Listen: August Alsina ft. Iamsu! & Problem—”Numb”

New Orlean’s most promising new R&B singer, August Alsina, recruits two of California’s best up-and-coming rappers, Iamsu! and Problem, to bring you “Numb” produced by DJ Mustard. The beat has a bay-area feel to it despite DJ Mustard’s being from Los Angeles. Although Iamsu! is the only bay area native on the track (Richmond), both August Alsina and Problem also ride the beat exceptionally well. Being that he’s the principal artist, August Alsina dominates the track with two verses that stretch over 24-bars in addition to a 10-bar chorus that’s worthy of play in the best of clubs. Of course, the track wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable as it is without the appearance of either of the two rappers. Iamsu! sets the tone by opening up his verse with an adaptation of Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything.” Problem adds to the track with his signature metaphors such as “let’s make one thing understood/ you nothing without paper like books.” Although August Alsina just dropped his EP Downtown: Life Under The Gun a little over a week ago, “Numb” doesn’t form part of it, but may belong to something bigger in the future. Until then, listen to “Numb” below. Continue reading

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Listen: The Foreign Exchange—”Call It Home/Pity”

The R&B, electronica, and hip-hop duo consisting of American rapper/singer Phonte and Dutch producer Nicolay, better known as The Foreign Exchange, release back-to-back singles titled “Call It Home” and “Pity,” respectively, for their upcoming album Love In Flying Colors. The first is a lovely track on which Phonte exclusively sings and features a really funky bass in addition to heart-racing drums. The latter is a more laid-back yet equally powerful song where we get to hear Phonte deliver a love-sick rap-verse in-between a sung chorus that goes “don’t look for pity ’cause it’s not fair/ don’t look for logic ’cause it’s not there.”  Make sure to listen to “Pity” all the way through since the beat experiences a radical transformation towards the end that increases in intensity and includes a cool voice-box effect on Phonte’s vocals. Love In Flying Colors is expected to drop September 24. Listen to “Call It Home” and “Pity” below.  Continue reading

Listen: JMSN—”Love & Pain” EP

The lead-single for JMSN’s album Priscilla, which was later accompanied by visuals, is getting the red-carpet treatment with the release of an EP which features nine tracks, each of which is a remix to the original “Love & Pain” song. It’s truly a star-studded event with remixes by big names such as Ta-ku, Kaytranada, Sango, and Dpat, just to mention a few. And you know they’re doing something right when you can listen to the album the whole way through without feeling like you heard the same song twice. Each one of the producers takes a unique approach in the dismantling and reconstruction of the emotionally charged single by JMSN. Check out all the different remixes on the Love & Pain EP below. My favorite—in case you were interested—is the remix by Ta-ku.  Continue reading

Listen: Natasha Kmeto—”Dirty Mind Melt” (Sweatson Klank Remix)

Leave it to Alpha Pup affiliate Sweatson Klank (shown below), formerly known as Take, to take a track such as “Dirty Mind Melt” by Natasha Kmeto (shown above), who is from Portland, Oregon, and transform it into the lovely beat-oriented remix that it is. There’s something about the lofty synths and romantic vocals that bring to mind smooth jazz and 80’s R&B, but with a Hip-Hop twist, which of course should be expected from the Los Angeles beatsmith. The intro to this song, with its profoundly evocative piano keys, is exceptionally mesmerizing and immediately draws the listener in. Also, Sweatson Klank’s drum selection and pattern couldn’t be any better—it’s a subtle yet much appreciated dimension for beat lovers. Without anything negative to say about Natasha Kmeto’s remix and without anymore accolades left to give to Sweatson Klank, there’s nothing else left to do but listen to “Dirty Mind Melt” below. Enjoy.   Continue reading

Robin Thicke ft. Kendrick Lamar & 2 Chainz—Give It 2 You (Remix)

Would you like to see Kendrick Lamar rapping while riding backseat in a tiny monster truck? Would you be interested in knowing what Robin Thicke looks like in a tailored referee-suit? Would you like to hear 2 Chainz refer to himself as the “black Michael Jackson” while dressed in the most ridiculous outfit known to man? If you answered yes to any of the above, check out the latest concoction by Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” director Diane Martel above. In it, you’ll not only see everything mentioned, but also the Alabama State University’s dance team (The Stingettes), a women dressed in cotton-candy from head to toe, and a giant ass-float. Although perhaps expected and accepted by Robin Thicke fans far and wide, one can’t help but notice the in-your-face objectification of women in this video as well as the celebration of excess that the western world has so often come under scrutiny for. Whereas singers have often been able to convert sex into art through sexual innuendos, Robin Thicke is so direct about it with lines like “[I have] a big dick for you” that it leaves little to the imagination. Clearly, Thicke is not the first nor will he be the last to propagate such crude material, but it does take away a little from his character and his music. With that being said, and potentially ignored, the song does have a vibrant beat that makes you want to dance and with appearances by 2 Chainz, who is always amusing to watch for his sheer ridiculous factor, and Kendrick Lamar, who has become the most polemical figure in hip-hop, it’s hard to say “no” to a song like this. It’s good music—that’s hard to deny—but should every aspect of it be lauded? That’s for the listener to decide. Check out Robin Thicke in the remix to “Give It 2 You” featuring Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz above. And if the link above doesn’t work (it might not be available until 7:50pm EST today), check it out right Continue reading

Phoenix ft. R. Kelly—Trying To Be Cool (Remix)

Anyone familiar with either one of these artists knows about their epic joint-effort at Coachella 2013. Riding on the same waves of excitement from that memorable event—and perhaps adding to it—Phoenix and R. Kelly pair up once again to release “Trying To Be Cool.” Continue reading

August Alsina ft. Curren$y—Let Me Hit That

These are the latest visuals to go with August Alsina’s new track “Let Me Hit That” featuring Curren$y. The video was directed by the Reece Bros. and the beat was produced by Cassius Jay. Being who he is, Curren$y lends this track the credibility and appeal that it needs to Continue reading

Chet Faker ft. Kilo Kish—Melt

Chet Faker has already been catching a lot of buzz on the internet, but he’s sure to receive more after the release of this single, “Melt,” featuring Kilo Kish. The two have very sultry approaches to the minimal, down-tempo beat which has multiple instances of Chet Faker sounding off in the background, almost in a comical way, but he makes it work with the plucking notes of the bass and the overall laid-back vibe. Kilo Kish does well Continue reading