In a recent music video by producer and rapper LE1F (watch below) the camera pans from a larger-than-life ice cream sundae to what could be the crooning lovers of LE1F and his beau (they’re actually best friends), behind them a kaleidoscope of candy-colored Gotham City lights. Singing from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan, the two could be at a birthday party at Def Jam studios or perhaps just broke in to celebrate by themselves, leaving mixtapes as evidence.
Listening to the Future, or 2011, will sound a lot like LE1F. A senior at Weslyan University, LE1F makes rap music that is as educated in hip-hop aesthetics as it is a complete departure from them. Situated partly in the gothic, brooding work of Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul or rapping with the morose weight of Z-Ro, LE1F draws on the gravity of crunk’s best while infusing it with his own brand of banjee queerness that blends, melts, and makes multi-flavored ice cream sundaes of 21st-century club music.
Amongst work for Das Racist and Spank Rock, LE1F is preparing his first official mixtape for release at the beginning of the year entitled Dark York. Limited to 100 physical copies, Dark York will be packaged in fully recycled material, and feature a combination of LE1F’s own productions, raps, and collaborations. To help fund this project LE1F is doing what future, next-level artists like himself should be doing—raising money from fans and supporters to subsidize projects. Check out a video he produced in honor of the fundraising, and then head over to Kickstarter where you can donate as little as a $1 to the fund. You’ll no doubt be tempted to contribute more though, as donations of $100 or more get the privilege of naming a track and a handmade wood pendant.
Also, download a LE1F collaboration from the Dark York mixtape with L.A. duo NGUZUNGUZU called “hate2wait,” which begins as a love song dedicated to internet-rap phenom and BASED GOD Lil’ B.
My blogger blood absolutely couldn’t deny the opportunity to inflate the shit out of this one. Tirelessly overdue, Big Boi’s forthcoming solo recordSir Luscious Left Foot seems to be slated for a Def Jam release this summer, and with this new single emerging today, I’m couldn’t be more hopeful about Rap music. Additionally, Scott Storch reemerges with something new and interesting production-wise, furthering the auspicious return of Rap’s hay-day hit-makers. I can just see Big Boi in the studio, face contorting with vocal inflections, skittering over the beat’s space-funk claps, high as fuck. Prepare for take-off.
Keeping with my NYE promise of a more accurate blog-reflection of my spectrum of musical taste, I share with you something joyously new from the troubled waters of Rap-land. Out to Noz at Cocaine Bluntz for the video for this, I absolutely had to have the keepable version. This “martian-slap” from Northern California’s Young L of The Pack gives his former colleague Lil’ B a run for his blog-rap money with some delightfully-demented production. Less daring a rapper, Young L should, if things are breezy between these two, IM some beats over and let Lil’B do the talking.
Criminally overdue, I offer you a near-perfect Friday night pre-funk mix from the brilliant selektah DJ King Pop out of New York City. This is the first in a series of non-dj curated mixes from DJ King Pop, this one from art collective Confetti System. As described on their website, Confetti System is:
“Nicholas Andersen and Julie Ho, a duo working as artists, stylists, and designers. Their friendship, love of communal celebration, and craft making has brought them together to create a new system.The system is a collection of objects born from simple materials. Tissue paper, cardboard, and silk are transformed into interactive objects that create a point of focus where memories can be made and a spontaneous collaboration between themselves and the viewer is sparked. CONFETTI SYSTEM occupies the space that exists between the ephemeral and the permanent and aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia and lighthearted fun.”
Adeptly working through Hip-Hop’s bounce and Dubstep’s growl at the outset, King Pop finishes with a seamless transition to today most compelling iterations of House music in the underground scene. Clocking in at just under 25 minutes, the pace and scope of this mix is artfully swift and digestible. Look to a particularly transportive transition from Louisiana Ca$h to Basement Jaxx’s unequivocal “Scars”. Do enjoy.
Featured here not long ago and further represented by the The Guardian in the UK, our Bay Area representative Chief Boima has just released something we teased at last time. Under the Dutty Artz banner, Boima has put together a remarkably fresh collection of Rap/Hip-Hop re-workings that utilize African rhythmic and melodic sensibilities. Song include Birdman (”Money To Blow” feat. Drake and Lil Wayne), Akon (”Right Now”), The Jacka (”Glamorous Lifestyle” feat. Andre Nickatina), Fabo & T-Pain (”Own Step”).
If this doesn’t quite fill your need for Chief Boima productions, keep your eyes peeled for his forthcoming Techno Rumba EP, out on Dutty Artz soon. The EP will feature Boima’s original productions and remix work from DJ/rupture & Matt Shadetek.
If you weren’t getting tired of Spoek Mathambo‘s mixtape series “H.I.V.I.P.“, you should exhaust them quickly, because Sweat.X just released their 2nd EP “I’m That Alley”, out now on Citinite. Their first EP “EbonyIvoryTron” was released in October of 2007 and garnered praise from most major publications. Spoek hails from South Africa where he works with two production outfits, Sweat.X being an electro synth-pop group, and the other being an electo-rap group called Play Doe.
His mixtapes have featured work from both of these outfits, as well as featuring the sounds of Kwaito, Dubstep, Kuduro, and Electro. Production for Sweat.X comes from Markus Wormstorm, whose done workshops for the Red Bull Music Academy and bounces back and forth from Berlin to South Africa. Remix work for “I’m That Alley” comes from Dublin ex-pat Mike Slott who now resides in New York City. Mike recently got tapped for remix work by Flying Lotus, and has worked closely with Hudson Mowhawke in production as well. Below are streams of the title track “I’m That Alley” as well as the Mike Slott remix, the EP also features a tune called “The Knife” and instrumentals of both tunes. You can find the EP at any of your local internet music outlets, Bleep, Boomkat, Juno,TurntableLab, Wax Poetics and Zero-Inch.
Sweat.X – I’m That Alley