Now I know the name Diplo doesn’t usually come to mind when you think of hip hop however; his latest mix from his own BBC radio 1xtra show might make you think differently. The electronic producer who were used to seeing rock crowds with a long list of dance genres such as trap, moombahton and electro house has gone back to his original roots and produced a hip hop mix that is sure to have even the biggest hip hop fans impressed. The two hour expedition takes the listener through the golden era of hip hop featuring artists such as Big L, Mos Def, 2pac, Biggie, A Tribe Called Quest and MF Doom just to name a few. For all the hip hop heads out there this is a must listen! Sit back light a joint and turn up your speakers for one of the greatest mixes of the year.
(Unfortunately the mix will not play on wordpress, so just click on the link below.)
Joey Bada$$ – Christ Conscious
It was only last week that Joey Bada$$ gave us a taste of some new music with “Get Paid” your typical boom bop sounding track we have come to expect from the young rapper. One week later and the Brooklyn native is at it again releasing a darker track this time titled “Christ Conscious”. The grimey ballad which will feature on Joey’s highly anticipated “B4DA$$” showcases the MC’s raw flow and is definitely a step in the right direction. Joey spits some serious rhymes in this beast of a track, the way things are going “B4DA$$” could be heading towards classic status!
Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark – Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark
Are we really in the year 2014? Because it feels like I’m back in the 90’s after listening to the collaborative self titled album from The Pharcyde’s Slimkid3 and Jurassic 5’s DJ Nu-Mark. The hip hop veterans have teamed up to create one of my favourite albums of the year, a time transferring album that has just the right amount of nostalgia whilst still sounding fresh. Both artists really bring their A game to the show, Nu Marks boom bop style combines well with Slimkid3’s smooth flow to create a classic vibe that is almost non existent in todays industry. While its hard to find anything wrong with this solid album there are one or two moments that seem to lower the bar however; these moments become insignificant in an album that is filled with mostly top quality material.
The ten track LP kicks off with “Work Hard”, an explosive opener that you can’t help but nod your head to. The energized track which features K-Natural is the perfect introduction and sets the standard for the rest of the album. The classic vibes keep coming with “Let Me Hit”, a catchy smooth flowing jam that could easily be mistaken for a Jurassic 5 track which is always a good thing. The sounds get even better when “I Know Didn’t I” rolls in, the melodic track which features the late Darondo is a harmonious ballad of soulful voices and old school samples that really grab the listeners attention. The great streak doesn’t last forever though as things start to sound a bit out of place in “Fade To Black”, followed up with the dull and repetitive sounds from “King”. These minor flaws are soon forgotten as soon as “Bom Bom Fiya” starts pumping out of the speakers, the groovy piano beat creates a party vibe that just makes you want to dance. Slimkid3 lyrical ability really starts to shine in “Godzilla or Gamera” , the track features a more simple beat from Nu-Mark which purposely puts more emphasis on Slimkid3 awesome word play. The final track “Bouillon” is a continuous rhyme fest from Slimkid3, Murs and Del The Funky Homosapien. Each artist brings their A game spitting pure fire to close up a very dope album.
The chemistry between Slimkid3 and DJ Nu-Mark makes it feel like the pair have been together for a very long time and the old school, chilled out vibes that they create are hard to come by these days. At times things seem to be heading in the wrong direction however; these moments are only short lived and quickly disregarded. Overall the album is a real joy to listen to, the world needs more music like this.
Joey Bada$$ – Get Paid
While the hip hop world anxiously awaits the release of “B4DA$$”, Joey Bada$$ has decided to give fans a taste of what is to come by releasing “Get Paid” a track that believe it or not, did not make the cut for the album. “Get Paid” is your typical Bada$$ track, it features the Brooklyn rappers trademark boom bop style that we have all grown to love. If this track didn’t make the cut for “B4DA$$” than I can’t wait to hear what actually did, expectations are at an all time high. Hopefully he can bring it home.
Kendrick Lamar – i
Its the moment we have all been waiting for, K Dot aka Kendrick Lamar has finally released the first single off his sophomore album that is scheduled to drop later this year. The Compton rapper teased us last week when he unveiled the artwork for the track however; last night we finally got to hear what is definitely one of the most anticipated tracks of the year and to be honest I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. The upbeat track which features production from Rahki sees Kendrick rapping over a Isley Brothers sample of their 1973 hit “That Lady”. As I said before I really don’t know how I feel about this one, I mean the songs not bad however; at the same time its nothing special either, personally I don’t think it lived up to the hype or maybe my expectations were to high. Nonetheless I’m still excited about the new album which is yet to have a title or release date.
Mary J. Blige – Whole Damn Year
Mary J. Blige’s latest track “Whole Damn Year” is a prime example of why the singer is considered to be the queen of soul. The new single which will appear on her upcoming LP “The London Sessions” is a passionate symphony that grabs the listener and takes them on an emotional ride. Blige lets it all out over a smooth piano beat as she talks about the struggle and pain caused from a rough break up. “The London Sessions” is Blige’s thirteenth studio album and its shaping up to be one of her best.
Yelawolf – Till It’s Gone
Yelawolf is back with a brand new track titled “Till It’s Gone” and to be honest its pretty average (like majority of his work). A lot of people are praising the southern rappers new sound however; I don’t see what all the hype is about, the acoustic guitar riffs and corny hook combine to create a soft rock vibe which really isn’t my cup of tea. Eminem who I consider to be the greatest MC of all time signed Yelawolf to Shady Records back in 2011 and to this day it is still a decision I will never understand, but hey that’s just my opinion.
Clockwork Indigo – Butterfly Effect
Flatbush Zombies have combined with the Underachievers to create hip hops newest supergroup “Clockwork Indigo”. Their first release is titled “Butterfly Effect”, a seven minute verbal onslaught from all five members over a dark and gloomy beat produced by Eric Arc Elliot. Each member raises the bar on this beast of a track, very keen to hear more from these guys in the future.
Jurassic 5 – What’s Golden
Taking it back to 2002 with such a dope track from the coolest group in hip hop! These guys are the real deal, their underground sound is so unique and so different its what makes them my favourite group by far. I could have chosen any track from their impressive catalogue however; “What’s Golden” sums up the groups sound in 3:09 minutes of pure dopeness. Just listen to that beat!
B-Real feat Snoop Lion – Anybody
Usually I’m a big fan of B-Real, I love all his previous solo material and of course his work with Cypress Hill however; his latest track “Anybody” which features Snoop “Lion” fails to grab my attention. The beat sounds a lot like majority of the mainstream hip hop that is out at the moment which is upsetting because I’m used to hearing B-Real on some dope old school vibes. Snoop dogg or lion or whatever he goes by these days also fails to impress which is kind of expected or maybe I’m just being to critical. Don’t get me wrong though B-Real still spits some tight lyrics, I just hope we will hear some more classic sounds on his upcoming project “Dr.Greenthumb”.