Favorites Friday – Lil Wayne, Fireman

Let me start this with some food for thought from hiphopdx.com. The staff wrote an article about Lil Wayne’s upcoming Tha Carter V album, and I found it to be an amazing read. You can check that out here.

Fireman is not my favorite Lil Wayne song, but it encompasses the sound that Lil Wayne should re-embrace in his next album. I always found this track to be a model for rappers trying to attempt at the sound LIl Wayne brings. Not much to say about the song itself, but the subject of the article made me decide to remind everyone of what Wayne could sound like.

So overall I will briefly and vaguely rate the song at 9.75/10, mostly for lyricism. You can give the song a listen below:

-Austin Heath

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Music Recommendation – Single – Willie Taylor, Blast Off

I feel like I don’t ever post about RnB anymore, mostly because I’ve always been afraid of posting too much. But I guess there is no so thing as too much of a good thing.

Willie Taylor sings a lovely, if not autotuned slightly, love melody. I really do like the sound of Taylor’s voice, though the pace of his voice sometimes feels a bit too slow for the beat. The hook is very catchy and the Taylor’s vocals compare to those of Adrian Marcel or Jori King.

Overall, I would rate the song at 9/10. Go ahead and give the smooth love song a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Cache Royale ft. Qushansz, Biba Pa Stimabo

Normally the closest I have come to Latin music would be Enrique Iglesias and Wisin & Yandel. I honestly rarely listen to Latin music, it’s more rare than listening to even Country. I decided to open myself up and give Biba Pa Stimabo a listen.

I can say that I was pretty impressed by the sound. There is passion behind the words and the song really conveys great emotion that makes it an enjoyable listen. I am unaware of the lyrics, so I cannot say much about that. That does not stop me from liking the track.

I do not know a whole lot about the Latin sound, but I know this is what it should sound like. I would rate the song at 9.75/10. At times the instrumental dominates the vocals but that is my only complaint. I recommend a listen below, I found it a good listen:

-Austin Heath

Throwback Thursday – Foreigner, Feels Like The First Time

I almost forgot to post a Thowback Thursday song (which is crazy because the list is piling up). I’ve heard this song so many times in my life thanks to my mom, but I have to thank her for showing me one of the best Foreigner tracks.

I will not say much other than that I find this song timeless, and could see anyone enjoying it. So I would rate it easily at 9.75/10. A lot of great things about the song, though it feels like the guitar outdoes the vocals right before the chorus. That’s just me nitpicking though, enjoy the song below:

-Austin Heath

Hear It First – Nas, The Season

Produced by J Dilla is Nas’ latest track This Season. I have ranked Nas as my #1 best rapper all-time, and I still stick to that. I’ll leave the song below, and you can see what you think. I like it, but it has already had plenty of plays and I do not think it really needs much reviewing to know it’s a good song. Also, how about those shots at Jay-Z?

Go ahead and go over to HotNewHipHop.com to hear it first below:

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/nas-the-season-prod-by-j-dilla-new-song.1958875.html

-Austin Heath

Album Review – Dillon Francis, Money Sucks Friends Rule

I have written about Dillon Francis before, namely because he is achieving great success as a (not so much anymore) up-and-coming disc jockey. He is also time-wastingly hilarious. I decided immediately to give his album a review/recommendation after hearing the first few tracks. My biggest compliment towards Francis would be how incredibly balanced the album is. The EDM is evident throughout but several other genres are made compatible with the tracks (including Hip-Hop and even Reggae).

I have plenty to say about the LP, mostly good but I will offer all of my opinions. With that out of the way, let’s break this album down track by track:

1. All That ft. Twista and The Rejectz – Already broke this song down here.

2. Get Low ft. DJ Snake – Turn Down For What guy makes another club-hopping dance-inducing twerk-busting hit. Dillon Francis has shown some serious pride in this song, and it was one of the album’s preceding singles. The lyrics are pretty much the same throughout, being “Get low, low (x279 or so)” then “Get low when the whistle blows” and everything just goes crazy. The hook is definitely the best part though. I actually do like this song a lot, though I would not say the whole album sounds like this, so do not let the Get Low fool you. 9.5/10

3. When We Were Young ft. Suitan + Ned Shephard, The Chain Gang of 1974 – Oh yeah, I can without a doubt say this is my favorite track on the album. If any song was going to go big, this would be it. The lyrics are actually meaningful (unlike many EDM songs sadly) and the vocals are incredibly solid while the bassline and beat are catchy and interesting. I have no complaints about this song, and it reminds me of so many different sounds of multiple artists. It captures several genres, and I doubt I will find a listener who does not like this song. It is quite perfect to my hearing. I have seen a lot of anger with this track for no reason and I have to testify by saying that you’re mad and go sit in the corner. Even if it is meant for radio play or not the usual Dillon Francis, it is one song and an experiment in which he succeeded. Rant over, rating start. 10/10

4.  Set Me Free ft. Martin Garrix – Garrix and Francis seemed to establish a great connection and I would hope to see these two work together again. People have said this song sounds basically like any other Garrix track, and I have to say – well, you’re right. But we still like it, right? I find this a purely vocal-less EDM piece that I can actually enjoy listening to. The hook seems to change direction midway, which feels just a bit off. I wish it had stuck with one aspect instead of going from one type of beat to a completely different. The second stanza is basically silent from the crazy upbeat hook, and the transition is a bit quick at times. I’ve harped enough on stupid stuff, still an awesome song and worth a listen. 8.75/10

5. Drunk All The Time ft. Simon Lord – Well, this honestly did not surprise me. At all. Actually this is really an amazing song. Simon Lord sounds superb, and keeps up with a very complex beat. In fact Francis almost dominates his voice at times, but the bassline and his work is so complete it sounds remarkable. A truly incredible song that gets you hyped, calms you down, that just brings you right back up. 9.75/10

6. Love in the Middle of A Firefight ft. Brendon Urie – Yes, he even brought in Panic! At The Disco. Well not everyone, but he brought Brendon Urie. When I said there was something for everyone on this album, I was not lying. Urie’s voice feels like it’s about to crack at times, which is a bit cough-inducing, but the song is catchy and upbeat. Any punk-pop fan will immediately act like they do not like it because they are non-open-minded little fu – fully opinionated people. The hook is not as exciting as the others but still gives you the Dillon Francis you love (yes you love him now, if you do not stop listening and move on please). 9.5/10

7. Not Butter – “Dillon Francis, we have you cornered. Now, alone, make us art!” Well, I will give him serious points for being original. Not Butter is just not what I was expecting from Francis’ first solo track on the album. There are some enjoyable parts, and even the sexual tension between Siri and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is pretty fascinating if not a bit creepy. The hook is disappointing, mostly due to the lead into it that just gets you so pumped. I know this is what people like most about Francis’ music, so I won’t say too much against it. I just feel a bit lukewarm towards it, like a bag of skittles at 8:00 AM on a school day. Is that the taste in my mouth I want from Francis? That came out wrong, let’s just rate the song and move on. 7.75/10

8. I Can’t Take It – I find this song much more interesting, and Francis proves that even when alone, he can make good music. I Can’t Take It is exciting and somehow has some insanely edited/slowed-down/attached to a defibrillator. This time the hook is really innovative and sounds like Dillon Francis without being skip-worthy. Not much else to say, sounds like an EDM junkie’s dream though. 9/10

9. We Are Impossible ft. The Presets – The bass throughout the verses can be annoying as anything, but the hook is incredible and lyrically inspirational. This is another radio bait-type song, but it works on me. I actually feel like without Francis this song would be really amazing too, props to The Presets for making this song great. 9.5/10

10. We Make It Bounce ft. Major Lazer and Stylo G – Basically Get Low 2.0, but there is a bit more of a reggae vibe to it. I’ve passed 1000 words so I won’t say much about it, except this stupid hook has been stuck in my head all day. Bounce, bounce, bounce…Get it out. Francis’ end also provides well on the hook, though I feel like the word “bounce” is mentioned more than the Black Eyed Peas say “Boom Boom Pow” at a middle school dance (Sorry forgot it isn’t 2008 anymore). 9.25/10

11. What’s That Spell? ft. TJR – A thing that annoys me is when artists do not put question marks in song titles that are questions. So thank you Dillon Francis for doing this. Extra points for you. Sadly the song is most likely my least favorite on the album, and while the hook really does well (though it sounds similar to a few of the others, namely Not Butter) it is just not enjoyable to listen to. It’s basically living out a concert, which can be fine and dandy for most, but to me the track did not live up to the hype the other songs set. At least the bassline is pretty catchy. Bum bum bum, bum bum bum (x245). 7.5/10

12. Hurricane ft. Lily Elise – And we are back to amazing songs again. This resembles Benny Benassi a lot, I almost starting singing Beautiful People, but oh well. It still is its own song, and the sound seriously sounds like Zedd’s Stay The Night. Francis is good at being original while learning from hits. There is hard to argue against this song other than its lack of originality a bit, which it actually is as the song progresses. Another one of my favorites on the album for sure, and an awesome way to end the LP. 9.75/10

So that averages out to somewhere around 9.25/10. Sadly a couple of songs really anchor this album’s score down, but Dillon Francis has truly made some incredible music here. His collaborations are really great, but I do feel like his own works alone could use a little work. There will be improvement in new sound and originality over time, as Francis is young and only just hitting success. I cannot wait to hear more and seriously recommend listening to at least anything with a 9 or above. Or better yet, stream the whole thing below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Kehlani, Till The Morning

Rising San Francisco Bay-area singer Kehlani returns to bring a lovely ode, Till The Morning. Immediately the song gives the listener an idea of what to expect from the track. The passionate love song is the essence of RnB/Soul.

While a few of the lyrics are a bit cringeworthy, the drum-line and beat are both tailored to this song’s tone, and the track is quite good. Till The Morning is Kehlani’s follow up to her recent EP release, Cloud 19.

Overall, I would rate the song at 8.75/10. There are some great parts to this song, and Kehlani’s voice is beautifully tuned, but the lyrics just feel off from the song’s style (more of a “leaving in the morning” instead of what it should be, “stay till the morning”). These are petty things, so I still of course recommend a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – BUNT., Harmonica

I do not want it to look like I messed up the title, BUNT. actually has the period at the end of its name. Just like fun. and why. No I mean like why would you do that, it only confuses me.

In all honesty I find Harmonica a decent Country song, though it is hard for me to judge a song of a genre I hardly pay attention to. This review is basically the same as Gordon Ramsey reviewing bicycle brands or the viewers of HotNewHipHop.com rating, well, any song. I never listen to the biased viewer votes (all the Young Thug lovers can screw off to another site please).

Again, I will not be very good at this, so even in a Country recommendation I am bound to mention Hip-Hop for some uncalled-for reason. But Harmonica is an upbeat track that almost sounds like Future on a country song. The beat is quite different from what I imagined Country music sounding like, and the originality of the track is definitely notable. Unfortunately the acoustic guitar alongside the beat can get a bit tedious and just feels like it is forcing the song to be Country. Basically what I am trying to say is the song is closer to EDM/Dance than Country.

Well this sucks, now I am hardly even reviewing a Country song like my goal was. So much for changing things up tonight, procrastination wins a deceitful victory over me. Regardless, the song deserves a solid 9.25/10. It is Country x EDM and is innovative in that it leans more towards Country than, say, Wake Me Up tries to. The Harmonica is evident, so the title does not lie.

Give the song a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Goapele, Strong As Glass

Strong As Glass is another beautiful melody by the incredibly talented Goapele, based out of Oakland, CA. The artist definitely knows how to mix up her sound, but Strong As Glass keeps to the smooth RnB/Soul vibe that I love.

The tempo increases throughout the song, especially on the chorus. The lyrics are empowering and the emotion is evident in the track, with the beat supporting the feel of the music. Goapele’s voice is practically flawless, and incomparable. This track tickles my fancy more than someone actually tickling whatever part of me my “fancy” is (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaMoX-wEdfQ).

Overall, I would rate the song at 10/10. It truly is the perfect Soul song, and I absolutely recommend a listen to the incredible piece below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Bastille, bad_news

bad_news has been giving me googly eyes for the last two months, and I finally gave her a chance with a date after being guilted into giving her a second chance. The rest is history, you and me baby.

But seriously, it took me some adjusting to like bad_news. I wrote about Bastille’s recent release, The Driverbut mentioned nothing of the September bad_news release due to my lukewarmness to the track. I can say with certainty though that I have come to love bad_news, and this time not just “like a sister.”

While the song is a bit over-edited in the vocals, it is super catchy and the chorus remains stuck in my head like a – well, Bastille song. I have seriously praised the synth-pop/alternative/even rock sound of Bastille before, and tried to avoid saying too much about bad_news despite hearing it the day it was released due to my dis-satisfaction for the song. I have come to accept it’s synth-influenced sound and embrace our differences.

So overall, I would rate the song at 9.5/10. I think I have covered all the bases and included enough witty jokes for one article, so give the song a listen below:

-Austin Heath