Now, I’m no meteorologist, but based on this week’s Hip-Hop Dojo, it seems fair to say that we have a scorching hot summer ahead of us. The ninth edition of The Hip-Hop Dojo is jam packed with promising young talent primed to take over the game. The beginning of summer also indicates the start of mixtape season, which is what really makes this week’s selection truly special. Just about every track collected here was specifically chosen from a stellar project that recently dropped. While we can only share one gem from each artist, definitely make an effort to check out the rest of their material.
We start things off with the trunk rattling “Tangerine” by former Cool Kid, Chuck Inglish. Reviving many of the same production values we came to appreciate from his singles with Sir Michael Rocks years ago, “Tangerine” is a guaranteed banger that’ll be a mainstay in your playlist as you cruise around in your whip this summer. Next up, we’d like to give a warm welcome to 16 year-old hip-hop phenom, Jalen Jenkins. While we don’t know much about the New York native, we do know he’s incredibly talented. Take one listen to “Shroomies” and you’ll be immediately enthralled with the fledgling artist. If you’re still not convinced however, check out Jalen’s full Bipolar project to get a further grasp of his abilities. We bridge the age gap as we cross over to our third selection, Prodigy‘s “Dough Pildin.” Produced by The Alchemist, “Pildin,” is presumably all about the Mobb Deep member’s desire to stack his cash up ala The Joker in The Dark Knight (though he might not end up burning up his funds quite so literally).
Chicago is the location of our next two tracks. While Alex Wiley and Freddie Gibbs ”creep” around the city hatching schemes for taking over the world (actually I might be confusing them with Pinky & The Brain), Tokyo Shawn leaves us all wondering when the SAVEMONEY crew will finally get the recognition they deserve. We then shift our attention over to the West Coast where Casey Veggies focuses on counting his days, and his paper, all while weaving slick rhymes over a sample of Usher‘s “What Happened To U.” Up next, we’ve got New Yorkers, Da YoungFellaz with their single, “Fuck Rap.” For two guys who apparently have beef with the art, they’re awfully good at it.
Next on the queue we’ve got another youngster, 17 year-old Jon Waltz. The Memphis native is already drawing comparisons to Drake, and it’s easy to see why. Waltz is able to strike a careful balance between witty lyricism and an effortlessly catchy chorus on “Bang.” If you’re interested in hearing more from Jon, make sure to check out his Airways Blvd. EP. Following that up is the emotionally heavy “Clarissa (I Used To Love Her)” by Houston’s Anti-Lilly. Although the name might lead you to this to be an ode to the Common classic, Lilly’s “Clarissa” is actually a heart-wrenching tale of a love-struck drug dealer. While Anti-Lilly is left patching up a broken heart, Emilio Rojas is out breaking some more as he struggles with women who can get too attached after just one encounter.
KasFlow leads off our next section, providing us with one of the more impressive lyrical ditties of the week with his track, “Frozen Food Section.” For a guy born in 1994, KasFlow really understands how to capture the essence of the era through his music. Check out some more dope material from him on his Schema mixtape. Somebody contact Rhymesayers Entertainment and alert them about this dude named Dust. On “TEL AVIV III” the Portland rapper pieces together a laidback number with voice inflection that sounds like a cross somewhere between Slug and Brother Ali. Dust’s new project, Dust vs. The Operator is available for free on his Bandcamp page right now. Cam Meekins and Brandun DeShay bring us the cure for the common headache with their mellow collaboration, “Advil.” We haven’t heard from either of them in quite awhile, so this one was a nice “2 for 1″ special. Mike Stud tries to overcome a few “Bad Habits” alongside Kinetics and One Love with this euphoric new piece from his album, Relief. Toronto emcee Coleman Hell invites you to chill with him while he counts his “Beer Cans.” I have no idea how he plans to amass a fortune from them, so I’ll leave the explanations up to him. Check out Coleman’s excellent Stark Raving as well. A frequent visitor to The Hip-Hop Dojo, M.i recently dropped his new mixtape Pushing Keyes. The project features stand out tracks we’ve highlighted before like “Church West Texas” and “Nothing You Can Do” as well as this new tune, the chilled-out “Hi.” It’s a nice change of pace from what we’ve heard from the Houston native, and should be one that’ll be a fixture in our rotation for months to come.
The title of “Most Charming Song of The Week” easily goes to Rally for his feel-good single, “Maybe That’s Why.” Featuring a keen sample of Norah Jones‘ “Don’t Know Why,” the pleasant melody is one that promises to instantly melt all your troubles away and keep a smile plastered on your face for the rest of the day. Coming in with a short little number is Tallahassee collective After The Smoke. While the song is light on the rap, it’s just as addicting as their previous hits. Our next summer “Groov” comes courtesy of Brothers From Another and Asher Roth. Grooving out is exactly what you’ll be doing as you jam out to this awesome tune. Our next track comes from fun-loving California trio Drop City Yacht Club. Formerly known as The Freshmen, the group decided it was time to grow up and graduate from their previous moniker as they pursue a life of lavish luxury on the open sea (at least that’s what we assume a newly formed yacht club would do). For fans worried about the change though, don’t be, as they’re still up to their previous antics as they ride the “Pipeline” with THURZ (of U-N-I fame). We keeps thing in California (Coachella to be precise) with Connor Evans and Shawn Chrystopher as they try to score with some “Hipsters and PrimaDonnas.” What is it with rappers using James Blake samples? Despite the recent trend becoming a little too rampant for our tastes, it’s impossible for us to resist the inherent charm behind each song. Adrian Lau’s “All A Game” might exhibit the unique use of Blake’s “Retrograde” to date, and we’re certainly thankful for it.
We hand the keys over to two of the game’s most talented wordsmiths, Jon Connor and Talib Kweli, who implore you to “Rise Up” to your feet as they spit vicious bars on their recent collaboration. Following that performance up is the hardworking Syler who proves it’s worth sacrificing a little sleep if it helps accomplish your goals (we hope making The Hip-Hop Dojo was one of them.) Up next, we have our pump-up anthem of the week in “Bet They See Me Now” by Kwame Darko (I wonder if he’s aware he’s named after two of the biggest busts in NBA history). We hope Kwame experiences more success in the rap game than either of those aforementioned individuals ever did playing basketball. We begin to wrap things up with “Make It Home” a new collaboration between Hoodie Allen and Kina Grannis. Conceived and recorded in a 24 hour span, “Make It Home” is possibly the strongest material we’ve heard from the former Google employee in a long time. Maybe he should start using that method for all of his recordings? Last but not least, we have “Chasing Rainbows” from Marc Goone. Goone recently dropped his I Am Not A Lobster OK mixtape, which compiles all the music Marc’s released since last year’s Halfway to Nowhere, which had an exceedingly better name.
We hope you guys enjoyed our ninth edition of The Hip-Hop Dojo as much as we did. We’d like to take the time out to thank all the talented artists who sent in their submissions for this week’s playlist. As always, you can send all of your submissions/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL THE FREE TRACKS
Tangerine (Feat. Aston Matthews & Kashflow)
Shroomies (Prod. By Mr. Carmack)
Dough Pildin (Produced by Alchemist)
Creepin featuring Freddie Gibbs
Wonder (prod. M&C)
Money Dont Buy Time
F*ck Rap (feat. Rich iCoast)
Bang (Left My Home) (Prod. Zayd)
Clarissa (I Used To Love Her)
Did It Again
Frozen Food Section (Feat. M. Wise) (Prod. By DJ DailyBread)
Advil (feat. Brandun Deshay)
Bad Habits (Ft. Kinetics & One Love)
Hi (ft Porche Harris)
Rally & Don Cruso
Maybe Thats Why (ft. ADOMS)
After The Smoke
Come and Leave
Brothers From Another
Groov Feat. Asher Roth
Drop City Yacht Club
Pipeline ft. THURZ
Hipsters & PrimaDonnas (ft. Shawn Chrystopher)
Rise Up Feat. Talib Kweli
Dusk Till Dawn (feat. DJ JS1 & Nitty Scott, MC)
Bet They See Me Now
Make It Home (feat. Kina Grannis)
Chasing Rainbows ft. Gloria Kim