Mary J.Blige is uplifting the people once again, as indie hip-hop rappers are representing soul and lyricism hard body in this week’s Sonic Boom.
Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
Flying Lotus is back today with Until the Quiet Comes. The electronic producer extraordinaire continues his experimental tradition of combining a hodge podge of sounds from various genres like hip-hop, dubstep, jazz and blues. Standouts on this include “Sultan’s Request,” which is a mesh of synths, dubs, hefty electronic monster wailing (I really can’t describe it better than that but I like it), bass and high frequency sounds that seem to make it work; and then there’s “See Thru to U,” which features Erykah Badu. However, Badu’s beautiful voice is only a supporting player to the intense drumming that drives the beat. In short, if you already rock with Flying Lotus then you’ll like this. If you’re wondering who the heck Flying Lotus is but have an interest in experimental sounds that are all over the place but still work, then you’ll like this. The album is out today.
Mary J. Blige – “Everyday People 2012” ft. Jermaine Dupri
Once you get past Jermaine Dupri’s annoying presence on the song (excessive adlibbing)—or learn to tune it out—then you’ll enjoy yourself. “Everyday People 2012,” which was produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox, was inspired by Arrested Development’s version. Mary’s joint borrows the same funked up beat and some of the hooks (“Say wooahh, say yeaah”), but remains consistent to her continuous empowerment and uplifting theme of living and loving your best life. This release is said to be from My Life II…The Journey Continues: Act 2, the follow up to last year’s part one.
Wiz Khalifa – “Remember You” ft. TheWeekend
“Remember You” is marked as a Wiz Khalifa song and it’s slated to be a part of O.N.I.F.C., which is scheduled for a Dec 4 release. But lyrically, it’s like two different songs on one track with TheWeekend’s verses making more sense. The Illangelo and Dpat-produced track is a slow, sultry and sexy tune that opens with TheWeekend singing about a steamy affair with a woman who seduced him that he dares her to make him remember her—catch the drift. Khalifa’s verses take the song in a different direction as he raps about his tailored fits and the materialistic like. I like TheWeekend’s vision better but over all it’s not a bad track.
The Real Jay Mills – Best Yet
Jay Mills is not to be confused with Jae Millz. This Jay Mills is a lady lyricist out of Washington DC who has been making a name for herself over the past couple of years with a series of mixtapes, performances and singles that showcase her raw talent. The burgeoning rapper is an accomplished pianist who has 15 years of ballet training under her belt, and she also studied theatre while in high school but don’t get her confused with a colorful wig wearing hip-pop diva that we all know. Jay Mills’ style is polished and her music showcases her razor sharp tongue and wit to match. Her latest mixtape, Best Yet, is gritty and soulful and covers a range of topics from girl power to that age-old hip-hop philosophy of being the illest. With beats by Flying Lotus, Maestro, Dudley Perkins and more, Best Yet is album quality, but either way, it’s a solid project from a woman who might just become one of your favs. My personal favorite track is “Trouble,” which is Thelma and Louise-esque collaboration with fellow DC native, Ra the MC, who some may have seen on season two of The X-Factor.
P.So – “So Enormous”
“So Enormous” is a violin-driven head banger produced by The Other Guys and lyrically blessed by P.So the Earth Tone King. The Buffalo, New York native is yet another dope emcee who has been hiding in plain site. The crafty rapper, who has spent years honing his skills in the cyphers and performance venues of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Brooklyn, has found his home with indie hip-hop staple, High Water Music. “So Enormous” is a release from P.So’s forthcoming project, The Gateway to Greatness and it goes hard. Especially dope—aside from the fact that P.So’s metaphor game is not rivaled by most (*nerd moment*) as he rhymes about how major P.So is (Duh!) —are the cuts at the end of the track by DJ Getlive. Ladies and gentlemen, this is hip-hop.
P.S. There’s a line in the song where he says, “I’m the n- - ga that you sleep on.” He’s so right. Wake up, please, and get into P.So.
Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun toting b-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and love. Follow her on Twitter@GangStarrGirl.