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.
Nearly a year after impressing us with his debut mixtape, Phases, Skizzy Mars is back once again with another brand new project, Pace. While Phases featured a broad array of assorted tracks that helped showcase Skiz’s diverse skillset, Pace seems to be a far more focused project, keeping a nearly singular sound throughout, with the central concept concentrating around women and relationships. For a fast-riser like Skizzy Mars, Pace could also signify an attempt to hit the brakes and take back the reins of his life, as he tries to determine the trajectory of his career.
Keeping the features to a minimum (Jon Waltz, Ms. Jones), Skizzy thrives in the spotlight, proving he can carry an entire album’s worth of material on his own merit. Production comes from longtime collaborators Michael Keenan and 6ix, who together, craft a vivid soundscape that allows the young 20 year old freedom to experiment, while still playing well to his strengths. As we’ve mentioned countless times before, Skizzy has a knack for creating songs that are as equally addictive as they are thought provoking. We’ve lined up a few examples for you below, but in order to get the full experience, you should check out the entire mixtape for yourself.
All Say (prod. Michael Keenan)
Numb (prod. Michael Keenan)
Summer11 (prod. Michael Keenan)
Half Past Three
Drink & Dance (feat. Jon Waltz)
De La Soul
Dilla Plugged In (Produced By J Dilla)
25 years after the release of their debut project 3 Feet High & Rising (an album everyone should have after the band gave away their entire catalog for free last month), De La Soul are looking to commemorate the occasion by releasing a brand new tune rapped over a previously unheard J Dilla instrumental. There’s simply no better adjective to describe “Dilla Plugged In” than dope. Listening to the track is almost like taking a trip to an alternate timeline, one where De La Soul is still a prominent force in hip-hop, and Dilla is still producing ill beats. Lucky for us, moments like this are sure to occur more frequently, as “Dilla Plugged In” is just the first single from an upcoming mixtape by the group entitled Smell The DA.I.S.Y. which will consist exclusively of Dilla produced beats. Right now there’s no release date for the project, but we’ll be eagerly anticipating its arrival.
What do you get when you combine South-East London, the spoken word, and one bad ass girl?
One female rapper with a killer accent.
Kate Tempest ladies and gentlemen is by far one of the coolest, yes coolest, artists I have ever written about.
She started off as a rapper, toured the spoken word circuit for a number of years, and now works as a poet and playwright too. I mean, why settle for one thing when you can have it all?
And let me tell you, this girl knows how to throw down words and use them. Her recently released ‘Lonely Daze’ is a song off of her upcoming album later this summer on Big Dada and just gives you a hint of the talent behind this girl’s mouth. Her accent is strong but that doesn’t take away from the power of her voice and her clear ability to make you hear her. This is quite a different sound, a mix of beats with Kate’s talking voice to combine for an addictive movement that leaves you ensnared to her will and her conversation.
Don’t worry, Kate’s words will find you and make you listen.
King Sh!t (feat. T.I. & Ludacris & Kito & Reija Lee)
Mashups have never really been my thing, but Big Boi‘s “Mashup Mondays” series has proven to be nothing short of brilliant. Breathing new life into an album that was already impressive on its own, each new remix has been just as exceptional as the last. This latest effort is no different, fusing the trap stylings of “In The A” with the buzzing electronic vibes of Kito & Reija Lee‘s “Run For Cover.” While that might sound like a recipe for disaster to some, all three emcees seem to fit in rather naturally over the bass heavy instrumental, with Reija Lee’s sweet, fleeting vocals serving as the perfect foil to the gruff and boastful lyrical content.
If there were ever any doubts about Big Boi’s diverse and eclectic taste in music, they should be put to rest by now, as he’s proven to have a perfect ear for these kinds of blends by now. Grab a free download of the track above, and keep your ears prepared, because we still have three more weeks to go.
LUPE FIASCO & AB-SOUL
THORNS & HORNS prod. by Floss & Fame
After a slew of peculiar releases late last week, Lupe Fiasco appears to be back in his element with his latest single, “Thorns & Horns.” Teaming up with TDE wordsmith, Ab-Soul, the two emcees showcase their lyrical prowess, trading some vicious bars atop some booming Floss & Flame production. The song itself is plagued with watermarks claiming “This version is for Ab-Soul,” which might indicate this isn’t a final cut.
Opting for a much more “commercial” sound with his last few singles, it’s gotten us wondering whether Tetsuo & Youth will truly be a dramatic departure from his previous efforts, or if he’s really just throwing us all for a curveball. You can never really tell what’s going on in Lupe’s mind, so instead of trying to dissect his thought process, we’ll just take things at face value for now with a raised brow.