Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: 8 Diagrams, album review, Freddie Gibbs, Ghostface Killah, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Meth Ghost & Rae, Method Man, Michael Jackson, Raekwon, Tracy Morgan, Wu-Massacre, Wu-Tang Clan
PREVIEW: VISIT Meth, Ghost & Rae’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
Back together for the first time since 2007’s 8 Diagrams, Wu-Tang Clan‘s Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon haven’t lost a beat. Recording their self-proclaimed “fan album,” Meth, Ghost & Rae end up turning back the clock to gangsta rap’s 1990s heyday, as they sling smooth, yet violent rhymes over fresh backing tracks. Needless to say, the results could surprise the current rap game.
In today’s hip-hop scene, gangsta rap has mostly disappeared. There have been fleeting moments when its return seemed possible– mostly releases from Wu-Tang members (mainly these three) and various mixtapes (see either of Freddie Gibbs‘s 2009 efforts). But for the most part, that segment of the genre has given way to the more radio-oriented Kanye Wests and Lil’ Waynes of the world. As you may have guessed, Wu-Massacre meets none of these popular conceptions. Continue reading
Filed under: The Mix Fix | Tags: Big Mouth, Devon James, dj, Drake, Hi-Tag, Lil Wayne, mash-up, Mix Fix, Mouth's Cradle, remix, Syracuse University
LISTEN: “The Reward is More Money to Blow” by Hi-Tag
It’s been well-known now for months that SU’s campus is becoming a hot-spot for student DJs/mash-up artists with prominent local names such as Big Mouth, Brandon Linn (of Mouth’s Cradle) and Devon James, and now it looks like the list is expanding with the emergence of Hi-Tag, a.k.a. Drew Taggart. The Bandier program sophomore hasn’t publicized his music until now, and honestly, it’s pretty damn good. “The Reward is More Money to Blow” is a great build-up jam with smart and creative hip-hop samples featuring Lil Wayne and Drake, but I feel a little ripped off in the end. Look out for this kid once he hones his skills and becomes a valiant competitor to the veterans I mentioned above.
Filed under: City Sounds | Tags: birdman, Cash Money Millionaires, City Sounds, Down, Eyehategod, Fats Domino, Jelly Roll Morton, Juvenile, Lil Wayne, Louis Armstrong, Mannie Fresh, New Orleans, Professor Longhair, The Meters, WERW
PREVIEW: VISIT WERW’s MySpace
Not only did New Orleans win the Superbowl last weekend, but Mardi Gras is this week as well. So why not celebrate with City Sounds as we explore The Big Easy’s distinct musical history?
New Orleans is the widely considered the birthplace of Jazz, and with good reason. Some of the most prominent faces of jazz like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, not only called New Orleans their home, but their entire style. It was the hotspot–and to this day still is–for blues and jazz.
Jazz turned in funk, blues into rock ‘n roll and New Orleans didn’t give up it’s limelight. Fats Domino, The Meters and Professor Longhair held their own when Detroit and Chicago ruled the airwaves with their own styles of music.
But N’awlins isn’t just all about jazz and voodoo and cajun food. There has been quite the metal presence as well–with bands like Down and Eyehategod. And don’t forget the rap game down there with Cash Money Millionaires Lil’ Wayne, Birdman, Juvenile and Mannie Fresh.
There’s so much music in The Crescent City that we’ll be exploring Monday night from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. on WERW, it’d be almost ridiculous not to kick of Fat Tuesday this way. We’ll be on the French Quarter and we got beads!
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Rebirth, Releases of the Week
PREVIEW: VISIT Lil’ Wayne’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 6/20 Watts
Over the past decade, Lil’ Wayne has made a name for himself as a game-changer, innovator and popular music icon for an entire generation. Whether rightfully or wrongfully so may be up for debate, but the fact of the matter is that Weezy is a highly marketable, successful brand. Unfortunately for us, this has gone to his head a bit too much of late, hence why we are now faced with evaluating “rock” experiment Rebirth.
If it simply featured some guitar noodling, a couple samples and maybe a guest appearance or two by some notable rock artists, perhaps Rebirth would be both acceptable and favorable as a fan album. Hell, Kanye West‘s 808s and Heartbreak worked out pretty well, and it was virtually one big experiment. However, this is where any comparison between the two records starts and ends. Continue reading
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: "American Idiot" the Musical, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Drake, Editor's Picks, Eminem, green day, Lil Wayne, The Grammy Awards, Travis Barker
PREVIEW: LISTEN to Green Day performing “21 Guns” with the cast “American Idiot” on YouTube.
Hey did you know that The Grammy Awards are on TV this Sunday! Yeah, neither did I. It’s true that The Grammy Awards are getting further from relevance every year, but there’s at least one thing to look forward to this year. Green Day will perform with the cast of “American Idiot” the musical. Having a broadway show based on your incredibly popular, mainstream CD might not be “punk-rock,” but the musical has been getting rave reviews. Recently, the musical wrapped up a record breaking three month stint at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, and on April 20th the show will make it’s Broadway debut at the the St. James Theater. So, be sure to check out Green Day and a performance by Eminem, Lil Wayne, Drake and Travis Barker. On second thought, The Grammy’s might not be too bad this year.
–Eric Hoffman, Managing Editor
Filed under: Editor Picks, Leak of the Week, Urban | Tags: 99 Problems, Da Da Da, Editor's Picks, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, mixtape, No Ceiling, prom queen, Rebirth
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD “Da Da Da” by Lil Wayne
If you’re worried about not getting enough Weezy before he heads to prison, the Internet is leaking enough of his music to hold you over. Just over a month ago, Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings mixtape was released days before it was intended to, and now, exactly two weeks before his latest CD Rebirth’s December 21st release date, a track off the album entitled “Da Da Da” was leaked.
While I’d like to know whether Weezy’s music is really being leaked or if it’s a sneaky marketing ploy, what I’d like to know even more is what he was thinking when he recorded this track. For those of you who don’t know, Rebirth is filled with tracks that are overly synthesized with guitar riffs that pale in comparison to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” I hate bashing on Lil Wayne, but when he raps about doing the “funky monkey,” I have to wonder if he was tripping on codeine when he wrote these lyrics.
However, around the two-minute mark Weezy raps a verse that could potentially save the song, and the rapper’s reputation. This thirty-second blurb features the clever similes and catchy beats Lil Wayne is best known for and will probably hook people enough to make the song another hit. It will be interesting to see how people react to the song overall, however. I have a feeling if this was a single released by a new artist people wouldn’t give it the time of day, but since it’s Lil Wayne, I wouldn’t be surprised if rap fans cut him a lot of slack. The only way to decide for yourself is to preview “Da Da Da” and figure out if you’ll be happy listening to this song- and the rest of Rebirth– on repeat for a year until Weezy is no longer a jail-bird.
–Dana Mikaelian, Communications Director
Filed under: Features | Tags: andrew bird, bird, bird parker, birdman, bowerbirds, by your side, charlie parker, city of echoes, cranes, Department of Eagles, Doves, earth angel, forever, hotel california, in ear park, jazz at massey hall, like father like son, Lil Wayne, los souls, nightingales, out of true, Pelican, Phoenix, Sheryl Crow, soundtracks for the blind, swans, the 20, the birda nd the bee, The Black Crowes, The Byrds, The Dodos, The Eagles, the last broadcast, the penguins, the swimming hour, the yardbirds, Visiter, wolfgang amadeus phoenix, younger than yesterday
Thanksgiving. For years it’s brought people together to feast on turkey. In honor of this joyous American holiday, 20 Watts has decided to elucidate you, fine reader, on the many bands named after a variety of fowl. We bring you our very special Thanksgiving 20, based on artists named after a variety of avian creatures.
So what’s the very best of bird-themed music? 20 Watts’ STAFF has the answer in our tenth 20 installment. Watch for new 20s each Thursday, only on 20 Watts, and check out our previous 20s below!