A Jon Connor and Talib Kweli collaboration seemed inevitable. And what more of a perfect track for the two artists to collaborate on then one like “Rise Up” which is meant to motivate the masses into action? Both emcees are known for their lyricism and either rapper’s content dabbles in the political/social realm from time to time, so the match up on this song makes sense. Connor spits about the lies people are fed by the media, and the general public’s lack of motivation to find the truth. Of course, there is so much more packed into each of Connor’s verses, it deserves a replay or two if you really want to get the message. And although Talib may be a vet in the game, he doesn’t take away any of Jon’s shine on this cut. Jon Connor appears to be readying fans for what may be the strongest project from the Michigan native yet, Unconscious Sate.
Underrated Audio: May 7-13
Party Next Door- Wus Good / Curious
While there is still very little known about Party Next Door (well, we know he produces too), Drake continues to prep him for the long road that is stardom, by dropping free tracks from Party Next Door on his OVO blog. The latest is “Wus Good / Curious,” a self-produced track from the Toronto up and comer. The beat is perhaps more impressive than the lyrics, but obviously the potential is there. On this track the beat varies as his melodies change pace, and true to Drizzy form, the song is about a lady. The Drake influence is also definitely visible on this leak, but we’ll have to hear more from the singer to really offer judgement on his style.
Stalley has been dropping some solid tunes lately. Not to say he didn’t in the past, but the rapper often gets over-shadowed by his MMG counterparts, who for the most part, offer loud and sometimes obnoxious raps over energetic beats. Stalley, on the other hand, is unpresuming and delivers softer raps with a chilled out vibe. It’s hard to say if he really belongs in MMG—he does balance out their roster, and provides a different sort of hip-hop fan than Wale and Meek Mill might, but, when it comes down to it, he just seems out of place. Nonetheless, MMG is his home, and the rapper continues to find his groove there. This track is a stand-out from Stalley, and it proves that a good producer is sometimes all an artist needs to give them that extra boost. Cardo creates the perfect mellow beat, interspersed with a cow-bell, for Stalley’s flow and subtle lisp. Stalley raps about “white minks with the gator sleeves,” aka dolla bills and what they’ll get you. Stalley’s stunting on you, but it’s not the usual in-your-face bragging, so you might not even realize it.
I have heard other songs from the rapper called Tree and they definitely did not leave a lasting impression (or if they did, it wasn’t necessarily a good one), but “No Faces” is different. Tree’s raspy and drawling voice doesn’t work over just any beat, but over this smooth trumpet-y beat it works extremely well. Tree handles the hook like a pro, and Danny Brown’s verse just gives it the extra oomf. Tree has a new project, Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out dropping tomorrow, so we’ll have to see how the other tracks stack up to this leak.
Chance The Rapper- Paranoia Feat. Nosaj Thing
Chance The Rapper did this collaboration with Nosaj Thing for adidas original and Yours Truly’s “Songs From Scratch” series. The series seems to bring out the best in the collaborators, first Jeremih and Shlomo released the impressive “Bo Peep” and now Chance The Rapper and Nosaj Thing definitely do their…thing. The spacey beat with electronic influences is provided by Nosaj Thing, and works well with Chance’s melancholy subject matter through out the track. This song also lives in a slightly different form on Chance's Acid Rap, although it's hidden after "Pusha Man."
HNHH's "Underrated Audio" puts you on not-too-mainstream music you might have missed from the past week.
You know how it goes. We've grabbed some of the tracks we thought were overlooked this past week, and placed them all in one place (here) for your enjoyment. This week it really is about rappers that are overlooked (apart from Party Next Door, who is not a rapper at all). From Jon Connor, to Stalley, to Tree, it's generally agreed that these rappers don't get the credit they deserve, and they're often overshadowed by some of the more flashy rappers. These rappers don't need flash though, they've got bars.
Check out the five entries in Underrated Audio this week by clicking through the images above.