Archive for the 'Features' Category

Editorial: 5 Rappers’ Mixtapes to Revisit This Week

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

There’s a lull in rap music this week, for me at least. Don’t get me wrong, there are some hot songs out there right now that I really dig. I’m in love with the new Cormega and Black Rob song “Home,” that beat is crazy Extra P! Mega’s new album has a few joints on it, actually. And I got that Mobb Deep “Dirt (Remix)” with Ghostface in heavy rotation too, along with that new Cali kid Cozz’s song “Dreams” and Your Old Droog’s latest leaks “Free Turkey” and “No Message” with RAST RFC (which just dropped this morning). But these are just songs. Even on repeat, they can and will not sustain my necessary hip-hop intake. I need multiple, full projects of fire to survive, and I’ve played out all the other new shit I’ve been bumping this year to the max (which is a light stack in comparison to last year’s abundance of remarkable releases let’s be honest). Shout to Issa Gold of The Underachievers, I just downloaded his new solo EP. But even with that in the queue, I’m know I’m not going to meet my weekly quota of heat absorption.

Okay, you’re right. I’ve been spoiled by the frequency of modern-day rap releases, forgive me! But it’s all good. When the new shit ain’t dropping fast enough, there are always older joints you can pull out to reverse the quiet. So with that said, I decided to dive into my archives this week and revisit five rappers’ mixtapes from the past, and I invite you all to join me. Read, stream, and download below.

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Video Vault: 10 Classic ’90s Brooklyn Rap Group Videos

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Brooklyn is enjoying a moment right now, with the rapid rise of Bobby Shmurda and the recent success of artists like Troy Ave and Joey Bada$$, but it’s always been home to great solo rappers. From Big Daddy Kane to The Notorious B.I.G. to Jay Z to Fabolous, the borough knows how to crank out star MCs, there’s no doubt about it. And it’s also the home to many legendary rap groups. So for our latest Video Vault, we collected 10 Classic ‘90s Brooklyn Rap Group Music Videos for you to enjoy. Included on the list are early Gang Starr and M.O.P. clips, a hat trick of Boot Camp Click visuals, certified dopeness from the Rawkus Records catalog courtesy of Company Flow and Black Star, and much more. Tie up your Timberlands for this one. It’s time to stomp through the back blocks of BK.

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Interview: Sir Michael Rocks Talks Solo Identity, Banco, and Favorite Miami Strip Clubs

Friday, July 25th, 2014

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Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

When most rap fans hear the name Sir Michael Rocks, they instantly think of The Cool Kids. But while the embrace of projects like The Bake Sale and When Fish Ride Bicycles brought the duo nationwide notoriety, Sir Michael Rocks has publicly attempted to separate himself from The Cool Kids’ early beginnings over the past couple of years. In late 2012, he relayed that The Cool Kids would no longer be in existence. Mikey and Chuck wanted to pursue different ventures at the time, and each would, musically. Chuck Inglish released his debut album Convertibles earlier this year, and while Mikey Rocks has a few mixtapes floating out there, an album has never been released. Until now.

This Tuesday, July 29th, Sir Michael Rocks will drop Banco, his 16-track debut studio effort, and according to Mr. Populair, the project is an all encompassing work of everything he’s learned in the past, including how to exist as a solo artist. Chuck Inglish will not have any production on Banco, only a rapping feature. But no worries Cool Kids fans—the duo is slated to reunite for the long-awaited release of Shark Week later this year.

We caught up with Sir Michael Rocks recently, and he spoke about creating Banco, The Cool Kids dynamic, hip-hop journalism, and superlative strip clubs in his new home of Miami. Read below.

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In The Green Room with Wiz Khalifa

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

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I did my first Wiz Khalifa post on this site 7 years ago next month. “Shorty has potential” I wrote at the time. As it turns out, Wiz isn’t really all that short. And he did indeed have potential. Fast forward to 2014 and the Youngin on His Grind has flourished into an international super star. Now he tours the world with a personal chef and crushes Summer festivals like they’re going out of style. So we figured he’d be a perfect candidate for our behind the scenes series, The Green Room. Ip recently caught up with the Taylor Gang principal to talk about his tour and live performance rituals, how he plans out his sets, the importance of fan interaction and much more. He spoke on sharing a stage (and blunt) with Drake at Houston Appreciation Weekend, and some of his favorite guests to invite on-stage.

Click here to read The Green Room with Wiz Khalifa

Heavy Rotation with Joell Ortiz

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Joell Ortiz is a total package MC. He’s got bars, of course, but it’s much more than that. He’s got flow, punchlines, wit, charisma, authenticity, he picks good beats, he holds his own alongside other great rappers, he can write concept songs and diss records, and he knows how to rep for his hometown but still be accessible for fans outside of New York City. Between his solo efforts and Slaughterhouse contributions, his catalog is stacked with crack tracks, including his hot new single/video “House Slippers,” which is available on iTunes now.

We caught up with Joell Ortiz yesterday for our latest Heavy Rotation to see what he’s been bumping lately. As Joell told us, he listens to most of his music in the whip, saying, “That’s where I soak it up the most. Sometimes I just get in the car and go, and zone out.” Peep his selections below, which range from bangers by 50 Cent and Drake to Adele ballads to battle rapper mixtapes (he’s highly involved in Total Slaughter), and stay tuned for the new Joell Ortiz House Slippers LP dropping this fall. Yaowa!

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Video Vault: 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

I was sixteen when Common released his classic sophomore album Resurrection. I admittedly slept on his first joint, but Resurrection held me down so hard my junior year of high school, and I still bang it regularly when I need a jolt of purity. In fact, I’ve been playing it all weekend, and it’s as dope as it was the day I first listened to it, start to finish, no skips, just pure lyricism and skill over a soulful collection of banging No I.D. beats. Now twenty years later, Common is getting ready to drop his 10th album, Nobody’s Smiling, via Def Jam on July 22nd, and I’m super-psyched about its release, because it once again pairs him with Resurrection producer No I.D. The first single “Kingdom” with Vince Staples is a banger, and his recently released Big Sean collabo “Diamonds” knocks too, so there’s no doubt in my mind this LP is going to be special.

After listening to Common’s interview with Combat Jack earlier this week, I got all fired up and decided to put together this collection of classic ‘90s Common music videos for our latest Video Vault. This is a return to Common’s foundation, which you will see from the visuals is deeply rooted in his hometown of Chicago. From the singles off his debut album, to the breakout clip for “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” to collabos with Lauryn Hill, Sadat X, Black Star, and more, enjoy these 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos.

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12 Pack: A Dozen DJ Mixes to Enjoy This Summer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Summer fun is never complete without a dope soundtrack. When you’re setting up your barbecue, and getting all the food and drinks and chairs and all that together, it’s important to never forget that key element to set the mood right for your guests—music. But hiring a DJ costs money, and crafting your own playlist takes time, so to save you a few chips and some ticks on the clock, we compiled a list of twelve DJ mixes available online for you to throw on this summer. And if you’re too busy grinding to party, well, these mixes will sound great in your whip, headphones, or office speakers, too. Crack all twelve open below.

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Editorial: 10 Songs You May Have Slept On in 2014 (So Far)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Dozens of new hip-hop songs drop every day. It’s hard to keep up, I know. Where does one even find the time to listen to everything that’s released? It’s virtually impossible nowadays. You have to actively seek out music by the artists you like, and stay on top of your favorite outlets to make sure you don’t miss anything new in the genre. Well, that’s if you care. I have some friends that don’t really give a shit about new music. They care about sports, or market trends, or sneakers. Me, I care about music. I don’t want there to be a dope song out anywhere, old or new, that I am missing in my iTunes. I need all the heat. It’s a personal mission, and I’ll be on it forever.

That said, I want to take this mid-year opportunity to share a few personal favorites from 2014—so far—that you may have slept on. If you’re on NahRight religiously like I am, then you’ve probably heard most or even all of these. But maybe you missed a couple, or possibly you clicked on one of them and didn’t absorb it properly. Here’s your chance to make up for those oversights. Oh, and this ain’t no “best of” list. If you read our daily content and features, you know there are lots of other artists, songs, and projects we’ve been rocking with this year that are worthy of praise. The proof is in our posts. This is just me, speaking for the nooks and crannies I’ve found to be highlight-worthy since the ball dropped that you may have missed, forgotten about, or not given their proper listen. I want to make sure you’re not caught out there sleeping. Ride with me.

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Video Vault: 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Jay Z just embarked on yet another high-grossing Summer tour earlier this week, this time with his superstar wife Beyonce as the co-headliner. While young new artists continue to build up their following on the road, and legendary acts keep their careers alive off show money, Hov will be comfy cozy on his private jet flying city to city, padding his family bank account and perhaps Blue Ivy’s college fund with new bags of bills. But the route from Marcy Projects to mansions in the Hamptons didn’t come without continuous hard work. Jigga’s been out here doing this for a minute now (his debut Reasonable Doubt just turned 18 on June 25th), and though his career lifestyle has become more luxurious, it’s still a grind.

To help kick off Jay’s latest tour with wifey, we gathered up 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances—dating back to 1996 and spanning his entire career—for our latest Video Vault. These TV clips feature on-stage performances with everyone from Beanie Sigel to UGK to Eminem to Lenny Kravitz to the Queen Bey herself, and there’s a few Dame Dash cameos to enjoy as well. Also included is a nice batch of past BET Awards performances to warm you up for tonight’s big show. Throw your diamonds up, the Roc is in the building!

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In The Lab with Boi-1da

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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As we speak, some rapper is somewhere huddled over a notebook or iPhone furiously writing to the “0 To 100″ beat. I am certain of this. And so it goes with damn near everything Boi-1da unleashes into the wild. From “Pound Cake” to “Chi-Raq”, this guy’s beats have laid the foundation for numerous hits over the last couple of years and he’s showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. For our latest installment of In The Lab, we kicked it with the young Toronto genius about his early days a bedroom producer, his preferred studio setup, sample digging habits and of course his beat making process. He broke down some of his biggest tracks for artists like Drake, Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Eminem, and he revealed how Golden Era 90s Hip-Hop influences him to this day.

Click here to read In The Lab with Boi-1da

Previously: Lil Wayne ft. Drake – Believe Me (Prod. by Vinylz & Boi-1da)