Undoubtedly the biggest Hip-Hop album released in 2010 was KanYe West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, despite only being released in late November. For KanYe and Hip-Hop fans alike, 2010 was just a countdown to the album, with a few distracting tracks released by other artists to pass the time. It was back in May this year when the repetitive yet stunning track ‘Power’ leaked creating an instant frenzy. After a remix by Swizz Beatz featuring Jay-Z, a 30 minute movie and some speculation on the album’s title, on October 4th KanYe announced the official release date of ‘MBDTF’ for November 22. KanYe’s G.O.O.D Friday campaign was well under way by this point, releasing exclusive and free tracks every Friday to the world. This viral concept wasn’t a new idea but something that Mr. West executed perfectly, leading the way once again.
At #9 in Shazam’s countdown of 2010’s top tracks is ‘Runaway’. Taken from ‘MBDTF’, the track varied from 3 to 5 minutes in length depending on which blog you fed from. Once the album was released, the whole 9 minute version was available. Riddled with a dusty piano riff, very personal anecdotes and obscure samples; the track was one of the stand outs from Yeezy’s much discussed and critically acclaimed album. The final product, including a deluxe version with the daring and blunt artwork, is available to buy now. Not one to procrastinate, KanYe has recently released a festive freebie of a Christmas carol. The track – ‘Christmas In Harlem’ – features a handful of his favourite rappers and is available to listen to here.
Christmas just came early for iPhone and iPod touch fans! To celebrate iTunes 12 Days Of Christmas, when you Shazam a track today we’ll give you a free Christmas EP from Kylie Minogue featuring her splendid rendition of the Christmas classic ‘Santa Baby’, recent hit ‘Aphrodite’ and more!
This offer is available today only, 17 December, 2010.
Watch out: Xmas has an Xtra 12 Days!
12 Days. 12 Free Downloads. Shazamers with an iPhone or iPod touch can tap and unwrap a free gift on iTunes –simply by tagging music on Shazam! From 26 December through to 6 January 2011, the Christmas promotional link ‘Free Gift from iTunes’ will appear as an option on Shazamers’ Tag Result pages, presenting a daily gift from a selection of songs, music videos, Apps, books, TV episodes and a film for free from some of the biggest star performers on iTunes. Each free download will only be available for 24 hours.
The iTunes promotion is available to Shazamers using the latest V3 version of the free Shazam App and the premium Shazam Encore or (SHAZAM) RED Apps! Shazamers using the free App can take advantage of being surrounded by festive music by enjoying the unlimited tagging feature on the premium Apps for a one-time payment (£3.49/€4.99) or an annual subscription (£2.39/€3.99).
As we near the end of 2010 and continue our countdown of the year’s best tracks, our eyes are already looking ahead to what artists will dominate 2011. While there are many other polls predicting what records will soundtrack the year ahead, Shazam’s chart is unique as we look at what our users have been tagging in order to make our predictions. As our weekly pre-release charts show, our most popular tagged tracks often go on to dominate the charts in the UK & US.
Shazam’s Music & Content Director, Will Mills says: “The listening and buying public is the ultimate tastemaker and Shazamers have once again picked out some brilliant acts to watch in 2011, including Nero, Jessie J and Jay Electronica.
“Shazamers have had a great track record of choosing the breakout acts over the past three yearts, including highlighting Ellie Goulding and Nicki Minaj in 2010, Lady Gaga and Florence + The Machine in 2009 and The Ting Tings and Duffy in 2008. So this is one set of predictions people really need to take notice of.”
The emerging U.S acts chosen by Shazamers to most likely succeed in 2011 are:
Jay Electronica (Pictured)
CyHi Da Prince
The emerging UK acts chosen by Shazamers to most likely succeed in 2011 are:
Big Boi’s solo debut ‘Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty’ has spawned a dramatic saga that began in 2007 and includes several proposed track lists, release date and record label changes; leading to growing fears for the record being shelved. You may think that as half of one the biggest selling hip-hop acts in the planet the way may be already paved for him. But in the case of the Outkast star, his star status only worked as an obstacle putting enormous commercial pressure to deliver radio-friendly hits, which often compromised his creative ideas.
After a series of critically acclaimed singles that failed to make an impact in the charts, ‘Shutterbugg’ worked the miracle. Collaborating with rising Richmond rapper Cutty, its slick, electro-tinged production was suddenly hitting the waves all over the planet – which finally gave ‘Sir Luscious…’ the green light. A few months afterwards, when we are all looking back at our favorites, few are not featuring Big Boi’s record as one most accomplished of 2010; which, if nothing else, proves that sticking to one’s vision always pays in the end.
One of the most interesting debuts of the year was the eponymous record of the band created by Avi Zahner-Isenberg with his mates from high school in Long Beach. Despite their tender age, Avi Buffalo impressed blogs and critics alike by displaying an impeccable taste for the finest in psychedelic and Americana sounds. Comparisons to the likes of Wilco and Band Of Horses promptly followed; even the recently reunited Pavement fell for their charms and invited them to join the bill of their All Tomorrow’s Parties curated festival.
‘What’s In It For Me’ was the Californian four piece’s presentation card after being signed by Sub Pop records. Avi’s high-pitched vocals distilled naivety; teenage charm and its well-crafted tune have had it stuck in our mind since we first heard it.
Taken from their third, and reportedly final, album ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ is nine minutes of LCD Soundsytem’s finest work. The track provides the slow opening for ‘This Is Happening’, with James Murphy’s vocal quietly accompanied by handclaps and metronomic bass. It’s not until the track reaches past the lengthy three minute mark that the brooding beat kicks in. It’s a trick that shows why LCD are such a special band; the slow brooding intro forced many listeners to reach for the volume to hear the lyrics before the track angrily booms out of their speakers a third of the way. This is LCD Soundsystem at their best, making great pop music without worrying about making a snappy radio edit.
LCD Soundsytem spent a large part of 2010 on the road showcasing their third album across countless festivals and a co-headline tour with Hot Chip. Murphy recently confirmed with Spinner UK that the band will not tour after 2011; however that doesn’t mean the last of LCD Soundsytem as a band. We can expect more music in the future, but those hoping to catch the band live will need to act fast. He commented “It doesn’t mean we won’t make an album per se, but the process will be very different. We’re done being just a pro rock ensemble.”
This year’s UK X-Factor was won by 27 year old former painter and decorator, Matt Cardle. The Essex born singer took the crown after hot competition from Rebecca Ferguson and boy band One Direction. Cardle now looks likely to hit the UK Christmas number one spot with his single ‘When We Collide’, a cover of Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro (originally titled ‘Many Of Horror’).
Now the real challenge for the singer is whether he can reach the heights of former winners Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, or tread the less enjoyable path of the soon forgotten Leon Jackson and Steve Brookstein – who is currently completing a tour of a chain of coffee shops across the UK.
One thing that’s for certain is X-Factor continues to be a huge draw, with a record breaking 19.4million viewers tuning in to watch last night’s final. However, the future for the UK show seems unclear now that Simon Cowell will be focusing his attention on X Factor USA - which launches in September 2011.
When Lil’ Wayne was sentenced to nine months in jail for drug possession back in January, the vertically challenged rapper managed to film seven music videos in the space of a day before being locked away. With two months pending until Weezy’s release, Young Money records released the track ‘Right Above It’, featuring Canadian rapper Drake and taken from Lil’ Wayne’s eighth studio album; ‘I Am Not A Human Being’. Released in August 2010 – while Weezy was still behind bars - this orchestra filled Hip-Hop track had been circulating the blogs and doing the rounds on US and UK radio months before its release.
The single reached #6 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number #1 in their US Hot Rap Songs. Quite an achievement for someone still serving time in prison. The track itself is the typical conclusion when these two rappers collaborate – a fiery, catchy and somewhat powerful Hip-Hop record. A club and radio friendly beat caught the ears of the UK’s very own Tim Westwood, who frequently had this instrumental on repeat while airing his drive time show on BBC’s 1-Xtra. Since Wayne’s release from jail in November, he has already been working on his follow up album for 2011 – ‘Tha Carter IV’. Sure to set in stone as another historic album from Louisiana’s finest sizzurp addicted rapper.