Tag Archives: Jay Z

Lowkey – Something Wonderful

A man who uses his talents for the good, somebody who wants more from life than money and fame, somebody who wants to make a change, that somebody is UK’s own, Lowkey, one of the most gifted artists with his mind in the right place, here is his new single, the captivating, Something Wonderful:

Something Wonderful is quitely simply a beautiful song, it speaks for itself in volumes, it is an honest record (something you can always expect from Lowkey), it is a positive record and most of all it has a meaning, his ever-growing fanbase will love this as will new listeners. An ode to the female, Lowkey has come into more prominence recently and has not stopped to enjoy the accomplishments but rather work harder in order to acheive his goal, as a person he is humble and honest, I can only support and offer praise for such a person, especially when the music being created is so powerful and even comforting.

Having already topped the Amazon download charts, with Long Live Palestine, surpassing the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas in doing so, he has shown that you can still have a career and a following despite a lack of help from the media and corporates.

Continue to support the rightous rapper, as he continues to deliver quality and honest music.

Lowkey - Something Wonderful ..available for purchase on February 14th

Follow Lowkey on twitter @lowkeymusic1

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Timbaland – King Leon ft. Drake

With new leaks from Timbaland’s camp, it is rumoured that these tracks are from Timbaland’s upcoming project. As a Timbaland fan, I have been looking forward to hear his new sound, he emerged in dominant fashion with his last surge of hits with Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake and Madonna, however since then he was quiet, only for his production contribution towards Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, tracks such as Off That ft. Drake and Venus & Mars showed some promise, a lot of the original Timbaland fans began to hope that he is back to changing the game again, even I hoped, until I heard this snippet:

Sounding like a classic Timbaland, back to doing what he does best, the clever thing about this production is the use of sounds, the organs happen to be the same sounds used for Madonna’s 4 minutes ft. Justin Timberlake. It is the kind of beat to put fear into other producers, the kind of production that will inspire how most of the songs will sound, as many attempt to emulate. Toronto’s Drake had worked with Timbo for Jay-Z’s album already, but he only featured on the chorus, so this snippet is an exclusive to the industry, Drake seems to do no wrong at the moment, this is one of my favourite tracks from him already and I have not even heard it all.

Here are the other leaks:

I like it, but more for concept that production, two artists of such status should create better, good but not great.

It is different, more catering his Pop audience, I am hoping that these leaks are to generate interest and that there is more to come, I am not in anyway saying that they are bad, I just personally feel that he can do a lot better.

Who knows, with time, I may have one of these on repeat.

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Affion Crocket

The man is talented, funny to say the least, check this out:

and now this:

Affions come a long way since his Wild N’ Out days.

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Jay-Z – A Star Is Born ft. J. Cole

Taken from Jay-Z’s recent success Blueprint 3, this track stands out for many reasons.

A Star Is Born, produced by Kanye West & NO I.D, is a part dedication to all the successful emcees to have come through, whilst being a statement of Jay’s longevity as an artist, as many of those mentioned have not reached the same amount of consistent success as the Brooklyn legend, however this track is also the official ROC nation introduction of J. Cole

J. Cole is an extremely talented emcee, although names such as Kid Cudi, Drake and Asher Roth are often mentioned as saviours of Hip-Hop, they are talented but J. Cole is pretty much the definition of Hip-Hop, best described as Jay-Z and Nas in one, J. Cole’s ‘the warm-up’ mixtape helped create a stronger foundation for him as an artist, his only negative is that he might be too good for mainstream, but with Jay-Z taking him under his wing he is in the best position, he reminds me of Jay-Z with his clever wordplay and distinctive flow. In a ‘passing the torch’ manner, Jay-Z introduces J. Cole on this track and he does not disappoint, he takes this oppurtunity in both hands, this is a similar position to when Kanye West featured on Blueprint 2, however Kanye’s verse was quite dissapointing and lacked the charisma and metaphors that we hear from him now, so it is quite amazing if you think how much J. Cole will improve, already good enough to go against some of the best, he is one of the sparks in the bright future of Hip-Hop.

Click image to visit his myspace and hear more

Click image to visit his myspace and hear more

The making of the cover for Blueprint 3:

I wonder if Jay has that somewhere in his house?!

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Wale – Ice and Rain (Produced by Cool & Dre)

DC’s Wale is undoubtley one for the future, with a lyrical style reminiscent of an illmatic Nas, he found his breakthrough with the success of his hit Nike Boots, currently charting with his new single Chillin ft. Lady Gaga. Wale (pronounced Wa-lay) recently inked a deal with Jay-Z’s ROC Nation label with his debut album ‘Attention Deficit’ to be released soon.

This Cool & Dre produced track is reminiscent to his critically acclaimed Family Affair, consisting of the similarly deep and meaninful story-telling ability that Wale possesses, Ice and Rain is rumoured to be a left-over track from his album’s final cut, hopefully this is not the case as it really is a special track, it has an epic emotion in intwined with the beat, creating a canvas for Wale to paint his lyrical picture, this song could do a lot for Wale, I feel that the topic might not be appreciated by every listener and that becomes a problem, mainstream audiences today prefer to invest in feel-good dance songs, Black Eyed Peas being a testament to that, However with ROC Nation, as Jay-Z attempts to push Hip-Hop back into the mainstream fold, in time could prove beneficial for an artist of Wale’s stature.

Look out for more Wale as he along with Kid Cudi, Drake and Asher Roth, lead the new school Hip-Hop revolution.

Wale - Rhyme spitter, Trend Setter and considered Leader of the New School

Wale – Rhyme spitter, Trend Setter and considered Leader of the New School

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50 Cent – Baby By Me ft. Ne-Yo

This one has yet to grow on me, this could be one of those cases where a visual is needed, simply as it is something different from both artists, it is a heavyweight collaboration, I guess that is my problem with it, 50 Cent and Ne-Yo, yet the track itself does not represent their status, Fabolous and Ne-Yo – Make Me Better had a far greater impact, this however feels rushed and a desperation move from 50 to get his name back on the top, surprisingly it has fallen, the likes of Drake, Kanye and Lil’ Wayne have all remained consistent, Jay-Z has even re-instated his position with Blueprint 3, Eminem proved that he is still one of the best and so the pressure really is on 50 Cent to deliver, this however is not a good attempt.

Did Rick Ross damage 50s career??

Did Rick Ross damage 50's career??

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Drake – Fear

Young Money’s White Knight, Drake, releases his critically acclaimed mixtape So Far Gone, Fear is the new bonus track available on this re-release.

Produced by DJ Khalil, this will be a critics favourite, by far a ‘special’ track, as it is the most recent we’ve heard of Drizzy since his previous mixtapes and guest features, personally I feel this song will keep his buzz consistent as fans and critics wait for the anticipated debut album ‘Thank Me Later‘.

Drake shines best when he lets his emotions out on the mic, highlighting that although his life is on an up, he still has downs, he makes his music easy to relate to for anybody listening, lines like, “I never cried when ‘Pac died, but I will when Hov’ does”, display his comfortability on record, his confidence is sky high and I do not expect any different, who wouldn’t with a hype and fanbase like his, funniest thing is that he has not even released an album yet.

Not much needs to be said about Fear, it speaks for itself.

Fáris Rating:
8/10

Click Image to visit Drake's Official Myspace

Click Image to visit Drake's Official Myspace

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JAMIE FOXX – DIGITAL GIRL ft. Drake, The Dream & Kanye West

The original has been around for a while, taken from Jamie Foxx’s new album ‘Intuition’, it is a good song but it had no real buzz, so what better than to get the most talked about artist of the moment on the track and release it as a single. Enter Drake, the Toronto born actor turned rapper has a surreal hype surrounding him, with major labels locked into a bidding war for his signature, Jay-Z referred to his So Far Gone mixtape as the best of all time, Kanye West is directing his new video, he is part of Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money, he has already worked with Jay and will feature on Mary J Blige’s new single, so it is fair to say that Drake is pretty much the hottest rapper at the moment.

With all that weight on his shoulders, Drake displays his confidence, knowing why he has been asked to feature on the track and he does not disappoint, concept, flow and lyrics, adding the singing into his verse, it is a trademark Drake verse and like the others, it is a good one.

I like the concept, it has been done before by the likes of R. Kelly (2nd Kelly) and Usher (Dot Com), but none the less, it does not interfere with Digital Girl, it grows on you the more you hear it, it is a really good collaboration.

Kanye West has gone from soulful Hip-Hop producer to Global Superstar, there are a few artists in the world of his caliber, so a clever, witty rhyme with a catchy flow are expected, Kanye’s verse is a good, I like the beat change, it pretty much is the peak of the song, his verse is a good balance with Drake’s, it fuses nicely as The Dream and Jamie Foxx take up the singing duties, to have four stars on one track does not always guarantee a hit but I think Jamie Foxx has one with this effort.

I like the beat change when for Kanye’s verse, it is the peak of the song, now is that a statement in itself that Drake is still no Kanye West, either way, it adds a whole new element to the track, it takes the track to a new level even. The video, although not unique or a real representation of the song, still manages to come off well, it reminded me of Hype William’s video for Lloyd – Girls Around The World ft. Lil’ Wayne, however, at one point the girls do look a bit virtual and such a small touch as that really makes a big difference. I like the idea of four superstars on one track, it has a momentous feel to it, Digital Girl is like the R&B version of Swagger Like Us. Over all it was always a good track, the video is not as good as it could have been, towards the end you see Jamie Foxx and Dream enjoying the track whilst Kanye West and Drake fade into the background.

Fáris Rating:
8/10

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Jay-Z – Run This Town ft. Rihanna & Kanye West

Run This Town

I heard this a while ago and I let my expectations get the better of me, so the song itself did not impress me, at the time I thought it was a weak effort with big features, without sounding so critical (though I am) I just felt that they could have created something better, however, I left the song for a while, let the hype settle a bit and the other day I was listening to Tim Westwood’s show and he played this and it stood out among the commercial saturated BS that currently floods our airwaves.

I think it is easier for Jay-Z to make original music because he has cemented his name within Hip-Hop and Music as a whole. Even he has admitted having to ‘dumb’ his lyrics down, so he understands how hard it is to satisfy and be successful commercially, surely as the once President of DefJam records he understands how hard it is for an artist to get a deal, there are those that make music for the love and they’re the successful ones but then when an outsider sees Pharrell Williams rise to stardom creating beats using digital sounds, songs that as a listener he likes, he will follow that, so it is expected, just like with fashion, you see Kanye Wear a pair of glasses..millions rush out to get the same pair, yet you criticize them and want them to be creative, even though you cash in on dictating their lifestyle, maybe if those that create ‘Real’ music are offered the chances that their talents deserve rather than seeing it handed over to someone who label execs beleive will gain major sex appeal from the opposite gender, and people will follow and support them equalling into good profit.

Back to the song, Produced by Kanye West, Run This Town is a powerful stage for the three artists (each successful in their own right), the only person that could have made this anymore powerful would be Beyonce in place of Rihanna. Kanye compiles the heavy drums with the edgy guitar nicely, it sounds raw yet clear, I hope Drake makes his version of this as I reckon he would do the beat justice. Taken from Jay-Z’s highly anticipated album ‘BLUEPRINT 3’ (completing the Blueprint trilogy), the first Blueprint is considered a classic so Jay had a lot to do in order to top it. After releasing DOA (Death of Autotune) he managed to create quite the buzz, Run This Town brings the buzz surrounding Jay-Z towards his coming album (perfect marketing), I still believe that both Jay and Mr West’s verses could have been better, yet it’s obvious that Jay-Z had audiences in mind, the catchy flow does what it is meant to, you cannot help but to rap along, Kanye West dissapointed me, the verse is good but that is the problem, maybe it will grow on me after a few more listens but I wanted to hear that out of this world ‘did he actually say that’ rhyme, Rihanna’s voice does fit the song, would have been good to hear a short verse or even bridge from her, as it becomes repetetive and boring after a while.

Run This Town is a good song, I just feel that it could be so much better, I’m looking forward to the video, hopefully the visuals can sway me to like it more, until then it is a raw commercial track, the only negative really is that it becomes repetative and boring (mainly due to Rihanna’s part), besides that it is not bad (I will be annoyed if it gains major rotation on UK Radio and TV instead of some of the better homegrown tracks and videos that should be played)

Look out for the review when the video is released

Fáris Rating:
7/10
[It’s almost an 8]

Kanye West, Rihanna and Jay-Z on the set of the video for Run This Town

Kanye West, Rihanna and Jay-Z on the set of the video for Run This Town

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Sef – Takin’ Over

I do not understand how people still do not know about Sef, undoubtedly one of the best singers in the country, so I decided to share more with you all.

He originally broke onto the scene as part of the phenomenon that is So Solid Crew, he is now part of Music Kidz (founded by Mr Shabz, the producer behind many of So Solid’s hits including ‘Haters‘) who are signed to Jay-Z’s ROC Nation.

A new album from Sef is on the way, the first single is Need A Hero (video to be filmed soon), not many people know but Sef was signed to Atlantic records and has worked with the likes of Platinum selling Robin Thicke and singer/songwriter Sean Garret (who has written for Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Usher, Britney Spears and Beyonce to name a few), so the talent he possesses cannot be denied.

This track is titled Takin’ Over,

Enjoy:

Fáris Rating:
8/10

How many artists can actually say they have performed on the Top Of The Pops??…

..Sef can!

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