Flying Lotus – “Masquatch” ft. DOOM

Flying Lotus’ production on his new single “Masquatch” is a seemingly slowed down iteration of his production on his most recent album “You’re Dead!” The stomp, the rattle, and the wonderfully organic feel are all present. My mind wanders to a desert scene with wind sifting through the limbs of a 1,000-year-old dead tree.

At a slower tempo, however, FlyLo’s production loses its frantic mania and instead co-opts a deeply menacing face. The synths that hang over the production and occasional jazz noodling take on their full spiritual effect, now being used only sparsely. As far as DOOM’s performance on the song, it is a little too low in the mix to be heard clearly. Not only is it overshadowed talent-wise by FlyLo, it is sonically overpowered. His delivery’s weird placement in the mix at times enhances the song, however. With his audibility surging and receding in a similar manner to the beat, he magnifies the song’s disorienting qualities. This slower direction is one that I feel that FlyLo should flesh out more in the future, whether in singles or on a full length, and if collaborating with DOOM will lead him to do that then I’m looking forward to more collaborations between them.

- Garrett Cottingham

Flying Lotus – “Medication Meditation” ft. Krayzie Bone

With the expanded edition of Grand Theft Auto V comes a whopping 162 new songs across the game’s 17 radio stations. Flying Lotus’ Fly Lo FM has been supplemented with new music from Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, and DOOM to name just a few. Above you can stream a new Flying Lotus-produced track “Medication Meditation,” which features a couple of verses from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Krayzie Bone, background vocals from frequent FlyLo collaborator Niki Randa, and of course there’s some slick bass work from Thundercat all over this thing. Now, this song may not offer the free-jazz euphoria of You’re Dead!, but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind blasting this in the car while cruising around San Andreas.

GTA V is out on next-gen consoles now via Rockstar Games, with a limited edition box set of the expanded soundtrack due out December 9 via Mass Appeal. Here’s our review of Flying Lotus’ latest record You’re Dead!:

Big K.R.I.T. – “Cadillactica” (Video)

Has anyone called Big K.R.I.T. glam-trap yet? If it’s alright with everyone, that’s what I’m going to do. Displaying incredible technical prowess and a strong ear for a hook, “Cadillactica” finds K.R.I.T. comfortable in his niche. Lyrically, the song isn’t his best, essentially deriving inspiration from sexual brags and success brags. His delivery fits snugly inside a high-hat and spacey synthesizer driven beat. It’s very catchy, great weed music, and easy to listen to, but feels safe for an artist who in the not too distant past was one of the most exciting newcomers to the scene. The synthesizers on “Cadillactica,” specifically near the closing of the song, may evidence an eventual foray into cloud rap territory. Now, trap mixed with cloud beats may not seem like the most original or necessary experiment for any rapper to make at this point, but let’s not forget that not long ago K.R.I.T. was took part in revitalizing a tired southern trap scene. Who knows what he could do if he becomes willing to find inspiration elsewhere?

And by the way, if you want to watch a song about Cadillacs that can’t show a Cadillac logo, check the video above.

- Garrett Cottingham

A$AP Ferg – “Doe-Active”

It’s official: A$AP Ferg has gone insane. The New York rapper and A$AP Mob member has been dropping singles relentlessly since last week, but the output has been relatively underwhelming thus far. However, “Doe-Active” seems to break that boring streak.

This track looks like it’ll be dropping on Ferg’s forthcoming mixtape, and it features an electro-trap instrumental with a hard-hitting finish. As far as Ferg’s rapping goes, these are some of the oddest flows I’ve ever heard him deliver. His wild inflections and screams put him just shy of the energy level on a track like “I Can’t Wait.” There’s even some unexpected Adam Levine name-drops in the 2nd half.

The only thing that separates him from ODB–or maybe even Lil Wayne at this point–on this track is Ferg seems to be conscious of how little sense he’s making. While I love the explosive character of the track, there isn’t much in terms of a song at the core of this thing. I can’t see myself returning to it anytime soon. Maybe it’ll sound better in the context of this forthcoming tape. I can only hope and assume that the Trap Lord works in mysterious ways.

Eternia – “Scraps”

A week ago, Canadian underground veteran emcee Eternia dropped a new track. The single, “Scraps,” is thick with an impending sense of boom bap-influenced hip hop that forces its listener to contemplate their place in the world. According to Eternia in a quote for HipHopDX, she heard the beat playing while in the middle of prayer at City Lights in Toronto, wrote the song the same night, then recorded it the next day. Eerily reminiscent both melodically and production-wise to “The Answer” by The Foreign Exchange, Eternia uses her crafty lyrical prowess to build a foundation of aggressive bars about life lessons learned and hard knowledge earned. It’s proof of why Eternia has been able to stick around the hip hop game for a decade and still seems hungry for more ears to listen intently.

- Ron Grant

Hail Mary Mallon – Bestiary

Under the handle Hail Mary Mallon, infamous wordsmith Aesop Rock teamed up with the up-and-coming Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz for a rather muddled debut album in 2011, but the trio is back with a vengeance for its bassy, creative and crazy sophomore effort. Apart from the comedic theme of a fundraiser concert for a bowling alley tied into the more abstract tracks, the album doesn’t have much else in terms of a concept. But constant record scratching, throbbing bass lines and some of the rap duo’s illest flows of their respective careers make this album memorable and a great gateway to some of the world’s weirder progressive hip hop developments.

“Jonathan” and “Krill” introduce the album in a heavy, raw, baptism of fire, whereas “Hang Ten”  and the satirical “Whales” provide necessary contrast – the former boasting a quirky Middle-Eastern melody. I expected Aesop and Sonic to deliver some slick lines, so it was mostly down to  DJ Big Wiz to deliver the beats, and while there might be a slight predictability when it comes to his bass-heavy and peculiar approach to boom bap, each song has its own unique print that makes every track inspiring. The future for this project looks bright.

- Fin Worrall

Ghostface Killah – “Love Don’t Live Here No More” ft. Kandace Springs

One thing you can’t deny about Ghostface: as an artist, he’s never lacked for soulfulness in his music. “Love Don’t Live Here No More” keeps that trend going over an altered soul music sample coupled with the velvety smooth vocals of Kandace Springs. Keeping it simple and straight to the point in the lyrics and story, Ghost spins a web about a lovelorn ex-con just released from lock up after 9 years, eager to see his one and only woman. Problem is, he soon discovers she’s moved on even though he hasn’t. The combination of Ghost’s classic raspy, high-pitched delivery, Springs’ unforgiving wailing on the chorus and a throbbing, bass-filled sample reminiscent of songs from 70′s flicks like “Let’s Do It Again” and “Claudine” make for prime lesson in grown folks hip hop heartbreak.

“Love Don’t Live Here No More” is taken from Ghost’s upcoming album 36 Seasons, due out  December 9 via Warner Bros.

- Ron Grant

Azealia Banks – Broke with Expensive Taste

New York rapper-singer Azealia Banks’ repeatedly postponed album finally drops.

Gangsta Boo & Beatking – “Mashing”

Sadly, many folks that claim to be fans of southern hip hop, especially the deep, dark, sinister music from Three Six Mafia, tend to forget just how much Gangsta Boo helped to contribute to that signature sound. But they’ll promptly remember upon hearing the recent single from the Houston-by-way-of-Memphis vet, “Mashing”. Along with a ridiculously simple but catchy hook with Beatking and a pounding, heavy and beastly beat courtesy of Brodinski, Boo sounds fresh and new, but confident and experienced. “Mashing” is a trap record on steroids: the sound is larger than life and enormous, distinctly complemented by Boo’s cocky southern drawl-fueled bars. In an age when more and more hip hop is influenced by signature southern elements and sounds painfully redundant, Gangsta Boo, Beatking and Brodinski come through with a song that truly shows imitators how its done.

“Mashing” appears on Gangsta Boo and Beatking’s new collaborative mixtape Underground Cassette Tape Music, which you can grab here.

- Ron Grant

Party Supplies – “The Light In The Addict” ft. Action Bronson and Black Atlass

We’re usually used to hearing Action Bronson as boisterous, uproarious and sometimes even ridiculous. But these are the things that have made us love the music and lyricism of the underground Queens mixtape champion for the last few years. But almost the exact opposite is what we get on the new collaboration by Bronson, Black Atlass and producer duo Party Supplies. “The Light in the Addict” is a deep, melancholy, dreary, self-destructively bluesy piece of piano-tinkered madness. All three musical collaborators paint a bleak picture of a man at the end of his rope, as Bronson revels in his own self-loathing paranoia. It’s a grand departure from some of what we’re accustomed to from a team up between Bronson and Party Supplies, but the results are, if nothing else, powerfully interesting and worth more than a few listens, even if it brings you down in the process.

- Ron Grant