Chicago’s Chance The Rapper has built up quite the buzz in 2013 thanks to a string of singles from his new album Acid Rap that drops today. It took me a few songs to get used to his unorthodox, high pitch sing-song delivery, and his subject matter is more youthful and lighthearted than most of the MC’s on my radar, but that doesn’t mean Chance doesn’t take rap seriously, he just has a lot of fun making his unique brand of hip hop. His latest single “Smoke Again” features an appearance from Black Hippy’s Ab-Soul and is the best Chance The Rapper song I’ve heard to this point. Check out Chance’s video for “Smoke Again” below and grab your FREE DOWNLOAD of Acid Rap.
Written by John Bugbee
A while back, we featured Los Angeles’ PAPA as a Band to Watch on the merit of their sensational, five-track EP A Good Woman is Hard to Find. The soulful indie rockers have returned with the up-tempo first single from their forthcoming debut LP, due out sometime in 2013. Centered around bassist Daniel Presant and drummer/lead singer Darren Weiss, “Put Me to Work” finds the band delving into power pop territory behind an energetic plea for the opportunity to earn a keep. Weiss writes directly to his own circumstance as a performer in the song’s chorus, repeating “I wanna see the lights / Put me to work tonight.” Though the track lacks any overt political message, I can’t help but make the correlation between its subject and one of the season’s hottest election topics – jobs.
Ironically, the multi-instrumentalist Weiss had previously served as the drummer for the now defunct band Girls. His former bandmate Christopher Owens also released a new single yesterday in “Here We Go.” As is often the case, both acts appear destined to prove that sometimes two bands ain’t so bad after all. Listen and download “Put Me to Work” for free, below.
Written by Rob Peoni
Indy’s own Oreo Jones is an artist that hadn’t really caught my ear in the past, but that’s not because he isn’t a talented rapper. I have a tendency to overlook a lot of local hip hop because of the scene’s lack presence on the national stage, but Oreo’s debut LP Betty has the potential to change all of that. “Frankie”, “Needy”, and “Joseph Kittinger Wings” are probably the three best, straightforward rap songs on Betty, yet they don’t sound anything alike, a testament to Jones’ ability to shift his style and his flow at will. “Joseph Kittinger Wings” is a particular favorite because of the obscure name-drop in the track’s title (see Wikipedia) and the fact that Oreo raps like a long, lost member of De La Soul.
Oreo Jones has been hit with the “party rap” label in the past, but it sounds like a label he’s attempting to shed. The album’s varied production might be a little too quirky for my taste at times, but Oreo Jones’ artistic focus is clear. “Rotate” is the last song on Betty, but it feels like the album’s emotional core with its revealing, introspective verses. My favorite song on Betty though is Jones’ self-produced banger “Burnt Circle”. The track’s buzzing reverb and hard hitting drums fit Oreo’s booming delivery perfectly and make you wonder why he didn’t make the track longer and why he doesn’t make more of his own beats. The deluxe version of Betty comes with 4 bonus tracks including the amazing “The Rifle”, a heartbreaking song about a boyfriend of Jones’ mother. Betty is easily Oreo Jones’ most ambitious project to this point and should expose him to a much larger audience. Stream and download the album below and get familiar with one of the best young musicians that Indianapolis has to offer.
Written by John Bugbee