Clearing out favorite bookmarks is about a tedious task as trying to clean up your e-mail (especially when your inbox basically permanently says 1000+ new messages), but sometimes you stumble across gems you forgot you favorited 2 years ago.
Re-stumbling across a review of one of my long-time favorite rappers (at least when we was underground) Wiz Khalifa‘s third studio album, first major-label EP Rolling Papers, which released to mixed reviews in 2011. While technically more than competent, the content and lyrics of the album were a departure from Wiz’s original style he expressed in his earlier mixtapes, like Kush & OJ, the legendaryP.O.T.C. tapes or even B.A.R. (Burn After Rolling).
My initial reaction to the Spin review of the album was that the author was over-hyping this musical “fail” and stuck on the ability of a big budget to make a rapper’s album sound polished and “professional.” However, when he had brought up longtime favorites that really weren’t too bad, in fact Wiz had some sleeper hits on there as well, a few I agree with the author such as with “Rooftops” featuring Curren$y, “The Race,” one of the top tracks of the album, or Roll Up (the most mainstream but catchiest single by far. There were a few other songs I give 5 stars in my iTunes here: “Top Floor” with an addictive very-experimental beat, “Hopes and Dreams,” my personal favorite of the album, and “wake Up” all do more than enough justice to Wiz’s earlier works.
The remaining tracks, while not necessarily terrible, were not anything great either. I completely disagree with the SPIN article’s author opinion of “Fly Solo,” that song. was. just.terrible. Which is why today’s highlight will highlight “Hopes and Dreams” from Pittsburgh’s own. “Star of the Show” with fellow Taylor Gang label-mate Chevy Woods is also a standout, with that “chill” vibe Wiz is known for.
KiD CuDi released Satellite Flight: Journey to Mother Moon with few hours notice on Twitter and exclusively on iTunes.
The album features many of the dark, space-like overtones and sounds Cudi is known for.
Following the Beyoncé marketing/distribution model Cudi released the album two months early, without any promotion and mainly just by informing his followers on Twitter the album was now available.
Standouts include the rock-influenced, WZRD reminiscent “Going to the Ceremony,” and the more spacey, deep tuneage of “Destination: Mother Moon”, “Satellite Flight,” and “In My Dreams 2015.”
“Copernicus Landing” also channels this spirit and the more beat-influenced ride through intergalactic soundscapes of “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Know,” is what we have come to expect from the Moon Man.
The album is a good listen all the way through and reminds one of his last album Indicud with elements of the Man on the Moon albums and his WZRD project.
If this album release is successful, we are bound to see more artists “suddenly” releasing albums and more no-marketing, direct-to-fan approaches, which for Beyoncé worked incredibly well. Not good news for promotional agents, but great news for music artists and their fans alike.
Tinashe has been everywhere the past year or so as a force to be reckoned with in the R&B/Hip-Hop scene. Her vocals have attracted the attention of several electronic DJs who have remixed her songs six ways to Sunday. I recently posted a remix of her song “Vulnerable” by dj “Jacuzzi.”
Now her single 2 On (feat. Schoolboy Q) is available on iTunes.
This very club-friendly single, a DJ Mustard beat/production (who hisself has also had an amazing year in productions), goes well with Tinashe’s dreamy, ear-catching vocals. Check it out and give her support y’all!