26 September 2013

Pretty Lights - A Color Map Of The Sun

Pretty Lights - A Color Map of the Sun:   Derek Vincent Smith, better known as electronic music DJ/Producer Pretty Lights, released his first commercial album, A Color Map of the Sun, back in the beginning of July. This is not going to be a traditional album review. Instead, this is going to be a celebration of what was created. You may or may not be a fan of the type of music Pretty Lights makes or a fan of this genre period. But you have to respect what this man accomplished musically.

     Pretty Lights has a sound that is best described as a marriage of elements of rock, electronic music, and hip hop. At a time where a lot of your more popular electronic music is house, party electro, or ETM (Electronic Trap Music), Pretty Lights' songs prove that a song doesn't have to clock in at over 120 BPMs in order to get a crowd hyped. Pretty Lights has created mashups like the insane track If I Could Hit Switches Again  featuring the late Eric Wright (Eazy E), as well as dope tracks like Hot Like Dimes and Still Rockin. Pretty Lights' multitude of influences and his genre bending approach to music make it difficult to classify exactly what his sound is. What is easy to hear is that he knows how to make it all work to the good.

     Which brings us to his latest release, A Color Map of the Sun. Where before Pretty Lights would pull verses and samples from a wide variety of music, laying extra synths, beats, as well as other sounds and effects to create something new, this DJ/Producer took it to a whole new level. Pretty Lights traveled to New Orleans and Brooklyn, getting into studios with all types of musicians. We're talking: singers, horn players, guitarists, drummers, the works. He worked with all these musicians and composed all original music; creating full songs out of jam sessions. After he finished a session in a city he would go and have all this original music put on wax. That's right, this dude created crates of vinyl of all original music. When he returned to his home in Denver, Colorado, he was even able to get Eligh and Talib Kweli to come through and spit verses on a couple of the songs he composed.

     After putting in all this work to create this music, Pretty Lights went to work creating the songs that would become A Color Map of the Sun. All of the songs sampled and mixed together in this album are wholly from the studio sessions. The easiest way to get an idea of how he made it all work is to check the track Press Pause.

     You do not have to be a fan of this type of music to respect the scope of this album. I highly encourage anyone that reads this to follow the link and check out the documentary The Making of Pretty Lights' New Album: A Color Map of the Sun. You might just give the album a chance after watching it's creation unfold. With all the areas of influence he pulled from to create this, it will be hard to believe that there is not at least one track you can catch a vibe off of. Now go explore.

~ Irish Ninja

23 September 2013

Operation Sedgwick and MK Ultra PT 2: Prince Ea

Soooooo..the day is here. Robert Connors claimed that today (Monday, September 23rd) was the day he would provide proof of Operation Sedgwick if the DOD did not come clean. He was not able to post the video on his YouTube page but managed to add a link:

What is certain is that it is once again Mr.Connors. Connors speaks for about 30 seconds before we see a  music video. It contains classified "documented footage by researcher Richard Williams" (aka Prince Ea) who also wants to expose Operation Sedgwick. We then see a very weird music video. The emcee's lyrics all have to do with this Hip-Hop conspiracy. It is not as bad as I thought it would be (since the dude starts off with a blond wig and lipstick, and don't forget the cats). The end of the song is crazy, very creepy. The video ends with a person in a dark room making a call: "Yo, they got Prince [Ea] man. This shit is way f**kin crazier then what I expected."

So I did some research. Not a lot since we want to get this video out to the masses. In the end I think the point is for uall to do the research as well. So basically proved to be a very elaborate promotion for an upcoming project for Prince Ea. I haven't heard of him before but from what I found, I like. This St.Louis emcee dropped his first mixtape in 08. In 09 he began the Make SMART (Sophisticating Millions And Revolutionizing Thought) Cool movement due to the present state of Hip-Hop. Their purpose is to: "promote intelligence to everyone, everywhere and integrate it with hip-hop. To create and nurture, without discrimination or preference, a community of free-thinking individuals under the singular purpose of promoting the ideals of education, intelligence, unity and creativity throughout the world at large." 

So I started writing this whole article (it was very very long..very) about the present state of Hip-Hop and all that mess. But I think for right now I will push that aside to spotlight this young man and his movement. He is very creative and deserves to at least have us hear what he has to say. If only for the immense originality of the "Connor" videos. 

Check out his site: http://www.princeea.com/
And his twitter: https://twitter.com/PrinceEa

22 September 2013

Local Music: Nightmerica - The Waiting Room

Making another appearance on BITM is the Metro-Detroit group, Nightmerica (Adolf JYN, Darth FYN, D.A.V.E., JOE HYNDEAUX, and Slave T). They previously released numerous amounts of individual songs and their debut video that premiered on BITM titled "6th Flow." Nightmerica has finally released their freshman mixtape, The Waiting Room. Nightmerica have already built up their fan base by doing shows over their respective territory and are now seeking to branch out to establish more listeners. 

Their first project is only 7 tracks but the a few of these tracks do have some heavy lyrics behind them. They are not looking to be just like any other "rappers" nowadays where everyone just talks that about trapping. Nightmerica actually attempts to put effort in their rhymes. If I could compare them to anyone that is in the game, they would be a cross between OFWGKTA, A$AP Mob, and Ab-Soul. In my perspective, the message that Nightmerica actually wishes to get across is "The revolution will occur, p.s. y'all can't rap."

I think the most lethal of this group is Adolf JYN. I believe this dude is seriously a problem. He makes small and sneaky references that you seriously have to pay attention to. Intricate lyrics like, "I need to devise an espionage, so I can revive as a Samurai, slice 'em like Hattori Hanzo..." is what you have to appreciate: especially if you take the time out to actually listen and break them down. Hattori Hanzo is a famous Samurai and ninja from the 16th century but in modern culture you may remember his name as the swordsman/blacksmith from the movie Kill Bill Vol. 1.

This is a good mixtape from this team as rookies. There are things that needs to be worked on as there are with any starter piece of work. Nothing will be perfect and if it is perfect you still make it better. To support them, the link to download their tape is posted below. Be on the lookout for more Nightmerica!

Download: http://nightmerica.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: @_KJTheGreat or @Bestinthemix
E-mail: Kjohnsonk14@gmail.com

21 September 2013

Drake ft. Jay-Z - Pound Cake

We here at BITM have noticed a recent trend of artists featured on someone else's album calling others out on wax. Regardless of the reason, name-dropping sparks the pilot light in the Hip-hop community and gets us all buzzing about the impact a verse will have on those mentioned, and the game as a whole. On Drake's new album, Jay-Z is featured on a song called "Pound Cake" where he runs off a list of all the artists who came up around him that became millionaires.

In the middle of the verse he takes a jab at the person who used to be 2nd in command on the ROC, Beanie Sigel with the line, "I'm just gettin started, oh yeah we got it bitch. I done made more millionaires than the lotto did. Dame made millions, Biggs made millions. 'Ye made millions, Just made millions. Lyor made millions, Cam made millions. Beans'll tell you if he wasn't in his feelings."

This wasn't the first or second time Jay took a stab at the Broad Street Bully, but it may have been the first time he was direct. As their relationship is beyond repair, is it even worth it for Beans to respond? Let us know in the comments below.

Or hit us up on twitter @BestInTheMix

Have You Been Listening?

     Greetings all. It has definitely been a minute since I've been through to truly holler at y'all. From my time out in Africa and Thailand, to driving 18 wheelers through the states, to a possible trip out to Iraq in the very near future, trust that the absence has not been intentional. While I have been somewhat absent, what hasn't stopped has been my constant digging for music. I figured it would only be right to let you in on what I've come across and collected. I'm sure most of you are up on a few of these joints, but let's see if I can put you on a couple under the radar releases. You ready? Let's get it then...

Nametag & Nameless - For Namesake: Initially I had no clue about this duo out of Detroit, Michigan. The main reasons I picked it up were because first off the album dropped on Brick Records, which has seen some beasts by the likes of Statik Selektah, Termanology, and Reks. Secondly, these cats are from Detroit. Where I'm concerned, if you are out of Michigan, I'll give you a shot on faith. Any state home to: Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, J-Dilla, Eminem, or Clear Soul Forces, clearly has a handle on what they do. With Nameless on the beats and Nametag handling verses, the album didn't disappoint. The tracks Hookless and May Day are examples of that thick boom bap sound that anyone following Detroit hip hop will recognize right off the bat. Not to be outdone by the beats Nameless laid down, Nametag brings his A- game and matches their level. Check the track The Teacher to check this cat's ability to go deep lyrically.

Def Dee - 33 And A Third:  Let me put this out there now; there will be plenty of times throughout this post where I will tell you straight up I didn't know of an artist, but took a chance on them for one reason or another. Having said that, I had no clue who Def Dee was. I do know the label Mello Music Group, which 33 And A Third  was released on. I also know of: yU, Oddisee, Magestik Legend, X.O.,and Wise Intelligent,  all of whom flow over Def Dee's production on the album. And most importantly, did you check that album cover??? For real, dude had a speaker for a heart.
     Anyway, it's a good play all the way through. The track Errybody Bent reminds me of that old Busta track,  Get Out. He's got a track on there called Lonely Eyes  that has a will.I.am feel before dude went all George Jetson. The track Coke Nda Canine gives a good vibe for the feel of the rest of the album. It's the only track I could find a link to so if you feeling it, go give the rest of the album a listen.

Grip Grand - GG DOOM! BUT HOW?: This was a pretty big deal this year. Grip Grand, of Rec League  and solo artist fame, got his hands on some MF DOOM tracks and put his production finesse on them. Then he released it for free! It's pretty damn dope. Word has it DOOM expressed some disdain and GRip took the album down. I believe the album is available again but if you can't get it here  then you'll have to look for it, or find someone that has it already. *ahem*
     Seriously, if you are a MF DOOM fan then this is a must. Jive Tukeys was the lead single but my personal favorite is the track right now is But How? (Jesus Pizzas). It's 7 tracks deep, just enough to make you hope this isn't the last remix project Grip Grand undertakes.

Madlib, Blu & MED - The Burgundy EP: This EP just screams Southern Cali. The beat Madlib cooked up on Burgundy Whip  was so smooth that to this day I still don't believe it. Blu and MED killed this track effortlessly. While I don't like all of Blu's stuff, when he is on there is no denying it. Blu was on when it comes to this joint. Belly Full is a decent offering off this EP as well and features producer/MC Black Spade. If you don't know Mr. Spade and you dig Madlib's work, I'd suggest you go look him up. You might like what you find.

Illogic & Blockhead - Capture The Sun: Illogic has been a busy man as of late. This release is one of two he has on my list. Illogic and Blockhead teamed up on this project and the result was pretty dope. Blockhead has been around for a while, admittedly I am most familiar with him from his work with Aesop Rock. This album is definitely one of those that you have to run through a few times to fully appreciate the beats as well as the rhymes. The intro track Neva Heard gives listeners a taste of what's in store throughout the album. Capture The Sun showcases two artists that have mastered what they do and come together to create a unique experience. The title track Capture The Sun and Live From The Horizon  as well as the rest of the album has the feel of something you play early in the morning. Definitely a soundtrack to start off a mellow day.

Killer Mike & El-P - Run The Jewels: Another big deal this year that I'm sure a lot of you already know about. Killer Mike & El-P blew everyone's mind last year when they collaborated on Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music last year. They kept the chemistry going on their self titled  Run The Jewels album and I can pretty much guarantee it is going to be on quite a few Top 10 Releases of 2013. From the Adult Swim showcased 36" Chain to Banana Clipper with ATLien Big Boi, this album bangs with no apologies. Seriously, when it came to these two cats making music together, let alone albums, I never saw it coming. If you need any more convincing, check the tracks Sea Legs and DDFH.

Idle Warship - Habits Of The Heart: Okay, so I don't know what I was doing that I didn't hear about this album until fairly recent. While I was waiting for Talib Kweli to drop Prisoner Of Conscious I happened along this. Apparently, Singer Res and Talib got together and laid this down. I went in thinking that Talib only had bit parts here and there and man, was I wrong. They were a full fledged duo and the album is pretty incredible. The track Enemy caught my attention but the entire thing is this funky, neo soul, hip hop, electric creation that meshes a lot together and makes something fantastic. FYI, If you can find the track Are You In, that is my jam off this album these days.

Metabeats - Caviar Crackle: Here is another example of me having no clue who someone is. I took this leap of faith because Luke Menace co-signed this release. (Shout out to Conspiracy Worldwide Radio) This UK producer has some familiar rhymesayers from this side of the pond as well as emcees I can only assume are well know in the UK spitting over his beats. From Action Bronson on Hookers and Oddisee featured on the track Music (Pt. 2) to Dubbledge on Fire and EyeSeeYou, the album bounces between a 90's East Coast bounce and a slightly futuristic appeal. The album is a good introduction to who Metabeats is as a producer.

M-Phazes - The Works: Another international producer blessing your earholes by way of Australia. Of the two internationally produced albums in this post, this one is my favorite. The Works is a collection of songs M-Phazes has produced and the line up on this album is stacked. Check this roster: Slaughterhouse, Rah Digga, Pharoahe Monch, Heltah Skeltah, Talib Kweli, Blu, Big K.R.I.T., Mela Machinko, and that's not even everyone on the album. M-Phazes ability to get down and gritty shows on the Slaughterhouse cut Back On The Scene and the track Never Back Down featuring Rah Digga, Fashawn and Reks. M-Phazes also shows he can smooth it out on tracks like Gutter Rainbows with Talib Kweli and Still Standing with Pharoahe Monch and Jill Scott. Go get this album.

Greenhouse - Bend But Don't Break: Blueprint and Illogic have been running together for some time now as the team Greenhouse. On their Bend But Don't Break release, they make sure the uninitiated do not mistake them as newcomers. The album is filled with dope lyrics and head nods that will definitely have some going back to see what they may have missed from these two. Check the track This Is It. From the jump these guys grab a hold of your ears and let it be known this album and this team are not to be taken lightly by any means.

Demigodz - Killmatic: This album was long in the making. Having dropped their first release as a collective back in 2001, the makeup of Demigodz has changed somewhat. This go round are emcees: Apathy, Ryu, Motive, Blacastan, Esoteric, and Celph Titled. What hasn't changed is their ability to rain fire over beats. With tracks like the Rocky themed Demigodz Is Back, the ode to old school fashion Raiders Cap, and Dead In The Middle with one hell of a Big Pun sample, the Godz bless us with an album that is not for the faint of heart, or hearing for that matter. Throw in guest verses from Termanology and one of the dopest emcees to ever rock a dress, Eternia, and there is no reason not to own this album.

Black Milk - Synth Or Soul: Out of nowhere Black Milk dropped this instrumental album earlier this year. While I'm not too big on instrumental albums, Black has a way of making a beat that makes you nod your head before you realize it. These tracks are no exception. Tracks like Higgs Boson and Heaven's Cry had me waiting for the verse to come in before I remembered it was all instrumentals.

Black Milk - Sunday's Best/Monday's Worst: Then Black came with this piece of fire right here. These two joints are insane. I can't put it any other way. The beats, the story that ties the two songs together, it just knocks. All of it. Between Synth Or Soul and Sunday's Best/Monday's Worst, I can't begin to tell you how psyched I am for for his No Poison, No Paradise dropping this October. Check Sunday's Best/Monday's Worst here

First Light - Fallacy Fantasy: Whether separately or as a unit, the Hieroglyphics crew has been laying down some serious music for a long time now. From the many manifestations of Del to Casual and everything in between, the Hiero crew continues to make music that shows why they are some of the best to do it. Pep Love and Opio as First Light are no exceptions. Pure West Coast flavor all day. Check the track Greetings and Mission for a taste of how First Light gets down, or for a guest appearance from the Hiero crew, peep the posse cut Lighters.

MidaZ The Beast - AU:  Now, I knew of MidaZ, but I really didn't know much of his work. Main reason I picked this up was because IMAKEMADBEATS did some production on the album and Mr. BEATS is a monster when it comes to production. Real talk, he is the main reason I was waiting for the album to drop. I knew if they were associated with one another, then this album would be one to get. I am glad I did get this one. Not only does IMAKEMADBEATS have production credits on MidaZ's debut but there are also tracks done by: Oh No, Paten Locke, TzariZM, and the man himself, Marco Polo. MidaZ is a monster of an emcee and this is one hell of a debut. Even though this album is technically his debut, don't think that MidaZ is a new face by any means. Any questions about his skills can be answered by the tracks Champion Of The Block, Will To Fly, or the Marco Polo produced Fire. 'Nuff said.

Swerve & SYG - Cold Winters & Warm Whiskey: I heard a track this duo this year called Don't Judge off of their mixtape Cold Winters & Warm Whiskey 2  and it made me wonder why I hadn't heard about the first Cold Winters. After some searching found and scooped up Cold Winters & Warm Whiskey. This album is definitely for those days where you and your favorite bottle are deep in thought. It's got a mellow, jazzy sound and lyrics that are easy to relate to. The track True Story  is reminiscent of A Tribe Called Quest a la Low End Theory and the track Will It All Work Out has that same type of feel. Whether they flow solo or trade rhymes over a beat, this album is definitely a chill and reflective mood setter.

k-Os - BLack On BLonde: I've been rolling with k-Os for a hot minute now. Since his debut Exit, this Canadian musician has this knack for meshing live instrumentation and old school samples over his beats, making for some really good music. BLack On BLonde, while not his best album in my opinion, is still a good run. He's got a mix of hip hop songs and songs that have a rock feel, but I hesitate to call them rock songs. If you haven't peeped his work yet then this is a good introduction to his sound. One of my favorite tracks off this album right now is Spraying My Pen with Canadian big shots Saukrates and Shad. This is definitely one of the best collaborations this year. The tracks Don't Touch and Play This Game are examples of his more rock influenced jams. His rock side may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you have a wide variety of music you listen to, you'll probably dig it.

Thundercat - Apocalypse: Real talk, I have no idea why I copped this one. Maybe it was his haircut on the cover, maybe it was the fact he called himself Thundercat. I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is this spacey R&B crooner has got the goods. The album sounds like it could have been off a B-Side soundtrack from the movie Tron. Check the track Heartbreaks + Setbacks; see what I mean? The joint Without You has this weird intro but just draws you in the more you listen. When you break down everything about this album: dude singing in falsetto, minimal spacey beats, R&B doo wop stylings, there is no reason why this album should work. But it does; very well I might add.

Blame One & J57 - Walk In The Sun: First time I heard Blame One was on the album did with Exile called  Days Chasing Days. This San Francisco cat has crazy flow so I kept checking for him. Producer J57 is of Fat Beats fame. The story goes Blame One found out Fat Beats was closing their doors and these two decided to get together and put an album out. The result is a good ol' East Coast/West Coast collaboration. J57 brings that East Coast boom bap and Blame One blesses each track lyrically. Check the tracks Circuit Overload and The Movement to hear how good these two vibe off each other. This is some of that "catch a whiplash from nodding your head" type music. And if you can't catch a feeling off of the track How Much Time's Left, then you might just need an intervention.

Sunspot Jonz  & BOAC - Skywalkers: This album is one hell of a fun album. It is also another best release to drop this year. Now, while I have no clue who BOAC is as a producer, I took a chance on him because Living Legend Sunspot Jonz had his whole album produced by him. After listening to Skywalkers, I will be checking for more of his production. Whether it's the upbeat Smiling, the stoner anthem We High or the party starting Go, BOAC flexed a wide range of styles. Sunspot, as usual, was able to get on the beats and just put down what felt. The album isn't short either, clocking in at 21 tracks, 19 of them being actual songs. Granted, the album does ply a little long but whatever, it is going to take a while to get bored with this album.

     And there it is. I know it's a lot and like I said, I'm pretty sure that quite a few of these aren't new to all of you. But if you ran across something you missed or you are looking for something you haven't heard yet, then hopefully this steers you in a good direction. While I have no clue where in the world I'll be, please believe you will always find me on Best In The Mix. Until next time. One.

~Irish Ninja


19 September 2013

REVIEW: Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady

Janelle Monae. Cindi Mayweather, the Archandroid from Metropolis. And now, The Electric Lady.

Artists who challenge the status-quo are often met with criticism and skepticism. Female artists who choose not to over-sexualize their image to avoid compromising the quality of their music are typically overlooked. So how does the soulful, yet ecclectic Janelle Monae manage to not only stay afloat in a watered-down industry, but far exceed expectations with her sophomore effort "The Electric Lady?" For one, she is a smart businesswoman. Even though she is technically signed to Bad Boy Records, she is able to maintain creative control of her entire brand. It would be rude to say she is just using Sean Combs for his money, so for the sake of being politically correct, it's probably safer to call it a business partnership.

Janelle is an amazing artist and her growth is only aided by the choice selection of influences and mentors she surrounds herself with. Throughout her young career she has befriended several well established artists and legends such as Big Boi, Cee-Lo Green, Erykah Badu, and Prince (the latter two of whom are featured on The Electric Lady) who have helped mentor and nurture her growth while she embarks on a journey that few from this planet can even grasp. Her style of music across her EPs and studio albums have been nothing short of masterpieces. To the laymen, she crafts stories around individualism and the freedom of expression in a world of conforming to social norms.

The Electric Lady, Monae's second studio album, is a mash-up of Soul, Rock, R&B, Jazz, and Hip-hop. There is no way to lump her music within a single genre, because that would be going against what she stands for as an artist. With songs like "It's Code," you hear glimpses of Jackson 5 era Michael Jackson. You also can see Prince's influence with songs like "Primetime," a duet with Miguel. Her albums also have a distinct cohesiveness and flow to them from track to track that is rarely found in moden day music. The journey she takes you on throughout this 19 track effort are virtually flawless. You will be hard pressed to find an album of this length that is consistently fantastic from beginning to end. An absolutely stellar effort. One that, in due time, has the potential to be praised and immortalized among the greatest albums of all time.

Any true lover of music would be doing themselves a disservice to not own this album.
Let us know your thoughts here or hit us up on twitter


18 September 2013

Music: Nipsey Hussle x Dom Kennedy - Checc Me Out

The West Coast is still creating heat in the music industry. Yesterday Nipsey Hussle released his first track "Checc Me Out" featuring Dom Kennedy off of his upcoming mixtape Crenshaw, on Power 106LA radio. Fans like myself and many others have been starving for a new project from the Los Angeles street legend. Nipsey has been dropping bombs like "Respect ya passion," "Smokin With My Stylist," "Face The World," "Blessings," "All Get Right," and "Change Nothing" all throughout the summer. He has made it public that he has a mixtape and an album coming out. The mixtape as previously stated is titled Crenshaw, and the album is titled Victory Lap. Also on the radio show Dom Kennedy, another West Coast rapper that fully has my cosign and who has made frequent appearances on BITM, recently disclosed to the Hip-Hop/rap world that his album Get Home Safely will be dropping on October 8 along with Nipsey's mixtape. Be on the lookout for these artists on BITM. Check out the collab..

17 September 2013

Operation Sedgwick and MK Ultra

I don't know how legit this video or its claims are, but here you go.

This is Robert Connors, ex DOD operative (20+ years) and Iran and Vietnam vet. On March 1994, Mr.Connors was the Director of Communications for the project Operation Sedgwick (formed by President Reagan in 1989). This was stage two of a main project, MK Ultra: "it's focus and sole purpose was the control of the African American population, and urban youth, through music." He then claims to have multiple classified video and audio recordings which he was ordered to destroy. These include information about the Tupac Shakur murder. Connors ends the video with an ultimatum: "I am giving the DOD until Monday, September 23rd to do the right thing and disclose this information. If they do not, I will release these tapes to the media outlets and into public domain via YouTube." Once his speech is done he plays an alleged conversation between Michael Jackson and a friend before his untimely death.

I've heard/read similar conspiracy theories in the last couple of years. They sometimes involve the government, but they mostly coincide with the theme of Hip-Hop being used as a tool for subjugation and propaganda. The premise is primarily of shadowy entities who have infiltrated Hip-Hop and managed to use the medium to manipulate the culture. As crazy as it sounds, some conspiracies have foundations in factual events. When Pac died, there was a lot of "the government assassinated him" talk. Same with Biggie. If you look at Pac, his movements were very conscience and introspective. Once he realized the power of this words, he started to make sure they counted. Hip-Hop has become a multi-million dollar global business, man. First you get the money, then you get the power, then you are able to control a generation. It is easy to see the influence Hip-Hop has, especially on the youth (please stop saggin skinny jeans..just stop). The airways are filled with homogeneous noise with the same hypnotic message: pop bottles, smash models, take that take that take that. Dudes are trying to do their best "I'm a thug rapper trapper" pose on Facebook, girls are twerking so much they damn near catching on fire (yes..I know it was fake) or shocking the world because they did it on MTV. Don't even want to start on BET. So like I said, maybe Connors is crazy/faking, but the theories are not.

As I mentioned, we at BITM can not validate this video or the claims made by Robert Connors. But I guess we will know if he is the real deal this Monday (23rd). Stay tuned and we will keep uall updated. Leave comments below, definitely want to know what the Hip-Hop nation thinks.

REVIEW: Drake - Nothing Was The Same

It's Junior year this time around for this rapper/MC/Singer. Started from Degrassi now the boy is here. Young Money's most marketable artist, Drake is days away from releasing his third LP, Nothing Was The Same (NWTS). The heavily anticipated and anxiously awaited album is greatly appreciated, already. Unfortunately, the album leaked: like many other artists' projects are doing for numerous amounts of reasons. Regardless of leaks, the most important thing is that we have more undoubtedly good music from an artist who (almost) never disappoints his fans.

The first track "Tuscan Leather" is a very arrogant track. This track has three different tempos but based off the same instrumental. Drizzy at this point in his career knows he is THE shit and reminds these others rappers that he is on top right now. You can envision the celebration of the success of Drake and his OVO team from his last release "Take  Care," and other song features that has his whole camp flourishing in the luxuries of life. The second and third parts of the song switches up the beat but still has a little of the same sample. Drake is still conveying the same message as far as success, but he's doing so on a more personal and intimate level: speaking on some of the things that he has done and achieved.

Track 7 is "From Time" featuring Jhene Aiko and this is yet another track that the Toronto prophet shows his progression in honing his craft. Drake takes listeners on a trip to his past and speaks about his real life experiences both recently and long ago with his father and past women in his life, but his ability to ride this harmonic beat and his rhyme scheme is what brought me to enjoy this joint.

The best track on the whole album is "Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2" (strictly speaking about "Pound Cake" though) featuring none other than the GOAT Jay Z. Drake's verses are nice however, it was completely overshadowed by Hov's. Jay comes in so disrespectfully with, "I had Benzes 'fore you had braces/ The all black Maybach but I'm not a racist/ Inside's whiter than Katy Perry's face is/ Yellow Diamonds in my Jesús/ I just might learn to speak Mandarin/ Japanese for the yen that I'm handling…" Jay did not just stop there he gets bold and slightly addresses Beanie Siegel (due to the fact that Beanz threw shade on Hov last year in an interview). Jay rebuttals, "I've done made more millionaires than the lotto did/ Dame made millions, Bigg made millions, Ye made millions, Just made millions, Lyor made millions, Cam made millions/ Beans tell you if he wasn't in his feelings…" With another legendary collaboration like the one on Thank Me Later, NWTS not only meets its predecessor, it vastly surpasses it.

The main thing that I do not like on this album is the track "Wu-Tang Forever." The track is one of those slow sentimental songs that Drake so frequently makes. He does rap on it a little but it's not enough. I think the main thing that I have that conflicts with the song is that it has "Wu-Tang" in the title. You can't make a song with this legendary group in the title and make it a soft track, that's just disrespectful. I guess that's Aubrey's steez though.

The production and effort put into this album is definitely easy to hear. For Drake's third album you can tell of how much he has progressed through time. He might not be that 'Mixtape Drake' that he once was (as we can say about plenty of artists regarding their mixtape content & style vs. album content & style), but I think he grew and became something far better. I think this album is another great body of work from Drake especially with me being a fan. Drake made tracks for everybody to vibe to, including his altar R&B singing ego for the ladies. NWTS has a few features on it in which all are enjoyable: Jay Z, Jhene Aiko, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Majid Jordan and Detail all make cameos on this album. Of the three albums he has released, this is definitely the best one and I highly recommend that copping it. 

Twitter: @_KJTheGreat
E-mail: Kjohnsonk14@gmail.com

Music: Pusha T feat. Kendrick Lamar NoseTalgia

BARS!!!!! Pusha T released a single featuring Kendrick Lamar, from his album "My Name Is My Name," which will be released on October 8th. The track is nothing but fire from start to finish. Pusha comes with his drug dealer flow that is just as raw as it always has been. But yet again, Kendrick BODIED someone else on their own track. K.Dot is clearly staying true to his verse on Big Sean's "Control" and is really looking to murder these n-ggas. For me, this tops the very controversial verse that Kendrick made just a few weeks ago.

Twitter: @_KJTheGreat

16 September 2013

REVIEW: The Underachievers - The Lords of Flatbush

Beast Coast! Is the title of the movement of the east coast MC’s who are attempting to bring that 80’s and 90’s New York sound back to the hip-hop/rap game. A newer rap duo emerged not too long ago from the Brooklyn area. The Underachievers (UA) are linked up with Pro Era, A$AP Mob and Flatbush Zombies as the heads of the movement. Their last mixtape, “Indigoism” was a very solid piece of work with a lot of hot tracks. The UA have their own style that they bring to the Beast Coast movement so nothing gets repetitive within these three groups. UA sound is very dark and ominous with gritty lyrics to lay over their beats. The Lords of Flatbush is an 8 track mixtape with up tempo tracks and fast flows to match.

As far as lyrics go, there aren't much profound, spiritual, triple entendres like Joey Bada$$ and that Pro Era crew, just punch lines and pound for pound bars. Dash and AK are simply concerned with bodying beats in the simplest way. By far the best songs on here are “Cold Crush” and “Melody of the free.” There isn't much to listen to and the tracks are short but it is still something to hold UA fans off for a while. 

This is a cool tape to jam to for an upcoming group. I think they have something to bring to the table especially with them being a part of the Beast Coast movement. I think these Dash and AK still have room to grow as artists. I think "Indigoism" was better than "Lords of FLatbush." There was more diversity in the tracks from lyrics to the instrumentals. The younger generation would definitely be able to vibe to UA more than the older generation. If you want to try some new artists out, this would be the way to go. Let us know what you think. Ra'z out...

Twitter: @_KJTheGreat
E-mail: Kjohnsonk14@gmail.com

REVIEW: Meek Mill - "Ooh Kill Em"

Not many of the Kendrick Lamar "Control" responses have done anything for me. I haven't heard them all because they started to saturate my internets but a few of them stood out. Papoose, for example. Well, just when the hype started to die down, one unnamed artist had something to say about it all, and say something he did! Meek Mill with "Ooh Kill Em!"

Now, before you get confused, this isn't actually a "Control" response. Supposedly K. Dot had some things to say about the "Levels" artist while in New York recently and Meek wasn't going to take the words lying down. Let us know what you think. The Niftian, out...

Find us on Twitter: @BestInTheMix

11 September 2013

Review: Goodie Mob, Age Against The Machine

Ok, so Goodie Mob has just released their latest effort, Age Against The Machine, and I have to admit that I had mixed feelings going into this one. Without pointing fingers or name dropping, there have been a few hip hop groups lately that have returned after a long hiatus and solo ventures but could not either recreate what they had or successfully progress forward to a new sound.

So this is how it went down.

Overall, the album is….okay. While the album unfortunately does not mark the triumphant return of Goodie Mob, it definitely has moments that remind us of how good the Mob is and reminds us about the path that Dungeon Family laid out for a lot of southern rap around today.

The biggest hurdle the album has overcoming is a consistent lack of balance throughout. While their message in the music remains, the selections of beats chosen to go with their lyrics are hit or miss. From: overproduction on songs like State of the Art (Radio Killa) and Come As You Are, to experimentation with sounds newer to them on tracks like Valleujahto songs like Power and Ghost of Gloria Goodchild which sound more like Cee-lo Green’s solo efforts than a  Goodie album, this album never really finds its footing among the different directions the album goes.

For all these issues Age Against The Machine has, there are few bright moments that give us a taste of what Goodie Mob can do in their element. The tracks Kolors and Understanding have that balance the album struggles to maintain. The music does not outshine the emcees, everyone gets some shine time, and the songs don’t sound forced at all. Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying these two songs are the only dope tracks on the album. What I am saying is these two songs are very reminiscent of what Goodie Mob was doing when they were creeping through the window.

This album was a bold move for Goodie Mob. The thing about bold moves is that they are usually a swing for the fences, something of an all or nothing attempt. Goodie definitely took some risks with this album and while admirable, they just didn’t hit the mark with any consistency. There are even time where you might wonder if the album should be called Cee-lGreen and the Goodie Mob.

In theory, the return of Goodie Mob was to be awesome. After all the time on separate ventures, such as Cee-lo’s solo career and Khujo teaming up with Jneiro Jarel, this album would have been a reminder to people that Goodie had their own place in southern rap. Instead, Age Against The Machine comes off as a mediocre album at best.

-Irish Ninja