Posts Tagged ‘Hip Hop’

TINK – ‘TELL THE CHILDREN’ (PRODUCED BY TIMBALAND)

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nothing to say: Tink says it all.

(This song is in response to all that Ferguson bullshit.)

JULIAN RHINE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Brooklyn-raised hip-hop afficionado Julian Rhine is “sick of the bullshit– the suppression of humanity, the constriction of freedom, and the government’s active attempts to treat us like dancing puppets”. From this cerebral, social rage comes a blazing commentary: his latest single, An Excuse to Riot.

Julian’s begun to blast off with previous releases (No God Flow, another track, was hailed recently by several media outlets), but I think Riot is the song that will seal him as an artist of merit and grit. When you’re brave enough to tell your government to back off (or stand up), that’s when you decide who you want to be, and what you want to fight for.

We need more musicians who use their songs to spread a real message.

This is a great start.

VISION THE KID & TRU

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Rap’s hit and miss for me. It’s hard to relate to a musician when they can’t film a music video without exploiting a woman’s ass. Yet, even observing from outside the scene, I sense an evolution. Seems hip hop artists are relying less and less on hackneyed formulas, and exerting their energies on what matters: the fucking music.

Vision The Kid is evidence of this. Voted best local Minneapolis rapper by Vita.mn, he’s now teamed up with acclaimed producer Tru.

I listened to Somewhere In A Dark City (2014) from beginning to end, and felt I was transported into a dark urban opera.

It starts with a sundering stream of spoken word. Vision The Kid’s lips make tremendous movement, with or without a mix. All tracks following ride a hard rush: heavy, throttling.

This is music; this is talent. Lush, creamy, lines that crush n’ slice, with enough varied tone to keep me piqued (quite a feat- I lose interest quickly).

The lyrics are aware, observational, unblinking, and emotionally attuned. Somewhat predictably, my favourite bits would be any of the tracks with dark, sharp, poetic prominence: All Goes Away (ft. Lizzie Fontaine), Somewhere In A Dark City (the title track, obviously), and The Streets at Night, the spoken-word intro that had me hooked. (Fyi: there are two other spoken word tracks on the album -an interlude and outro- and they’re awesome.)

I especially like how clearly this is a duo effort. Though Tru may not strictly “perform”, he’s with Vision The Kid at every step. Together, they walk strong.

All in all I deem this a complicated, mature release, lending a lot of intelligence to an otherwise visceral art.

IGGY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Young rapper of the moment, Iggy Azalea, is out with her full-length debut The New Classic. The 23-year-old may be Australian, but judging by her Southern drawl, new listeners might mistake her for a girl from the streets of Atlanta, an obvious influence of her sound built from a mixture of Southern hip hop and T.I., who is often credited for mentoring her to stardom.

And although the album is getting mixed reviews, through 15 pop-coated tracks, Iggy makes her mark in a male-dominated field.

Walk The Line, the sparked-up opener, is a personal favorite.

Take a listen below.

[Related Post: Epic Combo: Iggy Azalea Feat. T.I.]

ON HEAVY ROTATION: MACKLEMORE – ‘STARTING OVER’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This song changed my life. Thank you, Macklemore.

//
And every kid that came up to me
And said I was the music they listened to when they first got clean
Now look at me – a couple days sober, I’m fighting demons
Back of that meeting on the East Side, shakin’ tweakin’
Hope that they don’t see it, hope that no one is lookin’
That no one recognizes that failure under that hoodie
Just posted in the back with my hands crossed, shook-en
If they call on me I’m passin’ it, they talk to me I’m bookin’
Out that door, but before, I can make it
Somebody stops me and says “Are you Macklemore?
“Maybe this isn’t the place or time, I just wanted to say that…
If it wasn’t for ‘Otherside’ I wouldn’t have made it…”
I just looked down at the ground and say “Thank you.”
She tells me she has 9 months and that she’s so grateful
Tears in her eyes lookin’ like she’s gonna cry, fuck
I barely got forty-eight hours, treated like I’m some wise monk
I want to tell her I relapsed, but I can’t
I just shake her hand and tell her “Congrats”
Get back to my car, and I think I’m trippin’, yeah
Cause God wrote ‘Otherside’, that pen was in my hand
I’m just a flawed man – Man, I fucked up…
Like so many others, I just never thought I would
I never thought I would, didn’t pick up the book
Doin’ it by myself didn’t turn out that good
//

UNCLE TIM

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Uncle Tim is a crisp R&B artist from Cameroon, delicately blending Gospel, Rap, and spiritual energy. Not Alone, his first available track, is soothing and lush with a soft-pop groove. Though he treads lightly in beat and verse, the message is strong.

I love seeing musicians weave positivity into their work. In an industry that often focuses on the negative (or even worse, the self-involved), hearing someone sing encouragement through my speakers makes me surge with gratitude.

Maybe it’ll do the same for you?

GEMINI WIRED

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A serious cause coupled with a smooth beat. This is what all music should be!

Gemini Wired is a fresh addition to the R&B scene, and before flooding the market with her debut EP, she’s already using her talent for selfless means.

What Now is a track boasting full, thriving sound. The lyrics and music video centre on an issue finally receiving the media attention it deserves: bullying.

Gemini suffered bullying herself in younger years, and is channelling past hurts into an outreach for others: “These bullies cannot beat us. …I want my What Now song and video to inspire as many people as possible.”

This song stands up against more than bullying; it also takes a simple yet poignant stab at greed.

Gemini sings, eyes closed, lips suffused with melody, “My music ain’t about the money; I take it all and give it away.”

Listen, learn.

CLINTON SPARKS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Burgeoning newcomer Clinton Sparks has just released a brand new track and music video for Stay With You Tonight featuring Riff Raff. The music video for the track also features rapper Lil Debbie and actor Jay Giannone from the highly anticipated film, American Hustle. The video, which is shot in a more serious/short film vein, recently premiered on Billboard Magazine.

Sparks, who is a Grammy-nominated producer & songwriter (Lady Gaga, Rick Ross), is known mostly for his work behind the scenes, but is now prepping the release of his solo album.

Stay With You Tonight is available now on iTunes via Photo Finish Records.

Check out the video treatment below.

KEYSHIA COLE LETS LOOSE ON NEW FREESTYLE REMIX ‘LOYAL’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Keyshia Cole has unleashed a new track, a comeback single/freestyle remix to Chris Brown’s Loyal, and the R&B singer isn’t holding back on getting personal. On the Lil Wayne + Sean Kingston-assisted record, Cole lets loose, venting frustrations amid divorce rumors.

After sitting it out through 2013, Cole delivers a quality freebie for fans, the latest track to hit since 2012’s Woman To Woman LP.

Listen to the spitfire release below.

Love it!

ON HEAVY ROTATION: GROUP 1 CREW – ‘DANGEROUS’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


If you took a bite of hip hop/urban pop and placed it in a blender with the Bible, you’d get Group 1 Crew. I recently discovered the single Dangerous and fell head over heels. Yes, the production is a bit safe for the current mainstream market, but in the Christian world, this is downright edgy. It’s a fun track that pierces deep with rich vocals and meaningful rhymes.

I’ve actually become a little obsessed with this song! My only beef is that there’s no video treatment to the track. So dear Group 1 Crew, if you’re reading this: MAKE A VIDEO! This song specifically could reach people that normally wouldn’t give Christian music a chance, and with a powerful visual to back it up, this song could really change perceptions and minds.

Listen to the highly-infectious Dangerous below + video introduction to the Group 1 Crew movement following. #JesusSwag

CHUCKIE CAMPBELL

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s nice seeing someone rap with a social consciousness. In a genre where many artists choose self-promotion over ethical or artistic intent, Chuckie Campbell would rather speak for the human race.

His rhymes are succinct, sedated, and digestible, forging a confused bridge between rap and spoken word. More Die of Heartbreak, an experimental album taking its name from a Saul Bellow novel, is a soft-hitting release with a slough of guest appearances and meaning behind the beats.

Chuckie says of the project:

“The album draws on the seven years after a violent physical assault that left my jaw broken in two places… [It] is dedicated to Ralph B. Prater, my close friend, music mentor, and unlawful attacker, who committed suicide in March of 2011. It is a reminder that for every one person who makes it out alive, more will die of heartbreak.”

ON HEAVY ROTATION: EMINEM FEAT. SIA – ‘BEAUTIFUL PAIN’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This song is f**king perfect! And before anyone asks why I support Eminem when he uses anti-gay slurs, please read THE FAGGOTRY OF HIP HOP piece I wrote HERE.

FYI: Sia (who is gay) has decided to donate all sales from this track to LGBT homeless youth in Los Angeles. Yay!

Also, I’m not sure why this is a bonus track and not a proper single since it’s the best song on the album. We’ll see if the record label realizes this in the future.

Listen to the incredible Beautiful Pain (featuring Sia) below.

#FINDTHELIGHT

BLURUM13

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Underground rapper BluRum13 has a distinct sound worth noticing. Born in New York and later cultivating his skills while growing up in Maryland, he now spends much of his time in Quebec, experimenting with bass, electronica, and drums – fusing a sound that is all his own.

Besides collaborating with many artists (Us3, One Self, Reverse Engineering, Bullfrog, the Russian Percussion), his music has also been featured on prominent shows such as Cirque du Soleil, CSI, The Family Biz (Canada), and Skins (UK).

His new album Inverted is available now.

Check it!

JOEY BADA$$

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Rapper Joey Bada$$ has been creating serious buzz about his place in New York rap lore, drawing comparisons to greats like Nas, Biggie, and Big L.

A member of the New York City-based rap crew Pro Era, he’s set to release Summer Knights EP, a 7-song digital release on October 29 via Cinematic Music Group/Pro Era Records/RED Distribution. Summer Knights EP will include two new tracks, My Jeep and a new version of Joey Bada$$’ current single My Yout featuring a collaboration with UK’s Maverick Sabre. The additional songs on the set were handpicked by Joey Bada$$ himself, an ode to his favorite songs from his Summer Knights mixtape released in June.

With his Pro Era crew, comprised of buzzing CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Dessy Hinds, NYCK Caution and producer Chuck Strangers, Joey is leading one of the most compelling cultural movements to come out of NYC today.

Summer Knights EP Tracklisting
1. Hilary $wank
2. My Yout [ft. Maverick Sabre]
3. Sit N’ Prey [ft Dessy Hinds & T’nah Apex]
4. 95 Til Infinity
5. #LongLiveSteelo [Ft. T’nah Apex]
6. My Jeep [ft. Meechie Darko, Issa Gold, Chuck Strangers]
7. My Yout (ft. Collie Buddz)

Check out the official Hilary Swank video below.

NO HOMO

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’m sure I won’t be put under fire for speaking the truth, right?

The truth is this: our culture is male-, white-, and heterosexually-dominated. We’ve made huge leaps in the past hundred years, but the unspoken privileges these three groups continue to receive needs to be recognized, especially by those who benefit from them.

If you require evidence for such struggles in equality, you need not look any further than a society’s subcultures.

There’s a lot more I could say, but the video speaks for itself.

[Related Post: The Faggotry of Hip Hop]

Homophobia in Hip-Hop from Byron Hurt on Vimeo.