Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Third Man Records Presents: The Dough Rollers - Gone Baby Gone 12" EP (Josh Homme-produced)

Just the other night, during one of my post-Christmas cyber "record-diggin'" sprees, I picked up copies of The Whooliganz & The Dough Rollers 12-inches, bands whose sounds couldn't be further apart; aside from the fact that both groups feature the talented off-spring of Hollywood elite (Scott/James Caan and Harrison/Malcolm Ford). While they previously self-released a seemingly long out-of-print 2010 10-track album, The Dough Rollers have recently co-aligned with Jack White's Nashville-based imprint, Third Man Records. "The Dough Rollers formed in 2008 when Malcolm Ford and Jack Byrne first decided to put their passion for American roots music to work by trying their hand at earnest, neo-revivalism," reads a recent Third Man press release. "But [with] the addition of Graham Norwood on bass and Kyle Olson on drums, their sound evolved, loosening, swarkening, and darkening... [occupying] the sometimes salty, sometimes sweet spot smack dab in bet…

Pharrell Reunites with Defunct Funk-Rock Band, N*E*R*D for "Squeeze Me" from The SpongeBob Movie (Sponge Out of Water)

"We're trying not to think too much in a cartoon sense, but more just like a psychedelic, otherworldly type of thing. If you want to draw a parallel, maybe think of what The Beatles did with Yellow Submarine," Chad Hugo, one half of hit-making production team The Neptunes, recently told Variety about their forthcoming work on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. "Squeeze Me," which was released online Friday afternoon, is the first track accredited to N*E*R*D since their 2010 group album, Nothing; Hugo, Pharrell, and Shay Haley's critically-acclaimed Funk-Rock fusion side-band has remained largely inactive over the past 4-5 years since its release. While Pharrell seemingly confirmed that N*E*R*D's "nature-based" fourth album has been in-the-works since around 2013, nothing of any magnitude has yet materialized. But to their credit, "Squeeze Me" is a jangly Caribbean-infused track that's likely comparable to something along …

Hip-Hop Stocking-Stuffer: Blu & Homeboy Sandman - homeboy sandman is the sandman EP (Bandcamp)

homeboy sandman is the sandman by blu
"I understand you've been running from the man that goes by the name of the sandman," echoes an eerie back-laid sample delicately lifted from America's 1971 Folk Rock album track, "Sandman." It's actually the lead-off track from illusive super-producer from Blu and seasoned underground rapper Homeboy Sandman's surprise four-track download-able EP, homeboy sandman is the sandman. While they've previously worked together on a number of non-album tracks, most notably "Atlantis," which was released on Stones Throw this past June, this marks their first cohesive long(er)-form project. homeboy sandman is the sandman EP was released with little to no release information, aside from "homeboy sandman is the sandman produced by blu" and a handful of vague Bandcamp genre tags: "hip hop, hip-hop/rap, nwc rap, Los Angeles." It's largely a Jaylib-style rapper-producer affair, aside from a…

Red Bull Music 20 Before 15 Presents: iLoveMakonnen, Ezra Koenig & Despot - "Down 4 So Long" (Remix)

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has had a pretty buzz-worthy year; having appeared on genre-blending tracks with Major Lazer, SBTRKT, Chromeo, @Seinfeld2000, and even a duet with Karen O on the Her soundtrack. Koenig's latest outer-band activity includes a Twitter-esque "rapped-sung" verse on new-comer iLoveMakonnen's Red Bull Music-backed "Down 4 So Long" Remix, which was released over the weekend along with 1,000 free downloads as part of their 20 Before 15 singles series. "@iLoveMakonnen5D and @despotroast (Despot) could both put out greatest hits albums and neither one has ever made an album," @arzE Koenig affectionately Tweeted about his fellow collaborators and new-found buddies upon "Down 4 So Long"'s release. Koenig and Despot's appended verses add an air of fun and familiarity to Makonnen's "Down 4 So Long," which is reportedly about the accidental shooting death of his high school friend; "Summer…

RCA Records Presents: Miguel - "nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee EP" (Untitled Soundcloud EP)

Not entirely unlike the three-volume Art Dealer Chic EP set released leading up to his 2012 commercial break-through, Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel suddenly uploaded a three-track EP to Soundcloud in the wee hours of Friday morning; seemingly titled either nwa.hollywoodreams.coffee EP or WILD EP, similar to the tattoo scrawled across Miguel's knuckles on the rather suggestive album cover. It's a painfully brief 10-minute burst of guitar-fueled Soul-Funk/R&B, part of which okayplayer effectively refers to as "a swagged-out Spaghetti Western with Curtis Mayfield wheeling and dealing on the score, driven by fuzzy guitar and total impropriety." EP opener, "NWA" features Snoop Dogg-affiliated Philly rapper Kurupt atop a stuttering 808 drumbeat and slinky guitar-accented quasi-rocker flanked by Miguel's seductive hook and bridge refrains, "she just wanna ride with a N.W.A... Got you walkin' with a gangsta lean." "NWA" is then followe…

Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Bilal & Anna Wise Debut "Untitled" (The Colbert Report)

"You are the last Colbert Report musical guest. Honored to have you on, but keep in mind: Paul McCartney, R.E.M., Jack White, and Nas were your opening acts," Stephen Colbert cleverly quipped at Kendrick Lamar during their pre-performance interview on last night's show. Lamar premiered a brand new "Untitled" track reportedly produced by French beatsmith Astronote; its world-premier performance was delivered by a pick-up band consisting of bass virtuoso Thundercat, Terrace Martin on sax, and back-up vocals from Soulquarians affiliate Bilal and Sonnymoon sogstress Anna Wise. In stark contrast to Kendrick Lamar's previous Isley Brothers-indebted "i,""Untitled" is more of a sparse experimental, Jazz-leaning affair, which seems to be a multi-faceted narrative; "In Lamar's story, an Asian man tells him to worry about his health and not his career, an Indian man recommends he invest in real estate, the black man reveals "nookie i…

D'Angelo Emerges from Self-Imposed 15-year Sabbatical to Unleash Black Messiah & "Sugah Daddy" (Red Bull Music/RCA)

"Black Messiah is a Hell of a name for an album. It can easily be misunderstood. Many will think it's about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah," illusive Neo-Soul/Funk singer D'Angelo explained in a statement at his Sunday night Red Bull Music Academy & Afropunk-hosted listening party. "For me, the title is about all of us. It's about the world. It's about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah... Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader," he powerfully continued. Black Messiah, once tentatively titled "James River," has been in-the-works for nearly 15 years; imminent release details suddenly began to trickle out over the course of this past weekend. While a brief 16-second Black Messiah teaser trailer first surfaced Friday afternoon, 1,000 downloads of piano-laden comeback single "Sugah Daddy&q…

Disbanded Noise-Rap Group, Death Grips Unleash New Single, "Inanimate Sensation" (Third Worlds)

Even though they amicably disbanded back in July, experimental Noise-Rap group, Death Grips still have an as-yet-unreleased double-disc album in their back pocket; part one of the powers that b, eloquently dubbed ni**as on the moon, was released for FREE download online prior to their break-up. "Death Grips just uploaded a video," read a stock YouTube email which suddenly appeared in my Inbox late Tuesday night... "Inanimate Sensation - Disc 2 - Jenny Death from the upcoming double album "The Powers That B,'" it continued. The entirety of "Inanimate Sensation" is strewn across a fallen NBA Jumbo-tron and it was supposedly directed by Death Grips themselves. Its bonkers, unconventional Hip-Hop beat vaguely reminds me of something that could've soundtracked Saturday morning/after school cartoons like The Animaniacs or even Looney Tunes and isn't all that dissimilar from Daft Punk's now patented brand of Future-Funk.


"Live show on…

Mad Decent Presents: Diplo, Ed Droste & Rostam - "LONG WAY HOME" (Ty Dollar $ign Remix?)

"[a] beach boys meets ty$ kinda vibe," @diplo Tweeted early Thursday afternoon, attempting to best describe his latest Soundcloud upload, "LONG WAY HOME;" a quasi-remix, or more so a loose cover, of Ty Dollar $ign's non-album single, "Stand For" re-recorded with Grizzly Bear/Vampire Weekend members Ed Droste & Rostam. "its about time that indie rock acts started to co-opt rap beats," Diplo lamented in the track's short-lived Soundcloud description, which Pitchfork points out, was imminently deleted. I was just telling my beautiful girlfriend, in terms of sheer line-blurring concept, "LONG WAY HOME" vaguely reminds me of Vampire Weekend's middle-of-the-road Indie Rock/Hip-Hop hybrid track, "Step (Wintertime Remix)" featuring appended verses from Danny Brown, Heems, and Despot.


"Stand For," the structural basis for "LONG WAY HOME," was actually co-produced by Diplo & DJ Dahi and is suppos…

Have Yourself a Funky Little Xmas: Tuxedo - "Wonderful Christmastime" (Stones Throw)

"Tuxedo Xmas jam dropping for all my gentiles (Santa emoji)," @MayerHawthorne Tweeted in the wee hours of the morning, preceding his newly unmasked Disco-Funk duo's yuletide single. "Happy Holidays from Tuxedo. Original by some guy named Paul McCartney," reads the Soundcloud description scribed beneath "Wonderful Christmastime." While most of us have known it since day one, about two years ago, Hawthorne and producer buddy Jake-One just recently revealed themselves as Tuxedo, along with their self-titled Stones Throw-backed album announcement. Jake-One manages to keep the majority of the former Beatles' holiday track intact, but adds a little more Disco-Funk/kazoo-fueled Hip-Hop swing to "Wonderful Christmastime;" while Mayer Hawthorne delivers his now signature buttery smooth New-Wop vocals, without disgracing McCartney's arrangement and even appends a couple Prince-level high notes, for good measure. Now, mind you, this isn't …

James Franco's Art School Band, Daddy, Recruits The Smiths' Bassist Andy Rourke for "This Charming Man" (VICE Records?)

Actor, comedian, author, director, painter, scholar, cell phone salesman, and apparent sleep-less human, James Franco has seemingly decided to add yet another "notch to his belt;" he's currently finishing up a full-length album with his art school band/multi-media project, Daddy. Franco formed daddy with fellow forward-thinking Rhode Island School of Design classmate Tim O'Keefe around 2011. Daddy's formative Motorcity EP and companion "Love In The Old Days" Remix EP were recorded on location in Detroit during the making of James Franco's 2013 Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz The Great & Powerful and featured a Polaroid of his scantily-clad Spring Breakers co-stars on Motorcity's cover. Franco and Tim O'Keefe even went as far as to recruit local golden-voiced legend and Motown founding father, Smokey Robinson for additional vocal duties on early video-single, "Crime." "We took a 10-poem sequence called "The Best of The Smith…

Purity Ring Suddenly Drop Unannounced New Track, "push pull" (4AD/Last Gang)

Purity Ring have kept a relatively low profile since releasing their major label Dream-Pop debut, Shrines, nearly two years ago; aside from a handful of Electronic-tinged remixes crafted for everyone from Soulja Boy to Lady GaGa and non-album tracks recorded with Danny Brown and Jon Hopkins. Purity Ring have reportedly been working on their as-yet-untitled second album for about a year or so no and then, all of a sudden, without any rhyme or reason, they quietly uploaded a brand new track late Wednesday night. "push pull" was crafted at the hand of in-house producer Corin Roddick and has seemingly already won over the approval of frequent collaborator, @xdannyxbrownx, who ecstatically Tweeted, "nothing short of amazing!!!!!! ... I love these guys." It really seems like the next logical natural progression for Purity Ring as a band, a little less murky and lo-fi, but still just as glitchy, jittery, and eerily beautiful as their early material; "You push and you…

Mayer Hawthorne Returns to Stones Throw: Tuxedo Full-Length LP (Prod. Jake-One)

It's been widely speculated since their mysterious 3-song Tuxedo Funk EP drop that illusive Disco-Funk duo Tuxedo were in fact composed of New-Wop crooner Mayer Hawthorne and his producer buddy, Jake-One. It's also been a sort of "music biz" insider joke since day one that Tuxedo's name itself was a discrete, yet tasteful, jab at Justin Timberlake's then just-released "Suit & Tie" and apparent assimilation of Hawthorne's whole old-school-meets-new-school Doo-Wop shtick he's adopted in recent years. "The Tuxedo collaboration began with an exchange of mixtapes back in 2006. The fruits of a long-standing kinship were three tracks that mysteriously showed up on Internet doorsteps nearly two years ago. In between personal projects, these three tracks became a full album's-worth of Tuxedo," Stones Throw exuberantly wrote in a December 1st album press release. "[Tuxedo] are descendants of the one-word moniker family of Funk,…

Bastille vs. Other People's Heartache Pt. III: Bastille & HAIM - "Bite Down" (Virgin Records)

"tbt after a long day at the pub, we went to sing on an untitled bastille song - now it's out and called "bite down,"@HAIMtheband Tweeted along with the above photo on Thanksgiving night; seemingly unaware that Bastille had planned to unleash their Electro-laden collaboration as a pre-release single to their forthcoming [Bastille] vs. Other People's Heartache Pt. III mixtape/album. "It's always been really important to me to constantly make new music and also to collaborate with people, something we don't really do on our proper albums," frontman Dan Smith said of the feature-heavy project in a recent statement. "It was really enjoyable to make and [was] a nice way to get together with people that we like and respect and have fun with it... I love having the side lane of our mixtapes as a place where we can make music people might not expect," Smith continued. From its initial bars, "Bite Down" comes off as a vaguely Electr…

"It's the story of a Native American going out like a champ..." Homeboy Sandman - "Happy Thanksgiving" (Stones Throw)

"There [aren't] too many Thanksgiving tracks in Hip-Hop. Here's one by Homeboy Sandman," @stonesthrow Tweeted, along with a link to "Happy Thanksgiving," late Tuesday afternoon. Not entirely unlike Eugene McDaniels' own 1971 anti-Thanksgiving anthem, "The Parasite (for Buffy),"Homeboy Sandman's latest tells the gritty truth behind Thanksgiving's rather gruesome origins; "This cut is called "Happy Thanksgiving." It's the story of a Native American going out like a champ before being slaughtered by European settlers. It was produced by Psycho Les of The Beatnuts," Sandman explains. "Happy Thanksgiving" sees a FREElease on the heels of Homeboy Sandman's latest Stones Throw-backed project, HALLWAYS, produced by Jonwayne, Oh No, Knxwledge, DJ Spinna, Blu, and a multitude of inventive beat-makers. Homeboy Sandman's latest festive-leaning release consists of roughly 57 bars-worth of dense lyrical wor…

Reggae Revivalists, The Lions Breathe New Life Into The Clash's Dance-Punk Hit, "The Magnificent Seven" (Stones Throw)

It's no big secret that I've been laid up and out of work for about 2 weeks after having minor corrective hernia surgery; during my time off, I've sent out a handful of emails to my musical friends and acquaintances seeking out new music updates. The Lions founder and in-house producer Dan Ubick readily replied with, "Forthcoming music..... yes, the new LP "Soul Riot" is due out Feb. 10th on Stones Throw and I can confirm that we will be opening for The Abyssinians at Dub Club the following night (Feb. 11th) for the release party." Ubick additionally attached an audio stream of The Lions' early single, "The Magnificent Seven," a spirited cover of The Clash's 1981 Hip-Hop-tinged Sandinista! hit single. Not entirely unlike their Doo-Wop-drenched rendition of "Jamie's Cryin'" from their second album, The Lions are successfully able to amplify and honorably re-create The Clash's genre-blending, Reggae-indebted Dance-…

"You can just imagine how sexy, crazy & dangerous my daily life is;" a Conversation with Pissed Jeans Frontman & White Denim Founder, Matt Korvette (The Witzard Interview)

I recently had the opportunity to reach out to Philly-area punk rocker and frantic Pissed Jeans frontman, Matt Korvette; following their brief West Coast tour, Korvette and I were able to catch up and conduct an all-inclusive 11-question interview — outlining his home-grown vinyl record label, White Denim, his "passion for fashion," new-found affinity for the self-proclaimed "Neon Icon," RiFF RAFF, monthly-updated record review site, Yellow Green Red, and everything else in-between. Indulge yourself below, if you're interested in finding out just "how sexy, crazy, and dangerous" Matt Korvette's daily life is; Pissed Jeans' long out-of-print 2005 Parts Unknown debut full-length, Shallow has very recently been re-issued and re-mastered on CD and vinyl, via their current label, Sub Pop.(1) I know that you guys just recently re-issued your first album, Shallow... but do Pissed Jeans have any immediate plans to start recording the follow-up to Hone…

Pusha T, "The Only Dopeboy Quotable," & Kanye Present: "Lunch Money" (King Push?)

"Jesus Christ, #LunchMoney make me wanna sucker-punch 14 Elk in the nose. Might be my fav @PUSHA_T backdrop since #Trill or #RideAroundShinin," Tonight Show bandleader @questlove exuberantly Tweeted. Former Clipse emcee Pusha T is supposedly holed up in the studio with Pharrell/The Neptunes, Kanye, and rookie producer Hudson Mohawke, earnestly working on the follow-up to his impeccable solo debut, My Name Is My Name (2013), tentatively titled "King Push." Early Tuesday morning without any prior rhyme or reason, a new thumping Kanye-produced track appeared on Google Play all of a sudden, which quickly disappeared; it was later premiered on Funkmaster Flex's radio show and soon thereafter, spread like wildfire across The Internet. "Kanye's best for ["Lunch Money"] is a gurgling, lurching soup of confusing, disorienting sounds, but all those sounds are built around a very basic, very funky pulse," Stereogum's very own Hip-Hop Head In C…

Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One "Do It" as Disco-Funk 2-piece, Tuxedo (Stones Throw?)

"Tuxedo [first] emerged last year with three tracks of smooth, synth-heavy Disco-Funk, and accompanied by no information whatsoever about the group except a greeting – "Tuxedo is here! Stay classy," Stones Throw wrote in an unannounced Tuxedo-centric post Wednesday afternoon (the former label home of New-Wop crooner Mayer Hawthorne). The 2-pieces' former download-able Tuxedo Funk EP featured vocal effects that sound suspiciously similar to those of Hawthorne, atop rumored Funk-drenched production work crafted by veteran beatsmith, Jake-One. Mayer Hawthorne's quick milli-second cameo as a valet within Tuxedo's latest "Do It" video, would seemingly add a little "fuel to the fire." While it's far from solid full-proof confirmation, I recently discovered a Nissan Murano commercial within the depths of YouTube, which features usual suspects Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One, billed as Tuxedo, performing "So Good" OFF THE STAGE gall…

Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies Present: Kendrick Lamar & Ron Isley - "i" (TDE)

"It's music that's gonna thrive in the club... it's not anything like what you've heard from Kendrick before. It's not like anything else that's out there right now," Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg ambiguously lamented about a fragmented chunk of Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated, as-yet-untitled forthcoming third album. Lamar recently told Rolling Stone that he's recorded "a bunch of tracks" with illusive super-producer Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Rahki, and in-house TDE production team Digi+Phonics. While he additionally referred to the album as "aggression and emotion"-filled, lead single "i" is a light-hearted, self-affirming affair. It seems as though Kendrick Lamar even recruited bass virtuosos Thundercat to add an appended Funked up bass intro onto "i" for its recent Alexandre Moors & The Little Homies directed video treatment. "Stop! Stop! We talkin' about peace... a piece of yours... a piece o…

Mikael Stornfelt Presents: oUzu BazooKa - "Southern Winds" (Tel Aviv, Israel)

"The music video is about people from different worlds connecting through music. And it's surprising how what eventually came out when everything was finished, was somehow so similar [to] the production process itself: Uri [Brauner Kinrot] and I connecting across the globe to get this project done and him flying from Israel to Peru to shoot it. It seems like a great parallel to the finished work, were Uri's almost arcane musical world gets connected to The Hermit's darker underworld all for the sake of a good time!," director Mikael Stornfelt lamented about the making-of Mediterranean Psych-Rock band Ouzu Bazooka's latest single, "Southern Winds." While frontman Uri Brauner Kinrot (UBK) is largely based out of Tel Aviv, Israel, he's toured the world and recorded with his "drunken wedding, Balkan-surf, guitar-tuba-drums power trio Boom Pam," as well as jet-setting acts such as Balkan Beat Box, Shantel, Firewater, and countless others…

The Witzard Presents: Peanut Butter Lovesicle - "Dragon Disease" (self-released B-side)

"Trust this trio to make contagiously vibrant Psych-Rock that's this hideously cool. Prepare to have your brain cells stolen and shoved in a Rock "N" Roll grinder," laments Spoonfed UK... Even having grown up a proud New Jerseyan, it's still a little hard to believe that a modern Hard Rock band such as Peanut Butter Lovesicle was essentially birthed at The Jersey Shore. While they're currently based out of New York City, brothers Mike & Jake D'Arc grew up in Pennsylvania along with their cousin and drumming frontman, Timmy Miller; not unlike most East Coasters, PBL seemingly spent their childhood summers down at Ocean City, NJ, where they still frequently record at Ice Box & Ice Palace and play shows at local venue, Yesterday's Restaurant & Bar. Peanut Butter Lovesicle gained notoriety when their two singles, "State of I" and "Black-Eyed Blues," were featured on a recent season of Gossip Girl. @PBLovesicle's …

Now-Again Presents: Madlib, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ & Ransom - "Knicks" (Remix)

Not entirely unlike his previous rapper-producer efforts – Jaylib, MADVILLAINY, and OJ Simpson – veteran Stones Throw beatsmith Madlib's latest collaboration with Freddie Gibbs (MadGibbs), might be one of his most ambitious, critically-acclaimed projects in years. Madlib and Gibbs rolled out three preemptive annually-released teaser EP's between 2011-13, leading up to their recent [Cocaine] Piñata full-length. "Bittersweet moment: the last @freddiegibbs 'Piñata' related release #Madlib and I will have the honor of releasing on Madlib Invazion. It's been a great ride, and I'm proud of every release," Now-AgainfounderEgon wrote in a heart-felt Instagram message Monday afternoon; hot on the heels of Madlib & Freddie Gibbs' just announced Knicks Remix EP assisted by XXL Freshmen alumni Action Bronson & Joey Bada$$, along with Brooklyn-based emcee Ransom. Despite "Knicks Remix"'s apparent basketball-referencing title, okayplayer

Pissed Jeans Cast Jennifer Lawrence's BFF in "Boring Girls" Video-Single (Sub Pop)

"Power-dirge from Pennsylvania; Pissed Jeans are noisy as a motherf*cker and proud of it on this, their debut full-length, which sounds like a big pile of mud and broken glass ripping through your stereo speaker in the most killer way imaginable," reads a juicy chunk of Sub Pop's overtly descriptive Shallow re-issue mini-press release. Frontman and part-time music critic Matt Korvette along with his fellow Pissed Jean-ers enlisted frequent collaborator Joe Stakun, who previously directed Honeys stand-outs "Bathroom Laughter" and "Romanticize Me," to shoot a clip for "Boring Girls" from their newly-remastered nine-year-old Shallow album (2005). Not entirely unlike Stakun's former creations, "Boring Girls" is an oddly disjointed visual presentation, which perfect matches Pissed Jeans' whole self-imploding Noise-Rock aesthetic; it starts out resembling your run-of-the-mill clip, with our long john-outfitted protagonist, Clay …

Party Supplies, Action Bronson & Black Atlass - "The Light In The Addict" (Fool's Gold)

"BEAUTIFUL NEW MUSIC BY MY BROTHER @xpartysuppliesx AND I. ADD @BlackAtlass AND WE HAVE A MASTERPIECE..." @ActionBronson exuberantly Tweeted, along with a link to the Billboard premier of "The Light In The Addict." It was seemingly debuted live at a colorful Sonos Studios/Soundcloud showcase held about a week or so ago, wherein "PS frontman Justin Nealis [was] clad in jogging shorts and a David Lee Roth tee, while Bronson sported a Brazilian flag doo rag." "The Light In The Addict" will likely be included amongst a gaggle of previously unreleased Soundcloud-debuted loosies on Party Supplies' long-rumored Tough Love vinyl/CD re-issue, which is currently slated for a November 25th release on Fool's Gold Records. Party Supplies simply summed up the track's underlying theme as "nothing is perfect... It's the sound of hope and survival and the crossroads of good and bad," when recently speaking with Billboard.


Nealis hims…

Warp Records Presents: Flying Lotus & Kendrick Lamar - "Never Catch Me" (Electro-Jazz Fusion)

Flying Lotus' latest Warp Records-released creation, You're Dead! features a wide array of contributions from an unlikely gamut of collaborators including Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Angel Deradoorian, frequent collaborator Thundercat, and even Lotus' own rapping alter-ego Captain Murphy; but according to a flurry of late night Tweets the other night, for whatever reasons, additional tracks recorded with super-star guests Pharrell, Chance The Rapper, Mac Miller, and supplementary Kendrick Lamar material were ultimately scrapped. Aside from dwelling on what could have been... Flying Lotus unleashed the first Lamar-assisted single from You're Dead!, "Never Catch Me" nearly one week prior to the album's release, last Wednesday, October 1st. It's an oddly heartwarming life-affirming, death-defying clip, which only showcases a brief milli-second glimpse of Steven Ellison (Lotus) himself, who's quietly seated at the funeral …

Somewhere In America: Mastodon - "The Motherload" (Reprise Records)

"Somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still TWERKIN,'" that now-infamous Jay Z line single-handedly sums up the cultural assimilation of yet another once "cool" African-American trend, TWERKING. It's just something that "white bread" middle American women, not entirely unlike Taylor Swift, really shouldn't even be attempting to do in the first place. Atlanta-based Prog-Metal behemoths, Mastodon's latest video treatment, "The Motherload" could likely coexist somewhere in the unlikely cross-hairs nestled in-between Sir-Mix-a-Lot and Danzig. "We weren't trying to make fun of Hip-Hop videos. It was a fine line, because I didn't want to come off as being sexist, so I thought that maybe the females took center stage and looked powerful and had this dance battle," Mastodon drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor recently explained to Pitchfork. Dailor additionally notes that he and his Mastodon bandmates along with directors Jo…

SSENSE & Surface to Air Present: Chromeo, HAIM & Napoleon Dynamite - "Old 45's" (Last Gang)

It all starts out innocently enough, at a Road House-stye "dive bar" that's seemingly located out in the middle of the desert; Dave 1 seductively croons, "if you think romance is dead and gone, found an old jukebox full of 45's, pop a nickle in it, and it all comes back to me" at "Old 45's" gorgeous dark-haired protagonist. Chromeo multi-instrumentalist P-Thugg can be seen seated by himself up at the bar, where our leading lady eventually settles, and in certain frames, sisters Danielle, Este & Alana Haim are seated alongside Dave 1 in a booth. "You know what? I tried out these new pants. I didn't think I'd like 'em... thought they'd be a little bit too tight. But hey, I'll tell ya... I kinda like the way they grip me," laments our cocktail-pouring bartender, right before a sensual bar-top dance routine suddenly breaks out. And before too long, yet another dance routine erupts, as the lights dim down and Dave…

2DopeBoyz & Jackson Browne Present: Ab-Soul - "W.W.S.D." (What Would Soul Do?)

It seems as though veteran TDE emcee Ab-Soul has ripped a page right out of one-time "label-mate" Action Bronson's book of tricks, essentially rapping over an untouched Jackson Browne track, "These Days," once recorded by both Nico and Gregg Allman. While Browne's track shares it's title with Ab-Soul's recent third album, These Days..."W.W.S.D." is actually an apparent non-album left-over; "What Would Soul Do" doesn't really even sample Jackson Browne's original recording, Ab-Soul more or less manages to rap in-between or along with "These Days," which was included on Browne's second album, For Everyman (1973). "Yo, how the f*ck my new girl got me jealous of other girls / I think I live in another world," Ab-Soul ruthless raps as he fades in and out of Jackson Browne's subdued crooning, "And I had a lover / But it's so hard to risk another / These days," a clever back-and-forth w…

TDE & Swiffer Wet-Jet Present: Kendrick Lamar & Ron Isley - "i" (non-album single)

Kendrick Lamar's latest non-album single, "i" has a seemingly unlikely sample source, The Isley Brother's 1973 Soul-Funk hit, "[Who's] That Lady," which many of you may recognize from Swiffer's hilarious long-standing "Who's That Lady" campaign. Right off the bat, "i" itself is more blatantly "commercial" than the combined the whole of it's predecessor good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), but in the best way humanly possible. It's almost reminiscent of OutKast or even Native Tongues' 90's era brand of light-heated "conscious rap." Kendrick Lamar has supposedly recorded about 30 tracks for his as-yet-untitled second album, including "a bunch of tracks" with Dr. Dre. "Lamar says to expect "aggression and emotion" from the album, as well as some straight-up freestyling" laments a recent Rolling Stone profile; "if I can say anything about this record... is that it …

Freddie Mercury & Michael Jackson - "There Must Be More to Life Than This" (Queen Forever)

It's almost unfathomable to me, as both a home-grown music writer and music-buying all-American 20-something, to hear that musical luminaries Michael Jackson and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury once recorded a number of incomplete tracks together that have been sitting in a vault somewhere in "Neverland," collecting dust for nearly 30 years! Mercury supposedly brought the potentially über-fruitful 1983-84 sessions to a screeching halt after Jackson attempted to bring a llama into the recording studio. Head Stereogum writer, Tom Breihan basically conceptualized the whole mind-boggling scenario perfectly: "[it's] like finding a giant pile of money under the bed in your hotel room and deciding, what the Hell, you'll just leave it there" ha. But now, Grammy-winning producer and Madonna collaborator, William Orbit has gone back in and meticulously re-produced/mastered the long-lost Queen-backed track, "There Must Be More to Life Than This," which a…

Mass Appeal Purrsents: Run The Jewels - "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" (Meow The Jewels)

"Run The Jewels will self-produce a new episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, with Mike and El both playing Gordon Ramsey. We will travel to a restaurant with you of your choice, completely uninvited and attempt to force them to change the menu. All the while, verbally abusing and insulting the entire staff to hilarious effect," reads the utterly side-splitting RTJ2 We Are Gordon Ramsey Package ($150,000). It's one of 11 totally outlandish too-good-to-be-true RTJ2 pre-order "BONU$" packages ranging from $7,500-10,000,000 in "price," which Run The Jewels blatantly admit that they'll "take your money and not fulfill any of [their] obligations as outlined in any package priced at 35k or more." There's even a Meow The Jewels package, wherein for the right purrice, Killer Mike & El-P will supposedly "re-record RTJ2 using nothing but cat sounds for music." Run The Jewels unleashed the second single from their for…

Dr. Romanelli Presents: The Alchemist, Samiyam & Action Bronson - "Which Ways The Beach? Mix" (British Knights)

"IF [YOU] LISTEN TO THIS, [YOU] WILL HEAR ANOTHER SNIPPET OFF MR. WONDERFUL. SHHH, DON'T TELL [ANYONE] @Alchemist THIS EXPLAINS IT," @ActionBronson quietly Tweeted late Thursday night, alluding to his recent "Which Ways The Beach Mix;" commissioned by Dr. Romanelli (DRx) and footwear company, British Knights and jointly produced by The Alchemist & Samiyam. The newly-minted rapper-producer beatsmith team painstakingly culled right around 8-minutes worth of audio snippets and vocal effects harvested from a series of 1980-90's British Knights TV commercials. It's without a doubt, an interesting sound collage, which fittingly provides viewers and sneaker-heads with a self-proclaimed "contemporary musical travelogue through BK History." Action Bronson bulldozes in at about 6:15 as the beat suddenly morphs into something, shall we say, a little more rap-able; "I know you seen me on the TV lookin' like a hunk of beef / When I smile, you…