[Hip-Hop] Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiment – Home Studio

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Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment
Home Studio ( Back Up In This Bitch)

Chit-town rep and ninja favorite Chance the Rapper just improved our morning with a spontaneous release. “Home Studio,” as its name suggests, is a pretty raw song, but continues Chance’s creative narrative.

Over some fittingly fun and bouncy production, Chance goes in full ad-lib mode boasting about his success in the industry despite the uniqueness of his sound. In a way, the goofy tone ends up complementing the light and triumphant content of the lyrics. Check this one above for a fresh, mid-week energy boost.

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[Hip-Hop] Jay Electronica & Jay Z – We Made It (Freestyle)

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JAY Z x JAY ELECTRONICA
We Made It

I know we probably say this every time we hear new music from Jay Electronica, but in the rare glimpses we do get every year, we begin to remember just how gifted of an emcee he really is. Our latest refresher comes in the form of a freestyle over Soulja Boy and Drake‘s “We Made It,” alongside Roc Nation boss Jay Z. While Jay Elec provides us with an update on the state of his career (even apologizing to his fans for constantly keeping them waiting), Hov delivers a ferocious verse of his own, taking more than a few not-so subtle shots along the way. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but with this being his second release in just a week (a pretty significant accomplishment for him), we’re hoping this means even more material from Jay Electronica is on the way.

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[NEW] Miguel – Bennie And The Jets (Feat. Wale) (Elton John Cover)

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Miguel feat. Wale
Bennie and the Jets

In order to celebrate the anniversary of his landmark album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, music legend Elton John is preparing to release a deluxe edition of the timeless project over 40 years later. Along with a 100-page hardcover book, a CD of live performances, and a DVD of the 1973 film Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things, fans can also expect the repackaging to include a tribute CD that features nine other accomplished artists tasked with providing a modern take on a few of the album’s classics.

The first of these commissioned covers comes from the unlikely duo of Miguel and Wale, who take more than a few liberties with their revision of “Bennie And The Jets.” While remnants of the original remain, Miguel adds his own flair to the redesign, complete with a roaring backbeat, potent guitar riffs, and peerless falsetto that stay true to the contemporary crooner’s typical style. Wale meanwhile, chips in with a smooth verse of his own (one that Chance The Rapper would be very proud of) that really helps provide this version of the single with its own identity.

Set for release next Tuesday, March 25th, the record will also include covers from Fall Out Boy, Ed SheeranEmeli Sandé and more. Pre-orders can be found here.

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[Grunge Rap] Jez Dior – Who Drank My Whiskey?

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Jez Dior
Who Drank My Whiskey?

Someone’s harnessing their inner Kurt Cobain and his name is Jez Dior. Taking a turn to the 90′s, Jezzy has served up a piping hot plate of sounds that will take you back to your younger years. “Who Drank My Whiskey” is a far departure from what we’re used to hearing from this often emotional rapper, yet as far as principal, it’s right on par.

The tune as a whole will take you for surprise. This isn’t a beat-centric, cinematic tune as what you’ve come to known from this LA based lyricist. If you’re expecting something similar to “Love me to Death” or “Candles,” know that you’re not going to find it here. However, this deviation from his artistic mean is a welcome refresher and a spiritual omen of what Jez’s going through in his development as an individual and artist.

The video that accompanies it is already stirring up some controversy, getting covered in a boldly worded slam piece by The Gloss, a female-centric online publication. Before we get into that, we’ve come to find out the meaning behind the video, which completely fits what we already know about this indie hip hop artist. Appreciating the fact that his music is often darkly stirring, displaying voids in his life through his artistry, we’ve always known him to be a deep thinker, capable of crafting songs that are far from any mainstream messaging.

While we’re not experts in the dissection of cinematic art, we can make the connection to what Jez, his director (who is a female), and his producer (who is a female) say they were trying to accomplish. However, Samantha from the Gloss felt different. Without requesting any additional information or a quote from Jez’s team or the director of the video, she brazenly identifies him as a “Hipster Rapper,” attempting to discredit him based on his exterior appearance before the reader can even get into her argument, which ends up covering a very sensitive issue. Obviously striking a nerve, she took a break from writing about Cameron Diaz topless photos and Lindsey Lohan’s sex list, to speak her mind.

Jez’s team quickly responded to the her post, commenting on the stream. Check out what the producer of the video had to say in response:

Continue reading

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[Hip-Hop] XV – Madness Begins EP

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There was a time period between 2011 and 2012 when it seemed as if XV was right on the cusp of stardom. After signing a deal with Warner Bros. Records, and a string of successful mixtape releases (Zero HeroesPopular CultureSquarians Vol. 1) that saw his star rise higher than ever, it seemed as if all the right pieces were in place for the Kansas native to finally make that giant leap from Smallville to the big stage. Then 2013 came and went without much of a peep from the talented rapper, and the momentum he’d been steadily building just kind of fizzled out into a blip on the radar.

That’s not to say we’re not excited for new material from the gifted emcee, but it’s going to take a tremendous effort to get back to the stage he was at in his career. Madness Begins is definitely a step in the right direction. Composed of 8 tracks of new material, the EP serves as a refresher of what Vizzy can really accomplish when he puts pen to paper. We won’t go so far as to say that this is one of his best projects, but it solidifies his standing in the game, and lets us know that despite his brief sabbatical, XV hasn’t lost a step.

Madness Begins is just the first effort in a five volume #MarchMadness Free-Play series that’ll see new releases to coincide with different legs of the college basketball tournament. If it all goes to plan, this could be just the boost Vizzy needs to get his career back on track, as we all anticipate his long-awaited The Kid With The Green Backpack album.

DOWNLOAD: XV – Madness Begins EP

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Melrose Refresher (prod. by Childish Gambino)
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My Town (prod. by Zuki & Jay Beatz)
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Everyday Life (prod. by The Awesome Sound)
XV
Whats New (prod. by Big Jerm)
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[NEW] Chance The Rapper – Save Yourself First

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Chance The Rapper
Save Yourself First (Social Experiment original vs.)

Chance The Rapper and James Blake surprised us all last year when they teamed up for a hip-hop infused remix of Blake’s “Life Round Here.”  Now that the pair are rooming together, the Windy City native has decided to release the verse that didn’t make the final cut. This version is far more subdued than the one that first saw the light of day, and plays closer to the tone of the Overgrown original. While the uptempo nature of the previous remix almost made it sound like a celebration of life, this tune is far more heartfelt and reflective, allowing Chance to show off his vocal chops and really dig deeper into what life around the streets of Chicago really means to him.

Chances are this won’t be featured on any projects in the near future, but given the frenzy with which the young emcee has returned in the last few weeks, you’ve gotta think an announcement of some sort is on its way soon.

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[Hip-Hop] The Underachievers – Incandescent (Prod. Ryan Hemsworth)

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The Underachievers
Incandesent

The Underachievers break their recent mute 2014 status with a dope new track for our listening enjoyment. The Ryan Hemsworth-produced single “Incandescent” is something a little different from their previous body of work. The rap duo make their return to the webs with a dark, moody vibe and gritty, menacing lyrics to match. Paired with some heavy drum work and harsh keys, the underground crew try to come hard with this new sound. Signed to Flying Lotus‘ Brainfeeder imprint, you can expect the Brooklyn group’s debut album, Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium, later this year.

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