March 11th, 2014 by Brandon Hornsby-Selvin
Last year we covered pianist/bandleader Kris Bowers’ first single “Forget-er”, featuring singer Julia Easterlin from his then forthcoming album Heroes + Misfits. That album has now arrived and is everything that was promised. The 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition Award winner comes from both classical and jazz backgrounds and his style is not limited to any genre, but is instead a mix between and/or focus on jazz, classical, and soul music styles; as well as other influences made apparent by Bowers, such as indie rock and hip hop. “#TheProtestor” was the first song written for the album back in 2011, and was inspired by Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” being awarded to protesters internationally. The track is heavily driven by Bowers’ piano and features some exceptional playing from saxophonist Casey Benjamin. Chris Turner offers guest vocals and rounds out the track in theme with the complexity of the title, singing “Who are we? What are we?” Bowers is now touring with the Kris Bowers Quintet in support of Heroes + Misfits, which is now available for sale.
March 10th, 2014 by Gabriel Simon
Somewhere between pure braggadocio and tongue-in-cheek humor lies the collection of bangers that is Mastermind, exactly what you’d expect from Rick Ross: more rap about how ridiculously wealthy he is, appropriately Maybach Music. “Supreme” opens with Katt Williams describing a visit to Rozay’s new 109-room crib (which he bought from Evander Holyfield for $5.8 million. Yup.), and mentions that he saw 30 bitches and 30 rooms and was still on the wrong side of the house. This is likely true, but that’s neither here nor there. Songs like “Drug Dealer’s Dream,”Walkin’ On Air,” and “The Devil is a Lie” sound like they were dipped in a sweet sauce of Versace bags, cocaine and hundred dollar bills in a blender. ”Thug Cry” and “In Vein” keep the emotional/reflective side present on the album, giving it at least 2 dimensions. The production on this album fits Ross perfectly and feels cohesive, with the exception of “Sanctified,” which screams Kanye right from the beginning. “Sanctified” and “The Devil is a Lie” are real standouts on this album – so because the former is the album’s less-promoted statement piece, while the latter is the riding/trapping/feeling rich music I keep coming back to Rick Ross for.
Mastermind isn’t exactly shattering the paradigms of rap, but it certainly is dope. Rozay and his guest features deliver solid verse on solid verse. Don’t skip the intro on this album – it explains everything you need to know about Rick Ross. When you’re ready for feeling rich, peep below.
March 8th, 2014 by Ivan Rosenberg
A beautiful video and song from SZA. Peep:
March 7th, 2014 by Ivan Rosenberg
Thank god for people like Alxndr Jerard – can a hundred more producers please remix this song? I’d like to hear it as many ways and times as possible. Cool. Download it. Alright.