This Week in Hip-Hop [STREAM, WATCH, DOWNLOAD]

January 18, 2013 -

Christopher Lavinio

January 13 - January 18

As a devout Rap and Hip-Hop fan I'm proud to share with you a weekly update as to what went down on the scene in the past week; Lucky for you this update includes a brief LongLiveA$AP review.

It's clear that you guys love your Dance music and a variety of Electronic sound to go along with it, but I for one think it's vital to always be expanding your musical interests.  As a new addition to the Daily Beat staff I feel obligated to provide you with healthy servings of Rap and Hip-Hop.  I plan on keeping these weekly posts simple and similar to a highlight reel for the past week.  So press play on that Wale video and get it going.

Wale - Never Never

I must say I was surprised to rock with this one.  Attention Deficit came on in my iTunes the other day and it made me realize since dropping that Wale had been a huge disappointment in my mind.  2009 to 20010 was definitely the come up for Wale and I feel like- actually I hope-  he still has not reached his prime or full potential.  This track has shown me that there still is hope.


SL Jones - Let Em' Talk (Prod by M16)

During a time when the industry is absolutely over-saturated with amateur and seasoned vets hopping on the Trap bandwagon, SL  Jones, like Wale, has shown me that there is in fact still hope.  What I mean is that there is still hope for new up and comers to bring a fresh and original style to the game that is filled with imitators.  Who does SL Jones sound like? He sounds like SL Jones.  Is that a good thing? Yes, in fact it's more than a good thing.  SL Jones a.k.a. Bryan Jones is from Little Rock, Arkansas and he's recieved praise from notable sources such as XXL, Complex, Fader, The Source, and Hip Hop DX.  He even was featured "On Deck" with MTV2's Sucker Free.   Watch out for this young talent as he preps the release of his 3rd mixtape, Trapper's Delight.


Joey Bada$$ & CJ Fly on Life & Times Decode "Hardknock" [RAP]

Jay-Z's Life and Times gets the low down on the meaning and symbolism behind the poetic words of Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly in  "Hardknock" off of 1999.


Ab Soul - ILLuminate (feat. Kendrick Lamar) [HIP-HOP, RAP]

There's a lot going on with these visuals that depict a world in which money has lost it's value and T.D.E.'s Ab Soul and Kendrick Lamar are illuminated as voices of the people.  My biggest piece of advice for listening to any member of T.D.E. is to listen carefully.  Many people today have lost sight of what Rap is really all about and often are only drawn in by the beat.  To me it's not all about how you say it, but rather what you say.  If a rapper can deliver lyrically and not necessarily with their delivery, I can promise you that their steez will come with time.


A$AP Rocky freestyles over Clique

A$AP Rocky stopped by the Power 96.9 studio in Miami and laid down a freestyle over the instrumentals for "Clique" his bars put many of those who question A$AP's lyrical and ferestlying abilities to rest.  Too many rappers today go into these radio sessions with pre-written freestyles, this one would appear to be off the dome, kudos to A$AP for that.  If you haven't already do yourself a favor and go buy Long Live A$AP.

Speaking of Long Live A$AP here's my two cents on the album:

Hailing from Harlem A$AP Rocky certainly started off the new year on the right foot with his debut album.  After having one of the best years in 2012 any up and comer has had in recent years the release of A$AP Rocky's debut album marked a new chapter in his journey towards greatness.  In one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 one of the most notable voices of the underground rose to the occasion.  After killing it on Letterman with his performance of the album titled track "Long Live A$AP" and the Skrillex produced "Wild For The Night" infused with the signature A$AP syzurp influenced ad libs, it finally set in for me that it was now A$AP's time.

When looking at artist's projects it's always important to take a look at their progress from previous work.  Since A$AP exploded on the scene with LiveLoveA$AP he showed us a very slightly refined version of what we had previously been exposed to.  There's no doubt that this album is a sequel to the highly successful mixtape.  The only reason I would say this album has more mainstream appeal than LiveLoveA$AP is because nearly a year and a half  has gone by and rap has since evolved as music always does.  The good news is that A$AP did not sell out, this album is just what we expected and all wanted to hear from him, the very very slight difference from LiveLoveA$AP is the sound of progress and some impressive features.


Rockie Fresh - Life Long (feat. Rick Ross & Nipsey Hussle) [RAP, HIP-HOP]

M-m-m-mm-m-Maybach Music.  As I expected there isn't really anything impressive about Rick Ross's bars when looking below the surface on this one.  That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the vibes of Rockie Fresh and Nipsey Hussle, they're definitely on my radar.  Great production on this track.


Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr if you know what's good for you.  Happy Friday.

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