Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hip Hop Radar (Week Of 12/1-12/7)

The duo Nacho Picasso (@NachoPicasso) and Avatar Darko (@AvatarDarko) strike a decidedly dark theme with their mixtape Vampsterdam. With production that barely rises a certain register, it’s a rather good effort. Their delivery varies between odd, fast, and intelligent metaphors. Something in their music is strangely hypnotic. I find myself enjoying the mixtape as a whole.

SUGGESTIONS: “Vampire”, “Emptiness”, “Mad Max"
RATING: 4.5 of 5
DOWNLOAD HERENacho Picasso & Avatar Darko

MAC X SLIM - Pre Crooklyn
Conversely to the previous tape, Mac X Slim (@MacXSlim) depends on more sounds and really well crafted production. Pre Crooklyn is rhythmic and plays with a cool vibe that sometimes feels like Texas hip-hop. Each beat punctuates an amazing flow that ensnares you with each track. This tape is one of those rare projects to put on repeat as you ride.

SUGGESTIONS: “45”, “Questions”, “Forget Me”
RATING: 4.8 of 5

THECOOLISMAC - Underground Grammy
Not many people can pull off a mixtape that sounds like a studio LP but TheCoolIsMac (@thecoolismac) does it on Underground Grammy. Each song seems as if it has been crafted as opposed to written or recorded. With features from Quentin Miller and Scotty ATL, the tape is another strong effort from yet another Georgia born MC. This one is inspired in every sense of the word.

SUGGESTIONS: “Intro”, “FaceCard”, “Live From The A
RATING: 5 of 5

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Week Of 21/1-12/7)

1. Nelson Mandela-We lose a beacon, a lightning rod in South Africa, and a warrior against the apartheid. Although the world mourns him publicly and with fond memories, I am reminded of something that the great man said:

“ Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”

On that note, I move on. Mandela has said it all.

VERDICT: GOOD (for the rest), BAD (for the family he leaves),  UGLY (with these memes lumping his death in with an actor [Paul Walker] and a cartoon character [Brian Griffin])

2. Grammy announcements-The nominees for the Grammy awards have been released. This year looks to be a good one. This mostly hinges on the best people in their given categories winning. The last thing we need is for music industry politics to make the loud outcries overshadow the night.

VERDICT: *insert your verdict here*

3. Kendrick Lamar-The man who woke up hip-hop with his murderous verse on the now infamous “Control” has been nominated for a few Grammys, Album Of The Year and Best New Artist among them. Having seen who he’s cometing with in each field, it’s admittedly strong competition. Despite that I hope he can walk away with Album Of The Year at the very least . Or would that be the very most?


4. Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes-What happens when two legends in the hip-hop game collaborate? I’m not sure but in a short amount of time, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes will show us with their collaborative effort The Dragon And The Abstract. This one’s going to be a classic. At least, I hope so.

VERDICT: UGLY (because it’s about to GO DOWN!)

5. Christmas is coming-Do I even need to say anything here?! It’s fucking Christmas!!!

VERDICT: GREAT (despite the fact that great isn’t in the title)