MellowHype – “Fakuoy”

It’s a no brainer that Odd Future has a lot more talent than just Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, and Earl Sweatshirt. When they first really blew up, it felt like the ancillary members were getting a fair shot at fame. Then something happened – in that, nothing happened. I was waving the flag hard for BlackenedWhite and then I honestly forgot to keep checking for Hodgy Beats and Left Brain’s passion project aka MellowHype. It took the track “Oldie” off OF Tape Vol. 2 to remind me that there were tons of skills going on in the camp. So on this cut “Fakuoy,” I feel like it’s a lyrical exercise on the behalves of Hodgy and Left Brizzle. The two are trading bars and basically showing off their skills. There’s no hook, and there’s even a long fade out to the instrumental, making it feel like they were looking for a third person to spit who never arrived. Either way the song is dope, and I’m excited for Numbers to finally arrive. When it comes to these guys, I believe the ‘Hype. – Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)

Listen to “Fakuoy” by MellowHype

Blackalicious – “Changes”

There are few things I enjoy more than Blackalicious in the 1990s. From Melodica, one of my favorite releases of all-time, to A2G and Nia, the Northern California duo mixed everyman-lyrics with amazing sample-based production. “Changes,” which premiered this week on HipHopDX, and is included as a bonus track on the Melodica EP re-release, is a fabulous inclusion that I hadn’t previously heard. When the Solesides/Quannum Projects collective was in the studio together, before the solo and factions established themselves, the outcome was staggering. Co-produced by Chief Xcel, James Lavelle and DJ Shadow, “Changes” has a gliding beat that plays well against the California sunset. Gift Of Gab’s stream of consciousness lyrics play well against creation. – Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)

Listen to “Changes” by Blackalicious

Masta Ace f. MF DOOM & Big Daddy Kane – “Think I Am”

Initially I was let down after learning that Masta Ace’s / MF DOOM collaboration album was only going to feature previously recorded beats from the Special Herbs series. Yet midway through Son of Yvonne’s first track I realized that Ace has just rendered every other emcee who has tackled – and will tackle – the Herbs instrumentals superfluous. My favorite track “Think I Am” contains two of the four guests on Son of Yvonne which is and of itself a refreshing number after this month’s Self Made Vol. 2 feature fest. And who better for Ace to feature on the track than one of the emcees he made magic with on Marley Marl’s “The Symphony,” Big Daddy Kane, and the man behind the beats, Metalface himself. All three verses work perfectly within the context of Special Herbs 7/8 “Buckeyes.” Ace gives the flipside of Disposable Art’s “Hold U” with tales of throwaway hook-ups from his youth with tramped-stamped girls whose “boxes smell like South Street Seaport.” Kane then reverses the clock, taking it back to the bar and introducing us to “Nurse Jackie with the Smirnoff Ice” who sounds like she could roll with Ace’s aforementioned “thick hippopatamus” find. Finally Doom adds what proves to be an important verse for the whole project, specifically acknowledging it exists and the admiration he has for the emcee that rules over its 16 tracks.  – Michael Sheehan

Listen to “Think I Am” by Masta Ace

Last Week’s Slept-On Songs