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The Up-Turn

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Tag Archives: Rap

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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Kool A.D. of Das Racist just announced that after releasing his debut solo mixtape this year, he plans to release a solo album entitled 51″ and along with the announcement released this song, which is not to be confused with the Das Racist song of the same title.  Although Das Racist was formed and is based out of the east coast, Kool A.D. is originally from the bay area, and this track is an homage to that.  Enlisting some of the bay’s best current rappers, including Mondre M.A.N. of Main Attrakionz, Kool A.D. and co. go in over a classically Bay-sounding beat with a bass-line that would fit right in on a Too $hort song.  Kool A.D.’s mixtape, The Palm Wine Drinkard, was very abstract and avant-garde, so this seems to be a pretty steep turn in the other direction, which for some people may be a good thing.

-TC

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After a bunch of aggressive, unique, and aggressively unique tracks and a lot of anticipation leading up to it, Chris Villa has finally dropped his debut mixtape Pillage Vatican City.  Villa isn’t the type of guy who is going to spend a lot of time crafting dizzying wordplay or complex rhyme schemes, he would rather just rhythmically blend into the beats with an abbreviated angry flow which is perfect for the project, because the beats provided by himself and fellow Augusta, Georgia artist Hanz, are all really really good.  Although Hanz and Villa have two distinct production styles, their beats meet in the best places, with hard-hitting 808 drums and mysteriously opulent sounding samples.  Overall, Pillage Vatican City is an extremely strong first project from an artist, which shows Villa to have a lot of valuable self-awareness and a good ear in general, which are both great omens for his career.

-TC

UPDATE: Chris just uploaded the tape to soundcloud for y’all so stream that shit below right nowwww.  Favorite tracks include “Cocktail Molotov” (at 16:57) and “Deaf Check 2” (at 28:55).

DOWNLOAD “PILLAGE VATICAN CITY”

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One of my favorite duos in hip-hop right now is back with another great track.  Vince Staples’ debut mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1 surprised a lot of people who associated him too closely with Odd Future by having a lot of throw back west coast gangsta rap-sounding beats instead of the Neptunes-influenced beats people know Odd Future for.  Now, Michael Uzowuru provides a fantastic swing-heavy gangsta rap instrumental that Vince Staples tears apart with as much swagger and personality as ever.  I really hope these two have a full project in the works because “Versace Rap”, “Gold Chain Ricky”, and now “Matlock” have all been amazing.

-TC

DOWNLOAD “MATLOCK”

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…And thus my bad day turns great.  I have been really anticipating this mixtape, and I had no idea it was going to drop so soon.  If you’re getting tired of conventional rap formatted songs, this is definitely something you should check out.  London is the type of artist who is constantly trying to be as original as possible and is always creating something fresh and new.  Whether he is rapping, or crooning like a soul singer, I’m always excited to see some new Theophilus London.

-TC

DOWNLOAD HERE

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