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Last Mixtape of 2011: DeAndre "Soulja Boy" Cortez Way - Gold on Deck (Clams Casino Riddim)

Self-proclaimed "Ringtone Rapper," Soulja Boy is that young, instantly successful artist that everyone loves to hate. Soulja's detractors proclaimed that he's one of the highly "disposable" rappers that have allegedly "killed" [ruined] Hip-Hop in recent years. His die-hard fans will obviously fire back with examples supporting the exact opposite. I must admit that I am in fact one of those fans; Albeit a close observer who's followed Soulja Boy's career path over the years, but a fan nonetheless. A creative 21-year-old young man hailing from Chicago, Soulja Boy's overall message is surprisingly positive and violence free - In an era of "Hard as Nails" gun-slinging rappers, DeAndre Way is a rarity: Guy simply traveling down the straight-and-narrow who claims absolutely no gang affiliation whatsoever nor a violent, blood-drenched past.


Soulja Boy initially burst onto the music scene with debut single/turned viral meme, "Cr…

You Know That I'm No Good: Ifan Dafydd - "No Good" (Welsh Winehouse Dub)

Initially assumed to be a musical alias of James Blake, as a result of corresponding stylistic nuances... it has since been proven that Ifan Dafydd is in fact Blake's cousin/ex-flatmate [college buddy]. Ifan Dafydd's premier track is essentially Dubstep-drenched, sample-based Funky affair; "No Good" skillfully employs and re-purposes a sampled chuck lifted from Amy Winehouse's Dap-Kings-assisted "You Know I'm No Good" (2007). In what seems to be an eerily [in]appropriate sheer coincidence, "No Good" was released to the masses in August 2011 - During the timeframe just after Winehouse's all too sudden death. But with that said, I think it's a fitting "tribute" and final bow, of sorts.


In the day & age of mass over-exposure, Ifan Dafydd is a rarity. A true mystery of a man, the Wales-bred Dance producer is currently prepping his debut release for Push & Run, Treehouse EP (Jan. 30-31st). Dafydd's only other avail…

Ryan Adams: "OFF! makes me want to rip my arm off & beat myself in the head." (First Four EP's)

[First Four EP's] makes me want to rip my arm off and beat myself in the head with it. It makes me want to destroy my teeth and replace them with live sharks. Keith Morris (Black Flag-Circle Jerks) on vocals, Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides) on guitar and Goldilocks-gone-wrong hair, Steve McDonald (Redd Kross!!! wow) on bass with super awesome style, and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket from The Crypt) on drums - He beats the shit out of them elegantly) ... This is a band from LA and they are on their own trip. Fast, furious, no bullshitHardcore. As much as I loved the Circle Jerks this is the brass ring. It's Keith at his best and as a band they literally make me want to get the fuck up and go.
Listen - these songs are tiny nuclear bombs for your brains. They take less than a minute and half each to destroy your humility. If you ever get a chance to see them live you will either restore your faith in the power of Rock "N" Roll or convert you to some form of evangelical localism…

"The Rise & Fall of The Dark Knight:" Benjamin Andre Moore's Bat-Suit Timeline .jpg (1939-2012)

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Teddy Big Oak's Hitlist: KREAYSHAWN & The Million Dollar Ba$hers - "Gucci Gucci" (2011 Rap-Up)

Young KREAYSHAWN sure did have one sudden, albeit triumphant rise to fame this past calendar year; Her debut single, "Gucci Gucci" amassed some 3 million YouTube hits in it's first 3 weeks, which imminently resulted in the signing of a coveted $1 million deal with Columbia Records (June). That's the thing - I can tell that KREAYSHAWN has this completely RAW, un-tapped natural talent(s): Film, music, video editing, graphic design, pixel art. KREAYSHAWN was born and raised in The Bay Area to a single, Punk Rock-loving mother. Although she dropped out of Berkley film school, KREAYSHAWN has since shot and edited music videos for a wide range of Popular artists including: Lil B BASEDGOD, Soulja Boy, A.P.B.Red Hot Chili Peppers,Stalker, Dread, D.B. The General... and even starred in The Memorials - "We Go to War" (music video).


Essentially, she has yet to prove much of anything @ all, but I can tell that KREAYSHAWN has a lot of drive. So, her eventual career could…

The Buried Life Re-create Rihanna & Calvin Harris - "We Found Love" (Holiday Music Video)

When Matthew Arnold penned "The Buried Life" (98-line poem) way back in 1852, I'm sure he never imagined that his compiled works words would still be inspiring young people some 160 years later, in 2012. The present-day incarnation of "The Buried Life" is made up of 4 Canadian-bred friends [brothers]: Ben, Jonnie, Duncan & Dave. Armed with nothing more than a rudimentary cam-corder, a purple bus named "Penelope," and a grandiose vision - The guys set forth on a mission to help the hard-working people of the nation.


The crux of Ben, Jonnie, Duncan & Dave's companion MTV series, which originally ran for the length of two 2010 seasons... was to assemble a lengthy bucketlist of "100 things to do before you die." This would, of course, warrant the assistance of many good-hearted, helpful people along the way. For every item crossed off "The Buried Life" crew's list, they promised to assist a newly-befriended stranger in …

Teddy Big Oak's Hitlist, 2011: Clams Casino - "Instrumentals" (MASTERED 320)

Earlier this year, 23-year-old Nutley, NJ native, Mike Volpe ("Clams Casino") released a mixtape chock-full of instrumental Hip-Hop beats - completely on a whim. Said mixtape, the aptly-titled "Instrumentals" was received with great praise far and wide! So, instead of making one of those cliché "Year-End Lists" like everyone and their brother, though I will admit that I briefly contemplated the idea... I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: Clams Casino - Instrumentals was hands down, the MixtapeAlbum of The Year! And with that said, it's almost inappropriate to categorize this genre-jumping materpiece as solely "Hip-Hop." Soon after, Witch-House label, Tri Angle released a collection of original Volpe material: Rainforest EP (June 2011).


For all intensive purposes, Clams Casino essentially created Lil B's now infamous stream-of-consciousness #BASED musical stylings. One could further argue that Volpe also had a strong hand in "Clou…

Early LP2 Demo: The xx - "Open Eyes" (2009x10 "Islands" Re-release)

Romy xx, Jamie xx & Oliver Sim are currently isolated - hard @ work on the untitled follow-up to their highly successful debut album, "xx" (2009). The xx plan to release the set ahead of a string of Summer 2012 festival appearances. Jamie xx has said that his production style is now inspired by Club music and is "party-motivated." Since bursting onto the UK music scene, Jamie xx has worked with [remixed] the likes of Florence + The Machine, Drake-Rihanna, Gil Scott-Heron, Adele... Shakira, Kwes, and Gorillaz.
Later on in 2009, second guitarist-keyboardist Baria Qureshi parted ways with The xx due to "personal differences;" Qureshi was one of the band's 4 founding members - All of whom met in 2005, while studying @ Elliott School (London). The first demo from "xx2,""Open Eyes" was released over Christmas Holiday. A sparse, feedback-drenched piano/guitar-based piece, you can tell that "Open Eyes" is a rough skeleton of …

Detroit Electro Funk-Soul: Black Milk & Melanie Rutherford - "Simply Having" (Wings Donut)

Simply Having by Black Milk & Melanie Rutherford
"Black Milk chops up one of his favorite Christmas songs and links up with Melanie Rutherford for the re-make. Check the artwork, I guess Charlie Brown & company's fighting skills are on point as they each have a pair of [Jordan] Concords. *shrugs... I never understood this shoe fetish people have. Dah well? [Here's a Merry Christmas to all you 2dopeboyz & girls out there!!"]

- Shake

MRRY XMS | eve of destruction: jj - "vi" (a$ap rocky)

jj is an up-and-coming Hip-Hop tinged Swedish Pop group, consisting of Elin & Joakim. Already 2 full-length albums deep into their fledging career... It seems as though jj have started an annual tradition of releasing Grade A non-album content every Christmas. Last year, it was "kills" (mixtape) and this time, it's a double present: "eve of destruction-vi." Nearly a year later, "kills" is still available for download. The highly-recommended set includes dark Dream Pop re-interpretations of Dr. Dre, Taio Cruz, M.I.A. Jay-Z, Dirty Money, and Kanye-penned hits.


Originally released around Dec. 15-20th, "eve of destruction" seems to be a quasi-protest song; Made famous by Barry McGuire and written by P.F. Sloan (1965), jj have re-purposed the track for reasons yet unknown. Even though parts of the lyrics are somewhat incomprehensible and the bulk of online content is written in Swedish... You can sense the sheer passion and drive in Ellin'…

Cheech & Chong Present: "The Miracle of Christmas" (Groovy Sounds of '71)

The true beauty of Christmas is that everyone has their own unique way of celebrating it: traditions, customs, festivities, and what have you. Cheech & Chong even went as far as to record their own very "special" interpretation on this pre-recorded song/stand-up routine, "Santa Claus & His Old Lady." The Ode 7" single's B-side, "Dave" was later included on the comedy duo's aptly-titled debut album, Cheech & Chong (1971). Their eventual 1978 feature film Up In Smoke and it's companion soundtrack were later met with great fan-fare. Cheech & Chong followed it up with a gaggle of mind-altering content. For all intensive purposes, I've included a sample excerpt from "Santa Claus" down below. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and... "A Festivus for the rest of us!"


"Once upon a time, about, hmmm, 5 years ago, there was this groovy dude and has name was Santa Claus, y'know? And he used to live over i…

XO Stocking Stuffer: The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence ("The Balloon Trilogy")

Intentional or not, Abel Tesfaye managed to make quite the [late night] ruckus by boldly opening Echoes of Silence with a spot-on Michael Jackson cover: "Dirty Diana"(Bad). Tesfaye initially burst onto the scene in March 2011 under the musical guise "The Weeknd," along with fellow Canadian producers Illangelo & Doc McKinney. Their critically acclaimed inaugural mixtape, House of Balloons was released soon thereafter and Part 2 of "The Balloon Trilogy,"Thursday was released that following August. The Weeknd's unique brand of sample-based R&B draws heavily from a number of Indie Rock sources: Beach House, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Thieves Like Us, and Marina Topley-Bird. Mild production work has since been outsourced to fellow up-and-comers, Clams Casino and DropxLife (XO).


Echoes of Silence was released @ roughly 12 midnight, Dec. 21-22; That is, during Fall 2011 (albeit the final minutes) as originally promised. The Weeknd rem…

David Banner - "Yao Ming" (A$AP Rocky Remix)

"Yao Ming" is the send premier cut from David Banner's forthcoming record, The Make Believe Album. Wile specific details (release date) have yet to emerge, it's been said that the Mississippi native will self-produce said album... which will reportedly showcase some "futuristic Southern[-fried] Rap creations." Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz/Tity Boi were featured on the first version of "Yao Ming" - A$AP Rocky has stepped up to the reigns on this newly-released remix. 2 Chainz' latest critically-acclaimed mixtape, T.R.U. REALigion is now available for download. The follow-up to A$AP Rocky's debut mixtape, LIVELOVEA$AP is currently in post-production. All of A$AP Mob's members and affiliates will be featured in the forefront - 2012!

Festive 2011-12 "Countdown:" Sondre Lerche Covers Beyoncé (Norwegian Boyz II Men)

"This year, it's officially a tradition: For the third time my annualChristmas gift to you is my humble solo acoustic version of someone else's song; My favorite of the year, no less. In 2011 there was a tie between two incredible songs ("Changes" by Sandro Perri being the non-Beyoncé one), and both proved equally impossible to tackle or do justice to alone. But it's what I do, and there are worse jobs, so I did it. I took the liberty of making some gender-oriented changes to the lyrics to better accommodate my macho-persona (although I wouldn't dare tamper with Beyoncé's appeal to all women to show their man they are THE [FLYEST] simply by grinding "up on it girl, show him how you ride it"). That being said, the trick is to get passed the novelty-factor and just sing a beautiful song at the best of your abilities. Obviously, a significant part of this song's appeal and ecstatic energy comes from the dizzying vocal performance and the m…

Teenage Dream: Katy Perry Inching Towards Mike Jackson Singles Record (Bad, 1987-89)

Katy Perry is slowly inching towards a record 6 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles culled from one album... she's imminently on track to break Michael Jackson's long-reigning record. "The One That Got Away" recently jumped from spot #9-4; As we all know, the other 5 singles pulled from Perry's 2010 album, Teenage Dream include: "California Girls,""Teenage Dream,""Firework," "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" Over the course of it's 68 week stay on Billboard 200 chart, Teenage Dream has amassed nearly 2 million copies sold. Katy Perry is now tied with Janet Jackson and George Michael, who all possess 6 Top 5 singles from one album. Time will tell, but it seems that in a few more weeks, "Got Away" will reach #1, thus beating Jackson's record set with Bad (1987).


In a last-ditch effort to push "The One That Got Away" those last few spots, Capitol Records has commissioned rapper B.o.B. to…

8 Days of Hanukkah Hip-Hop: Asher Roth - "Pabst & Jazz" (Blended Babies Sessions)

I must admit, that in addition to becoming quite the talented rhymesmith... Asher Roth has also managed to become "The Master of Ambiguity," as of late. His latest effort, Pabst & Jazz (Sessions) was released earlier today to positive fan-fare, without a single premature leak; Aside from a couple planned "leaks" [promo singles], even the mixtape's tracklist was kept under lock and key up until today's wide-spread release. Pabst & Jazz marks a new direction for Roth... uncharted territory, which is laid back, Soulful, and Jazzy! In fact, 14 of it's 16 tracks were produced by mysterious production duo, "Blended Babies."Chuck Inglish (The Cool Kids), 1500 or Nothin', and Asher Roth himself also contribute slight production chops.


Pabst & Jazz is a truly great mixtape; What a diverse batch of top-notch "Soul" baring recordings! After a few complete listens, I really can't pinpoint a skip-able track in the set... and h…

Happy Holidays from: Action Bronson & Rap Friends - "Mistletoe" (Party Supplies Remix)

"Bam Bam Bronsonelli" himself announced that he has a number of projects currently in-the-works, set to rival his highly successful 2011 output(s). Action Bronson set Twitter ablaze last night, Tweeting about 3 upcoming releases: "Blue Chips" mixtape with Party Supplies (February), Tommy Mas-produced sophomore effort "Mr. Wonderful" (Summer 2012), a currently [finished] untitled album with The Alchemist, and a project entirely made up of Harry Fraud beats. It seems as though Action Bronson wasn't happy with JUST taking over Underground Hip-Hop, he's prepping to dominate the mainstream market in 2012 A.D!


Merely minutes after the stream of announcements, Action Bronson liberated a BRAND NEW Party Supplies-produced sampler track, "Mistletoe" (Remix). Bam Bam spits a few quick bars over a chopped and edited version of Justin Bieber's recently-penned Christmas jingle. Now, you can knock the man, but don't knock "the hustle."…

Rising: Gotye & Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used to Know" (Luiz Bonfá Donut 1967)

Word choice [use-age] can generate such a raw, introspective look into one's mind. Most of the time, people don't even realize how much emotion they're subliminally revealing. If "love" were substituted into the phrase, "Somebody that I used to know," it mean an entirely different thing. based solely on word choice, I wouldn't be stretched to assume that the relationship in question ended quite bitterly... and by most social standards, it would be safe to assume so. Drawing from a number of failed relationships, singer-songwriter Gotye penned "Somebody That I Used to Know" in his parents' Mornington Peninsula (Australia) barn. During the early stages of producing the instrumental, Gotye pulled a sample from Luiz Bonfá's 1967 composition, "Seville."


"Somebody That I Used to Know" was originally released in promotion of Making Mirrors, which was issued worldwide @ the close of Summer 2011. It's companion music …

Punk Rock Girls, Beer & PARTYING: Diarrhea Planet - Loose Jewels (Infinity Cat Nashville)

"Diarrhea Planet" may very well be the most memorable, ambiguous juxtaposition of random phrases [band name] since "Foo Fighters" 1994 inception. Diarrhea Planet's 4 lead guitarists (Jordan Smith, Brent Toler, Evan Bird, and Emmett Miller) without a doubt add depth to their already dense, Balls-to-the-WallRock "N" Roll sound. Drummer Casey J. Weissbuch and jungle-stompin' bassist, Mike Boyle round out the band's extensive 6-man team. Jordan Smith dually acts as "leadsinger," but all of the guys are able to contribute vocal riffs when needed. Diarrhea Planet was originally formed in 2009 as a 2-piece Noise band and with a few changes/additions, this current line-up was recently solidified on record.


After self-releasing 2 EP's-worth of material and "endlessly" touring the Nashville area, Diarrhea Planet were signed to JEFF The Brotherhood's hometown label, Infinity Cat Recordings. Philly label, Evil Weevil re-release…

Blu & Exile Present: "give me my flowers while i can smell them" (Unfinished 2009 LP)

the only one. by exile & blu

Late last night ["early morning"] while many of us were sound asleep, Blu quietly posted a mysterious link to his Twitter handle, @HerFavColor. Turns out that very link lead zealous fans to Blu & Exile's long-awaited, mildly forgotten follow-up to Below The Heavens (2007). give me my flowers while i can smell them was written and recorded soon thereafter, only to be hastily abandoned upon partial completion in 2009 for reasons unknown. With that said, "flowers" is a raw, un-mixed/mastered 15-track album, but since this seems to be a common practice for the man simply known as Blu... fans should expect to see a proper, fully mixed down version of the album up for wholesale within the next few months. Nature Sounds recently re-issued 2 [rough] Blu albums from 2009 in this very fashion: Open and HerFavoriteColo(u)r.


While Blu & Exile have been relatively silent since 2007, they've been far from musically in-active. Exile …

Evil Twin Presents: Peanut Butter Lovesicle - "Black-Eyed Blues" (Ocean City Rock)

Peanut Butter Lovesicle now have a special slice of pizza AND an ice cream flavor named after them. In my book, that right there is "success!" For all intensive purposes, Phase 1 of The American Dream is getting scrumptious food/drink named after specific person, place, or thing in question. Over the course of Summer 2010, brothers Mike & Jake D'Arc teamed up with their drummer-vocalist cousin, Timmy Miller to form Peanut Butter Lovesicle... in a conscious effort to get more girls and beer. PBL was soon enough playing backyard gigs all over Ocean City, NJ and slowly but surely managed to gain quite the "ROCKIN'" reputation. A pair of introductory releases: Heavy Daze Wildcat Craze EP-The Raucous Kitten (Live EP) were both liberated sometime in 2010.


Peanut Butter Lovesicle's latest single, "Black-Eyed Blues" was released to the masses earlier today. The globe-trotting family band's unique blend of Soulful Rock "N" Roll and Sou…

The Smooth Jazz Sounds of Asher Roth - "Pabst & Jazz" (Accompanied By: Kenny Keys)

Similar to the vast majority of Hip-Hopping up-and-comers anymore these days, Asher Roth really manages to flex his lyrical "nuts" across the length of his free-form mixtape releases... Maybe it's the chance to pull samples from just about any source (free of charge) and "GO HARD" without a single worry or fret that's all the more liberating. Whether it be The GreenHouse Effect (2008), Seared Foie Gras with Quince and Cranberry, or THE RAWTH EP (2010); Roth's intelligent Beats & Rhymes which are thinly spread across his mixtapes, regularly TRUMP his companion major label-spun album by-products. Fun Fact: Asher Roth and Justin Bieber actually share[d] the same talent manager, Scooter Braun.


Asher Roth initially burst onto the music scene in 2009 - upon the release of his radio-friendly lead single, "I Love College." Paired along with Asleep In The Bread Aisle (premier LP), Roth managed to reach the #5 spot on Billboard's Hot 200 chart! …

Stones Throw Presents: Homeboy Sandman - "New York Nights" (DFM Flute Loop)

Homeboy Sandman's unique sound is built upon a Boom Bap [Hip-Hop] foundation which artfully blends Rhythmic Blues & Smooth Jazz. The Queens rhymesmith, born Angel del Villar II, somehow manages to layer clever Pop Culture references, subtle industry jabs, and intelligent punchlines into his dense lyrics. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2007, Homeboy Sandman has self-released a number of well-received projects: Nourishment EP-LP (2007), There Is No Spoon, Actual Factual Pterodactyl (2008), and The Good Sun (2010). One of Sandman most note-worthy, interesting guest verses recently showed up on Kyle Rapps - "Love, Love [2]"(Air Re-dux).


Sandman quietly signed to Stones Throw back in August 2011... But no one really took much notice until earlier today - when the Indie Hip-Hop label liberated "New York Nights." The woodwind-assisted track is slated to appear on an upcoming Stones Throw/Serato record set. Homeboy Sandman is currently roped up in the studi…

BADBADNOTGOOD Original Composition: "Rotten Decay" (Jazz Meets Hip-Hop 45)

Matt Tavares, Chester Hansen, and Alex Sowinski are 3 no-holds-barred rhythmic Jazzcats more commonly know as "BADBADNOTGOOD." Undoubtedly knowledgeable beyond their [lack of] years, studio footage of the young Canadian musicians covering a few Odd Future standards soon emerged (Summer 2011). Hot off the press, they were originally known as "The Odd Trio" and exclusively re-tooled Tyler, The Creator & Odd Future-related tracks; BADBADNOTGOOD's simplistic blend of keys/guitar-bass-drums works surprisingly well when re-interpreting Tyler's often airy, Jazz-esque compositions. If Tyler, The Creator has any sense whatsoever, he'll employ the BBNG boys to lay down some sophisticated riffs for his upcoming "progressive" album, Wolf (2012).


BADBADNOTGOOD's latest release is the aptly-titled BBNGSINGLE - The first sampling from BBNG2 (mixtape). To the best of my knowledge, "Rotten Decay" is the group's premier original compositio…

Occupy History Books: B. Dolan & Strange Famous All-Stars - "Film The Police" (Buddy Peace)

Not unlike it's infamous 1988 predecessor, "Film The Police" is an urgent call to arms... a call to the young people of the nation to right common injustices. Essentially, it's an anti-violent protest song against often overlooked senseless instances of police-citizen brutality. In recent years, police brutality has become a far-reaching worldwide problem; One which has remained null in the United States, until this recent ring of "Occupy [insert city]" protests. Since many Millennials (1980-2000) were far too young to recall the dramatic events surrounding the release of N.W.A.'s "Fuck The Police," they [we] have now developed an updated message to match the current state of the nation: "Film The Police." It's a quite simple concept... if you see police brutality taking place, keep your distance, whip out your cell phone, and document that shit! The time is now to take action and MAKE HISTORY, my friends!


["Film The Police&q…

Great Expectations: The Jolly Boys - "Rehab" (Mento Winehouse Dub)

Amy Winehouse was not unlike the late-great Ol' Dirty Bastard: Wildly talented, mildly deranged - A genuinely tortured soul. Winehouse's last known batch of proper recordings was recently collected and released as Lioness: Hidden Treasures. The Jolly Boys consists of 3 laid-back 70-something gentlemen: Albert Minott, Derrick "Johnny" Henry, and Joseph "Powder" Bennett. Utilizing sparse instrumentation -- acoustic guitar, 'rumba box [bass sub.] and maracas -- The Jolly Boys create a distinct brand of "Mento" music... a centuries-old style of Jamaican Folk not generally known outside of the island region. Legend has it that The Jolly Boys' up-beat riddims were the soundtrack to many of [actor] Errol Flynn's infamous "never-ending" yacht parties.


"Powder" & "Johnny" were 2 of The Jolly Boys founding members, upon it's formation back in The Roaring 50's. Albert Minott seems to be the band's newe…