20 Watts

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


Emerging Artists: MC/VL by kayzimbo
April 21, 2009, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Emerging Artists | Tags: , , , , , , ,


The first song on MC/VL‘s myspace, “How I Eat My Peas,” begins with a classical piano tune that drags the listener in from the first note. With a distorted male voice in the background, the intricacy of the song picks up and a rapper enters the picture. While I’m not usually into hip-hop, this band really caught my attention because of the musical aspects to each song. You can tell that every second of MC/VL‘s background music is thought through and carefully arranged. They sample songs but incorporate their own beats and lines into the music, which creates a great contrast to the rapping. 

They come from Minnesota, which I hear has a great music scene in the twin cities. They don’t really seem to leave their local market, but from the looks of their pictures, they appear to have crazy live shows. If you’re into old school hip-hop or something more new-age like The Streets, then you should check out MC/VL. They are also good to listen to if you’re just looking for something new and interesting. Although songs of theirs like “The Guarantee” may be slightly over-remixed, it’s still worth a listen to see something different from most of the things you hear today.

-Kyra Zeller

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Must See: Paul Dateh Hip Hop Violinist by kayzimbo
April 16, 2009, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I’m not really a youtube fanatic. I mainly use it to create playlists for pre-gaming that consist of top 40 hits I refuse to buy. This link was sent to me by my TRF professor, who is a fellow violinist.  Maybe it’s only because I play violin, but I could not take my eyes or ears off this video the first time I heard it and every time since. Many violinists have started to stray from the classical realm, but this is the first performance I have ever watched that relates to hip-hop. Since the video has over three million views, I’m sure some have you have already seen this, but I doubt you would mind watching it again.

-Kyra Zeller

Editors Pick #129: New Streets on Twitter by 20watts
April 14, 2009, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, Free 4 All | Tags: , , , ,

As Jett previously reported, the latest from hilarious British rapper Mike Skinner (a.k.a. The Streets) comes to us via Twitter!  My, this is the Internet age.  Skinner is set to release three new songs through his Twitter in the next few days, and the first just dropped this afternoon.

DOWNLOAD: “I Love My Phone” – Streets

As a totally unrelated side note, 20 Watts has a pretty phenomenal/informative Twitter, which you might consider following.  This is in no way blatant advertising.

– Caitlin Dewey, front of book editor

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Guess Who’s Back? (Back Again) by kayzimbo

Slim Shady is back in business. The hit single, “Crack a Bottle,” has jump started Eminem’s career once again.  It was reported today that Eminem will be performing with his band on May 31 at the MTV Movie Awards.

It appears like many musicians have started to use live award shows to make their comeback (or at least make an announcement like Blink 182 at the 2009 Grammys). The last time we saw Eminem was in 2002, when he sold over seven million copies of The Marshall Mathers LP over three million copies of the soundtrack to the movie “8 Mile.” It will be exciting to see what new material Eminem comes out with; we have no doubt it will top the charts.

-Kyra Zeller

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