Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rock "N" Roll Halloween: Yelawolf & DJ Paul - "Black Fall EP" (Shady Aftermath)



Just in time for All Hallow's Eve, Yelawolf & DJ Paul unleashed a 5-track FreEP, Black Fall late Wednesday night. The former Three 6 Mafia producer crafted some pretty sinister-sounding beats using primarily Rock & Metal samples; so far, I've heard Metallica, Pink Floyd, Muse, Michael Jackson, and Black Sabbath (Dio). I never really used to like Yelawolf's hillbilly-tinged brand of Southern Hip-Hop, until I heard his genre-blending collaboration with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, The Slumdon Bridge EP. It's a truly timeless Alt. Hip-Hop EP that I would've gladly paid good money for and I guess Travis Barker & Eminem's separate Yelawolf co-signs didn't hurt either. Leaked pre-release single "Light Switch" expertly manages to sample English Prog-Rock band Muse's radio-friendly hit "Uprising," while elsewhere, "Thriller" and Pink Floyd are sampled on one track. Yelawolf & DJ Paul previously worked together on "Go Hard," a track pulled from the recent Juicy J-less Three 6 Mafia Da Mafia 6ix "reunion album," 6ix Commandments (which may or may not have been released on 10/29). Have a safe and Happy Halloween Weekend, my friends... download a copy of Black Fall EP, and let it be the soundtrack to your ghoulish festivities!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Late Night Presents: Chromeo & Death from Above 1979 - "Sexy Socialite" (White Women)




Chromeo, David "Dave 1" Macklovitch and Patrick "P-Thugg" Gemayel, are without a doubt two of the forefathers of now über-trendy futuristic-leaning Electro-Funk; they've been making smooth Space-Funk together since the mid-90's, but somehow only unleashed their first album, She's In Control, as recently as 2004. While Chromeo's fourth album, White Women still lacks a solid release date, that indeed hasn't stopped them from kicking a promotional campaign into full gear! After releasing two teaser singles within the last few months, Dave 1 & P-Thugg stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday-Wednesday night, along with fellow Canadian buddies Death from Above 1979 and "The Sexy Socialites" (a fully fleshed out Gospel choir). The recently reunited 2-piece have seemingly been delegated to Chromeo's backing band, while Dave 1 & P-Thugg took on the role of a 1980's-minded Back to The Future-like Electro-Funk band, complete with Frampton Auto-Tune and all.


However, the most memorable Late Night moment just might have been when a "random" (obviously well-rehearsed) Gospel singer suddenly started melodically rapping "Sexy Socialite"'s mid-song break-down. "It's ambiguous - ethnic guys [Macklovitch is 1/2 Moroccan, Gemayel is Lebanese] making a tribute to black music with an album called White Women. We felt it was a challenge to this super conservative climate we're feeling in America these days," Dave 1 Macklovitch lamented to Rolling Stone back in October, "We just wanted debates like this to be engaged. It's interesting that the music we make can branch out into these conversations." White Women is rumored to include varied contributions from Vampire Weekend mastermind Ezra Koenig, Chaz Bundick aka Toro Y Moi, Solange, former LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney, and Tawatha Agee (Mtume). It's unclear as to exactly when, but White Women should be out by early 2014; for the time being, "Over Your Shoulder" and "Sexy Socialite" are now available as a digital maxi-single on iTunes.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tyler, The Creator Presents: An Anonymous Band - "Glowing" (Harvest Records)


The Witzard was formed on three sonic pillars: Punk, Hip-Hop, and Indie Rock, which just so happen to be my personal go-to genres. And I guess you could say that I often times tend to favor Hip-Hop, but I really enjoy all three genres and it's always nice when they end up colliding organically. Case in point: Odd Future manager Christian Clancy initially introduced Tyler, The Creator to an Indie Rock band, who wishes to remain anonymous, after playing it for him on a plane a few months ago. Tyler liked the song so much, that he agreed to write and direct a video for the band's track "Glowing," under his Wolf Haley alias; "What people take from it is up to the viewer, I suppose," Clancy told NPR Monday night, "Controlling the narrative seems contradiction to the point. For me, it's a challenge to the assumption that ignorance is bliss, and that challenge is a timely as it's ever been."


Even though it's an anti-Hip-Hop super-saturated mini-movie, "Glowing" has Tyler, The Creator written all over it; slightly jaded, super artistic, inventive, original, and cutting-edge. He effortlessly paints a moving picture of a young couple in love that morphs into young adults and eventually, a white-haired old couple as the hyper-realistic world slowly crumbles all around them. While it might be a long shot in the dark, I'm pretty sure the mystery singer is D.A. Wallach aka Chester French frontman and sometimes member of D.A. & The Supa Dups. It would seem to all add up because of the Pharrell connection, underlying Pop sensibility, and links to Interscope through sub-label Harvest Records. But regardless, "Glowing" is an utterly amazing Indie-Pop track and I guess we'll just have to patiently wait and see who's really behind the mystery band... "WOW TYLER, I DIDN'T EXPECT ANYTHING LIKE THIS FROM YOU, CAUSE I ONLY LOOK AT THE STUPID SHIT YOU SAY AAND WON'T REALIZE YOU'RE TALENTED, WOW!"

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Albanian-Jewish Rick Ross: Action Bronson & Party Supplies - "Practice" (Blue Chips 2, Leak)




Editor's Note: I'm very proud to announce that I finally decided to purchase "thewitzard.com" last night. While the new site is currently under construction, thewitzard.blogspot.com and thewitzard.com are essentially one in the same. So, in a certain respect, this is my "inaugural" Action Bronson post ha... But make no mistake, Bronson is hands down one of my favourite rising emcees and Blue Chips (March 2012) is quite easily his most readily accessible project. "Practice" is the latest leak from his upcoming Blue Chips 2 mixtape with buddy Party Supplies, which is set to hit The Internet this upcoming Friday, November 1st. "I'M SUPPOSED TO BE THE FRANCHISE PLAYER, AND WE TALKIN' BOUT PRACTICE!?" beckons the voice of former Sixers all-star Allen Iverson (circa 2002) during the track's intro; and then, before you know it, "Practice" effortlessly morphs into a horn-laden Smooth Jazz in-debited BANGER!


I can vaguely remember reading during the initial press round-up for Blue Chips (1) that Party Supplies actually prefers recording, chopping, looping, etc. random raw beats culled from various YouTube pages for the sake of sheer originality and ease. Blue Chips 2's previously released/affiliated tracks have already taken artistic license with Guns N' Roses, an "Under The Sea" doppelganger, Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins, (and possibly) Tracy Chapman, and "Tequila." @ActionBronson recently stated in 140 characters or less that Blue Chips 2 will likely herald the end of his 90's Basketball-Drama-themed series and that he's next to start working on his "ALBUM" "ALBUM" for VICE Records; in addition to rumored full-length projects with RiFF RAFF, The Alchemist, and Funkmaster Flex. Mind you, "Practice" debuted on Real Late with Peter Rosenberg Sunday night, so it's largely un-mastered, and abruptly cuts off right around 2:45. Director and frequent collaborator Rik Cordero cooked up a pretty brilliant pseudo-back story for Patrick Ewing's infamous missed lay-up during the final seconds of Game 7 (1995). Now, I could attempt to explain it, but just do yourself a favor and check out the Blue Chips 2 teaser up above.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bon Appetit... B*tch!: "VICE Eats" with Action Bronson & Big Body Bes (Marea, New York)




Right on the heels of his long-awaited, nearly 2 years in-the-making Party Supplies-produced mixtape, Blue Chips 2 (November 1st), Action Bronson has teamed up with VICE Records' sister site, Noisey for VICE Eats; a hyper-realistic weekly web-series "where [they'll] travel the world with Action Bronson and his motley crew of associates to check out the finest dives and dimes of the restaurant scene." Lest we forget, Bronson was a former Art Institute of New York-trained chef, who quite regularly seasons his dense wordplay with a dash of Food Network-friendly speak. Most likely commissioned by Warner Bros. VICE ultimately sets out to follow "Action and his rotating cast of dinner companions [while they] dine in a wide range of remarkable spots to give us their honest opinions - both on and off the plate." It was seemingly preceded by 2 far lesser-known VICE Eats micro-segments, dating back to this past August or early September.


The inaugural episode documents Action Bronson and self-proclaimed performer/hype-man Big Body Bes' recent trip to two-Michelin-star New York seafood spot, Marea. #BLUECHIPS2 NOV. 1st (@ActionBronson) has been quoted saying that "THE BLUE CHIPS SERIES IS OVER, AFTER THIS ONE. FRESH NEW SPIN-OFF COMING... AFTER THIS BLUE CHIPS 2 DROPS, THE NEXT THING WILL BE THE [VICE Records] "ALBUM" "ALBUM"" as recently as Friday afternoon. It's rumored to include a few previously released Internet-singles like "Contemporary Man," "It's Me," and "Midget Cough," as well as 16 unheard Party Supplies-crafted tracks and one mysterious "Legendary Special Guest In Which We Can't Disclose." For good measure, I've also included Sean Price's guerrilla-style "Pouches of Tuna" Soundcloud-spun remix up above; essentially rendering "SWINE ON PINEAPPLES" the lone Blue Chips era freestyle.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle & Jeremiah Jae - "Elephant In The Pressroom" (Hellfyre Club)




"New singles off Dorner vs. Tookie by Hellfyre Club are up [at Soundcloud]. There's "Qualifiers" with Open Mike Eagle; Then "Manchester" with Milo, myself, and Nocando; and today, "Elephant In The Pressroom" with Mike Eagle, myself, and our special guest, Jeremiah [Jae] on the beat and guest verse" read an impromptu Hellfyre Club web-update, via busdriverr's Instagram feed. "Elephant In The Pressroom" is rumored to be included as a bonus track on Hellfyre Club's upcoming label-wide compilation (November 5th) and it's almost like an über-relevant Hip-Hop track; making clever lyrical mention of Breaking Bad, Kendrick Lamar, human train-wreck Miley Cyrus, Mike Tyson, and somehow flawlessly compares game-changer "Control" to Pokemon. It's almost like Hellfyre's call-to-arms because big ticket "mainstream" rappers should really be terribly afraid of these guys!


Founded by Nocando around February 2010, Hellfyre Club is essentially a functioning loose collective of Underground Hip-Hop misfits and a sub-imprint of Alpha Pup Records. Their collective Facebook page lists it's members by release as Intuition, E.SUPER, Bomb Zombies, Open Mike Eagle, Rheteric Ramirez, Flash Bang Grenada (Busdriver & Nocando), Self Jupiter & Kenny Segal are... The Kleanerz, Milo, Taurus Scott, and KAIL. It's expected that the bulk of Hellfyre Club's members, associates, and newcomers will likely all be included on Dorner vs. Tookie, which will see a wide release in a matter of a few weeks, November 5th. "Werner Herzog" [above] is an incredibly glitched stand-out track from Busdriver's 2012 EP, Arguments with Dreams; once again, it features buddies Open Mike Eagle & Nocando, and just might end up re-appearing on Dorner vs. Tookie!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rustie Presents: Pusha T & Tyler, The Creator - "Trouble On My Mind" (Lucky-T Remix)




Light years before unveiling his nearly flawless magnum opus, My Name Is My Name, Pusha T unleashed his unofficial 2-part G.O.O.D. Music debut, Fear of God and it's companion commercial re-boot, Fear of God II: Let Us Pray (2011). Not long after, LuckyMe & Decon Records commissioned Rustie, S-Type, Machinedrum, Lunice, and Hudson Mohawk [TNGHT] to produce a lost remix project dubbed "Lucky-T." Although LuckyMe further specified that "it never surfaced though, as Hud Mo started working with G.O.O.D. Music in an official capacity;" likely referring to his production contract, signed with Kanye's in-house Very G.O.O.D. Beats micro-label in January 2013. While Lucky-T never really managed to fully materialize, Rustie quietly uploaded his "Trouble On My Mind" remix to Soundcloud late Tuesday afternoon. It's a terribly awesome glitched-out re-work that upon an initial trunk-rattling listen, kinda reminds me of a Trap-heavy rendition of Daft Punk & Pharrell's 1970-80's Disco revival mega-hit, "Get Lucky." For what it's worth, Rustie's inventive club-ready remix really makes me wonder what Lucky-T as a whole would've sounded like... But if you're just a closet Pusha T fan or even an old school Clipse purist, I'd definitely recommend checking out Terrence Thornton's recent critically-acclaimed G.O.O.D. Music debut, My Name Is My Name!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Best of Both Worlds: Lady Gaga & R. Kelly - "Do What U Want" (ARTPOP)




Lady Gaga recently teamed up with Hip-Hop Soul/R&B crooner and Phoenix cohort R. Kelly for her latest teaser single, "Do What U Want." The first in a series of a planned weekly singles series leading up to her third studio album, ARTPOP (November 11th); Highsnobiety further described it as "a distinct step away from some of the styles of many of Gaga's previous songs, less Bowie-derived and more Tina Turner." But I personally hear lurching rhythmic effects that're reminiscent of "Thriller"'s eerie-sounding central rhythm and seasoned vocal inflections akin to Christina Aguilera. It's kinda more or less along the lines of a socially-conscious "panty-dropper," inter-spliced with semi-prolific lines like, "Do what you want with my body... Write what you want. Say what you want about me."


Just mere hours before uploading "Do What U Want" at 12:01am, Lady Gaga ended up posting a number of shit-slinging and self-loathing Tweets, coincidentally hashtagged #DoWhatUWantWithMyBody, #WriteWhatUWant, etc: "MADONNA HATES GAGA, SHE'S OVER... I don't need anybody's permission to be remembered. I will be. Whether they like it or not." While R. Kelly may seem like a pretty unlikely collaborator, lest we forget Gaga's previously worked with Kanye, Kendrick Lamar, Marilyn Manson, and Tony Bennett. Chicago producer Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair helped conjure up the majority of ARTPOP's 15 tracks, including singles "Applause," "Venus," and "Do What U Want," in addition to "Jewels n' "Drugs" with T.I. Too $hort, and Twista. R. Kelly's own forthcoming album, Black Panties, on the other hand, has been pushed back to December 10th for additional mastering. Even though Kelly stated back in August that new Trapped In The Closet chapters were supposedly just "a few months" away, episodes onward of recently unveiled Chapters 22-33 have yet to fully materialize.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

HOSS Records Presents: DJ Dog Dick - "Grease That I Got" (THE LIFE STAINS lp)




Max Eisenberg from Brooklyn, NY moonlights as genre-blending Noise-Rap singer DJ Dog Dick; a former member of Dog Leather, Nautical Almanac, Dog Synth, etc. Eisenberg is finally gearing up to release his long-rumored HOSS Records debut, THE LIFE STAINS lp (out November 19th). DJ Dog Dick hails from the same original Baltimore-based music-art scene that birthed Dan Deacon, Weekends, Dope Body, Pictureplane, and Surfer Blood. The proper follow-up to last year's Identity EP, LIFE STAINS has been slowly leaked online over the past few months in the form of "Dried Old Leaves," "Rot Is Hot," and Pitchfork-premiered "Grease That I Got." Their track review essentially likens "Grease That I Got" as a "straight-up Pop tune, built around a bass line that could've been stolen from an R.E.M. out-take... or a helium-injected Butthole Surfers." The Artist Formally Known as DJ DOG DICK (@ALLEYPISS) on Twitter further describes his latest Frankenstein sonic creation as "an anthemic pop rock jam." Upon a few early morning cell phone-blasting repeat listens, I can assure you that "Grease That I Got" is a fucking awesome anti-hit; as a long-time DJ Dog Dick fan, I have to admit, this is the mildly disjointed, borderline "mainstream" Pop-Rock tune that I always knew he could produce! What I've included down below is yet another semi-deranged single pulled from THE LIFE STAINS lp, "Dried Old Leaves," which also has a companion [official] video-remix that's been artfully re-arranged by Rob Feulner.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Death Grips Cast... Robert Pattinson & Colin Hanks In Short Film, "Misoneism!?" (Zach Hill)




"Zach Hill is currently wrapping up a short film he directed with an [original soundtrack] by DEATH GRIPS. The film is entitled Misoneism, is shot entirely in monochrome film, and follows the exploits of a young man forced into the underground prostitution business in Brazil. Starring Robert Pattinson and Colin Hanks, the film hopes to shed light on the matter in a shocking and abrasive way," reads a fragmented chunk of an interesting Pigeons & Planes post uploaded late Thursday afternoon. While a Pitchfork counter-post claims that "there is no short film directed by Zach Hill and starring Robert Pattinson," let's not forget... we're talkin' about a righteous Proto-Rap band here that's capable of leaking their own album along with private emails, generating countless self-shot music videos, staging elaborate pseudo-shows, and cancelling more tour dates than Axl Rose.


Colin Hanks reportedly told Consequence of Sound Thursday night that news of him working on a short film with Death Grips is basically, news to him. But honestly, all of this kinda seems like an elaborate, multi-layered media hoax that'd be right up the band's alley. As per the purported press release, Thirdworlds (Caroline Records) will supposedly help distribute a limited number of Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett's upcoming visual art-book, Hill's Misoneism short film, a companion Death Grips-crafted soundtrack (including new track, "Birds"), and curate an eventual one-off screening at Sacramento's very own Guild Theater. Looks like the ultimate proof or dis-proof concerning drummer Zach Hill's 1970's-inspired Robert Pattinson/Colin Hanks-assisted short film will be unveiled once a 2 minute trailer is[n't] released to their recently wiped clean Tumblr "very soon;" at this pint, it'd be pretty dumb NOT to release "Misoneism," especially after this recent fire-storm of press!

EVERYTHING IS PUSHA T: Pusha T & Kendrick Lamar - "Nosetalgia" (G.O.O.D. Music)


I guess you could say that I'm a modern-day musical "purist" in a sense because I don't usually like to hear a whole bunch of pre-release teaser singles before hearing an artist's entire new album. Take My Name Is My Name, for example: I only heard "Numbers On The Board" and "Who Am I?" before picking up a hard copy of Pusha T's debut solo album on October 8th. G.O.O.D. Music recruited a handful of completely unnecessary guest features , which are now strewn across Pusha T's 12-track record including Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Kelly Rowland, and former Drake tour-mate Future. Pusha T & DONDA rapidly unleashed music videos for "King Push," "Sweet Serenade," "Nosetalgia," and "Pain" right around or leading up to My Name Is My Name's eventual wide-release. Recent BET Cypher all-star Kendrick Lamar appears right alongside Pusha T in the black-and-white NPR-assisted "Nosetalgia" clip.


It's all anchored by a guitar-driven Soul-Funk sample pulled from Bobby Bland's 1973 cover of "(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don't Wanna Be Right," most famously performed by either Luther Ingram or former heart-throb Tom Jones. "Nosetalgia" is a very powerful, vivid-looking music video, even though the bulk of it is a largely action-less cinematic walk-along with Pusha T & Kendrick Lamar. It's most enjoyable lines, for me at least, occur when they almost effortlessly shout-out 2 vastly different 1980-90's coming-of-age flicks: "Black Ferris Bueller cutting school with his jewels on / Couldn't do wrong with a chest full of chains and [an] arm full of watches... You wanna see a dead body? / Instrumentals for my mama's Christmas party." While they've definitely seen both contrasting sides of Coke-Rap, Pusha T & Kendrick Lamar really seem to have a lot in common and simply rap well together; One of the most seasoned rappers in the game, the former Clipse emcee could likely teach Lamar a thing or two and help guide him down a path to lyrical longevity. Kendrick Lamar & Pusha T will both be headed out on the road with Kanye's long-awaited Yeezus Tour (Oct. 19-Dec 7th), which will supposedly showcase A Tribe Called Quest's "FINAL 2 joints where [they] started... New York City."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's Only Rock "N" Roll: Madlib - "Black Widow" (Rock Konducta, Vol. 1)




There's nothing quite like aimlessly diggin' through a bunch of dusty old crates and cherry-picking one random record based on either an interesting cover, lone production credit, or even a stand-out track and then having it sound 10x more awesome than you [n]ever expected; Well, that's pretty much what Otis "Madlib" Jackson Jr. does for a living! He's recorded tracks with everyone from the late great J Dilla to Brazilian Funk drummer Ivan Conti and somehow unleashed 13 full-length albums between 2010-12. It must be hard for a seasoned rapper-producer like Madlib to constantly keep melding together inventive-sounding output. Attempting to delve into a largely untouched batch of source material, Madlib has bravely crafted Rock Konducta (Vol. 1) for an unspecified December release.


He'll supposedly draw potential inspiration from "1960-70's Progressive Rock, African "Zam-rock," and other Funky forms of the Rock genre," an exploration which dates as far back as Stones Throw Podcast #64 (2011). "Black Widow" is our first real sonic taste grafted from Rock Konducta, excluding 5 possible album tracks that were included on Rock Konducta 45, limited to 500 copies pressed for a #RARE June 2013 show. A touching tribute to his deceased friend and former collaborator J Dilla, Madlib cleverly sprinkled some "McNasty Filth"-era Dilla ad-libs throughout "Black Widow," for good measure. According to Rappcats, Madlib and "the rapper formerly known as Mos Def [Yasiin Bey] have been discussing a trip to Zambia to record a collaborative album" in the near future. But in the meantime, Madlib & Freddie Gibbs' third pre-release 12-inch, Deeper EP is now available and their long-awaited full-length LP, Cocaine Piñata will finally see a rumored wide-release this upcoming February 4th.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nabil & Noisey Present: James Blake & Chance The Rapper - "Life Round Here" (Video-Remix)




"I've always felt like "Life Round Here" wasn't [ever] really finished," lamented English singer-songwriter James Blake during a recent Noisey video-interview with new-found collaborator. Chance The Rapper. Arguably a First Wave Dubstep pioneer, Blake's music almost seems pre-fit for a sharp-tongued young emcee like Chance; But it doesn't come off in that preconceived, label-suggested, and slapped together kinda way like other recent "crossover" hits (ie: A$AP Rocky & Skrillex). It's pretty easy to tell that these guys are true admirers of each other's work, who have become fast friends. Fresh off a collaborative track with Lil' Wayne, Chance The Rapper recently revealed to online-magazine XXL that he and Blake met at this past year's SXSW and "kept in touch and started working together on a couple of tracks, including some original material... people seem to like ["Life Round Here"] a lot. But I'm really excited for our other shit, too."


All-star video director Nabil seems to have been James Blake & Chance The Rapper's number one choice to execute their vision on film; Here's "Life Round Here"'s general concept, as Nabil himself sees it, "So, I thought I'd bring an old-school low-rider car to the countryside in England. Get a mixture of characters, and try and bring it together and make something that makes people question things and hopefully doesn't take away from the track." It's a stark, multi-layered black-and-white clip that features quick road-side glimpses of ghetto fabulous dancers, fist fighting hobos, a priest-nun pair, Somalian pirates, a horse crossing the street, and a brigade of shady-looking characters. While the original version of "Life Round Here" appears on James Blake's second album, Overgrown, and Chance The Rapper's latest mixtape, Acid Rap is now available online... I guess we'll just have to wait and see what else they might have in store for the unsuspecting world of music!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Clapping for The Wrong Reasons: Childish Gambino - "Yaphet Kotto" (Freestyle)




Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) hasn't really released much new material since unleashing last year's feature-heavy Camp follow-up mixtape, ROYALTY. But it sounds like the former Community star is planning to unveil what will likely be a new full-length mixtape [or album?], because the internet, "this winter break;" and if @DonaldGlover's Twitter feed is to be believed, it just might house collaborative tracks with buddies Kid Cudi, Flying Lotus, and Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), as well as his other recent web-single, "Centipede." because the internet's latest rumored inclusion, "Yaphet Kotto" (freestyle) was uploaded to Gambino's Soundcloud page roughly a week ago.


Preceded only by a Skylar-White-drowning-Breaking-Bad-like teaser trailer, "Yaphet Kotto" showcases Childish Gambino blatantly addressing his detractors: "Worst rapper to ever spit on an open mic / Worst rapper to ever get on so many likes / Worst rapper to ever blow up and over night." For those wondering, much like myself about 5-10 minutes ago, Yaphet Frederick Kotto is a 73-year-old African-American actor who's best known for his roles on NBC TV series Homicide: Life On The Street, Alien, Live and Let Die, The Running Man, and Midnight Runner opposite Robert De Niro, amongst countless others. It's unclear if/how because the internet will inter-mesh with Donald Glover's current film projects, recently released short film Clapping for The Wrong Reasons and an upcoming 1/2-hour comedy series tentatively titled "Atlanta," which is rumored to center around the city's thriving music scene(s). Clapping for The Wrong Reasons kinda seems more along the lines of a head-scratching art school film that somehow features cameo appearances from everyone from Chance The Rapper to Danielle Fishel (Topanga).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

When The Doves Cry: Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL - "Breakfast Can Wait" (Daniel Curiel)


While Dave Chappelle is sadly nowhere to be found, "Breakfast Can Wait" features dancer/director/etc. Danielle Curiel masquerading as The Purple One. okayplayer really put it best... "When we put the teaser image (those lips, that eye!) out to our network and said "who's this girl impersonating Prince?" the answer we got back (from some people who should know) was: That's Prince's new girl!" It's seemingly a non-album online single, which marks Prince's first widely-released, proper music video since "Musicology" (2004). Somewhat surprisingly, "Breakfast Can Wait" was partially inspired by Dave Chappelle's imgenious Prince-bashing Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories sketch; wherein Eddie Murphy's brother and his friends got challenged, badly beaten, and schooled by Prince & The Revolution at a mid-80's pick-up basketball game.


"Breakfast Can Wait" is one of seven non-album Internet singles that have been released between 2012-13, since Prince's most recent album, 20Ten. 3RDEYEGIRL, Prince's all-girl backing band, help execute what web-writer Tom Breihan perfectly described as a "morning-sex Funk jam," complete with Soul-Funk guitar licks and a high pitched Camille-reminiscent [chipmunk] outro. While The Kid himself is noticeably absent, leading lady Danielle Curiel appears throughout the heavily choreographed music video as a sorta bizarro Purple Rain era she-Prince, who looks like a much prettier version of Chappelle as Prince ha. "Breakfast Can Wait," as well as eight additional fairly new Prince tracks are currently available at either Amazon, iTunes, or from The Site Formerly Known as Prince.com for roughly $0.88.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Action Bronson & Party Supplies: "Blue Chips 2" TRACKLIST Leak!!? (no new music)


I mean... we just don't really post tracklists around these parts; It's kinda like a striptease, cause you can look but can't touch [or in this case, hear] anything ha. Although Queens emcee Action Bronson is generally the one exception to the rule(s). @ActionBronson leaked the tracklist for what he's dubbed "THE MOST INCREDIBLE PIECE OF ART EVER CREATED, I SWEAR," Blue Chips 2 early Thursday morning. Wholly produced by Bronson cohort Party Supplies, Blue Chips 2 will supposedly see a guerrilla-style FREElease on "The First Day it rains in NOVEMBER" "WITHIN THE FIRST FIVE DAYS OF NOVEMBER... NO MATTER WHAT." It's 19-song screen-capped tracklist boasts a gaggle of tasteful features from the likes of hype-man Big Body Bes, Meyhem Lauren, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, and a certain "Legendary Special Guest In Which We Can't Disclose." While it's unclear as to whether or not Bronson's recently previewed Tracy Chapman & "Tequila"-sampling tracks will appear on Blue Chips 2, the tracklist leak reaffirms that it'll in fact include a few long-time fan favourites: "Contemporary Man" (Jan. 2012), "It's Me," and "Midget Cough." But Party Supplies' beautiful Guns N' Roses video-recycling "November Rain" (release date inspiration?) sadly, doesn't re-appear here for whatever reasons. So, I guess all we can really do is stay tuned and just #PRAY4RAIN, my friends!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Return of G-Funk: 7 Days of Funk - "Faden Away" (Snoop Dogg & Dâm-Funk)




Snoop Dogg [or Snoop Lion] has somehow become such an instantly recognizable public figure, that even my 80-something-year-old grandparents are familiar with him. Long before his Reggae-Rap rebirth or Wiz Khalifia-assisted film soundtrack, Snoop Doggy Dogg was one of the earliest pioneers of 1980-90's West Coast "G-Funk;" It's essentially, a long-forgotten trunk-rattling Parliment-Funkadelic-sampling sub-genre of Hip-Hop that was largely produced by either Dr. Dre, Too $hort, or DJ Quik. After a few months of vague social media rumblings, Stones Throw revealed that Snoop Dogg secretly teamed up with Pasadena mega-producer and Funk revivalist Dâm-Funk to recorded an album under the group name 7 Days of Funk. It's kinda mind-boggling that NO ONE has already used that as a nom de plume [title] for something until now!?


Stones Throw quietly uploaded "Faden Away" along with the semi-cryptic Facebook message: "NEW MUSIC: Two of our favorite artists (we'll let you guess the names) in an all-new collaboration, Here's a sneak preview" late Tuesday afternoon. I think it's such a near-perfect Funk-Rap track because both Snoop & Dâm have spent the better part of the past 25+ years perfecting their separate rapping/production skills! While further release details are still pretty scarce, I'd imagine 7 Days of Funk's eventual album will most likely be a Stones Throw/VICE Records joint venture; Label-head Peanut Butter Wolf recently told Shots Fired (Podcast #41) that 7 Days of Funk will be coming out whenever Dâm-Funk & Snoop Dogg felt like unleashing it. For those curious as to what the impending "G-Funk revival" might sound like, I'd strongly recommend checking out Snoop Lion and Dâm's most recent albums, the Major Lazer-produced Reincarnated and Higher with Steve Arrington.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

THIS IS FOR SURE BETTER THAN GRAVITY: Tyler, The Creator - "Tamale" (Answer Outro)




Leading up to it's 9pm/12 midnight (eastern) online debut Monday night, "Tamale" was being billed as "A VISUAL INTERPRETATION OF TYLER'S MIND." What ended up coming out is a pretty trippy music video, especially from a guy who's supposedly drug and alcohol free; once again, directed under Tyler The Creator's oft-used Wolf Haley alias, "Tamale" features quick-strike cameos from Pharrell, Trash Talk frontman Lee Spielman, Shane Powers, and Odd Future affiliate Lucas Vercetti. Tyler The Creator was seemingly inspired by Diplo's TWERK-friendly brand of Dubstep, "Bubble Butt" in particular. He's seen bouncing on model Bria Myles' butt like a trampoline in one brightly colored scene... we also see a real-life recreation of one of WOLF's 2 alt. covers, some hi-jinx on a golf course, Tyler riding a giant kitty, underwater pool aerobics, Chappelle-reminiscent "white face," and blurred scenes that might just allude to a supposed beef with Spike Lee.


But once "Tamale" has run it's natural course, the video shifts focus to yet another WOLF album cut, "Answer;" for a slightly more mellow and subdued treatment that's further assisted by buddies Pharrell & Lucas Vercetti. Tyler The Creator, Pharrell (drums), and Vercetti (guitar) meld together a quick little Hip-Hop-infused Soft Rock ditty that's slightly emo[motional] and largely delivered through a microphone strewn across a dusty old couch. While WOLF has been out since April, it's companion Wolf Haley-directed mini-movie is supposedly on the horizon, as well. "F*CK THIS MOVIE OMG, F*CK NOW I'M GONNA BE DEPRESSED THIS SHIT SUCKS, F*CK YOU SANDRA [BULLOCK]... THIS IS FOR SURE BETTER THAN THE MOVIE GRAVITY," Tyler The Creator Tweeted early Tuesday morning upon "Tamale"'s initial release, seemingly bored and dissatisfied with Sandra Bullock & George Clooney's new movie (Gravity).

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Think We're Alone Now: Mayer Hawthorne Funks-up "Royals" (Unexpected Covers: Lorde)




Mayer Hawthorne has really progressed leaps and bounds since unveiling his premier limited press heart-shaped "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" 45 for Stones Throw (2008). Hawthorne has toured across America with everyone from John Mayer to Erykah Badu; I was lucky enough to catch Mayer Hawthorne & The County post-A Strange Arrangement at First Unitarian Church (a legit Philly church rec-room). He's already gotten a chance to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Daryl Hall, SebastiAn, Jessie Ware, James Pants, Pharrell, Jake-One, etc. Andrew "Mayer Hawthorne" Cohen has effectively pioneered a sort of Hip-Hop-infused "New-Wop" sound, over the course of 3 albums and some change. But critics and fans alike are saying that Hawthorne's most recent album, Where Does This Door Go?, is swaying in a little more of a mainstream radio Neo-Soul sonic lane.


16-year-old Kiwi [New Zealand] songstress Lorde rocketed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts over the weekend, a feat not achieved by someone her age since Tiffany way back in 1987; to help commemorate the occasion, Hawthorne orchestrated a heavily Funked-up "Royals" cover for VEVO's Unexpected Covers online mini-series. While it's a pretty faithful rendition of Lorde's sprawling Electro-Pop hit, it's a little odd hearing a mid-30's Neo-Soul crooner re-appropriating the young adult's mega-single about materialistic things like "gold teeth, Grey Goose, Cristal, Maybach," and of course, "driving Cadillacs in our dreams." The Roots-affiliated okayplayer described Lorde as "She's on some catchy-as-Hell-harmonies-from-heaven tip. She writes all of her lyrics... Her voice is something else, and is especially impressive for a girl of her age" far ahead of their peers. For readers that like what they've heard here, both Lorde & Mayer Hawthorne's most recent albums, Pure Heroine and Where Does This Door Go? are now available for purchase.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Duck Down & NIGGLETIUS Present: Sean Price - "New Sh*t, No Name" (Sean Shank Redemption)




Initially mis-labelled as "New Shit, No Name," Sean Price (NIGGLETIUS!!!) quietly uploaded "Sean Shank Redemption" to Soundcloud Thursday/Friday morning, while most of The Internet was sound asleep; a hard-hitting track with no producer or emcee credit whatsoever, it's since been revealed to feature Starvin B. But it doesn't really matter, because Sean Price is hands down one of the most talented and sadly, criminally under-rated rappers in the game! DA GRODD FATHER!!!'s Twitter feed has since been updated to vaguely specify, "The dude on the song with me is [named] STARVIN B. AND HE CAN F*CKING RHYME..." Price also seemingly revealed a tentative title for his forthcoming album, BONGO LENZIE BEAR. While there isn't exactly a solid release date, a new Sean Price record is definitely something to get mildly excited about; especially since his last album, Mic Tyson was packed full of 15 certified "cold hard" Golden Era Hip-Hop-inspired BANGERS! Regardless, new righteous bars from Sean Price are always welcome in any way, shape, or form and let's hope that new Duck Down album ends up materializing sooner than later! Shouts to heightfiveseven for her stellar cover re-creation (above).

Friday, October 4, 2013

Alive from Toronto: Action Bronson - "Give Me One Reason" & "Tequila" (Party Supplies, unreleased)




Party Supplies (Justin Nealis) is the ingenious anti-Hip-Hop producer behind the sonic madness that is Blue Chips; Nealis somehow coarsed Action Bronson into rapping over Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, John Cougar Mellencamp, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam [all on one track!], Extreme, Iron Butterfly, Guns N' Roses, Frank Zappa, Peter Bjorn & John, and Justin Bieber. Now, after nearly 2 years-worth of recording, Action Bronson & Party Supplies are gearing up to FREElease Blue Chips 2 on "The First Day it rains in NOVEMBER," whatever the Hell that means ha. Bronson generously previewed 2 unreleased Blue Chips 2 tracks the other night at the Toronto stop of his 2 High 2 Die tour.


For the sake of continuity and sheer blog-ease, I'm just gonna refer to the new tracks as "Give Me One Reason" and "Tequila" from here on out. It's a little hard to decipher lyrically because we're watching a sub-par fan-shot video; But it clearly sounds like Party Supplies almost expertly flipped both Tracy Chapman's 1996 mega-hit and The Champs' Chicano Rock instrumental smash hit, "Tequila," which was made famous years later for it's use in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) and The Sandlot (1993). In addition to Blue Chips 2 and his forthcoming VICE Records debut, "ROMANIAN WAITRESSES," Action Bronson may very well be working on a number of long-rumored projects with The Alchemist, Tommy Mas, Statik Selektah, and hopefully Twitter-rapper RiFF RAFF. Party Supplies, on the other hand has teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Sean Mann to record Tough Love, which label Fool's Gold describes as "Half Chromeo, half Easy Rider... blue collar Funk, school gym foot-stompers, and yearning city boy ballads over drum machine beats."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tyler The Creator, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt - "Look" (Nottz Raw)




When Odd Future first came out (2007), it seemed like they were pretty against working with an outside producers. But they've since slightly broadened their horizons, working with a handful of various producers: Kanye, Flying Lotus, Pharrell, James Pants, The Alchemist, RZA, BADBADNOTGOOD, Samiyam, and supposedly even MF DOOM. Late Tuesday night, without any prior notice, rhyme or reason, OFWGKTA uploaded "Look" to Soundcloud; It's produced by Nottz Raw, a Virginia-based beatsmith who's worked with everyone from Asher Roth to [The] Game. Tyler The Creator, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt manage to utterly RIP apart Nottz's hard-hitting beat over the course of nearly 5 minutes. While it's chock-full of righteous-minded bars-on-bars, some of my personal favourite lines include: "Barnacles, now I gotta brag / [Beamer] drive right by you nig*as like I was kinda fat / with a paint job that's flatter than Miley Cyrus' ass" (Tyler) ... "Wolf pack back up out the shed, foaming at the mouth / Got these bitches lip-locking, britches soggy on the couch / Talking shit, bringing profit in and bodies in to count" (Earl). It's unclear where exactly "Look" will eventually end up re-appearing; But Nottz on the other hand, has produced a 6-track EP with enigmatic rapper Blu, Gods In The Spirit, which is slated for an Oct. 15th release on Coalmine Records.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Downtown Records Presents: White Denim - "At Night In Dreams" (Corsicana Lemonade)




It turns out that "At Night In Dreams" is the absolute Fuzz-Rock romper of a track that White Denim briefly teased along with Corsicana Lemonade's initial release announcement (uploaded back in August). Sans lyrics at that point, "At Night In Dreams" was chopped up throughout Michael Hammett, James Petralli & Aaron Weiss' behind-the-scenes Corsicana Lemonade mini-film. Anchored by a looping Space-Funk guitar line, frontman James Petralli (son of 1980-90's baseball player Geno Petralli) kinda has a wonderfully tortured-sounding, whiskey-soaked growl that could be likened to their "Modern-Rock" peers The Black Keys or Kings of Leon. White Denim previously unleashed a slightly deranged Frank Zappa & The Mothers-reminiscent music video for the album's quasi-lead single "Pretty Green" and quite honestly, on the sheer strength of the 2 aforementioned tracks... I'll definitely be picking up a copy of the Corsicana Lemonade CD/LP, which is conveniently now available for pre-order. But for the greater music-buying public, Corsicana Lemonade will become available this upcoming October 29th in a number of formats on Mos Def's former label home, Downtown Records.