Masspike Miles-Flatline ft. Wiz Khalifa (Video)

As each week goes by, an upcoming R&B artists reminds me that they still exists, and those individual pieces are really coming together to recover that scene. Masspike’s one that I enjoy but often don’t credit enough, and here’s a good opportunity to do so.

Admittedly, this production caught my ear as it also backs Lloyd Banks’ Live It Up, one of the highlights from his V6: The Gift mixtape (which I’ve been listening to relentlessly recently), though it originally belongs to Miles. Hence, though it may be the wrong way around in terms of actual chronology, this release provides a fresh take on that excellent production, with Miles delivering well. Masspike’s vocals are passionate but delivering in a stop-start manner that allows the thumping production room to breathe and shine, with its bassy nature working against Miles’ shrill voice well, though Wiz’s approach is arguably a little too laidback, and hence he gets thoroughly swallowed within the beat’s intensity.

The clip is simple enough, giving Miles some valuable face time, and most importantly capitalising on the production’s energy with rapid scene shifts, busy, high activity scenes and rightfully making no attempt at telling a story. It’s an easy watch that definitely amps up the audio’s intensity, and you can grab it on Masspike’s Skky Miles 2 project now. Don’t miss out on that Banks version above either.

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Cassie-RockaByeBaby (Mixtape)

It’s been a very, very long time in the making but Cassie finally comes through with a full-length project, her first since her 2006 debut album. Hard to believe given the steady stream of loose material that’s emerged from her camp in the interim period, but it’s good that in that time she’s evolved and refined her sound into the laidback electro R&B stylings that this mixtape is expected to be filled with.

Features are plentiful here, with appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Jeremih, Pusha T, Fabolous and more, whilst I’m sure the production credits (which aren’t listed) won’t be lacking either. Datpiff seem to be having problems, but expect the download to be available at the below link shortly.


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Big K.R.I.T.-King Remembered In Time (Mixtape)

big krit
It’s tough to quite pinpoint why, but Krit’s music just doesn’t seem to stick with me. There’s clearly talent there, demonstrated well on some of his features, but for some reason I don’t find myself replaying much of his material at all despite his heavy critical and hip-hop community acclaim.

Could this be the project to change that? The features will certainly help. Bun B, Smoke DZA, Wiz Khalifa and Trinidad Jame$ appear alongside the ubiquitous (for better or worse) Future, whilst 9th Wonder contributes a beat to a project otherwise fully helmed by Big K.R.I.T. himself. There aren’t many rappers I find myself latching onto these days, but I do find myself pulling for this guy to be one of them, purely for his multi-talented nature and the regularity with which he delivers work. Stream and free download below.

Big K.R.I.T.-King Remembered In Time

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Curren$y-New Jet City (Mixtape)

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.

Curren$y-New Jet City

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Wiz Khalifa-Started From The Bottom Remix

wiz khalifa
If there was ever proof that my heavy criticism of Drake’s recent single wasn’t just because it was Drake, this is it. Most hip-hop heads have bundled Wiz into the same category as Drake, in terms of his perceived ‘femininity’, and hence there’s no scope to absolve Wiz of the same shortcomings. However, skip to his verse at the end and his talent rather than his image shines through.

Drake’s raps are poorly-paced and monotonous fare, whereas Wiz explodes out of the blocks with a razor-sharp flow that does the strong production justice, before adjusting down to something more manageable-that in itself is more than Drake manages on the entire track. On top of that, there’s significantly more conviction and variance in Wiz’s voice, making it a much more digestable, likeable listen. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but Wiz’s short contribution properly utilises the beat and doesn’t deviate too far from what he’s good at; it just goes to show that it doesn’t take a verse from a lyrical wordsmith or ‘hip-hop golden boy’ to show the widespread criticism of the original was genuinely founded on the poor music rather than the fact it was Drake.

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Akon-Dirty Work ft. Wiz Khalifa

Please forgive the stop-start nature of our post frequency this week. We’ve got some rather large plans in the offing, but I’ve found the time to let you know that this song is terrible.

He’s been delaying Stadium for what seems like forever, and whilst it’s hardly an album I spend every waking hour concerned about, it’s surely a bit of an annoyance for those who do actually like the music he puts out. Purported lead single after lead single find their way to us, and this is the latest in that string, and the weakest by far. Unlike a few of the other leaks, this is just wafer thin in almost every area: the lyricism is lazy, the vocals are more Autotuned than usual and still monotonous, foregoing that classic soaring delivery he’s best at, and the production doesn’t seem to bother making any distinction between the hook and verse, with one blending into the other.

It feels rushed and badly thought-out, and that’s not a criticism aimed at its mainstream targeting; in fact, I’d be surprised if even chart fans bothered with this. Back to the drawing board for Akon, and look out for yet another lead single in about 6 months.

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Masspike Miles-Skky Miles 2: Cozmic Cloudz (Mixtape)

Masspike is legitimately one of the most overlooked talents on the R&B scene today. Admittedly, he doesn’t brand himself ideally, with a rather aggressive stage name, mispelling of ‘sky’ and excessive use of the letter ‘z’ (it annoys me), but track-for-track his output over the last 18 months has comfortably been up there with his more revered peers.

The prequel to this project found its way to collections everywhere a mere 5 months ago, and Miles caps off a critically-successful year with this 15-track release. Features include Gunplay, Wiz Khalifa and Havoc, whilst the production credits suggest there’s going to be a nice diversity across the soundscapes offered. I know many of you are pining for some new, substantial R&B material and you could do much worse than grab this freebie. Do precisely that below.

Masspike Miles-Skky Miles 2: Cozmic Cloudz

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Fashawn-Champagne and Styrofoam Cups (Mixtape)

I’m really quite unfair on Fashawn. Generally, his features are likeable, and the bits of his material I have listened to I’ve enjoyed. However, I never seem to get around to giving a full mixtape of his a go, and I’m not sure why.

On the plus side, this looks exciting. Quite odd, but there’s something to be said for a nice mixtape artwork and interesting name, and it’s better than the usual tripe that many trot out. Features include Wiz Khalifa, K-Young, Kobe and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, and the early reception to this from the hip-hop community has been very positive. Free stream and grab below.

Fashawn-Champagne and Styrofoam Cups

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The Man With The Iron Fists Soundtrack (Full Album Stream)

One of the most buzzed-about film soundtracks in quite some time, RZA’s massive all-star lineup has really upped the hype for what actually looks to be a decent film regardless. We’ve caught various individual releases from this, including the throwback stylings of Kanye West’s White Dress and a punchy collaboration between Joell Ortiz, Pusha T and Raekwon, whilst many others have dripped out too.

Wait no longer for the rest, as you can stream and buy it right now. With the rest of the OST including the likes of The Black Keys, Wiz Khalifa, Idle Warship, Corinne Bailey Rae and of course the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan, there’s undoubtedly a great mix of genres here to suit all. Stream and purchase the entire thing right here, right now.

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Wiz Khalifa-Cabin Fever 2 (Mixtape)

Wiz announced this out of the blue last week (which seems to be the norm for acts nowadays), the sequel to his hugely popular 2011 mixtape that shortly preceded his breakout into mainstream consciousness.

Of course, his status is much different now. Cemented in the popular rappers category, Wiz has seen the last 18 months come with the often-understanable accusations of ‘selling out’ and ‘turning pop’, criticisms largely derived from his Rolling Papers album. His mixtape work earlier this year was much more enjoyable however, and I’ve got high hopes for this to be much of the same, ahead of the O.N.I.F.C. album release on 4th December. Most expect that album to be another mainstream-targeted LP, and much like Slaughterhouse’s recent strategy, I expect this pre-album tape is to placate the original fans. Free grab below.

Wiz Khalifa-Cabin Fever 2

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Ne-Yo-Don't Make Em Like You ft. Wiz Khalifa

A little mainstream goodness for the R&B heads, and it’s one with good quality songwriting from Ne-Yo that’s pretty easy to appreciate.

Celebrating his lady of choice, he’s not shy with lauding her various accomplishments and plus points, even offering ‘a toast to the ladies with class‘. A refreshing slice of originality on the mainstream scene, and whilst songs with such lyricism can sometimes come off a bit preachy, he delivers it well enough here to keep it engaging, helped greatly by a lively and upbeat production that comes to life in the hook. Wiz’s contribution doesn’t exactly make or break the track, and is instead just the expected tacked-on rap verse for those extra few fans, but overall it’s a solid pop jam that’ll be a radio favourite. R.E.D. Album drops on 6th November.

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Smoke DZA-K.O.N.Y. (Mixtape)

I don’t give this guy nearly the attention he deserves in my iTunes. He’s dropped off several projects in recent years which the hip-hop community seems to have met with relative approval, and yet I’ve not fully committed myself to listening to any of them yet.

This will change now. It appears that not only do hip-hop fans appreciate this guy, but his peers do too as the features on this tape make for salivating reading: Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Twelvy and many more. For a mixtape that mostly came out of nowhere, that’s quite the list he’s assembled and I’m sure most of those don’t lend their names lightly. If, like me, you’ve neglected DZA’s work, there’s pretty much no excuse now and I’ve got complete confidence that he’ll deliver the goods here. Free grab and/or stream below.

Smoke DZA-K.O.N.Y.

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Boaz-Bases Loaded (Mixtape)

This guy’s flung into hip-hop consciousness seemingly out of nowhere, inking a deal recently with Rostrum Records (Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller etc.), and now drops off this mixtape packed with some excellent features.

I’ve not even heard any of his material yet, though I’ve got confidence in his abilities based on the acts he’s surrounded himself with on this tape. Contributing producers include Statik Selektah, !llmind and Beatnick & K-Salaam, whilst guest rappers include GLC, ScHoolboy Q, Freeway, labelmates Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Chevy Woods and more. Find out if this newcomer can cement himself a place in the game with the free grab below.

Boaz-Bases Loaded

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Wiz Khalifa-Remember Me ft. The Weeknd

Word got around about these two working together a few weeks back, and that collaboration surfaces as part of Wiz’s upcoming O.N.I.F.C. album, currently set for a 4th December release. I’m sure most of you aren’t too fussed about that though, and are here for the featured guest.

No word on who helmed the production but it sounds like The Weeknd’s team of Doc McKinney and Illangelo, with plenty of atmosphere and dark soundscapes packed into the verses and a Wiz-tailored step up for the hook. The Weeknd does a solid job with the vocals on the hook, keeping them at his unique, ethereal best whilst injecting some intensity and energy to keep pace with the production’s various twists and turns. Whilst Wiz’s verses don’t feel as though they take full advantage of the beat’s vibe, they were unlikely to defy expectations and are essentially standard Wiz raps about his lavish lifestyle. His highlight moment comes in his more serious bridge toward the final third of the track, his voice switching from a piercing pitch to something more subtle and fitted to the production. A decent effort that should be a hit for Wiz, and another boost to The Weeknd’s hook reputation.

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Game – Celebration ft. Lil' Wayne, Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa (Video)

After dropping a behind-the-scenes video, a trailer video, a behind-the-scenes of the trailer video, another behind-the-scenes video and probably a video of his cat watching the behind-the-scenes video, Game drops off the actual video for his lead single from Jesus Piece, set to drop in December.

Truthfully, I’m not really into this. It’s good that Game’s trying something a little brighter and more positive, but it just comes off as a poorly-done pop track with little to distinguish it from any other pop rap effort. The Chris Brown hook isn’t massively engrossing, Game’s laidback raps feel a little awkward, and the other three barely make an imprint on the track with their verses. It’s surprising, but Wiz’s minor melodic contribution to this is probably the only memorable part of any of the guest spots.

The video has a nice summer vibe to it, and the sheer positivity of it all is quite infectious, but it’d be far better suited to some audio with a little more meat and less pointlessness.

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Wiz Khalifa-Far From Coach ft. Game and Stat Quo

Wiz has been churning out material relatively regularly in recent months, and here he grabs Game and Stat (who I’ve not heard from in forever) for another solid jam.

The production is as laidback as you’d expect from a Wiz track, with an easygoing percussion, airy synths and a general air of opulence. There’s still a little punch going on in there too, thanks to a hefty dose of bass, and hence it makes for a good summer day listen, a vibe that Wiz capitalises on with a smooth, arrogant hook that will keep heads nodding. The verses are nice and diverse, with Game bringing a more intense delivery than expected, whilst Wiz’s voice also has plenty of verve on his section, and Stat closes things out with what’s probably the best verse of the track thanks to a diverse lyrical set alongside a relaxed delivery. Decent all-rounder, which you can grab for free courtesy of Wiz’s Twitter.

Wiz Khalifa-Far From Coach ft. Game and Stat Quo

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Wiz Khalifa-Different Cloth ft. Busta Rhymes

Like many, I lost a lot of interest in Wiz after his relatively pop-oriented Rolling Papers album, but since that release (which you increasingly get the impression he was forced to do) he’s certainly gone some way to repairing that damage with a slew of much more solid content.

This falls right in that category, grabbing Busta (who has an album coming out soon, so expect to see him featuring everywhere) for an assist to give it a little additional quality. The production is incredibly laidback, pushing drifty synths together with very soft percussion for a relaxing effort that makes for an good listen right the way through. The chilled style suits Wiz more than Busta, yet Bus’ opening verse is still enjoyable, whilst Wiz blends singing and rapping for a performance that combines superbly with the beat. An easy listen that will offend no-one and pad out those playlists nicely.

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Wiz Khalifa-Work Hard Play Hard

The first single from Wiz’s upcoming O.N.I.F.C. album, and he’s started things off pretty well with this one. The general vibe and tone of the track is considerably more driven and mature than the lighthearted nature of his previous album’s work, and certainly more in line with the recent Taylor Allderdice mixtape, with a thumping instrumental that boasts a speaker-rattling low end, alongside a couple of lighter elements to retain some appeal to his core mainstream fans. In that vein, the hook is rather pop-oriented, so much so that it almost feels out of place amongst the more serious style that his verses emanate, though again that’s clearly to ensure his majority fanbase are catered to. Generally, it’s a pretty solid effort that will surely rack up some airplay.

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Sh*t You Forgot About: Episode 3

After a forced hiatus due to various other commitments, we can finally resume the latest weekly series from the OTU brain trust. I must admit, this is fast becoming my personal favourite series in OTU history, purely because it allows both yourselves and I to rediscover tracks that we either once loved or once forgot about, and that’s frankly a lot of fun.

Enough of the self-appreciation.

Click on below for another diversity-laden edition of SYFA, featuring a trio of prominent current mainstream names, alongside a couple of acts that have slipped away somewhat.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 144

Hurry, we forgot to put this out!

Quick! Stop reading this!

(One to catch up on: newcomer Jade Alston’s excellent Searching)

Go go go.
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Wiz Khalifa-Taylor Allderdice Mixtape

Another project many were looking forward to, though certainly on a bigger scale than most as Wiz Khalifa returns to the mixtape scene with this effort.

The previous releases from this tape have generally been received well, and it appears some of the ill-feeling he bred for his ‘pop sellout’ Rolling Papers album is being clawed away with a return to a more hip-hop friendly style. Of course, there’s bound to be enough material to satisfy his new mainstream followers too, and I’d expect this to be a solid, well-rounded tape with some enjoyable chillout efforts that have become Wiz’s trademark in recent months. Free grab below.

Wiz Khalifa-Taylor Allderdice

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R&B Fridays: Episode 138

Fridays were always overrated anyway.

Four posts to catch up on from the last week: Usher hooked up with Diplo for an enjoyable return to the spotlight, Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf came together for a free 4-track EP, Raheem DeVaughn made many folks’ Valentine’s Day with a new mixtape, and finally we were treated to an excellent slowed-down remix of Drake and The Weeknd’s Crew Love.

Below. Click.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 131

This is the first line that sets up the post.

This is the second line that recaps on any relevant posts.

This is the third line that is often filler.

This is the final line that leads you into the click below.
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The Madden Brothers-Before (Volume One)

Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte fame appear to be branching out and have enlisted the services of many upcoming and established hip-hop acts for a mixtape that could end up being a half-decent listen, assuming the Maddens don’t start rapping.

It’s difficult for anyone to claim to be a true Good Charlotte fan with a straight face, but they’ve occassionally shown flashes of quality, with The River in particular being an excellent song. It is on the quality of that track I hold hope that the project might be decent, and features from the likes of The Cool Kids, Wiz Khalifa, Kreayshawn, Casey Veggies and many more are also encouraging signs that this could be worth a listen. The 12-track tape is available to both stream and download for free below.

The Madden Brothers-Before (Volume One)

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R&B Fridays: Episode 117

A shorter episode than usual, but still packed full of big names in the current R&B/pop/hip-hop scene, including a couple of unexpected collaborations. Similarly, only a small recap is required from this week’s posts, with the official relese of Skylar Grey’s second set of solo visuals, and a very promising new mixtape from Jay Sean.

Click below for this week’s injection of harmonic, overly-emotional goodness.

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Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean-Proceed and dotdotdot

Two more from that upcoming mixtape, and I’m enjoying both. dotdotdot brings another mellow production, with heavy horns that ooze a vintage charm, and alongside live drums anchor the track superbly. The vocal filter on the raps of each artist further enhances the retro vibe, giving it that ‘old time radio’ vibe, and both the verses and hook generally blend very nicely with the easygoing production.

Proceed comes through very differently, but will likely be the majority’s favourite track from the trio thus far. A more modern, upbeat production, the synths burst into life from the off and are met by a smooth drum loop to combine into a beat that would have slid in nicely on either Wiz or Sean’s recent albums. The raps certainly suggest comfortability too, with a vigour evident in each verse that makes for refreshing listening after the raft of laidback tracks we’ve had from the triumverate. Enjoying Sean’s verse in particular (again), with a more personal touch giving it a more distinguishable quality. Both very likeable efforts, and certainly worth a listen.
Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean-Proceed
Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean-dotdotdot

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Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean-Weed Brownies

They say good things come in threes, and over the last three days we’ve now had three tracks (click here for one, here for the other) from three talented rappers. There are always question marks when collaborative projects or ‘supergroups’ are formed (see Child Rebel Soldier), but the rate at which these guys are churning out material suggests this one may just stick and deliver the project they recently promised.

Another relaxed, lazy day sort of track from the trio, with an easygoing percussion accompanied by soft melodies that work well as part of this ‘stoner anthem’. Lyrically, the title rightfully suggests its nothing surprising or particularly unique, though it makes for easy listening and compliments should be reserved once again for Big Sean who attacks the beat with a slightly better flow than the others.

Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa & Big Sean-Weed Brownies

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Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean-Flowers

Two releases in two days from this young trio, with today’s effort coming with more information on the planned destination for the tracks: a collaborative mixtape from the trio. Very excited at that announcement, and with the quality of O.T.T.R. and now Flowers, hopes are certainly high.

Flowers boasts another laidback production, though with less of the vintage aspect of the previous track, instead offering a more traditional hip-hop flavour with hard-hitting percussion and softer samples. The result is a stronger focus on the vocal work, and whilst each rapper coming through with solid verses, Big Sean stands out here with a good verse that foregoes his more relaxed delivery for a more exaggerated vocal style. The smoothed-out hook closes this one off nicely, and this is again very solid material that will undoubtedly build expectations for the trio’s mixtape.

Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean-Flowers

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Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean and Curren$y-O.T.T.R.

Three of hip-hop’s fastest rising stars come together for an interesting collaboration that doesn’t quite have a formal home yet, but is certainly worth a listen.

The track kicks off with some laidback percussion hits with a lounge music feel, and builds into a hypnotising, jazz-sampling production: there’s a heavy retro vibe coarsing through this, with real charm to be found in its evocation of a film noir vibe. The verses slide in with the production nicely, with each rapper’s relaxed, easygoing deliveries being a suitable fit for this production. In truth, I’ve partly ignored the verses on my first few listens as I’ve been thoroughly mesmerised by this production, so forgive me if I’ve been somewhat disrespectful of the raps here!

Wiz Khalifa-O.T.T.R. ft. Big Sean and Curren$y

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