The Game drops new mixtape

Never one to rest on his laurels, The Game has dropped a new free mixtape.

Hoodmorning (No Typo) follows in the footsteps of his awesome Purp & Patron and Brake Lights mixtapes over the past year and features appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Redman, Dr Dre, Snoop and Lil Wayne amongst others.

You can grab it for free here – Crossfire approved, so get clicking. Check out Uncle Otis below where Game switches up his style a million times as well as giving a nice dig to Kreayshawn. Banger.

Crossfire Chronicles: The New Breed of Rap

Illustration by Matthew Bromley

newbreed_of_rap_chronicles

Thanks to the rise of blogs, there are so many rappers that have peppered the web in the past few years yet it’s nigh on impossible to keep track of them all. So we have decided to give you guys the heads up on rappers that are coming through that you definitely need to keep an eye and ear out for. Sometimes all it takes is that one track to hook you, getting you to press the rewind button so you can learn all the words straight away and sometimes it’s more of a slow burn, letting the music wash over you, submersing yourself into it before something clicks and you declare yourself a fan.

The list below is by no means gospel, but amongst all the names that you’ll be hearing sooner rather than later, there are some rappers who stand head and shoulders above the rest, and they can be found here. You won’t see any mention of the likes of Tyler the Creator or Jay Electronica because they’ve already grabbed the mainstream’s eye but hopefully there will be someone below that will get you interested!

So, without further ado, here is a list of the top five rappers you need to get into:

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1. Yelawolf

Yelawolf is certainly the best new rapper out there at the moment. He’s not hit the mainstream quite yet, but with the ink drying on his contract with Eminem’s Shady Records it can’t be fair off if the talent he showed on his Trunk Muzik mixtape [and it’s re-released with additional track half-brother Trunk Muzik 0-60] is anything to go by. He can switch up to double-time at the drop of a hat or he can run it slow like he does on Pop The Trunk below. Lazy journalists will no doubt refer to Catfish Billy as “The New Eminem” but pay no attention to that, he’d much rather rap about Chevys and getting drunk than murdering his Baby Momma. Alabama is well and truly on the map thanks to Yela. Get involved.

Top Tune: Pop The Trunk

2. Fashawn

Already one album down, Fashawn is working hard on mixtapes having recently released Higher Learning 2 and Grizzly City 3 before releasing his sophomore effort. The Fresno MC might not be the brashest of rappers, but his smooth flow and beat selection are top notch. His debut Boys Meets World featured production by Exile, who provided the perfect backdrop for Fashawn to go in over, from sunny melodies to songs about suicide. If he continues the way he’s going, like he has over J. Cole’s beats, there will be a hell of a lot more people smiling their way down the street. If the track below doesn’t get you bouncing, you’ve got no soul.

Top Tune: Samsonite Man f. Blu

3. Phil Ade

Maryland’s Phil Ade has burst onto the scene in the past couple of years through his stellar Starting on JV and The Letterman mixtapes, showcasing his ability to rap over a diverse selection of beats before his Twitter-friendly #PhilAdeFriday tracks, which were released for free through the social networking site every Friday came to prominence at the start of 2011. He’s now put them into a mixtape of their own, with some tracks featuring him rapping over famous beats from the likes of Ice Cube and Mobb Deep and will be dropping his new album A Different World on July 12th. Check out the track below for some early LL Cool J influenced shit.

Top Tune: Always There

4. TiRon

LA’s TiRon is another rapper who gives the listener a big beaming smile, he just seems to be having so much fun when he raps and it’s that infectious positivity that grabs the listener. From songs declaring his love for food or trainers to tracks discussing the importance of having a Wingman when trying to bag a chick at a party, TiRon [and his running mate Ayomari] delivers perfect call-and-response style tracks which bump along nicely whether you’re in the mood to get hype or whether you want some beats playing whilst you’re cleaning your flat. The track below is a perfect example of what to expect from the guy that brought the world his MSTRD and Ketchup mixtapes as well as T&A, the prelude to the debut album Sucker For Pumps which is a collaborative effort with Ayomari.

Top Tune: What You Waitin’ On f. Ayomari

5. Stalley

Ohio rapper Stalley could have been a high-standard basketball player before injuries curtailed his sporting career. But the NBA’s loss is hip hop’s gain. He has got a fantastic flow, progressing from a backpacker delivery to straight up fire and back again with consummate ease and his beard shouldn’t be underestimated. His latest mixtape Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Bass Music) is the best example of why he’s such a competent and impressive MC, showing his dexterity over a number of different styles whilst all the while maintaining his own voice across the entirety of the 16 tracks. Check out Hercules below, the beat will get you immediately and once that’s hooked you’re in.

Top Tune: Hercules

Honourable mentions:

Big K.R.I.T.
Rockwell Knuckles
Erreon Lee
Ayomari
Danny Brown

Wu Tang Clan – Live

Forum, London
12.06.11

The line wasn’t huge when we hit up the Forum for the second of two Wu Tang dates in North London, but after a Semtex warm-up set, it was bubbling when Alabama’s Yelawolf took to the stage. It was never going to be easy for the MC to win over the whole crowd, as many of the staunch Wu fans are a world away from his quick-fire doubletime rhyme patterns, but to his credit he amped his energy levels almost as high as his solo show at XOYO the week before and certainly gained some new fans, especially when he jumped into the crowd for an impromptu pit. An undoubted talent, both on record and on stage.

So onto the Wu. Without RZA, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck, it was a depleted crew that took to the stage and, in truth, other than Method Man and Masta Killa, it was a fairly low-energy show from the majority of them. That being said, when Mef told the crowd that they would return any energy they got from the punters, the noise levels were extremely high.

Method Man is such a charismatic man that his fronting of the show made up for the relatively dull backdrop, and when he launched himself into the crowd, it came as no surprise to the delighted fans. Running through classics such as M.E.T.H.O.D. Man, Bring Da Ruckus, Clan In Da Front and the ever singable Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit, it was as live a crowd as you could ever hope for and when the ODB tribute part of the set arrived with Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Got Your Money, every single hand was in the air, the majority of which were held in the big W sign synonymous with the New York group.

Mixed in was a great little DJ set from Mathematics which included handcuffing his arms together and taking off his shoes [not at the same time] and Ghostface falling into a small anecdote about the strength of the pound, confusion from which was resolved when he declared that POUNDS Rule Everything Around Me, [P.R.E.A.M.] before Pretty Tony told everyone to follow him on Twitter, an order followed up by U-God.

It wasn’t the best Wu Tang show I’ve ever been to, but even with depleted numbers, they still have enough hits and hype to deliver a fun live set. Now let’s get in the Gravel Pit and have a dance.

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Photo by Sleekly Lion.

Yelawolf – Live

XOYO, London
08.06.11

Having seen Alabama’s Yelawolf at last year’s Soundset, it was always going to be an exciting evening when the self-confessed Redneck hit the Capital for the very first time. Right from the off the MC was in great spirits with high energy emanating from both the rapper and the crowd as he launched into his set.

The crowd was one of the best I’ve witnessed at a hip hop show in a long, long time and considering this was his debut in the UK, it made it all the more impressive. The sound at XOYO continues to impress and bass-heavy tracks like I Wish and Daddy’s Lambo sounded gargantuan as he ripped his double-time raps with no effort at all.

Running through tracks from the original Trunk Muzik like the brilliant Mixin’ Up The Medicine, Good To Go and aforementioned I Wish, including the “I ‘preciated it Rae’ to the unfortunately absent Wu Tang member and tunes from the updated 0-60 version of the mixtape like Billy Crystal and drink anthem I Just Wanna Party, Yelawolf was a non-stop machine, ramping the energy levels up at every turn and demanding that everyone throw their hands up as he rocked out on stage.

Even the slower songs Box Chevy and Love Is Not Enough didn’t dent the crowd’s hype allowing Yela to showcase his versatility on stage. But it was the final two songs, Pop The Trunk and In This Club, which showed him to be the huge talent he is. The shirtless, tattooed, mulleted guy from Gadsden, Alabama isn’t just a flash in the pan, nor should he be given “the new Eminem” tag that will no doubt lazily be thrown his way. He’s simply the real deal. Don’t sleep.

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Watch: Yelawolf being awesome

We know it, you know it, the world knows it – Yelawolf is great.

This past weekend a new video dropped featuring the Alabaman rapper with his guest spot on D12 member Bizarre’s album. Not sure why it’s a featured spot, seeing as he’s basically rapping 90% of the song but whatever, it’s great.

Have a watch of the video below and make sure you go see him when he plays XOYO on June 8th.

Watch: Yelawolf & Bun B

We’ll keep this one nice and simple – We love Yelawolf here at Crossfire, have done for ages. So we’re delighted he’s dropped a video for one of the best tracks from his Trunk Muzik mixtape.

Good To Go features legendary UGK rapper Bun B and proves exactly why many consider Yelawolf to be the most exciting and unique rappers to emerge in many years.

This one is huge, so crank it high and get good to go.

Yelawolf-Good to Go Feat. Bun B from Figz! on Vimeo.

Yelawolf won’t exploit skateboarding

Yelawolf has spoken about his love of skateboarding but has assured both fans and skaters alike that he won’t be exploiting it.

Whilst he has never shied away from being a skater nor ever held himself back from professing his love for a good schralp, he recently said in an interview that he didn’t want to make tracks specifically about skating, as Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell have done in the past. He explained:

“It’s something I do, it’s something that I love doing, but it’s nothing that I’d ever want to exploit. I think skateboarders respect that, and I think that’s why I’ve been embraced within that culture, because I don’t want to write records about skateboarding. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s cool.”

You can see him on a board in the video below, for the remix of I Wish, which also sees him wearing arguably the best sweatshirt of all time.

Free Downloads: 21/01/11

Last year we had a monster supply of straight-up-no-messing-around FREE music for you all to wrap your ears around. Our Soundcloud become some sort of portal to a place where you could pick up music files and essentially sleep with them. OK, OK, really, it’s just a sort of music blog style thing where we gather a bunch of things that are available (and cleared artist’s themselves… no leakyjoes here I’m afraid) for free and round them up so you don’t have to sift through all the crap that stinks up Tumblr, WordPress and Blogspot on a daily basis. Here’s some bangers to kick start 2011.

On a electronic and beat tip we have fist pumping beats and eclectic production from the likes of innerpartysystem and Andreya Triana who get the remix treatment from Starkey and TOKiMONSTA respectively. Bars, beats and big tings come from a selection of capable wordsmiths, including Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Rittz, Yelawolf, Big Krit and Jaylib. Realness sans loops comes from La Dispute, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Mogwai and Wavves. Get stuck in.

innerpartysystem – American Trash (Starkey remix) by Crossfire Music

Andreya Triana – Far Closer (TOKiMONSTA Remix) by Crossfire Music

Nicki Minaj – Roman’s Revenge 2.0 with Lil’ Wayne by Crossfire Music

La Dispute – How I Feel by Crossfire Music

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Weight Of The Sun by Crossfire Music

Edward Sharpe The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below (iTunes Session) by Crossfire Music

Mogwai – San Pedro by Crossfire Music

RITTZ- Fulla Shit Feat.Yelawolf by Crossfire Music

Jaylib – Louder by Crossfire Music

Wavves – Mutant by Crossfire Music

Eminem signs Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse

Yelawolf has signed to Eminem’s Shady Records.

The Alabama rapper, championed on Crossfire since 2009 [commence trumpet blowing now], has inked the deal which will see him go through the Shady imprint whilst still carrying the Interscope and his own Ghet-O-Vision stamps.

Slaughterhouse, the supergroup containing Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Royce Da 5’9, were also signed by Eminem with Royce saying “It’s very exciting for me to reunite with Eminem years after our Bad Meets Evil project together. Slaughterhouse on Shady Records will be a force to reckon with.”