Dave East drops the visuals for the cautionary jam “Slow Down” featuring vocalist Jazzy Amra. This is from last year’s outstanding Kairi Chanel album.
One spliff a day keeps the evil away. Peace to the late Billy Boyo (1969-2000).
As a backup singer, Portland songstress Erika Day lent her vocals to other local artists. On the breezy “Little Sinner” (produced by Palm Dat), we get her first step into the spotlight as her own artist and the result is exceptional.
Music criticism is defined as “the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres”. As a journalist first and critic second, I find that the market for music critics has become heavily oversaturated, as social media has given everyone a platform to speak about any topic they choose with the same assumed authority as a published writer. Even established publications are literally hiring “any geek off the streets” to write about music, so it’s difficult to tell who you should be listening to and who you shouldn’t, but there are a lot of folks who have questioned the relevance of music critics at all in a world where you no longer have to buy albums with no idea what they sound like first.
Sean Price’s Imperius Rex, which is newly out this week, is quite the fitting farewell to the late MC. I’ve got to admit, though, that I thought the album version of “Negus” featuring Ike Eyez and DOOM was ab it awkward. I was really looking forward to hearing DOOM and P on this one, but Eyez’ verse smack in the middle broke up the chemistry in a way that just didn’t make sense. Sean and DOOM are more than enough of an event together for there to be another verse. The song is also being released as part of DOOM and Adult Swim’s The Missing Notebook Rhymes project, and this version is short an MC.
The good folks at The Drum Broker on YouTube linked up with the legendary Alchemist to get into his creative process, sleep habits (or lack thereof) and his favorite equipment.
Aspiring rappers used to rap over tried and true classic instrumentals in order to pay dues and show off their skills. In that spirit, Maliibu Miitch has apparently put a 2017 spin on that with a whole series of videos paying homage to female MCs like Lauryn Hill (“Doo Wop”), Eve (“Who’s That Girl”), Foxy Brown (“Gotta Get You Home With Me”), and Li’l Kim on this one. If you remember the “Crush On You” video, it was an event: wigs, furs, and all kinds of sass. Maliibu Mitch keeps the sass and tones it down for her own minimalist vibe here in her own version of “Crush On You”. I don’t know how old she is, but I’m feeling like NYC circa 1996 right now and that’s always a good thing, as long as the result doesn’t sound dated. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of her work in the near future.
Producer Wes Wax enlisted The Last Artful Dodgr and JUICEBOX three years ago for this jazzy banger. Wax also has some pretty dope music over on Soundcloud, so be sure to show your support over there, because it won’t be possible to find little gems like this if they’re not on your favorite streaming services. #SaveSoundcloud
Days in advance of his post-humous Imperius Rex release (one of the best album titles ever if you know the science), we get Sean Price along with the late Prodigy and Styles P over a minimalist Harry Fraud track. If you were looking for something to Nae Nae to, this is not it, fam. Pre-order the album and cop other merchandise over at Duck Down.
Rare Footage: Me reading the tracklist for Imperius Rex:
In a recent interview with Complex about Andre 3000’s relatively new position as creative director for Tretorn, the interviewer naturally meandered into some questions about the future of 3-Stacks’ rapping career. To the disappointment of many, it doesn’t look good for a brand new OutKast album, let alone a solo LP. He went on to describe rap as more of a “hobby” for him right now, preferring the occasional guest feature to the effort and time it takes to put together an album. However, there was a particular tangent he went on about aging in hip-hop that didn’t quite make sense and which Complex chose to highlight in the subtitle, though the interview is seemingly intended to focus on his career in fashion design.
On the idea of rapping into his later years, Andre 3000 had this to say:
“Rapping is like being a boxer,” André continues. “No matter how great you are or were at a certain time, the older you get, the slower you get—I don’t care who you are. And I can feel that coming on. There’s always a new wave of artists, and sometimes I’m just like, ‘I’m good. I’ll let the young guys do it.’”