Chance The Rapper just released a new song called “No Better Blues” on his SoundCloud page. For the Kid Cudi lovers out there (I’m shouting myself out right now), this might resonate with you. It’s a heavy emotional song that tells a story about the blues, and the feeling that can come with a form of depression where you hate everything – the ordinary things, the good things, the bad things, the comfortable and uncomfortable things. There isn’t joy to be found.
I imagine there are people out there who don’t appreciate hip hop music who will press play and say they hate this song. They hate that rappers don’t have any musical talent and that they can just speak over music that they often don’t make. They could go on and on about what they hate, just as Chance has in this song. But what I’d urge them to do is go beyond the sound that they may or may not like about hip hop music and think about the storytelling that goes into this. Chance is telling a story about the blues at exactly the right time. Just over a month ago, the world was mourning the passing of Robin Williams and depression and the demons that come with it were being talked about on the news. Today, it’s a thing of the past, and we’ve moved on to the more current news. We mustn’t forget the true battle so many face with a darkness so overwhelming one can feel they hate every single thing in life — their bed, their home, their family, the sun, the rain, the clouds, the war, the charities. It’s all covered in darkness.
But there are two lines in particular in this song by Chance that stand out to me. One is repeated throughout the song as Chance sings and raps “it don’t get no better,” and one is more subtle when he says “I hate to hate.” This isn’t something people choose to feel. But unfortunately, it’s not something there’s an easy cure for either. It’s an important matter that needs to stay in the foreground, and I commend Chance for bringing it back into the conversation, so long as people can see the true meaning of the song as I’ve interpreted it.
Is Chance himself actually feeling this way? Who knows. Maybe not…after all, he talks about things in here that he doesn’t have (a twin, for example). But that’s the beauty of art: it can tell stories about meaningful topics that don’t always have to represent the 1st person’s true life. The power is the story behind it. And Chance has told an incredibly powerful story in a song that many may brush off as something they hate. But take a deeper look, and you just may see the importance of it after all.
San Francisco based rapper Oswald is releasing his debut EP, Ride, on the 14th of this month. The young rhyme-slinger made a splash this past September by dropping the extremely unique single “Sea Full of Sharks” into the blogosphere via a Premiere on The Music Ninja. The song features Oswald’s signature impassioned flow, paired with the delectable vocals of Canadian songstress Hannah Georgas. Both artists seem to be making a statement about the music industry – specifically the current state of Rap with its reliance on dumbed down subject matter and milked over creativity. Ride will be out next week and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here.
If Drake ever slid into my DMs–I don’t know why Drake is sliding into my DMs but he’s Drake, and he’ll do whatever the fuck he wants–and was like, “Arjun, Toronto rapper Drake here, what artists should I pay attention to from Toronto?” The first artist that would come to mind would be Lais. The second would be Sean Leon, but that’s besides the point.
Lais is the newest addition to Skizzy Mars‘s Penthouse Music roster. To stick with the
lazy comparisons, he is a lot like the PND or The Weeknd to Skizzy’s Drake. His brand of music is filtered through a lens of intoxication and faded beauty. On “Dirty Martinis,” he croons about the hazy decadence of his (and her) lifestyle of choice. And through all the haze, you might just relate super heavy to these experiences and find your new favorite artist.
September just flew by, and the Sunset Crew is here with our top tracks of the past month. The playlist starts off with straight hip-hop vibes, then transitions to more indie / indie-pop, and ends with some funky bangers. Hope yall enjoy the dope tracks.
P.S – Halloween is on a Friday this year >:)
Devan DuBois – D L M G L
Skizzy Mars and Marc E. Bassy team up on this Diana Ross-sampling banger. This year has been pretty incredible for Skizzy. After dropping Pace in March, the New York native has gone full Drake mode and released a slew of free, non-album tracks that all fucking kill. And he’s not done. His next tape The Red Balloon should be coming out soon. Stay tuned.
It is not easy in 2014 for an up-and-coming artist to hibernate for a year and make a project. There is so much pressure to constantly create an influx of new music to keep fans and powerful people interested. Dylan Owen has not released a new song since last summer, which translates to a zillion blog years. But with every gap between songs, Dylan is living and writing and working and perfecting his craft. He is experiencing life and writing about it in hopes that people relate to his thoughts. I respect Dylan for two main reasons: he makes incredible music and is willing to wait for a perfected product. This is an artist you follow for life–not just a temporary blog fling.
Driving down the interstate, it’s 2 AM, I’m infinite…
“Everything Gets Old” is the first single from Dylan Owen’s new project There’s More To Life.
Zhu drops a brand new release and he covers one of his favorite artists in CHVRCHES. As usual, it’s nothing short of great. Zhu is making quite a name for himself. Just the other day I heard a remix of Faded on my local radio and was like “holy shit,” it’s Zhu! It’s fun when artists you know that are working hard get that hard earned radio play.
In general, rap music is a young man’s game. It always has been, and it always will be. It is constantly exciting to hear how young artists try to take what the legends have done and expand the genre one or two more steps and take risks that may or may not work. In “Coupe De Grâce,” Just Chris stops the song dead in its tracks at 1:23 and sings a rendition of Uncle Charlie’s bridge from “Bound 2.” It’s a bold move that makes the hard-hitting rap track a thousand times more interesting. The whole track plays almost like a homage to Kanye West and at the same time, displays the massive talent of the young Brit spitter.
Be on the lookout for this kid.
P.S. The artwork is his grandfather who is/was a king (which, technically, makes Chris a prince).
Hit the jump to follow along with the lyrics. Continue reading “[MP3 Premiere] Just Chris – Coupe De Grâce” »
Here we have the latest offering from hip hop artist, Dae Zhen. Dipset is another track that showcases his ability to add a hook to his rhymes. Vibe out to this one!
Sam Smith has been blowing up the world and our hearts so it’s only fair we get a new remake of a song here or there. “I’m Not the Only One” is a track that definitely stands out on his gorgeous debut album, so it’s exciting that he’s managed to add a new twist to it. When you think Sam Smith, collaborations with hip hop artists may not pop in your mind but that can now end. ASAP Rocky has added his own edge to the beautifully sorrowful track “I’m Not the Only One” and it’s a good one. Listen to the feature below.
Here’s the thing. Olu is talented. Quite talented. This is the latest single off of his upcoming project. One thing is for sure, Olu is the latest Cleveland rapper to be creating buzz and he does it with such ease.
Man, Skizzy Mars and Michael Keenan blacked out on this. The duo took Baby Boy Da Prince’s 2007 hit and gave it a futuristic facelift. The result is a very positive song with a killer hook and a few slick verses from Mars. Shout out to whoever came up with the idea to draw out the final chorus.
Check out Skizzy’s collab with the new Penthouse Music artist Lais.