Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Joell Ortiz - Free Agent?

Joell Ortiz on stage: Where's The After Party?

I wanna talk to you about a rapper who has been on my radar for over two years now. This man would be Joell Ortiz who released his first studio album in 2007 called The Brick: Bodega Chronicles. Although the album didn't scream classic, it was a solid album and it had what I believe to be one of the best odes to the golden age of hip hop ever. This song titled "Hip Hop" (video below), that I featured on my most recent Filet-o-Mix CD: Recapturing That Feeling, seeps with passion from every line. Although lyrically it might not focus exclusively on the golden era, Joell gives you the "feeling" of what it was like back in the good ol' days. No corny gimmicks, no fake gangsters - just real talk. If you want to understand the soul of what hip hop really means, you'll digest the song below in all of it's reminiscing braggadocio. It truly captures the spirit of that time period (early to mid 90's).

Joell Ortiz - Hip Hop (Video)


When I first heard this song, I was sure Joell would be an underground star. His passion is incredible, his delivery is top notch, and his heart is in it. I'm telling you, 90% of rappers these days don't have any of those three qualities. They just rhyme over a beat and no one could care less about what they're saying. However, I see Joell being able to crossover and have more mass appeal by hybridizing mainstream and underground hip hop. For example, check his newest video below which is a story about the average man's struggle with a beautiful R&B chorus by his sometimes partner-in-music, Novel. I'm really in love with this damn song.

Joell Ortiz Ft. Novel - Night Train (Video)


By listening to the last two songs, you can tell that Joell's style is extremely versatile, yet manages to remain sincere even when switching between being both pompous and humble. Recently, Joell has made headlines as 1/4th of the hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, which also includes lyrical powerhouses Royce Da 5'9", Joe Budden, & Crooked I. They are in talks right now to sign to Eminem's label Shady Records, which would be an awesome move for the group.

If you are loving these two songs, I suggest you pick up a copy of Joell Ortiz's new album Free Agent, which drops sometime in 2011. The album was slated to be released today and the songs used to be up for preview on Amazon.com, but were taken down this morning (and I must say they sounded good!). Both the song "Night Train" (above) and the song below "Sing Like Bilal" are on Free Agent so you know it's gonna be a hot one. And if you already know Joell Ortiz then this is for you... YAOOOOOOWA!!

Joell Ortiz - Sing Like Bilal (Prod. DJ Premier)

Friday, November 26, 2010

#NewMusicFriday - 11/26/10 Edition

14KT wins the Red Bull Big Tune national hip hop producer championship last week in Chicago 

In case you're just joining in on the #NewMusicFriday trend @HeadPhoneHOME, I do a recap of the best new rap singles released from the past week. It's kinda like the top 10 plays on ESPN's SportsCenter, but I do it for new hip hop music. You can stream the new songs below or download the whole bunch at the link above. Highlights include a new leak from Kanye West & Jay-Z's upcoming "Watch The Throne" album, a new collab between Eminem & Royce Da 5'9", some dope smooth production by Budo, Deacon The Villain, Dela, Muneshine, and a beautiful song by a new artist Parker called "Sky Music". With all this great hip hop, you're bound to find something that speaks to your tastes whether underground or commercial. It's all certified dope music, so open your ears and press play...

New Songs
Budo - Hard Times (Red Bull Big Tune Instrumental)
Deacon The Villain & Sheisty Khrist – Ascension
Dela – Music Is My Sanctuary Remix (Instrumental)
Eminem - Echo (Ft. Royce Da 5'9" & Liz Rodrigues)
Joell Ortiz - I'm A Beast
Kanye West Ft. Jay-Z - That's My Bitch (Prod. Q-Tip)
Muneshine - Grown Man Rap
Parker – Sky Music (Prod. Tha Bizness & Kuddie Fresh)
Psycho Les (of the Beatnuts) - Ghetto Music
RoQ'y TyRaiD - Year Round School
T.I. Ft. Kanye West & Kid Cudi - Welcome To The World

Also, below are the new albums that I've downloaded this week. Check them out if you want to further your hip hop education. And check out last week's #NewMusicFriday - 11/19 Edition here for more bangers.

New Albums I've Downloaded
Crown Royale (DJ Rhettmatic x Buff1) – Crown Jewels EP (2010)
Carmelo Anthony Promo Mixtape – Become Legendary Mixtape (2010)
The Foodchain - Corpses (2010)
Reks – In Between The Lines Vol. 2 Mixtape (2010)
Daz Dillinger - Matter of Dayz (2010)
Copywrite - Life And Times Of Peter Nelson (2010)
RoQ'y / TyRaiD - The New Millennium Man (2010)
Jern Eye & Headnodic - Infinity Gems EP (2010)
1982 (Statik Selektah x Termanology) – The Diamond Collection Mixtape (2010)
Roc Marciano - Marcberg (2010)

New Hip Hop Books
Jay-Z - Decoded (In Stores Now)
-This is a book by Jay-Z about the origins and breakdown of some of his most complex song lyrics.
Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office (Biography Due out in March 2011)

Latest Hip Hop Events
Red Bull Big Tune - Finals in Chicago
-Red Bull Big Tune is a beat battle between the nation's best up-and-coming hip hop producers. Contestants go head to head playing songs and the crowd decides who moves on to the next round for the best hip hop producer in America. The winner of this year's competition (last week) was 14KT from Ypsilanti, MI. He definitely is one of the best producers out there. I will be doing a new post on him soon, but until then, check out my last post on 14KT here.

Happy belated Thanksgiving!! Please share this post with your hip hop loving friends and subscribe to get new posts emailed to you here! Thanks for spreading the word.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Album Review: Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

(This is 1 of 5 different album covers and the one that was banned from Walmart)

 Final Tracklist
1. Dark Fantasy
2. Gorgeous feat. KiD CuDi & Raekwon
3. POWER
4. All Of The Lights (Interlude)
5. All Of The Lights
6. Monster feat. JAY-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver
7. So Appalled feat. JAY-Z, Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz & The RZA
8. Devil In A New Dress feat. Rick Ross
9. Runaway feat. Pusha T
10. Hell Of A Life
11. Blame Game feat. John Legend
12. Lost In The World
13. Who Will Survive In America

Kanye West is back and better than ever! In case you didn't get the memo, the new Kanye West album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy just officially dropped yesterday, but has been on the internet for two weeks now and I have almost played it out already! Yo it was so damn fresh that I JUST HAD TO play it non-stop for a week until I absolutely needed to change things up. I've probably given the album at least 6 front-to-back spins and a lot more spins on the more impressive tracks. Now, I finally feel confident in telling you that this album is a certified gem and one of Kanye's best. Welcome back Ye, we've been missing you since Late Registration.

So I've loved Kanye ever since I received a bootleg copy of his first album, The College Dropout, from a friend in probably 2003 hot off the streets of Newark, NJ (it had a few different songs and wasn't mastered yet). I was blown away by it and I could definitely tell that West would go on to do big things just by the sheer number of times that I played that album. I really had no idea that he would be THIIIIS big though. Fast forward to the present: Kanye is larger than life, but unlike many reality TV star celebrities these days, he actually is famous for a good reason... his music is absolutely superb, cutting edge, and beautiful. He, quite frankly, is a genius when it comes to production work. He just knows what will sound good and has the talent to make that happen. His rapping is an extension of the need to fuel his ego and also air-out his self-reflective thoughts as can be summed up quite succinctly in one of the opening lines "Me drown sorrow in that Diablo (lamborghini), me found bravery in my bravado".  Even in writing his lyrics, Kanye is quite talented and has remained pretty consistent throughout his career.

The new album, I believe, is the pinnacle of Kanye's production work to date. The album is mixed and mastered perfectly in a way that allows the beats to slightly overshadow Kanye's rapping, which gives tracks increased replay value as you can gradually pick up more and more of the lyrics over time (and realize just how good they are at times). Although the album is not perfect, the vast majority of the tracks shine bright and will make you put your blinders on to the not so perfect ones (the annoying Swizz Beatz chorus on "So Appalled", the dragging length of "Runaway", and the not-so-comedic dialogue by Chris Rock at the end of "Blame Game" are my only gripes). What I think surprised me the most about this album is that I had heard 6 of the 13 tracks before downloading the full album yet somehow the WHOLE is much greater than the sum of its individual parts. This body of work has such a strong continuity and innovative sound that it really needs to be listened to as a whole album to fully enjoy its complexity.

I highly recommend that the best way to enjoy this album is to first watch the Kanye West-directed extremely long, short-film "Runaway" (35 minutes), which incorporates almost all of the album's songs into a visual landscape of a "beautiful dark twisted fantasy" belonging to Kanye. Although it is somewhat long and requires a bit of a time commitment and some patience to watch, it is definitely worth it to watch before listening to the full album because the emotions that are provoked by the visuals in combination with the music will resonate with you more strongly when you listen to just the album afterwards (this really surprised me in a good way!). I love the idea of this short-film  concept because it is all about building a visual landscape around a soundtrack instead of the other way around. Watch the full version of "Runaway" in full screen mode for the best effect or watch my favorite excerpt from the film below.

Kanye West - Excerpt from the short-film "Runaway" & the full song of the title track "Runaway"


Kanye is one of the best producers in hip hop right now and he is leading the music in a new direction. He is a pioneer, an egotistical asshole, and a genius. This is why we love and hate him so much all at the same time.

P.S. In case you missed it, Kanye has been releasing a new free collaborative track to download every Friday for the past 3 months through his G.O.O.D. Friday music series. There have been 13 new tracks released so far, my favorite of which being Good Friday featuring Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, and Charlie Wilson

Enjoy hip hop daily for best results and come back frequently. Subscribe to HeadPhoneHome's posts via email here (max one email per day).

Friday, November 19, 2010

#NewMusicFriday - 11/19/10 Edition


Boy do I have some HEAT for you this week!!! Stream the below songs (download individually by right clicking and saving them) OR download the whole bunch by hitting the download link above (recommended). New joints this week are by 1) Established artists Dr. Dre, Eminem, Royce Da 5'9", Kanye West, Talib Kweli 2) Soon to be mainstream up and comers Wiz Khalifa, Jay Electronica, Consequence 3) Underground heavyweights Zion-I, Termanology, Sabzi, Alchemist, Oh No and 4) Up and coming underground artists Sol, John Regan, IMAKEMADBEATS, John Public, and Laws. There's truly something for everybody here. All great hip hop. All approved by the ears of yours truly. Dig in while it's hot and peep my newest album recommendations below these songs.

Consequence - Bearer Of Bad News (Prod. J Dilla)
DJ Babu - Guns Gon Blow (Feat. Termanology)
Dr. Dre - Kush (Feat. Snoop Dogg_ & Akon)
Eminem & Royce Da 59 - Living Proof
Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No) - Chain Swinging.mp3
Jay Electronica - Shiny Suit Theory Feat. Jay-Z
John Public - Jack And Ginger Ale
John Regan - Suicide Edicius
IMAKEMADBEATS - How Is Your Soul
Kanye West - Chain Heavy (Feat. Talib Kweli & Consequence)
Laws - Never
Sabzi - Dragon (Instrumental)
Sol - Feed My Ego (Prod. Grumps)
Wiz Khalifa - Black & Yellow (Prod. Stargate)
Zion I - Polarity


Update: Ok, so I changed my philosophy about #NewMusicFriday. Originally, I was just gonna put up songs that came out ONLY this past week, but I realized something - you dont really care that they ALL came out in the past week do you? You care about GREAT HIP HOP. So now I will use #NewMusicFriday to document my own personal journey of music discovery. This means putting up both the newest good singles that have leaked from the past week AND all the great ones that I find in the process (I will only select singles, not selections from albums as in my Filet-o-Mix CD's). I will take you on a ride and let you hear what I hear. You will start to realize just how much hip hop music I'm up on. This might scare you, but I'm willing to take that risk. Don't believe me? See below for details... I'm addicted to good hip hop.

Albums That I've Downloaded In The Past Week (and that I'm in the process of listening to)
J. Cole - Friday Night Lights (2010)
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Yelawolf - Trunk Muzik 0-60 (2010)
Von Pea - Pea's Gotta Have It (2010)
Masta Killa Presents - The Next Chamber (2010)
UGK - 4 Life (2009)
Termanology & Statik Selektah - The 1982 Free EP (2010)
Montage One - Montageone.Com 10.6.2 OGX (2010)
Mick Boogie - 93 TIL INFINITY Mixtape (2010)
LMNO - Tripping On This Journey (2010)
Laws & DJ Don Cannon - 4:57 PM (2010)
Laws - 5:01 Overtime (2010)
J-Live - Undivided Attention EP (2010)
Eligh - Grey Cow (2010)
DJ Babu - Duck Season Vol. 3 (2008)
Cee-Lo Green - The Lady Killer (2010)
Buckwild Presents EP (2010)
John Regan - Sorry I'm Late (2010)
Celph Titled & Buckwild - Nineteen Ninety Now (2010)
J. Cole - The Warm Up (2009)
Gangrene (Alchemist & Oh No) – Gutter Water (2010)
The Foreign Exchange - Authenticity (2010)
Sene & J57 – Eye Don’t Dream…But I Do EP (2010)
Jéan P - Rise & Shine (2010)
The Left - Gas Leaks EP (2010)
 
I've decided not to provide all the links to download these, but I can tell you that some of these albums will get their own individual post from me. Some of them I already know will.

If I still bought music, I'd be dead broke right now. So to the artists whose music I steal, know this - I go to your shows and I promote your music to others. Hope this makes up for my piracy in some way...

If you missed it, peep last week's #NewMusicFriday - 11/12/10 Edition here.

See you next week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

#NewMusicFridays - 11/12/10 Edition


So I just wrote out HeadPhoneHome's mission statement alongside 1) my motivations for creating this site and 2) how HeadPhoneHOME is different from other hip hop blogs. In that page, I mention that one of the ways that this site is different is because I do not try to put up EVERY new release / leak on the internet like most popular hip hop sites such as 2dopeboyz, Nah Right, Rap Radar, etc. These sites are only meant to drive a high volume of web traffic and thus sacrifice quality for quantity.

That being said, on HeadPhoneHome I will definitely NOT do this. However, I am going to start putting together a weekly smattering of good new releases every Friday that come out over the past week. I only want to bring you the quality ones, so if you find something dope - please email it to me at HeadPhoneHome@gmail.com or let me know if I missed anything major.

Albums
1) Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
-Just leaked. No point in putting up a download link as they are being taken down as fast as they are going up. Search FilesTube for one.
2) J. Cole - Friday Night Lights
-Being released from the artists website today at dreamvillain.net. Download was so popular that it crashed his website tonight.
3) J-Live - Undivided Attention EP [download]
4) Eligh - Grey Cow [download]

Songs (right click and save to download) - Let them play back to back as a streaming playlist
Soul Khan Ft. Sene – Shot Glass Magnified [stream / download]
-spotted at 2dopeboyz
Busta Rhymes Ft. Reek Da Villain – No Love Freestyle (Eminem Beat) [stream / download]
-spotted at Nah Right
Deacon The Villain & Sheisty Khrist (Niggaz With Latitude) - Satellites [stream / download]
-spotted at QN5
Von Pea ft. Josie Stingray & Rapsody – New Pair [stream / download]
-spotted at Nah Right
Sene Ft. Britain Parker – Return2Gold [stream / download]
-spotted at Potholes In My Blog 
Copywrite - Seretonin [stream / download]
-spotted at 2dopeboyz 
Kanye West – Looking For Trouble f. Pusha T, Big Sean, CyHi Da Prynce & J. Cole [stream / download]
-spotted at 2dopeboyz
Yonas – The Last Hope [stream / download]
-spotted at 2dopeboyz
Lupe Fiasco - SLR (Prod. by Soundtrakk)
-referred by a friend. details at GoWhere Hip Hop

See you next #NewMusicFriday.

-FiletOfSole

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Artist Spotlight: J. Cole - Who Dat!?!

J. Cole performing "Last Call" this past Sunday. The crowd throws up the ROC diamond.

So this past Sunday, two amazing things happened that were worthy of a big WHO DAT!! First off, the New Orleans Saints won 34-3 over the Carolina Panthers. Second off, I helped produce a J. Cole and Fabolous concert on the campus of William Patterson University in NJ, which involved constructing the stage, sound, lights, and being involved in minor police altercations. Now if you find yourself saying, "J. Cole, who is that?" then you're about to get your introduction right now with this SWEET ASS VIDEO below (unless you've already helped make up some of the 7 million views this has on YouTube).

J. Cole - Who Dat (Video)


In case you didn't know, J. Cole was the first artist Jay-Z signed to his new label Roc Nation two years ago. His real name is Jermaine Cole and he was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina (you will often hear him mention "The Ville" in his music). Since being signed, he has been steady climbing in the hip hop world collaborating most famously on Jay-Z's the Blueprint 3 track "A Star Is Born" and most recently on the radio smash hit "All I Want Is You" by Miguel (this is one of the only songs on the radio that I actually enjoyed recently).

J. Cole is not a commercial artist per se. He is not at all like Drake, although he has been compared to him due to his protégé status (J. Cole : Jay-Z :: Drake : Lil Wayne). Whereas Drake is a pop artist who sings and raps using a gimicky lyrical device that I would call "punchwords" instead of punchlines, J. Cole is exclusively a lyrical/story telling rapper catering to a more cult-following of dedicated hip hop fans. These two guys should never be compared in their styles, but they both follow the similar pattern of blowing up in popularity from their mixtapes before they even drop an actual album. J. Cole's debut studio album Cole World has no release date yet, but I will continue to wait patiently while I snag up all his mixtapes below. Make sure to catch the new one coming out this Friday here!!


Download The Mixtapes
J. Cole - The Come Up (2007)
Preview: J. Cole - Throw It Up

J. Cole - The Warm Up (2009)
Preview: J. Cole - Show Me Somethin

J. Cole - Friday Night Lights (dropping Nov. 12, 2010)
Preview: J. Cole - Before I'm Gone

Spread that real hip hop y'all. It's the only way to keep it alive.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Album: The Left - Gas Mask (2010)

(Hip Hop fans: this is a MUST listen)
1. Change (01:29)
2. Gas Mask (03:21)
3. Frozen (Feat. Kool G Rap) (03:21)
4. Battle Axe (Feat. Mu) (02:57)
5. Binoculars (03:00)
6. How We Live (Feat. Hassaan Mackey) (04:06)
7. Chokehold (Feat. Paradime) (04:05)
8. The Funeral (03:01)
9. Statistics (Feat. Invincible) (03:43)
10. Real Detroit (Feat. Marvwon) (04:18)
11. The Melody (03:33)
12. Reporting Live (Feat. Guilty Simpson) (04:15)
13. Fooled for Thought (01:23)
14. Desperation (03:10)
15. Caged Birds (Feat. Finale) (04:12)
16. Homage (Feat. Frank West) (03:44)
17. Get in Where You Fit in (03:24)

So there are times that I write blog posts just because I want to share music with you, but this time it's different. I REALLY NEED TO SHARE THIS ALBUM WITH YOU. Like, god damn, you HAVE TO hear this. If you have been a true fan of hip hop for years and have been dissatisfied with the new music that comes out these days because it doesn't give you that feeling of early 90's hip hop, then this is what you've been waiting for. It's an instant classic in my mind and I do NOT use that term lightly. This album is easily in my top two albums of 2010 for several reasons, which I will go into below (I'll leave my other top album of this year for another post).

Ok, so here we have a new collaborative group called The Left made up up 3 members: Producer Apollo Brown, MC Journalist 103, and DJ Soko from Detroit's gritty underground. Their album Gas Mask, released about two weeks ago, is a cohesive project of supreme quality... all 17 tracks are phenomenal. I was excited at the beginning of every track to hear what was coming next. Usually, I'm skeptical when I listen to new songs because I listen to sooo much hip hop that I'm forced to discriminate right off the bat, but this feeling went out window as I was anxiously awaiting whatever was next. Right from the get-go my hip hop spidey sense was tingling.

The production throughout the entire album by Apollo Brown is nothing short of amazing and blends perfectly with Journalist 103's flow - both of which are raw, gritty, and as consistent as they are creative. The tracks are formed around chopped samples of soul vocals, horns, and BANGIN drums that span the range of emotions everywhere from the somber "Homage" to the triumphant "Get In Where You Fit In" to the pensive "Binoculars". In fact, Journalist 103 describes the production perfectly when he opens the track "Frozen" with the lyrics "From the time you stick the disc in, it's the same feeling that a heroin addict gets when he stick a syringe in. I put you in the deep nod, back and forth, constant. Once I get in your system, there's no way you can stop it". Need I say more?

The storytelling style and timbre of Journalist 103's voice makes every track compelling to listen to over Apollo Brown's beats. This isn't your typical braggadocio rap (except for track 4). This is rap filled with deep thoughts and visuals. For example, on, arguably my favorite song and appropriately titled, "Desperation", the lyrics paint the picture: "I got one hand clutching the nine, the other's clutching the microphone. Trying to make a clear choice between the right and wrong. Trying to stay in the zone with the right mind frame, but I keep getting distracted, my whole life's changed. I done went from being the best at it to being the last to even get mentioned it's pure madness. I can go to the lab and be productive or throw my hands up at the world and say fuck it. The rap game - hate it. Hip hop - I love it". Damn, I love the energy that spills out of every track and the emotion that Journalist 103 pours out over these fantastic beats. It makes me wish every album had such complexity and artistry... and that every MC had an appropriately titled pen name.

What many albums lack these days is a consistency in their sound and overall song quality. The reason being is that nowadays we live in a world where music is consumed by the song instead of by the album. Thus, there is no need for artists to continue creating great albums. It is clear that mp3's have caused the "death of the album" as we know it, but the nostalgia for a great album will still resonate with the generations that grew up with them. It is clear that those who continue to stay true to the art of making quality music will in the long run gain more true fans that are willing to support them. The only questions is, will they last long enough in this dog-eat-dog world to reap the benefits over the long term? I really hope that these guys last, so if you take my word for it and want to support these guys, please buy the album HERE! You just might need some good speakers instead of headphones to tackle this bad boy.

Another appropriate quote to leave you with (sticking with the drug addiction metaphor): "There's nothing like it when you get your hit for the first time, so take advantage son, it comes once in a lifetime"

Spread the word if you love it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Album: Grynch - My Second Wind (2008)

As of recently I've been a little more than obsessed with Seattle hip hop. Why? Because the region BY FAR has the most musically creative, intelligent, and all around best hip hop in the nation right now, hands down. It's so easy to miss this fact though if you're an East Coaster like me. That's why I have come to rectify the situation. ATTENTION EAST COAST - THIS IS SOME DOPE SHIT ALERT!

So who is Grynch and why in the hell should you care? Maybe watch this video below and get an idea.



Awesome right? Perhaps even more awesome though than the song's video is the Sabzi produced remix of that track "My Volvo (Bolbo Riddim Remix)" [right click save as to download]

But don't get it twisted, Grynch doesn't just spit gimmicks - he is a damn good MC who is committed to making great-sounding hip hop music and writing quality lyrics. That's why I present to you his sophomore album below and a few tracks to preview - don't miss track 13 "If Only" featuring Macklemore (If you wanna stream the whole album, check out his bandcamp site here). Life's too short to listen to crappy music. Expand your musical intelligence with this dope hip hop below.

01-It's A New Day
02-I Won't Lose
03-Dear Grynch
04-The Youngest In Charge (Feat. Fatal Lucciauno & D.Black)
05-All Night (Feat. Too Good & Billy Patron)
06-Euphoria
07-Summertime (Feat. Geologic)
08-My Second Wind
09-Memory Lane (Feat. Sonny Bonoho)
10-Good Morning
11-Home (Feat. Speedy Gonzalez)
12 -Peer Pressure
13-If Only (Feat. C-nik & Macklemore)
14-The Perfect Imperfection
15-Sara
16-One Love (Feat. Portia)
17-When The Beast Comes Out
18-That's Hip-hop

For more music by Grynch, check out http://www.getgrynch.com/

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Album: Devin The Dude - Gotta Be Me (2010)

1. It's Going Down
2. Come & Go
3. I Like What U Do
4. Shut Up
5. Gotta Be Me
6. No Need to Call
7. Gimme Some
8. You So Real
9. They 10's
10. Jus Coolin
11. Ain't Goin Nowhere
12. When Will I Win?
13. Fuckha'
14. I'm High

I really love Devin The Dude and this right here is his NEW album that comes out today! Honestly, he's one of the greats who I never listened to until two years ago when a dear friend of mine pointed out this problem and promptly gave me my first Devin album. It was an eye opening experience and quite a trip when I soon realized that he was on Dr. Dre's famous album The Chronic 2001 (he was on the song "Fuck You", but seriously, who wasn't featured on Dre's 2001?).

The greatest thing about Devin The Dude is that he keeps it extremely simple with fantastic laid back beats and rapping that almost exclusively touches on 3 things: women, weed, and alcohol. Now you may be skeptical as to how an artist can really have enough to say about just those 3 things to make an entire album (or seven), but just listen to this album and you'll quickly understand. As long as you can appreciate his music's simplicity and his often crass sexual attitude towards women, you will definitely enjoy this. It's very easy listening material as far as rap goes and perfect for the casual weed smoker in you (because you may know that Devin celebrates marijuana - just listen to the title track "Gotta Be Me"). The production on this album is real clean with a Houston-influenced southern feel that leaves you all mellowed out. So just cool out. Cool out and listen to H.E.R.

Enjoy and share great music.

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