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The Up-Turn

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Category Archives: Hip-Hop

Most buzzing rappers these days make it after one of their videos goes viral on the blogosphere and is able to show off their unique style and image.  Now the incredibly talented Vince Staples has his own ‘Purple Swag’/‘Yonkers’ with this video for ‘Matlock’.  Listening to Vince’s deadpan and rich flow is paired perfectly with the grainy, black and white style of this video.  The dark vibe of the video is taken even further as a clips of riot footage are projected on to Vince and Michael.  Shyne Coldchai Vol. 1 has already proved Vince to be one of the best rappers making music right now, hopefully this video will help more people realize it.

-PK

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I don’t know if you read the novel Ender’s Game when you were a kid, but I sure as hell did, which is why I had to listen to this when I saw it.  Luckily M|O|D member Trap Arnold made a track that is just as awesome as the book was.  With “EndersGame” Trap Arnold has done a great job of maintaining his distinct Future Trap style with rolling high hats etc. without drawing too much attention away from the song’s beautifully spacious chords and delicate melodies.  If I were ever to be floating in space, controlling a giant army with my brain, I would want this song to be playing in the background.

-TC

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In one of my recent trances where black out for an extended period of time and end up finding many awesome tracks by awesome artists on my favorites list on Soundcloud with no recollection of how they got there, I stumbled across Chicago rapper Sidewalk Kal and his work with New York producer Mattron and had to share.  Although, it’s a huge party foul in the hip-hop community, I’m going to compare their work to Illmatic because to me the comparison came to mind right away.  Sidewalk Kal has a smooth, gimmick-less flow with wise beyond his years lyrics that remind me of Nas, and Mattron’s boom-bap beats remind me of the beats Nas collected for Illmatic (especially DJ Premier and Pete Rock’s) with an added hint of the modern abstract element of hip-hop popularized by beat makers like Madlib.  I don’t know too much about either Sidewalk Kal or Mattron, but I think their music speaks for itself, so listen below and link to their individual Soundcloud pages below that.

-TC

SIDEWALK KAL’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE

MATTRON’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE

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When Jamie Foxx was making the pre-YOLO blackout anthem “Blame It”, I doubt he was intending it to have anything close to a personal, introverted vibe.  Fortunately, we have Groundislava to change it into that for us.  By pitching down the vocals a little bit, and creating a new understated back drop with simple production and beautiful melodies, Groundislava has turned every drunk girl of 2009’s favorite song into a beautifully dark and solemn ode.  If you haven’t yet wised up to Groundislava or WEDIDIT Collective (which includes Groundislava, Earnest Blount, Shlohmo, RL Grime, and Jonwayne among others) you are missing out on some of the best electronic music you will find in 2012.

-TC

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Today I tried to download every piece of music ever released by cloud rappers Main Attrakionz and I was pretty psyched to see this new track that was only released a week ago.  Although the Friendzone produced beat takes some of the haze away from the typical Main Attrakionz ambient style, the “best duo ever” still sound great over the lush, cali-funk inspired beat.  Friendzone was the same producer responsible for ‘Perfect Skies’ so he has a knack for bringing the best out of the duo.  Mondre and Squadda can’t do much wrong in my opinion and Shady Blaze is a nice addition with a quality verse of his own.

-PK

Hanz is an experimental beat project that already focuses heavily on the experimental side of his music, however, when Brandon (the mastermind behind Hanz) wants to just be plain experimental he makes music as Dead Royautes.  His latest track under that project demonstrates this nicely as ‘Spentagon’ sounds like a typical Hanz track if you threw it in a blender and stopped caring at all for standard song structure.  With ‘Spentagon’ we get three second clips of synth music and punk rock, disorienting sample collages, cats meowing and probably a thousand other sounds that aren’t easy to fully digest upon the first listen.  It’s really nice to hear an artist, who’s already still really early in his career, branch out with an experimental project like Dead Royautes.

-PK

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After hearing his remix of Earl Sweatshirt’s ‘Drop’, I knew that I wanted to kick-off our new mixtape series with a mix from Jonathan of Tako Tomago.  His Hydro EP is still one of my favorite surprise releases this year as it is probably one of the most convincing examples of a (I honestly never thought I would say this) ‘post-genre’ release.  Although he’s making some left-field, r&b tinged, synth-pop, Tako Tomago decided to make a hip-hop heavy mix with a lot of edits and mixing thrown in.  To keep the mix fresh, Tako Tomago made sure that “pretty much every song on the tape is an edit so even if you’ve heard the song you’ve got something new to enjoy.” On top of the edits he even throws in an ASAP Rocky remix and an original demo to close everything off.  This tape is the first of hopefully many to come and we couldn’t have asked for a better tape.  Hit the jump for the download link, track list and a quick interview we conducted with Jonathan…

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