Music Recommendation – Single – T.I., B.o.B and Kendrick Lamar ft. Kris Stephens, “Memories Back Then”

memories-back-thenWhile the song did have a brief run on the Billboard Hot 100, “Memories Back Then” is one of those mainstream Hip-Hop songs that you can toss in the category of “Good Rap Music” Or “Rap Music That Isn’t Rae Sremmurd Or Bobby Smurda”. I hate playing the “Popular music is awful” card, but when it comes to Rap, that has become the case with acts such as Sremmurd, Smurda, and Young Thug. But I’m sure I have gone on that tangent before.

The song features three expert lyricists, who set the bar for real verses and use their flow to their advantage. While I had yet to hear a great story by any of the three, this one did not disappoint from any of the camps. One by one, they go into a story from their younger lives, and open up the vault of memories based on other women and their last encounters with them. Each verse is superb as it is fascinating and focused; In fact, the chorus takes away from the song’s credibility more than anything else.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

This is definitely a song with excellent lyricism and some of the best work by each of the three rappers. You can check out the song below:

Continue reading

Music Recommendation – Single – Grafh ft. Raekwon and Vado, Walk In New York

I won’t jump on the hype train where all mainstream rap that is not about gangs is trash, but I have to admit that Walk In New York truly channels the foundations of Hip-Hop and draws inspiration from real-life events in New York City. The track is deep in its own way, and a template for inspiration. Sadly, real rap about existing issues are hardly common anymore (though I do have a couple of good ones saved for this week).

Walk In New York is gritty and tough, but shows recognition for those having to survive in unsafe areas. The beat is made specifically to resemble 1990’s Hip-Hop, with its simple drum and bells. The background almost sounds like it was made in a basement, but in the way that would cause someone to become famous. Raekwon definitely has the best verse, but each serve their purpose.

Of course this will be unappealing to most non Hip-Hop fans, and many who listen to modern Rap will find it hard to relate to the track. However this song was definitely worth a share for its throwback style and has some memorable and original lyrics, citing names from Biggie to Bobby Smurda.

I have hardly talked about the song itself, but rather the concept of a throwback piece. The thing about this track is that it pulls off the nostalgia well (especially by sampling an older beat), in fact almost perfectly. The hook feels lacking and a bit empty, but each verse is uniquely personal. Overall, I would rate the song at 9.75/10 for those Hip-Hop fans who have needed something to remind them of some of the best days of Rap music.

You can give the song a listen below:

-Austin Heath