In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle superstar Drake has laid claim to being the most successful artist to both rap and sing, stating: “there were people who incorporated melody before me, but I would deem myself the first person to successfully rap and sing”. His comments have of course caused some controversy on twitter – but in truth, he makes a legitimate claim.
Very few will argue against the fact that Lauryn Hill probably raps better than most rappers and sings better than most singers, but with “only” one landmark album under her belt – her success is still very much defined by one period during late 90′s. Yes, the album in question just so happens to be a historic magum opus but in truth – Hill failed to truly capitalise on it’s impact. Missy Elliott incorporated a lot of vocal melody across her albums – but strangely has never really been recognised as a rapper or a singer (a gross misjudgement if you ask me) and although her career has seen many commercial highs over the past 10 years or more – she’s never had a Thank Me Later or Take Care size album. Other notable claimants include Pharcyde, Phonte/The Foreign Exchange, Cee-Lo, Queen Latifah and Mos Def among others – none of which have managed to achieve the level of “success” Drake has (the exception being perhaps Cee-Lo via Gnarls Barkley… Maybe).
I think it’s important to recognise what Aubrey’s saying here. He doesn’t seem to lay claim to being the first or the best singer-rapper (as much as we’ve always been fans, in truth he is neither) – but rightfully observes that he’s probably the most successful artist who does both. There is a difference. And in that respect – with over 4 million records sold across 2 albums and an arena world tour under his belt – he’s probably right.
The question on many a mustachioed lip right now, who is Route 94? According to Fact, “to Skream and Benga, it’s a well-known producer under a new house-leaning alias, and we’re guessing there’s a clue in the name too: the 94 could refer to the London bus route, which travels from West London (Acton) to Piccadilly Circus. Then again, it could be a reference to a foreign road.”
According Route 94‘s own twitter strap, “It doesn’t matter who i am just enjoy the music!”
This was ripped from Skream & Benga’s show a couple weeks back, and according to us, it’s a stonking 130bpm’ing gem that’s huge fun with some pina coladas and chin stroking.
Despite a disappointingly un-subtle recent video for the really rather massive booty battle-call ‘Go To The Mo‘, the general consensus on Jeremih right now is that he’s become alot more acceptable since April (time moves fast in this world) when he started showed signs of being a bit more like The-Dream’s seed and less like his cornier former self. And ’733′, much like the neo-architect of these styles, offers mid-tempo jamming of the highest order brim with really lush R&B production, tip-toeing vocal melodies and raunch.
Hot on the heels of the release of their remix of The xx’s ’Angels‘ and an excellent Shadow Box remix before that, the Cardiff based production duo release two tracks of their own ‘Emanation’ & ‘Sy’ that will form an EP to be released on Ifan Dafydd’s label Push & Run this September 3rd. Like Bondax and Disclosure before them, these guys are keeping the standards of this current House revival impeccably high.
Taking a minimal charge of sub with clonking tech percussivess and sending them spiralling into a funkin’, near-Neptunian bounce, would be this understated niceness from slowly rising 19 year old, Jaw Jam, of Ohio. The clippy sounds and short bursts of wooshing waves recall some sunnier take on a Harmonomix off-shoot, whilst Jaw is self-assured enough to make you wait until 56 secs before letting the groove drop it’s playful bass balls. Plus real talk, my stereo headphones are half-broken and it sounds very good in the left side alone. Sign of something spesh.
Peep Jaw Jam’s flip of Keyshia Cole’s‘Love’ posted in March and also a very recent EP Untitled which you can stream here. Though, I reckon this cut might be one of his maturest so far
Schoolboy Q comes through with some visuals for one of my favourite tracks on the Habits & Contradictions. That top flight mixtape LP he dropped early this year ended up soundtracking the remainder of winter for many Hip-Hop heads and engrossed critics. There’s nothing too imaginative needed with the low-budge video on this one, but then the Black Hippies seems to have a big cross-section of the online music world at their feet right now. So in turn director David M. Helman simply lets his cartoony orange etchings work their own tricks as Q ‘shines hard’ with his horseman (Kendrick and Ab amongst them) and also his youngster – “Got my daughter swaggin’ like her muthaf**kin’ daddy though.”
Taken off his recently liberated Saturn: The Slow Jams EP comes Two Inch Punch’s new video for ‘Digital Love Letters’ – a beast of a track that brings together all the things that seem to make TIP so uniquely don-like. As with all the songs across the EP ‘Digital Love Letters’ maintains a steady R&B underbelly but incorporates trippy digital effects and sexy synths. Out to young Matthew Broderick, ‘WarGames’ was my sh*t.
Following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Finest Hourin 2010, Leeds based multi-instrumental group Submotion Orchestra return with a gorgeous new single ‘Blind Spot’. Following in a similar thematic direction as their previous release, the track attaches lead singer Ruby Wood’s operatic vocals to a lush instrumentation of sprawling string sections and flourishing percussion.
Producer/rapper Shawn Kemp, known here as Lil’ Ugly Mane keeps things Trap-heavy across his new Supasonic EP. Essentially 7-tracks of ig’nant beat making, the extended player is full of crisp hi-hats and pillaged 808′s, that surprisingly in parts dote over obscure Jazz flavours. Kemp’s traditional use of screwed vocals and chopped samples adds a welcomed amount of unwelcoming atmosphere.
Lil’ Ugly Mane also gets ‘artwork don of the year’ in my opinion – peep the classics here.
Hailing straight out of the creative epicentre that is California – we present to you Lucille Ghatti. Her presence was discovered via a timely and worthwhile personal Soundcloud trawl initiated by an association with Tay ‘Lux’ Walker, the Odd Future / The Internet affiliated singer who’s single ‘Karma’ we recently featured.
Characterized by the woman herself as Trillwave R&B, Ghatti knits together laidback melodies with tranqualising bass undertones that helplessly ease minds into recline. She incorporates warm southern swirls into her lo-fi beats as well – adding even more dimension to her sonics.
Expect more from Lucille as she prepares a forthcoming project titled High Grade – coming soon.