Monday Download 008 With Grant Brydon
Grant Brydon breaks down his week in new music with the Monday Download 008...
As you probably know by now it’s Carter V season, and from what we’ve heard so far Lil Wayne might be back on track with his classic album series that lost momentum with its fourth installment. After Kobe Bryant initially revealed the artwork for the album via Twitter back in April, this time Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers came through with the assist, dropping Tunechi’s latest single Krazy last week. The follow up to D’Usse and Believe Me follows the lines of tracks like A Milli (although no where near as classic) and 6’7” with Weezy just spitting punchline after punchline over a minimal instrumental. While it’s certainly not my favourite of the three tracks, there are some great punchlines on here, and it begins to shape a well-rounded approach to the next record. It’ll be interesting to see where Wayne goes from here. Lets just hope he doesn’t attempt another How To Love…
August Alsina and Pusha T dropped a powerful visual for FML, the standout track from August’s debut album Testimony which dropped earlier this year. The video sees the pair looking on over what appears to be their own suicides and finishes with an encouraging message for anyone struggling with depression, “I’ve been where you are… Through the struggle and the pain. It’s what makes us stronger than most. When there seems to be no way forward in life. You have to find a way.” August also finished up the week by premiering another video from the album, for his Rick Ross collaboration Benediction, on BET’s 106 & Park.
While Pusha T works on his forthcoming album, King Push, which is expected to drop in the Autumn/Winter, he joined forces Revolt TV to put out another video from My Name Is My Name. Putting a bit of a twist on 40 Acres, his touching and aspirational cut with The-Dream, he performs the first verse of the track accapella, putting even more focus on the lyrical content with elements being highlighted by cutaways.
Taylor Gang member Berner came through with the line-up of the week when he dropped his latest track All In A Day, which features Young Thug and YG (and Vital). Over the slapping production Thugger comes in addressing the hate that he’s been receiving from doubters, “The people gon’ talk, Yeah I know what they say…” again demonstrating a unique flow and approach that makes him one of the most intriguing and polarising rappers on the rise at the moment. In at a close second, Young Scooter was joined by Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan for another great line-up last week with a track called New Young N*ggas.
And while we’re on Thugger and Rich Homie, the video for their Rich Gang single Lifestyle, which I featured a couple of weeks ago, dropped last night – it’s cliche rap video affair with girls, cars, planes, money and a lot of mates hanging about in the background, but the track is great so it’s worth hitting play.
Lil Herb, who was exposed to a whole new audience recently when he appeared alongside Nicki Minaj on her Chi-Raq single as well as showing up to perform with her at Summer Jam, dropped a new video last week for a track called Just Bars. Don’t expect anything flashy in the way of visuals here (unless it’s a laser pen) but just enjoy watching Young Herb bar out. This one does exactly what it says on the tin.
Continuing his run of videos from his sophomore album Honest, Future dropped a new visual for bonus cut, Side Effects, last week. This one is a more low-budget affair than previous videos like his recent Blood, Sweat And Tears and is aimed more at his core fans than MTV, as he appears to have thrown it together the majority of it whilst flying to a show on tour. Still, the woozy love song is a solid track from the record, so worth checking out if you’re a fan. He also lent his vocals to the debut single, Me and My Broken Heart, from Manchester boy band, Rixton. The four piece are signed to Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, but if you are inclined to press play I’d recommend switching off right after Future’s vocal finishes!
Cam’ron is gearing up to drop vol.1 of his First Of The Month EP’s this week, and to give us an idea of what to expect dropped a couple of visuals. The project sees Cam dropping an episode of what forms the sequel to his hood classic Killa Season movie on a monthly basis, which will be soundtracked by an original EP by the man himself. Last week he put out a five minute clip of the first episode along with a music video for a track called Funeral which will appear on the first EP. While Funeral doesn’t hold the weight of Dipshits and Humphrey, both from his forthcoming Federal Reserve EP with DJ A-Trak, sounding more like his impression of a 2014 trap record. However, the clip definitely hails back to the original Killa Season, and hopefully once we see it this week the music will all make sense!
To promote their collaborative single Six Degrees, Ghostface Killah and BadBadNotGood got together to perform a live show in Alife’s backyard. The footage looks great, and although Ghostface seems to think the Jazz trio are a Rock band called Bad Bad No Good, they seem to have covered plenty of classics from the (best) Wu-Tang member’s solo catalogue and put on a great show.
Ghostface also made an appearance last week on the remix of Mobb Deep’s Illmind produced Dirt, which comes from the Queens duo’s latest album The Infamous Mobb Deep. With it’s distorted guitar and thumping drums, the beat perfectly mirrors the tracks title and the addition of Ghostface takes us back to gritty mid-90s New York street rap.
While we are on this vibe it would be a good time to also mention a couple of new tracks from Roc Marciano that surfaced last week. The first, Shotguns In Hell, sees Marci rhyming over an instrumental from producer Apollo Brown’s recently released Thirty Eight EP; and the second Inside (Outro) is the closing track from Scottish producer S-Type’s Rosario EP which dropped last week via LuckyMe Records.
One of the hardest working rappers in the game, Curren$y, followed up last week’s A Lil Sumthin, with a video for the track, as well as five new videos for tracks from his latest mixtape The Drive In Theatre before announcing that he had plans to tour the mixtape in the US. The video playlist Drive In: Intermission features clips for Intermission, Stolen, MPR, Stovetop and Hi Top Whites.
With a new Street Lights EP on the way, Vic Mensa releases another track free-of-charge entitled Major Payne. The track continues into the more electronic direction that Vic has been headed in with recent work, and anyone who caught the Save Money rapper live in the last few months will probably recall this Michael Uzowuru produced cut.
With all of this new G-Unit dropping recently it wasn’t a surprise when last week 50 Cent announced that a mixtape was on the way. Their latest drop sees them taking on Jeremih and DJ Mustard’s Don’t Tell ‘Em, and as 50 puts it in his first verse “G-Unit + Jeremih = Summertime Anthem.”
With the sequel to his For Professional Use Only on the way next month, AraabMuzik released some live footage set to his apocalyptic take on Lana Del Ray’s Summertime Sadness, dropping in his trademark 808’s and sharp snare drums all banged out at impressive speed and precision on his MPC.
Ahead of announcing a headline tour which sees him hitting the road with support from Jhené Aiko and ScHoolboy Q, The Weeknd released his first original solo track of the year, Often, as a free download on Soundcloud. While there is no word yet on the official follow up to last year’s Kiss Land, this Ben Billions produced track should keep fans ticking over in the meantime.
With Jhené Aiko’s debut still in high anticipation, she revealed the album’s lead single last week, a Cocaine 80s assisted track called To Love & Die, written alongside James Fauntleroy. Hopefully the album get’s a release date soon, as it would be great to hear more of this ASAP!
We are now officially in FKA twigs season, and after a couple of new visuals covered in last weeks column, she dropped her latest official single – the first from her forthcoming album LP1 – entitled Two Weeks. Reminiscent of Kanye West’s Power video, the visual starts off focussed on the London songstress and dancer’s head and slowly zooms out to reveal a grandiose and surreal landscape.
Another artist to watch on the Alt-R&B (or whatever you want to label it) circuit is Canadian songstress Jessy Lanza, who dropped a great album last year called Pull My Hair Back. Jessy’s latest track You And Me will appear on the forthcoming label compilation from HyperDub which drops next month, but was revealed via Soundcloud last week.
Tinashe’s Vunerable – the Travis Scott-assisted stand out from her Black Water mixtape – is no stranger to a remix. Despite having initially surfaced at the back end of last year producers are still keen to give it their reinterpretation. The latest to do this is Soulection’s Sango who dropped one of the most notable takes on the track last week with his deep-synths and trap elements applied to the Los Angeles singers vocals.
Canadian producer, Illangelo, known for his work with The Weeknd and Drake, dropped a visual for his new collaborative single with vocalist Phlo Finister. The Lance Drake directed video is a perfect match to the sound cape, with Illangelo and Phlo stuck in a futuristic Sci-Fi environment with some great choreography and beautiful.
Boston’s Black EL dropped a loose track entitled Olde English 800 which has taken listeners by surprise. It’s title suggests some kind of cliche drinking anthem, but in actual fact what we have here is a smooth, nostalgic Summer track that demonstrates great potential for the rapper’s forthcoming material.
With a new album entitled Banco on the way next month, one half of the Cool Kids, Sir Michael Rocks, put out his latest single Bussin last week. Teaming up with two of the current generation’s key West Coast rappers IAmSu! and Casey Veggies for an up-tempo record that should get the hype building for the full-length.
Boston rapper Michael Christmas has quickly been becoming a blog favourite over the past few months, and proves why with his new video Y’all Trippin. Heading to Hip-Hop’s Mecca, Mickey runs around NYC jumping on the L-Train and training for victory in a subway B-Boy battle. It’s light-hearted, fun, shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and as a result is an addictive watch. For more I’d recommend seeking out Christmas’ latest project Is This Art?
Mick Jenkins and Supa BWE take on white privilege with their new single Treat Me (Caucasian). The pair are clearly angry about their situation but put forward a strong manifesto with lines like “I’m tall as fuck/They still look down on the boy even though they still gotta look up.” The track comes from Chicago group Hurt Everybody’s forthcoming self-titled EP which drops this week.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Shabazz Palaces forthcoming LP, Lese Majesty, which is the brilliant 7 suite follow up to their critically acclaimed 2011 album Black Up. The Seattle-based duo let fans in a little further on what to expect from the record when they dropped the audio – along with a triply visual that we should note is NOT the official video – for their latest single #CAKE.
Coming from New York we had some great new music as always, The Underachievers let off the third single, Felicity, from their forthcoming official debut Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium which drops 12 August; the Bronx’s Daytona dropped his latest Harry Fraud-produced single All Love, which will presumably appear on his forthcoming project via Fraud’s Surf School Recordings; Raekwon continued his #TBT by spitting criminology over another classic rnb song, this time with Horace Brown’s Trippin; and Bodega Bamz put out a new video from his forthcoming Sunday Service project.
On Friday night the music world sadly lost a legend and a great influence on hip hop and rnb music in particular (although his talent transcends genres and is an influence on a huge range of artists) when Bobby Womack passed away aged 70. To pay tribute to the late great soul singer, producer 9th Wonder quickly put together a mixtape that compiles his own instrumentals that have sampled Womack’s vocals, to give just a taste of the influence that he has had on the world
And from one soul legend to another, the trailer for the forthcoming James Brown biopic Get On Up dropped yesterday. For anyone that doesn’t know already, James Brown is an integral influence of hip-hop, and without him many of the early drum breaks that the music was formed upon wouldn’t have existed. If you need an intro to the man, then this might be your starting point when it hits cinemas later this Summer.
And if that isn’t enough for you to get through, check out what happened when Erykah Badu happened to be passing by one of New York news channel Pix 11’s reports last week…
Words by @GrantBrydon