If you’re lacking that little bit of bite on your car playlist, or you just want something to make a screwface too, Lloyd Banks is your man. His mixtape work over the last few years has been impeccable in that sense, serving up powerful, speaker-rattling beats under his gristly, versatile raps on a fairly consistent basis. That being said, he’s quietened slightly this year, but pulls through in the final quarter with this overdue mixtape release.
Features are minimal, and that’s just fine. Appearances from Raekwon, Vado and Styles P are about as far as it goes, and across 16 tracks that gives Banks plenty of breathing space to once again show his worth and remind all who are smart enough that he’s about the only G-Unit member left with any shred of relevance in hip-hop (yeah, I said it). He has a sound, he knows what it is, and that’s to be respected- many rappers get caught up in whatever today’s fad is, and tend to leave behind their core competencies, to the point that they never truly recover them. Banks can’t be accused of that, and hopefully, this project will reinforce that belief whilst providing us with some head-nodding hip-hop jams to unashamedly throw up unecessary gang signs to. You do it. Don’t lie.
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.
Having been previously led to believe that this was going to be an iTunes LP release rather than a mixtape, its arrival as a free mixtape instead came as a pleasant and welcome surprise. Without question, Spitta is one of the most prolific MCs in the game, and this is another to add to his massive back catalogue of freebies.
He often comes with big names in tow, and that’s no exception here. Appearances from Lloyd, Styles P, Trinidad James, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, French Montana and more make up a strong selection of guests, whilst beats from Lex Luger, Cardo, DJ Toomp, Statik Selektah and a few others ensure the production lineup is equally stacked. 14 tracks, no cost, can’t complain: free grab and stream below.
Normally DJ’s mixtapes/albums are ones to avoid for me, and I’ve never been massive on Kay Slay’s material anyway, but the features on this do make it worth at least a brief look.
Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, Styles P, Bun B, Joell Ortiz, Jay Rock and Saigon are just a handful of the names appearing here, and at the very least its good to get verses from that collective. Excluding the intro and outro, there are 19 tracks on this too, so probabilities suggest there should be at least a couple of gems buried in there somewhere. Nothing I’m going to rush to listen to, but still worth grabbing for free below.
DJ Kay Slay-Grown Man Hip-Hop pt. 2
Surely, Curren$y has to be regarded as one of hip-hop’s hardest workers. He seems to churn out projects of good quality at a rapid rate, and to top it off this 14-track effort is only really a prelude to another collaborative project with Wiz Khalifa. Imagine what his workrate would be if he wasn’t high all of the time?
Features are fairly minimal here, and rightly so ahead of what I’m sure will be a packed lineup on the Wiz tape. Appearances from his Jet Life labelmates, as well as Noreaga, Styles P and King Chip (of course, the recently rebranded Chip Tha Ripper) are those that make the cut, and I’m sure Spitta’s fans will have no problem with that minimalised lineup. Free stream and grab below.
Someone you can generally count on for a solid project, The Ghost comes through with a brand new 11-track boasting a raft of features and producers to make any hip-hop fan salivate.
Amongst others, beatmakers on this one include Lex Luger, Ted Smooth and The Alchemist, whilst the backup in terms of MCs comes from Pusha T, Bun B, Curren$y, Jadakiss and more. He’s even enlisted Raheem DeVaughn for a hook, a track I’m sure will prove to be one of the standouts. Kindly delivered for free, you can grab yours below.
As far as I’m concerned, Azealia really needed a track like this. Her content is increasingly pop-driven, and despite her very public issues with ‘rapping’, it’s her ability as a rapper that built up such buzz behind her.
A thudding bass comprises the focal point of this production, making for a speaker-rattling platform that throws in some light electro elements and a dash of supporting percussion. Banks’ raps are as good as they’ve been for a while, demonstrating those razor-sharp flows in a manner that snyergises excellently with the production, increasing in intensity as the production begins to take more life. Styles P jumps on for that hip-hop co-sign, delivering a great verse of his own with a nice blend of aggressive lyrics and a slick flow for what’s a memorable performance. One the hip-hop fans can definitely appreciate, and let’s hope there’s more coming.
A hard-hitting, grimey instrumental and 2/3 of the LOX? The combination promises much for the hip-hop heads, and it definitely delivers.
From Jada’s upcoming Consignment mixtape, the production has a real dark aura around it, blending some horror-esque melodies with pounding bass, sharp additional percussion and packaging them into a slow, menacing pace that enhances the atmosphere of the track. Wale opens the track with a disappointing verse, largely as his style doesn’t suit the beat at all, though Styles and Jada recover the song well with their verses, whilst French’s string of hook features continues here with another simple yet catchy chorus.
Ghost and Nickel do loads of these types of features. They’re the type that end up in my library as I obtain them for pure interest in their verses but with little regard for the project they appear on. Hence I’ve literally hundreds of these types of tracks littered across my iTunes and after a couple of plays they will be lost into oblivion only to resurface several years later on a random shuffle setting.
I listened to Royce’s entire back catalogue a couple of days back and have since come to the conclusion that although his flow is perhaps more refined than ever now, his subject matter was stronger back in the day (Death Is Certain > ) although a certain element of judgement should be retained for his upcoming Success Is Certain.
A lot of people have been sleeping on this imminent project and I have no idea why. I mean, it’s Pete Rock AND Smif-N-Wessun (Wait. Didn’t they have to change their name due to the guns manufacturer?) Regardless, here they hook up with a double dosage of SP (Love what they did with the cover) for this heavy violin effort with equally mean lyricism and textbook scratches from Rock himself. Monumental drops June 28th.
The second piece of delightful hip-hop I have for you is a remix from Rah Digga’s Classic LP now featuring New Yorkers Torae and Styles P to add a bit of metal to the original.
Instrumental is the same knocking Nottz beat from the original, which for those missed it first time round features a jaunty, head-nodding baseline acting as the perfect tempo for each emcee to do their thing over. Torae and Ghost’s vocals are powerful and sandwich the venomous female tongue of Digga. Mmmmm….
Another drop from Pharoahe’s anticipated W.A.R. album dropping March 22nd on Duck Down Records.
Mellow production with a soulful chorus provided by Phonte sets up a simple East Coast anthem for The Ghost and Monch to drop some street wisdom. Monch may no longer be on his erratic, Organized Konfusion tip anymore, but still has plenty to offer this industry with his subject matter.
Latest release from Reks’ upcoming LP Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme dropping March 8th.
Reks tears apart a screechy Alchemist beat, whilst The Ghost’s vocals are always welcome in dragging a joint deep down into the gutter. Certainly a head-nodder this one, but was always going to have to go some to top the lead single.
Go take a listen to the album before you buy over at Amazon. Absolutely mouthwatering.
New mixtape from DJ Kay Slay which features a whole host of familiar names. From the likes of Raekwon, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Styles P, Papoose, Vado, Maino and Ghostface Killah, we can see a huge New York influence on this mixtape (wouldn’t expect any less from Kay Slay!).
Click this bit of red text to grab hold of this tape and click the red text below to check out the tracklist!
The other three quarters of the Slaughter join Joell’s collaboration with The Lox, Put Some Money On It, which is from Joell’s recent Free Agent album.
With that classic early to mid 90′s sound with the production, this song is all about a hella amount of top-level lyricists doing what they do best. A great beat can make any artist sound good, but only the truly special emcees can take average beats, or looping posse cut type beats such as this one and make it into an enjoyable track. I’m unsure as to has the best verse on this, I’m going to need to listen to it a lot more before I come to any real conclusions, but on first impressions Royce takes it for me. Great to see Slaughterhouse on their grind again, what with their other recent track announcing their return.
One for the hardcore amongst us this Sunday morning. The Ghost drops us his expected hard bars over a typically gutter beat that he’s renowned for selecting. This is really enjoyable and the cuts on the chorus give the joint an element of replay value whilst P’s verses tie everything together with a characteristic bullish manner.
This is one of the best posse cuts I’ve heard in quite a while. A beat that would sound great in your car and an auto-tuned hook that is nothing particularly special, but still does the job of getting stuck in your head.
Oh, and four rappers who are all renowned for their impeccable flows, fondness of money and hard-hitting lyrics.
Lumidee! Now that’s a name I never thought I’d hear again, don’t remember her? She had a massive one hit wonder. Anyway, seems like she’s back with a song that features the very credible Styles P. Check the video out to the left here.
I love standing in for Indi’s Sunday Classic Collabo’s because they allow me to revisit a time in my life when hip-hop was still very new to me and, sometimes, allow me to revisit some of my guilty pleasures.
It’s 2003 and Curtis Jackson’s debut LP Get Rich Or Die Tryin has stormed to the top of the charts worldwide. Here we have 50 making a rare appearance on a non-Shady/Interscope artists’ joint: DMX’s Shot Down from his 5th studio album, Grand Champ.
DMX had already sided with 50 with regards to the Ja beef and some consider Shot Down as taking subliminal shots towards the Murda Inc MC. Shot Down also has the Styles P feature, which came about before 50′s Jadakiss/D-Block beef and it’s awesome to see three of New York’s finest artists at the time all collaborating together. (Side note: Interesting Hot 97 conversation with 50 and P from back in 2007. Both acting like adults whilst right amidst the beef. Then Cam’ron calls in, a little hot-headed, which saw the beginning of the 50 / Cam feud. Keep up folks).
There are several things I love about this track. 1) It’s great to remember what 50 used to sound like around that GRODT time. 2) It’s a filthy, harrowing beat and each artist goes in on their respective verses with their trademark street-thuggery lyricism . 3) DMX really shows 50 some props. He spits: “I remember 50 in a cypher when Onyx was “Slammin” (AIGHT?) / Now we meet again, it’s all good my nigga / Back to the street again, it’s all hood my nigga.”
If you checked out Consequence’s mixtape, Movies On Demand, then you’ll know how good this track is already. If not, watch this excellent video to the left here and immediately grab the mp3 for this below. Or be branded a fool, whichever you prefer.
Kind of dropped the ball on this one, as it’s been receiving plenty of airplay in the states – new track by Rick Ross, called Blowin Money Fast (B.M.F), which is set to appear on his upcoming album. Featuring a favourite of mine, Styles P, this track has become something of a street anthem.
Young Jeezy felt the need to do his own version, getting Big Meech to speak from prison through telecommunication. Some feel this is a retort to Ross, as Ricky Ross mentions notorious gangster, Meech (who won’t be leaving prison until the year 2031!) a lot on his track. This just goes to show Jeezy’s credibility in the streets, and seemingly mocks Ross’. Whether or not that’s what Jeezy intended, time will tell.