Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmaz - "128 Ninjas" feat. Algato


I got goosebumps when the verse hit on this track! It was the music itself but it was also knowing that these 18-22 years young men can replicate the sound of an era well before their time and from a place almost 4,000 miles away with such honesty and authenticity.

"128 Ninjas" comes to us by way of Stockholm, Sweden. (Don't worry, it's 99% in English.) Christmaz, of Stockholm locals Pangaia, handles the heavy lifting on this track with a 2 bar Swedish spot from fellow Pangaia member Algato.

Christmaz is here 5 days early as far as I'm concerned. I'm truly impressed with his sound, delivery and lyricism. This gritty and cold weather styling takes me back to the time when I bumped Onyx, Heltah Skeltah and Wu-Tang records on my way to school. Back when I would take the 1 train down to The Wiz on 96th street to buy singles for .99 cents.

Check this international flava out below...

*Sidebar for New Yorkers: TheWiz still exists online!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Noah - "Namaste"


YES!! The West Coast has their own thing going on with Hip-Hop. It's always been that way. They keep it closer to the roots than the East Coast, to be honest. All elements of Hip-Hop culture thrive in a more robust way over there. Maybe it's the sunshine?

Noah came out of nowhere and quickly earned a place on the RoxFontaine.com watchlist. He even took a place on my Top 5 indie albums >/= Watch the Throne with 'The Wonderful Struggle.' I had a blast with that project and was looking forward to new material.

This is the first I've heard since "Supernova" and that was a long time ago. The up and comer has been working though. No doubt about that. He stated, "(I'm) withholding a lot of music right now, taking my time with this next project and visuals." I've always heard that good things come to those who wait. Not a thing wrong with getting your product right.

Check out this new release called "Namaste" that was dropped in my box. Signature Noah music and feels good all around. Free stream and download. Breathe easy y'all...

Bueller Da Don - "Groundhog Day"


Bueller back! Crispy clean audio, big beats and all types of fly talk as expected for a Bueller Da Don track. "Groundhog Day" is, I'm guessing, a leak from the upcoming 'Cruise 2 Fame 2' album.

This is definitely a joint to play in the am or at the gym to get you motivated to achieve. Bueller talks work, progress and opportunity on "Groundhog Day" while the airy pads of the Hotman produced track take your mind away.

Free stream and download for you rightchea...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Slot-A - "Choose Wisely" feat. Sincerely Yours


You're a rapper. The show is over. You go backstage. Groupies await. It just got real.

That's the premise of the "Choose Wisely" from Chicago triple threat Slot-A featuring Sincerely Yours. The song is an "all-in-good-fun" lyrical romp over a bounding synth bass line that promises to have you chuckle a few times at the imagery associated with the story telling. "Choose Wisely" is loosely based on the super popular Old Spice commercials featuring Isaiah Mustafa.

Look out for two projects from Slot-A in the very near future. 'Have You Seen My Stapler' with Mike Schpitz on December 18th and his solo effort, 'The Transition' in January 2013. In the meantime, check out this free stream and download after the jiggidy jump.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Exclusive: STORi - "Jump Off to Lovers"


I think STORi said it best herself: "Dope sauce drippin'." Somebody please call for a cleanup in aisle 3!

The Newark, NJ based singer/songwriter STORi has had a strong year. I'm guessing she chose to close out in Hulk mode as "Jump Off to Lovers" is by far the best I've heard from her this year. The smoothed out R&B track takes me back to my junior/senior high school days when you used to make "makeout" tapes. Hell, I may have to make one for nostalgia's sake.

I really dig this vocal performance and production. I'm wondering when we'll get news of a full release from her home at Universal/Motown. Give us the scoop, STORi!

Stream and free download of "Jump Off to Lovers" on deck...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jhene Aiko - "Mirrors"


Jhene Aiko continues to amaze with her unique sound and delivery. Fans of the soul singer have been anxious for a full project since 'Sailing Souls' but Jhene is taking all the time she needs. 
We're lucky to get this new song and video for "Mirrors" in the interim though. It's no surprise that the beat bangs heavy and Jhene pours the honey on it as we've come to expect. Her signature is lovely and the Topshelf Junior shot video adds a complimentary eerie and dark visual. 
This is one to repeat, folks! Press play...

Public Radio - "T.R.A.N.S."


Public Radio is Paulie Rhyme and producer Deedot. I'm apparently 5 years late to the pairing but the duo has been working the indie and college radio scene with international acclaim and even charting on CMJ. It's pretty much written in stone to go with what works, so Public Radio is back with the first single, titled "T.R.A.N.S." from a not yet named upcoming EP.

They put together a straight Hip-Hop "backpacker" delight with a super dope crunched out Fender Rhodes driven track that's a little bit spacey and a little bit alternative. I'm definitely intrigued by their sound and looking forward to hearing more from them.

Check out the free stream and download. All positive energy, sharp lyricism and quality sound.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Villa - "Stackin Mansions"


Villa's brand strength steadily increases. I always know what to expect from him and producer Brandon Rossi but I never know how it will play out exactly and that's a great thing! The sound is stamped. The flow is perfected. The delivery is strong. That's all around win.

With his new single "Stackin Mansions" Villa continues on his retelling of his rise from obscurity to popularity and all of the pitfalls that come along with the new status. He has a slick way of talkin' that ish and then flipping it around to show that the "extra" is a byproduct of the work and not a goal.

Free stream and download below. Get some.


Rashid Hadee - "Out the Vault"


'Out the Vault' is Rashid Hadee's collection of scrapped material from various projects spanning 4 years of work. I can assure you that there is nothing that says throwaway about this project though. The "all-in-one" record machine has a great collection of previously unheard work that plays from start to finish with ease.

After reading the press release, I expected to hear a bunch of dated material that wouldn't really strike any particular cord for anyone that isn't a die-hard Rashid Hadee fan. To the contrary, it's a timeless group of fantastic lyricism and soulful sample based production that carries the listener away on a cloud of emotion.

Rashid does a great job of doing the Windy City tradition proud and 'Out the Vault' stands up well, even as a "fan project." Definitely check out the stream and download below.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bad Rabbits - "We Can Roll" Music Video

image via AfroPunk.com

Sweet mother of all things soulful...

This song right here is so not of this time and place. I'm stirred up inside and I just want to jump up and down in front of my desk. I ain't tryin' to get fired though. This blog doesn't pay. I'm toe tappin' with a vengeance though. Belee dat.

Having the opportunity to experience Bad Rabbits music live before hearing them on record amplifies what they do in ways I can't verbalize. I saw them in the dead of summer at AfroPunk Festival in Brooklyn. The weather was perfect, the music was incredible and the energy was beyond inspiring. I remember the band stopping me dead in my tracks when they started their set.

They've done it again with this new video for "We Can Roll." (Shout out to Dirty Souf Yankee for posting it.) I wanted to hoot and holler as soon as the vocal drops! If we had "jook joints" in 2012, Bad Rabbits would be the house band for the night and I would certainly be cuttin' a damn fool on the dance floor. Lawd haf marcy this track is BONKERS!

Brace yourself....


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chrisette Michele - "Charades" Music Video


Since her debut, I've been waiting for Chrisette Michele to hit that Urban/Soul pocket. Through 3 albums, she hadn't quite settled into a comfortable commercial space that matches her talent. Now, I admit that I didn't listen to the 3rd album but that sort of reiterates my point. She is incredibly gifted but was marketed to the wrong demographic.

Chrisette Michele is arguably the most capable vocalist working today. You wouldn't really know that though unless you are a big time R&B fan and keep your ear to the street in that specific world. Though she's received tons of accolades, including a 2009 Grammy, it hasn't translated into a major breakout.

"Charades" is the first single, released exclusively over at StuffFlyPeopleLike, from her upcoming mixtape titled 'Audio Visual Presentation: Audrey Hepburn.'

THIS IS IT!

This is the urban radio hit she's needed. "Charades" is so smooth and sexy. Chrisette looks and sounds great, as usual, but it's all wrapped in a 808 laced syncopated dreamscape perfect for today's "Boss Chick." If this is the way the new project is going, I'm expecting her to really expand her brand this go 'round.

Enough of my yapping though. Get into the video below and look out for an in-depth interview from SFPL in the very near future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big Boi - "Lines" feat. A$AP Rocky and Phantogram


I. Can't. Wait!

Everything that Big Boi has released from the 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors' album has been insane. He continues to push the envelope creatively and this new release, "Lines", is another tick mark in his incredibly long hit list.

You've got to love that he can bring in a young new artist like A$AP Rocky and obscure to the Hip-Hop scene Phantogram and marry it all into something we've never heard. Something epic!

I don't see how we can have any discussions about Hip-Hop legends, Top 5, 10, 20, whatever without giving Big Boi his propers as one of the best in the game. The man has been flawless on all of his solo projects. He continually cultivates his sound to grow bigger and bolder than what we've heard before from him and doesn't seem to falter in any way, shape or form. Absolutely amazing.

Anyway, check out the new track "Lines" and look for 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors' on December 11th. 

Ciph Boogie - "Solemnly"


There are so many "would be" stars out there when it comes to music. If you let them tell it, the "haters" are the only thing stopping them from doing Michael Jackson numbers. In actuality, even those with incredible talent, they just don't know what they are doing when it comes to the business of music. At all. Especially when it comes to marketing and promotion.

There are so many finer points that are missed and one of the most prominent of those is how to properly work a record/album. Most of these "would be" stars just find a place to record, make music, load it to Site X and hope that people find it.

Ciph Boogie is an artist that understands more of those finer points. I know for a fact how long he's been working this record. I won't tell you because it doesn't matter. What matters is that he knows to keep working it! The result? It got picked up by ESPN's Friday Night Fights as a theme song and landed him a video interview on the network as well. That's WORK!

Check out the free stream of "Solemnly" below and the video interview as well. Ciph is a capable artist and the track is dope.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

AC - 'Courtesy of a Nightmare'


I was sifting through my mental Rolodex earlier today trying to figure out what I wanted to listen to on Spotify. Eric Sosa came to mind so I ran a search for him. Not much of his work came up. This 'Courtesy of a Nightmare' was in the search results so I clicked on it, pressed play and went back to work.

I listened to most of the first song and thought, "This ain't Eric Sosa but it's damn good! What am I listening to? Who dis?"

Meet AC. Apparently this dude has been operating at a high level right under my nose here in NY. Representing Staten Island, AC has clearly worked all kinks out of his game and is delivering all-star work. 'Courtesy of a Nightmare' is a fantastic project delving into a bevy of themes and ideas and it all works beautifully. The project is further strengthened by the production, handled exclusively by C4 Sinistah.

First impressions are extremely important and AC has made a considerable one with 'Courtesy of a Nightmare.' You will LOVE this album. It's rich in content, style and delivery. He's definitely gained a fan over here.

Check out the free stream below but you'll need to put up a little paper to take it with you. Well worth the purchase price. Dig in...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Saigon - "The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2"


The album opens up with, "I hope you got what you paid for. I ain't even gotta say more."

This has always been Saigon's greatest ability: to say so much with so little. What's most amazing is that he has so much to say and manages to make it highly stylized, logical and accessible all at the same time. This is what the game has been missing. Dangerous Rap!

Saigon is in absolute top form on this project, released on independent Suburban Noize Records. I have never heard of this label but I am SO F***ING HAPPY it exists because absolutely no major would have the balls to release this album. It's too I'm-not-selling-you-anything-but-my-ability good. It's politically charged without being beat me over the head boring. It's gangsta without promoting violence and/or drug use/sales.

'The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2' is inspiring on many different levels.

As a grown man who has known pain, struggle and failure but remained true to self, this album speaks to me in all of those things and is by far the greatest success of Saigon's career. 18 tracks of pure unadulterated Hip-Hop. Thank you!!!!

I love this album. I implore you to support this incredible body of work/truth and buy it. Check the free stream on AOL below. I don't know if the stream will expire so check it out ASAP. Then buy it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hippie Sabotage - 'Vacant' Instrumentals


Reinvention is the key to sustained relevance in the music world. Especially when it comes to the ever changing sound and feel of Hip-Hop. West Coast producers Hippie Sabotage are giving fans a listen to their first metamorphosis. The result? A much more radio ready selection of instrumentals for MCs to trap and rap to.

I'm a big fan of Hippie Sabotage's instrumental albums and 'Vacant', while sonically very different, is still on par for what I expect from the team. It's official head nod material from start to finish. The beats are far more aggressive in nature this time around and that theme spreads across all 7 instrumentals.

Check the free stream and download below. If you're an MC and you think you have bars of note, I challenge you to record to "You Still Don't Get It" and submit it to submissions@roxfontaine.com. Legitimate work will be posted.

Enjoy!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Jerm - "Time"


"Time" opens up with a hypnotic 808 pattern that locks you in immediately. It has a down tempo mesmerizing feel like 2 Chainz' "No Lie." I've always been a sucker for this specific sound and "Time" is no different. Producer Billionaire Boyscout showed his ass on this one! 

Over the 3 minute span of the track, Charlotte, NC relative newcomer Jerm contemplates the depth and complexity of time in a Drake-ish styling that works perfectly. This is one of those off the radar joints that I play in my car and people are like, "WHO IS THAT!?"

Let Jerm infect you with the free stream and download below.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Triple Threat - 'C.L.U.T.C.H.'


Let me give you a recipe for disaster:

1/2 cup of Sean Price
1/2 cup of Jean Grae
2 cups of Estrogen
Crushed Ice
A dash of beat yo' ass
Fresh beats
Mix with sit down and shut up to taste

Straight up disaster for weak rappers! 

Triple Threat first popped up on my radar with the Koontown project. I was immediately intrigued by her ability, both as an MC and as a producer. You just don't really hear about female artists this hard on both sides of the boards so I was excited to hear what was next. Well, my instincts were correct. 'C.L.U.T.C.H.' is next and Triple is cuttin' heads outchea!

I promise you this is special. Triple Threat is in a rare space reserved for the truly singular. The 12 track "mixtape" is a lyrical barrage from start to finish and all but 2 of the tracks are self produced. A consistent theme is extremely important to me and 'C.L.U.T.C.H.' delivers in every way on that front. It's a mighty impressive first effort for the 24 year old DC native.

If you appreciate pure unadulterated Hip-Hop, you must download this album. It's well worth a thorough listen. It's outstanding lyrically and sonically perfect as far as I'm concerned. Standout tracks for me were "Goin' Off", "Straight Spittin' 2" and "Maybe Someone to Uhh." I found no weak points on the project though. Those 3 just really speak to my sensibilities.

SHEZUS!

Check the stream and free if you insist download below. SUPPORT INDEPENDENTS!


RoxFontaine.com is...


Thank you so very much to all of you who appreciate what I do here enough to have voted for me in the 2012 Black Weblog Awards! Your continued support is greatly appreciated. I absolutely could not have done this without you.

I almost skipped this years awards but thanks to the encouragement of a great friend, I decided to do it anyway. Here I am now, writing a thank you as the BEST music blog of 2012! That feels awesome.

I set a goal. I acted on it. I achieved.

I'm excited for the next steps of this journey. Two years ago, nobody had ever heard of this blog. Then, in 2011 I had 4 nominations and 0 wins. This year 3 nominations*, 1 win and 1 runner-up**. Not too shabby. It's definitely a step in the right direction and great encouragement to reach for bigger goals.

Again, thank you all for tuning in to RoxFontaine.com. Hip-Hop's Prospective Perspective.

* 2 categories from 2011 were folded into 1 for 2012.
** There were only two finalists in Best Photography in a Blog.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sneakerbox Chock & Bueller Da Don - "Patent Leather"


I'm not even sure where to start with this joint. I love sneakers. I love Rap music. However, if you make a Rap song about sneakers, I probably hate it. I don't have to listen to it. I just hate it.

I do not hate this however. As a matter of fact, it's dope! Of course you knew that though. You wouldn't be reading this otherwise, right? Right.

The Jersey boys Sneakerbox Chock and Bueller Da Don aka The Running Matez, have been hard at work on their push to stardom and have been beefing up appearances in the tri-state area to further promote their work. I heard a few new tracks from the upcoming 'Election Day' project at their recent show for CMJ/AllHipHop. They kept this one under wraps and dropped it in via e-mail. Well played, Gentlemen.

"Patent Leather" is self explanatory. Fantastic production, as usual, from Sunny Norway and certified trunk rattlin' music. Get this primary now and look out for 'Election Day' on election day.

Brandon Rossi - "Places & Spaces"


I really really like what Brandon Rossi is cookin' up down in ATL. It's like gourmet chicken and waffles as audio. Soulful, fattening comfort music for 3 am romps after the club. Rossi's sound is super smooth and has a signature on it that all aspiring producers aim for. You know a Rossi beat as soon as you hear the first 4 bars.

This is the first track I'm hearing from Brandon minus Villa. I was already well aware that he could hold his own on the mic, but it's really nice to hear him run solo. On "Places and Spaces" he pulls his "playa" card and charges all that he can to the game.

Get into the track and listen to Brandon Rossi talk that talk to the ladies. It's a fun, laid back track for champion game spitters.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apollo the Great - "Above the Sky"


They say nothing good comes out of Camden. Apollo the Great says that "they" are so very wrong.

Long regarded as one of the most key independent artists to watch in the tri-state area, Apollo is back in full media swing for promotion of his upcoming 'Hennessy Diaries' project. This new release, "Above the Sky" launched at Complex yesterday and we're sure to see Apollo heat up as the weather cools down.

The young lyricist tore up the scene in 2010 with "Call it Quits" and the next thing anyone knew, he was gracing the pages of XXL, cutting records with the likes of Sean Price and Joell Ortiz and gracing stages wherever real Hip-Hop was to be found. It's no secret that Apollo the Great is drawing from an era slightly before his time. He has a way with words and an ear that are not of this time and place.

That works out to be a beautiful thing and "Above the Sky" has already gotten me fired up for the full album. Dig into the free stream below....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Motivation: Amazing Sign Guy



By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property. - Voltaire


I happened to pass this amazing human being twice during New York Comic Con. The first time that I saw him, he was doing a cool spin with the sign, but it wasn't anything all that notable. I still appreciated that he could do it though because I had never seen anyone so enthusiastic about holding a sign.

After exploring Comic Con for the day, I passed him again on my home. This time, I stopped and asked him if I could grab a quick video of him doing the spin thing. I'm so glad that I did because he took it to the next level and went H.A.M.!

Check it out.... 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homeboy Sandman - "Whatchu Want From Me" Music Video


Arguably the most unique artist in Hip-Hop, Homeboy Sandman has been all the rage on the underground scene since signing to Stones Throw records last year in August. I remember when I first saw/heard him. It was at a show at Southpaw in Brooklyn.

I was blown away by the "different" that is Sandman. He had wild hair going on and a long beard. Then he was rapping about vegetables and water and lightning bolts. I had never heard anything like it before. It was outrageous how good it was and truly original. I bought 'Actual Factual Pterodactyl' at the show and spoke to him briefly afterwards to let him know how ridiculous I thought he was.

Now on his second major release titled 'First of a Living Breed', Homeboy Sandman releases his second video from the project. On "Whatchu Want From Me" Sandy shows off his signature sing-songy delivery and master class in breath control. For another example of what I'm talking about, listen to "The Carpenter" from 'The Good Sun.' It's epic.

Check out the the video below that debuted on Rolling Stone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rodd D - "Sade" (For the Gang)


Whoa. It's been a minute since I last heard from Rodd D. As a matter of fact, the last track I heard was "Relapse" with JustKeith and that was at least a year ago.

Anyway, I just got a new joint called "Sade" and Rodd D puts on for Greensboro over a Sade sample. All around tight work as Rodd D has a great handle of flow and delivery with solid content to boot and Sade never fails. This has that '80s uptempo synth driven slap of legend.

 Stream it. Absorb it. Love it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Buckshot - "The Change Up"


Just a few short weeks after disclosing a joint project with Murs and 9th Wonder, Buckshot hits us with a new track and video ... at the same damn time. Sorry. I couldn't resist that one. It's still funny. (To me it is anyway.)

The track is from his 3rd joint release with 9th Wonder as sole producer titled 'The Solution.' The album is scheduled to drop on November 13th.

Whenever these two work together, it's quality material and "The Change Up" is no different. 9th Wonder works his usual soul sample and boom bap gold and Buckshot proves that he's still got chops in the booth. The two debuted the song on RedBullUSA.com and here's a look at it here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Random Pics Pt. 21: Best of Comic Con 2012

I've never been to Comic Con before but I was basically forced to go this year. I actually enjoyed the event and ended up going back for a second day. There were TONS of costumes and while I got sick of seeing Fin/Fiona, Wonder Woman, Bane, and Robin, there were some very original and or creative people there that truly stood out in the crowd. Here are my favorites for Random Pics 21...

Weeping Angel from Doctor Who 

Garrus Vakarian 

Sabretooth 

Gaara 

Nightingales from Skyrim 





 Freija from Final Fantasy IX

Princess Tiana

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chezeq Young - "Shorty's Life" Music Video


New to my radar is Chezeq (kay-zik) Young representing Pittspurgh, PA. This gem called "Shorty's Life" was sitting in my mailbox for almost a month, overlooked somehow! Luckily, I dropped in for a cleanup today and noticed this camped out. It's a clean track and certainly should have been posted sooner.

The newcomer lays it all on the line about growth and struggle as a young man from a broken home. It's all heartfelt, thoughtful and passionate and completed by the easy melodic sample of the self-produced track. Innovate Studios serve up a solid black & white visual to further complement the mood. 

I love the straight story telling on this song. Chezeq has certainly piqued my interest so I'm looking forward to new material. We don't get this type of art on radio anymore so it's always a nice contrast to hear independent artists that still believe in telling honest stories.

Check the video below...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sasha Allen - MTV Performance

image via artists facebook page

This new video hit the web as unlisted just a short time ago but lucky for you, I have the link! If you don't know who Sasha Allen is, you will know very well after this video. I've talked about another amazing performance by her captured and posted to YouTube before but I never posted it here. (Until now.)

In a special performance for MTV, Sasha covers two diva classics. Stephanie Mills' "Home" and Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child." When I tell you that she "sangs" the damn everything into these two songs... Lawd hammercy!

I can't even begin to explain this to you. Just hit play and get ready for goosebumps. Oh, and mark your calendar for this Saturday. Sasha Allen will be performing at Joe's Pub at 1 pm. You better believe I'll be in the building.

Toussaint Sam - "Not Me"


Spacey. I can dig it.

Chicago MC Toussaint Sam has a lot to prove by default. The legacy of Chicago's top rappers is rich so if you want to make a name for yourself in the Chi, and you're not Chief Keef, then you have to have legitimate skills on the microphone.

Toussaint Sam is showing that he has something different to offer with "Not Me." The psychedelic and/or psychotic trip through Sam's imagination is fun if not slightly disturbing. Nah, I'm kidding. It's just fun. Seriously. No death or destruction. Good plain ol' mic skill and creativity.

I'm looking forward to hearing more from this artist. Get into the stream below.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Villa - "Per Request"


What you know about that ATL slick talk?

Whatever it is you think you know, Villa wants to redefine it with his unique brand of vocabulary. After a brief hiatus, by his usual release schedule's standards, he's back with "Per Request" featuring producer/rapper Brandon Rossi. You know this pairing well if you're up on the 'Pack Light, Travel Far' album. If not, get familiar!

With "Per Request" the ladies are encouraged to dare a little and do something they wouldn't normally do. You know ... "just for me." I'm sure both Venus and Mars understand this well.

Villa will be performing at the A3C Hip-Hop Festival, so if you're in the Atlanta area you should definitely go check it out. Check the link below the stream for an opportunity to win a FREE ticket to the festival!



Click here for a chance to win a FREE ticket to A3C in Atlanta, GA.

Random Pics pt. 20 - "Turn Up Summer"

Best Seat in the House 

AraabMuzik 

DJ Kiss 

Jermaine Dupri 

Swizz Beats

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ghostwridah - "Born Free"


"Born Free" is just about everything I love about Hip-Hop. The latest release from Miami's golden child's Freestyle Friday series is off the charts! Sampling M.I.A.'s song of the same title, which coincidentally samples a song called "Ghost Rider", Ghostwridah blends style and substance set to a backdrop fresh out of a 2012 remake of School Daze.

We've never heard Ghost like this. What he's doing lyrically is expected. He never misses on that front. The difference lies in the sound. Up to this point, his production has been a lot more glossy and crisp.  "Born Free" threw all of that out of the window for grit and gut. It works beautifully and definitely jumps onto an mp3 CD and into my car rotation.

Check the free stream and download below and get yourself geared up for the upcoming 'Flu Game: The Michael Jordan Theory 2.'

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sneakerbox Chock & Bueller Da Don - "Hijacking"


Bang! The Running Matez are back with a new single and it is FIRAH! We've heard a bunch of singles from Bueller Da Don over the last few months, all featured here. Now it seems the rock has been passed back to Sneakerbox Chock to shoot. In the last month we've been hit with 2 brand new offerings from Chock. No doubt they will keep coming.

This track goes H.A.M. Producer Chosen 1 put together a banger and Chock and Buell are in top form as usual. Definitely two of the most prepared independent artists working right now. It's not a matter of "if" but a matter of when they explode as they remain current and are always creating at a high level. Everything is in place for a takeoff; all of this work is clearing the runway.

On "Hijacking" the sometimes duo give us another of their recorded swag sessions. No shock or surprise there but the weight in their work has been, and continues to be, the gloss in production and presentation. "Hijacking" is no exception. Easily one of the best releases from these two I've ever heard!

Check the free stream and download below.... 


Tim Moorehead - "To Understand" Music Video


Tim Moorehead, aka Trademark, dropped this short music video off this morning. The "freestyle" verse "To Understand" is a brief preview of what's to be expected on the upcoming 'Oktoberfest' album releasing on October 23rd. 

Pretty straight forward here but everything is put together well and I'm interested to hear what comes next. I expect that we'll get more robust looks at the project as the release date nears. In the meantime, you can hop backwards to the previous '#Winnersbreak' mixtape, which has done very well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kokayi - 'Pro Deo et Patria'


When Kokayi released 'Robots & Dinosaurs' in 2010, I was blown away by the singular nature of everything he was doing lyrically and musically. The blend of sounds, rhythms and storytelling were unlike anything I had heard before. 2 years later, he's back with 'Pro Deo et Patria' and everything that R&D was has been re imagined and amplified in magnificent order.

One of the most standout elements of Kokayi's work is his production. For this album, he shows up, out and off with the depth of his work and scope of the project. This is album is far more "electric" than the last in terms of sonics and completely abandons all regard for normalcy. Not the faux House-Dance Mix-Dubstep stuff taking over urban radio. That's not what it is at all. It's more genre redefining than anything; in the way that Janelle Monae's 'Archandroid' was. He's completely set his own rules and lane.

I'm amazed at the level of artistry Kokayi delivers. From the first 8 bars of the album to the last he displays pure genius ability. When I heard the instrumentation choices on the opening to the album, "Birdus Ghetti", my jaw hit the floor. This dude is fearless! "ZaZa Hey" and "Punchdrunk" are not of this universe and everything in between is perfectly complimentary. You will be blown away by 'Pro Deo et Patria.' I can promise you this.

Get into the free stream below but PLEASE BUY THIS ALBUM because not buying it is ... well ... ridiculous.  




Friday, September 21, 2012

Futuristic Lingo - "Xs and Os" feat. Cocoa Sarai Music Video



I prefer warm weather over cold and this song feels like my last little piece of summer fun. "Xs and Os" by Futuristic Lingo is a very well done playful look at young love/lust. I was instantly drawn in by the dissonant quality of the arrangement and harmonies and then by the theme of the video.

2012 Underground Music Award winner Cocoa Sarai is a high school babe being courted by 4 different boys who desperately wish she would accompany them to prom. As the story develops, Futuristic Lingo peppers the track with lighthearted wordplay and sexual innuendo. The twist at the end definitely gave me an, "Oh, snap!" moment that I'm sure you'll enjoy too.

"Xs and Os" is one of 3 tracks that FL and Cocoa collaborated on for their 'Heaven on Earth' mixtape featured on DatPiff. This is the first I'm hearing of it but this video certainly sparks my interest in the rest of the project. Check the video below.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Royce Castro - "Faded 4Ever"


Royce Castro has been causing a quiet riot over the last year. From several features on Coast 2 Coast mixtapes to radio play in Atlanta to acting in USA Network's Necessary Roughness, Royce has been hard at work on raising awareness of his abilities. While work has certainly been done, fans have been itching for more frequent releases from the New Jersey spitter. I've heard a few tracks from the upcoming project, at various stages of development, but there was one thing consistent about everything I listened to and that was that Royce was on fire.

"Faded 4Ever" is the latest release and as right as rain, Royce gets busy on the lyrical work and production from Linx Da General is sharp as well. Right from the jump, Royce attacks the verses with the same hunger we've come to expect from him. He bounces back and forth between uptempo and down tempo deliveries and it comes together seamlessly. He really can do anything.

Check the free stream below...