In 2015, producer FredFades dropped the Fruitful EP alongside Norwegian rapper and Rap Dad favorite Ivan Ave. Aside from the rapping on this quietly satisfying EP, FredFades stands out as silent partner to Ivan Ave, providing the perfect backdrop to accommodate the rapper’s nonchalant contemplations. On the “Fruitful” remix, the two invite some like-minded friends for a relatively subdued posse cut of sorts.
To me, “Let Me Ride” is a perfect time capsule record – it speaks from a very specific time and place, incorporating nearly all of the sounds that were popular in gangsta rap at the time, most of which can simply be credited to Dr. Dre himself as a founding father of it.
SmokeyV, Classicko, Niftee and Kilam make up the Los Angeles rap collective known as Villain Park. On “We Out Here”, the group spit some verses over a track reminiscent of the west coast bangers of old. In a good way, this takes it back to Raiders Starter jackets for me.
MF DOOM should basically go on a tour of just doing collaborative projects with deserving young MCs. I could see him working with Your Old Droog or Wiki, among others. Here, DOOM conspires with organically buzzworthy Westside Gunn, who’s been killing it recently to a point there’s just been too much music for me to sit down and really touch on. Mistake rectified. I don’t know how much more content this will lead to, but I’m excited to see where it goes from here.
Named after the original thick-skinned henchman duo, Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire and Meyhem Lauren link up for “Bebop & Rocksteady” off of X’s Brainiac EP, out now. This video is nothing short of hilarious and Meyhem’s Uberpool line at the end is a classic.
I don’t have words for the stinker N.O.R.E. just dropped with Pharrell, but his Drink Champs podcast is great and old “Jose Luis Gotcha / golden guns, Frank Sinatra” NoreAGA was easily one of my favorite rappers ever. His solo debut N.O.R.E. was an album that got enough spin in my Discman (!) to warrant a complete repurchase several years after its release, with classic records like “Banned From TV” requiring at least one repeat per play. I rediscovered “The Change” last week and decided to share it here.
In 2011, Smoke DZA linked up with Kendrick Lamar for this banger off of DZA’s Rolling Stoned album. DZA doesn’t really tend to make a wack project and Kendrick rarely fails us with a feature, so I don’t have to tell you to hit the jump.