It’s here! After months’ worth of eager anticipation, Surf has finally arrived. Though initially advertised as a follow-up to Chance The Rapper‘s 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap, it was later revealed that Surf would be a new project led by Donnie Trumpet and his band The Social Experiment, with Chance playing more of a supporting role. Leading up to its release today, details were still pretty sparse, so it’s not surprising that the album was released without any fair warning, which seems to be a common trend these days. None of the features are listed on iTunes, but we promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the guests who appear throughout the record.
We’re still in the process of listening ourselves, so we haven’t had a chance to fully evaluate the project, but so far we’d say it’s lived up to the hype. Take a listen to one of the early tracks below, and make sure to head to iTunes to grab yourself a FREE copy.
One of our favorite Los Angeles-based hip-hop acts somehow flew under our radar last month with a fresh new freestyle, courtesy of DJBooth.net, and it’s simply pure fire and finesse. We only wish we would have caught it earlier.
We had the opportunity to catch Azad Right and his freestyling abilities down in Austin during SXSW, and we have to admit we were pretty damn stoked to see something put on record. The backdrop is perfect for Right’s style, laid-back and nostalgic, providing the perfect accentuation to the casual, liquid flow we’ve come to know and love from this up and coming lyricist.
At this point, it wouldn’t be fair to label Daye Jacksimply a rapper. On his latest release, the multi-talented, Atlanta-bred artist shows once again that he’s an absolute creative force. “Trapped in Love” plays off the idea of the “trap,” normally used to refer to the inescapable cycle of drug-dealing for disadvantaged youth, applying the concept to a similarly constricting romance. The beat, crafted by Matthew Engst, combines 808-laden trap production with bouncy synths setting the tone for the simile. Meanwhile, Jack spits aggressive bars that reflect a trap delivery but, rather than speaking on hood experiences, recalls the feeling of getting caught up in love. Jack keeps the track dynamic and interesting through out alternating between a venomous, hard-hitting delivery and an airy crooning chorus. “Trapped in Love” truly pushes boundaries and will be featured on Jack’s forthcoming Soul Glitch, due out June 30th.
Oakland duo Main Attrakionzblew up seemingly out of nowhere back in 2011 pioneering “Cloud Rap”–a unique brand of hip-hop that combines airy beats with equally weightless rap styles. Lyrically, it’s not what you’d categorize as verbose but it’s overwhelmingly positive, melodic and genuine making for a completely novel listening experience.
The sub-genre has had an enormous influence on rap music since that time with acts like A$AP Rocky, who was featured on their 808s & Dark Grapes IIbreakout mixtape, Danny Brown and Gucci Mane all taking notice of the alluring aesthetic. In fact, the track “Leaf,” a standout from Rocky’s debut mixtape, was originally featured on 808s & Dark Grapes II under the title “Take 1.”After releasing a solid debut album in 2012 with Bossalinis & Fooliyones, the rappers behind MA, Squadda B and Mondre M.A.N., have been relatively quiet honing their craft after a somewhat unexpected and hasty rise to notoriety.
After a lengthy hiatus as Main Attrakionz, during which time they continued releasing music under their Green Ova label, the duo returned last week with the first single, and accompanying visuals, for their upcoming project, 808s & Dark Grapes III. “Ain’t No Other Way” proves that Main Attrakionz have been hard at work perfecting their supremely ethereal sound. Among rappers, you’d be hard-pressed to find any as low-key, humble and unassuming, while simultaneously enormously influential, as Main Attrakionz. See for yourself in the Kreayshawn–directed video below and keep your eye out for 808s and Dark Grapes III due out June 30th.
Amidst an always overcrowded landscape of emcees, Mick Jenkinshas consistently stood out as a messiah of sorts for the rap game. The Chicago emcee’s debut mixtape, The Water(s), was an incredibly cohesive and thoughtful piece of work that displayed a level of lyrical depth years beyond his peers. So, it’s little surprise that when he teams up with one of the most forward-thinking producers in the game, Kaytranada, the results are mind-blowing. Their last collab, “The Rain,” was one of the best hip-hop tracks of last year.
Yesterday, Jenkins presented his latest single “P’s & Q’s” continuing his evolution into a thought-leader to be reckoned with. Kaytranada crafts an instrumental that, although still maintains his future bounce style, is driven by a smooth looping guitar lick. As always, Jenkins sticks to his motifs spitting bars that play off the letters of the song’s title. It’s not just a gimmick, though, Mick truly ties the narrative together spewing knowledge about being genuine and true to yourself while engulfed by deterrents.
The accompanying visuals, directed by Nathan Smith, couldn’t be a better fit for the message of the song as Mick stays calm amidst a chaotic whirlwind that surrounds him. That sense of inner peace through disaster seems to be a theme found through out Jenkins music and we’d highly recommend dropping everything you’re doing to watch the moving video in fullscreen below. Jenkins follow-up to The Water(s) is coming sooner than you think and it’s definitely on the top of our list of hip-hop projects to look out for.
Talk about a heavenly match. LA-based production duo Two Fresh just teamed up with Towkio and Joey Purp of SaveMoney crew for this fresh new hit “Getting Throwed”. It’s one of those tracks that’ll pump you up a few notches without getting overly excited. The totally smooth beat fuels the chill vibe that goes with the slurry verses, making this a perfect company for cruising in your car or a late night work grind. The keys fill in for the fresh melodies to add onto the downtempo approach of the track.
Released via Next Wave, “Getting Throwed” is added to the label’s diverse caliber. Make sure to grab this as a free download if you feel this tune!
When looking over the tracklist for Jamie xx‘s upcoming album, the Young Thug andPopcaanfeature was by far the most intriguing, unexpected inclusion. A little over a week ago, a leak of the far-out collab, featuring only Thug’s contribution, hit the Interwebs and it had all the makings of a summer anthem. The leak was swiftly removed from most major websites, but today we’re blessed with the final version of the song.
Jamie xx crafts an incredibly bright, and uncharacteristic, backdrop for Young Thug and Popcaan utilizing his signature steel drums and yet another masterfully placed soul sample echoing “I know there’s gonna be good times.” Popcaan’s perfected dancehall crooning opens things before Thugger’s playful, melodic flow takes over flawlessly, matching the instrumental’s overwhelmingly positive, bright energy. Popcaan seamlessly takes back over between Thug’s verses and handles the outro before it fades into the infectious sample. This is, in our minds, one of the best songs to come out this year and we’ll be jamming out to it as we wait for the release of In Colour on June 2nd–pre order here.
Although this collaboration might come as a surprise to many, Jamie alluded to becoming a big fan of Young Thug while he was living in New York in a recent interview with XXL and, based on how perfect the combo sounds, he seems to have a true grasp of exactly what it is that makes Thug’s music so strangely addicting. It’s yet another testament not only to Jamie xx’s production abilities, but also his keen ear as a DJ developed through his immense, diverse musical knowledge.