At the end of the year, it’s always intriguing to reflect back on the previous months and see how some of our favorite artists have grown. One such artist that comes to mind is Little Simz. Around this point last year, Simz wasn’t even on our radar, but it wasn’t long before she entered our consciousness with the release of “Mandarin Oranges” alongside Waldo & Sango. 11 months later, we can’t even imagine life without Simz, as she’s endeared herself as one of our favorite emcees to emerge from the UK. The quick witted London native is more than just a rapper though, as she easily proves with her latest project, Age 101: Drop 3|000. This being her fourth and final release of the year, Simz is on a determined path to showcase what makes her such an impressive talent. Featuring production from the likes of IAMNOBODI, MeLo-X, Jakwob, Tiffany Gouché, Sevn Thomas and Prezident Jeff, Age 101: Drop 3|000 is a smooth and engrossing listen throughout, blending together a potent mix of dizzying bars and delicate vocals. There’s no doubt in our minds that Simz has cemented a place for herself in hip-hop, and we’re interested to see where she takes us in 2015.
Stream and download the entire EP below, and make sure to also check out Little Simz’s recent sessions with BBC 1xtra’s Live Lounge.
No Introduction (Prod. IAMNOBODI)
Closer (Ft. Tiffany Gouché)
Frozen (Prod. IAMNOBODI)
Circles (Ft. MeLo X)
Intervention (Prod. Sevn Thomas + Prezident Jeff)
Used To Know (Prod. Jakwob)
2014 was a quiet year for Miguel, but the LA crooner couldn’t resist getting one last word in, surprising his fans with some free music this morning to tide them over until 2015. The three track EP, aptly titled nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee, draws its name from the tracklist itself. The project is more stripped down compared to the lush and vibrant dynamics found on 2012′s Kaleidoscope Dream, but the sound is still distinctly Miguel at its core. All three songs differ greatly from each other, yet still manage to create a harmonious balance together, something that is tough to achieve with such a short sample. The sole feature on the EP comes from Kurupt, who adds a dope little verse to the murky, percussion-driven “nwa.” That’s followed by the grungy, yet optimistic “hollywooddreams,” before closing things off with the effervescent “coffee,” which falls into more familiar territory sonically speaking.
Stream and download the neat little gift below, and stay tuned for more from Miguel as we turn our calendars to 2015.
Paradise Awaits. Part 2 Ft. Goldlink
You’re probably thinking, “How could this ZHU and Goldlink collab possibly live up to the hype?” Well this glorious Re-work of “Paradise Awaits”, does just that. The production on the original was next level, but the edits in this flip complement Goldlink’s flow perfectly. The guitar riffs and bass lines that are sprinkled throughout, put you in some sort of daze while ZHU seduces throughout the entire track. Couldn’t be more excited to see these two link up in the studio together, hopefully there’s more where this came from. Cheers.
Rich Homie Quan
Tell Me Why (Feat. Drake)
When Birdman first recruited Rich Homie Quan & Young Thug to be a part of Rich Gang, it seemed like a natural fit as Quan and Thugger were already two of the more prominent rising faces at the forefront of the ATL rap scene. Now, the group has plans for a sequel to their successful mixtape, Tha Tour Part 1. Though we have no concrete release date for the project, it seems as if most–if not all–the tracks have now surfaced online. Featuring guest spots from Drake, Fabolous, Ty Dolla $ign and Dej Loaf, the star studded follow-up seems poised to build upon where the last left off. Regardless of where the tracks are from, this should be enough to power you through your New Year’s Celebrations. Check out the Drizzy assisted single above, and stream the rest of the tracks after the jump. Continue reading
Through The Wire (Kanye West Cover)
After spending a good majority of 2013 at the top of the Hype Machine charts, FYFE has remained relatively quiet throughout 2014, as he gears up for the release of his debut album, Control. With a release date in hand now, the British sensation has decided to celebrate by releasing a quirky cover of Kanye West‘s “Through The Wire.” Anytime someone decides to cover Kanye it makes for a risky proposition, but in this case the College Dropout classic is an especially curious choice considering FYFE is not a rapper himself. We know better than to doubt the crafty musician though, and it’s safe to say he’s delivered one of the more creative takes on a Kanye track we’ve ever heard. FYFE’s interpretation is sparse, yet placating–characteristic of many of his previous singles–and he manages to build a record that has its own identity, while still paying tribute to the original with mixed-in vocals from Yeezy himself.
The young talent had this to say about his inspirations behind the track:
Through The Wire has been stuck in my head for most of the last 10 years. The fact that Kanye West had a track on his last album named I Am A God added a certain amount of pressure to the process, but once I got over the image of him peering over my shoulder whilst I made the cover it came along quite quickly. To Kanye West purists- I’m sorry. To everyone else – I hope you enjoy it.
Stream the track above, and make sure to pre-order
your copy of Control
before it hits shelves on March 9th.
Regulate (Destructo & Wax Motif Remix)
Warren G‘s Regulate…G Funk Era album has stood the test of time as a project that helped defined a whole genre along with classics like Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg‘s Dogystyle. Although G-Funk’s prime has passed, it has had a lasting impact not only in hip-hop introducing melodious flows and funky production but also across genres even inspiring the inception of G-House. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the multi-platinum selling classic, Def Jam/Universal put together a re-issue of Regulate…G Funk Era that features 3 EDM remixes of its smooth, timeless title track. It’s only fitting that one of the remixes comes from Australian trap-leaning producer Wax Motif and LA’s own Destructo, who’s recent West Coast EP updates the classic sounds of his home coast. Give Wax and Destructo’s dope take on “Regulate,” which strikes a perfect balance between the original and hard-hitting electronic elements, above.
We’re excited to be giving away a Vinyl and CD of the reissue including the full original album and the remix above along with two more from Jaux and Photek. Enter your email below to enter! We will be accepting participants through next Thursday, 12/18, and the winner will be notified via email the morning of 12/19. If you can’t wait, though, you can also purchase the vinyl/CD/digital version now here.
Relapse (produced by Danny Score)
Never straying away from the difficult subjects, LA grunge rapper Jez Dior is a veritable open book of life experiences, continually dishing out what’s on his mind. He’s not scared to put his heart on his sleeve, as he’s shown time and time again. We find ourselves always drawn to his work for many reasons, but this one in particular stands out.
This most recent release, starkly named “Relapse,” carries a painful story about a battle with alcohol. A theme that’s evident in Jez’s music, we’re once again hearing these associations and understanding that this is something that has an overwhelming influence on his artistry. Musically, the tune boasts a heavy, distorted bassline, spattering hi hat hits, and a pitched-down vocal sample. Combined, these elements create a dark and ominous vibe which perfectly accentuate the cautionary lyrics.
“Relapse” is available today as a free download on Jez’s soundcloud as a thank you for surpassing three million plays. Head over and snag a copy for yourself.