As Game's R.E.D. Album started unveiling itself before next week's release, a lot of under-the-radar Hip Hop hit the interwebs this week. Among the many tracks DX posted this week, an experimental sound came out of DD172's studios with Dame Dash's former Roc-A-Fella Records President and his Blu Roc Records VP, both music artists too. Additionally, a Justus League affiliate's slept-on album has a particularly bright spot, while a New Jersey Hip Hop icon comes back to slap a beat like a hockey puck.
Median - "Bright Individual"
Median in general embodies the phrase "slept-on," so it's no wonder why his track "Bright Individual" would be included in a list of the best of the overlooked. While his album The Sender dropped last week, Median has been on the grind for years promoting his vaguely '90s reminiscent style of Hip Hop. "Bright Individual" lives up to everything we'd expect from Median. While The Sender reads as mainly produced by 9th Wonder and Phonte, this track's credits show Khrysis as the producer who utilizes lazy horns in a way similar to DJ Premier's production on Torae's "Click" . The track is a rundown of everything Median claims to be, "put me in the kitchen on a mission, I'm a go-getter." It's a hazy blend of smooth bragging, where Median's confidence isn't aggressive, rather laid-back and playfully cocksure. This is one of those tracks you bump at an end of summer BBQ to remember the best moments of the past couple of months. Median had perfect timing in releasing this cut. He's such a bright individual.
Listen to "Bright Individual" by Median
Chino XL - "N.I.C.E."
Before you add a Chino XL track to a MP3 player you should know two things: first, he'll make most other emcees in your Hip Hop playlist sound at best jittery and at worst lobotomized. Secondly, get used to using that "repeat track" option you didn't even know existed because you'll need to listen to something like "N.I.C.E." a few more times back-to-back just to catch everything. An inclusion on his upcoming RICANstruction, "N.I.C.E." is a surgical strike of a return and a quintessential Chino track in that picking a few lines to transcribe is a disservice to the rest of the bars because they are basically all mind-boggling. Prepare to travel from this year's London Riots and Oslo shootings back to Pontius Pilate crucifying Christ while picking up souvenirs like "Ted Kazinky's Smith Corona typewriter," "Satan's chemistry set" and "Casey Anthony's severed head" along the way. And that's just the first two minutes. However, one thing that has plagued Chino throughout his career are beats that aren't on par with his lyricism. Thankfully, just like he helped make this year's return of the Cella Dwellas kick off with a bang, Nick Wiz provides a sweeping beat - part ethereal, part orchestral - that matches the epic scope of Chino's rhymes. "N.I.C.E." is pure enjoyment and offers some new gem to discover with every play; and if you're not feeling it, whatever, because to quote Chino's Mom "he's a thick skinned son-of-a-bitch"
Listen to "N.I.C.E." by Chino XL
McKenzie Eddy f. Cam'ron and Vado - "In This Thing"
With the eclectic sounds coming out of Dame Dash's DD172, one artist that you can't sleep on is McKenzie Eddy. The DXnext alum is touring with Murs and Tabi Bonney this year, but her singing appeals to fans far beyond the conventions of Hip Hop. Eddy's new free album Young Platinum features GLC, Murray and The U.N. On "In This Thing," Eddy's musings are sung in a light that has the Indie charms of Apple commercial music. Ski Beatz makes a composition that shows his immeasurable range and versatility. Cam'ron and Vado drop in some gangsterism to make the collaboration sound experimental and meaningful. Even Kanye West went as far as endorsing Young Platinum this week. Slept-on, but for how long?
Listen to "In This Thing" by McKenzie Eddy featuring Cam'ron and Vado