Pusha+T+pusha

King Push returns with another Kanye West produced killer-killer. As much as I miss hearing Pusha (or rather Clipse) spit over those Neptunian beats, it goes without saying that the chemistry between him and label boss Yeezy is undeniable. Kanye’s weird-guy vision stays winning.

Nicki+Minaj+Dazed+Magazine+2014

Listen, when Nicki isn’t making mega-hits for 7 year olds, she’s a beast on the mic who, left to her own devices, normally out shines and out-raps the majority of her male counterparts. Her verse on ‘Monster’ (and pretty much every other song she’s ever featured on) can still prove that. And well, that’s exactly what she manages to do here on her new single ‘Only’ featuring label boss Lil’ Wayne, musical-bae Drake and recent collaborator Chris Brown. Listen to Minaj go in… The others are on top form too of course.

Drake

‘How About Now’ was initially leaked on soundcloud, but theres no word on how it found its way online or where/when it’s from. But it’s clearly authentic, so take a listen to Drizzy’s very lyrical, Jodeci-sampled slow burner below. If this is lifted from Views From the 6 – I’m not mad.

If you’re down and out with this miserable autumn gloom, get loose to Shan Vincent de Paul’s debut single ‘Some Girls’. The Canadian artist/rapper/producer intertwines his provoking rap verses into shimmering electronics that give off a dance-y vibe. ‘Some Girls’ finds the perfect balance between Hip Hop and Pop as SVDP keeps things spicy with those fiery lines.

Kendrick+Lamar

Top Dawg’s Kendrick Lamar drops off a brand new track titled ‘i’, marking the first single lifted of his much-much anticipated forthcoming sophomore album. Produced by Rahki, the track samples The Isley Brothers’ ‘That Lady’, and carries with it – dare we say – a near-ATLien aesthetic. Listen up.

SBTRKT follows up the Ezra Koenig featuring ‘New Dorp. New York‘ with another stellar collaboration; this time, teaming up with Atlanta based wonderkid Raury on ‘Higher’. The track begins with an eerie atmosphere before the bass kicks in and Raury pounces with a killer and uber catchy chorus. Wonder Where We Land, SBTRKT’s sophomore offering is out September 22, for now though, stream ‘Higher’ above.

Having announced the release of You’re Dead last month, Flying Lotus has shared the first cut ‘Never Catch Me’ which features Kendrick Lamar. FlyLo packs quite a punch with the frenzied beat for Lamar to add his super fiery flow on to as a gentle piano-led melody underlines and brings the track together. These two were made for each other; collaborative project anyone? We’re in.

Drake+image

We’re a hot minute away from Drake’s forthcoming – recently announced – fourth album Views From the 6 but it seems the project has already sprung a leak as the LP’s title track has surfaced. It’s unclear as to how the song found its way online, and its leak has already prompted featured rapper E Batt to dismiss that it had anything to do with him. On the upside though – it’s pretty exciting how strong this is sounds; I doubt it’s the final version, but #HiRihanna.

I don’t think anyone can release a better album this year than Shabazz Palaces, at least not for me anyway. Everything about Lese Majesty is supreme – from the endless influences they pack into every inch of their material, to their eccentric themes of tribal afro-futurism – it all works like a wonderfully chaotic symphony. Enter then their new video for ‘#CAKE’, masterfully directed by Hiro Murai – a beautiful post-apocalyptic visual that weaves in and out of kaleidoscopic urban landscapes, desolate locations and performance shots. File this next to their Kahlil Joseph directed ‘Black Up’ video (which incidentally was my favourite music video of 2011).

Futurist Kelela and hip hip radical Le1f team up for a new spaced out duet titled ‘OICU’ produced by P. Morris. The track pays homage to both their respective styles: Le1f’s fierce baritone cuts through the thickly textured atmosphere, while Kelela’s pristine vocal soars above it – the result of which is a hazey, eccentric melodrama disguised as undercover slow jam.

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