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Showing posts from June, 2013

Matangi, Indie Hip-Hop Chinese Democracy: M.I.A. - "Bring The Noize" (Interscope?)

Matangi is slowly but surely becoming the Chinese Democracy of Indie Hip-Hop; Initially delayed from December 2012 to January to April 15th and then seemingly shelved due to what they're calling an excess of positivity ha. M.I.A. was supposedly told by her label, Interscope that "[she needed] to darken it up a bit" (Gold Coast). "Bring The Noize," sadly no relation to the similarly-named Public Enemy/Anthrax track, is M.I.A.'s first proper single since earning a Grammy nomination with "Bad Girls" (2012), which will most likely end up re-appearing on Matangi. It's companion music video casts M.I.A. as a slightly more ethnic-looking hot pink-haired "Barbie Girl" who anymore, I think sounds a lot like Die Antwoord's sharp-tongued frontwoman, Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Based off it's opening scenes, "Bring The Noize" kinda looks like one of those now infamous early 2000's P. Diddy-orchestrated all-white-everything parties.


M.I…

Return to The 36 Chambers: Joey Bada$$ - "95 til Infinity" (Summer Knights EP)

While no one else seems to have really noticed it, I think Joey Bada$$ sounds a Hell of a lot like Wu-Tang Clan's long-deceased Mad Hatter of an expert swordsmen, Ol' Dirty Bastard aka Dirt McGirt aka Big Baby Jesus aka Dirt Dog (ODB). Honestly, that's the first thing I thought after I heard Bada$$ enter the stage immediately after Action Bronson at the XXL Freshmen 2013 Tour's Philly stop about 2 weeks ago. The 18-year-old rapper eventually ended by flanked by his Wu-Tang-sized Pro Era posse, which I'm sure includes it's own 90's Hip-Hop-obsessed, new age versions of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Redman, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, and the remaining "Shaolin" by way of Staten Island emcees.


Joey Bada$$ is currently prepping the release of his first widely-publicized mixtape since 1999, Summer Knights EP for a July 1st unveiling; Bada$$ did however release 2 smaller projects since breakthrough 1999 (2012), a collection of left-…

Joe Stakun Presents: Pissed Jeans & Braden Overett - "Romanticize Me" (Sub Pop)

Although he largely retired from competitive figure skating around 2009-10, Braden Overett has decided to make a comeback, of sorts... call it a "blaze of glory" by way of Pissed Jeans new Joe Stakun-directed music video, "Romanticize Me." While the phrases Hardcore Punk and figure skating don't exactly line up, Stanuk makes it work much better than I could've (n)ever imagined; Upon announcing his retirement nearly 4 years ago, Overett penned an insightful article for USFS SKATING magazine, which blatantly laments, "In my mind, I was different... When I was done, it would either be because I had won the Olympics 19 times and broken all possible world records. I would have reached the pinnacle of sports fame, driving a different exotic car every day of the week and buying small countries with my 900 bazillion dollars. Or, I'd walk into the rink one day and there would be a giant neon sign reading: "Braden Overett's Retiring Today!" as…

It's Like a Fresh Start On a New World: El-P & Killer Mike - "Run The Jewels" (Fool's Gold)

Since voluntarily self-dissolving his long-functioning Hip-Hop label Def Jux around February 2010, El-P has somehow managed to release 3 full-length records over a 2 year span, straying away from his previous crippling album/5 years pattern. Run The Jewels is actually El-P's first proper album with close friend and fellow veteran rapper, Killer Mike; It's Proto-Rap that pays homage to Hip-Hop's "golden era" and even lifts it's boastful group name from a old school LL Cool J track, "Cheesy Rat Blues" (1990). Preceded by 3 equally glitched-out teaser singles: "Banana Clipper," "Get It," and Adult Swim-backed "36" Chain,"Run The Jewels [album] was uploaded to Fool's Gold Records early Wednesday morning (June 26th) for FREE download. But for diehard record collectors like myself, Fool's Gold has also pressed up a limited number of specially-designed 2xLP/T-shirts/herb grinder/standard CD sets available for a v…

Fool's Gold Records Presents: Duck Sauce - "It's You" (QUACK IS BACK!)

Super-producers/DJ's A-Trak & Armand Van Helden (together Megazord-ing as Duck Sauce) finally unleashed their latest, long-awaited video-single, "It's You." Throughout their short career, Duck Sauce have previously been miscast as a 70's Soul-Funk group, hairy human genitalia, and Barbara Streisand enthusiasts; Their short and sweet output includes "aNYway," Greatest Hits EP, "Barbara Streisand,""Big Bad Wolf," and I'd personally like to think an unconfirmed full-length. A-Trak & Armand Van Helden recently teamed up with director Philip Andelman to conjure up an interesting music video for "It's You." Building off it's underlying ol' timey barber shop quartet vibe, "It's You" enlists Duck Sauce as 2 sharp-edged barbers in a parlor where the hairdos, patrons' eyeballs, barber chairs, etc. all move in sync with the glitched-out track. Here's a few of my favourite highlights, whic…

We're Making an Album About Nothing: Wale & Jerry Seinfeld - "Outro About Nothing" (The Gifted)

It's about damn time that Jerry Seinfeld (AKA "Jerry Seinfeld" of Seinfeld fame) linked up with DC emcee and self-proclaimed super-fan Wale, who's already released 2 Seinfeld-themed projects, The Mixtape About Nothing and More About Nothing (2008-10). Propelled by Mrs. Seinfeld's love for Hip-Hop, the comedian-rapper team are supposedly working on a full-length collaboration that's been ingeniously dubbed, "The Album About Nothing." While that one's presumably still in-the-works, Wale's new Rick Rubin/Maybach Music Group-backed album, The Gifted, is in stores today, June 25th; some footage culled from the recording sessions for it's closing track, "Outro About Nothing," leaked mid-Monday afternoon. Filmed in stark black-and-white, it's essentially just an average conversation between Wale & Jerry Seinfeld recorded between takes, which employs Seinfeld's dry sense of humor. The Gifted houses a wide array of features…

5-Track Album Review: Transplants - "In a Warzone" (Tim Timebomb & Friends)

It's almost hard to believe that Transplants have already been a band for the better part of 13 years; Initially forged as Tim Armstrong's experimental Rancid side-project with roadie-turned-rapper and aspiring Punk Rock frontman "Skinhead Rob" Aston, Transplants soon recruited seasoned Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, rather than continuing to use pre-recorded ProTools drum loops. Their overall sound is a mildly weird hybrid of Hardcore Punk, Hip-Hop, Reggae (Dub), Drum-N-Bass, and an underlying Pop sensibility. During a lengthy 8-year long gap between Haunted Cities (2005) and this year's In a Warzone, Rancid remained fairly active as always, Blink-182 broke up and re-formed, Aston worked with his [other] D-beat Punk band Death March, and Armstrong released an album and singles/covers series as "Tim Timebomb." But with that said, In a Warzone is a pretty straight-forward Hardcore album, sans Bun B and Paul Wall features, of course ha. I was lucky eno…

XXL Freshmen Live 2013: Action Bronson & What So Not - "Every Time You See Me" (The Quack)

It's been proven time and time again that Action Bronson can essentially rap on almost any beat (or lack thereof), generally Party Supplies-produced: Peter Bjorn & John, "A Very Bieber Christmas," Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins, Guns N Roses, etc. Bronson's a highly-skilled rapper, who I can attest, can even rap impeccably sans beat; I had the honor of catching him on the XXL Freshmen Live 2013 mini-tour (Philly) last night, along with Joey Bada$$ and Big K.R.I.T. Far from the rookie of the group, Action Bronson somehow managed to go on first around 8:30pm, bummed a hearty joint off a crowd-goer... and completely SLAUGHTERED the majority of SAAAB STORIES, "Steve Wynn," a couple choice cuts with Meyhem Lauren, and of course, some shit-talking compliments of Big Body Bes.


For his latest featured track, Bronson teamed up with a very unlikely set of collaborators, Skrillex-signed Dubstep group What So Not (OWSLA). "Every Time You See Me" (The Quack)

RE-INVENTING THE METAL-FACED VILLAIN: JJ DOOM - "BOOKHEAD" (Steve Powers)

I read some fragments from a partially disjointed Noisey interview with Jeff Broadway and Peanut Butter Wolf, the director of forthcoming documentary "Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records" and the Indie Hip-Hop label's co-founder the other day. One particularly interesting [tid]bit dealt with the film's star-studded interview section; when the interviewer said, "Kanye must've been a hard get," Broadway quickly responded, "Actually, as far as who took the most convincing, that'd be DOOM." Yep, 1/2 of MADVILLAIN, the walking enigma formerly known as MF DOOM was hard to track down - Go figure! ha Preceded by a behind-the-scenes making-the-video segment the other day, Noisey UK (DOOM currently resides in South London) released the Steve "ESPO" Powers-directed "BOOKHEAD" clip late Wednesday afternoon.


Lex Records must really have DOOM in a tight nut-hold, cause they're already re-releasing Keys to Th…

Give Up, 10 Years Later: The Postal Service - "A Tattered Line of String" (unreleased)

The Postal Service are what you could call a "guilty pleasure," a band that represents a certain phase in my life, and about as far as I ever delved into Electro-Pop/Emo, thankfully ha. It's Ben Gibbard's side-project that released one widely-acclaimed album, Give Up (2003), which most fans, including myself, actually prefer more than Death Cab for Cutie. While swirling rumors about a follow-up and band reunion have always gone unrequited, the only thing to really materialize since Give Up is a recently re-released 10th anniversary 2-CD set. Sub Pop even managed to convince Ben Gibbard and in-house producer Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) to finally reunite for a lengthy 36-date summer tour, along with sometime(s) members Jenny Lewis and Laura Burhenn on background vocals and additional instruments.


"A Tattered Line of String" is one of 2 new, previously unreleased tracks included on Give Up: Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition, which is currently available at a record…

The Brassy Misadventures of Tom Bone: The Stepkids - "The Lottery" (Stones Throw)

The Stepkids are kinda like a Hip-Hop-infused modern day version of Steely Dan; equal parts sleaze, cheese, and white-bred Funk-Soul! In-between The Stepkids (2011) and it's upcoming follow-up, Troubadour the band leaked a string of Jazzed up cover tunes: Daft Punk, Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake. Last year, Stones Throw even teamed them up with sharp-tongued emcees Homeboy Sandman, Percee P, and Pharoahe Monch for an all too short-lived remix project. The Stepkids' latest Funk-drenched concoction is "The Lottery" a freshly tracked video-single preceding Troubadour, which hits shelves nation-wide Sept. 10th. Guitarist Jeff Gitelman described the album's creation as "deep musically, there are whole sides to us [that] we haven't really explored yet." Gitelman further laments that The Stepkids haven't even discovered some of their "most exciting stuff" thusfar. "The Lottery" co-stars trombone dancer Jonathan Arons right alongsid…

Kanye West Presents: Scott Disick & Jonathan Cheban In "[Black] American Psycho" (Yeezus)

"Scott Disick's dreams come true in the promo that I originally wrote for Kanye's new record, but not a lot was used: kanyewest.com," Tweeted American Psycho (1991) author Bret Easton Ellis. Rather than Christian Bale & Jared Leto, it co-stars Kourtney Kardashian's "baby daddy" Scott Disick and Kim Kardashian's BFF, Jonathan Cheban re-creating an infamous scene from the film; effectively subbing Huey Lewis & The News psycho killer talk for an interesting commentary on Yeezus. It's essentially the same footage that was projected on a few building sides, post album listening sessions, across the world this past weekend. Disick as Patrick Bateman impassionately laments about Yeezus, "It should be obvious by now that "New Slaves" is the undisputed masterpiece on Yeezus. A song so catchy, most people wont even remember the lyrics... But they should," as he walks into a side room and pits on a raincoat. "Then there…

The Downward Spiral: Kanye & Rick Rubin - "Yeezus" (Early Review, Leak)

What kind of madman would spend the better part of a year recording and re-recording an anti-commercial mainstream Hip-Hop album (if that's even a thing ha) all while his celebutante girlfriend is carrying their unborn baby and steadily nearing her dude date, only to have mega-producer Rick Rubin come in and re-work the entire 10-track collection mere hours before it's deadline!? - Unsurprisingly, Kanye West. It's almost mind boggling how much steam Yeezus has garnered without a proper single or music video, aside from "New Slaves"' building-side projections across the world, and virtually no album track leakage until the Friday before it's Tuesday June 18th release! Aside from all that, Kanye decided to boldly stray away from any sort of legitimate-looking album artwork/packaging, instead opting for the ghetto bootleg CD-R look: no cover or booklet, empty jewel CD case, sparse tracklist on the reverse side, and only a Yeezus-marked piece of red tape alo…

Robin Thicke Presents: Jimmy Kimmel & Guillermo "Blurred Lines" (Asher Roth Freestyle)

Blue-Eyed Soul brother and Growing Pains offspring, Robin Thicke finally scored his first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit with "Blurred Lines." The infectiously Funky track teeters the [blurred] line between mainstream success and Internet weirdness. While it was initially pulled from YouTube and then edited/re-uploaded, "Blurred Lines" has gained most of it's wide success without much label promotion, strictly based off word-of-mouth and social media shares. We're talkin' about Robin Thicke, Pharrell & T.I. singing, dancing, and getting generally weird with a bunch of scantily-clad models (It's just something you HAVE to see for yourself)! Robin Thicke & Pharrell stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday night to celebrate their #1 spot; actually filmed @ MySpace's re-launch party the night before, where Miley Cyrus and label-mate Leah LaBelle danced on stage during a slightly more Caribbean-sounding "Blurred Lines" rendition.


Anyways,…

Sub Pop & Gaucho's Electronics Present: No Age - "C'mon Stimmung" (not the video)

It's pretty safe to say that No Age have effectively re-defined the all too commonly-used phrases "make a record" and "do-it-yourself." Dean Spunt & Randy Randall have written, produced, performed, recorded, and even manufactured their upcoming fourth album, An Object. No Age physically manufactured, prepared, and assembled 5,000 LP's and 5,000 CD's along with Grammy-nominated designer/close friend Brian Roettinger; long-time collaborator Facundo Bermudez also lent a hand during the record's production [music] phase, too. No Age's lengthy discography includes a lot of fuzzed out weird, slightly fucked up-sounding Art-Punk EP's and whatnot, which were quietly released across a number of small label imprints: Sub Pop, FatCat Records, Teenage Teardrops, Youth Attack, Upset! The Rhythm, Deathbomb Arc, Soundscreen Design, Spunt's own Post Present Medium (PPM) somewhere in-between 2007-12.


Roughly 2 months ahead of it's planned August…

Paul Rudd & Diddy Present: The Lonely Island & Robyn - "Go Kindergarten" (Universal Republic)

The Lonely Island have now released 3 albums-worth of "Frap" (fake rap) comedy tunes in just under 5 years; While making fun of nearly any and every genre, sub-genre, and lifestyle choice imaginable, it's done so well that Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer & Jorma Taccone's thinly-veiled/slickly-produced laughable anthems usually manage to surpass their predecessors' initial success. In my personal opinion, "Go Kindergarten" is amongst the strongest and side-jerking material released since Samberg's SNL departure last year. This particular Lonely Island track ingeniously knocks what Stereogum'sMiles Bowe has quite cleverly dubbed "commanding club anthems," a trend arguably spearheaded by Lil Jon/Ying Yang Twins' extremely over-played high school dance smash hit, "Get Low" (2003). Preceded by a fairly well-orchestrated, DIY-looking #dancetroupe #lyricvideo a couple weeks ago, "Go Kindergarten" now co-stars self-pr…

Adult Swim Singles, 2013: Run The Jewels - "36" Chain" (El-P & Killer Mike)

Have you ever heard of one of those couples that've been "romantically involved" for FOREVER and have a couple kids together, only to finally get married 10-15 years later? Well, that's basically the kinda relationship El-P & Killer Mike have; 2 long-time rapper/producer friends who have been working together for years, released a joint R.A.P. Music album last year, and have finally locked down an official, albeit LL Cool J-inspired group name: Run The Jewels. While preparing their self-titled street album [mixtape] debut, Run The Jewels have teamed up with Adult Swim & Williams Street Records to unleash a glitched-out new single, "36" Chain." It's the first in a series of 15 weekly digital singles, which this year, is set to feature choice cuts from... Lil B, kitty pryde, Marnie Stern, Madlib & Freddie Gibbs, Lightning Bolt, Dan Deacon, Captain Murphy, Miguel, Pig Destroyer(?), and more! Karriem Riggins, Viktor Vaughn [MF DOOM], Hot S…

The Greenhouse Effect, Vol. 2: Asher Roth - "Numbers" (Pusha T Freestyle)

Asher Roth is hands down one of the most talented rappers in the game. But I feel like I always have to defend him because of his well-known semi-shitty single, "I Love College" and his scattered album release schedule or lack thereof. Roth is currently working on his long-awaited follow-up to Asleep In The Bread Aisle (2009), although I personally feel that his mixtape game is generally stronger. Not too long after Bread Aisle, I saw Asher Roth put on a show @ Club Roxxy (Philly); I'd somehow lost track of my friends by the time he got on stage, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself nonetheless. The second time I saw Asher Roth was yet another hometown show @ Milkboy on the tour behind Def Jam-backed mixtape, Pabst & Jazz (2011). My buddies Pat, Pauly, and I were essentially FLOORED when Roth came on stage with a full, Roots-esque Jazz band and effortlessly ripped through choice selections from Pabst & Jazz. Since signing with Def Jam a couple years ago, Asher Roth ha…

TDE's Latest Non-Signee: Action Bronson & Wiz Khalifa - "The Rockers" (SAAAB STORIES)

Yeah, it's 1am and I have work in about 7 mere hours, ugh; But "The Rockers" just seemed too good to be true, without hearing it before I get some zzzz's. Action Bronson has recruited Taylor Gang general Wiz Khalifa for the second leak from SAAAB STORIES, just a few days after unveiling "Strictly 4 My Jeeps"(Queens Day Remix) with LL Cool J & Lloyd Banks. Based around a weirdly catchy pseudo-hook, "I'll hit you with the dropkick Marty Jannetty," Bronson & Wiz sound better than you'd expect lacing up a slick Harry Fraud-produced beat together. The gap between mainstream and underground Hip-Hop has seemingly been bridged, and all it took was a shared love for weed, women, and wrestling ha. It almost pains me to say this, but Wiz Khalifa has really grown a lot since "Black & Yellow." What can I say, the man is good at what he does, which is making Dance-inspired Hip-Hop for suburban white kids... and with that said, &qu…

Trent Reznor Re-visits The Downward Spiral: Nine Inch Nails - "Came Back Haunted" (Columbia)

Trent Reznor abruptly disbanded his pride and joy, Nine Inch Nails, nearly 5 years ago now; Rumblings of a re-formed band reunion started to trickle out just few months ago and in almost one fall swoop, Pitchfork uploaded 3 separate stories late last night... album title/release date, a "leaked" radio single, and a 50-date world tour trek. Since splitting up NIN, Reznor formed another band with Atticus Ross and his wife, How to Destroy Angels_ (2010) and composed a few acclaimed film soundtracks for The Social Network/Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. I guess you could say that my hippy cousin-turned-lawyer Adam turned me onto NIN, who I always associated with the weird Goth kids in grade school, about 8-10 years ago. Starting with their new albums @ the time, Dave Grohl-assisted With Teeth and Year Zero, I slowly delved backwards into Trent Reznor's lengthy discography; a few of my personal favourites include The Downward Spiral, Further Down The Spiral, Still, The Fragile, …

LIVE from Queens, New York: Action Brosnon, LL Cool J & Lloyd Banks - "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" (Remix)

While you patiently await SAAAB STORIES' June 11th release and contemplate what the Hell could be happening on it's highly amusing, head-scratching cover... Here's a neck-snapping Boom-Bap remix while you wait! Action Bronson expertly recruited 2 veteran Queens emcees, LL Cool J & Lloyd Banks for his official "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" (Remix), which debuted on Funkmaster Flex'sHot 97 radio show late last night. Chopping the bulk of his previous verses and then adding on a newly-written one the track order now seamlessly flows between Bronson, LL Cool J, and Lloyd Banks. Granted, I still haven't heard Authentic, LL Cool J's verse seems like a return to form since the slight MASSIVE fall from grace that is "Accidental Racist" with Country super-star Brad Paisley.


I'm actually kinda glad Harry Fraud didn't really do anything to re-tweak the beat, cause "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" is almost tailor-fit for LL Cool J's laid back …

Life Is Passion Presents: Mr. Muthaf*ckin' eXquire - "Kismet" (cosmic-tape, 2013 A.D.)

Ladies and gentlemen of The Internet, it looks like The Grand Mufti AKA Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire has risen from the ashes and is finally back with a BRAND NEW 16-track mixtape, Kismet; For all intensive purposes, it's eXquire's first project since his critically-acclaimed debut, Lost In Translation (2011) and only his second release for Universal Records (since no one really had a chance to score a copy of The Man In The High Castle). Mr. MFN eXquire definitely brought in some added muscle for Kismet, recruiting a few of his highly-skilled rapping friends like Danny Brown, Nacho Picasso, Flatbush Zombies [all on one single track], Goldie Glo, and Gorgeous Black. Kismet seems to represent a certain level of personal and spiritual growth for eXquire, who recently took a break from the world of Hip-Hop to tend to his ailing mother and in turn, got sober cold turkey. VICE-employed writer Drew Millard laments that "this is not the same dude you'd associate with that o…

Odd Future Records Presents: Hodgy Beats & Lee Spielman - "Goodbye" (Trash Talk)

"Goodbye" and "Wicked" are comfortably nestled towards the tail-end of Hodgy Beats' just-released 7-song EP, Untitled 2; More often than not, this type of blatant Hip-Hop/Punk Rock fusion are relegated to cheesy one-off single status. But it sounds like MellowHype & Trash Talk are planning something a little more long-term: "No one knows about it. That shit is on the super-low," Hodgy Beats told Red Bull, referencing an upcoming album. "We spent last week [April] jamming and shit, finishing up writing and stuff," added Trash Talk bassist Spencer Pollard. Looks like "Goodbye/Wicked" are amongst the first tracks culled from those very sessions, while a full joint Odd Future Records-backed album still lacks any sort of solid release date. Honestly, "Goodbye" is my personal favourite of the 2 and man, it's one Hell of a brooding, heavy, Lee Spielman-assisted, guitar-filled closing track. It's a damn shame than no …

The Last Supper with Sky Ferreira: Vampire Weekend - "Diane Young" (Lemon Sounds)

Following a largely un-fullfilled search for a copy of Modern Vampires of The City that aimlessly led me across Cumberland County, I realized that aside from 2-3 well-executed lyric videos, Vampire Weekend have yet to release a proper music video in support of their new album; Whilst still grabbing headlines by torching a couple Saab 900's and hanging out with "distant second cousin" Steve Buscemi, the New York-based band finally unleashed a "Diane Young" video Monday morning. Continuing a long-standing trend that started with "Giving Up The Gun" (2010), director Primo Kahn somehow managed to recruit a very interesting cast of characters: Chromeo, Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Sky Ferreira, Despot, Santigold, Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen), and a ski-masked man that just might be cameraman Kahn himself.


What starts out looking mysteriously like a modern-day Last Supper slowly morphs into a righteous "dinner party where guest star Despot