If you like Young Money and/or underground hip-hop, this is definitely a good week to pay a visit yo your favorite digital retailer. Get acquainted with new releases from Young Money, Le1f, Slakah the Beatchild, Romanian-American beatmaker Gypsy Mamba.
This Week's New Releases:
- Gypsy Mamba - Return of the Gypspy
- Le1F - Hey
- Slakah tha Beatchild - Soul Movement 2
- Young Money - Rise of an Empire
Not 100% hip-hop but worth visiting...
- Aloe Blacc - Lift Your Spirit
(Artwork © Terrible Records/XL)
Billboard has declared Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" the top rap song of all time. Let that marinate for a second.
Breathe. Now read on.
Notorious chronicles the brief, yet legendary career of the Notorious B.I.G. a.k.a. Biggie Smalls. The film portrays the life of a young rapper, whose stellar career quickly changed his life and the lives of those close to him. Here's a spoiler-free Notorious review.
Photo © Fox Searchlight
It's been over 14 years since hip-hop lost the Notorious B.I.G to a senseless murder. Biggie Smalls excelled at many aspects of emceeing, including the ability to consistently out-rhyme his peers on virtually every song. Big approached collaborations with the same grit and hilarity he devoted to solo cuts. What follows is a sample of his collaborative brilliance. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you 10 Best Biggie Collaborations of all time.
Image © Bad Boy
Connor Evans first caught our attention last year with "GreenLightLife" last year. Since then, he has steadily grown from obscurity to rising talent. He's also kept his foot on the gas with a flurry of new releases.
Evans' latest, "Keys," is a somber reflection of a young adult. It hits all the right notes--post-college doubts, relationship qualms, everyday guy issues (like losing your keys). "You know it's real when you confuse your work key with your house key -- and they don't even look alike," he raps. The glass-smooth beat by BHB is the perfect backdrop for Connor's contemplative rhymes.
"Keys" is from a Side-A/Side-B release building up to Connor Evans' So Cal Soul album, out April 28th. Side-B contains the song "Winterlude." Stream both tracks below.
Follow Connor Evans on Twitter at @ConnorEvans
The Notorious B.I.G. rose from the mean streets of Brooklyn to become one of the greatest rappers of all time. Biggie was a witty storyteller. His vivdid tales about street life earned him respect in hip-hop. Get familiar with the late great Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie Smalls generally enjoys blind adulation due, but only a fool will deny his skill, his unparalleled flow, his larger-than-life charisma, his generation-spanning influence. And yes, I've doled out my own share of praise to Brooklyn's finest, but I've never bought into the GOAT argument. There is one thing we can all agree on, though -- the man made timeless music in the short time he had here on earth. Here's what I believe to be Biggie's 15 greatest songs.
As promised, HBO's Game of Thrones mixtape is here. Big Boi and Wale bookend the tape with "Mother of Dragons" and "King Slayer" respectively. In between lies a diverse cast of veterans and upstarts -- Common, Daddy Yankee, Snow tha Product and this year's 10 to Watch rapper Kilo Kish.
So what can you expect from a mixtape where random rappers rap about Game of Thrones? Life is like Game of Thrones metaphors? Check. "Spit fire iike Khaleesi" metaphors? Check. Things that rhyme with "Westeros"? Check.
Stream Catch the Throne on Soundcloud
Catch the Throne Tracklist
- Big Boi - "Mother of Dragons"
- Magazeen - "Iron Throne"
- Bodega Bamz - "Win or Die"
- Kilo Kish - "Magical Reality"
- Daddy Yankee - "Born to Rule"
- Dominik Omega - "Arya's Prayer"
- Dee Goodz - "The Parallel"
- Snow tha Product - "Fire"
- Common - "The Ladder"
- Wale - "King Slayer"
There was a time when Ross' exaggerated mafioso persona was his strongest weapon. Oh, how things have changed. Here's my take on Rick Ross' Mastermind.
Little known fact: Rappers love Game of Thrones. Some of them will get a chance to translate that love into dollars this weekend. HBO has recruited a group of hip-hop artists for a Game of Thrones-themed mix tape, Catch the Throne. The tape will feature Common, Daddy Yankee, Big Boi, Wale and more, reports the Wall Street Journal.
HBO sees the tape as an opportunity to bring in more hip-hop viewers, or as they say in the advertising world "the urban audience." Says Lucinda Martinez, HBO's SVP of multicultural marketing (that's a thing?): "Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don't want to take them for granted."Catch the Throne is expected to drop this Friday.
Sample lyrics, via Wale:
I'm tellin' whoever messin' with me
I can bring you that Khaleesi heat
Use my King, knack for words, as an actual sword
I can decapitate a rapper...
In the meantime, check out Shea Serrano's beautiful illustration of rappers as Game of Thrones characters on MySpace.