Friday, April 30, 2010
Height With Friends - "Current Floor (King Rhythm Redux)" (mp3)
Food For Animals - "Dope (Jones Remix)" (mp3)
The Baltimore music blog Bmore Musically Informed recently launched a record label, Friends Records, which is about to drop its first batch of albums, including Bed of Seeds by Height With Friends. And they decided to put out a free compilation in advance of those releases, which is available for download at the label's Band Camp page. Here are a couple of the hip hop tracks from the compilation, Friends and Friends of Friends.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've already written about this song a bit on The Singles Jukebox and Narrowcast, and you might have seen this on MTV Jams already, but it occurred to me that I should post the video here for "Watagatapitusberry (Remix)," the lead single from Pitbull's album Armando, featuring Lil Jon, Sensato, Black Point & El Cata. Why? Because DJ Class produced the track, which is essentially the "I'm The Ish" beat with new vocals, and you can spot him in the video. Everytime I think that song has finally run its course, it finds a way to bubble up again!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
ScholarMan - Free Spirit Of A Troubled Soul (Soganic Music)
I've already posted three music videos from this album, and reviewed it on the City Paper's Noise blog, so you I've already really told you all you need to know about this record. But I hadn't dedicated a post to it on here yet, and it's available now on iTunes.
ScholarMan - "Hood Stories Vol. 4" (mp3)
This is one of the hardest beats on the album and I always enjoy a good storytelling rap, plus there's no hook, which isn't really ScholarMan's strong suit anyway.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
DJ Gemini f/ Mullyman, DC Don Juan, Bossman, Gerreddi, Skarr Akbar, Whitefolkz, Smash, and Kingpen Slim - "D.M.V. Dream Team" (mp3)
DJ Gemini gets his DJ Khaled on with this track from his upcoming album Welcome To The D.M.V., with a beat by Mullyman's longtime producer MBAHlievable. I gotta say, it's refreshing to hear something like this with prominent involvement from Baltimore artists; seems like 90% of the time you hear "DMV" it's D.C. folks trying to get support for their shit without showing a lot of love back, if you ask me. Mully, Bossman, Skarr and Smash are all performing at Sonar this Wednesday.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
TestMe - In A Lane By Myself (Power Hitter Records)
I kinda laughed when I saw the title of this mixtape because I've been complaining for years about how TestMe copped his whole style and voice from Lil Wayne. But I have to admit, he's been doing that raspy chuckling punchline Weezy knockoff style for so long that it's kind of organically drifted off into its own thing at this point, all the more distinct because Wayne himself drifted off in a different direction. So yeah, TestMe kinda is in his own lane now, and really in terms of the Baltimore scene he always has been, really one of the only rappers in the city who's really young and marketable but still pretty lyrical and accepted by a lot of the older cats. This is probably the best mixtape I've heard from him to date, solid production and songs, it features guest appearances by Bossman and Smash, and you can download it at allbmorehiphop.com/testme.
TestMe - "High" (mp3)
The credits on the back cover just say that the original beats are produced by Lace & Kid D, Speilberg and Menice Explicit, without specifying who did which tracks. But man, whoever did this beat deserves props, it's awesome.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Trey R. - Tetris
In my unhappier moments of listening to mixtapes for this site, I feel like I'm going down a mental checklist of all the cliches, rituals and trends that get checked off in the course of the record: a) AutoTune, b) references to "swag," c) references to Twitter, d) promises to "change the game" (uh, how you gonna do that if you sound like everybody else?), and so on. This is definitely far from the worst mixtape I've heard that's given me that feeling, and there are some cool synth beats that have kind of an original feel, but man I wish artists realized how anonymous and generic those things make them seem. I would talk about who this guy is and what IS unique about him, but I didn't learn any of that from listening to this. You can download this mixtape at Trey R.'s Myspace.
Trey R. - "The Confidence" (mp3)
This one kinda bangs.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
KG - The Voice Of Da Streetz (B.O.E.)
KG is one artist that I've seen live and heard on various mixtapes enough to know he's really grinding and making his presence known, but I haven't really actually heard much of his music, so out of respect for his grind I checked this out on AllBmoreHipHop.com. I gotta say, though, I'm kinda filing it alongside a lot of Baltimore street rap these days as being kinda generic and sounding like it could've come from anywhere (whereas 3-5 years ago I really feel like the artists in this lane usually sounded distinctly Baltimore, or at least not like fake ATL). Plus his voice is kind of annoying, not quite in Dre Babes territory but getting there. I still like this more than a lot of the other mixtapes I've heard in this style lately, though, mainly because it's more of a 'street album' with mostly original beats. 100 Grandman guests on a song and Skarr Akbar did the artwork.
KG - "Fly Guy" (mp3)
This song is kind of on the generic swag rap tip that I'm not crazy about, but the beat by D. Banks is really killer and is what makes this sound like an actual potential hit.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
PenDragon - 24 (Team Arson)
PenDragon isn't the first rapper to make a mixtape in one day -- not even the first in Maryland since Kojo has done it a couple times -- but one thing I like about the way he did it is the spirit of spontaneity. He got the idea on a Thursday and executed it that Saturday, no planning or writing ahead of time and getting a whole finished product mixed down in the space of 24 hours. Of course, it's only 37 minutes long and has a number of freestyles over other people's beats, but I feel like there's a good relaxed vibe here, it feels casual and in the moment in a good way. And this was done in November, but as prolific as Drag is, he's got a new one coming soon. You can download this off allbmorehiphop.com.
PenDragon - "DRAG x Black Sunn x Mydus" (mp3)
One thing I like about Drag is that he really listens to other Baltimore artists and checks for people outside his crew, which is sadly rare -- shit, sometimes he sends me links and knows about stuff before I have any idea. And one thing he's done a little in the past and does a lot more on this mixtape is rap over tracks by local artists, not like collabs but just he liked the song and decided to do something with it. On here he does it with songs by the Get Em Mamis, Lynee Michelle and The Black Sunn, and sent them all the mixtape to let them know it was a show of respect and not some track jacking thing. The Black Sunn kinda took it the wrong way and talked about it on Twitter like he was being leeched off of, and it's a shame he didn't really understand or appreciate the gesture, really more artists could stand to be like Drag. Hopefully they'll get on the same page at some point and do a real song together or something.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Backland - "Back On My Shit" (mp3)
Twice now, I've posted "new" tracks from Backland's upcoming Block Work mixtape that turned out to be older songs that are going to be bonus tracks on the CD. So now that there's an actual 2010 vintage new song out there, I feel obligated to post it up, so here it is!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Paula Campbell - DreamMaker (DNA)
I've always been a fan of the early singles and independent album Paula Campbell put out in 2003 and 2004, and for a long time since then she's seemed like Baltimore's best hope for another mainstream R&B star after Mario. But to be honest I don't really know what's been going on with her career since then. She got signed to Sony 4 years ago, and started working with Ne-Yo 3 years ago, but doesn't seem to be any closer to dropping an album now. She finally has a song out featuring Ne-Yo called "Denial," but it's kind of mediocre and sure isn't a hit. Still, I give her props for still representing her Baltimore roots and doing a lot of stuff with artists here still, as well as this new 'street album' with DNA that's on AllBmoreHipHop.com. It has some new songs along with a lot of the singles she's released over the last few years, including the latest ones "Denial" and "Get Back 2 U," and older ones like "Champion," "Crying Tonight," "Won't Love U Back," and "Ain't Nobody Stupid." Sadly, again, hearing all these songs together is just a reminder that none of these songs went anywhere or were particularly good. She still has an appealing voice and I think just needs the right material, but for whatever reason she had better songs earlier in her career, especially on that indie album Who Got Next. The bonus track at the end of the mixtape is a megamix of the DMX and Baltimore versions of the "Where They Do That At?" remix that includes the Smash, 100 Grandman, Mullyman, Los and Comp verses, among others.
Paula Campbell - "I'm The Ish (PC Rmx)" (mp3)
I'm kinda completing a set here, since this is just about the only "I'm The Ish" remix I haven't posted here at some point (although I mentioned it in the DJ Class Best of Baltimore piece last year).
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Here's ScholarMan's latest video, which features "Hopes & Dreams" from his recently released album Free Spirit Of A Troubled Soul, and "So Origi-NOW" from a mixtape dropping later this year.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Sean Toure' - "My Time" (mp3)
E Major f/ Hezekiah - "Nuthin' Nice (Sean Toure' Remix)" (mp3)
Sean Toure' has a free record called the Remix Project up on his Band Camp page, a little project in advance of his official album Soundchanneler, The Invisibleman dropping this Summer. It's mostly remixes of well known songs by national artists, but he also includes some remixes of Baltimore artists like E Major, and his own solo track "My Time," which is from 2006 and has been floating around for a long time and is really good. I'll be honest, though, I think it's kind of a waste to use all these beats for unsanctioned remixes of mainstream tracks, Baltimore rappers should be lining up to buy these tracks from Sean.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
B. Rich - Traffic Art
8 years after “Whoa Now” briefly put him and Baltimore on MTV and the Billboard charts, B. Rich is still grinding independently, still making albums. And after a few years when I think he was spending more time in Atlanta, he’s back to focusing on his hometown. His latest album, Traffic Art, still kinda sounds more like Atlanta than Baltimore, or at least not much like his early stuff. I mean, most of these beats sound like they could’ve been on a Jeezy album, which on one hand means the production values are pretty high, but I’m also not sure it’s a sound that really fits B. Rich’s vocal style. That Born Rich album a few years ago was a much better attempt at fusing his style with something a little more serious and a little more underground. You can download Traffic Art at AllBmoreHipHop.com.
B. Rich - “Brotha In Blood” (mp3)
I like that pretty much this whole song is based around "dug" (the Baltimore pronunciation of "dog").
Monday, April 05, 2010
Here's the video for Mullyman and DJ Booman's "She Hurtin' Em" that's gotten some plays on MTV Jams. It was directed by Tabi Bonney, who's done much better work before in my opinion, the editing is so erratic on this that all the flashing cuts give me a headache.
And here's Mully's 'official street video' for "Imma Be More," which was directed by David "Super Dave" Manigault, and in my opinion looks (and sounds) way better than the video that got on TV. Obviously this is the original solo version, before Bossman jumped on the remix.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Reina Williams - Full Circle EP (Reina Williams Productions)
Reina Williams is a female rapper/singer/producer that I first saw live a couple years ago and have kind of regarded as an interesting, unique artist worth keeping an eye on. Recently she's been playing a lot of acoustic shows on a singer/songwriter tip, mainly a regular gig at Joe Squared, and I reviewed a show at Peace & A Cup Of Joe on Noise. I also checked out this 8-song EP she has available on eMusic.com, and it's pretty good, kinda sums up how all over the place her talents and aesthetic are -- some of the songs are kinda modern R&B, some are weird grungy alt-rock, some are more hip hop, with guest appearances by local rappers like Only and Chyna Doll.
Reina Williams f/ Only - "Just Move" (mp3)
This is, of course, one of the more hip hop songs on the record, not necessarily my favorite, but it's always good to hear something from Only, that guy's always impressed me live but I haven't heard a lot of recorded work by him.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Bossman - Block Work: The Tester featuring Bossman (DJ Jabril)
Obviously, the big news with Bossman lately has been the song and the concert he did with Mullyman, but he's been moving forward with his own solo career too. He just launched a new official website, Bossman410.com, and is prepping his official album with MySpace Records, The Re-Up, for release in May. And the latest in his never ending stream of underground mixtapes is the third installment in AllBmoreHipHop.com and DJ Jabril's Block Work series (the first two being Barnes and the Gritty Gang). There's a few familiar tracks on here, including the joint with Reks and Statik Selektah I posted a while back, the "Break Me Off" remix with Gucci Mane, Raheem DeVaughn, Jim Jones and NOE, and the "Where They Do That At" remix (just Boss's verse and Paula Campbell's part appear here), and it's got that goofy "All Over You" single he's pushing right now (or as I call it, the "Imma need pampers" song). But for the most part it's an hour of new music, mostly freestyles over current radio hits but also some new songs, with beats by 1Up Ent. and other producers, featuring D.O. from NEK and 100 Grandman and TestMe.
Bossman f/ 100 Grandman - "I'm Da Man Where I'm From" (mp3)
This song is pretty dope, and kinda plays off both of their names ending in "-man." Really this probably shoulda been the song he did with Mullyman if you ask me.