Blu feat. Sene, Definite & Cashus King – “Thriller”

LA artist Blu dropped his double LP Good To Be Home  last year, and now he’s releasing a limited-edition 12″ vinyl of its single “The Return.”  It also includes the following exclusive bonus cut called “Thriller” featuring Sene, Definite and Cashus King.  Check out the lyrical  medley via SoundCloud.

Video: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

After performing the uplifting track at the 2015 BET Awards on top of a cop car, Kendrick Lamar drops his video for “Alright.”  The Pharrell-produced track is off of the critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly, which dropped in March.  Watch the visuals filmed throughout Los Angeles and Oakland below.

Pharrell Williams – “Freedom”

Since captivating the world with his ubiquitous hit “Happy” and dropping his G  I  R  L album last year, Pharrell Williams returns with a powerful new song called “Freedom.”  After debuting the track at Pinkpop, the official version has now been made available to the mainstream.  The video can be watched exclusively on the newly launched Apple Music here.

(0:40 mark)

EP Stream: Jean Grae – iSweaterGawd

Check out the recently released iSweaterGawd EP by rapstress Jean Grae.   Later this month, Brooklyn MC also plans on dropping her Saix EP.  The track list is posted below:

  1. Crux
  2. Looking Free f. Quelle Chris
  3. Falling Down
  4. Maybe f. Quelle Chris
  5. 38 Special f. Tanya Morgan
  6. August 20th

Puff Daddy feat. Pharrell – “Finna Get Loose” (CDQ) & BET Awards Performance

Last night, Puff Daddy debuted his new track with Pharrell Williams during a historic Bad Boy performance with Ma$e, Lil’ Kim and Faith Evans at the BET Awards.  CDQ of the catchy comeback song produced by P is now available.  Listen to “Finna Get Loose” courtesy of AudioMack.

Stream the performance here.

puffbet

Video: OverDoz. feat. Pharrell Williams – “Last Kiss”

Watch the colorful new video from LA group OverDoz. called “Last Kiss” featuring vocals and production by Pharrell Williams.  The funky cut is perfect for summer and can be found on their upcoming, 2008, which will also feature beats by Clams Casino.

The Game feat. Drake – “100”

Listen to the new Game and Drake song called “100” from Game’s  Documentary 2. The track was produced by Cardo and Johnny Juliano and will likely be one of Game’s most successful tracks in recent memory.   The sequel to 2005’s Documentary was originally set as June 30, but is currently unannounced.

Jay Rock – “Money Trees Deuce”

Listen to the new Jay Rock track called “Money Trees Deuce” produced by Flippa.  TDE’s AnthonyTop Dawg” Tiffith debuted the track tweeting, “yall been on my head for this…here ya go.”   According to MixedByAli‘s Instagram, Jay Rock’s new album is currently being mixed and will be dropping soon.

Videos: Big Sean – “All Your Fault” feat. Kanye West & “I Know” feat. Jhene Aiko

Big Sean dropped videos to two tracks off of his latest album, Dark Sky Paradise, which debuted at No. 1 in February.  “All Your Fault” features a performance with Kanye West while “I Know” with Jhene Aiko showcases the elderly couple having the time of their lives. Check out both below.

Album Stream: King Los – God, Money, War

After teaming up with R. Kelly for “Glory to the Lord,”Baltimore MC King Los drops his solid, new project called God, Money, War.  The album features Ty Dolla $ign and Isaiah Rashad with production from Da Internz and mentor Diddy.  His official LP is expected to drop late 2015 or early 2016.

Album Stream: Thundercat – The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam

After dropping his latest single “Them Changes,” bassist and R&B crooner Thundercat drops the follow-up to Apocalypse called The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam.  The mini album, co-produced by Flying Lotus, can be streamed via Spotify.

Album Stream: Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

Due out June 30, you can now stream Long Beach rapper Vince Staples‘ first studio album entitled Summertime ’06.  The 20-track double album was executive produced by No I.D. and contains beats from DJ Dahi and Clams Casino as well.   Stream the new record below.

staple

 

Album Stream: Skyzoo – Music For My Friends

Brooklyn rapper Skyzoo drops his 3rd LP, Music For My Friends, an entire week early.  Stream the work below featuring the likes of Bilal, Black Thought, and Jadakiss with beats by !llmind, Jahlil Beats, Thelonius Martin, Black Metaphor, & and Apollo Brown.

Random Hip Hop Facts Part 43

430. Kid Cudi‘s “Maniac” and “Marijuana” videos were directed by Shia Labeouf. 1

429.  Before he was president, Vic Mensa ran through Obama‘s backyard trying to escape the cops due to writing graffiti.2

428.  Big Sean started writing “Win Some or Lose Some” in 2012. (3:50 mark) 

427. Chance The Rapper got his Madonna collaboration after being recommended by Jay Z.  3

426.  ScHoolboy Q hates ketchup.4

425. Will Smith introduced Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace, Tupac and Biggie‘s moms, for the first time at the 1999 VMAs.5

424. Epic wanted Ghostface Killah to add two more verses to “Cherchez La Ghost.” 6 

423. Juvenile wanted to sign Young Buck to Cash Money, but had no interest in Lloyd Banks.7 

422. Action Bronson was once in a tampon commercial. (0:10 mark)

421. Prodigy and Havoc (of Mobb Deep) were introduced to each other in the lunchroom at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan when they were 15.8

1. [http://www.mtv.com/news/1666363/shia-labeouf-kid-cudi-maniac-video/]
2. [http://thesource.com/2015/04/22/watch-vic-mensas-interview-on-power-106/]
3. [http://www.mtv.com/news/2091049/chance-the-rapper-jay-z-madonna-frank-ocean-advice/]
4. [http://www.mtv.com/news/1894624/schoolboy-q-vma-artist-to-watch-video/]
5. [http://www.mtv.com/photos/mtv-video-music-awards-1999-highlights/1563697/2506740/photo/]
6. [http://watchloud.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-supreme-clientele/2/]
7. [http://watchloud.com/8-things-we-learned-about-juvenile-from-the-breakfast-club/3/]
8. [http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2013/07/mobb_deep_feature.php]

Album Review: Tyler, The Creator – Cherry Bomb

cherrybomb

After a four month hiatus on social media, Tyler, The Creator dropped his latest effort, Cherry Bomb, with one thing in mind: a tweet.  An observer commented that Tyler’s music sounded nothing like any of the musicians he listened to, and it apparently struck a powerful chord with the multifaceted artist.  Well-known for his cartoonish personality and violent rhymes, the Odd Future leader offered no inkling of his broad taste in music including acts like Stereolab, Nas and Marvin Gaye.

Though the self-taught producer displayed growth on 2013’s WOLF both sonically and lyrically, his production on Cherry Bomb easily trumps his vintage sound often composed of simple synths and snares.

After engaging in sessions with film composer, Hans Zimmer, his advanced skill set is noticeable as he layers elaborate instrumentation in the project’s opener.  “Deathcamp” contains hard bass, hammering guitars and intermittent screams as he pays homage to Rock god Iggy Pop and N.E.R.D.  The mellow sequel to “Bimmer,” “2Seater” contains pianos, organs, saxophones and orchestral violins that help detail a romantic drive with his girl before the beat switches into the whimsical “Hairblows.”

He dodges jailbait on “Fucking Young” (a likely nod to Pharrell‘s “Young Girl”) accompanied by Moog synthesizers fit for the legendary Stevie Wonder.  “‘Cause girl you’re perfect, but you’re too fucking young/And when temptation calls my phone, I never pick up,” Charlie Wilson croons.  “Keep Da O’s” with the aforementioned Skateboard P starts off as intense and piercing, yet somehow evolves into a slow Doo Wop beat that sounds influenced by The Flamingos.

A far cry from his earlier lyrics, “Kill People, Burn Shit,  Fuck School,” Tyler’s new thematic incantation, “Find Your Wings” aims to inspire his listeners similar to the way Pharrell’s “You Can Do It Too” spoke to him in his early years. The song is dedicated to discovering and pursuing one’s passion with lyrics like, “The sky’s your home, there’s no limit, you know you gotta/Find your wings.”  He harmonizes with frequent collaborator, Kali Uchis, over the beautifully serene Jazz track complete with xylophones and a feature from Roy Ayers

Crowd favorite “Smuckers” is accompanied by Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West over a brassy beat, and he warns his audience about the glamorization of gang life with ScHoolboy Q and Toro y Moi on the brief, but pungent “Run.”  “Lies what they got on their plate, they gon eat you/They got a homie called Karma, he gon meet you,” he delivers rapidly.

The mixing on the album, however, has its flaws with vocals falling victim to the thundering production at times.  As a fan of raw and unpolished tracks (see last year’s “Diaper“), listeners are left struggling to discern lyrics as the bass heavy and Yeezus-like synths pulse over the chaotic title track.  The outcome, however, still manages to be both melodic and well-suited for his Punk-like performances.

Following the script-like album trilogy centered around a love triangle, Cherry Bomb seems to hint at Tyler’s upcoming film debut, WOLF, which was announced in 2013 after he shared the colorful trailer via Twitter. The end of the lust-driven “Blow My Load” contains a GOLF Radio contest giving away tickets to a triple feature movie with a censored one-syllable title.  A skit reveals him killing time before a film begins at Moon Theatres, and the album ends with the line, “It’s about to start,” as the unworldly “OKAGA, CA” laced with vocals from Leon Ware singing, “Let’s got the Moon,” comes to a close.  His stunning visuals for “Fucking Young” also incorporate cinema scenes and a large Moon Theatres marquee (4:41 mark).

A well-executed fusion of musical genres, Cherry Bomb, shows exceptional maturation, remarkable range and fearlessness choosing to harmonize instead of rap on multiple tracks.  It dazzles with its rich production, few samples and upbeat content that may leave hardcore fans yearning for Tyler’s trademark angst, but could potentially land him more album placements.  At 24, Tyler’s startling progression in a two year time frame has already surpassed some of his predecessors’ beat making techniques, and it will be utterly intriguing to witness how advanced his artistry will eventually become.

Album Review: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar kept a journal the week good kid, m.A.A.d city was released with the intention of remembering how he felt or what it was like to go back to his hometown of Compton.  His sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly, seems to expound upon the innermost thoughts likely penned in its pages and delivers it in rare form: honestly, aggressively and fervently.

Like his lauded debut album, he vividly paints cinematic scenes that can only be fully grasped by digesting the work sequentially, but instead of detailing his redemption from street life and sin, he exposes painful battles with temptation, self-love and celebrity.

Throughout the self-confessed roller coaster of emotions, K Dot expresses his wrath towards social inequality (“Hood Politics“) and the criminalization of Black males on the jarring “The Blacker the Berry” that would make artists like Dead Prez, Public Enemy and N.W.A. proud. “You hate me don’t you?/You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture,” he shouts jeeringly.

As the “biggest hypocrite of 2015,” the latter two tracks are juxtaposed by songs like the ethnicity embracing “Complexion” with Rapsody and the uplifting “Alright.”  Amidst the unforeseen conversation with God on “How Much a Dollar Cost” and the evils of Lucy (Lucifer) that surround him on “For Sale?,” Kendrick manages to find solace in the joyous live version of “i” while proceeding to break down the true origin of the N word.

Admittedly the most difficult track to record, standout “u” is engulfed in depression as he screams in his hotel room and reflects on relationships that suffered due to his fame.  He despises himself for not being able to veer his younger sister from pregnancy or visit his friend in the hospital before his untimely demise.  “Then he died, God himself will say you fuckin failed/You ain’t try,” he declares nearly shedding tears as he contemplates suicide.

The dramatic range is boundless and the score equally breathtaking. With minimal well-known Hip Hop cameos (sans Pharrell, Snoop and a short speaking role from Dr. Dre), To Pimp a Butterfly’s sound reverts back to his earlier brass-filled tracks like “Rigamortis” & “Hol’ Up.”

Severing all ties to radio and absorbing Miles Davis and Parliament Funkadelic instead, the album’s production is a kaleidoscopic mix of luscious instrumentation provided by bass god Thundercat, in-house producers Terrace Martin and Sounwave, and experimental beatmaker Flying Lotus accompanied by George Clinton (“Wesley’s Theory“).

Despite endless submissions from the industry’s elite producers, Kendrick executed his unrelenting vision.  The result is a rapturous blend of Funky electric guitars, keyboards, Jazzy horns, and strings that belong on the same astral plane ATLiens Outkast descended from.

Released exactly one day after the 20th anniversary of Me Against the World, the album comes to a powerful close with “Mortal Man.”  The listener learns that the gradual revelation of a metaphorical poem pertaining to the project’s title is being shared with his late mentor, Tupac Shakur, who encouraged Kendrick to continue his legacy in a dream.  The two discuss the current generation’s future, which Pac believes is “gonna be like Nat Turner, 1831.”

In a time where police officers still evade castigation for police brutality, Kendrick fearlessly carries the West Coast torch spreading Pac’s burning message of explicit Black pride, justice and revolution.

Whether it’s his conscience, social responsibility, or an epiphany he experienced while speaking to fans pondering suicide that led him to create such a complex and thought provoking masterpiece, one can simply hope that Kendrick will continue to compose projects that will not only spark stimulating conversations, but spawn change among the masses.

Love Is Evol: A Collection of Eminem Songs About Love and Heartbreak

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

[Click Here to Read the Rest of the List…]

LA Hip Hop Events Calendar

Hip Hop music, concerts and events in and around Los Angeles.

 

Click Here for Weekly Events

HipHopDX Article: Just The Two Of Us: Chronicling, Defending & Meeting Eminem

standrea

Read about how I defended Eminem as a teenager and eventually got the opportunity to meet him after creating my own fan site:

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/editorials/id.2132/title.just-the-two-of-us-chronicling-defending-meeting-eminem

LA Hip Hop Landmarks

Update: Will now be adding landmarks on a national scale as time permits.

Map of Hip Hop landmarks in LA. 


View in a Larger Map Here