Jordan Sargent



  • Thundercat in New York City in May of 2013

    Hear Thundercat's Sweetly Sad Nintendo Tribute 'Bowser's Ballad'

    The number of 8-bit reworkings of famous pop songs — like, say, this "Get Lucky" one from earlier this year — is not exactly infinite, but it sure feels that way. This, though, might be the first genuine tribute to the man who helped bring 8-bit music into the homes of millions across the world: Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who died last week at the age of 85. Thundercat's "Bowser's Ballad" honors his legacy, opening with the familiar sounds of early NES but is an original, meditative composition that seems to have a distinct sadness at its heart.

  • ScHoolboy Q, Banger, Moshpit, crunk, TDE, Top Dawg Entertainment

    Hear ScHoolboy Q Get Crunk on 'Banger (MOSHPIT)'

    ScHoolboy Q acknowledges that his new single "Banger (MOSHPIT)" is an outlier right in its title: The weed chimney is here to crack some heads. Of course, the concept isn't totally foreign to Q — he has explored this territory on tracks like "NigHtmare on Figg St." — but "Banger (MOSHPIT)" is less a conceptual exercise than a stylistic one. This is about the ScHoolboy Q version of a crunk song: Driven by a muffled guitar riff and banging toms, Q raps with glee about almost cartoonish levels of violence ("ya skull missing, homie, now feel the breeze").

  • Jay and Bey at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game

    Beyoncé and Jay Z Are the Richest Couple You Know

    Rest easy, friends: Jay Z and Beyoncé's furious touring has finally paid off. Today, Forbes announced their list of the top-earning couples of the last fiscal year, and the Carter-Knowles dynasty rules the land with $95 million. The bulk of that revenue came from the duo's constant road-dogging — with Hova's "Watch the Throne" tour pulling in $1.4 million per night (to say nothing of his and Justin Timberlake's "Legends of Summer" tour) and Queen Bey's "Mrs. Carter" tour topping that with $2 million a show. The latter figure seems like a small price to pay for being briefly kidnapped.There is also Jay's stake in Barclay's Center — which he'll swing by on his upcoming millions-grossing "Magna Carter World Tour" — as well as Beyoncé's clothing line and a myriad of endorsements through which she teases new singles that have yet to actually come out.

  • Waka Flocka Flame in his video for

    Waka Flocka Flame Samples Adele for Critic-Bashing 'Judge For You'

    Waka Flocka Flame's next retail album Flockaveli 2 is slated to drop in early 2014, but before that we'll get a new mixtape: From Roaches to Rolex. The first track to be released is "Judge For You," a meditative song about deception that sucks the bombast out of Adele's "Skyfall," leaving just a brooding sample. Flocka mostly addresses his critics here — "They tell you to be yourself but when you do they judge you" — but it's also hard not to think of Gucci Mane when he spits, "Why every time I turn my back a friend got a knife?"Gucci, of course, has been beefing openly with Waka and the rest of Brick Squad lately, which moved Waka to clear the air a bit in a recent radio interview.

  • Danny Brown's bugged out eyes in new

    Watch Danny Brown's Delirious Molly Tribute 'Dip'

    Danny Brown's entire career has been a place where different eras (J Dilla's heyday, Diplo's revolution) and styles (drug-fueled electro porn fantasies, scrap-or-die street-rap) crash into each other forcefully. That quality is aptly exemplified on his new MDMAnthem "Dip," in which Danny spits lines from Freak Nasty's "Da Dip" and Kanye West and Jay Z's "Niggas in Paris" over a synthetic pitter-patter from producer Skywlkr that nicks the woodpecker taps from Waka Flocka Flame's "Hard in Da Paint." This is the unabashedly sweaty scene — "I'm grinding on your bitch / While I'm grinding on my teeth" — of ecstasy pioneer Mac Dre, who Brown also shouts out on "Dip." The video follows the song's lead, cutting into clips of the Detroit MC performing with shots of bugged-out cartoon eyeballs and girls swallowing pulsating hits of ecstasy.

  • The cover of Milosh's upcoming album 'Jetlag'

    Rhye’s Milosh Previews 'Jetlag' Album With Smeared Piano Poems

    Rhye's wispy R&B album Woman has spawned new records from two divergent projects. The first was Avalanche by Quadron, who, to be fair, have been around for a good while. There, the duo of Rhye producer Robin Hannibal and vocalist Coco O put a slightly jazzy, neo-soul spin on that easy listening aesthetic with an eye turned firmly toward pop audiences.The other is Jetlag, the fourth album by Milosh, the solo venture of Rhye's other, vocal half Michael Milosh. Where Quadron aims for the charts, this lone artist pulls all the way back with smeared piano poems and backmasked tape loops. Still, just as one can hear strands of "Open" in "Better Off," Rhye's atmospherics play out in Milosh's music, which can be experienced in the preview video above.The album doesn't yet have an exact date, but it will be out sometime in November.

  • Future, 'Grand Theft Auto V,'

    Future's Bleeping 'How It Was' Fits 'Grand Theft Auto V' Just Fine

    Future is busy building momentum for his sophomore album Honest with the single "Honest," the loose track "Substitute Everything," and a soon-to-drop video for "Sh!t." But the most potent track — considering the $800 million in first day sales and all — could just be "How It Was," a track for the Grand Theft Auto V radio station Radio Los Santos. The one-off sounds classically Future but is decidedly more celebratory than the Atlanta crooner's recent tracks, which push his maudlin side to the forefront. "How It Was" rolls from a particularly anthemic chorus into verses about pushing drugs, dodging cop cars, and casing houses — acutely perfect for a video game about doing those exact same things, as it would turn out.

  • Drake / Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

    Drake's 'Nothing Was the Same' Redefines Keeping It Real, Even When It's Real Regressive

    Before YOLO was something your mom texted you ironically, Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once) was the name of a planned mixtape between Drake and Rick Ross. The two have a history of memorable collaborations, but their connection as avatars of contemporary rap will prove to be much more lasting. Since around the turn of the millennium, rap has been wrestling with the definition and importance of "realness" — thanks mainly to Kanye West, but also because of Andre 3000's shapeshifting and Cam'ron's pink furs and 50 Cent's gunshot wounds.

  • J. Cole in the video for

    J. Cole Fights War on Drugs in Video for TLC-Assisted 'Crooked Smile'

    J. Cole's "Crooked Smile" is an endearing pop song about body positivity akin to "Unpretty," the single by TLC, whose two surviving members handle the hook on the newer track. But the song's video takes on a different issue entirely: America's war on drugs. Our host spells it out explicitly at the end of the clip — "Please reconsider your war on drugs" — but the preceding five minutes are a bit more nuanced.Stuffing small bags of weed into spare shoes, Cole plays a small-time drug dealer with a modest modest, young daughter, and loyal wife. His activities eventually lead him into the not-so-loving arms of the DEA. It's a slightly heavy-handed, but nonetheless effective, humanization of the victims of America's drug war. The video comes well-timed for Cole, as "Crooked Smile" just became his fifth rap/R&B top 10 hit.SPIN spoke to J.

  • Download Le1f's Sensual New Mixtape 'Tree House'

    Download Le1f's Sensual, Naturalistic New Mixtape 'Tree House'

    Le1f kicked off the year with his January mixtape Fly Zone, and now he's helping to round 2013 out with its follow-up, Tree House. Where Fly Zone standouts like "Spa Day" and "Airbending" explored the rattling low-end of bass music, Tree Zone rests softly on the plush, airy tones of hipster bedroom R&B via joints like "Hush Bb," "Blood Oranges," and "Hibiscus." (Credit producers The-Drum, FaltyDL, and Boody for that.) Or, if you're a fan of a certain Japanese game-cum-media-empire, the set may best be explained by Le1f's explanation that Tree House is Pokémon type "Grass/Love/Psychic." We have no idea if that's helpful, but we do know the man has a thing for Pikachu. Regardless you can stream the mixtape below or download it for free.

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