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
Guilty Simpson & Small Professor (Feat. A.G.) – “It’s Nuthin”
Motor City has become a ghost of its former self (to quote Big Sean, “they say Detroit ain't got a chance, we ain't even got a mayor”,) a textbook example of the perils associated with “The American Dream” and the dependency on big business. But those who grew up absorbing the culture can’t easily abandon the concrete jungle. Guilty Simpson can’t turn his back on the city, as his home made him everything that he is today. “It’s Nuthin” has Guilty coming together with Philly native Small Professor and AG (from the always dope Diggin In the Crates Crew) who contribute a banging, guitar dominant beat and a hefty guest verse, respectively. Be sure to pick up Guilty and Small Pro’s latest project, Highway Robbery, when it drops on September 24.
Ransom & Statik Selektah (Feat. Styles P) – “It’s Ransom”
Statik Selektah has never been one to incorporate generic sounds into his work. His instrumentals are like no other, as you’ll never predict what the beat maker will craft next. On the upcoming joined album with Ransom (The Proposal, which drops on October 1), “It’s Ransom” features the emcee dropping some pretty gruesome bars “with this lyrical post partum, the scope’s on them/ I aim and let off the toast on em, reload on them) over a nerve wracking, violin heavy instrumentals. Styles P on the hook doesn’t disappoint whatsoever, giving us some pretty slick rhymes. Overall, it’s a spectacular track for a highly anticipated project.
Astro – In My Mind – (Prod. The Neptunes)
Those of you who followed The X Factor (it’s okay, I won’t call you out for watching it,) you might have seen Astro aka The Astronomical Kid tearing it up on national television. Though he ultimately did not win the competition, that hasn’t stopped the young emcee from putting out new tracks. “In My Mind”, which features some laid back Neptunes instrumentals, plays like a modern day “Bonita Applebum” inspired joint. Astro doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to describing his ideal mate, and the track is a nice break from most of the nonsense being played these days (seriously though, how did the idiotic “I woke up in a new Bugatti?” catch on?)
Flatbush Zombies (Feat. Action Bronson) – “Club Soda”
I don’t wanna be “that guy”, but Flatbush Zombies’ latest mixtape, Better Off Dead, is one of the best projects to come out of the year. The beats are fierce and the rhymes are smooth and plentiful; of course, the Beast Coast trio would never disappoint. “Club Soda” has each of the emcees spitting some solid bars just before the Albanian party animal Action Bronson comes on, who absolutely destroys it with his trademark blend of hilarious bars and heavy food raps. You’d be a fool to pass this project up.
Freddie Gibbs – "Shame" (Cookin Soul Remix)
Spanish duo Cookin Soul is evidence of hip hop's universal reach and appeal. Their style has garnered them a lot of love within their native country and it seems that Big Size and Zock are quickly building their influence with every new track they drop. From remixing everyone fromASAP Ferg to Crooklyn Dodgers, they prove that, like most of the best artists of our time, they're not confined to working with a particular part of the genre. Breathing new life into the hard hitting Freddie Gibbs future classic, "Shame", Soul's use of smooth drums and complement the rough bars of the aforementioned rapper. Be sure to check out more from these guys; I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from Cookin Soul in the near future.
Peter Leo – “Liquor Store” (Prod. DJ Concept)
We all do what we can to get by in this world, but some of us have it a lot harder than others. Long Island native Peter Leo is no stranger to hard work, but he’s also been know like many of us to indulge in some of man’s most common vices and relax from time to time. “Liquor Store”, the first single from Leo and DJ Concept’s latest project, The Young Baby Father EP, is reminiscent of older sounding hip hop tracks in the sense that it’s main goal is to tell a story and/or educate the masses. The soulful, toe-tapping instrumental coupled with the smooth and thoughtful bars makes this one a must have.
Drake – “Wu-Tang Forever”
In a world where interesting collaborations and associating seem to be the norm, this still seems like a pretty out there pairing. How can the Canadian crooner Drake get down with the Wu Tang Clan, who are arguably one of the greatest collectives in hip hop history? If you were expecting some Oriental sounding instrumentals and some over the top, comical references to swinging swords and old kung-fu films, keep waiting, as the “Started From the Bottom” rapper gives his usual R&B flows and does a good job with crafting a captivating hook. The anticipated Nothing Was the Same drops September 24 and from the sounds of it, the album will make fans go crazy.
ON THE ROCKS: WEEKLY RECAP
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
“Berzerk,” Eminem’s new single, is the first taste of the new music the Detroit artist has been cooking up since his last solo effort, Recovery dropped three years ago. People are calling the track a return to form for Eminem, but, as the video suggests, it’s more so a return to the 80s. Everything about this cut reeks of Beastie Boy flair, from the production to the raucous, reckless content. Not too sure the late great MCA didn’t ghostwrite this song. In any case, Shady is back, and all eyes will be on him come November.
The visuals are primarily shot in front of a gigantic boombox, and archive footage is spliced in between Slim’s antics. There are also several moments that play out in reverse. Rap consultant of the year, Rick Rubin—I’m halfway expecting him to produce the next Nas album in its entirety now—who produced the record makes an extended cameo, and several other familiar faces, including Kendrick Lamar, Kid Rock, and Slaughterhouse, appear as well. All in all, the video serves as an appropriate complement to the tape deck anthem.
Check out the video below, and keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for Eminem’s Marshal Mathers LP 2, tentatively due out November 5.
PROJECT OF THE WEEK
Flatbush ZOMBiES took to Youtube at the beginning of this year to announce that they would be dropping BetterOFFDead in the spring… and then nothing was heard of it until this week, wher the trio finally dropped the mixtape on September 11. Although it’s only been out for two day, this is EARMILK’s hip-hop Project of the Week, simply because of the anticipation had been killing us for months.
Thankfully they do not disappoint. They’ve presented us this time with darker production and harder lyrics than in the previous D.R.U.G.S., and bring a package of horror infused rap, set to New York’s tough standards. All three have grown immensely in lyrical style, content, and flow, with Juice and Erick Arc Elliot making notable progress (Meech was always good). Production is also done by Elliot, like in their first mixtape, highlighting how much they’ve grown on the musical end of things as well. Overall, it’s definitely a darker turn- don’t expect to be hearing “Face-Off” this time around.
Better Off DEAD
- September 11, 2013
Arguably one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Drake's Nothing Was The Same is scheduled to hit the shelves and the online music retailors September 24. Champagne Papi has taken to Instagram and other social media outlets to further push the project, which I expect to be grittier and stronger than his previous release, Take Care.
As expected Drake surrounds himself with a stellar talent, using beats from 40 and a feature from Jay-Z. "Wu Tang Forever" hit the late this week and after listening I'm even more eager to hear the final product.
Nothing Was the Same
- OVO Sound/Young Money/Republic
- September 24, 2013
Philly rapper Meek Mill has grown into his own element over the past few years. After emerging on the scene with his street anthems and aggressive raps he has built a name andstrong following. With the success of Dream Chasers 1 and Dream Chasers 2 it only makes sense for the MMG artist to release his third installment.
Recently he has been making headlines for his feud with Kendrick Lamar, specifically speaking on the fact that he's overrated. We are all entitled to our opinionsand Meek will have a chance to defend his at the end of the month when Dream Chasers 3 is released.
- Maybach Music Group
- September 20, 2013