Run the Jewels – Blockbuster Night Pt. 1 [Atlanta/Brooklyn, US]

Hip-hop / Rap

Here’s what you’re gonna do: you’re gonna listen to this massively intelligent insight bomb Killer Mike drops on CNN’s Brooke Baldwin regarding Ferguson, which is a truly horrifying and disappointing (though tragically not surprising) blight on America’s already rocky reputation. After you do that, maybe read and share his Billboard op-ed piece where he attacks the fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Then, maybe after some of your own research, when you feel like you have a fully formed opinion and are satisfactorily upset over all the bullshit, press play on Blockbuster Night Pt. 1. Let the rap duo that are giving The Throne a run for their money’s uncut disses-upon-disses be directed at anybody who contributed to the ridiculous GoFundMe for the cop who shot a harmless 18-year old and provide catharsis. Let El-P‘s sinister and swaying, clicking and clacking beat on the track spread fear in the hearts of hate-mongers all around the world. Sure, it’s an inherently apolitical track, but it’s got an intensity that can be focused anywhere and will cause immeasurable destruction that simply cannot be denied. After Mike’s final line, “tell ’em fuck ’em, I never loved ’em and salutations” lands like bricks just after the beat drops out, you know exactly who has just passed through. Run the Jewels are back, and it’s looking like they’re here to do that voodoo that they do (so damn well) all over again. 

RTJ2 (sequel to last year’s fantastic self-titled debut) is out October 28th via Mass Appeal Records.

Rustie – Attak ft. Danny Brown [Glasgow, UK]

Electronic / Trap / Rap

Did you hear Side B (Dope Song) off of Danny Brown’s fantastic 2013 album Old? If no, go ahead and treat yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Wasn’t that great? Both as a song as well as an introduction to how  these two giants in their respective genres work together. Pleasant synthy intros lull you into thinking that you’re in for a luxurious pop song, until Danny’s killer flow comes in and completely stomps that idea out without remorse. Suddenly you’re hearing jittery drums coming in as jittery as machine gun fire and you’re trapped in the intensity of Danny Brown‘s words and Rustie‘s glitchy beat. They’re forgiving though, letting you up for a gasp of air when Attak retreats for a minute as it brings back the opening synth melody. It’s a trick that never fails though, as it’s actually just another build-up into the next pummeling drop. This track has got me all sorts of hyped for Rustie‘s next album Green Language, out August 26th via Warp.

Keep up with Rustie on facebook and twitter, and maybe Danny Brown as well.

James Blake – Life Round Here ft. Chance The Rapper [London, UK / Chicago, US]

Soul / Rap / Synth

I wouldn’t call this so much of a remix, a rework would be more apt. The original is pretty much completely preserved but made so much better with the great icing that is Chance The Rapper.

Apparently this collaboration is gonna be the first of many, so let us get our hopes up!
and count our chickens !
and all that other stuff !

Kendrick Lamar – Control (Verse) [Compton, US]

Hip-Hop / Rap

kendricklamarking

Taking no prisoners, this verse has captured the attention of any listeners that have had the fortune of falling in its line of fire, and it has the internet buzz to match. In a move that has raised the bar for rap album outtakes for the rest of eternity, Big Sean left song Control featuring, man of the hour (possibly millenium), Kendrick Lamar, off his upcoming album whose name and release date don’t really matter at this point. Hell, verses by previous song owner Big Sean and Jay Electronica on the same track don’t really matter either. Rapping angry can make a weak verse sound slightly more interesting, but when its executed through a “flow that put the rap game on a crutch” you get earth being split and every rapper he calls out (at least one of your favorites included) being taken down and bursting to flames in the fiery, hot center of Kendrick’s skill. Hearing such intensity spit all over current major players in the hip-hop game expands its grandness to legendary levels and is one of the most electrifying moves in a long while. If best-of-the-best of last year’s good kid, m.A.A.d city hadn’t convinced you that this guy’s on his way to being one of greats, if he’s not already there, then you better figure that out before the end of this verse, before he straight up knocks you out of his way.

Hear the rest of the song here or find out more about Big Sean’s upcoming album here.

The Neighbourhood – West Coast [California, US]

Hip-Hop / Indie Rock / Alternative / Rap

Remember the last time we missed out on a The Neighbourhood track? Never, that’s when. I practically idolize these guys. So of course I wasn’t about to miss out on this one either. Since the release of their last album I Love You a few months back, these guys haven’t been lazy at all. Or maybe this was just one of the tracks that got left out of the album.
Either way, I’m just happy as hell to hear more from them.

If you aren’t following them already, get to it at their soundcloud here.