Monday, October 31, 2011

Gangsta Gibbs

 Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs.
 Gibbs new mixtape is out now.

Courtesy of Smoking Section:

Gary, Indiana gangsta-rapper Freddie Gibbs' new mixtape Cold Day in Hell is now available. Gibbs has long been promising the tape and now we have another dose of his rapid-fire Midwest-style. The tape features CTE labelmate Young Jeezy, as well as Three 6 Mafia mastermind Juicy J, and Philadelphia rap-stalwart Freeway with production by Big K.R.I.T. and DJ Burn One, amongst others. No word yet on when Gibbs' debut LP Baby-Faced Killa will drop. While waiting on the download, enjoy this cut from the tape.

"Let 'Em Burn"- Cold Day in Hell


Take Care Tracklist

 Take Care- Drake
Drizzy's second LP is still pegged for a November 15 release.

Courtesy of Zune, yeah Zune is still around, is the tracklist for Drizzy's forthcoming sophomore-release Take Care. Based on their on list, we'll only be getting three songs previously heard in full form; "Marvin's Room," "Headlines," and "Make Me Proud," ft. Nicki Minaj. As of now, the bonus-edition promised by Drake, will have an additional two tracks, one of which features Lil Wayne. Until November 15 rolls around, here's the video for the still superb "Headlines."


1. Over My Dead Body
2. Shot For Me
3. Headlines
4. Crew Love (Feat. The Weeknd)
5. Take Care (Feat. Rihanna)
6. Marvin’s Room / Buried Alive Interlude
7. Under Ground Kings
8. We’ll Be Fine
9. Make Me Proud (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
10. Lord Knows (Feat. Rick Ross)
11. Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude
12. Doing It Wrong
13. The Real Her Ft. Lil Wayne x Andre 3000)
14. HYFR (Hell Ya F***in' Right) (Feat. Lil Wayne)
15. Look What You’ve Done
16. Practice
17. The Ride
18. Hate Sleeping Alone
19. Untitled (Feat. Lil Wayne)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Track Attack- "It's Over"

The early king of rock-ballads Roy Orbison.
Orbison is best know for tracks like " Oh, Pretty Woman" and "Only the Lonely
Hey everyone, this is another new series I am going to be debuting that will take a look at specific track each and every week. Some of these will be songs of the past and others will be recent cuts that I think deserve some spotlighting. Look for these "track attacks" to appear each and every Tuesday (excepting of course for this one).

For the first installment of the series, I wanted to look at Roy Orbison's "It's Over," originally released in 1964. By that point in time, Orbison had already been seen as the king of the "operatic rock ballad," churning out somber songs like "In Dreams," and "Falling" with relative ease. While many still viewed those massive Ray-Ban Wayfarers as Orbison's projection of cool, others were catching on. They had to be hiding the perpetual tears he was crying when performing these numbers. Sure, others had done love songs before, but not like Orbison. When Orbison took on a song, he approached it like a man whose heart had just been shattered. A man so overwrought with love and loss, that he could hardly contain himself. Coupled with that voice of his, you had a recipe for melancholy that few then and even less now could approximate.

"Love Hurts"- Roy Orbison
For my money, nowhere is that more apparent than on "It's Over." Even when compared to past "epic" Orbison songs, this one seemed more grandiose. The irony of all this is that the epic music on the track, with heart-stopping percussive backing, only serves to further highlight the frailty of Orbison's words. "Your baby doesn't love you any more, Golden days before they end, Whisper secrets to the wind, Your baby wont be near you any more." The ruse of Orbison singing to someone else wears off quickly though and we soon wise up to the words. 
At first glance, Orbison seems a sage, predicting exactly what will happen to the unnamed subject, then in one line he tips his hand and we now know he's consoling himself. "It breaks your heart in two, to know shes been untrue." In the context of this cut, Orbison is so utterly wounded he can only cope by essentially lying to himself. So he shunts all his sorrow, imparting words of wisdom perhaps to protect himself in future, perhaps to escape if only in his mind.
Anyone that's ever been in Orbison's place can't fault him, in situations this solemn we would much rather play pretend, than confront the pain that plagues us. Predictably, like most of us, Orbison can't contain his illusion. Eventually, it all tumbles down leaving us with a "lonely sunset," as Orbison belts one final time "it's over, it's over." As the song stops with one final drum roll, we are now more confused than ever. What's over? Is Orbison's confusion gone? His sorrow? His love? What? In the end, it's that sublime simplicity of knowing that "it's over."  The mindset we all adopt to come to terms with our pain at one point or another, like Orbison we so desperately cling to "it" being over, without ever knowing what "it" is.

"It's Over"

"I Cry Sometimes About It"

 Rapper J Cole
Cole's debut #1 album Cole World now has a new accompanying clip.

During a concert in NYC, rapper J. Cole took to debuting the clip for the stunning song "Lost Ones" off of his debut album. The song, which heavily focuses on the ever controversial topic of abortion is in my opinion one of the greatest tracks of the year thus far, predominantly due to Cole's incredibly moving narrative, with personal lyrics many rappers would shun altogether. The video for the clip is equally as affecting and deserves to be seen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Hip-Hop is Just Play Action

Perennial "rap-weirdo" Lil B, has released an official video for a cut off of his quasi-controversial album I'm Gay. "Unchain Me," is one of many emotional songs on the album and sees The Based God rapping about slavery in the modern era. Lil B, has released a slew of mixtapes and albums this year, but few have seen the levels of attention that I'm Gay has received, predominantly because of it's "contentious title."

"Unchain Me"- I'm Gay

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Let Me Get My Swagga Back"

The-Dream's most recent release 1977 now has its first video.

As part of his recent online-album 1977, Terius Nash aka The-Dream recorded the song "Ghetto" featuring G.O.O.D. Music member Big Sean. The "celebratory song," which stands in stark contrast to the otherwise glum material of the rest of the record, now has an accompanying video that can be found below. Meanwhile, his next official release The Love IV is slated for a December release.

"Ghetto" ft. Big Sean- 1977

Sunday, October 23, 2011

From the Crates- Innercity Griots

Bit of a programming note to start with, I'm introducing a new series on here that will shine a spotlight on albums of the past and will be coming out periodically, with a heads-up a day or two before. Some of these will be ones you've no doubt heard before, but still deserve to be dug up again anyhow, whereas others will be ones few have ever heard. For the first installment of the series, I'll be focusing on the later. A tragically overlooked album that has always stood with its peer in creativity, but regrettably not in relevancy.

Innercity Griots- Freestyle Fellowship

The album I'm referring to here, is the second-release by LA alternative-rap collective Freestyle Fellowship. Almost immediately, this criminally overlooked second album from LA alt-rap crew Freestyle Fellowship works as a critique on both East and West-Coast gangsterism with a well-placed opening skit. “I’m talking about physical blood that you bleed, I am not talking about no motherf***in' gang,” warning listeners that if you’re looking for more gangsta’ talk you’re in the wrong place. What then follows is a mind-boggling freestyle that weaves in and out of double time. When the dust finally settles, we are launched in the world of FF.
   From left to right, the members of FF: Aceyalone, Myka 9, Self Jupiter, P.E.A.C.E.

The first track “Bullies on the Block,” is what would happen if the Pharcyde and Wu-Tang were thrown into a blender then laced with some well-placed P-Funk and a smattering of 70s soul. On this opener all four members are determined to outdo each other, with well-timed Jeffersons references, but as with many of the album tracks, Aceyalone steals the show. When all members have had their turn mutilating the mic, the track comes to an end with rapper P.E.A.C.E still going, suggesting they could go all-day if need be. From here on, it’s off to the races and we are treated to many “tried-and-true,” hip-hop subjects, but in the hands of this fiercely talented group they give these subjects new life. There’s the b-boy posturing of “Everything’s Everything’s,” the “wicked women” tale of “Shammy’s” featuring some hilarious story-telling from every member in the crew (with yet another remarkable verse from Aceyalone), and the driving around the neighborhood cut “Six Tray.” Here the group juxtaposes simple cruising around with mentions of cold, calculated violence, which when combined with the warped sax playing in the background yields a strong contender for one of the best cuts on the album.
 "Innercity Boundries"- Innercity Griots

This odd dichotomy plays itself out well throughout the album and reaches its apex with the songs “Way Cool” (ostensibly a serial-killer cut) and “Park Bench People,” which is quite possibly one of the greatest tracks discussing homelessness that rap has produced. Moreover, the album stands out as one of the better products of a decade littered with tragically overlooked rap albums. This is an album that has frenetic fury of The Wu-Tang Clan, the manic humor of The Pharcyde, and the thoughtful introspection of A Tribe Called Quest, all blended with sublime instrumentation tingeing the entire album. The group themselves may very well have realized this was an album destined to be underplayed and undervalued, as they say themselves on the final track “Pure Thought,” “I got some lost damn feeling like I'm feeling in threat. I was the child in the forest with the bones and the bread. I was a train at the point where the railroad ends. Trying to roll across sound on your steam in my hands.” Though this album may never make it out of the forest, it tries urgently to be heard and if you can’t hear what the Fellowship has to say, you might need to listen closer.

"Hot Potato"- Innercity Griots

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The King is Back

T.I. the self-proclaimed "king of rap."
T.I. has been on a tear since being released from prison in August.

Another week has gone by, and we have yet another offering from T.I. The newest track to be released from the Southern-rapper is "Hear Ye, Hear Ye," and features Pharrell, curiously referred to as Sk8brd. The cut continues the recent hot-streak T.I. has been on since being released from prison, which has seen a song with Young Jeezy and a remix of "N****s in Paris" by Jay-Z & Kanye West. T.I. has also released a song with fellow Southern-rapper BIG K.R.I.T. entitled "I'm Flexin." According to Rolling Stone, these tracks may be for an upcoming release, which could be entitled Kill The King. Until more details from "The King" come forward, feel free to blast these great songs as much as possible.

"I'm Flexin" ft. Big K.R.I.T.

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

Gonjasufi will soon be releasing the Ninth Inning, a free EP.

On October 24th, enigmatic experimental-artist Gonjasufi will release his second album. The album, called The Ninth Inning, will be free and initially available through Hydroshare (registration required). The first cut to be released from that EP is entitled "EATFISH" and features alternative-rapper Blu. Until the album drops, enjoy that track and while you're at it, check out this other Gonjasufi song, a personal favorite of mine from his debut.

"Sheep"- A Sufi and a Killer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If You Love Good Music

Part of the G.O.O.D Music roster.
Kanye West is the head of G.O.O.D seen in the pic with shades.

Kanye West has announced via his Twitter account that there will a G.O.O.D. Music album in Spring of 2012. At this point details are very sparse, but I am willingly to venture the album will be akin to the Young Money and Maybach Music albums, which featured those label's respective rosters. For those who don't know G.O.O.D. Music features not only Kanye West, but also: Big Sean, Common, Mos Def, Pusha-T, and Kid Cudi amongst others. Until more details surface, enjoy this music video featuring both Big Sean and Kanye.

"Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay" ft. Kanye West

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Wanna Go on Tour

The Stone Roses
The group is behind The Stone Roses, which has been called the greatest British-album of all-time.

Earlier today, it was announced via their website that alt-rock heroes The Stone Roses will be hooking up for a 2012 tour. The group will be playing their first show in more than 15 years on June 29, 2012 at Heaton Park in Manchester, UK. A press conference will also be taking place later on today and is slated to feature all four members. The show is being pegged as part of a larger "extensive world tour," by the group. Now if the Smiths could just get back together.

"I Wanna Be Adored"- The Stone Roses

Monday, October 17, 2011

Odd Future is Back!!- The OF Travelogue

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All
OFWGKTA performed this past Tuesday in Lawrence, KS.

This past Tuesday those Wolf Gang hooligans were "breakin' rules again," and this time the mayhem was unleashed on Lawrence, Kansas at a small unsuspecting club known as the Granada.

The Genesis
In true radical fashion my friend Michael and I left school for the day, skipping out on our final classes to attend the show. The show was slated to start at 9:30 with doors opening at 9, so even though we had extra time on our hands, this was a show we could not afford to be a late to, missing one moment of this would be unacceptable.
Michael and I before the show.
Take note of not only our excitement, but my Odd-Future approved t-shirt.

We got to the venue at 8:45 and were greeted with a massive line gathered outside. We should've seen this coming, hugely-popular indie rap group + College town + week day = massive line. The line would've been much more unbearable had we not had the best company possible. Michael and I spent the entirety of the line behind a rawkus group of college kids from what seemed like everywhere, at least for a show in Kansas. One was from Illinois and another had come all the way from California to see the show. Slowly the line slithered its way to the door and along the way we were treated to crowd renditions of well-known Odd Future songs (the lyrics to which are mostly unprintable here) and crudely-scribbled OF-inspired graffiti. Finally, we got to the front door at around 9:00 and the carnage would soon follow.

The line we had to wade through.
Remember this was a club that only held a few-hundred.

 The welcoming words of Odd Future on the club's facade.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All probably couldn't fit.
Biding Time    
Upon our arrival, we made our way to the merchandise table where we were greeted with the first surprise of the night, Lucas from the extended OF family. Lucas most notable appears in the "She" video by Tyler, the Creator and arguably has the most hilarious line in the entire thing. The remarkable thing here was that no one seemed to recognize the scrawny-blonde lad except for me and Michael, which was fine with us. After I purchased the requisite concert t-shirt, Michael and I headed towards the stage to stake our claim in the coming chaos.

The cat backdrop for the show.
OF loves their creepy cat pics, so why should this show be different?

It Begins
After what seemed like an eternity, the group's DJ Syd tha Kyd came out on stage and treated the crowd to a great mini-set. Now the show was really ready to begin and the group roared out of the gate, with duo MellowHype blazing through the bracing "64."

"64- BlackenedWhite (live at South by Southwest)

Once rapper Hodgy Beats and producer LeftBrain had all of us whipped into a frenzy, OF-mastermind Tyler, the Creator was ready to demolish everything and he surely did with an inspired and incredibly vicious take of "Transylvania." By the song's end Tyler had nearly everyone in the crowd sharing in his vile visions of "kidnapping and attacking with axes and s**t." 

Tyler, the Creator the group's unofficial leader and most popular member.
The twenty-year old was in top form throughout.

After this much menace this quick, the crowd needed a rest and the group's resident stoner Domo Genesis was ready to oblige the crowd with "Rolling Papers." Sporting an indelible hook from Tyler advising the crowd to "cut it short, break it down, couple pounds roll it up," Domo stole the spotlight from his more malicious peers, a trend that would continue throughout the show.

OF weed-rapper Domo Genesis.
Domo was arguably the dark-horse highlight of the show.

Continuing the good-vibes laid on by Domo, OF shy-guy Mike G treated the crowd to "Forest Green" an undervalued lyrically-dense cut from the rapper's forthcoming Gold album.

Mike G, arguably one of the least known members of OF.
Mike had several highlights throughout, including an extended freestyle.

A Whole Other Level
All the good-times came to an end when Tyler again took his place at the front of the stage. Once he assumed his position, they launched into "Tron Cat", arguably the entire group's most vile and controversial song. If one of the marks of a great concert is the act's ability to hold sway over the crowd, this concert was the best I've ever seen. In the "real-world" no-one would dare recite such nightmarish words and if they did I for one would be unnerved. But an Odd Future concert isn't the real world, it's hell on earth and the crowd had no concern for the "offensive."
 Tyler during the performance of "Tron Cat."
If you can see the red in his eyes, I assure you that's not from the camera.

The intensity only continued with a vicious a capella freestyle from Mike G ("Everything That's Yours) and the deadly detours of "Splatter" and "igotagun." The crowd was at a fever pitch at this point and even Tyler was feeling the effects, soliciting the crowd for an inhaler announcing, "yo I left my inhaler back at the hotel, does anyone here have a f**k*ng inhaler I can borrow?" As things got even more out of control and Tyler had completed his dozenth stage-dive, he took a time-out from the festivities to catch his breath. When he re-appeared, he further opined for an inhaler, making it imperative this time around. "Yo I really a f**k*ng inhaler, otherwise I'mma die in Kansas tonight," said Tyler with a gargling-rasp fully consuming his voice. Mercifully a crowd-member complied with the request and the show went on. 

Tyler pleading with the crowd for an inhaler.
Tyler often performs without one to "liven-up" the show.
The group's playful antics continued from here. At one point Tyler received a bag of weed from a fan, even while reminding him that he doesn't smoke. However the fan didn't seem to care and Tyler gleefully auctioned off the bag as a plethora of fans hurled crumpled up bills on the stage. When the deal was done, Tyler joyously announced to the crowd, "I just made my first drug deal." The crowd then rapturously applauded and it was off to the races again.

After a particularly brutal rendition of "French," with Tyler hurling himself into the crowd like a missile, losing his shirt and socks in the process, Tyler found it necessary to hurl insults at an audience member. "Yo to the Seth Rogen-looking motherf***er in the crowd, I gotta ask what do you want us to do? Because I don't know what to do, I just get on stage, yell and say a bunch of curse words. What song do you think we should do next?" The fan being firmly put in his place, had nothing to say and the group continued with Hodgy Beats' "Turnt Down."
Tyler giving a fan the what-for.
Tyler often expresses love for his fans, but has a problem with stupidity.
The group had to get one more round of great antics in, this time walking off stage after Mike G's mic failed during "Loaded." A large chunk of the group dismissively left at this point with only LeftBrain and Syd stoically standing on stage. LeftBrain was seemingly unfazed by all this ridiculousness and humorously commanded Syd to "play that s**t." She then dropped the needle on the "Yonkers" beat, a song well-identified with Tyler. LeftBrain finished less the a half-verse before Tyler took came back to take his rightful place on stage. After mockingly puppeting the crowd's rapping during the first verse, Tyler snarled in on the second verse and the performance became a highlight of the set.

Coming to a Close
The final leg of the set was a perfect distillation of the show so-far and featured more fan-favorites along the lines of "Sandwitches" and "F*** the Police." Tyler also made sure to tell everyone in attendance that they had debuted a new video on their site, which they then promptly performed. Near the end of it all, the rap miscreants were racking their brains, trying to come up with a song to perform. Thankfully, Hodgy was chomping at the bit to perform the underrated "Loco," and the set didn't waver one-bit.

All "good" things must come to the end and this show was no different, but the finish couldn't have been any more rousing. After delivering an inspired speech, Tyler and crew launched into their "unofficial anthem" "Radical" which features the still rebellious and controversial chorus of: "kill people, burn s**t, f**k school." Once they had dispensed their advice of "do whatever makes you happy," the group filed off, leaving behind them a path of destruction.

Hodgy Beats & LeftBrain of Mellowhype
The pair was performing with reckless abandon near the show's end.

Picking Up the Pieces
Litter everywhere, people in absolute stumbling dismay, a missing shoe, and an irritating ringing in my ear were just a few of the things I was rewarded with upon coming out on the other side of the show. Every word I heard became a garbled mess and I could barely hear Odd Future's missing man in action, Earl blaring over the club's loud speakers. M prized concert tee was little more than a wet rag at this point, suffice to say Michael and I were ready to leave.
 The crowd after the show.
Anyone that doesn't look exhausted clearly wasn't participating.

As we trudged out of the Granada, Michael and I were still incredulous as to what we had just seen. Making our way down the lonesome sidewalk, we came to a stop at a bus parked next to the building. Wanting to see what was going on, we ventured over to the running tour bus. At first, we thought nothing would develop and resolved to leave at 11:55. With less than a minute left, the doors to the bus flung open and Hodgy Beats as well as LeftBrain emerged. A large group staggered over, begging the pair for autographs. Hodgy obliged for a few minutes before trekking back to the bus. We feared LeftBrain would follow suit, but before he could, Domo Genesis also emerged and the crowd divided. Michael and I seized the opportunity, with Michael rushing to get his shoe signed by LeftBrain. Standing there sans a shoe, Michael sprung forward and got his wish. I followed suit and had my concert shirt signed. At this point, Domo had made his way over and we scored yet again.

Being ecstatic with just these two things, Michael and I thought we could do no better. Yet for some reason, we decided to press our luck and get a shot with LeftBrain, what did we have to lose? So after propositioning the producer, we were all set up to take the pic. Handing the camera off to a random stranger, all was well and then the camera failed to take or to put more bluntly, the man didn't know how to work the camera. For a moment, panic seized us as LeftBrain grew disinterested by our rookie mistake and was almost lost to us forever. Fortunately, another crowd member got his attention and took the picture for us. Wanting no more out of this night, Michael and I were instantly rejuvenated, in complete dismay as to the fortune that had just come our way. This dismay continued for the entirety of the ride back and an hour later, having finally made it back home, we still could not believe what we had just done. We had started out the night "simply" hoping for a good show and ended with two-autographs, a photograph with one of the group's members, and a first-hand account of the one of the most sublimely chaotic things either of us had ever seen.

  Michael and I pictured with LeftBrain.
As you can see, both of us were in a state of pure disbelief.
Show Awards
Best Song: "Yonkers"- Tyler the Creator
Best Performer: Domo Genesis
Best Moment: Tyler's first drug deal
Best Fight: "Sumo match" between Jasper and Domo, the group's larger members.

  1. "64"- MellowHype
  2. "Transylvania"- Tyler, the Creator
  3. "Rolling Papers" ft. Tyler, the Creator- Domo Genesis
  4. "Forest Green"- Mike G
  5. "Tron Cat"- Tyler, the Creator
  6. "Everything That's Yours"- Mike G
  7. "Splatter"- Tyler, the Creator
  8. "igotagun"- Mellowhype
  9. "TANGGOLF" ft. Hodgy Beats- Domo Genesis
  10. "Couch" ft. Tyler, the Creator- Earl Sweatshirt
  11. "Cool" ft. Mike G- Earl Sweatshirt
  12. "French!" ft. Hodgy Beats- Tyler, the Creator
  13. "Turnt Down"- Hodgy Beats
  14. "Loaded" ft. Mike G- MellowHype
  15. "Yonkers"- Tyler, the Creator
  16. "Burger" ft. Hodgy Beats- Tyler, the Creator
  17. "Sandwitches" ft. Hodgy Beats- Tyler, the Creator
  18. "F**k The Police" ft. Tyler, the Creator- MellowHype
  19. "B***h S*** D***" ft. Jasper & Taco- Tyler, the Creator
  20. "King"- Mike G
  21. "VCR"- Tyler, the Creator
  22. "Double Cheeseburger" ft. Tyler, the Creator- Domo Genesis
  23. "Loco"- MellowHype
  24. "Radical"- Tyler, the Creator

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"No One Else is Doing This"

Artwork Childish Gambino's debut album.
Camp scheduled for a November 15th release.

Courtesy of the website Rapdose, the official tracklist for actor/comedian/rapper Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has been released. The album is scheduled for a November 15th release and will be Gambino's first studio album have several mixtapes and one Internet-album (Culdesac). Gambino has high hopes saying, "I think it's a cohesive piece, and I wanted to tell a whole story with it." He went on to reference The Notorious B.I.G's '97 album Life After Death, which is well-regarded for it's rich narratives. Gambino is touring the country as part of his "Sign Up" tour and working on a music video for Camp's first single, "Bonfire." 

Official Camp tracklist:
1. Outside
2. Fire Fly
3. Bonfire
4. All The Shine
5. Letter Home
6. Heartbeat
7. Backpackers
8. L.E.S.
9. Hold You Down
10. Kids (Keep Up)
11. You See Me
12. Sunrise
13. That Power

"Freaks and Geeks"- EP 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breathe In

Cover of dubstep-artist Joker's debut album.

Leading up to his debut full-length album release for 4AD, UK dubstep-king Joker released the title-track for the album, The Vision which is due out November 8th. The original song which featured arresting vocals from Jessie Ware, was labeled by some as "dubstep-pop," an insult of the highest order in the electronically-indebted dubstep community. Well if that was a minor offense, then the recent release of the remix is a cardinal sin. The remix adds a verse by rising Indiana gangsta rapper Freddie Gibbs. While dubstep is no stranger to rap verses, they tend to feature UK artists and then only sparingly. So in a year that has already seen one dubstep artist sing (James Blake) and Kanye West embrace the style on his most recent album (Watch the Throne) I can only imagine what people will say about this. So before the backlash inevitably kicks in from the most pretentious of dubsteppers, enjoy the cut.
Joker doing what he does best, manipulating beats beyond all-belief.
As of late, the once reclusive artist has now opened up a lot more to pictures.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hold Up, Wait a Minute

Programming note: I will not be giving a major update for the blog this week until at least Wednesday. Why you ask? See that guy up above? That's the reason why. Tomorrow night, I'll be Lawrence, KS watching Tyler and the rest of his Odd Future cohorts unleash havoc on the unsuspecting town. Throughout the night, I'll be tweeting from concert, updating the songs they play and mentioning anything insane that will happen. If you don't happen to follow me, you can @mcnettsmusic. In anticipation of that, here's the still over-the-top video for Tyler's song "Yonkers." Warning this is most certainly NSFW. Enjoy the video and look for a travelogue to come soon.

"Yonkers"- Goblin

Here's What's in Store

Abel Tesfaye, the singer of the "one-man project" The Weeknd.

If you don't already know who The Weeknd is, I'll back-track for just a second. The Weeknd is an alternative-R&B project out of Toronto headed by Abel Tesfaye. He has already released two well-regarded Internet-albums, House of Balloons  and Thursday, and grabbed all sorts of promotion from fellow Canadian Drake. For his promised third album this year, Echoes of Silence, Tesfaye has released the first cut from the album. The track, entitled "Initiation" has everything listeners have come to love about The Weeknd: manipulated vocals, lots of sex-talk, and all-sorts of promises of drugs. The song can be found on his official Soundcloud and is also streaming below. No official date has been announced yet for the album.

"Initiation"- Echoes of Silence

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Up and Over We Go

In the Time Machine Over the Sea
Screenshot from the Neutral Milk Hotel inspired RPG.

File this under the category of too good to be true. 

At least one very enterprising-gamer known as BroPortal has made legions of indie-kids day with this Neutral Milk Hotel based role-playing game. The RPG, entitled In the Time Machine Over the Sea throws you into a world where you are NMH frontman Jeff Mangum and Anne Frank is your girlfriend. In the game, whose plot is loosely based off of the band's sophomore release In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, you hangout with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and eventually fight Adolf Hitler.

In other NMH news, Mangum fresh off a well-received set at All Tomorrow's Parties in Asbury Park, NJ performed an impromptu-set at the "Occupy Wall Street" rallies in NYC this past Tuesday. Mangum played several songs from In the Aeroplane, with a captivated crowd singing along. Before his show in August, Mangum had stayed in the shadows, avoiding live shows since the release of In the Aeroplane in 1998.

Jeff Mangum "Occupy Wall Street" set (40 min)

In the Time Machine Over the Sea download link:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Clearance Issues?

It was announced just an hour ago on Drake's official Blogspot, that his highly anticipated second album Take Care will now be pushed back. The album, which was originally slated for an October 24th released will now be appearing on shelves November 15th. The reason for the push-back is because of sampling issues on 3 of the album's tracks. Apparently, Drizzy wasn't able to clear the songs in time for release on his birthday, so now everyone will have to wake a few extra weeks for the album to drop. To tide you over until then, here's the still sensational video for "Headlines." Enjoy.


Friday, October 7, 2011

This is Your Moment

J. Cole

So it's now official, J. Cole has the number one album in the country. According to Billboard, the still-rising rapper's first release Cole World: The Sideline Story debuted at the top spot with more than 200,000 copies sold. When Cole found out the news, he took to his Twitter account to thank his fans, specifically for supporting all of his mixtapes which he views as the hard-work that got him to his point. "So many people to stunt on, fighting the urge to be spiteful. This moment is too important for that. Just want to say THANK YOU," said Cole.

Jay-Z reacting to the news of Cole's Billboard success.
Jay-Z is the head of Roc Nation, which is Cole's label.

Jay-Z, the man who signed Cole to his label has often seemed at odds with Cole, but none of that was on display once he received the news. In fact, he had nothing but love for the Fayetteville rapper and had this to say, "J. Cole’s success is testament to amazing artist development and Cole’s hard work. I want to congratulate him on a #1 album and more importantly a great body of work.”

For now Cole isn't resting on his laurels, he's working touring the country with upcoming stops in Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago.

"In the Morning" ft. Drake- Cole World: The Sideline Story

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Looking Out to Be Free"


In my mind, experimental/ambient artist Grouper has produced one of the most underrated and under-appreciated tracks of the year. On one of two LPs she released earlier this year is the song "Alien Observer". Neither of these albums appear on Metacritic, demonstrating the lack of coverage this has gotten in the press.

The haunting title track helps form one-half of A / I / A, the other being Dream Loss. The song begins like many Grouper songs with reverb-laden keyboard and guitar. After what seems like an eternity of meandering in the most captivating way possible, Liz Harris (the sole auteur behind Grouper) delivers the song's devastating opening lines. "Look into the night sky, looking toward the big lights." Like everything else in the song, Harris' voice is drenched in reverb. This especially serves as an interesting counterpoint to a song so intent on remaining alone. The best Grouper songs of the past have been about this sort of longing and isolation ("Heavy Water") and "Alien Observer" is no different. So, when Harris can be heard backing herself, the isolation is even more intense. With the vocals, it's as if Harris can only take respite in herself. At the song's end however, Harris dashes any chance of that by despondently acknowledging she's an, "alien observer in a world that isn't mine."

What makes this track great though is more than just the music. The accompanying video perfectly plays up the isolationism, weariness, and yearning that pervade the song. After a series of cryptic opening images, we see a woman looking longingly out a window, waiting for her love to return. That love returns and the two lovingly embrace surrounded by water. When the two finally kiss, dark liquid spills forth from their mouth and we are rapidly transported to dark forest. Here, we see the pair essentially buried in the ground. Eventually, the red-headed woman rises forth again and kisses her love once more. This passion is cut short and both are drug back down into the ground. The red-headed woman fights through the leaves once more and we see her now alone. Exasperated, she stands up and forces a melancholic smile, as streaks of color dot her mouth. The video then washes out and we are left with a final wave of water.

All of this adds up to something more, but what? Is Grouper suggesting that one can never truly belong or be loved, that such things are temporary? There is great evidence for this in the video, but not so much in the song. Does she view love as conquering such isolation? Is this why, the woman rises one time final time so beautifully? Has she won out against all odds? If I had to pick, I would go with the sense of isolation, both in love and in life as a whole. Tellingly, the beautiful of her first kiss is juxtaposed with a horrific black liquid spewing forth. The song then, as well as the video is so brilliant because it is something anyone can relate to, those times spent in the dark of night, peering out in the night, hoping to quell our isolation, "looking out to be free."

"Alien Observer"- A / I / A- Alien Observer

Monday, October 3, 2011

Murder Was The Case

 The Notorious B.I.G. & 2Pac

A new book entitled Murder Rap, which extensively details the respective killings of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. is set to hit bookshelves tomorrow. The book, written by a former LAPD detective has received much attention on some very controversial content. Most notably Greg Kading, the author of the book asserts that Sean Combs (better known to many as P. Diddy) and Suge Knight (the former head of 2Pac's label) were responsible for the respective. Though Combs as come out denying the allegations that he had anything to do with the 1996 slaying of Shakur, Knight has to speak to the most recent round of rumors dogging him.

Here you can find a link to the full-story on the LA Weekly site.
Also, while you're at it, check out this still relevant article from this very blog about the continued importance of 2Pac

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Overdosed on Confidence

The video for Drake's latest hit, "Headlines" was released earlier today on his official blog. The video which features plenty of quick cuts, alternates between shots of the rapper alone and him surrounded by his "crew." It's also very heavy on promo for the new album, with Drake standing in a ballpark with huge billboards displaying "take care." The album is still slated for an October 24 release, but still no tracklist has been confirmed. To pass the time, check out the luxurious music video below.