Biggie Electrified: Top 5 EDM Spins

Notorious B.I.G is the epitome of rap. His posthumous releases remain strong to this day,12 years after his death. Considered by many to be the best that ever lived, Biggie set the groundwork for the modern day rap game. Some of his iconic tracks like ‘Juicy’, ‘Notorious Thugs’ and ‘Hypnotize’ still get regular airtime on radio stations and can be recited by nearly anyone with a true love for hip-hop and rap. Now that EDM has taken precedence in America, many producers have started to sample voices of the past, including Biggie.

Peep Vibe’s 5 tracks that have remixed Wallace proper under the EDM umbrella. Much respect for those who successfully sampled the big man.

Big Gigantic - Notorious Thugs Remix

The Colorado based electronica/instrumentalists have taken the music scene by storm. Successfully infusing live instrument play with DJ producer sounds like synthesizers and devastating bass, the production duo has gained national acclaim. Making appearances at some of the biggest festivals nationwide like Bonnaroo, Camp Bisco and Ultra Music Festival, ‘Big G’ has intoxicated the masses with their unique style. That being said, Big Gigantic released a remix to Biggie’s ‘Notorious Thugs’ last year. Highlighting their strong points as producers, this track is an eclectic mix of heavy bass and glitchy synths. Safe to say that this remix can be considered ‘notorious’.

Gel Abril + Andrea Oliva - Scene

Most likely, the majority of you reading this are thinking to yourselves ‘Who are these guys?'...Both Israeli producer Gel Abril and Swiss producer Andrea Oliva are considered to be part of the upper tier when it comes to techno/tech house music. Owner of the ‘Be As One’ imprint, Abril has also been featured on many of the world’s top labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Get Physical Music and Ovum Recordings. Andrea Oliva on the other hand is apart of the most respected outfit across the pond, Cadenza. For this techy groove filled gem, the two craftily used multiple voice clips of the late Wallace. One of the samples used features Biggie’s deep bellowing voice as he exclaims ‘I like that’....we’re sure that he would feel the same way if he heard this sick tune.

See the next three Biggie Electrified on next page

heRobust - Lover’s Duet (ft Tupac & Notorious B.I.G)

Atlanta based producer Hayden Kramer has been on the forefront of blending multiple genres since his emergence in 2011. Since then he has shared the stage with fellow innovators such as Flying Lotus, Daddy Kev and Shlomo. For one of his most recent creations, Kramer remixed Biggie’s ‘Crush On You’ and mashed it with Tupac’s ‘Do For Love’ to make up his ‘Lover’s Duet’. Referring to it as the long lost love tape between B.I.G and Pac, Kramer’s rework is an incredible remix as it perfectly meshes the rap titan’s vocal samples with a synthy rhythmic bassline. Although the two rappers had beef with one another before their unfortunate demise, they most certainly would have agreed that this track is dope.

Robotic Pirate Monkey - Miley Is Trippin’ (Ft Miley Cyrus + Notorious B.I.G)

Another production crew hailing from Colorado, Robotic Pirate Monkey was started by 3 college students who came together while realizing they shared common interests. Since then, the trio has taken the scene by storm in a considerably short amount of time. Boasting an arsenal of unique remixes featuring just about anything they think is cool, RPM has amassed a nationwide following with ease. Some of their bass filled mashup/remixes include the likes of Bob Marley, The Smashing Pumpkins and Aerosmith to name a few. On their EP release ‘Jungle Tales Vol 1’, the Colorado-ians present Biggie lovers with what we think is the freshest take on sampling the rapper’s original. Would you think that Miley Cyrus and Big would ever appear on a track together? Hell no. Hypothetically, let’s say this did occur, would you think it would be anything close to cool? Probably not, but I am happy to say that the answer is yes in this case. While using Cyrus’ teeny booper anthem ‘Party In The USA’ and Big’s ‘Party And Bullshit’ in an innovative way, they pack the tune with MASSIVE bass. The creativity of this crew is hard to match. Let’s just say they offer show attendees something sick to hear so that they to can ‘party and bullshit’.

Girl Talk - Smash Your Head

Considered to be the ‘Mashup Master’, Pittsburgh native Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk has made a successful career by creating tracks that New York Times Magazine refers to as ‘A lawsuit waiting to happen’. Let me assure you, this man is no idiot. Outside of music, he holds a degree in biomedical engineering. That being said, for me to claim that this guy raised the bar for what is considered a good mashup, I’d be underselling it. He has released five albums in which every track is a conglomerate of random artist’s originals. In actuality he is so creative in his mashup methods that it is hard to truly claim he is stealing anything but rather doing what DJs do on a more intricate level (you try sampling and layering 200 tracks on any given album). Over the years he has gained praise from just about anyone who has heard his mashups and I guarantee that most of you have heard this one. ‘Smash Your Head’ was released on Gillis’ album ‘Night Ripper’. This track manages to mix the voices of Elton John, Young Jeezy and of course Biggie. While only touching the tip of the iceberg when referring to the actual amount of tracks cut up and rearranged for this mashup, it still truly is a ‘Juicy’ creation.

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Review: Anderson .Paak Reroutes To 'Ventura'

Just five months after his last album Oxnard, singer/producer/drummer/entertainer extraordinaire Anderson .Paak is back with Ventura, his fourth studio LP. Depending on who you ask, the new project is either a surprise second course, or a round of comped desserts to make up for an overdone entree.

The Korean-African-American musician born Brandon Paak Anderson spent the first half of this decade intermittently recording under the name Breezy Lovejoy, converting rock songs into R&B, and drumming for an American Idol alumnus. In 2015, he emerged into the national spotlight thanks to six features on Compton, the long-gestating Dr. Dre album formerly known as Detox. He took advantage of the attention and released two full-lengths in 2016: Malibu was a sprawling solo album that showed him equally deft with bass-heavy club tracks or Sam Cooke-esque soul. Yes Lawd!, a collaboration with producer Knxwledge under the name NxWorries, was a chopped up stoner odyssey, Madvillainy if DOOM could sing as well as he spit. That same year, .Paak announced that he had signed to Dr. Dre’s label Aftermath in a brief but celebratory video featuring the rap mogul himself.

.Paak took nearly three years to unleash the full power of the PR by Dre machine: he debuted the lead single on Zane Lowe, soundtracked an Apple ad, and compared the album to landmarks like The Blueprint and The College Dropout. When Oxnard finally dropped last November, reviews were generally positive but mixed, and it peaked at 11 on the Billboard album charts. Enough fans felt the singer had strayed from his post-millennial soul sound that his own mother felt the need to clap back. With a sprawling summer tour schedule looming, .Paak released his follow-up, Ventura, last Friday.

To hear the artist tell it, that was always the plan. “I told Dre when we were maybe about 80 percent into the Oxnard record that I wanted to actually do two records and he started scratching his head. ...I was like, ‘Let me do two, man. One will be gritty, one will be pretty,’” .Paak told HipHopDX. It’s clear that both albums were compiled from the same sessions, but they are distinct. While Anderson .Paak’s last project emphasized the Michael Bay-sized hip-hop beats that Dr. Dre perfected at the turn of the millennium, Ventura has a more soulful sound. It doesn’t slap, it grooves.

As the cover portrait of the artist with his child suggests, Ventura is an intimate record. He’s focused on sex and love in the long term, the ups and downs of relationships years after the introductory one night stands other pop stars sing about. His blunt-burnt yet sweet voice conjures a charming scoundrel character on record, a dad celebrating Friday night with a popped collar and glass overflowing with dark liquor. It’s a compelling persona .Paak previously exaggerated to cartoonish proportions on Yes Lawd!

Here, his pen shines on the small moments that hint at big feelings. On “Jet Black,” .Paak and his girl are getting physical for the first time in some time, sharing the peak of an unfamiliar high. “It’s been a while, baby, come here,” .Paak beckons. The house beat burbles with slap bass and descending organ as Brandy sings “Feels like someone lifted me.”

.Paak heats up a similarly chilled relationship on the luxuriant “Make It Better.” “Meet me at the hotel motel, though we got a room at home, go to a place that we don't know so well,” he murmurs. Over a laidback thump, .Paak tries to reignite passion in order to save his relationship. His voice desperately yelps on the chorus as the pressure he feels to reconnect emerges, but it quickly subsides into sweet nothings. Smokey Robinson’s backing vocals float in like he’s playing on a radio outside the lovers’ motel room. They’re buried low enough in the mix to suggest that if you’re cool enough to get a feature from a quiet storm legend, you’re cool enough not to rub it in.

Ventura’s precursor was stocked with verses from luminaries like Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, and Kendrick Lamar, but Ventura’s only guest rapper, Andre 3000, appears on the first track, “Come Home.” It’s a rough start. The song opens with a piano melody that loops but never resolves, creating an anxiety similar to an iPhone alarm clock tone. .Paak begs for someone to come home, but it’s unconvincing, like he doesn’t yet understand why they left in the first place.

While Smokey’s feature is masterfully underplayed, Andre 3000’s verse gets a garish spotlight. Since Idlewild, 3 Stacks has made a habit of releasing guest verses on occasion in lieu of making an album of his own. When he’s on, he’s one of the best rappers alive, but “Come Home” is a rare misstep. The Outkast rapper fills entire bars with syllables about asking for forgiveness on a moped with a puppy, but it doesn’t feel charismatic. Fitting Willy Wonka, Tilikum, and Billabong into the same verse is admirable in a technical sense, but it feels like Andre’s “Rap God” technique for its own sake.

The album finishes much stronger. The last track “What Can We Do?” is built around a chiming sitar, and it savors contentment like a West Coast “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” .Paak duets with Nate Dogg on the hook, using recordings made before the legend’s untimely death in 2011. The deceased vocalist was a key G-funk ingredient, but his voice sits comfortably in a sunnier sound. It’s a credit to .Paak that the faux studio banter that closes the song feels natural.

The other features are similarly complementary to .Paak. Lalah Hathaway coos in unison with him on the disco half of “Reachin’ 2 Much.” Jazmine Sullivan plays the other woman, forced to climb in through the fire escape to retrieve her rings and “Good Heels” the morning after. Only Sonyae Elise spars with her host, offering a righteous rebuttal to his demands for the women in his life and sarcastically suggesting that he might be the “Chosen One.”

.Paak name drops to a few key inspirations in his lyrics as well. Later in “Chosen One,” he raps, “Heard your fans want to keep you in the underground, cool, when I blow up say I did it for MF DOOM,” a reminder of his pre-fame time in LA’s crate digging underground scenes. He contemplates leaving a relationship on “Reachin’ 2 Much” and all he can offer is “I’ll see you next lifetime, baby, what did Badu say?”

Like Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah diptych a decade ago, .Paak’s lyrics about current events are enough to provoke reflection without detracting from the physical pull of the grooves. He nimbly raps “Chicken wings and sushi, I’ve gotten used to the perks, narrowly escaping the holy war on the turf” on “Yada Yada.” Lead single “King James” praises people with public platforms for refusing to go along with a murderous status quo, promising to jump over any wall and bring the neighbors with. In the midst of his “Winners Circle” flirtation, .Paak raps “When I get the gushy, I go dumb like the President.” It’s not a jaw-dropping lyric, but it’s comforting to know that a bar that direct will be performed in arenas across America this summer.

Anderson .Paak’s talent is unquestionable and his spotlight is well-deserved, especially knowing he’s endured homelessness and familial legal trouble on his come-up. To his credit, he appears to be striving towards a magnum opus, a landmark album that becomes a household name like The Chronic or Midnight Marauders. Despite his strong catalog plus a plethora of excellent features, .Paak has yet to deliver that opus. (Yes Lawd!’s destiny as a cult classic aside.) Ventura is a fun, pleasant listen, and an improvement on the bombast of Oxnard. Like most double albums, one gets the feeling that there’s a great forty minute playlist waiting to be assembled from their best tracks.

Ventura ultimately doesn’t quite match the highs of his earlier albums, but it’s a leisurely stroll in the right direction. Nearly a decade into his recording career, it’s proof that .Paak can always find his way to the next beach.

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Rotimi Blends Afrobeats And R&B With New Single "Love Riddim"

Rotimi's R&B language has changed over the years, from lust-tinged vocals on tracks like "Kitchen Table" to soca chords on "Want More." After taking some time to examine his musical journey, the multi-talented artist has returned with "Love Riddim," a cohesive blend of Afrobeats and R&B styles perfect for any dance soirée.

Released Friday (April 19), the Nigerian triple threat kept his roots in mind on the Harmony Samuels-produced track. It's hard not to break out a dutty wine as he sings, "Make it rise, make it rise/put your love in the sky" with charm. Speaking with VIBE, Rotimi says his strong shift in sound was inspired the likes of Craig David and the urgency to create his own lane.

“I wanted to create a sound that was different. Something that was of me yet reminiscent of my favorite artists like Craig David,” he said. “It's kind of bridging the gap between R&B and Afro[beat], no one is actually African-American to do it. It’s feel-good music that you can’t help but dance and wine to.”

In addition to his new sound, the Power star also signed a new distribution deal with EMPIRE following his departure from 50 Cent's G-Unit label.

"I wanted to sign to EMPIRE because I didn't believe in an artist under a label," he told Billboard. "I wanted to have conversations in a room where we collaborate on things and not go to a major because that system is old and I feel like this is a new wave where artists can express themselves and then they have a machine truly backing them. I wanted that. I wanted that for myself."

Rotimi will showcase his new sound with a new EP, Walk With Me, set to be released on May 24.

For now, enjoy "Love Riddim" up top.

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Jaden Smith, 03 Greedo, Lizzo, And More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

For your enjoyment, we've created a list of the hottest Friday releases of the week. From Jaden Smith to Lizzo, and more, here are the projects that you absolutely have to hear.

Jaden Smith – ERYS IS COMING

Jaden Smith dropped a surprise, three-track EP, entitled ERYS IS COMING. The new project serves as the sequel to 2017's SYRE (ERYS is SYRE spelled backward).

While this is bound to get the fans going, many suspect a full-length album will soon follow. While we wait, listen to EYRS IS COMING below.

Apple Music Spotify Tidal

Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

Lizzo is back with her third studio album, Cuz I Love You. The 11-track project features guest appearances from Missy Elliott and Gucci Mane.

The album includes the pre-released tracks, "Juice," "Cuz I Love You," and the latest dance hit, "Tempo" featuring Missy.


Listen to Cuz I Love You below.

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Smokepurpp – Lost Planet

Smokepurpp's Lost Planet EP is here. The 8-track project includes guest appearances by Gunna, Lil Pump, and Choppa. It also includes the pre-released songs, "Repeat" and "Remember."

Stream Lost Planet below.

Apple Music

Shy Glizzy – Covered In Blood

Shy Glizzy has dropped his 12-song project, Covered N Blood, featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again. It's a follow-up to his ambitious 2018 project, Fully Loaded.

"It’s a deep, deep album," he told HipHopDX in April 2019. "It’s a really deep album. A lot of my music is like a diary. This one is about what I’ve been going through the last few months."

Listen to Covered N Blood below.

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03 Greedo – Still Summer in the Projects

03 Greedo has released his new album, Still Summer in the Projects. It’s the rapper’s first full-length project since beginning his 20-year prison sentence last June 2018 for gun and drug trafficking charges.

DJ Mustard produced all 11 tracks on the project. The album includes guest features from YG, Shoreline Mafia, and Trilliano.

Still Summer in the Projects is a follow-up to Greedo's 2018 project, God Level.

Listen to the latest album from 03 Greedo below.

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