Recent Posts in hiphop - Page 3

November 13, 2015

by Andrew Sacher

Ty Dolla $ign

Ty Dolla $ign's much-anticipated official debut album Free TC is finally out today (via Taylor Gang / Pu$haz Ink / Atlantic). The guest list is stacked, with modern rap (Kendrick Lamar, Future, Fetty Wap, Rae Sremmurd, YG), veteran R&B (R. Kelly, Brandy, Babyface), rap moguls (Kanye West and Puff Daddy -- on the same song), and weird outliers like E-40. The veteran R&B guests make a ton of sense; Ty's biggest song to date ("Paranoid") is over a DJ Mustard beat, and there are two here, but a chunk of this album actually sounds like the kind of R&B that was popular 15-20 years ago. The acoustic guitars on the Babyface collaboration "Solid" make it sound like a radio hit from no later than 2002, the same could be said for the clean electric guitars of "Horses In The Stable," and the slow jams of "Straight Up" fit in more with those guests than Ty's contemporaries (like say, The Weeknd or Miguel).

It's not all nostalgia though. The Metro Boomin-produced Trey Songz collab "Know Ya," the Future & Rae Sremmurd collab "Blase," and the Fetty Wap collab "When I See Ya" sound entirely of the moment. And as if you expected any less, Kendrick's show-stealing verse on "LA" (the first song on the record) continues to prove that he just cannot be stopped. There's a lot to unpack on this 16-song, 73-minute album, and now you can do just that by listening below.

Continue reading "stream Ty Dolla $ign's album 'Free TC' ft. Kendrick, Future, Kanye, Puff Daddy, R. Kelly & many more"

November 12, 2015

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli recently released his collaborative album with 9th Wonder, Indie 500, which Mosi Reeves reviewed for Pitchfork today, giving it a 6.3. Talib was not very happy with this review, and published his own review of Pitchfork's review. It begins:

In the first sentence of's review of INDIE 500, a reviewer who is associated with music review site writes abut how I criticize and then distance myself from celebrity straw men with the line "celebrities be making money on the powerless, their silence in the face of injustice is just cowardice." He then goes on to suggest that I myself could be viewed as one of the these celebrities that I am critiquing because I "visit eateries with Anthony Bourdain, debate politics with Bill Maher and engage in public arguments like the one with Don Lemon." As if to suggest I do these things strictly for celebrity currency and not on my own terms. What this reviewer fails to mention is that Bourdain had me on the last episode of No Reservations because it was set in Brooklyn, and I rep the borough well. I was invited to Bill Maher show not because I don't speak up against injustice, but precisely because I do. I didn't call Don Lemon out about CNN's Ferguson coverage from CNN's New York headquarters, I did it live from Ferguson Missouri. At night before the cameras showed up I got chased by police carrying tear gas, I was face down with a rifle in my back, not in some truck safe with Don Lemon somewhere.
It continues, critiquing the idea of blog reviews altogether:
Blogs are trying to keep the eyes, literally by the second. This means constant, non stop content and reviews of pieces of art that are lauded for being first, not fair. How could a writer, any writer, take in an album that took us a year or two to put together, in one day? One week? They couldn't. So they rely on personal bias and past musical knowledge to fill in the blanks, which is where that whole "celebrity straw man" thing came from. They rush their reviews, so they make assumptions and write reviews that are factually incorrect. They take lyrics completely out of context and judge them for the world to see, all because they didn't have the time to let the lyrics sink in. This makes it very ironic when Mosi writes that the "execution felt rushed" in terms of INDIE 500.
There's a lot more where that came from, and you can read Talib's whole review here. He gives Mosi's review a 3.6 (h/t: Gary Suarez.)

You can stream Indie 500 in full below...

Continue reading "Talib Kweli reviews Pitchfork's review of Talib Kweli"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

photo: Snoop Dogg at ACL Live in Austin in October (more by Tim Griffin)
Snoop Dogg

In news that for some reason has only just occurred, Snoop Dogg now has his own brand of weed. Said weed is called "Leafs by Snoop," and it is available now in stores in Colorado. Since Snoop isn't a Colorado resident, he can't legally own the company, but he was involved in the planning and creation of the brand nonetheless and has been touting it online and in person at a recent launch party for Leafs by Snoop in Denver. The brand by the self proclaimed "master of marijuana" is also making weed chocolate bars as well "Dogg Treat Fruit Drops" and "Dogg Treat Peanut Butter Gems."

This is only the newest cannabis-related venture for the Doggfather, who also owns a line of vape pens and a line of weed packaging called "FunkSac" has a VC fund for investment in weed, and has invested in the new "Uber for weed" app Eaze. The man is nothing if not opportunistic.

One would imagine that Snoop collaborator Willie Nelson is less than pleased with Snoop's new business endeavors, as he's been waging a very public fight against "big weed" in the wake of legalization. For those of us hoping for more music from the two of them, maybe they can "hash out" their differences over some Dogg treats.

In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Snoop has been playing shows. Recently, he stopped by ACL Live in Austin with comedian Dave Hill.

Check out some videos Snoop has posted about Leafs by Snoop and listen to that Willie/Snoop jam below...

Continue reading "Snoop Dogg does the inevitable, launches own brand of weed"

by Andrew Sacher


South Bronx legend KRS-One will release his thirteenth solo album and followup to 2012's The BDP Album on November 24. It's called Now Hear This and features the singles "Drugs Won" (as in, "they declared a war on drugs but drugs won") and "Sound Man." On a purely technical level, KRS-One's raps are still wildly impressive and he sounds as angry and vicious as ever. Not too shabby for a guy just about 30 years into his career.

KRS is also supporting the album with some live shows, including an album release party on November 23 at SOB's in Manhattan (tickets). That's four days before the 'Masters of Ceremony' show he's playing in Newark with Rakim, The LOX, Black Moon and more; and he's also got another veteran-filled Jersey show happening at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on January 17 with Dru Hill, Kool Moe D, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini and more (tickets).

All dates are listed, with the song streams, below...

Continue reading "KRS-One releasing 'Now Hear This' (stream 2 songs), touring"

by Andrew Sacher

Pusha T Timbaland

Earlier today, Missy Elliott released a song produced by Pharrell, who (as a member of The Neptunes) produced several of the most crucial Pusha T songs (as a member of Clipse). Now Pusha T has released a new song produced by Timbaland, who produced several of the most crucial Missy Elliott songs. (Wild, right?) The song's called "Untouchable" (and we actually just mentioned yesterday that it was coming) and it samples Biggie's voice. It also references Pusha T's new job, president of G.O.O.D. Music. It's good stuff and you can listen below.

As we just mentioned yesterday, Timbaland has kind of been on a roll with new songs lately (one with Migos and one with Future & Tink) and he'll be celebrating his new memoir The Emperor of Sound with a live interview at NYC's Highline Ballroom on 11/18 (tickets).

Continue reading "Pusha T released Timbaland-produced "Untouchable" (listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

Missy Elliott

It's been ten years since Missy Elliott released an album, and she hasn't put out a new song since putting out her Timbaland collabs "9th Inning" and "Triple Threat" in 2012, but a new song finally came out today. It's a collaboration with Pharrell Williams and the beat is about as Pharrell as it gets, which should bring you right back to the mid-2000s. You can watch the very Missy Elliot style video for the song, titled "WTF (Where They From)," below. What do you think?

Continue reading "Missy Elliott releases new song ft. Pharrell, "WTF (Where They From)" (watch the video)"

November 11, 2015

words by Andrew Sacher, photos by Carlo Cruz

Herbo and Bada$$
Joey Badsass concert
Joey Badsass concert

After much anticipation, well-known dj and producer Statik Selektah arrived on stage to claim the turntables. The lights dimmed and I couldn't contain my excitement as Joey Bada$$ approached us, opening up with the ever-so-popular 'Paper Trail$' (as suspected) off his 2015 album B4.DA.$$. Styled to a Snoop T, the twenty-year-old had the crowd wrapped around his finger as he spewed his poetic verses. '90s hip-hop vibes quickly took over the scene as the eery bass bled through the speakers and more and more arms waved swiftly up and down. Any moment of silence was filled with fans chanting his name. The crowd hyped him up as he took a breather and sipped on water.
[Blurred Culture]
Red Bull Sound Select's 30 Days In LA is underway, and like Grimes, last week Joey Bada$$ played one of the shows (at The Belasco Theater) with G Herbo, who up until recently was known as Lil Herb. Freddie Gibbs, who released two new songs today, was a surprise guest during Joey's set on "Carry On." More about the show in the review quoted above. Pictures from the LA show (including opener Warm Brew) continue below.

Herbo and Joey also made a song together, "Lord Knows," which just came out today as part of Red Bull Sound Select's series of collaborative singles. (The previous one was Del The Funky Homosapien with Basecamp.) Metro Boomin, who also produced the Future song that just came out, gives "Lord Knows" a haunting beat that Herbo and Joey basically go buckwild over. Listen below.

Joey's tour eventually brings him back to the NYC-area to play NJ and Long Island in December. Pictures and song below...

Continue reading "Joey Bada$$ & G Herbo released collab track "Lord Knows", played '30 Days In LA' together (stream, pics)"

A Tribe Called Quest

We recently mentioned that all four members of A Tribe Called Quest are set to appear at the NYC release party for the 25th anniversary reissue of their 1990 debut, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. It wasn't clear if they'd be playing together or not -- Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad are billed as DJs and Phife and Jarobi are just set to make "appearances" -- but now it's been revealed that the group will reunite to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the night before the Santos show (this Friday, 11/13). That makes a performance at the Santos show seem even more promising (it's now sold out). They said their 2013 shows with Kanye West would be their last.

The reissue includes Pharrell, Cee-Lo and J. Cole remixes. You already heard the first two, but now you can also listen to the J. Cole remix below.

Fallon's house band The Roots also have a Long Island show on 12/26.

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest reuniting on 'Fallon' the day before their 'People's Instinctive Travels' reissue party at Santos"

Puff Daddy

There's always a good amount of hip hop shows happening in and around NYC, but we don't get a chance to post about all of it. Here's a roundup of some cool stuff coming up that we haven't talked about yet, new music, and more:

Hot 97 is throwing a holiday show at Newark's Prudential Center on December 5 that's pretty stacked with both the old and the new: Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, French Montana, Sean Paul, Jeremih and Fetty Wap. Tickets are available.

Speaking of, Puff Daddy is planning a sequel to his hits-filled 1997 debut No Way Out (called No Way Out 2), but in the meantime he just released the MMM mixtape ("Money Making Mitch") which features Jadakiss, Styles P, Pusha T, Lil Kim, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, Ty Dolla $ign and more; and co-production from Young Chop, Mike Will Made It, Hit-Boy, Harry Fraud and more. You can stream the whole thing below.

For another stacked Newark show: the recurring 'Masters of Ceremony' concert, that brings a number of influential old school heads together, happens again on November 27 at NJPAC with KRS-One, The LOX, Ja Rule, Rakim, Mad Lion, Lords of the Underground and Black Moon. Tickets are available.

You can catch the legendary Rakim much sooner than that though. He plays TONIGHT (11/11) at SOB's in Manhattan in with Ceez, JSwiss and Lyricks. Tickets for tonight's show are available.

For more old school rap in NYC tonight, GZA, Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E. Fresh, Rhymefest, Ma Dukes and more are being honored at the Hip-Hop Education Center's first annual Extra Credit Awards at NYU's Kimmel Center from 6 to 9 PM.

Coincidentally (?) the same night as the 'Masters of Ceremony' show, Ja Rule's collaborator Ashanti plays a NYC show at BB King's (11/27). Tickets are available.


Another guy who was shaping the sound of mainstream hip hop around the same time as Puff Daddy, Timbaland, has a new memoir called The Emperor of Sound coming out November 17. The next day, he'll come to NYC for an interview/book launch at Highline Ballroom (11/18) (tickets).

Timbaland's also been putting out some new songs lately. He recently dropped "Them Jeans" featuring Migos and "UFO" featuring Future and Tink. Listen to both below. He's also teasing a new track with Pusha T.

Rap Tees

Speaking of rap books, DJ Ross One just released Rap Tees: A Collection of Hip-Hop T-Shirts 1980-1999. The description reads:

Beginning with the earliest rap concert shirts from the Sugar Hill Gang and New York Fresh Fest, circa 1980-84, and spanning the next two decades, Rap Tees includes rare shirts from a wide selection of the who's-who of the business including: Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Beastie Boys, Eric B and Rakim, Wu Tang Clan, Jay Z, Nas, EMPD, and many, many more. Rap Tees bookends the golden age of rap with unique street-corner memorial shirts commemorating the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
There's a sample of three of the shirts above, via MIke Nouveau's Instagram.

That Timbaland/Tink collab isn't the only new Future song. He just put one out called "Last Breath," produced by Metro Boomin and Ludwig Goransson, that will appear on the soundtrack to the upcoming Rocky spinoff Creed. Listen below.

The busiest band in rap, The Roots, can always be found as Fallon's house band and you can always catch Questlove's mostly-weekly DJ night at Brooklyn Bowl, and they'll play a Long Island show the Saturday after Christmas at The Paramount (12/26). Tickets are available.

Roots member Black Thought is on the brand new Freddie GIbbs song, "Extradite." That's one of two songs that Gibbs put out today, the other being "Packages," and both will appear on his Shadow of a Doubt mixtape due 11/20 via ESGN. Listen below.

A few other upcoming NYC shows: Key! plays SOB's on November 17 (tickets).

Loaf Muzik, who BV had open our recent Vince Staples show, play The Studio at Webster Hall on November 14 with Young M.A (tickets).

We're not crazy about G-Eazy, but we do want to let you know that A$AP Ferg is opening his Terminal 5 show on January 24. Tickets are on AmEx presale now, general on-sale starts Friday (11/13) at noon.

Oxymorrons play the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on 11/18 with Turquoise Jeep, Pants Velour and Kosha Dillz; and Knitting Factory on 12/9 (tickets).

We already mentioned the Curren$y show happening December 3 at Irving Plaza, and since we last spoke Bodega Bamz was added. Tickets are still available.

And a few more new songs: Ty Dolla $ign released "LA" (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Brandy & James Fauntleroy) off his new album Free TC, due out next week. Lil Durk & DeJ Loaf released "My Beyonce"; Atmosphere, Aesop Rock and Blueprint teamed up for "This Lonely Rose"; and Erykah Badu (who plays Brooklyn in December) released "Phone Down" off her upcoming But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape. Listen to all of those below.

Other previously-discussed shows coming up in and around NYC: Lupe Fiasco, Azealia Banks (NYC is her only not-cancelled tour date), Jay Rock, Joey Bada$$, the A Tribe Called Quest reissue party, Action Bronson, Angel Haze, Vince Staples, Kevin Gates, and more.

What else?

Continue reading "upcoming rap shows & new music: Puff Daddy, Timbaland, KRS-One, Rakim, The Roots, Atmosphere & Aesop Rock, more"

by Andrew Sacher

Lupe Fiasco

Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco has a few shows this month, and he's set to head out on a proper tour in 2016. The tour hits NYC on February 4 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale today (11/11) at noon. All dates are listed below.

Earlier this year Lupe released Tetsuo & Youth, his strongest album in a while. It features the almost-9-minute standout "Mural," which you can listen to below.

Continue reading "Lupe Fiasco touring in 2016, playing Highline Ballroom (dates)"