Posts Tagged ‘Drake’

Live from Bethesda, Maryland. It’s This Week in Hip-Hop, hosted by The No-Fi King K.I.N.G., Speed on the Beat!!!

 

Ok, so let’s get this show on the road. I can’t believe that I missed this one, but 2 Chainz dropped a new album/mixtape (the words are so interchangeable these days, so shrug it), Freebase, recently. The above track, “Trap Back,” shows what you can expect from this collection. Unfortunately for my working people, I couldn’t embed the MTV edit of the track. So bask in its uncut glory–with headphones on, of course. Chainz dropping bars over somewhat oddity-laced beats in a way that some consider more “experimental” than before. “Trap Back” also showcases a more lax 2 Chainz than what we’ve seen in recent times. The bite’s still there, but the bark’s subdued and lends itself to more of a “let’s go get messed up and do dumb things” type of vibe. In other words, the track and most of the tape is what we’ve considered “Happy Ignorance.” While the rest of the tape is more “typical” Chainz, it’s not a bad thing.

Rick Gonzalez-Between The Stars-hnhh

In other news, rapper-turned-actor-turned-rapper Rick Gonzalez dropped a new collection (note: In lieu of the words “mixtape” and “album,” I’m going to start referring to them as “collections”) Between the Stars. It’s like a combination of Blu and J. Cole with some grimy beats. He’s got some dope bars and an ear for beats, but his flow is stilted at times. That’s a problem that I’ll always have with a lot of these non-“mainstream” rappers. They’ve got it all down pat, but the flows can be cures for insomnia. But, I mean, not everyone has to be 2 Chainz. Check it out at the link below.

Rick Gonzalez – Between The Stars

Hip-Hop Fail(s) of the Week (So Far)

In light of “that video,” I’ve decided to bring back my TWIHH Fail of the Week award. We’ve got a few to pass out this week. First, in case you haven’t heard, will.i.am got kicked out of first class on a United Airlines flight (kinda) and then ended up having a pilot request a selfie. For that, I’ve got to give a joint FotW to will.i.am and United. Why? Well, United attempted to brush the whole thing under the rug with a press release, referring to will.i.am as just “the customer.”

Our second FotW goes to Jim Jones and his “2 On” remix. Now, I rock with Jim Jones at times, but he’s showing much rust in his once-impregnable armor. I’ma let you finish, Jim, but OB OBrien and Drake have the best “2 On” remix of (possibly) all-time (at the moment). Mercifully, Jim’s remix clocks in at just under a minute.

Until next time, guys. Stay tuned for my “Worst Summer Songs” list coming soon.

This week in hip-hop saw yet another salvo fired off in one of the longest-running quasi-feuds in hip-hop. After Drake, in a Rolling Stone interview, called Jay Z’s many, many, many references to Basquiat, Warhol, and other visionaries–a word thrown around way too much for way too many people, but that’s another post for another time–“wack,” Jay fired back on Drake’s own Soulja Boy’s song. Judge for yourself, but as is typically the case, the lyrics are pretty NSFW. Although, we do get an appearance from hip-hop’s resident hermit, Jay Electronica–that’s coming from a Jay Elec fan, by the way.

Since at least 2007, Jay and YMCMB/CMR have traded bars with each other. Honestly, I enjoy the “shots” because it takes hip-hop back to those old-school days when Big and Pac were still living–or even when Fiddy went at everyone. You know, the days when rappers weren’t afraid to just throw shots at each other in a competitive nature to keep their competition on their toes–and their own buzz up. As long as it creates some “DAMN! REWIND DAT!” moments, without, you know, the fisticuffs of a Source Awards or something I’m all for the back and forth. It doesn’t seem to really be anything more than friendly competition at this point–unless we start getting “Control”-like responses from people.

Man, that song got on my nerves.

*****

Cole Alexander Hates Drake and Loves His Rap “ignorant, ratchet, and ghetto.

This is Cole Alexander, guitarist for Black Lips, a rock group out of Athens, Georgia.

cole-alexander-black-lips

I’ve never bothered to listen to Black Lips that much. I remember they had a song on the Scott Pilgrim movie soundtrack and had a sort of southern punk vibe to them. They’re the type of band hipsters love, as evidence by Alexander being chosen to talk to A.V Club about his “hatesong.”

Here’s the thing: there isn’t anything inherently wrong with a white guy liking “ratchet” rap. That’s fine and dandy. People are allowed to like what they like. What is kind of crappy about Alexander’s opinion is that it places a white, male gaze on a genre created by “minority” artists. That, plus his whole, “white people now usually don’t have to deal with racism, so they allow blacks to make racist jokes as ‘payback’ for their ‘white guilt’ and stuff” diatribe on Macklemore, whom he seems to channel in the above photo. I’ve got two sets of three words for this guy, but I can’t say them on here. So…Why The Face?

I guess I’m going to have to bring back my “Fail of the Week.” Also, Modern Family FTW.

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Elle Varner Doesn’t Want Anyone to “See [Her] Tonight”

Back when Elle first came out, I had a bit of a Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) going for her. She, musically, had that Chrisette Michelle thing going for her, but “cooler.” Now while her debut didn’t move the numbers some predicted (honestly, it was epic, but still had a lot of boring and/or misguided moments), it was a decent debut. Her second album, slated for a late-2014 release, seems destined to silence doubters–or die tryin’. This song captures her “Only Wanna Give It To You” vibe, splashes it over a song about rejection, and succeeds. It, in some ways, sums up her first album in about five minutes. “I’m attractive and relatively famous, but I still get antsy about being rejected. And when/if it happens, like anyone else, I get kind of sad about it. And when I get sad, I may shed a tear or two…and I don’t want people seeing that because they see me as strong and powerful and stuff.”

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Indie Spotlight of the Week, “Art in Reality” by True God of #TeamDAR (Prod. by Speed on the Beat)

(Lyrics NSFW on both of these) Yes, yes, I’m tooting my own horn on this one. Sue me. The first track I’ve worked on myself since my own #MoneyWhereYoMouthIs, it speaks on True’s journey through music and music’s state as a whole. It’s a pretty awesome track that utilizes a slightly unexpected sample. Also, this:

(Sorry, Arteest, my dude. I had to. Everyone, #SupportIndieMusic)

Until next time.

-Speed

 

Yeah...it's one of those...

Yeah…it’s one of those…

Greetings, all.

If you’ve followed my personal page, you know that I am a fan of The Weeknd. If you have never followed my personal page, you now know that I am a fan of The Weeknd. Granted, yes, a lot of his songs have a similar NSFW/somewhat whiny vibe to them, but when he’s on, he’s on. I consider him to be akin to Michael Jackson–if MJ was a “[potentially hypersexualized] 20-something in [2010s] hip-hop-tinged pseudo-alt-R&B (link contains NSFW language and potentially photography) where it’s cool to sing about drugging your problems away” and/or sexing them away, only for them to return when you’re “coming down.” This weekend, he dropped, to me, one of the best “Drunk in Love” remixes. In hearing about his “two-for powers” with the ladies, it got me thinking about some of Mr. Tesfaye’s other remixes. For this week’s edition of #TWIHH, I’d like to explore a couple of them. I’ll try not to make lists a permanent thing, but the “DIL” remix made me do it.

The Weeknd x Lorde – “Royals”

Here, we take a dystopian look at New Zealand’s class struggles, strip any potentially “ironic” happiness the original production possessed, and leave a bare-bones rendition of one of the most hyped songs of 2013. Released a couple of weeks before Kiss Land, the track doesn’t feature as much Weeknd vocally as some would like to hear, but it still possesses that bleak atmospheric sound we’ve come to know from The Weeknd.

The Weeknd – “Drunk in Love”

Just to forewarn, this version is explicit. The aforementioned “DIL” remix turned the concept on its literal head. It’s what you’d expect from a Weeknd remix of a song about drinking. But, somehow, it still grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s haunting. It’s smooth. It’s sensual, even though, it should (potentially) make your skin crawl at how much of a grade-A D-Bag he seems to be in some of his tracks.

The Weeknd – “Trust Issues”

What happens when you take one T-Dot artist who’s insecure about women’s intentions and give him a track originally from another T-Dot artist with similar interests/feelings? You get The Weeknd’s “Trust Issues” mix. Honestly, I still prefer this version to Drake’s three years or so later. But then again, with Take Care-era Drake, some of his better songs from that time were Weeknd-like (or featured an OVOXO collabo)

Kavinsky ft. The Weeknd – “Odd Look (Remix)”

‘Nuff said. Also, watch the original video for the original version of this song. Think Drive meets electronica-like music.

Greetings and salutations everyone. For this edition of “#TWIHH,” I decided to switch things up.

As I perused through my email recently, I noticed I’d received a notice about a new Master P song. My first instinct was to laugh maniacally at the thought “hmm, I really wonder why Master P continues to put out music years after his popularity fell to the wayside?” I mean, it’s not like he’s flat broke completely hurting for the money (legal troubles aside). Ultimately, I put my thoughts aside and began to listen to the track, “We Poppin’,” which featured Eastwood (formerly of Black Wall Street Records) and everyone’s favorite Auto-Tuning rap-sanga not named Teddy Pinnedher***down (that’s still a nickname I shake my head over), Future.

To be honest, I found myself bobbing along with it with the screwface a couple times. As you’ve probably seen, it takes a lot for me to be like, “Yoooo! This ish cray.” on the first listen. For it to come from a Master P song made me curious about what he’s been doing since Romeo left USC and started appearing in ICDC College commercials his last full-on mainstream release (aside from the following video).

While the original Ice Cream Man hasn’t been as workaholic musically as he was, he’s actually put out some decent stuff over the past couple years. Sure, some of his verses are on some “so bad, it’s good” stuff (like “Brick to A Million,” featuring Fat Trel and Alley Boy). But, when he gets on a roll, he still puts out halfway listenable music. This is more than I can say about some of our…younger artists. Now, I’m not saying he’s putting out classics. But, his reemergence still begs the question: Is age really nothing but a number in hip-hop these days?

If it is, throwing down, in the musical sense, really may be nothing but a thang (RIP Aaliyah). If we look at some of the biggest acts recently, a lot of them are elder statesmen. MCHGYeezus, and other albums by some of these elders haven’t really been the greatest collections, but they’ve still been able to drum up numbers and fans. Some of this is based off the familiarity factor alone. If we have an option between Artist A (who’s dropped three CDs) and Artist B (a newcomer with a few mixtapes to his name), we often go with Artist A. But, familiarity alone can’t keep an artist relevant. It can sure as hell help, but familiarity alone isn’t enough.

master-p

The second part of the puzzle is the (idea of the) element of surprise. Part of the fun of a new CD from a vet is wondering what will be pulled out of the proverbial (and cliched) hat next. Will they retread bygone eras and familiar topics for a new generation (Master P, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, etc.)? Will they recreate themselves as a party rapper who finds himself featured on songs with Bieber (Juicy J, 2 Chainz) or a Mafioso-like BAWSE (Rick Ross)? Will they come out of jail overly hungry, but still deliver a song that’s not exactly the greatest work they’ve done (Lauryn Hill, DMX, Mystikal)? Will they make complete fools of themselves in trying to connect with the younger generation (Will Smith with “Switch,” LL Cool J with “Baby”)? Will they put over a new(er) talent (Jay Z in his “Mr. Carter” and “Light Up” verses–even though he kind of buried both Wayne and Drake on their own song)?

The possibilities, even the sucky ones, are almost endless. And that’s what makes seeing a Master P return to music interesting (even if he never really left). It’s also what makes hip-hop interesting, for as many times as people say it’s a young man’s game, the veterans still make noise.

Greetings and saliva, folks.

Hope your hangovers are recovered and your ready for some real spit (see what I did there?), because it’s time for Speed’s Wishlist for Hip-Hop in the Upcoming Frame of Time.* I used to do these annually on one of my older blogs, but that site was lost in The Great AOL Disintegration of the Mid-2000s. So, without further ado, here are some talking points that, if followed, can only bring peace and awesomeness into the world of hip-hop.

First, can we stop trying to sound like Chief Keef, Future/Rich Homie Quan and/or Migos? I mean, come on! I get that music is one of those things that goes by the philosophy of more is better and “if it worked for them, it’ll damn sure work for me because I’m better and more real than them.” But, if I’ve got to sit through one more faux-sung, over-AutoTuned track about trapping, thots/t.h.o.t. (a word/acronym that must be sent to pasture–and soon), and the lot with that “Karate Chop” flow, I swear that I’m going to start throwing chairs. And we all know what happens when people throw chairs (Ed. Note: link contains a use of “the n-word”). Now, I can’t lie. If I’m in the club, and I’ve had a couple…ummm…sips of Sprite, I don’t want to hear Immortal Technique, Nas, or Lupe. Heck, I don’t even want to hear my music when I’m partying, so everything has its place. But, get out their lane, random up-and-coming rapper 217291.

Secondly, I’d love to hear a female rapper (sorry Jean Grae, there is still a socioeconomic need to differentiate between male and female rappers–even if I don’t necessarily agree with it) to drop bars without referring to their sex or referring to themselves as female dogs (keeping it PG here). I know that people try to “reclaim” words and re-purpose them as strong, pro-cause terms, but I still can’t see much too “awesome” about being a dog. Maybe I’m missing something.

Ya...don't say, Speed?

Eh…nah. (Had to bring this one into ’14)

Third, can we stop the Drake jokes? No, this one has nothing to do with some upcoming news I’ve got for everyone the fact that I’m also writing for Boi-1da.net now. It’s more so that the jokes are repetitive and dated. It’s like watching an episode of Two and a Half Men. On repeat. For a year. You can see how that may make a person go all Robot Chicken (Ed. Note: Viewer’s discretion is advised as this video is from the show Robot Chicken). Better yet, if we’re gonna do Drake jokes, it’s like watching Degrassi: The Next Generation for a year and only getting to watch the episode where Jimmy gets shot. Yes, I watch(ed) Degrassi. In high school, and oddly in college, it got me into some…great situations. Now, some people, like Big GhostFASE and the like, they made their name off calling out some of the more…ahem…emotive rappers out there, and that’s awesome. But, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to/can do it as effectively.

This. Must. Stop.

This. Must. Stop.

Fourth, can conscious rappers get off their high horses? If there’s one thing that gets my goat more than anything, it’s that sort of you-know-what. I mean, seriously! It’s bad enough when Fake Deep Twitter talks about stuff they don’t fully comprehend. It’s even worse when you’ve gotta listen to entire albums of that gobbledygook, which brings me to my next point.

DOUBLE SEGUE!

DOUBLE SEGUE!

Fifth, can rappers get back to, oh I don’t know, rapping?! Between Joe Budden giving out relationship advice, Lupe tweeting books, Kanye “ranting” but kind of making sense, and so on, I had a headache. We get it. You’re bored and have down time like regular people, so you want to do something random. That’s cool. That’s great, actually, if it’ll keep you out of jail. But I want more music, guys and girls. Get to that, then we can talk about your extracurriculars.

Sixth, and this one is kind of local. DMV artists, let’s try to make history by having a year where we all get along and don’t start beefing over “he said, she said” tomfoolery. Because honestly, almost no one outside the DMV knows who any of us are. Heck, people have found out more about Wale through who he’s wanted to punch in the mouth at Complex than his music. Let’s not even get started on the Baltimore hip-hop scene (and yes, there is one. And no, it doesn’t just have Baltimore Club Music heads in it). If we, as an area (and don’t give me that “I’m bigger than DMV” shtick when people in the DMV the block where you stay have no idea who you are), can actually put our heads together, get off our self-imposed ego trips and actually make, oh I don’t know, music…we’d get somewhere. Beef’s are a real part of life and not everyone will love everyone else, regardless of how much easier it’d make things. But, for the love of apple pie, at least try.

*changed from “year” on request of those that are in the “it’s just a year” camp. Even though, you’ve gotta admit: focusing on just one year is a bit corny.

In case you missed it the first go ’round–like I did–here is the three-part Drake interview with veteran hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson. In the interview Drake divulges on why Nothing Was The Same took so long to write, why he didn’t think Take Care was perfect, why his music is so emotional, and much more. Check it out below!

Part 1 of 3: “I tried to tell the story with the music.”

Part 2 of 3: “Pound cake happened while I was writing for Beyonce…”

Part 3 of 3: “Twitter isn’t real…”

Check out Drake’s hour-long interview on CBC radio’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi below. In the interview we get a much larger understanding of who the person, actor, and recording artist Aubrey “Drake” Graham truly is. He reveals his aspirations, his influences, and explains his story from childhood to present day “Hold On We’re Going Home” era. Check out the interview below and let us know if the interview changed or upheld your perspective on the grammy-nominated Torontonian rapper by leaving a comment in the comments section below the post.

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So I’m sure we’ve all seen the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards Ciphers. But, I bet you haven’t seen what actor, comedian, writer and YouTube sensation Justin Hires has cooked up to parody some of pop culture’s biggest music icons of 2013 in his own version of a BET awards Hip-Hop cipher. His cipher features a faux Drake, Chief Keef, Macklemore, Miley Cyrus, and Kendrick Lamar. Although I, like you, stumbled across this while searching for the real 2013 Kendrick Lamar BET Cipher (which can be viewed Here), I was pleasantly surprised to find this hilarious parody and I felt that I just had to share it with the rest of my lovers of hip-hop and comedy. So check it out below and as usual leave a comment in the comment section to let me know what you think of the vid. (WARNING: Probably Not Safe For Watching at work…vulgar language.)

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What’s good in the woods and the hoods? It’s me, it’s me, it’s the No-Fi King Speed on the Beat ready to kick off my first post for Thee Arteest. When I was first approached for the opportunity, it took me all but ten seconds to be all, “well, heck yeah!” Arteest and I go back a couple of years to our undergrad days at the University of Maryland, so I’m honored. But, enough mushiness! I’ll just let my proverbial pen show my excitement on this new chapter.

While perusing through the Twitterverse today, I happened across this whole DJ Quik/Andre 3000 “beef”/rumor mill/random vent session. Now, while I get why Quik’s PO’ed, I’m pretty sure of two things. First, if Quik actually had “the monster,” he’s not Magic Johnson. He surely would have shown signs of it by now and/or died by now. So, while it probably had an initial impact, it’s not the type of thing you need to take to Twitter to rant and rave about. Thanks, Quik, for clearing up a rumor that’s been floating around for years. But, at this point it’s kind of like “WGAF.”* The second is this: I swear hip-hop and wrestling are more alike than Kendrick Lamar and Daniel Bryan supporters want to admit.

Except, of course, without too many running knees to the face. Sidenote: WWE, can you just either have Daniel Bryan win the belt and hold it for a while or move him out of the title picture for now?


I’ll talk more about that on my own page at some point for all of my wrestling fans out there. Now where was I? Oh, yes. Hip-Hop.

Young Buck’s out of prison after almost two years (and Gucci Mane’s headed back in). Here’s hoping he can catch a W for the first time in a while. Buck, to me, was one of the stronger aspects of G-Unit. Even though he didn’t get the shine of 50 or Banks, he was solid. Plus, he was “Southern” but still not “typical Southern” rap. Heck, anyone remember the “Shorty Wanna Ride” video with all its anti-Illuminati imagery? I’m not a believer in that sort of thing, especially how it pertains to rap, but I like when artists think outside the box for videos. That is, of course, to a degree. Can we not have Drake shooting (at) people to something that reminds you of 80s synthpop, Miami Vice/Scarface references be damned? Yes, I know, it’s a mini-movie (another post for another time), but it doesn’t really go too well with the song.

But, speaking of Aubrey “Drizzy Drake Wheelchair Jimmy Champagne Papi Rogers” Graham, his Nothing Was the Same tops the charts this week with sales of close to 700K. Now I’m more of a Take Care kind of guy, but all I can say (without looking like too much of a jaded a-hole–or Big GhostFASE) is this: congrats. Now if I can just get him on one of my songs…

On the independent side, I am actually trumpeting the release of DMV artist True God’s Soul Revival 2 album, which I handled most of the production on. (Yes, Virginia. I am a rapper and a producer as well as an opinionated blogger; check the bio) Objectively, the album presents a man who has lost a lot and is slowly starting to gain it all back, using music as his therapy. Part GKMC, part Nas, the album is revolutionary and militant while still being introspective and retrospective. I will not voice my subjective opinion here because I’d rather not sacrifice too much of my artistic integrity in my first post.

And, finally, on a light note (kind of), we’ve got this:

Until next time, guys and girls.

Speed on the Beat

*I’m making an effort to keep my language PG/PG-13 to show people I can be witty without cursing/being too vulgar.

“The continuing on-set adventures of San Diego’s top rated newsman.” [IMDB]

If you couldn’t get enough of Will Ferrell and his gang of news anchor misfits in the first Anchorman, you’ll be delighted to know the gang is back. And apparently bringing an onslaught of talented actors and actresses with them. Some of the slated cameos are: Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Liam Neeson, Drake, Maegan Good, James Marsden, Vince Vaughn and Harrison Ford to name a few. It’s going to be a star-studded event and everyone is invited just in time for Christmas. Anchorman 2: The legend Continues is slated for release on December 20th, 2013 and one thing we can be certain of, there will be plenty of laughs and “…Scotch, Scotchy Scotchy Scotch!” Check out the official movie trailer below and let me know if you’ll be going to the theater for Anchorman 2.

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