Posted by Grubeats on January 14, 2013
Grubeats; fashionably tardy as always. I can’t promise I’ve saved the best for last, but hopefully this eclectic mix of tracks tickle’s at least party of your fancy. I’d enjoy hearing from you in the comments section if you have opinions on any of these songs!
12.) Skizzy Mars – Sirens
This young star didn’t sound my radar until late spring of ’12. I had heard the name and few scattered verses, but overlooked the true talent Skizzy Mars was bringing to the table until I first heard “Sirens”. With sounds similar to a young Cudi, Skizzy himself only recently graduated high school and has only begun to lie the brick and mortar for long, prosperous career.
11.) Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem
As you probably know, I’m not a die heard EDM head like many writers and followers of this site. No kandi for this kid. I do however, enjoy just about anything Skrillex lays his hands on. Couple the addictive production with Damian Marley’s rasta raps and you have pure gold. If and when hip-hop and EDM cross paths, this is the type of execution I expect. [Watch video HERE]
Continue reading for Top 10!
Posted by Grubeats on November 12, 2012
When you have a lyrical arsenal comparable to that of the U.S. Military (While we’re on the topic, thank you to all of our Veterans), you have no choice but to pay your respects to a hip-hop classic. Logic lets loose a rock solid cut that he has been holding in his vault, “Concrete”, flexing over Nas’ legendary, “New York State Of Mind Pt. II”. Opening up and revealing some of his personal history, the Gaithersburg High School dropout reflects on the state of hip-hop, “The King is dead, long live the king now watch me reign, spit fire that I attain from leaving a dragon slain”. At this point, I feel comfortable saying that Logic has nixed any disbelief from naysayers arguing his choice to put music in the forefront at such a young age. XXL Freshman 2013?
Posted by Grubeats on September 28, 2012
Young Sinatra: Undeniable went platinum on Datpiff earlier this week, surpassing 250k downloads. Logic’s been grinding out in LA since he capped off his debut VMG tour in NYC just over a month ago. Life is good for the Maryland kid. Knowing the level of demand for new Logic these days, DJ Don Cannon fire this freestyle off, which will be featured on his upcoming “Steps Back Radio” mixtape. Splitting bars with veteran Windy City hot spitter, Mikkey Halsted, the two lyrically rip this one to pieces. Hopefully this holds you over until an official release from Logic coming within the next couple months!
Posted by jeffwbaird on September 23, 2012
In 2006 when Nas claimed, quite controversially, that “hip-hop is dead,” he was on to something. One of hip-hop’s purest lyricists, Nas grew to fame in the early ‘90s through his poetic rapping and political subject matter—qualities that had become largely extinct from popularized hip-hop in the early 2000s. Hip-hop grew to prominence as the voice of disadvantaged America, but had become dominated by label executives; tastemakers prioritizing simplistic lyricism and rhyme schemes (along with incorporating the catchy choruses of pop music), and simultaneously degrading the quality of an art form.
Over the past decade, I have watched hip-hop become increasingly saturated, as pop culture continues to endorse formulaic hip-hop, typically including repetitious and easily accessible hooks, and raps using simple A-B rhyme schemes that delve lightly into a number of prescribed topics, such as the desire for fame, women, braggadocio, and partying. This sub-genre of “party rap” became widely popular in college environments, and seemed to promise any student with an aptitude for parties and a junior-high vocabulary the opportunity to earn a remunerative career as a rapper.
Through the surplus of undergraduates-turned-rappers, a new sub-genre, often coined “college rap,” began inundating blogs and steadily saturating the industry. These upstarts idolized the popular artists of the time, basing their craft off the lackluster wordplay and superficiality that dominated college radio playlists. When Asher Roth’s single “I Love College” rose to prominence in 2009, this movement hit the limelight, and suddenly students stopped studying law and medicine to follow their newfound dreams of being the next Mac Miller or Sammy Adams.
What is highly underestimated, however, is the amount of skill required to be an emcee of Nas’ caliber. If you take the time to listen to his first album Illmatic, Eminem’s Infinite, The Roots’ Phrenology, or any number of ‘90s or early 2000s records, the sophistication of the lyricism, content, and rhyme schemes is staggering. Becoming a prominent emcee used to require being sufficiently educated on the English language, as rappers constructed multisyllabic rhymes infused with alliteration, internal rhyme, and other complex literary elements. Just listen to Kinetics in his recently featured song, “Chris Nolan,” where he raps, “I spit sinister symbolism that’s killing all these silly simile single syllable singing simpletons.” Eminem has said in interviews that he used to study the dictionary as a child. If you listen to “Lose Yourself” closely, you can note that there is not a single word in the song that doesn’t rhyme with another. The reason it’s problematic to equate him to Asher Roth (besides the fact that it’s just rooted in race), is because Em rose to fame because of his pure lyrical power, and Asher made it off of artificiality.
The “change in leadership” that Nas referred to in interviews surrounding “Hip-Hop is Dead” highlighted that as the preferences of record companies have shifted, the music has changed with it. Political, socially conscious hip-hop is no longer seen as profitable, and thus labels won’t promote it. The biggest controversy surrounding this power battle occurred in 2008, when Atlantic Records shelved Lupe Fiasco’s third album for almost a year because of his defiance when asked to make a “radio-ready” single. Unfortunately, our Lupes are few and far between, and the majority of my favorite emcees are a far cry now from the substance-driven music they initially created. It doesn’t take long in the industry to understand what type of music is advantageous for one’s career, and it seems all but a few choose money over message. In this sense, rapping has become quite like corporate law; individuals work exceptionally hard to excel at a practice they believe in only to abandon their values in pursuit of a more lucrative opportunity.
I have always loved hip-hop, and that passion will always persist. But I want to live in a world where I don’t have to search for underground rappers to convince a friend that all hip-hop isn’t violent, misogynistic, and devoid of content. The reason that it became such a red flag for white, suburban kids to listen to hip-hop is that our mainstream culture assumed we were only listening to the 2 Chainz and Chief Keef’s of the world. No wonder they didn’t understand. Most critics of hip-hop have never heard It Was Written, Midnight Marauders, or Like Water for Chocolate. They haven’t paid attention to Macklemore on the new XXL Freshman List. Instead, they have seen Machine Gun Kelly and Roscoe Dash.
I’m not asking for you to agree, or to all of a sudden change your preference, but I’m asking us to be conscious of what we consume and what type of hip-hop we’re promoting when we share it. Our choices ultimately get reflected in who’s in the magazines, who’s on the radio, and even who’s getting a record deal. I’m always careful to promote new artists who have something special to share (see Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Logic, Kinetics, Dylan Owen, Accent—just to name a few), and I’ll continue to do so. But many of hip-hop’s forefathers are on their way out, and it’s up to us to make sure the right artists of this new generation end up on top.
Posted by Grubeats on August 18, 2012
Castro has proven his worth over and over, slaying his last track “Worldwide”, which featured fellow #Rattpack -ers Logic and 6ix. Equipped with an artillery of automatic weapons, Castro can easily trigger his lyrical machine gun, but rather decides to keep it female friendly on this track and bring us a song about his temporary lady friend. With production from Official OB and camera work from GXL, the DMV is hard at work to put the #RattPack on the map. Although there has been no official announcement just yet, we predict © will be dropping his debut mixtape sometime this fall.
Posted by Grubeats on August 13, 2012
“See my chain is an accomplishment, I call these diamonds milestones”
When you experience the success Logic has over the past 6 months, you deserve a chance to stunt on a track. Fans have been on their toes waiting for new material from the 301 native, who, despite a couple features, hasn’t dropped a track since the release of his mixtape, Young Sinatra: Undeniable, back on April 30th. 250,000+ mixtape downloads, 20 of 25 shows sold out in 30 days, a spot in last months XXL, and exploding numbers on his Facebook and Twitter pages, this kid finally got the chain he has been yearning for. In house producer 6ix injects some HGH into the key-driven beat with a sample of Kanye’s “Barry Bonds” along with Gucci Mane’s “My Chain”. #RattPack boiiiiiii!
Download: Logic – My Chain (Prod. by 6ix)
Posted by Grubeats on August 7, 2012
You just got VMG’d.
More than halfway through his 25-city, nationwide tour, Logic shares with us the newest installment of tour life inJust Another Day Episode 12. He is not only selling out venues across the country, he is taking independent music to an entirely new level. Seeing Logic live is more than a concert, it’s an experience. No two shows are the same which is made evident in this video. Have you ever seen an artist pause his set to pick up the phone of a kid in the audience to talk to his buddy on the other end, asking why he didn’t make it to the show? Doubtful. You’re experiencing the birth of a star. Other than the dude in the San Fran pullover showcasing his vocals outside the Mac N’ Cheese shop, very few can keep up in the lane Logic’s currently cruising in. For tickets to the remaining shows, hit up VMGTour.com