Made In Black America Ft. Ab-Soul
In the lead-up to his upcoming album, Nobody’s Smiling, Common seems as hungry as ever, determined to prove that he’s still one of the most vicious lyricists in the game. Bridging the generational gap with his latest effort, the Chitown spitter goes toe-to-toe with the young cat, Ab-Soul, who’s more than capable of holding his own with the rap legend. “Made In Black America” is a gritty, streetwise production that features both emcees reflecting on their experiences growing up in the streets, while still weaving in some indelible punchlines bursting with bravado. Listen to the track above, and keep on the lookout for more from Com and No I.D. when the album drops later this year.
Diablo (prod. Larry Fisherman)
Since donning the alias of Larry Fisherman late in 2012, we’ve been able to witness an imaginatively creative side of Mac Miller that many of us probably never knew existed. With every release, the Pittsburgh native shows tremendous growth and maturity as he tweaks and experiments with various new sounds, making for must follow material on SoundCloud. This latest effort may–in some ways–be his most ambitious to date, as he forges a seedy, almost hollow, dare we say, DOOM-esque piano driven instrumental. “Diablo” explores the inner workings of Mac’s mind as he gets in touch with his personal demons, utilizing his familiar stream of consciousness flow to precise perfection. We only hope there’s more where this came from, as we’re interested to see how Mac develops his sound moving forward.
When A Fire Starts To Burn (Freestyle)
As one of the hottest names in hip-hop right now, it’s pretty evident that Vic Mensa‘s flame isn’t about to burn out anytime soon. Continuing along with that theme then, the Windy City spitter brings that same smoldering intensity to his remix of a “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” one of the standout singles from his tourmates Disclosure. Never failing to deliver quality bars, the SaveMoney representative steps up the tempo a bit to keep up with the pulsating beat, showcasing some surprisingly versatility as he lands some quick witted punchlines and even finds time to send some quick shoutouts to recent collaborators like Disclosure (obviously), Smoko Ono, Kaytranada, Rockie Fresh and Tokyo Shawn. Between this and last week’s “Magic” remix, it’s clear Vic has no problem with stepping out of his boundaries as he prepares for a takeover in 2014. It’s all just a matter of when at this point.
Hallelujah [Prod. By Dan Dare]
“Hallelujah” is usually an exclamation reserved for miracles, but after hearing this new single from Thunderbird Gerard, you might have a few new uses for the phrase. With his latest effort, the New York by way of London artist brings us a hauntingly hypnotic affair driven by repercussive synths and resounding bass. Labeled simply as “ill wave,” the multi-talented musician flexes his skills over the Dan Dare produced beat, laying down a few bars while also handling duties on the chorus. Gerard also gets some assistance from the lovely Kenzie May, who supplies her sweet vocals on a refrain midway through the track.
Fans in the UK will be able to catch Thunderbird Gerard as he tours with Rizzle Kicks through March, while those of us stateside will have to settle for this dope number for now.
Do you believe in “Magic?” If you’re a skeptic, then it might be time to hop in a time machine with Vic Mensa and Smoko Ono as they take a psychedelic trip back to the early 90′s in the visuals for this Chicago house inspired remix. Cutting out the verses completely from the Innanetape original, we’re instead left with a revitalized tune that’s dripping with entrancing melodies and infectious rhythms. Old school vibes are abound as well, as flush bright neons bombard the screen throughout the trippy visuals. Let the nostalgia take over as you peep the video below, and stay tuned for Smoko’s upcoming Slackin-N-Mackin EP, set to release later this year.
A nice little gift to top off a great music Monday comes in the form of a previously unreleased Big Sean track. In his typical fashion, the Detroit emcee talks about his achievements providing inspiration for anyone hoping to reach success in their life’s pursuits. As its title suggests, this new track is essentially a hip-hop version of the Thank You note penned over a jazzy, feel-good instrumental. This one’s a great pick me up to end the start of your week. Peep above and gobble out like its Thanksgiving.
Life Round Here (Feat. Angel Haze)
When James Blake released his Chance The Rapper assisted remix to “Life Round Here,” late last year, we assumed that would be the ultimate version of the single that we’d hear. Then again, we never expected a team up quite like this. Covering a James Blake song is certainly no easy task, but this revamped crew consisting of Ellie Goulding, Angel Haze and Noah Breakfast, give the original a run for its money, rebuilding the track completely from the ground up. Crafting a dense, ambient instrumental for the ladies to play with, Noah opts for a sounds that’s arguably far more melancholic than Blake’s forerunner. Ellie’s vocals float through the track almost aimlessly, yet they still feel purposeful as they lead in to a fierce verse from Angel Haze. Stream the single above, and let us know which version is your true favorite.