June 18, 2013 § 12 Comments
It’s been almost three years since Kanye West’s last solo effort My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but now he’s returned with the explosive Yeezus – his sixth studio album. Yeezus is in no way beautiful or fantastical, but it is dark and definitely twisted. If you were looking for traditional Hip-Hop, it definitely won’t be found here. Yeezus goes inside the mind of one of rap history’s most compelling artists, which is better translated through raging synths that can hold up to his maddening thoughts – a steady, twerk-friendly bassline isn’t enough.
The album leads with “On Sight”, a high-voltage, industrial adventure. It is Yeezy’s version of Euro House that has been drilled (both literally and figuratively) through his hometown of Chicago – thanks to Daft Punk’s crazed production. The unexpected throwback sample is jammed between the track, which drives it over the edge of sonic genius – madness, actually.
“Black Skinhead” is best defined as Marilyn Manson meets Nine Inch Nails. It translates the trendy “Street Goth” fashion trend (thanks, Complex) into musical terms, where the rapper shreds the typical notion of what “Punk” means and attributes it to African-Americans. The primal screams and heavy breathing just make it all the more nasty.
Dancehall music is a surprising but much welcomed influence throughout the entirety of Yeezus. “I Am A God” is the first track that introduces the Jamaican vibe. With a sample from Capleton, the song has incredibly arrogant (but heavily recycled) lyrics juxtaposed by the menacing production – Yeezy’s best (and possibly overused) formula:
“I just talked to Jesus. He said, ‘What up Yeezus?’ I said, ‘Shit I’m chilling. Trying to stack these millions’. I know he the most high. But I am a close high. Mi casa es su casa. That’s that cosa nostra.”
Yes Kanye, we all know how rich and smart you are. He could have kept that on MBDF and Watch The Throne – no one cares anymore. It’s become so expected and boring. But, the track does boast one of the most memorable lines from the album – “Hurry up with my damn croissants!”
Now, “New Slaves”, that’s a track that has the blueprint for becoming a revolution in a few listens. Slavery is still a completely hush-hush topic, so to bring it forward in such a no fucks given setting is so raw.
“All you blacks want all the same things. Used to only be niggas now everybody play me. Spending everything on Alexander Wang.”
But Yeezy twists the usual meaning of slaves and applies it to modern times – major corporations, social media and technology are the new owners. The new slave whip? Money. More…
June 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
As the Mrs. Carter Show continues, Beyonce is giving her fans more and more tastes of her new music! Last night, the singer performed her single for H&M – “Standing On The Sun” – at the Antwerp stop on her tour.
The track is perfect for the summer with its bright melodies and Dancehall-inspired tones. Beyonce even tries a hand at a Dancehall verse and Mr. Vegas makes a brief yet memorable guest feature that brings the song together.
Check it out after the jump! More…
December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Snoop Dogg has recently been making the transition to a reggae artist, adopting the moniker “Snoop Lion”. In efforts to prove himself, he has once again teamed up with producers Major Lazer and Dre Skull for his third single “Lighters Up”.
The uplifting song is about unity and loving your fellow brother, but it is ironic how neither Dancehall artist references the other. It is highly probable that the two did not record together. It would have been a more meaningful song – to Jamaicans specifically – if the two had acknowledged each other to continue the end of the Gully/Gaza tension.
Check it out below:
Snoop Dogg’s reggae album Reincarnated will be released early 2013.
May 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
April 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Damian Marley started 2012 off strong with “Affairs of the Heart”, and now the Dancehall artist released the video for his second single “Set Up Shop.”
The conscious deejay dedicates this track and video to the struggling ghetto youths trying to make it.
April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Dubstep (which originated in the UK) is based on Jamaican dub, so it comes as no surprise to hear a collaboration track from Grammy-winning US dubstep producer Skrillex and Grammy-winning Dancehall artist Damian Marley!
The track titled, “Make It Bun Dem”, is straight Dancehall with subtle hints of dubstep effects. The outcome is killer; I hope this will make way for more dubstep/dancehall collaborations.
Check it out below!