Hoodie Allen has your hipster friend’s favorite band (yeah, of course you knew them before everybody else did, bro), Mac has whatever late-90′s shit Big Jerm feels like borrowing liberally from, and every other YouTube/SoundCloud/[insert free music service here] white rapper has “Popular” from Broadway’s Wicked. Thank the Lord that our Oakland-to-N’Awlins boy G-Eazy has a sound that’s just inherently brilliant and completely unique–he samples the gorgeous, raw, pained sounds of 50′s and 60′s R&B, as best evidenced by his recent The Endless Summer. On “Mercedes Benz” (missing a hyphen, unfortunately), he grabs the chorus from legendary heroin addict Janis Joplin’s last recording of the same name, and mixes in some typically clever wordplay and a downtempo beat. The results? Nothing short of Teutonic M-B quality.
Jazz Cartier is a winner. I don’t know how better to put it, because all the 18-year-old Toronto native seems to be able to do is succeed. In March of 2010, he debuted the video for “Slow It Down/Her Daddy Don’t Like Me,” accumulating almost 80,000 views in the year and a half since; Cartier followed that up with the Tayyib Ali collaboration “Bounce”–which, to be honest, should’ve been a huge-ass club hit–and his animalistic 2011 drop “Jaguar Jazzy.”
Now, the prep school kid (shouts to AOF) has a full-length project to show off: Losing Elizabeth, a loosely conceptual album focusing on his life at boarding school, his summers spent in Africa, and his first love, the titular Elizabeth. Sure, the singles (“Gold & Girls,” “Far Away,” “Olivier Garden,”) are still excellent, but it’s the more emotionally-heavy tracks that really stand out. The nearly eight-minute “Ex Factor,” with a gorgeous Lauryn Hill vocal, is a highlight, as is a Lykke Li-sampling stunner from 2010 entitled “Strangers, Until We Bleed.”
Download this. Please. If you’ve ever been in love (which should be most of you), ever been torn between two lives (hopefully just a small fraction of our readership), or ever had even the slightest thing for someone (if you haven’t, get the fuck out of your basement), iTunes will lose track of your LE play counts.
It’s pretty clear that I’m a huge Timeflies fan. Since “Lose My Mind” dropped late last November, I’ve been completely and utterly hooked on their often-imitated, never-duplicated, proprietary blend of pop, hip-hop, and dubstep. There’ve been a few singles released since then, and they’ve kept the enormously successful Timeflies Tuesdays going all summer, but there hadn’t been a true lead single to a mixtape until “Stunner” a few weeks ago. Here’s the second cut off of The Scotch Tape, “Turn It Up,” a track that could be best summed up by this YouTube comment: “Thumbs up if you think Cal gets pussy.” Download on iTunes (if you’re a reasonable person and willing to sacrifice a night of coning at Mickey D’s) or MediaFire (if you’re cheap… silly bastard).