Kid Cudi mentioned this guy Chip Tha Ripper on his song "Dat New New" a few months back, and kind of sparked my interest in the character. Then, Chip was featured on the Kidz in the Hall album and on Cudi's legendary mixtape A Kid Named Cudi.
Chip released a mixtape about a month ago entitled Can't Stop Me. It's pretty dope. His style is nothing like Cudi's, but when they hop on a track together it's a pretty dope collaboration. Check out the mixtape and download below.
Key Tracks: Mr. Alladatshit, F.R.E.S.H., Ask About Me, Can't Stop Me
Mr. Fiasco always throws curveballs. Whether it's songs like Hurt Me Soul where he lists all the world's ills, or a concept album based on three characters like The Cool, he's innovative to say the least. I know we've all been expecting new shit from Lupe, and as he said on his last album, the upcoming one will be his last.
The album is entitled LupEND, and according to a show he recently did at Congress Theater, the album will be a 3-disc set. Fittingly, they'll be titled Everywhere, Nowhere and Down Here. Get it? E.N.D.?
That's a whole lot of new ish from the man, and that makes for a very exciting Saturday. Expect Soundtrakk to go off on the album(s).
"It ain't just gonna be one album. There are going to be 3...I love this too much to just go out with one album." - Lupe
Thank god he's not off in Paris writing a book...yet.
I hate tri-colored Dunk's and SB's. I hate "rare" Bape's and "essential" Japanese kicks. I hate those people who are so crazy about the "sneaker game" that they buy more pairs than their local sneakershop houses and wear them less often than homeless people could dream of.
The fact is, people nowadays have an obsession with a sneaker game that takes advantage of their stupidity.
So, focus on making your own lane, and becoming your own taste-maker. Don't get caught up in what all the other artists and commericals are convincing you are the ish. Find your own shit.
And on that note, props to The Pack for making Vans cool again. Little late on that, but still respectable.
Little Brother - Delusional feat. Oddisee
Common - Universal Mind Control feat. Pharrell
Wale - The Crazy (Nick Catchdubs Remix)
Lil' Wayne - A Millie
The Fugees - Zealots
88 Keys - Cuddle Bums
Blaqstarr - Shake it to the Ground (Claude Von Stroke Remix)
Erykah Badu - Soldier feat. Jay-Z
Estelle - Magnificent
Mickey Factz - Overdose on Life
The Roots - Criminal feat. Saigon
Fonzworth Bentley - C.O.L.O.U.R.S. feat. Pimp C & Lil' Wayne
The Roots - You Got Me feat. Erykah Badu
Jay-Z - Feelin' It
Peace, Love, the GAP. And I'm out!
With that being said, I'm really impressed with what the Cool Kids have been doing, and as unsuspecting and ridiculous as their music may seem, they may have uncovered the future of the industry. The Cool Kids have been performing live for about a year and a half now, and have gotten some great buzz as they've opened for super-hipster M.I.A. and held the main stage at festivals like Coachella and S/SW. After getting all of the road buzz, they released a few songs to their MySpace and several online outlets, for free. Then, after a lot of internet advertising and forum-buzz, they released their debut EP through iTunes...on their own label. No middle man, no major labels, no distributors, no SOLID COPIES. They wen't completely digital, and every single dollar earned from sales was theirs and Apple's. For two kids under 22 years old, even a couple thousand copies (which would be horrible by a major label's standards) means direct profit.
It's brilliant. Just wait for this to happen more and more, and for the Def Jam's, Atlantic's and Interscope's to break down as soon as it does.
The Roots are hip-hop’s most musical group, there’s no doubt about that. With influences from Jazz, neo-soul, and old school hip-hop, they're one of the most "alternative" groups in or out of hip hop. From their first days almost two decades ago to their most recent album, Rising Down, The Roots have been among hip-hop’s premiere cult groups. Anyone that truly loves music and feels that there are elements of hip-hop that are bigger than the current sound has to appreciate the Philadelphia-bred group.
The Roots are comprised of Black Thought, the official MC of the group, ?uestlove on Drums, Kamal Gray on Keyboard, F. Knuckles on Percussion, Captain Kirk Douglas on guitar, Owen Biddle on Bass, and Tuba Gooding Jr. on the sousaphone. The lineup of The Legendary Roots Crew sounds more like Benny Goodman’s big band half a century ago than that of a hip-hop group.
Nowadays, with no more musical talent needed than some knowledge of Garage Band and Pro Tools, basically any artist can call themselves a “musician.” However, The Roots have combined raw and underrated MC’ing by the genius that is Black Thought with ?uestlove’s virtuosity on drums and a whole slew of other instruments.
The most negatively charged, racist and hateful word a person can actually say in public. A word that marks the struggle and hatred that millions of African-Americans have seen for hundreds of years. A word that is so inconsequentially and thoughtlessly tossed around in conversation and recitation of lyrics by white boys who love rap music. A word that can cause an argument, a fight, or even a riot. And now, that word is the title of Nas’ new album.
For more, go to: http://www.thecampusword.com/content/view/2306/589/
The Atlanta-bred rapper started his rise in the game when he was just 15, as he started producing tracks for local Atlanta acts. Eventually, he caught the eye of some label heads, and the rest, they say, is history. He is currently working on his debut album which is due out this spring, and he has produced and written the majority of the songs off the album. He has a really different sound, an extremely creative flow matched with smart lyrics and a southern drawl. He has a new single out with songstress Amy Winehouse. Keep an eye out for B.o.B.!
2007 saw some phenomenal releases and projects, so let's break it down.
Best Albums of 2007 ~
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool This album was definitely the best album of the year. Amazing production and features-mostly all by underground artists. Lupe proves he's the smartest rapper out there and created a classic.
Jay-Z - American Gangster Jay came out of retirement for the second time to create a concept album based on Ridley Scott's "American Gangster." It has a classic old school feel, with production from The Hitmen and JD. Features are perfect and necessary, and he's definitely making a case for himself to never retire.
Kanye West - Graduation Kanye uses his brilliant mind yet again to capture strange, obscure, and electronic sounds from artists around the world. But...it works. He used electronica heroes Daft Punk for his epic single "Stronger" to make one of the biggest hits in a long time. He even overcame 50 Cent who released his album the same week and outsold him by nearly double.
Talib Kweli - Eardrum Most people compare this album to Common's "Finding Forever" because they're both of the conscious side. However, I pick this album over Comm's any day. It's longer, includes great and diverse features, and Kweli goes back to his old days and kills every single track.
Best Artists of 2007 ~
Kanye - He's taking over the world. Quickly. No setbacks could slow him down, and the next few years are definitely his.
Daft Punk - Performers of the year, hands down. Held Alive 2007 tour a decade after their last Alive tour to hundreds of thousands of dancing Americans.
Wale - Went from obscure rapper on Mark Ronson's Allido Records, to a huge name in the industry featured on the cover of URB Magazine.
Lupe Fiasco - Featured in what seems like thousands of publications throughout the year following up on his epic first album with a sophomore effort that outshines every album of the year.
T-Pain - Followed in label-mate Akon's footsteps and got features on the biggest songs of the year. Anywhere you turned, you heard his animated and electronic voice, and you danced to it. 2008 promises to be even bigger.
Biggest Songs of 2007 ~
I'm So Hood (feat. Just about every rapper in the game) - DJ Khaled
Crank That - Soulja Boy
I Get money - 50 Cent
Rehab - Amy Winehouse
D.A.N.C.E. - Justice (Which Wale remixed, quite amazingly, if I may say so)
Low - Flo-Rida
Good Life - Kanye West
There's been some amazing things done in music in 2007. I hope that 2008 can promise to be even better.
It's been said the last quarter of 2007 would be the music industry's last stand, in the record stores, at least. With such a statement up in the air, the line up of artists did not disappoint. From 50 Cent to Jay-Z to Kanye and Lupe Fiasco, to the return of Wu Tang, there were some amazing and monumental releases these past few months. Regardless, with sales constantly and surely declining, it's simply unreasonable for labels to keep pouring unbelievable amounts of money into projects and printing if the sales are just not there. These labels and artists are at odds, and the industry is definitely at a crossroads.
Major labels have been following the same format and sales routines for the last 20 years, and there are undoubtedly going to be some growing pains. Some labels are adapting though...
T-Pain recently announced that he was starting his own label, called Nappy Boy Records, which would abolish record stores completely. However, his major label is still not up, and it will be upwards of 4 years until he actually kicks this plan into action. Either way, artists and labels have to learn to change with the times...and fast. They simply cannot afford to make shitty music by artists who have no true talent or longevity.
That means no more Hurricane Chris or Lil' Boosie. But this also means a lot more Lupe Fiasco, and artists of the sort. Somehow, I think we'll survive.
DC-bred Wale has recently hit the scene in a major way, with being featured on the cover of URB Magazine and being featured as the single of the week on iTunes. He first came on the scene with a feature on Lily Allen's "Smile." Mark Ronson quickly signed him on his own label, Allido Records, to join hip-hop's hottest sophomore, Rhymefest, young crooner Daniel Merriweather, and world renowned DJ's Jus Ske and Doug Grayson.
Lupe Fiasco's new album dropped in record stores a few hours ago, and I have been losing my mind listening to this album. I feel as if I have not heard good music for decades before today. The album begins with an "Eardrum"-esque spoken word poet on the intro, leading to an inspirational chant-song in "Free Chilly." The album then quickly goes into arguably the three best tracks off the record, "Go-Go Gadget Flow," "The Coolest," and "Superstar." Lupe's flow is in deed quick, smart, creative, and so different from the shit we have been hearing. For the album, Lupe enlists a lot of features, most of whom are not exactly big-name. However, every feature is not forced, rather helps complement every song. Some people say he's the savior of hip-hop, some say he's a defamation to the old-school, but Lupe has undoubtedly made the best album of 2007 with "The Cool."
It's the final weekend of the record industry's 2007 calendar year, and one of its newest contenders will be stealing the spotlight in two days with his sophomore album. Lupe is the last heavyweight from the enormous 4th quarter to release an album, and there has been a tremendous amount of controversy and expectation leading up to this album, and everyone's bets are still on Mr. Fiasco. This year alone he has gone through Fiascogate, in which he performed at Hip Hop Honors to honor Tribe Called Quest...and forgot the lines. No one could believe that one of hip-hop's newcomers could so deeply offend the culture and such a legenday group. Regardless, Lupe's singles off the new album sound amazing, from "Dumb it Down" to "Superstar," and the recently released "The Coolest." Lupe is impressing even the nay-sayers, and I don't know about the rest, but I cannot wait for Tuesday to hear the rest.
So there's been a lot of acclaim for the newly released Wu-Tang album. It's been over five years since their last group effort, and die-hard fans of the Wu are definitely disappointed with the latest effort. There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the album's release, from rumors of disagreement between Wu members Raekwon and Ghostface with the Rza. Ghost and 'Kwon claimed that Rza was going his own direction with the project and didn't consult the other members when making critical production decisions. Either way, the album came out pretty good. For new listeners, it's definitely a nice segue from other mainstream hip-hop nowadays into the teachings of the Wu. However, old fans are not pleased, and even go far as to claim the rhymes sound lazy on almost all the tracks. Decide for yourself, and go pick up a copy of "8 Diagrams."