Monday, May 3, 2010

Greatness Opens Doors

Sorry for the break, but I told you guys, I only bother writing when I hear something worth talking about. Soooo on today’s menu we have the HIGHLY anticipated second mixtape from another great Chicago artist, Mr. G.o.D Jewels himself: Greatness Opens Doors. Word of warning: the tape is DOPE! I really like the direction he took this time around. I liked the last mixtape Glory or Death he released summer of '09, but this definitely is “greatness”. Every beat on the tape is catchy, I found myself nodding my head along with every one. Producers include, but are not limited to: Flu, Plan, TIME, The Baron Boys, Hero George, etc. Chicago rapper The Boy Illinois, singer Jelisa Nicole and commentary on Under the Act by Tommy Mitchell are all featured on Greatness Opens Doors. Topics on the tape include songs ranging from racism; the track entitled R.A.C.E (Respect All Colors & Ethnicities)...very creative acronym by the way, to growing up in the city of Chicago in All Things ‘Go and even he even tells us about the people who don’t show love until after he’s made it in Keep Us Runnin’ and The Cusp. You all need to know my favorites right?! Louboutin Blues is one of my favorites(love the Jay Z sample), The Frozen Moment although it’s only an interlude, it goes awfully hard. I also like Make It Look Good ft The Boy Illinois. I like how Billy takes the third verse instead of them going with the ever so popular “sandwich effect” (main artist, feature, main artist). But my favorite song is definitely All Things ‘Go. The song is uber dope and extremely catchy. Not to mention the video is one of the best I’ve seen in 2010 thus far.

I know Jewels personally and must say, I am very impressed and very much proud of him. This tape really encompasses him as an artist and I like that he can get his point across and still be so articulate while doing so. He is a very, very talented artist and it won’t be long at all until you see him on one of those mainstream music channels(even if they don’t really play music anymore) Don’t wait to hop on the bandwagon months down the line. Download the tape now. Watch the video now and SUPPORT GOOD MUSIC!!!!

Check out more from G.o.D Jewels

Download "Greatness Opens Doors"

01. Open The Door (Prod. By Flu)
02. All Things 'Go (Prod. By Plan)
03. Old Folks (Prod. By Flu)
04. Keeps You Running (Prod. By TIME)
05. The Frozen Moment Interlude (Prod. By TIME)
06. The Cusp Ft. Jelisa Nicole (Prod. By E&J)
07. Jesus Piece (Prod. By TIME)
08. Aqua Flow (Courant D'eau Turquoise) (Prod. By Plan x TIME)
09. Make It Look Good Ft. The Boy Illinois (Prod. By E&J x Ms. Polka Dot)
10. R.A.C.E. (Respect All Colors & Ethnicities) (Prod. By Mez One)
11. Under The Act Ft. Tommy Mitchell (Prod. By Hero George)
12. Louboutin Blues (Prod. By The Baron Boys)
13. Perfect Man (Prod. By Flu)
14. Close The Door Ft. Jelisa Nicole (Prod. By E&J x The Baron Boys)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Talk About It [Tuesday]

I'm really excited about this post because I get a chance to introduce, or reintroduce for those of you who are familiar, you to a few [new] artists that I feel are worth taking a listen to. Both of them have been out for some time now, but both are incredibly talented and deserve a little spotlight from someone who appreciates the craft; yours truly.

The first artist is my man Bobby Ray aka B.O.B. I was first introduced to B.O.B watching MTV Jams this summer when I saw his video "Put Me On." Immediately I was drawn in by his flow and the beat of the song. Downloaded the song and never even thought to further research the cat. A few months back, someone sent me his mixtape B.O.B Vs. Bobby Ray. That tape has definitely been in rotation since I got it. I was extremely shocked to find out that he is only 21. Dude is crazy talented and I love his retro style flow; it's pretty different from a lot of the music that's out right now and I commend him for coming with a fresh, new style. His single "Put Me On" didn't get as big as I had expected it to but with the release of his new single "Nothin' On You" ft Bruno Mars(another EXTREMELY talented artist, whom will probably have a feature on here shortly) has definitely started to get him the publicity that he needs. He's actually signed under Grand Hustle and Atlantic Records. He has released previous mixtapes, but I'll only include the link for his most recent, and my favorite, B.O.B Vs. Bobby Ray.
He will be releasing his debut album B.o.B Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray, supposedly on April 27. So be on the lookout for that because you'll definitely need that in your collection. Youtube him, Google him, however you do it, find out more about this guy. He's got BIG things going for his future.

Actually, both B.O.B and this next artist, Blu(without the "e"), have been featured on XXL's cover for their Top 10 2009 Freshman issue. Blu is a rapper/producer from California who is one of the most talented and lyrical artists I've heard and liked in quite some time. Typically, I'm not too fond of west coast rappers, something about their flow bothers me, so I was really relieved when I heard Blu's music and then found out he was from Cali; he gave me hope. I hadn't heard anything from him until recently, but I constantly saw people quoting lyrics from him on Twitter. My friend introduced me to him and I immediately fell in love. I have yet to find a song that I dislike, and this is after hearing most, if not all of his mixtapes/albums. I love the fact that his music has such an old school feel to it. He samples a lot from the classics such as Billie Holiday, but samples from a wide variety of styles and beats. "A lot of my influences now come from older music. I got into stuff while growing up like Curtis Mayfield, Al Green and Marvin Gaye. I listened to a lot of Jazz that my grandparents were listening to like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Dorothy Ashby. My musical approach even more so right now is influenced by the scene in L.A. like Sa-Ra, Flying Lotus, J. Davey, Ta’Raach, Madlib. The L.A. scene is kind of smashing cats. It’s not street or Hip Hop but it’s all rooted from both. It’s kind of like people say Hip Hop is dead but it’s not. It’s true but only in the sense of that original feeling or sound not being replicated well. But if you open up your ears you can see where Hip Hop is going. It’s just branched off. A lot of new artists are merging many different genres of music." -Blu
He speaks what's in his heart and on his mind, not thoughts from the fantasy world full of women, liquor and money that most of our artists today speak from. His lyrics are poetic, thoughful, and thought provoking. "As I was coming up, the rapper that made me want to rap was DMX...[T]hen I got into Common. I actually heard “I Used to Love H.E.R.” after missing the first album. When I heard it, it really changed my life. I felt like I had heard Hip Hop for the first time. It made me change my content and my whole approach. It made me serious about writing and wanting to say something." -Blu
If you've never heard anything from Blu, check out one his mixtape HerFavoriteColo(u)r and his album Blu & Exile-Below the Heavens
Enjoy :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mixtape Monday

Good day my lovely people.
I come bearing great news today...Mateo has dropped his third mixtape today which I am completely overjoyed about because I didn't have to wait long at all!!! I have to say I love the mixtape. I was very happy in the song choices he made to redo. My favorite, of course, Empire State of Mind, but I'm extremely happy that he also reworked Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"(for personal reasons I will not get into) and I also loved the rendition of Drake's "Forever". His rearrangements of all of the pieces were beyond creative and of course beautiful. The other two songs, "Doubt" and "Reign of Love/Paris" were also very beautiful. All in all, I was definitely impressed. My only complaint is that I wished the songs were longer only because I can't get enough of that voice. But you can download Underneath the Sky Chapter 3 here. DEEEWWWWWW IIITTTTTT NOOOOWWWWW!!!!

Also worth mentioning is the release of LouBlood: The Album from Chicago rapper Louchiano. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about the album via Twitter and the fact that Lou and I have many mutual friends, so I was completely anticipating this album. From reading his tweets, and from what I know about him, Lou is a very dedicated and hard working man. He has put in so much time and effort into this album and so I couldn't wait until it dropped(Feb 27) so I could check out what he had to offer. I hadn't previously heard any of Lou's music so I was looking to LouBlood to be my introduction to Louchiano.

I listened all the way through the tape and I must say, Lou is a great rapper but for some reason I didn't really start really getting into the tape until the latter of the album. It has a very...mellow I guess would be a good word to use, feel to it, which I figured is due to the vampire/dark theme the album has. If this was the effect he was going for, then he certainly achieved that. It's clear that Lou has a lot to say and a lot of potential. Personally, if he wasn't so lyrical and if I didn't know better, he could almost pass for a down south rapper. He has almost a southern twang to his voice and the beats/production on the album paired well with that. All in all, the album is solid.
After hearing it, I was interested in hearing more from him so I visited his Myspace page. There, I found more music(duh), but he had some freestyles on his page, and I love hearing freestyles because to me it proves the type of artist you are and shows your true ability. But I listened and I liked what I heard. So go check that out. Also, download LouBlood asap. Lou also has a really informative and awesome(for lack of a better word, which I'm sure there are plenty) blog in which he keeps you in the know about a lot of quality music and entertainment. Check it out.
But definitely make sure you show him some love and download the album if nothing else. Support our unsigned talent.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Get To Know Him

Well Happy New Year!! :^P Yeah I know, I'm only almost three months late, which I truly apologize for. Not only have I not been coming across impressive enough music, but there was some confusion about me writing for another blog with the same "theme" and I didn't want to do both. But for now, I'm here, back to give you music you NEED to hear.

Normally, I don't post on the weekends, but I came across something special and I couldn't keep this to myself. Back in Novemeber, I was searching my favorite blog, and they had a short section about a new artist named Mateo. They had a video posted and I decided to click and listen. The song was entitled "Get To Know Me" and immediately I fell in love with it. Not only the song and it's lyrics, but the voice of the man singing it. The song was so completely beautiful. I downloaded it, but after listening, didn't bother to look for any more music from him or do any background research on the artist. A few days ago, searching ConcreteLoop again, I came across another song by Mateo; his rendetion of Empire State of Mind. After I listened to the song for about fifteen times back to back, I figured I needed to find out more about him. I checked out his YouTube page which you should do as well and listened to more of his music. I was and am extremely impressed. Something about the way his voice sounds so perfectly paired with the music, the lyrics, which Mateo writes himself, and the feeling I get when I listen to his music, makes this artist something extremely special and someone everyone should be on the lookout for.

He's so extremely talented and so young which proves that he has so much potential yet to show us. He is currently signed to Myspace Records label and is set to be releasing his third installment of his "Underneath the Sky Mixtape." He has a preview on his website where you can also download his other mixtapes, learn more about the artist and find out upcoming events where he'll be. He also has more music posted on his myspace page. If I had to classify Mateo into a certain genre, I would have to say R&B, but he's not your typical R&B singer. The guy has loads of talent, creativity and something different to offer to this generation of music and I respect artists that are not afraid to step off of the stage which holds the majority and be the minority; in this case, that minority being a raw and genuine talent. In this day in age, we get caught up more on the way an artist is presented than the actual content of what's being presented and I think when people see and hear this artist, they will realize that he is the "real deal" both inside and out.

"R&B music has turned more into head-bop music; hip-hop beats over hip-hop loops. I want to bring R&B music back to where people actually have some type of emotion when they listen to my music. I want them to feel that not only is it my story, but their story as well; that they identify with it, and will be able to recall the song ten years from now.” -Mateo

Please take the time out to listen to some of his music and be on the lookout for him to take over R&B in the future. I'd hate to be the one to rub it in and say "I told you so."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mixtape Monday

Well hello there folks! It's been a little bit but I have some good stuff for you all. So my friend Ronnie introduced me to this guy a few weeks ago. It's actually his cousin. So he's tellin me about him and I ask what he does and he told me he's a rapper. My inital response, "Oh great, a rapper! Who isn't one these days?!" But he was quick to assure me that he wasn't like most of the rappers out and had more of a "a Q-Tip style, 90's golden era rap" feel about him. So as I usually do, I took his word for it. So I hung out with this guy, who's name is AD by the way, short for Adalesson. He's a Chicago native and is very passionate about music, which is always a good thing. He played a few of his tracks for me. I was rather impressed. I didn't expect for his voice to be so smooth and seamless over the tracks he played for me, so of course I wanted to hear more. He gave me a copy of his first mixtape[Room for Growth] which I thouroughly enjoyed and then sent me a link a few days ago to download his second mixtape [Listenin' for Breaks] which I'm listening to as I type and loving it. I'm a sucker for lyrical and "chill" music. Music that you can just sit in the house, have a glass of wine to and this tape has defintely done that for me. First of all, I love the fact that he appreciates so many different types of music as I do. All of the beats on this tape are so classic and most of them have a jazz inspired feel to them. Much different than most rappers you hear when they create a mixtape. And again, his voice goes so well with the beats he chose for the tape. I would definitely have to agree with Ronnie's original assessment in that he does remind me a lot of a lot of the music that came out of the early 90's. I love the intro's to some of the songs he has ("Royal Wit Cheese", "Karma Sutra"), very creative. He has a few other local rappers featured on the tape(Illuminate Mics, Trilogy, Drunken Monkee, Pro Wonder, Bullet, and Cos G) Anyhoo, I'm going to include a link on here so you guys can download the tape. WHEN you do, leave a comment and tell me what you thought about it. I'm sure he would enjoy feedback.

Straigh from the horse's mouth: "Track listing is composed of 27 songs, 6 emcee features , 3 producers and 1 DJ (SYZYGY) and lovely instrumentals by Khrysis, Madlib, J Dilla, Black Milk, J-zone, D' Angelo, charles hamilton, Dj Premier, Big Daddy Kane , Samiyam, Roy Ayers, 9th Wonder, Nujabes Dwele and Peter Rock"
I can't name my favorites, because the beats alone make me like all of the songs. But some of my favs are Laidback Desperado, World Change, Ex 2 Next. Ok that's all you're gettin!! Check out the tape(s)!!

Download Adalesson(1st tape): Room for Growth

Download Adalesson(2nd tape): Listenin' for Breaks

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get Ready to Cuddle

So after talking with some people and getting some constructive criticism about the blog, I’ve decided to make a few changes. (I just have to make sure to stay on top of them). So instead of doing the album reviews on the day the album’s released, I’ll be doing them before hand so you guys can actually know what to expect before you grab the album. Secondly, I’ll be adding more of a breakdown of the albums and not just my personal opinion. You’ll see the difference in the next few posts. And lastly I will choose certain days of the week to run “trending topics” ©Twitter. Ie: Throwback Thursday’s, where I’ll review a throwback album that I like. And although I love my R&B, I’m gonna work to try to do more on the hip hop scene and expose those underground and “slept on” artists like I said I would in the first place. So get excited for the changes and any other things you would like to see happen, feel free to leave comments. I’m always open for suggestions! (btw, Thanks Kevo for the advice) Now on to the task at hand….

Alicia Keys is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is how I felt when I first heard the news that she was soon to release another album. I heard “Doesn’t Mean Anything “ and I liked it. Although it did sound a lot like other songs she had done in the past (Unbreakable) I liked some of the runs she did on the track. Then she released “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” and I dug it. It was a little different from things she previously released. Anyone who knows me, knows that Alicia Keys is and has always been #1 in my book. So needless to say I was extra amped for the release of “The Element of Freedom”.
BUT when I heard it, I was really UNimpressed. There were probably a total of 4 songs that I really liked besides the two singles she released. NOT GOOD. I have NEVER NOT been able to listen to one of her albums all the way through, this one is completely different. The songs I like, stay in constant rotation and are really good, but the rest, I am not impressed in the least bit. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is but I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like she tried to go for a different sound this time around and it didn’t quite work out for her. The songs I do like, are typical, classic Alicia tracks but songs like “Like the Sea “ “Put it in a Love Song” ft Beyonce, “Wait til You See My Smile” and “Love is Blind” are horrible to me. I’m really disappointed because with all I’ve been going through lately, I was hoping Alicia could be the one, as she always has, to make things better, but she didn’t. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” “Unthinkable” “Distance and Time” “Love is My Disease” “How it Feels to Fly” are probably the best songs on the album, along with the two singles she’s already released. “Empire State of Mind pt 2” gets honorable mention. The album includes production by Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Jeff Bhasker and others. Although the CD wasn’t that great in my personal opinion, I would still advise you to grab a copy, as I will be doing, to support her. Love her, love her music. This was not her strongest album, but she’s Alicia Keys and we know what she’s capable of. You can’t bat 1000 100% of the time. Element of Freedom in stores Dec 15

On the other hand, Robin Thicke will be releasing his new album “Sex Therapy” on Dec. 15. I didn’t know what to expect from Robin this time around because although I liked his last album, there were songs on there that I could do without. But I should’ve known the album would be dope based on the fact that I can’t go a day without playing “Sex Therapy.” That song is so sexy and classy and just amazing all around. BUT the album, is almost just as great. I listened all the way through and never once got the urge to skip a song until I got to the very last song(only because I heard The Game’s voice). Very very solid album. Producers include Thicke himself, Polow Da Don, Teddy Riley and more. All the songs are beautiful, even the faster tempos. He had pretty good features on the album also: Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Jazmine Sullivan, Estelle, Snoop Dogg, and Nicki Manaj and The Game get honorable mention because they made the album, not necessarily because they’re “good features”. I will say, the song he did with Nicki Manaj (Shakin it 4 Daddy) actually made me like her a little bit more. But that’s neither here nor there. I think this might be my favorite album from Mr. Thicke with The Evolution taking a close second. Of course you’ll need to know my favorites: Sex Therapy, It’s in the Morning ft. Snoop, Start with a Kiss(interlude) is really cute and sexy, Rollacoster ft. Estelle, Million Dolla Baby ft. Jazmine Sullivan, 3 Luv Birds, I Got You, Just Right, Mona Lisa, Brand New Love….yeah I pretty much just named almost every track on the album…so make sure you go cop a copy of Sex Therapy. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s probably NOT a good idea to have the CD unless you have a boo because it will make you want to cuddle up quick! :) But I do advise you to check it out…thoroughly impressed with Mr. Thicke. It will definitely be in constant rotation in any musical device I have!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Late, but worth the mention

So awhile back, my friend put me on this artist by the name of J. Cole. She had mentioned him before and went on and on about how good he was and how she feels he is the next Drake. A few weeks later, I finally decided to check him out. I must admit, I was pretty darn impressed and found myself with one of his songs [Dreams ft. Brandon Hines] in constant rotation. I'm not sure if I can say he's the next Drake, or even if that's a correct comparison to make seeing that as of late(since he joined Young Money) Drake is becoming rather ordinary. I'm no longer seeing much of the lyricism I once respected him for. He, like many of the artists under Wayne are becoming too parrot-like in their delivery; metaphors every other bar just like Wayne. ANYHOO, I would put J. Cole in a seperate categorty. I like his flow and his delivery and he's pretty lyrical, and with that, he got my attention. I'm interested to see mor work from him and an album(not a mixtape) possibly. He has potential to do big things I just hope he gets there. I'll include a link so you can go download his mixtape "The Warm Up" and a link so you can check out his feature on Wale's Beautiful Bliss, which is one of the best features I've heard in a while. Anyway, keep your ears to the street fo J. Cole. He's doing his thing and personally, I think he can only go upward from here.

Download J. Cole's "The Warm Up" mixtape

Download Wale-Beautiful Bliss ft. J. Cole & Melanie Fiona