The Hip-Hop Dojo [Vol. 8]

TMN Hip Hop Dojo 2

While last week’s playlist managed to keep things on the lighter side in preparation for the summer, this week’s load is a bit heavier. Featuring a wide array of crafty wordsmiths and lyrical masterminds, the eight edition of the Hip-Hop Dojo is bound to get your head nodding and your mind racing. While I won’t be elaborating on every track this week, please note that we do have quite a bit of diversity in this group. Most of the names on this list should be familiar to you already, but there are a few newcomers this time around too.

First off, we’d like to welcome you to “Get Inspired” by 16 year-old rap phenom, AkonoMiles. Over a soulful sample of James Brown‘s “Sunny“, the eager young emcee shows us he knows just how to have fun, while also displaying skills far beyond his years. Another new name to the mix is Nike Nando, who lets us know exactly why he’s not one to be messed with. The SAVEMONEY crew makes a return this week as well, providing a brand new song “For The People.” This was definitely a stellar week for Chitown’s Thelonious Martin, who put his production skills to the test on a multitude of different tracks, including Naledge‘s “Arthur Agee Freestyle” and Alex Wiley‘s “Icky Woods.”  

The title of this week’s most unique sound might go to Weekend Money, as Ne$$ tries to exorcise his inner “Demons” over some creepy, lurching production courtesy of BaghdaddyA-1 might have the strongest track in this week’s lineup though, with “Summertime Sadness.” Spitting over the Ryan Hemsworth remix to the Lana Del Rey single of the same name, A-1 takes the song’s title to heart, highlighting the spike in violence that occurs in Oakland as a result of the scorching heat of the summer. On “Ol’ Skool Pontiac,” Jeremih tries his hand at the rap game, opting for a more chopped and screwed, Houston sound alongside Big Sean and Paul Wall. We’ve got a few more bangers right beside that one as well with A.J. Crew‘s “Don’t Ask Me (Crafty)” and “Hate Me On The Low” from Tory Lanez2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa bring us the theme song for Fast & Furious 6,  with “We Own It,” a song that seems more appropriate for Eminem and 50 Cent circa 2005. Finally, we end things off with Yonas, who invites us to “Feel The Love” over a sample of Rudimental‘s single of the same name.

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

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL THE FREE TRACKS

Dessy Hinds
P.E.nlightenment (Prod. Backpack)
Akono Miles
Get Inspired
Willie The Kid
Mainstream Freestyle
Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire
Noble Drew Ali
Nike Nando
Wrath Of A God
Kami de Chukwu & Tokyo Shawn
For the People (Prod. Thelonious Martin)
Naledge
Arthur Agee Freestyle (Prod. Thelonious Martin)
Alex Wiley
Icky Woods featuring Action Bronson (Prod. Thelonious Martin)
Tito Lopez
Diamonds & Whips (Feat. Trae Tha Truth & Jameel)
Jon Connor
Michigan $h*t Feat. Royce Da 59
Slaughterhouse
House Gang
Havoc
Favorite Rap Stars (ft. Styles P & Raekwon)
SIN
Eye For An Eye
Weekend Money
Demons
A1
Summertime Sadness (Prod. Ryan Hemsworth)
Andrew Milicia x F. Virtue x Juan Deuce x Falside x DJ Emoh
Stickers
Jeremih
Ol Skool Pontiac Feat. Big Sean, Paul Wall
A.J. Crew
Dont Ask Me (Crafty)
Tory Lanez
Hate Me On The Low
2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa
We Own It (Fast & Furious)
Emilio Rojas
Make A Move Ft. Emanny
Yonas
Feel The Love
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Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right feat. Panda Bear [Preview]

This is preview gives you a glimpse into one of the many disco anthems that Daft Punk is going to drop on May 21st. As we creep closer to one of most anticipated albums in the last few years, we can only expect to hear some leaks here and there. This one is a clip of the collaboration of Panda Bear and Daft Punk, and this short and sweet clip displays some disco infused funk that is sure to be a hit. Cheers.

Daft Punk
Doin It Right feat. Panda Bear (Preview)

via Neighbors Hate Us

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[Get Crunk] Clayton’s Friday Party Playlist #51

tomhanks

Holy shit, ninjas! We can’t believe it. A week from today will mark a full year of party playlists. It seems like just yesterday we were lining up shots, talking about how there’s a lack of solid party music collections on the interwebs. Here we are today. Our livers aren’t as grateful as our ears, but we don’t care. You know why? Because it’s the weekend, and it’s time to get down. You’ve worked your ass off, and we appreciate it. So, here’s yet another tasty selection of rage inducing tracks that will please your ears, legs, and desire to light the weekend up.

#danceirresponsibly

Gravis Mashup
Drop The Lights Down Low
Usher
YEAH (David A Remix Feat. TB1)
Gravis Mashup
Taito x Stronger
Knife Party
LRAD (Candylands OG Remix)
NIRVANA
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (DIRTY DISCO YOUTH REMIX)
Bailey Smalls
Trouble (Original Mix)
Youre Gonna Stereo Love (Leo Laurettis Bootleg)
NERVO & Avicii Feat. Vika Jigulina
Dirty Disco Youth & Dumme Jungs
Uncle Sam
Vicetone ft. Collin McLoughlin
Heartbeat (Xristo Remix)
Lana Del Rey
Young & Beautiful (Myndset Remix)
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[TMN PREMIERE] Double Cream – Tripoli (Michael Woods ReMaster)

double cream tripoli artwork
Double Cream
Tripoli (Michael Woods ReMaster)

After our trip to Miami, we developed an even deeper affinity for Michael Woods. We’ve seen him grace the decks before, and we’ve always been impressed. We’ve heard release after release of his, and always been impressed. However, getting to sit down and talk with Michael at length outside of his party with Chris Lake in Miami made us appreciate him as an artist even more.

With that being said, we were ecstatic when we were asked to premiere a preview of “Tripoli.” Newcomers Double Cream are making their debut on Michael’s label, Diffused Music, with this tune. The infectious and energetic festival anthem was remastered by Michael, and features gorgeous synths and massive drops. One listen through, and you’ll be dancing your way into the weekend.

“Tripoli” is out May 13th via Diffused. Mark your calendar.

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[Post Punk] Weekend – Mirror

130403-weekend-jinx
Weekend
Mirror

Not my usual album review here, but I liked this single that came across my inbox. “Mirror” begins with some ambient sound and marches into an effective mix of distortion, simple percussion and a driving baseline, setting the stage for a dreamy guitar and vocals. The tune grows more complex and triumphant as it goes along, leaving the listener satisfied.

The song has a little bit of an 80′s feel, but this happens organically and isn’t sought after, in my view. A grittier, modern version of The Police was my initial impression. Anyway, check this single out here!

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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Sub Focus Interview

subfocus
Sub Focus
'Endorphins' feat. Alex Clare (Preview)

There’s no doubt that every genre within the blanket term “EDM” has blown up over the past few years. New artists seemingly pop up every day producing amazing music. In the midst of new artists that people struggle to recall in the back of their minds, acting as if they could recall them all, lies a few that everyone should rightfully know. Sub Focus is one of those. That name, is a household name in every bass fiends mind.

When we cruised down to Miami in March, we had an interview set up with the legendary producer/DJ. Unfortunately the craziness of Ultra and WMC got the best of both of us, and we were never able to cross paths. Thankfully we have the internet at our behest, and we were able to still get a virtual sit down with this legendary artist. So, without further adieu, here’s Sub Focus:

TMN: It is really an honor to be able to interview you today. Our blog started in 2009 and we remember distinctly how much we enjoyed ‘Sub Focus’, your self-titled debut album. A lot has drastically changed bass driven music, give us your thoughts on the current scene of Dubstep and Drum&Bass music and where do you see it going in the next couple of months?

SF: I feel like that time was the early days of producers like us making multi-genre electronic/bass music. Its been really cool to see that movement continue.
Its always hard to predict where it’s going but I think we are starting to see a reaction away from the more noisy maximalist side of the music into sparser more spacey material. The rise of trap and deep house is an example of this movement in the music.

TMN: One of our favorite tracks last year has to be without a doubt, “Out The Blue” featuring the amazing vocals of Alice Gold. Any plans to collaborate with her again, can you tell us a little more about any upcoming releases you have set for this year?

SF: I haven’t made any more songs with Alice, but we may well get in the studio again at some point, I love the way our collab came out. My next single ‘Endorphins’ features Alex Clare, and is due out on May 12th, then I have another single coming out shortly before my album due in late Summer. I am in the finishing stages of my album at the moment so am doing lots of last minute sessions and all nighters at the moment to get it done right.

TMN: Your live performances continue to evolve and get ever more technical, they are absolutely amazing. What has been the biggest challenge in putting everything together?

SF: Thanks – it’s been a big technical challenge putting it all together and obviously I have a lot of talented people working with me to make it happen. One of the biggest challenges was putting together an audio setup that allows me to do all the things I have wanted to. I had motion sensors custom made for the show – so I can control sounds by moving my hands through air. I also had bespoke software made that I use on iPads for editing the sound and making beats from scratch on the fly. A lot of the technology for playing electronic music live is so new that I am constantly updating the live gear I use.

TMN: We know you enjoy producing on stage, and not just playing back your tracks for set. Can you tell us more about this process and the kind of software you use on the fly?

SF: I have covered some of the hardware above but software-wise it is as follows: For my live sets I use Ableton Live and some bespoke patches I have that run on the Lemur platform for iPad. Within Live I have a very complicated project running the individual parts of my songs with some of the synths (Like NI’s Massive synth for example) playing live so I can vary the parts on the fly. I also play parts, trigger fx, re-edit samples and re-do beats all within the software using keyboards, iPads, drum pads and more.

TMN: Walk us through your creative process, what tends to come first the melody? The rhythm? and on average what is the life cycle of a Sub Focus production?

SF: The inspiration for a song can come in lots of different ways, but I think my best material comes from ‘the inspired route’ – where I have an almost fully formed concept for a tune or a distinct melody idea in my head and I work on it until it is done. Other times an idea might come when just messing around but the best ideas come more fully formed. I spend a lot of time trawling the internet for inspiration and ideas for new concepts for tracks.

TMN: In your long and illustrious career, you’ve played all over the world. What are some of your highlights?

SF: There have been a lot of very memorable gigs – Glastonbury 2010 when I played with my first live show was a real highlight, my current residency at Amnesia in Ibiza has been great as its been an ambition of mine for a while to do that. The first EDC in Vegas in 2011 was also great, there are too many to mention really.

TMN: Have you ever had a moment in your career where you’ve stepped back and said, “Oh shit” at something that just happened?

SF: Probably doing my first official remix for The Prodigy back in 2005 – a couple of months before that I had just finished college then my career started to take off.

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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Q & A with BETS

BETS
betsmusic
Rooftop Lover

BETS stole our hearts and ears with her release of the quirky single, “Rooftop Lover.” If you haven’t heard it yet, you’re missing out. Her unique tone pairs perfectly with the lazy strumming on the track, creating a overwhelmingly enjoyable indie pop jam. After hearing this song ad nauseam (it was quite the favorite here at the office) we decided that we wanted to know more about the woman behind this longing rooftop wanderer. So, we fired over some questions to get to know her better.

TMN: Hello BETS! Thank you so much for taking some time to answer some questions for us. As a newcomer to the scene, we know a lot of our readers would like to get to know you better!‬

BETS: Hi! Thanks for having me.

TMN: First up, why don’t you tell us how you got into music. Did your parents encourage you as a child, or was it something you were just interested in personally?

BETS: I definitely was encouraged as a child to be creative. We didn’t have a TV growing up, so instead we did things like draw, make music and run around inventing things –pretty unheard of in this day and age. I also come from a very artistic family, so I think it was the combination of those things that definitely ignited the spark in me to create things and to be an artist.

TMN: When was the turning point in your life where you had the confidence to know you wanted to be fully involved as a singer?

BETS: I always dreamed of being a singer, but it’s only very recently that I got the courage to step out onto the stage. I’ve been writing poems and songs and singing since I was a teenager, but I always kept it to myself. It was my own little secret. Somewhere along the line I realized I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I just wasn’t going to die happy without music being my life.

TMN: How many instruments do you play? Do you have one that you gravitate more than the others?

BETS: I don’t play any instruments, but I wish I played ALL instruments. I do own a few though with high hopes…so you never know! Oh, and I love bass in a big way.

TMN: You’re currently splitting your time between NY and LA. What’s the reasoning behind that?

BETS: That’s really something that happened rather than being something that was planned. I moved to LA from Brooklyn 3 years ago, but I go back and forth so often for work & family stuff that really I just live between the two. For music, it seems perfect actually and I love both cities too much to let one go…for now.

TMN: If it were solely based on food alone, which city would you rather live in?

BETS: LA for the healthy fresh food, NY for the restaurants and falafel…see, I’m torn.

TMN: Let’s ask another food based question. If you were on Death Row, what would your last meal be?

BETS: Artichokes, greek salad, and my famous homemade ice cream cake.

TMN: Your voice is just as unique as some of the instrumentation on your record, who are other female singers you look up to or enjoy listening to?

BETS: Why, thank you! I love listening to old school stuff…people like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin. Grew up listening to a ton of oldies, so I guess it stuck.

TMN: We absolutely loved “Rooftop Lover”. It was definitely on repeat at TMN HQ for quite some time. What was your inspiration behind that song?

BETS: I wrote that tune because I would always go with my girlfriend and songwriting partner, Christina O’Connor, to make music on a roof in Hollywood and I started calling us “the rooftop lovers” and then decided to write a song about it. It became a love song… don’t they all.

TMN: Name three musicians you would love to collaborate with in the future.

BETS: Oh, so many! Would love to do musical collaborations with Haim, Lykke Li, and The National. And while I’m making wishes, I’d also like to collaborate with Lena Dunham on something creative someday, please.

TMN: This one is a little off the wall, but we always love hearing what people have to say. If your music were an animal, what would it be?

BETS: If my music was an animal it would be a Bali Bird of Paradise… or just a puppy dog named Bear.

TMN: Ok, one last one for fun. If you were stuck on a deserted island with only one musicians catalogue of music, who would it be and why?

BETS: I’d be stuck with the Beatles catalogue (for obvious reasons) and some coconut water.

TMN: Alright, thanks so much for the virtual sit down! Feel free to talk about anything else you’d like to share with our readers at this time.”

BETS: All I want to say is thanks to all the listeners for helping me leave my secret songwriting life behind, I love you all. Lots of exciting new songs, videos and shows coming this summer so stay in touch here: www.betsmusic.com xx

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