There’s nothing like a good producer/MC combo, and this new single by London DJ Last Japan and rapper AJ Tracey is the perfect example why. Hot off a string of successful mixtapes, Last Japan’s newest offering is a dark, intergalactic foray that sounds like it’s seeping from the underpass of some secret rave. Released on Coyote Records, which is typically known for leaning more on the instrumental side of grime, “Ascend” pairs Last Japan’s cinematic synths with AJ Tracey’s rapid fire lyrics. Despite its tad over-produced sound, “Ascend” is one of those tracks that, once you hear it, will stay in your rotation for a while.
If you liked this, make sure to check out their EP when it drops on Coyote Records in May.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Monday, April 4th, 2016||No Comments »|
Meet REMI, an Australian hip-hop artist who has been gradually gaining traction since the release of his first mixtape, 2013′s F.Y.G. ACT:1. His 2014 sophomore album Raw X Infinity was met with even more critical acclaim, winning Independent Hip Hop Album of the Year by the Australian Independent Record Association. Now ready to conquer the U.S., the Aussie 22-year-old has teamed up with producer Sensible J for his second mixtape appropriately titled Call It What You Want (F.Y.G. ACT:2). Together, the rapper/producer duo create a sound as varied as their diverse influences. I mean how often do you hear hip hop sampling Tool? ‘Nuff said.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, June 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
I’m not sure what the artiest part of this video is—the lyrics or the video itself—but I am sure that it’s the most legit “artsy” music video I’ve ever seen. Putting the wannabe hipsters to shame, The Grouch has no problem calling out all the fakes in the art scene.
“ARTSY” leaves a musical impression all on its own, but props must be given to the music video’s creative team, who did an astonishing job with a little animation and a green screen. The videography also makes a potent point in relation to the song, showcasing an artist’s ability to create something memorable without being focused on what’s “hip.”
But enough talk already—isn’t that the whole point of this song?
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, May 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Canadian illustrator Marlon Sassy was listening to Snoop Dogg and doodling on Post-It notes during his lunch break when he accidentally invented Gangster Doodles. Now with two published zines and a growing Tumblr and Instagram following, Marlon is taking his lunch break hobby into new, professional heights. His trademark pen and marker doodles have a distinctive look that’s intriguing in its simplicity. From Biggie to Nicki Minaj to A Tribe Called Quest, Gangster Doodles shows not only a love of hip hop but also a look at the art of doodling, a scene that’s still struggling to gain respect in the art world, much like hip hop used to be for the music world. This unlikely pair is turning out to be a match made in heaven.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, May 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
Brother Ali, the blind and albino hip hop artist who dropped the track “Uncle Sam Goddamn,” isn’t afraid to make a statement in his music, and if this is your first time listening to him, he’s sure to leave an impression. Defying the odds, Ali manages to see so much without being able to see at all, making a rather bold statement on America, “land of the free.”
His chorus alone is dense enough to spend hours unpacking, and when the verses start flowing so does the dialogue of social justice and what it means to be a citizen of the United States.
Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
The grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and power is God
His powerful lyrics may not be what you want to hear, but it is no doubt something you should be hearing.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, April 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s been four years since Guillermo S. Herren, aka Prefuse 73, released an album. While he’s been busy with collaborations and various side projects, his last “proper” studio album was 2011′s The Only She Chapters. But Herren has big things planned for 2015–not one, not two, but three releases. The first one, Travels In Constants, Vol. 25, was released back in March and is like a “teaser” mix/album to introduce the other albums that will be released in April and May, respectively. However, while listening to all this new stuff, all I could think about was how much I missed old Prefuse 73. Yep, I’m one of those people.
As annoying as it might sound, none of Prefuse 73′s new stuff holds a match to his first three albums. This track on 2005′s Surrounded by Silence is particularly amazing. How often do you see a dream pairing like this? Ghostface and Run the Jewels’s EL-P dueling it out on top of Herren’s soaring production? And if that’s not enough, there’s even an instrumental orchestral version, too. Freaking brilliant.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, April 9th, 2015||No Comments »|
Forget Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil’ Wayne, and the rest, at least for now… because there may just be a new king of rap. Kendrick Lamar’s newest album unexpectedly dropped this week, and while it’s rumored that the artist himself may not have even been aware of the surprise release, it hasn’t seemed to cause any sort of problem in the music market. In fact, Lamar’s newest album is now breaking records on Spotify, and we can’t say we’re surprised.
Lamar’s music goes beyond the hype and glory of most commercial rap music, focusing in on important issues that need to be talked about. Diversity, racism, and poverty are just some of the vital topics Lamar never hesitates to bring up in his tracks. Want to hear some wisdom? Just hit play.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, March 18th, 2015||No Comments »|