James Ferraro’s Bebetune$ alter ego finds a frayed, pixelated groove on the inhale C-4 $$$$$ mixtape (free download). With its shimmering synth acrobatics, geometric beats and slightly faded tone, inhale sounds like the blueprint for the next A$AP Rocky, Lil B or Odd Future-related release. And while that may not be Ferraro’s objective with is clipped, chopped and stretched noise architecture, we’re pretty sure this guy’s name is going to show up in on a few underground hip hop albums next year, in parentheses, following the letters “prod”.
Frequent Cam’ron collaborator and fellow Harlem spitta’ Vado just dropped, The Slime Flu 2, which serves as the sequel to his 2010 debut (non-mixtape) LP. Vado’s (formerly M.O.V.A.D.O) flow cuts hard through the slow-booming beats and atmospheric synths on Flu, which will likely remind you of cruising the Ave around 1998.
You’ll notice The Chef shows up on track 10, but the cut ends way too fast. One verse from Raek is never enough. Alas, The Slime Flu 2 is pretty tight, even by LP standards.
It’s been a couple years since G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks dropped a mixtape (2009′s VS, we think, was the last one), but he’s back on the tip with The Cold Corner 2. It’s more polished than most mixtapes we’ve heard this year, and we’re surprised Banks only brought in a few collaborators (A$AP Rocky, Prodigy and Styles P among them). Most mixtapes are out-of-control collab-fests, which can be cool, but one starts to wonder what an MC is hiding when he or she only spits a single verse on half of the albums tracks, and doesn’t appear on several of them. But we digress.
Lloyd Banks’ The Cold Corner 2 is a sturdy, stoney, shadowy (often menacing) collection of beats, that’s well worth the click it will cost you to download it. Grab it here.
Washington DC rapper yU just released, A Garbage, the (sorta) followup to the mighty Before Taxes (the highest-ranking hip-hop LP on our list of best albums last year). This ain’t no B-list trash, it’s the Grade A shit. And it’s surprisingly good (assuming, as we are, that yU put all these cuts together himself). It’s hazy, sample-driven nostalgia delivered with a vinyl grain and some mean bass lines.
Although it’s a stretch to call this a proper followup to Before Taxes (did we already say how much we dig that album?), A Garbage is enough to hold us over until his next LP, The Earn hits digital shelves on December 13th.
If you haven’t already done so, you must, I mean you really should, go grab yU’s contribution, “Still Doing It”, to (fellow Diamond District guy) Oddisee’s recent solo LP, Rock Creek Park.
Brooklyn chillwave duo Small Black just dropped a hazy, synth pop mixtape, Moon Killer. You can download it here or stream it below.
Das Racist MC Heems (who’s been having an awesome year) guests on a couple tracks, remix specialist Starslinger tosses in a remix, and if you listen close, you’ll hear re-works of music by Nicki Minaj and The Carpenters on Moon Killer.
Shigeto brings his shuffling, funky space-lounge electro touch to the latest Shades of Beige mix. The Brooklyn beat slinger showed up on our radar at a Ghostly International showcase earlier this year (where he pretty much stole the show). Since then, we’ve been impressed with pretty much everything we’ve heard from him (no shit), including his 2010 album, Full Circle, the What We Held EP (free download), a totally awesome remix of Ben Butler & Mousepad’s “Mag Mag” (free download) and this latest mix…
Shades of Beige 21 mix by Shigeto
1) Storyboads_Devonwho & Shigeto
2) Stumblin_ Mndsgn
5) Breaktime_Devonwho (Shlohmo’s Reideration)
8) How Many Times With This_Dabrye
9) Drum Babylon_Mux Mool
10) Parting Gifts_Self Says (Shigeto Remix)
11) Holler Atchya Boys_M Saayid, Intricate Dialect, Mobil & Shigeto
12) Game Over_Dabrey, J Dilla, Phat Kat (Flying Lotus Remix Instrumental)
16) Koofpoin Low_Zack Christ”
Indiana MC Freddie Gibbs, a (somewhat) recent addition to Young Jeezy’s CTE Records roster, just dropped his ninth mixtape today, Cold Day in Hell. The production value here is higher than most mixtapes we spin, and Gibbs’ flow sounds as low and raw as ever. Jeezy, Freeway, Juicy J and others contribute verses. Download Cold Day in Hell here.
Our favorite member of the Odd Future crew, Domo Genesis, just dropped a rad mixtape, Under the Influence. (Free Download) And what could dear Domo Genesis be under the influence of? If the cover doesn’t give it away, consider that he released Under the Influence at 4:20 yesterday afternoon.
We’re pretty stoked to get into this mixtape. Among Odd Future’s highest profile members, Domo is the least concerned with shock pageantry, and the most obsessed with vintage hip-hop. And we like that.
“Whole City Behind Us” (which features one of the best verses we’ve heard from Tyler the Creator all year) is one of our early Under the Influence favorites. And don’t miss the mixtape closer, “Smokemon”. Wow. Listen as Domo sings awkwardly over a karaoke-ish 80s pop/rock clip. This is the reason we love this guy.
Unfortunately, our top Domo Genesis cut, “Casmere” didn’t make Under the Influence. But fortunately, you can grab it for free.
San Francisco dream-techno beat slinger Shlohmo dug into his vaults this week to put together a free mixtape, Fine, Thanks (download). All of the mixtape’s nine songs are at least a year old, but they sound pretty fresh to us. Listen as smooth synths, glitchy samples and grainy melody mix over quirky, minimal beats.
For those of you new to Shlohmo, he relies on lush soundscapes of hazy nostalgia (rather than booming beats) to inspire. The results may sometimes stray into the ambient, but Shlohmo’s spell is likely to pull you into a blissful trance rather than put you to sleep.
In a statement today from Shlohmo, he warns Fine, Thanks “should not be taken seriously”. Okay. But we’ve listened to it all the way through a couple of times now and we can say Fine, Thanks is seriously rad.
Blu’s latest mixtape, NoYork!, is a glitchy, busy trip that occasionally booms, sometimes shakes and totally hits the spot. (Free download) The lush, synthetic soundscapes of NoYork! have drawn comparisons to Los Angeles’ Low End Theory sound, and we wouldn’t disagree with that. We’d add that it reminds us at times of Shabazz Palaces (awesome) 2011 LP, Black Up. Yet while Black Up relies on more spacious, atmospheric textures for its charm, NoYork! finds its strength in denser arrangements.
As with many of the best mixtapes we’ve heard this year (Curren$y’s Verde Terrace, Exile’s Intro to the Outtro, and Danny Brown’s XXX among them), Blu’s NoYork! gains strength as it rolls into the second half where you’ll find one our early favorites, “Ronald Morgan (f. Edan)”.