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$$, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Blu, Joell Ortiz, Mac Miller, Flatbush Zombies, Bun B, Prodigy, Action Bronson and many, many more in what is a fantastically-stacked lineup. Of course, there are several producers/DJs who tend to get a slew of guest spots on their albums (Khaled, Drama etc.) but given their tendency to hire predominantly mainstream or ‘pop rappers’, it’s refreshing to get Statik projects that are generally full to the brim with MCs that do the genre justice. Stream the full project over at NPR below, and be sure to support next week if you’re a fan.
As per every year, the only thing we check the BET Awards for is these excellent ciphers, and this year is no different.
The 2012 edition brings you some utterly superb lineups, with the clip up here being a personal highlight as it features several of my favourite upcomers-A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Childish Gambino and Angel Haze, alongside newcomer Driicky Graham. The rest of the ciphers feature the likes of T.I., B.o.B., Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, DMX, Eve, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, DJ Quik, Xzibit, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Hopsin and more.
Plenty of promise, click on below to check out all of the ciphers. Who do you reckon had the standout performance? Big fan of Joey Bada$$ with the cipher up here, and my winners for the rest are below.
Can’t complain about a little unexpected Talib Kweli, especially when its a huge 18-track project boasting some massive features.
Twitter seems to be surprised about one feature in particular, that being the Lil’ Wayne (and Mack Maine) assist, which isn’t actually that big a shock given Kweli’s very public praise for Weezy. There are much more notable features on here, including Ab-Soul, Ryan Leslie, Black Thought and Mac Miller. Of course, Talib’s hardly a slouch with a mic and I’m sure he’ll further his status as one of the better rappers around with this tape.
Quentin Tarantino presents The Man With The Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director, co-writer and leading man, RZA—alongside an exciting international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero who all descend on one fabled village in China for a winner-takes-all battle for a fortune in gold. The film arrives on November 2, 2012.
I saw the trailer for this a little while back and frankly, it looks epic. Normally projects like this can be pretty shoddy, but RZA’s clearly surrounded himself with the right people and properly committed to this, and the sheer scale of the names involved in both the film and the soundtrack suggests he’ll pull this off with considerable success. The tracklist features a fantastic roster, including Kanye West, Pusha T and of course the Wu-Tang Clan; click below for the full list, where you can also grab a free download from the OST. → Continue Reading
Taken from their upcoming official debut album, Laser Beams boasts a considerably more rock/alternative influence than most of their previous material, having a very spiky edge to the production that works very well with the memorable hook in particular. The instrumentation for the verses isn’t quite as good, but this is certainly worth a listen for the real quality in the chorus.
Some of Mac’s recent work has been very consistent, and here he drops off a new effort with Kweli to celebrate reaching 500,000 fans (that’s some serious numbers for a non-mainstream rapper!) on Twitter.
Solid laidback production suits both rappers comfortably, with a short, simple two-verse structure that makes for very easy listening. Mac’s husky, relaxed flow taking to the easygoing vibe smoothly and brings some likeable work out in his bars, whilst Talib’s more nasal delivery offers a sharper, clearer verse that contrasts nicely with Mac’s. A quick and enjoyable listen.
G.O.O.D Music artist Cyhi Da Prynce jumps on the remix of Talib Kweli’s I’m On One, with the original version found on Kweli’s recently released Gutter Rainbows (which you can purchase from iTunes now).
This version is actually taken from Talib’s upcoming mixtape Northern Lights, Southern Smoke, which is set to feature only Southern-based artists such as YelaWolf, Young Dro, Three 6 Mafia, Slim Thug and Roscoe Dash amongst others. Interesting idea, I’m sure you’ll agree. Keep an eye out here on OTU for that to drop, and if this track is anything to go by it’ll be fire.
Talib Kweli ft. Cyhi Da Prynce-I’m On One Remix
The latest track from his upcoming Gutter Rainbows album, How You Love Me is certainly one of the better tracks he’s released in recent months.
The production will really catch your ear, with a pounding percussion tied to futuristic and atmospheric synths that make up one of the most memorable beats in recent weeks. Talib’s raps are always on point, and he comes through with a thought-provoking set of rhymes that will satisfy the hip-hop heads for sure. Definitely worth a listen.
A short freestyle on US radio, Mickey takes to a version of Lloyd Banks’ Start It Up beat to drop some nice rhymes as ever. It’s only around a minute and a half, which certainly leaves you wanting more. As a result, I’ve thrown in another freestyle on the same beat by the ever-listenable rhymes of one Mr. Talib Kweli. His is a little longer, and a great bit of hip-hop from Talib. Call it an early Christmas present!
Mickey Factz-Start It Up Freestyle
In contrast to last week’s bumper episode, this week is a little shorter. However, that’s not to suggest it’s been a quiet week for R&B, as we’ve seen the release of plenty of videos/singles, and no less than 4 full-length mixtapes from R&B Fridays favourites.
Talib prepares his new solo album entitled Gutter Rainbows due for a January 25th release.
The lead single Cold Rain (which you can preview below over on YouTube) has a catchy, real hip-hop-inspired production coupled with a soulful chorus perfectly tailored for Talib’s poetic wisdom.
Should be interesting to see what Talib can bring to the table this time around, as he is undoubtedly one of the brightest shining stars in the underground hip-hop movement and unfortunately and undeservedly misses out on the plaudits he deserves.
The latest addition to Kanye’s G.O.O.D Friday selection is produced by Q-Tip, and features Talib Kweli and Consequence. I’ve only given this one quick play, but I have to say it’s probably my least favourite G.O.O.D Friday track so far. Lyrically all three are on point, yet for me the track itself isn’t an easy listen. When I seen the line up I was hoping for an old school hip-hop beat, instead we’re given something that wouldn’t be out of place in a 80′s science-fiction movie/TV Show. For me Talib just shades it on the verses, though both outshine Kanye.
(As I’m typing this I’m suffering from a lovely hangover so my opinion may change once I’ve recovered!)
This track is also set to feature on Yeezy’s eagerly anticipated album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as a bonus track.
Haven’t had the time today to go through these sadly, but they’re 4 tracks that I anticipate will be worth checking out for sure. They all include artists that I appreciate, so be sure to give them a go.
Not long after I brought you the second single from Stat’s long-awaited debut, Statlanta hit the Internet. And I have to say that, even with the ridiculous push backs Stat’s had to deal with, he’s actually managed to put out a very solid record here. Excellent production throughout and I will be interested to see the full production credits when they come out. I wonder how much Em and Dre were involved in the end?
This is my pick from the album. A rather random feature in the way of underground stalwart Talib Kweli yet both come together to make an extremely enjoyable track.
No your eyes are not deceiving you here, Talib Kweli really has collaborated with Gucci Mane, a song which is produced by hit-maker, Zaytoven. Not quite sure what Kweli is thinking here, but click the red text below to here the result of this rather strange collabo!
New Talib Kweli track about the Arizona immigration fiasco that’s currently going on. Those of you who know of Talib Kweli will know that he’s one of the most respected rappers in the industry – you may recall the Jay-Z line “If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be – Talib Kweli”
So I don’t need to tell you that this track is pretty decent for the hip-hop heads who love lyrics that actually mean something.
From Asher’s upcoming Seared Foie Gras with Quince and Cranberry mixtape (what a name/dish!), this is a freestyle over Talib Kweli’s classic track Hot Thing (amazing video too, be sure to click the link).
I haven’t checked this out, but undoubtedly most of you will waste no time in doing so, and I expect Asher to do a good job on this. His verses recently have been pretty good, and I’m looking forward to the tape.
This actually leaked a couple of days ago, but I was told the video would be dropped soon so I thought I’d post them together. However, I found out that ‘soon’ equates to Sunday, which is too long to leave you guys out the loop.
Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek’s project gets better and better, and this track is evidence of that. Pretty nice Hi-Tek beat, and Talib does what he does best over it. One for the fans of good hip-hop.
Reflection Eternal-In This World
Much like the other recent Bun-B track I posted (which also happened to feature Colin Munroe) this has a stellar line up. With 88-Keys and Talib Kweli assisting, you know it’s going to be pretty decent.
If you don’t download this mixtape, you’ve got very bad mental issues. Some of you will remember the collabo I posted involving these guys, Mos Def, Jay Elec and J.Cole, and this would be the full mixtape. I was going to post the proper version of that collabo earlier this week, but instead I thought I’d hold out for the mixtape and make sure you all downloaded it!
Features on this include those above, plus Ghostface Killah, Common, Nas and many more. This has some older tracks on it too, from previous albums and works that these guys have done which are definitely worth grabbing. A must-have for anyone even pretending to be a hip-hop fan. Tracklist can be found after the click for those interested, or you can just grab the download below.
A quick one from me. Both tracks are pretty dope, and definitely worth grabbing even if you’re just a fan of one/some of the featured artists. The Statik Selektah track is especially good, considering it has a frighteningly talented line-up.
Excuse me for saying this, but this is genuinely one of the better hip-hop tracks I’ve heard recently. I honestly mean that.
The beat captures that neo-soul feel I love so much, and does so will a helping of old-school flavour. Talib and Shaun (who I hadn’t heard of before this) have a fantastic back-and-forth which makes this track really compelling listening.
Really nice surprise this track turned out to be. Be sure to check this out.
I’ve been AWOL for the last 24 hours, so I’m having to put together another catch-up post. Lots of decent stuff for you below (predominantly hip-hop), be sure to click on and make up for a quiet 24 hours in your iTunes library.