February 27, 2011

The Gorillaz - "Crystalised"

In order for a cover of a song to be successful on my itunes playcount, a group needs to clearly show their unique style, while still staying true to original's sound. The latest cover i've been on is of Crystalised, the first single off of the XX's debut album, by a similar haunting group The Gorillaz. The Gorillaz's keep to the enchanting style of the XX but through additions in drums, keys and claps they pick the song up and give it new life. The changes in this song are so drastic, and the cover keys in on this and further contrasts the beat with silence. Maybe thats the reason this one hasn't gotten old for me yet and will probably stay around for a few more minutes at least.

The XX - Crystalised (Gorillaz Cover)

The XX - Crystalised

Smoothness for your Sunday: Maxence Cyrin- Where is my Mind (Pixies Cover)

French pianist Maxence Cyrin is a piano cover artist. Sometimes it takes the distinct fullness of a piano to truly appreciate the brilliance of a piece of music. Cyrin's version the The Pixies track, "Where is my Mind", is a perfect example of this. I always liked the original, but the track takes on a whole new meaning with the fluid and mellow sounds of the piano. Strictly instrumental on this one, so let your mind wander. And if piano covers are your thing, there is plenty more from Maxence Cyrin. Check out The Pixies original below as well.

February 26, 2011

Outasight- It's Like That

Hip-Hop has forever been a trendy musical genre. Whether it be that auto-tune bull ish or songs that have matching dance moves, these fads often come and go. The trend currently angering my ears is when rappers who have no business singing do their own hooks. It is when I hear great rappers disgrace their own choruses that I come to appreciate artists like Outasight. Not only is the man an amazing lyricist with superb rapping abilities but he can also belt out one hell of a hook. "It's Like That" was instantly addicting for me and just continues to prove Outasight's potential.  Apparently he's going to be releasing a new CD at some point in 2011 so until then jam this track.

Outasight- It's Like That

February 22, 2011

New Mac Miller: "She Said"

Next Wednesday I will not be writing blogs, I'll be knee deep in Pabst Blue watching Mac Miller spit his white boy awesome all over the fans in Toronto. As an early gift Mac gives us the simplistic chilled out track "She Said" off his next mix-tape "Best Day Ever". This comes a day after he was named to XXL magazine's 2011 freshmen. Maybe i've fallen completely out of touch with what's popular now-a-days but the list seemed crazy random other than Miller and Cyhi The Prince.  Regardless, Mac got some much needed recognition and goes off lyrically on this wonderful newness... enjoy

Mac Miller- She Said

New Sam Adams: "Letter To The Lost" featuring Christina Perri

I usually don't do an extreme amount of research on musicians I blog, but my random adventures through the blogosphere have led me to some unforeseen info on Boston rapper Sam Adams. Apparently the 21 year old rapper received a soccer scholarship to Trinity College where he goes to school and captains their soccer team. As someone who "helps" in running a somewhat legitimate music blog, attends university, and plays a sport at university I am astonished at Sam's ability to maintain a rap career. Meanwhile, I can barely hold down a job as Sam rocks around campus like a suburban gangsta, hustlin' music while slide tackling bros...Well Sam, I got your back hommie.  Back in action with his new track "Letter To The Lost" the college rapper spits his simple but addicting flow over Christina Perri's track "Jar of Hearts". Sam does well to not over power the already unbelievable song which works well with the sexy voice of Christina Perri... enjoy 

Sam Adams- Letter To The Lost

February 20, 2011

Introducing: Sucka Free CJ "Ars Gratia Artis: Unfinished Business"

First heard the Cali kid Sucka Free CJ when he laid down the chorus and a nice verse on Olu's track "Jet Pack Shit". Since then I have stayed steadily interested in the easy going rapper. See, all these rappers from warm climates like Cali almost always seem to be content with their current situation. As I have been listening to CJ's mix-tape "Ars Gratia Artis: Unfinished Business"for the past couple of day's, I have been given the false hope that summer is around the corner and I'm not even rattled.... until I look out the window. The Amazing New Radicals sample on "Smooth Stunt"features a piano beat that makes me wanna call up all the homies and have a bar-b-q in the back yard, despite the fact its -10 outside. The coolest production point for me was the use of Telepopmusik's hit "breathe" that is slowed to fit CJ's flow perfectly. The mix-tape as a whole is very well put together and does nothing but entertain from start to finish... Well done Sucka Free CJ.

Sucka Free CJ- Smooth Stunt

Sucka Free CJ-The Playback

"The Berrics Music"

Going off my last post, The Berrics is one of my favorite places to find videos with great music on the interwebs these days. The Berric's is a skatepark in California run by two pro skaters, Eric Koston & Steve Berra, and it has been the driving force behind the industry for the past couple years. This skatepark has hosted almost every pro you could think of, and the stacks of the footage they produce is all posted to TheBerrics.com for free to further the sport. The Berrics also runs features and contests, which includes my favorite part of the site YOUnited Nations. This is one of the most interesting segments, as in this contest The Berric's asks crews in the skate community to create and submit their best skate videos. After watching all of them they pick a top 15 (17 this year), and a number one is then eventually voted for by viewers. This team is then flown down to Cali to film their very own "united nations" part in The Berrics skatepark, which is then posted on the website. A contest like this can give skaters a level of exposure they never would have had in the industry, and many get linked with sponsors as a result. These homegrown clips are great to watch because it's purely amateur kids giving it their all, as this is a huge opportunity they didn't have in the past and might not have forever. When you need your video to stand out amongst the thousands of clips that The Berrics receives, it's going to need some good music to go along with it. When looking at some of the entries that made it into the top 17 this year, it can't be a coincidence that the top videos had the best music in it, can it? Have a look at some of this years entries below, including Get Tricks Crew, Giro Skate, and Dream (who won the contest this year).

Get Tricks Crew: B.o.B - Created a Monster

Dream (Contest Winner): Kid Cudi - Cudi Zone

Chiddy Bang- "Baby Roulette" featuring Train

Chiddy Bang are back at it with the unique track "Baby Roulette". Apparently Xaphoon and Chiddy are pretty passionate about not getting girls pregnant, which I assume is not a quality all rappers have. The track doesn't only send a positive message but also features recent Grammy recipient's Train (yes, the hey soul sister band) on the hook which,  despite being an off combo works out for both artists. Chiddy Bang has been consistently pumping out the hits for their whole career and it doesn't sound like it's gonna stop anytime soon. The boys supply us with nasty flow from Chiddy and Xaphoon has been coming up as one of the most versatile up and coming producers in the game. So listen to Chiddy Bang, wear condoms and jam this track.

Baby Roulette- Chiddy Bang featuring Train 

February 18, 2011

Music Makes It Happen - Snowboard Edits

Music seems to have this magical ability to be able to influence the feeling of whatever it's translated through. The adding of different kinds of music to a medium; which could be anything from a performance, a video, to even a slideshow, significantly improves the overall quality if done correctly. Specifically with video, the addition of music gives the filmer the ability to express their shot much more clearly, and I personally get much more involved in a movie when the music is on point. A lot of my musical influences actually end up coming from places like this, such as from snowboarding movies, where there is little talk and lots of action to put music to. Depending on what direction the riders want to go with their shot, choosing their part's song is the most important decision that they will have to make, and a lot of thought gets put into this. All this means is the music found in these types of videos is usually awesome. Also for the professional, it becomes sort of a big thing to be the only/first snowboarder to use a song in a video, which means exposure to music that I never would have known existed otherwise. After finding a video and song that really connects, when I hear the music without any visuals, it's irresistible for me to recreate them in my head as the song doesn't seem whole without it. Browse a couple of the videos posted below. Find music everywhere.

Band of Skulls - Fire (Vindata Remix)

The Human League - Don't You Want Me

The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix)

February 17, 2011

New Olu Mix-Tape- Boys and Girls

Ok so i'm a little late on this valentines bull ish but its better late than never right? Cleveland rapper Olu has given us some new tunes with his v-day themed mix-tape Boys and Girls. The tape features previous Straight Goods post "Jet Pack Shit" which is probably my favorite of Olu's short career thus far. As this is a valentines-ish mix-tape your obviously not gonna here any hard hitting beats, but Olu lyrically kills it on his version of "Sex Therapy". My favorite part of the mix-tape has to be Olu's poetic lyricism on "Beautiful Darkness" which is laced over the soothing piano beat from Kanye's "Blame Game". As a bonus beat Olu uses a Micheal Buble sample that I can't wait to here rap over but am not a fan of the high pitched voice(hope he fixes that up). The mix-tape is available for free download here... enjoy

Sex Therapy- Olu 
Beautiful Darkness- Olu 
Haven't met her yet- Olu 

February 15, 2011

Black Keys - Howlin For You Video

Congrats to the Black Keys on their Grammy for Alternative Album of the Year. 2010 was a huge year for the Black Keys and it saw them enjoy a huge jump in popularity. One thing that I've enjoyed the most about them over the past year is their awesome videos that break the cookie cutter mold of rock videos. The Tighten Up videos with their kids battling it out over a girl is funny as hell, as is the Next Girl video that features a stuffed dinosaur hanging out pool-side with a crew of beautiful women (i can't decide what's better the women or the hilarious captions that scroll across the bottom of the screen the whole video). Their third video off Brothers is for Howlin For You, which is a personal favourite, and definitely keeps up the tradition of great videos. I wonder what the budget was for this thing, seems like it had to have been huge. I would 100% go see this movie if it was real.

Intuition - Sanctuary

It's been a minute since we last heard from our favourite LA, by way of Alaska rapper, Intuition. Fortunately he's back with a new song produced by Dibia$e. Intuition is best when he's in story telling mode, which is the case in this one. Listen below

Intuition - Sanctuary

February 14, 2011

Introducing: Curt@!ns- Kings Of Dope Master

It is an unfortunate clause of life that your free time is often limited. As a blogger this means I cannot blog every bit of awesome music I come across on my daily internet travels. One artist that slipped through the cracks for me was Curt@!ns. I heard this New York rapper a while ago but my attention was never really grasped until I heard his new track "Kings Of Dope Master". The track uses a Kings Of Leon sample from the track "Knocked Up" thats sung by indie singer Lykke Li. The sample combination is out of control, especially when the course transitions from Lykke Li to King's front man Anthony Followill. Fortunately for this single, the unreal production is not alone as Curt@!ns serves it up with some fresh lyrics. There's no fluff in the mans rhymes, every line seems like it's been thought out to fit the dark beat perfectly. As Curt@!ns obviously goes hard throughout the song, it sounds as if the beat was designed for Curt@!ns and Curt@!ns only... enjoy 

Curt@!ns- Kings Of Dope Master

February 13, 2011

Childish Gambino- "Freaks and Geeks"

Sometimes when I write blogs I look at the artists as musical investments. This process is the way I have come to view up-and-coming rapper Childish Gambino. As a star on shows like "30 Rock" and his new one "Community" he goes by the name Donald Glover, but as the lyrics flow out, he transforms himself into Childish Gambino. Gambino has until recently fallen under the radar, maybe because of his comical yet sophisticated flow or maybe because he's a co-star of Tina Fey, who knows? But as I invest my time writing this blog, I'm confident that Childish is writing up something sick as he smashes out that beat pad. Glover is known throughout Hollywood for his writing skills and conveys these talents as he rips his new tune "Freaks and Geeks".  The acappella sample mixed with the simple drum beat allows Childish to spit hard from start to finish. The main thing I like about Gambino is that he doesn't really care what people think about his lyrical content, especially as he reps Tina Fey who realistically has no connection with hip-hop music. The mans obviously got skill so keep yours ears open... enjoy

Freaks and Geeks- Childish Gambino

February 11, 2011

Xv- "Feeling International Famous Already"(F.I.F.A)

Apparently our friend with the green backpack Xv has been keeping him self busy. As of late the kid's been putting out some straight fire tracks and has begun working with some big name artists on some next level shit. The song "F.I.F.A" is featured in the above video and sees Xv rip it lyrically over a subtle hip-hop beat. Another track that i've had stored in my Itunes for a while is "All For me" which is an absolute jam. The track features G.O.O.D music rapper CyHi Da Prynce who over the past year has grown on me quicker than the mold on my bread stack. Incase you don't take Xv seriously yet, allow your self to appreciate his lyrics as he gets serious over the J.Cole Produced "Smallville". Xv is also featured on the new Consequence mix-tape which makes me happy as Vizzy has been choosing some legit artists to work with.

Big Z does Asher Roth- "Sometimes"

Asher Roth threw up an accapella on his facebook page and left it up to any willing producer to create an original beat for the track. The best entry gets to be part of Asher's next project. Big Z, teenage rap remix artist, didn't hesitate to jump on the opportunity. I've always been a fan of Big Z's simple and smooth style, and he doesn't disappoint on this one. When I saw the combo of Asher and Big Z I instantly thought of an older mashup with a similar lineup, and an equally sick vibe. Check em both out:

Big Z Remixes- Sometimes (Ft. Asher Roth) 

Bonus Track: Big Z Remixes- The Reading (Asher Roth x Lil Wayne)

New Video: Tyler, the Creator - Yonkers

Music to get weird to. This odd and somewhat disturbing video kept my attention throughout. The man is undoubtedly talented, but that doesn't make any of this less strange. "Yonkers'' is the first single/video off Tyler, the Creator's upcoming album, Goblin. I don't know much about this vulgar individual, but he's the leader of a group called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and his filthy-mouthed raps don't pull any punches.

February 10, 2011

Fresh Classified - That Ain't Classy

Our Canadian boy Classified has been quiet since his album dropped, fortunately he's back on his grind and just released a new track. Ain't that Classy is classic Classified.. I went to class, heard this class song and it upped my social class... wait what?? Shouldn't blog while buzzed eh? But seriously, Classified always has nice production and this one kills. Play on loud volume.

Classified - That Ain't Classy

February 9, 2011

Mac Miller: Best Day Ever - "Donald Trump"

I just was about to get a few minutes of sleep in when I came across something Mac Miller posted on his facebook, and after spending the night watching White Men Can't Jump, I had to hear him out instead of going to bed. Thanks to this post I may be up a little while longer as Miller didn't just put up words, but music. Since his twitter followers have made the name of his upcoming mixtape a top trend (#bestdayever), in this post Mac leaks the first single from the release, as promised. Best day ever is scheduled to drop March 11th right after the Toronto concert we're attending, but I expect we'll be hearing more from Miller before then. Before we get ahead of ourselves enjoy the first single off of the album, Donald Trump, which features Miller going strong over a children's choir type melody. I'm hearing more of Wiz Khalifa in Miller every time I listen to him, Rostom Records material no doubt. I'm off to get my daily three hours, so until next time.

Mac Miller - Donald Trump

February 8, 2011

Theodore Grams With Xaphoon Jones- Imagine

Chiddy Bang was one of the first blogs we ever covered at Straight Goods Music and since then we watched them burst onto Hip-Hop. It's crazy to think that songs like "All Things Go" are now considered Chiddy Bang oldies. Way back when, a rapper name Theodore Grams was all over Chiddy tracks and now, he and Xaphoon have team up once again on "Imagine". The track features a sample of Kanye's hit "Good Life" which Xaphoon obviously rips on the production end. Theodore's choppy yet elaborate flow is unique in it's own and sounds nice over some Chiddy production. The song comes off his most recent mix-tape Pocket Full of Dreams... enjoy   

Imagine-Theodore Grams(Production by Xaphoon Jones) 

Pez & 360 x Whitest Boy Alive

I've been off of the Aussie Hip Hop for a while now for no real reason, I just haven't been keeping up with it. However, my brother sent me a text the other day telling me to check out a new track by 360 featuring Pez that uses one of my favourite Whitest Boy Alive songs 1517 as a sample and they do it to perfection. If there's one thing I've noticed about Hip Hop from the land down under, its that their production is always on point. Artists like Horroshow, Spit Syndicate and Hilltop Hoods always give you a beat that grabs your attention and holds it for the entire song. In this case, they take 1517 and don't really mess with it too much. This post actually reminds me of a post I did back in the summer about k-os rapping over a phantogram song. Artists like Whitest Boy Alive and Phantogram make music that is essentially hip hop without the lyrics sometimes and they're just begging to be sampled.

360 ft. Pez - Just Got Started

February 7, 2011

Introducing: More Seattle Talent: Sol- "Kickitwitchu"

Sol first popped on my radar when I heard him on a song with one of my favorite Seattle artists, Grynch. Before a couple of years ago I had no idea anything cool came from Seattle, but artists like Blue Scholars, Common Market, Macklemore, and Grynch have made the rainy city seem like damn good times. As I sit here in snowy ass Canada, Sol has helped me evaporate the many stresses in my life as he gives us a new relaxing track called “Kickitwitchu”. For the most part all of Sol’s music provides the allusion of a summer’s day, which is apparent on his previously hidden gems of mix-tapes "Dear Friends EP" and "Dear Friends Vol. II". Together they are an unreal collection of music and I've recently been jammin' "So Damn High" on a daily basis. I’m also confident that the "Spliff Remix" should be used by Seattle’s tourism marketers as it has basically convinced me to drop off the radar and drive to Seattle. Oh and if it's time to unwind for the day enjoy the soothing instrumentals and lyrics that Sol provides on "Cruise Control". 

Shouts out to the white boy next door for attempting to preach Sol’s awesomeness as I stupidly ignored him... my bad 

Kickitwitchu- So

So Damn High- Sol

Spliff Remix-Sol Featuring Grynch, Prometheus Brown and Thig Nat
Cruise Control-Sol

February 6, 2011

Fabulous - "You Be Killin Em"

Something that I never skip on my tunes is one of the latest singles Fabulous has released, titled You Be Killin Em'. I used to listen to Fabulous back in his Breathe days, so when I came across a sample of the new song on a 5-10 second much music commercial I hunted it right down. When I got the rest of the song, I found out it's off the album he released last summer called There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music. I also came across the music video for the song, where Fabulous takes a note from Kanye's book and falls for a girl sans hair. Is this something that's going to catch on? hah. I like the song though.

February 5, 2011

Jaime xx Absolutely Killin It

I’m going to assume that if your visiting Straight Goods Music you know who The Xx are. I’m also going to assume that you have realized the insane production talent that Jaime xx has. Over the past little while I’ve been seeing Jaime’s name has pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. When I heard his rendition of “Rolling In Deep” Featuring Childish Gambino on P&P I couldn’t believe I almost forgot about the production mastermind that is Jaime xx. So into the blog world I traveled and out I came with some absolute jams. “Far Nearer” is an out control groovy beat that is sure to be of great assistance to us full-time students who are entering essay writing season. The steal drums, synthed out sample and Jaimes always-classic style make the song groovy as hell and the beginning kinda reminds me of a Yoshi game. 

Rolling In The Deep (Remix)- Jaime xx Featuring Childish Gambino

Far Nearer- Jaime xx
Jaime also did a collaboration with influential poet/ jazz musician Gil Scott-Heron. My favorite off the mix is “I’ll Take Care Of You” which features Heron belting out some meaningful lyrics as Jaime laying down a dope 70’s feeling retro beat that eventually turns into the grooviest thing I’ve heard in a while. Gil Scott- Heron was also featured on Kanye's song "Who Will Survive In America" which is unfortunately skipped every time I listen to "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy".  

I'll Take Care Of You- Jaime xx and Gil Scott-Heron

New Atmosphere: Minnesota Nice

In anticipation for their mini-Minnesota tour Atmosphere has a released a gift for fans who unfortunately don't live in Minnesota. I've never really heard of any of the other rappers on the track but they all rip Ant's smooth piano beat, so hopefully we see them on Rhymesayers soon. Slug and Ant (Atmosphere) are set to release their next CD "The Family Sign" April 12th. "If Life Gives You Lemons Paint That Shit Gold" is one of my favorite full CD's of all time and so far everything they've released since has been sick, so I'm gonna assume this record will be fly as ever. Can't Wait

Minnesota Nice- Atmosphere Feat Felipe Cuauhtli, Prof, and Mr.Gene Poole

February 4, 2011

Eklips: 4 Minute Hip-Hop History

French beatbox sensation Eklips gives a quick run-through of the long and wonderful history of hip-hop. This man has some serious skill and damn is he on point with his brass sounds. Oh and the busta rhymes part (3:07) is just mind boggling.

February 3, 2011

D.N.A. Feat Suzanne Vega - "Tom's Diner"

A song that I recently came across while listening to some late night radio really peaked my interest for some reason. I later found out that the song I'd stumbled across, Tom's Diner by DNA feat. Suzanne Vega, is a song that will have a distinctive sound to a lot of people due to the amount it's been used since its release in 1990. The baseline by Suzanne Vega is the most noticeable recycled piece, as her combination of notes sets a serene mood and strong setting for any song to take place.

Suzanne's voice in the track is so soft it's almost not there, but it still manages to somehow carry the song confidently. When she recorded this originally, her pitch was set so well that when high frequency speakers were being developed the technicians needed to set it with a perfect note sequence, and when he heard the a cappella original of this song down the hall he knew it would work. Later because of this, developers used Tom's Diner to calibrate the file system we know as MP3, as other songs wouldn't give true enough results to tweak the notes to. The woman in the song speaks about her basic interaction at an unnamed diner, simply a story about nothing. In the same light, Seinfield took the exact same Tom's Diner a few years later and put it into their story about nothing. This song gets the rest of it's history from the artists who have sampled from it since being released; 2Pac, Lil Kim, Felt, B-Real (Cypress Hill) and probably most recognizably in Drake's I Get Money. Even after finding all of this work the original is still my favourite, but the ripples of it's impact are definitely still worth checking out. Here's the classic version, as well as my two top samples of the song.

D.N.A. Feat. Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner (Remix)

B-Real - Don't You Dare Laugh (Sample)

Drake Feat. Kevin Cossom - I Get Money (Sample)

February 1, 2011

New Lupe: Words I Never Said

Lupe gettin political. Lupe's lyrical talent is unique. He can take rap to a different level in his ability to talk about real shit. Whether it's child soldiers in Africa, or the sinking economy, Lupe's not one to hold back his opinion. Words I Never Said is the second single off his upcoming album Laser said to be released March 8th. I like the feel to this track. Skyler Gray belts out a catchy hook. And Lupe does more than just preach political opinion. Alex da Kid produces a booming beat to match Lupe's provocative lyrics. Lasers has big shoes to fill when it comes to pleasing long-time Lupe fans. But I have high hopes.

Lupe Fiasco ft Skylar Grey- Words I Never Said

Lupe throwback (off The Cool):

Lupe Fiasco- Little Weapon