This song is not on MGK's latest mixtape, Lace Up, but its the first track I heard from the kid and is still probably my favorite. Word on the street is the ink is still wet from MGK signing a deal but everyone who knows which label has been sworn to secrecy at least for the time being. So check this video out and get familiar cuz your about to see a lot more of him this year. Props to Pegs.
Machine Gun Kelly - Get Laced
Shawn Chrystopher, who made one my favorite songs in a reeeally long time, just released his newest effort, I Wear Glasses 3. As you might guess from the title, Shawn is one of those artists you can't put in a box, he'll put out three tracks that have totally different vibes, yet they all rock. I keep saying take my word for it, but unlike the major blogs that post everything, if something makes it into the Winner's Circle than you know its legit and worth the download.
Shawn Chrystopher - I.W.G. 3 (Mixtape)
Shawn Chrystopher - I.W.G. 3 (Mixtape)
Our generations Wu-Tang Clan is making sure we keep talking about them. Tyler the Creator, OFWGKTA's front-man, is absent on this track letting Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats get their moment in the spotlight. This is the newest single from the Odd Future camp and I'm definitely fuckin with this one. If you like what you hear download Hodgy's album, BlackenedWhite, and/or Domo's Rolling Papers (Wiz stole his title) which are both available for free.
Juicy J, who at this point is a certified OG, isnt sitting back, smoking blunts and reminisching about his glory days with Three 6. He's sitting back, smoking blunts and making trunk-rattling anthems with the newest go-to producer Lex Luger. Rubba Band Business is still in heavy rotation and already Juicy leaks this track off the upcoming sequel.
Jean Grae not only has the best name but is also one of the most respected female mc's there is. Add one of the realest to ever grace a mic in Styles P and everyone's favorite conscious rapper Talib and you should get some dope fucking hip hop.
Shouts to the dopehouse for putting me on this track and after listening to it I've decided Blitz is the African Jay Electronica except Blitz actually has an album coming out! Native Sun, drops May 6th.
More on the track...
"A blindingly bright clarity drives Blitz the Ambassador. With a spot-on sense of flow, he name-checks Basquiat and Lumumba, evokes lovelorn sighs on Accra buses, émigré alienation, history’s shadows. All set to swirls of brass, distorted guitars, and the crackle and pop of old amplifiers. With a lightning-fast mind, the political boldness of Chuck D, and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti, the Ghanaian-born, New York-based MC, composer, and producer unleashes psychedelic Afrobeat colors and triple-time rhymes on Native Sun. The album was sparked in Accra yet forged in the African diaspora."
Posted by mclov at 1:46 PM
Slum Village member and successful but slept on solo artist elZHi has an upcoming project in the works titled Elmatic, and this track is a bonus off said project. If you like what you hear from the Detroit spitta download his latest mixtape Leftovers.
"Spit on video vixens,
still fucked Vida Guerra,
another word and im cumin on your mascara" - The Game
Name-drops...Check. Absurd Punchlines...Check. Looks like Jayceon's back people hide ya wife, hide ya kids you know the drill. I still can't just call him Game though smh
Mac Miller should be constantly thankful for how well he's been embraced by the hip hop community, especially older rappers considering when most of them started someone like Mac would never have a chance in the rap game. The kid's rhymes on this track are some of his best imo, but Termanology is a monster and completely murks this track to make sure we know who the elderstatesmen is here.
XV just dropped this track via twitter possibly in order to get us in Charleston ready for when he invades the Music Farm April 4th. Tickets are only $13 in advance so come out and support good music.
Nickelus F has been releasing solid project after project for the past couple years, all of which have gotten support from the major blogs. Still his greatest claim to fame thus far and why me and many people like me first gave him a shot is the priceless Drake co-sign. Before Drizzy was on being nominated for Grammy's he was an underground rapper from Toronto that collaberated on several tracks with Nick Fury and still gives him shout outs as an influence. I'll give Drake props for putting me on the underrated rapper and after listening to this track maybe you will too.
"We’re taking ‘em back with this on, nostalgia at it’s finest for one of the most refreshing tracks off Gift Raps. Appropriately placed as the intro, ‘The Entrance’ follows Chip out in Cleveland telling the story of his come up and rise to greatness. Grinding in the streets time after time, making every dollar imaginable to be the freshest dude in the game isn’t an easy hustle, but who more suited than Chip Tha Ripper? Did we mention that he produced the track as well alongside the homie Big Duke? Crazy. We’re not done yet, more videos in the works. We in this hoe." Props to illRoots.
For the latest leak off SMKA's upcoming, The 808 Experiment: Vol 3. The project is dropping in its entirety April 26th, but to hold us off SMKA will leak a track every week until its release. I have also been informed there will be a release party going down April 30th at The Loft in Atlanta which I might just have to drive 5 hours for.
Donny Goines - For The People f. Bobby Creekwater & Mikkey Halsted (prod. SMKA)
Posted by mclov at 1:15 PM
Gnarly video to accompany the star-studded remix of the single off Travis Barker's album, Give The Drummer Some, which is pretty dope and in stores now.
Posted by mclov at 12:57 PM
"Jet Life, Jets Go Jets Go,
Showin off you right, we gonn' blow,
its all debris round all this gun smoke,
man this weed get me too high to be gettin it for the low" - Young Roddy
It's finally here folks. I've been at work the past 3 hours watching #returnof4eva become a trending topic on twitter wanting nothing more than to roll one up and listen to one of my most anticipated projects of the year. The mixtape/free album comes with a message from Young Krizzle himself.
"I am proud to present “Return Of 4eva” to all my supporters, I took the past year to work on this project. I reached out to some of my favorite artists that I felt represented what this album was about. Ludacris, Bun B, David Banner, Chamillionaire, Big Sant, Joi & Raheem Devaughn all helped me to make my vision of this album complete. I hope you all love it. Download it for free at www.returnof4eva.com stay blessed"– K.R.I.T.
Out of nowhere St. Louis and The Force representative Rockwell Knuckles drops this mixtape with a gem of a title (Kenny Powers > you). This is another tape you gotta take my word for it and give it a spin. The beats range from spacey vibes to rock samples to upbeat, club tracks and Rockwell does his thing regardless. Featuring production from Trifeckta and two cameo's from Winner's Circle favorite Tef Poe this tape is fuckin crazy so download, listen and may The Force be with you...
Rockwell Knuckles - Your Fucking Out, I'm Fucking In (Mixtape)
Detroit native Danny Brown has been building quite the buzz for himself over the past year. He released two critically acclaimed projects in Detroit State of Mind 4 and The Hybrid and got rave reviews for his performances at SXSW. Danny is one of the most lyrically and technically gifted new school rappers and 2011 looks to be his coming out party. Despite the still image this video is relatively safe for work.
Ghostface Killah aka Tony Starks has one of the most impressive discographies in hip hop and also happens to be one of the funniest dudes to ever take up rapping as a profession. In this priceless interview, Starks lets us know who are the top 10 softest rappers in the game and the answers will crack you up (especially the top 3). As always when dealing with Ghostface or Raekwon, you may need your handy Shaolin-English translator nearby.
Ghostface Killah's Top 10 Softest Rappers In The Game
Posted by mclov at 11:25 AM
If you look two posts down, then you'll know what you need to know about the highly underrated rapper know as Rich Boy. This is one of those mixtapes you just have to take my word for it and give it a shot. Produced almost entirely by Supa Villian, the beats go hard and Rich Boy's southern drawl is on point throughout. Props to datPiff.
Rich Boy - 12 Diamonds: Cartier Benjamin (Mixtape)
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino's, Freaks & Geeks EP , is easily one of my favorite projects of 2011 but with only 5 songs it was a bit of a tease leaving new fans like me wanting more. Luckily, the Gambino decided to let loose this track that he apparently wrote and recorded while he was hammered. Sticking to his bread and butter with an uptempo beat, catchy hook, and witty lyrics he proves once again that he can craft hits with the best of em.
Childish Gambino - The Longest Text Message
Childish Gambino - The Longest Text Message
Rich Boy suffers from Chamillionaire syndrome (or maybe its the other way around) meaning one hit single has overshadowed all the other really good music both rappers have put out. Rich Boy already has two southern classic mixtapes under his belt in Bigger Than The Mayor and Bring It To The Block, so I'm always at least willing to give his music a shot. This leak, a collab with Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth officially has me sold on Rich Boy's upcoming project, 12 Diamonds.
Mac and his team seem to have this rap game figured out. While Best Week Ever is still in rotation, Mac has yet another project on the way. I guess he figures his time is now and to strike while the iron is hot which sounds like a good plan to me. I believe this is the title track off Mac's upcoming EP.
So far, I think I've done a pretty decent job with this site considering my lack of experience as a writer/journalist. But I know my limits and when it came time to think about record reviews, I knew I had to call in a ringer. Allow me to formally introduce you to Marshall aka the man voted Player Hater of the Year three years running (he's currently campaigning for his fourth title). Despite wanting to pimp-slap him every time I see him for no justifiable reason, he happens to be a great writer and is one of the more knowledgeable hip hop heads I've ever met. He will hopefully continue doing reviews for the Winner's Circle on a somewhat regular basis so follow him and get familiar...
To tell the story of Pusha T’s new mixtape Fear of God you have to go back to the 2010 BET awards. You might remember that the awards show featured a cypher from Kanye’s handpicked G.O.O.D. music crew. Of course, Kanye took up the role of ringleader but the spot also featured Chyi the Prince, Common, Big Sean, and Pusha T. How did Kanye introduce his Virginia Beach label mate? That’s right: “Pusha T, Clipse just made a classic.” He’s surely talking about When the Casket Drops, so if that record was a classic than Hell Hath No Fury was a masterpiece. The point is, Clipse is one of the most critically acclaimed rap groups of all time. Sure, Dark Fantasy was one of the best pop records in years but Clipse have had one of the most consistently great Hip-Hop careers of the last decade.
Thus, when Pusha T appears in the BET cypher he looks a little awkward with the rest of the G.O.O.D. music crew wearing wayfarers and slim suits. Pusha T and Malice have always been “crack rap,” a sub genre Kanye has never really been involved with so it’s easy to be hesitant about Fear of God. Would it be a record in which Kanye’s notorious ego took over and masked over the brilliance of Pusha-T? Would Kanye’s pop sensibility clash with Pusha’s unique production tastes and signature crack braggadocio?
Thankfully, none of this is the case. With that said, Fear of God is no masterpiece, it’s not even a classic. But it is good, really good, and it’s all Pusha T. The album is relatively light in guest features. Rick Ross and Ab-liva feature on what is arguably one of the mixtape’s stand out tracks, the fire breathing “I Still Wanna”. On it we hear Pusha T wishing he could still “sell kilos,” a perfect indication that G.O.O.D. music has given the MC ample artistic freedom to stick with his signature style. 50 cent and Pharrell guest on another standout track, “Raid.” It’s unfortunate given how much Pusha is grateful to Yeezy that the worst track on the mixtape is the one he guests on. “Touch It” sounds like a title the Ying Yang twins passed over and the song lacks any appeal whatsoever. Kanye contributes a chorus which features him laying down his ultra-annoying nasal whine which was only acceptable on Dark Fantasy because the production value was brilliant and it was still a novelty trope. It’s a shame too because the track has a great beat.
Either way, Fear of God is a solid output from Pusha. I’ve often thought of Clipse as the Radiohead of rap. They’re consistently under-appreciated and yet their significant, but still marginal commercial success is somewhat justified. With the exception of “I Still Wanna none of these songs are going to be hits you blast from your car. If you, however, like Hip-Hop then this is a record you’ll appreciate. One of Pusha’s big talking points on the record is his concern with the new one-hit-wonder rappers. After three Clipse records Pusha is a veteran of the game and Fear of God sees him taking up the mantle as one of Hip-Hop’s elder statesmen. Pusha-T is popular because he’s talented. The problem is, he might be too talented for the ultra-mainstream. That’s ok because Clipse records will always have a huge following with real fans of the genre. And, he’s doing a lot better than some un-talented clowns with bad rhymes and a heavy beat who churn out one hit and disappear. As Fear of God proves, it’s refreshing to enjoy a nuanced record rather than look for the next banger. Pusha reminds us, he’s been in New York “sittin around Grammy winners,” company which is well deserved. Pusha T is one of the best and G.O.O.D. music is clearly the place he wants to be. The Virginia Beach MC and one half of Clipse still knows what he’s doing which is enough for me. -Marshman
Rating (in grams): 4/5
"I’ll crash that f-ckin’ airplane that that f-ggot n-gga B.o.B is in" -Tyler, the Creator. Bobby Ray puts down his guitar for a minute to remind us why we fucked with him in the first place...he can rap his face off. I know Odd Future's army is gonna claim Bob is pussy for not actually naming names and making it more of a Jay-Z-esque subliminal diss track, but we all know who he's talking about anyway so why does it matter? They will also say B.o.B sold out for making that radio friendly, crossover album (I've said this before too), but this track is undeniably hip hop and maybe Tyler's diss was the jump-start he needed to get back to his roots. Your move Tyler...
This track was an obvious 4:20 post, but my teacher during that time isn't a fan of technology so looks like we'll just have to get in the spirit an hour early today. SMKA's website says they do music production, branding, and development aka they are a collective/conglomerate that I have no doubt will be at the forefront of hip hop in the near future. This really smooth jam is off SMKA's upcoming project, The 808 Experiment: Vol. 3, which should be dropping in April.
When I call guys like Jackie Chain and Rittz goofy bastards, its because its true but don't get it twisted there are degrees to goofiness. Chain and Rittz are mere amateurs compared to the one and only Nardwuar. Nardwuar hails from Canada and dresses and speaks like a complete fool, but happens to be one of the most respected and admired journalists in the biz. Dude does more research for one interview than most do for ten and it shows just watch his interview with Pharrell that literally leaves him speechless on numerous occasions. Spitta appears to be pretty inebriated here and to say this is a classic interview would be an understatement.
Anytime Obi Wan and Anakin unite for a smokers anthem, its more than likely going to find its way to the Winner's Circle. This Scoop Deville produced jam is off Uncle Snoop's, Doggumentary, dropping March 29th, which happens to be the same date as Wiz's debut. Which one will I be purchasing? Well Snoop doesn't need my money and the leaks so far from Rolling Papers make the Drake album sound like Straight Outta Compton... so unfortunately likely neither.
Charleston Fashion Week is officially upon us, but all that really means to me is a bunch of dope after parties at clubs and bars around town. Tonight, the good people at Night Vizzion have booked the legendary Biz Markie to DJ at the Music Farm along with one of the south's rising stars and Charleston's own DJ R-Dot. This should be a dance party for the ages and lucky for you tickets can still be purchased for $15 at the door.
Posted by mclov at 10:52 AM
It's no secret Big K.R.I.T. wears his heart on his sleeve and spits some of the deepest rhymes the south has ever seen. He's never been shy about telling us what he's had to go through coming up a non-crunk rapper out of Mississippi. It looks like all the hard work is starting to pay off and Young Krizzle is getting to live the life he once could only dream about. The fact that he produces all this stuff too is insane this sample is money. Returnof4eva dropping right here March 28th.
Before they started doing cyphers this year, the mixtape was my favorite part of the XXL annual Freshman issue. We are treated to at least one new track from every Freshman except Diggy (I can live with that) and surprisingly another 9th Wonder produced Lil B cut.XXL 2011 Freshman Class : The Mixtape
Posted by mclov at 1:20 PM
Your gonna have to give me a late pass I never really got into Red Cafe but he released his new tape, Above The Cloudz, last week and its gotten rave reviews on datPiff. I'll give any track with Spitta a shot and this track goes. Curren$y does what he does best making the same shit we do everyday sound way flyer than how we do it.
Aleon Craft is back with the latest leak off his upcoming project Mothership Decatur, dropping sometime in April. As I've said before, Aleon takes on beats (mostly from rising stars SMKA) that would have other rappers baffled and kills them with ease. And c'mon, look at that fuckin artwork.
Aleon Craft - Ghetto Dope f. Backbone (prod. SMKA)
Bun B and E-40 are both certified OG's and pioneered hip hop in regions that now have some of the biggest breeding grounds in the game in Texas and The Bay. Slim Thugga isn't far behind and might be even more gangsta as he's currently being sued for pistol whipping a dude during a business meeting (must not have validated his parking). They say respect your elders so give this burner a listen and enjoy.
With The Kid Bilal's Deadication dropping sooner than later we decided an interview would be a great way to promote the project. Now, as I told Bilal I have absolutely no background in journalism so like the site itself I'm taking everything one step at a time. Props to Bilal for being patient and gracious as I tried to figure out a good list of questions and I think the result is dope. Check out the interview after the jump.
I'm sorry mama...
The Jets are back at it again but this time bring along their general to complete the highfecta (get it). I guess the Hot Spitta felt left out watching his young guns drop jam after jam last week and blesses us with some "high food for thought" of his own. As expected from the JETS this track is smooth as fuck with a chilled out vibe perfect for getting 30,000 feet.
I don't even know what to say except finally. In an era dominated by the over-saturation of mixtapes, this seemingly mythical project has been discussed, delayed, and desired more than any in recent memory. So its time to lock your windows, close your doors, put on your Play Cloths crewneck and enjoy.
Part 1: YG, Mac Miller, Diggy Simmons, Lil Twist
Best Verse: Diggy Simmons (close call over Mac)
Part 2: Yelawolf, Kendrick Lamar, Lil B, Cyhi Da Prynce
Best Verse: Kendrick Lamar (Yela & Cyhi close runner ups)
Best Hypeman Dance Moves: Lil B
Part 3: Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Fred the Godson
Best Verse: 3 Way Tie
South by Southwest in Austin, TX is one of the most unique festivals out there. Everybody in the industry is there and so is every up and coming artists trying to make a name for himself and get noticed by said industry people. Cleveland's Machine Gun Kelly embodies the hungry, budding artist as he walks the street with his crew signing autographs, taking pictures, kissing babies, etc. The thing I love about SXSW and the reason I really wanted to go this year is because a guy like MGK probably won't be standing in the street handing out his mixtape next year, but the next rapper about to blow will be. This video stars MGK, but the footage also encompasses the overall spirit and atmosphere that makes SXSW one of the most anticipated events of artists and fans alike. Props to Pegs.
You may want to read my previous write up on Rittz before watching this video. The reason I suggest this is cause Rittz is likely the most absurd looking person to ever claim rapping as a profession. However, as Biggie proved once upon a time looks come second to the product itself, and Rittz can spit with the best of em. Yelawolf takes up directing here and the result is this trippy video with a puzzling intro that goes until 0:42.
Lil Tunechi took a minute to set the record straight with Sway while backstage at the I Am Music II Tour opener last night. Looks like the album is set to drop May 16th so all you Weezy heads can save the date.
"Awesome" is a fitting title cause this collaboration and song are just that. XV is making a lot of noise these days and i guess Pusha liked what he's heard and decided to lace The Kid with the Green Backpack with a verse for this remix. If you fuck with the Winner's Circle I expect to see all of you when XV invades the Music Farm in Charleston on April 4th. Also Pusha's project (the Detox of mixtapes) is actually dropping right here March 21st.
Wale brings the classic Kris Kross instrumental out of obscurity and gives it some modern day justice. Wale Ovechkin had a tough 2010 and I think the decision to sign with the Bawse is suspect to say the least. I figured he simply had too big a following to now go and stand in the shadow of a man that cast a really big shadow (much pun attended). What I do know is with Wale, Meek Mill, and Pill signed Officer Ricky's got himself quite a roster. The Mayback Music Group compilation project, Self Made, drops May 21st.
This picks up right where the last one left off, before Wiz's homecoming concert in his native Pittsburgh. Features cameos from Mac Miller and Juicy J and as expected theres bong rips, gin shots, and hot chocolate spilled onto a huge bag of weed. Rolling Papers hits shelves March 29th.
Fellow PA rep Leo Miles is an up and coming MC out of The City of Brotherly Love. He sent me a few submissions recently and this song stuck out to me as the best one. The backdrop has a mellow, soulful feel and Leo lays some fresh and intelligent rhymes over it which makes for a good listen.
Posted by mclov at 1:35 PM
Another day, another awesome 50 freestyle. The hook sounds like it could fit perfectly on one of my favorite albums (don't be afraid to admit it) Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. In making a case that 50 Cent is actually back the best evidence might be the last minute of this track. Curtis blesses us with some classic shit talking, sending warning shots to everyone and eventually claiming he's a new man and should be called Ferrari lol.
Sir Michael is one half of everyone's favorite hip hop nerd crew The Cool Kids. Both members have branched out in the past year working on solo endeavors and for Mikey this project is the result. If your a fan of The Cool Kids or dope shit in general than this is for you.Sir Michael Rocks - The Rocks Report (Mixtape)
This shit is awesome. For real this track could easily be on 50 Cent Is The Future or Power of the Dollar which means its the throwback ski-mask, "ghetto as a motherfucker" Fiddy we've missed for nearly a decade. Once again though I hope these freestyles mean an albums coming and not just an attempt to stay relevant enough to sell us wireless headphones.
When it comes to favorite rappers, my top 3 dead or alive never changes. Nas, Biggie, and Big L are my constants, no doubt reflecting my east coast upbringing. The last two change periodically depending on where i'm at and what i'm listening to at the time. One name that pops up a decent amount that tends to catch people off guard is The Ghost Styles P. As 1/3 of The Lox and as a solo artist, P has been one of the coldest, realist, rawest rappers of all time. Quite frankly unlike a lot of guys he sounds like he's done and seen everything he talks about. This track is no exception, it doesn't get much realer than his first bar, "Most of us came from a broken home, drowning in my sorrows, drinking liquor, tryna smoke alone."
Here's some behind the scene footage from Wiz's cover shoot for Rolling Stone magazine. Gotta admit dude seems pretty level headed considering where his career and life is at right now. However, theres still no excuse for that blond streak in his hair smh...
One of the first features I did on this site was on OFWGKTA mainly focusing on Earl Sweatshirt. Two things have happened since I posted that, Odd Future has blown the fuck up but to my surprise Earl has gone missing and Tyler, the Creator has become the superstar. I was first introduced to Wolf Gang through the "Earl" video and was instantly hooked because I was listening to something unlike anything I've ever heard sans early Eminem. This was unfiltered insanity in the forms of suicide, rape, drug abuse, and of course murder. The thing is these are a bunch of teenagers and its pretty clear they don't really mean it, their just so creative and skilled that they can convince you otherwise on the mic. They are basically the answer to the era of bling and braggadocios raps. Odd Future doesn't care if you like them, in fact they will try as hard as they can to convince you not to. Tyler talks more shit than any rapper since 50 Cent and he can't even drink at a bar. Personally, I don't listen to Tyler very much I think Earl (who's currently missing aka in boot camp, boarding school, etc) is the best lyricist and rapper in the crew. However, the fact that Tyler and the collective have put out so much quality music and gained this much attention without any outside help is currently being dissected and reported on by every writer, industry insider, blogger and their mailman. The most notable projects from Odd Future so far (in my opinion) are the whole gang's Radical, Earl Sweatshirt's Earl, Mellohype's BlackenedWhite, Tyler's Bastard, and Domo Genisis (Wiz stole his album title) Rolling Papers.
The Odd Future Billboard Cover Story
Pittsburgh prodigy Mac Miller has done quite well for himself. The kid just graduated from high school last year and has already made the XXL Freshmen List and has worked with elder statesmen like Freeway and Consequence. When this tape dropped last night word is it shut down datPiff, which every major artist puts their stuff on so that is no easy feat. So do yourself a favor download the mixtape and maybe this will be your Best Day Ever.
Mac Miller - Best Day Ever (Mixtape)
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