New Boyz, Tinie Tempah, Danger Mouse & More [New Music Tuesdays]
Another Tuesday is upon us, so that means it's time for some new music. A few different types of albums hit stores today. One is the "boys to men" story of the New Boyz, another is a UK star who has already had success with an album overseas and is finally getting a US release date .. and last but not least, something different from a few VERY familiar faces and a hot cover of one of my favorite classics. Let's get to the music!
When we first heard from Ben J & Legacy, they were two 16yr old boys wearing skinny jeans, rapping about things that teenagers do while simultaneously sparking a dance movement. We are talking about the dance style called "jerkin" that the New Boyz were synonymous with .... but things have changed. 3 years after their debut album 'Skinny Jeans & A Mic' the duo has gone from being "boyz" to becoming "men", showing lots of maturity on this new album. Not only has their lyrical content stepped up, they have also upped the production quality, working with bigger producers and also calling on bigger features. A few of my favorite artist collabs from the album include Chris Brown on 'Better With The Lights Off', Dev on the hit single 'Backseat' and Big Sean on 'I Don't Care' which samples the popular A-Trak club remix of 'Heads Will Roll' by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Hopefully, this album won't be slept on because with two singles already heating up the radio and few more with the same potential, this sophomore effort by the New Boyz may be one of the better albums of the year.
When you have the UK's top-selling debut album of the year, earning the BRIT award two times over to achieve British superstardom by the age of 22, what else can you really do? Easy; release your album in the US, and do it all over again. That's what UK turned global sensation Tinie (pronounced "tiny") Tempah plans to do with the US release of his already successful debut album 'Disc-Overy'. The charismatic Tinie Tempah has gone nearly double platinum in the UK with this album that produced four Top 5 singles; one of which has given him a breakthrough in America. 'Written In The Stars' has been steadily building into a hit record here in the US and hopefully the London-born rapper can repeat his UK success here across the pond in America.
Danger Mouse has always been one of my favorite producers/artists. One of his most notable projects was the controversial 'The Grey Album' in 2004, where he took acapellas from Jay Z's 'The Black Album' and cleverly blended them with instrumental elements from The Beatles LP 'The Beatles' (referred to by many as The White Album). The mashup album gained notoriety when EMI attempted to halt it's distribution because of the unlicensed Beatles samples. So of course when something good, is deemed "illegal" it only enhances curiosity and eventually sparks a ridiculous demand for it. That is exactly what happened. After the negative publicity surrounded it, 'The Grey Album' quickly became popular and was well distributed around the internet. It received rave reviews from credible publications like 'The New Yorker' and even won 2004 Album of the Year honors from Entertainment Weekly. Danger Mouse has also been part of a lot of legally successful projects as well, making him a highly sought after Grammy award winning musician, songwriter and producer. He is also famously known as one half of the Gnarls Barkley duo with Cee-Lo Green ('Crazy', 'Run', 'Going On'). Danger Mouse has recently teamed up with Italian composer Daniele Luppi as well as the vocal talents of Norah Jones & Jack White (The White Stripes) on an album titled 'Rome' that has been 5 years in the making. 'Rome' hits stores today and the only way for me to describe it, is just to have you hear it for yourself. So give it a listen, and if you like what some folks call "good music" this might be for you.
I was starting to wonder... "what happened to Young Jeezy" ...and in perfect timing, he slapped me with this single from his highly anticipated upcoming album 'Thug Motivation: 103.' The single features production from hip hop heavyweight producer Lex Luger. It also features a guest appearance by Lil Wayne. Not too shabby right? Jeezy & Weezy take music back to the trap on this one, and if you are a fan of either or both of these artists you are in for a treat.
Lady Gaga will get the full New Music Tuesday treatment next week when her album 'Born This Way' finally hits stores. She has been generous with tracks from the upcoming album, already releasing the lead single/title track 'Born This Way' followed up by 'Judas', 'The Edge of Glory' and now 'Hair.' Mother Monster has a similar tone in all of these singles. "Be who you are, and never compromise." It's this message that has gotten Gaga over 10 million followers on Twitter, even more on Facebook and arguably one of the biggest cult followings in history. Controversial, indeed. Shocking, always. But when her fans "want", Gaga "delivers"; and I think once those first week sales numbers come rolling in, we will see once again, the power of the one and only 'Gaga' and her 'Little Monsters.' If you like positive fist pumping sounds with a "be yourself" message, 'Hair' is just that. Already at #2 behind Adele on the iTunes singles chart, the Red-One produced track is a bangin' anthem all about having a good time. Who doesn't like to have a good time?
This girl continues to prove why I love everything she puts her hands (voice) on. The first time I heard Dev was on the infectious hook of 'Like A G6.' Immediately I went searching for her solo work and from that point on I was hooked on anything she put out. Since her feature on the Far East Movement club rocker, Dev has also shined on her own singles like 'Booty Bounce', 'Bass Down Low' and her latest 'In The Dark.' I truly believe the world still hasn't seen Dev at her best, and any minute now I'm convinced that she will blow. Her impeccable swagger and 'girl-next-door' vibe is a good way to describe this talented singer/Femcee ... not too mention she is uber-hot. That's a combination you don't see everyday. Check out this special cover of Bel Biv Devoe's classic 'Poison' as Dev lends a female perspective on the track. Dev is hot, and so is this cover.