Hip Hop

Allday – Grammy (Remix ft. Skizzy Mars)


If you don’t know our feelings on Allday and Skizzy Mars by now you clearly don’t come here often. The MCs, from Adelaide, Australia and Manhattan, respectively, are among our favorite young voices in the game. They’ve never officially worked together, but Skizzy did put his spin on “You Always Know the DJ” back in May.

Unfortunately, their “Grammy” remix falls into the same category, with Skizzy subbing in a verse and hook while Allday’s bars go unchanged. It’d be great to hear these two collaborate on some brand new material, because even a track like this is a glimpse into how perfect of a pairing they are.

“Grammy,” one of the standouts from Allday’s Soft Love Grunge Rap, is perfect for Skizzy’s flow. The spacey, synth-driven beat is squarely in his wheelhouse, and he delivers some memorable and occasionally humorous bars.

“I’ve got some thoughts, so let me think/I’ve been sober for a month I need a fucking drink,” he spits dryly.

Allday’s verses remain stellar. He has the sing-song flow down to a science, almost to the point that you can miss the wit of his lyricism if you aren’t paying attention.

“Got me spending money like a dad with no time/Got me spending time like a dad when he retire,” he says on the track’s outstanding first verse.

Hopefully, the success of the two remixes will lead to a full-fledged collaboration on either MC’s next project, because we can only imagine what it’d be like for them to actually get in the studio together.

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Sango – Don’t Love You Like I Do

Sango B&W from Facebook

Drake‘s “Right Hand” was fun, a DJ Mustard-style minimalist club track elevated by Drizzy’s presence on the mic. But it certainly wasn’t among his most memorable records, especially with “Charged Up,” “Back to Back,” and “Hotline Bling” all making huge waves this summer.

Soulection producer Sango takes Drake’s original and turns it into a syrupy late-night banger. The first order of business is slowing the original down to a Swishahouse pace, giving Drizzy’s sing-song flow a wonderfully woozy quality and turning the synth melody into something far more resonant and guttural.

From there, Sango doesn’t over-complicate things, beefing up the drums and tweaking around the fringes with some soft high-pitched synths.

It’s a testament to his creativity that Sango can make a record so strikingly different than Drake’s original while still retaining all of its core parts, and “Don’t Love You Like I Do” has plenty of replay value for a SoundCloud freebie.

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[Premiere] Joey Aich Releases His Latest Mixtape, “Aich Files”

JH_Cover_Web [130834]

A little over a year ago, I told the story of Joey Aich following the release of his first official mixtape, “College D.egree.” You should check out what I had to say. Following the release, Joey stayed active with a few tracks here and there to keep busy, with this one being my favorite. He’s been working hard on his latest release “Aich Files,” in which you see Joey mature even further. He still kicks that old school vibe, which is his forte, but he’s proven that he can adapt to different styles. You can tell he’s hungry  through his words and he’s going to keep working. That’s the clear cut difference between “Aich Files” and “College D.egree.”

When I asked Joey about the project, he said the same thing.

“Something that really stands out about this project is it’s me. It’s as Joey Aich as Joey Aich can get at this point. A lot of energy and more confident than my previous releases. I had a lot of fun with songs like Loading, Menison, and Greyhound, and also dug deep in some tracks like Graffiti Murals, Snapshots, and Acknowledgement. to reveal certain things to the listener.”

It’s been a pleasure to watch him develop and this is just the beginning. Standouts are Snapshots, Menison, and Graffiti Murals. Peep the stream below, and let us know what you think of the young Cleveland artist.

Also, shout out to that Hey Arnold snippet at the end.

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[Premiere] Nic. – Upside Down

New Nic.!

I used to have a friend named Paul. I used to always joke about having crazy, wild sex with his mom. I haven’t spoken with Paul or seen his mom for about six years. Two days ago I moved into my new apartment. We were playing music pretty loudly and heard a knock on the door. It was Paul’s mom. It turns out she lives below us and wanted to complain about the noise. We exchanged numbers and told her to let us know if we’re being too loud. The Internet guy says we should text her and complain about her being noisy even though she is not noisy. He also suggested we shit in front of her door. Anyway. This was the song that was playing when we got the noise complaint.


Familiarize yourself with some of Nic.‘s other tracks.


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Skizzy Mars – Weekend Millionaires (Remix)

Skizzy Mars smoking in Knicks beanie (Karmaloop).

Skizzy Mars is a master of the pseudo-remix, in which he takes another artists song and basically turns it into a beefed up sample for his own interpolation. He hit it out of the park with Miniature Tigers’ “Used to be the Shit”, perfectly channeled the spirit of All Day on “You Always Know the DJ,” and provided a killer bars on a flip of Lais’ signature cut “For You.”

But he gave himself a tough task with Katelyn Tarver‘s stellar “Weekend Millionaires,” a refreshingly honest look at the price of fame obsession disguised as an electro pop jam.

Skizzy and long-time producer Michael Keenan are ultimately up to the task, though they wind up taking the track in a pretty different sonic direction.

Keenan provides another signature spacy, midtempo beat with a smart chop of Tarver’s original vocals that truly comes alive on the hook. It substitutes the upbeat energy of Tarver’s single for something slower and hazier that better fits his MC.

Lyrically, Skizzy stays pretty true to the record’s theme, weaving another lost-girl-in-New-York tale like only he does. The remix also delves into typical Skizzy territory like the anxiety of growing older and the results of getting fucked up literally all the time.

“We both scared we getting older, youth is passing by/She says she links she loves me, man that’s asinine,” he raps.

The track is yet another strong addition to Skizzy’s impressive 2015 discography, and proof that when you have such a compelling signature sound it’s hard to put out a dud.

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[MP3 + Lyrics] Chance The Rapper & Noname Gypsy – Israel (Sparring)


Ever since the release of Surf, Chance The Rapper has kind of been like Mr. No Days Off. First, he gets based with the god himself, Lil B. Now, he gives us this gem with none other than the most-commonly-featured Noname GypsyHopefully this continues since Chance never actually dropped a solo project since Acid Rap. With a baby on the way and a big tour coming up, Chance is gearing up for a hell of a finish to 2015 and early start to 2016. Sorry for not really talking about the new release, but like, it’s Chance–of course it’s dope. You don’t need me to tell you that. Lyrics after the jump!

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RDGLDGRN – Runnin Away [MP3 + Music Video + Lyrics]


RDGLDGRN‘s new single “Runnin Away” couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Right as I started listening to it, a friend of mine who’s currently traveling in Europe sent me a message asking if we can retire in Europe already. Easy answer: yep. So as I’m sitting here daydreaming about my early retirement in Europe, I hear RDGLDGRN singing/rapping about quitting day jobs and running away over an incredibly addictive beat.

Digging this new jam from the group, whose branding has always been intriguing to me. There used to be four members, but they parted ways with Blue. Each remaining member of the band has the name of a color – the guitart is Red, the bassist is Gold and the singer is Green. To my knowledge, they’re only seen in public wearing their official color. They’ve been around for a while, but they’ve been carving a niche for themselves, blending sounds from multiple genres. Runnin Away is the perfect mix of punk, pop and hip-hop to create a unique and memorable song.

They seem to be hitting a stride; they’ve worked closely with Pharrell, Angel Haze and Dave Grohl [Foo Fighters], and they’ve shared the stage with the likes of The Killers, Lauryn Hill, Joey Bada$$ and more. From the looks of the music video, they are quite an act to see live! Excited to see what’s to come from these guys – I know I’m going to have Runnin Away stuck in my head for a few days, which is a good thing for a band trying to make a name for themselves.

Hit the jump for the lyrics and the music video.

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[MP3] Sol Drops “Ain’t Gon’ Stop”


Sol just let this little goodie loose on his Soundcloud page. Straight from the Seattle rapper himself:

“Never let anyone or anything get in the way of doing what you love…”

At first, I thought I was listening to Jack Johnson before Sol’s voice comes in. With an easy instrumental, and smooth verses, Sol’s latest is simply something to lift up your mood. Plus, who doesn’t like trumpets in rap songs? No word on whether this is a single for something bigger or just one to share with the world. If I were a betting man, I’d go ahead and say it’s the latter.

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Lupe Fiasco – “LAW (LoveAllWays)”


When I was packing my bags to go study abroad in Kenya back in 2007, I invested in a tiny iPod that held about 100 songs on it. I had to think carefully about what songs I would take with me for this four month adventure. Very few artists got to claim more than one spot on my list, but Lupe Fiasco was one of them. I chose to add “The Instrumental” and “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” to the playlist. Suffice it to say, Lupe Fiasco was for a long time one of my favorite hip-hop artists.

Lupe’s career took some twists and turns that sort of turned me off to his sound, but that’s not to say I wont listen to just about everything he puts out, hoping he’ll reclaim the ways of the clever wordsmith I was listening to on repeat years ago. His album Tetsuo & Youth, which came out in January 2015, was a sign of good things to come. But then Lupe went silent.

Until last night, when Lupe released a new song via SoundCloud. To be honest, it’s not my favorite. Sounds a bit more like a Drake track than Lupe creation, but at the very least, it cuts into a long period of silence, and I’m down with that when it’s an old favorite.

[Explore more hip hop music]

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Chance the Rapper & Lil B – Free

Chance the Rapper & Lil B's "Free" cover.

Without much fanfare, the Chance the Rapper and Lil B freestyle mixtape, appropriately titled Free, has entered the ether.

The two MCs announced the mixtape a few weeks ago, and the Based God liberated it today via SoundCloud. Clocking in at a breezy six tracks, the project features an eclectic array of beats that serve as backdrop for bar after bar of stream-of-consciousness flow.

While a lot of rappers nowadays pass off written verses as freestyles, one spin through Free and you can tell that this truly is an off the dome project. There are moments where you can hear both rappers free associating, and there’s a certain infectious fun that comes from hearing two of the game’s biggest young MCs just get in the booth and record without any fear of failure.

The project doesn’t rival either artist’s best work, but really it isn’t supposed to, and it works much more as a testament to their love of hip-hop than an official release.

Particular standouts include the menacing “We Rare,” and the soulful opener “Last Dance,” which features a particularly clever “Acid to Bases” quip from Chance, but really this is a project that works best when you just listen straight through and bask in the rappers’ chemistry.



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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: The Flower

New Tape Tuesday!

I am not going to talk about flowers in this writeup. The name of the tape is more of a feeling. This is morning at the beach music. You can start your day with any of the first 13 tracks — preferably in the arranged order. After track 13, the mix veers into darker territory. It is like when the high wears off, and you realize that the summer is coming to an end.

And the flower is dead. Sorry, just needed one flower reference for it all to make sense. And the beginning is like the flower of love, blooming. Ugh, gosh, sorry… two.

I know enough about being high to know you my ultimate drug



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[Introducing] Stream Leven Kali’s Debut Mixtape ’4102′


This is quite the debut from California singer/songwriter/producer, Leven Kali, who is only 20 years old. These “3-in-1″ type artists are really something nowadays, as they can single handily craft their material on their own. Anyways, are you looking for some funk? Are you looking for some R&B? Maybe a little soulful music? Something a little groovy? Look no further, as we have another genre-bending artist on our hands. With features including Casey Veggies and JoJo, Leven Kali’s debut project is something worth noting. I would list some standouts but to be honest, it’s a pretty quick listen, and they all stand out.

This kid is only 20. He just made it out of his teens, and he’s doing this? What am I doing with my life? What is life? Stream it below!

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