Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Rhyme: "Put It Down" - Brandy feat. Chris Brown

Brandy released the lead single from her new album "Two Eleven", due in May. The employs techniques used on R&B and Hip-Hop songs as of late--auto tune, rapid repetition, and other vocal manipulation techniques like stuttering and deepening of the voice. Chris Brown provides a rap in the bridge, different from how most would expect to hear him on a record.

The song isn't necessarily a club song but it can generate a nice dance video if need be. Chris could definitely have a routine in the video and it wouldn't be out of place. "Put It Down" doesn't sound much like what is on the radio as far as the instrumental is concerned but the repetition should make it good radio fare.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Rhyme: "Fantasies" - Bootleg feat. Left Eye

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes passed away ten years ago today and a song released by German label Block Starz Music leaked yesterday. The song is characterized by a smooth beat with a sweet flute and a steady protools beat. Left Eye's rapping is different than was usually characteristic of her--it is deeper and a more rugged, probably because around that time she was developing music under the persona of N.I.N.A. That version of Left Eye was on Suge Knight's Death Row records.

For that reason, this song is a departure from what people knew of Left Eye during her TLC days. It offers a glimpse of the type of music the rapper would have released had she not had that fatal plane crash a decade ago.

Source: Creative Loafing Atlanta

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Video: "...Baby One More Time" - Tony Lucca

On tonight's episode of NBC reality singing competition The Voice, contestant Tony Lucca performed a cover of former MMC cast mate Britney Spears' 1998 song, "...Baby One More Time". Giving the song a completely new and different take, Tony put a southern rock spin on the bubblegum pop tune. The performance showed that he clearly made the song his own and well suited to his own style. Tony brought new life into the track making it more current and diverse while still doing the original version justice.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Rhyme: "Every Single Night" - Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple released her first new song since 2005 today called "Every Single Night". The music is minimal only becoming enchanted during the chorus with backing vocals coming in behind Fiona's. With little instrumentation, Fiona's words are what needs to be payed attention to.  Her vocals on the song are like a cabaret singer allowing listeners to hear every blip in her delivery--it makes her more raw, something that she is known for.

The song comes from her latest release, The Idler the Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipper Chords will serve more than Ropes will ever do. It's lengthy title is reminiscent of her 1999 album When the Pawn... which has a much lengthier title. "Every Single Night"'s lulluby-esque tone makes it soothing but the punch in the chorus makes you really listen.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Rhyme: "Party Girl" - Asher Roth Feat. Meek Mill

"I Love College" rapper Asher Roth returns with his new song about a girl who likes to party. Aptly titled "Party Girl," it samples Eddie Murphy's 80's hit "Party All The Time". Asher still has connections to college-oriented music with this song describing the party antics of a stereotypical college frat girl.

Backed by a club-dupstep based beat, it makes for a good track that any party girl would want to dance to. The song also serves to introduce younger audiences to the fact that yes, Eddie Murphy did attempt to sing at some point. It's good, it's straight forward and the rap provided by Meek Mill helps make it more hip-hop and less typically pop appealing to the college crowed. It's not necessarily mainstream but neither is Asher Roth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Rhyme: "Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)" - Nelly Furtado

With the release of a lyric video on VEVO, Nelly Furtado returns  to the scene for the first time since 2006's Loose with her new single about hoop earrings. It's a club song that focuses on a typical premise of a girl trying to catch a guy's eye. While that may seem like nothing new, what is new is the techniques Nelly used on this song compared to how we last heard her. Produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Nelly utilizes vocal manipulation not only through the ever-popular autotune but also on her own. The singer echoes current pop staple Rihanna, feigning a Caribbean accent on the track.

The most interesting part of the song comes in the last minute when the music stops and after a few words from Nelly and the chorus repeats with a fast-paced 90's-esque rave track racing in the background. That's something refreshing to hear considering it could have gone a more predictable route and launched into a dupstep break down. Even though the song is nothing especially different to what's on the radio now, it is different enough to stand out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Rhyme: "Lost" - Gorilla Zoe

Gorilla Zoe’s most popular track is undoubtedly “Lost” form his March 2009 album Don’t Feed Da Animals.  Like many artists, his song is about being lost in the business. He has his go-to vices to keep him sane: purple and a chick he met in the club. The words in the song smoothly flow from ear to ear with the slick familiar hip-hop beat in the background and a female vocalist that echoes more of the R&B genre.
This isn’t the most typical hip-hop song but it’s not completely original. Yet it still goes a little deeper than the usual: rapping about money, cars, girls, and the like. It’s a song anyone who is feeling at least somewhat overwhelmed can relate to.  And the song actually tells a story making it more relevant.

Image Credit: Bad Boy South, Block, Atlantic

Lost (feat. Lil Wayne) by Gorilla Zoe on Grooveshark