Skizzy Mars

Jarami – We Go Back ft. Skizzy Mars (CHINAH Remix)

Jarami

Remixing a song like CHINAH’s “We Go Back” isn’t an easy task. Reworking the shimmering single, with its intricate guitar and warm vocals, requires an understanding of what makes the initial track so compelling in the first place.

Luckily, Stockholm production duo Jarami prove that they can handle the task, imbuing the original with bouncy energy and woozy synths. Their flip of “We Go Back” is certainly uptempo, but it doesn’t sacrifice the emotional resonance of CHINAH’s original.

Skizzy Mars breezes in for a quick and enjoyable verse, but the main attractions here are Jarami’s manipulation of the track’s vocals and the mellow guitar solo on the outro.

Make sure you get “We Go Back” in your rotation, because once you emerge from winter hibernation this will be a record you want locked and loaded.

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Best Projects of 2015

Best Projects of 2015

By now you have probably read 5-10 “Best Albums” lists compiled by your favorite music conglomerates. This list is different for several reasons. First, this is a list of my (Arjun’s) personal favorite projects from the year. I did not have to dilute my taste through a group dynamic. This is my unfiltered opinion, which I think makes for a more honest list. Secondly, I did not include any artists for political reasons, which larger sites are prone to do. Lastly, this list is a bit unusual in that it combines albums, mixtapes, and EPs under the blanket term “project,” which in the age of long EPs, free albums, and high quality mixtapes is a necessity.

I am not going to write about every album on the list. Nobody has time for that. Instead, let’s hit the highlights and the lesser known projects.

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Dave B – Yes

Dave B

Seattle MC Dave B is a pretty gifted rapper with a tremendous ear for beats. His tracks are routinely elevated by his ability to smoothly ride moody, incandescent instrumentals like the vibraphone-powered, enigmatic “Rain” or the musty basement bounce of “Cheap Sofa.”

His latest track, the brisk, spacey “Yes,” highlights B’s charisma on the mic over a crisp beat that pairs warm percussion with synths that sound like they’re running in reverse from the first bar.

B isn’t reinventing the wheel in terms of subject matter, but he’s a confident lyricist with a winning personality and a pleasing, diverse flow. Like many Seattle MCs he’s clearly a skilled, knowledgable rapper, though fortunately he doesn’t traffic in the overly earnest style that makes some Washington hip-hop a bit tough to sit through.

He’s reminiscent of Sunset favorite Skizzy Mars, except not as focused on the meticulous lifestyle that dominates Skizz’s bars. Another fitting comparison might be Pell, another new name on the scene who’s unafraid to switch up his delivery and experiment with a wealth of soundscapes.

B’s record Punch Drunk was an impressive, compelling debut, and if “Yes” is any indication he’s clearly picking up momentum as he goes.

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Gnash – Closure (ft. Skizzy Mars) [with lyrics]

skizzy-mars-gnash-closure

I have a strong feeling 2016 is going to be a huge year for both Skizzy Mars and Gnash. They’re going on tour together in the first quarter of the year – that’s definitely a show to catch. They released a song together a couple days ago called “Closure” and while it’s short, it embodies the spirit of the two artists perfectly. Skizzy perfects his harmonic verses and Gnash smoothly covers the hook and a verse of his own in his signature clear and relatable style.

Can’t tell you how big I am on both of these guys – they’re on the brink of something really big, and they’re both great characters, which makes it all even more exciting to watch. Hit the jump for the lyrics.

Listen to more from Skizzy Mars // Listen to more from Gnash

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Best New Songs of August 2015

JHeSd8m

31 days up, and 31 days down. Per usual, the team over at Sunset has gotten together to bring you the best new songs to be put out in August. Phenomenal list, as always!

Highlights this month:

Kygo released not one, but two random piano tracks. Chance The Rapper made an appearance this month. Skizzy Mars keeps on releasing dope remixes. Oh, he also hopped on his buddy, Allday’s “Grammy.” Oh, Be Clever flexed their muscles with their latest release, “River.” The recent out pour of Gallant’s “Weight in Gold” remixes is intimidating, but we decided to give you a standout from Sweater Beats. Sol dropped some wise knowledge on us.

Hit the jump for the Soundcloud stream and download!

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Allday – Grammy (Remix ft. Skizzy Mars)

Allday

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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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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Best New Songs of July 2015

HbAHzVR

The #SunsetFam killed it this month (we kill it every month). When collaborating for these monthly playlists, we like to do what’s best for business, and you are what’s best for business. Different genres, different artists, different sounds. There’s something on here for everyone, or maybe you’re like us and everything on here is for you. Say goodbye to July, and welcome August with open arms.

Highlights this month:

RKCB makes their debut with “Ignite.” NoMBe shines with “Miss Mirage” as he takes you on a journey. Gnash drops his guard and lets you in with “I Hate U I Love U.” MIYNT channels dark-pop-magic with “Civil War.” Allday, who you may remember from working with Skizzy Mars, dropped a solid 7-track mixtape. Arjun told us we should worry about a guy named Allan Rayman. Last, but not least, Meek Mill called out Drake for being fake. Drake responded with not one, not two, not three, just kidding, two “diss” songs because I guess rappers still do that. You can find the second one on this playlist. Oh, and our fellow writer, Andy, became Twitter famous with his tweet about Meek Mill’s response track.

Hit the jump for the Soundcloud stream and download!

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Xanny Rap

New Tape Tuesday!

I think I am going to need to prelude this writeup by saying that I do not pop xannies and do not condone the abuse of prescription medication. The purpose of this tape is simply to highlight a growing trend in rap music. It is not surprising that the effects of the 21st century prescription drug culture has trickled into the rap scene, and I would argue that much like Wiz Khalifa makes certifiably dank weed rap, artists like Lucki Eck$ and Jimmy Prime (formerly Jimmy Johnson) make “xanny rap.” As you will notice, the mix is not all rap music. I tried to space out the journey and the rewards of hearing some of the trippiest rap music being made (Also, “Lilly” by Toro y Moi is a wave). If you’re an impatient bastard, tracks 11 through 14 show the heart of the phenomena.

When I’m off all these bars I should be behind some bars

 

*SoundCloud mix is missing track 6 (“Lilly” by toro y moi)

DOWNLOAD ‘XANNY RAP’ HERE

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[Download MP3] Skizzy Mars – You Always Know the DJ (Allday Remix)

New Skizzy Mars!

Skizzy Mars and Michael Keenan team up to completely redesign Allday‘s hit “You Always Know the DJ,” which you may remember from one of our Tape Tuesdays. In two short verses, Skizzy paints the picture of his lifestyle and takes the listener along for the trip. Also, “My girl look like ‘02 Anna Kournikova” is probably line of the year.

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Lais – Distance (ft. Skizzy Mars)

New Lais!

The story of Lais began on Reddit where he posted his debut project Session One and instantly garnered a small, loyal fan base. From there, SITR favorite Skizzy Mars discovered him and convinced him to join the Penthouse Music roster. Together, they remixed Session One standout “For You,” which now has nearly a million plays on SoundCloud. That collaboration closed the Session One chapter of Lais’s short career, and began the Place in Time, which is the name of his upcoming EP, segment of his career. As Lais tweeted last night, it’s only fitting to start the new EP where he finished the last.

Here’s what Lais told Noisey about the song:

“The idea behind the song came from this one night where I was faded out of my mind partying in Montreal. Then after the party me and this girl went back to the hotel room and she wanted to hook up but she was trying to figure out if I was even conscious. So the whole time she kept asking me shit and all I could say was, “baby don’t worry, I’m still here” because the only thing I could understand her saying was my name. It was still a fun time but the song was just to let her know sometimes I’m gone but I’m still not that far away.”

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Skizzy Mars – Be Lazy

New Skizzy Mars!

“Be Lazy” is the third single from Skizzy Mars‘s The Red Balloon Project. Once again, Michael Keenan handles production, as the pair cruises to a swift 3 for 3 on singles from the new EP. As the title would suggest, this is a song to be lazy to, so smoke to this. Now. Stop doing your homework. Homework is lame. Smoking is tight.

And while you’re at it, make sure to buy the project here.

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