20 Watts

ISSUE 22 | The Five: Rosie and Me, Ellie Goulding, Cults, Hunx and His Punx and Freddie Gibbs by 20watts

Brazilian folk artists are just one act in the latest edition of 20 Watts' FIVE, the FIVE acts you need to hear now! Read more here!

Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
PREVIEW: Click on the links below to access music and learn even more about these bands!

Rosie and Me (pictured above)

If you thought the best genres Brazil produced were metal (Sepultura), Bossa nova (Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto) and tropicalia (Os Mutantes), we’ve got two words for you: indie folk.

Mostly bypassing the obvious Brazilian influences, Rosie and Me sound more like an American Continue reading

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Editor’s Pick #151: Wale’s “New Soul” by carlywolkoff
"New Soul" stands out on Back to the Feature

"New Soul" stands out on Back to the Feature

PREVIEW: Download Wale’s “New Soul” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Emerging Artists: Wale, New Wale Single Chillin’ f. Lady GaGa

Surprisingly, my favorite song off Wale’s star-studded Back to the Feature mixtape is not one produced by Mark Ronson and doesn’t even feature Talib Kweli, or Lady Gaga.

“New Soul” comes last on the mixtape, and there’s no better impression he could leave his audience with.  Of all the hip-hop freshmen Wale gives a shout out to on “New Soul” — Asher Roth, Wiz Khalifa, Drizzy Drake — Wale is undoubtedly the most promising.   As the BKS-produced beat samples Yael Naim’s hit “New Soul,” Wale brilliantly knocks all of hip-hop’s new souls and set himself apart.  He recognizes the current Drake craze, and dismisses it by rapping, “Slow and steady wins this race / F*ck leading.”  It’s almost comical that releasing a mixtape every year since 2005, like Wale, is considered “slow and steady” nowadays.

Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #145: Dr. Dre’s The Chronicq by carlywolkoff
July 24, 2009, 11:17 am
Filed under: Editor Picks, Throwbacks | Tags: , , , , , ,
Dr. Dre's The Chronic revolutionized gangster rap

Dr. Dre's The Chronic revolutionized gangster rap

PREVIEW: Dr. Dre “Bitches Ain’t Shit” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Dre Produces New Eminem Album

Whenever I feel discontented with today’s excuse for “rap” music, or whenever Kanye’s neon shutter-shaded ego bores me, I pop in Dre’s The Chronic, and all is right with the world again.  There is something strangely freeing about taking the advice at the beginning of “Lyrical Gangbang” which says,“This should be played at high volume/Preferably in a residential area,” and blasting it as I drive through suburbia.

I wouldn’t trade those looks from my principal as I used to pull into the high school parking lot, bass bumping with Dre, for anything.  This album is free of vapid, meaningless rhymes about yachts, Ferraris, and designer B.S. With The Chronic, it’s back to the basics of g’s and l’s.

Snoop’s calm, nothing-phases-me-because-I’m-high-flow matches Dre’s smooth, G-funk beats, creating an album so original, it revolutionized the gangsta rap genre. Well over fifteen years after its release, this is still my favorite rap album.  And regardless of the fact that I’m supporting the wrong coast, maybe we should take the genre back to the days of east/west coast rivalries when rappers sounded like this.

Peep this old school video for “Nuthing But a G Thang.” ’68 Impala, hydraulics, Snoop with short hair, house parties … so ’90s and so great.

— Carly Wolkoff