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Showing posts from May, 2013

THUMP Presents: Disclosure - "When a Fire Starts to Burn" (Electronic Chuuurch)

THUMP is the newly-launched "Electronic music & culture channel from VICE," who have now teamed up with Disclosure to produce the gripping visuals for their latest video-single, "When a Fire Starts to Burn." Brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence are prepping their debut full-length, Settle, for a world-wide release June 3-4th through PMR/Island Records; Over the course of the past 4-6 months, they've managed to produce videos for thumping UK Garage album tracks like "Latch," "White Noise," "You & Me," and leaked countless others online. Supremely Internet-savvy listeners could have reasonably heard up to 7 of Settle's 14 album tracks by now and ones featuring heavy-weights Jamie Woon, Jessie Ware, and Ed Macfarlane (Friendly Fires) still have yet to be heard. Disclosure have effectively become one of London's BIGGEST ticket festival acts this year, spear-heading a 90's-tinged House revival, without even having a pr…

In My Fantasy, We're Running Wild: Jessie J, Big Sean & Dizzee Rascal - "WILD" (Luxury Rap?)

Newly buzzed-n-bleached British songstress Jessie J has recruited 2 sharp-tongued rappers from both sides of the pond, Dizzee Rascal & Big Sean, for her latest genre-blending single, "WILD." It's the world's first taste from her forthcoming currently untitled sophomore album, which has already been described as quite the sonic departure from Who You Are (2011); But on the other hand, Jessie J herself dually described"WILD" as "a very small reflection of what the album sounds like" and noted that she's still as nervous as she was when releasing her debut full-length. In addition to shaving her head on live TV back in March, Jessie J's become something of a British mega-star, gaining additional notoriety as a judge on The Voice UK. "WILD" comfortably sits @ #42 on iTunes' Pop Charts after being released about a month ago and has raked up nearly 1,500,000 YouTube views in just a matter of days. Needless to say, this is a ve…

Winnipeg's National Treasure: Remy Shand - "Where Are We Going?" (Remy Records)

Suddenly re-invigorated Winnipeg Soul-Funk crooner Remy Shand has been largely and mysteriously in-active for the past 11 years; Although he recently re-emerged, quietly forming a "Remy Records"YouTube channel, and slowly uploading new/unreleased music. "Where Are We Going?" seems like the most fully fleshed out and complete-sounding track from Shand's recent batch of self-made videos, which also includes: "Mark Gonzales," "ROLLERGIRLS," and "Lust."Remy Shand's recent stream of output's supposedly culled from an immense back catalog-worth of music that includes, but isn't limited to the CANARY cassette (1996-97), a ready-for-remixing bedroom jam... and finally, "Where Are We Going?," a lesser known Blue Note era Donald Byrd nugget (later re-recorded by Marvin Gaye). It's attached video description briefly details that 100% of the track's instruments and vocals were recorded/mixed by Remy Shand @ Holly…

JASH Presents: Major Lazer, Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga & Mystic - "Bubble Butt" (Eric Wareheim)

Here we have the second Major Lazer post of the day; Yeah, I guess I could've augmented that Macklemore piece [below] to include it, but I really think "Bubble Butt" deserves it's own post. I can almost picture it now: Diplo and Eric Wareheim hanging out, watching TV and drinking beer, seeing the old school "Baby Got Back" video, and wondering how they could re-create it for 2013 A.D. It's more or less a companion set of visuals meant to go along with last week's "Bubble Butt" (Remix), which features Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga, and Mystic - None of whom actually appear in the booty-licious Wareheim-directed video ha. I'd personally like to think that when he's not jet-setting back and forth across the free world, Diplo hangs out with the infamous Tim & Eric cult-hero, who's had a hand in creating the twisted bionic soldier of the zombie apocalypse Major Lazer mythology.


"Bubble Butt" chronicles the transformation …

Free The Universe: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Can't Hold Us" (MAJOR LAZER REMIX)

Diplo has been a very busy man lately; a full-length with Snoop Lion, that new Major Lazer record, produced a track for Mac Miller, formed an audio-video channel with Skrillex & A-Trak, etc. Sometimes it's pretty easy to forget that Thomas Wesley "Diplo" Pentz is a former Philly teacher who just so happened to single-handedly pioneer Hip-Hop/Dancehall/Moombahton/Dubstep. Fully employing his Major Lazer alter-ego, Diplo's latest creation is a remix of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' recent mega-hit single, "Can't Hold Us."Diplo then recruited 1st Klase to re-work to Hip-Pop beat into an Island riddim, which Trinidad-based rapper Swappi 4D proceeds to lyrically shred to pieces! Essentially, all that remains from the original are that Microsoft Outlook piano lick and Ray Dalton's smooth "Can we go back, this is the moment. Tonight is the night" central hook. Macklemore's verses seem a little haphazardly spread across Major Lazer'…

Boom-Bap, Original Rap: Roc Marciano & Cormega - "Ruff Town" (Marci Beaucoup?)

Roc Marciano makes what a Hip-Hop purist would best describe as "real Rap;" It doesn't take long to realize that Marciano & Cormega are highly-skilled wordsmiths, who could easily out-rap most guys without use of a proper beat (a cappella). We're kinda talkin' about the Thin Lizzies of Underground Hip-Hop... often referenced, admired, and copied by your favourite run-of-the-mill rappers. It's almost crazy to call something as immaculate-sounding as "Ruff Town" a mere loosie, but it really doesn't seem like a whole lot more than just that. Effectively 1/2 of a NOT super-group [M.A.R.S.] along with Action Bronson & Saigon, "Ruff Town" may or may not end up re-appearing on Roc Marciano's forth-coming third full-length, Marci Beaucoup. It's rumored to be a 100% Marciano-produced affair with nothing less than top-notch guest features from Freeway, Ka, Guilty Simpson, Boldy James, Knowledge The Pirate, M.A.R.S., and a few re-…

The Misadventures of Mr. Moot & Mr. Witz: Kanye - "New Slaves" @ Eastern State Penitentiary (Philly)

Headed into Philly on a whim with my buddy Mike last night (Friday), speeding down 676 and over The Ben Franklin Bridge. Kanye's site listed 22 new projection cities across America/Europe, including 3 planned Philly locations; Eastern State Penitentiary's guerrilla-style showing was listed as 10:30-11:30. I called up my girlfriend once we got there, which was around 11:10 and only waited about 10-15 minutes longer amongst a group of roughly 100+ people trying to decide which side of the street to stand on. A black panel van with some sort of New York labeling pulled up and after knocking into someone's truck, pulled out a generator and started setting up as the crowd got more and more restless, starting to block the oncoming late night traffic. Kanye's so damn obnoxious... like who would really think to project their face on building sides across the world from 9-12 @ night!? It's almost like he's gotten progressively crazier since The College Dropout, instead…

Action-Packed Saskatoon Rock "N" Roll: The Sheepdogs - "Feeling Good" (Patrick Carney)

Here's the scenario: Late to work Wednesday morning, the minutes are quickly ticking away past 8 o'clock and I'm whizzing down Route 77. But in the end, late's late and I'm not really too concerned. Seems like I always [inconveniently] manage to catch Preston & Steve (hands down, one of Philly's best morning radio shows) when they're playing music rather than cracking jokes, gossiping, etc; a track was soon cued that I later learned was The Sheepdogs - "Feeling Good," which I equate to a mix between The Black Keys/Queens of The Stone Age. The Sheepdogs' self-titled fourth album doubles as both their major label debut and commercial break-through, for all intensive purposes. While Ewan Currie, Leot Hanson, Ryan Gullen & Sam Corbett formed The Sheepdogs in Saskatoon, CAN around 2006, they became "The First Band to Ever Grace The Cover of Rolling Stone" in August 2011 after months of intense competition and 1.5 million votes ca…

Clinton Sparks Presents: Macklemore, 2 Chainz & D.A. - "Gold Rush" (Hip-Pop Hooray?)

Let's face it, there's a certain breed of Pop-injected Hip-Hop that's mainly meant for spoiled-rotten suburban white girls, slutty socialites, college co-eds with "daddy issues," etc. We'll just call it "Hip-Pop," for lack of a better term... Not to say that it can't be mildly good/catchy from time to time, but you're not gonna get the street grit of Wu-Tang or social commentary along the lines of Common. Anyways, when it comes to radio-friendly Hip-Pop, I'd say Macklemore & 2 Chainz are quite arguably 2 of the sub-genre's BIGGEST Internet-certified super-stars; each releasing 2 of 2012-13's more popular mainstream Hip-Hop albums, The Heist and Based On a T.R.U. Story, respectively. So, it makes complete and total sense that Boston-based Hip-Pop producer, Clinton Sparks enlisted the 2 rising emcees to appear together on a track for his upcoming album, "Disco Ball & Chain" (Def Jam). Sparks then recruited Cheste…

Welcome to Zamrock: Madlib - "The Mad March" (Rock Konducta, Limited 300)

Madlib is quite easily one of the most prolific and criminally under-rated rapper/producers in all the land; But any tried and true, well-versed Hip-Hop head will without a doubt champion Otis Jackson Jr.'s multi-faceted skills to the end! Madlib unleashed 13 staggering Madlib Medicine Show full-length albums/mixtapes last year under his "Beat Konducta" guise in just over 12 months-time. Every once in a while, he'll randomly drop some tunes under one of his many AKA handles, which include but aren't limited to: Quasimoto, Yesterday's New Quintet, Supreme Team, MADVILLAIN, The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble, etc. and he's produced neck-snapping beats for everyone from J Dilla to Freddie Gibbs. Mr. Jackson, who's managed to keep a pretty low profile for the first 1/2 of 2013, is gearing up to release an Odds & Sods-style Quasimoto comp. But a little while before Yessir Whatever's upcoming June 18th unveiling, he'l…

Now My Beard Look Like Uday & Qusay: Action Bronson - "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" (VICE Records)

Action Bronson's almost effortlessly able to cram a bunch of misplaced syllables into "Shit on my chest, shoot colors like a Care Bear / All year see me tan, hopping out the van... Eat steaks off a cold plate, stoned listening to Coldplay," a few of the introductory rapid-fire lines of "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" sounding like a high school English teacher on Speed; It's more or less, the lead single from an upcoming joint mixtape with rising Brooklyn producer, Harry Fraud that's been quite ingeniously dubbed Saab Stories. Noisey, sister site of Bronson's new-found major label home (VICE Records) premiered the Jason Goldwatch-directed music video mid-Monday afternoon, which was preceded by a collection of equally EPIC behind-the-scenes footage. Fraud has previously produced a number of scattered beats for Action Bronson including: "Jar of Drugs" (2011), "Muslim Wedding," "Mean," and tracks from Adrift/High Tide EP.


Goldwatch …

Pardon, I'm Gettin' My Scream On: Kanye - "Black Skinhead" (New Slaves)

Rest assured, I guess you could say it was a pretty BIG week for Mr. West, who's finally come back into prominence for something else besides banging a Kardashian or walking into a street sign. Late Friday night Kanye debuted his new pseudo-video for "New Slaves" projected across 66 building sides in 10 major world cities; It's second unreleased 1/2 is rumored to feature Frank Ocean and the track supposedly utilizes an un-cleared sample culled from Hungarian Prog-Rock band, Omega. We're talkin' about guerrilla-style take-overs @ Wrigley Field (Chicago), Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Paris, etc. projected out of make-shift truck/projectors sprawled across the night sky May 11-19th. This is all most likely part of an early promo campaign in support of Kanye's upcoming album [possibly titled] "Yeezus," which may or may not be out as early as June 18th. Earlier in the week, he took a break from rigorous recording sessions in Paris with eve…

The Witzard Presents: "It's Nostalgia, Only If I Can See It" (Brian Walsby on Black Flag/FLAG)

FLAG. Black Flag. FLAG. Black Flag. Flag Black. Flack Blag. It does get confusing, no? Well, not for me. Black Flag was a band that changed my life. It was like entering a portal and I would never be the same ever again afterwards. The band dominated over everything in my little universe. No matter how many line-up changes, no matter how many drummers, no matter whatever stylistic change the band went through, I liked ALL of it. And it wasn't until the very end of their career that I realized that something was wrong in my perceived Punk Rock paradise. Black Flag were the band that almost broke up in time. With a major emphasis on the word "almost." Also, I had decided that Black Flag founder Greg Ginn must have lost his marbles. And this was BEFORE he broke up his own band. Here is why: The month is January. The year is 1986. Black Flag are playing their first big show with yet another new line-up at The Stardust Ballroom in Los Angeles... D. Boon of The Minutemen had d…

Motor City Movers & Shakers: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - "Dark Water" (Joe Baughman Clay-mation)

Right off the bat, "Dark Water" vaguely reminds me of "Strawberry Fields Forever"'s droning Psych-Rock wail mixed with a strong 90's Weezer Pop sensibility and a Funky, white boy Dance-able groove. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. unleashed their latest release, Patterns EP last month on Record Store Day (April 20th) and now, it's conveniently available on iTunes for just $3.99. Joshua Epstein & Daniel Zott are 2 like-minded, working class Motor City natives whose Facebook Biography blatantly suggests, "The idea being, that if one can accept a band being named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then you've already opened yourself up to listening to anything the band can come up with. You've already decided to leave expectations behind." For all intensive purposes, if you don't count newly-added members Mike Higgins (drums) and Jon Visger (keys), I don't think it'd be TOTALLY unreasonable to sonically compare Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to anoth…

Random Lounge Jazz Memories: The Stepkids - "Get Lucky" (Daft Punk & Pharrell)

"We had to do this song... Only way to pay tribute to Daft Punk, Pharrell, and Nile Rodgers in one fell swoop. Enjoy y'all," The Stepkids Tweeted Tuesday morning; Diehard Daft Punk fan or not, I suggest you take a break from that Random Access Memories "leak" for a sec. and check this one out, my friends! Unlike Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo's Electro-Funk-tinged original, The Stepkids have successfully infused "Get Lucky" with a sort of cheese-less Lounge Jazz vibe. The Stepkids are signed to genre-blending Indie Hip-Hop label Stones Throw and it's 3 extremely talented multi-instrumentalist members -- Dan Edinberg, Jeff Gitelman & Tim Walsh -- have separately worked with everyone from Alicia Keys to 50 Cent. Since inking a deal with Stones Throw a few years ago, the band has released The Stepkids (including "Legend In My Own Mind"), Sweet Salvation EP, and a forthcoming album that's been dubbed Troubado…

The Ron Jeremy of Soul-Funk: Har Mar Superstar - "Lady, You Shot Me" (Cult Records)

While well-groomed "heart-throb" types like Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke are busy concocting smooth baby-making Future R&B, lone scantily-clad showman Sean "Har Mar Superstar" Tillman's bringing the Ron Jeremy to old school-sounding Soul-Funk/R&B. Har Mar Superstar's been doing his thing for the past 10-15 years now and has toured or worked with a wide variety of underground/mainstream talent: Ben Lee, Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes), Father John Misty, Britney Spears, Neon Neon, Beth Ditto, Jennifer Lopez, and Drew Barrymore. "Lady, You Shot Me" were supposedly crooner Sam Cooke's last words, which now effectively doubles as Bye Bye 17's lead single, of sorts.


Julian Casablancas' newly-formed Cult Records quietly unleashed the 10-track album a little while back on April 23rd. Bye Bye 17 feels like Har Mar Superstar's first honest attempt @ some tried-and-true LEGIT R&B music and while I'm really only vaguely …

Planet Earth Is Blue & There's Nothing I Can Do: Chris Hadfield - "Space Oddity" (Int'l Space Station)

I wonder if when David Bowie penned "Space Oddity" nearly 45 years ago, he'd ever imagined that an astronaut would ever release a re-recorded version from outer-space!? Fast-forward to May 12, 2013: Just 2 days before ending his 5-month stay on the International Space Station (ISS), Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield uploaded a unique "Space Oddity" cover. It's the first music video filmed in outer-space and the backing track itself was arranged back on Earth by producer Joe Corcoran and pianist Emm Gryner. Hadfield has been surprisingly active on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. while working on the ISS; Constantly posting spacey photos, video content, answering fan questions, and recording original music while "sitting in a tin can, far above the world." Chris Hadfield is currently headed back into Earth's atmosphere and should land on solid ground sometime between May 13-14th, while "Space Oddity" has already managed to rake up 500…

Drag City Presents: "Andy [Kaufman] & His Grandmother" (Anti-Comedy Album?)

I can vaguely remember my parents watching Taxi re-runs on either Nick at Nite or TV Land when I was a kid; Starring alongside Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Conaway, and Andy Kaufman (Latka), who would all go on to have varying degrees of success, following the show's 1983 finale. Although generally lumped in with stand-up comics, Kaufman was more or less a hoax/performance artist and anti-comedian, for argument's sake. Andy Kaufman's career really only spanned from 1974-84, yet included countless appearances on SNL, Taxi, 11 Letterman visits, The Dating Game, Johhny Carson, Fridays, Inter-Gender Wrestling [women], and a bloody staged on-air 1982 fight with Jerry "The King" Lawler, etc. Some of his most infamous stunts include: reading The Great Gastby to an unruly audience, taking 24 bus loads of fans out for milk and cookies, opening for himself as washed-up lounge singer "Tony Clifton," a pre-concieved TV brawl with Michael Richa…

Hell Hath No Fury: Pusha T - "Numbers On The Board" (So Me-directed)

I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and say that "Numbers On The Board" is my favourite Hip-Hop track of 2013 [so far], although Pusha T is quite honestly far from my favourite rapper. I mean, Wrath of Caine is great and so were/are Clipse. But Pusha T never really had that one stand out, defining moment for me and I think "Numbers On The Board" is finally it! Parisian director/graphic artist So Me filmed it's companion music video during a break in recording sessions for Kanye's top secret new album; Rumored to feature Daft Punk, Chief Keef, Odd Future, Skrillex, John Legend, and 2 Chainz and could be out as early as June 18th. Kanye & Chief Keef both make brief cameo appearances towards "Numbers On The Board"'s end, pulled from Pusha T's forthcoming G.O.O.D. Music debut, My Name Is My Name (July 16th). Whilst spitting rapid-fire verses over a gritty Don Cannon co-produced instrumental, Pusha T struts through a barren French was…

The FADER & Noisey Present: Mr. Muthaf*ckin' eXquire - "Noble Drew Ali" (Nightfall at The Thames)

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire (formerly known as Mr. MFN eXquire), a guy who frequently rhymed about "drunk driving on a Wednesday," frequently hangs out with the self-procliamed Adderall Admiral Danny Brown, and featured a blue-haired drunken stripper on his Lost In Translation mixtape cover. Somehow, he signed a major label deal with Universal Republic last year, released Power & Passion EP, followed by self-released The Man In The High Castle, and then disappeared for the better part of the next 6-8 months. It's been revealed now, after the fact, that Mrs. MFN eXquire [mother] was diagnosed with cervical cancer, which propelled him to take an imminent break from touring, do a "180 and kind of look @ [his] life," and ultimately sober up. Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire is currently prepping a comeback mixtape of sorts, mysteriously titled Kismet. It's rumored to drop "very shortly" and feature a bunch of like-minded young rappers... Danny Brown,…

Between Two Ferns: The Lonely Island - "Spring Break Anthem" (#WACK WEDNESDAYS)

It's a comedy match made in heaven that I'm surprised Judd Apatow or Todd Phillips haven't thought of pairing up before: The Lonely Island, James Franco, and Zach Galifianakis. Former SNL alum Andy Samberg and comedy partners Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone announced their third upcoming Comedy-Rap masterpiece, The Wack Album earlier this week, which Republic will release on June 11th. It's rumored to feature appearances from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Lady GaGa, Pharrell, Billie Joe Armstrong, Adam Levine, and T-Pain; and I'm guessing The Wack Album will most likely re-use previously released Digital Shorts/non-album singles like "3-Way (The Golden Rule)" and "YOLO."


The Lonely Island will release new material every Wednesday from now until June 11th in an effort that the self-proclaimed Frappers lament, "Wack Wednesdays, it's like #GOODFRIDAYS... But way wacker." "Spring Break Anthem" st…

Live from a 24-Hour Laundromat: Open Mike Eagle - "Qualifiers" (Alwayz Prolific & Taco Neck)

Art Hip-Hop enthusiast and criminally under-rated California-by-way-of-Chicago emcee Open Mike Eagle has recently linked up with Beats, Frames & Life and producer, Alwayz Prolific (Taco Neck) to release "Qualiifiers." A Hellfyre Club member and Busdriver affiliate, Eagle set up a make-shift stage/studio in a 24-hour laundromat and Giovanni Solis just so happened to film it. okayplayer quite appropriately describes Beats, Frames & Life's video series The Show as "where they take artists they fux with and have them perform in the most random places." It's great because you can genuinely tell that no one's in on the joke; a bunch of people washing and folding their clothes were just treated to an impromptu Open Mike Eagle & Alwayz Prolific mini-show! "Qualifiers" is simply down and dirty Hip-Hop @ it's best, part of which includes ferocious bars like: "Sick days, I got two left / So, I take five, Dave Brubeck / I make Jazz jo…

Hardcore Mid-Life Crisis: Black Flag - "Down In The Dirt" (FLAG Dissing Note)

Forget about aging gracefully; Life-time Punk Rockers Greg Ginn, Ron Reyes, Gregory Moore, and Dale Nixon Dave Klein (Screeching Weasel) are still as angst-filled, rebellious, and aggressive as they were way back in 1979. Coincidentally and much to their dismay, another sect of former Black Flag members AKA FLAG fronted by Keith Morris are actively touring this summer, too. Greg Ginn & Black Flag are prepping a currently untitled 22-track "new Black Flag" album for release on SST Records later this summer; Track titles are rumored to include "Honey, I Shit My Pants (Again)," "Viagra Blues," "Hair Down The Drain," "A Little to The Left," etc. "Down In The Dirt" was quietly uploaded online late Friday afternoon, along with a tastefully honest note from the band: "SST Records is proud to announce a free download of the first new Black Flag song in many years, "Down In The Dirt" ... ***NOTE: Not to be confused…

Roses Really Smell Like Boo-Boo-Booo: Tame Impala - "Prototype" (Like a Version)

"It's one of our favourite songs ever, I think," Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker lamented before launching into a pretty spot-on cover of OutKast's "Prototype" from André 3000's 1/2 of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003). Guitar/keyboardist Nick "Paisley Adams" Allbrook effectively handles André 3000's echoing double-tracked vocals, crooning: "Today must be my lucky day... Do something outta the ordinary, like catch a matinee, baby." Tame Impala's 5-piece touring band -- which also includes Jay "Gumby" Watson, Dominic Simper, and Julien Barbagallo -- really do one Hell of a job @ channeling OutKast's psuedo-70's Soul-Funk vibe that's smoothly spread across the original.


The band's spirited cover was essentially recorded, tracked, and broadcast on-the-fly during a recent stop by hometown [Australian] radio station, Triple J for their infamous Like a Version segment. Tame Impala EP was re-released al…

Bad Boy for Life: Janelle Monáe & Erykah Badu - "Q.U.E.E.N." (Space Soul-Funk)

Miss Janelle Monáe is actually Big Boi's former fun-loving muse, who's now signed to Diddy's own micro-universe, Bad Boy Records and first appeared on Purple Ribbon All-Stars, Vol. II (2005). Anyways, she's supposedly hard @ work on her sophomore album, Electric Lady, which is coming soon. It's the long-awaited follow-up to Janelle Monáe's critically-acclaimed 3-part Space Soul-Funk series, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) EP and The ArchAndroid (2010). Monáe recently told Billboard, "The album in general is more revealing. It's more personal. I'm taking a lot more risks on this album" in a pre-Coachella interview. Lead single, "Q.U.E.E.N." embodies Janelle Monáe whole androgynous 50's Greaser chic fashion sense, complete with pompadour.


Director Alan Ferguson conjures up a living museum chock-full of frozen legendary rebels who are suspiciously brought to life by the neck-snapping groove. Janellle Monáe & Badoula Oblongata (E…

We Were Merely Freshmen: Action Bronson - "November Rain" (XXL Freshmen 2013?)

Every year around this time, XXL Magazine releases a slightly jaded, misguided XXL Freshmen list. It's kinda dumb because it usually features seasoned guys like Action Bronson (29) right alongside "young bucks" like Joey Bada$$ (18) and the term Freshmen generally connotes fresh meat. XXL 2013's Freshmen Class: The Mixtape includes 17 previously released/rare tracks from Bronson, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, Trinidad Jame$, angel haze, Logic, Dizzy Wright, Kirko Bangs, and Travi$ Scott. It's a damn good thing the DJ Drama-hosted mixtape's up for free download online; aside from Action Bronson's "November Rain" (Party Supplies), a Joey Bada$$/Bronsolino team-up, ScHoolboy Q's recent single "Yay Yay,"angel haze freestyling over Purity Ring, and Ab-Soul/Harry Fraud's "Back Then," its' pretty fucking terrible!


A former top chef, Action Bronson is hands down one of the most skilled emcees in the game, who could …

Finger Lickin' Good: Unearthed Beastie Boys Interview, 1985 (Remembering MCA)

Just a few days ahead of the one year anniversary of Adam "MCA" Yauch's untimely death, Blank on Blank have released a newly unearthed 1985 Beastie Boys interview. While it only lasts about six minutes, animator Patrick Smith has created some great black-and-white animation to go along with it; He's really managed to capture The Beasties' pre-License to Ill righteous Punk Rock attitude(s) and even animated ABC News Radio interviewer Rocci Fisch and topic-appropriate graphics to go along with it. The cassette-taped audio itself originates from Washington, DC and covers everything from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" Tour to what MCA dubs "Soul Hardcore B-Boy music." Ad-Rock, Mike D & MCA were only about 18-19 years old, at the time, and were barely even making Hip-Hop yet, having only released Polly Wog Stew EP, "Cooky Puss," "Rock Hard," and "She's On It/Slow and Low."


The city of Brooklyn is holding the se…

Tell Momma I Made It: Harry Fraud, Earl Sweatshirt & RiFF RAFF - "Yacht Lash" (Scion A/V)

Rising Brooklyn producer-of-the-moment Harry Fraud wrangled up a crazy/awesome posse of Internet-friendly rappers for his upcoming High Tide EP; It'll feature frequent collaborator like Action Bronson, French Montana, and Chinx Drugz across 5 contained tracks. Lead single "Yacht Lash" positions JODY HiGHROLLER(RiFF RAFF) alongside Odd Future's returning prince, Earl Sweatshirt. Harry Fraud successfully melds together a DIRTY Psych-Rock-drenched Hip-Hop beat, which leaves plenty of room for 32+ bars worth of swagged out bravado. Earl Sweatshirt effectively slays the first 1/2 of this track, only his 10-12th recorded appearance since returning home from juvie in Samoa (Feb. 2012). Sweatshirt laments about his triumphant return to prominence, "Nothin' much to my ethics / Bitch, I'm joggin' like I already won the election / Fuck it, shunning protection... Rest assured, I keep the label embarrassed."


RiFF RAFF on the other hand, spits a steam-of-cons…