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Hip Hop 2015

Back in full

A lotta hip hop I love right now is sounding like Kendrick and I haven’t been this exciting about it since our start. We built this blog on hip hop about five years back, but electronic took over up until a year ago when hip hop caught up — or more likely we caught up with it.

Most of it you’ll love, but most of you aren’t going to like the last track, understandably. Give it a couple years.

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A-1 : Bay Area Hip Hop

First artist on your iPod (iPhone)

There’s not a lot of rappers, let alone singers, that I connect with lyrically. Words are a whole other game in music and the sound is hard enough to connect universally, words are much harder.

A-1 is not only the person that’ll bring Bay Area hip hop into relevance yet again, but with lyrics and a character the bay should be proud of. He’s got plenty good producers, reminding me of Doja Cat and her Purrr EP lineup.

Like I’ve said with Doja and before, the biggest thing any talented vocalist has to worry about is the producers they line up with, and A-1 has stacked his bill so far.

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Hip Hop + Heartbreak

For your Valentine's Day, or anti-Valentine's Day

This is the first playlist I’ve collaborated on. I gave up about half the songs for her, but she helped give this playlist more direction and make more sense. When I usually create playlists I tend to miss out on the obvious, and get called out for it later, but she kept me in check for this one. Plus she had a few good songs (more than me).

Here’s Lauren’s intro to our Valentine’s Day playlist, or anti-Valentine’s Day, “Hip Hop & Heartbreak.”

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Dead Horse Beats · Let Her Go

Hip hop in the house

I’ve been telling cats like Doja that the people you surround yourself with will make or break your career. I’m sure Cali Swag District didn’t imagine a production like this on their ‘Twerk It’ track, but synth goes well with their rap.

It’s not about the synth though. It’s that DHB let a new sound into some decent rap.

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Hip Hop 2014

Loving the underground since day 1

We still get a lot of hip hop submissions, despite our lack of featuring hip hop these days. We did manage to gather a good bunch to show our appreciation for the style that inspired this blog in the first place, including one of our biggest inspirations, Raw Poetic.

Now this list has as many hip hop influences as influences elsewhere, however, the emcee is our focus. The syntax & phonetics rap has brought to music is why we loved it the most in the past and why we love it the most right now.

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Doja Cat ·· Purrr!

Girl is goin' faar

Doja Cat wasn’t on our best of last year for the very same reason she will be this year. She’s always had a flow and a way with words, but now she’s teamed up with some legitimate producers to have it all.
[Musically]

I feel like Peter Rosenberg talking about Nicki Minaj, before their whole shit show, but Doja’s got the personality & style I haven’t seen in hip hop since I started this thing. I loved her original Nunchucks this time last year, but this new album has one that might top even that.
[Beautiful]

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Outside Lands 2014 ‘Kanye Remix’ Playlist

featuring a dozen mashups & remixes of Kanye West

Each year we put together a playlist of our favorites that are performing at Outside Lands, but we got bored of that this year. So we decided on putting together a bunch of Kanye mashups & remixes instead, ’cause Kanye would want it that way. Except them being remixes maybe.

A little disclaimer. For the most part, don’t take these too seriously, especially the first one. Some of the tracks even fall outta sync at times, but each has their moment.

Just prepare yourself with these “unofficial Kanye collaborations” and hope he debuts his official one with Disclosure this Friday at OSL. It could happen. It should happen.

#3 is the best, by the way.

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Linden Jay · Be Like You

Everyone out there wants to be like, you

Disclosure‘s influence appears to be popping up all over the place. They may not have created the sound, but they have undoubtedly popularized it. We’ve found many who try to dup their style, but few can do anything well with it.

Not only is Linden’s sound not just some blatant repeat, but he brings in vocals from Sam Frank on ‘Be Like You’ that bring much more than good sound. Lyrics usually don’t resonate too profoundly with me, but Sam Frank’s message is so telling of our time. I never really got people’s obsession with performers… without acting on it at least.

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Freddie Gibbs · Thug Till It’s Over

A production by Cookin Soul

I don’t know why, but everything went electro over the years on here. I remember when Silence was nothing but hip-hop. Then I had that nagging bitch in the back of my head telling me to switch it up. Almost 5 years later and the emcee has faded away for a hot mess of other vocalists. But despite our lack of featuring it, we do find good hip-hop in the most random places.

Freddie Gibbs is someone maybe I should know, but I’ve had an odd path when it comes to hip-hop, and all music. The Cookin Soul pair, however, has been a favorite for some time. The two gentlemen made the top slot in our favorite Jay-Z mashups & remixes (or at least the top two).

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Zhu · Superfriends

Triple threat written all over it

Zhu’s ‘Superfriends’ starts with a pitched down rap that I can only assume isn’t original ’cause it’s laid out so damn cunningly and this is only Zhu’s second release that we know of. But I’ve exhausted my resources and the blogosphere claims this to be all Zhu’s doing, vocals and all. And that’s not even the best of it, he or she (who knows) can throw one hell of a fiendish beat together. Zhu’s got triple threat written all over her (I hope it’s a gal, somehow).

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