This week we get some treats from two of the West Coast's heavy hitters. Then we travel to the good ol' ATL, swing by Jersey and then head out to Philly. It's a cool little trip, both sonically and geographically, proving that Hip Hop is omnipresent. No matter the set you rep, one thing is for certain: you'll find something good to listen to along the way.
Planet Asia - "Furniture"
There’s been a paradigm shift in regards to the Hip Hop love song. The generation that grew up on Raekwon’s “Ice Cream” and Tha Dogg Pound’s “Let’s Play House” has been replaced by emcees that just have been influenced by Enya and just want to emote. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing for Hip Hop is for you to decide with your respective purchases and mouse clicks. In the meantime, Fresno’s Planet Asia holds it down for the latter set. Obviously, the title “Furniture” belies the fact that he’s talking about intercourse—or rather, moving furniture out of the way to make room for intercourse since the only piece of furniture in the video is the retro space age designed pod chair. As with any good design or good rhyme, what you don’t see (or hear) is what you get. The exception being the following bar, “You the type that a thug might wifey up / One time I hit it butt naked in my Nike Dunks…” Alums from Hip Hop’s class of 1993 stand up. We might officially bringing the term “skinz” back with this one. - Omar Burgess (@FourFingerRings)
The Kickdrums featuring Freddie Gibbs and Hot As Sun - "Come Come"
This week, Cleveland production team The Kickdrums dropped their Follow The Leaders mixtape, which gives emcees like Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire and Casey Veggies the rare opportunity to rock out over dark heavily orchestrated production with sweeping hooks. But the track that I liked most of all is "Come Come" featuring Freddie Gibbs and Hot As Sun. Not only does it feature all the aforementioned qualities, but it further helps support my position that indie rock, dubstep and any group of shoegazing Pitchfork darlings with ethereal female vocals have found their own anti-Flo Rida in Gangsta Gibbs. Listening to his latest with The Kickdrums and last year's tracks with Mexicans with Guns, Cults and Joker and Jessie Ware proves that the emcee that makes left-of center genre hopping look effortless isn't Def-Jux alumni or a member of the Rhymesayers camp, but Young Jeezy's CTE. Freddie Gibbs takes an already solid project from the Kickdrums to the next level just like he will surely do for Madlib and DJ Drama later this year. - Mike Sheehan
Roc C featuring Freeway and Oh No - "Over Broil"
The only thing that could beef up the chemistry between Freeway and Jake One is when nimble-tongued lyricists are added to the mix. Roc C enlists the dynamic duo plus Oh No for “Over Broil,” a meeting of the street minds included on Roc’s latest release Stoned Genius. Over a blistery horn-powered instrumental, each emcee finds their groove in the beat, with Roc adding the most complicated, ignant verse to the cut. “Never been a simpleton, addicted to the ignorance,” he spits. Straight up black hoodie rap that makes you want to slap the first person who crosses your path. - Steven Horowitz (@speriod)
Summer Leather Vest (Joe Budden & Emanny) - "F*ck That Condom"
I must admit that in the beginning I lumped Emanny in that same category as the St. Lunatics - you know, the homies that slide by based on the cosign of one talented member of the camp? Well, that's initially what I thought of Emanny (no offense). I realize now that I was wrong, and there's a certain utility to his vocals that helps some tracks out. I'm still not sure what this Summer Leather Vest is really all about, but I'm going to keep these two collectively on my radar going forward. This song is pretty ridiculous - it's about some guy who likes a girl enough to ditch the condom - but the beat and the hook make this a pretty entertaining track. Of course, Joe Budden is always a good time. What's also entertaining is that Emanny sings "f*ck that condom" in the same way that Drake sang "f*ck that n**ga" in "Marvin's Room." I can't tell if they're being serious or not, but I kinda like it. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)