20 Watts

Concert Coverage: HARD NYC by tjwell01

20 Watts peaked inside the Major Lazer show in NYC last weekend.

HARD NYC was more than a concert. It was more than a rave. It was pure madness. The six-hour long show, comprised of performances from Destructo, Proxy, Buraka Som Sistema, Major Lazer, and Boys Noize, went at a voracious, non-stop force that engrossed the audience of 500-something people for its entire run.

Destructo (Gary Richards), creator of the HARD series, is known for inserting his performance into the DJ lineups. Hailing from Los Angeles, he generally aims to do nothing less than worm up a fervent crowd. He proudly emerged on the stage with an expectedly disappointing performance. His mildly synthesized beats seemed to appeal mainly to the eager crowd of New York City high school girls that surrounded me. Hey, they looked happy to get out of their house on a Saturday night by 8 o’clock. His music eventually grew to become much more tolerable and enjoyable. Richards pumped out his focused and consistently loud smashes, all while a Lego-inspired vehicle of a light show blasted on the massive screen behind him.

The Russian enigma, Proxy, performing live in the United States for the first time that night, jumped onstage quickly after Destructo’s finale. He was by far the best powerhouse to come from Russia since Ivan Drago’s fist in Rocky IV. He mixed his own original songs with contemporary bangers, like “Sweet Shop” by dub step legend Dr. P. As the concert was heating up, so were we. Terminal 5’s tight venue certainly did not keep our wallets tight. I myself must have dropped at least twelve dollars on water. Frequent trips to the patio area for some fresh air at first left us frustrated with our constant movements, but we grew to enjoy the intermittent blasts of oxygen that let loose our head-throbbing constraints.

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20 Watts Reviews Ludacris’s Battle of the Sexes by jluposello

Ludacris's Battle of the Sexes.

PREVIEW: VISIT Ludacris’ MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts

Ludacris isn’t exactly known for respect towards women in his raps. But with his latest release, Battle of the Sexes, Luda tries to offer a woman’s point-of-view on partying, sex and relationships. While these topics are not new to Ludacris’s repertoire, the juxtaposition he creates in his seventh studio album shows that the rapper still has something fresh to offer the hip-hop scene. Battle of the Sexes boasts a good mix of party anthems and sex-driven songs featuring some of today’s most well-known female rappers.

The intro to BOTS makes it clear that ‘Cris still loves to party hard, making numerous references to smoking weed within the first two minutes. “Everybody Drunk” and “Party No ‘Mo” encourage picking up women at the club and drinking till you pass out. Lil’ Scrappy is featured on the final cut of the more laid-back “Everybody Drunk,” while the original, which was released in April 2009, featured Shawnna. Continue reading

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Editor’s Pick #270: Doesn’t Diplo have better things to do? by carlywolkoff
January 29, 2010, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Free Gucci mixtape fails to free Gucci

PREVIEW: LISTEN to Diplo’s Remix of Gucci Mane’s “Excuse Me” on YouTube

In a recent interview, Philadelphia-based DJ Diplo stated, “Gucci Mane is an underdog.”  This patronizing assertion may have contributed to his reasoning in creating the Diplo Presents: Free Gucci (Best of the Cold War Mixtapes) mixtape, but Gucci Mane is certainly no less of an underdog because of Diplo’s remix magic.

You can gather your most talented hipster-approved DJ friends in the game (Zomby, Flying Lotus, Memory Tapes), but if you ask them to remix shit songs, the result will not be genius – not even the familiar sounds of the most common club beats can gild Gucci’s trite lyrics and unoriginality.

–Carly Wolkoff, Front of Book Editor

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20 Watts Reviews Wale’s Attention Deficit by JohnCassillo
November 10, 2009, 2:27 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , , , , ,


Wale's debut album delivers in pieces, but overall, lacks a theme

WE GIVE IT: 15/20 Watts

With an entire mixtape inspired by Seinfeld, and his own brand of not-quite-conventional hip-hop, DC-based rapper Wale already made a splash even before releasing his first studio album. Leaning heavily on soul, jazz and funk samples, along with a bevy of pop-culture references, one would assume Attention Deficit to be one of the year’s most interesting and unique hip-hop releases. Unfortunately, however, this does not come to be. Continue reading