The Music Ninja Presents: Mega Summer Playlist 2018

With the dog days of summer upon us, we think it’s important as ever to reflect on the past few months. For us, naturally, that reflection takes the form of our Mega Summer Playlist. These used to be a yearly tradition of ours that unfortunately fell by the wayside, but it is one that we sorely missed. We have been trying to keep the tradition alive with a much smaller taste for fans of our weekly radio show, but we’re finally ready to serve the full meal again…with a little added seasoning. Previously, we would separate the playlists by genre, but to spice things up this time we’re providing everything in one convenient package. With 385 songs and a run-time of nearly 24 hours(!), you’re certain to find at least something you like in here.

What this all means is that we’re big fans of summer at The Music Ninja and we hope you are too. There’s certainly a warmth to the season that results in some great music, but what you may not realize is how many different forms that can take. Our playlist is designed to follow the motions of going through a summer day–from the moment you open your eyes to the instant your head rests back on your pillow–and the wide spectrum of moods and emotions that accompany that journey. We hope you enjoy the ride and discover something new along the way! Listen to the preview below and make sure to follow the playlist on either Spotify or Apple Music to get the full experience.

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[Hip-Hop] Benjmn – Complicated

Benjmn
Complicated

There’s a certain mystique around minimal masterpieces. Although we don’t hold the answer to how to crack the catchy nature of a tune, we do have a prime example of a straightforward hit that doesn’t meddle in intricacies thanks to Benjmn.

Benjmn’s debut single is a slow-burning heater called “Complicated,” interestingly enough. Its minimal sound doesn’t live up to its name, but it’s not like we care given how incredible of a record this is. His alternative hip-hop style has just the right blend of sonic elements from various genres. He’s only one track in, but Benjmn has our full attention. He’s about to take yours, along with the top spot on your Spotify playlist.

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[Music Video] URBANO – Standing Ovation

Philadelphia’s own brother/sister duo URBANO have steadily become a force in the world of pop and hip-hop. The siblings have carved their own space fusing these two genres together with other styles, including electronic music. That’s just what they did with their latest record “Standing Ovation.”

Not only did these two drop this heater, but they paired it with a music video to match. The video plays a straightforward scenario and bounces back and forth between John and Ris as they take on celebrity scenes. It’s a fun visual for an even funner track that does manage to hype you up. Check it below and enjoy.

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[Festival Preview/Playlist] The Underground Music Showcase 2018 – Denver, CO – 7/27-7/29

The 18th anniversary of one of Denver’s most storied music events, The Underground Music Showcase, is rapidly encroaching, bringing with it perhaps its heaviest-hitting lineup ever. What began as a one-night performance featuring just four bands, The UMS has steadily exploded into to a three-day music and arts festival featuring hundreds of performances. As the time draws nearer to what will no doubt be another incredible weekend of performances, this year taking place from July 27th – July 29th, it’s time to get our readers familiar with this year’s crop of highly established headliners and burgeoning local & national artists, spanning a plethora of genres and sounds.

Dotting the top end of this year’s addition of The Underground Music Showcase are more than a few TMN regulars. Among this year’s biggest highlights are the smooth indie-disco stylings of L.A. electronic duo Classixx, the infectious ciphers of B.J. the Chicago Kid, Deezie Brown & legendary hip-hop troupe Digable Planets, a healthy smattering of established indie acts including Greta Kline’s Frankie Cosmos project, ParallelephantsDeerhunter & Mothers, scuzzy rock sets from Alvvays, White Denim & Superchunk; not to mention the most eclectic handling of local talent we get to hear year after year including sets from olorado’s own CRL CRRLL, Aaron Bordas, Slow Caves, Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers and loads more.

Right now, special one-day GA tickets can be found for $40 over on their homepage with weekend passes for just $75. We’ll see you there in full force on July 27th, but until then, get in the UMS swing of things by streaming our playlist below.

’Alvvays – Party Police’
’Classixx – All You’re Waiting For’
’BJ the Chicago Kid – Smokin’ and Ridin’ (Feat. Freddie Gibbs & Problem)’
’Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened’
’Digable Planets – Rebirth of Slick (Cool like Dat)’
’Frankie Cosmos – “Sinister”‘
’Overcoats – Hold Me Close’
’Mothers – Blame Kit’
’Cloud Cult – Where It Starts’
’Gang Gang Dance – Glass Jar’
’Superchunk – Hello Hawk’
’Parallelephants – Reason Don’t Define’
’White Denim – Get Back To Love’
’Night Beats – Outta Mind’
’Jeff the Brotherhood – Black Cherry Pie’
’Deezie Brown – Sheepskin / Shayne’
’CRL CRRLL – M O N E Y’
’Aaron Bordas – As We Are (OriginalMix)’
’Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers – Cars’
’Slow Caves – Poser’
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[Electronic/R&B] VenessaMichaels – FLIGHT EP

It’s been years since we’ve waited for an EP from VenessaMichaels, but now it’s here. Not only do we get an EP, but it’s a concept project called FLIGHT featuring some of her favorite collaborators including Effy, Outlaw The Artist and $K.

Complete with four tracks, FLIGHT exceeds our expectations not only in quality, but due to the fact that she flexes hard with her songwriting abilities by moving through a various collection of sounds. Venessa manages to keep her signature eclectic style, but never before have we been able to see it play out in a cohesive long-form project. Through and through, FLIGHT will get you lifted. Have fun trying to pick a favorite and make sure to add this EP to your digital library.

’Ridin’ The Waves (Feat. Effy & Outlaw The Artist)’
’Chemistry (Feat. Outlaw The Artist)’
’Interlude (Hold Me)’
’Dance Forever (Feat. $K)’
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[Hip-Hop] Kids See Ghosts – Reborn

A well-worn trope of storytelling is that of the hero’s journey. It often follows a protagonist as they embark on an adventure, face a crisis or two, and return home in victory as a changed or transformed individual. For music fans of a certain generation, Scott Mescudi is the most apt artist fitting this description; displaying an admirable level of musical and personal vulnerability with his fans.

The past decade has shown a boundless range, beginning with 2008’s iconic Plain Pat produced A Kid Named Cudi mixtape. Along the way Kid Cudi has given us 6 solo albums, 1 collaborative project and a sound that has defied all genres – not to mention becoming the only artist with a signature, unmistakable harmonization that brings all listeners to attention:

For long time fans, the obvious standout track from Kids See Ghosts is “Reborn”–an homage to universally approved works from Man on the Moon 1, featuring much more influence from Cudi than Kanye. Heavy on the spacey, adventurous chords that drew us in as fans many years ago, the track seems a not-so-distant relative to the Ratatat-infused “Pursuit of Happiness.” It comes as little surprise that the production credits list Evan Mast (1/2 of Ratatat) and Plain Pat as the masterminds behind the nostalgic cut. Particularly in light of Cudi’s recent struggle with anxiety and depression, “Reborn” serves as a triumphant example of the light at the end of the tunnel for any one struggling with mental health issues. While the rest of Kids See Ghosts lacks some of the moonman-esque elements that make this song shine, the entire 7-track project pushes Cudi’s sound forward making it worth multiple plays.

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[Hip-Hop] Shiftee – Everything Is Litty feat. Dai Burger, Fly Kaison

Shiftee
Everything Is Litty ft. Dai Burger, Fly Kaison

New York City’s own Shiftee got litty with his latest single. Not only did he and fellow New Yorkers Dai Burger and Fly Kaison get litty, but everything did. Their collaboration “Everything Is Litty” has dropped via Alma Mater Records.

During this time of year, everyone’s bringing out their Summer hits and this happens to be Shiftee and company’s. From the start the feel good, laidback sound pumps away. The uplifting tone is perfect for any parties this season, whether it’s at a house, in a backyard or pool. “Everything Is Litty” is an unrelenting positive force that you should add to your digital library today.

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