XV, "27 Club"
If you've been paying attention to the independent hip hop scene you've surely seen or heard mention of XV. If you've been paying attention to this column, you will remember the we posted about XV on October 25th. Either way, he's back on our hotlist and this selection is top notch. "27 Club" refers to the group of popular creatives who met their demise at the way too young age of 27. Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison are the most notable members. The list also includes Brian Jones, Jean-Michel Basquiat and most recently Amy Winehouse. XV takes on a journey through his mind as he pits his creative energy against his self-destructive energy. Hopefully this is just creative exercise and not foreshadowing.
Asher Roth, "Pabst + Jazz"
Asher is finding his own way in the industry and we dig this path specifically. The Pabst & Jazz project released this morning and is technically a mixtape but plays like an album. We won't get into the entire project but the title track is awesome. Asher Roth is incredibly deft with the English language and he displays that deftness with style and flair all his own. The track is smooth and easy but the rhyme scheme is quietly aggressive. Asher is openly challenging all rappers to a test of lyrical skill. We wouldn't advise challenging him. We would love to catch this one live. Firstly, because the music is dope. Secondly, because we hope that Pabst Blue Ribbon catches on and gives free beer at his shows. Free beer is good beer.
Tuge is quickly becoming one of our favorite rappers … period. Signed or not, this guy has unlimited potential and this latest offering proves that he can do anything he wants whenever he wants to. "Alone" doesn't sound like anything we've heard before from him. It's "crossover" in a big way. The lyricism is still signature Tuge delivery and depth, just packaged up to be more accessible. The song actually sounds like it was crafted for a movie soundtrack. From the message to the vocals to the production, this track is 100% win. We can't wait to hear what else Tuge has in store for us. If he can keep switching things up on us like this it's going to be a fantastic journey.
You can download all these songs and more at the link below.