It feels appropriate to do another round-up with XXL's Freshman Class of 2012 cover hitting newstands this week. Everyone is aware that it's made to bait us into kicking and screaming, right? The XXL editorial staff knows listing a 30-year old as a freshman is going to rile us up, that we'll claim Diddy paid for Machine Gun Kelly's roster slot like we conspired that Father Russell bought Diggy's spot, that Hopsin should be replaced with the real deal Earl Sweartshirt and these mixtape rappers are the next Craig Mack. I believe it was economist Adam Smith who said, “controversy moves units, son.”
With that said, here's a collection of relevant rap music that's overwhelmed the Fresh Daily blog in the past week. Purging in no particular order:
OFWGKTA is bigger than the music these days. The “Rella” video felt like a teaser trailer for their Adult Swim show Loiter Squad rather than a regrouping of the collective for a posse mixtape. In these uncertain times of holding our breath for an Earl Sweatshirt record, it's always wise to place one's faith in Hodgy. His untitled mixtape, posted to his Tumblr, gets back to the pre-hype days of free downloads and fresh techniques. The untitled mixtape features production from Jonti, Juicy J, The Alchemist, Flying Lotus, and Thelonious Martin.
There's some glaring omissions from the XXL list (A$AP Rocky, for real?) and on that short list is Schoolboy Q. He's risen to the level of fellow Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar, who made the list in '11, and in some circles surpassed him. Maybe it was his “pro-drunk driving” song “Hands On The Wheel” with A$AP Rocky that deeply upset Paul Rosenberg that earned him and A$AP the slight? It's not phasing Q. His video for “Druggys With Hoes Again” featuring Ab-Soul displays what the warble bass does to pills pre-ingestion, while the rappers' rhyme about those peaking feelings post-ingestion.
Bay Area collective SWTBRDS is dropping a mixtape that will unify the Bay Area cloud rap scene. Entitled Amongst Wolves, the first single from the mixtape is “Top Shelf” and features DaVinci, Dieselino and Squadda B of Main Attrakionz. Produced by Big D, the essence of nothing to something is celebrated over by each rapper, but Squadda sums it up best with “I remember fucking niggas over / now we getting thousand dollar shows, it's Green Ova.”
Speaking of Main Attrakionz., the Green Ova duo remixed Lo-Fi-Fnk's “Kissing Taste” with great success. The track premiered on Fader. It's hitting wide and hitting bossy.
Chip Tha Ripper allegedly turned down the XXL Freshman Class cover, calling it “NOT a good look. At all.” The Cleveland native has never been one for cosigns, as he probably could be riding CuDi's coattails to the bank, but is out carving his own niche instead. His Tell Ya Friends mixtape dropped last month and he's already promising more music. It begins with “The Jam”, which features Casey Veggies.
South Philly's Lushlife is gearing up for his Plateau Vision LP due in April on Western Vinyl. He dropped “Big Sur” last week in support. Produced by Botany, “Big Sur” has Lushlife displaying an old school flow, in which he elaborates on the things he's known for. His list includes, summer time wine taster, heart breaker, pretty bird ass shaker, rhyme sayer, mind reader, and jam heater.
Detroit's Boldy James dropped his much anticipated Consignment mixtape on Monday. The tape features guest appearances by Sir Michael Rocks, Chuck Inglish, and YP, among others. Boldy's rich baritone is the preamble to his Midwest grit. Consignment builds off the tone set by his 2011 mixtape. Boldy is already hard at work on his follow-up with reports that he's out in LA recording with The Alchemist.
Download Boldy James' Consignment mixtape here.