You probably know Nick Hook even if you don’t think you do. As a member of Cubic Zirconia and Hudson Mohawke collaborator (and probably a lot more behind the scenes work), you’ve probably listened to Hook’s music in one form or another. So while Without You is Hook’s debut, it’s not a debut in the purest sense of the word. Presented by Scion A/V (whose A&R’s or whomever have been on point as of late), Without You is a scattershot collection of tracks with influences from across the music spectrum, ranging from plodding psych rock (“It’s A Sin”) to bombastic, apocalyptic hip hop (“Sirens”). Like Hook’s previous work, the collection is built on collaborations and The Gaslamp Killer, Computer Jay, El-P and Machinedrum all make appearances. Not taking anything away from Hook, but Without You is at its best when he’s assisted by another producer. Head over to the Scion A/V website to grab Without You and be sure to check out his hilarious Q&A column over at XLR8R.
Continuing the trend of talented MC’s working with even more talented producers, we bring you the latest effort from Harlem spitter Azealia Banks. Banks has been spending a little (a lot) too much time fighting with Lil’ Kim’s fans on Twitter over the past few weeks, but we’ll excuse that if she can continue turning out bangers like this. She’s shown a penchant for working with talented producers (she likes them LuckyMe cats) and “Jumanji” plays along with the script she’s written over the past year. She’s brash, vile and obnoxious. She’s still fascinated by the female anatomy. She can still ride a wonky beat better than any other MC on the planet right now. As for the beat, it initially comes off as some silly circus shit, but on further listen, I see it as more an extension of HudMo’s recent remix of Battles and the wonky new TNGHT track. After making a tuba sound harder than Lex Luger’s drum rolls ever could, the traditional boundaries of hip hop beat making disappeared for the Glaswegian. I’m not too familiar with the Brighton-based Hook, but after some quick research (a Youtube search), it appears that the man makes some decent 128 BPM tunes. Azealia has already worked with Lunice, Machinedrum, and now HudMo, so who’s next in the LuckyMe camp to hit the studio with that Uptown Bitch. Rustie? Please be Rustie. Azealia on some “City Star” shit would far too grimy. Stream “Jumanji” below and hopefully Azealia really is buckling down in the studio and we’ll get 1991 or a full length by Fall.