Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Vizzy Zonin'

If you haven't heard of XV, you might want to do a little research. The young rapper from Wichita, Kansas combined with the powers at Warner Bros. recently re-released and remastered Vizzy Zone, XV's most recent mixtape, which has a couple of mixtape gems to say the least. The tape also features the likes of Mike Posner, Talib Kweli, and Bun B for starters. And what other rappers do you ever get to hear from Kansas? Grab the mixtape and check out the video for Mirror's Edge.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Blues

Recently heard a new collaboration between G-Unit's two fallen angels, The Game and Young Buck. These two artists once teamed up in a track called Hate On Us about a year or so ago, and it definitely shows a bit of growth.

I think both of these artists are great lyricists who are making their respective marks on the industry. While Young Buck continues to work on his mixtape series, The Game has been releasing several mixtapes in preparation for his new album, The R.E.D. Album.

Check out both the collabo tracks as well as a link to The Game's newest mixtape, Brake Lights.

Brake Lights Mixtape
The Game - Hustlin' (Champions) off of Brake Lights

Sticking Around

After everything Chris Brown has gone through under the scrutiny of the public, it's almost a surprise that he is still around and producing relevant content.

No doubt he is still a talented performer. When you take a song that has already reached popularity and remix track with plenty of guest verses, you're bound to have a decent song. While I do enjoy this Deuces Remix, I have to say it is because of each artists individual performances than the track as a whole. I feel like its almost pieced together with the assumption that it would turn on great with names like Drake, Kanye, and Andre 3000 among others. Chris Brown himself barely has a presence on the track, but what are you going to do besides enjoy.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

G.O.O.D. Friday Continues (Thankfully)

As many of you know, Kanye has been releasing a song every Friday for the past month and a half or so, and dubbed the day G.O.O.D. Friday. He's vowed to release a song every Friday until the release of his new album, which is still untitled. However, a little controversy struck earlier this week when one of the songs on Kanye's album leaked online. This kinda stuff happens all the time, but the song was unfinished and unmixed- clearly not intended to be heard by anyone outside of 'Ye's studio. Naturally, Yeezy got pissed that after a month and a half of giving away free music, someone would hack into his email/harddrive and post a song that a) didn't belong to them, and b) was clearly not meant to be heard, yet. Kanye threatened to put a halt on G.O.O.D. Friday, but out of the kindness of his heart, he's graced us with yet another song to bump. Enjoy.

Me And The Devil

There are very few artists out there as timeless as Gil Scott-Heron. The man's legacy is set in stone, yet after all these years he's still putting out new music. He really is completely original, to pigeon-hole him into a genre of music really wouldn't be fair. His spoken-word is totally unique, case in point with the classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." His poetry has led many to consider him to be "the godfather of rap," but to be honest, he's simply a genius. Last February, he released his first album in over 10 years, titled "I'm New Here." It got great reviews and had a very eclectic sound, drawing on influences from his old, spoken-word days, Hip Hop, Alternative, and just about everything under the sun. The lead single off the album was "Me And The Devil," a dark, almost hypnotizing song that quickly became one of my favorites of the year. The video is incredible, and I felt it's one that everyone should see. Be sure to check it out below, as well as the song "New York Is Killing Me" feat. NaS... great song.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I'm Better Than You

One of my favorite up-and-coming MCs, Mickey Factz has been doing his thing, albeit very quietly, for the last couple years or so. Back when I was in the middle of doing the "Who's Next?" series, I fully intended to include Mickey on the list. It's so unfortunate that this dude isn't more well known- the man can spit. If you're not familiar with him, he just released a new mixtape that you NEED to check out, called "I'm Better Than You." A bold title for sure, but he does his best to back it up. Do yourself a favor and download this, you won't regret it.

Sidenote: Just A Thought

Every generation has a time period in Hip Hop that they refer to as "the golden age." Sure, most people refer to "the golden age" as the mid to late 80s with Eric B. and Rakim, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, and a slew of other dope MCs. But for me, there was nothing like the early to mid 2000s when Roc-A-Fella was really killin' it, with Just Blaze and Kanye working behind the boards. There was a slew of Roc-affiliated artists who benefitted from great production, like Freeway, Young Gunz, Beanie Sigel, and even Memphis Bleek had some hot songs (check out "Like That," and "Is That Your Chick" if you don't believe me). But the group that benefitted most from the Roc-A-Fella co-sign was The Diplomats, who today are generally referred to as Dipset. I used to love Dipset back in the day. Diplomatic Immunity was my shit, I'd bump that 24/7. There were so many classic cuts, and it was amazing to turn on BET (haha, yeah I know) and see the video for "Dipset Anthem," which was pretty epic. Even years later, "I Really Mean It" is still one of my favorite songs ever.

However, when news broke a few months ago that Dipset was getting back together, I actually wasn't too optimistic about it. It's been a while since I heard a Dipset affiliated song that I thought was hot. And I'm not talkin', "oh yeah, this is pretty cool," I'm talkin', "wow, this is fire." I guess the thing that worried me the most about a Dipset reunion wasn't whether or not the chemistry was still there, but if these guys still had an ear for great production. Back in the day, The Heatmakerz, Just Blaze, and Kanye would hook them up with some gems, but lately, the majority of songs I hear just sound like throwaway mixtape tracks. No disrespect to Araab Musik, but he is not even close to being on the same level that those guys were circa 2003, and he's clearly in a different league by today's standards. However, this morning when I logged onto nahright.com, I saw a pic of Jim Jones, Cam, and Juelz standing in the studio with Dr. Dre. "The Capo," a.k.a. Jim Jones had posted it on his twitter, along with the caption "Just finished our 1rst session with Dr Dre incredible." Upon seeing this, I thought maybe things will truly be different this time around. As opposed to being cheap, and working with a bunch of bootleg mixtape producers, maybe they'll actually go out and get the production that they deserve. There are few albums I'd like to see more than a new Dipset joint, if it's done right. There's no reason why they shouldn't reach out to work with great producers. Feel free to comment on this if you like, but I just had to get that off of my chest.