Ty Dolla $ign- My Cabana (Remix) Feat. Young Jeezy
Ty$ delivers a decidedly hardened version of his summer jam, which had him pondering how many hoes he could fit into his cabana, as well as how many syllables he could fit into the word "hoes". Jeezy, who has been edging his way into the DJ Mustard camp, enters his verse on some typical Snowman ad-libbery, but halfway through co-opts Ty's melody and shows us once again that he's got a surprising amount of pop sensibility. It's no mystery why he served as a co-writer on a number of tracks on 808s & Heartbreak. The newly beefed up beat delivered by Mustard & Ty's joint production team D.R.U.G.S. serves as a fitting backdrop to Jeezy's gruff vocals, and Ty's knack for interesting hooks and unconventional sounds stands as strongly as it did the first time around.
Kid Cudi- Immortal
Cudder hits us with a track that is melodic even by his standards, substituting his often monotonal rhythmic delivery for something that works his range a little more. While his melodic ambitions often overreach his vocal abilities, Cudi sells his hooks pretty damn well.
Yelawolf- F.A.S.T. Ride
Yelawolf's double-time flow is un-fuck-withable. There's no denying this man's accelerated rhymes, but it's his ability to slow things down and still have command of the beat that separates him from a lot of the cheap thrill fast rappers out there. The millions of pre-pubescent white girls that learned "Super Bass" word for word are evidence enough that anyone can develop the skills to rap capably, and many of the rappers who pride themselves on show-stopping double time flows have taken a similarly studied and practiced approach to perfecting their own craft, but when it comes to being a great rapper, this method can only take you so far. Someone like Yelawolf has certainly taken time to hone his lightning speed delivery, but also possesses an innate talent that is evident from the way he can organically switch up his flow, refusing to sound mechanical. As impressive as it is to hear Papoose furiously rap the alphabet, his inhuman performance satisfies on a base level. With this aptly titled track, Yela continues to deliver the thrills of great technical ability, while still showcasing a talent that evokes more than just pure skill.
Hit-Boy- T.U. Feat. Audio Push, Problem, & Juicy J
With the recent wave of Molly and Lean talk, it's almost refreshing to hear a song dedicated to the seemingly old fashioned practice of getting "drunk as fuck". Hit-Boy once again delivers a beat commanding enough that everyone forgets to listen to his verse, with a synthesized brass riff so immense its closer to the arena-ready trap tribute of Hudson Mowhawke's TNGHT, than actual trap music. Juicy J actually steals the spotlight, providing a notably weaving flow, which comes off as surprisingly fluid in wake of his increasingly punchy delivery.
Gucci Mane & Young Scooter- Remix Rerock Feat. Waka Flocka
Gucci's output has become almost comical at this point. You could say Big Guwop has easily set the record for trap sequels in one year, with Trap God 2, Trap Back 2, And Trap House 3 all planned for 2013 release. This track comes off another sequel project, and while this one doesn't literally have the word trap in its title, the content remains consistent. This track is Gucci, Scooter, and Waka on a Zaytoven beat. There are absolutely no surprises here, and if you're a Gucci fan, this can actually qualify as a great thing.
Big K.R.I.T.- Shine On Feat. Bun B
Krit gives us another collabo with Bun B, playing the late Pimp C in their UGK-like dynamic. K.R.I.T. generally doesn't get enough credit as a rapper, and gets even less as a producer. He lays down a classic southern soul beat that perfectly compliments both Bun's delivery and his own. Expect a lot more of this winning formula on his upcoming mixtape, K.R.I.T (King Remembered In Time).
Pro Era- Maxwell
It's hard to pinpoint where exactly Pro Era's appeal comes from. 90s nostalgia is a well-tread path in rap, and the reason Pro Era matter is that they're able to transcend it. While strongly referencing music of the past, the members of Pro Era are able to steer clear of the stagnant, backwards-looking golden age worship that often holds hip hop back from new and exciting ideas. Perhaps it's the fact that the members are young enough that they are completely immersed in the internet age, giving them enough of a distance to have a fresh perspective on a style that's had it's fair share of straight-faced emulation. Whatever it is, Pro Era are able to wear their influences on their sleeve, while still presenting what is proving to be an interesting and exciting movement.
King Los- Fear
At a time where narrative in rap is somewhat of a scarcity, Los' most exciting quality is his storytelling. This dark narrative is engaging both in content and delivery, and Los even adds a little bit of melody to his flows on the hook, making it deceptively catchy. The production recalls some of 40's darker beats, and serves as the perfect backdrop to Los' words.
Staff picks for the week of February 25-March 3rd.
This feature highlights a hand-picked selection of some of the bigger tracks of the week. We have chosen a few of the tracks that landed within our top 25 most played, focusing on those that stood out, and left room for discussion. This edition features Kid Cudi, Yelawolf, Gucci Mane, Juicy J and more! Take a look at the list in the gallery above, and feel free to let us know your own favorite tracks in the comments.