Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 8)

And, just like that, I have returned.

Onto the songs.

Rich Homie Quan – Money Fold

 

At one point in my life, I was a RHQ stan. You can say it was due to RICH GANGGGGG running my life at the time or something else, but the guy was talented. He had a weird stretch where I just wasn’t feeling him, but 2017’s Back To The Basics is a nice comeback play. “Money Fold” reminds me of a previous song of his (“Real”) but it’s also good in its own right. Any song where Quan can kick it off with some outrageous shit (“I GOT ME LIKE….FIFTEEN HOES!!!) is gonna get me on board. The keys and the overall boisterousness of the beat harkens back to a looser, more confident Quan; back when things were all good between him and Young Thug.

The Boy Illinois – Dancing Like Diddy

 

I’ve known Illi for a long time now, thanks to Twitter and Niketalk (tap tap pull for my real ones). He’s always been talented and had a feel for making catchy music while still making it very clear he can rap. “Dancing Like Diddy” is no exception. The song is fun as hell, that looped vocal sample and Illi’s energy really make it an enjoyable listen. You can also tell he’s acutally going to dance in the video. He just signed to Priority Records, so you will certainly see and hear more of his work.

Gunna – Another Wave (ft. Duke and Shad Da God)

 

The first time I heard Gunna rap was on “Floyd Mayweather,” the song off of Young Thug’s Jeffery that was fire when it didn’t have Travis Scott yodeling on it. He really stood out, and didn’t sound ridiculous rapping next to Thug at all. I checked out his most recent tape Drip Season 2 this week, and its not bad at all. “Another Wave” sticks out to me; beat is great and Duke and Gunna have excellent chemistry. It’s just a good (semi) posse cut; “I just want some knees!” makes me laugh every time. The beat sounding like a Sonic The Hedgehog level with 808s seals the deal.

A.Chal – Perdóname

 

I interviewed A.CHAL about a year ago and have been a big fan since. His music is unique, he blends his Peruvian heritage/spiritual growth into his work; managing to stand out in the glut of moody alt-R&B singers is tough, but he has done it. “Perdóname” means “forgive me” in Spanish, so you can guess what the song is about. It’s a very syrupy, pained take on not having the same goals as a woman in your life. From the first verse, he expresses remorse over things falling apart because she wants more than he can give. By the second verse, he’s spinning out of control over the prospect of losing her. Dating is tough; no matter how smooth you are, your emotions will get tied up at some point. Check out A.CHAL’s latest project, ON GAZ.

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Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 7)

I know, I know, it’s been a long time. *WEAK ASS EXCUSE HERE*. Onward to the jams.

Travis Mendes – How Close (Closure Edit)

 

Travis is a singer-songwriter, most recently known for his work within Jon Bellion’s band/collective. I also, went to elementary school with Travis! Seeing him on the road with Jon, and becoming more of a success by the day is a real inspiration. Travis recently dropped an EP of his own (“Closure”) and this is surely my favorite song on it. How Close is about the familiar feeling of knowing someone is perfect for you, but feeling that urge to pull away. Being wrapped up in them is inevitable; Travis captures that emotion perfectly here.

Bricc Baby ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Kid Ink – Lie 2 Kick It

 

This is pure ignorance. Dolla $iiiggggnnn kicks it off with a smooth body shaming/”you BROKE and wear fake clothes” combo and Bricc Baby accuses you of not letting your gun off, for starters. The beat is Mustard at his most menacing in years, and dare I say it, Kid Ink kinda snapped (#KidInkTrutherGang, more on this later). The minute I heard this song, I KNEW. I just KNEW. I feel like Mustard over-saturated rap with his sound; he definitely benefitted from laying low a little bit. I’ve listened to this song every day since I stumbled across it, because I enjoy shit that sounds like an unsafe neighborhood in California.

VanJess – Adore

 

Adore describes a perfect night of sex and related filth, from a woman’s perspective.  A really sultry rnb song, thats just perfect for this time of the year. Their voices are perfect for the subject matter, and there’s some quality lyricism, hinting at roleplay and rough sex, without hitting you over the head with it. There’s magic in a little subtlety.

PNB Rock ft. Fetty Wap – Spend The Night

 

I decided to check out the Fetty Wap & PNB Rock collab tape that dropped this week (Money, Hoes & Flows) and its a pretty fun listen; they have really good chemistry and seem to enjoy working with each other. “Spend The Night” is an overture to convince that special girl to stay over and let you slap your meat off inside her. I swear half of the hook is inaudible, but Fetty’s melody game is ridiculous, as always. The production also sounds like riding a carousel on Mars, perfectly tying Fetty’s off kilter singing and PNB Rock’s abrasive lyrics together perfectly.

Kid Ink ft. Jeremih & Spice – Nasty

 

First off, shoutout to my man David Drake. He put me on via his monthly column. I LOVE THIS SONG. It has everything I look for in fun ass songs: filth, steelpans, a simple hook that can be yelled while drunk, and extreme catchiness. I can’t wait to embarrass myself to this after Dark And Stormy number 4. I am also a Kid Ink truther, it’s not lost on me that he always finds a way to get to a hit….and he’s done it again. I listen to this song every day, and I am not exaggerating. This is a super fun, dancehall-tinged (ok it’s an American ass take on dancehall that gets away with it via Spice’s involvement) song that should definitely light the summer up.

Maxwell – The Fall

 

I grew up on Maxwell. My mother loved (and still loves) him; his music has always ben a special, nostalgic thing for me. As he has matured in his subject matter, I’ve grown as a man. What gets me most about him is his vulnerability, his unwavering commitment to singing about his difficulties. The Fall is about the interplay of feeling like someone loves you when they are with you, but not knowing where you stand when they aren’t. While being aware of the inconsistency of things, you’re also waiting for the other shoe to drop, for things to “Fall” apart. I’ve been there, it’s real, it’s very real. The song is just extremely well written and the fullness of the percussion is incredible; I have to see this live.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 6)

 

 

 

WASSUP, DOE???????

I had a grand week, hope you did too. Onward to the tunes.

Skepta – Ladies Hit Squad (ft. Double E & A$AP Nast)

I watched this well done documentary about Skepta not too long ago, which really helped me understand his motivations and how serious he is about his career. I’ve been paying attention to his new output and this song/video dropped on Valentines Day.  The video is really beautiful, and the visuals match perfectly with the otherworldly feel of the song. There’s a dormant horror movie/dream sequence aspect, sonically,  which was a large part of early A$AP music. The Double E verse accurately sets the tone, but Skepta’s verse is fantastic; he’s clever, funny, and manages to catch the beat at the EXACT perfect spot. Nast’s hook is really good, and is extremely hard to forget. I want him to re-record the hook with more energy/clarity, but it really may be perfect this way.

 

Nyemiah Supreme – Clickin

 

I’ve been a fan of Nyemiah’s for a while. Her older music had an edge that I feel she lacked in recent times; on her new project ALPHA, that aggression has returned. She really sounds clear and refreshed, her self-esteem is through the roof. On “Clickin”, its good ol’ rap braggadocio that we don’t hear from women enough. It’s just fly as hell, from the Japanese influence, the falling keys to Nyemiah’s perfect rap voice. Made me wanna hop on a flight and flex for no reason whatsoever; good songs produce action. And she’s from Queens!!!

Rome Fortune – Love

 

Rome has been making music for quite some time now, and is currently reinventing himself. I wasn’t really into the music he made as he got to this point, but I think he’s really found himself now. Rome sounds very comfortable rapping (and singing!) over a beat that sounds like a party in Ibiza got teleported to Atlanta. He mentions some pretty heavy things, such as his financial situation, supporting his children, and thoughts of suicide. Overall, the song is passionate and very sincere, which will always matter to me.

 

Jane Handcock – LA Nigga

 

I stumbled across this song because an RnB blog tweeted her tape Truth Be Told. Jane is a well-decorated songwriter who decided to release a project of her own. “LA Nigga” is a story of her struggles with a current lover, when things were once great. While things arent going well, she still acknowledges that she’d rather be with this person more than anyone else. Jane is literally pleading with herself, as she tries to reassure the man in her life that he’s the one, and also convince herself that she can’t help but stay. The rawness of Jane’s voice really sells the song; you can feel the doubt and vulnerability in every word. The production wails and creeps in the night, turning the feeling of trying to hold it all together into sound. I’m really enamored with this, and interested in Jane’s future.

Azealia Banks – The Big Big Beat

 

Yes, #MyProblematicBae has done it again.Azealia says a lot of toxic shit on Twitter and is rather out of control offline, but this music shit is definitely her calling. “The Big Big Beat” marks Azealia going right back to her house roots, except she’s vocally better now, and just as slick of a rapper as ever. The song just soars, it feels like a 90s house era that I was much too young to be involved in. The production is incredible (as always); Azealia’s ear is CRAZY, and pretty much always has been. I really want 2016 to be the year that Azealia just works and doesn’t say (too much) crazy shit, but I now understand that’s just part of the package. Her antics become increasingly difficult to look past, but the music is great. What’s a guy to do?

 

 

 

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 5)

Hellooooooooooo buddies.

Hope all is well. Strongly considering doing this every week and dropping it on the same day every week (Thursday is likely).

Onto the SONGS.

Rich The Kid – Who Dab Is That Ft. Migos & SKIPPA!!!!

 

I was openly opposed to listening to a tape called “Dabbin Fever”, because I’m pretty sure I’m dabbed out. Alas, we are here. This tape has a couple tunes on it and Rich is becoming a better rapper before our very eyes. This is pretty much a QC posse cut, with everyone going to work. Migos have made a TON of songs where they complain about wanting credit for dabbing (ugh) but this one is PRETTY damn good. Offset opens it (and he really hasn’t lost a step since he’s been free) but Takeoff is the star Migo of this one. Rich and Takeoff close the song off perfectly. See what happens when you channel your anger over your dance getting stolen into something productive???
 

SIDENOTE: Skippa is probably the best dabber in the universe.

 

Nef The Pharoah ft. Philthy Rich – #Saydaat

 

Nef has certainly been on my weekly list before, and he worked his way back there again. #Saydaat really sounds like Bay rap finding a sort of middle ground; the shit is hard (and very accessible) regardless of where you’re from. Nef is doing very interesting things with a distinctly regional sound that is pushing him higher and higher by the week. I love this song, I love the beat, I love Philthy Rich’s feature voice. Nef has a huge 2016 ahead, and I don’t ever have to have been to Vallejo to know that.

 

Jacquees – Hot Girl

 

Jacquees’ latest tape Mood is VERY good. Picking one song was a difficult choice, as I would’ve been comfortable picking nearly any thing on the project. Jacquees’ tone is interesting as always, the lyrics are very fun. He’s really got a young guy’s perspective to women, it feels natural and isn’t really overly graphic (well most of the time). The hook also passes the public singing test: I was singing the entire HELL out of it while I was waiting for the A train last weekend. GIRL SAY MY NAME I AINT JUST ANYBODDDAAYYYYY.

 

2 Chainz – Not Invited

 

I’ve been a 2 Chainz stan for a long time, now. He always finds a way to keep himself fresh, and usually has at least one tape a year that really impresses. Feel Like Cappin is that tape, so far. Not Invited is really simple: 2 Chainz’ girls are fine, yours are lackluster and can’t attend his party. While all of the praising of #foreigns and #exotics is kinda problematic, it is what it is, the shit is smooth. Btw, I highly recommend clicking play on every 2016 TM88 beat you come across. He is a contender for the best beat on a 6 song tape with Zaytoven, Cardo, Mike Will and Timbaland on it. Craziness.  The end of the song is also pretty hard too, 2 Chainz traphouse descriptors are second to none.

 

Travis Porter – 187

 

I appreciate Travis Porter’s growth/slight change of direction, musically. Ali is definitely a better rapper now, Strap is as raw as ever, Quez holds it all together. But I also remember peak Travis Porter; when if they came on at a party, it turned into a SEA OF ROTATING BUTTS. 187 is bringing the rotating butt back. Its cold and miserable in NYC; this song makes me happy, makes me imagine warmer temps and better times. This is pure “locate the finest girl in here” music, like undergrad is back (SHOUTOUT TO 2008!). If this song doesn’t snake its way into parties up this summer, I will be rather disappointed!

 

GoldLink – Late Night (ft. Masego) & Chaz French Ft. GoldLink – Ready

 

These two songs are permanently tied together for me, because they LITERALLY happened to me, nearly verbatim, with the same girl.

Long story short, Late Night is a story about admitting you have other women that you entertain, but liking one girl more than the rest of the field. It’s just passionate and heartfelt, and real. The first time I heard this song, my stomach turned. I was literally coming home from her apartment and thought “this whole thing is going to end so poorly”. Not because I didn’t clearly lay out that I didn’t want to be exclusive yet (because I did, quite plainly, more than once), but because I knew behind that smile of hers, there was a sense of dread. Anytime you’re dating someone, there’s a chance they could up and leave you. She was aware, and I think it was something bubbling under the surface that she refused to confront. I felt the change in the waters, and bought it up to her.

Ready has Chaz and GoldLink trying to keep a woman around who can no longer tolerate whatever it is they currently have. She eventually told me she didn’t feel comfortable dating me because I had other women, which I respected. I didn’t fight, I didn’t argue, I don’t do shit like that. GoldLink talks about the girl in question basically ignoring when he says how much he cares, the belief that he has a bunch of women (but lets be honest, when a girl really likes you, one more girl is too many), her friends trying to tell her he wasn’t shit; ALL OF THIS HAPPENED. Chaz tries to play the middle and hope things work out while knowing that the situation would eventually go toxic; which is also a stage I went through. She tried to “un-dump” me twice, I wouldn’t go along with it, and now we’re done, as of 5 weeks ago. I’m at peace with it. The best choice isn’t always painless, but it is freeing. I wasn’t going to be ready in a timely fashion, and we both knew it.

 

 

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 4)

Happy new year and all that there. Hopefully your 2016 is going swell. ONTO THE TUNES!!

 

Ye Ali – Ring 4x

 

I’ve known of Ye Ali for quite some time now, first due to this song. I saw Ring 4x (aka RING RING RING RIIIIINGGGGG) all over my TL for the past two weeks or so, but I didn’t actually listen until I saw it reposted on Soundcloud timeline. Vocally, he sounds derivative of #SomeGuyFromSaugaCity here, but I cannot deny this tune.  The tempo and the subject matter are in complete synchrony. There are plenty of songs about women blowing up your line; this is an extremely catchy one. The hook is pretty much perfect and the song as a whole would make the lamest of lames feel like a ladies man.

 

Freddie Gibbs – Hot Boys

 

Pretty sure I was speechless off first listen. Had no idea what to expect, and got my head blown clean off. Pretty much Gibbs bringing the “Packages” flow back to life over one of the CRAZIEST beats he has rapped on in his entire career.  He is legit rapping over some goddamn late 90s RPG flute with 808s under it. Shit prolly shorted my headphones. Help.

 

Your Old Droog – Basketball & Seinfeld

 

First off, shout out to @NicholeGunz for retweeting this onto my timeline.

Now, I have never really been into Droog, I believe I got into a mini argument with him way back about that “IS HE NAS????” controversy (people had full blown “HE IS NASIR JONES” conspiracy theories, holy shit). HOWEVER, the guy can rap. He kills this song, which chops elements of the Seinfeld beat into a slick 80s jam. I barely watched Seinfeld, but all of the references I understood were great, the beat is fantastic, Droog’s obscure NBA player game is way up….everything is good. The very idea of the song is very cool, and the execution is even better.

 

K Camp – WCW

 

As you may know, I will pretty much listen to anything K Camp is tied to. He recently dropped K.I.S.S. 3, which is pretty good (and short, which I appreciate). WCW tiptoes between appreciating the woman you’re with and also just wanting sex from her (which isn’t exactly mutually exclusive). It sounds like a sweet love song but it isn’t. K Camp is spending whatever to put a smile on her face, and I support that.

 

Lil Uzi Vert – Enemies

 

I was avoiding Lil Uzi for a while because….. Imma come clean………I hate his name. Between that and that he reminds me of a couple guys who already exist, made me steer clear. His name kept popping up, so I gave Luv is Rage a shot.

I love this damn tape! He’s a better rapper than I originally gave him credit for and the tape is excellently produced. Enemies is a quickly paced and boisterous trap song about brushing off those against you. The production is attention grabbing to the point that it really does work me up into a good angry froth, as I think about people I hate. Songs that speak to the worst parts of my personality always win with me. Uzi’s use of empty space between the hook and verses is excellent; it really sends the emotion of the song home. It’s not a dark song about dwelling on the opposition; its more about why they don’t matter.

 

Kodak Black – Like Dat

 

I’ve kept an eye on Kodak’s output from afar over the last 5-6 months or so. Once he put out a full project after he got really popular (Institution, which I recommend), I jumped all over it. Like Dat has a really hypnotic hook, the beat is nuts (CHIMES!!!), and the flow he chose just fits perfectly. I also feel that Kodak has an excellent rap voice; the very overt grit of it with the sparkle of this beat are a match made in heaven. I also am extremely amused by “THATS A BORING CAR!!!!!!”.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 3)

Hi! Hope all is well. The year is almost over with, so make sure you try to flirt with that person  who ignored you the other 11 months. Go out with a *puts on sunglasses* BANG. ONWARD TO THE MUSIC.

Robb Bank$ – Griffith

 

Bank$ up and decided to let 3 new songs free on Black Friday. Griffith may honestly be the standout. Typical fare from him, aggressive raps over a beat that sounds like a circus nightmare. Just a fun song to listen to. There’s also a VERY TASTELESS stretch on here from1:37-1:41. I gave you a heads up; this probably made you want to listen even more than you did before.

Kelela – All The Way Down

This song came out 2 months ago, on Kelela’s excellent EP Hallucinogen. She’s made a lot of really, really good songs but this one…is the ONE. All The Way Down is evidently about dating someone younger and the emotion of being wrapped up in that. Even if you aren’t aware of that, the All The Way Down is just…beautiful. Its the feeling of being completely swept up in someone’s very being, turned into audio. I’ve listened to this song nearly every day since I became aware of how good it is. Lyrically, its up there. Sonically, its incredible. I really think it’s her best song yet.

Curren$y – Superstar (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

I think this is the song Spitta always wanted to make. Superstar is the major label version of his entire aesthetic: smooth, hazy tunes. For what it is, this is really a “song for the ladies” that is simply par for the course on rap albums. This one however, is very well done. The beat (that bass guitar..whew!) and hook are perfect, Spitta lays out the imagery perfectly, then Dolla $iiiggggnnnn slides in to tell you he’s going to relieve you of your girlfriend and bone her. Stuff like this is exactly what I want from Curren$y and I’m happy to see him get to this point.

Freddie Gibbs – McDuck (ft. Dana Williams)

This was extremely difficult for me.

There are SO many good songs on Shadow Of A Doubt. The first 6 songs are absolutely incredible.

I picked McDuck, a relatively underrated song on a quality album. First off, the keys are incredibly haunting. They also DIRECTLY remind me of the Resident Evil 2 save room keys. Now that I’ve got my bizarre yet extremely accurate comparison out of the way, back to the song. Gibbs raps about the paranoia that comes with success. He’s slowly distancing himself more and more from the street and is happier, but still has to protect himself. This very idea is approached in a really raw way, that can easily be masked by the tone of the song. Dana Williams is literally otherworldly on the hook. The song is really a treat, on an album full of them.

Jacquees – Ms Kathy (Make Up)

I saw Jacquees perform earlier this week. While i felt his presence needed some work, he definitely has talent. I immediately thought “he reminds me of Tevin Campbell”, which is certainly no diss. He went through a few songs, and I kept paying attention even though these girls in the front were yelling so loudly that me and my friends were concerned. He gets to this song, Ms. Kathy (Make Up) and my ears perked up.  Ms. Kathy is about winning over a girl’s mom, because you’re rough around the edges and she’s seen your type before. I can’t relate, because all the moms love me and tell me I am #beautiful, but I can dig the sentiment. Ms Kathy isn’t bad at all, but Make Up is really the highlight for me.  On Make Up, Jacquees tells of his plans to make things right with his special lady. He accepts blame (which doesn’t happen enough in RnB) and expresses how special she is to him. I like vulnerability in songs like this; it’s here in droves. There’s something very somber and serious about this song, something that forces you take Jacquees seriously. I believe in him, and I’m glad I got to see him live.

LNDN DRUGS – Fade ft. Mitchy Slick

 

I stumbled upon LNDN DRUGS on Soundcloud. Someone reposted the entire tape onto my timeline. LNDN DRUGS are a duo composed of rapper Jay Worthy and producer Sean House. They literally make G-Funk for 2015. I clicked play and skimmed through the songs and thought “holy shit, all of the songs sound like THIS?”. I LOVE 80s inspired stuff like this, so I was in heaven. Fade is about well….fades. Inviting people to come get their ass kicked. Jay Worthy sounds like what you hear in your head when you think “laid back LA street rap”. His voice and inflections are perfect for this type of production, and hes not bad at rapping either. Mitchy Slick (who my roommate in undergrad used to force us to listen to) has a nice verse here too. Such a fun listen. The whole project (Aktive) is enjoyable, do check it out.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 2)

I took way too long to put this together.

So I had to really think hard and not put too many songs on this.

Anyways!

Key! ft. Retro Jace (Of Two 9) – No Where

First off, Jace SHREDS this shit. SHREDS. Mike Will has an eye for talent, man. I’m a huge Key! fan, so I recommend you check out this EP period (“No One Is Ready 3”). The song itself is very catchy and dark which….pretty much describes Key!’s (DONT FORGET THE EXCLAMATION POINT!) entire discography. That piano is crazy too.

Hil Holla – Backseat

Full disclosure: Hil is a good friend of mine. With that said….this shit is smooooooth. Hil walks you through the steps of a good night and does so with the confidence of someone who has actually lived it and details it so believably. He meets a fly woman, goes to a party, and shows you how to say things a bad one might wanna hear. Just hit “play” and try to talk to that girl that’s slightly out of your league (there is no league, I will expound on this later though)!

Nef The Pharaoh – Big Tymin’

The song is just….fun. Fun as hell. So Oakland but still has a bounce you can’t ignore, regardless of where you come from. I really enjoy rap from regions that just has an authentic feel. Nef is part of the wave of younger Bay rappers; I like his style. If you say “BALLIN LIKE BAYBEEEEHHHHHHHH” and don’t automatically feel a wave of happiness, you are worthless and probably lying. Very smooth tribute to Ca$h Money too. There’s also a remix with TY$ and YG, but I had to show Nef his proper shine for the song he made.

Fetty Wap ft. Shy Glizzy – Why U Mad

This song is HARD. Much better than I expected….which doesn’t make sense, because I’m a really big fan of Fetty AND Glizzy. I guess I was just concerned as to how their styles would fit. Fetty’s versatility really shines here. Zaytoven shows up and I honestly believe Gucci (whenever he gets out) would really appreciate this one. Glizzy closes the show really well too. This ain’t “cook crack with bae” Fetty, this is “riddle your body with bullets for being short a few bucks” Fetty!

Makonnen – Leave It There

Now, I was a big fan of Makonnen maybe a year ago. Felt he got a bad rap. Then, he started to decline pretty quickly. In the Internet Age, if you put out 3-4 stinkers in a row, thats yo ass. After Drink More Water 5 dropped, I kinda gave up. Nonetheless, this song snuck onto my Soundcloud feed and….Makonnen might be getting it back together. This is a slow, emotional tune about trying to restart a damaged romantic relationship, and subsequently giving up on it. While one would think this is NOT the subject matter of a banger, you would be wrong. Very wrong.

Mélat – If Its Gold I Love

This song is just….wonderful. My man @YOUNGSAFE (FOLLOW HIM!) sent me her Soundcloud and her EP (“It Happens So Fast”) is really great. She has a good voice, her tone is wonderful, her ear for production is fantastic; I’m just very impressed. This song might totally be about some subtle filth (I’m not even sure yet), but use it as you will. Light and airy; feels like she’s singing to me in a dream.

Sevyn Streeter – Consistent

I am a huge fan of Sevyn’s music, I think she’s really talented. I also have a crush on Sevyn; she’s pretty damn hot, BRO. Her EP’s are consistently good, and “Shoulda Been There Pt. 1” is no exception. This song is about a dude who doesn’t treat her well emotionally, but he is dropping off that #pipe in them #draws. It’s fire, its sonically the best song I’ve posted here. I tweeted that all of her songs are about bad relationships, she tweeted me “not true”. Then followed me. She must’ve felt the thirst coming through my veins. No disrespect to B.o.B., thou shall not covet the next man’s bae, thats what the Bible says…or something.

Until next week, friends.

Songs I like this week! (Vol. 1)

Lets get right to business, shall we?

Chris Brown – Ghetto Tales

Forever in my “Talented Shitbags” list (its extensive…..Tyson, Rick James, KELLZ!, you get the picture), I find myself never TOTALLY counting Chris Brown out. He literally does some disappointingly dumb shit every year, but he keeps churing out good music. IN COMES “GHETTO TALES”. He’s basically telling whatever girl hates him this week to cut that pride shit out and hit him up so they can smooth it out and he can take her to the Bone Zone. I would say I can relate but I don’t beg for shit but an extra BBQ sauce at Popeye’s…FOR THE FREE. Chris eventually gets his wish by the last verse, where he tells you about delivering the #meat and doing drugs with the world famous Migos flow. He’s also getting A LOT better at rapping.

Drake – On A Wave (ft. TInashe)

This shit amazing. And leaked. And extremely unfinished. This ain’t IF YOURE READING THIS ITS REPETITIVE Drake, this is “Club Paradise” , lobster tails, butter sauce, and soft weeping Drake. He’s saving girls from his busy life (a change from his regular “saving girls”), Tinashe sounds like 2015 Aaliyah (AND ITS A GOOD THING) ; everything fits together. I’m pretty critical of Tinashe (I still don’t like Aquarius/she has the personality of a crushed Cooler Ranch Dorito) but she did well here. And Amethyst is multiple fire emojis. She may just be turning turning the corner. Here’s to hoping this song gets finished (it won’t).

Beatking – I Got Hoez

I really listened to this Beatking tape for a week straight, pretty much. Pure ignorance. He says so much shit thats in poor taste but guess what, he reminds me of OLD Houston. Great voice, great ear for beats, obscure ass references, misogyny….WHAT ELSE COULD YOU WANT! Outside of how funny he is, Beatking is actually a pretty clever rapper. Short Dawg’s verse is pretty damn good too. Please check out the tape ( “Houston 3AM“).

RJ – Hoes Come Easy

“Beach fulla sand WHY I GOTTA BRING MINE???” sets the tone. Song makes me feel like I’m in a gang in LA, doing my corresponding gang walk, yelling into my cell phone to whatever girl I’m treating terribly that week. I’m also off the Henny and I have no shirt on. I would be an ultimate goon. Just hit play and tell me you didn’t nod your head AT LEAST A LITTLE. He also references choosing to bring his gun to the club instead of his girlfriend; how could you not love this?

Trey Songz – Flick

Best song about having sex and recording it since….I dunno. Melody, hook, beat…all perfect. Trey Songz is quietly putting out better music nowadays. And instead of boning your girlfriend, he is boning your EX girlfriend and telling her he is better at sex than you. It’s somewhat predictable fare but guess what, “I wanna make a MOO-VIE!” is too easy to sing and remember…so I don’t care. The song also manages to avoid cornballery, which is very easy to tread into with this type of subject matter.

Vince Staples – Get Paid

I saw some people saying they weren’t digging this song because it was “too commercial” for Vince. I don’t particularly agree. It’s just a fully formed song that’s kinda catchy with Vince getting his usual underlying point/message across. It’s gritty, its visceral….but it has that bounce! There were some other songs I coulda tossed in here from “Summertime ’06”, but this is the one that hits on all cylinders.

Stay tuned. More to come. Soon. Or never. 0_0!

EDIT: follow me on Soundcloud.

a coincidence, I promise.

I started in July 2013, after not having a job for 5 months. I quit my job at #WellKnownTechStoreThatRunsThePlanet in February of that year for a multitude of reasons. For starters, they had been (predictably) treating us like shit since they were forced into a company wide pay raise. Our hours were getting cut sans any explanation or heads-up. We were being micro-managed to death about a job that wasn’t THAT difficult. Working there became stressful because of management and the disastrously low levels of morale in the building, not the job itself.

Nonetheless, I left #ThatStore and became a Soundrop employee in July, as previously stated. I really was a paid intern at first ( I just never had to get coffee or any fake character building bullshit like that). It was me and another dude in the Social Media Specialist role. He got a job elsewhere and left; I picked up his slack. More money (the very little we got), opportunity, all of that good stuff. I was asked to build our social media strategy from the ground up. I put my passion and vision for Soundrop into it. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just knew what worked, so I rolled with that. I knew in my heart that the amount of work I was putting in surpassed my compensation, but I did what I had to do.

As I’m really rolling and improving at my job, discussions about my future at Soundrop began to happen. A lot of positive things were said about my contributions, but I wasn’t 100 percent sold. I’ve been involved in the industry in different ways for a while now; things fall apart quickly. I didn’t get too excited but I continued to work and push more of my ideas into the very fabric of the company. In my heart of hearts, I knew things weren’t right. There were internal power struggles, doubts about the direction the company was taking, ridiculous situations concerning me being paid on time…I just couldn’t buy all the way in. While being aware of all of this, I knew the end was near. I simply continued to work and apply to other jobs, to little fruition.

Alas, one morning in early August of this year explained it all. My boss turns to me in the office and tells me in no uncertain terms that I’m being let go, effective immediately. They just had no use for my role in the new direction they were taking. She then let me know that she was leaving soon after (and she did). That was it. The Soundrop that I knew was…done for. My boss helped me with some other opportunities. They didn’t end up panning out, and one of which involved me moving to Atlanta ASAP (something I wanted to do, but my heart wasn’t really in it). She was the only one who assisted me in any way or spoke to me after I was let go. No emails from my CEO or anyone else. Soundrop doesn’t even exist on US soil anymore. We were a small, close-knit yet “clique-y” collective who accomplished some cool things. But once everything changed, that was erased.

All of this ended so abruptly and uncomfortably, and it sucked. My work email account recently stopped working; imagine getting prompts that your password doesn’t work every time you turn your computer on. That was the extent of any type of severance or being wished well; deactivate your account and shuffle you out of the door. I was told I would be instrumental in our future, but does that even mean anything at this point? I’ve been told this at quite a few stops; nothing has ever happened. I’ve been relatively pissed off concerning how I was hung out to dry for this company, but I kept it to myself. At the time I was let go, I definitely knew it was time for a mutual split. I just hate how it was handled and how something with such promise went to shit. Things going sour in the music industry (or any industry) are just part of the game. Doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. I will continue to work and remain hopeful; its the only option.

Oh.

Hire me, too.

Rav Report Live: GoldLink @ Westway.

 

I’ve been a fan of GoldLink’s for a few months now. I pushed him onto my Twitter followers, albeit cautiously. I tend to be an early adopter on artists but I thought I saw something in him that perhaps other’s didn’t. I was wrong, as every song of his that I posted (or reposted on my Soundcloud) someone asked me about him. I was put on by the writer of this interview (I know her, does this count as a flex??? Probably.) His first widely released project “The God Complex” is where I began listening. From there, I knew I had to catch him live at some point soon. As per USUAL, cool ass DJ Toy threw me info about him performing in NYC yesterday…so I had to go.

 

So I made my way to the Westway (REDUNDANT SENTENCE!) from a birthday happy hour in Midtown. Now, I’ve never been to the Westway. The Westway is DEEEEEP. I felt like I was sneaking off to Shredder’s lair for some raps. Seeing as how I’ve been to a good amount of events in SoHo/TriBeCa etc., I am almost used to this feeling. Regardless, I just walked towards the water and kept my eyes peeled for people who were dressed like they stepped out of Tumblr. This strategy will never fail you if you’re trying to find a show.

I get to the front door and I’m a LIL’ antsy; just hype to see GoldLink. I get in smoothly (and the bouncer dude laughed at the stupid abbreviation on my ID), and the first person I see is Rob aka Octavion, who I’ve known since undergrad and was def in my friend circle at ODU. From there I bump into more of my friends/peers from VA and its just a snuggly little reunion. Yaaaaayyyy. Shoutout to Serge and Mike too. I also slid to the bar and got rum and coke number 1. I took it easy because I’ve already had enough alcohol in my body to dissolve myself from the inside this week.

Another reason why I came to this vent was to check out Gianni Lee(link). I’ve seen him DJ at Trillectro (what up, DC), but I wanted to see him nearly a year later, in a more intimate venue. I was thoroughly impressed, as he dabbled in his own mixes and even played reworks from his peers. Overall, I appreciated what he did, as he definitely kept the energy up.

 

Next, DJ Kidd Marvel came on the set. He’s GoldLink’s DJ, so he dove right into shit that would push the crowd into a frenzy. I was pretty amazed at how this crowd reacted so positively to Threatz and Awwsome, by Yung Simmie and Shy Glizzy, respectively. I’m kind of a Glizzy stan at this point, so I was definitely happy to see NYC appreciate that.

 

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While he’s doing this, Toy walks by for the second time that night and says loudly…”ITS SO HOT IN HERE….I HAD TO BRING MY …

Toy's Fan.

….FAN!”

Now when I tell you, she whipped this fan out of her pocket (or pulled the shit out of the shadows) and opened it one smooth motion before she finished the sentence….son. I think she rehearsed it. ANYWAY,  Marvel caught me off guard when he bought GoldLink out. I was totally unprepared. Or still stunned by Toy’s fan based sorcery.

GoldLink comes out with a leopard print hat on, a black tee (that we would later find out was ALEXANDER WANG..yes HE TOLD US!), and some tiny ass cut off shorts. Definitely above the knee. Troy Ave is DEFINITELY not doing any songs with him, lets take that off the table now. I personally thought his fit was perfectly normal; would blend in perfectly with people from around the nearby area. Actually, if he was your typical SoHo street runner, he’d have on some silly ass Power Ranger intergalactic SNEAKER BOOTS. But he didn’t. Thank you, GoldLink. Another interesting thing about this is he usually performs while hiding his identity. He’s starting to warm up to the idea of showing his face; very cool that he chose to do so here.

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The guy is a ball of energy. He’s just cruising through songs from his (fantastic) Soundcloud page and “The God Complex”. He does “Creep” which he asks before he starts “HOW MANY CREEPY NIGGAS IN HERE??”. I stayed silent, because I am the ULTIMATE GENTLEMAN and know nothing about those things. Still, I rocked, cause I liked the song. He did “On & On”, which is just smooth and worked the crowd over. As I keep watching him rap, it’s hitting me how HARD it is to actually rap these songs with such dexterity and stay on cue. He did this for the duration of his roughly 30 min set, with no slip ups. He even calmly rapped through some mic volume issues, restarted the song, and most importantly… he wasn’t rude about it. I hate seeing rappers flip out on the sound guy; he just swam through it.   As you can see, I was standing in the sexy bordello section; my phone wasn’t ready for all that. Speaking of sexy, there were SOME baes present. One of which came with her dude and as soon as GoldLink came out, her jaw hung agape the rest of the show. So hopefully, he didn’t MISPLACE her.

 

As his set comes to a close, he goes into “Ay Ay” aka “the video that had all the titties and butts in it and is NSFW“. The first time I saw the video, I actually was at work. I saw the first 15 secs or so and had to scramble for an escape like I forgot my homework in high school. The song slaps; he did it justice live. Another one of the later  songs he performed was “Wassup“, which flips “Indian Flute”. Don’t you dare ask me what Indian Flute is either!!! I really dug that he closed with these songs. he also did a song from his upcoming EP, with Chaz French. Chaz is linked to my friends and he did his thing, so I’m all about that.

While I must admit, I was disappointed by some song omissions (namely “CTRL”, “How Its Done”).  However, it was his first headlining show in NYC. His job was to complete a condensed set and impress; he did that. I really think he has something and will be a big deal, very soon. He has talent, energy, thinks outside of the box and really loves to make music.

Also, Kevin Liles wasn’t too far away from us. TAKE THAT AS YOU WILL. No, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say….I mean…he’s Kevin Liles. I was too busy trying to be cool and not play myself.  I was also lucky enough to meet Rome Fortune in the venue. I’m a fan of his and very proud of his progress. I stopped, showed my appreciation, and that was that. Very cool guy and I’m really glad we got to chop it up for that limited time.

 

Overall, it was a good night. I finally got to catch GoldLink, I managed to not get drunk, and I made it home without disintegrating from exhaustion. WIN WIN WIN.

 

To wrap it all up….

 

Drunk Levels: Low  (2 Rum and Cokes). I barely wanted to drink. If they had orange juice straight, ida had that.

Bae Levels : There was some work in there! I think one who looked at me a lil strangely…so clearly…..she wanted me(or I’m just ugly). I’m not gonna factor in the girls I knew who were already there cause that would juke the #BaePowerRankings stats. So uh let’s say somewhere between 6.5/7 out of 10? Yeah.

Show quality : 7/10 -8/10. Only real complaints are that it was short/song omissions. As a performer, he did great. He’s a real showman, too.

Venue : I’ve never been to Westway before but its nice. It’s a little tight inside but I never really felt uncomfortable. It also used to be a strip club…so center stage is a catwalk. Yes, GoldLink threatened to strip on it while Ginuwine played.

Until next show! As always, if theres a show in NYC, hit me on Twitter. Always open to suggestions for the next Rav Report Live.