Archive | August, 2013

New Music: Pusha T – “Sweet Serenade” Feat. Chris Brown

29 Aug

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Virginia natives, Chris Brown and Pusha T team up on a surprisingly restrained Swizz Beatz production and drop “Sweet Serenade”. Don’t let the song’s title fool you into thinking that Pusha’s going soft on us. On “Sweet Serenade” Pusha takes center stage (with Chris sticking to the chorus) rapping as vehemently and ever–even dropping some sneak disses “Came from the bottom, no one said it would be fair” (hmm…). Pusha’s much anticipated solo debut, My Name Is My Name is set to drop October 8th and with Pusha’s consistency, displayed on songs such as “Sweet Serenade” I can see it definitely ending up as one of 2013’s standouts.

-Christine Ahamefule (@cleanyournyash)

New Music: Cam’ron – “Welcome To My World”

29 Aug

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Killa Cam season is upon us. After some setbacks Cam’ron’s new mixtape, Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1 is set to drop on October 1st. He also delivered a new song this morning entitled, “Welcome To My World” (first revealed on Karen Civil’s blog). This song will probably garner mixed reactions, so check it out below and let us know your thoughts.

-Christine Ahamefule (@cleanyournyash)

Album Review: Big Sean – Hall of Fame

29 Aug

Finally Famous: The Album was perhaps one of the most disappointing albums of 2011. Despite of years of work and some good songs, it came off as rushed. Finally Famous resulted in some doubts being placed towards Kanye’s prowess as an A&R. While there was no doubt that Sean was one of the better “new school” rappers; it wasn’t clear if he would ever be better than his mixtapes or even a good (no pun) artist in his own right. In the time since, Sean has managed to still be prolific on the mic, with standout verses on GOOD Music’s “Mercy” and “Clique”, in addition to Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me”, even released one of the best mixtape of 2012, Detroit.

Coming off of Detroit and a phenomenal year, expectations were decidedly high for “Hall of Fame”. With all of this pressure, Sean ended up delivering what may possibly be the best traditional rap album of the year (Yeezus isn’t a traditional rap album and I will die before I say that any rapper’s album this year was better than Yeezus, period). Sean managed to construct the first album since GKMC to flow together so cohesive. The first ten songs come off as one long stream of consciousness, feeling like Sean gave us an hour of his time to pick his brain about everything from MILF’s to how he got into GOOD Music.

Sean has matured since his “Dance (A$$)” days, presenting a more fallible and vulnerable version of himself in songs such as: “You Don’t Know” and “Ashley”, with the latter pertaining to his former girlfriend. However, Sean proves to still be the same jokester we once knew him to be, demonstrating his comedy skills on “MILF” a song that is about exactly what you think it is. Assisted by both Nicki Minaj and Juicy J, Sean creates an entertaining song out of a concept that would’ve grown stale in the hands of a lesser rapper.

Given that the tracks run into one another its hard to find standouts, but this is more of a pro rather than a con. The flow of songs demonstrates Sean’s ability to combine ratchet anthems with insightful raps, without ever seeming contrived. Songs like “10 2 10”, a hood anthem about work ethic, flow seamlessly into “Toyota Music”, a slower song about Sean’s old ways before getting fame. So much so, that it feels like a brief beat break before the next song. This is almost unheard of in rap music and rarely seen in the capacity of Hall of Fame but becomes a pleasant and welcomed surprise.

After “MILF” the album happens to take a turn for the worst. The songs themselves are great but depart from the effortless continuation displayed in the first ten songs. It takes away from the stream of conscious nature of the earlier songs and ends up coming off as a bit jumpy.

Despite of this Big Sean made a great album, the best of 2013 so far. Everything from the features, to the song structure display true growth and shows us what exactly Kanye saw in Big Sean all those years ago.
-Dave Dixon (@SlickYourKing)
Rating: Dope! (4/5)

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(Personal) Standout tracks:

“10 2 10″

“MILF”

“Ashley”

Album Review: A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord

27 Aug

Like most rap crews of the past few decades, the A$AP Mob had someone lead the pack and gain fame–in hopes of also launching the careers of fellow crew members. In the case of the A$AP Mob, A$AP Rocky emerged as the leader with A$AP Ferg following as the next in line.

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After shining on guest verses over the last few years, Ferg found solo fame (ironically) on the A$AP Mob mixtape Lord$ Never Worry, with his standout trap anthem, “Work”. After building up hype, the inevitable remix followed, featuring: Schoolboy Q, Trinidad James, French Montana, and no other than A$AP Mob leader–A$AP Rocky. Released as Ferg’s first single, it did little justice in signaling what else would come from the Harlem rapper…

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Today In Music: The Death of Aaliyah

26 Aug

Twelve years ago on August 25th 2001, R&B star Aaliyah Dana Haughton, fondly nicknamed  “baby girl”, died tragically young in an airplane crash. Since then she has maintained an almost mythical space in pop culture–inspiring a whole new brand of R&B songstresses who have tried (often in vain) to emulate Aaliyah’s  laidback hip hop tinged persona, having posthumous songs released and also becoming your favorite rappers’ favorite singer.

It’s easy to see that Ms. Haughton had quite an impact on the music industry. With all of this in mind I thought that we should look at some of my favorite Aaliyah songs while we pay our respects. (R.I.P. Aaliyah)

-Christine Ahamefule (@Cleanyournyash)

One of my absolute favorites. In my opinion Aaliyah’s first album is too often overlooked. Back when Aaliyah was just seen as R Kelly’s protege she was delivering a fresh mix of smooth R&B influenced by hiphop, with plenty of personality.

This song is quintessential Aaliyah. Timbaland’s production on this is damn near legendary–interpolating sounds such as a baby crying to create magic.

Aaliyah displaying full on relatable vulnerability. Even when I was too young to understand what this song was about I  felt like it somehow still related to me.

Honorary mentions:

Similar to what was probably many other people’s reactions, when I had first got word of a Chris Brown and Aaliyah “collab” I rolled my eyes instinctively and didn’t know what to expect. When I actually ended up hearing the song I was pleasantly surprised; it was dope and did Aaliyah (in my opinion) justice, as far as posthumous songs go.

In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “RIP Aaliyah, RIP”

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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Turns 15

26 Aug

miseducation-of-laurynThere is very little that can be said about The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that has not already been said. Fifteen years ago on August 25th 1998 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill–an album that both spoke for and sang to a generation–was born.  This album propelled Ms. Hill from being viewed as Wyclef’s talented second-string into a bonafide superstar in her own right.

When you listen to The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill in 2013 its easy to see why this album is as acclaimed as it is timeless. I remember listening to the album in its entirety as a young girl for the first time and feeling an emotional connection that is so rare, even looking at music itself a little differently, and judging female rappers more harshly.  When I listened to The Miseducation I knew that I was witnessing something truly special.

With Lauryn Hill’s debut album she achieved what some artists spend their entire lives attempting to achieve (and what she has ironically spent her life since then trying to escape)–a magnum opus that flawlessly blended different genres, surprised naysayers by receiving mainstream acclaim and was most importantly an honest representantion of Lauryn Hill as an artist. For that we pay homage. Listen below and take a much needed trip down memory lane.

-Christine Ahamefule (@Cleanyournyash)

New Music: Rapsody – “Jedi Code” Feat. Phonte & Jay Electronica; She Got Game (Mixtape)

21 Aug

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This track is an audio blessing. Rapsody joined forces with Phonte and Jay Electronica (the now almost mythical figure) on a *wait for it* 9th Wonder beat, to drop “Jedi Code”. The Jamla team dropped the track last night; it showcases Rapsody flowing nimbly over the track with each MC displaying their individual prowess. Also check out Rapsody’s newest offering–her mixtape that dropped today entitled, She Got Game. Check the song out and download the mixtape below:

-Christine Ahamefule (@cleanyournyash)

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DOWNLOAD HERE

 

New Music: John Mayer – “Wildfire” Feat. Frank Ocean

13 Aug

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John Mayer and Frank Ocean team up once again (“Pyramids” and “White”) to make magic happen. Frank delivers on “Wildfire”, the second single for John Mayer’s upcoming Paradise Valley album. The song is soothingly beautiful and it’s nice hearing something new with Frank’s voice attached to it. My only (selfish) complaint is that I wish that the song was longer. Check it out below:
-Christine Ahamefule (@cleanyournyash)

New Music: Nickelus F – “Watermelon and Chicken”

13 Aug

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Talented artist Nickelus F aka Sweet Petey (y’all might remember from his early Drake collabs) recently dropped his new song, “Watermelon and Chicken” produced by Ohbliv. Frankly, the song is dope and Nickelus laces the track with quotables–made even more hard hitting because of his gritty vocals. Check it out below:
-Christine Ahamefule (@cleanyournyash)

New Music: Big Sean – “Control” Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica

13 Aug

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Last night while doing some promotional work for his upcoming sophomore album Hall Of Fame(including a free block party in San Francisco), Big Sean dropped a seven minute beast called “Control”. The No ID produced track features a show stealing performance from Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica but won’t actually end up on the album due to issues with clearances. While some may have assumed that Kendrick would have been sitting back and relaxing after dropping his acclaimed album, Good Kid MAAD City; Kendrick quickly proved that he’s as hungry as ever. Kendrick shook the Internet and rap game up, with the Compton MC proclaiming that he is “the king of New York”. Lamar’s verse predictably garnered a lot of reactions from rappers and fans a like; even inspiring a slew of (hilarious) memes. Hopefully it encourages some new competitive work from overly complacent rappers.
-Christine Ahamefule(@cleanyournyash)

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(Hmm do I detect some shade being thrown?)

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