REVIEW: Tyler, The Creator’s “Cherry Bomb”

 photo TylerTC2015_cover_zps7n3qqcr1.jpg Cherry Bomb (Odd Future/Sony) is the brand new album from Tyler, The Creator and considering what has happened since its release, maybe some are asking about the future of Tyler, or the future of Odd Future.

This is what we know. Odd Future as a collective are no more. Earl Sweatshirt seems to not be part of the camp. Other people who were within the camp have released music recently. Tyler, The Creator is still creating and on Cherry Bomb he shows why he is one of the best MC’s around and one of the best artists out today. If you feel that Tyler is trying to create music that is accessible to more people, then be free to say that. However, Tyler never does anything regular despite the fact that some of the songs here are more developed and arranged than his previous works. It’s a more in-depth Tyler, and it’s nice to hear him go off in that way. If he’s trying to answer to the current vibe of hip-hop, he does that in a number of songs. Yet there are times when he’s not only answering back, but adding his own sidebars and information to let people know he is in control of his destiny, he’s not trying to comply or simplify. There are tracks where he actually sings and jokingly says he can’t sing at all.

What I really like is when a song may have two, even three different arrangements so waht looks like an 11-track album may have 15 or 16 songs total. Some of it comes off like mini hip-hop operas in the vein of Beastie Boys’ “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” or Siah And Yeshua Dapo ED’s “A Day Like Any Other”, where you’re unsure where a part of a song will drift to until you listen to it in full. Even that will lead listeners to want to listen to it a few times to get a grip. While Cherry Bomb shows hints of where he came from, it very much shows a path he is ready to explore, where it’s the unpredictability of something along the lines of Divine Styler or maybe twist and get into MC 900 Ft. Jesus mode, all while showing a solid style that shows he’s more than capable of dropping in a hardcore way without getting freaky or eccentric, all while being that freak and eccentric rapper he is known as. The album is a nice balance of the known and previously unknown, so I hope he will continue to balance on that fine line for projects to come.


AUDIO: Kanye West, Paul McCartney & Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds (Christian Rich Rework)” (excerpt)

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You may have already heard Kanye West’s new song, or perhaps you may have read too much news about the song’s co-producer, Paul McCartney, or the fact that it also features Rihanna. If you stayed away from the song due to personal morals, I would suggest listening to this remix of the song, or at least an excerpt of the remix. It was done by a duoo named Christian Rich and I am nicely surprised at how this is presented. You may click here (2.2mb) to download the song.

(Audio file courtesy of Kathryn Frazier. Used with permission.)

FREE DL: Kanye West’s “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Imperial Remix)”

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Some of you may remember the good ol’ days of hip-hop, and it may bring to mind Kanye West’s “”Diamonds from Sierra Leone”, right? Imperial has put together a mix and is it possible to improve on the original? Well, beauty is in the mind of the earholder but it is a worthy contender. Here, you not only get the vocal version but Imperial’s instrumental as well, so put together those mixes, megamixes, mash-ups, and whatever. Go ahead. DO IT NOW, I SAID!

FREE MP3 DL: Pusha T’s “My Crown Weighs A Ton” (mixed by DJ Pizzo)

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Pusha T this, Pusha T that, all anyone wants to talk about Pusha T.

Is that the conversation you’ve come across on a regular basis? There are good reasons, and one of them is that Pusha T is this, that, and more importantly: good. My Crown Weighs A Ton is a nice 71 minute mix put together by DJ Pizzo, featuring 29 tracks. Listing? You got it:
1. Kanye West Intro
2. I’m A Boss (Freestyle)
3. Infatuated
4. She Bad Bad (Remix) (w/ Eve)
5. We Right Here – (w/ Kid Named Breezy)
6. Shame The Devil (w/ No Malice)
7. Your Favorite Rapper (w/ Alley Boy)
8. They Do Drugs (w/ Juicy J)
9. Machine Gun (w/ Chase & Status)
10. What Happened To That Boy (Thugli Edit Interlude)
11. I Don’t Like (Aylen & Dotcom Remix) (w/ Chief Keef)
12. Mercy (RL Game & Salva Remix)
13. Tadow (w/ French Montana, 2 Chainz, N.O.R.E.)
14. Fettuccine (w/ Future)
15. Tony Montana (Freestyle)
16. In This Ho (Lambo) (w/ Swizz Beatz)
17. 100 (w/ Bangladesh, 2 Chainz, Jadakiss)
18. Mad Fo (w/ Ludacris)
19. Exodus 23:1
20. Clouds (w/ Rick Ross, Miguel, Curren$y)
21. Tick Tock (w/ Raekwon, Joell Ortiz, Danny Brown)
22. Peso (Freestyle)
23. Don’t Fuck With Me
24. Sweet (Freestyle)
25. You Need This Music (w/ Nottz & Dwele)
26. Concrete Jungle (w/ Troy Ave)
27. Vortex (w/ Kid Cudi, King Chip)
28. Mobster Dinner (w/ Mayalino)
29. Pies

It is a free download, while supplies last.

FREE MP3 DL: Kanye West & The Beatles’ “What’s A Black Beatle”

It is not the first time there has been discussion of a fifth Beatle. Eddie Murphy once created the the character of Clarence Walker for Saturday Night Live, whose claim was that he added the word “man” in songs such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand, Man”.
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In reality, one of the true “fifth Beatles” was the late Billy Preston, who jammed with the group in early 1969 which lead to him not only sitting in with the group, but being the only “extra” Beatle to receive a credit on their records for “Get Back” and “Don’t Bring Me Down”.
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As for Kanye West, what business isn’t he getting himself into as of late? This is also not the first time West has come close to being within the Beatles circle, as he put together the Late Orchestration: Live At Abbey Road project.
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Now, with the help of the Tutankhamun Brothers (Mr. Troublesome & UveBrother), The Beatles and West have united again, at least in spirit.
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The Brothers have put together What’s A Black Beatle, a new mash-up project putting together Beatles instrumental portions with Kanye West’s verbal portions, and what you get is something quite nice. Even though The Beatles multi-tracks have been made available since the release of their Rock Band video game, where the possibilities of remixing and edits have been endless, this is brand new and quite nice. Stream and listen, or download it for free before the man takes it away, man.

For other Tutankhamun Brothers projects, click here.

REVIEW: Kanye West’s “Yeezus”

 photo KanyeY_cover_zps138e78c0.jpg If anything, Yeezus (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) is about questioning. Is it social commentary? Is it a personal reflection? Is it more? Yes, yes, and yes. But maybe…no.

The album seems to be designed in the old school vinyl way, with two distinct sides, two distinct feels and vibes. There are lots of personal references that he makes, everything from his relationship with Kim Kardashian to the public perception of it, and why it shouldn’t matter to anyone. For those who think it matters to them, why amplify things? As far as calling the album Yeezus as a sly way of saying he is a Jesus figure, he explains himself a bit, both directly and in metaphors. In a way, people threw a fit when Ol’ Dirty Bastard was going to call his album The Black Man Is God. On this album, West says that he believes in a most high, respects a higher power, but why can’t someone like him be deserving of praise or accolades, or is the issue that someone deserving of praise or accolades is “someone like him”? In many ways, while he is staring at his own reflection, he is also turning the mirror on his listeners, the general public, the entire world. What makes us think we are higher than the next man, what makes us think we are holier than someone with respect, and why do we praise the holy and not the scum of the Earth? Who is the true scum of the Earth?

Musically, the album goes everywhere from having tracks co-produced with Daft Punk to traditional hip-hop tracks, and even bouncing back to the world he created with 808’s And Heartbreaks, complete with Auto-Tune abuse. One can ask if the Auto-Tune is meant to hide the emotion that he places in these songs, or is it just an open door to come in to find out what’s really going on? I read a tweet in passing which asked if West is trying to outdo Daft Punk with these songs, but how can that happen… when Daft Punk themselves produced some of it? This may be his trip into the world of electronica, EDM, or dubstep, but he has never been shy from stepping into perceived foreign territory. In fact, I found the Daft Punk tracks to be a bit of a throwback to what Anti-Pop Consortium were known for, deep and trippy basement tracks with massive bursts of everything.

The structure of the album is interesting, because while there are some parts where the lyrical themes seem to drift away from its initial intention, the music is very much the glue that keeps everything together. Some tracks aren’t just one style throughout, they will change up one or two times before the end of the song, so it seems West and/or his producers are in tap with the power of progressive rock and how those bands have worked for over 40 years. The use of three seconds of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” in “Power” may or may not have influenced West to try things out a bit more, but I like how it worked. By sampling an eclectic range of music throughout the album, everyone from Brenda Lee to The Holy Name of Mary Choral Family, he is establishing paths that will take the listener from one place to another, perhaps on a bumpy ride, or merely catering to listeners who understand the power of digging up atypical material as a means to tell/share a story.

Is West the untouchable man of hip-hop, the Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan of hip-hop? Or is he the mysterious devil as shown on the cover of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? Is this album a way to utilize The Rolling Stones lyric “I shouted out ‘who killed the Kennedy’s?’, when after all it was you and me”, as a means to address his concerns? If so, isn’t he essentially stating what INXS once said, in that “every single one of us has the devil inside”? In other words, what West is doing is addressing all of the attacks he has been given, just because he is an artist with a lot of respect and ridicule. The respect will keep him going, and I’m sure he is humbled by that even though he may not address it in the most direct way. By calling the album Yeezus, one might say that he was throwing fire onto himself, when perhaps what he was doing was turning the fire hose on everyone.

As for his means of promoting the album by not promoting it, I think West knew and expected that when you are a mainstream artist, sometimes you can allow the public to do it for you. Is it hype, is it anti-hype, or is he being anti- anti-? Him promoting the album in a very minimalistic way was his way of starting word of mouth, and that worked. In the end, Yeezus may not be a completely brilliant album like Late Registration or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy were, but the album is a way to not only hear his latest creation, but for it to be another piece of the puzzle that has become the spectacle of the rapper many have chosen to praise, more than someone who may deserve simple props or a dap.

SOME STUFFS: Soundtrack for “The Man With The Iron Fists” is on its way

With Method Man releasing a brand new track for the soundtrack to The RZA’s movie The Man With The Iron Fists, the music and film is not only attracting attention for fans of the Wu-Tang Clan, but also action films, kung fu flick fanatics, along with Quentin Tarantino enthusiasts, as he is the one presenting The RZA’s film to a much broader audience than it would be if he did it on his own. Now more news about the forthcoming soundtrack. The movie will be released in theaters on November 2nd, while the soundtrack, still being assembled and finalized, will hit stores about 10 days before the film on October 23rd. A close-to-final track listing for the album has been released. My guess would be that most of these (if not all) will be on there, but I would not be surprised if there’s a bonus track or two, maybe iTunes-only, maybe a “track 0” on the CD, it is unknown. What is known? These tracks. As you can see, it’s not only new material from The RZA and Wu-Fam, but also some of his hip-hop friends along with a few songs tracks he has sampled in the last 20 years:
1. The Black Keys / RZA “The Baddest Man Alive”
2. Ghostface Killah / M.O.P / Pharoahe Monch “Black Out”
3. Kanye West “White Dress”
4. The Revelations feat. Tre Williams “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”
5. Talib Kweli / RES “Get Your Way (Sex as a Weapon)”
6. Raekwon / Ghostface Killah / Kool G. Rap “Rivers of Blood”
7. Method Man / Freddie Gibbs / StreetLife “Built for This”
8. 24 Carat Black “Poverty’s Paradise”
9. Killa Sin “The Archer”
10. RZA / Flatbush Zombies “Just Blowin’ In The Wind”
12. Corrine Bailey Rae “Chains”
13. Pusha T / Raekwon “Tick Tock”
14. Frances Yip “Green is the Mountain”
15. The Wu-Tang Clan “Six Directions of Boxing”
16. Mabel John “Your Good Thing Is About To End”

It has been said that these older soul tracks are “re-constructions” of the originals. It doesn’t say if The RZA had access to the Stax Records’ multi-tracks or if he obtained them directly from the masters, but it means you may be hearing them cut up a bit (i.e. remixed) with the Rzarector style.

Stay tuned.

VIDEO: Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Otis”
MTV recently did an article on this video and asked “what does it mean?” This, coming from a network that used to be questioned for all kinds of nonsense images for fun, now making a massive profit from running bullshit on their network, trying to ask about something actually creative? You’re a laugh, MTV: a real laugh. Go take a bubble baff, and I do mean bath.

This is “Otis”, one of the more talked-about songs online in the last few weeks, now see the visual component. It was directed by Spike Jonze, and it’s a nice one.

VIDEO: Q-Tip & Kanye West’s “Award Tour (Live At The 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival)”

A lot of people are talking about yesterday’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, from Eternia to M.O.P., but what many are speaking of was the headliner: Q-Tip. It was simply billed as Q-Tip & Friends, and with attention surrounding the A Tribe Called Quest documentary, people wondered who his friends would be. One of them was Kanye West, and together they performed the classic ATCQ song “Award Tour”.

Personally, it looks like Jeff Da Maori from Bro’Town was jamming on bass with Tip and Kanye, ow.