Update 7/14/2017

New loosie from Flatbush Zombies, Meech is missing on this track with only Juice on the mic and Erick producing. The music video is pretty sweet (seen below) and always glad to get some new music from FBZ.

 

Skepta had a new loosie drop a little over a week ago, might have flown under the radar with all the other big releases recently. The song is pretty dope, listen below.

 

Very excited about the below, can’t get enough Metro Production.

The first single came out yesterday, even if you don’t like Nav you’ll be able to appreciate the production. I doubt it’ll leak since it’s been pretty under the radar until now.

 

Lil Pump is a pretty polarizing figure right now, he’s another SoundCloud rapper that old heads hate. He’s coming out of Florida and has worked with Ronny J quite a bit, Ronny J is a prevalent producer right now who I know from his work with Denzel Curry. The song below in a lot of ways sounds like older Chief Keef. The theme of the song, name, lyrics, beats, and baby noises are crazy when you consider the fact that Lil Pump is currently 16 years old.

 

The nextXXL cypher came out today. Kamaiyah, PnB Rock, and Kap G rapped over another Sonny Digital beat. I have to say, I really like Sonny Digital. The GOAT EP was really slept on, glad he is getting some promotion from XXL. I thought the cypher was pretty good, obviously none of these were freestyles but overall much better showings than the “freestyles” they did before.

 

Finally, SoundCloud’s fate is up in the air. They fired 172 employees and closed some of their offices, and according to the linked article a source says they only have 50 days of runway left for funding.

Chance the rapper says that he spoke with the Alex Ljung, the founder of SoundCloud, and that things are good but we’ll see what happens. SoundCloud is a great platform and I hope it sticks around independently.

Jay Z – 4:44

I would be pretty surprised if you are reading this blog and haven’t heard this by now, but Jay Z dropped an album titled 4:44 at midnight on June 30th exclusively on Tidal (the streaming service purchased by Jay Z in 2015 that Sprint now owns 33% of). After a week of exclusivity on Tidal the physical copy was released and the project went live on all of the other streaming services. It is a shorter album, originally 10 tracks with 3 bonus tracks coming out on the physical version. The album is produced entirely by No I.D. who is a legendary producer from Chicago with tons of hits over the years. 4:44 is Jay Z’s 14th studio album, he has had an incredibly long run and has experienced incredible success both inside and outside the realm of hip hop.

Jay Z really doesn’t waste a bar on this album, this means that there is an incredible amount of depth in each and every song. I’m not going to sit down and type out every shot and complex line because there are simply too many and I’m STILL hearing new lines after listening to the album 5 or 6 times. Jay takes shots at a whole messof people on the album, including the alleged Kanye line, Eric Benet, Future, Bill Cosby, and more. Overall, I thought the main themes on the album were about family, race, and legacy. It felt to me like a possible retirement album, although with Jay Z, who really knows. One point that I wanted to make that I haven’t seen much talk of on the internet was the fact that 4:44’s album artwork (seen below) is using a color remarkably similar to Kanye’s from Life of Pablo (also seen below). This may prove some kind of solidarity with Kanye, the orange being the compliment to Jay’s “Jay Z Blue”, the color he bought back in 2007, or maybe I’m reading in to nothing.

 

I thought this was a great project that once again showcases the lyrical prowess and songwriting skill of Jay Z over stellar production. This album is meant for sitting down and listening to bars, not for playing at a party and turning up to. It is an album that transports you into the life of Shawn Carter, it speaks about his life and his family, where he’s been and where he’s going. There is only one major problem with this album, 50 Cent didn’t like it.