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Status Ain’t Hood: Tyga Is Rap’s Smarmiest Villain, And That’s A Good Thing

Rap needs villains. They keep things interesting. For years, Suge Knight reigned as rap’s dominant supervillain, and he did it without rapping a single bar, which somehow makes it more impressive. Lately, Birdman has played a more low-key version of the domineering-label-owner type that Knight pioneered, but he’s enforced his dominance by locking people into… More »

By: Tom Breihan / June 24, 2015 - 3:16 pm

Status Ain’t Hood: Beatking, Sauce Twinz, And Houston Rap’s Next Wave

For decades, Houston has been its own rap planet. There are Houston rappers who have legend status outside their city, like Scarface or UGK, the latter of whom actually come from the not-that-nearby town of Port Arthur. But Houston also has local legends with barely any profile in the rest of the world. Z-Ro and… More »

By: Tom Breihan / June 10, 2015 - 9:49 am

Spoon – “Inside Out (DJ Quik Remix)” (Feat. Iamsu!, Kurupt, & Boogie)

Britt Daniel has said from the beginning that Spoon’s floaty, experimental piano-pop single “Inside Out” was inspired by Dr. Dre’s 2001. Now one of Dre’s fellow West Coast rap veterans, DJ Quik, has produced a new version of the much-remixed track that fully capitalizes on its hip-hop potential. It’s the latest offering from Yours Truly’… More »

By: Chris DeVille / May 28, 2015 - 11:46 am

Download Tinashe Amethyst

Following up her excellent debut, Aquarius, Tinashe released a new mixtape today called Amethyst. The seven-track tape features production from internet beat genius Ryan Hemsworth and the Bay Area’s rising star Iamsu!, among others. Amethyst floats through the same lush, moody atmosphere that Aquarius established, even if it doesn’t float quite as high. Of course,… More »

By: Caitlin White / March 16, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Stream Iamsu! Eyes On Me

The Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! has an amiable, sing-songy flow and a tendency to rap about positivity, but he’s also enormously important in popularizing the minimal, drunk party music that’s come to dominate West Coast rap in recent years. Later this week, Iamsu! will follow up last year’s Sincerely Yours album with a new EP… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 23, 2015 - 5:26 pm

Iamsu! – “Hella Good” (Feat. Tyga) (Stereogum Premiere)

Richmond spitter Iamsu! is back just a week after dropping the DJ Mustard-produced “Nothin Less.” That song was slightly mellower than what Iamsu! usually turns out, and it was good enough to be featured as one of the five deadly venoms in The Week In Rap. The Cali emcee continues on his divergent path with… More »

By: Collin Robinson / February 20, 2015 - 10:00 am

The Week In Rap: The Indestructible Career Of Juicy J

I stopped doing Mixtape Of The Week at the exact right goddam time. Three weeks ago, when I wrote my last MOTW column, “mixtape” still meant “thing that rappers give away for free on the internet.” But now Drake is calling If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late a mixtape, even though he’s selling it… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 18, 2015 - 2:38 pm

Iamsu! – “Nothin Less” (Prod. DJ Mustard)

A lot of people categorize Iamsu!’s past output as ratchet, but the Bay Area rapper and producer is gearing up for a more introspective slant on his new mixtape. Today he announced that the follow up to 2014’s album Sincerely Yours is called Eyes On Me. It will be out two weeks from tomorrow and… More »

By: Caitlin White / February 13, 2015 - 3:30 pm

The Week In Pop’s Top 50 Pop Songs Of 2014

Two weeks ago we looked at the year’s biggest pop songs; now let’s run down the best ones. There will be a lot of overlap, of course, partly because sometimes great songs get popular and partly because sometimes popular songs that initially strike you as insufferable end up wearing you down through sheer persistence. (“Bang… More »

By: Chris DeVille / December 18, 2014 - 2:27 pm

Bumbershoot Lineup 2014

The Bumbershoot Festival goes down in venues around Seattle every year on Labor Day weekend, and the lineup for this year’s festivities on 8/30-9/1 just came out. As usual, it’s a unique assembly of talent, not just a retread of your basic festival mainstay. A sampling of notable acts: Wu-Tang Clan (featuring… who knows?), the… More »

By: Chris DeVille / May 9, 2014 - 9:46 am

Stream Iamsu! Sincerely Yours

The young Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! has released a string of consistently enjoyable mixtapes, appeared on a ton of other people’s hits, and helped to usher in the West Coast’s recent wave of minimal, thudding club-rap. And now he’s finally getting around to releasing an album. His official debut Sincerely Yours comes out next week,… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 6, 2014 - 4:55 pm

The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

Look, for some of us, every week is Britpop Week, but for all practical purposes, Britpop Week is over. Just like Britpop itself, sadly. There’s not much in this week’s 5 Best Songs that bears even a tangential connection to that bygone moment. Well, there’s British singer Hannah Diamond. And there’s White Lung, whose Mish… More »

By: Stereogum / April 25, 2014 - 4:33 pm

Iamsu! – “Only That Real” (Feat. 2 Chainz & Sage The Gemini) Video

The young Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! occupies an interesting place in the California rap ecosystem: He’s a tremendously influential figure and a cult success, someone who shows up on a ton of other people’s hit songs but who can’t seem to make one himself. His latest attempt to chance this status is “Only That Real,”… More »

By: Tom Breihan / April 11, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Iamsu! – “Yesterday”

Last week, the ascendant Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! shared the ridiculously propulsive single “Only That Real.” It’s got features from 2 Chainz and Sage The Gemini, and it feels like Iamsu!’s most direct shot at ratchet rap radio-domination. But Iamsu! has another side to him, and that’s very much on display in the new song… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 5, 2014 - 11:21 am

Iamsu! – “Only That Real” (Feat. 2 Chainz & Sage The Gemini)

The effortlessly fluid young Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! has built an audience over the last couple of years with mixtapes like $uzy 6 $peed and the Problem collab Million Dollar Afro, both past Mixtapes Of The Week. And after his fellow HBK Gang crew member Sage The Gemini scored a couple of out-of-nowhere hits last… More »

By: Tom Breihan / January 28, 2014 - 10:59 am

The Week In Pop: Why So Serious, Jennifer Nettles?

My first exposure to Sugarland was the video for “Stuck Like Glue,” a 2010 single that injected a shot of unexpected quirk to the heavily codified country radio landscape. I hadn’t paid close attention to mainstream country since I was a kid, but somehow “Stuck Like Glue” made its way into my browser and captured… More »

By: Chris DeVille / January 17, 2014 - 2:58 pm

The 40 Best Rap Albums Of 2013

Last year, there was one album — Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City — that united virtually the entire rap-listening public in adoration. This year, no such luck. Many heard my #1 pick of the year (and you can probably already guess what it is) as the work of a sonic visionary, and plenty more… More »

By: Tom Breihan / December 16, 2013 - 8:35 am

Roach Gigz – “It’s Lit” (feat. Iamsu!) Video (Stereogum Premeire)

Two weeks ago, I gave Mixtape Of The Week to Roachy Balboa Round 3, the new one from San Francisco’s Roach Gigz. One of the things I liked about that tape was the way Roach adapted his antic hornball rap style to the chilly, minimal party-music sound that currently dominates West Coast rap. On the… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 14, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Nick Catchdubs – “Bizness” (Feat. Iamsu! & Jay Ant)

If we were putting money on it, I’d tell you that Fool’s Gold Records co-owner Nick Catchdubs is the best party DJ in the game right now. In the past few years, he’s dominated Brooklyn and beyond when it comes to throwing down the best tunes for the people on the dancefloor: He can feel… More »

By: Claire Lobenfeld / July 23, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Iamsu! – “The Realest” (Feat. Problem)

The endlessly likable Richmond, California rapper/producer Iamsu! has been having a big 2013. First, he and the Compton rapper Problem linked up for the fun-as-hell collaborative mixtape Million Dollar Afro. Then, Iamsu released his own solo tape Kilt II, which was a bit of an emotive downer. But there’s now a deluxe edition of KiltMore »

By: Tom Breihan / July 9, 2013 - 12:19 pm
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