DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEK: Slim The Mobster, The Madden Brothers, Frank OceanMonday , 14 Nov 2011
Slim the Mobster - War Music
Plenty of rappers will use the word gangster in reference to themselves and to be honest they are about as badass as a poodle with a fresh shampoo job. Slim’s use of the word ‘mobster’ is quite justified. He is actually from the streets. His uncle is a crazy famous drug trafficking gangster and he himself has been shot and stabbed and is a member of the Crips.
This street life makes its way into the War album in a big way. There is a focus on taking down those that get in his way, murder and even the use of gun-shots rather than snare drums in the production. If I had the backing he had I think I would feel comfortable running my mouth off too. I am about to name drop the shit out of people here, so get your pen ready and get ready to hear this team behind Slim the Mobster. We got DJ Whoo Kid hosting it, the wicked clothing company Crooks and Castles is sponsoring it, features from Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Prodigy and Kendrick Lamar and the executive producers of the whole thing is Snoop, Dr. Dre and Sha Money XL. Boom. Eat that.
Obviously he is good, otherwise these hip hop royals wouldn’t mess with him. But he really is good, like on his own merits. Solid voice, ability to interchange between styles but still have a flow he can call his own. The mixtape steers away from super catchy hooks, but the hooks are there. Its mainly just him showing he’s got flow. The beats are kind of legit. No messing around, just driving drum loops, pumping 16s on the hi-hats and all that.
Overall it is a stepping-stone to a big fat blooming career and I appreciate being able to see the Slim stepping into the office for his first proper day of work.
Now, to a gangster like Slim and an entrepreneur like Dre nothing is really free. If you want this you’re going to have to pay with a tweet. Now that’s hip hop currency.
The Madden Brothers - Before Volume One
Well if the name above hasn’t tripped off any early warning signs then you need to sit tight because this one could shock you a tad. Madden. Brothers. Twins. Doing hip hop production. But this is Joel and Benji Madden – of Good Charlotte fame! (and there is a third - their other brother Josh – not a twin though).
Now, lets get this in early. It ain’t shit. I didn’t say it was amazing, or even good, but it ain’t shit. It is just about as poppy as hip hop can get though. It does have some massive colabs with Kreayshawn, Cool Kids, Rockie Fresh, Machine Gun Kelly, Wiz Khalifa and Casey Veggies.
They make this mixtape worth listening to alone, but the production is actually on par with what you get pouring out of your car radios. The sounds themselves are not exactly fresh and exploring new aural dimensions but the rhythms and way it is all tied together is pretty ear-grabbing. It does delve into emo-tastic auto tuned frenzy from time to time, which if you are into that sort of thing you will maybe find interesting.
I think a fair summary is that when the brothers are sitting behind the desk slicing up samples and putting drum patterns together and letting the rappers rap then its all good. But, when you let their whiny twangy voices have a turn I’m basically just waiting for them to stop. If we can potentially pull Good Charlotte fans into the more sophisticated world of hip hop through this then I think it should be shared and adored.
This whole project was supported by complex.com, so it is safe to say that this won’t be just a flash in the pan move. I guess Travis Barker made a seamless move into the hip-hop realm but Blink 182 is way cooler than Good Charlotte so who knows?
Frank Ocean - Back
Still sour that I’m not going to see Franky boy at Big Day Out next year so part of my healing is to share this new track of his with the world. It sounds pretty positive that Odd Future will still be doing a side show in Auckland so I will still be able to get all weak-kneed as he sings ‘Swim Good’ while he stares into my eyes.
This one is real commercial friendly and also very cute - ‘I will never sleep with my back to you’. Unless of course he means ‘If I sleep with my back to you then I might get stabbed because you’re a psycho knife wielding mental-case girl friend with non-stop intent to kill’. But I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be cute.
Bouncy synths and simple piano carry it along quite nicely. A tiny step closer to Chris Brown but with a whole heap more integrity and hopefully without the domestic violence.
I’m pretty sure Frank is one of the good guys. This will take commercial radio by storm I’m sure. I can see so many teenagers making this ‘their song’ and then breaking up in about month and never being able to listen to it ever again. Cynic much?
If you are greedy and want a bigger slice of the free download music pie and frequent news on what’s new and good then get on twitter and follow @electricpuppet.
By Oli Holmes
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