Earlier this month, every member of the TDE sent the same tweet to singer/producer Lance Skiiiwalker, who had achieved little exposure aside from guesting on thee tracks on Jay Rock's 90059. Each of those tweets simply consisted of a question mark, and that was enough for people to speculate that Skiiiwalker is the latest artist to sign to the dominant California label.
Surrounded by so much talent, it’s forgivable if you forgot that TDE President Punch is a solid emcee in his own right. As he usually does, he dropped “Gone” overnight to little fanfare, but the track is definitely worthy of attention.
The last we heard from Isaiah Rashad was his September single "Nelly." The infrequency of his output, though, has only caused fans to meet each new release with more anticipation, as everything he has put out has been more than worthy of the brand that's behind him, TDE.
A couple days ago TDE said that new material from Isaiah Rashad was on the way, and it turns out they weren’t lying. Tonight, the label decided to let go of a new track out of the blue called “Nelly.”
Shadow Of Death
Jay Rock Feat. Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul
We're just hours away from the release of Jay Rock's 90059, and to prepare you for Rock's second studio album, we're taking it back to 2010, when TDE was just starting to make waves in Southern Cal.
Money Trees Deuce
Kendrick Lamar's "Money Trees" was a huge look for Jay Rock. Not only did he show up on one of good kid, M.A.A.D. city's best tracks, he also left quite an impression, contributing one of the most memorable verses on an LP full of them.
Electric Body (Tags)
A$AP Rocky Feat. ScHoolboy Q
After hearing the mind-bending, multi-suite "L.S.D.," there's no telling what each new Rocky drop is gonna sound like. When we first saw Schoolboy Q's name on the A.L.L.A. tracklist, we were brought back to their earlier collabs like "Brand New Guy" and "Hands On the Wheel," and we can tell you now that "Electric Body" channels that same dark energy, and it's scary good.
Over the past year or so, TDE label head Punch has been showing us his lyrical skills, picking up the mic and going in as a solo artist. Most recently, he showed up alongside his signees Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q on a remix of BJ The Chicago Kid's "It's True," and now he returns with a new solo cut called "Fear."
We haven't heard from Ab-Soul in months, but today, he leaked "47 Bars" to show fans he's still in the game. This is far from a mere throwaway, though. There are some genius rhymes sprinkled throughout, and Ab has something to say. The beat is a cosmic mind-melter from the always-reliable Alchemist.
Punch Feat. Kendrick Lamar
TDE President Punch continues to drop music that does his acclaimed-label justice. "25," his latest solo record, finds him addressing big issues within his community and out. It's a timely release that warrants more than one listen. Whether or not the song is going to land on any sort of larger project is still a mystery, but, if Punch's history of reader-approved releases is any indication, maybe it's time he starts pushing a full-length.
TDE's first lady, SZA, lived up to the crazy levels of hype that came with her signing with her great Z EP, and since that dropped in April, she's kept her reign going strong by touring and dropping a few one-off tracks. "Sobriety" is the latest of those, and it was produced by a team consisting of Chris Calor, Cody, LoveDragon, TDE gun-for-hire Sounwave and bass virtuoso Thundercat (whose indelible riffs you can hear on the tail end of Kendrick Lamar's "i").
My Darling Nicki (Interlude)
TDE President Punch may be more widely recognized for heading one of the most successful independent hip-hop records on the planet, but, as he's shown time and time again, he's actually a pretty dope emcee in his own right. This past August, he came through and turned some heads on "Prelude," a powerful track about American revolutionaries. Today, he returns with "My Darling Nicki," a track that shifts gears to a more personal theme while remaining as inherently poetic.
There's been a pretty noticeable deficit of Jay Rock music coming out of the TDE camp, with just about every other artist having released a new project/new one on the way. Yet we've received no concrete information on a potential Jay Rock album, although it was recently announced that he's officially left his Strange Music label mates.
As promised, Kendrick Lamar comes through this morning with his new single "i." Starting out with a skit heralding Kendrick as a rapper-slash-writer, the record soon turns into an upbeat, somewhat jazzy affair, with definite radio potential. K. Dot, ever the chameleon, manipulates his voice for the single as he sing-raps on the hook "I love myself"-- which was rumored to be the song title at first.
A Project Mind
Punch Feat. Jay Rock & BJ The Chicago Kid
Punch acts as TDE's president, but he's also got a little spit game when he wants to. The other month we saw that first hand with the release of an "Untitled" record. This Friday morning he returns with more heat, this time recruiting TDE's Jay Rock and BJ The Chicago Kid for a detailed look at the minds of project dwellers. The production is equally dope with BJ adding some extra 'mmms' to the soulful cut.
Though she's been releasing music since 2012, most of the hip-hop world was introduced to SZA's psychedelic strain of R&B through Z, her debut album on TDE. Since signing to the label in Fall 2013, the New Jersey native has seen her stock rise substantially, leading to collaborations with her labelmates as well as Mac Miller and Chance The Rapper.
TDE sports a pretty enviable roster of emcees, and while Black Hippy and new signees Isaiah Rashad and SZA are all pretty high profile acts at this point, it's lesser known that label president Punch is now to spit a verse here and there. His output is very sporadic, yes, and it's possible we won't get another track from the label boss anytime soon, but either way, Punch felt inspired to drop some new bars today.
Just Have Fun
Ab-Soul's new album These Days... just started streaming today, and after one listen, "Just Have Fun" has emerged as a highlight. Though the album is filled with high-profile features, it's on this track that Soulo's skills shine the hardest.
SZA Feat. Chance The Rapper
SZA debuted "Child's Play" live at the Fader Fort last year at SXSW, and now we finally have the official audio. Since then, she's scored a verse from Chance The Rapper, who actually harmonizes with SZA for the final chorus following his 16.
Alejandro Jodorowsky Flow
Asaad Feat. Ab-Soul
We haven't heard from Asaad in a minute. Last we did, he was accusing Pusha T of ripping off his song title "God Flow" after the GOOD Music rapper released "New God Flow" with Kanye West. Apparently this all happened after Asaad sent King Push a mixtape, which featured the song in question. It's good to hear something new from the rapper in the musical department, as he releases a new track with Ab-Soul called "Alejandro Jorodowsky Flow". He's also announced a new mixtape Flowers II, the sequel to his 2009 tape, to drop this Thursday.