South Central rapper Krondon has been a busy man, whilst finishing up on the final leg of Dom Kennedy’s European Tour he’s found time to team up with California-producer Bobby (aka 321), for a smooth, mellow track — perfect for a chilled summers night…
With US superstar rapper Pusha T onboard, London Trap/Hip Hop DJ/producer trio YOGI are all set to release their latest single Burial via Skrillex‘s very own OWSLA record label in early May. Speaking from Miami Music Week, the group’s namesake – Yogi himself – spoke to SB.TV about his beatmaker broskis Blake and I/O and what we can expect from the forthcoming YOGI EP…
Ayo Beatz has been all over the map lately in regards to his music releases. Whether one of his own tracks or a feature on a fellow artist’s, he continues to dish out the bangers with crazy hooks, on point production and must-listen lyrical content. Once again the multi-talented act returns with his new release Don’t Worry set to feature on his upcoming album Loud Atlas. Produced by himself alongside Jojo F, the star promises that this release shall be the start of big things set for 2014 and we can’t wait! Look out for the video dropping on the 25th March 2014. Check out the audio below…
After making us wait a fairly long time, Schoolboy Q, finally releases his highly anticipated major label debut album Oxymoron — if you think it’s going to be like it’s predecessor GKMC, then you’re wrong…
In the space of about two years TDE’s hit factory has steadily grown, flourished and given me many a eargasms. As a group, Black Hippy, encompass and appeal to the various types of hip-hop listeners. You have Jay Rock — the gang affiliated straight up gangster rapper (think NWA, Pac, The Game etc). Then we have the nerdy-psychedelic-conspiracist, Ab-Soul brought up in the suburbs of California, with an excellent vocabulary and the ability to display genuine emotion (check out the The Book of Soul from Control System). Then there’s the most mainstream of the quartet, Kendrick Lamar aka the human rapping machine, the guy from Compton who has yet to have dropped a weak verse. Then we have Schoolboy Q — who’s a lot harder to define, he’s the party animal, drug dealing, crip-affiliated, story-teller, who dropped the independently released Setbacks in 2011 and the insanely dark and unrelenting Habits and Contradictions in 2012. Fast forward to 2014,Schoolboy Q, after a fair few push backs, releases his major label debut. But how does the ex-oxycontin seller — yes that’s one of the inspirations behind the albums title — fare in the wake of his label-mate and rap comrades, highly praised album about growing up in Compton California?
Kendrick Lamar’sGood Kid m.A.A.d City was the first Interscope release from TDE, and for the less Black Hippy obsessed listener, you may be inclined to think that Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron will have similar sound. Save a few aesthetic similarities in the tracks — mainly His and Her Fiend, featuring the first lady of TDE SZA, which is comparable to Poetic Justice — Schoolboy Q couldn’t be more of a different rapper than Kendrick, he’s not bothered about becoming the best rapper alive, Schoolboy Q is far more gruffier, grimier and more gangster than that.
The success in Oxymoron lies in the fact that it is able to produce both some club/radio tracks, like the infectious Collard Greens which features Kendrick and bustles like a 90′s block party, before you need your stomach pumped after one to many intoxicating substances. Then Man of the Year, which is arguably an ode to the female form. These tracks — both released well before the album — were catchy and mainstream enough to generate a sustainable hype about the album.
Tracks such as Break the Bank, where Q destroys any misconception one may have had that he’s merely a rapper creating party hits, as he goes into detail about his drug dealing techniques; ‘Good weed, I hit that, crack rock, I sold that/ Oxy I hid that, right by my nutsack’. And Prescription/Oxymoron which features audio from Q’s daughter Joy and was reminiscent of Eminiem’s My Dad’s Gone Crazy as Q presents just one of the oxymoron’s throughout the album. In the track he raps about a time he was nodding in and out of a prescription drug coma — hence the ‘prescription’ title, switching to ‘oxymoron’ where he’s out selling it — ‘My phone rang, rang and rang and rang/ If you ain’t sellin’ drugs, then I don’t hear a thing’.
The album features some West Coast rap gods in the form of Suga Free on Grooveline Pt. 2 and Kurupt on The Purge, which is arguably the most standout track and shows how far gangster rap has come, gangster rappers now collaborate with the likes of Tyler the Creator. The Purgecontains Odd Futures unusual and infectiously dark concept of rap, yet it still retains a West Coast gangster rap sound, the track in itself is inherently contradictory — continuing with Q’s oxymoron theme.
Like GKMC, Oxymoron, is all about making some of the poorest decisions, filled with a sense of cinematic vision and some unforgettable characters — namely Q’s adorable daughter Joy who features on the impressive opening track Gangster where she declares ‘My daddy a gangster’. And Hoover Street, where Q tells the tale about his uncles drug addiction, then he turns to playing the grim reaper in the Pharrell-produced track Los Awesome: ‘Looking like the reaper in your driveway’.
At the same time, it’s impossible to compare Oxymoron to GKMC. Oxymoron is a lot more darker, and unlike Kendrick’s protagonist, who is essentially good at heart, Q in Oxymoron is a character who is an anti hero, menacing, and gangster. Although I expected sometime a little less safe from Q — something more hazy with intense gangster anthems as he did in Habits & Contradictions, Oxymoron it is undeniably a great album showing all the complexities and contradictions that make and have made up Q’s life and musical style. It’s full of moments of hype, moments of calm, moments of imperfection, and at the same time moments of perfection — a true Oxymoron.
Skip to: The Purge
Press repeat on: Los Awesome
Save to favourites: Prescription/Oxymoron& Blind Threats
A tale of growing up, filled with fire and ambition, Kamilla reviews Negash Ali’s latest EP African Dream…
I’ve always been a fan of the bildungsroman– a coming of age tale – in rap. Take Kendrick’s Good Kid Mad City, it was the perfect example of growing pains, and coming of age in Compton California. These tales are expressive, they truly allow you to understand and get to know an artist. And to be quite frank, I love that.
Taking a jump across the pond, thousands of miles away from Compton California, we are faced with a different type of coming of age tale. Negash Ali, a man with a big dream: bred in Eritrea, raised in Scandanavia and now living in London. His latest four track EP, African Dream, shows Ali is not only a wicked wordsmith, but an expressive artist, eager to share his tale. You can hear the fire in his voice, as Ali unleashes his lyrical story across the highly produced EP, fuelled by passion and ambition.
African Dream is a tale about Negash’s unusual upbringing and journey into adulthood; “Eight months pregnant Momma jumped on that plane/When it rains it pours.” Moving from different refugee camps, to living in Denmark, and now settling in London, growing up as a minority in terms of colour and religion – Negash’s African Dream encompasses all these experiences.
Living in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world, with people from all corners of the globe, Negash’s journey in African Dream is relatable. Having recently moved to London, and already signed with Warner Bro Records and Chappel Music, Ali’s musical journey is only just beginning. Citing Kendrick as one of his favourite artists, and having toured with the likes of Nas, Wiz Khalifa and Neyo, Negash has definitely got great musical inspiration to go by.
The EP is a great introduction to Ali’s hunger-fuelled, poetic flow, his journey and ambitions for greatness; it’s clear from this EP that we have a lot more to hear from this musician.
Artist and musician Ayo Beatz [@Ayo_Beatz] brings together fellow Londoners, rappers Ard Adz & Sho Shallow [@ArdAdz @ShoShallow] and Maxsta [@ItsMaxsta] – as well as Hip Hop band Sir Apollo [@SirApolloMusic] for Appreciated…