Shots Fired! Joey Bada$$ takes jabs at Troy Ave.


Now, I’m usually not the one to go for gossip but I must admit, i’m a sucker for rap beefs. So, excuse the recent posts about good ole’ fashion drama.

New York rappers Troy Ave and Joey Bada$$ have gone at it for a while now. It’s only now where things seem to be picking up a bit. The situation all started last summer when Joey took to his twitter account to claim his status of being the “#1 Independent Hip Hop artist/brand in the world”, and showed the numbers to prove it.joey-badass-troy-ave-twitter-beef-1.png

Mind you, this was right after Troy Ave (also an independent artist) has been criticized and mocked for the amount of albums he sold his first week (approximately 4,500 copies). I, as well as pretty much everybody else on the planet, didn’t think Joey was taking shots at Troy Ave but in typical overly-sensitive rapper fashion, Troy didn’t take to kindly his words…


Some tension has spawned between the two rappers since then. Joey recently this year put out a song called Ready where the first official shot (in song) was taken,  Bad$$ said

60K first week for the Badass. 200 K till this day i know you niggas mad. With the 80/20 split my nigga do the math. My nigga Kirk Knight just outsold Troy Ave.

Troy responded with the controversial Badass, where he took shots at deceased Pro Era rapper Capital Steez. Now, I barely ever put my two cents in this blog when dealing with these type of beefs but this was way too disrespectful to not do so. I show zero respect for someone who says:

Don’t get suicidal like ya friend, here’s a casket
Steez burning in Hell, my burner’s in my belt
I’m really killing shit, you niggas killing yourself
Fucking weirdos, off the roof, “Steer clear yo!”
This niggas tryna fly, he think he a superhero
Splat man! Fuck you and that man

He is so inconsiderate for taking shots at someone who was rumored to have schizophrenia before taking his own life. And especially for someone who has inspired and opened the eyes of so many with his music. Troy Ave explains, and makes himself look like even more of a dirtbag, on Sway in the Morning, calling Steez “a Bozo and dickhead”. Also, “I got friends that’s killing shit, he got friends that killing themselves” -.- really??

On behalf of Steelo and Pro era fans worldwide. Thank you Joey.

Fav line:

“Talking on the God like we gonna let it slide, when he did more dead than you could ever do alive”.


Shots Fired ! ILL Mind of Hopsin 8; Hopsin leaves Funk Volume


First Odd Future, now Funk Volume. Every teenage fanboy must be in a crazed hysteria right now. The only difference with Odd Future is that there was never a legitimate beef between any of OF’s members or management. Well, that’s unless you’re talking about literally the shortest rap beef ever between Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats, that ended with an awkward yet typical OF video.

Funk Volume, however, handled their drama a little differently. Hopsin tweeted earlier this year that there have been some tension between him and Funk Volume co-founder Dame Ritter. He bashed him numerous of times and threatened to leave the group unless Ritter leaves.



This leads us to one of the best diss records i’ve heard in a while, ILL Mind Of Hopsin 8. In true ILL Mind fashion, Hopsin holds nothing back, giving Ritter hell and detailing to his fans what caused his sudden leave. Like anything else in the world, the problems occurred because of money. Hopsin at one point of the song says “You on that same bullshit Tomika brought”, referencing his complications with Eazy’s wife, Tomica Wright, while his time at Ruthless Records. He also calls him a “New age Jerry Heller” (NWA’s manager who stole money from their label Ruthless Records) Watch Hopsin tell it all in this recent interview.

The hashtag on that Facebook post above says it all… Undercover Prodigy, the new label Hopsin is starting. The Funk Volume era, starting in 09′, seems to be over. Hopsin is leaving and shortly after this announcement in January, Jarren Benton says he is leaving FV for Styles P’s No Limit Records. What does the future store for Funk Volume? What is going to happen with Dizzy Wright? What is Hopsin’s relationship going to be with close friend, labelmate, and brother of Ritter, SwizZz? We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime we’ll just have to enjoy ILL Mind of Hopsin 8.

The Grammys 2016: Album of the Year Predictions


With the Grammys airing tonight at 8pmET on CBS, there has been much buzz regarding this award show’s highest honor…Album of the Year. These past few years have been difficult in determining a winner, and this year surely does not disappoint. All 5 albums, without a doubt, deserve the nomination. Each artist simply outdid the competition in their respective genres. Unfortunately only one can come out of the battered battlefield victorious. When looking at these albums one must think… Why are all of the album covers darkly drenched in black and white??? (With the except of Taylor Swift of course). These qualities further the complexities and tone that each musician effectively, and remarkably, established in their projects. With that being said, we must agree that each album is amazing in its own right without my, or anyone else’s, rating. Here goes my personal ranking of each 2016 Album of the Year nominee.


1. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar


Rating: 10/10



What more can I say about this album? This man? In a world where the hip hop mainstream is as commercialized as it’s ever been and ever sounded, Kendrick produces a complex work fusing almost every facet of black art forms. I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s definitely too soon to say but, i’ve often gotten the vibe of a Sgt Pepper’s or The Dark Side of the Moon. Meaning I feel like somewhere down the road To Pimp A Butterfly will be one of those stand-out albums that has changed the course of music making as we know it. So it’s really no surprise that this work is the most critically acclaimed album of the five. It would be less of a travesty if Album of the Year doesn’t rightfully go to this socially conscious uplifting album but, there is this one exception that just might get in that way of that…

2. Sound and Color – Alabama Shakes


Rating 10/10:511Lt1IJgHL


I smell an upset. But this should be nothing short of the usual. For the last couple of years, albums centered around the indie and/or rock genre have upsetted pop favorites (i.e. Arcade Fire and Beck). One might also argue that these upsets were given to the better produced album. Sound and Color was mixed/produced beautifully. A great use of the left and right channels, great recording of the instruments (especially on drums), and vocal effects differentiate this album in its sound approach from, not only its nominees, but anyone else for that matter. Their experimentation with genres and melody/sound techniques, also propelled Sound and Color to greatness. They’ve clearly evolved from their southern rock/blues debut album Boys and Girls. Like many legends before them, their progression just might be apparent in every project they put out in the future(similar to Kendrick Lamar). So an upset just might creep its way into the Grammys tonight, as I believe Alabama Shakes will walk away with Album of the Year.


3. Traveller – Chris Stapleton


Rating: 9/10



Now, this album surprised me the most. When I first saw the list of nominations, I’ve never heard of Traveller nor Chris Stapleton. And I must admit, I’m not too familiar with country music. And then I reached the end of the album… One word that Traveller left me with was impressive. Having already written country hits for big names in the industry, his songwriting ability is clearly superior, as shown in Whiskey and You and Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore. Lines such as “…And pretend i’m a shelter, for heartaches that don’t have a home” and “I drink cause i’m lonesome and i’m lonesome cause I drink” gave me goosebumps. His voice is incredible. His riffs like the “warm” in Tennessee Whiskey and his southern growls in many songs left me in awe… and maybe a lil jealous. The end-song Sometimes I Cry for instance was vocally astonishing in its bluesy form. Stapleton channeled his inner Chris Cornell (in his Billie Jean cover), ironically both songs cliffhangers the hell out of the audience. Although Traveller doesn’t stand out from traditional roots like most of the other albums nominated, its southern influence feeds the soul, like most blues/southern rock/country songs do. Not bad for a first album. And I just might delve more into the world of country music now. Thank you Chris. Thank you.


4. 1989 – Taylor Swift


Rating: 8/10


Go ahead and add “Favorite to win Album of the Year” to Taylor Swift’s list of W’s since 1989’s debut. Along with the cultural phenomenon brought forth by this album, many have labeled this project as the perfect pop album. Her full transitioning to a pop icon was a risky move considering how successful she was as a country-pop artist, but it seems to work fairly well in her favor. The reduction of instruments, synth-pop leading melodies, and more multi-tracking vocals led to a strongly put-together album. Songs like Welcome to New York and Blank Space epitomize the album, while other songs like Shake It Off and Out of the Woods bring great variety to the overall project. These, among other points, are reasons why this album definitely exceeded my expectations, even though some other songs were weak compared to the rest. But more on this later, on another blog post.


5. Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd


Rating: 8/10


To place Beauty Behind the Madness at the bottom of any list, feels borderline blasphemous, but I had to. It was so hard making this choice considering how good this album is. Since I first heard his music, I’ve always admired that hip hop inspired, r&b, dark aura that is the Weeknd. Songs on this album like Real Life and Shameless channel that mixture of promiscuity and drug-addictive themes with a dark twist. Although the usual Weeknd was present, a new character showed face in Beauty Behind the Madness… The pop Weeknd. Songs like Can’t Feel My Face and Earned It propelled him to a worldwide success, and did so without cursing, promiscuous & druggy themes, depression etc.. Although i’m a huuuuge fan of those two songs, other songs with pop appeal like In the Night and Acquainted don’t leave the same impression. They sound very predictable and, dare I say, too pop-y. Some of these songs bring down the albums zeal, as well as my expectations for a stand-out solid album from top to bottom. Nevertheless, Beauty Behind the Madness was very enjoyable and I expect the Weeknd to drop something even more captivating in his next project.

Congrats to all the nominees !


We Want The Funk !



I could actually feel James Brown’s smile radiating from the grave as millennials rattle the club scene by getting “up offa that thing“. Contrary to many people’s doubtful expectations, Funk has found its way back into our mainstream music. Even our very own infamous radio stations, which many of this genre’s lovers have disdained for years, contain elements of Funk in its barrage of pop hits. For those skeptical of the re-emergence, allow me to break it down. Here are some of the recognized faces in the pop world known for bringing the Funk.


Mark Ronson:

Probably the most notable example of the resurrection is, as shown above via GIF, Mark Ronson x Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. Although this track unexpectedly caught the internet by storm, it’s not surprising that producer Mark Ronson would release such a song, considering his track record. Songs like Valerie (featuring Amy Winehouse) and Oh My God (featuring Lily Allen) gave Ronson his reputation of being a producer who sonically caters to old-souls. So when he teamed up with pop icon and old-soul artist Bruno Mars, it was no surprise that a Funk anthem was going to be the outcome. Aside from the fly suits and old school scenery in the music video, the the funky guitar chops and horn section in the chorus give the song its funky vibe (sprinkled with some Hip Hop inspired lyrics).

In fact, the grammy nominated album Uptown Special was filled with Funk components. His second single Daffodils (featuring Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker) could be best described, as youtube commenter Sam Feldstein puts it, “a funkier version of Another Brick in The Wall Part 2”. On his third single Feel Right, featured rapper Mystikal, channels his inner James Brown as the JB’s seem to back him up on the track. The guitars and horn section are up to their usual like in Uptown Funk, but what makes this song standout is the nostalgic bassline. That’s something really rare in music nowadays, a funky bassline. In the world of funk, performance is key. Watch below as the “little gangsta” absolutely dominates the competition in his talent show.


Kendrick Lamar:


Almost out of nowhere, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has become a Funk innovator in his Grammy nominated album To Pimp A Butterfly. Three songs in this critically acclaimed album channeled the Funk.

The first taste we get from TPAB is the Grammy-award winning song i. The The songs funky groove derives directly from the sample of The Isley Brothers’ That Lady? Kendrick’s dancing in the music video also showcase some funk influence, something we also see in the SNL live performance.

Like the SNL performance, the album version of i uses the style of live band to differ slightly, from the single version. That same type of style was used on Wesley’s Theory. The instrumental, specifically the bass and synths, display sounds perfected by 70’s Funk bands like Parliament and Funkadelic, the songs ironically features Funk legend George Clinton. This style usually substitutes the staccato guitar strumming for high elongated synth notes playing the main melody (or random fills). Clinton and Lamar have also collaborated on a recent Funkadelic song.

The hit song King Kunta also pays homage in its Funk ingredients. This time the 90’s G-Funk, that has once dominated the West Coast, makes up the skeleton of this song. The hypnotizing bassline resonating throughout the entire song, makes you think it was produced by either DJ Quik or Dr. Dre. Kendrick also gets down with his bad self in the music video, take a look here:


Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars:

Just One Of The Guys: Bruno Mars (center, with microphone) performs with his band at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington on July 21.






Why group these two together? Well, music is one thing in the Funk culture, but dancing, however, is another. Songs like Uptown Funk and Treasure are perfect examples of the Funk/Disco presence in music today. These songs have given Bruno’s fans the definite impression that his influences derive from Funk musicians of the past. However, it’s performances, like his iconic performance at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, that really seal the deal.

qSYaIw0Mars’ rapid footwork and splits had everyone at the edge of their seats, thinking James Brown’s charisma has truly never left us. Not to mention the famous dance moves in the Uptown Funk music video, via GIF again, was almost impossible to escape and almost impossible to embarrassingly admit you’d tried to attempt it. It was that much of a craze.

Janelle Monae’s Funk elements in her song Tightrope, consists of a driving bassline and hidden horn section in the background. Her song Q.U.E.E.N., however is driven by the main funky guitar riff and fill-in notes from synths. Like Mars, the music videos for these two songs display funky dance-moves that captivated the attention of its viewers. Q.U.E.E.N. features, what seems to be, impulsive dancing. Ironically that’s what the song is about. Monae does what she wants and naturally feels, without feeling restricted by anybody. In Tightrope, most of the dancing is based on footwork, as she slide glides (or glides) alongside her gliding bandmates/dancers. We also get a taste of James Brown’s horn section and dancing from about 3:18-3:52 of the video. She even says…”Ladies and gentlemen the funkiest horns section in Metropolis”. That bragging, assurance, and praise-type of introduction of one’s band is a technique commonly done by many Funk/Soul icons of the past.




Bassist extraordinaire, Thundercat has not only thrived in making his own unique music but he also arranged funky basslines for artists like Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Erykah Badu, proving that Funk musicianship (like legendary guitarist Nile Rodgers)is still alive. Like Wesley’s Theory, which Thundercat provided with intriguing and attention-grabbing bass riffs, his song Oh Sheit, It’s X! sounds like the big band, synth based type of funk you’d hear in the 80’s. This song (based on the bass grooves, vocals, and synths) instantly remind me of young Rick James, taking listeners back to the era of Street Songs. I can just imagine Thundercat feeling himself, on stage facing the crowd of women yelling…


An eye-catching artistic feature that makes Thundercat stand out from a varied stream of artists is his choice of attire, especially when he is performing. In true Funk fashion, his on-stage fashion antics truly dazzle the unexpected eyes of the those who pay to see him, to say the least. Thundercat pays homage to the Funk pioneers of flashy clothing, George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic. There was a time in their career in which Parliament-Funkadelic even claimed they were aliens from another galaxy, via the Mothership Connection. Thundercat, being a huge fan of anime/manga, sometimes dresses as fictional Dragon Ball Z characters (pic on the right). He also dresses as a Native American chief (pic on the left) because of his Comanche roots and the correlation between being a frontman in a live performance and being a chief in a tribe. Thundercat’s eccentric choice of clothing might be odd, due to our standard perception of pop stars, but hey… at least he’s not wearing a diaper.



Using various effects installed in synthesisers was something commercialized in the 70’s by groups like Parliament-Funkadelic, and used by Rick James often in the 80’s. Having effects done on the bass, however, wasn’t done so often (distortion would probably be the closest thing to that). In the video below Thundercat has some type of pedal that gives his bass a “wet” sound, adding interesting Funk qualities in this song. We also see his technical skill on the bass, one of them being singing and playing intricate bass melodies. Also the instrumental break on 1:28 show off his solo abilities, something that he is often praised for.


***EXCLUSIVE ACCESS***during the N.E.R.D "Seeing Sounds" performance and release party presented by Zune at the Roosevelt Hotel on June 4, 2008 in Hollywood, California.

Speaking of musicianship, I wouldn’t do this blog post any justice without mentioning this man. Since forever, pretty much, Pharrell has incorporated Funk elements in his music, often mixing it with Hip Hop and Soul characteristics. In fact, his early pop hits/collaborations consisted of this formula. Smash hits like the promiscuous I’m a Slave 4 U by Britney Spears and Nelly’s Hot in Herre embody the sexually suggestive(and sometimes blatant) factor in some Funk music, further enhanced by packaging it in a sexy music video. These songs contain Jazzy chords on an electric piano(or other piano of some sort), followed by very funky and sensual basslines, and (at times) funky guitar strumming.
Most recently, some of Pharrell’s Funk creations consist of Blow by Beyonce, Come Get It Bae (his own song), and of course the infamous Blurred lines by Robin Thicke (Featuring T.I.) While these songs feature their own variety of sexually suggestive lyrics wrapped in erotic symbolism, Blurred Lines tops them all with its unrated music video displaying topless women chased by the fellow contributing artists…and a goat.


A smash hit and undeniable jam of the summer of 2013, that took a different approach in the music video and lyrical approach, was the unforgettable Get Lucky by Daft Punk. The song starts very spiritual/philosophical and turns into a composition about letting loose and having a great time… also possibly about a one night stand. The visuals for Get Lucky and also the carefree, yet still funky, Lose Yourself to Dance shows the artists performing live in glitter and/or rhinestone blazers. Very old school indeed.

Funk/Disco/Soul legend Nile Rodgers provided guitar work and lyrics for these songs, and a large bulk of the album. Meanwhile other legendary musicians of the 70’s like Nathan East and Paul Jackson Jr. were also utilized in the Grammy Award-winning project. This shows the beauty of collaborations that spawn from both the old and the new school, bringing forth a genre adored by many and undiscovered by a few millennials.

Pharrell, and this reemergence of Funk right beside him, don’t seem to be fading at all. As the years pass, this genre raises the bar, although it’s hard to imagine someone possibly topping Uptown Funk. Contributions between legends of the past and modern icons, prove to us as fans that the Funk will never die. Daft Punk’s Lose Yourself to Dance music video displayed Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, and Pharrell in their flashy clothing, performing in front of a dancing audience(looking to pay homage the numerous Soul/Funk/Disco videos of the 70’s). The fan-made video shown below, however, shows an old video of Soul Train mixed with the new sounds of Pharrell and Daft Punk. Both time periods being advocate promoters of, in the words of Don Cornelius, “Love, Peace, and Soul”


J. Cole x Kendrick = The End of Life As We Know It












“And now we look at the competition, that’s quick submission. They tappin out before we even get a chance to miss them”.


“Never stingy with the hoes, word to Cliff and Chris, so if I fuck 6 bitches I got six assists.”

I could quote they’re hard-hitting bars for pages but i’ll spare you the heart attack. I’m really lost for words, quite honestly. If Feburary really is the release date for their highly anticipated collaboration album, then God help us all.



Intoxicated Enlightenment: An Album Review


Release Date: August 13 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Favorite Tracks: Chaser, Intoxicated Enlightenment, Gilligan’s Island, Nothing to Change, Live a little, King Author, Sweetest Thing Ever, Happy Hour.







Released early to a demanding request from his fans on social media, Harlem native Mike Mitch supplies the world with, without any doubt, his best work to date. In the two year hiatus since his last solo project, Acts of an Upperclassmen, Mitch has mostly taken the role of engineer and mixed many artists’ singles and projects. Most importantly, however, he has taken that time off for his craft, as improvements in all fronts are clearly evident in this album. Like his last solo project, Intoxicated Enlightenment mirrors a well-thought-out concept album meant to sustain its message lingering in the listener’s head. Mitch displays correlations between “intoxicants” and “enlightenment”, this multi-layered concept being the driving theme of the project. Having the heavy synth-based sounds complimenting this concept most of the time, Mitch spits over these turn-up styled instrumentals. Although the sounds are mostly up-beat, Mitch supplies a conscious undertone, hidden within his lyrics, meant to carry weight for the entire project.

Concept and lyricism:


The album kicks off with the song Chaser. The song lives up to its name as the chorus states “And I don’t really care for a chaser. Henny, straight shots, no chaser”, making you think the song has one purpose and one purpose only …


The song, however, forces us to tap into a different mindstate (enlightenment), as Mitch speaks on troublesome topics plaguing his urban community and his life, while cleverly stating “If the money ain’t the motive don’t chase it. If the chick ain’t a dime don’t chase her”. Basically stating if something in life isn’t worth it, don’t chase it (no chaser).Chaser‘s message could be broken down in two ways: 1. (the literal message) Mitch drinks to think differently about the same cold world that he is trying to escape from. 2. (from a more metaphorical approach) Mitch doesn’t chase predetermined/detrimental stereotypes (no chasersmoney ain’t the motive), rather he alters the way he thinks (almost as if he were taking shots of consciousness) in order to free his people (enlightenment).

Chaser serves as a perfect intro, as it embodies Intoxicated Enlightenment as a project. He sets the tone early on for what’s to come next. Now that he has taken enough shots, he is intoxicated enough to tell his tale.




…For me I personally turn to the intoxicants. And I have faith in my community. I have faith in our society but, when I get to that point of being overwhelmed, that’s what I indulge in. And i’m allowing ya to hear my journey through that state of mind.  



With that being said, whether it be drunken sips, toad licking, glue sniffs, lighting crack pipes, a needle fix (or whatever be Mitch’s prefered choice of “intoxicants”) we’re given the thoughts and actions that go through his mind when he’s under that state of mind. Subjects vary from somber moments in his life (Live a Little) to, something we’ve all probably fallen victim to, drunk texting (Drunken Text). Although there is vast difference in flow, concepts, sub-genres, emotions, etc., Mitch efficiently executes in every facet. I cannot stress enough that the storytelling, song structure, flow, and technicism of his lyrics contain such a vast improvement since his last project.

Exhibit A:

Released this January as our first official taste of Intoxicated Enlightenment, Mike Mitch tells a provocative, and hopefully fictional, story about being blackmailed after a booty call. Split Second truly highlights Mitch’s storytelling abilities. As the plot thickens, the woman in the song threatens him with a rape charge and claims that they’ve conceived a child. All seems to be well though. In the next song, Jump (Slippin’), Mitch with such eloquence and poetic stance articulates with, “Fuck that bitch though, we out here”. Check out the visuals filmed by his production company Limitless Imprint Ent.

Exhibit B: 

More lyrically sound (from a technical standpoint) than Split Second, Nothing To Change has more of a conscious upbringing. Mike Mitch uses an unusual technique of incorporating a spoken word performance in the chorus, something I believe I haven’t seen before. Written (the spoken word) by Mitch himself, his ability to experiment as such, proves to me that he has gotten better as a writer. He also channels more of an omniscient narrator, hoping to bring change in a forever-violent world. Considering, the ill things happening in the world today, Mitch (among other artists) combat with songs that provide people with hope. Check out the creative lyric video also created and edited by LIE.




Intoxicated Enlightenment is encompassed by beats from producers Live Bradshaw, Cler-Vision, DJ Brandeezie, Sha-Liek Tha Engineer, and Digital Dru. The instrumentals do a good job of complimenting Mitch’s flow and concepts. As mentioned before, some of this album’s beats rely on synthesizers and also rapid percussion (especially in high hats). This is done in order to fit the turn-up image (that usually occurs when “intoxicated”) that Mitch was trying to convey most of the project. In a very trap-music style, songs like the first single Gilligan’s Island and Black-Out urge you to gather the homies and channel your inner Sosa.

As such:


Although the turn-up was real, other songs contained a different stylistic approach. Take most songs produced by Sha-Liek Tha Engineer, for instance. These songs, based on soothing vocal samples, were at a slower tempo, more somber sounding, and tended to be less party and more conscious. Songs like Live A Little and Paper.

165796478Speaking of beats that stand out, I couldn’t finish this section without talking about my favorite instrumental on Intoxicated Enlightenment. The song Happy Hour, produced by Live Bradshaw, paints the image of a live band performing alongside Mike Mitch. The enchanting piano, amongst other things, sounds like live piano music you would hear during happy hour in a bar, ironically enough. The piano by itself sounds like would never fit in the standard 4/4 time (because of its rapid runs up and down the keys) but Live Bradshaw manages to add a easy-tempoed boom-clap drum beat and an angelic voice sample to make this mere obstacle sound heavenly. The efficient use of “ethnic instruments” (I believe he’s using the bongos, tablas, and maracas) throughout the song also give it a much more relaxed and joyous vibe. It is also a big reason why Happy Hour has such a good chorus (one of the best and most tranquil on the album).



What would a great rap album be without climatic features ? It’s hard to imagine Intoxicated Enlightenment without its guest appearances, considering that every rapper propelled each individual track to better heights. The song Justice League, for instance, featured phenomenal verses from close LIE collaborators KS, Shellz D, Live Bradshaw, Ave Campbell, and Mark Twayne.Twayne, alongside Mitch, released a collaborative project titled B.A.R.S. a year ago and has been dominating, to say it kindly, so far in the world of battle rap. Don’t believe me just watch. His verse on Paper did well in setting the tone, in a song about artists’ “releasement from these chains” by doing it “for the paper”. KS who, released the 30-for-30 track recently, absolutely killed his verse on Justice League and the song King Arthur (in which the bar was already set high by an impressive verse from Mike Mitch). Both Live Bradshaw (in Sweeting Thing Ever) and Ave Campbell (in Gilligan’s Island) do a great job in matching the song’s vibe and style, along with meshing well with Mitch’s verse. Not to mention Bradshaw on Justice League had one of the hardest lines on the album.

Proper grammar was never used for collateral cause feds still need the lower cases for the capital.


young boy using asthma inhaler child asthmatic model released




I was also surprised by two features. I’ve always known Dyani and Shakeil to be singers, that is until recently. Dyani did a great job in playing the “girl role” on the song Drunk Texting, displaying her rap skills well in the context of the song. Shakiel this past summer dropped his impressive 11236 EP and a music video for his single 236 Summer. To my surprise, most of the EP showcased Shakeil’s rapping ability as did the song #Winning on Intoxicated Enlightenment. Some of his songs on the 11236 EP and #Winning show how well Shakeil could balance both rap realms of bragadocious/turn-up and socially conscious, like Mike Mitch. Rapper King Q also did well by matching Mitch’s energy and delivered a well-spit, hyped, verse on Black-out, similar to Ave Campbell on Gilligan’s Island.



Every facet on Intoxicated Enlightenment scream to me one simple thing…progression. Acts of an Upperclassmen was a good body of work but there was still some room for improvement, all of which Mitch must have taken into account when going into this project.

The bars were superb, first and foremost. I found myself questioning whether if Mitch truly got better lyrically or did the content quality effect his writing this time around. From punch lines to rhyme schemes, Mitch seemed to have a better grip of lyricism. From this, listeners received great song ideas that are both food-for-thought and enjoyable. One thing that is also important to mention is that Mike Mitch mixes his own work. The mixing aspect, to me, was the most drastic improvement. The vocals, most importantly, are generally alot clearer (as well as the beats). He also used the left and right channels more efficiently, as processed adlibs would take turns alternating in each ear…God bless stereo. These improvements, along with others, made the catchy songs mesh well together and provide a strong body of work meant to stand tall in today’s times in rap music.

Intoxicated Enlightenment‘s concept really stood out to me.The multi-meaning rhetoric of seeing the world with a different pair of specs was enhanced in almost every song on the album, considering that each song has its own theme/plot. Whether it’s displaying a swag-rap song or a socially conscious song, Intoxicated Enlightenment has it all. It has tracks that make you want to gather the masses to demand change and it also has tracks that make you want to round up your boys and keep it 300.

Such as:


All in all, it looks like Mike Mitch, has his work cut out for him. It seems like he truly gets better as the years go bye. It’s exciting to think where he can go from here because of the bar being set so high. I recommend this project to everybody, go and check it out, if you already haven’t…

Nice work, Mike.

Hotline Bling: A Landmark or a Comedy?

drake-hotline-bling-video-1445334533-hero-promo-0Unless your body has been grossly covered under a rock these past few days, you have come across Drake’s latest music video for his single Hotline Bling. Upon, its release, Drake has touched upon the fact that he has never reached the number 1 spot on the billboard charts. With Hotline Bling currently holding the number 2 slot it would only be smart to execute with a video that will suit the song well and make it go viral. And by Drake being Drake that is exactly what he does… One thing I have to ask though.. Is this virality for the wrong reasons??

What’s in the video? And why has everyone been talking about it ?

Ima put it this way. Drake was tryna cha cha to a song that sounds like Cha Cha but in reality only Cha Cha would make the cha cha okay to cha cha.. ya feel me?

For those that don’t know, Cha Cha is a song made by rapper/singer D.R.A.M. Hotline Bling is founded on the basis of being the remix to, or Drake’s version of, D.R.A.M.’s song. Drake has his producer slightly change the instrumental, slows it down a tad, and gives it the usual emo approach in his “I miss you girl, your new man aint shit” songs. Take a listen to Cha Cha below…

I only bring this up because that type of corky dancing perfectly fits in the turn-up framework and Latin styles of D.R.A.M.’s song… Drake’s song, however?? ..mmmm not so much. Watching a grown man sing about his depressing love life and seeing him turn-up like an old man at a disco, first had me looking at the screen like…


There real winner of this video however, is social media. Within these past 4 days they’ve had a field day, as expected. Leave it up to the viners to take a video and turn it into something we tune in daily for a dose of laughter. Watch as numerous people put their spin on Hotline Bling:

As seen in this video, the Latino community have also found joy in Drake’s music video. There’s been many vines where Bachata, Merengue, or Reggaeton music is playing in the background and Drake is gives us his best renditions of Latin dance moves. My personal favorite though?

I honestly cannot tell you how many times i’ve died watching this (my Dominicans would understand). Leave it to Papi Champagne to, not only have Latina women in the video but to, show us Dominicans that dancing Bachata isn’t as hard as singing it.

Exhibit A: (Please excuse Ice JJ and future President, Mr. West.)

All jokes aside, Drake really does look like he’s genuinely having fun in the video. And if this move lands him a number 1 next week, which I think it definitely will, this will be such a landmark on the young rapper’s career(which has already hit such a peak this year alone). Even though this song and video is great on its own,I ,as well as social media, couldn’t help ourselves from laughing just a little. But just like the #drakebelike or #drakethetypanigga memes and tweets, it only adds more publicity to his arsenal and makes him more into the superstar that he already is. Keep reaching for them starts Drizzy, and an early congratulations to when you reach that #1 on billboard.