The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front,Lil B, King Louie, Fredo Santana, Lil Silkand Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.
The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.
As the last trickles of Grown Folk music comes out and the project is laid to rest, our attention now turns to Drew Kim (now producing as Druture) and Brendan Neal’s (now producing as Motions) respective solo projects. Yesterday, Druture released the long-awaited labor-of-love project Out Of Towner Vol. 1, his ode to Chicago rap. The tape features some of the most innovative artists to come out of the Windy City over production from Druture himself as well as Ryan Hemsworth and up-and-coming British producer Little Cloud. It’s a quick listen and spans a wide-range of vibes, but Druture’s vision is clear and, while far from cohesive, Out of Towner is a tantalizing look into contemporary Chicago rap and Internet production tropes (melding drill and grime/jungle). Head over to LiveMixtapes to download Vol. 1 and/or hit the jump for a few choice selections.
At some point in the weeks/months Druture (former 1/2 of Grown Folk) will release the DJ Victoriouz-hosted Out of Towner Vol. 1, a collection of collaborative tracks featuring mostly Chicago rappers/vocalists and producers from all over the globe. Today we received “Spotless”, a deeply collaborative effort featuring stunning performances from Sasha Go Hard and Tink over spotless, feel-worthy production from Canada’s own Ryan Hemsworth and London-resident Little Cloud. The full mixtape will likely feature a number of similar collaborations (YB, Lil Bibby, Rampage), as well as production from Druture himself. The project has been a labor of love for Druture and should not be slept on under any circumstances.
Yours Truly’s “Songs From Scratch” collaboration series is seemingly flawless, bringing together artists from different spheres into a single room to flex their respective skill sets. The latest effort isn’t necessarily the most out there as the two artists have collaborated in the past, but the quality is definitely up to par. Sir Hemsworth and Nashville’s finest put on a feel fest on “Can’t Get Over You” and mumble through the video portion. The music and heartfelt and a more substantive collaboration between these two is surely not out of the picture. Check out the video below and be sure to cop ‘Lito and Don Trip’s excellent Step Brothers 2 tape.
Before becoming the Ryan Hemsworth, Ryan Hemsworth was a relatively unknown Halifax-native with a penchant for web-based jollies. In the past twelve months though, the man who first caught our attention via a string of quality remixes and free EPs has toured Europe, aligned himself with the ever-subversive Wedidit collective and engrained himself in the transposable joint worlds of Tumblr/Soundcloud. Hemsworth has also diversified his sound, extending himself into the realms of Jersey club and out-and-out house, as well as refining his hip hop production palate. Today, we received the Still Awake EP, an all-free-everything offering that reverts to the Hemsworth we originally fell in love with way back when. Still Awake is full of breezy house and hip hop numbers, replete with enough chipmunk vocals and airy synths to engage even the most jaded listener. The first five tracks are delightfully elevated, but the EP really kicks into gear with “All Our Thoughts Are Physical” and Japanese producer Taquwami’s remix of “Perfectly”, a seductive off-kilter jam that changes the tone of the EP entirely. It feels like the Tokyo-based producer is on the tip of everyone’s collective tongue these days and it’s only a matter of time before his music becomes ubiquitous. It usually only takes one remix or guest feature to make that happen and we applaud Hemsworth for sticking with his guns and supporting such a prodigious, yet under appreciated musician. Stream Taquwami’s remix below, hit the jump to stream the full EP and download the whole damn thang here.
It’s impossible to understate the impact that ASAP Yams’ Tumblr has had on the ASAP sound and hip hop as a whole. If you’ve listened to pre-LiveLoveA$AP Rocky material, then that is very clear. Before meeting and being inundated with Yams’ knowledge and cultural breadth, Rocky was another run-of-the-mill New York MC almost entirely bereft of the fashion image he has now come to embody. There would be no purple in Rocky’s sound, no coke and white bitches if it wasn’t for Yams. Recently, Ryan Hemsworth and the “ASAP DJs” went b2b at a special Boiler Room NYC event (similar to the one they pulled off in London last year) and I can’t figure a more perfect manifestation of Yams’ influence. Hemsworth, in many ways, follows in the steps of Yams as cultural kaleidoscope, bringing a deep knowledge of 90s hip hop and popular culture to an increasingly young fan base. The mixing across the hour and ten minutes Hemsworth and the ASAP crew were on the decks is spotty at best (some have blamed a faulty needle), but that’s not really the point. Rocky actually spends the most time behind the decks, but again that’s not really the point. Yams’ influence is palpable as Rocky and Hemsworth bounce between club edits and late-90s Houston, Atlanta and Memphis with a choice Young Scooter number thrown in for good measure. Like Yams’ Tumblr, the mix is an amalgamation of the origins of contemporary hip hop sounds thrown into a blender with the best of 2013.
Hi haters, Lana and Ryan in the building. If nothing else, Ms. Del Rey is great remix fodder and it’s actually something of a surprise that Halifax’s own hasn’t taken a stab at her much maligned crooning. While Hemsworth has dilly dallied in straightforward four on the floor stuff as of late, his best work has consistently come in the hip hop and R&B realm. I’ve never listened to “Summertime Sadness” before (and probably never will), and while Del Rey’s vocals are still fairly grating, Hemsworth still manages to flip it into yet another soundtrack worthy clapper, full of austere synth work and clipping hi hats. All hail the Hemsworth. Stream below.
Fader mixes have become synonymous with “the jump” in recent years, from LOL Boys’ sound/year defining effort to the major www introduction to Samo Sound Boy and Body High, many a DJ has separated themselves from the aspiring masses. Ryan Hemsworth is the latest and greatest to contribute to the series and threw together a much talked about tracklist that includes Broken Social Scene (edited with Flocka) seamlessly tied in with Boys II Men and the latest hip hop inspired electronic music (or the other way around if you prefer). It’s eclectic to say the least, but we’ve come to expect that from the Wedidit prankster and most importantly, it works. Shlohmo’s “Out Of hand” (off of the upcoming Laid Out EP) is mashed up with Spaceghostpurrp’s “Osiris Of The East” and then transitioned perfectly into a slowed take on Nosaj Thing’s “Snap”. The last half of the mix appears to be comprised of the tactful pop Hemsworth is either listening to at the moment or has derived some of his sensibilities from. Contemporary acts Chrome Sparks and RAJA appear, as do classique acts like Bjork and Depeche Mode. We can’t predict when (because it’s definitely a when) Hemsworth will emerge from the internet cocoon and into full-blown stardom, but it might just be one or two more mixes like this. Stream and download below.
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.
Putting his slow house hat on, Mr. Ryan Hemsworth recently remixed Rhye’s sublimely heartbreaking “Open”, adding a groove almost entirely emotionally separate from the LA-based singer’s original. The remix creeps into electro territory a few times, but manages to keep its tactful feet, matching the plinking keys Hemsworth has seemingly strewn over a couple dozen remixes in the past year+. No word on a release date for this one yet, but you can preorder Rhye’s Woman album here.