After dropping the highly underrated NSDE/OUTSDE EP late last year (one that we failed to cover unfortunately), Waldo returns with the rest of his AGO crew hoping to rekindle the same magic he found with his previous release. Consisting of additional members Joose, Amos Rose, The SEVENth and Sango, AGO is a collective from Grand Rapids, Michigan hoping to establish themselves in a hip-hop scene where the concept of the crew has become more prominent than ever.
Tuebor is a step in the right direction for the group, as the talented emcees all get a chance to flaunt their skills and bring some knowledge to what the Michigan lifestyle is really about. Featuring a wealth of talented producers like Mr. Carmack, AbJo, Mozaik, and of course The SEVENth and Sango, where Tuebor really prospers is in the diversity of its sounds. From the introspective “What Dreams Are Made Of” to the soulful “Royal Oats” and the grimy trap stylings of “The Garden,” each song has a style of its own, helping to provide the individual members with their own identities, while still resulting in a cohesive overall product. Nothing gets old on Tuebor, and if you find you don’t like a particular track, chances are you’ll enjoy the next one. Rather than take our word for it though, you can find out for yourself, by streaming the full project here. As we always do, we’ve sprinkled in a few of our top selections from the mixtape below, and you can grab a copy for yourself if you’re so inclined.
Royal Oats ft. Waldo (prod. Sango)
What Dreams Are Made Of (ft. Waldo, Joose, The SEVENth & Lena Chanel) (prod. AbJo)
Down Packed (ft. The SEVENth, Amos Rose & Waldo) (prod. The SEVENth)
AGO (feat. Waldo & Joose) (prod. Sango & Mr. Carmack)
The Garden (ft. Joose & Waldo) (prod. Sango)
Glam (Feat. Chance The Rapper)
As he gears up for his first album as a solo artist, Chuck Inglish decides to drop off a little Midwest collaboration with Chicago’s Chance The Rapper. This week has seen a lot of great hip-hop already, but this one could easily vault itself to the top of the list. “Glam” is a jazzy number with plenty of heart, that really puts Chuck’s production skills on full display. The Cool Kid manages to open the track with a smooth verse as well, while Chance slides right in perfectly, utilizing his melodious flow to deliver some incredibly soulful bars. It all comes together to make for a rather relaxing listen, while simultaneously amping us up for whatever else Chuck has in store on Convertibles. Currently set for an April 8th release, the LP is also set to include features from Sir Michael Rocks, Chromeo, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Vic Mensa, Action Bronson, and more.
White EP (continuous mix)
Jarell Perry has quickly made a name for himself over the last few months as one of the most promising young acts in R&B. A fixture in our Sunday Night Soul series, Jarell possesses unparalleled vocal range and flexibility that allow him to constantly explore new sounds and push the boundaries of his music. With the White EP that versatility is on full display. After one listen I can already count influences from Kanye West, Miguel, The Weeknd & SBTRKT–a rather diverse group that tells you all you need to know about the variety of distinct material this project has to offer.
The White EP is an entrancing ride from start to finish, with Jarell’s slickly rich, yet delicate vocals acting as the chauffeur. It’s the production of DJ HSVN that really paves the road for the charismatic crooner to flourish on, with a wide assortment of instrumentals rooted in the likes of alternative R&B, neo-soul, hip-hop, electronic and trap music. Through this EP the LA native demonstrates a maturity and understanding of musical complexities that many of his contemporaries lack. While there’s certainly room for growth, this might be one of the better projects in the genre you’ll hear all year. Do yourself a favor and stream the entire EP above, and then head over to iTunes immediately after to grab a copy for yourself.
Although it seems like he’s constantly disappearing for months at a time, we always enjoy the moments when Emay pops his head out of the ground to provide us with some fresh music. Though the releases are few and far between, you can be sure that they’ll always be of the highest quality. “WarmupSongdoe” might just be a training exercise to help the emcee get his legs back under him, but it has all the hallmarks of a typical Emay masterpiece: a perfectly utilized sample, thundering bass, intricate wordplay and witty punchlines that require multiple listens to fully comprehend. It’s kind of scary to imagine what the man can accomplish if this is what he sounds like when he’s rusty. At this point, we’re just eagerly anticipating the announcement of a new project, so we can get our Emay in much larger servings.
After joining forces with Rick Ross and Kanye West on the original Mastermind single, Big Sean‘s decided to step out into the spotlight on his own, delivering a fresh new verse on “Sanctified.” Rest assured, Sean rolls steady with the punchlines, keeping the boasting to a maximum as he makes bold declarations like “I feel like I’m the black Brad Pitt,” and “If you got my e-mail, you’s a millionaire. If you got my cell phone, you’s a realionaire.” Real deep stuff, if you ask me. All kidding aside, while this alternative version makes for an entertaining listen, Sean can’t quite match the intensity of his mentor on the original. At least now we know what the single would have sounded like had it included a few more bars from Big Sean himself.
Big K.R.I.T. feat. A$AP Ferg
Lac Lac (Prod. By Big K.R.I.T.)
For the third installment of his “Week of K.R.I.T.” series, Big K.R.I.T. hooks up with the Trap Lord himself, A$AP Ferg on the impeccably smooth “Lac Lac.” Produced by K.R.I.T. himself, “Lac Lac” is a laidback hip-hop masterpiece, with the Mississippi native utilizing his confident drawl to keep listeners engaged, while Ferg’s flow evokes memories of classic Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. In our previous post, we mentioned that K.R.I.T. seemed to be returning with a whole new level of focus as he prepares for the release of Cadillactica, and these last two efforts have certainly restored our faith in his abilities. Grab a free download above, and keep your ears ready, as we still have four more days of free K.R.I.T. awaiting us.
The Pink Bride
Memphis native 21 hasn’t been featured on our pages before, but if he continues to churn out gold like this, chances are you’ll be seeing his name far more frequently around here. While hip-hop is no stranger to feelings of unrequited love and forlorn loneliness these days, the 19 year old, takes a fresh approach to the topic that many more seasoned emcees haven’t tried before. Utilizing complex wordplay and armed with confident wisdom beyond his years, the young rapper provides insight into a situation most of us have had the misfortune of dealing with before. 21 recently detailed some of this own thoughts about the track in an interview with Pigeons & Planes:
Basically ‘The Pink Bride’ is about loving someone who doesn’t fully love you back or love you back at all, which is something we’ve all been through,” 21 explains. “If you listen to the hook, she says, ‘I wanna say I love you, but it’s alright.’ That essentially sums everything up. So my process was just me thinking back on girls in the past who have led me on and had me in deep love with them, only to say they don’t feel the same way or only to be halfway in it. And the same for me, the girls I’ve led on and made them feel like I love them or was in love with them, only to let them down by not loving them the same. So it’s just about me telling my story about a girl (The Pink Bride) who led me to believe that she loved me as much as I loved her only to come to find out that she didn’t.”
Much of the single’s success can also be attributed to the use of Ta-Ku‘s “I Miss You” as the song’s instrumental, which itself utilizes a sample of Willow Smith‘s “Summer Fling,” whose sweet, almost despondent vocals add an extra layer of depth to the song’s message. Expanding on the concept Ta-Ku outlined in his own Songs To Break Up To EP, this one’s perfect for the heartbroken and the downtrodden among us, but still makes for an enjoyable listen regardless of your current mood.