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Danny Brown X Bruiser Brigade

September 19th, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap |

It’s no secret that Danny Brown is basically on his way to becoming the most famous rapper in the world — and maybe the greatest — but his crew, the Bruiser Brigade, has a ton to do with that. Producer/DJ Skywlkr and hypemen Dopehead and Trplblck have all been featured extensively on Brown’s music, as well as his live shows.

While Brown confirmed today that the full-length Bruiser Brigade record, “Boxes” will be coming soon, the crew dropped a four-track EP this morning. The EP features the new track, “Errthang,” as well as a redone version of Dopehead’s track, “Jooky.” It also features banged-out remixes of each by Lockah and my personal favorite, Ryan Hemsworth.

You can download and stream the new EP below.



Video: Jon Connor – Never Left

August 30th, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap, Music Video |

Perhaps it’s not journalistically prudent to demand that everyone listen to a certain artist. But that’s why I often prefer blogging as opposed to straight journalism. And if you’re a hip hop fan (or even if you’re not) you should probably be listening to Jon Connor. The Flint, MI rapper is huge right now and getting bigger.

He dropped his fourth mixtape of the year, the aptly-titled “While You Were Sleeping.” He also just dropped a killer music video for the track, “Never Left.”

The video, directed by Connor’s fellow Flint native and current Brooklyn-based filmaker, Jason Shaltz, matches the song perfectly. Set in a dark New York alleyway and in the shadows of the Brooklyn Bridge, Shaltz employs  rapid-speed cuts to blend with Connor’s rapid-speed rapping.

As Connor makes the transition from underground MC to a household name, videos like this go a long way to spreading his name and message.

Sikai – Ready or Not

August 23rd, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap |

Connecticut rapper Sikai just dropped has just dropped a new track (with accompanying video) for the track “Ready or Not.” The track will be featured on his upcoming project, “Stop the Violence, Keep the Peace.”

The highlight and instant familiarity of “Ready or Not” comes from it’s beat, lifted from the Fugees classic song of the same name, and he even mentions Lauryn Hill. However Sikai’s flow is geared much more towards American audiences who are fans of underground hip-hop.

Nick Manes is a music journalist and blogger based in Grand Rapids, MI

Ryan Hemsworth – Slowed Summer X Hyperbolic Chamber Music

August 1st, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap, Mashup |

Ryan Hemsworth gets my vote for producer/artist of the summer of 2012. Or at the very least he gets tied with Danny Brown and Party Supplies. Either way, it’s pretty good company to be in.

The Nova Scotia producer had his breakout moment a few months ago, producing the 22-minute opus to pimping, Hyperbolic Chamber Music, curated by Brooklyn clothing designer, Mishka. The beat is reminiscent of cheesy-1980’s smooth R&B, but there is nothing actually cheesy about the track. The Hemsworth beat with 20+ underground rappers on it makes for the perfect extended mix to drive to the beach with the windows down. My friends and I and have been doing it at least once a week.

With the theme of summer in mind, Hemsworth just dropped his latest mixtape, the aptly-titled, Slowed Summer. While being more of  just a mash-up mix than HCM, Slowed Summer brings the chill vibes (and some Ludacris samples!!!).

You can follow Hemsworth on Twitter and check out some of his older material on BandCamp.

Nick Manes is a music journalist and blogger based in Grand Rapids, MI.


Hudson Mohawke X Lunice – TNGHT EP

July 26th, 2012 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Electro, Hip-Hop/Rap |

Between a spot on Pitchfork’s Best New Music page and a great shout-out from rapper/tastemaker Danny Brown, the production duo of Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, performing as TNGHT, appear to have dropped the record of the week.

In a highly-charged and somewhat-convoluted sixteen minutes, TNGHT takes the listener from British-style Bass music to American hip hop beats, and even throws in some Caribbean dancehall, ala Major Lazer, and that’s just the first track.

Despite seeming a bit repetitive on multiple listens (I’ve basically had the record on repeat since yesterday morning), TNGHT‘s tactic works. Each of the five tracks will leave the listener bobbing their head and thinking how awesome this record could be on a serious sound system. Stream the sampler of the EP below and listen to all five songs from the TNGHT EP on youtube.

Check out a promo video for TNGHT here

Boldy James – One of One

July 25th, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap |

The King of the Concrete, Boldy James, is back with a new track, “One of One.” Released with the support of Red Bull Music, the jam acts as something of a tide-over until James’ anxiously awaited record with mega-producer, The Alchemist.

“One of One” features James’ standard smoked-out, soulful flow over a synthesized beat by producer, Blended Babies. The track features James’ usual lyrical content of selling drugs and the violence affiliated with the trade on the streets of Detroit, better known in his world as the “Drug Zone.”

You can get a preview of James’ upcoming work with The Alchemist by streaming the new record, Russian Roulette.

Be sure to download James’ first two mixtapes, Trapper’s Alley and Consignment: Favor For a Favor

Nick Manes is a music journalist based in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Jon Connor – I’m Heavy x Don’t Wanna Be

July 19th, 2012 by | Hip-Hop/Rap |

Flint, Michigan rapper Jon Connor is set to release his new record, “While You Were Sleeping” on July 26 (his fourth release in a year). He just dropped the second and third leak off of the new record, “Don’t Wanna Be” and “I’m Heavy”

Connor’s previous releases this year have each been free mixtapes, with him rapping over other’s beats (including Jay-Z and Belinda Carlisle‘s classic, “Place On Earth“). “While You Were Sleeping” marks a return to The People’s Rapper rhyming over original production.

“I’m Heavy” features Mistah Fab, an underground hip-hop legend from the Bay Area. Stream and download below.

“Don’t Wanna Be” features a stripped-down beat produced by Brix with Connor providing his usual aggressive flow and positive message. That being said, “Don’t Wanna Be” works great as a windows-down/volume-up banger!

Watch a live performance and interview with Jon Connor here

Nick Manes is a music journalist based in Grand Rapids, MI. Follow him on Twitter here.

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