It seems that Lord Finesse’s claim to sue Mac Miller $10 Million for an uncleared sample on his free mixtape K.I.D.S is starting to make an impact on the practice of releasing album quality projects for free…
Where we should have received the second collaborative mixtape from Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa last Wednesday they instead announced on Twitter that they’d decided to hold off and get clearance on all of the samples, Curren$y stating:
“Crazy how the game gets huh? I never imagined I time like this. (I) came up off mixtapes in ’08. Not financially but they put me on (so to speak). Sucks that this may be a lane made unavailable to the next mcs.”
So what does this mean for the up and comers who can’t afford to pay for clearance? Mac Miller wasn’t a big name when he made the mixtape in question. It looks like we could see a big change in the mixtape game over the next few months.
Hit Boy – HITstory
Despite having first broken through and made a name for himself as a producer, particularly well known for tracks like Watch The Throne’s ‘N***as In Paris, Lil Wayne & Eminem’s Drop The World, Pusha T’s My God and A$AP Rocky’s Goldie, Surf Club representative Hit Boy released his debut project as both rapper and producer last week entitled HITstory as a free download via Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. In places it plays out like a 2012 College Dropout, with soulful and introspective tracks that chronicle the young producer’s come-up; in others he takes on a slightly different angle, such as the very creative East vs. West where he raps about the last moments of Biggie and Tupac. Obviously the production is outstanding throughout and the project is easy to listen to and enjoy from hitting play the first time, however the most surprising thing about Hit Boy’s debut is his impressive lyrical ability.
Moruf & Iman Omari - Euphoria
Having made a name for himself with his solo project Energy and assisting Mac Miller with soundscaping his Macadelic mixtape, singer, songwriter and producer Iman Omari teams up with New Jersey rapper Moruf for nine tracks of genre bending euphoria, blurring styles and flows seamlessly throughout. This is a brilliantly cohesive and concise piece and is highly recommended to anyone who likes something a bit different.
Pyramid Vritra - Pyramid
Seemingly a bit of a recluse (or at least in comparison to his OFWGKTA cohorts) Hal Williams of The Jet Age Of Tomorrow and NRK unleashes his second solo release under yet another moniker; Pyramid Vritra. As usual refusing to use any samples and not defining the project to any particular genre, but taking influence from hip hop, funk, electronica, soul, jazz to name just a few of the sounds that ooze from Pyramid. Definitely one for fans of The Internet, Jet Age of Tomorrow and the more eclectic Odd Future releases.
Yak Ballz – Gas Galaxy
Since indie rap label Def Jux was unfortunately placed on ‘hiatus’ by El-P back in 2010, there has been a gap in the market for their trademark eccentric underground hip hop. However it’s great to see a lot of their acts resurfacing this year, with new albums already in circulation from El-P, Aesop Rock and Murs, as well as an upcoming project in the works from Cage. Yak Ballz added himself to the list last week, finally letting loose of his long awaited (since 2009) album Gas Galaxy as a free download with production duties handled by himself and Chapter 7. Despite having crafted most of the album back in ’09 (with a few updates since) the album still sounds fresh and is well worth the download, even for those who weren’t aware of Def Jux back in their heyday.
Words By Grant Brydon
Edited by Natalia