Problem & Iamsu! – Million Dollar Afro: Mixtape Review courtesy of Skinny Friedman
The industry’s roots in New York and Atlanta have led to a pretty healthy sharing of ideas between the south and the north for the last decade or so. Snap begat trap and then turned into the city-less pop rap that dominates the genre today; French Montana and Meek Mill are making anthems that would have been decidedly southern (and straight-up mocked in NY and Philly) a decade ago. Over the same period, jerk and hyphy came Read more…
Casino – Ex-Drug Dealer courtesy of Skinny Friedman
God bless the shout rappers, the rap game’s answer to Mario on a power star, barrelling through everything, as turnt up as possible in the most literal sense. Their legacy goes back to Run-DMC shouting their way through walls and scaring Aerosmith, but their ranks include such greats as Willie D, MOP and, of course, DMX. Freebandz affiliate Casino is a shout rapper for the trap generation.
Casino burst on the scene most notably on Future’s excellent Read more…
Hit-Boy Presents: HS 87 – All I Ever Dreamed Of
Imitation is the highest form of flattery as long you don’t just mercilessly bite someone else’s style. Even a good approximation of something else has its value if done right. Hit-Boy’s production on HS87’s All I Ever Dreamed Of is a good example of how to pay homage to your influences without sounding like a total shark. In the best way possible, Hit-Boy’s production is Kanye 2.0.
Hit-Boy doesn’t just borrow Kanye’s studio tricks, he also knows how and when to deploy them. Both are skilled with samples but Read more…
I came across this while on Complex this morning and being a fan of mixtapes I thought it was very interesting and needed to be shared. This is a project by Maurice Garland, Bill Ndiaye and DJ Mars in conjunction with Kickstarter to create, The Art Behind The Tape, a book which will chronicle the evolution of mixtape cover art. If you are a fan of the mixtape game and its history you will certainly enjoy this book and it would be the first of its kind. With that being said the trio are asking for donations from $1 to $2,500 so if you would like to contribute to making this book happen visit their Kickstarter page.
CAP1 – T.R.U. 2 IT
Rap in 2013 is an old man’s game. Savvy vets like Bun B and Juicy J stayed relevant long enough to gain another generation of fans entirely. 2 Chainz paid decades of dues and slowly worked his way to the top. Killer Mike and Curren$y both built their own empires after a few years carrying weed for bigger names (and Mike recently teamed up with fellow old dude El-P). The idea of rapping at age 40 used to seem sad; now it’s totally feasible.
It’s been a long road for Cap1, albeit one with less high points along the way. I don’t know how old Cap is, but he’s been kicking around the industry for a minute, at least since the early 00’s. A Chicago native, he met 2 Chainz Read more…
I want to take a minute to properly dap what New York City rap has going on right now. If you rock a lot of Polo, hang out with Harry Fraud and/or are from the borough of Queens right now, I’m probably fuckin with you (assuming you rap). That’s a really vague way to describe an entire rap scene, but fuck it.
Harry Fraud gets Action Bronson on a track with French Montana for this Scion-sponsored “Mean” joint and I like it. French is great at singing badly on hooks (like not Young Thug bad but still bad in a good way). It’s some chilly riding music. (I’m aware French isn’t from Queens.)
Action Bronson’s been getting the Read more…
The tracklist for Kendrick Lamar’s extremely hyped good kid, m.A.A.d. city album came out this week, as iTunes presales links went up. I can’t remember the last time I looked at a tracklist for a rap album carefully before its release date. Most albums are largely predictable, full of already-leaked tracks or preceded with mixtapes that are three or four times better than the albums they ostensibly promote.
For any number of reasons, Kendrick dodged Read more…
If you care about this sh1t, you know by now that Kreayshawn only sold 3900 units on the release week of her Something Bout Kreay album, and you have probably heard from a few places that that’s a record-setting low.
That’s some bullshit. You only know that number and that bad press because Universal wants you to know that number so they can fire whoever signed her and wash their hands of the whole ordeal.
Artists “flop” all the time and 3900 is probably not even a low number. Popular mixtape rappers don’t Read more…
Let’s talk about the machinery and why I’m mad that Hit-Boy has a mixtape out.
Straight up, I only listened to one song on the tape (the one with Bun B and the perennially underrated King Chip pka Chip the Ripper). Hit-Boy is a good enough rapper, I guess, and I’m not about to tell anyone they aren’t allowed to bless the mic if the spirit moves them and they’re in the studio anyways. But straight up I’ve only heard of Hit-Boy because of “Paris” – why would I want to hear him rap? As the late great Mitch Hedberg said, do you really trust the farmer to cook your food just because he grew it?
(It’s ironic Hit-Boy is on G.O.O.D. Music, given Kanye’s own troubles crossing over from an in-demand producer to a (relatively) respected emcee, which he spelled out in great detail at the end of “Last Call.” Maybe Yeezy is still mad about how much industry drama he had to go through to get his chance on the mic and he’s trying to pay it forward.)
But look, I’m not mad at Hit-Boy and I don’t really feel a way about his tape existing. I’m mad about the industry that Read more…
I don’t know anyone who cared enough about Nas’s Untitled album to feel any way at all about dream hampton’s accusations that large chunks of the album were actually written by Jay Electronica and stic.man of dead prez. Nothing Nasir Jones does can tarnish Illmatic’s place in history, and if it takes an army of ghostwriters to help him reach those heights again, I’m all for it. Untitled wasn’t even that good. What Nas needs more than anything is someone to help him pick beats and tell him to not rap like Sam Spade (and I really liked Hip-Hop Is Dead).
Ghostwriting is not a scandal in and of itself. Ice Cube wrote a lot of Eazy-E’s rhymes and Big Daddy Kane wrote for Biz Markie. Gillie wrote for Birdman. Hearing Diddy rap like Pharoahe Monch on “The Future” was surreal. And who can forget Skillz (pka Mad Skillz) pulling Read more…