Apollo The Great -- Banner Day"
Up-and-coming rapper Apollo the Great, who is from my neck of woods of Camden, N.J., drops this head-nodding banger called "Banner Day." The Shugawater-produced track find the rapper vividly describing the crime-riddled streets of Camden, N.J."I'm from where niggas get murked outside of the club I'm performing in / Every other day the task is swarming in / Chink food orderin' / Another homie dead and gone again," he raps.
And yes, Camden is laying off its entire police department, so the county government can replace it with a bigger and cheaper police force. It goes into effect April 30, 2013.
Props to Apollo for flipping Drake's infectious "Started From the Bottom" hook, broken english and all. It goes:
"Y'all ain't from the bottom but we is / Y'all ain't from the bottom but my whole team really is / Rapping about some shit you never did / We rap about the shit we really live, what it is nigga."
We also have to give an R.I.P. salute to the late singer Melvin Bliss for which "Banner Year" utilizes the beat from his classic song, "Synthetic Substitution."
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.
Inspired by Quentin Tarantino's western/slavery flick Django Unchained, Raheem DeVaughn recorded this head-nodding anthem "Unchained (Django's Revenge)." Although it doesn't appear on the movie's accompanying soundtrack, it needs to be. It's fits perfectly with Jamie Foxx's steely character in the movie. The "R" is not silent on this soulful gem. This is some dope shit.
Oh, and you might be familiar with the beat -- it's EPMD's 1988 classic song "Strictly Business."
Take a listen:
Omarion finally releases a visual for "M.I.A.," one of the standout tracks on the Maybach Music Group's compilation LP Self-Made, Vol. 2. In the clip, Maybach O is caught dirty macking as his boo finds another girl's lingerie in the laundry hamper.
Now can he make a listenable studio album? Only time can tell. In the meantime, we have to wait and see what the singer brings with his free mixtape Care Package, which hits the Internets on Nov. 29.
Trippy rapper Juicy J releases a new video for the remix to his strip club anthem "Bandz a Make Her Dance" (aka "My Guilty Pleasure Song of 2012"). The video features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz as they help Juicy J throw money stacks at strippers in a gentlemen's club. The J.R. Saint-directed clip boasts a cameo from Three Six Mafia alum Project Pat and plenty of big-booty video chicks with more curves than a NASCAR racing track. Also, porn star Alexis Texas slithers around in a Brazzers tank.
So yeah, it's a ratchet video. And, for me, one of the best rap songs of 2012.