The Dream- Slow It Down Feat. Fabolous
The-Dream may call himself the Radio Killa, but as pop-friendly as his songwriting chops can be when it comes to penning jams for Rihanna and the like, his solo material fulfills one purpose before any. "I know they ain't gonna play this on the top-40 radio, but the white girl still gonna ride it like a rodeo" sings Dream on the self aware track that dropped not-so-accidentally on Valentine's day. Dream is a versatile songwriter, but he recognizes that his slow-jam game is unparalleled, and thus drops another aptly titled baby-maker just in time for V-Day. The Loso verse doesn't hurt either
Gucci Mane- Runnin' Circles Feat. lil Wayne
Gucci Mane returned this week with the sequel to his well received Trap God tape from last year. While Gucci experienced a short dip in both his mental health and the quality of his music a couple years back (hitting its lowest point with an ice cream face tattoo and a joint album with V-Nasty respectively), he's been on a four tape streak as far as delivering his signature brand of bouncy trap goes. "Runnin' Circles" exemplifies this sound perfectly, with Gucci flexing his cartoonish delivery over his long-time collaborator, Zaytoven's organ-laden beat. A similarly revived Wayne shows up for a guest verse, steering clear of excessive TrukFit references, as well as racially-charged similes concerning the female anatomy.
J. Cole- Stay
We first heard the "Stay" beat on Nas' dad-rap opus, "Life Is Good", but it was actually Cole who originally went in on the No I.D. instrumental. "Stay", which Cole dropped as part of his surprise EP, Truly Yours earlier this week, dates back to 2009, which is a good 3 years before we heard the Nas version. While there is no background on how the beat got passed around, J. Cole's narrative successfully breathes new life into the song, making it one of the highlights from the EP, despite being the only instrumental we were previously familiar with.
Big K.R.I.T.- Check The Sign Feat. Bun B
Big K.R.I.T.'s rap-style bears more than a passing resemblance to the late Pimp C's, and that makes his team up with Bun B the closest thing we have to a UGK track in 2013. While certified nice guy Big K.R.I.T. has a considerably more approachable persona than the menacing Pimp, he stands as one of the few who is keeping the classic southern sound alive both in production and emceeing, and in the currently trap-obsessed rap climate it comes as a breath of fresh air. The blatant Nike product placement can't even sink this collabo.
Slim Thug- H Town's Finest Feat. Kirko Bangz & Jevarian J
Two of the three southern legends behind 2004's iconic "Still Tippin" team up once again, subbing in newcomer Kirko Bangz for the still missing Mike Jones (has anyone tried calling him lately?). The outcome is highly successful, as the two sound as comfortable as ever on the slightly glossier take on their crawling southern sound. The heavily filtered beat pull-out in the chorus is straight out of the Mike Will playbook, but the two vets don't sound out of place the way many who came up before the trap-craze do. Bump this track while you're contemplating the irony behind a rapper who used the word "Who?" as an ad-lib and then disappeared completely.
Birdman- Fly Rich Feat. Future, Tyga, Meek Mill, Mystikal
2013 marks the year where every DJ wants to be Khaled, and when you consider the fact that the “We The Best” leader doesn't actually produce any of his gigantic crew tracks, what's stopping them? This track is helmed by Birdman, and you can practically hear the Cash Money mogul rubbing his hands together over this event-rap track. It's got all the markings of a blockbuster posse cut, with recent go-to hook man Future literally squeaking his way through the auto-tuned chorus, and a group of high-profile rappers spitting double time flows and gradually one-upping each other until the inevitable climax of Mystikal's scene-stealing finish. Whether or not you can get behind the contrived grandiosity of this song, you can at least admire its large-scale presentation.
Lloyd Banks- Follow The Leader
Lloyd Banks matches this hard production with some equally hard delivery. The New York rapper switches his flow between breathy baritone in his verses, to an exasperated near-voice crack on the chorus, sacrificing no energy or technical proficiency throughout. Banks knows what he does well, and has perfected his style to the point that he's become one of the more consistent voices in the rap game. "Follow The Leader" is clear evidence of such.
Tyler, The Creator- Domo 23
Tyler, The Creator gives us the first single off his upcoming third album, Wolf. Tyler brings us a midi-synth banger that recalls crew track "Rella", as well as his infamous Taco and Jasper-assisted tracks from his albums. While "Domo 23" doesn't wear its ignorance on its sleeve quite as much as something like "Bitch Suck Dick" does, the track marks a notably abrasive first taste of the record. It makes for a fun lead single, with Tyler fully embodying the outrageous persona we observe from his twitter account on a daily basis. It works best paired with the more subdued neptunes-channeling "Bimmer" which appears in part at the end of the "Domo 23" video. Frank Ocean's vocals can be heard in the background, and the track sounds like it could be a welcome addition to Tyler's "Analog" series.
HNHH assembles a selection of the most viewed and commented tracks of the week.
This new weekly feature will highlight a few popular tracks from throughout the week, giving readers another chance to listen to and discuss some of the bigger and better songs that we cover. Rather than re-posting the top ten most viewed tracks, we're selecting a few from the top 25 that stood out and still leave room for discussion. So check out our new feature and let us know what you think of the songs, and feel free to share your own favorite tracks from the last week.