Brandon Soderberg



  • 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."'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 stems from a desire he implores, "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.

  • macklemore & ryan lewis, billboard, hot rap songs chart, thrift shop

    Billboard's Hot Rap Songs of All Time List: A Baffling Nerd Out

    To mark the 25th anniversary of their Hot Rap Songs Chart, Billboard released their "Top 100 Songs of All Time" list and, unsurprisingly, it's both fascinating and frustrating. Let's begin by calling attention to how this list was constructed: It is "based on on actual performance on the weekly Hot Rap Songs chart," with some adjustments for "various changes in chart rules, chart length and methodology throughout the years."That is to say, it is not a list that concerns itself with the quality of these songs. So, for example, Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" is at #1 because it dominated the Hot Rap Songs charts longer than say, Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa," which sits at #8 — not because it is the "better" song.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Migos Stay Transcendently Repetitious with 'Antidope'

    Rap Songs of the Week: Migos Stay Transcendently Repetitious with 'Antidope'

    KIT ft. Jeremiah Meece, "Cinnamon & Gold Teeth"Hey there, ScHoolboy Q, I'm gonna let you finish, but this KIT character from Chicago, connected to the broken-R&B crew JODY, is making the best pill-addled, druggy, art-gangsta music right now, despite Oxymoron being the no. 1 album in the country and all that good stuff.

  • Big K.R.I.T.

    Stream Big K.R.I.T.'s Howling Anthem 'Wolf On Wall Street'

    In preparation for his second studio album Cadillactica, out this fall, country rap tunes resurrector Big K.R.I.T. has been releasing potential album tracks as part of an ambitious free music giveaway he's calling "Week of KRIT." Today we have "Wolf On Wall Street," a breezy boastful banger produced by K.R.I.T. and Childish Major, the ambient-trap maestro best known for Rocko's haunting "U.O.E.N.O.," and a number of tracks on Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune's Beautiful Pimp mixtape series. The "Wolf On Wall Street" beat is a knotty collaboration, with K.R.I.T.'s unmistakeable Southern hip-hop pulse and some crying blues guitars propelling the production forward, while atmospheric electronica and the eerie sampling associated with Childish Major moves in the background. The track proudly bridges the gap between Dirty South traditionalism and "New ATL" futurism.

  • Rome Fortune

    Rome Fortune Thinks Outside the Trap, Shoots Dolphins With Laser Guns

    Who: Open-eared Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune, 22, whose latest mixtape, Beautiful Pimp II, a follow-up to last year's Beautiful Pimp (SPIN's #23 Best Hip-Hop Album of 2013), mixes stoic raps with expressive beats. Rome says that the former is "strictly mood-driven," and indeed, at 11 tracks over 29 minutes, it feels more like a single cut — or a futuristic suite — than a mere well-curated collection of songs. The first single, "I was on one, I can't lie.," for example, mixes smooth R&B vocals with Boards of Canada-like synths and halcyon record scratches. Beautiful Pimp II also features Rome's grandfather, a jazz musician, on vibraphone. With the interludes, Fortune says, "You're just seeing the music in my bloodline. And jazz is pretty much parallel to hip-hop in my eyes."Trash Rappers: Thanks to his grandfather, Fortune's introduction to music as creative expression began early.

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