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Music that Got Me Blogging About Music (Part 1)

The Midwest - with a little East Coast & Florida mixed in

I decided to compile a list of 25 artists that I discovered (or rediscovered) in college and was the driving force to get this music blog up and running. The list is broken into five categories – Midwest/East Coast hip-hop, West Coast hip-hop, International/non hip-hop music, Bay Area hip-hop and finally my top five. I plan on posting one per week for the next five weeks (each Sunday), but you know how that goes. Make sure to stay tuned in.

For the first part I decided to go with the Midwest because that’s where I’m from. Unfortunately, my Midwest & East Coast influences are lacking on this list, probably because I went to college in Arizona, heavily influenced by the West Coast. Anyways, I think you’ll enjoy these six musicians from the heart of America – some you may know and some you’ll get to know (you better!) […]

Check out the Midwest’s best »

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The Weeknd ·· House of Balloons

Continuing with the sexiest shit you've never heard!

Abel Tesfaye’s vocals are touching on holy in House of Balloons, backed by Doc Mckinney & Illangelo’s deep ‘n dirty beats and this is an experience into the dark side of soul.

When I heard The Weeknd’s first single, “What You Need“, about a half a year back, I remember thinking that this is some of the sexiest shit. Well, I wasn’t quite sure where Abel would take it next, but House of Balloons has a grip of tracks that are equally as impressive, spewing even more […]

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Paper Diamond – Electric Smile

Some electric happynasty (whatever that is)

In for some more glitchy/choppy breakbeats by Paper Diamond. I gotta say, “Electric Smile” is one of his best so far – seems to keep me more in tuned than a lot of his tracks off Levitate. Wish there were some dirty pop samples put in, but sometimes it’s good to keep those out (for integrity’s sake).

Make sure to check out my post of Paper Tiger’s Levitate on SFCritic.

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KeithCharles Spacebar – BeforeCommonEra

Sounds like... help me out with this one.

When I first heard KeithCharles Spacebar’s “PrettyBrownEyedGirl”, I thought it was a prank. His flow just reminded me too much of a fairly well-known East Coast/Midwest rapper, one I couldn’t put my head to. The whole vibe reminded me of AbCreole, who are actually from Seattle, but knew I was thinking someone more nationally known. It’s frustrating as hell, but I still can’t figure it.

But besides that, KeithCharles vibe is smooth as hell, especially with those neo-soul beats behind ’em. The beats actually remind me of a couple of my favorite producers, though these I can name.

Besides his minor references to video games classics, KeithCharles’ BeforeCommonEra is also similar in sound to D.C. producer K-Murdock. Both posses beats with a forward-thinking, experimental style that incorporates […]

More on BeforeCommonEra »

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Tim Gunter – Electric Hustlin’

Mord Fustang & Rick Ross Mashup

Yea, I’ve been posting a lot of shit hip-hop, lately. But these mashup mavericks craft fine electro-beats around rappers who may not be the most relevant to our lives, but have something that many rappers overlook, a personality.

I see too many well versed rappers concentrate too hard on the meaning and not on how the rhyme flows with the beat – remember, you’re not rapping to a beat, the beat’s rappin’ to you (… you get what I mean). As much as hip-hop is about meaning, the first thing to music is feeling – and Rick Ross with the help of Tim Gunter’s mashup of Mord Fustang’s “Electric Dream” is nothing but feel (good) music.

Even More Fun »

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Ellie Goulding DUBSTEP Remixes

Never knew Ms. Goulding could get so grimey

Goulding has got a damn sexy voice, as we all know, but pair it up with some top notch dubstep RMX’s and ya got trip-hop’s worst nightmare unleashed. When I first started searching for Ellie Goulding dubstep remixes, I didn’t think there would be this many well done, but there were, all with their own flavor.

Enjoy ’em as much as I did putting ’em together. If you have any other Goulding’s gone dubstep, make sure to hit ’em up in the comments below.

Thoughts on the Individual Tracks »

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Zedd – Legend of Zelda (Original Mix)

Zelda's about to pop that thang against Lord Zedd's power house

First Zedd remixes a pop song to perfection. Now he’s taking Zelda’s classic theme song and electro housing the shit out of it. Big things are a comin’ from this Mighty Morphin PR villian – looks pretty jacked in that pic, too ;)

The track officially drops on the 21st with a bonus electrixx remix. Follow me on Facebook and I’ll hit you up with it when it releases.

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Atmosphere – She’s Enough

The Family Sign is inching closer with a second single release

Here’s the second single off Atmo’s upcoming album, The Family Sign. Slug’s down to earth rhymes seem to be consistent in “She’s Enough” and all of his latest work – I guess that’s what comes with age, more stories to tell and less ideologies to preach. Whichever Slug you’ve grown to love, it’s good to see the MC come to age.

Verdicts still out till the album drops April 12, see you then.

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DJ Deckstream – Life is Good Remixes

featuring Mos Def & Talib Kweli

I was looking at my ‘tracks to post’ when I ran across Mos Def & Talib Kweli. For a second I was confused on why they were there, I haven’t heard anything new from the two in a while and didn’t think anything recently emerged. Then I saw who produced the tracks, DJ Deckstream, and realized why I need to post these up.

Deckstream is one of my favorite nu jazz producers from Japan. He’s got a shit load of good tunes to chill to, but up until recently lacked good rap support. In Deckstream Soundtrack 2.0, the producer steps up his rap game featuring some talented rhymers, including Mos Def on the original “Life is Good”. But on the two remixed versions that dropped last year, Mos Def gets some support by the other half of Black Star […]

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Travis Barker feat. Kid Cudi – Cool Head

This is what it's like when rap & rock collide

What makes this so ‘cool headed’ isn’t just the melodramatic wizard, Kid Cudi, but also Travis Barker’s sedated beat. I swear everything Cudi touches turns to gold, but in this I gotta give props to Barker.

In each track I’ve heard so far off his upcoming mixtape, Give the Drummer Some, Barker somehow crafts a beat that fits the featured performer well, damn well. Whether it’s Kid Cudi or Lupe Fiasco & Pharrell Williams, Barker takes their rap to a new level – or at least in a new flavor.

The mixtape is set to release on the 15th. Can’t wait to hear it in full.

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