Out of Chicago’s melting pot of Hip Hop flavors comes a heavenly new Noname Gypsy song called “All I Need.” Featuring SPZRKT, the song will receive placement on her new Telefone project. Enjoy the mellow vibes below on Soundcloud.
As fans await Mick Jenkins‘ new album, The Healing Component, the Chicago rapper appeases them with three new tracks: “Grenade Theory,” “$3,000 Advice” and “On The Map.” The latter is a delightfully smooth and Jazzy cover of a Sensei Blue Track song with BADBADNOTGOOD. Stream all three below and enjoy Mick’s vast range.
Santigold is back with her latest single from her upcoming 99 ¢ents. Set to drop February 26, the album will mark her third studio effort since 2012’s Master of My Make-Believe. Known for her eclectic style, the video for “Chasing Shadows” showcases her vibrant aesthetic in a playfully domestic Christmas setting. Watch the video below.
After Kanye West dropped his Madlib-assisted “No More Parties in LA” with Kendrick Lamar on G.O.O.D. Friday, Freddie Gibbs decided to kill two birds with one stone murdering the track and also reuniting with his Piñata producer. Listen to his version called “Cocaine Parties in LA” by clicking here.
TDE‘s Isaiah Rashad has made quite a name for himself with projects like Cilvia Demo and has left his fans waiting for new material since dropping “Nelly” in September. His new joint,”Smile,” provides and easygoing vibe that is nicely juxtaposed with pungent bars and appears to be slated to be on his upcoming project. Listen to the song courtesy of Youtube below.
Check out the ominous unreleased Ab-Soul track with King Rich called “House of Sin” courtesy of production group Pakk Music Group. Rumored to be a leftover from 2014’s These Days…, Soulo and Rich body the track without a chorus. Listen to the intriguing song below.
Take a trip down memory lane as Cam’ron reminisces over his lengthy career in his new video “U Wasn’t There.” Watch him channel Kanye West‘s “Through the Wire” visuals and hear him touch on his relationship with Big L and Ma$e over soulful production below.
Surprises and memorable moments were definitely in store for the hundreds of Lupe Fiasco devotees that filled Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre Monday night. The Chicago rapper not only catered to the fans by performing a dazzling mix of his most beloved material, but he also unexpectedly made a guest appearance joining opener Billy Blue for “Chopper” before his actual set began.
After standing through a melodic set from Boy Illinois, Lupe greeted the audience as he stood in front of a 1940s style microphone before opening with the poetic “Mural.” More material off of his latest album, Tetsuo & Youth, was performed including “Little Death” (with Nikki Jean and a live trumpet player), “Dots and Lines” and “Prisoner 1.”
The DJ soon cued a plethora of audio snippets of journalists and admirers naming their favorite Lupe songs. As each one was cited, cheers ensued as he executed the first verse of each track with vigor and enthusiasm. Album cuts dated all the way back to his first two albums (“The Coolest,” “American Terrorist,” “Hurt Me Soul,” “Go Go Gadget Flow”) and his well-known singles (“Daydreaming,”, “Paris, Tokyo,” “Superstar,” “Kick, Push”) were met with hardcore fans rapping along bar for bar.
Halfway through his performance, the beat for his freshly released track “Next To It” featuring Ty Dolla $ign dropped. Like clockwork, the R&B crooner lit up the venue as he jumped on stage to sing its hook and also treated the crowd to a taste of his hit “Blasé.”
Perhaps even more surprising was the fact that Lu did his breakthrough “Touch the Sky” verse and unselfishly performed songs off Lasers, an album he has notoriously despised so much that he attempted to destroy every copy in existence.
As he closed with “The Show Goes On” and revealed that he added his LA tour date last minute, fans left more than satisfied and reminded of how Lupe’s decade-deep discography has stood the test of time.
Dr. Dre is known for breaking praised artists like Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. Now Anderson Paak -heard last year on Compton – is finally shining in his own spotlight. The well-executed, Funk-filled second studio album, Malibu, by the R&B singer features ScHoolboy Q, The Game, BJ the Chicago Kid, Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, 9th Wonder, and DJ Khalil. Listen below.
After teasing the world with the Madlib produced “No More Parties in LA” on G.O.O.D. Friday last week, Kanye West drops the full version, which features him and Kendrick Lamar ripping the soulful track together. Listen to the song entire below via Soundcloud.
Erykah Badu has become quite fond of remakes lately. After dropping her own version of Drake‘s “Hotline Bling,” she spontaneously recorded a cover of Kanye West‘s “Real Friends” that also interpolates Whodini‘s classic “Friends.” According to her Soundcloud, “Trill Friends” will be on her forthcoming mixtape called THIS $h!t TOO EASY. Listen below.
Check out the thought-provoking new track from Blakface & SeanWyze featuring a verse from one of Detroit’s finest, Guilty Simpson. Produced by $in, the upbeat production “On The Edge” features a striking lyrical exercise that will be on their upcoming album, The Time Ahead, set to release on Feb 2.
Yesterday, Kim Kardashian announced that Kanye West would be bringing G.O.O.D. Fridays back. Today, he dropped a new track “Real Friends” with Ty Dolla $ign and a snippet of “No More Parties in LA” featuring Kendrick Lamar. According to his Twitter, the intro is produced by Ye/track by Madlib. Listen to both below.
Grammy nominated rapper Big Sean recounts his 2015 success with a celebratory track called “What a Year.” Featuring Pharrell and Detail, the track is produced by the latter, Bobby Johnson, Frank Dukes, Maneesh and Amaire Johnson. Listen to the song below on SoundCloud.
2015 was such a great year for music that I ended up writing about way too many albums that resonated with me. Here is my list of personal favorites in no particular order.
Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth
His best work in years, Lupe‘s masterpiece divided into four seasons includes clever punchlines and discusses social issues accompanied by a medley of instruments including violins and atypical banjos.
Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
Dedicated to society’s fixation with cell phones, Ms. Badu analyzes their affect on relationships over futuristic Funk on a project sparked by Drake‘s “Hotline Bling.”
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Already earning countless accolades including 11 Grammy nominations, Kendrick documents his battles with inner demons while exposing racial inequality and promoting Black pride on a unique fusion of Jazz and Funk.
Logic – The Incredible True Story
A space travel concept album that takes place in the future makes an intriguing listen filled with rapid-fire flows and stellar production influenced by Yeezy, Outkast and golden era Hip Hop.
The Internet – Ego Death
The mature and developed effort by the former Odd Future act wows longtime and new fans with Grammy-nominated sensual and airy R&B melodies.
Phony Ppl – Yesterday’s Tomorrow
The nine member band exhibit alluring and state-of-the-art instrumentation that dazzles on this mellow Jazz, Hip Hop and R&B laced work.
Tyler, The Creator – Cherry Bomb
Tyler showcases a vast range of beautiful production (based on his favorite musical genres) that includes strings, electric guitars and xylophones as he encourages listeners to soar to new heights.
Freddie Gibbs – Shadow of a Doubt
Gangsta Gibbs displays bold versatility on a hard as steel album that touches on old drug habits and features unexpected guests like Gucci Mane.
Kali Uchis – Por Vida EP
Kali‘s candy coated voice perfectly complements this well-executed smooth and nostalgic R&B album that sounds like it escaped from the 60s.
Travis $cott – Rodeo
A dark and melodic ode to indulging in libations and the Hollywood lifestyle, Rodeo channels elements of his mentor’s most influential album – 808s and Heartbreak.
Dr. Dre – Compton
Dr. Dre‘s return to Hip Hop brings Compton to life with a rich and pictorial West Coast soundtrack assisted by both legends and newcomers.
Mick Jenkins – Wave[s]
Mick Jenkins urges present day society to seek more truth and provides listeners with awe-inspiring bars and overall good vibes.
A$AP Rocky – A.L.L.A.
A kaleidoscopic and experimental approach to his sophomore effort finds Flacko not only rapping over organs and guitars, but harmonizing on tracks from time to time.
Puff Daddy – MMM
Puffy and his formerly absent Family make sure the hustler’s spirit lives on thanks to his latest gem dedicated to Money Making Mitch from Paid in Full.
Pusha T – Darkest Before Dawn
Dense lyricism and an unconventional assortment of first-class beats compose an album so resplendent it is sure to pique fans’ interest in 2016‘s King Push.
Tame Impala – Currents
Tame Impala‘s third studio album filled with colorful psychedelia will have you floating on feel-good notes perfect for mood lifting or scenic drives.
Snoop Dogg and Pharrell – Bush
Snoop and Pharrell team up to create 1970s inspired grooves that pay homage to some of California’s finest assets: women, weed, and weather.
Miguel – Wildheart
Miguel‘s sexy collection of love songs is fiery and well-produced, yet also manages to simultaneously emit honesty and rawness.
After coppping GOLF merch and filing into hidden Orange County gem, The Observatory, fans escaped the cold with a rare late night appearance by former Odd Future frontman, Tyler, The Creator. “It’s passed my bedtime and shit. Half of y’all got school tomorrow,” he announced around midnight.
As hands vigorously strummed air guitars on the screen behind him, he engaged in a performance of “Deathcamp” so explosive, he had to take a moment to catch his breath and admitted to almost fainting as he peeled off two jackets. He kept the audience riled up delving into well-known cult classics “Tron Cat,” “Sam (Is Dead),” and “Domo 23,” but also mellowed things out with “Bimmer,” “She” and “IFHY” as the vibrant music video played in the background.
Light on his new material, the most notable track performed off of Cherry Bomb was “Smuckers” due to a richly orchestrated intro not heard on the album. Between beatboxing into “Jamba” and berating the audience for requesting “Bitch Suck Dick,” he was handed a ring of lost keys and a license. After reading the name on the ID and finally locating its owner, he proclaimed, “You irresponsible. You need to learn a lesson,” before thrusting it back into the endless abyss of people.
Taking a moment to acknowledge Jasper Dolphin‘s birthday, the audience sang to him before begging him to do a celebratory backflip. The unexpected highlight of the show was during “Yonkers” when tourmate A$AP Rocky stepped out to make a cameo chanting “Golf Wang” as admirers shrieked with delight.
Closing with the bass-heavy “Tamale,” Tyler caused an all-out frenzy until Taco cued “Keep Da O’s” from the DJ booth. After revealing he’d be taking a hiatus from performing, he wished the crowd a “beautiful fuckin’ Christmas” and walked off shirtless in his trademark Vans.
Pusha T recently shared his latest track “M.F.T.R.” (More Famous Than Rich) with The Dream. Off of his upcoming album, Darkness Before Dawn, the song was debuted by the new president of G.O.O.D. Music himself on Zane Lowe. Listen below.
“I’m really setting this album to be possibly the pinnacle album of my career,” Rick Ross expressed earlier this year in an interview. With two mixtapes Black Dollar and Renzel Remixes under his belt this year, Rozay finally drops Black Market and has features galore including Nas, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Future, and Chris Brown. Stream the album below.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Kid Cudi‘s new album, Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven. Self-described as “Alternative” instead of Hip Hop, the album is a far cry from his galactic production laced with melodies and rhythmic bars. His latest creation is a harsh, cutting edge punk rock hodgepodge filled with guitars and angst. Listen to the experimental project below via Spotify.
Curren$y has kept busy grinding this year dropping three projects including Even More Saturday Night Car Tunes, Cathedral, and Pilot Talk III. His latest, Canal Street Confidential, boasts features from from Future, Lil’ Wayne, Lloyd, August Alsina, Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa. Stream the entire 13-track project below.
With the anticipation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Otaku Gang (Richie Branson and Solar Slim) mashes up The Notorious B.I.G.‘s lyrics over John Williams’ iconic score. The result is an interstellar masterpiece not to be missed. Stream and enjoy the entire project below via Soundcloud. Download it here.
Want to know what it’s like when Nicki Minaj surprises a 600-capacity venue in LA? Click the link below to read my article and get all the details.
PRhyme (Royce Da 5’9″ and DJ Premier) drops another song off of the deluxe edition of their self-titled debut. The MF Doom and Phonte collaboration “Highs & Lows” is a satisfying blend of high-grade bars. Out December 11, expect new material with Logic, Joey Bada$$ and Black Thought. Listen below.
Inspired by Drake, Erykah Badu‘s mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone, (which features a cover of his hit “Hotline Bling” ) is finally out for your listening pleasure. Reflecting on the impact of cellular devices and relationships, the sensual production is groovy, yet more modern and futuristic than her other projects. References to Usher‘s “U Don’t Have to Call” and New Edition‘s “Mr. Telephone Man” perfectly complement the album’s theme, but the standout track boasts her ex Andre 3000 on the otherworldly finale “Hello.”
Listen to the entire album here.
Rick Ross is back with a new CalvoDaGr8-produced single called “One of Us” featuring Nas. Set to appear on his new album, Black Market, out on Dec 4, he announced that features on the album will also include Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, and Future. Listen to the new cut below.
As one half of one of Hip Hop’s most praised duos, UGK, the late legend Pimp C is accompanied by Juicy J and Nas on “Friends.” Their interpolation of TLC’s “What About Your Friends” will appear on his third posthumous album, Long Live the Pimp, due out December 4. Listen to the track below via Soundcloud.
Logic‘s debut album, Under Pressure, wowed many, and his follow-up, The Incredible True Story successfully accomplishes that same. The space narrative takes place far in the future among an engaging assortment of beats and flows that borrow cues from golden era Hip Hop, 808s and Heartbreaks and Outkast. Enjoy the masterpiece below.
Newly named president of G.O.O.D. Music, Pusha T, is back with his new single “Untouchable.” Produced by Timbaland, the track lives up to its name with its lyrical bounty and a Biggie sampled beat. Look out for the song on his highly anticipated sophomore solo album, King Push. Listen below.
Update: Watch the newly released video below.
460. Lil’ Wayne once arrived to a party late and got scolded by Stevie Wonder for talking during his piano performance. (2:33 mark)
459. 50 Cent moved from the bedroom in his grandmother’s house directly into Mike Tyson’s old mansion after the success of Get Rich or Die Tryin‘.1
458. The Gucci pair of flip flops Future raps about on “Thought It Was a Drought” were borrowed by his grandmother and were never returned.2
457. Aaliyah was supposed to be in the The Matrix Reloaded.3
456. Growing up, Method Man played 4 years of lacrosse and 5 years of football.4
455. Wu-Tang was slang for Olde English in RZA‘s Stapleton neighborhood & he used it as inspiration for the Clan’s name.5
454. Nas‘ Stillmatic was recorded in LA, the Bahamas, Atlanta and was finished in NY. (4:18 mark)
453. The Neptunes recorded Jay Z‘s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” and “Southern Hospitality” the same night.6
452. Travis $cott‘s “Maria I’m Drunk” came about after Justin Bieber Facetimed him from Hawaii hoping to work together.7
451. Nate Dogg stated he never walked into Death Row studio without a gun and saw someone get their ass beat at least once a week. (29:45 mark and 29:51 mark)
As a teen poet who did most of her writing at Harold Washington Library, Chicago rapper Noname Gypsy bumped into the then unknown Chance the Rapper. Now in her early 20s, she has been making waves appearing on Chance’s Acid Rap and Surf. Listen to her latest heartfelt track “Open Apology” with Saba below.
Love has been terribly unkind to Eminem over the years. Read on to discover the evolution of Eminem’s most honest and personal songs about love and heartbreak over the past few decades.
The Game of Love
In his early days, Em touched on relationships and breakups with these two songs from his first solo effort.
Eminem feat. Eye-Kyu – “Searchin’” (Infinite, 1996)
The only true Hip Hop love song of his career features a 24-year-old Em romantically gushing, “I got some game that I’m preparing to run/The way your lips sparkle and glare in the sun.” This is a rare gem that doesn’t result in anguish or violence.
Eminem – “Jealousy Woes II” (Infinite, 1996)
Em vents about a money-hungry girl who leaves him for another man. “Leaving me in sorrow, Brandy never felt so brokenhearted/I fell apart when you departed,” he vents.
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATL6FCtvDpc
Hip Hop music, concerts and events in and around Los Angeles.
Read my interview with the Bay Area legend E-40 here:
Read about how I defended Eminem as a teenager and eventually got the opportunity to meet him after creating my own fan site:
Update: Will now be adding landmarks on a national scale as time permits.
Map of Hip Hop landmarks in LA.