Common’s AAHH! Fest Enlists Dave Chappelle, Will Kanye Make An Appearance?

AAHH! Fest is a newly minted music festival that will take place this Sunday at Chicago’s Union Park (the same grounds that host Pitchfork Music Festival.) Curated by the city’s own Common, the lineup includes top bills like Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, and Jay Electronica, among others. The fest will be hosted by legendary (and rare) comedian Dave Chappelle, who could probably justify the ticket cost alone.

The lineup also notes a “very special guest.” Whispers around town have been rumoring the guest to be Kanye West, which wouldn’t be all too surprising. When Mr. Chappelle did a gig at Radio City Music Hall a couple months ago, Yeezy stopped by to give a surprise performance. Could lightning strike twice?

Either way, AAHH! Fest should be a cool, Chicago-centric time as the city winds down with summer’s close.

A community showcase will take place from 10AM-1PM, while the main stage acts will go from 4PM-10PM on September 21.

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Kid Cudi Announces New Collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Common

Kid Cudi Indicud

Kid Cudi took to Twitter again today with announcements about tracks that will be featured on his upcoming album, Indicud. The tweets included news that he would have a follow-up track to his song “Solo Dolo” (from Man on the Moon), called “Solo Dolo Pt. II” that will feature Kendrick Lamar, and that he would have a single featuring Common, with production by 88-Keys and Dot Da Genius. When I think of Cudder and 88-Keys, all I can think about is Wasting My Minutes. That song was my JAM back in the day. Had it as my ringtone and everything! See some of Cudi’s tweets below.




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10 Popular Songs and The Tunes They Sample

10 Popular Songs and the Tunes They Sample

Just as with the rest of the world, the music world goes in cycles. Artists creating hit songs today are often building off of their predecessors’ creations. Sometimes I hear a song and think to myself ‘Damn. What an incredible song. Sounds timeless.’ More often than not, it’s because they’re borrowing from a song that was created before their time. Ah, the art of sampling.

So often today, artists use samples that we come to know and love, and I think the origin of the sample often goes unnoticed. The idea of samples has always interested me, particularly in cases when producers dig up samples that I’ve never heard before and turn them into something suddenly so popular. I imagine producers going into old record collections, dusting off cases open cases of records, placing the vinyl on the record player, and hearing a snippet of a song that suddenly inspires them to create something with that bit of a song. I’d be interested to know what they listen for, and whether they’re often looking for something to begin with or they tend to find something while in the act of searching, but I assume each artist goes about it differently. If you’re reading this and you’ve been sample searching, leave a comment with your method of discovery. Either way, I thought I’d introduce (or re-introduce) you guys to some of the songs that have been sampled in popular music today, just so we can take a second to appreciate the origins of those clips.


1. Perhaps the textbook case today. AVICII samples Etta James in his hit song “Levels.” (Disclaimer: Pretty Lights had sampled it before in his song “Finally Moving,” but the song didn’t take off as rapidly as “Levels.”)

MP3: “Levels” – Avicii


2. Kanye West, in his popular song “Champion” off of Graduation, borrowed from Steely Dan‘s song “Kid Charlemagne.”

MP3: “Champion” – Kanye West


3. In some examples, artists take a sample and flip it into something that sounds altogether different. In this example, though, Kanye West and Jay-Z stick pretty close to the original in their sampling Otis Redding in their song “Otis.”

MP3: “Otis” – Kanye West, Jay-Z


4. An artist who’s taking off these days is A$AP Rocky. You may or may not know that he used a sample of The S.O.S. Band‘s “No One’s Gonna Love You” in his song “Peso.”

MP3: “Peso” – A$AP Rocky


5. Love the instrumentals in Drake and Rihanna‘s “Take Care?” Me too. Again, not an original. It’s sampled from Gil Scott-Heron‘s “I’ll Take Care Of U,” but is actually the Jamie xx remix.


Sampled (Jamie xx Remix):

MP3: “Take Care” (ft. Rihanna) – Drake


6. Bet you think that LMFAO knocked it out of the park with their “Party Rock Anthem,” hm? It’s cool, they did. But they had the help of Steve Winwood and his original song “Valerie.” (Sample appears at the 1:02 mark.)

MP3: “Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO


7. Even Common chooses to use samples in some of his songs. In one of his latest efforts, “Blue Sky,” he picked a piece of Electric Light Orchestra‘s “Mr. Blue Sky” to craft his sound.

MP3: Blue Sky” – Common


8. Eminem dug into the 1975 records to pull out Labi Siffre‘s “I Got The” for his popular song “My Name Is.” Incredible original song, and great use of the sample by Marshall Mathers. (Sample can be heard at the 2:10 mark.)

MP3: “My Name Is” – Eminem


9. One of my favorite songs recently is Gotye‘s “Somebody That I Used To Know (ft. Kimbra).” I was fooled originally, thinking this was 100% Gotye’s creation. Turns out, they sampled a Latin song from 1967 by a man named Luiz Bonfa called “Seville.” Incredible find, Gotye and Kimbra!

MP3: “Somebody That I Used To Know” (ft. Kimbra) – Gotye


10. This one is a bit of a more modern sample (2010), so it may to come as obvious to many, but it’s a great one nonetheless. Young rapper Mac Miller borrowed from popular indie-rock artist Sufjan Stevens in his jam “Donald Trump.”

MP3: “Donald Trump” – Mac Miller

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[Album Review] Common – The Dreamer/The Believer

What I’m about to say might be a little embarrassing, but please, don’t judge. Back when Common’s Universal Mind Control came out back in 2008, I would sit in my room, listening to it while playing Pokemon Fire Red on my computer using a gameboy advance emulator. I was 15-16 years of age around then. You’re probably wondering: what in the hell is this kid doing playing Pokemon and what does it have to do with Common’s The Dreamer/The Believer? To be honest, it has nothing to do with it. I just like Pokemon. Who doesn’t want a Pikachu?

To sum up The Dreamer/The Believer in one sentence, it’s an album filled with classic Common with a hint of him experimenting with different sounds.

Universal Mind Control was considered a bust. Like a Kwame Brown (NBA player, for those who are unaware) type bust. Drafted really high with potential to be awesome, and turns out to be a role player for sub par teams. That was what UMC was. It was a sub par album that I wanted to be good, but it was just okay. Nothing special. He pushed his limits, and he learned from his mistakes.

When I say The Dreamer/The Believer is filled with classic Common with a hint of experimentation, I truly mean it. The hip-hop/soul that Common is so good at crafting is strongly felt as he teams up with long time friend No I.D. to bring us this project. At the same time, he pushes his limits with tracks like “Sweet” & “Ghetto Dreams.” On the ironically named “Sweet,” Common is a mad motherfucker and takes shots at Drake (can’t help but laugh at the lines). “Singing all around me man, la la la. You ain’t mothafucking Frank Sinatra. Uh, lil bitch.” On “Ghetto Dreams,” he teams up with Nas to give us a track for the streets.

Common – “Sweet”

One of the most important tracks, however, is the opening song, “The Dreamer,” featuring Maya Angelou. Common said in an interview that his view on an opener is that it’s important because it sets the stage for the rest of the album. As a result, Common put in that extra effort on this opener. Check it out for yourself.

Common ft. Maya Angelou – “The Dreamer”

Old Common is back. Fans rejoice. Hip hip hooray!

Album Rating: 8/10. And that’s being a hard critic. Could easily grow.

To end this on a good note so you don’t think i’m some loser who plays Pokemon, come get drunk with me on New Year’s, and we will celebrate the new year!

Common – “Celebrate”

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Tape Tuesday: The End of the World

New Tape Tuesday!

I think it was last year. I don’t even know because clearly I’ve repressed the memory. I humiliated myself. I don’t want to talk about what I did, but it was just a disaster. I felt like it was the end of the world. Instead of dealing with the problem at hand, I ignored it and buried it in the depths of my memory, while I worked on other things, trying to keep my mind off of the situation. It’s kind of what I do. I started a music blog, and one of the mixes I made on it was called nostalgia, ULTRA, named after Frank Ocean’s awesome mixtape. Anyway, I looked back on my iTunes and dug up some of the songs from that and stuck them on this mix. THE END OF THE WORLD is a rehashing of an embarrassing moment in my life. It contains both old and new songs and is super personal and dear to me. Be sure to download it and play it one year from tomorrow. Honestly, that was just a coincidence.


  1. Passion Pit – Tonight, Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)
  2. Don Trip – Cheers (jj’s Save Our Souls Remix)
  3. Dan Mangan – The Indie Queens Are Waiting
  4. Oliver Tank – Beautiful (Snoop Dogg Cover) (ft. Fawn Myers)
  5. Common – The Believer (ft. John Legend)
  6. Shy Girls – Gonna Get My Name Back
  7. Jai Paul – BTSTU (Edit)
  8. recess – love in the streets of bklyn.
  9. Michael Cera’s Interlude
  10. Ed Sheeran – You Need Me
  11. The Killers – Mr. Brightside (Cry Wolf Remix)
  12. Moby – The Day (Yeasayer Remix)
  13. Foster the People – Miss You
  14. Electric Guest – Troubleman
  15. Grouplove – Tongue Tied
  16. Skizzy Mars – Shangri-La
  17. Fibes, Oh Fibes! – Cerahtonia
  18. 2AM Club – Tell Her Hi
  19. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The End
  20. Youth Lagoon – Goodbye Again (John Denver Cover)
  21. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Drying of the Lawns
  22. Wintersleep – Weighty Ghost


New Tape Tuesday!

You whispered, “Don’t you love music? It’s such a gift, and I’ll give it to ya. But you gotta use it.”

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Saturday at Sunset: Boxing Day

New Saturday at Sunset!

I try to keep you guys updated about my life because I think there’s something that can be said for being more than just any ol’ anonymous writer on a music blog. Everybody follows my Twitter. So you know that last week I tweeted about how music and comedy are the only things that have never disappointed me, which is not supposed to be sad. It just happens to be true. I love music and comedy. This love became more apparent than ever this past week.

As I grow up in the humdrum life of a high school senior, it seems like every week gets tougher than the last. Between college applications, school work, real work, and the maintenance of a social life, it becomes overwhelming. And when stuff becomes overwhelming, you turn to the things you love, so I turned to music and comedy. And when I did, everything seemed less overwhelming. I survived the long week of tests and the anticipation for college letters thanks to Louis C.K.’s hilarious new stand-up special (BUY IT HERE FOR JUST $5 IF YOU LIKE HAPPINESS AND GOOD THINGS) and the songs on the mini-mix below.

It looks like I’m going to college and freakin’ acing tests in the meantime. I’m not saying these things to brag or anything. This past week I relearned something that hopefully you knew or now know: condoms…feel..weird. Listen and download your favorites below.

  1. Pandr Eyez – Little Bit
  2. CYNE – Boxing Day
  3. Common – Come Close (ft. Mary J. Blige)
  4. mc DJ – Best I Ever Had (Bambi Remix)
  5. Milagres – Gentle Beast
  6. French Wives – Numbers
  7. Bombadil – A Question
  8. Joel Plaskett – When I Go
  9. Daniel Tashian & Mindy Smith – Taking You With Me
  10. King Charles – Bam Bam

I just want you to know, your whole being is beautiful.

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Tape Tuesday: Mr. Blue Sky

New Tape Tuesday!

Man, I love this shit.

But I really really don’t like talking about my own mixes. I put a lot of effort into them, and I personally really like them. Whether you’ll like them, I don’t know. I hope so. I just feel that me talking about my own mixes is like a band reviewing their latest album, ya know? So for this Tape Tuesday, I’ll just let the music speak for itself (literally, with selected song lyrics in italics below).

  • I can do what I want; I’m in complete control. That’s what I tell myself.
  • You don’t want me to grow. No, my dear, living in two different realities, I swear.
  • And you know it comes full circle. Hated by healthy geometry.
  • And I know and I know and I know what we came to do, and I’m pretty sure that you do, too.
  • All these days seem to fade away as I lost faith in myself, questioned everything I stood for.
  • All I can picture is held hands coming apart.
  • And remember what they say, that could be the end of laughter, that could be the story over…

Let’s not play games.

Poetic and confusing, huh? Not really? Ah, well, all I’ll say then is that this may just be my favorite mix yet. It’s a collection of songs that have stuck with me through rain and shine. Who is Mr. Blue Sky? He is me, and he is you. He is all of us. Whatever the fuck that means. Download the mix in its entirety, and look out for a special “unknown” bonus track at the end of it when you download the full tape. Let’s just say that Darwin Deez may be rapping on it. Listen to some tracks from Mr. Blue Sky below.



  1. Alex Clare – Damn Your Eyes (Etta James Cover)
  2. TEETH – Flowers (Gross Magic Remix)
  3. Star Slinger – Dumbin’ (ft. Reggie B)
  4. Gary Clark, Jr. – Things Are Changing
  5. Vanaprasta – Healthy Geometry
  6. Common – Blue Sky
  7. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Think I Wanna Die
  8. The Postelles – Can’t Stand Still
  9. Summer Camp – Ghost Train
  10. Yellow Ostrich – Hold On
  11. Das Racist – Girl (Prod. Blood Diamonds)
  12. Skizzy Mars – Possibilities
  13. Mr Hudson – Stiff Upper Lip
  14. Sons & Lovers – Set My Heart On Fire
  15. The Postelles – Sleep On The Dance Floor (Catchiest hook ever)
  16. King Krule – The Noose of Jah City
  17. Phantogram – Don’t Move
  18. Maverick Sabre – I Need
  19. Peter and Kerry – Knees (Personal favorite)
  20. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic
  21. Martin Solveig – Let’s Not Play Games (ft. Sunday Girl)
  22. ??? (BONUS TRACK)


Mr. Blue Sky - Back Cover

Shout out to Aled Lewis and Umbles for the cover art. And if you haven’t already, cop last week’s Songs for an Actress 2.

Thanks for reading.

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Common – Blue Sky

This is straight up dirt. I love this track in every way, and how many times have I listened two it? Twice. No need to grow on me, it had me from the start. Latest single from Common’s next album “The Dreamer.” The first single with his collabo with Nas, Ghetto Dreams. Peep the new track!

MP3: Blue Sky – Common

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Common ft. Nas – Ghetto Dreams

The song we’ve all been waiting for has finally surfaced. This is rap at its best. Nasir and Common. Old school feel. Two of the best lyricists in the game. Must I say more? In fact I will. I’m excited for both of these guys to drop a new one! And Common signed with Warner Bro’s so lets see where that takes him. Enjoy!

Common & Nas – Ghetto Dreams

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Big Z Remixes – Get ‘Em High (Feat Kanye West & Common)

We’ve been holding down Zach Caraher, aka Big Z Remixes, on Sunset in the Rearview since day one. We first heard from Big Z back in February of 2010 when he sent us the song “Blue Magic” and immediately knew this guy was for real. We’ve followed his progress since then, which eventually led to an exclusive release of his mixtape Slow Down. Today, we’re eagerly awaiting March 15th, when he will be dropping his new mixtape, Never Change.

Yesterday, Big Z released a new single off of the upcoming album, a remix of Kanye and Common’s classic “Get ‘Em High.”  Ratatat did a great version as well, and Big Z really puts a unique twist on this acapella, and I am a big fan of his version.

I’m extremely excited for ‘Never Change’ to drop in just under two weeks, and you all should be too. Big Z never disappoints.

Download “Get ‘Em High”

Big Z Remixes || Facebook

Dream Big

Twitter || D Prep

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Friday at Five!

It is Friday at Five and that means the weekend has officially arrived. For many there will be no cares for three days and two nights. Monday is far away and the only thing on their mind is the lights that will blind their eyes as they dance their cares away. Here is Kanye West, a favorite of many and the topic of discussion of even more, accompanied by Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and Big Sean. Yes it is Friday at Five and damn is it G.O.O.D.

“G.O.O.D. Friday” – Kanye West Ft. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, and Big Sean | Download

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G.O.O.D. Music Takeover!

Consequence’s song “Whatever U Want” is remixed by the G.O.O.D. Music team (or a large chunk of it, anyway). On the remix: Kanye West, Common, John Legend, Kid Cudi, and Big Sean.

Download “Whatever U Want” (G.O.O.D. Music Remix) – Consequence

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