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Tag: "Big K.R.I.T."

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Austin City Limits Announces Lineup, Keeps Things Weird

The venerable Austin City Limits Music Festival announced their lineup yesterday. The festival, scheduled for the weekend of October 12th to the 15th, is happening a bit later than usual this year – no doubt to take advantage of the positive effects of global warming. Every year, the people who put on ACL make an effort to offer something for everyone and it looks like 2012 will be no different in that regard. Headliners at the festival, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and The Black Keys all promise a hard rockin’ grand old time. The lineup is rounded out with hipster favorites including Florence + The Machine and Oberhofer, hip-hoppers such as Childish Gambino and Big K.R.I.T., ACL regulars like Andrew Bird and Old 97s as well as a plethora of other bands that would just take too long to list here.

There are a few differences between this year’s lineup compared to years past. 2012 marks ACL’s most prominent acknowledgement yet of the electronic music scene, with AVICII, BASSNECTAR, and M83 all taking high-profile spots in their respective lineups. The 2012 installment of the festival also marks the 11th consecutive appearance from country group Asleep at the Wheel.

The full Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup can be seen here. Check out footage from last year’s outing below.

Soundcheck: Killer Collabos

It’s time to review another round of hot collaborations from some of hip hop’s most famous faces.  This list features some unlikelypairings and some unstoppable up-and-comers as well as some old favorites with some new tricks.

The Cataracs featuring Waka Flocka Flame: “All You”

This up-tempo single is a guilty pleasure with a contagious new age sound and a techno-enhanced baseline that is hard not to dance to.   The Cataracs don’t disappoint with their complex production, and Waka’s signature hollering is equal parts offensive and harmless; with an undeniably appealing result.

Melanie Fiona featuring Snoop Dogg: “Gone (La Dada Di)”

A single from her debut album, The MF Life, (out today) features Fiona’s intense vocal delivery and powerful lyrics of loss and longing for her man.  Her smooth, soulful style is sure to stick around for a while; and her knack for story telling gives me the feeling this album is a winner. Snoop’s verse lends a familiar touch to the unusual offering; rounding out this delightful surprise.

David Banner featuring Big K.R.I.T.: “Believe It”

A single from Banner’s upcoming EP Sex, Drugs & Video Games, the album will be free to download with an option to donate to charity.  The hook sounds like its sung by a gospel choir; although the subject matter is a bit too risky for a Sunday morning.  Still, the song is hot— if not a bit aggressive— but what else would we expect from this mash-up of Southern gentlemen?

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Killer Collabos’

New Year, New Music

A new year means new music from some of hip hop’s biggest names.  Now that 2012 is finally here, we’re seeing the first round of release dates roll out, and we’re expecting big things from some unlikely players.

Estelle: One of my favorite females in music right now is Estelle, and she’s ready to release her third studio album next month. All Of Me will drop on February 28.  With singles, “Thank You” and “Break My Heart” featuring Rick Ross already climbing up the charts, we can’t wait to hear the completed project.

Rick Ross: Ross dropped his Rich Forever mixtape last week, and so far it’s getting rave reviews.  The twenty-track mixtape is just what you’d expect from the Maybach Music chief, who enlisted help from heavyweights like Diddy, Drake and Nas on the project.  My personal fave is “Mind Games” featuring Kelly Rowland.

Nicki Minaj: While there’s still no release date for Nicki’s sophomore release, Birdman told media in November that he plans to release the project in the first quarter of 2012.  We’ve heard rumors of a Valentine’s Day drop, but we’ll have to wait and see.  What we do know is that the album will be highly influenced by Nicki’s hard-hitting alter ego, Roman.

Big K.R.I.T.: The Mississippi-bred rapper is ready to release his highly-anticipated mixtape, 4evaNaDay on February 20.  He’s also dropping the first single, “ I Got This” off his upcoming Def Jam debut, Live From The Underground on February 1. In his Twitter announcement, he told fans, “Its goin’ down shawty cant wait for y’all 2 hear this!”

Tyga: Just last week, Young Money’s youngest troublemaker was arrested in Las Vegas.  Only time will tell if his latest project, Careless World: The Rise of the Last King will actually make its original release date.  Still, Tyga says fans can expect to see some major growth and maturity on the project, as well as an intended departure from the sound of his mixtapes.

In an interview on ThisIs50, Tyga said, “It’s a theme album so it’s the first installment of the story. It’s about me becoming a king in this place called Careless World. It’s just a story from beginning to end. This album will show a lot of growth in the music and a lot of maturity. People are gonna definitely understand who I am more as an artist. Mixtapes is more like party, talkin’ shit type records that you just put together. This is my first real project that I’m putting together that has a theme.”

Common: Aside from his release of “Sweet”, Common has released another cutthroat track, and this time, there’s no confusing the target. In his latest drop, Common takes aim at Drake again on his remixed version of Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin’” a song that originally featured Drake and French Montana.  He released the single on MTV’s RapFix: Live, unveiling scathing lyrics like, “My motto is Chicago bitch, everybody know you’re sweet, what the problem is? / Don’t play dumb, I’m the one that acknowledged this,” “The rapper of the moment, the style he don’t own it / Acting all hard when he hardly like that / You gon’ mess around and make me catch a body like that / Don’t do it, ’cause every song you make Joe is really hoe music.

Ludacris: Luda announced a May release date for his eighth studio album, Ludaversal. Just last week, the rapper-turned-actor-turned rapper said he had already collaborated with fellow Atlanta favorite, Usher on the album.  “Usher is one person that I’ve already worked with, and in terms of other artists, you can say that there’s going to be a lot of surprises on here,” he told Billboard. Fans can expect more production from The Neptunes and can hope for a single in March.  “It’s been a minute since I’ve been away from music, and there is just so much to talk about… So [the album] is mostly about my personal life, my travels, my experiences, rumors, gossip—you know, everything coming together in one.”

Lupe Fiasco  & Pharell Williams: According to Lupe’s official Web site, he and Pharell are back in the studio, hard at work on a collaborative album.  On the site, he simply stated, “ Food and Liquor 2 coming soon.  Lupe and Pharell album coming soon.”   This isn’t the first time these two have teased at a collaborative project.  I seem to remember a rumored group formation with Kanye West, Pharell and Lupe circling last year. Still, I’m holding out hope that this project will materialize.


Rapper’s Delight: The Study Of Dreams

Every once in a while, an album will drop and instantly affect the evolution of its genre. A Piece of Strange, the CunninLynguist’s devastating concept album, hit the nail on the head five years ago. In an era of hip hop singles and auto-tune, full length concept releases are a hot commodity. Well, Oneirology does not disappoint. Produced entirely by Kno, of course, the album is really a testament to his ever-growing skill. Aptly titled, too, because oneirology is the “scientific study of dreams.”  Not a subtle theme in any way; in fact, the topic of dreams permeates the album from start to finish. Besides the song titles, the most obvious correlation is with the beats themselves. Kno’s densely-layered, almost ambient, style leaves dreamscapes with powerful allure for Deacon and Natti to toy with.

Introspective and dark, Oneirology is a journey of self exploration. Samples such as “I had a funny dream the other night” and Biggie’s “It was all (a dream)” uneasily dance in and out of the fifteen tracks with haunting frequency. The production is not the only thing thing that’s well thought out and consistent, though; the emceeing is classic CunninLynguists. By that we mean it’s great: Ccomplex, smart and meaningful. Deacon and Natti tear it up, as expected, and guest rappers Big K.R.I.T., Freddie Gibbs and Tonedeff deliver as well. Even Kno gets down on a few tracks, although his performance is a notch below the others.

The lead single, “Stars Shine Brightest (In The Darkest Of Night),” fits surprisingly well with the rest of the album. It’s still commercially potent, but it stays within the confines of the album’s theme. Other notable tracks on the album are “Darkness (Dream On)” and ”Hard As They Come (Act I)”. In the latter, the group raps from the perspective of liquor, crack and HIV in a powerful statement about life in poor neighborhoods. The CunninLynguists are continually morphing and refining their style, and Oneirology is just the latest chapter in their journey. Whether or not it’s as good as A Piece of Strange is a judgment call. For us, however, it is tied with Raekwon’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang for best hip hop album of the year so far. We posted a couple selections below for you. Enjoy!


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