[Hip-Hop] Wale – Poor Decisions (Feat. Rick Ross & Lupe Fiasco) (Prod. Jake One)

Poor Decisions ft Rick Ross & Lupe Fiasco

Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group are gearing up to release their third ensemble album (in as many years) this summer with Self Made Vol. 3. Becoming a staple of the season now, Ross has churned out these records year after year in order to stay on top of the game. It’s been a brilliant strategy that’s kept him at the forefront of our minds, and it’s also helped make household names out of guys like Meek Mill and Wale.  The first single from the project comes today from the latter who changes things up a bit with “Poor Decisions.” While we’re not used to hearing Rozay on a more conscious tip (maybe he’s changed his ways since that whole “Molly” incident), that happens to be Lupe Fiasco‘s forte, who proves to be a perfect feature for this new track. Check out the Jake One produced cut below and let us hear your thoughts.

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[TMN PREMIERE] A.J. Crew – Graduated With The Cords

A.J. Crew
Graduated With The Cords [Pusha T Remix]

Graduation. It’s one of the most monumental experiences of your life, and yet one of the most indescribable as well. For those of you who’ve already gone through the process, just try and think back to the cavalcade of emotions running through you at the time: pride, nostalgia, accomplishment, triumph, hope, and relief represent just a modicum of the countless sentiments bubbling up inside. It’s one of the few occasions that people both celebrate and feel anguish towards at the same time. because it marks both the conclusion of four of the greatest years of your life, and yet it also signals a new path for you to embark on.

What does this all have to do with A.J. Crew? Well, the Toledo-to-Chicago import just recently graduated from Roosevelt University and decided to share his achievement with the world by releasing a new anthem for the Class of 2013. While “Graduated With The Cords” isn’t set to replace “Pomp & Circumstance” at your next commencement, I’d definitely be proud to rock it as a recent graduate. Serving as a remix of Pusha T‘s “Numbers On The Board,” A.J. manages to accomplish what few emcees rarely can when jumping on someone else’s instrumental; he makes it his own.  While I won’t concede that he bests Pusha’s original, he definitely captures its essence and murks the Kanye West production in his very own way.

Grab the free download above, and make sure to check out more from A.J. Crew, including the accompanying music video below, as well as A.J.’s new mixtape, The Reality of It All, after the jump.

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[MP3 Playlist] The Chill Dojo #38

chill dojo

June is finally upon us and with it comes months of guaranteed chill Summer tunage. That’s not to say that the colder months left us in any short supply, but there’s something about this season that elevates this music to another level.

Our first track is the prime example as Snakehips goes next level with an edit to his upbeat hit  ‘On & On’. Just when you thought the original couldn’t get any better, the UK beatmaker adds a fresh touch which shines with pure happiness. We’re not done with this track yet though, because Kaytranada has also lent his skills to his own remix with an infectious deep sound and old-school hip hop beat. And as if to set a trend, Le Youth also revisited his own material with a slowed-down, sexed-up version of ‘C O O L’ which just oozes that classic R&B flavour. It’s the first of many baby-making Summer specials to come, that’s for sure.  Another certain thing about the Chill Dojo in the months ahead is that it’ll definitely feature plenty of Goldroom, with all the tropical stylings we can’t get enough of. TMN already covered the producer’s latest remix of Owl Eyes, but we’re throwing another one into the mix with a tropical-infused edit of his original ‘Angeles’ courtesy of the appropriately named Palm & Trees. And we couldn’t let this write-up end without bringing to light a remix from yet another dojo favourite in Shook, who recently released his downright funky take on Jamiroquai. It’s been two years sitting on this absolute gem, but we’re stoked it’s finally out for free download, and at the perfect time too!

It’s another edition loaded with those feel-good sensations, and this is only the beginning. We’re set for some of the most exciting weeks to come. Peace out!

Chill Dojo #38 zip

On & On (Snakehips Edit)
On & On (Kaytranada Remix)
Le Youth
C O O L (R&B Edit)
Angeles (Palm & Trees ReTropicalize)
Owl Eyes
Jewels & Sapphires (Goldroom Remix)
Lifeline (Shook Remix)
When Its Hot feat. Djemba Djemba & Mr. Carmack
You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle (Toro y Moi remix)
Naughty Boy
La La La ft. Sam Smith (Pále Remix)
Cocktail Skies (Coming Soon On Love Not Money)
Somethin Bout You
Amel Larrieux
Wale Ft. Tiara Thomas
Bad (Yarin Lidor Remix)
On Your Side ft How To Dress Well (Radio Edit)
Gabrielle Aplin
Panic Cord (Hucci Remix)
Falling into Daydream
Tranquility (Forthcoming on Avis Nocturna)
Open (Keeno Remix)
Whistling in the Dark feat. Augustus Ghost.mp3
Ryan Hemsworth
(。◕‿◕。) (or, I Want To Stare At Your Face Until I Die)
Ryan Hemsworth
Ryan Hemsworth
Empty Thoughts Over A Shallow Ocean
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[Event Review] The Neighbourhood w/ Lovelife at The Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO

Your New Beloved

Thursday night The Gothic Theatre, one of Denver’s most quaint and acoustically inviting venues, played gracious hosts to a very contrasting sell-out crowd for California rock influenced alt-poppers The Neighbourhood and Brooklyn’s lo-fi synth-rock outfit Lovelife as part of their nation wide The Love Collection tour. On a night which featured multiple sell out shows in the Metro area, we found a unique slice of frenetic energy meets subdued enthusiasm. Those two contrasting types of listeners in attendance made for an interesting, albeit very fun night and such a stylistically diverse crowd culminated in one of the most captivating events visually and auditorily. Now, this wasn’t the typical show for us Ninjas, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. and the show concluding at 10:30, an hour at which we are normally just arriving. But, it was in all actuality quite a paradisaical way to spend a Thursday evening inside of one of the most progressive and fast-moving music scenes in the country.

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The Hip-Hop Dojo [Vol. 11]

TMN Hip Hop Dojo 2

What up ninjas? Today we’re looking to start your June off the right way with a fresh edition of The Hip-Hop Dojo. We’ve stacked together one of the largest hauls we’ve ever had, making this quite the exciting week for new music. Given that this week’s playlist boasts a whopping 36 tracks, I won’t be detailing every track on here, but I’ll do my best to sum up the highlights.

We kick things off with the whimsical ode to everyone’s second favorite Peanuts character, “Charlie Brown.” Taking on the perspective of the beloved loner, ScienZe and Blu bring us a charming feel-good single complete with plenty of references to the cartoon. Our next selection focuses on Kel’s favorite subject, as Chicago’s Vic Mensa tells us exactly why he shares that same love for “Orange Soda.” We keep things local to Chitown with the homie Jahzel who hopes to clue us into what the next “Chapter” of his life will entail. One of the most impressive submissions of the week comes from Brooklyn’ King Jul who absolutely shreds apart a familiar sample of Kool & The Gang‘s classic “Summer Madness.”

Moving on, we welcome the return of Jadakiss with his brand new single, “Big Boy Dialogue” alongside The-Dream. While Kiss hasn’t had a hit in quite awhile unfortunately, he’s still out to prove that he’s Top 5, Dead or Alive, which happens to be the name of his upcoming album. Meanwhile, we bring back Al-Fatir for his second appearance in The Hip-Hop Dojo, this time to discuss his dream of finally making it big. Tito Lopez and Jon Connor are two other veterans of the Dojo who are really just “Tryna Get On” with their lives as they continue on their endless hustle. Joey Bada$$ upholds that “Word Is Bond” with the first single from his upcoming Summer Knights project, set to drop on June 12th.

KRBL Rebel Radio reduce all other emcees to “Dust” when they step up to the mic. Need more proof? Check out their self-titled debut album here. One of this week’s most intelligent tracks comes in the form of “80-D” from St. Louis beat maestro Mvstermind. In case you missed the worldplay in the song’s title, “80-D” really stands for A.D.D. which also happens to be the title of Mvstermind’s latest project, A.D.D. (Artistically Day Dreaming); check it out here. If you’re in need of a relaxing number to start off your weekends this summer, look no further than Witty Rock‘s “Morning Breath,” one of many standout tracks from his recently released EP of the same name. One of this week’s most original pieces comes to us from indie rock outfit, The Neighbourhood. “West Coast” serves as a stark contrast to anything heard on the band’s much lauded debut, I Love You, yet it still fits perfectly within the realm of their musical sound. The laidback number hearkens back to West Coast hip-hop influences of the 90′s like The Pharcyde and Dr. Dre, with lead singer Jesse Rutherford trying his hand on the mic as an emcee.

Another artist making his second mark on The Hip-Hop Dojo this week is wordsmith Martin $ky with two exceptional new joints, “TRACK O1″ and “critiCALI.” Both cuts serve as a reminder that Martin is clearly one of the top young emcees in the game. With his latest single, Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats invites us to take a crucial step back and envision where our lives will be “Years” from now. Given that today is the first of June, who better to help us ring in the start of the month than a man who derives his moniker from the name of the month itself? June brings us his latest joint straight from the “Gutta,” alongside his talented brother Teddy Walton who handles the production duties. Over the last few weeks we’ve been impressed with the output from J. Cole‘s Dreamvillain imprint, most notably from NYC’s Bas. Now Omen is primed to display his talents over the guitar-driven “Medusa.” If there’s one thing you take away from this song it’s that “Death to the duckface” should be an actual movement.

It’s not very often that you hear about emcees from Seattle, but once in awhile a special one will emerge from the underground depths of the Pacific Northwest. With his raspy, guttural voice and exasperating flow Raz Simone falls somewhere between Macklemore and Gorilla Zoe, though making such easy comparisons may seem a little lazy. “These Kids Throw Rocks” takes a little while to grow on you, but after a few listens, you’ll realize this one easily shines among the collection of singles we have today. We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Hayk, a 22 year old emcee hailing from Watertown, MA. An Armenian refugee, Hayks’ first two singles here serve as his comeback  to the rap game after being assaulted while promoting his mixtape in Boston three years ago. It’s a sad story that resulted in the young rapper having to get a metal plate inserted into his jaw, and he details his experiences in both “A Sad Song” and “Fly Away.”

Childish Major is proving to be one of the most gifted young producers out there, and he puts his raw talents on display once again with Nemo Achida‘s “Slave To The Wave.” Nemo is no slouch either, blessing the instrumental with his infectious, head-bopping flow. Last week we alluded to the possibility of Da YoungFellaz stretching their run in The Hip-Hop Dojo to three weeks straight. Well the duo heeded our calls by dropping “Welcome To NYC Part II,” which serves as a makeshift sequel to the Hov and Killa Cam classic. It would be fair to say they far exceeded our expectations with this one. With their latest collaboration, Sir Michael Rocks and Mac Miller look to introduce us to the “Madness” that accompanies life in the fast lane. Speaking of madness, Mac’s new single with Diplo is just about as crazy as it gets, as he spits over some blaring horns sampled from the song, “Bulgarian Chicks.” Diplo never ceases to amaze and perplex us. Our next piece comes from hard-hitting twosome Run The Jewels. Maybe it’s from all the Arrested Development I’ve been watching lately, but for some reason the title “Banana Clipper” instantly reminded me of this scene right here. THURZ provides a little fuel to all the Illuminati conspiracy buffs as he bodies the otherworldly beat on “ThirdEye.”

When Windy City representative Wonda says “Please Don’t Listen To This Song,” he’s being serious; he’d rather have you watch the music video instead. This certified banger’s visuals might be the most random you’ll witness all year, but that’s exactly why they add to the charm of the song, which doesn’t really take things too seriously. It’s almost freaky just how talented Wrekonize and Tech N9ne are as they absolutely eviscerate every instrumental they touch, this one included. We then take things over to The Kings Dead who seem to be settling in nicely to their new moniker bringing  us the cinematic cut, “Over Dinner.” Finally, we wrap things up with ScHoolboy who gets us ready for the party of a lifetime with “Hell Of A Night.” ScHoolboy’s upcoming major label debut, Oxymoron, is easily one of our most anticipated of the year.

We hope you guys enjoyed our eleventh edition of The Hip-Hop Dojo as much as we did! As always, you can send all submissions/suggestions to baseer@themusicninja.com.


Charlie Brown feat. Blu (prod. EOM)
Vic Mensa
Orange Soda
Kahali Oden
80 Proof Diaries (prod. by Willie Staxx)
King Jul
Big Boy Dialogue ft. The Dream
Al Fatir
One Mans Dream
Tito Lopez
Tryna Get On (feat. Jon Connor)
Joey Bada$$
Word Is Bond (Prod. Statik Selektah)
KRBL Rebel Radio
80D (Ft AtM,Lyrique, Ciej, Sixella Yoccum)
Witty Rock
Morning Breath
The Neighbourhood
West Coast
Martin $ky
TRACK 01 (Prod. by Knxledge)
Martin $ky
critiCALI (Prod. by Mndsgn)
Hodgy Beats
Gutta (Prod. Teddy Walton)
Raz Simone
These Kids Throw Rocks
Notes To Self
Recoil (Crimson)
Hayk x dFresh
A Sad Song (prod. EVO Productions)
Fly Away (prod. EVO Productions)
Nemo Achida
Slave To The Wave (Intro)
High Life (prod. by Luxury)
Tory Lanez
Fourteen & 40s (Prod. The Mekanics x Tory Lanez)
Da YoungFellaz
Welcome To NYC Part II (feat. Crome)
Sir Michael Rocks
Madness Feat. Mac Miller (Prod Syk Sense)
Mac Miller x Diplo
Run The Jewels
Banana Clipper feat Big Boi
ThirdEye (prod. by KHAN)
Please Dont Listen To This Song
Doley Bernays
Freak (Feat. Tech N9ne)
The Kings Dead
Over Dinner
ScHoolboy Q
Hell Of A Night (Prod. By DJ Dahi)
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TC – Get Down Low [FILTHY]


TC had Dog Blood premiere this track at Ultra this year. And to say the least this track live is a complete joke, as i discovered quickly seeing Dog Blood live at Coachella. Last night it also was played in Destroid‘s first ever set in San Francisco. No news yet on the release date but this massive DNB track is sure to get everyone’s feet moving. The vocal edits they do at 1:25 make the song for me, with a creepy whisper mixed with a clean and satisfying drop. Cheers.

Get Down Low (Original Mix)
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[Funky] Capital Cities – Farrah Fawcett Hair feat. Andre 3000 & Frank Tavares (of NPR)

Capital Cities - Farrah Fawcett Hair
Capital Cities
Farrah Fawcett Hair ft. André 3000 and narrated by Frank Tavares (of NPR)

Be prepared to hear the most random–and possibly the catchiest–song you’ll hear all year. Featuring the unlikely pairing of Outkast‘s Andre 3000 and NPR’s Frank Tavares, Capital Cities‘ funky new single is a wild ride chock full of pop culture references that includes Frank “narrating” throughout. I put narrating in quotation marks because it seems like they really just got him to say anything and everything they could possibly imagine–basically anything you couldn’t get away with on the radio. “Farrah Fawcett Hair” is a silly tune that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s completely fine, as we’re content with having a fun time right alongside it. To sum things up, “it’s good shit.”

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