We’re back, and back in style. This week’s set of #FreshFridays is fucking huge. We literally got everything in hurr; tracks from Game, HLM, Grandtheft, David Guetta x Avicii, and more. SpacePack’s got you covered. [right click link, save as to download]
A quartet of Laidback Luke vs. Jump Jump Dance Dance tracks. Couldn’t decide which one I liked the best.Read More
This year’s super album is out, and it’s polarizing as fuck. As I’ve been doing my daily roaming of the interwebs since the release, I’ve heard plenty of sexy, “this album is like titty fucking Pamela Anderson in her prime” reviews, while also coming across many that feel ‘The Throne’ shit bed on this one. I really feel no need to take any particular stance or slander the album in order to be ‘that guy’ who has to buck the trend. What I’m going to give is an opinion coming from someone that admits to being a strong supporter of both Jay and Ye, but who can also acknowledge their shortcomings and botched work.
Before I start chatting and extending this shit into tomorrow, here’s the short review. This album is right around the good to very good mark, but I really hesitate to say that it is excellent. Jay-Z seems to have turned back the clock a little bit, while Kanye exhibits some flashes of brilliance without being able to take that next step. Basically, think of it as if Jay were Kobe Bryant and Kanye as LeBron. Jay’s got lots of rings and can still ball with the best, but he’s coming into the twilight of his career and everyone knows it. But they ain’t saying shit. Kanye’s got unbelievable talent and cruises through the regular season, but come playoff time it’s a different story. Still, if he ever gets all his business together the title is his.
My expectations were a bit high before I hit play for the lead track of the album. I had a feeling that Kanye would take the lead on this one, and unsurprisingly he did. Hearing Frank Ocean’s voice first on the tune kinda of threw me off, but I recovered. The opening was decent, but the stage had been set: Welcome to Jay-Z and Kanye West Show. Mostly normal rap song ish through the verses of ‘No Church in the Wild’ but with the two making it known that on this record, they and they only are kings. Actually they go beyond saying that they’re kings, and that they form part of God himself. Jesus was a carpetnter, Yeezy laid the beats, Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out of your seats, preach. [God = Father (?) + Son (Yeezy) + Holy Spirit (Jay-Z)]. And if you got that, guess who gets to be the disciples?! Yup, lucky us. Once I reached the second track ‘Lift Off’, I realized that the first track really isn’t the first track at all. ‘No Church in the Wild’ is actually the epilogue, the story before the story. Just like those DVDs where you can’t skip the forthcoming movie previews, they pulled a fast one on us.
Moving along, we start to get into what is the heart of the album: Jay and Kanye boasting as their egos continue to expand. I actually enjoyed ‘Niggas in Paris’ so I won’t talk on that to long. Let’s leave it at that shit cray(ons). Oh fuck, ‘Otis’. Now what to make of this. Okay, so I posted this track back when it first surfaced in mid-July and I actually enjoyed it then. So then however, it’s taken me on a rollercoaster ride. At first the sample seems creative but after hearing Otis Redding’s classic track butchered into a ‘dra-un dra-un na na na’ or whatever it is, Yeezy’s looping work just seems unimaginative. The loop on ‘Gotta Have It’ is more bearable, as well as the entire song. Short, sweet and to the point with the two artists diving in and out of each other’s verses to good effect.
Possibly my favourite joint off the album. ‘New Day’ is the one song that makes you think for a second that “hey, these dudes are rich and famous as tits, but they’re still people that go through the same shit as me”. This is the song where the chinks in the armor of The Throne juggernaut start to show. But is this really a weak point? Or a luring point? Then ‘That’s My Bitch’ pops on and you realize you were imagining shit. Jay, Kanye being real, honest, showing real emotions? Nah, son. At least not that blatantly.
Fuck off Swizz Beatz.
Next, The Throne decides to flip Flux Pavilion’s ‘I Can’t Stop’ into their own ‘Who Gon Stop Me’. Not quite the train wreck that you might think, this song actually turns out to be one of the album’s standout tracks. Both dudes take on an unconventional dubstep production and make it their own, all while peppering the beat with some memorable lines along the way. Favourites: Last night ain’t go so well, got kicked up out of the hotel, Got a little freaky like Marvin Albert, ‘Yes!’ Tell Howard Cosell (Kanye) and Ok here, like a hare, like a rabbit, I like karats, I’m allergic to having bunny ears, Like broke – like nope (Jay-Z).
Now here we fuckin go. When these two announced this collab, I know I’m not the only one that expected to hear more of what we get on ‘Murder to Excellence’. Strongest cut of the album. The beat is bonkers, Jay does his part but Mr. West takes it to another level altogether. It’s as if Kanye decided to save himself for this one track before returning to a relatively ho-hum pace for the rest of the LP. Everything about this song is money: the drums, the gentle tribal chants, the progression of the beat, the lyrics. Kanye’s full verse, the fourth verse of the s0ng, is one of the best I think I’ve ever heard from him.
More featured guests. Frank Ocean makes his second appearance on ‘Made In America’ and Mr. Hudson stops by for ‘Why I Love You’. ‘Made In America’ is nice reflective piece. Don’t really love it, but don’t really hate it either. If Kanye was in the driver’s seat for ‘Murder to Excellence’, then ‘Why I Love You So’ is Hov’s time to shine. He does a respectable job in carrying the track by himself, but nothing that’s really mind bottling. I will give it to him for opening up on this track and littering the verses with underlying metaphors and symbolism. Especially like the When the grief is over, beef is over, I’ll be fly once Easter’s over line in the 1st verse.Read More
#FreshFridays Vol. XXVI featuring tracks from Omega, Casey Veggies, KillaGraham and more!Read More
It’s late Friday so this playlist is a little tardy, apologies. However, the tunes should more than make up for the delay. I’m heading down to Wobble tomorrow night for some dubstep action, so I thought I’d highlight the acts making an appearance. Toronto’s Trypt will be playing, along with Montreal gunners Adventure Club and The SoniXx, and New Zealand legend Mt. Eden. Check the audio below and reach Sound Academy if you’re craving more womp womp! Follow SpacePack on Twitter!
Flight Facilities – Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)
Mt. Eden – Still Alive
Kanye West – All Of The Lights (Trypt Remix)
The SoniXx – Wobblefest
Avicii vs. Wynter Gordon, Dan Castro – Levels Til Death (Igor Drago 2011 Summer Bootleg)
Sander van Doorn – Koko (Bingo Players Remix)
The Weeknd – Trust Issues RemixRead More