Author Archives: Geoffrey

[Hip/Hop] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

It’s far too common for a reviewer to claim that he’s discovered the next best thing.

I’m not doing that.

First of all, I can’t lay claim to being the first to hear him. The Seattle rapper has been releasing music since 2000, and since 2009 with producer Ryan Lewis. He’s gained the attention of mega-bookers The Agency Group and has accrued thousands of fans outside of his native Seattle.

Struggling with substance abuse has only made him a stronger artist. He released a track called “Otherside” that samples the Red Hot Chili Peppers track of the same name. The track, released under the name Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, was also remixed to feature Fences. I’m more partial to this version.

Ryan Lewis’ emotional instrumental acts as the score to Macklemore’s cinematic lyric. To be honest, it’s heart-wrenching, with more content and substance than any hip-hop song I’ve heard recently. And it’s not an exception in Macklemore’s catalogue. Songs like “The Town”, “Life is Cinema”, and the upcoming “Wings” are profound without being intimidatingly so.

It’s impossible to predict the whims of the music buying public, and I can’t assume that my taste is shared by millions. I’m not saying that Macklemore is going to be the next big thing. I’m just saying he should be.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Otherside

’Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Otherside’

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Otherside feat Fences Ryan Lewis Remix)

’Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Otherside feat Fences Ryan Lewis Remix)’

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Life Is Cinema

’Life is Cinema’
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[Hip/Hop] Gorilla Warfare Tactics – The Tale of Mr. Street

Gorilla Warfare Tactics are a New York hip-hop duo that previously released “Temptations”. That was a track that received amazing press, despite being the first track the internet at large had heard from the twosome.

This track is a ballad of an emcee that rises out of the street and follows him as he turns into an entertainment juggernaut. It could be Jay-Z, it could be Drake, it could be the members of Gorilla Warfare Tactics in a couple years. This track is the antithesis of the much criticized “money, cash, hoes” record. Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and even though GWT are very much rooted in traditional hip-hop, they’ve chosen to avoid direct imitation of their idols. Great lyrics, great beat, happy critic.

They released “The Tale of Mr. Street” in anticipation of their first EP they’re dropping this month. Stay tuned

Gorilla Warfare Tactics – The Tale of Mr. Street

’The Tale of Mr Street.mp3′
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[Hip/Hop] Big K.R.I.T. (Ft. Yelawolf) – Hometown Hero (Remix)

This song doesn’t hit it for me until the soul sample comes in. The juxtaposition between the 808 and the sample pull this track out of blandness. Big K.R.I.T. verses pass the muster until Yelawolf hijacks the track.

The Shady Record rapper’s distinctive southern accent and rapid fire lines shows his mastery of both the medium and the message. Given only one verse he gets the song to it’s most meaningful, rhyming: “instead of becoming a diamond-wearing novelty, I rock beads and buy my mama some property”.

Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf are two names to be excited about in 2011, and I’d jump at the chance to hear them both on the same track.

Big K.R.I.T. (Ft. Yelawolf) – Hometown Hero (Remix)

’Big K.R.I.T. (Ft. Yelawolf) – Hometown Hero (Remix)’

via P&P

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[Hip/Hop] Adele – Rolling In The Deep (Jamie xx Remix) feat. Childish Gambino

This delightful remix of British Soul Singer Adele’s “Rolling in The Deep” has been brought to us by Jamie XX of The XX.

If you’ve ever watched 30 Rock, you’ve already heard the words of Childish Gambino, who under his birth name of Donald Glover, is one of the show’s writers. He is a surprisingly capable MC on this song, showing up at almost three minutes into the song to bring it to a close.

The XX have won the Mercury Prize in the UK and Adele is a Grammy Winner. Childish Gambino, therefore, is the hidden gem in this song and possibly its greatest asset. Listen to the song and if it piques your interest as much as it did mine, check out Gambino’s free album “Culdesac” at

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[Hip/Hop] Papoose – 2010 Obituary

Papoose‘s 2010 Obituary could have easily have gone the route of the insincere. Instead it’s a calm recognition of the legitimate talents that were lost in 2010, much as 2010’s 2009 Obituary was for that year.

We’re used to hearing about dead celebrities in media, but hearing it from an artist, with woven-in personal connections, makes it so much more sincere than a Us Weekly article could have ever been. This is clearly not just celebrity worship.

Papoose raps smoothly over a poorly recorded acoustic guitar, but this was never intended to be a club banger anyways. It’s a mellow song that’s well worth the listen.

Papoose – 2010 Obituary

’2010 Obituary’
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Chris Brown – Look At Me Now feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne ( Produced by Diplo & Afrojack)

I’m not sure how I feel about Chris Brown rapping, so we’ll move on. I do love the beat that Diplo (Shakira, Robyn) and Afrojack cooked up for him. A deafening baseline coupled with quirky, slippery synth remind me very much of a Kardinall Offishall record. This is good.

The secret weapon of “Look At Me Know” is a ferocious verse from Busta Rhymes, who at times raps so densely that the listener gets light-headed. Lil Wayne chimes in on the track talking about God knows what. Both artists’ verses are well-suited to the track and sit in the beat perfectly.

This is a song that succeeds as an excellent track with stellar production, Chris Brown is there, but his contributions neither lift the track to glory nor spoil it. “Look at Me Now” is Chris Brown’s first single, drumming up support for his “F.A.M.E.” album, out in 2011.

Chris Brown — Look At Me Now feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne ( Produced by Diplo & Afrojack)

Look At Me Now”
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[Hip/Hop] Shawn Chrystopher – The Hangover

Shawn Chrystopher‘s “The Hangover” comes across as a sequel to Asher Roth’s 2009 hit “I Love College”. The protagonist wakes up and humorously recounts all the preceding night’s misadventure as he comes to the conclusion that “I feel like I shouldn’t done that”. Shawn’s lazy flow fits the songs vibe perfectly.

Shawn is one of the new breed of young starts that have achieved a fair amount of notoriety already without the use of traditional media. He’s already released two mixtapes through his website, and has garnered attention from Shaquille O’neil to clothing label LRG.

Check out this track and more at His new album is also available for FREE starting today here.

Shawn Chrystopher – The Hangover

’The Hangover’
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