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
Brodinski and Beat King - "5 Years"
“These mollys are gonna kill you in 5 years… but it’s not 5 years right now...” Alright, so a little bit of hedonism going on in these lyrics, but frankly we at EARMILK are all about having a little fun (erm, we still suggest you stay safe though). It’s not a secret that Parisian-based DJ and producer Brodinski loves Southern rap, and he’s recently been experimenting with the styles and sounds of the region and perfectly blending it in with his electro and techno roots. What results is some dangerous lyrics from Texas rapper Beat King that flows through the bones. Tell me you aren’t grinding your way through that track in a club, I dare you.
Bodega Bamz - "Don Francisco" (Electric Bodega Remix)
Here’s another club friendly track, this time by New York based Bodega Bamz. It’s a remix, but unlike a lot of trap edits this one preserved the artistic craft of lyricism and highlighted how talented Bodega is, not just using his voice as a part of the background. The goldilocks rule definitely applies here. The track isn’t too much, and it isn’t too little… it’s the perfect
Trick Daddy - "Pound Cake" (Freestyle)
Everyone that’s anyone seems to have a freestyle off of something on Drake’s album, and that’s pretty fair. Nothing was the Same had some of the best production on an album since Yeezus over the summer. Trick Daddy’s come back onto my radar a lot lately, and this freestyle explains why. Spitting over the Ellie Goulding sample, he shows he’s not always about the party and can spit among the best of them.
Skeme - "HTown" (Feat. Cobby Supreme, Dom Kennedy, Teefli)
I dunno if it was just me, but this track completely flew under my radar until this week. It’s a bit older (okay, like a month), but with a smooth beat, Skeme represents H-Town well. The south has been really killing it lately, proving that their drugged up style and sound appeals to everyone, not just those born of a certain geographic location. Of course, no track of this style and sound is complete without a little help from LA’s Dom Kennedy, and while LA is a whole different culture, he still manages to blend in well here.
Azad Right - "Now I Know"
Speaking of LA, here’s another up-and-coming rapper that goes by the name of Azad Right. This young artist has been not-so-quietly dropping tracks and getting ready for a full length release. He seems to be finding out some of the harsher elements of being an up-and-comer, and learning that not everyone is as sincere as we’d like to hope. He laments in his raps about the industry. Not everyone can relate to the music business, but everyone can relate to fake friends, so this is definitely a great track when relationships aren’t working.
Danny Brown and MNDSGN - "Sweeney Song"
Danny Brown can’t seem to get himself out of the spotlight, but that’s a good thing right? The man is killing it. While most people not interested in rap may remember him for his crazy hair and ratchet antics, the truth is, that’s not what got him signed to Fool’s Gold Records. He’s usually got some great electronic beats from SKYWLKR, but his stripped down work is just as stellar. This track almost entirely depends on Brown, and not too many lyricists can keep listeners interested on such bare bones production, but he’s done it again.
ON THE ROCKS: WEEKLY RECAP
Here's a recap of some of the best hip-hop covered this past week on EARMILK. Take a couple of minutes to stroll down memory lane and revisit a few of tracks brought to you earlier in the week. For those who may have been snoozing at the wheel, here's your chance to play catch up:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"
This week’s Video Of The Week comes from a legendary figure in not only the hip-hop realm, but also the music world in general, and he never seems to age. There’s only one person I could possibly be talking to, and that is of course, Pharrell Williams. The former N.E.R.D kingpin, who also owns a highly successful clothing company and youtube channel, made a bit of musical history this week, when he released the worlds first 24 hour long video. No, that’s not a typo, Pharrell actually created a video that lasted 24 hours. Viewers could skip to different points in the day where the scenery and skyline changed along with whichever time it was on the clock. Thankfully, you don’t have to sit through the entire 24 hours, as he’s released a standard four minute long version for our viewing pleasure. The video is for the track “Happy” which was featured on the soundtrack for the immensely popular children’s film Despicable Me 2. The video, which was shot entirely in LA, feature’s appearances from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and even a couple of minions from the film, amongst others. “Happy” is a terrifically upbeat song, that’s guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself, and these We Are LA directed visuals certainly back that up.
PROJECT OF THE WEEK
The independent music grind is an interesting beast, a state of ambiguity where an artist reflects on how far they’ve come, while reminding themselves of their quest for musical conquest. Always humble to the people around them, this performer is the kind of person who rocks a crowd like their life depends on it (sadly, in some cases, this is the truth for many) and would toss you a beer and a handshake after the show. They could’ve been in the game for 15 minutes or 15 years, but their attitude towards their craft is inspiring and it’s somewhat of a rare instance, given that many of today’s artists have developed a rash of egotistical beliefs.
Kosha Dillz is that dude. A New Jersey emcee that’s been grinding on stages across the world, his embracing outlook on the music industry makes him the prototypical DIY artist (note: if you’re a musician, I’d highly recommend some of his articles on Hypebot. That being said, what business does a 31-year old Jewish male have in the rap game?
His latest efforts result in the eclectic 10-track jam that is Awkward In a Good Way. Largely a synth heavy project focused on Dillz’ adventures on the road and his hilarious, yet powerful self reflections, the album, predominantly produced by Belief, channels the rapper who’s been known to bust out a few bars in Hebrew when the time is right. From his experiences with comedian Kat Williams to his never-ending pursuits with women, Awkward succeeds in revealing the indie rapper’s versatility.
While “Where The Homies Be,” the standout track that features the always amazing Gangsta Boo and legendary underground hero Murs, the colorful, kaleidoscope inspired video takes things to a new plane of thought, interpolating a mesmerizing set of visuals of the rappers-- my favorite being Dillz firmly placed between Christina Hendricks’ chest; I wish I could make that up. Give the tracks a listen and show Kosha some love with the project, which is out now.
Awkward In A Good Way
- MURS 316
- November 14, 2013
Trae Tha Truth
I Am King
- Hustle Gang
- November 25, 2013
- November 28, 2013
Snoop Dogg & Dam Funk
7 Days of Funk
- Stones Throw Records
- December 10, 2013