Meek Mill-Dreamchasers 3 (Mixtape)

On the back of the first two tapes in the Dreamchasers series, Meek’s carved out a very strong position in the mainstream hip-hop scene, and certainly ranks as one of MMG’s more recognisable names. Credit to Meek then for sticking with the mixtape scene, despite the fact he could have probably put half of these tracks onto an EP and made a lot of money; clearly, he just wants to get a lot of product out there, and that’s to be appreciated.

Features on this are big-name heavy, as you’d expect, with Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Fabolous, Future, Jadakiss and Ma$e appearing alongside MMG leader Rick Ross, whilst the producer lineup boasts Cardo, Boi-1da, Key Wane and even the massively-forgotten Scott Storch. Meek’s proven himself a very versatile rapper, so expect a couple of club hits, speaker rattlers and maybe a more introspective track or two. Either way, mainstream heads will be grabbing this one- do so for free below.

Meek Mill-Dreamchasers 3

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Nicki Minaj-Mercy Remix ft. Iggy Azalea

A couple of disclaimers: firstly, I don’t rate Iggy Azalea at all. She’s a novelty at best, and has minimal rapping ability. Secondly, as a result I can’t verify whether her verse on this or a legit remix, or just ripped from another song and mixed onto the beat. Finally, the Minaj verse is from her remix of this with Lil’ Wayne on his recent Dedication 4 mixtape (assuming you understandably didn’t download that).

If the above statements didn’t clear it up, I’m not exactly beside myself with excitement over this. Minaj’s verse is nursery rhyme bad at the start and end, though there’s a flash of her ability with a quicker flow in the middle section of the verse, whilst Iggy’s contribution is so insanely boring I refuse to write any more.

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Lil' Wayne-Dedication 4 (Mixtape)

With zero knowledge that this was due today, I’ve coincidentally been listening to some old school Wayne recently, reliving the glory days when he was unquestionably the hottest (whatever that means) in the game. Da Drought 3, for those of you interested.

Fail after fail means I’m far removed from this guy’s career nowadays though. His releases have been generally disappointing (everyone played Tha Carter 4 for about a week before pretty much never touching it again), but if there’s one medium that will always provide a glimmer of hope for Wayne fans, it’s the mixtape scene. If he can rediscover the hunger and fury he once had, I’ve got no doubts this will be a great project, however his recently-professed love and preference for skateboarding doesn’t bode well. A handful of big features on this as you’d expect, and you can grab the 15-track for free below.

Lil’ Wayne-Dedication 4

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Album Review: Drake - Take Care

Following on from Ajay’s game-changing live tweet review of the excellent Childish Gambino album, Camp, I’ve followed up with live album review of my own, for an album that leaked on the same day of the previously mentioned album.

Take Care is Drake’s attempt at beating the ‘sophomore curse’, and he takes it into a very different direction to his explosive début. The build up to this album has been slightly lacklustre, has Drake managed to pull a rabbit out the hat? Those following the official OTU Twitter account already know my thoughts, the rest of y’all click on below.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 122

Whilst the hip-hop world has been extremely busy this week, it’s been a slower week in the R&B world. Hence, there’s only the one post to catch up on from the week gone by, with a smooth, very enjoyable effort from one of the better entities to emerge from Odd Future, The Internet, though I expect many R&BF fans will also be interested in the latest single from Drake’s upcoming album.

Get your fingers at the ready, and get to clicking below for this week’s gooey treats.

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Drake and Nicki Minaj-Make Me Proud

Despite 90% of Drake’s audience being female, the quotes from him surrounding this are that ‘the ladies were asking for a track for them’, and in the vein of Best I Ever Had, there’s lots of praise and ‘empowerment’.

Though it’s a little uncreative and repetitive, the simple hook will certainly reel in his usual audience in the manner the aforementioned track did, and similarly the verses will win female admirers. Both are a little stale for me, and it’s a relief hearing Nicki’s voice on the second verse: she’s no lyrical behemoth, but brings enough diversity in her flow and deliveries to at least make the track entertaining. The production is considerably darker than Best I Ever Had, and praise is due as it makes for a departure from the more atmospheric style he usually opts for. It’s a beat that would have been better served underneath stronger flows, and unfortunately Drake doesn’t take advantage. One the mainstream crowd will really enjoy though, unquestionably.

Drake-Make Me Proud ft. Nicki Minaj

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Big Sean and Nicki Minaj-Dance (A$$) Remix

Not exactly one of my favourite tracks from Sean’s solid debut album, but certainly one I can understand the appeal for with an upbeat, addictive nature that will really appeal to the mainstream crowd.

Nicki’s a great choice (and coup) to feature here on the official remix, both from a musical and anatomical perspective, and fits with the fun, lighthearted nature of the track well. Her off-the-wall, exaggerated and nonsensical style works the production well enough, and will undoubtedly increase the popularity of the track, potentially landing Sean another big hit here. Sean’s parts are mostly the same as the original, and his laidback, dulcet style adds a welcome contrast to Minaj’s shrill tones, and he does a decent job in rounding off this likely club favourite. Whilst I’m not going to give it many plays, it’s one to grab for a bit of fun, and I’m sure most will struggle to resist it in a club.

Big Sean-Dance (A$$) Remix ft. Nicki Minaj

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Birdman - Y.U. Mad ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne

A lineup, photo and track that will have both Murray and Chris ready to launch a laptop at the wall…just forget this post ever existed lads.

For the rest of you mainstream lovers though this is a track that you’ll enjoy for sure. Nicki kick-starts the track with the first verse of hers that I haven’t found annoying since Kanye’s Monster. With a hard-hitting beat, Lil’ Wayne has no issues with providing a verse that closes off a song that will sound good in your car. Just try and ignore the Birdman verse in the middle of the song for the good of your health.

Birdman – Y.U. Mad ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne

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R&B Fridays: Episode 115

Six tracks from six respected artists to enjoy this week, bringing together a little bit of soul, a little bit of pop and a little more R&B.

The same can be said with this week’s related posts, with a soulful jam delivered by UK upcomer Cherri Prince, fellow Brit Emeli Sande collaborating with Wretch32 for a free single, a cinematic visual for The-Dream’s latest R&B slow jam, and finally a remix of Kreayshawn’s popular Gucci Gucci.

Click below for your weekly prescription of musical medication.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 105

Being on time is the new being late. Or something like that. Gone with a slightly different approach for this week’s episode, as I sympathise with the mainstream folk who come looking for some party/chart tracks, and leave empty handed. I’ve chucked in a few artists/tracks I don’t particularly like, but will certainly go down well with the mainstreamers, and of course there’s still a healthy dose of music that’s actually good too.

Onto the recap from this week, and three noteworthy posts: Frank Ocean dropped some highly anticipated visuals for Novacane, Katy Perry released an entertaining video for her latest single, and most importantly The Weeknd dropped off some superb new material.

Click on for this week’s punnet of healthy tracks.
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Kanye West, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj-Monster Video

Originally leaked a few months back, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was already released, but it’s re-emergence marks the official release of the huge collaboration.

Having avoided the original leak of the video, I can’t comment on whether anything is actually different, but it is a pretty solid video from start to finish. Hovering somewhere in between the metaphorical style of his feature-length Runaway video and a regular music video, with hints of artistic flair alongside some gruesome, horror-inspired imagery that works with the more literal vibe of Monster. In particular, the oft-revisited scene early on involving Kanye rapping in front of/holding off a bunch of ‘zombies’ outside his doors has a very ‘us versus the paparazzi’ vibe, and hence makes you sympathise with the ‘monster’ that is Kanye West.

Some great fashion moments too, with Jay-Z’s rather slick smarts probably taking the win, though Kanye doesn’t exactly come up short either. Worth a watch, and I’m sure everyone has the audio by now.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 97

Lots of slow jams and collaborations in this week’s episode, some of which are certainly noteworthy not only for their lineup, but also as they’re potentially quite prominent singles from upcoming albums.

Recap from this week’s postings: a new Jagged Edge mixtape, Ryan Leslie’s latest video/single, visuals for J*Davey’s fantastic Raincheck, and finally a very unexpected UK-US collab between David Banner, Estelle and Daley.

Click below for the 97th instalment of R&B’s most revered institution.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 95

5 weeks away from the 100th episode, and the ‘new format’ rolls on with another easy-to-digest and concise edition. Not too much to catch up on in terms of different posts, but I’m sure anyone with even a sprinkling of good taste will be interested in grabbing 64 Frank Ocean tracks.

An interesting blend of mainstream stuff and more refined soul-oriented material this week, as well as chucking in the now customary throwback R&B track of the week. Click below to be happy.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 90

Genuinely tried to get this out yesterday, but once again we suffered from a lack of material. I’ve managed to half fix that problem, though this is still a shorter episode than you’re probably used to.

However, there’s been lots of pop/R&B posted in the last week that may help fill that void: new Bruno Mars visuals, Willow Smith’s latest single, the announcement of an awesome 90s hip-hop and R&B night in Camden, a strong introduction to UK upcomer CleoSol, J.Lo and Pitbull’s latest collab, and finally some new Timbaland and Brandy.

Click below for the 90th instalment of the longest running weekly episodic ever.
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Kanye West ft. Jay Z & Nicki Minaj-Monster (Teachers Remix)

Not familiar with Teachers? Me niether. After a little bit of research I can tell you they helped Yeezy and Bon Iver produce the original Monster (you can grab the original here if you already haven’t). I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this.

Having overplayed it so much myself, I was starting to become pretty bored of this track. However, my appreciation for the single has been taken to a whole new level. The Teachers have stripped the whole production right back leaving nothing but the original verses (minus Rick Ross’), giving it a far more atmospheric feel. It’s much eerier, in-keeping with the whole Monster theme. The drums take a front row seat on this one, leaving the guitar riffs to blend superbly into the background, building and dropping when needed to match each verse. It’s genuinely blown me away, I think I may actually prefer it to the original.

Kanye West ft. Jay Z & Nicki Minaj-Monster (Teachers Remix)

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Lil Kim-Black Friday [Video]

At this stage in my life I’m pretty sick of Nicki Minaj, I must admit. However, was this video really necessary Lil’ Kim? If you’re going to make some visuals for what was a very impressive track, don’t wait 3 months. The game’s changed; our attention spans have turned to mush.

Things in this video that made me laugh:
-Playing a sample of a Diddy interview and then telling him to “shut the f*** up”.

Things that freaked me out:
-How scarily similar the Nicki Minaj lookalike is to the real thing in this video.

You can go grab the audio for this by clicking over here.

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The Lonely Island ft. Nicki Minaj-The Creep [Video]

A little bit of light hearted entertainment for you on this mellow Sunday afternoon. After their last single I Just Had Sex ft. Akon, The Lonely Island continue to get major names from the hip-hop world to collab with them as Nicki Minaj joins them on their latest effort. (It’s nice to see someone else attempt my dance moves, my mother would be so proud….)

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Nicki Minaj and Drake-Moment 4 Life Video

I’ve not listened to Minaj’s album yet, so wasn’t familiar with this track but understand it’ll be a bit of a big deal. Why? Well, not only is it hip-hop’s golden children, but it’s actually a surprisingly strong track that warrants some attention as a solid hip-hop piece.

Booming drums and bass make for a very simple, driving beat that is embellished brilliantly in the hook with some atmospheric synths, giving the track a well-rounded depth as far as the production goes.

The raps are pretty decent too, with Minaj’s opening verse in particular making for another nice surprise. Video is OK, with a corny Cinderella thematic layed on pretty thick, though that’ll most certainly give it a huge mainstream appeal and is clearly aimed at the youth audience. Main thing for us adults is that Minaj once again makes for great eye candy.

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Nicki Minaj-Roman’s Revenge 2.0 ft. Lil' Wayne

Really didn’t feel the original to this track that featured Eminem. Although I didn’t particularly mind Nicki’s verses, the production and chorus on this was too annoying for me. Even Eminem’s verse grated my ears, his flow didn’t sound right to my ears on this at all.

What we have here is Lil’ Wayne jumping on the track and I didn’t expect to feel any better about the song. Having listened to it though, it actually should have been clear as day that Wayne’s flow would be enjoyable on this sort of production – without doubt his best verse since being released from Rikers Island. Definitely prefer this to the original, even though the beat and hook still turns me off.

Nicki Minaj – Roman’s Revenge 2.0 ft. Lil’ Wayne

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Nicki Minaj and Busta Rhymes-Roman’s Revenge Remix

Sorry for not posting this earlier, my weekend absence mixed things up somewhat. This remix had been rumoured for quite some time, and there was a lot of hype about it as word was that Busta seriously went in on his verse: I can confirm that’s true.

I really wasn’t feeling the original at all, but hearing Busta snap and turn back the clock with a passionate, intense performance is absolutely worth listening to. He comes through with that high-speed flow, which goes into some ridiculously tongue-twisting segments, and is accompanied by his usual craziness with snarls and growls. This beat is absolutely made for Busta, and it’s a shame it ended up with Minaj: someone out there needs to cut her verse out and throw Em’s back in!

Nicki Minaj-Roman’s Revenge Remix ft. Busta Rhymes

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R&B Fridays: Episode 79

Yes, I know it’s Sunday but better late than never eh?

I’ll not waste too much time up here, so here’s the catch-up: great video from Jamie Foxx and Drake, a great cover from Ellie Goulding, Tinchy Stryder’s latest single, the newest visuals from Dirty Money’s album, a mixtape of all-new material from Sammie,  Chrome’s debut solo single, and a big collaboration from Keri Hilson and J. Cole.

Let’s go. Click below for episode 79.

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Lil' Kim-Black Friday (Nicki Minaj Diss)

I have to be honest: on diss tracks, Kim has just blown Minaj out of the water here. Whilst it’s undeniably lame that there’s no real reason for this ‘beef’ other than female jealousy, as well as the fact Kim seems to take issue with pretty much every other female rapper, we may as well enjoy the music and Kim comes through with some vicious bars on this one.

Borrowing Pharoahe Monch’s Simon Says, Kim adopts a far more direct approach than Minaj’s more veiled Roman’s Revenge, as she hits Minaj pretty hard throughout with some decent lines accompanied by some good diversity in her flow. With the Nicki Minaj novelty wearing off for most of us (above a certain age), there’s undoubtedly growing support for Kim in this petty war, although she unecessarily goes at pretty much everyone else in this track too (Diddy, Drake, Young Money etc.). However, major laughs at the end of the track with the Minaj impression!

Lil’ Kim-Black Friday

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R&B Fridays: Episode 76

Whilst the rest of the music world seems to have taken a much-needed breather this week (album releases aside), there’s been no shortage of new and/or unreleased R&B and pop material in the 76th instalment of R&B Fridays.

The week has already seen a great new video from Tank, two new remixes from T-Pain, a captivating video for Bruno Mars’ Grenade, the UK’s own Chipmunk working with Chris Brown, another release from Trey Songz’s upcoming mixtape, Keri Hilson and Kanye West getting together for a new remix, Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj’s collabo video, and the unexpected release of a John Legend and Estelle EP.

Lots up there, and lots down below. Click on.
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Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj-I Ain’t Thru Video

A lively video for Keyshia’s latest single, as she adds a mainstream hip-hop feel to her track with this video.

Lots of colourful outfits, club/party scenes and nighttime cityscapes pretty much ticks the boxes for the pop chart fans, whilst Keyshia and Nicki’s personalities provide those elements with healthy doses of personality.

Audio can be swiped from here.

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Nicki Minaj-Girls Fall Like Dominoes

I’ve not heard her whole album myself, but many (including Indi) feel it was a letdown, which doesn’t make for good hype ahead of the official release. However, the track below is the iTunes bonus from Pink Friday, and is actually rather good.

Sampling The Big Pink’s Dominos (you’ll recognise it) to great effect, TBP’s hook is smartly left in the track, giving the song a much more rounded feel than Minaj’s usual material. Her verses are OK, as she switches between flows effectively, handling this alternative-influenced beat well. Highlights are certainly the beat and hook though, with JR Rotem serving up another top class production.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 74

Bumper episode this week, with 20 tracks making the cut. It’s been a pretty busy time for R&B, hence I’ve let plenty of big R&B/pop tracks loose early this week.

The recap: Drake’s full version Fall For Your Type, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s first collaboration, a diverse track from Christian Rich, Trey Songz and Keri’s remix of a Dirty Money track, the final version of a great Lloyd track, and some ‘new’ Michael Jackson music.

A lengthy catchup, and it’s followed by a big episode: click below to get involved.
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Rihanna and Nicki Minaj-Raining Men

The much-anticipated collaboration from two of music’s biggest female stars lands, just a week before the album is set to be released.

For me, it’s pretty underwhelming. I expected something with a little more energy and a more defined style, but instead we’re given a track that’s all over the place from a genre perspective: the combination of pop vocals and lyrics with a hip-hop influenced production doesn’t work at all, and instead manifests itself as a disorienting ‘pop rap’ song. Considering this is supposed to be targeted to the mainstream, there really isn’t anything memorable from the verses either, whilst the hook largely consists of Rihanna making unidentified noises. The solitary highlight is the production itself, which I’d like to hear some rappers  take on.

Rihanna-Raining Men ft. Nicki Minaj

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Nicki Minaj/Eminem-Roman's Revenge

I personally can’t stand this girl but I couldn’t help but be anything other than curious at how a collabo with Em would turn out. The impression I get from Nicki is that she always has a strong production team behind her and in this instance we’ve got some pulsating, almost halloween-esq boardwork from Swizz Beatz. Em comes in to spit two year-2000 Slim Shady verses and for me absolutely steals the show with his high energy flows.

(@Ajay – Do I categorize Nicki as ‘hip-hop’ yeah? *cringes*)

Nicki Minaj-Roman’s Revenge ft. Eminem

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R&B Fridays: Episode 72

Plenty to recap from the past week: Behind-the-scenes with Rihanna and Drake, new visuals from Nicki Minaj, a video for Dirty Money and Drake’s collabo, three mastered tracks from Ciara/Usher, Akon and Nicole Scherzinger, and finally the finished version of Jamie Foxx and Drake’s fantastic Fall For Your Type.

Click on for this week’s R&B fix.
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