It must be tough being Kanye West. Well not really, but the multi-millionaire pop star and business mogul sure gets a lot of flak. He’s still living down that Taylor Swift thing, Josh Groban mockingly sings his tweets and even President Obama thinks he’s a bit of a tool. All this stuff might be expected to dent even an ego as famously bulletproof as Kanye’s, but ‘Mercy’ suggests that any soul-searching is a long way off.
An unashamed ode to the blingest things in life, the track takes its name from the Lamborghini Murcielago, a car as expensive as it is impractical. Kanye and his compadres drop verses celebrating excess in all its forms. Predictably, the most bombastic comes from the head honcho himself:
“I threw suicides on that private jet/You know what that means, I’m fly to death/I step in the Def Jam building like I’m the shit/Tell them give me $50 million or I’ma quit/Most rappers taste level ain’t even at my waste level/Turn up the bass level till it’s at your face level.”
Kanye also cannily (Kanye-ly?) picks the best point to drop his verse. For the most part, the Lifted-produced track shuffles along in fairly minimal fashion. When the big dog makes his appearance it is over an insistent crescendo of throbbing synths. The listener is left in no doubt as to who is pulling the strings here.
‘Mercy’ is the first single from the forthcoming ‘GOOD Music’ compilation, which features a range of artists from West’s GOOD label. However that ends up turning out, it’s hard to imagine anyone involved managing to upstage the boss.
Big Sean, one of the world’s most exciting young rap talents, came by the Shazam studio to give us an exclusive performance of ‘Don’t Tell Me You Love Me’, plus an exclusive freestyle.
The Detroit based MC, got his break in a chance meeting with Kanye West in 2005, after rapping for the multi-platinum superstar in a radio station hallway.
His career has since taken a steep upward ascendancy. Sean’s first mixtape hit 60,000 downloads, not bad by anyone’s standards: but it was his second tape, ‘You Know Big Sean’, which made the biggest splash, getting huge props from BET when it was released in 2009. His debut album, released on Kanye’s sub-label G.O.O.D. Music and rap mega imprint Def Jam, was one of the most eagerly awaited urban releases of 2011 and peaked at the lofty position of #3 in the Billboard charts
It’s no doubt been an impressive rise, not that Big Sean’s ever doubted his abilities:
“I remember in the eighth grade I told myself, man I’m going to be signed to Def Jam,” says Sean. “I always put it out into the universe and I think it was written for me. I was meant to inspire people, I was meant to make music. There’s been so many nights where instead of going out I’ve had to work and was depressed so I feel like I deserve this. This is what I was meant to do.”
Watch the exclusive Shazam Session below (Please be aware that there’s some bad language, viewer discretion is advised)
Big Sean’s album ‘Finally Famous’ is available now on iTunes and Amazon You can follow Big Sean on twitter here
When two of the world’s biggest selling artists announce that they have created an album together, it’s only right that one of the world’s top directors is drafted in to create the video. ‘Otis’ is the first single from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaboration album, ‘Watch The Throne’, and legendary filmmaker Spike Jonze has directed the video.
A world away from the low-budget look of Jonze’s famed work on the Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ video, ‘Otis’ oozes money. The track, which heavily samples Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’, is playing over the opening long shot of a pristine Maybach. Jay Z and Kanye approach the car carrying heavy-duty tools and a team begins to pull the Maybach apart as Jay Z and Kanye West rap against the backdrop of a huge American flag. Once the Maybach is sufficiently destroyed, Jay Z and Kanye jump in for a ride, accompanied by four beautiful women and lashings of bling.
Spike Jonze’s slick camera work captures the thrill of riding around in a Maybach with no doors and his ability to get up-close and personal with the rap stars makes for thoroughly entertaining viewing. The video for ‘Otis’ is the ultimate in the American Dream and the red, white and blue color scheme runs through everything from the clear sky to the laces in Jay Z’s sneakers.
The message is simple here: the American Dream is attainable and it’s nothing but girls, money and fun, but until you get there enjoy watching us having a ball.
Proving that it’s important to give back when you’re raking in the dollars, Jay Z and Kanye West are putting the destroyed Maybach from the video up for auction to raise money for the East African Drought Disaster. Check out the video here.
News that Jay-Z and Kanye West were to collaborate on a full-length release, titled ‘Watch The Throne’, was greeted with understandably absurd levels of excitement. To be fair, it’s hard to overstate the significance of this team up. It’s not just about rap; these are two of the biggest names in music. Between them, they’ve racked up more Grammys and hit records than you could comfortably count. In terms of sheer star power, it’s like having Spider-Man and Batman in the same movie.
Throughout its creation, the record has been shrouded in mystery. Recording sessions took place in New York, Paris, Australia and Los Angeles, whenever the two protagonists’ busy schedules allowed. Early previews were extremely exclusive, Jay-Z himself gathering a handful of journalists in a New York hotel room and playing the tracks from his laptop. So it’s no surprise that this early salvo from ‘Watch The Throne’ is causing such a massive stir.
The track teases a sample of Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ into unfamiliar shapes, creating a decidedly unusual canvas for the duo’s lyrics to be splattered over. It’s playful and inventive, just as you’d expect from two artists who have always balanced mainstream appeal with innovation.
While ‘Watch The Throne’ features collaborations with artists like Beyonce, Pharrell Williams and Q-Tip, ‘Otis’ is very much a Jay-Z/Kanye joint. The duo trade rhymes with customary style, covering everything from their latest bling to smoking Cuban cigars with Fidel Castro. ‘Watch The Throne’ is going to be one of the biggest records of the year and ‘Otis’ makes for an excellent preview.
After releasing mixtape’s to the hip-hop world in America since 2007, Big Sean’s debut album has finally been released and the rapper has respectfully claimed his title for fame and honour. Sean, real name Sean Michael Anderson, met Kanye West in 2005 and impressed him with a spontaneous freestyle, Kanye made note to remember his name. A few years later with mixtapes achieving hundreds of thousands of downloads on Datpiff, Sean was signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music record label.
The album boasts production from Kanye West, iconic producer No I.D., Boi-1da and others including Pharrell. The stand-out tracks are undoubtedly those created by No I.D. including ‘I Do It’, ‘Don’t Tell Me You Love Me’ and ‘So Much More’. Sean worked with Chris Brown on the single ‘My Last’ which reached #4 in the Shazam Tag Charts back in March this year. The collaboration with Kanye on ‘Marvin & Chardonnay’ sees Sean work with Roscoe Dash, who delivers a classic Roscoe sing-a-long hook. With tracks like these the album received glowing reviews from Hip-Hop’s top platforms including an “XL” from XXL magazine.
Sean’s lyrical content has been better in past mixtapes, but his humour continues to amuse and there are occasional sparks of top word play that ignite with the solid beats creating up-tempo, strong, soulful tracks. The album’s other featured artists include Wiz Khalifa, The Dream, Lupe Fiasco, Chiddy-Bang and John Legend and is available to buy now.
Hassling Kanye West in the middle of a radio interview is not usually a great idea, but it paid off big time for Sean Anderson. Big Sean not only left a big impression but also a demo tape, a recording which eventually saw him signed up to West’s GOOD Music label. Under West’s tutelage Sean got cracking with a trio of mixtapes to lay the ground for his debut album, the appropriately titled ‘Finally Famous’. The album not only featured a massive roll-call of A-list contributors, The Dream, Drake to Mr. Hudson and Mike Posner to name a few, but also had Mr West in the producer’s chair. ‘My Last’ was the first single from the album and sees Sean team up with Chris Brown and legendary Chicago producer No I.D (Common, Jermaine Dupri) to come up with a piano driven number underpinned by some neat chord progressions and rolling percussion. Brown adds a smooth touch to the choruses but it’s really a platform for Sean to show what he’s made of.
If you’re a music fan, musician, or industry person then you’re bound to have read or heard something about SXSW by now. That being said, we’ll keep this short and sweet.
SXSW is still an exciting event for all things music, but the festival also covers digital and film. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or creative mind – you’ll be sure to learn something in Austin. However, it’s not for the faint hearted. 40K global folks come into town to share their wares, music, gadgets and movies. So if you plan on making a statement down there – best start working on it now!
None the less, cutting through the noise is still very possible. There is still that crazy opportunity to perform in front of industry brass (see Lord Huron) or seeing an already developed group perform a pop-up show (Foo Fighters, Kanye West and Jack White all laid down not-so-secret gigs this year). Heck the only wack moment? Waiting in line to get into the Rachel Ray Party – just to see her introduce Das Racist: the band cancelled their set due to throat issues.
And one last tip. For food, Stubbs BBQ is amazin’. And the insider info: go to bar during lunch hours and get served pulled pork sandwich pronto. You did not hear that from me. SXSW is great time to tap into culture discovery with friends. It’s a festival built on building memories patiently waiting for a song.
Big Sean is one of the latest rapper’s to be climbing the ladder of stardom following two of our tips for 2011; CyHi Da Prynce and Wiz Khalifa. Unlike Khalifa, Big Sean was picked up by the one and only KanYe West back in 2007, signing him to his G.O.O.D. Music label. However this wasn’t the first time Yeezy had encountered the rapper. Back in 2005, Big Sean was spotted outside WHTD 102.7FM, while KanYe was on-air. Sean approached West while he was leaving the station and dropped a spontaneous freestyle, allowing KanYe to grasp the talent and also his mixtape. Two years later, Big Sean released another mixtape called ‘Finally Famous Vol 1’. This received critical acclaim from The Source magazine and Mr. West eventually snapped him up.
Big Sean, real name Sean Anderson, has worked with a numerous amount of Hip-Hop stars from Bun B, Curren$y, Tyga, Drake and even Mike Posner in his past mixtapes. Now Sean is working on his debut with help from his peers including; KanYe, Pharrell, Eminem and Kid CuDi just to name a few. The album is tipped for release in August this year, but in the meantime Sean has hooked up with Chris Brown to release his debut single ‘My Last’ which was made available on iTunes 1st March. The Hip-Hop track has a smooth ballad feel, rolling pianos and classic big kick drums and crunchy snares. Chris Brown adds the hook and delivers a well polished touch to the song.
2011 looks to be a successful year for style icon Big Sean, a character that will no doubt pop up in further collaborations and future hits. Check out the video for ‘My Last’ here.