Monthly Archives: November 2015

Happy Birthday, J. Holiday!

Hip-hop and R&B has its share of rappers and singers who get a high amount of hype before they blow up. Some live up to expectations, but most never really do. One artist who fits the latter description is crooner J. Holiday. The Chocolate City native, who’s still a respected singer-rapper in some circles, turns 31 years old today (Nov. 29).

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The Boombox

Blackbear Continues To Blend Cali Rock and Dark R&B With His New Album “Help”

Blackbear Continues To Blend Cali Rock and Dark R&B With His New Album “Help”
Nick Hailer

LA bred artist Blackbear has  garnered a ton of buzz over the past few years in the hip hop and R&B community virtue of his breakout projects like, “Sex: The Mixtape”, “Dead Roses” and the acoustic cut of the record simply titled “Dead”. He’s gone from a behind the scenes songwriter to a feature artist who’s turning heads by combing the production and vocals of dark R&B with a raw SoCal rock style.

He’s been touring the country and building his name in markets across the country and getting a ton of quality remixes through the electronic music world from producers likes of SeventhWonder and Tarro. While also being featured on some great tracks like “Chemistry” with Skizzy Mars and “Champagne & Pools” with Hoodie Allen to keep him working in between projects. Today, he’s starting on Hoodie Allen’s nation wide tour and he’s gonna be hitting the road with a ton of new material. He just dropped his latest album “Help” today and you can stream it right here courtesy of “Escaspe Tracks”.

BlackBearHelp

The 10 song LP is a reflective journey of the young singer struggling to come to terms with his new found success, furthering his own distinct sound, and experiencing the freedoms and excess his music career has given him. In 2015, we’ve seen a a number of albums and artists bridging the gap of trap influenced hip hop and dark, atmospheric R&B with guys like Ty Dolla Sign with “Free TC”, The Weeknd’s smash record “The Beauty Behind The Madness” and to a certain extent Justin Beiber’s latest album “Purpose”. They all tried to combine emotionally raw lyrics and vocal delivery over spacey, experimental trap style beats. While Blackbear fits the mold of this emerging lane he stands out as more organic, honest and heavily rock inspired  influence that not a lot of other singers can bring with the same authenticity he does.

Blackbear – Help (feat. Maejor) | Download |

The record has cuts that are introspective and revealing bangers like “Where was U?” that feature driving synth pop lines with snapping 808 drums, and the title song “Honest” feat Maejor that has a IDFC Bradly Nowell of Sublime style feel on the beat and vocal delivery. In these tracks he talks about his own personal struggles with fame and substance abuse with a confident vulnerability in his vocals that add atmosphere and dimension to each one of his songs.

Also featuring sultry jams like “Different Hos”, “Verbatim” and “Slide Thru”, along with songs of heartbreak like “Paragraphs”. All showing different vocal ranges and flow patterns blurring the lines of genre description while going through the LP. There are subtle influences of auto tuned trap ballads that light up the underground but can also sound like throw backs to 80’s and 90’s rock. Making for a dynamic and different songs from what you hear out there nowadays. All together, making a cohesive and powerful project that should push Blackbear further and further into the mainstream consciousness.

Download the full album in the link to iTunes below, kick back and turn those speakers way up!

Blackbear – Help (Full Album) | Download |

“Follow” Blackbear: | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud |

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Kendrick Lamar and J Cole Go Back To Back With Their “Black Friday” Remixes

Kendrick Lamar and J Cole Go Back To Back With Their “Black Friday” Remixes
Nick Hailer

Black Friday was in full effect yesterday as our feeds were flooded with videos of middle aged women bum rushing Wal-Mart’s like defensive linemen on crack to get their hands on a $ 20 45 inch flat screen TV. Some however stayed in and nursed there food hangovers still lingering from Thanksgiving. While Friday saw the release of some great albums and some outlets were giving out discount on songs and merch, arguably the two most influential MC’s in the game today dropped some new music that you can’t put a price on. Longtime friends and friendly rivals Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole traded beats and dropped simultaneous “Black Friday” freestyles to treat the fans with maybe some of the best hip hop we’ve heard all year (And it’s been a really good year for hip hop).

With perfect strategy and synchronization, the TDE and Dreamville soundcloud accounts posted “Black Friday” remixes. J. Cole took Kendrick’s smash single “Alright” off “To Pimp A ButterFly”, while K-Dot added his spin to “Tale Of 2 Citiez” from “Forrest Hills Drive”. Christmas certainly came early this year for hip hop fans and can maybe hold over fans until the long awaited collab album to drop.

jcolespit

J. Cole – Black Friday |

J. Cole has had a major year and it’s hard to deny the impact he’s had on hip hop since stepping onto the scene and releasing his biggest and most ambitious project “Forrest Hills Drive”. An album that went platinum with no promotion, no features, just quality music front to back. J. Cole is also making his presence felt as it pertains to social issues facing the country today as he’s lent his celebrity to help bring eyes to protests across the country being an moral ambassador for hip hop. So it should come as no surprise that for this beat swap, Cole picked the song that’s become a rallying cry for protests everywhere with Kendrick’s hit “Alright”. J Cole goes alpha over this beat and brings his own style to the jazz fusion influenced anthem. He also left an Easter egg in their for the fans at the end where he says he doesn’t know when the collab album everyone’s been clamoring for will come out, but he will be dropping a surprise in February. This song is a moment and set the bar high for K-dot to match.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar – Black Friday |

Is widely known that Kendrick is one of the most competitive rappers in the game right now and he has a knack for dropping historic verses in big moments. He certainly delivers on this track. Taking the slowed down, grainy and raw instrumental from “Tale Of 2 Citiez”, Kendrick snaps with lyrical vengeance with a spit fire flow and pin point rhymes. He goes for almost 4 solid minutes and at some points you think he’s done but then the beat drops back in and he just keeps going. This remix might be up for verse of the year and might even go as far to be compared to the greatest of all time. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Kendrick and it’s crazy to see that even still riding the massive sucess of 2015 he’s still spitting freestyles like he’s still and underground rapper.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Rappers J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar perform at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

There are no winners or losers in the beat battle…I think we all one. Both tracks racked up a million plus plays in less than 24 hours and that really speaks to how big both of these artists are right now. This will definitely stoke the fire of debate between fans on who’s the hottest rapper out right now (Excluding Drake from the argument at the moment). Make sure you check out both tracks and tell us which one is your favorite. In the meantime though, sit back, throw your feet up and turn those speakers way up!

Happy Holidays Slappers!

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