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 #294: New Charles Hamilton by tjwell01
March 23, 2010, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,

Charles Hamilton slips back into the picture with hot new track, "Deuces."

PREVIEW: Charles Hamilton’s MySpace

DOWNLOAD: Free Download of  Binge Vol. 3

LISTEN: “Deuces” by Charles Hamilton

Charles Hamilton is a workaholic hip-hop phenom that never quite breaks into a groove, but he loves making mixtapes. His latest featuring “Deuces” is a keeper. I first took notice of this MC when he first released “Brooklyn Girls” a year ago. Since then, I just waited for Hamilton to take the throne that was rightfully his. He’s a talented geek who loves rapping about video games and girls in New York, and I relate to him because he doesn’t pretend to be anyone else other than himself–and that’s pretty hard to accomplish in hip-hop when there’s pressure to come like a gangster all the time. I love the beat of “Deuces,” and it just makes me wonder when he will, if ever, release an album. When, Hamilton, WHEN???!

–Jett Wells

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Editor’s Pick #293: Myles P Mixtape by tjwell01
March 22, 2010, 11:08 am
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , ,

Binghamton's Myles P is emerging fast with his latest mixtape release

PREVIEW: Myles P’s MySpace


LISTEN: “Hip-Hop’s Last Hope” by Myles P (Produced by Nick Cicero)

SU grad and professional music producer Nick Cicero has worked with big names labels and artists like Drake, so  Myles P must have been licking his chops once Cicero agreed to work with him on his latest free for download mixtape. Myles P is a Binghamton, NY native and brings some unforeseen attitude and grit to an largely undefined music scene. He sounds more refined than SU’s very own Delirium, but that same kind of nerd-rap style people love about Kanye West and Kid Cudi.

–Jett Wells

20 Watt’s Reviews DJ Khaled’s Victory by gjfitton


DJ Khaled's act is getting stale, and Victory doesn't help matters

PREVIEW: VISIT DJ Khaled’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 11/20 Watts

Who exactly is DJ Khaled? It’s a question that perceptive music fans have wrestled with since his mainstream debut back in 2006. Khaled is not a DJ in the traditional sense of the word, he is not a producer and he is definitely not a rapper. His role on his fourth effort, Victory, is essentially the same as it has been for his previous albums. He simply screams and shouts over the various tracks. For the casual listener not familiar with hip-hop, Victory will surely not rest nicely on the ears– with music made for car subwoofers, rather than cocktail parties.

Khaled sticks to the same formula he has since 2006, compiling a diverse group of rappers over a multitude of instrumentals. The Runners, who have been working with Khaled for quite some time, handle most of the tracks, including lead single “Fed Up.” Their production technique defines the sound of Victory with stuttering southern drums and sharp synthesizers. “Fed Up” features relatively weak verses from Young Jeezy and Rick Ross, and some lines from Drake that fail to really fit the style of the song. Usher’s street-preaching chorus is also a bit laughable considering the relative comfort level of his career. Continue reading

UU confirms Drake will headline Syracuse University’s Block Party 2010 by caitlindewey

Drake is coming to Syracuse!

PREVIEW: VISIT Drake’s MySpace

20 Watts called it a week ago and University Union just confirmed: in a press release distributed to campus media outlets early this morning (with the exception of the Daily Orange, of course, which inexplicably gets special treatment), UU public relations director Brittany Frederickson revealed that Drake will in fact be headlining Block Party 2010.

Openers include Francis & The Lights, K-OS and a “special guest” to be announced later in the semester. The concert will be on Friday April 30 at 8 p.m. in the Carrier Dome; tickets are $15 for students and $25 for the general public.

20 Watts broke the news on February 18 after Drake announced a stop in Syracuse via his Myspace. At the time, SU grad student and producer Nick Cicero, who is signed to the same label as Drake’s producer, said that the rapper was “supposed to be coming” but that it wasn’t “uber-official” yet.

Drake’s last release was the mixtape The Drought is Over: Friends with Money, which 20 Watts’ reviews editor John Cassillo gave a 13 out of 20 watts.

20 Watts will continue reporting on the spring semester concert schedule as information becomes available.

— Caitlin Dewey

Q&A: 20 Watts Interviews Sleigh Bells by tjwell01

Derek Miller (left) from red-hot new band Sleigh Bells checks in with 20 Watts to talk about producing the debut LP and how the odd couple made the perfect match.

PREVIEW: Sleigh Bells’ MySpace and live performance on Pitchfork TV

Major breakout electronic/heavy-metal/hip-hop duo, Sleigh Bells, a.k.a. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller, lit up over night after they performed at this year’s CMJ Festival in New York City. Krauss loves pop and Miller loves heavy rock, but somehow and someway, Sleigh Bells became one of this year’s hottest bands and made our “The Five.” While the band is on hiatus recording their LP and tucking away from the shows, Miller spared some time to chat it up with 20 Watts about the new album and adjusting to the suddenly high expectations.

20W: I hear you produced the EP. Do you plan on producing the LP by yourself?

DM: I plan on doing about 90 percent of it on my own, but will likely bring in a co-producer here and there to help me when necessary. Shane Stoneback will be engineering, and the bulk of the record will be made at his studio, Treefort.

20W: How do you go about fusing your metal influences with Alexis’ pop taste?

DM: Well we are both huge pop music fans, whatever that means these days. Alexis is really into soul. early rhythm and blues, while I tend to go for slicker, punchier records from the last two or three decades. The heaviness is something that is less in my ears and more in my blood.

Continue reading

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Hip-Hop Weekly: The Eternal Throwback “Let Me Clear My Throat” by beccaaydelotte

I remember sitting in the car, driving home from some sports’ practice in 1996 hearing it, and thinking, “Hmm I like this.” I was 7 and it struck a chord in me.

To this day, “Let Me Clear My Throat” is a throwback that knocks ‘em dead at parties and is guaranteed to be sung along to anywhere it’s played. Maybe it’s those brassy horns, or the ridiculous rapping of a guy named DJ Kool, but it made its mark in ’96 in Philadelphia and it still stands as one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.

One guy I met said he was the there the night DJ Kool performed “Let Me Clear My Throat” for the first time at the Bahama Bay Club in Philly. Now, everytime he hears it, he’s reminded of celebrating his birthday surrounded by friends hearing that crazy rap performed for the first time, making its mark on hip-hop history.

So why does this song make listeners flashback to the first time they heard it? First off, almost everyone knows it. And if you don’t, get acquainted. Then there’s the call back where the audience gets to join in to the “clear my throat” rap. But best of all, it’s the shout out “now all the ladies in the place, if you got real hair, real fingernails, if you got a job, you going to school and ya’ll need nobody to help you handle your business make some noise.”

It’s strong, it’s real, it’s simple, it’s funky, and it gets in your head. It’s original. You remember it. You want to sing along, you want to make some noise and you want to keep hearing it. It’s a basic hip-hop song that has everything right going on. And 13 years later, that’s what makes it a welcomed throwback.

–Becca Aydelotte

If you like Hip-Hop, R&B and throwbacks tune in to HipHop for BREAKFAST on WERW Mondays 4-7am