Review: Kendrick Lamar live at Electric Ballroom 26/06/12

Over the last twelve months, no rapper has been as consistently brilliant as Compton’s Kendrick Lamar. His third full length project – Section.80 - was arguably 2011’s best rap album, he outshone heavyweights Game, Drake and MMG on their own songs, and earned a deal with Dr. Dre himself.

While yet to make the breakthrough to mainstream success, K. Dot has been anointed the future of the West Coast. The title may be accurate it also feels restrictive. This is an artist working well outside of any geographical limitations, crafting music that resonates with people all over the world.

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Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”

Radiohead don’t follow the crowd. You’re supposed to announce an album’s title and release date well ahead of its actual appearance on the shelves, then drop a few singles and give the same answers to the same questions for every media organisation that puts a microphone in your face.

Radiohead announced on Monday that their new album would be called The King of Limbs and it would be released on Saturday – tomorrow. Then they went and released it  a day early. They’ve got history of this sort of stunt, 2007’s In Rainbows was an internet exclusive for three months. Fans could pay whatever they wanted – you could legally get it for free – to get a copy.

I’ve been trying to get onto the Radiohead site and buy The King of Limbs but it’s down right now. Buy the new album HERE, hopefully you’ll have more luck than I did with it.

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Video: J. Cole – “In The Morning ft Drake

“I realize the importance of that now, the visual aspect and how much fans want to see that,” Cole explained during his appearance on “RapFix Live” last week.

The Roc Nation artist admitted that in the past, time constraints kept him from shooting videos. Now, however, having just been on tour with Drake overseas, the two parties were together and managed to produce a video for their slow, brooding “In the Morning.”

“I wanted to give a feel for how that tour felt,” Cole said. “And just the magic of that tour. To give people a look into that.”

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XV – “Smallville” (prod. by J. Cole)

A very welcome surprise. Two of the hottest up and comers collaborating on a very nice track. J. Cole’s beats might get as much attention as his verses in the near future. It only seems right.

Cole told MTV: “This is what I decided as a producer: I’m at zero right now, in terms of my reputation among people. Other than my stuff, the industry really doesn’t know that I do this, and they don’t really know the beats that I’m sitting on. So instead of waiting on a call from Jay-Z, the call from Nas, like, ‘Yo, come [produce] my album’ — which is what I been dreaming about — I realized, ‘I can’t sit around waiting on that. I have to go work with the people that I’m feeling now, the peers that I actually respect.'”

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Video: Erykah Badu – “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long”

New visuals from Erykah. Cool concept, smooth jam, well worth your time. Not as jaw-dropping as the “Window Seat” video, but what is?

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Video: J Dilla – Still Shining (Documentary)

James Dewitt Yancey (1974-2006). Today marks the fifth anniversary of J Dilla’s death. I’m not going to say how important he is to hip hop and music as a whole because I don’t really need to. His influence continues to live on through the artists of today, his own work is timeless and is as relevant now as when it was first released.

Much of Still Shining was shot on the day of Dilla’s funeral service in 2006 and it features contributions from family, friends and collaborators including Common, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Questlove, Erykah Badu and many more. It’s a fitting tribute to the late, great man and well worth watching if you’ve got 40 minutes free.

(via FWMJ’s Rappers I Know)

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Video: Wale – “The Break Up Song”

Been ill for a few days, back to the regular schedule. Wale recently signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. The Bawse is hip hop’s equivalent of pantomime, Wale makes deep music that you can relate to. I hope his sound doesn’t change because of the switch. He released the video to one of More About Nothing’s many highlights earlier today. There aren’t many rappers who could pull off a 500 Days of Summer (dope film) inspired video. And is that really Morgan Freeman narrating?!

EDIT: Looks like it really is Morgan Freeman. High-five to Wale for getting God to help him out.

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