As Hurricane Ike threatens to slam the gulf coast, I write this blog entry in Houston, Texas from a safety location powered only by a small generator, surviving off of cans of rationed beans and droplets of water. Okay, so I’m at home on my laptop, eating a hot pocket, watching TV, but it is raining pretty hard outside. The point is, we at Hypetrak bring you the Friday weekly picks through rain, sleet and snow. Speaking of storms, one our favorite artists over at Hypetrak, Kanye West had quite an eventful week. The Louis Vuitton enthusiast had a show stopping performance at the VMA’s, unveiled his unexpected first single and had a little incident at the airport involving the always lovable paparazzi, a throwing arm Eli Manning would be jealous of and a pair of handcuffs. Hypetrak was there every step of the way bringing you the exclusives, the news before anyone else and the MP3s before anyone else had it posted up. This was a great week for new music and apparently other artists besides Kanye released new music this week. Who knew? Check out our picks after the jump.
Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up
Q-tip’s upcoming solo album goes right up there with Guns N Roses’ Chinese Democracy and Dr. Dre’s Detox as the albums that are much discussed and anticipated but even longer delayed and unseen. However, in the case of Tip, it looks like it might actually happen now that he’s releasing a video for the first single “Gettin’ Up” off of the album The Renaissance (allegedly) dropping November 4, 2008. The vibe and energy of the track is vintage Tribe and Tip. The soulful, smooth production on the track brings instant joy and TIP’s nasally delivery and playful metaphors brings you right smack dab in the mid 90’s again (which would be the womb or the cradle for some of you). The video gives us hope that we will actually get to hear the album and that unicorns may actually exist.
If Kanye would have released a braggadocio track with high pitched soul samples, or even the electronic house feel he was going for on the last album, he would have satisfied some of his early fans but it would have also been easy, expected and boring. Kanye has never been any of the above. Mr. West takes a detour from his happy go lucky, self deprecating rhymes to a mood piece with clanking piano stabs, deep bass groves, emphatic foreign drums and tortured heartbroken lyrics for the first single “Love Lockdown” from his new album 808s and Heartbreak. The song contains a flash of seriousness and a darker approach then his past work. While some are confused by it, I welcome it. He could have done his usual approach complete with a higher education theme, but at some point you have to leave school and childhood behind. I know it was the title of the last album, but this is truly shaping up to be his graduation.
Some have called the lengthy four part Justice track “Planisphere”, Justice’s sound “finally realized”. The newly unveiled track was finally put on Justice’s myspace page after it was used as the background music for the much lauded 2009 Dior Homme Summer fashion show. The track has a slower, darker, menacing feel to it then allot of Justice’s other upbeat danceable tracks. The composition seems to be more involved, complex and on a grander scale. The only debate right now is which part of the epic piece is the best. Right now I’m going to have to go with part two. That is until I change my mind in a few hours. Check it out on Hypetrak now.
I’m sneaking this one in as the last entry hopping that no one notices that this was actually posted last week. However, it was posted on Saturday, a day after the Hypetrak weekly pick’s go up (so there). This one was just too good to let it go unnoticed. The Last Shadow Puppets is an experimental band made up of Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane of The Rascals. This technically makes The Puppets a “side project”, but the effort and orchestral grand scale these guys put into their music makes it seem like this is the only music on the plant that they’re focused on. The third single “My Mistakes Were Made For You” from their excellent Mercury Prize nominated album The Age of the Understatement is ripe with dreamlike strings, swirling melody and ambiguous lyrics. The result is a song that sounds like it would sit comfortably on a late 60’s James Bond soundtrack and a video that looks like a homage to moody old foreign flicks. All of that and these dudes are wearing some really kick ass leather jackets. What more could you ask for?