Cooking Up Singles

I can’t lie, I’ve been checking for the Pusha T My Name Is My Name leak for weeks and I usually don’t champion coke rap.  Nine times out of ten it’s corny and pretentious, but I’ve been following Pusha since he was crafting one half of the genius behind Clipse, and I’ve yet to tire of his brick-flipping mentality.

“Nosetalgia” features Kendrick Lamar, and if you’re looking for bars, both MC’s come with it taking slightly different takes on the same dead horse theory.  Pusha is adamant that the Pyrex will continue to bubble, while Kendrick gives us the other side of the story.  He sees it from inside the house, watching those around him stumble with the poison that’s been pushed into their hands.

No new territory for either rapper, but the heavy bended guitar blast and steady percussion does it for me.  The KRS-One samples are a nice touch to round things out.  Look for Pusha’s debut on iTunes and in stores, October 8.


Shine A Little Light

The aphorism “third time’s a charm” is wildly ironic and cliched, but in the case of Cleveland’s Signals Midwest the adage rings true.  Light On The Lake is the bands third release, and their strongest work to date.  Max Stern brought his A-game to the table this time around, leaving nothing to the imagination.  He’s drawn a line in the sand, and you can join him or keep it moving.  And I wouldn’t want to miss a second of it.

Of course a song writer should hang it out there for us to love or leave behind, but Stern has managed to take it to those personal spaces that are simultaneously unique to his scope and somehow wide ranging enough for us to carve out as ours.  It sounds too good to be true.  A punk at heart, capturing simple, intimate moments while his band churns behind him like a younger, hungrier Hot Water Music.

“In The Pauses” and “A Room Once Called Yours” are a one-two punch worthy of a pit full of sweaty bodies, swaying in call and response glory.  Yet as quickly as they work you into a frenzy, the band cools things off with songs that simmer and fade like “Greater Planes”.  And it’s in those quiet moments that Stern’s ability rises up.  He’s a phenomenal story-teller with a gifted band behind him to bring it all to life.

Visit and grab a copy of Light On The Lake for eight bucks.

Cups On Cups On Cups

Stalley continues to prime eager fans with the visuals for “Cup Inside a Cup” from his Honest Cowboy mixtape.  Daniel Cumming’s direction takes us further into the mind of a rapper whose love for literary giants rivals his hip hop pedigree.  This one feels like an outtake from Fear and Loathing, as the neons swirl and the bars come a mile a minute.  He can’t stop here…it’s bat country.

If you haven’t grabbed Honest Cowboy, take a few minutes to track it down.  It’s another strong (be it short) body of work from Stalley, whose debut will actually be worth the wait.  If you’re looking to support the Blue Collar Gang MC, there’s a four-dollar version on iTunes with two tracks not featured on the free tape.

Raw And Uncut

Spitta Andretti’s at it again.  This time he’s back in the lab with Harry Fraud to cook up the 4th installment of his “Audio Dope” saga.  The visuals take us on a ride through Reno, the biggest little city in America.

Curren$y is making his bread spitting it like he lives it.  It’s all about low-profiles, the freshest green jars can hold, and pockets full of cash.  The lazy delivery is part of his genius, and with two minute gems like this he can’t miss.  Jet Life.

London’s Burning

19 year old Archy Marshall’s bedroom musings are haunting.  They’re disjointed and wild, but entirely reflective of the young man behind the microphone.  Recording as King Krule, Marshall’s managed to capture the chaos of the London streets with the patience and grace of a lonley cabby.  6 Feet Beneath The Moon is the sound of youth in a busy, glistening city.  And Krule’s been chewed up and spit out already.

It’s blues music through the kaleidoscope lens of a b-boy Billy Bragg.  Garage, hip hop, and punk are chess pieces moved with mastery on 6 Feet.  He rambles through the tracks with effortless breaths of revelation.  Krule seems to have learned early on that life’s not fair, yet refuses to wallow.  Instead, his jaded world view is flipped into a celebration of beats and life.  This one will stick with you long after one listen.  Enjoy.

Riding Dirty

photo by Peter Marquez

Beers.  Bikes.  The freedom of the open road.  It’s all front and center on “Let the Black Horse Ride”, the first single from BROTHERS sophomore release, Volume II.  Just when the sting was wearing off from their badass debut, they come roaring back into the picture with a slice of pure rock and roll debauchery.  The organ rings, the riffs are heavy, and the bass will make you Mick Jagger your way to the fridge for another ice cold can.

BROTHERS is a reminder that rock and roll doesn’t demand Pro Tools and eyeliner to knock you on your ass.  These guys were born as free as you and I, except they’re not afraid to put it to tape.  Go ahead and open the throttle or put the pedal to the floor.  Regardless of how you’re cruising, “Let the Black Horse Ride” will guarantee that you can’t drive fifty-five.

Grab the track for free at

Zombies Don’t Recognize Order

Flatbush Zombies came with D.R.U.G.S. a year ago and flicked the switch on a spotlight aimed at the cellar dwellars and the kids on the wall.  They’re not looking for acceptance, though they may become the voice of a mind-altered generation.  Tabs, bags, pills, and bottles are on the menu for their follow up, Better Off Dead, and we’re invited to sample the goods.

The highly anticipated Better Off Dead ushers the Brooklyn trio into slightly more familiar territory.  The production is warmer, boom-bappier, and entirely more accessible this time around.  With a rich palette of sounds behind them, Meechy, Juice and producer/mc Erick Ark Elliot are able to show and prove on the mic, something that might catch you off guard.  We’re dealing with three rapping-ass rappers.

Sure, there’s full fledged substance abuse throughout this 19 song collection, but it never borders on Charlie Sheen cheesy.  Rather than beat you over the head with a drug plate, the Zombies weave their recreational hobbies into the fabric of storytelling.   Better Off Dead is new-school psychedelic flower power for the ghetto.  Now lets watch it unfold.

Download the tape here