We've had our fair share of Mixtapes already this year and we're only into week 2! Rick Ross just dropped his Rich Forever mix that features guest spots from Drake, Diddy, Nas and John Legend, nice. It will keep fans busy as we await the release of his delayed album God Forgives, I Don’t. You can download your own copy via LiveMixtapes. Happy Monday!
We've had two samples of Common's new No I.D. produced album The Dreamer, The Believer which is now scheduled to drop just in time for Christmas on December 20th. Today comes the John Legend featuring track "The Believer". Check it out at the top and jump if you missed "Celebrate" and "Sweet" they're available for you over here.
Offered up today is a nice little remix version of Adele's original "Rolling In The Deep" mixed in with John Legends complimentary hat tip to the young english songstress. The result is quite pleasing and adds some extra depth to the rendition John Legend offered up which felt a little lackluster, which I mean in the nicest way possible. I just feel like Adele's voice is so pure and beautiful trying to cover her songs is like a member of your office harmonising over the top of the radio, it just doesn't work! Check out the remix from Error Opperator below via Pigeons and Planes.
Adele is pretty much everywhere right now, and rightly so, she's a down to earth girl with a voice that could give the most rough necked man a quiver in his knees. In turn the covers of her tracks have been becoming more and more frequent. Today we have two covers her incredibly popular track "Rolling In The Deep" the first of which is from the soul filled John Legend and the second is from those cheeky boys, Cage The Elephant from BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Check them both out below and I'm sure in the coming months with Adele's album 21 still dominating the charts the world over, we'll see more covers appear online.
John Legend - "Rolling In The Deep"
Cage The Elephant - "Rolling In The Deep"
After the initial announcement of Lupe Fiasco's Lasers back in June of 2009, the road to release has been rocky, and that is a massive understatement. The album, originally titled LupE.N.D., was supposed to be Lupe's swan song, a way for him to bow out of the industry on a high note. Atlantic Records, Lupe's record label, had a different idea in mind, though, and his contract with them made it impossible for him to carry through with his plans. As Lasersbegan to take shape and finally came to completion, Atlantic wasn't impressed and was holding back the release of the album for its lack of mainstream hits. In response to this, a massive fan petition took place, sparking a ton of controversy for the record label. Fans, and Lupe, finally got what they wanted when Atlantic caved and announced a release date. So here we are, the final product is in our hands. Does it live up to Lupe's expectations, or is it dragged down by the heavy hand of Atlantic Records?
Just to get this out of the way, let's talk Atlantic's influence on the album. Lupe has been on record saying that "The Show Goes On" and "Never Forget You" were forced upon him by Atlantic, saying "There’s nothing really to tell about ['The Show Goes On'], to be honest. I didn’t have nothing to do with that record. That was the label’s record... And then there’s ‘Never Forget You’ [featuring John Legend]—which is another record I had nothing to do with—which became another bargaining chip..." It's clear Lupe that went along with the will of the record label simply to put the album out there in order to give the rest of his songs a chance to reach the public.
Looking past the forceful influence of the record label, though, you can hear the bitter passion in Lupe's voice. "State Run Radio," for example, takes a direct stab at the mainstream bullshit that plagues radio stations, which constantly overshadow good, independent music. The song displays Lupe's most unique ability, which is to take a meaningful message and turn into good music. With this in mind, "Words I Never Said" is where Lupe pulls out the big guns. Bringing into question the attacks on 9/11 and the War on Terror, war overseas, President Obama, politicians, celebrities, mainstream media, and society in general, all of his opinions are brought to the mic, with absolutely no holds barred. Other tracks, like "Till I Get There" and "Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)," bring Lupe's true emotions to the surface as quick-spitting, expertly-delivered rhymes, showing how he has accepted himself as a flawed person who, despite everything that has happened, remains entirely positive. "All Black Everything," in particular, taps into the style that made Lupe's Food & Liquor so amazing, taking classic sounds and samples, mixing it with a clean hip-hop sound, and rapping the truth.
Where the album starts to go downhill though is in tracks like "Break The Chain," where Euro-trance beats and a poppy chorus makes the slick rhyming of Lupe and British rapper Sway seem out of place from the rest of the album. "Out Of My Head" is another one that takes the focus away from Lupe's amazing rapping abilities and is more like the kind of songs that would be remixed and played in a club. And that's the main issue with much of this album. Many of the songs are heavy with Lupe's vocodered voice, excessive synthesizer, and an overall style that takes them further from classic Lupe hip-hop and closer to the mainstream, poppy, crap that he disses in "State Run Radio." Overall it makes the album feel disjointed, in its style, its pacing, and overall message. And that's just it, the album feels like it's coming from too many directions, from too many different people. Clearly, Atlantic's influence can be felt throughout the album, and clearly Lupe is taking a stand against that in many of his tracks. But, what we are left with is an album that sounds more like a feud in our ears, rather than the consistent, passionate, straight-from-the-fucking-heart-and-soul kind of albums that we've seen from Lupe in the past.
Last week Mr Patrick Stump formerly of Fall Out Boy uploaded an entertaining and impressive video of him singing a cappella to a load of Grammy nominated tracks and artists. This morning he has done it again much to his dismay, as it seems he had a few technical issues while uploading to Youtube! On his Twitter account he firstly told fans: "So. Egg on my face. That video is not the one I intended to post, but I've been on a plane all day and didn't see it." going on to add that he was "Embarrassed, pissed, disappointed. Will rectify ASAP". He delivered though and uploaded the video with the correct audio track and now you can enjoy his cover of John Legend and Andre 3000's "Green Light". Watch it up at the top and just to let you know the video stil isn't perfect as Patrick went on finally to add "For the record, Youtube must hate this damn video cause now it's out of sync. I give the eff up. Good night."
Sound like he had a bad day but still, the video is an entertaining watch so check out the singer singng his lungs out to John and Andre.
Last week we got the visuals put to one of the stand out Magnetic Man tracks on their debut, "Going Nowhere". If you missed the weird visuals of youths roaming the streets then you can head over here. Yesterday though, this remix from Skream himself made an appearence online, adding another element to the track (more of a personal touch as he obviously had input on the original track being 1/3 of Magman!). Skream slows the track down a little yet the result surprised me, and as with the single, the vocal work of John Legend stands up tall making for an impressive little remix.
As an extra special weekend treat Skream put up a nice 170bpm track to his Soundcloud page. The track seems pretty deep and bassy and as Skream described it yesterday it's a little "soundtracky". Give it a listen to understand what I mean. As well as enjoying his re-working of the Magnetic Man track.
Finally some visuals for a stand out track from the master-class in dubstep that is UK's Magnetic Man track "Getting Nowhere". At the end of last year when I got hold of this LP I had it on repeat and as mentioned last week the album is set for release over in the US later this year!
The track, which features John Legend is a stand-out, if not for being stuck on the end like it was made to simply appeal to the masses, but because of it's impeccable roundedness, and clean edges. It closes off an otherwise brilliant frantic album. The cherry on top of a cake, if you will to end the album nicely.
The video features some visuals featuring an Assassin's Creed-esque black hooded character roaming the streets of London on a horse, along with four coat wearing youths performing tricks on a BMX. Watch the video if not just to get some goosebumps from this great track but to absorb the wonderful vocal work of Mr Legend.