Kaytranada – Lite Spots (VIDEO)

I’ll tell you right now: I have an unparalleled softness for when robots develop feelings. So when I pressed play on Kaytranada’s new video for “Lite Spots”, from his 99.9% album that dropped last Friday, I couldn’t help but get a little choked up.

In the video, Kaytranada creates a b-boy robot with artificial intelligence, which allows it to pick up on people’s dancing and recreate their moves. The track is also one of my favorites from Kay’s new album, 99.9%, which features guest appearances from Syd the Kid, Anderson Paak, Craig David, and Vic Mensa.

You can stream Kaytranada’s new album on Apple Music and Spotify as well as purchase it in the iTunes store.

Kaytranada – Glowed Up (Feat. Anderson .Paak)

When two of the hottest, most innovative names in the Hip-Hop field make a track together you HAVE to listen. As you may know Kaytranada is always making music that is just left of Hip-Hop’s normal sonic palette due to his heavy Electronic influences. This paired with Anderson .Paak’s soulful, retro, familiar flair makes for an absolute Goku & Vegeta level fusion. The video for “Glowed Up” which was directed by Bo Mirrosseni takes place in a smoke filled room where a party is taking place and .Paak appears on a throne holding a snake in-between being recorded on a VHS tape camera in the outdoors. At the 3:08 park the song and video switch up to a groovy drum break and .Paak’s vocals becoming noticeably sexier and smoother. Enjoy it above and stay tuned for Kaytranada’s project which will be here May 6th.

Mick Jenkins – The Artful Dodger (prod. by Kaytranada & THEMpeople)

Chicago’s son Mick Jenkins regularly delivers us from a wave of mediocrity with releases that distance him from about 98% of music makers today. He seems to be so profoundly in tune with the blend of his voice, message, and production that you could put all of his tracks into a novel and it would read as an unwavering anthem for the betterment of your mind, spirit, and health. With the help of Montreal’s Kaytranada and Chicago’s THEMpeople, whom Mick Jenkins regularly collaborates with, we are lead through a masterful presentation of sound and rhythm that is full of life. Jenkins also nods at Kanye West with lines like “Mercy, Mercy me that Murcielago” and “I’m really just a southside nigga with a Nas flow” paying tribute to one of the greatest to come from this city. Mick Jenkins rarely upsets and with the help of Kaytranada and THEMpeople, he shows us once more why Chicago’s rap scene is nothing to take lightly.

 

Mick Jenkins – The Artful Dodger

WIKI – Lil Me

NYC rapper Wiki of the trio RATKING dropped his first solo mixtape entitled “Lil Me” yesterday, which comes nearly three years after putting out his debut solo EP 1993. The 18 track tape dominantly features production from RATKING’s Sporting Life with guest producers Madlib, Kaytranada, Sykwlkr, Harry Fraud and many more. The tape is also littered with awesome guest verses from the likes of Skepta, Antwon, RATKING’s Hak, and Jesse James Solomon. Lil Me is at times as punk as much of RATKING’s music but mostly forms its own soulful core. The production stands out on this tape, but it’s impossible to say it does more so than Wiki’s seamlessly effortless rapping. At just 22 years old, the Irish/Puerto Rican grit king from Manhattan has seemed to have mastered the art of spitting fat rhymes through his character fitting busted front teeth. The widely overlooked RATKING debut So It Goes features tons of material old heads would cream to, so feel free to get one to shut up by showing them that or Lil Me. Wiki may not be one of the best rappers out (though I would disagree), but he’s making better music than a lot of the others people would place in front of him.

Mick Jenkins – Wave(s)

Buy now from iTunes.

The EP starts off ominously , what only feels like voices talking in my head about thirst and hunger and society, leads to one of Mick Jenkins’ (can I just call him MJ?!) most potent, energetic, and visceral tracks to date; “Alchemy”. Picking up right where he left off on “The Water(s)”, with thought provoking similes and the delivery of a pastor preaching a fiery sermon.

“Don’t greet me as God, my nigga I ain’t no deity”

The album really starts to seperate itself from his prior work by the 3rd track with Mick trying new flows and more en vogue production styles than the more old schoolish underground sound fans are familiar hearing him over. Kaytranada does such a great job of taking rappers out of their comfort zones while still keeping the music quality; such is the case on “P’s & Q’s” & “Your Love”. The latter of which is a club influenced joint that seems somewhat satirical.
I swear he’s pronouncing Chicago like “She-cago” because of how well it suits the atmosphere. Subtleties like this have always been what made him so special, the little things in the end usual amount to the difference between the greats and the “good enough”‘s.

“As long as you feeling’ the vibes Imma keep dealin’ the vibes

Thempeople handle most of the production otherwise with an assortment of mid to upper mid tempo beats that really stretch the limits of the Mick Jenkins we’ve gotten used to from the last few drops. “Quantum leaps ahead of my peers”, the emcee is clearly quite conscious of his existence in an already quite crowded rap scene but he also sees that he does what others don’t, he is self aware, thoughtful; his punch lines often come in the form of extended metaphors because there is so much depth to even the most seemingly simple things in life.

“Saw the world In different colors”

Mick has a little crossover appeal on this tape! With some singing and infectious bridges, he has really taken his songwriting ability to the next level, he’s not just a rapper, he’s not just a poet, he has reached the status of full fledged “artist” who’s music should be interpreted on varying levels. He is growing exponentially as a musician and as a conscious human as well. The tide is turning in this rap game and the “Wave(s)” will help bring you ashore.

“40 Below”, “Alchemy”, “Slumber”, & “Perception” are personal favorites.

Mick Jenkins – P’s & Q’s (Prod. by Kaytranada, Dir. by Nathan R. Smith)

“I ain’t preaching and I’m never that pretentious
Not pretending, Quasimoto how my back is
I’ve been bending, I’ve been lifting all the pounds
Break it down, pass it ’round
Politicking with my peoples, then my partner, then my realm
Quality is what we seek, I’m not playing till we peak
Quintessential to survival is the cunning to compete, you picked defeat”

Mick Jenkins released his first video from The Wave[s], “P’s & Q’s” a track produced by Kaytranada with an expressive guitar loop throughout. See Mick’s description below, he explains that he was thinking about literary devices and chose alliteration, so in “P’s & Q’s,” you’ll hear lots of those. Mick makes it sound easy as he still paints a cohesive picture while employing the constrained writing technique.

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Nathan R. Smith directed the video and I read about the process via NPR.

“For the “P’s & Q’s” video, we wanted to shoot something with a constant flow of motion to complement Mick’s unending verse. I created the idea of Mick walking through a scene of complete chaos, yet being unaffected by everything. To create that effect, I had Mick walk backwards from left to right through the entire scene as people pelted him with various items. That way, once we reversed the footage, Mick would look like the only person moving forward and everything would lift off of his body, leaving the chaos behind. Everything in the shot — the fire, water, even the train — was in-camera.”

The “P’s & Q’s” artwork was created by @YesimanArtist. I’ve been listening to Jenkins’ soundcloud a lot today, there’s not a superfluous release on it, all tracks are substantial and artistic. He’s laid a solid foundation and I can’t wait to hear The Wave[s].

Kali Uchis – Por Vida

The first of several projects coming out in 2015 I have been anticipating for quite some time dropped Tuesday and I couldn’t be more pleased. Columbian starlet Kali Uchis’ Por Vida is a tasteful amount of retro, as well as a healthy dose of modern. With production from Kaytranada, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Tyler, The Creator, Uchis’ blend of spliced beach rock and jazzy drum fills swirl together to create a one-of-a-kind musical soft-serve. In “Rush”, produced by Kaytranada and BADBADNOTGOOD, Uchis singing style is showcased to the fullest while the BADBADNOTGOOD dudes lay out some killer jazz jams and Kaytranada comes in at the end to put his touch on it all. To say I’m satisfied with this release is an understatement. Kali Uchis is a true artist in 2015 with impeccable talent for creating a vibe and a sound that not a lot of other artists seem to be able to get down like she can. Bravo, Kali. Bravo.

Kaytranada – Drive Me Crazy (Feat. Vic Mensa)

Historically, there are few rappers I like more than Chicago’s Vic Mensa, and there are few producers I like more than Montreal’s Kaytranada.  Though the two have tempted us before in 2014 with “Wimme Nah,” they’re back together again for a new single called “Drive Me Crazy.” If I could be back in London for their show in March, I would be, but until then, I guess this song will have to do.  Stream above. Cheers.