kanye west

Kanye West – No More Parties in LA

Someone track down his cousin: Any fan of Kanye knows his muse works in fits and starts, and his output can be as erratic as a mood swing. Choosing to follow the dour “Real Friends” with “No More Parties in L.A.” is yet another exercise in extremes, which suits him just fine: a self-described “38-year-old 8-year old,” Ye chases after what’s motivating him no matter how eccentric the inspiration. Here he mentions “I was uninspired since Lauryn Hill retired” and “I know some fans who thought I wouldn’t rap like this again” in the same way he delivers a hilarious anecdote about an assistant crashing his matted Maybach. He also references his memorable line from The College Dropout’s “Breathe in Breathe Out”—“first nigga with a Benz and a backpack”—with “a backpack nigga with luxury taste buds,” a great callback to how ably Ye can so easily identify with two different class of rappers.  Kanye still resonates after all these years by pulling you into his story, with vivid images about texting and driving and André 3000's extended hiatus next to a line about “whole family getting money, thank god for E!” That ability to connect to listeners is what sells us on the problems and lifestyles of the very, very rich, to the extent where no matter how ridiculous some of his lines are (“any rumor you heard about me was true and legendary”) it feels like something we can relate to. Which is, of course, patently absurd. And the fact that a six-minute song with a monster Kendrick verse and a painterly Madlib beat goes by in the blink of an eye reinforces how revitalized Kanye is after a spotty 2015, dropping these songs weekly (although this one was three days late) as if to prove he can still do it. Between “Real Friends” and this song is an air of the unfiltered rawness of “old Kanye” that makes you wonder if Swish will be as off-the-cuff, and, frankly, charming. We’re in for a doozy if it is.  View More Kanye West – No More Parties in LA
future

Future – Inside the Mattress

The mattress is a canvas. For most of Future's career, vacuum-sealed packages and hastily-stuffed fistfuls of money have played on a continuous loop, while sex, love, and heartbreak take the foreground. (He hasn’t merged the bed’s many uses the way Havoc did with “Blow you off the atlas as if I caught you fucking my wife on my thousand dollar mattress,” but really, who has?) On “Inside the Mattress,” from his surprise mixtape Purple Reign, Future starts to mesh the personal and the less-than-legal, before breaking fully into a confession. The song is produced by Nard & B, the Atlanta duo who have crafted some of Future’s greatest bloodlettings: “You Deserve It,” “Throw Away,” “News or Somthn.” It’s anchored by a line in the second verse: “Hit another city, and another city, I was just grooving/ I was trying to tell you I was losing/ I was gon’ tell you I’m improving.” That was the subtext of the run that started with 2014's Monster and peaked last summer with Dirty Sprite 2—a cry for help under a whole lot of vitriol. Later in “Mattress,” Future peels that cover away. “I never told the world about you,” he raps, admitting he would rather hole up in hotels than hit award shows. And the qualifier on all the depressive talk is a curious one. At first pass, “I wake up and do it way better tomorrow” sounds like a self-improvement mantra, but there’s no “try” or “hope” in there, just a mechanical upward spiral that hasn’t stopped, no matter the things that keep him up at night. View More Future – Inside the Mattress
dizzy wright

Dizzy Wright – Work A Lil Harder

Work A Lil Harder is a good production from La'Reonte Wright (born November 26, 1990), who is an American rapper better known by his stage name Dizzy Wright. In December 2011 he signed to rapper Hopsin's independent record label Funk Volume. After signing he released his debut studio album SmokeOut Conversations in April 2012. He followed that with The First Agreement in December of that year, and then a mixtape The Golden Age in August 2013. Following touring with Hopsin in early 2014, Dizzy Wright released State of Mind, an EP that would peak at number 54 on the Billboard 200. View More Dizzy Wright – Work A Lil Harder
kevin gates

Kevin Gates: Jam [ft. Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jamie Foxx]

It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. For most couples, that means frantically trying to construct a playlist of Jamie Foxx videos on YouTube. Well, worry no more—Kevin Gates has you covered. “Jam,” a bonus track from the Baton Rouge rapper’s just-released Islah, is set in motion by Foxx’s half-smirking, half-all-too-real opening skit, lifted from a 2002 comedy special. The conceit isn’t unlike his turn on Kanye West’s “Slow Jamz”: crooning about crooning, sultry singing about the great love songs. Foxx tells you to take the phone and “hold it up to the speakers and you let Luther do your talking for you.” Of course, this is Gates, so instead of “If Only for One Night” we get, “Spit all in between both cheeks/ Now I spread ‘em.” Where the rest of Islah is completely devoid of features, Gates and Foxx are joined here by Trey Songz and Ty Dolla $ign in a bout of Atlantic Records Matchmaker. The “4:30 a.m.” star writes about sex with the same unsettled specificity he gives to murder scenes and trap houses, to the point where we all learn a bit too much about his tongue strategies. But for the most part, it’s too smooth to matter. View More Kevin Gates: Jam [ft. Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jamie Foxx]
Baybee

Matti Baybee – Mulaism

Capitalism? Nah. Socialism? Never. Mulaism? INDEED! Yes, today Matti ushers in a new way to live. A new way to go about life. A new political system. Yes, Mulaism is upon us, just in time for Matti’s 18th birthday, which is today. Celebrate Matti’s official man day with these 10 new tracks, all produced by ISM Beats. Ain’t nothin’ more important than the mula — and find out why below. View More Matti Baybee – Mulaism
doughboy freddy k

Doughboy Freddy K – Bag Drop

Directed by CT FilmsThis is too smooth. Yes, the BYLUG repper, Doughboy Freddy, has delivered yet another solid offering — this one he’s calling “Bag Drop.” Frequent readers of the site know my devout love for the #DBCORN posse, and this is exactly how I like my DBC. Grade A shit-talking over the classic soul samples. They can’t lose with that formula, and they hit pay dirt yet again.Keep an eye on Freddy, he’s been on a roll lately. Check the bag below. View More Doughboy Freddy K – Bag Drop
big quis

Big Quis – Off Me

Directed by Jerry ProductionSomething short, sweet and potent from the honorable Big Quis. He shuts your whole operation down in less than two minutes on this one. Simple as that.The best news of the night? Quis is planning to release My Turn 2 later this year. We’ve been patient, and it’ll be here soon enough. Put it on your mental calendar. View More Big Quis – Off Me