Posts Tagged ‘rap’

Taking the lead from the original Macklemore and Ryan Lewis production promoting same sex relationships; rapper Raykeea Angel Wilson a.k.a. Angel Haze takes up the mic with grammy winner Macklemore, to add some personalization with a first hand account. Her words hit almost as hard as her flow.

She speaks from the heart revealing the unnecessary pain she endured coming to terms with herself. Focusing on the recoil she received from those she believed were closest to her.

It’s all love in the end and this song shows you should never hide who you are or who you love.

It’s love and it’s selfless
It’s yours and everybody else’s
So don’t badger and abuse the solemnly defenseless
See us as yourself, there’s no equality in difference
Until we all get it, we’ll be drowning in the same blood
Despite orientation, we all feel the same love

This track was featured on Upworthy this week.

Be sure to check out her album Dirty Gold available now on Spotify.

Yes!! Tonedeth is back up and SPRINTING for the new year.

Okay.. maybe warming up with a slow jog. I’m a bit out of shape here.

Let’s start this off with a review of Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, one of the several albums that dropped last year to make me scratch my head and listen to over and over again. To be honest this is one hell of a release, not simply for the musical content but because it was tagged along with a 73 page screenplay and a 20 minute short film. The three are only vaguely related, so you could count them as three separate works.

Donald Glover is slowly but effectively becoming a household name. The triple threat artist already has acting and directing firmly under his belt with significant work credits from NBC. In interviews he claims that this album, Because the Internet, was his most “honest work to date”.

If it is honest then either this guy is either very depressed or desperately attempting to divorce from his “funny guy” image. Which is never a bad thing but it seems that he has instead created a doppelganger, his antinomic twin. Donald Glover is the comedian and the clown. Childish – ironically –  appears to be the mature one, creatively distraught with where his life choices have brought him.

“I mean where’s the line between Donnie G and Gambino” – “III. Life: The Biggest Troll”

One of the more interesting aspect of the album is that you can witness the dichotomy of the two characters in the word play. In between the lines of self deprivation and the cliché bragging about his cash flow (all too common in this genre) there is a divided man unsure of his identity.  His modesty can come off authentically but it is piled under a thick bite of unabashed confidence.

Because the Internet is certainly a leaping departure from his last album Camp which had more of the generic production and content of a mainstream rap album with the incessantly catchy hooks and ridiculous lyrical work with the occasional reference to life as a 90’s kid. This guy sure knows his market..

“Camp was an album for 13-year-olds, kind of written by a 13-year-old — it was very angsty and silly, but this album I think is just about my time at NYU more. It’s more grown-up, but a lot of things on the album happened to me this past year. I don’t know if I’m more mature on this album but I definitely know more about music.”

I can see that but I don’t necessarily agree. He makes many more references to his time at NYU in Camp. Because the Internet sounds like it takes place way beyond that. More referring to his celebrity status and growing as an adult, now 30 years old.

As far as musically, he has matured and incorporates original sounding and ear grabbing melodies to this album making it stand out from his previous releases.

This newest work was recorded at NBA star Chris Bosh’s mansion which Glover dubbed “The temple” and enforced a strict no shoes rule. Definitely wouldn’t want to do anything to damage that guy’s house.

“Who tracked mud in MY kitchen!?”

The tyranny continued banning “tweeting and instagramming” and a implementing a harsh work day starting at 10am.

Ahh.. the weary life of a recording artist…

 Because the Internet is Gambino’s second album on Glassnote Records, and Camp was the label’s first hip-hop release ever. Unfortunately the label doesn’t quite consider him a “major” artist. It’s hard out there for any rapper whose name doesn’t end with “West” or “Z”… The label told him he would have to wait to release the album in 2014 despite its completion in early October. He had other plans.

“If it wasn’t gonna be released then, I was gonna release it myself. What’s the point of waiting? I feel like that’s the only time people would be able to listen to it. December is the perfect time. Albums made a really big impact on me when I was alone and everything was quiet, and I know that’s when students go home, that’s when everything is closed, so it’s a good time to just listen to something and be yourself.”

Glover got the idea for the cryptic but brilliant album name from conversations he had with friend and alternative indie artist, Beck.

“Everyone keeps saying by this or that year, Mandarin or Spanish will be the most dominant language, but the internet is already a language we are all connected to… But the thing is, there are no rules, which is also the awesome thing.”



Internet as a language is not as inane of an idea as it may sound. In the screenplay he constantly uses Emojis to describe an action, expression, or emotion as if it were common place. An editor wouldn’t allow it but the majority of the market who will buy his album will not only understand it completely, but embrace it.

It seems he’s eyeing the role to be the voice of the viral generation, the globalized media junkies. He relates to them with his poignant media references to “Rugrats”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, and “Double Dare”, all mega-popular shows that millennials have grown up with. But with so many references and metaphors a purpose gets lost. He jumps between the gangster and the clever less than seamlessly.

Maybe it’s me but the lyrics on this album rarely make sense. They jump topics and go in an out of focus so quickly it just seems he’s making observations on events happening in his brain. Maybe it’s intentional and he wants to appear obscure but it comes off as random.

The content ranges from the gangster rap dribble:

“Instagram my stack load
Hashtag my day wear and your girl drank my day care.
I’m born rich, life ain’t fair.
Ain’t nobody sicker and my Fisker ‘vroom vroom’, ho”

To esoteric thoughts and pop culture references:

“Year off, got no rules, tripping off of them toadstools.
More green than my Whole Foods
and I’m too fly, Jeff Goldblum.
Got a glass house in the Palisades, that a.k.a.
White hood, white hood, Oh K K K”

both are from the track, “IV. Sweatpants”

Sometimes they flow musically and even poetically but many just sound like extemporaneous rants. Either he’s ran out of things to say or his life is so foreign and weird that we have nothing else to believe?

The first single “V. 3005” released back in October of 2013 is currently #44 on the top 100 Billboard chart. The music video is certainly a strange one and is meant to give the impression of intense loneliness. The entire thing is him sitting stone faced on a ferris wheel with a large stuffed bear. Complete departure from his silly character, Troy from “Community” or his work with his old comedy troupe Derrick Comedy.

This track is the least interesting on the album. The instrumental is painfully simple and his flow seems forced. The intention was clearly to be the single track, the one that you assume the rest of the album will sound the same to get you to listen to it. It’s similar to his song “Heartbeat” off of Camp. Catchy sung hook with a thick electro-pop background. “3005” also appears to be about love gone wrong but he claims it’s about being alone, not necessarily from a loved one.

What struck me instantly about this album and made me want to write a lengthy review on it is that it reminds me of a metal production rather than a new hip-hop record. It’s very dark, not so much in content, but musically.

The first song, “I. Crawl”, starts with samples of a screaming and a heavy industrial sounding background. I could easily imagine a guttural growl come in with the drop at about the 30 second mark. “Bet you crawl. All alone”.

New rap-metal album?

donald glover screaming

The bassline for the verse of “II. No Exit” sounds like something straight out of a Lamb of God. There are several more parts of the album that could easily be implanted into a metal song because of their dark anxious tone like the end of “II. Shadows”.

He’s kind of proving his point with Because the Internet. The world is getting smaller, there are less visible boundaries and Childish Gambino intends to blur the lines between rap, pop, and rock.

Here at Tonedeth we focus on the unique and commend the strange. You think we’d review any ol’ album?

Most of the tracks start off unassuming enough but many end with left turns or simply switch genres. On “I. The Worst Guys” featuring Chance the Rapper has a Santana-esque guitar solo thrown in to keep the flow of the song going. And “II. Worldstar” winds down with a laid-back electronic jazz ensemble complete with a baritone sax solo.

If the instrumental tracks he raps over weren’t interesting enough the fact that he has four mostly instrumental and transitional tracks with little to no rapping shows he has intentions of making an album not a mix-tape.

Because the Internet is exceptional in many respects. He breaks boundaries musically and addresses the social media revolution and how it has affected him professionally and personally. Childish Gambino is a very emotionally divided man. Not only must he cope with this new persona he’s created that he wishes to shed but he’s clearly unhappy with this life and mocks it at every turn. This channeled into the creative can leave people with a strong taste in their mouth that may or may not be bearable.

I give this album:

3 / 5

It’s intriguing enough that fans of rap, pop, or rock can find something to latch on to. It’s musically dynamic and intense but his lyrical structure is a little predictable and needlessly verbose for the sake of flow. I liked Camp and enjoyed pulling back the layers on this piece but it’s lacking some substance. Give it a listen, chew it over, and take a look-see. In that order. It’s worth it.

Can’t get enough of the multi-talented Donald Glover?
Go check out the show Community. It’s running on it’s 5th season but it seems Glover’s character Troy Barnes becomes a part-time role only appearing in five out of the thirteen episodes planned for the season. This will be the second main character to leave the show after Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne.

In a series of personal and revealing photos uploaded to instagram Donald Glover sheds light on his career choices as of late.

“I didn’t leave Community to rap. I don’t wanna rap. I wanted to be on my own.”

Will this be Gambino’s last album and Glover’s kick-start to a more serious acting career?

At the moment he is also gearing up for his musically themed show to be aired on FX sometime this year that he will write and direct. He claims his move to the station was for their willingness to work around his tight touring schedule.

Anonymuz+559736_10200678212746187_66285

You don’t need me to tell you of the sorry state of popular Hip Hip (with or without Kendrick Lamar’s antics). Fret not, there are still rappers out there conscious enough to release music that’s a little bit…er…better. Enter Florida native, Anonymuz with Ascencion X, his 5th mixtape, and it is a strong bunch of songs to say the least. Usually you never really know what you will get with a mixtape. They’re often end up as horribly unfocused, trash cans of previously discarded instrumentals that weren’t produced or composed very well in the first place. With Ascension X you’ll find little of that…

'Ascension X' is a mixtape released via datpiff.com Click picture for tracklist and downloads.

‘Ascension X’ is a mixtape released via datpiff.com
Click picture for tracklist and downloads.

This mixtape is surprisingly easy on the ears, and at first listen it’s easy to hear Anonymuz’s radio friendly aspirations. Cuts like ‘The Song That Never Was’ could easily find itself on heavy rotation on a multitude of pop radio stations (and a Game of Thrones reference always helps marketability). ‘Relena X’ is sure to catch younger ears with it’s Gundam Wing sample and does well to showcase Anonymuz’s lyrical ability. There is a distinct upside to the potential Anonymuz has and the fan-base he can attain through his hyper-modern cadence and flow. If this youngster can stand to sit down and write a more focused and solidly constructed album, there is no doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with. There is wit and charm in this mixtape, and a dash of raw emotion that can fuel more fiery songs in the future. Fans of Immortal Technique and DoomTree have something to latch on to here.

Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail was released July 9th 2013 via Roc Nation/Roc-A-Fella/Universal Genre: Hip Hop

Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail was released July 9th 2013 via Roc Nation/Roc-A-Fella/Universal
Genre: Hip Hop

Jay Z once proclaimed, …so in summation I don’t know who you racing I’m already at the finish line with the flag waving. Well with the release of Magna Carta Holy Grail, his arms have apparently become tired. Long gone are the tales of life on the gritty streets of Brooklyn and stories of a young man’s struggle to keep his head above water. In their stead are stories of a more mature, accomplished rapper turned business(..man), as well as his not so subtle lamentations amidst the daily grind of being successful. While these themes may not be totally unfamiliar, this album has a tone about it that makes it almost unbearable to sit through in one uninterrupted listen. From the oddly placed sample/quote of Nirvana’s chorus to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ in the album’s “title” track ‘Holy Grail‘ to his reference to the ever popular “Jay is Illuminati” conspiracy theories in “Heaven“, Jay wants to make it perfectly clear how success has its price..


Aside from all of that nasty stuff, the album may have some saving graces. From the superb production from the likes of Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz, to the star-studded guest appearances (including one from wifey), there is enough here to satiate the appetite of his loyal fans and even win over a couple new ones…ok maybe not. There are a few standouts on the album but they’re few and far in between. “Jay Blue” comes across as an incredible forthcoming ode to his baby daughter, as well as a thoughtful reflection on fatherhood. Sadly the electronics giant Samsung might have given away more albums than Jay Z would have sold on the basis of the album’s musical content…take a moment to imagine if such a world exists.
2_point_8-rating

Welcome!

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because blow you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Threat Signal's self titled album was released October 7th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Metalcore/Melodic Death Metal

Threat Signal’s self titled album was released October 7th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Metalcore/Melodic Death Metal

Cursive's Mama I'm Swollen was released March 1st, 2009 via Saddle Creek Records Genre: Rock

Cursive’s Mama I’m Swollen was released March 1st, 2009 via Saddle Creek Records
Genre: Rock

SIMS's Bad Time Zoo was released February 15th, 2011 via Doomtree Records Genre: Hip Hop

SIMS’s Bad Time Zoo was released February 15th, 2011 via Doomtree Records
Genre: Hip Hop

Municipal Waste's The Fatal Feast was released April 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Grenre: Crossover Thrash

Municipal Waste’s The Fatal Feast was released April 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Grenre: Crossover Thrash

Owen's New Leaves was released September 22nd, 2009 via Polyvinyl Record Company Genre: Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock

Owen’s New Leaves was released September 22nd, 2009 via Polyvinyl Record Company
Genre: Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock

Downloads provided by lastfm_grey

Soosan Firooz is more than just a rapper, she is symbol of hope in the oppressive world of the East.  Living in Afghanistan means living under the oppression of an ultra-conservative and religious fundamentalist views. The Taliban is still a prevalent force in her area of the world and it’s something she must deal with every day. She says she receives death threats over the phone.

“Of course I am worried something will happen, especially when I am stuck in traffic or going out for a run. I am worried about it but I refuse to just stay inside my house.”

Her father, Abdul Firooz, has taken it upon himself to accompany her to her shows as protection, which could draw dangerous attention to her family. Where many of her family members have disowned Soosan her father has always supported her. He is proud and confident that what she is doing is right. He goes on to say:

“Let them threaten us. We can defend ourselves”

James Neil Hollingworth (a.k.a. Ambrose Redmoon) said that “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather, the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” Soosan’s bravery to express herself despite threats to her life and the safety of her family makes her a cultural hero. She is an icon to women all over the world who feel they must hide themselves or their ideas in order to escape ridicule.

She has created a music video consisting of images of her in western style clothing, in particular does not wear the traditional headdress. It is featured on the Afghan cultural website Kabuliyan.com and has gotten a bit of buzz. Both good, and bad. She has many new fans in the US who appreciate her beauty and strength but glancing on the Youtube page featuring the video you can find several vocal enemies exclaiming:

“Fucking whore kill your self” and “Afghan women should all educate and sing cultural music and not slutty Persian culture were they try everything to be western people and are far more slutty whores then the west can ever be.”

These comments are not of Americans but of the Afghan region which sheds light on the cultural ideologies of sexism and hate.

She has been featured on Upworthy, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and NBC lists her as one of “Afghanistan’s Female Powerhouses” among the listed is Afghanistan’s first Air Force Pilot, Colonel Latifa Nabizada, and “Mother” Laila who opened a free shelter for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan’s many opiate addicts.

In a land where women are treated as possessions that should be barely seen and never heard, it is woman who must stand a change the way they are being viewed. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to do what Soosan and many middle-eastern women are uptaking but they will go down in history books as the ones who were brave enough to speak up and lead the women revolution.

You can like her facebook page here Soosan Firooz

Dessa's Parts Of Speech was released June 25th, 2013 via Doomtree Records

Dessa’s Parts Of Speech was released June 25th, 2013 via Doomtree Records

Let’s face it, Hip Hop is committing suicide and is hell-bent on making it as agonizing and tasteless as possible. Enter Dessa of the rap collective Doomtree, helping to bring back a once musically stout genre from the brink of self-destruction. In Parts Of Speech Dessa trades in a the calculated and rough facets of A Badly Broken Code for a less focused and more exploratory approach. The album stays true to what a Dessa record usually presents in that it takes a few listens to appreciate its full context. The moods shift constantly from the quietly reflective The Man I knew to the more energetic Fighting Fish. Nevertheless cuts like Skeleton Key and Call Off Your Ghost provide nice landing spots for listeners who are looking to ease into the album.

I wanted to investigate the idea that a cohesive record isn’t always made cohesive by having twelve songs that sound the same. I figured when you make a mixtape for a friend, you can get away with a range of genres and a lot of dynamic change. Why can’t I approach an album like that? The sequence has to be just right, and we worked hard to nail it, but the thing that holds this record together is the sensibility of the lyrics, rather than a uniform theme. –Dessa

Newcomers to Dessa’s challenging approach to music probably will not survive long enough to engage the album in full. This apparent weakness, however, is something that makes Dessa a unique artist in the current toxic hip hop climate. Her style is refreshing and as she continues to grow one can only hope that history holds her in high esteem. With her intuitive wordplay, reality bending metaphors, and soothing singing voice (oh did I forget to mention her singing?), she deserves a place in every hip hop music library.

Dethfrequency Says: You can find this, and more of her solo albums on Spotify as well as her work with Doomtree and hear her work while she was still a young Filipino pop star… (Kidding, just another hilarious Spotify mistake)

3.75

Welcome!

I know what you’re here for. >:D

..ok, I admit that sounded a bit creepy.

At any rate, let us get down to brass taxes here. Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because blow you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Soilwork's The Living Infinite was released March 3rd, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Soilwork’s The Living Infinite was released March 3rd, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

A Badly Broken Code was released January 19th, 2010 via Doomtree Records  Genre: Hip Hop/Rap

A Badly Broken Code was released January 19th, 2010 via Doomtree Records
Genre: Hip Hop/Rap

The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1 was released February  28th, 2011 via EMI Germany. Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1 was released on February 28th, 2011 via EMI Germany.
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Russian Circle's Empros was released October 25th 2011 via Sargent House Genre: Post-Rock/Progressive Rock

Russian Circle’s Empros was released October 25th 2011 via Sargent House
Genre: Post-Rock/Progressive Rock

Dillon's This Silence Kills was released November 11th, 2011 via Bpitch Control  Genre: Indie/Acoustic

Dillon’s This Silence Kills was released November 11th, 2011 via Bpitch Control
Genre: Indie/Acoustic

Downloads provided by lastfm_grey