Brandon Soderberg

writer

Biography

  • Drake

    Rap Songs of the Week: Drake Half-Steps Into Petty Beef on 'Draft Day'

    Asaad ft. King Louie, "Block Boy 2.0"When Philadelphia MC Asaad isn't cooking up one-sided beef with Pusha T, or trolling the Internet with the artwork for his single "Boss Status" (which featured a folk art-like illustration of Tupac um, mounting the Notorious B.I.G.), he's making some of the most multi-faceted hip-hop out right now. His core sound remains the gritty, soulful street rap that Philly built its name on in the early 2000s, but he's equally adept at eccentric trap music and Auto-Tune-moaned R&B gone dark-of-the-night soul. Weird stuff. On this remix of his single "Block Boy" from last year, featured on the controversy-courting rapper's new tape Flowers II, his swerving mumbling version of drill gets some swaggering support from Chicago's King Louie.

  • Tynethys

    Hear Tynethys' Smooth, Pulsing Slow Jam 'TFZ'

    Playful Sacramento soulster Tynethys' open-hearted slow jam "TFZ" finds the Main Attrakionz collaborator shouting out his mom and dad for staying together. He also compares himself to Bart Simpson's principal, Seymour Skinner, in a way that imagines a smoother Mac Dre (that is, if he were raised on '90s R&B). Produced by cloud-rap architects Friendzone (Main Attrakionz's "Perfect Skies", A$AP Rocky's "Fashion Killa," and Antwon's "Automatic" to name a few of their Internet hits), "TFZ" oozes along thanks to the East Bay beatmaking duo's signature bed of melting synths. Though, the track's wobbling drums and skittering snares suggest the song has some West Coast rubbery rap influence as well.

  • hood internet, probcause, chance the rapper

    Hear the Hood Internet Remix Chance the Rapper and ProbCause's Trippy, Gritty 'LSD'

    The Hood Internet, those crafty producers and tastemaking mash-up maestros (never forget, they released a mixtape called Trillwave years before A$AP Rocky was around to supposedly coin the term), have taken on rapper ProbCause's Chance the Rapper-assisted "LSD" from last year, injecting even more Chicago music into its turnt-up DNA. Here, the duo cuts up '70s rock semi-obscurity "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah, a track that was named after the Windy City's famous street that runs along Lake Michigan, though probably really a song about tripping balls (Lake Shore Drive being shortened as "LSD"). If Prob and Chance's original (produced by Drew Mantia) was very Right Now thanks to spacey dubstep, then this remix adds some diggin'-in-the-crates record-nerd warmth to the track.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Jay Z and Jay Electronica Jack Soulja Boy's 'We Made It' to Zing Drake

    Rap Songs of the Week: Jay Z and Jay Electronica Jack Soulja Boy's 'We Made It' to Zing Drake

    Black Knights, "Deja Vu"Black Knights are a Wu-Tang-affiliated duo (though who isn't some sort of Wu-Tang affiliate, really) consisting of MCs Rugged Monk and Crisis, whose album Medieval Chamber was produced by former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. That's not as weird as it might seem if you recall that Frusciante played guitar on the Wu's Beatles-interpolating "The Heart Gently Weeps," or if you've heard some of his weedy drum machine-assisted instrumentals like say, "Murderers," off of 2001's To Record Water For Ten Days (which sounded like the RZA remixing Iggy Pop and James Williamson's Kill City). This is New York revivalism gone wrong in a good way: more hippy-dippy like the Underachievers (trippy beat; a reference to um, Crash Bandicoot) than toothlessly mean-mugging like Joey Bada$$, you know?

  • Cashy

    Miami's Cashy Matches Quirky Trap With Unbeatable, Reverent Hooks

    "I'm not trying to sound cocky, but I'm kind of on my own in South Miami," Cashy quietly explains. "I'm bringing something different." When we speak on the phone, the 24 year-old's voice is modest and calculated; it’s a stark contrast to the over-the-top, scattered squawk that he employs on tracks like his simmering Internet hits "Wrong Way" and "Stupendous," both off his terrific Platinum Plus EP. He further defines what he's doing as "that old school Miami Vice or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City look -- when Scarface was popping."Such '80s-era cocaine worship is nothing new in hip-hop, but Cashy's evocation of the pastel-powered time period comes from personal experience, and from a desire "to represent the culture and environment" where he grew up.

  • Future Islands in New York City, February 2014

    Dance Like No One's Watching: Future Islands Break Out On Their Own Terms

    It's a very cold February night in Baltimore and Future Islands frontman Sam Herring is shuffling across the Floristree stage like a cranked-up Elvis impersonator. Exuding memory-haunted menace, he stalks around as if he were hunting prey, pauses, finds a fan's eyes and stares into them, stopping mid-dance move. Dozens of diehard fans in the front become one swaying, sweaty clump of pumping fists and pogo-ing legs with the occasional crowd surfer poking out. Not quite a mosh pit — more like the moves and grooves of a rave dancing its pain away, mindfully concentrated.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Freddie Gibbs' Artful, Madlib-Assisted Jeezy Diss, 'Real'

    Rap Songs of the Week: Freddie Gibbs' Artful, Madlib-Assisted Jeezy Diss, 'Real'

    Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Real"Before we celebrate the artful way in which this song dissects the increasingly troubled and useless Jeezy, let's just make it clear that diss tracks don't really matter anymore, and, when they do, it's only because they lead to very bad things. Still, when one is as rhetorically rock solid as "Real," off Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's collaborative album Pinata, it's worth indulging. So here is Gangsta Gibbs explaining to his former boss, Jeezy, in a very public forum, why he's happy he doesn't have to be burdened by the T-r-a-p-s-t-r's major label money, over a stumbling and stoned track from ultimate undergrounder, Madlib. This is precisely the sort of thing a Gary, Indiana gangsta could never get away with under the Panopticon-like watch of a major label like Def Jam. Content and form coalesce brilliantly here.  Jay Electronica feat.

  • YG and DJ Mustard Make a Ratchet Music Masterpiece With 'My Krazy Life'

    YG and DJ Mustard Make a Ratchet Music Masterpiece With 'My Krazy Life'

    For the majority of YG's minor key concept album (and major label debut), My Krazy Life, the Compton rapper concerns himself with what is, well, right there in front of him. "I woke up this morning/ I had a boner," are the first lines delivered on "Really Be (Smokin' N Drinkin')," a sticky confessional with an assist from Kendrick Lamar that kicks off the record's benighted third act.

  • future, honest, covered n money

    Hear Future's Celebratory, Hard-Hitting 'Covered N Money'

    Future will finally return on April 22 with Honest, his long-in-the-works follow-up to 2011's Pluto. The latest track we're privvy to, "Covered N Money," continues the Auto-Tuned street hero's recent run of victorious, stomping anthems — see the sci-fi-sounding, hashtag-friendly title track and the '80s-nodding, synth-squelching anthem "Move That Dope."Produced by Sonny Digital (best known for YC's "Racks," which introduced Future to rap radio, and Future's own "Same Damn Time"), "Covered N Money" is all brutal skitter, punctuated by twinkling John Carpenter synthesizers and hard-hitting, kick-you-in-the-gut snares that suggest dubstep-tinged EDM trap as much as they do straightforward trap music.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Le1f's Bold Banger, and Jay Z's Mystifying Daft Punk Team-Up

    Rap Songs of the Week: Le1f's Bold Banger, and Jay Z's Mystifying Daft Punk Team-Up

    100s ft. Redinho, "Ten Freaky Hoes"The "hipster Iceberg Slim" snarl of 100s' Ice Cold Perm appeared out of nowhere back in 2012, with cloud-rap pimp-slap vibes and an album-cover tribute to Snoop Dogg's Tha Doggfather that forecasted its ephemeral fuck-with-it-for-a-few-weeks-and-forget-it qualities. But here we are, two years later, and this creeper from Berkeley, CA, has knocked out a masterful '80s-funk sprawler with IVRY, full of Zapp vocoder inhales and grind-friendly electro basslines.

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