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

Music Recommendation – Single – Justin Bieber ft. Kanye West and Raekwon, Runaway Love

Put this one in the list of craziest songs ever. Seriously, these three are together on a remix of Bieber’s Runaway Love. The song actually samples an older Wu-Tang Clan track, though I cannot quite remember which.

Raekwon has the best verse, but just enjoy the old Bieber voice hook. When I first heard this I thought it was a woman’s voice, then I remember this was his voice at one point. Kanye sounds pretty good, the song overall is decent but just the collaboration is in itself worth showing.

Overall, I would rate the song at 8.75/10. Both rap verses are solid, though the hook is hard to understand and the song itself can get a bit boring. Still worth a listen, check it out:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – The Game ft. Kendrick Lamar, The City

This one dates back a couple of years now and even has quite a lot of views, but I want to use this opportunity for a couple of reasons. First, there should be some real appreciation given to Kendrick Lamar. This was the first real song where we got an idea of his potential.

Of course after Game named his top five rappers all-time, it gave me the idea to come up with my own. After hearing this song over two years ago, I think it is safe to say I will stick with my list. But first let’s talk about the song.

The City is definitely not home to some of Game’s best lines, but absolutely that for Kendrick. General topic of the track is city gang wars in Los Angeles, but the beat gives the song a perfect ominous feel. I have always loved The City’s sound.

Overall, I have to give this a 8.5/10. It is very hard to rate this when Game is so disappointing but Kendrick Lamar kills the hook and his verse. However I have to rate it neutrally, though Game’s parts are not exceptionally disappointing. Definitely listen below:

And now my top 5:

  1. Nas (because duh)
  2. Wu-Tang Clan (Can they count as one? If not than basically RZA and Raekwon)
  3. Tech N9ne (Not on most lists but this man has quite the verses and stories to tell)
  4. Eminem (Per Tech N9ne but more mainstream)
  5. Kendrick Lamar (Best flow of any rapper currently, just barely beats out Big Boi and Andre 3000)

Call it what you want, but that’s my list and it has been that way for the past two years. I know it’s not everyone’s favorite (trust me, Biggie, Pac and Hov are close behind them, still in my Top 10) but those are my personal top 5 best. Sorry Game, you didn’t make my list.

-Austin Heath