Strange Fruit Project – M.A.S.K.

4 02 2010

Today’s group is one I’ve been wanting to get into for a couple years. I’ve heard their name here and there, but it was only a couple weeks ago I got my first mixtape from them. It’s Strange Fruit Project. The mixtape is M.A.S.K., and you can get it for free at the bottom of this post.

M.A.S.K. stands for Making Art Sound Kool. The mixtape dropped in November of last year, and it’s their first project since their 2006 album The Healing. I’m probably going to invest in the album, judging from how dope this mixtape is. Check their site and their MySpace for more info.

“Sunrays” is easily my favorite track off the mixtape. That track itself makes the whole mixtape worth downloading. It has an interesting chord progression, and the instrumentation is super contagious. I also love the hook. “Day by Day” is another dope track. The entire mixtape is really solid. Get it. Shout to 2dopeboyz for allowing me to find this.

Download it.


The Expendables

3 02 2010

Today, Chris returns, and in honor of his birthday, gives us a column. Ever since he started real life, they’ve been few and far between. It’s the Expendables. Hmmm…

So, it’s been awhile. This semester I started school at UNF; I’m playing lacrosse and pledging Sigma Chi, so I literally do not have a free weeknight to ramble sarcastically about hipsters and the melodies that get them off. Last night, Alexei called and asked me to do an article, so I said yes, and then I forgot. It’s the next afternoon. Man, why would you name a blog everyday anything? Titles should not be so obligatory.

I’ve spent the past month listening to Pitchfork’s Top 10 of 2009, which I had planned on giving a full report on, but I’ll save us both the trouble – Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is by far the best of the favorite ten, and Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion is awesome to fall asleep too, but still mad overrated. As far as I can tell, Pitchfork isn’t the least bit concerned with what sounds good, they simply care about what sounds different. Fever Ray is worth checking out if you trip a lot, Girls if scratchy vocals and cacophonous tunes are your thing, and by all mean listen to Raekwon if you have low standards for hip-hop (most people do).

Anyway, since the Top 10 article is now just an intro paragraph, I’m gonna talk about a band I’ve barely listened to but thus far I enjoy. Their name is The Expendables, and they’re out of Santa Cruz, California. They’ve been together for 13 years, have four albums no one (sans stoners and the west coast) has heard of, and are great chill music. One of their songs, “Sacrifice”, is a playable song in Guitar Hero World Tour, so if you like pretending to be a rock star, hit that up. In 2003 they briefly had their own radio show; I don’t know anything about it, it probably wasn’t too successful. They’re currently at work on their 5th studio album, which is likely code for “smoking tons of weed and jamming out”.

But what do they sound like? Well, The Expendables span a few subgenres, combining elements of ska, reggae, and surf-rock, which I didn’t even know was a type of music. They’ve toured extensively with bands such as 311, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings, and Less Than Jake; they’re also signed to Slightly Stoopid’s record label, Stoopid Records. Top listeners on include lovestosmoke and General420. Get it yet?

Sorry for the lack of insight, dedication, yadda, blah, etc. and so forth. Not going to proofread either. I’ve staked out an awesome spot in the Thomas G. Carpenter library and am getting my study on hardcore. Go listen to music.

Sidewalk Chalk

2 02 2010

Happy Groundhog Day. You should become a fan of everydaymusic on Facebook. You’ll be notified of all the updates, which generally include free downloads. It’s worth it. Either way, today’s focus is on a bunch of Chicagoans called Sidewalk Chalk.

Sidewalk Chalk is a jazz/hip-hop group I found through the message boards at Okayplayer. After listening to them, my first thought was, this group has to play in Montreal at the Jazz Fest. They offer lots of free live shows, and I really hope Sidewalk Chalk puts in a submission. I feel like they’d bring a whole new dimension to the Jazz Fest.

“Movement of the Mind” is probably their most popular song. You can download it for free on their Bandcamp page, and you can view the video they made for it. Their MySpace page has a lot of minute long samples of them playing live. It gives you a good feel for their live sound, which is impressive. Sidewalk Chalk also has a Facebook fan page, so you should be a fan. And while you’re at it, become a fan of everydaymusic.

I’m really looking forward to more music from Sidewalk Chalk. They seem like a legitimate jazz-hop talent, playing a game that has few players in this day and age.

MaG – I Ain’t Goin’ Back to Retail!

1 02 2010

Yo, today I’m posting a free download from last year from MaG. If you don’t have it yet, don’t sleep, it’s good shit. Look out for MaG this year. Download at the bottom.

I found this mixtape on back in December. I gave it a few listens, but I’ve neglected talking about it for some reason. Kevin Nottingham showed MaG a lot of love in his Top 10 Free Albums of 2009. It’s called I Ain’t Goin Back to Retail!, and it’s a brilliant display of lyricism and flow.

“The Truman Show”, “Rich & Famous”, and “This Ain’t Rap” are my favorite tracks off the mixtape, though not necessarily in that order. Apparently, $5 Cover, MaG’s EP he released before Retail!, is even better, so I’m about to get on that. In the mean time, get I Ain’t Goin Back to Retail!. Shouts to HypeLG for the download link.

Download it.

D/Will – Heir of Abraham

29 01 2010

We conclude this week with another free mixtape download. That’s five free downloads in the last five days, folks. You should be listening to good music by now. It’s the first mixtape D/Will has up on his bandcamp, all the way back from April 2008. An oldie, but a goodie.

I first heard of D/Will when he worked with Stik Figa on Hello, Goodbye. That’s a phenomenal mixtape, too. You should get it. But that’s not what this post is about. The mixtape I’m telling you about today is called Heir of Abraham. D/Will‘s beats are as solid as ever, proving that he’s consistent when it comes to his production.

“Good Evening” is my favorite complete track off Heir of Abraham. I say “complete” track because I feel like this is the track where the instrumental and the lyrics blend together the best. But don’t get me wrong. I really like all of the production on this release. It’s practically flawless.

Download it.

DTMD – The Basics

28 01 2010

Washington DC is probably my favorite hip-hop spot on the East Coast. From Wale to Oddisee to Kev Brown to Kenn Starr, the DMV consistently provides music that’s fun to listen to. Today’s act is out of DC, and they’re providing you with a free EP. It’s DTMD. Get it.

I got this mixtape a couple days ago, and I found it through Oddisee’s blog. DTMD is made up of producer Dunc and emcee Toine, and I’m pretty sure it stands for Dunc and Toine Makin Dollas. Or at least that’s what I’ve gathered from this EP.

The EP is entitled The Basics. It’s six tracks long, so it’s a quick listen, but it’s extremely good. It definitely left me wanting more. I can’t wait to hear more stuff from these guys. Dunc’s production is so smooth it’s spotless, and Toine’s flow is mind numbing. And it sounds like brilliant music to blaze to. The album is more than worth the download. Did I mention it’s free?

Download it.

House of M

27 01 2010

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been late on the posts. It’s been a rough couple of days. Today, it’s another free mixtape, from these guys out of Milwaukee called House of M. Download link is at the bottom.

The M in House of M stands for Mutants. The name comes from the Marvel comic of the same name. If you visit their MySpace or their website, you’ll see the comic theme played up like no other. I really like that about the group. You know, the fact that they have a persona that they run with.

Don’t think that the superhero, comic personality strangles the substance out of the group. They don’t force it, it just happens. They manage to work it in naturally, while at the same time creating real music that means something.

I first heard of them on the mixtape Yo! MKE Raps. It’s a collection of Milwaukee artists, and it’s also free. Their track “Superman Ain’t My Name” was easily the best one off of the mixtape.

This mixtape is called The Origins. It’s really fucking good. “Lumpin’” was the first track that caught my ear. It was mad funny, and I’m pretty sure that was the intention. I love how one of them rhymes Oklahoma with marijuana. Brilliant stuff.

The production is pretty flawless throughout. I don’t have a favorite track, but that’s only because I couldn’t choose one. The whole album is awesome, and it’s not the same thing over and over again. Great track placement. “Back Again” is a dope track. “88” was the only one off the album I could find on YouTube. “The Initiative” was another track I found, but it’s not on this mixtape. It’s still plenty good though. Enjoy!

Download it.