– I’m always concerned for an artist when I see the more and more lucrative tag of ‘ft Chance, the rapper’ in a song title. Maybe I’m just a diehard fan, but between a combination of his musical experimentalism and his distinctive sing-song rapping it’s pretty difficult to have him feature on a track and not have him steal the show. This newly released tune from Octave Minds appears to fall victim to this. But that may not be such a negative, as it is exclusively Chance who provides the vocals, meaning that instead of having to compete with him, Octave Minds have the struggle of accommodating his idiosyncrasies in their production; which is no easy task as greatness is still demanded!

Octave Minds, if you haven’t heard of them yet, are the duo of Chilly Gonzales and Boyz Noise, two equally elegant musicians who you wouldn’t bet on being in the same room together, let alone collide to form a project together. Nonetheless, they have a highly anticipated album on the way, details of which can be found at octaveminds.com

The track as a whole offers a lot and is difficult to generalise.  Skittering drums and entrancing live jazzy instrumentals tell the tale of the Social Experiment; who are still essentially an extension of Chance as they are yet to be involved in a body of music without him. Powerful piano melodies and obvious EDM influenced synthesizers stop Octave minds from completely being bodied off their own song, but not by much though. In fact being as this is the only song in their upcoming release that features any other artists I’m almost inclined to say Octave Minds handed over the studio and said “Do your thing, spice it up!” as the beat smells of something The Social Experiment would create and chance would spit over.

Moving onto Chance’s spitting: It’s creatively exceptional and experimental, which is perhaps what the hip-hop community has come to expect from the young MC. He brings to life two feet in a dance routine struggling to stay in rhythm, with the conference reference of “one-two” not only symbolising the dancer counting his steps but also the name of the feet. The personification of the feet allows him to go into further detail encapsulating a story of trust and friendship between the two feet. He also maintains a flow which in itself feels like a dance over the beat and is executed in such an apt manner, that Chance must be congratulated.

If you’re already a fan of Chance and the Social Expermient it’s safe to say this song will leave little to be desired, staying very true to the Chicago rapper’s well established style. This and his other recent releases have us hopeful that his rumoured upcoming album will be nothing short of the quality of his previous projects, which have managed to garner him much respect not just in the rap game, but throughout the whole music business. Unfortunately Octave Minds don’t really establish a sound in this song which makes it hard for me to honestly say I’m a fan, but they must’ve done something right with such a great song making an appearance on their album.


<Written By Chucky D>




‘It’s Such A Shame … They Gon Miss This Plane’

DJ and producer No Sleep, who works out of Pittsburgh, U.S.A, has released this heavily reworked version of Wiz’s classic anthem ‘This Plane’, and (daresay…) it’s superior to the original?! This track is a dedication to his loyal fans; a ‘thank you’ for the two million plays on his Soundcloud page. In his typical style, No Sleep has stripped Wiz’s vocals and laid them over catchy bass lines & mellow keyboard melodies, which are decidedly rather different from the original instrumental.  Once again, he has been successful in merging his brand of electronic chill-out with the hardness of classic rap tunes, without trivialising the samples from the original songs, or making them ridiculous (there are plenty of weird and not-so-wonderful hip hop remixes out there). Messing with bars from Biggie Smalls, for example (check out his Big Poppa rework here), must be a daunting undertaking, but I feel No Sleep pays homage to the original artists in his own manner by adding an auditory depth that accompanies the mood of the lyrics. While it is not productive to overly compare the originals and the reworks, it can be said that No Sleep definitely adds his own modern flavour to the track, but stays true to the primary tracks by allowing the lifted voice and lyrics to take centre stage. No Sleep produces memorable chillout tracks with a purpose, and is most definitely a worthy follow on Soundcloud. Show him some love by clicking here -> NoSleep

Vince Staples. Blue Suede.

‘Well it’s one for the money, two for the show…’ – Elvis Presley


You may have already heard of Vince Staples, you may have not. Either way, Vince already has certain established figures in the music industry interested, though to many he may not yet be a recognisable face.Having ties with a number of influential artists such as the likes of Common, Mac Miller and Odd Future, and having become a recent signee to Def Jam Records, Vince is an artist that if you haven’t already, should probably train your eyes and ears on, whilst checking out his back catalogue too because he’s already got some good shit out.

He has recently released the first single from his upcoming album Hell Can Wait (which drops in September), titled Blue Suede. Here’s what we reckon:

The visuals accompanying Blue Suede provide an interesting and telling insight into the nature of the track. Filmed in mostly black and white (the only colours featured are red and blue, a clear nod at the gang culture of Crips and Bloods), the video includes most of the staples and clichés of the typical gangsta rap video. Dice games, sippin 40s, females in little clothes. This video is obviously an attempt at representation of life in Vince’s Long Beach community. A number of comments on the youtube release of the video have claimed that compared to his other works, Blue Suede is simply a two dimensional gangsta rap tune, and lacks the thought or intricacy of his previous works. I personally believe that there is much more to this song, and that quite a heavy air of sarcasm can be detected, if you listen in more than once. The lyrics, while admittedly not being that complex, offer what is the story of many individuals in the community Vince is representing, and perhaps the story of young Vince. There is no glorification of gang culture and violence here, only an acknowlegement that it exists. Indeed, Staples goes as far to highlight the trivial nature of this lifestyle and mentality. The lyrics, which explain the titling of the track, are steeped in this – ‘all I wanted was the Jordans with the blue suede in em’. It is worth mentioning the evocation of Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes – once again they are an image of success and social value. Vince isn’t glorifying the gang and criminal mentality, no, he is revealing it’s flat motivations. This is a depiction of gang life, according to Vince’s experiences.

The instrumental itself is dark and foreboding. There is nothing particularly happy or hopeful about the track, and this is the key point from where it differs to much of the gangsta rap coming out of the U.S at the moment (not going to name any names). It doesn’t brag, it simply illustrates, and this indeed is where this track has its particular artistry; it is an honest and unglorified depiction of a time and a place. Some people may not be used to that, and therefore may not like it, but we personally look forward to the upcoming releases from Hell Can Wait.

Check it out for yourself: http://youtu.be/NJLfCBBcZAo