Category Archives: Hip-Hop

Run The Jewels are taken down by the broken prison system in video for “Legend Has It”

Run The Jewels’ newest video places rappers El-P and Killer Mike squarely in the crosshairs of a police state and its standard perceptions that black people and/or rap musicians are criminals.

In the video for “Legend Has It” from RTJ3, the duo mysteriously multiplies as they’re placed in a police lineup. As the song progresses, a little girl, a guy in a full body cast and a nun are later replaced by police officers in the lineup, until just El-P and Killer Mike become the main suspects in an unnamed crime.

Meanwhile, officers discuss who may be guilty, judging by people’s physical description.

“Go with your gut. Which of these gives you a bad feeling?” goes one quote behind the glass. The “woman of God” the body cast guy and the girl are of course let go, until only El-P and Killer Mike are left.

The video also features the view from a dark prison floor, showing the number of incarcerated rising as the decades pass– 1.9 million in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2017. Besides “Legend Has It” being one of the best raps from RTJ3, this is another video where Run The Jewels push boundaries of normalcy as they try to make their point — the U.S. prison system is severely flawed.

There’s quite a lot in the video, but it could have packed even more of a punch if it focused more on those prison numbers.

Watch the video below.


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Filed under Hip-Hop, New Music, Rap, Run the Jewels, VIdeos

Open Windows 3: Deap Vally grinds and Alexis Taylor unwinds

Prince’s influence on the music world after his death continues unabated. Via FactMag, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor has now covered the Prince unreleased rarity, “Old Friends 4 Sale,” with heartfelt, somber piano notes. Taylor unplugging himself from his electro-synth world is jarring enough; Taylor explaining how he wanted to relearn the song as a tribute to Prince is even more emotional.


Deap Valley’s finally got new music on the horizon, and we’re thankful they haven’t changed their stripes. The female duo continues their blues-punk, guitar-dripping sound with the slow-burning track “Royal Jelly” and some advice for those who want to rule the world.

Deap Vally’s album Femijism, produced by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner, will be out Sept. 16 on Nevado.

Watch the video below:

Read NPR’s blurb on Deap Vally in their “New Mix” wrapup:

Deap Vally also released the video last month for “Smile More,” a tender ode to guys who try that advice on others.  “I am not ashamed of my age/ I am not ashamed of my rage,” Lindsey Troy sings. Deap Vally always knows the right thing to say.


The first two songs off Lando Chill’s upcoming album are more than just promising. The Tucson hip-hop artist spits honest truth, whether he’s feeling just fine rolling a bowl on “Early In the Morning” or fighting demons like depression on “Coroner”:

“There’s no more to say, no more to pay, no world to save / I’m not the man you believe in, see I’m just the man you were leaving,” Lando Chill says rather calmly on the song, and you believe he’s got something bubbling underneath the surface.

His album, For Mark, Your Son, will be out Aug. 12 on Mello Music Group. Listen on Bandcamp:


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Filed under Covers, Electro-pop, Garage Punk, Hardcore punk, Hip-Hop, Indie electronic, Open Windows New Music, Uncategorized

Run The Jewels’ “Meowpurrdy” video might melt your brain

Run The Jewels new video for “Meowpurrdy” will make your hair stand on end.

“Meowpurrdy” is the opener for Run The Jewels’ cat-remix, Run The Jewels 2, which is still a guilty pleasure months after its release.

The video features internet sensation Lil Bub (below), a cat with special needs whose tongue hangs out a lot, and was made with help from Adult Swim.

Lil-Bub RTJ

Sure, the cats start off the video with some innocent dancing, but they soon sprout extra teeth, which are really like fangs, and multiply into deformed feline mutations with uneven eyes and fat tongues. I don’t think the video was supposed to remind people of The Human Centipede, but there you go.

You’ve been warned.


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Not even going to try and describe what’s going on here.

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Filed under Hip-Hop, Rap, Remix, Uncategorized, VIdeos

Pet project “Meow the Jewels” by RTJ a meaty remix


Run the Jewels’ new ode to cats, “Meow the Jewels,” pounced without warning Friday night.

On this remix, hip-hop pair Killer Mike and El-P have preserved the lyrics from their original, self-titled debut and embellished with new soundbites of people freaking out, and a big mess of cats in all shapes and sizes.

On the opener “Meowpurrdy,” it sounds like they’ve recorded some cats in heat, which then tangle with hungry lions out for blood. Other cat musings on MTJ include lion growls, playful domesticated mewings and trillings up and down the scale.

The most surprising track is “Creown (the Alchemist Remix),” which takes the song’s serious tone and lyrics about drug-running and sets it against the backdrop of an old Meow Mix commercial — one like this:

But it’s not just samples of meows and devilishly deep purrs — RTJ have created new melodies out of those noises that drive the songs in new directions. So while you’re already familiar with the lyrics, the new beats and drum samples — all stemming from cute kitties and big lions — make the album fresh again.

You can download “Meow the Jewels” for free at

Listen to “All Meow Life (Nick Hook Remix)”:

The cat’s meow on “MTJ”: “Meowrly (Boots Remix)”, “Meowpurrdy (feat. Lil Bub and Snoop Dogg, Maceo & Delonte)” and “Paw Due Respect (Blood Diamond Remix).”

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Filed under Hip-Hop, Remix

Don’t blink now — FKA twigs is changing the face of music with “M3LL155X”

FKA Twigs M3LL155X cover art

There’s good reason FKA twigs easily commands a captive audience. The young British singer, songwriter and dancer has been consistently breaking new ground in electro-pop, dance and trip-hop genres, winning accolades along the way.

Her eye-popping music videos are often overtly sexual without revealing anything, and demonstrate her mature grasp of performance art, skirting the hazy line that separates NSFW and slick production.

Her latest five-song EP, “M3LL155X,” also called “Melissa,” moves fluidly between trip-hop, soul, house and R&B influences. The songs gracefully house her hushed and porcelain vocals, which can drop to almost nothing in one measure and soar wildly in the next.

fka twigs bedThe scratchy, drawn-out groan she emits in the electric “Figure 8” is only one testament to how far she’s willing to go in music. On the explosive “I’m Your Doll,” she portrays a blow-up doll ready to do her bidding. “I’m feeling like a loaded gun, and when it’s done, I’m the only one,” she whispers.

For the synth-pop dance song “In Time,” she implores a man to stay committed, promising that together they’ll be unstoppable. But she also softly warns him, “The way you dismiss me/Will turn into missing me like I am yours.” On the tempo-jumping single “Glass & Patron,” she experiences a catharsis that frees her from the deep-seated pain of “being told who I am.” It’s her version of “Vogue” for the 21st century.

fka twigs red dance

Her accompanying 16-minute conceptual video for the EP sways wildly between vivid imagery and unsettling beauty – it screams to be seen. It’s safe to say few others in music are taking the kinds of risks that FKA twigs is fast becoming known for.

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Filed under Dance, Dance-Synth, Hip-Hop, Techno, Trip hop

Night Beds releases a helluva good mixtape from the “Ivywild” recordings

I just have to post this right now — Night Beds’ Winston Yellen today released “Strangers In Paradise Mix,” a mixtape of sounds and songs they were listening to “in heavy rotation” while recording “Ivywild,” out today on Dead Oceans.

Drawing on Winston and Abe Yellen’s influences from J Dilla, Bill Evans and others, “Strangers In Paradise” is a mellow, diverse and highly compatible mix of R&B, electro-pop, Motown and hip-hop, with a Kanye West cover of “I Wonder” thrown in. Also sneakily embedded in the mixtape are “Ivywild” B-sides.

Listen to Night Beds’ “Tide Teeth” and “[9-6] slack-jaw” below:

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Filed under Electro-pop, Hip-Hop, Mixtape, R & B

Revolutionary new rapper Tunde Olaniran releases single “Namesake”

Afro-futurist rapper Tunde Olaniran’s new single is a wake-up call.

Olaniran, who hails from Flint, Michigan, merges genres on “Namesake” while promoting positive messages of personal identity, leaning into classic dance music notes, then without a breath lays down heavy rap effortlessly.

Vocal sound bites meet hip-hop, which meets melodic singing, which leaks in between rapid-fire raps and ’80s electronic guitar and drum licks. And he’s not all serious either, whipping light-hearted hip-hop lines which are topped with truth bombs.

tunde olaniran

“Everybody’s hoping and scraping and wishing they could be something outside themselves … If I can be me, then you can be yourself,” he repeats without a shred of loftiness, then switches into angry mode, declaring,”It’s like we’re never satisfied.”

Besides his music endeavors, Olaniran also an author, choreographer and activist who works for Planned Parenthood in Michigan. He works as an educator promoting sexual equality and awareness.

Olaniran’s full-length album comes after the success of his 2014 EP “Yung Archetype.”

“Transgressor” will be out Aug. 7 on Quite Scientific.

Listen to “Namesake” below:

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Filed under Afro-futurist, Dance-Synth, Hip-Hop, Rap

Watch A$AP Rocky’s talk at Red Bull Music Academy

ASAPROCKY-RedBullRed Bull Music Academy Festival New York has released a conversation with A$AP Rocky from May, when he premiered “Everyday” which features Miguel, Mark Ronson and Rod Stewart.

A$AP Rocky spoke with Egotrip founder Chairman Mao about growing up in the Bronx and Harlem, and the recent death of his mentor and friend, A$AP Yams. Rocky also discussed a new A$AP Mob album and his love of Houston rap.

Visit Red Bull Music Academy for more on May’s installment.

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Filed under Hip-Hop, Interviews, Rap, Red Bull Music Academy

Tinashe wants to give you whiplash with “Cold Sweat”

Tinashe’s new video for “Cold Sweat” is as mind-numbing as it is sultry R&B. It features the singer contorting her body in fits and starts against a black background, and generally appearing possessed, but in a good way.

Via www.rap-up, Tinashe may be participating in the Janet Jackson dance tribute at the BET Awards. She’ll be on tour with Nicki Minaj starting in Dallas on July 17.

The “Cold Sweat” video was directed by Stephen Garnett. The song is off her debut, “Aquarius.”

If you haven’t yet, make sure to download Tinashe’s excellent free seven-song mixtape, which she recorded in her bedroom during her Christmas vacation last year.

Tinashe – Amethyst

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Filed under Free download, Hip-Hop, New Music, Pop, VIdeos

Madonna anoints Drake with her kiss; Drake treats it like poison

Drake Madonna big kiss

Gonna dress you up in my love, whether you like it or not.

At the Coachella Music Festival this weekend, Madonna imparted a hefty kiss upon Drake while onstage. His abject disgust after the holy event has caused a stir while it also appeared to turn Drake’s stomach.

madonna- drake react1

After Madonna plants a big wet one on Drake, then continues the song without breaking a sweat, Drake immediately lunges forward, acting like he just swallowed acid. It did appear as if Madonna was cutting off Drake’s air supply, but suffering from a lack of oxygen is no reason to not enjoy being in the moment with the One Who Gave Us Like A Virgin.

Madonna is clearly a fan of Drake. She mentioned his music during a video from Sydney Morning Herald about what she listens to during her exercise routine. Besides Diplo and Disclosure, she admits she rocks out to the rapper while sculpting.

“I love Drake’s new Mixtape,” she says, so it would appear that Madonna does have some ulterior motive to show her respect: She likes his music. DRAKE EVEN NAMED A SONG AFTER HER ON HIS MIXTAPE. Doesn’t seem to be much excuse for him.

The guy should at least act like he enjoyed the surprise kiss while he’s performing with her. People paid good money to see this.

Madonna drake react2

Other public smooches by the Queen of Pop have been well received, and understandably, still hot. Drake, take note:



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Filed under Coachella 2015, Drake, Hip-Hop, Madonna, Pop