Dizzee Rascal – Pagans
Dizzee Rascal has returned with his latest single Pagans, a hard hitting track that thankfully highlights Dizzee’s rapid lyricism (something that has been missing from MC over the last couple of years). Providing the throbbing beat for this one is UK grime master Footsie, the Newham Generals member also provides production for Dizzies other new single Couple Of Stacks which is part of the Pagans EP. Along with this killer track comes one of the best video’s of the year, a kung fu inspired masterpiece that pays homage to early kung fu movies, something I’m sure RZA would be proud of. 2015 looks like we could have the old Dizzee back (Thank Fuck!) Check out the wicked clip below.
Joey Bada$$ – Curry Chicken
Joey Bada$$ has given us another taste of his debut album B4.DA.$$ which is expected to drop in less than a month on the 20th of January. The new track titled Curry Chicken is produced by regular collaborator Statik Selektah but I’m sure you already new that after hearing the legendary producers iconic scratching within the first 45 seconds. Curry Chicken is another impressive track that adds to Joey’s incredible arsenal of music, the young rapper can do no wrong at the moment. Taking things down a notch Curry Chicken provides a soulful atmosphere that sees Joey bring a smooth and polished flow that will have you listening to each and every word. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again B4.DA.$$ will be the best hip hop album of 2015!
According to a statement posted on his Facebook page Californian rapper Hopsin has decided to quit rap and move to Australia! The young MC explained that ‘this rap stuff just isn’t for me’ ‘I’m going to venture out into new areas of life’. The news comes as quite a shock, the young rapper had a rather large cult following and produced a number of good tunes. Read the statement he wrote on his Facebook page below and relive this dope tune Super Duper Fly from his 2009 album Gazing At The Moonlight.
‘I just wanted to take time out to say I appreciate all of u who have supported my music over these past few years. A Lot of u have told me stories about how I have changed your life. You too have changed mine in ways that u can never imagine. Unfortunately, tonight is the night that I am actually moving away to Australia. Over the past couple years I ha…ve come to conclusion that this profession just isn’t for me, so im going to venture out into new areas of life. I will always be an MC at heart, but this rap stuff just isn’t for me. I hope You guys can respect it. I’ve signed over my half of the funk volume label to my business partner Dame. I also wished SwizZz, Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton good luck in their careers. Thank u all! I’m out.’
Marcus Jamal Hopson aka “Hopsin”
Rocking a new ODB style haircut Kendrick Lamar took to the stage on the Colbert Report to premier a new untitled track that will appear on his highly anticipated upcoming album which is also yet to receive a title. If you weren’t already pumped for Kendrick’s new album this track should change your mind. Its something different from the Compton rapper or writer as he likes to be called, the track features a funky experimental type beat with a heavy jazz influence (there’s also a cool sax solo in the middle). Kendrick spits straight fire as well gradually getting louder and more passionate as he goes, really diggin’ this new style he’s got going on. Bring on 2015, it seems like its going to be a killer year for hip hop! Check out Kendrick’s performance below!
Ghostface Killah & Sheek Louch – Wu-Block Biznez
Ghostface Killah just won’t stop releasing music! In the past month we have seen the Stanton Island rapper drop two albums, one being his incredible solo project 36 Seasons while the other being Wu-Tang’s 20th anniversary album A Better Tomorrow. Also on the way is BADBADNOTGOOD’s album Sour Soul which happens to feature Ghost on every track. However; it doesn’t stop there today we get our first listen to a new track from Ghost & Sheek Louch which will appear on the follow up album to their 2012 record Wu Block and is expected to drop early next year. The track is called Wu-Block Biznez and it adds to the astonishing catalogue of songs Ghost has been a part of this year. Both rappers show off their talent by providing exceptional verses over one hell of an epic beat (Ghost’s flow is soo dope!). The album which will be called Hidden Gems is expected to drop in January and is rumoured to feature Wu-Tang members GZA, Masta Killa, Cappadonna along with Styles P and The Lox. 2015 is shaping up to be a great year for hip hop. Check out the new track below.
Eminem & Shady Records – Shady XV
Shady XV is exactly what we have come to expect from Eminem these days, the album features a few good tracks mixed in with a larger portion of average ones. Shady XV is not just Eminem’s album though, the record celebrates 15 years of Shady records and features tracks from past and present members. Disc One has all new material from all current Shady Records artists including 5 new Eminem Tracks whilst Disc Two features the best tracks from past and present members of the label.
Eminem gets the ball rolling with the opening track SHADYXV and I must say its one of the better joints on the album. Em goes hard out on this five minute explosion, spitting straight bars for the entire track not stopping for a single second. Unfortunately the rest of the solo Eminem tracks aren’t really worth talking about, Fine Line and Right For Me feature Em’s new awkward flow that I just can’t get into whilst Guts Over Fear has that Recovery feel to it which I’m sure the new fans will love however; the older die hard fans with find it quite disappointing. Die Alone sees a more slowed down and polished flow but it still doesn’t do enough to really raise any eyebrows.
I think its safe to say that Royce brings out the best in Em and this is evident on their Bad Meets Evil track Vegas. Both MC’s bring their A game for this verbal onslaught, you could say that Royce almost steals the limelight not just here but throughout the whole album. Psychopath Killer is one of my proffered joints on Disc One, the hard hitting track features Royce and Crooked I of Slaughterhouse and both of them spit killer verses. Em takes out the third verse and whilst he sounds dope it does begin to fall into that new flow where it sounds like he is trying to fit too many words into one sentence. Yelawolf provides the hook and surprisingly does an incredible job (this would be one of the only times I actually enjoy him).
My favourite track on Disc One is the Slaughterhouse’ DJ Premier produced Y’all Ready Know. Premo brings that boom bap sound while each member of Slaughterhouse completely destroy their verses. D12 make their long awaited return however; its a disappointing one. I was really looking forward to hearing some new material from them but to be honest after hearing Bane I think I would have proffered not hearing anything at all.
As I mentioned before Disc Two features the best tracks from past 15 years of Shady Records. 50 Cent makes five appearances with I Get Money, In Da Club, P.I.M.P, Wanksta and You Don’t Know which also features Eminem, Lloyd Banks and Cashis. After listening to their poor track on Disc One its good to hear some classic jams from D12 such as Purple Pills, My Band and Fight Music. Eminem decides to add his Grammy award winning hit Lose Yourself and on top of that he includes a demo version of the song that he supposedly found in the vault whilst coming up with what tracks to put on the Disc. Whilst the version we all know and love today is definitely better the demo version is still a cool listen.
Look overall Shady XV is an average album, Disc One has two or three tracks that will probably make your playlist however; the rest will live in the background of your iTunes and while Disc Two features some amazing tracks chances are you already own them.
Bishop Nehru – Breath (Prana/$pirit)
Young gun Bishop Nehru has been a busy man this year, the Rockland County rapper teamed up with hip hop veteran MF DOOM to release their collaborative album NehruvianDOOM. Nehru impressed on his debut studio album and a month or so later he also appeared on Australian electronic producer duo Flight Facilities debut album Down to Earth with the track Why Do You Feel. The features didn’t stop there, just this month Nehru made his way onto the track K.I.N.G from Brooklyn up and comer Astro’s debut album as well. Now Nehru has finally taken a bit of time to do some solo work which brings us to his latest release Breath (Prana/$pirit). A slower jam this time featuring some killer word play and a dope Erykah Badu sample. Bishop Nehru is definitely one of the game’s future stars, at the moment there aren’t many MC’s who are making an impression but artists like Nehru and Joey Bada$$ continue to keep the faith!
Big L – Put It On
Rewind is taking us back to 1994 with the first ever single from Big L off his amazing debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, I’m talking about the classic track Put It On. Put It On would have to be my favourite track from Big L, while its almost impossible to have a favourite track from L because lets face it everything he released was incredible, there was something about Put It On that has always stuck out. L’s smooth flow and bright energy was something he hadn’t really done before all the other songs on the album were more gangsta and hardcore which will still dope as fuck but Put It On just had that extra spark it was something special. The track also features Kid Capri on the chorus and produced by Buckwild, Put It On will for me always stand out as one of the greatest hip hop tracks ever produced. Rest In Peace Big L !
Joey Bada$$ – No. 99
What’s my name? Badmon! That’s right Joey lets us know who he is in his latest cut from his upcoming highly anticipated album B4.DA.$$. The track is produced by frequent collaborator Statik Selektah and features that classic boom bap style that we are used to hearing from Joey. Along with this incredible new track comes one of the best video clips I have seen in a long time, a man hunt is on for Badmon! I can just imagine how crazy this song will go off love. For me artists like Joey Bada$$ are the future of hip hop, this guy can’t do much wrong everything he has released this year has been straight fire not to mention his previous mixtapes especially 1999. B4.DA.$$ is scheduled for a January 20 release next year which also happens to be Joey’s 20th birthday. Mark my words this will be album of the year! Along with the new track featured below is also the tracklist for B4.DA.$$ and it sounds incredibly dope!
1. “Save The Children”
2. “Greenbax (Introlude)”
3. “Paper Trail$”
4. “Piece of Mind”
5. “Big Dusty”
6. “Hazeus View”
7. “Like Me” (Feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
8. “Belly of the Beast” (Feat. Chronixx)
9. “No. 99″
10. “Christ Conscious”
11. “On & On” (Feat. Maverick Sabre & Dymeond Lewis)
12. “Escape 120″ (Feat. Raury)
13. “Black Beetles”
15. “Curry Chicken”
16. “Run Up On Ya” (Feat. Action Bronson & Elle Varner) (Bonus Track)
17. “Teach Me” (feat. Kiesza) (Bonus Track)
Just under a week before J. Cole releases his latest project 2014 Forest Hills Drive, today the North Carolina rapper has dropped a freestyle of the same name. Running in at almost three minutes Cole spits bars over a chilled jazzy beat showing us what we he is capable of and setting a great mood for the album. His lyrics are impressive, if this freestyle is anything to go by than 2014 Forest Hills Drive could well be one of the best albums of the year. 2014 hasn’t been the best year for hip hop however; there have been some wicked releases and there are still some highly anticipated albums to come including Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow, DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″ collaborative project PRhyme, Ghostface Killah’s 36 Seasons and Astro’s Computer Era. These few albums have the potential of finishing the year off on a high. J. Cole has released the tracklist for 2014 Forest Hills Drive which you can view below, and by the looks of things there seems to be no features which would be unusual in this day and age however; its something I’m definitely looking forward to. Check out the tracklist and freestyle below!