Posts Tagged ‘Music’




It’s been a busy week in rap and today I present eight tracks that I really like.


BET AWARDS '14 - Backstage And Audience

When Busta Rhymes announced that his latest single for Extinction Level Event 2 – the sequel to his 1998 third studio album that’s best known his collaboration with Janet Jackson – will feature Eminem, a bittersweet feeling trickled around my heart. Sure, this is not the first time the two have knowingly worked with one another* and the two are still lyrical giants that tower people in awe. Yet it felt like a newsworthy note that felt on deaf ears for a collaboration that’s 15 years too late.

Back when I was a child, I along with much of the rap world saw Busta Rhymes and Eminem as two of the most colorful and dynamic rappers in the industry. Their charisma was off the charts and the way they intricately mixed humor and their bombastic personas with their technical prowess made them all-time greats at their craft. Ten-year-old Mac always wondered when the two would connect to make something epic and tear the very fabric of space and time. Now at 23 growing up to a genre that has changed drastically, the news of a Busta and Em collab felt contrived.

Listening to “Calm Down” left me empty on the number of levels; an unfulfilling trip back into nostalgia complete with a flip of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”. It is not a bad song per se, but it wasn’t entirely great either. Busta and Em show that they can tip-toe as effortlessly as anyone laying down bar-upon-bar of furious six-minute lyrical shadowboxing. Not to mention that the artwork is fucking phenomenal, but something was still very amiss. The two really did their best to turn back the clock and while that was nice and all, it lacked the authenticity it should have had.

There was a time where Busta at his most maniacal and visually creative tag-teaming with Slim Shady at his most ridiculous would have made for a superb moment at the height of their careers. The only other rapper I can think of that had highly exuberant qualities as a lyricist and entertainer at the time was Ludacris, whose triumphant triumvirate of albums put him on top of Atlanta’s hottest rappers in the mid-2000s. Another common ground I can find with that is throughout time detractors critiqued their flash over their substance, in particular to the latter. With Luda being a Southern rapper, the deck was stacked against him tenfold and his subsequent efforts in adapting to the times left him broken.

His counterparts found ways to combat them in numerous flashes of brilliance at their disposal. Busta began to simmer down a bit and connected with Dr. Dre with Aftermath, seemingly aligned with Eminem but still haven’t come in frequent contact with one another. Out came The Big Bang, a criminally underrated record in its own right and the last really great effort Busta has created in a full body of work. Eminem on the other end rode the success of the Slim Shady persona long enough to kill it off (somewhat) with his two outings The Eminem Show and Encore. From that point on, he focused on rapping and rapping well along with cleaning himself up personally.

While he attempted to make a resurgence of the bleach blonde psychopath on a few occasions (Relapse, The Marshall Mathers LP II), it was more nauseating than charming hearing a 40-year-old make dick jokes again. And that’s what I was looking at listening to Busta’s new single: sad, dejected, and confused with what has transpired. Things just aren’t the same with those two musically and no matter how great they can bend their syllables in 2014 as they could in 1998, I’ll always feel robbed of something special.

So instead of tearing the track apart, I’m just going to cherish it for what it is and that’s two favorites just rapping for a long time.

* I will say that “I’ll Hurt You” is as good as a collaboration we will get from the two and is much better than their most recent one. Crazy how that song was kept off of The Big Bang final cut. 

Paul Cantor wrote a strong piece on Busta Rhymes’ recent career steps and explained it better than I ever could here. He’ll always be great to me and he can do whatever he wants. I just wasn’t feeling it here. 



2004 is a year to be celebrated. Well, the celebration started not too long ago with the retrospectives of Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout. Coming at a time where bravado and machismo permeated through much the inner-rap circles, Kanye began a career of being a trendsetting rebel that spans a decade of controversy and admiration. It is also the year where Usher released what I still consider one of the greatest R&B albums of all-time with Confessions.

That year was also the my formal introduction to Madlib and MF DOOM, courtesy of a couple of fanboys pimping out how good the latter was as a rapper. As far as Madlib is concerned, I always heard him through scattered songs on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and thought they were dope. I never made an effort to explore him further until this album and the same applied for DOOM. You could say it was a life-changing experience in some way, as it was an album I’ve never endured in a fascinating way as this did.



It’s been a while, but I am back again to give off a round of mixtape reviews from the past month. I look into Atlanta’s ever-growing diversity, their obsession with the Spanish language, eclectic sounds, and Problem’s right-hand man making a name for himself.


R&B has seen many transformations over the years. Starting from the soulful roots, twisting to New Jack Swing glory and back, to now embracing the electric Euro Wave, the love-making genre has met phases that brought musical innovation at the expense of its authenticity. For every Frank Ocean and Weeknd there to push the envelope of songwriting and production there’s others that can fall into the trap of over-sexualizing themselves in an attempt to stay relevant (I’m looking at you, Trey Songz). For me, I have always been picky with who I listen to in this genre as even the best singers can instill Audio NyQuil into my veins. However, I have decided to patch up a list of eight artists that are rarely known or not spoke of much. All are unique in how they approach their sound and are willing to create enough Panty Droppers for your nightly playlist.


The Canadian MC creeps out from the dark to bring some new music to hold us over before his next LP. I still get chills bumping The Old Prince and this piece is well worth a listen. The EP is currently available for free purchase on Shad’s Bandcamp.

This came as a surprise to me yesterday, but I’m happy that it is around. The Brooklyn Jazz/Hip-Hop fusion ensemble continues their strong 2012 by releasing their EP “nothinG special.”. Their music is good, taking heavy influence from Hip-Hop groups such as Slum Village and The Roots. It’s definitely worth checking out and I hope to hear more of them within the year.

Download: Phony Ppl – nothinG special.

Man, whoa. I’ve been waiting to hear some new music from The xx after being fully introduced to them a few months back. The first time indirectly was in 2010 when they remixed Florence + The Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love” which in turn introduced me to the latter. With their first single from Coesxist, “Angels” picks up from their 2009 debut with Romy Croft handling the vocals in this sensual, minimal ballad. Their album is slated to release on September 11th and the single will be up on iTunes for download midnight.


This absolutely made my day. During a show for their European Tour, Rock band and Rapcore pioneers Faith No More took their crack at The Throne’s “Niggas In Paris”. It is only fitting as the band is know for covering Soul and Hip-Hop classics and with the recent buzz the song his been receiving. Mike Patton saying “nigga” had me in tears by the way.