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AZ- “The Format”

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Now I don’t take XXL’s word as gospel, but I’m always interested in their Freshman selections because the people they choose are making noise.

These were the only two guys that I had never heard of in the 2016 class, and despite the fact that I love the music of the rest of the student body (Lil Uzi Vert Lil Yachty in particular), I realize that these artists annoy the traditionalists.

This freestyle, however, exists so that even the most stern and staunch hip hop purists won’t be able to say that the Freshman iterations are whack,

No-pause flow with heavy, non-homogenous beats.

What a perfect beat for Doom. It flows (like honey) in a way that lets him talk in his molasses prose — spilling words in places typically ignored by rappers.

I was checking out sMiles’ last post by Phoniks, which I recommend, and the next song on the album echoes this InI track produced by Peter Rock.

Phoniks – Cream

A few weeks ago I sat at a coffee shop and listened to this instrumental 20 times in a row until it became a part of the scenery. And here I am — at the same coffee shop — listening to it again. No coffee this time. Just Cream.

An incredible rendition of Ski’s “Dead Presidents” beat from Jay-Z’s legendary first album, Reasonable DoubtThink Twice & David Ryshpan injected some real emotion into their version, taking it to a pretty somber and reflective place. It’s hard to add to such a classic beat like this without taking away essential elements, but they did just that, and created something novel.

Saying what everyone wants to.

Hope this goes viral.

Anderson .Paak is Kendrick Lamar if the latter grew up only listening to the Temptations. That amalgamation is unique and tasty, especially when you add in EOM (I need to check out more of this guy’s work). Blu‘s verse sounds like it could have been on “Below The Heavens” and I don’t need to explain why that’s a good thing.

The first 55 seconds could exist as its own song and be applauded. But Fat Jon, whose vibe at times resembles famous Far East producers, evidently saw it as a dope intro to a doper melody. A Sunday vibe for sure.