May 22, 2014 via Pepsi
Mixtapes Of The Month: May
There was a time when mixtapes were loose collections of songs not good enough to make an album. Those days are over. In 2013, an age where artists recognize that the road to stardom is paved with free music, mixtapes have become full, original bodies of music in their own right. But all that free music also means discovering something truly worth your time can be harder than finding a needle in a digital haystack. That’s where our friends at DJBooth.net come in. Their “Mixtapes of the Month” series narrows down the previous 30 days (give or take) to three projects guaranteed to ensure the month’s best work doesn’t pass you by. So without further ado, here are three new ones for your tape deck, desktop, or iPhone.
Raz Simone, Cognitive Dissonance: Part One
Though his name might not ring out in the streets, Lyor Cohen is one of the most powerful people in music. His first venture after leaving his position as Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group was to start his own record label, 300 Entertainment. 300's first signed artist is Raz Simone, and when you listen to Raz' new project, Cognitive Dissonance: Part One, it's not hard to hear why Cohen snatched him up. Raz grabs you with his deep, introspective and powerful bars and a growling, passionate flow; you will hang on every word because each line feels just that important. Not only can he rap, but Raz also produced each and every song on the project. He knows himself better than anyone so his powerful production (and knack for unique samples) really fits well with his flow, creating a uniquely powerful listening experience. With a refreshing approach and the smarts of one of the most powerful men in music behind him, Raz is definitely a name to remember. Click here to stream it on DJBooth.Net.
ShaqIsDope, Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story
The best projects are the ones that tell a story and allow you to get to know the artist. Well, after Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story you will know ShaqIsDope like family. On this authentic project, Shaq impresses with a razor sharp flow and some vivid storytelling. With an array of different producers cooking up beats, Shaq really showcases his diversity. One minute he'll be hitting you in the face with a forceful flow and the next he will be as laid-back as can be. If you like to hear a great speaker tell a great story, Early Beginnings: The Shaquille Baptiste Story is for you. Click here to stream it on DJBooth.Net.
Alex Jordahl, Forever Yours
Sometimes you want some straight up hip-hop and sometimes you want some smooth R&B, but what to do when you want both? Turn to Alex Jordahl's Forever Yours. Anybody can rap over big, fast beats, but it takes some serious skill to rap over the kind of stuff Jordhal does. Though the production comes from a few different beatsmiths, there is a consistent atmospheric, new-age R&B sound to all of the beats. With an array of shrouded swooning synths and subtle sound effects, the production is fit for an R&B king, but low and behold, Jordhal usurps them with his intoxicating, energetic flow. His secret is that he adds a dash of softness to his vocal delivery creating a sung-rapped style that fits the production, but still makes any hip-hop head happy. With one click of the mouse this project can be Forever Yours to enjoy when you need a 1-2 punch. Just click here to stream and download on DJBooth.Net.
GOLD SPEX, Refraction
Look in the sky, it's a hip-hop trio! No, it's an R&B trio! It's a pop group! Wrong again...it's all of those rolled up into one package; it's Göld Spex. This new age alt-R&B style is the hottest thing since sliced bread right now, and as a result, it can be difficult to separate yourself from the pack. Still, on Refraction, Gold Spex puts their spin on it and creates something new. The really push the boundaries of all sorts of genres. With a hazy, guitar driven beat and some heartfelt vocals, "Mannequin" almost sounds like something from the 80's and on the very next cut, "Prayer VI" the wonder into electronic music with a potent instrumental number. The trio, made up of singer Jason Caesar and producers Austin Leeds and ATM, really experiment with some different sounds and the result is a consistent project that doesn't become dull or stale over time. Click here to stream it on DJBooth.Net.
Miami Beat Wave, ¡MAYDAY! & ArtOfficial, Neighbors
When you think of Florida what comes to mind? Basketball? Oranges? Old people? How about live hip-hop groups? No? Well, they should. South Florida hip-hop groups Miami Beat Wave, ¡MAYDAY! and ArtOfficial team up to bring us the hottest thing in Florida right now: their Neighbors mixtape. Now, when it comes to music, there is definitely such a thing as too many chefs in the kitchen (or recording studio). Sometimes, when there are a lot of voices or instrumentals in one song the result can be hectic and inconsistent, but not here. Combined, there are fourteen chefs cooking up Neighbors, and thanks to their similarly energetic, vibrant styles, they run like a well oiled machine. It is hard to believe that many collaborators could come together like some sort of hip-hop Power Ranger robot to great something so powerful, lively and diverse. Now let's hope these chefs have more cooking in the oven. Click here to stream it on DJBooth.Net.