Archives for posts with tag: Hip Hop


I connected strongly with Take Care, and recently I started listening to Nothing Was The Same from start to finish. This album, and Drake in general seem comfortable in their own skin. Its got remarkable atmosphere, a solid range of intensity throughout the tracklist and a confident attitude. The execution of melody, song structure and sonic quality are precise, representing greatness in my eyes.


Drake told XXL, “Take Care was about connecting with my city and connecting with my past and sort of still feeling guilty that I’m not in love with one of these girls that cared about me from back in the day. Now, I’m 26, I’m with my friends, I’m making jobs for people, I’m making memories for people that will last a lifetime. I don’t need to be in love right now. I don’t need these things that I maybe once thought that I needed to feel normal and feel righteous about myself. I think for the first time in an album I’m content—not satisfied—but proud of where I’m at as a person.”

I can feel that Drake believes in himself, and I like the way he encourages his crew and city of Toronto.


Production on the album was handled mainly by Noah “40” Shebib with additional support from Hudson Mohawke, Nineteen85, Jake One, Mike Zombie, Detail, DJ Dahi, Chilly Gonzales, Majid Jordan, Boi-1da, Allen Ritter, Sampha, Jordan Evans, and the man himself, Drake.

My other favorite tracks from NWTS are “Furthest Thing”, “From Time (Feat. Jhene Aiko)”, “Wu-Tang Forever” and “Connect”.


I should take notes from Drake. I like how he has fully embraced his role as an artist. In his mind like with all of us, there are pieces missing, voids to be filled, but the choice of what to focus on is ours. Appreciate where you are, and utilize your position to its fullest potential.

Drake turned 27 yesterday, October 24th 2013.

– Jimi Jaxon



Many of you out there have followed Kendrick Lamar and his T.D.E./Black Hippy crew for a long time. I started hearing his name very recently, picked up his sophomore album good kid, m.A.A.d city, and have worked my way backwards through his discography. Last night I listened through his debut album, Section.80 for the first time and it’s fantastic. Released in 2011 via Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick’s debut was celebrated across the board, with positive reviews from Pitchfork, XXL and Complex Magazine who crowned it the 7th best album of 2011. On top of that, artists such as Pharrell Williams, Lil Wayne, and even Lady Gaga praised the release. The most enduring comment came from Snoop Dogg, who called  Kendrick Lamar “the new king of the West Coast”.


Section.80 is a very complete idea, but after hearing where he went in 2012 with good kid, m.A.A.d city, that idea was one piece of a much more massive vision. His demonstration of vulnerability, thoughtfulness and gritty real-life topics in this new album are wrapped around a vast array of sounds, lyrical styles and vocal techniques. This package of songs greatly expands on his previous productions, and the more I listen to good kid, m.A.A.d city, the more I understand it as a masterful concept album.

Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, California, an area that became famous for the gangster rap of N.W.A., Snoop Dogg and 2Pac to name a few. This new form of hip-hop reflected the harsh urban environment these rappers found themselves in; often focusing on crime, violence, racism, sex, substance abuse, homophobia, misogyny and materialism among other topics. The lifestyle and music gave Compton international attention, but over time it came to represent a mostly negative perception of the west coast. Enter Kendrick Lamar, whose words and beats show his appreciation of where he comes from, as well as a progressive intention to represent a broader perspective. In his words, “You know Compton..You don’t hear no artists from Compton showing vulnerability. You always hear about the person pulling the trigger. You never hear about the one in from of it.”. The perspective of the victim, those trapped within a broken system with few opportunities runs through Lamar’s music in a very real way. In good kid, m.A.A.d city, he lays out his upbringing for all to see. It feels almost wrong to break up this album, showing only certain songs, but I want to give a snapshot of Kendrick Lamar’s versatility and encourage a full listen to see his concept fully come to life.




An area that really stands out to me are the vocalist elements; the singing, both pitch-shifted and not, the harmonies and the layering of voices in good kid, m.A.A.d city. In “Backseat Freestyle”, “m.A.A.d city (feat. MC Eiht)”, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” and “Real (feat. Anna Wise of SonnyMoon)” you hear vocal pieces that are very distinct and forward thinking.


Dr. Dre was a main figure in helping to bring West Coast rap to the world. He helped Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and The Game rise to prominence. Most recently, he’s focused his attention on Kendrick Lamar. After hearing Lamar’s 2010 mixtape Overly Dedicated he got in touch with him, and that encounter developed into a nurturing relationship. It must be surreal to have a childhood hero like Dr. Dre come down to your level, recognize your vision and encourage you to continue. Dr. Dre’s label Aftermath Entertainment co-released good kid, m.A.A.d city along with Top Dawg Entertainment and Interscope Records. He appears on “Compton” and “The Recipe”, and worked as an executive produce and mixing engineer. 


I’m so impressed by the work of Kendrick Lamar, his honest analysis of himself and the world around him is refreshing. I can’t wait to hear what he shares with us next. 

– Jimi Jaxon

George Bashington Productions are to thank for putting this show together (FB event), with Live For The Funk sponsoring. Lunice brings fresh energy and effortless style to the hip hop world. Now 23, he’s done remixes for prominent labels such as Mad Decent, XL Recordings and Young Turks. A part of the LuckyMe collective (Machinedrum, Jacques Greene, Rustie), he released the One Hundred EP and the Stacker Upper EP in 2011. I’ve been especially taken by “Runnin”; the smooth beat he did for Azealia Banks, as well as TNGHT; his collaboration with Hudson Mohawke. Tomorrow marks Lunice’s first Seattle appearance. All hip-hop enthusiasts, and those drawn to future dance sounds should give him a warm welcome and come to Neumos.



Kastle from San Francisco joins Lunice. Be sure to catch the whole lineup, with sets from RL Grime and my buddy Cedaa happening early on.




George Bashington Productions – Facebook

– Jimi Jaxon