Miss the old days of Wu-Tang Clan when all they did was rap over samples of 1970s soul and R&B songs (and it didn’t sound shoehorned)? The closest thing you’ll get to that now is the new collaboration between Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz instrumental hip-hop band BadBadNotGood. Since Ghostface is the only member of Wu-Tang to still closely resemble that sound, this match up made the most sense. The album is half instrumental and half performances from Ghostface Killah, with a handful of guest artists, including Danny Brown and MF Doom. The album can be purchased on cassette, CD, or vinyl via the Lex Records website, or purchased digitally on iTunes. The entire album can be streamed below.
Five years ago Charles Hamilton was on the verge of being the next big thing; magazine covers, an XXL freshman list that also included B.o.B, Wale, and Kid Cudi, and an undeniably catchy lead single. But after a series of self-admitted “bloopers”–including a video of Hamilton being socked in the face by a girl he was battle rapping–made the rounds on the internet, Hamilton disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. After a lengthy absence from the public eye, Hamilton appears to be ready for his come back. His new single “New York Raining” is below.
Up and coming rapper Jalin Roze (not Jalen Rose) from Louisville, KY has a smooth, bass heavy sound reminiscent of Celly Cel in his heyday. Roze has a great back catalog of music worth checking out and it’s all available to download for free from his Bandcamp page. His song “That’s It” can be streamed below.
Austin natives and League of Extraordinary Gz members Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot have been a strong part of the LOEGz’s domination of the Austin hip-hop scene over the past few years. The duo have a couple performances during SXSW, along with a showcase with LOEGz. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot will be performing March 17 at Flamingo Cantina and March 21 at The Palm Door. They also have new material out with rising Austin hip-hop producer Eric Dingus. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot’s “Raw Pt. 2” featuring LOEGz affiliate Lil’ J and produced by Dingus can be streamed below.
Rae Sremmurd (pronounced RAY SHREM-URD) are two young guys from Tupelo, Mississippi that seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014 with two hit songs (“No Flex Zone” and “No Type”). Rae Sremmurd makes feel good party music and they are clearly having fun doing it. While it seems like Rae Sremmurd might goof around a lot, there is definitely a method to the madness. An interesting side note is that they also have a safe sex party anthem called “Safe Sex and Pay Checks”. Rae Sremmurd has one of the more energetic record and stage presences around. They have already confirmed four shows during SXSW and will most likely be performing more than that.
FREEWAY came to prominence as a member of Rocafella Records during the label’s heyday. Since parting ways with the label FREEWAY has independently released a series of albums, mixtapes, and collaborative EPs, including an unexpected collaborative EP with Girl Talk in 2014. FREEWAY has an energetic stage presence that matches his well-known brand of aggressive lyrical delivery and is a show worth seeing. FREEWAY is confirmed to perform at Trinity Hall on Friday, March 20. FREEWAY’s collaborative EP with Girl Talk, Broken Ankles, can be streamed or downloaded for free via DJ Booth. The lead single from the EP can be viewed below.
When Freddie Gibbs first gained attention outside of his native Gary, Indiana with his mixtape The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, he seemed destined for stardom. Five years, a couple EPs, and an independent album later Gibbs seems to be nowhere near the stardom some expected from him. There’s no doubt that the mainstream music audience noticed him; a member of the 2010 XXL Freshman class, a highly publicized friendship and then falling out with rapper Jeezy. So, why is Gibbs making EPs with lesser known artists like Statik Selektah and Madlib? Why did he only have mostly little known guest rappers on his album? Because he likes his specific brand of music and is clearly only interested in mainstream success if it means not compromising his artistry. Expect an authentic show to compliment his incredible delivery at his SXSW 2015 performance. Follow the jump for video.
IAMSU! is one of the more talented acts to come out of the California Bay Area, post-Hyphy movement. IAMSU! has been making a name for himself on the west coast for a number of years and is also one of the founding members of the Heartbreak Gang (aka HBK Gang) rap group, which also includes Sage the Gemini, famous for the 2013 hit “Gas Pedal”. IAMSU! performed along with HBK Gang at Fader Fort last year and is returning for several shows this year. Confirmed performances include Bar 96 on 3/19 and Clive Bar on 3/20, along with another unspecified confirmation.
In an interview during last year’s SXSW, California bay area rapper G-Eazy likened E-40’s influence in the bay area to Jay-Z’s in New York City. In terms of originality, innovation, longevity, relevance through several eras of hip-hop, and business prowess, it’s hard to argue 47-year-old E-40’s importance in hip-hop. This influence even includes E-40’s 27-year-old son Droop-E, who has been successfully producing for a bevy of west coast artists since 2004. One of my favorite revelations about E-40 came in 2014 when it was discovered that E-40 used more unique words in his work than Shakespeare in a side by side comparison of the first 35,000 words used in each artist’s work (he wasn’t the only rapper who out did Shakespeare, but definitely the only rapper in his genre of hip-hop). E-40 has been putting out a minimum of two albums per year since 2010 with his most recent album including guest spots from Dej Loaf, Ty Dolla $ign, Kirko Bangz, and others. And we all heard E-40’s verse on Big Sean’s break up anthem from 2014 “IDFWU”. E-40’s presence at SXSW is a huge deal and should not be missed. He’s scheduled to perform at The Roosevelt Room on Friday, March 20, 1:20 a.m.-1:50 a.m. E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go” from the height of the Hyphy movement is below.
Since debuting in 2011, Atlanta-based rapper Scotty ATL has released six mixtapes and one EP, and is showing no signs of slowing down in 2015. The blend of his thick southern draw and sometimes gritty, sometimes soulful beats should provide for an authentic Atlanta hip-hop live show. Scotty ATL has confirmed a couple performances during SXSW, though specifics are still TBA. Scotty ATL’s project OTR2SJ, released last summer as part of Scion AV’s hip-hop series, can be streamed or downloaded via LiveMixtapes. The lead song off of OTR2SJ is below.