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.
Summer is nearly upon us and we’re all looking to take off those layers, put on our bathing suits, and make a direct beeline for the beach. Now imagine you’re driving along the coast in a Jeep Wrangler against a warm breeze, music’s on blast, and you don’t have a care in the world. This picture is exactly what Boston-based duo, Aer, draws for you with their latest release, “I Can’t Help It.”
The song is an easy listen with its So-Cal vibe and feel-good lyrics, which revive those vivid memories of a summer romance. The plucking of a guitar creates a light-hearted chord progression that places the image of a sunset in your mind. Meanwhile, the vocals bring you back to your youth, reminding you of why Summer is your favorite time of the year. So while you’re digging around for that swimwear, get yourself amped for the next few months with a listen to “I Can’t Help It,” which you can snag on iTunes here.
Followers of our Hip-Hop Dojo have probably already noticed this, but we’re really excited about Toronto’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Today, we’ve got a premiere from yet another unique emcee from the 6, Terrell Morris, who’s been bubbling in his hometown for a while now, previously going by the name T-City. His latest single, “Book of Benny,” carries a hazy, minimalistic vibe thanks to Gat‘s smooth production. Using the stripped-down backdrop to his advantage, Morris employs an addicting, melodic flow that makes the song play out like an extended melancholic chorus. Lyrically, there’s an introspective depth to Morris’s rhymes that reflect his own experiences as an aspiring artist. This sentiment is further accentuated by interwoven audio clips from the character Benny in the film Basquiat, which tells the story of the legendary painter and graffiti artist.
“Book of Benny” is the first single from Terrell Morris’s upcoming project, which is due out later this year. As we await more news on that front, we’ll have this atmospheric cut in heavy rotation. If you’re digging it as much as us, make sure to also check out his last mixtape, On Y Va.
Welcome back to the Hip-Hop Dojo, your premier destination for all the best hip-hop from the past month. We know we’re a little late with this edition, but we promise it was well worth the wait. If you’re unacquainted, or if you need a refresher, the Hip-Hop Dojo is a monthly feature designed to showcase the most exciting up-and-coming talent in the game right now. We accomplish this by splitting it up into three different components: the artist spotlight, our monthly playlist and our mixtape roundup. We’ve got a number of exciting names spread throughout, but we have to say we’re most amped about this month’s spotlight artist, Jazz Cartier.
The Toronto music scene has experienced a sort of renaissance as of late, and although Drake remains the only true household name to emerge from the city, artists like The Weeknd, PartyNextDoor and Tory Lanez make for an exciting cast of stars poised to breakthrough to the next level. From a talent standpoint, Jazz Cartier has already proven himself capable of holding his own amongst those names. Building off of the moody aesthetic that’s become a staple of his hometown, Jazz has been able to forge his own unique sound. The enigmatic emcee possesses the uncanny ability to create songs that are easily accessible to the masses, with a penchant for crafting memorable hooks, yet he has no problem with making tunes that are also deeply personal and complex. All of this becomes apparent as you listen through his recent project, Marauding In Paradise. The fact that the mixtape spent four years in development should tell you all you need to know about Jazz’s unrelenting work ethic and his desire for perfection. We had a chance to get Jazz on the phone to talk about his recent album, his experiences moving around the world and why he believes Drake is his Jay Z.
Read on to find out what Jazz had to say, and afterwards click over to the next page to listen to this month’s playlist. On our final page you’ll find reviews of our favorite projects to drop during April, as written by ninja Ash.