Saturday, July 14, 2012

"The Walking Dead" Season 3 Trailer Revealed

Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego is the epicenter for all things pop culture. People dress up in their favorite comic book character and get breakthrough announcements about their favorite video games, movies, comic books and TV shows. One of the panels gave fans a surprise to keep them drooling over and that's the trailer for season 3 of The Walking Dead, the adaptation of Robert Kirkman's graphic novels.

The AMC series follows a group of survivors in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. What intrigued me about the show was how the script focuses on the group's survival rather than 60 minutes of zombie kills and the storyline make you sympathize with the characters. Trying to raise a family is hell to begin with, but trying to teach family values with a zombie bent on eating your face off is a bit more challenging.

If you haven't seen the first two seasons I suggest you do before season 3 starts up October 14th. The four minute trailer gives us the newest addition to the cast Michonne (Danai Gurira) kicking zombie ass with her sword, the prison where season 3 will take place, Woodbury and it's inhabitants including The Governer (David Morrisey) and Mertle's return! Check out the trailer below.

Nas - "Trust" (Produced by Boi-1da)

A bonus iTunes track produced by Boi-1da about wanting more trustworthy people in his life.  Life is Good comes out July 17th.

Kendrick Lamar - "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Produced by T-Minus)

Kendrick releases "Swimming Pools (Drank)", his second single off of his upcoming album good kid, m.A.A.d city coming out October 2nd. The track is produced by T-Minus and the single is the most commercial I've heard Kendrick so far, the chorus is corny and the concept of "drowning" your problems in alcohol isn't something new. Section.80 is still one of the best albums to come out of 2011 and Kendrick is still lyrically gifted. I'm surprised he chose this as a single but anyways hit up the comment section with your thoughts.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Aesop Rock - "ZZZ Top" (Music Video)

Aesop Rock's first project in 5 years Skelethon is out now through Rhymesayers Entertainment. The crazy video for his second single "ZZZ Top" plays like a fast paced kung-fu movie moving at the same speed as Aesop's lyrics. Check it out below.

Curren$y & Harry Fraud - "Cigarette Boats" FreEP

Curren$y hooks up with Harry Fraud for a five track offering. Both have been on fire lately and I'm glad to see the exposure Fraud is getting in the streets and Curren$y always has new material coming. Last year's Covert Coup was a free album with Alchemist that impressed me and the chemistry these two have is similar. Peep the Styles P and Smoke DZA features.

My favorite track: WOH (feat. Styles P)

Listen here:


Download here: Cigarette Boats 

Frank Ocean - "Golden Girl" (feat. Tyler the Creator)

While Target won't be carrying Channel Orange anytime soon, the bonus track will be featured on the physical copy out next week and while Frank expresses love to a girl (mind you) Tyler the Creator and his Wolf Haley voice take away from the track. In other words I'm glad this is a bonus track. Comment if you disagree.

Childish Gambino - "Royalty" Mixtape

Childish Gambino had a good debut album last year with Camp and he's back with his new mixtape Royalty. It seems like the rap community has started to notice Gambino's talent as this is the first time he has a project with handful of features. The mixtape features Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Danny Brown, RZA, Ghostface Killah and more.

*Make sure you fully listen to the last track for a hilarious surprise.

My favorite tracks: "One Up", "Shoulda Known", "Unnecessary", "American Royalty", "Toxic".

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nas - "Life is Good" Track-by-Track Preview

Follow along with the tracklist.

Tracks I want to hear:

1. No Introduction - J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League sets the tone for the album with clashing instruments and dramatic organ buildups.  

2. Loco-Motive (feat. Large Professor) - Some dirty N.Y. State of Mind type beat, signature Nasty Nas.

3. A Queen's Story - The instrumental sounds more like a score from a movie with the suspenseful strings.

7 World's An Addiction (feat. Anthony Hamilton) - This might be the track I'm most excited to hear. Anthony Hamilton singing about this cold world. I can already tell Anthony Hamilton blesses this track.

10. Back When - At this point in his career I can't hate on Nas for doing a song about the good old days and No I.D. is the perfect man to add a backdrop for this type of song.

Nas - "Bye Baby" (Produced by Salaam Remi & 40)

Nas' sendoff to his ex-wife Kelis sampling Aaron Hall's "Goodbye Love" and praising his former wife for giving birth to his son and commending her for holding him down despite their divorce. A pretty respectable song from an honest artist.

Nas Performs at the 2012 ESPY'S

Nas ripping the stage and performing "Nasty" despite the audience's lack of emotion. I'll take their silence as being stunned in the presence of God's son.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nas feat. Amy Winehouse - Cherry Wine (Produced by Salaam Remi)

Nas and Amy Winehouse are back with their second posthumous collaboration on Nas' latest single "Cherry Wine". The song premiered on BBC radio and is going to appear on Life is Good coming out next week. Their chemistry is still apparent with her jazz presence, James Brown sampled drums and Nas' introspective lyrics about the woman he wants. With songs like this life is good for fans like me. Keep the heat coming Nas!!

"Channel Orange" Album Review

Frank Ocean's Debut Hits the Right Channel

By Rampage

While the main focus in the news remains Frank Ocean sexuality and artists' opinions on the matter, frankly I don't give a shit. I've been a fan of his since Nostalgia, Ultra, his work with Odd Future and even on Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne. While so many artists struggle to find their demographic and uphold their image, Frank Ocean comes along with this unique style that blends romanticism, spirituality and pop culture to create Channel Orange. It is difficult to describe the tone of Channel Orange but easy to become drawn into Ocean's many detailed stories tracing his emotional struggles.

The album opens with the Playstation start-up sounds and Street Fighter II theme taking me back to the my childhood and drawing me into Ocean's past. Just as the the nostalgia came to me his breakthrough single "Thinkin About You" is introduced with new orchestra strings and is clearly one of the standout moments on the album. A somber Ocean thinks of the future of his relationship as he asks, 

"Do you not think so far ahead?/Cuz I been thinkin bout forever, ooh". 

Aside from his (epic) second single, "Pyramids", another standout track is "Bad Religion" which he recently performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to universal acclaim. On the track he tries to "outrun his demons" in the back seat of a taxi cab where he pours out his woes about an unbalanced relationship. This was one of the songs where people thought Ocean was coming out because he says "him" instead of "her" in the chorus. His worship for someone he loved is "unrequited". 

The few features on this album are effective which is not always the case for a debut album. Earl Sweatshirt jumps on "Super Rich Kids" an ode to the rebellious and high life of wealthy teenagers who are secluded in their rich lifestyle. Earl Sweatshirt uses his signature stacked rhyme flow ("we be the xany-gnashin, caddy-smashin, bratty-ass...") and Frank even slowly raps the opening lines.

Andre 3000 also gives one of his rare guest appearances on "Pink Matter" which is about a woman's..."Majin Boo". This track displays some of Ocean's colorful imagery and 3000's remarkable flow with a verse about his incompatibility with a woman because of his lifestyle.

"Sweet Life" is a Pharell produced track about a good day for Frank Ocean laying back and sipping wine looking at the beach ("why see the world if you got the beach?") and "Forest Gump" is an interesting track written from the perspective of Jenny from the Oscar-winning film Forest Gump where he references details from the movie. 

Overall, Channel Orange is a rare achievement for the R&B genre. This is an artist expressing his insecurities to the world through beautiful production and lyricism. Each song reminded me of Ocean's undeniable writing ability and vocal range. My only complaint is the skits that don't always serve the purpose he tries to project, as breaks between different themes. Also his beat selection is sometimes overly mixed with synth jazz samples that don't always connect ("Crack Rock", "Monks"). 

Still, from a songwriting standpoint Channel Orange garners some of the most insightful narratives I've heard in years and Frank Ocean's artistry and brilliance is the reason.

My Rating: 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Frank Ocean Performs "Bad Religion" On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Despite the blogs jamming the net with Frank Ocean's sexuality, Frank Ocean made his television debut performing "Bad Religion" a song from his new album Channel Orange. The LP was originally set to release next Tuesday, but it is confirmed it is now available online a week ahead of schedule as of this morning at 12:30 on iTunes. For those who want a physical copy you will still have to wait until next week, but still another bold move from an artist who continues to spark waves in the music community. I'll have a Channel Orange review up soon.

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