What ya been listening to?!

June was the first month of the year I really got a chance to listen to nothing but new releases. It was refreshing to hear some good new music. So here’s a recap of the mixtapes, albums, and songs I’ve been listening to over the past four or five weeks.

Ab-Soul – The Book of Soul

“The Book of Soul” is hands down the most chilling song I’ve heard this year and probably ever. I’ve only listened to this song a total of four times. In the song Soul opens up about the cause of his appearance and coping with the recent death of Alori Joh. The song is deep and honest. Songs like this are why I check everything coming out of the TDE camp. As I said in a tweet a few days back, “You gotta be mentally prepared to hear that song.” You’ll see what I mean…

Big K.R.I.T. released his long awaited Def Jam debut on June 5. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 and it featured some highlights music wise too. “Pull Up” and “I Got This” were two of my favorites and heavy on the bass, while “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Live From The Underground (Reprise)” were the introspective, soulful tracks that make Big K.R.I.T. unique. “Praying Man” featured blues legend B.B. King and was worth the hype that surrounded the collaboration of the Mississippi natives. Live From The Underground wasn’t as cohesive as his other projects and had a few duds, but unfortunately that’s to be expected when dealing with the labels. With the first album behind him, it’ll be interesting to see what moves K.R.I.T. makes from here.

Joey Bada$$ is a 17 year old rapper out of Brooklyn. His recently released mixtape 1999 has been gaining attention and momentum across the Internet for a sound  reminiscent of 1994. I’ve read high praise for the young dude and some dislike too, but I’m in the middle when it comes to his music and sound in general. A lot of his appeal is tied to feelings of nostalgia of the Golden Era. That aside, dude can rap for sure. His flow reminds me of Eminem on Infinite and content wise there are some similarities to Blu. Once he sheds that stigma of “sounding like” 1994, then he’ll comfortably find a lane.

Standout Tracks: Summer Knights, Waves, Survival Tactics, Hardknock

Killer Mike ft. Trouble, T.I., and Bun B – Big Beast

The video for “Big Beast” is interesting. Filled with violence, gore, and aggressive rap lyrics. You might have to watch it a couple time to digest the concept. Go get R.A.P. Music!

Gunplay, Stalley, Wale, Meek Mill, and Rick Ross ft. Kendrick Lamar – Power Circle

8 minutes, 36 seconds? Can you listen to a song by anybody for that long? No catchy hook, no long instrumental, just 8+ minutes of rapping. Before I listened to “Power Circle” I probably would’ve said no. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  But, Rick Ross, his MMG cohorts and Kendrick Lamar kept me enthralled for the duration of the song and displayed their “rapping acumen.” I gave Self Made 2 a  listen last week and it was OK, I’ll save judgment after a few more listens. “Power Circle” sets the tone for the album for sure though.

OverDoz. – Lauren London

A couple days ago, OD dropped the video for their newest song “Lauren London.” The creativity in their music always shines through in their videos. The CALMATIC directed video includes the humor and creativity we’ve all come to expect with the Destos.


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