Bilal

Floetry

[Audio] Elaquent – “Yesssss. (Floetry Say Yes Remix)”

Floetry If you're a frequent visitor of any online magazine or blog covering new music, you'll know that remixes of late 90s/early 00s RnB tracks are a dime a dozen. Luckily for us, Elaquent blessed us with a non-bastardized, non-trap remix of the delicious "Say Yes" by Floetry. Compared to the original, there's a lot more activity, mainly centered around the broken percussion and groovy bassline but Elaquent managed to preserve the neo-soul essence of the track and give it his own swing. There's a clear Dilla influence here which only made me love the track more. Listen below.

[Audio] clipping. ft. Cocc Pistol Cree – “Work Work”

Clipping, Los Angeles rappers The formal definition of "clipping" (usually with respect to audio waveforms) calls it a form of distortion that occurs when an amplifier is overdriven and tries to deliver a signal that is way beyond its maximum capability. Enter Los Angeles noise/experimental/rap trio CLIPPING. Just one listen to their brilliant 2013 album "midcity" will show you how analogous their ethos and style are to the waveform distortions of the formal definition. Over a landscape of twisted, high-frequency samples of power electronics and distorted, enveloped drums, Daveed Diggs comes through with a rapid and catchy double-time flow. It's 2014 and we are a few months from another clipping. album (titled "clppng"). The new single, "Work Work", while retaining the core elements that defined their music so far, also expands on its syncretic and contradictory nature, with clean and shiny synth pieces that are reminiscent of early 2000s crunk. Lyrically, Diggs and Cocc Pistol Cree are both on point; the amazing flows go really well with the glitchy xylophone-like percussion. Listen to/watch the lyric video below.  

[Audio] Lupe Fiasco & Ab-Soul – “Thorns & Horns” (Prod: Floss & Fame)

lupeab I gotta be honest. I used to be a huge Lupe fan back in the day but I kinda wrote him off after "The Cool". Years passed and my music library expanded, burying all my favourite Lupe songs so while this recent activity doesn't indicate a "comeback", it certainly feels that way to me. It's still early 2014 and Lupe has released a couple bangers already ("Thot 97" and "$nitches"), all part of generating interest for his new album, "Tetsuo & Youth". A few minutes ago, Lupe (or, according to the watermark, Ab-Soul) was kind enough to drop "Thorns & Horns", a truly collaborative effort between the 2 wordsmiths. I'm happy that Ab-Soul didn't phone-in a verse for this as it's truly remarkable to hear them both go back & forth on the 3rd verse. Peep below.

[Audio] Smoke DZA ft. Ab-Soul – “Hearses” (Prod: DJ Dahi)

SMOKEDZA 2014 is already gearing up to be a hell of a year, release-wise. With DZA's "Dream.ZONE.Achieve" coming out April 1st and Ab-Soul's album coming out in a "couple more months" (according to ScHoolboy Q's Q&A on Facebook), "Hearses" couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Although DZA really does his thing on this track, I have to admit I was more excited to hear Soul go the fuck in; it really made up for the lack of Ab-Soul tracks the internet has suffered as of late. Oh, did I mention that DJ Dahi creates an absolute banger of an instrumental? Peep below.  

[Audio] King Los – “Pound Cake (Freestyle)”

poundcake

"Fate, fate fate fate fate fate"

Good things come to those who wait and King Los has been waiting a long ass time. Having originally signed to Bad Boy Records back in 2005, becoming independent in 2008 and then signing with Bad Boy again in 2012, Los knows a thing or 3 about label woes. But that never stopped him. He has released almost a dozen mixtapes since 2008 and worked with damn near everyone in the game: Ross, Twista, Wiz, Ab-Soul, Dizzy Wright, Juicy J, Pusha...the list goes on. He was even nominated for the 2012 XXL Freshman list but he didn't make it (between you and me, it probably wouldn't have made a difference if he had).

So the question remains: why hasn't he "made it"? Or has he already made it but just isn't getting the coverage he rightfully deserves? I could sit here and speculate about the mechanics & machinations of the Hype Machine all day long but fuck that, let's talk facts: the dude absolutely slays the "Pound Cake" instrumental (a beautiful production by Boi-1da and Jordan Evans). King Los's impeccable flow mixed with clever wordplay and dense lyricism will have you skipping back to the craziest parts just to have it go over your head a second time. Here's hoping Los finally gets his well deserved shine when "Zero Gravity 2" drops.