Curren$y proves once again that his best traits are his beat selection and flow. After a few dozen albums, EPs and mixtapes, everyone knows what Spitta is about. But there’s a reason he still has such a dedicated fan-base despite a lack of content breadth. On the production side, Sarom laces the track with one of the nicest chipmunk soul flips of the year, miming Kanye at his best. No idea where “Go Crazy” will end up but for now download the individual track.
Cigarette Boats follows a simple script; Spitta plays Tubbs and Fraud gives best Crockett impersonation. The scene set is distinctly Miami and the duo makes no attempt at hiding it. The title and Fraud’s overtly 80′s indebted beats make that clear enough. Spitta inhabits a space he’s comfortable enough with on the EP. Personal wealth, classic cars, and rollin’ up are the topics he’s discussed ad infinitum, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Listening to Curren$y usually gives me a sense of comfort. I know exactly what I’m getting, but still end up pleasantly engaged by a few dozen pop culture references and punchlines. Fraud must have spent hours engorging himself on those low down shots of Testarossa’s in Vice while in the studio. He might of done the 80′s Miami sound better than anyone since… well 1980′s Miami. Cigarette Boats is free. It’s also Spitta’s most engrossing release since Covert Coup. Stream and download below.
Does Curren$y ever leave the studio? So far this month, he has already released an EP (Here) and a live-instrumentation album (Muscle Car Chronicles), but he’s not finished yet. Earlier today, the #The1st28 EP dropped on Dat Piff. #The1st28 is Curren$y’s long-talked about collaborative effort with New York MC Styles P. In a lot of ways, Styles and Spitta are similar. They both love weed. They both love cars. They both love women. Etc. Etc. I’ve always been preferential to Curren$y as I think he is far better beat selection, is a more interesting character, and is more consistent, but the collaboration makes perfect sense. The EP is steady and predictable, but still a fun listen. Jay Electronica and Mos Def probably did the New York/New Orleans thing better on their collaborations, but good weed raps are good weed raps. Either way, the EP is infinitely better than the Ski Beatz/Cam’ron/Vado that dropped last night. Download #The1st28 for free at Dat Piff.
Yesterday was a massive day for new music, videos and news. Unfortunately, it was also a little crazy for us here at The Astral Plane and we were fairly absent for most of the day. To catch up, here’s a big roundup post of everything that occurred yesterday.
Mississippi rapper/producer Big K.R.I.T. released his best track of 2012 so far, a new freestyle (whatever that means in contemporary hip hop) called “King Pt. 2.” Another track JJ DOOM, made up of MF Doom and Jneiro Jarel, is available to stream. The duo’s album will be released in May on Lex Records. Parisian producer Onra released a rework of his 2011 hit, “Perfect Match,” called “Perfect(ed) Match.” Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire toned down the raunchy for his remix (remex?) of Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable,” showing a different side of the Bucktown MC.
The most unlikely hip hopper this side of Mars, Brother Ali, got back into action with the soulful The Bite Marked Heart EP. Free download here. Portland’s Natasha Kmeto of Dropping Gems released an incredible new album titled The Ache. I highly recommend this one. One of the most beautiful “bass” music releases of 2012 and it’s free. Download it here or support the artist and buy the hard copy. Curren$y has come through again, this time with a live instrumentation-backed album titled Muscle Car Chronicles. I vaguely remember that I had a non-live copy of the album at some point last year, but I’m probably being delusional. Anyways, this is an excellent look into a different side of Spitta we rarely get to see on his usually highly stylized releases. The album is also free (again, Yesterday was a good day). Get it at Curren$y and producer Sean O’Connell’s Bandcamp.
On the music news front, amid all of the hysteria over the Grammy’s, especially regarding the EDM “performances,” i’ve only managed to find one adequate response. Phillip Shurburne of Spin wrote an especially adept response lamenting on the disparate nature of the electronic music nature and why the Grammy’s are completely irrelevant to most EDM fans. Plus he calls David Guetta a muppet. Overall a provocative, humorous read. Find it here. The full lineup for Detroit’s Movement Festival was released and it is quite the doozy. Specializing in Detroit techno and Chicago house, the Movement lineup provides plenty of support from those genres, including legends like Carl Cox and Juan Atkins. From the rest of the electronic music spectrum, Ed Banger head Busy P, nu-disco maestro Todd Terje, festival addicts Major Lazer, French electro legend Mr. Oizo, and many more will making appearances in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend. Find the rest of the lineup here. Last, but not least, electronic behemoths Kraftwerk will perform a retrospective series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The series will take place April 10-17 and cover eight classic Kraftwerk albums. Find more info on the series here.
Amid Sunday’s Super Bowl hysteria, we managed to miss a brand new freEP from the hot spitta himself, Curren$y. The most consistent hip hop artists of the past five years is back with the Here EP. The tape is more of a short mixtape than an EP and features Kanye’s “Drive Slow” beat and a redone version of Madlib’s “What Can I Do” (and its Luther Ingram sample). Like most Curren$y releases, he spends most of his time waxing poetic about weed, women and his crew. Download Here at Dat Piff.
We’re back with the second edition of Sounds From The Astral Plane. If you missed last weeks edition, check it out here. We will be highlighting some tunes from (mostly) unsigned/independent artists that we might have missed throughout the week. Enjoy.
Stream: R.Dot – “From The Ashes…Anew”
It’s always a treat to get new music from Huntsville, Alabama. Over the last several years, Huntsville has evolved from an afterthought of the hip hop media to its darling thanks in large part to groups like Paper Route Gangstaz and G-Side. Much of the success of PRGz and G-Side can be attributed to the production acumen of the Block Beattaz. One half of the Block Beattaz, R.Dot, is preparing for the release of instrumental project Euphoric and let a track that didn’t make the album go on Tuesday.
Stream: Jonwayne -”Electricity”
Jonwayne has been one of the hottest names in the LA hip hop/electronic landscape over the past several months. The producer/MC finished 2011 off with a month long Low End Theory residency, a spot on dozens of “Best Of” lists, and a spot on the Stones Throw roster. Now Mr. Wayne is starting 2012 off right with a beat tape titled Oodles Of Doodles set to be released on Stones Throw in February. “Electricity” is the first track off of the tape and features Wayne’s signature bleepy videogame sounds.
Stream/Download: Dam Funk – “Bionic Pussy”
There’s not much to say about Dam Funk that hasn’t already been said. The Pasadena native and keytar master just released an unreleased cut titled “Bionic Pussy” that didn’t make it onto 2009′s Toeachizown. Stay funky Dam.
Ski Beatz was one of the most accomplished producers of 90′s producing tracks for Camp Lo, Jay-Z and AZ. For the majority of the aughts though, Ski was quiet only occasionally releasing new music. That changed all changed in 2010 when Ski took over the game with Curren$y, Jay Electronica and Stalley in tow. 2010′s 24 Hour Karate School was a resounding success and while its follow up, 24 Hour Karate School 2, was a little disappointing, the two albums cemented Ski’s return as well as his place as one of the best producers in hip hop history. “Fly By” is the first track off of the third incantation of 24 Hour Karate School.
In 2009, Swedish trio Miike Snow took the indie/dance worlds by storm in 2009 with their self-titled debut The album featured catchy dance anthems like “Black and Blue” and “Animal,” both of which stayed in rotation years after the album was released. Three years after the first album, we are lucky enough to get the first official single from the groups upcoming album, titled Happy To You. “Paddling Up” is a piano driven dance banger that definitely sets an upbeat vibe for the album.
I don’t think I’ve been this excited to listen to a new hip hop song in quite awhile. Schoolboy Q has emerged from Kendrick Lamar’s shadow over the past few months as an equally capable lyricist and just as adept beat selector. When it comes down to pure flow, and unadulterated viscousness on the mic, none are better than the Black Hippy representative. Last week, Schoolboy dropped the first song off of his next album, Habits & Contradictions (dropping tomorrow), “Blessed” featuring Kendrick Lamar. “Blessed” is a powerful track about rising above the streets. “Grooveline Pt. 1″ on the other hand has an overt, relaxed coolness about it. With weed rap mainstay Curren$y and fellow Black Hippy Dom Kennedy in tow over what has to be Lex Luger’s most laid back production, this song is just begging to be bumped on a beautiful summer day. The subject material, seduction of the fairer sex, is more Dom and Curren$y’s forte, but Schoolboy slows down his flow and sounds right at home at meandering soul beat. This has gotta be my favorite hip hop track of the year so far. Highly recommended. Stream and download the track below and be sure to cop Habits & Contradictions tomorrow.