New Video: Ty - "Like You Never"

Hip-Hop's Guard: London Rapper Ty

Check out this great video from Ty, a veteran rapper from the U.K. hip-hop scene who has been making inspiring, thought-provoking hip-hop for over a decade. If you're not familiar check out his stellar albums like his 2001 debut LP Awkward and my personal favorite Upwards.

In the "Like You Never" clip, directed by Adam Rogers and co-drirected by Bunny Bread, Ty raps about the uncreative direction of today's rap music. "And now the new school is no school / Because everybody and their mama knows pro tools / Writing raps and recording bad vocals / Being a star is more than being anti-social / I'm more than boastful," he spits.

The London-based rapper is seen walking through a blight environment of abandon buildings and a graffiti-covered playground as to represent the emptiness of the music. At the end of the video, Ty is walking in paradise -- the island Aruba, to be exact -- as he takes a dip in the ocean to purify himself of bad rap music.

The video might be overly symbolic with its message about the problems with today's rap music, but Ty makes some great points in his lyrics. In one line, he raps, "I grew up in a brown-black facade / So I'm not trying to act like I'm that large / But I'm trying to rap like I'm that guard / When it comes to culture, I pulling rap's card like a placard."

The real standout here is the song's productions -- a fantastic pounding beat, turntable scratching and a wonderfully-placed soul sample makes this an instant head-nodding track.

The song will appear on Ty's upcoming EP A Kick Snare & An Idea, which is due out digitally in April on Tru Thoughts.

New Music: Tracey Lee - "It’s About Time"

Times Up!: Tracey Lee It's About Time

Remember Tracey Lee? He was the Philadelphia rapper who had a chart-topping hit in 1997 with the club jam 'The Theme (It's Party Time)." Well, he's back with a new song called "It's About Time."

The rapper-turned-attorney flips Marvin Gaye's classic tune 'Time to Get It Together' into a groovy hand-clapping rap song. On it, Tray Lee insists he can still spit bars and he's ready to shine again.

"My faith in the music over time had diminished / But now I'm more focused, got recommitted / So I figured it's about time / Now bear witness to one of the best that ever did it," he raps over Gaye's sampled vocal riffs.

The song is from Tracey Lee (Esq.)'s upcoming album titled ESQ. under his imprint LLeft Entertainment that he shares with his wife Lori Nelson Lee. "[We are] not afraid to go against the grain of the industry and at our own pace," Lee tells Black Enterprise. "Our motto is 'Whenever mainstream goes right, we go LLEFT!'"

Only time will tell if Tracey Lee can recapture the hype and success he had in the mid-90s. To help you relive those golden days, I posted Tracey Lee's throwback video "It's Party Time" below.

**BONUS**: You know how he gets down...


New Music: Roc Marciano - "Stop Me" (Prod. By Just Blaze)

Rock On!: Rapper Roc Marciano

Roc Maciano has posted a previously unreleased track that, unfortunately, will not appear on his new album Reloaded (due Nov. 13). I'm not a big fan of Roc's "cat-in-the-hat"-type flow on this particular joint but Just Blaze's production on here is a major standout. The perfectly woven samples and the twangy guitars fits perfectly with Roc's punchy rhymes.

It's good to see (and hear) that not only can Just Blaze make anthemic chart-topping hits for major artists, he can still make guttural yet soulful beats for the underground sect. Roc Marciano's "Stop Me" is a slow burner.

New Video: Bling47 Breaks - Dilla Edition with Rich Medina (History)


"History" Teachers: DJ Rich Medina J Dilla

Are you guys ready for a history lesson? DJ Rich Medina discusses how J Dilla flip the Mary Wells song "Two Lovers History" into an infectious beat for Mos Def's "History" (featuring Talib Kweli).

I have to agree with Medina that Dilla's sample was a "more mature version of that Kanye West-school of production" where he speeded up the soul sample into a chipmunk sound. Medina compared Dilla's creative sampling as a Mercedes-Benz to Yeezy's Toyota. No shots, of course. This is about music production and the innovativeness of the late J Dilla.

Rest in peace, Dilla Dawg. And thank you for the "History" lesson.


**BONUS**: "Served over Dilla time signatures / It's miracle material..."

New Music: DJ Khaled - "They Ready" (F/ J.Cole, Big K.R.I.T. & Kendrick Lamar)


"Ready" and Able: DJ Khaled

I usually don't post songs that have Funkmaster Flex's annoying bombs on it, but I couldn't ignore this certified street banger. DJ Khaled is an expert at putting together the right people for a hot track (i.e., "Hip Hop" featuring Nas and Scarface). So for "They Ready," the Miami super-producer brought together an incredible rap trifecta.

Wordsmiths J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar bring some lyrical fire to this joint, which was produced by Mr. Cole World, himself. Everybody did a great job, but Lamar had the standout verse, IMHO.

Check it: "Hold up, but don't forget about this Compton nigga / One for the money, two for show / Three for No Limit and the rest for Death Row / That means I'm bout it bout and this is the realist shit I ever wrote / And if anyone ever doubted they are the loudest of liars I know," K.Dot raps.

This shit's special.

DJ Khaled's star-studded Kiss the Ring album hits stores Aug. 21.