Back in December, we caught our first taste of Oakland duo Main Attrakionz’s upcoming 808s and Dark Grapes mixtape, the followup to the 2011 tape that launched them into the national consciousness. That song, the Friendzone-produced “G.O. All I Know”, is now available for free download and offers a lens into where Squadda B and MondreM.A.N.’s minds are at. Stream and download the song below and hit the jump to peep the accompanying video.
So Friendzone’s long-awaited Kuchibiru Network 3 mixtape has finally hit the webs today and it is even greater than we ever could have imagined. Exclusives from Jerome LOL, Main Attrakionz, Ryan Hemsworth, Keyboard Kid and more were the first lines to catch our mind’s eye, but Silkky Johnson, Finally Boys and Shady Blaze also feature prominently and more than hold their weight on an impressive lineup of contemporary MCs and producers. You can stream and download individual tracks below, but you should really just grab the entire tape in one fell swoop right hurr.
After contributing one of the most engaging beats to A$AP Rocky’s debut album and producing extensively for Main Attrakionz, it’s probably about time for Friendzone to take the spotlight themselves. The duo of James Laurence and Dylan Reznick have been key movers and shakers on the West Coast for a good while now and have contributed as much smoke to the cloud as anyone. “Moments Pt. 2” will appear on the Kuchibiru Network 3 mixtape (find one and two here), which should highlight the duo’s angelic sound on a larger scale. The track is saccharine sweet, matching soaring choir vocals with chime like synths and skittering hi hats. There’s a dark underbelly to the track though, which is embodied in what sounds like a couple arguing beneath the surface of the beat. The actual dialogue of the argument is obscured by what’s going on around it, but the point is made: not everything is good and holy in Friendzone world. Along with “Moments Pt. 2”, Kuchibiru Network 3 will also feature exciting guest slots from Jerome LOL, Ryan Hemsworth and Keyboard Kid. Stream and download below.
Deniro Farrar’s sound has always been more akin to West Coast artists like Main Attrakionz and Schoolboy Q than his East Coast and/or Southern counterparts and the Kill Or Be Killed tape sees the Charlotte native matching bars with Green Ova member and East Oakland representative Shady Blaze. The tape is essentially an expanded version of last month’s DESTINY. altered and features an drool-worthy list of producers ranging from Green Ova mainstays Ryan Hemsworth and Friendzone to Sines and Lunice’s 808s driven take on Bass music. Like the title suggests, Farrar and Blaze are mainly concerned with street realism and their contrasting lyrical styles mash surprisingly well. Astral Plane favorite Haleek Maul features on the desolate Hemsworth produced “Cold Blood” and contributes one of the tapes best verses. Stream Kill Or Be Killed below and head here to download it (name your price).
If you missed the announcement, Rock The Bells announced its lineup yesterday. Like always, Guerilla Union made waves, bringing in Nas, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Dipset, A$AP Rocky and many, many more (check the full lineup here). Deltron 3030, the supergroup of Del, Dan The Automator and Kid Koala were also brought in. What brought the tidal wave though was the 20 year anniversary of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, performing E. 1999 Eternal in its entirety. In hip hop’s history, no set of artists have perfected a sound quite like Bone Thugs. Their gospel infused, sing-rap harmonies were unmatched in their time and have yet to be truly replicated in 2012. One collaboration comes close though. When Oakland’s Main Attrakionz (who we tried to interview once) and fellow Bay Area residents Friendzone get together, the result is pure, blissful hip hop. Remember “Perfect Skies” off of 808’s and Dark Grapes II? Friendzone. Shady Blaze’s “Follow Me”? Friendzone. The newest cut from the two brings the comparison to another level. “Green Ova To The Top”, featuring Shady Blaze, is vintage Bone Thugs. The light-hearted guitar, sing-song chorus and bitter-sweet verses are all there. Main Attrakionz are not Bone Thugs. Not even close. But when they get together with Friendzone, the two make some uncanny throwback joints. Stream and download below.