In the past week we've seen a weird spate of surprise career moves in the music business — most people thought the coup de grace was Brian McKnight's new "Adult Mix Tape," in which the renowned crooner used his soulful pipes for secular purposes. (Not kidding — "If You're Ready to Learn" might tackle "other sexual type things," but the chord changes are poached straight from gospel.) Slightly less shocking, but equally fascinating, is the latest single from POP ETC, the Berkeley-born, Brooklyn-based indie band formerly known as The Morning Benders. It's an Auto-Tune-sluiced, cleanly-produced, snare-and-clap-clap R&B track with lyrics about a one night stand.
Not keen to rest on her laurels, Oakland-raised rapper V-Nasty just dropped a new mixtape to capitalize on the hype generated by BAYTL, her December collaboration with Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. Clearly, she's ready to consolidate her own career, and assure that she'll never be remembered as just a potty-mouthed, highly problematic sidewoman in Kreayshawn's retinue. And apparently, she's succeeding.
At least one person in the Bay Area is celebrating Mitt Romney's recent primary victories. A day after the GOP "establishment" candidate won his home state of Michigan by a narrow 3 percent margin, local comedian Chris Garcia decided to comemorate the victory in song. And what better way to herald the grandfather of "self-deportation" than with a reggaetón ballad? Garcia's new ditty begins with shout-outs to Jalisco and "my vice president Don Francisco," a peal of air horns, and a little self-referential bluster (My Mittshake brings all the viejas to the yard.) There's also a subtle riposte against Romney's immigration policy, though it's blurred by backhanded praise. Disfrútelo:
One of our favorite improbable viral video stars, Ugandan crooner Uncle Ricky (neé Ochen Kaunda), just regaled us with a new world music dance track. And it veers away from the cloying, ballad-driven, borderline campy Uncle Ricky we've come to know and love. But that's not a bad thing. Ricky sings "BeautifulNICE&lovely" in English and the Kenyan language Luo, over a syncopated dancehall beat. OK, yeah, it's still about love and courtship — Uncle Ricky is a pretty sentimental guy, after all. But we do like all the new ornamentation. See for yourself.
Remember that video that Drake was filming around these parts a few weeks ago? Well "The Motto" clip arrived via interweb late last night, and, except for a poignant intro from Mac Dre's mother, it's pretty much what you'd expect. Drake drives around some bridges and stands around with FAB and E-40, to prove that he did, in fact, take a little Bay field trip for the weekend. Meanwhile Tunechi and Tyga sit alone in a parking lot in SOMA. And Amoeba Music is probably pretty happy. Also, green Uggs.
Next: Check out Dope Mountain Fuck vol. 2, a new, incredibly wide-ranging mixtape featuring a few of our favorite East Bay dudes.
It’s been a busy week for “Cloud Rap,” the budding Bay Area scene headed up by young Oakland rappers Squadda B and Mondre M.A.N., aka Main Attrakionz. The duo has been putting out tapes at an insane clip for a couple years, finally coming into their own with this summer’s 808’s And Dark Grapes II, but they haven’t slowed down at all.
“Daddy was right — I never do listen/but the blind old c*** couldn’t really see my vision/credit score low and I never held a job down/snackin on Xanny-bars just so I could calm down/my friends question why I’m so offbeat/or why I choose to write my name in wet concrete”
It was already a great song, but this version is great in a completely different way: it's stretched-out and spacey, the vocals chopped, screwed, and looped even more imaginatively than they were the first time around.
According to Pitchfork, the track "will appear on a 12" single release that will also include Cut Chemist's re-imagining of the w h o k i l l highlight (as well as the original track and its instrumental and a cappella)," due out September 27 on tUnE-yArDs' label, 4AD. In the meantime, listen and download below: