Like (of Pac Div) - Sao Paulo

Mibbs dropped an EP earlier this year, and now Like comes through with some solo work, letting loose a feelgood jam that’ll have you longing for the summer.

A quick blast that comes in at just over 2:30, Like’s supplied with a jazzy production built on distorted keys, punchy percussion and a dash of strings that combines into a bright, vintage soundscape oozing a nostalgic summer appeal. I daresay there’s an infusion of a 90s hip-hop vibe running through this one (or maybe it’s just that it evokes the same memories and imagery that Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith’s Summertime does), but in any case it’s an excellent production that would light up any summer.

Like’s performance is strong throughout, flipping between his husky singing voice and a few sharp, slick raps for a good mix of elements. The raps are easygoing and descriptive, performed as “a letter about the city“, whilst the airy singing on the hook is a lovely complement to the uplifting production, and does a great job in finishing off that sunny day feel. Add the bright, positive video to the mix and you’ve got an excellent dose of summer vibes to warm you up until the season rolls around.

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Mibbs (of Pac Div)-Freebass EP

mibbs pac div
One-third of the talented Pac Div trio throws his name into the ’18th June hip-hop release’ ring, and in doing so becomes the first (to my knowledge) of the group to release a full solo project. Of course, it’s nothing to do with any internal strife, rather its believed the members are branching out for a little while to try new things- always a worthwhile venture, particularly in bringing new perspectives when groups reunite for the next album.

Produced entirely by the perenially-underrated Scoop DeVille, Mibbs offers up 5 tracks which you can only assume will have nice consistency and sequencing given the production exclusivity, and that dependable platform should allow for Mibbs’ work as a solo act to really shine through. If the darker, more aggressive beats on Pac Div’s GMB are anything to go by (and the title of this EP), expect some speaker rattling productions to be packed in alongside Mibbs’ confident, assured raps. Stream below, and download for free here.

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Pac Div-Savages (Video)

It seems like that GMB album opened Pac Div up to new corners of the hip-hop audience, with their move to more aggressive, ‘harder’ productions being a welcome change for some and a strong introduction for others. In either case, this is about as good an example of that paradigm shift as any, the latest single from the aforementioned album.

The production is dark, speaker-rattling and hugely intense; with thudding bass, stuttered, choppy samples, and an almost horror-esque distortion sitting on top of it all, at times it’s easy to think this production is threatening to punch you in the face. Of course, the Div aren’t lazy with the raps, and instead of opting for the easy route of playing ‘violent rappers’, they stick to their skill with arrogant, brash raps delivered in a nice range of flows. At times, the sheer power of the beat does overshadow their vocal output though, and hence the video plays a good part in remedying that: the graffiti-heavy, desolate surroundings add a heavy dose of realism and grit to the clip, whilst the trio’s unfussy, performance-centric actions and movements remove distractions and keep the focus firmly on their raps. A solid video backed by a good audio, be sure to grab that GMB album now.

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LA Leakers-The 2013 Draft Picks (Mixtape)

la leakers
Sourmilk and Justin Credible (props to those who associate that name with the old wrestler) have built up quite the name for themselves over the last couple of years as the LA Leakers, and their status as pre-eminent West Coast DJs is verified with this collection of unreleased tracks and remixes from some huge names.

Ryan Leslie, Wale, Pac Div, A$AP Rocky and Problem are amongst the established names contributing, whilst Ryan McDermott, Audio Push and Trinidad James are part of the very talented and/or popular upcomers featured here. For the mainstream and middle-ground hip-hop heads, there’s no reason you wouldn’t be grabbing this and I’ll delay you no further-head below for the free stream and grab.

LA Leakers-The 2013 Draft Picks

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Pac Div-Black Acura ft. Mac Miller (Video)

Making the laundromat, a living room, and a dank bar look like reasonable places to start a rap career, the guys have an air of comfortable superiority in this first video from GMB.

One of the earlier singles from their GMB album, which was released today, Pac Div celebrate the LP release by sending out some accompanying visuals. The track has an almighty thump about it, courtesy of deep, heavy bass supplemented by minimal melodic additions and a punchy vocal sample, and yet again it ties into the much more aggressive style the Div have gone for with GMB. Commendably though, their lighter side comes out with a couple of more fun lines, and it’s good to see they’ve not entirely abandoned their affable roots.

The video has an interesting dichotomy of environments-the homely, everyday scenes (shot in Mac Miller’s LA home) contrast almost entirely with the dark, intense and frown-heavy shots of the trio rapping their verses. It throws you in terms of how to take the entire audiovisual, and that’s a reflection of themselves: from their previously easygoing work to this more in-your-face music, they’ve kept their output diverse and unpredictable. Good audiovisual, and GMB is out now (US iTunes).

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Pac Div-The Return ft. Ty $


Another release from the Div’s upcoming GMB album, due out on 27th November, and whilst most of their output from the LP to date has been much more aggressive than their usual work, this incorporates a more lighter elements to evoke that original Pac Div sound.

The verses remain punchy and full of energy as they have been on the previous releases, courtesy of both the raps and the crunching percussion work, but here they’re tempered by softer synths, light lashings of keys and an upbeat hook that adds a smooth, summery vibe to proceedings. The slow pace at which the track moves allows each of the verses to be delivered slightly differently, whilst the lyrical content capitalises on the summer vibe of the hook with reflective and laidback lyricism that makes for easy listening throughout. Solid all-round effort, and look out for that album next Tuesday.

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Pac Div-Cross Trainers ft. Kendrick Lamar and Blu


The trio’s GMB album is due on 27th November, and whilst the releases so far have been of a consistently good quality, there’s no doubt that adding fellow West Coasters Kendrick and Blu to the lineup will really turn heads.

In keeping with their more aggressive approach on this album, there’s crunching production on this one that gives their raps much more intensity, and makes for a nice departure from the more laidback beats we usually associate with all of the acts on here. The boom-bap percussion complements the Div’s cadences extremely well, whilst Blu’s dulcet tones contrast rather nicely with it to create a distinctively underground rap sound, and Kendrick’s high-paced flow rides the production slightly differently to the rest for a final touch of diversity. A variety of performances and results, and they combine for a very replayable track that bodes well ahead of GMB.

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Pac Div-Black Acura ft. Mac Miller & Raven Sorvino


That GMB album drops on 16th October, and thus far the releases from it have been of a very good level. This one follows suit, and the Mac Miller feature should also ensure it reaches a wider audience.

The production is very dark throughout, combining ominous synths with a menacingly-slow percussion for a beat full of character and intensity, making for a real departure from the Div’s more positive regular style. The raps are tailored well to the production, with slower deliveries all-round and a little touch of aggression in places to capitalise on the aforementioned intensity, whilst the diversity is there thanks to Raven and Mac’s contribution, with the latter’s laidback style fitting in well here. Another good track from the album, and it’s nice to see them switch up the style a little.

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Pac Div-Bank


More new Pac Div can never be a bad thing, and the ever-consistent trio come through with another strong effort that’s got a home on their upcoming GMB album, dropping on 16th October.

Thudding bass, clunky supporting percussion and not a whole lot else makes up this production, giving the beat a minimal yet inescapably-addictive quality that will have your head going back and forth. The Div’s raps are usually a nice mix of clever and mainstream-accessible, and here the trio instead opt to get a little more aggressive and gritt, coupled with a catchy, almost-spoken word hook that will ring around your head after the song has stopped. One of the more likeable groups in the game today, and I’m looking forward to more.

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Pac Div-Gimme What You Got


It’s difficult to not be a Pac Div fan, given that their music never ceases to be a combination of diverse and incredibly consistent, and grabbing new material from them is always appreciated.

This is an upbeat, positive jam with a summery production that has a lively bounce, courtesy of soft melodies, drifty vocal samples and a percussion that just rolls cooly along throughout the track. For those of you of a classic disposition, this actually samples Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s Take You There, explaining the beat’s deliciously retro vibe. The Div’s raps are good throughout, bouncing along with the melody nicely courtesy of fairly slick flows from each member, whilst keeping things fairly light lyrically to prevent smothering the production. A very good listen, and let’s hope more is coming soon.

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Pac Div-Shadowboxin’ Freestyle


One of my favourite new-school hip-hop groups taking on an instrumental from (or at least related to) one of my favourite old-school hip-hop collectives, as Pac Div grab GZA’s (of Wu-Tang, of course) excellent Shadowboxin’ instrumental for an enjoyable freestyle and homage to the underappreciated original.

Whilst it’s never going to be a patch on the original, they certainly give it a very good go as each member comes through with some sharp flows and crisp deliveries, and retaining that ‘posse’ feel by virtue of all three taking it in turns to rap, offering some nice diversity. The hard-hitting yet soulful beat proves within the eclectic reach of Pac Div, and this is a remix worth checking out.

Pac Div-Shadowboxin’ Freestyle

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Pac Div-Mania! [Mixtape]


The West Coast faction Pacific Division drop us another, hopefully excellent, mixtape to enjoy. I’m yet to listen as you may tell I’ve been a busy boy this morning but I’m sure there are some heaters to be unearthed in this free drop.

Get your hands on the mixtape here.

And for those asking, that’s Justene Jaro (link not safe for work etc!). She’s aiiight.

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Pac Div-Don't Mention It Mixtape


Wow, I had no idea this was dropping so soon! Probably the best group coming out of Westside hip-hop right now, Pac Div drop off their newest project. I really enjoyed the last one, Church League Champions (can be grabbed here),  and I’m absolutely looking forward to this. I’ve heard Rollin’ from this so far and really enjoyed it.

Anyone looking to check a fresh sound in hip-hop should definitely give this one a go!

Pac Div-Don’t Mention It

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Pac Div

clc_cover
Keeping on the hip-hop tip today, here’s something for all fans of the genre. Pac Div are rapidly making a name for themselves and Church League Champions, released a couple of months back, is superb. They’ve got a similar sound to The Cool Kids, but are a little less experimental and more rooted in the hip-hop style .

Click below to download the mixtape, and check out a video for one of my favourite tracks from it.

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