[NEW] Future – I Won (Feat. Kanye West)

Future I Won
Future
I Won (Feat. Kanye West)

Judging by the title, you’d think this song would be the anthem for Shabazz Napier to rock in the UConn locker room tonight. However, this song is referring to whole different type of winning, as Future and Kanye West detail how they landed first place in the wifey contest (knotting Ciara and Kim Kardashian respectively). While we would never personally recommend referring to your significant others as trophies, we’re pretty certain guys like Yeezy and Future can get away with it fairly easily. While we would have appreciated a banger from these two, we can’t hate on them for wanting to get in touch with their romantic sides.

Stream the sentimental single above, and look out for Future’s upcoming album, Honest, set to drop later this month on April 22nd.

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Exclusive Interview with Vello Virkhaus, Founder of V Squared Labs

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While covering Ultra Music Festival in Miami last weekend, we had the opportunity to catch up with Vello Virkhaus, the founder of V Squared Labs (http://vsquaredlabs.com/project/ultra-worldwide/) and official VJ of Ultra since it’s inception. Mr. Virkhaus was recently named #35 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 50 people in EDM to date. What followed was a candid discussion about his past, present, and future projects, along with some of the more intimate details of how the amazing visual production at Ultra comes about.

TMN: Vello thank you so much for coming and speaking with us at The Music Ninja. Our readers are really interested to hear about what you’re doing and where you’re at. So first of all, how’d the show go today?

Vello: Everything is running really smoothly and it’s great to see the vortex come to life. I happen to love vortexes, they’re a personal favorite.

TMN: Now what do you mean by Vortex exactly?

Vello: As a visual artist, this stage. The designer who created it made it in kind of a radial array that recedes in space, so it has an effect that’s like a tunnel almost, which we call a vortex, or wormhole, which has a lot of movement. So it’s a really complicated surface and it’s awesome to see it mapped out. I’m really proud of our team this year. On an engineering and deployment level, we’re pretty small scale for a large festival like this, which has been good. We have more room in front of us, which is nice.

TMN: How did V Squared get started up?

Vello: I guess my first big entertainment project was with Korn in California. So Korn got me in to doing more concert visuals for rock bands…EDM actually lead to Korn, and then Korn went back to EDM so we’ve all been spinning in strange circles with people like J Devil coming out with his whole, evil-self, dubstep thing and being progressive. So it’s a nice circle. So we started there and it’s been growing slowly every year.

TMN: You have an art background correct? You went to Kansas City for a while I think?

Vello: One year there, and then I had my little rebellion, and then I moved to Chicago and went to the art institute there. So yeah I did my tenure, climbed the pole to my bachelors and then went in to post-production.

TMN: You had some other projects prior to V Squared as well?

Vello: Well, we really started in Ultra with Rabbit in the Moon. They were our first collaborators, and that brought me to Florida. And through Rabbit in the Moon, and Dave, and all the original people who were in this scene, they brought me to Ultra and brought OVT, our first company, in to do visuals. It’s been a cool growing process. So, from the beach to here, on the yacht, is like a time warp almost.
Continue reading

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[Hip-Hop] The Roots – When The People Cheer

When The People Cheer
The Roots
When The People Cheer

If you’re like us here at TMN, Mondays probably aren’t your favorite your day of the week. After a long day back on the grind, it’s surprises like this that really can make it all worth it.

As they get set for the release of their first LP in nearly three years, The Roots have decided to share with us the lead single from the project, “When The People Cheer.” Contrary from what you might perceive from the title, the song is far from celebratory. Pensive in nature, the track features Black Thought utilizing a more melodic flow to start, before switching to a quietly thoughtful, yet emphatically determined cadence after the chorus. This is all balanced by some rhythmic drums and refined piano work provided by ?uestlove and the rest of The Legendary Roots Crew.

While a song like this won’t necessarily move the needle, it’s great to know that the band can still produce quality music over 20 years into their respective careers. Keep your eyes peeled for The Roots’ next album,  And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, out via Def Jam on May 13th.

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[Hip-Hop] SZA – Babylon (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

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SZA
Babylon feat. Kendrick Lamar

Just a day away from the release of her debut album, SZA keeps the buzz high letting loose a track featuring her fellow Top Dawg Entertainment  signee Kendrick Lamar. “Babylon” fits nicely with the tracks we have already heard from the project as SZA displays her uniquely airy sound over mellow, but heavy instrumental from DJ Dahi, the producer of a number of recent hits including “My Type of Party.” As expected, Kendrick delivers an amazing verse delving into the themes of introspection and solitude initially introduced by SZA. Enjoy this track above and look for on iTunes tomorrow.

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[Electronic/Indie] Chrome Sparks – Goddess

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Chrome Sparks
Goddess

Brooklyn producer Jeremy Malvin, better known as Chrome Sparks, has released the first track off his upcoming EP Goddess. Having already released a series of EPs, the most recent being 2013’s Sparks, Malvin takes his latest title track through the cosmos and up into the heavens. Ethereal waves of electronic exploration build on a foundation of celestial synthscapes and astral beats that can only be described as sublime.

Goddess is available to pre-order on iTunes here.

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[Alternative] Cosmo Sheldrake – Solar

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Cosmo Sheldrake
Solar

Cosmo Sheldrake is a 24 year old producer from London. And a bloody good one at that. Solar is the B-Side to Cosmo’s debut single ‘The Moss’ and it’s about as bizarre as it is incredible – and believe you me, this song is off the incredible scale.

For me a lot of the reason I love this track so much is the weird and wonderful methods used to produce the otherworldly sounds you’re hearing. Sheldrake actually used the Sun as an instrument here. Thats right – the Sun.

In a technique known as ‘Stellar Seismology’, Cosmo used recordings of the Sun, manipulating the sounds to create something that is truly unique. I can safely say I’ve never heard any song before that was composed using the sounds of celestial bodies. It even seems bizarre that we’re talking about the Sun having a sound. But nope – there are producers out there so talented they can use something as seemingly ridiculous as space noise as an instrument. Go figure.

Compared to the Sun the other aspects of this song seem outright mundane. Which is silly considering that Solar also features field recordings of Ecuadorian flutes and the singing of the Aka Pygmy Tribes of Central America.

But that’s not all, to top it all off Cosmo recites a verse from ‘I Woke Up At The Dawn Of Day’ (a William Blake poem) in a bleak and ghostly tone that makes the hairs on the back of neck stand up. I love this song because when you take its individual components, there just seems to be no way it should come together at all. But it does, and it’s fantastic. Enjoy.

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Inky Jack – Freedom [TMN PREMIERE]

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Inky Jack
Freedom

As we prep ourselves for the craziness that is Coachella, we’re lost in a sea of interview questions, meeting coordination, and planning out both our poolside and after hours jams. Thankfully we have a new track to throw into the mix that seamlessly blends into either of those carefully selected playlists.

Culminating in a swirling blend of rock, reggae, electronica and punk influences, Brooklyn based Inky Jack has concocted a peculiar and overwhelmingly addictive sound with their song, “Freedom.” Blurring the lines between genres effortlessly, this tune carries a strong message through its lyrics. Coming via lead singer Kwame, these words are displayed through a truly one-of-a-kind vocal tone that is both refined and a little rough around the edges. He’s able to hit high notes in a soulful manner, calling on associations of CeeLo and Tunde Adebimpe from TV On the Radio.

Dipesh Sinha and Kwame Bulter (aka Inky Jack) have set quite the trajectory early on in their career. Their sound casts a wide net by the immense amount of genres it so fluently flirts with.

Make sure to keep an eye out for their EP, Infrared, which will be out later this year. Beyond that, don’t be surprised when you see this name on some major festivals next year. That time is drawing near for this stellar duo.

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