Mike Posner-We Own It (Remix) ft. Sammy Adams, T. Mills and Niykee Heaton (Video)

An enjoyable collaboration between several young talents here, as Mike Posner assembles a small squad to tackle the 2 Chainz single.

For those who haven’t come across her before, Niykee Heaton is a rather talented act who rose to prominence after a series of (ongoing) YouTube videos covering several popular tracks, most notably reworking hip-hop tracks that you’d struggle to imagine working in an acoustic environment. Here, she combines with Posner to reinvent the 2 Chainz’s original’s hook, turning it into a more pop-oriented effort that should certainly open the track up to a much younger audience. It retains the motivational qualities of the original too, which works well to give the track a strong sense of direction, and though I’m not hugely keen on the rapped verses from Mills and Adams, they’re necessary breaks between the addictive vocal work from Posner and Heaton.

The in-studio video certainly enhances the audio, purely down to the fact it adds an organic, live vibe that’s difficult to portray with audio alone. A fun remix, and should you enjoy it, you can download the audio for free.

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Mike Posner-The Way It Used To Be

Pages is the title of Posner’s upcoming album, and with some of his recent freebies being mostly strong releases, you’d be forgiven for having high hopes for this lead single.

Unfortunately, it’s really not up to those standards. This is unabashed chart music, from the bubble-pop production through to the rather generic lyricism, and it’s clearly his stab at a new radio single; it’s understandable given that his work generally falls into the pop category, but those who’ve followed him since the Brain Trust days will be disappointed at this fairly uninspiring use of the great talent he does have. That’s not another ‘oh, he should make music like he used to’ complaint, as he’s an evolving artist with enough versatility to try different sounds, but this just seems like paint-by-numbers pop with little to grab onto for the non-teenage listener.

With that said, it’s surely going to be a favourite with the younger audience this summer, with its squeaky-clean nature surely primed for mainstream success; it’s just not going to quite sway favour with anyone above the age of 17. I’m sure Posner’s really annoyed at having a potential chart smash and not impressing people like me, eh?

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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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Mike Posner-IDGAF ft. Pharrell

posner pharrell
An unexpected one that landed this weekend. Not necessarily because of the acts involved, but you’d expect a track of this nature to be held back as a lead single rather than a leak; high praise indeed, but deserved.

The production is that classic Neptunes style, harking back to some of the beats they laced several R&B and hip-hop acts with, as bubbly percussion combines with energetic electronic melodies to create a soundscape of positivity, though with an intense, driving edge. Posner’s vocals have renown adaptability, and here he switches through several styles to make the most of this addictive production: an attitudinal, rap-influenced style makes up most of the verses and pre-hook bridge, with his fun bounce being swapped out for a gentle touch of vocals for the hook, offering a nice cool down period from the lively verses. Pharrell comes through with adlibs and backing vocals where required, whilst also contributing an enjoyable verse of his own as the closer, with his blunt delivery contrasting Posner’s various harmonic styles and once again, demonstrating the versatility of this mainstream-friendly beat. A good slice of mainstream pop/R&B; Posner needs to back this track as it could undoubtedly be a big single for him, particularly with the summer coming up and Pharrell’s stock being incredibly high right now.

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Mike Posner-OshFest ft. Blackbear

mike posner
I was gonna save this song for my album but you deserve it now. A glimpse into Posner’s upcoming work it seems, and a welcome one given his releases in recent months haven’t had much by way of a confirmed home. If the rest of the project is in this vein, it should be a favourite with those who’ve been longtime Posner fans

From the whispery vocals through to the atmospheric production there’s a warm aura created throughout this one, whilst the patches of grounded lyricism help to channel that vibe smoothly, and hence there’s a vibe of relatability that will find favour with fans of his breakout A Matter of Time tape. Good to hear a couple of deliveries from Mike too, as he raps and sings alternately, and fingers crossed there’s more of this ilk on the way.

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Mike Posner-Started From The Bottom Remix ft. T Mills, Chuck Inglish, Asher Roth and King Chip

Interesting take on the recent Drake single, as Mike Posner takes this in a more pop direction, and grabs some hip-hop heads to help out.

The opening’s about as far removed from the original as can be, with Posner’s gentle vocals giving the song a personal, more intimate feel, whilst the use of a lonesome piano for the backdrop supplements that vibe. When the MC’s get involved things are allowed to expand more, with the inclusion of sharp live percussion and a couple of ska-esque guitar plucks, with T Mills opening in average fashion before Asher, Chuck and Chip have a great exchange between the three of them, with their verses having brief periods of crossover that add a nice uniqueness to the ‘posse cut’ style.

The video’s filmed entirely in-studio, and whilst that may sound unexciting, it massively boosts the audio. That’s mostly down to the track seemingly being performed live, together and in the same place-a relative rarity for tracks with several guest spots, and a sign of confidence from all involved. Worth a watch for sure, and a fresh spin on the original.

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Mike Posner-Heaven

I wanted to do SOMETHING for the victims’ families. I wrote this song because I didn’t know what else to do.

Borrowing a sample from Ed Sheeran’s Let It Out, Posner to dedicates a little something to the victims and families of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Of course, I’m sure many tribute songs will be pouring out, and it’s good that someone of his stature has taken the time to do this. The slightly positive vibe of the track is a nice touch too, and rather than making something too downbeat, the lively guitars and hopeful lyricism attempt instead to raise the spirits of listeners. There’s only so much a song can do and there’ll never be enough to fill the hole those families have in their lives, but it’s genuinely good of Posner to put this heartfelt release out, and our thoughts here at OTU are with the very same people this is dedicated to.

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Travis Porter-That Feelin' ft. Mike Posner (Video)

A slice of something a little more mainstream in terms of hip-hop, but an enjoyable laidback one that could be a decent hit for the Travis Porter duo. It’s nice to hear from Posner again too, who’s been quiet in terms of music activity in recent months.

The Just Blaze-helmed smooth beat and Posner’s whispery vocals synergise excellently, giving the song a consistently easygoing vibe that would have probably made this a playlist dominator for those summer days-shame it’s come too late for us over here. It’s rare to hear Blaze come through with this style, and it’s generally a good listen whenever he does so. Travis’ verses are decent enough for the track type, keeping things fairly light and uncomplicated throughout, traits which suit the vibe of the track. No unecessary complexity, no complaints.

The visual opens in a relaxed manner, depicting an enviably bright drive to Las Vegas, before slowly injecting a little more playfulness which results in the now-customary nightclub scenes. It’s a clip that fits well enough with the audio, and doesn’t make any conceited attempts at a storyline. Grab this on Amazon now.

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Sh*t You Forgot About: Episode 2

We’re into our second week of what proved a popular new feature last week, and you’re in for another journey not too far down memory lane. I call it Recollection Avenue.

This genre-less weekly episodical seems like the perfect opportunity to mix things up, and whilst there’s still ‘normal’ stuff in there, feel free to indulge yourself with the two curveballs I’ve thrown in this week.

Last week you may recall Kid Cudi featuring heavily, and this week’s theme is…April 2009. I’ll be honest, it was more coincidental than anything.

Head on below deck if you’re ready.
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Mike Posner & Blackbear - Stay Schemin’ [Rick Ross and Drake Cover]

An unexpected cover version of a rather controversial track! Although I shouldn’t be surprised by anything Mike Posner does really, he seems to be capable of anything.

He and Blackbear (not someone I’m personally familiar with) do an excellent job of covering this mainstream hip hop track, adding an acoustic sound to it. Well worth a watch.

(The original can be found here).

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Mike Posner-The Layover Mixtape

As promised, Mike Posner drops off his first new project since his 31 Minutes To Takeoff album, and there’s a ton of potential in this heavily-stacked mixtape.

A huge 21 tracks have made the lineup, with a good mix of covers and original material, whilst the features are definitely plentiful with Bun B, Elzhi, Casey Veggies, Machine Gun Kelly and many more hopping along with Mike for this mixtape. Clever little move from Mike adding in some funny subtitles to each track, which I suppose is both entertaining and informative (‘Drive to This’, ‘Fall Asleep To This’ and so on!), and also suggests there’s a good diversity of styles on show. Grab the project for free below.

Mike Posner-The Layover

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Mike Posner and Bun B-Rocket Man

It’s been a while since we got new music from Mike, and he’s right back on the scene with The Layover mixtape scheduled for 20th November, with this refix of the Elton John classic being the first taste of the tape.

Rather than attempting to be another cover version that falls short, this is instead a bold, modern take on the track that allows it to be entirely seperate from the original, courtesy of an electronica-inspired production that creates a futuristic atmosphere around the track. Posner’s vocals are solid throughout, and in keeping with the production attempt to utilise a more modern crossover style rather than attempting to go note-for-note with Sir Elton, whilst Bun’s contribution fits in surprisingly well as his bassy delivery contrasts well with the rest of the track. Free grab below.

Mike Posner-Rocket Man ft. Bun B

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R&B Fridays: Episode 102

On we roll with the institution of institutions, and it’s probably fair to say that the highlight of this week’s R&B has already been posted: having finally got around to listening to The Weeknd’s debut project I was incredibly impressed by it, and would wholeheartedly recommend you R&B Friday fans checked it out.

In addition to that, the past week saw visuals for the latest T-Pain and Chris Brown collab, Frank Ocean dropped off some enjoyable visuals for one of his lesser-known tracks, and finally a big collaboration between Lloyd, Trey Songz and Young Jeezy.

Click below to grab what else we’ve got in store this week.
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Mike Posner - Falling (Stefan KIDstarr Remix ft. JD Era & Bodega Bamz)

A nice little treat for your ears here, a superb remix of Mike Posner’s Falling, by producer Stefan KIDstarr. It’s taken from what I can gather to be an upcoming remix EP of Posner’s brilliant debut album 31 Minutes To Takeoff, titled 31 Minutes To Takeover.

KIDstarr has done a fantastic job, adding extra synths to provide a much more electro driven beat, done in a manner that somehow feels stripped back, creating an even greater atmospheric feeling. This added to two sublime verses from Era and Bamz make it, in my opinion, exceptionally more accomplished than the original. I highly recommend this.

Mike Posner – Falling (Stefan KIDstarr Remix ft. JD Era & Bodega Bamz)

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Mike Posner Gets His Hands On The Barclays Premier League Trophy!

What a picture! Also, my liking of Mike Posner has gone up ten-fold after he divulges his favourite football/soccer team below:

“It is so surreal to be able to stand in the same room as this thing and touch it. It is one of the most prestigious trophies in the world so I am in awe at the moment!” says the 23-year-old singer, songwriter and producer

I am a huge Wayne Rooney fan so my favourite team is Manchester United. This is because I feel a certain kinship to Wayne because we both have red beards. My favourite MLS team is LA Galaxy because Kobe Jones used to play for them.”

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R&B Fridays: Episode 89

Genuine reason on the delay this week: I wasn’t happy with the amount of good quality material as of yesterday afternoon, but the R&B/pop world has delivered in the last 24 hours or so to make sure that situation has improved.

Not too much to recap on from the past week, with only the three related items: UK starlet Jodie Connor released her newest single, fellow homegrown upcomer Jaya released a new video featuring two prominent MCs, and Mike Posner let loose of official visuals for his collaboration with Lil’ Wayne.

Click below for this week’s R&B fix.
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Mike Posner and Lil' Wayne-Bow Chicka Wow Wow Remix Video

Nice to get some new visuals from Mike, and here he goes with a more humorous approach for his slow jam remix. I can’t say I expected the song to be visualised in this way, but the outcome is definitely funny and makes for a decent watch.

Various highlights throughout, including Posner’s disco wig and I’m sure many will relate to Posner’s hurried post-night out clearing up! There’s more than a hint of the ‘Lynx Effect’ in this video too, which adds a further light-hearted feel to the package.

Not the greatest video of all-time by any means, but it’s not too bad and is worth a watch for something a little less intense than most videos. Audio can be picked up from here.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 86

All good things come to an end, and my recent run of posting these on time has been broken. The football fans out there will also note that another streak was broken today, but we are NOT getting into that.

A quick round-up from the week gone by: UK upcomer Talay Riley grabs Wretch 32 for a remix of his single, Timbaland’s latest weekly instalment, Trey Songz’s take on Chris Brown’s latest single, and finally a medley of incredible Michael Jackson covers from the fantastic Patrick Stump.

Lots of big names in this week’s episode, and many that will certainly catch your mainstream eyes. Click below for a sweet-smelling blast of R&B to your sweaty, sweaty face.
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Big Sean-Ambiguous Girl ft. Clinton Sparks & Mike Posner

Off Big Sean’s Finally Famous Vol. 3 mixtape: here’s the official video to a track that accumulated a lot of plays on my iTunes.

Not a lot to talk about with the visuals, so I’ll discuss the song instead. Mike Posner really delivers with another utterly addictive hook that you will not get out of your head. I didn’t actually realised Clinton Sparks rapped on this, was just a DJ from what I was aware, but he does a decent enough job on this.

Big Sean obviously enhances the rapping side of things on this track and he also happened to make me laugh a fair bit at the end of the video with him telling a story about the three of them on the pull.

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Mike Posner-Please Don’t Go Video

It’s always good when a video is exactly the same as the mental image the audio already gave you. The general ‘sunset’ vibe (both literal and in the sense of an ending relationship) is a key theme throughout, and it fits the tone, lyrics and feel of the track well. It ends well too, with the his ‘request’ to not go being fulfilled.

Audio for this top track can be grabbed here.

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XV–Mirror’s Edge ft. Mike Posner [Video]

Love this song, which was on XV’s recent mixtape, Vizzy Zone. This track, or various versions of it, have been floating around for seems like yonks now and yet it still sounds as fresh as ever. XV is certainly destined for big things, in my opinion.

Click here to grab the mixtape this is on, or click here to go grab the remix of this (by far the best version) which was posted over a year ago!

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Mike Posner-Another Love Song

Got a ton of stuff for tomorrow’s R&B Friday, so I’ll let loose a bonus track from Posner’s recently-released debut album. It’s a pretty decent track, following on from Mike’s (new) sound of pop/electro crossover. If I’m brutally honest, I wish he’d stuck with the pop-alternative hybrid that he initially emerged with, as I feel this electro influence makes him sound a little more generic than he should be.

It’s a good song though, don’t get me wrong, I just think he won’t be truly excellent unless he goes back to the style he broke through with.

Mike Posner-Another Love Song

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R&B Fridays: Episode 60

I REALLY need to remember to do these. I prepare them all week, setting up playlists and filtering songs, but come Friday I end up being massively distracted and completely forget all my hard work.

You’ll forgive me after the click though, of that I’m sure. I’ve made sure all the big hitters are involved in this milestone episode. Don’t believe me? Prepare to look (even more) like a fool.

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Mike Posner-Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Really, really looking forward to the debut album from Mike. This track shows just how refined his sound is becoming, with this one being a pretty slowed down jam with those alternative flashes that make this guy’s music so difficult to categorise!

This track comes with some big production credentials too, having been helmed by Bruno Mars and The Smeezingtons. They do a great job on blending soft, futuristic tones with slightly edgy guitars to create a fusion that works well with Posner’s unique vocals. Could have easily headlined R&B Friday, but I’ve gotta let this one go sooner than that: Commence grabbing below.

Mike Posner-Bow Chicka Wow Wow

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Mike Posner - Please Don't Go

A new leak from Mike Posner’s upcoming debut album, 31 Minutes To Takeoff. Another quality track from Mike, it’s pretty safe to say that I’m really looking forward to this album dropping, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Mike Posner’s voice and electro-production go together like a bow and arrow.

Mike Posner – Please Don’t Go

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Mike Posner: Album Artwork

As dropped on his twitter, Mike Posner shares with us the artwork for his upcoming album, 31 Minutes To Takeoff - which is set to drop August 10th.

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Mike Posner/Jim Jones - Cooler Than Me Remix

Loved the original to this, although I personally preferred the version he chose to make a video for, anyway it’s great to see rappers take on supremely talented songs made by Mike Posner! Sure, I’d rather someone held with more esteem when it comes to lyrical ability on this, but Jim Jones does a decent job, changing his flow to suit the track. Go grab the download below.

Mike Posner – Cooler Than Me (remix) ft. Jim Jones

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Mike Posner-Cooler Than Me Video

Posner releases the visuals for his latest single, which is actually the Gigamesh remix of Cooler Than Me from the One Foot Out The Door mixtape. The video is decent enough, and fits the track pretty well, with a range of party scenes and some valuable face-time for Mike.

With regard to the audio, I did prefer the original Cooler Than Me from his first (and now quite rare) mixtape, A Matter of Time, but this version is still likeable.

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Notorious Indi’s Best of ‘09

2009 was one hell of an interesting year. We saw the comeback of Eminem, albums by the 2 other big names of hip-hop in Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and once again we waited all year for Dr. Dre’s Detox which never came. It’s fair to say that despite this the year hasn’t been dominated by the big boys and we’ve seen a gradual change in hip hop – the gangsta rap of previous years has steadily evolved into what can be described as ‘Hip Hop Hipsters’. Kanye led the way back in 2004 and by 2009 the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Wale and Asher Roth have emerged.

Click on to find out what I considered the best and the worst to come out this year. → Continue Reading

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