My internet has been out for days, so I apologise for the delay. That being said, hip-hop’s current malaise means even obvious releases like this are completely slipping under my radar. I generally enjoy Game’s material, but even he hasn’t escaped the effects of my boredom with rap as of late.
Nonetheless, it’ll be a project I’m certainly going to give a go, if only for the inevitable handful of car-ready highlights that will emerge. Game’s usual running buddies turn up, alongside some of the newer breed, with features from Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne, Nipsey Hu$$le, ScHoolboy Q, Diddy, Elijah Blake and K. Roosevelt amongst many more, whilst the production lineup boasts appearances from Cool & Dre, DJ Mustard and League of Starz. It’s pretty much everything a mainstream hip-hop head needs, and is available to stream and download below.
As good as Kendrick Lamar is, in absolute truth, if you’d asked me before GKMC who my favourite upcoming west coast rapper was, I might have said Nipsey. He’s hugely underrated, but a great talent that is slowly breaking down doors and getting more believers on board with his movement, and doing so purely via his music, with no other PR stunts or shenanigans.
A hefty 21 tracks make this project up, though that extensiveness isn’t used as a device to shoehorn in loads of features; in fact, big name guest appearances aren’t that numerous at all here. Rick Ross, James Fauntleroy, Dom Kennedy and Slim Thug are among the better-known names here, whilst notable producers include 9th Wonder, 1500 or Nothin’, and The Futuristics. It’s been a bit of a dry spell for hip-hop, so hopefully this chunky offering can tie those fans over who are struggling for new work to listen to- free stream and download below, or you can support by grabbing a signed, limited edition hard copy over at Nipsey’s site.
Having long championed Nipsey as one of my favourite West Coast acts in recent years, it’s always good to get fresh work from the upcoming rapper.
I’ve been on a mini-spree of old school West Coast rap recently, and this effort may just conjure up memories of that style. The production is a great blend of intense, mellow and fast-moving, with urgent melodies sitting above quickfire percussion for the verses, and airy synths and drifty vocal samples thrown in around the hook-the result is a track with plenty of energy, but just enough smoothness to make it a good summer listen. Nipsey’s not known for being lazy with his raps, and his crisp flow is on point once again here, riding along the pulsating production well and coolly adjusting his cadence on the beat’s various transitions. The lyricism is again a combination of street realism and arrogant, bragger raps, and whilst that’s not to everyone’s tastes, it works with the production well enough to deliver that classic West vibe. Will hang around my playlists for some time to come, and hopefully a new project is on the way soon.
Rockie’s another great example of just how good MMG are at promoting their artists. Say what you want about their music, but the vast majority of people that sign with them tend to command massive amounts of buzz in a very short period of time.
Whilst I’ve not been a massive listener of Rockie’s music, he’s clearly a young guy with a lot of potential, as demonstrated with his most recent release from this very project. Outside of that track there are very few features on the tape, though Curren$y makes an appearance, and hence it’s a good chance for Rockie to justify some of that hype. I can’t promise he will, but I can promise you can find out for free below.
I’ve not been massive on Rockie’s material since his move to MMG, but this is definitely the best cut I’ve heard from his upcoming Electric Highway album, timed wonderfully given its due for release on Monday.
The production’s a nice blend of soulful and modern, with a soft vocal sample combining with strong strings, heavy-hitting percussion and vibrant synths for an upbeat production that carries the track along a wave of triumph and positivity. Ross opens with a solid if somewhat predictable verse, though it sounds signficantly fresher (pun not intended) on this lively backdrop, whilst Rockie’s on both the hook and the second verse with a good contribution that will enamour many to his cause. Frequent MMG collaborator (and oft-rumoured to sign with the label) Nipsey Hu$$le’s got the closing and highlight verse here, adjusting his flow to be a tiny bit offbeat and hence sound markedly different to his peers on the track, and it’s another good performance from one of hip-hop’s underrated acts. Nice all-rounder.
One of a whole host of projects that got released over these past few days, but arguably the most anticipated in more mainstream circles. There’s nothing like a bit of mixtape Wale, and whilst it’s a shame that the division exists between the album and mixtape work, the sheer depth in quantity of his mixtapes makes his lesser work a bit easier to ignore.
This one comes in at a huge 21 tracks, with over half of them featuring some rather notable names: look out for contributions from Jhene Aiko, 2 Chainz, man of the moment Trinidad James, labelmates Rick Ross and French Montana, and many more. The diversity of the features suggests that this will be packed with a good variety of styles, and that’s also evident in the producer lineup, featuring Nottz, Diplo, Apple Juice Kid and Key Wane amongst others. Plenty to suggest this will be worth a go, and the grab is free below.
It’s not a Sunday but Game’s kind enough to throw out another freebie, grabbing fellow Californian Nipsey Hu$$le for a welcome assist.
Some of Game’s recent releases have been surprisingly enjoyable, and you can add this one to that list. Admittedly, the Timbaland production isn’t massively spectacular, with the shrill melodies becoming reptitive rather quickly, but the chemistry between Nipsey and Game is what makes this one a keeper. They share the opening verse with a line-for-line delivery that makes for a great listen (why does no-one do that any more?), before each coming through with solid enough verses that complement one another and make the most of an average beat. Seems unfinished as there’s a gap for another verse, but it’s a likeable track that’s worth a couple of plays.
Stalley’s dropped several videos from his excellent Savage Journey to the American Dream mixtape, and now we’re treated to one from the recent MMG Self Made Vol. 2 album.
Assisted by Rick Ross and frequent MMG collaborator Nipsey Hussle, Stalley’s got a pretty good basis to deliver the goods and he certainly does. The beat certainly helps too, thanks to gentle keys, light percussion and an airy vocal sample all adding up to a chilled out production. Rozay opens up with a good verse by his standards, and whilst the lyricism isn’t anything new, his flow bounces along nicely and sets the tone for the track. Stalley’s up next with the standout verse, holding back on out-and-out ‘bragger raps’ by balancing each brag with a slice of humbleness, and it makes for refreshing listening. Nipsey closes things out with a couple of delivery styles and a similar down-to-earth style to Stalley, whilst his hook anchors the song well enough without ever being too notable. Enjoyable all-rounder that’ll make for good listening on those dark evenings. Grab the album on iTunes now.
Nipsey’s been taking on all sorts of old-school productions with his recent series of leaks and comes through with another freebie, this time taking Ja Rule’s Put It On Me for a spin.
It’s one of the most recognisable mainstream hip-hop tracks of the early 00′s, and Nipsey doesn’t back down from its stature, coming through with some confident raps that pack in a few different flows, each one remaining watertight. Of course, he’s no slouch on hooks either and harmonises well enough to stamp his authority on the track, before newcomer Ken drops off a decent, if unspectacular, introduction to his capabilities. A nice quick blast that isn’t anywhere near as ‘classic’ as the original, but a good refresh of a memorable production nonetheless that’s worth a couple of plays.
I guess every number’s a milestone for someone, but I’m not complaining: after hitting 302k followers on Twitter, Nipsey lets loose of another freebie, this time taking TLC’s classic Creep instrumental for a quick spin.
Nip’s definitely become one of my favourite active rappers right now, and it’s that combination of sheer hunger and laidback confidence that makes up the adoration. Given the legendary status of the production, you’d honestly be hard-pressed to tell this wasn’t an original track, such is Nipsey’s authoritative command of the beat, opening with a fun and simple intro that leads into some solid raps that veer between the passion and charisma mentioned earlier. A very easy, likeable listen and let’s hope there’s another menial milestone coming up soon.
To celebrate reaching 300k followers on Twitter, Nipsey lets go of a short blast to keep his fans happy before that next project drops off, which hopefully is sooner rather than later.
The beat selection is a laidback, chillout production that creates a nice summer vibe on the track, courtesy of soft guitar licks and an easygoing percussion that never threatens to dominate the track as many do. Nipsey’s raps are sharp and pretty tidy throughout, rapping at a fairly consistent high pace throughout with plenty of quotables and a general air of confidence. Only 90 seconds long, but worth a listen nonetheless.
This isn’t one where the video particularly warrants much attention of its own, but it’s a great opportunity to give some shine to both a good track and a great series of mixtapes, The Marathon and The Marathon Continues, from Nipsey.
The audio combines a thumping bass with slowed down melodies in the verses, packing in plenty of punch before upping the energy levels with some decent synth work on the hook, which serves as a great anchor for the track that’ll have you cranking the volume up. Nipsey’s one of the more underrated rappers in the game as far as I’m concerned, and this track is a good display of what he’s able to do, with quick, watertight flows throughout the track making the most of a nice range of topics in the lyricism.
It’s a good all-round hip-hop track that should get some heads nodding, and others turning to pay more attention to Nipsey. As mentioned, the video isn’t one that embellishes the audio, but hopefully will result in more of the hip-hop heads giving Nipsey more minutes in their rotations. Grab this, and more, over at Nipsey’s house.
Two of my favourite young rappers in the game come together for a collaboration from Gambino’s upcoming and as-yet-untitled mixtape, and it’s the second excellent drop in two weeks from Gambino.
The production is perfect for Nipsey’s style and mirrors some of his selections from his various Marathon projects, blending a laidback cool with a little atmsophere, seriousness and bounce for a beat that will find favour with almost every corner of the hip-hop fanbase. The raps are enjoyable from both acts, with Nipsey bringing his contemplative yet confident style on the opening verse, before Gambino bursts in with a hook that sounds straight out of the West coast playbook, before transitioning into an empassioned verse that’s similar to Nipsey’s in subject matter, making for some welcome consistency and giving the track a good structure. Really likeable one again from Childish Gambino, and that mixtape can’t come soon enough.
Easily my favourite remix to date of this track, and arguably just as good as (if not better than) the original, Nipsey and YG throw some visuals together for their unofficial West Coast remix of Drake and Lil’ Wayne’s The Motto.
YG opens with his laidback, magnetising verse that doesn’t boast any head-bending wordplay but has a nice flow and easy rhyme scheme, blending excellently with the production, whilst the video has some nice flashes of charisma from YG, as he takes things to the club to inject a little energy into the track.
Nipsey Snoop Dogg Jr. follows up with his very likeable verse (I find myself repeating the first two lines in my head continuously!), and maintains the momentum with more activity and vibrancy in the visuals. Sidenote: It’s definitely a good move leaving the Drake hook on the track, and it’s certainly where most of the other remixes have fallen short. Grab the audio (which also includes a Snoop Dogg verse) for this here.
A contender for my favourite track on Take Care, The Motto’s got a hypnotising production that’s difficult to resist, and it has to be said that I’m thankful to finally have someone else to hear on the production.
Three of LA’s prominent MC’s come through here, and each takes to the bassy beat with relative ease. YG opens with a laidback yet bouncy flow that uses the natural rises of the productions well, whilst Nipsey follows with a sharper, slightly more aggressive style in a similar flow to YG’s. Snoop closes the game out with a pause-filled performance that ensures his verse remains a little unique, and whilst it’s certainly not the best verse on the track, credit is due for changing it up from the previous two verses. Good remix, definitely worth a grab if you liked the original.
New Jersey emcee J.Y. links up with Nipsey Hu$$le and Young Scolla to bring us this joint, which is set to be on J.Y’s soon to be released The Slave Shift: Waking Down. As you can probably guess from the track title it’s an uplifting piece of hip-hop.
For me, this is an excellent track. J.Y. and Nipsey spit about their efforts to get to the top of the hip-hop game and their self belief that it will happen. The star of the show though has to be Young Scolla on the hook, the guy has talent and I’ll be looking out for a lot more of his work. Also, there’s something about the piano on a hip-hop track that really works for me. Make sure you have a listen, you won’t regret it.
J.Y.–We All Good ft. Nipsey Hu$$le & Young Scolla
Another guy who’s really raised his profile this year, Nipsey caps off his biggest year, as far as his rapping career goes, with this mixtape.
It’s a pretty long project too, coming in at 18 tracks, which will certainly keep us fans of his addictive Westcoast style happy. Nipsey’s proven himself as one of the brightest talents coming out of that side, and hopefully this tape will keep him at the forefront of people’s minds going into 2011. The tape can be grabbed over at Nipsey’s place below.
Couple of new freestyles from Nipsey, let loose on his Twitter over the last few days in celebration of reaching 56k and 58k followers respectively.
Both are decent tracks, with the first being some bars over Kanye’s Runaway, whilst the second grabs Wiz Khalifa/Curren$y’s The Planes. Decent efforts too, and both are good, quick blasts of hip-hop that will make a nice addition to any playlist.
“Feel like releasing another joint with a real summer vibe to it.. This is Sir Aah x Nipsey Hussle, once again.. We go back and forth on a Punjabi beat laced by Sureet Sandhu.. It’s been a hell of a run, big up to all those who post and download the music.. It means a lot!
The Real Punjabi MC coming this fall.. word to Kino.”
Can definitely hear where he’s coming from about this song having that summer vibe. Something about Punjabi music that has that effect (probably due to the amount of Punjabi weddings and associated booze-ups I’ve been to in the summertime over the years)!
Really, really liking this. Pretty mainstream hip-hop (R&B Fridays fans would be well advised to check this out) and it’s a style that Nipsey moves to effortlessly. My appreciation for his talents are ever-growing, and this track justifies that.
Lloyd is putting some serious work in. After working with Lloyd Banks and delivering a great hook, he comes through with another one that is every bit as good. This beat definitely suits Lloyd too, with a combination of a summer vibe and the wispy element that matches Lloyd’s airy vocals perfectly. Will be playing this for some time!
I’m on holiday for the next two weeks so you’ll have to put up with the rest of the OTU team (unlucky). However…I have found time to collect together a silly amount of tracks over the past week or so for you guys to tide you over while I’m away.
So click on for a mainstream hip-hop fix from the likes of Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9″, Bun-B, Young Jeezy, Nipsey Hussle, Wiley, Sean Kingston, Drake, Young Buck, Tinchy Stryder, Devlin, Giggs, Tinie Tempah, Jay-Z & Jim Jones.
Complex, Vitamin Water and Don Cannon have hooked up for a three-track mixtape, each based on a city that LeBron James could be headed for when he decides the next phase of his career in July. Each track tries to convince him to head to that particular city, and will certainly make for interesting listening for both hip-hop and NBA fans. Some pretty big name artists involved too, so click on below to grab it/preview the tracks.
Most of y’all should be familiar with the XXL 10 Freshman thing they do. Last year’s was great, and they were pretty much spot on with them all. I can’t say I know as much about 2 or 3 of this year’s 10, but expect a lot from the ones I am familiar with. I do however find the inclusion of OJ Da Juiceman in a ‘serious’ list to be ridiculous (quiet down Tempest!). For those who haven’t yet checked out who’s in this year, click here.
Anyway, this is a mixtape full of new tracks from these guys and will 100% be worth grabbing. Some of these guys are definitely going to blow up this year, so don’t miss out.
Sir Aah drops off some new stuff for us all to enjoy. As ever it’s very-feature heavy, with some really big names on I Ain’t A Killa. He’s also graciously sent across a remixed version of the Clipse feature Let’s Go, for which you can find the original here. I haven’t checked this out yet, but I expect it should be pretty decent. Grab the file below, which contains both tracks (as well as radio edits for the DJs).