Category Archives: New Music

Some of the best new music on the radio.

My Dawg

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Week 3/14- 3/21: Hip-Hop Releases

The last week of school coincided with a fairly active period of hip-hop releases including Mike Will Made-It’s awaited mixtape Ransom, Kirko Bangz follow-up to Progression IV, Progression V, and the mastered version of the Chief Keef and Kanye West collaboration Nobody. Each offering deserved a listen, albeit all for varying reasons:

Mike Will Made-It, Ransom
Ransom debuted December 15th, hoping to build off the tapes single, “Buy the World” featuring Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and Future. An incredibly popular producer who has dominated the mid-2010’s with collaborations spanning Miley Cyrus to Gucci Mane, Mike Will maintains a strong group of contributors with a plethora of Atlanta based artists including Rich Homie Quan, Rae Sremmurd, Migos, and iLoveMakonnen amongst other notables.
In its vast roster, the album is a lot of fun, with pretty much every popular rapper of the last 3 years making an appearance providing both variety and familiarity; there is a level of diversity in hearing a different individual per song, yet Mike Will’s productions are solid and formulaic.
6/10

Kirko Bangz, Progression V
After Progression IV consisting of only freestlyes, Kirko Bangz released all original music in his mixtape Progression V: Young Texas Player on December 16th. The tape largely fits the title, as the music is extremely Texas based in production, content, and guest-features; everything is codeine colored, chopped and screwed, and Houston legends Bun B, Pimp C, and Riff Raff join the mix.
Kirko legitimately shows a lot of promise, and appears to be the setting himself up as the next major artist coming out of Texas since Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Slim Thug enjoyed success throughout the 2000s. His music employs rap, singing, autotune, and a mixture of all three over classic southern instrumentals. Highlights include “Banging Screw” and “My Dawg.”
7+/10

Chief Keef x Kanye West, “Nobody”
Chief Keef has released an absurd amount of music through his GloGang Worldwide’s Soundcloud. “Nobody” was a track previewed for the last couple of months, but it wasn’t until this week that a mastered, relatively official version was released.
The single itself is anything but similar to Keef’s Chicago drill-rap image, as it is a slow autotune balled with Kanye over a Chance the Rapper Acid Rap sample. Although Kanye doesn’t actually provide a verse, his influence is evident throughout the song, with “Nobody” playing like 808’s and Heartbreak meets the last three minutes of “Runaway” off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
This is probably Chief Keef’s first release with a flute accompaniment.
8/10

Top 5, make that 6, adds

A re-release of Abelardo Barroso's music makes #5 on this week's top 5, I mean 6, adds.
A re-release of Abelardo Barroso’s music makes #5 on this week’s top 5, I mean 6, adds.

Before the CMJ Top 10 tomorrow, enjoy this list of very new releases to check out. We typically do things around here in multiples of 5, but I couldn’t resist tacking on one special release on the end.

1. Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions [Ed. note: She’s been around since 1992, but she still manages to sound fresh and interesting and just, well, really good.]

2. Lord Raja – A Constant Moth [Ed. note: Electronic artist from New York]

3. Girlpool – Girlpool [Ed. note: Duo of teenagers from L.A., just guitar, bass, their voices, and some killer songwriting.]

4. Oceaan – Veritas [Ed. note: Producer from Manchester, U.K.]

5. Abelardo Barroso y la Orquesta Sensacion – Cha Cha Cha [Ed. note: Re-release of an incredible Cuban group from the 50s.]

6. Parquet Courts – Content Nausea [Ed. note: The extra 6th album is Parquet Court’s second full-length of the year!]

Review: Big K.R.I.T — Cadillactica

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There continually remains a negative understanding of southern rap, as it is largely constructed as void of quality lyricism, radio-friendly, nonsensical, and ultimately simple. Within this sentiment, certain are deemed transcendent of the sub-genre, with Houston based UGK and early-to-mid Lil Wayne not only catering to a larger demographic, but garnering critical acclaim and praise throughout relatively all outlets. In the last few years, Big Krit has been placed within the rare Southern-but-respectable rapper paradigm, with his 2012 release Live from the Underground earning rave reviews and building suspense for any future major label release. Two years and a mixtape later, Big Krit released Cadillactica on November 10.

The intro to Cadillactica, “Kreation,” sets the tone for a different Krit experience; the southern drawl remains, yet the production is more electronic and noisy, vaguely similar to Pusha T’s My Name is my Name or a tapered down Raider Klan release. Essentially, Krit is trying to produce an expansive sound and illustrate his evolution as an artist, which he does moderately well. In particular, the eponymous track “Cadillactica” is a highlight of the first half of the album, with Krit rapping quickly and confidently about his motivations over a futuristic, synth-driven beat by DJ Dahi.

The first half of the album remains strong with the track “King of the South” serving as a catchy yet guttural experience with Krit boasting: “Kick that south flow that you can’t get. Try to fuck the world but my dick won’t fit. My bitch like ‘Krit, motherfuck they feelings. You wanna be king, gotta claim that shit.’ I’m talkin’ ’bout off with they heads.” In execution, “King of the South” serves to be the end of side a, with the second half of the album returning to Krit’s southern roots.

The remaining productions are full of twangy soul and funk driven instrumentals akin to an 8ball and MJG or Scarface record, which theoretically contrasts Cadillactica’s aims; the album plays as an experience attempting to transcend southern rap, yet through production and lyrical content fails to do so. There is a definite attempt at shedding southern stereotypes, and results are mixed. Krit’s lyricism is fine, but suffers on occasion as it comes across as a formulaic, conscious attempt to produce these vivid, yet obscure, poetically driven verses.  In a noticeable attempt at a refined lyrical experience, Krit declares on his opening track: “These hands of mine can hold the weight of planets. Allow me to use the hues of lunar cools to paint a canvas. Of explosions and vibrant emotions that we know we could. Explore the outer most with no risks. Even though we know we should. You are the ocean, I am a mountain.” This isn’t to say that Big Krit’s lyrics are bad by any means, it just doesn’t feel quite natural. The same can be said for the productions, as the album lacks cohesion, problematically weaving from electronic synths to funk, without ever truly settling down.

Big Krit is a victim to success. As all of his previous releases have received general acclaim, a newfound pressure is present; Krit has been good, consistent, solid, occasionally great, and as a result, expectations have risen. Cadillactica is another step, but it isn’t groundbreaking. In this sense, Krit fails to fully escape the “southern rap” moniker he holds, and although Cadillactica is worth a few listens, it doesn’t reach the hollowed territory of a transcendent southern-turned- classic rap album. Essentially, the album strives to be Outkast’s Stankonia or Speakerboxx/The Love Below, yet plays like Idelwind.

Bob says 7/10

 
 
 
 

CMJ Top 10 11/11/14

SBTRKT rounds out the list at #10.
SBTRKT rounds out the list at #10.

WOBC DJ’s favorite new releases this past week:

1. Sophie – Lemonade b/w Hard [ed. note: fresh off a ‘Sco show!]

2. Priests – Bodies and Control and Money and Power [ed. note: second time this year in the top 10]

3. The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

4. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! [ed. note: second time this year in the top 10]

5. Hundred Waters – The Moon Range Like a Bell [ed. note: also fresh off a ‘Sco show]

6. Inter Arma – The Cavern [EP]

7. Dean Blunt – Black Metal

8. Mr Little Jeans – Pocketknife

9. Iceage – Plowing into the Field of Love

10. SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land

Top 5 Adds

Dean Blunt's new album "Black Metal" is #5 on our top 5 adds this week.
Dean Blunt’s new album “Black Metal” is #5 on our top 5 adds this week.

While you wait expectantly for the CMJ Top 10 tomorrow, here are 5 new releases from the past week sure to excite:

1. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita [ed. note: yeah that’s right, they have a new album!]

2. Cooly G – Wait ’til Night [ed. note: Hyperdub!]

3. Paperhead – Africa Avenue [ed. note: featuring Oberlin album Ryan Jennings!]

4. Scott Walker and Sunn O))) – Soused [ed. note: insanely unexpected & insanely good collaboration]

5. Dean Blunt – Black Metal [ed. note: also check out his album Redeemer from last year]

CMJ Top 10 11/4/14

Grouper, a.k.a. Liz Harris, claimed the top spot this week.
Grouper, a.k.a. Liz Harris, claimed the top spot this week.

(Nearly) every week, WOBC submits to College Music Journal the past week’s top plays of recent releases. What with fall break and all it’s been a second since our last CMJ top 10 – never fear, it returns:

1. Grouper – Holdings

2. Shellac – Dude Incredible

3. Fatima – Yellow Memories

4. Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends [single] [ed. note: first album in 10 years out soon!]

5. Foxygen – …And Star Power

6. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else [ed. note: from Cleveland!]

7. Alex G – DSU [ed. note: third straight week on this last or something crazy like that!]

8. Sun Kil Moon – Benji

9. Botanist – VI: Flora

10. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Between Bodies

Folk workgroup presents: An interview with The Willis Clan & a playlist

Last week, we had some really stellar CD submissions that we listened to. Of course, there was the new Jackson Browne CD, “Standing in the Breach” that was highly anticipated but additionally there were two other artists who we super enjoyed. Michiale, “Life First” is a mix of eclectic vocal harmonies and experimental guitar strumming. Jacob Hungsberg’s “Mapril Sessions” is some new age Simon & Garfunkel with a soothing voice and chord progression–but eerily like Simon & Garfunkel.

One of the members of the workgroup, Anita, hosts a Celtic music show, All Things Irish, 6-8 PM on Tuesdays. Last week she interviewed The Willis Clan and she transcribed part of the interview to share with the public:

The Willis Clan
The Willis Clan

Twelve children, ages 22 to 3 years of age. In their website, the Willis Clan mentioned, “We have chosen to take paths less traveled and love it.” I posed a question to the mom, Brenda Willis, in regards to what inspired them to go in the direction of the “path less traveled.” While answering that question, I mentioned that I personally observed during their live performances how each of the kids exude confidence. They each know what they’re good at, and yet they know how to work together.

 Brenda Willis responded with this:

“You know, it’s funny a lot of people enjoy our music very much. But to tell you the honest truth, the comments that I get are more with regards to the family and doing this together as a family, and how much they enjoy seeing brothers and sisters work together. I get everything from the music and the recording, but even setting up our gear beforehand and taking care of each other afterwards. It really is a blessing to people to see a family doing something together and working hard to accomplish something. And they enjoy all the traveling and the touring, meeting folks, and all the beautiful sites that we see. But it would really be impossible if they didn’t work together. So we do encourage them to work together and to set aside differences that are in every family. And I won’t lie. They’re normal kids. They all have their moments when they don’t want to get along. But they have to get through that and get past that. They’re not perfect. Nobody is. But you have to work through that if you want to accomplish something really great.”

Folk workgroup’s playlist:

1. James Carr – You Got My Mind Messed Up

2. Mikayla McVey – eyebrow blues/ Mother California

3. Neil Halstead – Wittgenstein’s Arm

4. Big Mama Thornton – They Call Me Big Mama

5. Lucinda Williams – Can’t Let Go

6. Sugar Pie Desanto – Rock Me Baby

7. Howlin’ Wolf – Evil

8. Lonnie Johnson – Too Late to Cry

9. Taj Mahal – Checkin’ Up On My Baby

10. Mary Jane Lamond – Mo Ghille Mór Foghain’each

11. Loggins and Messina – Danny’s Song

12. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats

13. Jackson Browne – The Birds of St. Mark’s

14. Forrest Sun – Coming Along