New Visuals- A$AP Rocky: “LSD”

A$AP Rocky’s A.L.L.A. is a few weeks away. To combat the inevitable leak, he’s dropping gems right and left. Today I’m stuck on the visuals for “L$D”, which steers towards unfamiliar territory for the pretty motherfucker. He’s crooning all over this until the 2 minute mark, where it veers into “Excuse Me”, another new album cut decorated with Rocky’s trademark hubris.

The video’s treatment comes by way of Dexter Navy. The clip feels like a nod to Enter The Void, a 2009 film by Gaspar Noe. Trips on trips on trips. Enjoy.

On The Radar: Banditos

BanditosIntroducing Banditos, a gang of hometown southern bastards who bleed red, white, and blues via Chicago’s Bloodshot Records. Their take on Americana is a salty sweet dose of heartbreak and whiskey burn. Banditos generate a calculated heat, returning rock and roll to its Nashville roots.

Their self titled debut record seesaws between the rambunctious “The Breeze” and the grand ole sweetness of “No Good”. Banditos surges like Deertick on a coke bender running through Muscle Shoals on empty. By the albums end we’re served a wonderful reminder that a little redemption is possible after all.

The record plays like the soundtrack to a night in your favorite dive. Bring your smokes, your singles for the jukebox and your desire to make things right. You’ll need it. Banditos is officially on the radar.

Rapper Chinx Shot Dead In Queens

Coke Boys MC Chinx, born Lionel Pickens, died early this morning and and another was critically injured when his Porsche was sprayed with bullets during a drive-by shooting in Queens around 4 am.  Both men were rushed to Jamaica Hospital where Pickens was pronounced dead.

Chinx released his debut in 2009 hauntingly entitled, Hurry Up & Die: Vol 1. His latest project, Coke Riot 5 dropped last December. Supporters and collaborators continue to pay respects on twitter and Instagram. Lionel Pickens was 31 years old.

New Sounds: elsphinx- Cellar Door

Albany, New York MC elsphinx is about to focus your wandering 3rd eye. On the heels of his upcoming June 5th Pigfood Records release, Brain Cave Deluxe, we’re treated to the visuals for “Cellar Door”. It’s a trippy ride to the deepest corners of el’s mind. Put your chips on the table and let it ride on this record.  We’re all in ’round these parts.

Pre-order the record here. Crazy visions…

B.B. King Dead at 89

The New York Times is reporting that blues guitar legend B.B. King has died at the age of 89. According to his daughter, King died in Vegas where he was attempting to recover from dehydration and exhaustion which caused him to cancel shows this year.

Legend has it that B.B. was playing a dance in Arkansas in the late 40’s when a fight broke out toppling a lantern full of kerosene. King raced through the burning venue to retrieve his guitar. Later, it was revealed the fight was over a woman named Lucille. From that moment on he and Lucille would go hand in hand.

It was stories like these that made King such a master blues man. I had the privilege of seeing him many years ago at The Palace Theater in Albany. It was one part blues show, one part story session. He talked as much as he played, and it didn’t matter because both were worth every penny.

Red Pill: Look What This World Did To Us

Detroit rapper Red Pill‘s daily grind is fuel for our savage journey to the heart of the American dream. Look What The World Did To Us, his recent Mello Music Group release, examines the unfortunate path some have taken at the hands of our misguided education system and the corporate slave-salary culture.

The record is a chilling revelation that we’re nowhere close to a level financial playing field. Life is hard, and Red Pill isn’t afraid to craft bars about depression, 9-5 struggle, and alcoholism. His work is a haunting reminder that in order to make a change, you need to identify the problem; and his (and ours) run deep. This hefty dose of reality makes for an experience where you don’t simply hear the music, you internalize it.

Red Pill’s contrary take on hip hop’s current trend of the non-stop party weekend is refreshing, reminding listeners that true art is born from true experience. We all don’t drive fancy cars, rock heavy chains, or step with half naked models. We rise, work, grind, sleep, and repeat. Look What This World Did To Us is more than an album title, it’s a call to arms.