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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (1-10 of 900)

Action Bronson is an acidhead outlaw biker in the 'Easy Rider' video

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 Action Bronson is apparently a B-movie fan as well as a rapper and professional food lover. The video for “The Symbol” from his 2012 mixtape Rare Chandeliers was a loving tribute to the lowest of low-budget ’70s grindhouse action cinema that featured Bronson rocking a truly memorable wig.

A couple weeks ago he dropped “Easy Rider,” the first single from his upcoming official debut album Mr. Wonderful, which boasts several references to dropping acid and some face-melting psych-rock guitar licks, and the accompanying video fittingly enough casts the rapper as an LSD-loving outlaw biker.  READ FULL STORY

Watch BLKHRTS party hard in their 'Porties' video

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Denver’s BLKHRTS are part of an insurgent movement that’s given hip-hop its own version of punk rock, overflowing with anarchic energy and intensely distorted sounds. They’re a little more gothed out than the other acts that fall under the umbrella of “noise rap,” like CLPPNG and the recently disbanded Death Grips. In an interview with their hometown alt-weekly, the Denver Westword, the group’s producer Yonnas Abraham–who makes the band’s beats on an outdated, not entirely functional, 20-year-old sampler–calls himself, “obsessed with romance, obsessed with death, and obsessed with the color black.”

BLKHRTS goth tendencies come through loud and clear on “Porties,” where they rap about romantic complications over a beat that samples Bauhaus’ “She’s In Parties.” The video, with its moody, high-contrast visuals and party-hardy action, sums up the group’s mission nicely.

Kelela and Le1f team up for the spacey slow jam 'OICU'

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Kelela and Le1f are two independent artists teetering on the verge of serious pop stardom. Kelela is part of a new wave of R&B artists forging connections with the leading edge of electronic dance music who’s made a fan of, among others, Solange Knowles, who put her on the avant-R&B compilation, Saint Heron, that she released on her Saint Records label last year. Le1f, meanwhile, is doing something similar with rap and the underground club scene, and the raw energy he brought to his Letterman performance earlier this year gave him an unexpected foothold in the mainstream.

Neither of the two are content to just wait around for their seemingly inevitable breaks to come through. Both are busy at work on their next big moves. But in the meantime, while those projects are coming together, they’ve paired up to record “OICU.” Produced by beat-maker P. Morris, the track showcases their mutual talents for creating a vibe that’s spacey, sexy, and effortlessly chill. It’s a match made in stoner-avant-pop heaven.

J. Cole releases Michael Brown tribute 'Be Free'

Rapper J. Cole is best known for writing songs about lightweight subjects like girls and how tough it is to be a popular and successful rapper, but he’s also proven himself capable of handling heavier topics. On Friday, he became the first major artist to release a song in response to the Michael Brown shooting. “Be Free,” which he posted to SoundCloud early this morning, is a solemn meditation on violence directed at young black men, driven by a looping electric piano figure and a compellingly raw vocal performance that weaves between melodic rapping and straight-up singing.

“Tired of seeing black boys killed,” he wrote in an email to his publicist that she included in her own email about the song. “Tired of seeing black men killed. No more being numb to it. Made this yesterday. Not gonna wait for the album to put it out. It’s now. peace[.]“


Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora break out katanas and jumpsuits for 'Black Widow'

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Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora’s song “Black Widow” raises a lot of questions—like what does it mean that Rita Ora wants to love somebody until they hate her and also like a black widow? And what is up with Iggy’s tautologically fraught line, “If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be stuck singing this song?” And has someone, possibly a close friend or family member, talked to them about the fact that getting into “Fatal Attraction s–t” isn’t something they should be so proud of, and maybe they should consider a course of intensive therapy?

The video for the track only keeps the questions coming. Why is Iggy Azalea working in a greasy spoon with a poster in the kitchen that clearly has a drawing of her on it? What kind of high-intensity boob tape are she and Rita Ora using in those jumpsuits? And did anyone think that there were people out there who were begging to see Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora try their hand at comedic acting?

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Is this a leak from Kanye West's 'Yeezus' sequel?

Kanye West is famously as fastidious about security at his recording sessions as he is about bathroom arrangements at his wedding, so when a previously unheard song purporting to come from his follow-up to last year’s Yeezus hit the Internet last night it was a big deal. While West has remained uncharacteristically silent about it, the lo-fi two-minute clip seems legit. The voice on the recording sounds like him, and the lyrics match up with the excerpt from what he called his “new single” titled “All Day” that he teased in a recent GQ interview. It’s also hard to imagine any fakers coming up with anything as clever and Kanye West-ish as “middle finger longer than Dikembe” or the offhand reference to “Rico Suave.”

If this version of “All Day” really is intended for inclusion on the next Kanye West record it’ll probably sound radically different by the time it’s released. His past few albums have been heavy on psychedelically complex, prog-rock-influenced arrangements, and something about the straightforward loops of vaguely Timbaland-sounding drums and digitally harmonized vocals seems a little to basic to pass his strict standards.


Listen to Lil Wayne, Drake collaborate on new song 'Grindin'

With the Drake vs. Lil Wayne tour kicking off today in New York, the duo has released a new song titled “Grindin.” Well, technically Lil Wayne has released a new song that features his tour mate. They’ll be on the road together through September, but you can check out the track below:

Get familiar with the summer's two biggest dance crazes

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If you don’t spend much time listening to independently produced regional rap music, you’d be forgiven for thinking that songs that spawn particular dance crazes died out somewhere around the time Fat Joe reimagined the dance-song format as a PSA against dancing itself. In fact, the form remains alive—even healthy—in generally isolated pockets of black youth culture. It may not be generating the kind of globe-sweeping phenomena as the Twist or the Macarena, but recent virally popular dances like the Nae Nae and the Cooking Dance have found some measure of mainstream traction, thanks in large part to professional athletes.

Over the summer, two such crazes have taken off from two opposite coasts. At the end of June, 20-year-old rapper Bobby Shmurda blew up out of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, to dominate the rap zeitgeist with his song “Hot N–,” which gives an East Coast spin to Chicago drill music. He possesses the kind of ineffable rock star charisma that makes him captivating even when he turns his back to his audience (showing shades of Jim Morrison). In the video, he deploys a move called the Shmoney Dance, which his GS9 crew co-hort Rowdy Rebbel first introduced to the world through its titular song back in February (though few noticed at the time). Since then, Shmurda has signed a deal with Epic Records, made a rather enthusiastic fan of Lil Wayne, and turned the Shmoney Dance into the latest celebrity fad.


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Q&A: T-Pain is plotting his comeback

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All the way back in 2008, just three years after T-Pain’s Rapper Ternt Sanga made him into a radio-dominating superstar, you could see the writing on the wall for the rapper. No one could see it clearer than T-Pain himself: His trademark Auto-Tuned vocals went from a bracingly futuristic sonic innovation to an overused cliché in a matter of months. (He at least got a couple of good jokes about it into his “Karaoke” video.) When his sonically and thematically scattered 2011 album Revolver failed to turn things around, it seemed like his career might be coming to an end.

The pride of Tallahassee, Fla., spent his time since then refocusing and rebuilding his brand. Late last year he released a DJ Mustard-produced single, “Up Down (Do This All Day)” that quietly climbed nearly halfway up the Hot 100, and a video for the song that featured him sans dreadlocks and top hat, which had defined much of his visual identity. (He kept the outlandish sunglasses.) Over the past few months, T-Pain has been releasing more of the songs that he’s recorded since Revolver—there are hundredsincluding a couple, “Look Like Him” and “Monotone,” that combine the darkly throbbing synthesizer sounds that have been bubbling up out of the underground club scene. They feature bracingly self-critical lyrics, revealing that the guy who made warbling robot voices into a radio-devouring phenomenon hasn’t stopped innovating.

His latest single, “Drankin’ Patna,” is a return to the joyful hedonism and bouncing strip club beats of his early hits, and it serves as a potent reminder of exactly what the pop world was missing during his time away. In the midst of his Drankin’ Patna tour, and somewhere in the process of finishing up his fifth solo album, tentatively entitled Stoicville: The Phoenix, he spoke to EW about where he’s been and where he’s going.

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Hear Mono/Poly's hazy new trip-hop track 'Empyrean'

 Producer Charles Dickerson, a.k.a. Mono/Poly, is a member of L.A.’s massively influential avant-hip-hop crew Brainfeeder whose cosmic beats have made fans out of Erykah Badu and members of Radiohead. On Aug. 26, he’ll release his third album, Golden Skies, which exemplifies Brainfeeder’s reputation for blending classic rap, soul, jazz, and funk into a warm, organic whole that sounds both intensely futuristic and deeply retro at the same time somehow.

Golden Skies features a number of guests, including Mendee Ichikawa of the group Free Moral Agents, who provides vocals on the track “Empyrean.” Working together, the pair conjures up a hazy trip-hop vibe with twinkling, detuned synthesizers that sound like interstellar communications from a group of very stoned aliens. You can preorder the album here. READ FULL STORY

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