Over the past month Kai Straw has been releasing singles off his anticipated Toothpick album. Last night at 8PM PST, he dropped his album in full through his own imprint Tenth Gate Records, whose roster includes the producer for this album, James The Bear. Together these two put together an incredible album whose sound takes from funk, hip-hop and indie.
Ten tracks make up Toothpick, a dynamically expressive LP whose content largely focuses around the love-lust dichotomy that plagues the millennial generation. This theme is broken by tracks like “The Business” which is an anthem for the Bay Area, where Kai calls home. This is also the only track with features, as Kai collaborated with fellow veterans Keak Da Sneak and Roach Gigz. Throughout the album Kai manages, as always, to utilize his uncanny ability to formulate the thoughts of his generation, while displaying them through one-of-a-kind musical creations. Give Toothpick a genuine listen through, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking to dive in a crazy rabbit hole of lots of intriguing tales and records, then you should check out his entire discography on his website.
’The Business ft. Keak Da Sneak & Roach Gigz’
After bursting onto the scene in 2014 with his self-produced debut mixtape, The Love Project, Philly emcee Tunji Ige spent 2015 slowly rolling out a slew of impressive genre-bending tunes including collaboration with What So Not and Oshi. Fellow Philly rep Noah Breakfast, formerly known as Xaphoon Jones, has become his go-to producer and rightfully so–their styles could not be more complimentary. Breakfast’s inventive, electronic landscapes blend with Ige’s own atmospheric production chops and melodic flows.
Today, the duo dropped Missed Calls, Ige’s first official project since his debut taking the musical exploration to new heights. While the EP still possess a hip-hop flavor, the influence of dance music is felt on each track. “Change That,” the opener sets the tone with banging, forward-thinking production and a characteristically addicting hook from Tunji. As the project progresses, each track presents a distinct facet–subtle house elements can be felt on the smooth “War,” heavier electro-trap prevails “On My Grind” and “Bring Yo Friends” and “22,” the final track, carries dreary future R&B stylings. Missed Calls proves that Tunji Ige has the talent to become a cross over star with a sound that’s both refreshing and accessible. Give it a peep below–you can grab on iTunes now.
’Tunji Ige – Change That (Prod. Tunji Ige)’
’Tunji Ige – War (Prod. By Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – Fired Up (Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – On My Grind (Prod. Tunji Ige + Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – Bring Yo Friends ( Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – All Night (Prod. Tunji Ige + Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – 22 (Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
Falcons & Ekali
I Won't Lie feat. Vanessa Elisha
We won’t lie, this latest offering from Falcons, Ekali and Vanessa Elisha is an international collaboration of epic proportions. “I Won’t Lie” is the epitome of style and substance. What seems like a party jam on the surface is undermined by a darker message behind it, as the desperate songstress vexingly struggles with all the doubts surrounding her relationship, forcing her to sputter into utter madness. It still makes for a pretty killer break down though, comprised of hypnotic pan flutes and ingratiating trap snares, with Vanessa’s seductive vocals coiling around the beat beautifully. Kick your weekend off the right way and make sure to grab a free download of this one as soon as possible.
Money On Me ft. Anderson .Paak
Snakehips and Anderson .Paak are two artists who have seemingly worked with everyone. Last year saw the UK production duo of Snakehips making hits with artists from Chance the Rapper to Syd (of The Internet), while everything-man Anderson .Paak teamed up with countless rappers and producers on his way to signing with Dr. Dre. So, when a collab between the two popped up in our Soundcloud feeds, we can’t say we were surprised but that didn’t make us any less excited. On “Money On Me,” Snakehips craft a smooth, low-end atmosphere over which .Paak delivers one of his most chilled-out vocal performances. Even as the production fills out, the song doesn’t lose its smooth, summery vibe. Warm up with this tune above and make sure to check out Anderson .Paak’s Malibu if you haven’t yet.
The Business ft. Keak Da Sneak & Roach Gigz
Another single off the upcoming Toothpick album has hit the web thanks to Kai Straw. The San Francisco artist already released “Friction” last week, and now “The Business” is here. This single has Kai keeping more in line with his hip-hop roots and teaming up with fellow Northern California artists Keak Da Sneak and Roach Gigz. For all you Bay Area cats out there, you now have another anthem to slap.
“The Business” has each of the emcees sharing a bit about their hometown within the bay, covering Oakland, Fairfield and San Francisco. James The Bear produced this record, which has one of the sickest beats we’ve heard in a while. Fans of Kai’s older works will find this especially dope, as it is a sort of new-school homage to the hyphy movement where Kai got his start producing records. “The Business” stands out as something exceptionally special within Toothpick. Two more singles are to be released before the full album is out on Tenth Gate Records on April 12th.
’Sam Paye + Eleventy Million – The Yoga Pose’
Sam Paye of Seattle has brought forth his latest original single “The Yoga Pose” as a premiere for us ninjas. We present to you his creation with rapper Eleventy Million. “The Yoga Pose” is a danceabale mixture of hip-hop, pop and electronic music. There’s a lot going on in this three minutes of audio that is tailored for the eclectic taste.
Sam delivers an instrumental whose sound jumps around with different sounds ranging from progressive synths to 80’s basses to saxophone. On top of the diverse beat is Eleventy Million’s vocal performance that, for the most part, isn’t just straight rapping. We get a crowd-controlling expression that is more akin to a hypeman than someone spitting lyrics; although there are phrases of straight rap. After all, this is a party record. “The Yoga Pose” will be available through Bomb Recordings tomorrow. Until then, stream the full preview before it’s up for grabs.
SoySauce x lil aaron
After raising 15,000 meals for the Los Angeles Food Bank, SoySauce is back with another record. “BOUT TIME” is a collaboration with vocal artist lil aaron to celebrate the success of the charitable Lunch Money EP. This future meets hip-hop record is silky smooth. lil aaron’s acclaimed song writing shines through the magnetic production by SoySauce.
“BOUT TIME” is one of those underground releases that could very well bubble its way up to the top, garnering radio success on top of an already strong internet campaign. Fans of someone like Drake or Post Malone are going to be in love with this song, as it rivals their sounds without pigeon-holing itself into their styles. SoySauce hasn’t released any digital store or download info around this track, so it has us wondering if there’s another EP on the horizon. If there is, stay tuned, as it’s sure to be something special.