hip hop

The Party That Never Ends

The East Bay Express

nvr ovr, oakland, somar, the layover, rap, trap, 2 step, hip hop, It’s Saturday night at The Layover and the bar is close to maximum capacity. People of all ages are crammed onto the tiny dance floor, their foreheads glistening with sweat as they shake and bob to the music. A gaggle of girls start twerking in a corner and a young couple lock lips on a couch. Squelchy slap-bass and booming 808s pulse from the speakers as the DJ spins a mélange of trap, rap, dub, and electronica beats. More people filter in. Space becomes even tighter. Bodies collide. Cocktails are spilled. But the party keeps going. Welcome to NVR OVR.

Every fourth Saturday, The Layover hosts one of the most lively parties in Oakland, called, appropriately enough, NVR OVR. The massive dance party attracts a few hundred people every month and often lasts until 2 am. NVR OVR founder Marty Aranaydo (aka DJ Willie Maze) and resident DJs Starter Kit and Neto187 (of Trill Team 6 and Sick Sad World) are known for spinning tracks spanning a variety of genres and eras. Local DJs and musicians such as Antwon, Main Attrakionz, So What, RNB Millionaires, Nanosaur, Pony Loco, and Bobby Peru are regular attendees, and it’s not unusual for them to perform as well. Aranaydo also designs and sells a new NVR OVR T-shirt every month, and up until recently, the ladies of local nail polish company Floss Gloss provided in-house manicures.

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Southern Hospitality is LA’s Coolest Rap Party…And It’s Free

LA Weekly

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If you want to hear rap and hip-hop on a weekend night in the City of Angels, your options are limited. If you’re willing to dress up, pay a cover and order bottle service, you can head to the clubs in Hollywood. If you’d prefer something more laid-back, you could choose a hipster dive bar, but be prepared for a track list of overplayed, run-of-the-mill, old-school jams. Or you could opt for a warehouse party filled with kids half your age.

“There seems to be no middle ground in the rap club scene,” says British DJ and promoter David Sadeghi, better known in the hip-hop scene as Davey Boy Smith. Luckily for hip-hop heads, Sadeghi has a solution to this problem in the form of a monthly rap dance party called Southern Hospitality at Los Globos.

The event, which has been held in London in various forms and iterations since 2004, is the antithesis of what one would normally expect from a rap party. It’s not scene-y or gaudy, but laid-back and welcoming. The dance floor is huge and if you want to twerk sans smirks and Miley Cyrus references, this is the place to do it (there’s even mirrors on the walls so you can watch your performance).

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Tokimonsta Mixes Hip-Hop and EDM For The EDC Masses

LA Weekly

tokimonsta_marcotorres_5It’s a little past 11 o’clock on Friday and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is pulsing with sound, lights and bodies. Polyester jellyfish and gigantic LED mushrooms hover above the crowd; the smell of funnel cakes and body odor wafts through the 100-degree air on this first night of EDC Las Vegas. Dust and dirt coalesce into one invisible mass, infiltrating the throats and nasal passages of thousands of ravers, their plastic beaded bracelets click-clacking as they record videos with their smartphones and chug Powerades and syrupy cocktails. A never-ending torrent of synths and molecule-rearranging bass tumble from myriad speakers throughout the 2.5-mile-long complex.

At each stage, a different gradation of EDM plays, as artists and DJs spin melodies, adjust volumes, and tweak tempos. The beat drops, building into an explosive climax at one stage, while a steady wave of trance hypnotizes the crowd at another. Elsewhere, a percussive house jam segues into a drum solo. And over there, to the north, a tinkle of bells unfurls into an Indian-laced flute melody and the crowd goes wild as they recognize the beat to Nas’s “Oochie Wally.”

This is not what they were expecting. This is hip-hop, not EDM. But wait. Don’t you hear the bass? The electro tinge? Isn’t what you’re doing with your feet called dancing? And isn’t that, by virtue of its various qualities, the very definition of electronic dance music?

You nod your head “yes” and wave your bangled arms in the air. This is EDM, you decide. And that blue-haired DJ on the stage knows what she’s doing, you realize. She’s blurring the lines between genres. She’s breaking the rules. She’s pioneering a new sound. (Click here to read more)

With His New Vibe Rap Sound, Mani Coolin’ Is Heating Up

LA Weekly

manicoolin3On a dead end street bordering the Hollywood Freeway, Mani Coolin’ sits on a stool in a makeshift home recording studio. His dad is here, as well as his producer, Jay Kurzweil, who owns the studio and lives in the adjoining apartment. A hazy, piano-laced beat emanates from the speakers and a muted kung fu movie plays on one of the computer screens. They’re listening to un-mastered tracks from Mani’s upcoming album, Hope4TheYouth. For the last two months, Mani and J. Kurzweil have spent days on end sitting in the foam-padded studio mixing the album’s songs.

“It’s the worst part,” the 21-year-old rapper says. “It’s just sitting here listening to a song over and over until we get it right.”

For the most part, the mixing process is done. In a few days, the songs will be sent to an engineer for mastering and on March 12, the album will drop.

“The whole time I was plotting for this right here,” Mani says, whose real name is Demani Brown. He glances at his iPhone, which has a promotional “#Hope” sticker plastered on the back, to check the time. In a half-hour, his dad will drive them to a soundstage in North Hollywood so that Mani can practice for his performance at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Feb. 28. (Click here to read more)

RnBaes: Female Singers On The Rise

Hot New Hip Hop 

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In the last few years, a slew of new female artists have flooded the rap game, but the tide appears to be turning. More and more women are emerging as RnB artists, churning out sultry tunes and love ballads, each with their own unique twist. While some of the ladies on this list have a more traditional, classic RnB sound, the bulk of them have made a name for themselves by pushing boundaries and mixing genres. Though they all sing, some of them wail and some of them whisper. Some sing about love, others about death. Many of them rap just as well as they can sing and oftentimes weave bars into their lyrics. Each of these singers has crafted her own unique sound, it’s just a matter now of sharing their sounds with the rest of the world. Take a look at these RnBaes that are on the rise. (Click HERE for the slideshow)

CREW LOVE: Jet Life

Hot New Hip Hop 

600_1401119355_crew_love_tremplate_88In 2009, when Curren$y started Jet Life Recordings, there were only two other members to the Jet Life crew: Young Roddy and Trademark da Skydiver. In the five years since, Jet Life has grown like kudzu. They’ve added eight more members, most notably, Fiend, Smoke DZA, and Sir Michael Rocks of The Cool Kids, gone on a national 35 city tour, and churned out three solid Jet Life crew mixtapes. They’ve even made a series of mini documentaries called “Jet Life Chronicles” which, according to their website, are a “vignetted look at the day to day life of Curren$y and the Jets.”

Almost every member of the crew is from New Orleans, if not the South, and they’ve all got love for that mary jane. Jet Life’s laidback, stoner cool is an art form in itself and somehow they manage to keep surprising listeners with new jams that are always perfect soundtracks for lighting up, but never get boring or redundant. In 2013, Curren$y signed the most recent artist and first female to the crew, a trippy, experimental, slightly macabre siren named Mary Gold. Though she can rap, she can do a ton of other things, too, and her sound is starkly different from the mellow flow of her squad, which is what makes her addition to the crew so exciting.

With such a hard-working man-in-charge as Spitta, there’s no telling what we’ll see next from Jet Life. But one thing’s for sure, we can’t wait for their next collaborative mixtape because with so many new and different voices on their roster, it’s sure to take flight. (Click HERE for the slideshow)

CREW LOVE: Save Money C

Hot New Hip Hop
600_1403402516_unnamed_33The Save Money crew is still pretty young to the rap game, but if the successes of members Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa are any indicator (both MCs have appeared on the new XXL Freshmen 2014 cover) it won’t take long for them to become a household name.

The Chicago-based crew of creative, like-minded dudes boasts an eclectic roster of rappers, musicians, artists, producers, directors, and even a trumpet player, many of whom have known each other since they were kids. The crew is so large that we couldn’t list every Save Money member, so we just highlighted the main dudes you should know about for this piece, but there’s no telling which Save Money member will be next to claim the spotlight.  (Click HERE for the slideshow)

q&a with rapper, fat trel of maybach music group

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Respect

SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON APRIL 1ST, DMV rapper Fat Trel dropped his newest mixtape, Gleesh. The eponymously-titled mixtape is Trel’s first release since signing to Maybach Music Grouplast November and a long-awaited one at that. It’s been almost eight months since the Slutty Boyz co-founder released his last mixtape, SDMG, and fans waited with bated breath to see what the Maybach rookie would come up with next. And Gleesh—thank the rap gods—does not disappoint. Trel still sounds like Trel, despite his upgrade from unsigned to signed artist. He still reps his hometown of D.C. and his love for the ladies hasn’t diminished in the least. LikeSDMGGleesh is chock-full of guest artists with features from fellow Maybach signees Wale,Rockie FreshTracy TStalley, and the man himself, Rick RossTrel’s iconic rough-around-the-edges, trunk rattling sound is still preserved in Gleesh, just with a little more polish and a little more pizzazz. Perhaps the The Washington City Paper put it best when they said, “Gleesh is like a new, upgraded model of the same vehicle.” RESPECT. talked with Fat Trel about the making of his latest mixtape and his relationships with fellow MMG artists. Read on below.

RESPECT.: Your newest mixtape, Gleesh, dropped yesterday. Have you gotten any feedback from fans or know how many times it’s been downloaded yet?

Fat Trel: I haven’t checked the stats recently. We dropped it at 11:35, so at about 12:35, we had 42,000. But other than that, I really ain’t too caught up on the stats, you know? I know my peoples was waiting. I know my fans was waiting. I know they wanted it, so I ain’t really caught up on the stats. We just gave the people what they wanted, you know?

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The Ballad of Super Niggs

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Brio Pop Magazine

LINWOOD YOUNG GREW UP IN A TINY, RURAL TOWN in the heart of Maryland. He lived there with his mother and two brothers in a trailer connected to his grandmother’s trailer next-door. Neighbors were scarce, but of trees and poisonous snakes there were plenty. For fun, he played in the woods and listened to rap and hip-hop music. In fact, that’s pretty much all young Linwood listened to until the fateful day when the antennae on his radio snapped off.

Static engulfed the airwaves, obliterating transmission of every nearby station except one: a brand new Top 40’s station that played everything but rap and hip-hop. Now, since this was the ‘90s, poor Linwood had little recourse other than the radio. There was no Pandora or Spotify, YouTube or Soundcloud. His only alternative was a tape (yes, a tape) from his older brother that featured tracks from Grammy nominees in 1996, so he gave it a listen. And, as he says, his “head cracked open.”

For the first time in his young life, Linwood heard music the likes of which he’d never heard before. He listened to Hootie and The Blowfish and Joan Osborne, Alannis Morrisette and Seal. “It was like a gift from the heavens or something,” he says. “I quickly fell in love with it.”

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YG’s 15 Best Mixtape Songs

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Respect

MARCH IS A BIG MONTH FOR YG.

A few days ago, he turned 24. Next week, a documentary filmabout his life will be released on Complex. And in a few days, his debut studio album, My Krazy Life, will drop. There’s been a lot of hype about the Southern Californian’s upcoming album, which features previously released tracks (“My Nigga,” “Who Do You Love?” and “Left, Right”), as well as new music. But, before we get all excited about what’s to come, let’s take a moment to reflect on and appreciate the emcee’s previous work.

YG may be young, but he sure is prolific. From 2008 to 2013, the Compton native, who used to use his bedroom as his “studio,” released five mixtapes: 4 Fingaz, The Real 4 Fingaz, Just Re’d Up, 4 Hunnid Degreez, and Just Re’d Up 2. In other words, his 2009 hit “Toot It and Boot It” might have been his ticket to fame, but it’s hardly his only banger. Listening to all five of his mixtapes in succession is an experience in itself. Sure, not all of his early songs are genius and, yes, many of them tend to focus on the same subjects (women, sex, money, etc.), but that’s what makes listening to his old mixtapes so fun. You can literally hear YG mature and improve from tape to tape. All artists must go through a learning phase wherein they perfect their skills and better hone their craft and, luckily for us, YG just happened to put it all online (and for free, too).

In a few days, My Krazy Life will drop and we at RESPECT. have no doubts that it’ll be a banger. But, before we usher in his new collection of music, let’s give a shout out to the best of the best of YG’s earlier work.

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