Brandon Soderberg

writer

Biography

  • gary clark jr.

    Hear An Inspirational Big K.R.I.T. Remix of Gary Clark Jr.'s 'Blak and Blu'

    Country rap tunes meet Texas-tinged, bluesy rock on this Big K.R.I.T.-helmed remix of Gary Clark Jr.'s "Blak and Blu." The single is from his upcoming Blak and Blu: The Mixtape and the artist pairing more than makes sense; both K.R.I.T. and Clark are, within their respective genres, dedicated nostalgics with an ear for updating classic sound. Furthermore, they have the chops to make that update work. Here K.R.I.T. taps into his inspirational OutKast-fueled side with some wizened, no-nonsense words about embracing life's pains alongside its triumphs.

  • ana tijoux, vengo

    Hear Ana Tijoux's Horn-Heavy 'Vengo'

    If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, chances are that you've already heard Chilean the talents of MC Ana Tijoux on the mic without even realizing it. Her 2010 track "1977" was featured on the show's Season 4 episode "Shotgun," which found Jesse spending the day with Mike picking up cash for Gus. (Check out the clip here.) During the scene - one of those now classic, busied Vince Gilligan montages - Tijoux's whirling rap skills soundtrack a tedious day of driving around New Mexico.With her new track, a tense banger titled "Vengo," Tijoux announces the upcoming release of her latest album, Vengo, which arrives March 18th on Nacional Records.

  • Tink / Photo by Shawn Andrews

    Tink's 'Winter's Diary 2: Forever Yours' Stars a '90s Baby Adept at Grown-Up '90s R&B

    Tink is an 18-year-old Chicagoan equally skilled at brash, speedy-spitting rap and deeply felt, real-talk-entrenched R&B. Her raps have received most of the praise, though, especially after last year's Nicki Minaj-meets-Future mixtape Boss Up and "Wanna Party," a buzzy collaboration with weirdo club-music supergroup Future Brown. But Winter's Diary 2: Forever Yours, her latest and best release so far, mostly focuses on her R&B side, which itself has many sides to it: twirling-the-telephone-cord loneliness, punching-a-wall fuck-you frustration, totally-in-love-with-that-boy joy, and wisegirl pragmatism when it comes to determining what's actually important between two people.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Tink Gives Rap Dudes the Business on 'Talkin' About'

    Rap Songs of the Week: Tink Gives Rap Dudes the Business on 'Talkin' About'

    Lee Bannon, "Resorectah"Forever-dabbling Sacramento producer Lee Bannon's latest, Alternate/Endings, is a no-bullshit, good-and-proper jungle record, and an unexpected follow-up to 2013's satanic Caligula Theme Music 2.7.5. and 2012's glitching cloud-rap-oriented Fantastic Plastic. Here, we find a daring, open-eared hip-hop head applying his sample-slicing, atmosphere-building skills to "Amen" break investigations: Opening track "Resorectah" gives a vocal sample the Dilla treatment and the DJ Screw treatment all at once, while a Burial-like layer of electronic fog and digi-smeared slurs stomp and stumble beneath the jungle jamming.

  • Lizzo

    Hear Lizzo's 'Girls'-Approved 'Paris'

    Former member of Chalice and current member of female rap trio GRRRL PRTY, Lizzo is a Minneapolis rapper closely tied to the city's burgeoning and defiantly independent hip-hop scene. Her new track, "Paris," displays her ear for fractured, dance-friendly electronic beats and flaunts her breezy rapping skills. It begins as a casual game of shit-talking — witty boasts about Jay Z and Prince bounce off metallic boom-bap — and peaks after the chorus. "Have you ever been to Paris at night?" she asks. Only to answer, "Neither have I, neither have I," into a propulsive, off-kilter, and double-time delivery.Fans of HBO's Girls will be thrilled to learn that "Paris" will make an appearance on the series' upcoming episode this Sunday (January 19) at 9 p.m. EST.

  • Amiri Baraka in the '70s

    Amiri Baraka, R.I.P.: Go Beyond 'Blues People'

    Writer, poet, playwright, activist, music critic, and walking bullshit-detector Amiri Baraka died yesterday at the age of 79. Most of the cranked-out obituaries thus far feel comfortable appending backhanded compliments like "polarizing" or "controversial" or "embattled" to their headlines, a glib misinterpretation of a complex and knowing artist.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Yep, There's a Kanye West and 'My Neighbor Totoro' Mash-Up

    Rap Songs of the Week: Yep, There's a Kanye West and 'My Neighbor Totoro' Mash-Up

    Astro Kid, "My Neighbor Yeezus"Wherein some Soundcloud weirdo layers the candy-colored marching-band weirdness of Joe Hisaishi's "Sampo" — from the soundtrack to Hayao Miyazaki's much-loved, low key, two-kids-and-a-totally-adorbz-smiling-cat classic My Neighbor Totoro — atop the Wax Trax goth-hop of Kanye West's "Black Skinhead." Hopefully, part of a larger mash-up project that will yield more of these, there's a playful wit to this stitched-together refix, something that even the slowly-losing-his-sense-of-humor Kanye could appreciate, given the animé moves of Graduation and, of course, this tweet.Common, "War"So Common has announced a Chicago street-violence concept album called Nobody Smiling; the first track we get to hear is a booming '70s-TV-crime-show No I.D.

  • Justin Bieber Made a Pretty Great R&B Album, Despite Himself

    Justin Bieber Made a Pretty Great R&B Album, Despite Himself

    Justin Bieber kicked off his bumpy 2013 by going after Justin Timberlake. On the day of the Grammys — which, as y'all surely recall, was something of a synergy-happy hours-long ad for JT's The 20/20 Experience — JB released a sketch of a slinking Neptunes facsimile called “You Want Me” that began with the pop star declaring, “It's me, Justin,” then pausing a second or two too long before adding, “Bieber.” With that unsuccessful, half-stepped trolling attempt out of his system, he spent the spring and summer tossing out a few interesting songs here and there, transitioning in the fall to a more focused series of excellent, murky slow jams delivered to the Internet for free as part of his “Music Mondays” gimmick.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Nicki Minaj Takes Control of the Dude-Rap Convo on 'Boss Ass Bitch Remix'

    Rap Songs of the Week: Nicki Minaj Takes Control of the Dude-Rap Convo on 'Boss Ass Bitch Remix'

    Drake, "Trophies"Drake threw this Nothing Was the Same throwaway out to the public right before the New Year as something like a victory lap. Laced with "All of the Lights"-style horns, graced by Drizzy in Young Scooter-esque yelling mode, and punctuated by a contorted footwork breakdown that oh my gawd if only it went on a little longer (echoes of Take Care's "Crew Love"), this is a tricky banger and a fascinating look into OVO's editing process. (It presumably got cut because, as great as it sounds, it's a little too rummy to fit with the album's low-key atmospherics.) But when all you make are victory laps these days — when your whole album was a celebration of how damned comfortable you are in your own smarmy skin — is a song called "Trophies" redundant? Drake feat.

  • E-40

    E-40's Endless Bounty, Beyonce's H-Town Alias, and Eight More New Rap LP's in No Trivia

    ALBUM OF THE MONTHE-40, Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil, Parts 4, 5, & 6 (Heavy on the Grind)Nobody needs this much E-40; then again, maybe everybody needs this much E-40. At 46 songs and nearly three hours, this is pretty much a critique-proof, whole-enchilada kind of listen. Is “She wanna sit on my lap like a chair” from “In Dat Cup” actually a hot rap line? Well, not really, but the way he delivers it, with some Southern swing in his voice (because this is a collaborative track with Big K.R.I.T. and Z-Ro), stretching out the air sound in chair, is electrifying. Plus, you know you're in good hands here, because 40 is just a stellar rapper, which gives him some room to get goofy.

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