Monday, February 28, 2011

Hot New Chiddy Bang Tracks

While Chiddy Bang has already released two mixtapes, a handful of singles, with artists like Big Sean, and a steadily climbed the pop and rap charts in the U.S. and overseas, they have yet to release an official studio album. That's all about to change. In 2011, "The Swelly Life" will drop. While we don't know when the album will be released, some other tracks that won't appear on the album were already leaked (as a gift in celebration of the Grammys as the artists themselves claimed).

Download "Rebel" here. (via PMA blog)

Download "Baby Roulette" here. (via PMA blog)

To download the songs, click on the links and then click the downward facing arrow on the right side of the rectangular MP3 bar. (The thing that plays the track).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lupe Fiasco's "Lasers:" A First Taste

While Lupe Fiasco may have performed and toured with some of the game's most mainstream rap acts, the message he sends is far from common. Espousing positivity and individuality, among other principles, this Chicago-born MC's new album "Lasers" is set to drop on March 8th.

Fiasco's parents were not keen on his rap/hip-hop interests when he was young

Lupe has officially released two complete albums: "Food and Liquor" (2006) and "The Cool" (2007). Many hip-hop listeners, mainstream or underground, first got a taste of Lupe's flow when he was featured in Kayne West's 2006 track "Touch the Sky."

Check out his songs on "Lasers" which have already been released. 

(this song samples Modest Mouse's "Float On")

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wale's Under the Radar Hits

Raised by Nigerian parents in Washington D.C., Wale now quarterbacks the hip-hop community of our nation's capital. While he has released songs with artists ranging from Lady Gaga and Gucci Mane, some of his best work remains largely unheard of. His hits like "Chillin" and "Pretty Girls" may have risen throughout the charts and been featured on countless radio stations, however I feel they are some of his weakest songs lyrically as well as melodically.

His name is pronounced "wah-lay"

As always with this blog, I attempt to bring out the lesser known work from some of the world's best rap artists. While I could rehash and over-evaluate much of his album "Attention Deficit," I instead chose to share some songs that you probably haven't heard from this rap pioneer.

(A remix of the original D.A.N.C.E. by the U.K.'s Justice)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CunninLynguists: Seriously Silly

With a name that belies their hip-hop maturity, the CunninLynguists are a three-headed rap monster based in Lexington, Kentucky. Hailing from Georgia, MC Kno has teamed up with Kentucky-based Natti and Deacon the Villian (MC and DJ respectively).

The group dropped their 5th studio album in December, 2010

The group's first LP was titled "Will Rap for Food" (2001) while their second, impressively-layered album is called "SouthernUnderground" (2003).  They have worked along side the likes of Supastition, RJD2, Tone Def and Masta Ace. The CunninLynguists are know for their intrepid rhyming skills, playful banter and almost comical lyrics.


I really love the violin hook.


"Love Ain't"

What makes these guys great is that they balance seriousness and silliness surprisingly well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dyme Def: Game Changers

I recently stumbled across Dyme Def. A Seattle-based hip-hop group with some serious talent and unique creativity. They entereed the game in 2006 and haven't looked back.  Consisting of three MCs (Brainstorm, S.E.V., Fearce Villan) and one DJ/producer (Bean One) they are not your ordinary hip-hop outfit.

Dyme Def's unconventional size gives them impressive vocal diversity

There aren't really many comparison that come to mind when listening to this group.  Perhaps one could draw comparisons to other Seattle-based groups like Boom Bap Project and Common Market. They are also similar to Living Legends; this makes sense as DJ Bean One worked with Jurassic 5 and Living Legends.  Dyme Def, nevertheless, is still difficult to categorize.

Below is what I've found and enjoyed from them thus far:

A take off on the Beatles' "Let it Be" this song packs more of a punch than the 70s hit.

These guys may no be tearing up Billboard's Top 20, but they've certainly made an impression on me.

Who is Wade Waters?

The Maryland/D.C.  based hip-hop duo has been tearing up the rap scene ever since their creative debut with their first album "Dark Waters" in 2006. Appearing on the album is a score of impressive names within the industry including legendary, Brooklyn-based producer AZ, 9th Wonder and Cuban Link (formerly of the Terror Squad). The duo itself is made comprised of MCs SoulStice and Haysoos.

Wade Waters is bringing back real hip-hop in my mind

In the underground rap/hip-hop community where intelligent rap and suave lyrics are rewarded, Wade Waters can hold their own against anyone.  Both SoulStice and Haysoos hold advanced degrees: Haysoos is a PhD candidate/recipient from the University of Maryland while SoulStice has advanced degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

To get a sense of their style, check out the links below:

"Rock Solid" is off of "Dark Waters" and gives you a good overall sense of their music spectrum.

Personal favorite of theirs has to be "Wanna Be Free" (I love Pandora)

Listen for the "rock the vote...dropped the soap line." It's nuts!

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Classified Song: "That Aint Classy"

Just as I wrote in my first post about Canada's Classified, he's showing no signs of letting up his music production.  On March 22 Classified will be releasing his most recent work: "Hand Shakes and Middle Fingers." The details of this LP and his upcoming 2011 tour have certainly not attracted a lot of attention.

Boyd is up to his old tricks of awesomeness

Here is the single on "Hand Shakes and Middle Fingers" that's been released/leaked already.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Brief Tribute to Gang Starr

Certainly not a budding artist in the world of hip-hop, as they have already blossomed, Gang Starr broke into the music scene in 1985 and officially ended their music production in 2004. Teaming up in the mid-1980s to create an epic rap duo were MC Guru and DJ premier.  Gang Starr has left indelible marks on current, and likely future rap stars, with their jazzy beats, intelligent lyrics and positive message.

DJ Premier (left) hails from Houston while Guru is from Boston

Writing this in February, it's important for me to reflect on the impact Gang Starr, and specifically MC Guru, had upon the development of East coast rap.  After all, it was one year ago when Guru slipped into a coma. He passed away from cancer-related causes on April 19, 2010.

Guru was born in 1966 and was 48 years old

Years before his death, Guru said that he wished his work as the vocal half of Gang Starr could not be associated with his ex-DJ (premier).  Their relationship had become strained even before his passing.

Check out my favorite songs of Gang Starr's:

The "Make your head explode just by my lyrical content" line gets me every time

Friday, February 4, 2011

Zion I

A hip-hop duo from Oakland, California, Zion I is composed of MC Zumbi and producer/DJ AmpLive. Starting their music career in 1997, Zion I (pronounced Zion eye) has drawn comparisons to The Grouch, Eligh, Living Legends, Blue Scholars, The Crest and Brawdcast.

Zion I started their own label called Live it Up Records

Check out these videos of a handful of their songs.

"Coastin" is by far their most famous song at this point in their career.

Both The Grouch and Mister F.A.B. are featured in this video.

The baseline in this song is amazing. You have to wait until Brother Ali comes in and tears it up! Best verse hands down.