Brandon Soderberg

writer

Biography

  • Western Tink

    Rap Release of the Week: Western Tink & Beautiful Lou's 'Mobbin' No Sobbin'

    Named after a track from Austin rapper Western Tink's 2011 album Hard to Keel Vol. 1, the new mixtape Mobbin' No Sobbin' has been almost two years in the making. Perhaps, producer Beautiful Lou's slowly rising profile — two tracks on A$AP Rocky's breakout mixtape Live.Love.ASAP ("Trilla" and "Kissin' Pink"), work for Kitty Pryde (“Okay Cupid”), and Heems (“Running Thru the Jungle”) — is to blame.

  • Rome Fortune

    Rap's Most Slept-On Releases of 2013's First Quarter

    Abdu Ali, InvictosHighlights: "Banjee Musick," "I'mma Leaf," "360"RIYL: Baltimore Club; Death Comet Crew; Le1fA bit of a cheat because Invictos was actually released towards the end of 2012. However, this debut from a quivering, confident Baltimore poet/vocalist/rapper (in that order) takes a little time to stick in your craw. Produced by frequent Issue collaborator Schwarz, it's a bugged-out blur of vogue beats, Waka Flocka ad-libs, Lyn Collins “Think” break contortions, and art-rap interludes (hear Quentin Crisp and Nina Simone weigh in on being an outsider). Mindblowing, cleverly curated stuff.Download Abdu Ali's Invictos here.Mindless Behavior, All Around the WorldHighlights: "Keep Her on the Low," "I'm Falling," "Forever"RIYL: Chris Brown minus the listener guilt; Pretty Ricky; When boy bands ruledYeah, they are a boy band.

  • Sean Falyon

    First Spin: Sean Falyon's 'DECEMBER' EP

    Just in time for spring, Sean Falyon perversely puts out DECEMBER, a dark and foreboding EP that ties together a series of hyper-literate rap vignettes about things falling apart. In the style of good kid, m.A.A.d city, this deeply personal release is kept moving along via hard-assed, warm-hearted answering-machine advice from his moms. "All The Paper," a dark-night-of-the-soul trap track, is prefaced by a warning from mom to avoid a troubled cousin, who's just out of jail. The title track is fueled by novelistic details like "Another funeral, the usual/ Shedding tears and teddy bears." And all of it is delivered in Falyon's simultaneously heady and visceral style.A message from Sean Falyon about DECEMBER: "Being an artist, I like to use my music to tell my story. With that being said, DECEMBER is an eight-song EP of situations pertaining to my life.

  • Future / Photo by Getty Images

    Rap Songs of the Week: Future Breaks Up, Moans Quirkily

    This week, we've got some emotions (Future bemoaning the end of a relationship, Shady Blaze mourning the loss of his child) and a whole lot of questionable taste (raps over TV-show theme songs and yacht rock, Lil Wayne riding a wannabe movie-musical piano epic).Fiend, feat. Smoke DZA "The Price Is Right"In which Fiend, a.k.a., International Jones, who has rapped over Washed Out's "Feel It All Around," the Specials' "Ghost Town," and Chicago's "Street Player" (just to name a few Dipset-absurd samples he's hopped on the past couple years), struts up and down to the theme song from The Price is Right.

  • Art Cinema & Big Booties Y'All: 10 Movies That Led to 'Spring Breakers'

    Art Cinema & Big Booties Y'All: 10 Movies That Led to 'Spring Breakers'

    The most shocking thing about Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers – a teen starlet-packed crime movie set to dubstep – is that it is essentially a tiny little art movie. Sure, it's very funny and silly at times, and there are some pretty big names in the cast, but the ridiculous premise is supported by strange, decidedly non-Hollywood moves. Along with nods to the leering camera of Girls Gone Wild videos and Hollywood's wholehearted embrace of the dumb teen comedy, Spring Breakers cribs moves from the slow-drift alienated cinema of the '70s and '80s, the 90s' blinged-out avant-garde hip-hop video grammar, and an early 2000s world cinema trend of resurrecting of woman-on-the-verge pictures. Here are ten movies that can assist you in unpacking Spring Breakers' joking-not-joking approach to its gun-toting, beer-bonging young ladies as they stare into the void.

  • Lil Wayne / Photo by Getty Images

    Lil Wayne, 'I Am Not a Human Being II' (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic)

    Two Fridays ago, Lil Wayne lay in the Intensive Care Unit of Los Angeles' Cedars Sinai Hospital, suffering from an alleged overdose of codeine-laced cough syrup. Reportedly, he was in a coma; TMZ announced that he'd been prepared for his last rites. And thus did Rap Twitter damn near fell apart. By the next day, such morbid talk proved mercifully premature. The last-rites stuff was recanted. Wayne left the hospital soon after, and late last week released an excited video to, of course, TMZ.But please extract I Am Not a Human Being II from the huge, grim, distracting hypothetical, "What if this had been the last Lil Wayne album?" or even, "What lyrics on here hinted at his health problems." The whole record was done and recorded before his hospitalization and, in reality it's just the latest clump of songs to make a case for Wayne's steady creative decline.

  • Beyonce & The Dream

    No Trivia's Friday Five: Beyonce & The-Dream Help Screw the World

    Rap things worth caring about. Ranked!1. Lil Wayne Isn't Dead: So, that didn't happen. Great, right? Of course it's great. Next week, we've got I Am Not a Human Being 2 coming out. It will inevitably be painted as another dip in quality and Wayne skateboards a lot now and blah blah blah. Listen, it ain't 2008 for any of us. But step back and reacquaint yourself with just how outsider artist bizarre Lil Wayne remains even when he's lost the map in a bad way. A cursory listen through IANAHB2 reveals at least two highlights: The title track, a "November Rain" piano pounder opener that may top Meek Mill's similarly unhinged and freestyle-like "Dreams & Nightmares"; and a histrionic dubstep rap featuring Gunplay. Even the album-ending, album-ruining butt rock banger "Hello," should just make sense at this point. What do y'all expect?2.

  • Yelawolf

    Rap Songs of the Week: Yelawolf's Return From the Crossover Rap Wilderness

    This week's picks are all rappers doing what they do very well. Nothing ambitious or out-of-the-box really, just a varied group of rappers occupying their respective lanes, expertly.Durty Kash feat. Z-Ro & Yo Gotti - "Just a Playa"Smoothed-out Mannie Fresh disciples Beanz & Kornbread have worked closely with raps' number one depressive sing-rapper (Drake, who?) Z-Ro, but they really outdid themselves with "Just a Playa," a rolling loop of Zapp-ian synth-fart bass and Atlantic Starr sexy slow-jam keyboards. It's technically fellow Houstonian Durty Kash's track, and Yo Gotti grunts pretty well on the thing (also, some guy named Young Lace appears), but it's Z-Ro's song, all the way. The space for rapping between this luxurious, long-form hook is pretty negligible.

  • Mindless Behavior

    Mindless Behavior, Travis Porter, and the Resurrection of the Black Boy Band

    What happened to the black boy band? New Edition, Dru Hill, B2K, Pretty Ricky, and then, what? There's also a notable dearth of black pop right now. Consider, too, that the boy band was the last place where the slowed-down, all-out R&B ballad got to breathe. The Backstreet Boys' catalog is dominated by slow jams; 'N Sync worked closely with Babyface. Justin Timberlake began his solo career chasing Michael Jackson and just released a new album that aims for Maxwell's soulful sprawl. Well, enter Mindless Behavior, a foursome from Los Angeles, mining the same boy-band novelty and unabashedly melodramatic, lovey-dovey intensity as One Direction.

  • Bangladesh

    Rap Release of the Week: Bangladesh's 'Ponzi Scheme'

    Producer Bangladesh is best known for Lil Wayne's "A Milli" and Ludacris' "What's Your Fantasy," two avant-Southern hip-hop classics. He's also responsible for Kelis' "Bossy," Dem Franchize Boyz's "Talking Out Da Side of Ya Neck," Beyonce's "Diva," Gucci Mane's "Lemonade," Nicki Minaj's "Did It on 'Em," and E-40's "They Point," and plenty of others. He's important. To many, though, he's categorized as a one-rap-banger-wonder: The dude who made “A Milli.” Bangladesh doesn't have a sound exactly, though there is a kind of Timbaland weirdness-gone-weirder (maybe too weird, even) approach to beatmaking that's very much his own.So, his mixtape Ponzi Scheme exists to smack you in the head with the recent work that you probably slept on or, at least, didn't peep the credits (for 2 Chainz, Brandy, and Rihanna), and to show off his latest eccentric productions.

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