Wyclef Jean, April Showers (mixtape)
So… Wyclef decided to drop a mixtape with 33 tracks, and there’s even a video out for the lead single, “Midlife Crisis” (featuring Maino). It’s too easy to go there with jokes referencing the midlife crisis thing, but luckily ’Clef went there for us so no one has to. He doesn’t joke about it, but he makes direct and indirect references throughout the song and other songs on the mixtape (including one where he brings up “the motorcycle incident”), about having been around the game for a while.
In “Midlife Crisis,” he says that “the rap side of his brain is reanimated again”…nearly 20 years since The Score. Shrug. Anyway, ’Clef tapped various talents like T.I., Mobb Deep, Uncle Murda and more to help contribute to April Showers. You know how ’Clef likes to get experimental and incorporate other genres into his music (particularly reggae and acoustic)? Well, he doesn’t do that as much here, with the exception of a Whitney Houston dubplate and a track entitled, “Stay on My Hendrix.”
He speaks in Kreyòl at times, but that’s always a given. Again, it’s just really long, but there are some gems like “Hip-Hop,” where he reflects on hip-hop’s past and how the more things change, the more they stay the same. There’s “The Buzz,” a hardcore effort featuring newbie lady rapper Trini, “I Wish It Was Music” and a few more goodies.
Watch the video for “Midlife Crisis” here. Get the mixtape wherever hip-hop can be downloaded online.
Shystie, Pink Mist
Shystie has been making waves in the U.K. since 2003, when she released a response track to Dizzy Rascal’s “I Luv U.” However, it hasn’t been until recently (mainly due to appearances with Azealia Banks) that Shystie has been getting more U.S. exposure. Enter Pink Mist. It’s a short EP full of hip-hop, dancehall, girl power and sass—oh, and that fly accent. It’s short, sweet and worth the download.
Available on iTunes.
Omar, “The Man”
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s something in the water across the pond, which is a good thing. U.K. representative Omar is often credited as being one of the pioneers of “neo-soul,” but it’s hard to box his experimental style—sometimes house, sometimes soul, sometimes acid jazz but always amazing. In fact, Omar’s so amazing that Stevie Wonder requested to write a couple of songs for him (which should basically clue you in to the fact that if you still ain’t familiar, then you need to get there). Omar has also collaborated with Common, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone and many more. Next up is his first album in seven years, The Man. Said album won’t be available in the U.S. until June 18, but there’s a preview available, and he just released the video for the eponymous lead single.
Preview the full album here.
Watch the video here.
Bonita Canady, “Him”
Bonita Canady has been on the scene for a while as a singer/songwriter, and scored collaborations with Mickey Factz, Dipset and more. The Brooklyn native currently spends most of her time down in Atlanta making music and hosting TV. But speaking of music, she just dropped “Him,” a new romantic song about being head over heels in love. Bonita’s sound can best be described as hip-hop soul, but she often has an ethereal take that’s easy to fall in love with, as is the case with “Him.” This is the first single from her forthcoming debut album.
It’s available today where music is sold but listen here.