QUICK WORD FROM THE EDITOR:
After a much felt and unexpected hiatus EARMILK's lone Hip-Hop feature Straight No Chase returns. Aiming to condense content by taking a diversity and quality over quantity approach, Straight No Chase is back to stay with a more streamlined layout and an even handed abundance of curated fresh tracks from a variety of underground, indie and mainstream hip-hop artists.
Utilizing the voices, varied music taste and skills of the EARMILK hip-hop staff we're proud to announce the long-awaited, often delayed and much rumored relaunch of Straight No Chase with the release of the anticipated 17th edition. As the old adage goes "absence makes the heart grow fonder". With that, we hope you all missed SNC as much as we've mixed curating the weekly feature for you all.
-Adrian Smith (Senior Hip-Hop Editor)
Welcome back for this week's edition of Straight No Chase, your one-stop shop source for all things hip-hop here on EARMILK. This comprehensive weekly feature aims to share hip-hop based content we may have missed during the past week, while also highlighting memorable content we did cover. In addition to the recap of our best hip-hop posts, SNC also includes a Video of the Week, Project of the Week, and staff-selected noteworthy upcoming releases.
As any hip hop head worth their salt knows, these days music floods the blogosphere by the millisecond. Consequently, the landscape of hip-hop is forever changing. There are countless rappers, both established and up-and-coming, as well as renowned and budding producers and beatsmiths dropping their fair share of dope music for the listening masses. It is our mission to mine the interweb for both audio and visual gems, delivering them straight to you for your auditory consumption. But enough with the jaw jacking: let's cut straight to the chase
STRAIGHT KILLER, NO FILLER
Fat Joe – “Your Honor” (Feat. Action Bronson) (Prod. DJ Premiere)
With the whole MTV VMA's taking over the media entirely this week, it seems like the track Fat Joe shared with the world was quickly lost within the mess that was Ms. Cyrus and her bony twerk. However, unlike “Instagram That Hoe” (which should be thrown into a crypt somewhere and never talked about again), this release deserved more attention than it got. Fat Joe was hit with tax evasion earlier this year, and he's got a few things to say about his sentencing, which began on the 26th of this month. Placed over a DJ Premiere beat and getting a little help from Action Bronson on the second verse, Fat Joe proves that he's still fully capable of keeping up with the best in the biz today, even if he's doing it behind bars for now. His newest album, The Darkside 3, was released this week.
Angel Haze – “Echelon (It's My Way)”
Rihanna may be calling herself a bad girl these days, but we all know that Angel Haze is the real bad bitch in town. Her rhymes on the BET cypher alongside other underground up-and-comers proved what she already knew- she's capable of standing out in a sea of greats… she just needed the rest of the world to get on her level. Haze's debut will be coming out with Universal Records, which might be the reason why the production sounds a bit more consumer friendly than her grittier mixtape tracks. However, the girls got a mouth that can rhyme and brain that must be rotating so fast it's doing flips. Whatever it is that's circulating in her mind, she shows, once again, that she'll let her rhymes do the talking.
BADBADNOTGOOD – “DOOMMIXMIXMIX”
BADBADNOTGOOD have put together some DOOM favorites recently as a bit of a promotion for JJ DOOM's KEY TO THE KUFFS (BUTTER EDITION). Actually, I'm not too sure if the mix really was for a promo, but does it really matter why? The mix is out there, and there can't be too many people actually complaining about 30 minutes of Prime-Time DOOM action. Stream and purchase of KEY TO THE KUFFS can be found here, and BBNG's recent release can be found on their site.
Le1f – “Damn Son”
The underrated Greedhead signee yet again brings his signature diva sounds to the table, and I'm a bit saddened that we hadn't written about the track until now, but I suppose it's better late than never. He samples the trap favorite “Damn Son, where'd you find this” and brings his own dark and fabulous flair. There isn't too much to have to say when the young artist lays it down for the world to take in. Yes Le1f, you are the bomb. His upcoming mixtape, Tree House, comes out on the September 10.
Drake – “Hold On We're Going Home” (RL Grime Sad Boys Chop and Screw)
Chopped and Screwed was gone for a minute, but it's been building a steady comeback lately. Fans of the EDM genre may have noticed that more than a couple DJ/producers have proclaimed their admiration for DJ Screw and co, which just means good news for everyone, including the hip-hop heads out there. RL Grime, the young producer who also goes by the moniker Clockwork, has brought his take on Drake's “Hold On We're Going Home” this month, and it's pretty killer. It wouldn't be fair to use the word “soft” about Drake, but Drizzy's a rather emotional dude, and the slow, murky, drugged out nature of the ole chop and screw really brings out his sensitive side. I'm no drug advocate but is it just me that imagines the pink nature of lean in a double cup as this song plays out? Yeah, didn't think so.
ON THE ROCKS: WEEKLY RECAP
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
This week's video of the week comes from New York artist Black Dave and Supreme New York employee. His latest video, directed by Jason Ano, pays homage to the classic movie KIDS. His flow is a mix of 90s boom bap with a modern twist. The artistically presented video captures the summertime beauty that is New York.
PROJECT OF THE WEEK
Willie the Kid has been in the game for some time now. The 28-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan native has definitely taken the strategy of his old teacher, DJ Drama, to heart. Steadily releasing a significant amount of projects since 2006 has kept him both busy and available to willing listeners. His latest project, Aquamarine, proves that Willie can supply not only a large quantity of music, but also quality tracks that continually show his growth as a musician.
Thirteen tracks long and running under an hour long, Aquamarine is an abstract sample heavy, jazz driven tape that is sonically similar to Stones Throw legend Madlib’s early 2000 work. Its production is impressively cohesive; even when he is reworking a scene from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, on “Glasses Of Water”, the track still maintains the laidback and weeded vibe of the album. If you are looking for tracks to dance to or to start your crazy Friday night, this is not the project for you. However, if you and your friends are the type to circle around a hookah while contemplating the world’s ills, Willie’s mixtape will soon find its way into your iTunes rotation.
Lyrically, Willie does not disappoint at all. As uniform as his production is, his lyrics can seem sporadic at moments. Although, it’s not a fault, instead it’s a positive. With an album with this smooth of vibe, it can become boring if he was talking about the same topics on every track. Willie’s discusses the state of hip hop, personal issues, love, and of course, like every rapper, why he is the hottest. While these are all the typical subjects of emcees, his wordplay pushes him past the rest. “Rap wise, I’m like Penny wise/ Copper Foamposites/ Penny, Penny’s/Never Penny pinch/Paid a pretty penny for the image,” just abusing the word penny.
His wordplay is nuts, and flowing on those smooth instrumentals, it’s hard not to love. Willie the Kid put together a very solid project that is break from the trap/EDM dominated hip hop soundscape of today.
Willie The Kid
- Asylum Records/Aphilliates Music Group
- August 27, 2013
UPCOMING RELEASES – SEPTEMBER
Nothing Was The Same
- Young Money Entertainment
- September 24, 2013
Love In the Future
- Sony Music
- September 3, 2013
The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2
- Sony Music
- September 30, 2013
Maybach Music Group
Self Made Vol. 3
- Atlantic Records
- September 30, 2013
- Universal Republic
- September 10, 2013