Fair play to Funk Flex for this though, as the lineup is unbelievable and essentially a snapshot of mainstream hip-hop at this moment in time. Appearances include A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Fabolous, Action Bronson, Slaughterhouse, Young Jeezy and many, many more; for a full list, check out the back artwork over at Funk’s place. Many of the tracks from this tape have leaked out individually in the last 24 hours too, and thankfully they’re tagless versions, with one notable example being the Joey Bada$$ effort on the mixtape. If you’re after any of the other individual tracks, I’m sure a quick Google search can help you there, otherwise grab the bumper project for free below.
The original still gets a lot of play from me, and whilst it’s probably not in need of a refresh, it’s good to get someone else on the beat nonetheless. It’s the sort of fast-paced track that would theoretically suit many rappers (looking at you Slaughterhouse), but few of note seem to have really tackled it, or at least done so with any conviction.
He’s not a full-time rapper but Trey’s up for the challenge, releasing his first ‘Trigga mix’ in a while, and though I’ve criticised his choice of rapping over singing on occasion with these remixes, this is a good example of his ability at the former. His flow is pretty slick throughout, adjusting to the movements in the production well and generally adding a good layer of confidence to his bragger raps. Only a short verse, and there’s particularly outstanding to displace the original, but a nice complement to it. Free grab courtesy of the man himself below.
A tour R&B heads shouldn’t be missing. Miguel and Elle Varner have really come into their own with strong projects this year, whilst Trey is no slouch. Part of a tour spanning several countries, UK dates below.
Monday 28th January – LG Arena, Birmingham
Tuesday 29th January – Colston Hall, Bristol
Wednesday 30th January – Hammersmith Apollo, London
Thursday 31st January – Hammersmith Apollo, London
Friday 1st February – Hammersmith Apollo, London
Saturday 2nd February – Hammersmith Apollo, London
Monday 4th February – Apollo, Manchester
Tuesday 5th February – Academy, Glasgow
Wednesday 6th February – Academy, Glasgow
Remember the days when Trey’s remixes were pretty much the reason his career took off? Since that 2008 heyday, his remixes haven’t been quite as strong, but here that’s corrected with one of the best versions of this track to date.
The beat is reworked a little, particularly in the opening and closing 30 seconds, as some additional keys and synths are thrown in to really soften the beat and make it perfect for a touch of Trey’s singing. The reason for his lapse in quality on remixes in recent years has been his inclination to rap instead of sing: interestingly most of this song is rapped, and it’s one of his best rap performances to date, bringing a slick flow and lyricism that suits the upbeat production well. Worth grabbing for sure, and let’s see if he keeps this up.
Did you think I forgot about the original R&B Fridays fans? This one is nothing more than a slice of club music that’ll keep those R&B/pop heads going until Trey drops off the Chapter V album on 21st August.
The production is bass-heavy, anchoring around punchy booms that’ll rattle your speakers and supported by light synths and samples that add some finer detail. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary in the beat, and it’s clearly just one intended to get your head-nodding and not a whole lot else, which is no crime. It’s one very suited to being rapped on, and hence Jeezy ends up being the real standout here with a memorable verse courtesy of his gravelly tones and ever-catchy adlibs complementing the beat well. Trey’s hook is a touch weaker than it should be, but nonetheless I’m sure plenty of folks will be reciting it on dancefloors across the country soon enough, whilst his and Wayne’s verses are little more than average. Worth a go for that Jeezy verse.
Going into Lloyd’s King of Hearts release a few months ago, this was undoubtedly the track that really excited me and got plenty of rotation. I’ve somehow conspired to overlook listening to the album (which is odd, considering my long-term support for Lloyd), but that doesn’t change the fact that this is undoubtedly one of the year’s better R&B efforts.
The upbeat, energetic style of the track is matched by the charisma and confidence of all artists involved, whilst the intensity and moodiness of the audio which is captured excellently by the dark lighting that engulfs many of the scenes, along with the sexually aggressive male-female interactions (the clear crotch grab by one of the models on Lloyd, for one!). It’s a fast-moving, fiery video that has an all-too-rare unfiltered, raw feel about it, and is certainly worth a watch for a refresh of the excellent audio. Grab Lloyd’s King of Hearts on iTunes now.
The original was quite popular to Ambition‘s release, yet it was only a bonus track. Figure that one out.
Wale grabs some big names for the official remix, with each act doing a solid job on the controlled intensity that coarses through the production; whilst Tone P draws heavily from Lex Luger’s style, there’s enough bounce in the percussion to give it an identity of its own. Easy enough mainstream hip-hop to fill out a playlist. Sidenote: has anyone’s career undergone more of a turnaround after a namechange than 2 Chainz/Tity Boi?!
My love of ‘winter music’ has been far from secret here on OTU, and several discussions with music fans of various tastes have led me to believe many OTU readers share that appreciation.
We’re all about satisfying the fans, so welcome to our new 5-part feature. Each edition features a selection of tracks that are taior made for the dark winter period, and in keeping with OTU’s diversity code, expect some old tracks, some modern tracks, with a vast range of genres represented (in no particular order either; for example, Vol. 1 doesn’t necessarily have all of the best tracks!)
Just to really drive those frosty vibes home, we’ll even provide you with fresh, original artwork for each ‘EP’ for you to download at your pleasure and finish off those playlists. Kind aren’t we? Without further ado, click below for 5 tracks to get your winter started. → Continue Reading
The second of Trey’s freeleases, and I’m considerably more excited about this one. The original Anticipation was a thoroughly excellent listen, and the tracks released thus far from its sequel have been enjoyable, suggesting the full project should hopefully follow suit.
It’s quite interesting to note the rapid rise in Trey’s career since the original Anticipation over 2 years ago, and with more projects on the horizon for Trey (an EP on November 28th and his fifth album, Chapter 5, early 2012), he’s surely looking at really progressing to the top spot in mainstream R&B. If you haven’t already, grab Top of the World from this tape, or get straight into this 14-track release by clicking below.
The first of two free projects dropped by Trey, this one is his hip-hop effort, and admittedly it’s not going to be one I’ll be paying too much attention to. Whilst he can probably rap better than many others, the niggling feeling is that the beats he chooses to remix would be better served being done in the singing style he used to build his reputation back in 08/09, and hence it just feels a bit of a waste of his talents.
Nonetheless, Trey’s hip-hop work certainly has its fans and undeniably some of it can be relatively enjoyable. 18 tracks on this one, so the probability is that there should be at least a few worthy of a few repeat plays, and you can make your choices after grabbing the tape for free below (shouts to our friends at GWHH for the link!)
This week’s episode features some true luminaries of the R&B game, including the emergence of previously-unreleased Nate Dogg material, the first such release since his unfortunate passing earlier this year.
Brand new visuals for Ne-Yo’s latest, with a couple of his more esteemed R&B peers along for the ride.
The track is a solid slow jam in a simple, uncomplicated style that has been surprisingly absent in recent years, and the video also proves a pleasant surprise by taking a typical setting for an R&B track, a strip club, and adding an unexpected touch of class to proceedings by focusing a little less on the sleaze in favour of a more sultry, smooth theme. However, that’s not to say this video is quite fitting for younger eyes, as there are certainly some rather raunchy moments!
Much like the audio, the video employs a very simple and effective style and is worth a watch for the R&B heads. Nice to see three big names of the genre come together for this too, given that they’re pretty much fighting for same spot, and equally it’s good to see a few other music luminaries pop up for cameos. Grab an early version of this track here, and keep an eye on iTunes for the official release.
A longer episode this week, with plenty of R&B’s luminaries making appearances this week, including Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo and Trey Songz, alongside a track from the latest group emerging from the Odd Future collective.
Nothing to recap on from the week gone by, so go ahead and treat yourself by clicking below and gorging yourself on the treats within.
Following on from Mr. Nice Watch, J. Cole delivers us some visuals for his collabo with Trey Songz. The J. Cole promotion bus is in full effect.
Admittedly this isn’t a song that found many plays in my iTunes, that’s not to say I dislike the track, it’s a fairly enjoyable and fun song, it just doesn’t have me yearning to replay it. The video comes off on the same vibe, in what I presume to be Barbados (because of the Rihanna cameo!) J. Cole and Trey Songz seem to be, and probably are, having a lot of fun. Anyone else think Trey Songz doesn’t sound like himself on the hook for this?
Undoubtedly, the highlight of this week’s R&B content has already been delivered, with the hugely-anticipated release of The Weeknd’s second project, Thursday. There’s also new music from upcoming UK singer Chrome, dropping off an energetic single for his latest video.
Very diverse episode this week, with some mainstream pop, old-school style soul and the usual R&B fare all made available for your listening pleasure, and plenty of big names providing that content. Click below to fill yourself with R&B nourishment.
The dancing, the courtship of an attractive model, and the squeaky-clean vibe of it all: not only does it perfectly mirror the audio, but it’s a paint-by-numbers chart rap video that Lupe exudes a surprising (well, sort of) level of comfortability in.
The song was certainly not the worst on Lasers by any means, but that’s hardly a compliment given some of the absolute sewage on there, and it was still very rooted in the ‘pop rap’ style that Lupe had previously denounced. This particular track certainly found its highlight in a catchy, well-delivered hook from Atlantic labelmate Trey Songz, a situation also mirrored in the video as Trey probably steals the spotlight by adding a little energy and passion, as well as coming through solidly with his choice of attire. A nice summer vibe flows through the video too, along with bright, expansive cityscapes and a cheesy ‘storyline’, all working to capturing the feelgood nature of the song. Given there wasn’t much to work with, it could have been a lot worse.
Well, hasn’t this song got me hot under the collar! There’s too much sexiness here as Lloyd enlists the help of Trey Songz and Young Jeezy for his next single, Be The One, from his upcoming album King of Hearts, set to be released on July 5th.
Polow Da Don laces Lloyd with a hard, thumping beat that’s sure to be a hit in the clubs, whilst the track’s lyrical content is faithful to its title; sexually charged and bound to appease women. As we have come to expect with both Lloyd and Trey Songz, the quality of the vocals on show are of a high order, with the rap-influenced singing fitting into the song very comfortably. It’s not a competition of course, but I do prefer Trey Songz’s verse as his vocals feel more natural to the song than Lloyd’s. Young Jeezy anchors the track nicely, offering a change of pace and flowing onto the beat with pure ease.
Centenaries are a rare thing in many walks of life, so I speak for both past and present, writing and non-writing members of the OTU team when I thank you sincerely for your dedication to our online presence. Whilst various weekly serials have come and gone, this has stood strong for 100 weeks, so we genuinely thank you for your support here in R&B Fridays. Having been introduced in our very first week, this also marks our 100th week online, so thanks again for all of your support in getting us this far.
As it’s a milestone episode, it felt like the right decision to award Frank Ocean the honour of representing this occasion. I can hear your outrage: ‘why not a staple of the episodes, like Lloyd or Usher?’. Well, we like to look forward, and frankly (sorry) I feel he’s really going to dominate this series for the next 100 episodes, and deservedly so.
Click below for your regular weekly instalment: two days late, in keeping with tradition! I’ve also got a little extra something to celebrate the occasion coming shortly after this… → Continue Reading
Some more Game this evening for all of you to enjoy. On first couple of listens I’m feeling this. The beat has that synthy lull about it and with Trey on the hook could prove to do quite well in the club scene. Game’s delivery is hardcore, albeit lyrically somewhat basic, but for me Game’s grouchy vocals and tactful flow always seem to do enough to keep me listening. As for whether this will make an appearance on R.E.D.? Quien Sabe as they say in Spanish.
Plenty of new material this week, in what has been a very active week for the R&B and pop scene. Well, that’s probably a half-truth as there’s only really the one post to recap on from this week’s posts, with the official visuals for Nikki & Rich’s breakout single with Fabolous surfacing.
Very interesting lineup in this week’s episode, with man-of-the-moment Frank Ocean lining up alongside such current luminaries as Chris Brown, Trey Songz and many more. No throwback this week as there has been quite a chunk of new material to get through, but there’s lots of good stuff to get into regardless. Click below to collect your winnings.
A pretty short episode this week, but with good reason. Recently, it’s become a bit annoying (for me, probably not for many of you) that most episodes are comprised primarily of pop music, and not R&B. This week, I wanted to avoid that, and hence I can say I’m genuinely a fan of this week’s episode, which I’ve not been able to say for a while.
Couple of big singles this week, including the first single from Ryan Leslie’s upcoming third abum Les Is More. Only really the two relevant posts from the week gone by, with the superb Jhene Aiko releasing her new album/mixtape for free, and Odd Future’s Frank Ocean dropping off a great piece of R&B with Dave Raps. Be sure to check both out, as whilst they may not be familiar names, they’re very much worth a look. Click below for the rest of the goods. → Continue Reading
A solid video for one of the better tracks from Trey Songz’s Passion, Pain and Pleasure. The song is certainly one of his better slow jams, and the video does a good job in not conforming to usual ‘bedroom setting’ for this type of track.
It’s far from a mind-blowing video, but works as a solid and easy-to-watch effort, with the story of the video feeling fairly independent to the actual song at times. Whilst that makes it compelling in its own right, it does stray a little too far away on occasions and becomes almost too unrelated. You have to commend the idea though, and the thinking behind it is solid, even if the application was a tiny bit off.
Worth a watch to see how you feel about it. As mentioned above, it is an easy watch and doesn’t mentally tire you, which is always good with this sort of sultry, mellow music.