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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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Electro Lady Relaxations

Chillin with the ladies

Our favorite female vocalists of 2014 had a part two and this was going to be it. But so many of them were downtempo electronic, so we decided to make something more specific out of it, and brought in some older tracks.

Our electro relaxations has been our most popular playlist to date, other than the beats to blaze to, and we always wanted to include female vocals over the relaxations. And here it finally is…

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One T · Audible

This got funk

Well, funk is back, at least for us. One T’s Audible took our interest in electro funk and pushed it into something more funk electro (emphasis on the funk).

Audible is actually a reinterpretation of One T’s collaboration with Kentaroxiii & Toma Love Child. One T pitched down his verse from the original and brought in Josh Jar’s guitar. And damn if that guitar don’t make this funk, on the highs & the lows.

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Music of the Year, 2014

Listened to way too much music this year

I’ve listened to way too much music this year, probably around 12,000 new tracks (I tried calculating it). Most of the music was.. unfinished, to say the least, but we found a lot more songs worth keeping than any year before it.

A lot of new music emerged or reemerged over the year. Deep house was the big thing, but many discredit it because of the hype. It had its bad with its good. Our favorite new style goes to what doesn’t seem to have an official name yet. I’ve heard many call it kawaii, but I prefer vapor – this naming shit is more important than you’d think.

We’ve got 30 songs to show off, 11 artists and 20 playlists for you, but if that’s not enough… wait ’til next year.

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Dance Party 2014

Ain't no party like a dance party.

I’ve gone to a handful of EDM shows & festivals over the last year and I just don’t get how people can dance to most of the popular shit these days (says the hipster music blogger). At least not when you’ve got such better music to dance to (also hipster). So obviously we had to put a list together (very hipster).

Our Dance Party mix for 2014 is geared more towards the club or house party rather than the rave. I guess that’s where we differ from the higher BPM, bombastic music dominating EDM right now.

We get into various forms of house music on here, but there’s plenty of other influences as well — I’m being vague because I just spent way too much of my time putting together this list and I don’t have time to articulate it (like always).

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Deep in the House 2014

Name may've been booted, but UK Garage still wins

Our last deep house list tacked on UK garage at the end, it does take over much of these lists, but as industry standards go it’s all deep house now. Though most of the house here has some influences from garage — grimier sounds with emphasis off the beat.

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Remixed Right 2014, Vol. 5

Creativity over quality

Sometimes it’s more about the creativity than the quality in a remix. Some of these aren’t perfect, but they show a lot of potential. And that’s another good reason for remixing, to get producers just starting out vocals actually worth making something new out of.

This is our biggest remix playlist yet. We tried hard to remove as much as we could, I mean that’s our job, but let me tell you it’s just as hard, if not harder, removing tracks from a playlist than adding them in (as we mentioned in our how to playlist music article).

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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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Electro Lovin’

2014's finest in soul music

We start this off by sampling some of the best styles in electro soul and go from the playful down to the more sedentary. There are a few songs that deal with heartbreak, but the sound is still right.

Have fun with your loved one with this one.

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