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.
This week’s episode aims to definitively prove the age-old belief that size really doesn’t matter, as whilst there isn’t as much content as usual, the artists that have turned up to the party are bringing some real quality with them.
Three videos to catch up on from the week gone by: Teyana Taylor released a simple visual for her Marvin’s Room remix, Skylar Grey enhanced her burgeoning reputation with a solid video for Dance Without You, and finally Wiz Khalifa collaborated with Cee-Lo for the Bright Lights, Bigger City remix video.
Click on for this week’s hamper of audio goodness.
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The official visuals for a good little collabo between all these four up-and-comers. XV has been on his grind for a little while now, churning out great track after great track, so it’s good to see some much needed airtime for the guy.
Nothing really to add what I already said about the audio (go cop that here), the visuals are decent enough, with the four of them banting it up in the club and Erin Christine looking as lovely as ever.
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!
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Edit: I messed up the link when I posted this last night (I am human after all!), link is fixed now.
XV just let this loose on his Twitter, and what a collaboration to let loose. Featuring fellow upcomers CyHi Da Prynce and Vado, each rapper brings likeable verses to a well-stocked table that contains a beat reminiscent of 2006/7 Kanye West, and an Erin Christine hook that also wouldn’t sound out of place on Ye’s 06/07 material: an all-round package that most certainly suits XV.
Definitely looking forward to what else all three of these rappers bring us in 2011. Download linkage below.
XV – All For Me ft. CyHi Da Prynce, Vado & Erin Christine
Longest title ever? Now, I’m fully aware this was ‘out’ about a week ago. However, you’ll find that version had tags, probably wasn’t good quality, and wasn’t an authorised drop. This, on the other hand, is the latest addition to GOOD Fridays (despite being a Weds/Thurs depending on where you’re from) and is most certainly official.
Have to admit I’m a little disappointed with this. The highlights are most certainly Teyana’s vocals, who could easily be mistaken for Beyonce with a well delivered and catchy hook. None of the verses are particularly outstanding given the names on show, although they’re fairly short for the most part (particularly Sean and Pusha’s), which in fairness doesn’t give them a chance to get a flow together. Worth a listen if you want to be festive, but without being corny!
Kanye West-Christmas In Harlem ft. Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Cyhi Da Prynce, Pusha-T, Musiq Soulchild, Teyana Taylor and Big Sean
London duo S.A.S kind of got left in the lurch after the Rocafella/Dipset break up, however seeing them collaborate with Vado (who is heavily affiliated with Cam’ron) is great to see!
Also a great coup in itself, what with Vado’s increasing reputation in the industry. Not only this, but this track is really good – one criticism I’ve had with S.A.S.’s music in the past is that the production hasn’t always been refined/mastered to a decent standard. No danger of that here with this, the production matches the undoubted talent S.A.S have.
S.A.S – The Connect ft. Vado
Fresh off his appearance at the BET cyphers, Reek comes through with a star-studded track. This will be the first studio track I’ve heard of his, and he’s definitely going to grab lots of attention with these features. Looking forward to the Method Man verse.
Reek Da Villian-Mechanics Remix ft. DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Cam’ron, Vado, Method Man and Nelly
A slew of talented New York rappers for this posse cut (we’ll pretend Cassidy isn’t from Philly, as lyrically it’s like he’s from NY anyway).
No hook on this one, just each rapper with a verse to showcase their lyrical dexterity and/or street cred. Best verse I hear you ask? I’d probably give it to either Joell or Vado.
Meek Mill is T.I.’s latest signing to his Grand Hustle label, and has enlisted some big features for his first song (in my world anyway) in the form of T.I. himself, Camron’s best buddy Vado and a man who looks like he smells like a sweaty bear, Rick Ross. Could be either good or bad, but T.I. does have good taste (having signed B.o.B) so I’m willing to give this guy a go.
Meek Mill-Rose Red Remix ft. Vado, T.I. and Rick Ross
I didn’t know who to pick for the image, so please enjoy this dog in scuba gear.
25 rappers, I kid you not. So many in fact, I couldn’t add them all into the song title in iTunes! I’ve listed them below, and they can also be found in the ‘description’ section of the track.
DJ Kay Slay-Rollin’ 25 Deep pt. 2 ft. Bully, Bun B, Busta Rhymes, Dorrough, Glasses Malone, Grafh, Hell Rell, Jacki-O, Jay Rock, Jim Jones, Maino, Mistah F.A.B., Mysonne, N.O.R.E., OGK, Papoose, Raekwon, Redman, Sauce Money, Serius Jones, Sheek Louch, Styles P, Tone Trump, Uncle Murda & Vado.
I don’t know where to start. I’ve forever been a massive Final Fantasy fanboy, especially 7 which is definitely my favourite game of all-time. Kay Slay samples the theme for Sephiroth, voted by many institutions as the greatest video game villain ever.
Sephiroth’s theme was so badass too (eventually, get to about 4:30), it was a matter of time before someone sampled it. I have to be honest, and say they haven’t really done it justice here. It’s still nice to hear it though, and at least it’s something different.
DJ Kay Slay-Monster Muzik ft. Cam’ron and Vado
Two tracks for you below, both with some good features. If I’m honest, I’m expecting the Blockstars Remix to be a bit of a mixed bag, as some of those guys can go, whereas others aren’t so hot (original version here). I’ve got high hopes for Fat Raps though (produced by Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids) as I expect all 3 to bring something good to the table. Surprisingly, Chip and Curren$y make their first appearances on this site.
Make your own judgements, mine’s just based on the line-ups so click below and have a listen.
DJ Kay Slay-Blockstars Remix ft. Blockstars (Remix) ft. Busta Rhymes, Cam’ron, Vado, Sheek Louch, Rick Ross & Ray J
Chip Tha Ripper-Fat Raps ft. Curren$y and Big Sean