MF DOOM is consistently one of the most overlooked and underrated rappers in the world of hip-hop. Czarface also joins MF DOOM in the leagues of underappreciated rap talent. The duo link up on Ka-Bang for an energetic and dynamic song. MF DOOM is a highlight of the song with his distinctive baritone and unique flow. Unlike some of the younger hip-hop talent out at the moment, MF DOOM has an endless catalogue and countless albums and EPs for enthusiasts to explore.
Mick Jenkins and Jean Deaux link up for a great track with “Noah and the Reign.” The song comes from Mick’s 2013 mixtape “Trees and Truth.” Mick Jenkins’ entire discography is worth checking out and this track is a small sample of his range from catchy, poppy funk on “Your Love” to hard-hitting bars on “The Truth” (also from Truth and Trees).
Almost one year ago, Homeboy Sandman played to a crowd of about 30 students in Armstrong Theater. The passion that he performed with was commendable seeing as he was playing to a measly crowd of college students on a Friday night in Colorado Springs, CO. The rapper, who hails from New York City, has made a living on his understated and poignant raps. In “God,” the MC creates a friendly image of God in his distinctive poetic flow. “God gives me dreams / God gives me bed bugs / The big and the small God gives it all.” The world of “underground” hip-hop is a curious thing and I hope that Stones Throw Records can continue to expose Homeboy Sandman to a bigger audience, because the man has something to say.
A friend recently turned me on to a series by Mass Appeal called Rhythm Roulette. Producers are blindfolded and choose three random vinyls that they use to craft a beat. The videos are fascinating and do a good job artfully translating the passion and creativity contained within the minds of some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Rhythm Roulette belies a larger trend in hip-hop of producers gaining significant followings and at times even eclipsing the popularity of mainstay rappers. Some highlights of the series include:
Big Krit (raps a verse as well on this one)
Mac Miller (still lived at his dad’s house when this was filmed)
Mac Miller dons the magic of his character, Larry Fisherman, and cooks up a particularly unique beat in this episode. Fisherman has fallen off the map as of late, but there are some underrated songs floating around produced by Miller’s whimisically named alter-ego. One of these such songs is “Mellowhigh” which he produced for the OF duo, Hodgy Beats and Left Brain. The beat on this track lays low for the first 1:55 of the song and then kicks off its shoes and starts kicking you in the face after that. In the age of the soundbite, popular artists have taken to manufacturing songs that grab the listener from the first moments of the song. Mellowhigh and Fisherman employ a more understated approach on this song and the result is a complex hip-hop track worthy of at least a couple of listens.
Earlier this week, Top Dawg hinted that a new project would be dropping this week from an unnamed TDE artist. Last night, an album by the name “untitled” appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s Spotify page. The album is a collection of some unreleased songs, and others that Kendrick had performed only live. Unitled 3 was debuted by Kendrick last year on the Colbert Report. The song is driven by an urgent and energetic beat that complements Kendrick’s cadence well. In a sort of call and response style he spits 6-8 bars and is interrupted by a woman’s voice: “what does the black man say?” “what does the white man say?” “what does the indian say?”. Her questions are addressed by Kendrick, and he provides some answers, but more than that he gives the listener an enjoyable ride through a complex and rich piece of music. The internet allows artists to drop projects with virtually no warning, and while “untitled unmastered” is not a complete album in the way that good kid, m.A.A.d city or TPAB both are, it is worth giving it a listen or twenty when you get a chance.
After listening to the Life of Pablo for the past week on repeat, it’s a good feeling to return to Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick’s poetic talent is on full display on his 2011 mixtape, section.80. Kush and Corinthians in particular is a great song to climb back into. The clarity with which the Compton native expresses himself on the track stands out in a time when rappers such as Future can mumble over eccentric beats and sell millions of records. It was good to see Kendrick get some recognition at the Grammys for his obvious talent. TPAB certainly took a different direction than section.80, but on Kush and Corinthians there are glimpses of the rapper that he would hatch into three years down the line. enjoy. also, check out episode 1 of the viceland series: Bompton
David Burd (aka Lil Dicky) is the embodiment of the rapper in the age of the Internet. He has gained widespread fame following a series of hilarious music videos, released over the past three years. What started with his music video “Ex-Girlfriend” has become a movement that has Burd meeting with Snoop Dogg and selling out shows across the country. In the Spring of 2014 I saw Lil Dicky at a show in Boulder, CO during his Professional Rapper Tour. He gave a PowerPoint presentation at the onset of the show and came across as a funny, self-deprecating rapper. People laughed and after an hour and a half everyone left with a smile on their face.
Following this tour, Burd released more of his signature music videos and then publicly announced he had run out of money. He was a broke, white, Jewish rapper. This may have been where Lil Dicky sunk into oblivion. He started a Kickstarter campaign and within weeks had raised $113,000. With this money he worked on and then released his first studio album, Professional Rapper, on July 31, 2015. Some songs on the album were classic LD. Songs like “Lemme Freak,” “Classic Male Pregame,” and “White Crime” were all mildly funny and were in no way, in my opinion, representative of a rapper that wanted to be remembered as a rapper. These songs are more indicative of a comedian that could rap, cashing in on his relatable sense of humor. The question I still have is whether Burd will pursue his career as a serious rapping venture. He has shown flashes online of the makings of a talented rapper, who could grow far past his normal billing as a comedy rapper.
HE CAN BE VERY FUNNY:
In the “Save Dat Money” you get a view of how gregarious and likeable he is as a person. “Pillow Talking” is a hilarious rambling look into the comedic mind of LD.
HE CAN BE A LEGITIMATE RAPPER:
In “Russel Westbrook on a Farm” LD frolics all over the beat and deftly maneuvers through clever rhymes and lines. His “freestyle” (written before I’m sure) on Sway in the Morning is one of the best the show has seen in my opinion.
Maybe Burd is satisfied with the millions of dollars he has in his bank account in this point in his career. In the age of the Internet we see artists rise and then fall off of the map just as quickly. I doubt Burd will meet this fate but I sincerely hope that in his next album we can see a new LD who is willing to become a legitimate rapper, outside of his obvious comedic draw. Maybe we only need to look so far as his name to know where he is headed. Lil Dicky is not a moniker that I could see entering the echelons of rap’s greatest entertainers.
Milo has got to be one of the most emotional and interesting figures in the world of hip-hop today. “Folk-Metaphysics” is a track from his album Things That Happen at Day. It is one of Milo’s most engaging songs and showcases his ability to let his mind take him where it will. His vocals dance over a minimal beat while he covers the world of relationships and gives us a look inside of his mind. The lyrics do not rhyme in many places, but his cadence lets the words flow in a completely natural manner. While sometimes Milo loses me in his world, this song is easy enough to digest, while still moving away from the world of materiality that many hip-hop artists fall victim too. Milo is vulnerable in the song and not in an overly emotional way. He raps, “I’m going to write rap songs to find objective truths.” He’s searching for something and I think he touches on a poignant moment with this line: “I don’t make promises I can’t keep – So I’m not going to make promises ever – And when I write letters to my ex-girlfriends that’ll be the header.” He is navigating a difficult world it seems, and we’re lucky enough to get a look inside.
The socc DJs wanted to welcome back everyone to campus with a new DJ playlist. As usual, the most interesting and good-looking individuals on campus came through big time. Lots of good stuff in this week’s mix. Everything from Joni mitchell to E-40. Take a listen and share with a friend!
While Americans stormed retail malls across the country, Kendrick Lamar had different plans in mind. Lamar remixed J. Cole, adding to the hype arounda collab album between the two rappers. The TDE mainstay rapped over the “Tale of 2 Citiez” beat from J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive on his newest track. The song features some clever wordplay and a shoutout to Kanye West. Kendrick proclaims defiantly, “I’m yelling Mr. Kanye West for President.” The song is vintage Lamar and a welcome pre-holiday gift from one of rap’s most complex and talented stars.