Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
White Walls (Feat. ScHoolboy Q & Hollis)
Say what you will about Macklemore, but don’t tell me the guy doesn’t know how to make a good music video. After thoroughly dominating the charts for the good part of a year now, you’d think Mack would be ready to hang up his saddle for some well deserved rest and relaxation. Instead, he keeps on rolling forward, trading that saddle in for a fully pimped-out old school Cadillac. He rides that whip all the way to a crazy backyard pool party, where he celebrates his success with some grannies and a gaggle of new buddies like A$AP Rocky, Big Boi, Wiz Khalifa, Trinidad Jame$, Sir Mix-A-Lot, DJ Drama, and ScHoolboy Q (who happens to contribute a verse on this track). While that all may sound a little strange, trust us when we say it looks like loads of fun. Check out the dope visuals below, and make sure to grab the single on iTunes if you don’t have it already.
L'Orange & Stik Figa
If you’re familiar with my posts up to this point, you know I rarely write about hip hop. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I usually lean towards indie rock, folk and house music. However, every once in a while a hip hop track comes along and I just cant help myself.
There are two things about this track that really drew me in. The first is the production style of North Carolina resident L’Orange. With classic TV samples, jazz influenced beats and crackling antiquated atmospheric texturing, L’Orange has a deliciously lush sound in “Blind Tiger.”
The second thing about this track that drew me in was the lyrics of Topeka hip hop artist Stik Figa. I’ve never really cared for simplistic lyrics that grace the radio’s airwaves. I believe the talent lies in a lyricist creating something truly poetic. Something that you can’t instantly figure out. Something that takes some thought and interpretation to understand. Admittedly, I had never heard of Stik Figa before, but after hearing him gracefully and poetically grace L’Orange’s beats on this track, he’s gained a new fan.
Vortex (ft. Kid Cudi & Pusha T)
King Chip, formerly known as Chip tha Ripper, has always been a ninja favorite for his unique brand of smooth, laid-back raps. When you add his fellow Cleveland native, Kid Cudi, to the picture the outcome never fails to be dope. On a standout from Chip’s latest mixtape, 44108, the dynamic duo, and Wicked Awesome labelmates, team up with G.O.O.D. Music’s man of the hour Pusha T for a refreshingly original track.
On “Vortex,” Cudi and Dot da Genius (aka WZRD) team up for a psychedelic, guitar and piano-laden beat setting the tone perfectly for a song about a dangerous love interest. Cudder creates one of his trademark hooks taking his vocals up an octave from what we’re used to. Pusha T continues his relentless streak of vicious bars and King Chip continues the maturation of his style delivering with the confidence of a vet.
Enjoy this great track above and, if you’re digging it as much as we are, make sure to grab the whole 44108 project, which includes a number of other notable features, for free HERE.
So I Go (Prod. by Smoko Ono)
If you thought the Smoko Ono produced “So I Go” was trippy before, wait till you catch a glimpse of the new video from Chitown’s very own Jarred A.G. Conceived by Merked Creative, the vibrant visuals can be more accurately considered as an interpretive artpiece–something that falls closely between an acid trip and those visualizers from the Windows Media Player days. The transitions in the video sync up perfectly with the rhythm of Jarred’s flow, which seamlessly drifts between a laidback, swagged-out drawl to a sped up, feverish clip. The track itself helps shows off Jarred’s versatility, and provides a case for why he should be mentioned among the plethora of rising names coming out of Chicago, the current hip-hop capital of the world.
Disclaimer: This video may cause seizures for those suffering from photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.
An artist’s sophomore album is usually defined as their career making one and with Big Sean’s Hall of Fame, he proves that he is not just a commercial rapper, but an improved lyricist who is still learning to master his craft. There is no denying that during the year following his debut release of Finally Famous, Sean has accrued quite a list of accomplishments. From launching his clothing line Aura Gold, holding his own with plenty of charismatic verses on Cruel Summer, dropping a critically acclaimed Detroit mixtape, to dating the beautiful Naya Rivera, the 25 year old rapper is in nothing but a celebratory mood, yet still remains humble.
…What you know about feeling something you can’t even touch
Opening with a set of violins and rowdy applause, the intro “Nothing is Stopping You” is as equally attention grabbing as it is motivational. Carrying the theme that hard work and dedication will reward you with the things you desire, Sean’s flow definitely reflects the self-satisfaction that fame has brought him. A theme and sound that smoothly transitions into the Key Wayne produced keys of the soulful lead single “Fire” and the Young Jeezy and Payroll assisted “It’s Time.” The track “10 2 10″ takes the listener on a walk down Sean’s memory lane and serves as the album’s autobiographical piece as he spits about life growing up in the city of Detroit.
After teasing us with a snippet and leaking a YouTube clip last year of some young kids dancing to the track, UK artist M.I.A. finally drops the full version of her latest single “Come Walk With Me”. Starting off with a slow melody, the track quickly picks up tempo to transition from a pop song to a ridiculously insane electro banger. The jarring track is equal parts grunge as it is infectious. Take a listen to the new tune from her upcoming Matangi full length, dropping soon.