years of groundbreaking music and events, Brooklyn indie powerhouse Fool’s Gold Records puts a giant exclamation point on 2012 with the release of their highly anticipated rap compilation Loosies on December 18th.

Fool’s Gold are one of those labels that a surprising number of well-known acts have had some form of interaction with. From A-Trak being Kanye West’s former tour DJ and Kid Cudi breaking out on the label, to their current roster that boasts Danny Brown, Donnis and many more, they’re one of those labels that don’t force their brand on you, and instead let their acts do their work-an admirable quality.

This LP boasts 23 tracks from their artists and various guests, the latter including Juicy J, Jim Jones and Chuck Inglish, and certainly has some quality about it: an example includes Danny Brown’s thunderous Molly Ringwald, which got plenty of attention back in July. Stream the full thing here, and use the iTunes links in the player to grab the full project for yourself.

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A$AP Mob-Bath Salt ft. Flatbush Zombies (Video)

A track that was very likeable on its release, and still remains so, the Mob let loose of the visuals for what appears to be the lead single from their recently-released Lords Never Worry mixtape.

The clip captures the essence of the audio well, fusing together shots of group performance and scantily-clad ladies underneath a horror-esque umbrella theme. Nothing particularly groundbreaking of course, but it’s a theme that complements the production, whilst the shots represent the energetic and carefree nature of the raps.

The highlight of the clip has to be the opening two verses from the Zombies, who bring an on-screen presence that belies their relatively ‘newfound’ status, though Rocky’s ever-laidback demeanour is an enjoyable watch, particularly given how high-octane his verse is (the best of his career so far? It’s up there). Grab this track on the mixtape now.

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RZA's The Man With The Iron Fists Soundtrack Tracklist

Quentin Tarantino presents The Man With The Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director, co-writer and leading man, RZA—alongside an exciting international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero who all descend on one fabled village in China for a winner-takes-all battle for a fortune in gold. The film arrives on November 2, 2012.

I saw the trailer for this a little while back and frankly, it looks epic. Normally projects like this can be pretty shoddy, but RZA’s clearly surrounded himself with the right people and properly committed to this, and the sheer scale of the names involved in both the film and the soundtrack suggests he’ll pull this off with considerable success. The tracklist features a fantastic roster, including Kanye West, Pusha T and of course the Wu-Tang Clan; click below for the full list, where you can also grab a free download from the OST.
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