Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – “Knicks Remix (feat. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Ransom)”
Following the release of their collaborative album, Piñata, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib will be releasing an EP containing a couple of remixes and unheard songs, one being a remix of “Knicks,” featuring Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom. The track is smooth, like the ride of an old box Chevy, which is exactly the kind of car this song was made to be heard in. Take your pick of who you like, Gibbs pays homage to Michael Brown, Bronson raps about putting rosemary on a striploin, Ransom talks street corners and Bada$$ addresses fake MCs. This is old school hip-hop. No excessive emotions, just bragging and trying to one-up each other. And it’s great.
Drake – “How About Now”
Now, if Freddie Gibbs and Madlib aren’t your style, we have a Drake song that was leaked. The track is either a leftover from Drake’s latest release, Nothing Was The Same, or it is a new song set to be on Views From The 6. “How About Now” is vintage Drake; over a moody beat filled with synths, he sings, raps, and tells the story of a girl who didn’t believe in him. Drake asks if the feeling has changed now that he has made it, showing that even if it is in a different package, some things (like stunting on everyone) will never leave hip-hop.
BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface Killah – “Gunshowers (feat. Elzhi)”
Along with the announcement that Toronto jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD and Wu Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah will be releasing an album together in February, the team has also shared a sample of what is to come. On “Gunshowers,” BADBADNOTGOOD set up an unlikely indie surf rock instrumental for Ghostface, who at first seems out of place, but by the time he raps “I’m a goddamn vocalist” at the end of his first verse, you’ll be sold.
Run The Jewels – “Angel Duster”
“Got hope for the living. Got prayers for the dead,” raps Killer Mike on the Run The Jewels 2 closing song, “Angel Duster.” Though the song seems to end the album on a hopeful note, with El-P toasting to the no ones and to everyone, there is an underlying issue that Killer Mike quietly brings up at the end of the chorus. “Cause the world is dangerous/driven great men insane/anchor themselves with angel dust,” he raps. The feeling that Mike puts across is one of resignation, that things are the way they are, and that is fact. “From the womb to the tomb, why do we fight to live?” he asks, making the laid-back-sounding song one of the heavier and darker ones on the album.