New Drake Tracks and Album Release Date

Drake has released some new songs for fans through SoundCloud and also announced the release date for his upcoming album, Nothing Was the Same. The album is set to come out on September 17th, 2013 and here are the new tracks:

Tracks originally posted here: http://ovosound.com/

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Tech N9ne – Sickology 101

Sickology+101+techn9neIt’s truly astounding how Tech N9ne has managed to build such a massive fan base as an independent hip-hop artist. Although after his most recent releases some are labeling him a “sell out“, it’s hard to argue against the success he‘s rightfully earned for himself. The Kansas City native often has an insanely busy touring schedule and he’s been keeping the albums coming with style for well over a decade. However, one doesn’t reach such great heights without any talent and man does Tech have some mad flow.

Often overshadowed by “K.O.D.” which was released the same year, “Sickology 101” is a great album that generously displays Tech N9ne’s rapping ability. The only real problem lies within the filler which is spread throughout the 18 tracks, but thankfully there are some real gems here to make up for it. Album highlight ‘Dysfunctional’ is a killer jam that showcases Tech’s ability behind the microphone. He opens the song strongly with both speed and attitude which builds up to chorus with a chill reggae vibe. Although Tech’s at the top of his game, the song is also made more exciting by the guest vocals of Big Scoob and longtime pal Krizz Kaliko. All three artists have their own rapping sections and they each add their own unique flavor to the song. FLOW

Apart from his impressive delivery, much of the appeal in Tech N9ne’s music is in the lyrics themselves. Sure, they‘re often over-the-top or cocky, but they‘re also glittered with humor and hard not to enjoy. A prime example of this would be in the fan favorite ‘Red Nose’ which finds Tech drawing comparisons to Rudolph as he rhymes about not fitting in with the crowd. It starts out with a brilliantly sarcastic opening dialogue where he essentially gives the middle finger to the industry. The song is laid back, but manages to capture what seems like an effortless performance by Tech as he uses clever lyricism to spit fire at his enemies.

I find it intriguing that despite his dark sense of humor Tech N9ne still manages to sneak in a surprisingly impacting song or two into nearly every album. Thankfully, “Sickology 101” is no different and ‘Far Away’ takes the cake as the most poignant track on the release as Tech sets aside the witty lyrics for a much more honest song that finds him contemplating life and even death itself. These topics are much deeper than one might expect from Tech N9ne, but it’s a reminder that he is human after all and that behind his tough guy persona he’s more than capable of injecting meaning into his music.

Ever since the formation of Tech N9ne‘s very own record label in ’99 his success has only continued to grow and he’s put out a handful of great records including the fantastic “Everready (The Religion)” which was massive but contained virtually no filler. Although “Sickology 101” may not be his most ambitious work to date, it’s a highly engaging listen that’s boosted by energetic guest performances and some of the more enjoyable tracks of Tech N9ne’s career. It also has a nice variety making it a good choice for anybody who enjoys his music or hip-hop in general.

3.7/5

1. Sickology 101
2. Midwest Choppers 2
3. Ghetto Love
4. Poh Me Anutha
5. We Kixin’ It
6. Nothin
7. Let Me In
8, In the Air
9. Blown Away
10. Party & Bullshit
11. Grammy’s (Skit)
12. Sorry N’ Shit
13. Dysfunctional
14. Far Away
15. Spelling Bee (Skit)
16. Creepin
17. Red Nose
18. Bootlegger (Skit)/Areola/Bootlegger (Outro)

Prolyphic & Buddy Peace – Working Man

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Rap is a slippery slope to play on. An artist needs to bring a staggering blend of skill, credibility and flow in order to capture the masses. In the early 90’s the rap game was arguably at its best. Artists such as Nas, Dre, Biggie, Tu Pac and The Wu Tang Clan provided an abundance of groundbreaking material. That was then, lately the hip hop community ranges from pop acts to hipster crossover projects that have tons of indie credibility but lack that massive appeal. Enter Prolyphic.

Working Man was a complete surprise to me, though it is something that the scene is sorely lacking. I would hate to tag this release with the term “throwback” but that was the theme running through my head while enjoying this one. Reeking with 90’s east coast style, this would have no problem standing toe to toe with anything from that era. The beats from Buddy Peace are intricate and interesting and weave the old and new school seamlessly. Who knew that the combination of a DJ out of London and a rapper based in Providence RI would have such chemistry?

The album starts off with spoken word over some dark ambient drums and electronics. The intro and outro bookend the album nicely and provide the beginning and end of the story herein. Everything in between is an auditory journey of epic proportions. This is not your typical radio friendly hip hop for the brain dead masses, Prolyphic brings the truth; turning the mic on everything from big pharmacy to the environment. Visceral verses cut into everyone and everything from all angles. ‘I take this shit serious like my mom’s cancer’ he rips at the end of Unpopular Demand. Like lacing poison with honey the flow here ranges from velvety smooth to angry diatribes without sounding forced or cliché.

Though not a concept album in nature every track has an ebb and flow into the next. I can appreciate this as a listener and found myself playing this one from end to end without skipping. It is the type of disc one throws on at a party and everyone walks around going “damn, what *is* this. The only issue I experienced with this release is the use of what I can only describe as vinyl ambiance on a few of the tracks. I appreciate that fans of wax love what it sounds like coming out of a killer sound system, however the attempt here to produce that feeling synthetically falls flat. A shame as it nearly ruins the two tracks that it invades.

Still this is nowhere near enough to ruin what is a stellar hip hop release. The beats, bass and flow make this one a show stopper and whether listening via headphones or blasting out from a pair of 12’s there is a lot to love here.

4.4/5

Tracklist:

Stale Bread Winner Part 1

Business as Usual

Unpopular Demand

Drug Dealer

Death of the Boombox (feat. Sage Francis & Metermaids)

Bad Influence

Fuck Banks

Six Feet High

Midtro

Hand Grenade

Go Green

The Tunnel

Stale Bread Winner Part 2

Prolyphic : https://www.facebook.com/ProlyphicSFR?fref=ts

Buddy Peace : https://www.facebook.com/BuddyPeaceMusic

http://www.strangefamousrecords.com/prolyphic/

James Blake – Overgrown

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When I first heard James Blake back in 2011 with his extremely successful Self titled release, I immediately thought of his post dub step influenced music as lounge music, it was cool, chilled but as relaxing as any music could ever be.  Although its faults were very minimal, it simply lacked that spark of excitement. James is a top notch all rounder musician, as he’s a fantastic pianist, songwriter, singer and electronic producer however his self titled was very ballad based and almost came across as predictable.

When James resurfaced, his new in style was automatically welcomed by many, and shrugged off by few. Overgrown was quite a large step away from his previous LP, as it moved towards a more modern yet diverse electronic sound. We first heard his new sound in early February, where his first single “retrograde” was released, and it gave us a perfect example of his new direction. This change in style was discrete in some tracks and intense in others, but it was worthwhile in every way possible. Throughout overgrown, we are constantly reminded of his diverse talent ranging from soul RnB style electronica, to hip hop mixes, to looping and even to vocals, he really does have it all.

The video introduction for “retrograde” is a perfect introduction to this album, where we are first introduced to the unidentified object falling from the sky. To me this is a perfect unveiling of his new sound. It’s almost like his LP has fallen from space and is ready to be acknowledged by the public.

Every track is key to this album, unlike his self titled. James has really stepped up. The fact that he has RZA on one of his tracks really is amazing, and it just proves his talent in diversity. Every song on Overgrown is so different from one another, and it’s exciting to listen to.  It still brings in those elements of chill wave and relaxation, but it just heats up the oven a little bit more. Digital lion, Life Round Here and Voyeur are all perfect examples, where the songs all start off almost minimalistic and warps itself into some electronic cosmic dream. It’s like James has gone on an exploration, leaving his slower soul tracks behind, moving into a more buoyant vibe. Tracks like these really raise the bar for Overgrown, making the album a little more upbeat, proving it’s something you can jam anytime.

The fans of James’ soul sound will still be happy with overgrown, with tracks such as I am sold, dlm, to the last and the closer, Our Love comes back.

All in all I feel like this step into the future has really helped improve James as both a songwriter and a producer. It’s really a remarkable leap that he has embarked on, and I applause him in every way. Although my favourite track on the album, Every day I Ran is only a bonus track, I can’t stress enough that this is a must when listening to Overgrown. It’s a perfect closer to the album and it shows James’ production skills at the highest level. It’s by far his best work that he’s done, by sampling a Big Boi verse, and doing his usual amazing post dub step production, the track really is a winner. I mean really, what is there to not like about a James Blake vs Big Boi track. It’s a phenomenal move on James’ behalf, and it’s got me questioning what he has planned next for his future works. All I know is I’m excited. James has talent and he’s not afraid to show it.

4.2/5

Tracklist:

1. Overgrown

2. I Am Sold

3. Life Round Here

4. Take a Fall For Me (feat. RZA)

5. Retrograde

6. Dlm

7. Digital Lion

8. Voyeur

9. To The Last

10. Our Love Comes Back

11. Every Day I Ran (Bonus Track)