Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kanye West-Monster

Thought I'd post this in the spirit of Halloween. I haven't stopped listening to this song since Yeezy dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. "Monster" is definitely the best collab rap of the 00's, featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and the last Nicki Minaj verse I ever liked.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eminem-The Marshall Mathers LP 2

           It's finally happened. The self-proclaimed "Rap God" had his album leaked today. The only version that has been released at the time of this post is the standard version of the album, which includes 16 tracks (1 skit), while the deluxe version will have another 5. If I'm being honest, my expectations for The Marshall Mathers LP 2 had gotten pretty low. I didn't necessarily love any of the 4 songs that Slim had released from the album and I was beginning to worry. If you shared some of the same thoughts as me, you can rest easy, the album does not disappoint. I decided that I needed to do a review for this album, considering how significant Eminem is in the rap game and how much hype there is for this album.

          The LP opens up with "Bad Guy", a sequel to an earlier track of Eminem's, "Stan", in which a crazed fan sends him increasingly unsettling letters, but this time, it's his little brother who goes after Slim. I can't even explain how happy I was as I was listening to this song. It feels like a lifetime since I heard Eminem tell an emotional story through his songs, I had forgotten that there was still another rapper besides Kendrick Lamar that could be so lyrically dominating. The next song, "Rhyme or Reason", features Eminem venting about feelings he's been harboring from his past, this time about his father. This song is one of my favorites off the album. It features Eminem's hilariously dark lyrics that have been with him since the dawn of his career and masterful flow and songwriting ability including a long string of Star Wars wordplay. "So Much Better" is about an unknown girl who apparently cheated on Slim with Dre, Drake, and Lupe Fiasco. The song isn't as meaningful as the previous two, but still has great lyrics and a great beat to go along with it. "Survival" was the best song of the 4 that were released before the album. Unlike "Bezerk", I actually dig the heavy beat because it works so well with angry tone that Em uses in just about every line. "Legacy" is about Slim being bulied as a kid and how much his life has changed since he picked up the mic, and it's one of the more gloomy songs on the album. Unlike the previous tracks, the wordplay isn't so much humorous, and the beat is pretty somber itself. At times, the beat goes on for a while without Eminem changing his flow, making for some dull moments. However, this song is still solid and features a great chorus (artist unknown at time of post). "Everybody Knows" is a great example of someone who went a little too crazy with the production. I can't really enjoy this track all that much because the beat is so chaotic and intrusive. Add that to the fact that Skylar Grey drops a wack chorus and it makes this one of the weaker tracks on MMLP2. "Everybody Knows" is followed by the first  single from the album, "Bezerk." This song is the sole reason that I was worried by the quality. Eminem says he's gonna "take it back to straight hip-hop" and then makes a track that sounds like a bad Beastie Boys rip off, which is not straight hip-hop. "Bezerk" is made up entirely of bad beats and cheesy lyrics. No doubt this is the worst song on the album. The first time I heard "Rap God", I wasn't a fan. I blame the opening line, "I'm beginning to fell like a rap god." The way Slim delivers that one line actually makes me cringe, and I have to listen to it in all 3 hooks, it almost ruined the song for me. However, I came back and gave it another chance and realized that this is some of the most dynamic flow I've heard on a beat in a while and has some pretty raw lyricism. Also, that 3rd verse is cray. "Brainless" is about some more of Eminem's childhood struggles, including the violent Detroit life he dealt with during his school years. The production on "Brainless" is probably the strongest on the album, using a keyboard to make a beat for Em to spit his bars on. "Stronger That I Was" is definitely a change in pace on the album. The powerful song is told from the point of view of his ex-wife Kim. While Eminem has insulted her on many of his songs, this song highlights him understanding where her pain is coming from. I'm not a huge fan of Eminem singing the first two verses, considering he's not a strong vocalist, but it definitely helped make this song a much more emotional one. "The Monster" is about the toll that fame has had on Eminem mentally. It's not that I necessarily didn't like this song when it was released a few days ago, but I was worried that a lot of the album would sound this much like pop. Luckily, this isn't the case. The song is undeniably catchy, but the lyrics just don't hold the same emotional resonance because the track sounds so upbeat. "So Far..." is one of the few optimistic songs from Slim. The beat for the song is an interesting choice, a guitar riff on a loop, but Em makes it work. The song continually samples the song "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh, helping to add to the feel-good vibe of the song. "Love Game" was the song I had been anticipating the most since the moment I saw the tracklist for one reason, Kendrick Lamar. I couldn't even fathom what would happen if you took the two best lyricists in the game right now and put them on one track. Surprisingly, the song is not emotional in anyway like I expected it to be, but that doesn't mean that it's not fantastic lyricism. The song is about a girlfriend that gets sick of her man and starts to cheat on him. It's definitely the funniest song on the album and also one of my favorites. But none of the songs on MMLP2 are as good as "Headlights." "Headlights" follows in the path of "Stronger Than I Was" as Eminem, who has been hostile to his mother in past songs, writes a beautiful love letter to her. Having been a single mom, their relationship was always strained and their constant arguments have done permanent damage to their relationship, but Slim uses the song as a way to make amends with her in an attempt to save their kindship. Eminem also brings Nate Reuss, the lead singer from fun., to provide vocals on two verses and the hook. This only helps to add to the emotional impact of this song, as Reuss also recently lost his mother and was heavily impacted by her death, as seen on just about every track in Some Nights. The last track on the album, "Evil Twin", is Eminem's way of fitting in some of his famous celebrity disses that seem to have been lacking from this album. He blames the controversial things he says on his evil twin and even says that he and his evil twin are the 3rd and 4th best rappers of all time, below Biggie and Pac. The song is solid, but it definitely doesn't feel like a wrap-up. Hopefully, the deluxe edition will include a better ending for the album.

          Overall, this album far exceeded my expectations. It does have its low points, but Eminem is no doubt back and just as good as he was before. His wordplay, lyricism, and flow are what make this album. There are no standouts production-wise on MMLP2, which I am also hoping appears on some of the bonus tracks. Anyway, I'm not going to provide a link to the album leak, but if you're not comfortable with downloading MMLP2 for free, start getting excited for Nov. 5.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Dirty Heads-Phantoms of Summer

Today, The Dirty Heads released their 12-track acoustic LP, Phantoms of Summer. The album includes 11 original songs and an acoustic cover of their single from 2012, "Cabin By The Sea." Being an acoustic album, the sound is much slower and calmer this time around, but the group pulls it off. It's certainly a good album to listen to if you need to relax a little, but it's not as good as their previous album. Nevertheless, it's still a solid album with some welcome new tracks.

Album Stream Link:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Young The Giant-It's About Time

Finally, Young The Giant has released some new music. Their great debut album, Young The Giant, was released in 2010 and the Irvine based band haven't released anything since, until today. However, the sound has changed a lot, but in the best kind of way. The group has obviously honed in on the energy they had in "My Body" and have a more focused Rock sound. Their sophomore album, Mind Over Matter, comes out January 21, 2014.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Snow Tha Product

Snow Tha Product is another female rapper that is on the come-up. The Dallas native has released the sequel to her Good Nights & Bad Mornings mixtape and she hasn't changed much, in a good way. The album shows off her well-known skill to rap with some incredibly fast flow, but one thing to note is the use of more electronic beats, one song is even a dubstep song, essentially. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Angel Haze-Same Love

As part of her 30 Gold. series, Angel Haze delivers a powerful message over Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love."

Hopsin-Hop is Back

The video speaks for itself.

Thelonious Martin x Evan Holt-The Temptations

When I first found the mixtape The Temptations I was amazed I had never heard of anyone involved with it, because it sounds incredible. The entire album as a whole is solid and it blows my mind that it's flying under the radar since being released last week. First off, this is not a rap duo, Martin is the producer and Holt is the rapper, and holy shit do these guys have chemistry. I haven't heard beats stand out on an album this much since Run The Jewels. Unlike Run The Jewels however, the beats don't need to be complex and frequently changing to be appreciated, they just run for 3 minutes while Holt spits ill rhymes over them. The way that Holt's flow works so incredibly, almost perfectly, with Martin's production is what makes this release one of my favorite of the year.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Childish Gambino-3005

Childish Gambino just released his new single off his upcoming album, Because The Internet. The rapper recently announced his departure from Community to focus on his music, among other things. From what he's released so far, it seems like he has matured a lot lyrically and sound wise since Camp.

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli is one of the first Hip-Hop artists to really make conscious rap popular. After his collaboration album with Mos Def Black Star, was released, the Brooklyn emcee began to blew up. He revolutionized the way that stories could be told and messages could be said in a song.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cage The Elephant-Melophobia

Cage The Elephant, the band behind "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked", have finally released their new album Melophobia. While the album still has their signature garage rock style, it seems much more focused and less chaotic. The songs have structure and a consistent rhythm and as a result the album actually feels like an album, as opposed to their other albums that sounded like a bunch of songs that just didn't go together. The album doesn't have as many singles as their debut, but as I said, it actually sounds like an album. I'm excited to see where CTE goes with their music in the future as they mature.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Captain Murphy

Alright, this one's pretty weird. For anyone who has been playing Grand Theft Auto V you may have heard Captain Murphy on Flying Lotus' station on his new song "Evil Grin." The first time I heard it, I got really excited because I was pretty sure it was a new Tyler, The Creator song, but it was by a name I had never seen. I did a Google Search on the name and I couldn't even believe what I found. Captain Murphy is undoubtedly the biggest mystery in rap right now, due to the fact that nobody knows who he is. Seriously, the identity of Captain Murphy is a secret, and on the mixtape he says no one will ever find out who he is. There is a lot of speculation of his identity. Most people believe that it must be a rapper who is already popular, because the album actually has a lot of starpower behind it (Flying Lotus himself actually produces some of it). It sounds almost exactly like Tyler, I'm not convinced it's not him even though he's denied it. For God's sake, Earl Sweatshirt is a feature on it, classic Tyler. However, some people say it's Zeroh or even Flying Lotus himself rapping. I think that sometimes it sounds like Aesop Rock.
Anyway, the album itself is very unique in its sound. It's a really psychedelic sound, with a lot of weird sound bites and trippy beats. Sometimes, there isn't even that much rapping. There are songs that are 4 minutes with 1 minute of rapping. It's something different that needs to be heard to be understood. The fact that there is anonymity makes it all the better, adding to the this weird feeling of seeming confused and lost. Honestly, I'm not gonna try and describe it anymore, just put on your headphones and listen to it yourself.

UPDATE: Ok, I didn't see it before, but it's already been confirmed that it's Flying Lotus himself rapping

Monday, October 14, 2013

Doctor P & Adam F feat. Method Man-The Pit

   I had to post this cause I think it's so weird that Method Man, a legend in the game, is spitting over such a new age beat. I still don't know how I feel about Dupstep/Rap mashups, and I'm not a huge fan of the chorus, but the Wu-Tang veteran's verse is obviously great and the music video is pretty sweet, too.

Tyler, The Creator-Tamale

Odd Future music videos are the best kind of videos.

Angel Haze-Black Skinhead Freestyle

Angel Haze is arguably the best female rapper in the game at the moment. She recently announced her 30 Gold Series, where she will be releasing a new freestyle every day for the next month. This freestyle over the best song from Yeezus, possibly my favorite Kanye song, is probably the most impressive release so far, but definitely give the "Versace" and "New Slaves" freestyles a listen as well.

Reservation Download Link:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crash Kings

Crash Kings are a rock band from Los Angeles that formed in 2009. Though you may not be able to tell, the Crash Kings don't even use an electric guitar. The lead singer, Tony Beliveau, also plays the Clavinet, which is basically a keyboard with a whammy bar that can sound like a guitar. The band recently released their second album Dark of The Daylight. The album, while not as impressive as their self-titled debut album, they are obviously trying to make a more pure rock sound even though they don't use guitars.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Wakefield is a 17 year old rapper out of Illinois and he recently released his second mixtape 2014 last month. Unlike Bishop Nehru he's not quite as mature in any way. His flow, his wordplay, and the rest of his lyrics occasionally seem undeveloped. Still, there is certainly a lot of talent and potential in this kid and I can see him getting much bigger as his career progresses.

2014 Download Link:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Close Enough

Close Enough is a Hip-Hop/Reggae/Rock band from Temecula, CA made up of 6 members. Unfortunately, I don't know much more than that. Their Facebook page hasn't been touched since last year and they haven't released album since their debut Noize at the beginning of 2008. Anyway, give the album a listen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

World's Fair

World's Fair is like the Odd Future of New York. The Queens group is made up of 6 different rappers and they recently released their debut album Bastards of The Party. The best part about having a collective of rappers this big is that there are a lot of different styles for everyone to like and great beats that string them together. The LP is also split between 6 producers, giving each individual song on Bastards of The Party a unique sound.

Most Popular Songs: "Sammy Sosa", "Your Girl's Here Pt. II", "Get Out"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cannibal Ox

I've been surprised by the information I've found on El-P. When I first listened to Run The Jewels his name meant nothing to me, but he's been in the game for a while. He first gained fame in the Hip-Hop community when his group Company Flow released their 1996 album Funcrusher. After an disagreement with his label, he left and started his own known as Definitive Jux. The Cold Vein was the first major release of the label. 

Of course, the album was entirely produced by El-P and is what established him as one of the most prominent producers in the game. The combination of his beats and the incredible lyricism is the reason for The Cold Vein's legacy The album was pretty popular when it was first released, but it gained more and more respect over time. It has been hailed as the #5 Hip-Hop album of the decade by Rhapsody and the #152 album of the decade by Pitchfork. It's been called one of the best independent Hip-Hop albums ever and is also often compared to the Wu-Tang Clan's masterpiece 36 Chambers. The album was released in 2001 and the duo hasn't released another one since, but that is set to change. They released a 3 song EP earlier this year and are planning a full length album. I'm only posting this one song, but you should definitely give the entire album a listen.  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Parlor Mob

I remember when I first found The Parlor Mob I was dumbfounded it took me so long. It was the beginning of last year and I had given up my desperate search for good Rock, which is impossible to find. Even though I mostly listen to Rap now, it upsets me that Rock is fading away so fast, it's dying. In fact, the reason I listen to Rap so much now is because it's so easy to find and it comes out so often. Whenever I go under the the Top Rock Songs/Albums section in iTunes it makes me want to cry. It's filled with weird screamo bands and AC/DC, Journey, and Aerosmith songs that have been discounted to $0.69, which don't get me wrong, are great bands, but how could they still possibly be on the top of the charts? The reason I still listen to Fall Out Boy is because they are one of the few bands that still have multiple vocalists, drums, a bass, and heavy amounts of electric guitar. However, that doesn't mean I hate where Rock is going. Alternative bands like The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, AWOLNATION, Imagine Dragons, Muse, fun, etc. are changing the way the genre sounds, and not in a bad way. But I still miss that sound. My Chemical Romance was pretty close, the lyrics could get pretty emo and punk at times, but the sound was undeniably Rock. Unfortunately, they broke up this summer. Switchfoot made some great Rock, but if you listened to their new EP, you can see they abandoned that sound for the growing alternative craze, but I digress.

I found The Parlor Mob when I was looking under the almost always disappointing iTunes Rock section. They had won the Rock Album of The Year (iTunes gives awards?) for Dogs. I found it interesting that the band that won was a group I had never heard of, but they had every right to win the accolade. When I clicked on their single from the album, "Into The Sun", it was like a breath of fresh air. The singer, Mark Melicia, was the first thing I noticed. The vocals weren't whiny like Patrick Stump's (Fall Out Boy), nor gravelly like the vocalists of Hard Rock bands like Avenged Sevenfold or Disturbed, they were the voice of a goddamn angel. Then there's the two guitarists David James Rosen and Paul Ritchie, who can create sick riffs and awesome solos, or slow it down. Add that to Anthony Chick's bass and Sam Bey's drumming, and you've got the formula for a true, pure Rock band. 

Mr. MFN eXquire ft. Chance The Rapper-Untitled

Mr. MFN eXquire released his mixtape Kismet:Blue Edition, a re-release of his Kismet mixtape that includes some unreleased songs. Chance The Rapper makes an appearance on "Untitled", one of the unreleased songs, and delivers a solid verse (like always).

The Dirty Heads-Sloth's Revenge

The Dirty Heads have released another single from the Phantoms of Summer acoustic album, and unlike "Crazy Bitches", it's a true DH song. The song features an awesome riff, a chorus with Dirty J's vocals, and interchanging verses between Duddy B and Dirty J. Unlike the previous single they released, this is the classic DH beach vibe that makes them great.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fort Minor

You've no doubt heard "Remember The Name", the go-to song for any trailer with a struggling athlete on the come-up, but Fort Minor is more than just a one hit wonder. Fort Minor were definitely the first rap I listened to, apart from a few Eminem songs. The reason for the transition from Rock to Rap was due to the fact that the lead of Fort Minor was Mike Shinoda, one of the vocalists for Linkin Park, my favorite band at the time. The group only released one album, The Rising Tied before Mike Shinoda returned to Linkin Park and Ryu and Tak brought Styles of Beyond back from their hiatus. The best part of the album is the lyricism and the messages that Shinoda writes about, like the internment camps in America.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dizzee Rascal

Unique, that's the first word that comes to my mind when I hear Dizzee Rascal. If you already, clicked on the video above, you know Dizzee Rascal is not your everyday MC. The UK native blends Garage and Rap to create a genre he pioneered, known as Grime. He created the unique sound with a completely new class of beats (self-produced), a flow that can't be compared to any other rapper, and a wide range in his lyrics. While the name means nothing to my generation, Rascal gained a helluva lot of traction in 2003 with his debut album Boy In Da Corner. The album has been praised as one of the top albums of 2003 by Rolling Stone, and one of the top albums of the decade by Pitchfork. The best part of this is that he made the album when he was 18. 

The Dirty Heads-Phantoms of Summer

The Dirty Heads are coming out with their first album since their great 2012 album, Cabin By The Sea. It's an acoustic album including 11 new songs and a live version of "Cabin By The Sea." Their first single off the album is called Crazy Bitches. The single doesn't include the entire band, just Duddy B. (Vocalist) and his guitar as he talks about his rejected booty calls. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes and comes with an instant download of the single.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Panic! At The Disco-Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die

Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy are two bands that have always held a lot of resonance with me. They were the first bands that I actually followed and they were the reason I started looking into music in the first place. When my brother, sister, and I would ride in the car, we could never agree on the music to listen too, and we would always eventually land on one of these two bands. I've followed their music ever since and liked all of it. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die is no exception.

The band's sound has changed a lot over the years. After Ryan Ross (Backup Vocalist) and Jon Walker (Bassist) left the group in 2009, Panic didn't release another album for 3 years, and when they did it was obvious that they were not the same band, and that they had matured into a much less chaotic and punk-rock sound. The new album focuses on a much more electronic sound and some autotune that, for the most part, actually works. The new sound is a welcome change. If you're one of those people who have already decided that you hate Panic! At The Disco, you should still give this album a chance, they sound way different than you may remember. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die is streaming on Youtube and will be officially released on Oct. 8.

Album Stream Link:

Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Domo Genesis-Look

I remember when I first heard Yonkers when it got nominated for the MTV Music Video Awards I absolutely hated it. Tyler, the Creator didn't strike me as rap, just some guy talking nonsense. I gave him another listen this summer and now he's one of my favorite rappers. While his lyrics are crude, they are by no means nonsense. If you listen to his three albums: Bastard, Goblin, and Wolf, it starts to become clear how Tyler has created a story that progresses through all 3 albums as he explores his multiple personalities. When I got into Tyler, I was forced into liking Odd Future since almost all of his features are from OFWGKTA members. "Look" is the newest posse rap from OF and it includes everything that a typical Odd Future song should; horrible and offensive language and a slow, mellow yet aggressive flow. Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt are definitely an acquired taste, so if you didn't like them at first try giving them another shot with this track. Golf Wang.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pusha T-My Name is My Name

I have been anticipating this album since it was announced and now I can finally listen to it. The former Clipse member and Grammy winner will release his debut solo album officially on Oct. 8. Until then, you need listen to to King Push's LP streaming on myspace, because it's one of my favorite albums of the year.

I Fight Dragons

I Fight Dragons have been my favorite rock band discovery this year. I saw them for the first time on Kickstarter when they were promoting their next album. As soon as I listened to their music, I was instantly hooked and made a $20 pledge on their Kickstarter. The Chicago-based indie band perfectly fuses guitar, drums, and bass with 8-bit sounds. It gives them a very unique and awesome sound called Chiptune. If you like Weezer, you should definitely check them out.

Bishop Nehru

Nehru is a 16 year old producer and "Hip Hop Artist" from New York. He already has two mixtapes, Nehruvia and Strictly Flowz, both great albums that showcase his lyricism, incredible flow, and great beats that remind me of the golden age of rap.


Yesterday, Vic Mensa came out with his mixtape INNANETAPE. Vic Mensa is part of the Save Money collective, most well known for Chance The Rapper. On the new mixtape, you can see the similarities between Vic Mensa and Chance, but Vic is not without his flaws. The production on the mixtape is great, but sometimes it seems like Mensa's verses are disconnected from the beats, and it can get pretty irritating. "Tweakin'" is my favorite song off the album and not just because Chance is on it, even though his verse is incredible. The song even includes a reference to my favorite Method Man song, including his Wu-Tang stuff.