Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement–the duo that makes up parody folk band Flight of the Conchords–reunited this summer for Red Nose Day 2012 to support Cure Kids, a New Zealand charity whose proceeds fund medical research into life-threatening childhood illnesses. The 14-minute clip starts off like a typical Flight of the Conchords episode that would air on HBO. Band manager Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby) plays the “present” game with the guys and informs them that they’ve got a new gig to play. After some nostalgic back and forth between the three of them, the bulk of the clip features Bret and Jemaine interviewing schoolchildren from Auckland and Wellington about a range of topics including what it means to be sick and how to raise money. The video concludes with a brand new Conchords track featuring other NZ celebrity voices; the lyrics are born out of the entertaining answers provided by the kids. Bret and Jemaine are known for their comedic timing and keeping a straight face, so when they break out in fits of laughter during the interviews it makes it all the more fun.
Revisiting the band meeting and watching Bret and Jemaine back in full form is such a treat, but let’s not forget why they did it. After watching the video embedded above, purchase the song “Feel Inside (and stuff like that)” at iTunes and .91 cents from the sale of the track will go to the Cure Kids organization. (Click here for more…)
What happens when you team up synth-pop maestro Adam Young and current pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen? Well, this.
It’s funny; when I first heard Jepson’s radio smash “Call Me Maybe” I imagined the orchestration as something that could have been birthed by Owl City. Perhaps Young was mesmerized by the track, too, and insisted to collaborate with the Canadian singer-songwriter. The result is “Good Time,” a song that is light on lyrics but instead focuses on a catchy synthy beat that is destined to become the next song to carry us through the summer days. Listen to it in the SoundCloud embed below, and come June 26 I’ll provide an iTunes download link.
In related Owl City news, Young has named his fourth studio album and given it a late summer release date. The Midsummer Station is out August 21. On May 15 he released Shooting Star, a four-track EP that’s a taste of what’s to come in a couple months.
Yep, that’s the name of Kid Cudi’s latest track that leaked onto the ‘Net today. Though Cudi recently went on a Twitter rant saying he’s done with raps so he can focus solely on his newfound fascination for rocking out WZRD-style, all of that has been thrown out the window when he dropped “Dennis, Hook Me Up With Some More Of That Whiskey!” just before midnight on Complex. Cudder jumped on Twitter to hype the release of the surprise track and claimed producer credit. “Ok so what I did was, I took “Ghost” [a Man on the Moon track], reversed it, [and] added new drums and guitar,” he tweeted.
Yesterday Cudi tweeted, “you aint heard nothing yet” … “So many amazing things to come” … “Ahh sh*t, found my old lap top with a gang of unfinished songs from MOTM1 and MOTM2. And so it begins….” … So many fuc*ing jams. Don’t worry. Ima make sure y’all here this stuff soon. trust. believe bruv!” So is “Dennis” the first of many, many new tracks Cudi the Rapper plans on releasing into the wild as we await his next studio album? Ponder that, then listen to and download “Dennis” below.
On January 7 Beyoncé gave birth to her first child with husband Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter. Two days later, the rapper released a song featuring their newborn credited as “B.I.C.” Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. lent a helping hand, too. In “Glory” Jay celebrates his new baby girl: “The most amazing feeling I feel, words can’t describe what I’m feeling for real / Maybe I paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you.” At one point Jay reveals that Beyoncé suffered a miscarriage in the past, but he manages not to linger on that topic and finishes strong with audible cries emitting from baby Blue. Listen to the beautiful track above and head over to Jay’s blog Life+Times to read the official announcement of BIC’s birth. He must’ve been in an empire state of mind when he cobbled together that blog post; the song is tagged with NYC’s landmark lit up blue.
On this Valentine’s Day the brilliantly talented John Legend released this sweet cover of “Secret Heart,” a beautiful track originally performed by Ron Sexsmith. And now, it’s my gift to you.
Download: John Legend – “Secret Heart”
After the release of “Chain Heavy” Kanye West put a stop to the G.O.O.D. Friday series and let his highly lauded album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy speak for itself. Last Wednesday, however, a leaked version of a sweet holiday rap hit the ‘Net and marked the return of new Yeezy material since the release of the new album. On Friday Kanye uploaded the mastered version of “Christmas in Harlem” to iTunes. The upbeat track features Teyana Taylor on the catchy hook, one cheerful verse from ‘Ye, and special guest G.O.O.D. Music’s Cyhi Da Prynce. Listen to the track below and download it at iTunes here.
Update: Shortly after the original song leaked, Kanye tweeted that another version would be let loose and this one features Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Musiq Soulchild, along with Teyana Taylor and Cyhi. Listen to the extended cut after the break, and download it right here. Notice ‘Ye has placed it in the G.O.O.D. Friday section of his website; this is likely the final GF track of the year, but it’s good to know he’s not through with doling out free music just yet. He provided album art with it, and I’ve posted it beyond the break. Happy holidays!
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “The Joy” (Featuring Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield & Kid Cudi)
G.O.O.D. Friday, ya’ll. This past week’s joint features Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Kid Cudi, and newcomers Pete Rock and the late, great Curtis Mayfield (his 1970s hit “The Makings Of You” gets sampled). Also sampled is Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes”. Preview and download below. Again, the cover art does contain nudity so hop after the break if you want the uncensored image.
Kanye West is working so very hard on finalizing his upcoming album My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasty–no wonder why last week’s G.O.O.D. Friday track landed on the ‘Net during the wee hours of Saturday morning. When he officially tweeted about the track’s release he called it “Don’t Look Down (The Phoenix Story)”, so make a choice when giving it a name in your music library. You know the drill by now: preview and download below! Note: The album art does contain nudity; hop after the break for the uncensored image.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Take One for the Team” (Featuring Keri Hilson, Pusha T & CyHi Da Prynce)
Another Friday means another G.O.O.D. Friday track. This one features the lovely Keri Hilson along with the newest G.O.O.D. Music label players Pusha T and CyHi Da Prynce. Preview and download below.
A G.O.O.D. Friday song without Kanye West on the track? Not so fast, pard’ner. Child Rebel Soldier, a rap group formed in 2007, consists of Pharrell Williams (of N.E.R.D.), Lupe Fiasco, and Mr. West. Up to this point CRS has collaborated on two other songs: “Us Placers” (off the Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape) and “Everybody Nose (Remix)” (off N.E.R.D.’s album Seeing Sounds). And now you know. Preview and download the latest CRS cut below.
Download: Child Rebel Soldier – “Don’t Stop!”
Thanks to a gang of hackers and bloggers Kanye West has decided not to release a new G.O.O.D. Friday track this week. On Wednesday an unfinished track off Ye’s upcoming album called “Lost in the World” leaked onto the Internet. Shortly after it made waves ’round the ‘Net Kanye shared the news via his Twitter account. “Due to blogs leaking unfinished songs from my actual album I’ve decided to pass of Good Fridays this week”, he tweeted. “It’s messed up that one hacker can mess everything up for everyone… I love to take a year to finish my songs and deliver them … to you guys in there most completed form… It would have seemed like since I give free music every week even the lowest form of human being would respect that enough not to leak unfinished songs from my real album…” I gotta side with Yeezy here. He’s been gracious enough to spend extra hours in the studio to deliver weekly hits for us; the least we can do is not leak songs that haven’t be certified as completed.
But there may still be hope! Late last night (10/1) Kanye tweeted, “For the real hip hop fans… even though I had to shift all my energy to mixing my album do to leaks. I’m trying to still deliver a new Good Friday song 2nt… Let’s pray!!!” Friday has come and gone and there’s no new G.O.O.D. Friday song to be found. Let’s keep on praying, huh?
Update: Around 4am Saturday morning Kanye posted single art for a new track called “Christian Dior Denim Flow”. It features Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, and Ryan Leslie. He tweeted, “Christian Dior Denim Flow GOOD FRIDAY… fuuuuck I need some sleep.” So is this the G.O.O.D. Friday song of the week? It appears to be that way, but there’s no download link…yet. Single art is pasted above.
Update 2: Kanye delivers! “Christian Dior Denim Flow” is here. Preview and download below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “So Appalled” (Featuring RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz & Cyhi the Prynce)
This past Friday brought another Kanye West track. “So Appalled” features familiar G.O.O.D. Friday vocals from RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, and Swizz Beatz. Cyhi the Prynce recently sighed to ‘Ye’s label over the summer. Preview and download the track below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Lord Lord Lord” (Featuring Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson)
More like Good Saturday. At around 5am Saturday morning, ‘Ye pushed out the latest track in the G.O.O.D. Friday series. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, and Raekwon lay down their own verses and soul master Charlie Wilson provides an exceptional backdrop (per usual) during the chorus and all throughout this seven and a half minute laid back rap epic. Preview and download below.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Good Friday” (Featuring Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)
You know the drill. Another Friday comes along, ‘Ye publishes a new track. The appropriately titled “Good Friday” features vocal stylings from fellow G.O.O.D. Music artists Common, Kid Cudi, and Big Sean. Pusha T is expected to be inducted into Kanye’s music label any day now (update: it’s official), and famed soul artist Charlie Wilson is just coming for the ride. (Uncle Charlie reprises his role from the terrific “See Me Now” track.) Preview and download below. Note: Kanye’s blog is currently “under construction.” In its place is a new portal that provides you with cover art and download links for all G.O.O.D. Friday songs dropped to date. And speaking of cover art, this week’s is too much NFSW to post on the homepage, so click after the break to see it in full.
G.O.O.D. Friday: Kanye West – “Devil in a New Dress” (Update: he also addresses an apology to Taylor Swift)
Early this morning (right past midnight eastern time) Kanye West dropped a new track off his upcoming yet-to-be-titled album. “Devil in a New Dress” features a background tune that is very reminicent of his old work (think The College Dropout and Late Registration). Though ‘Ye’s blood pressure doesn’t spike here (the song takes a detour from “Power“, the “Power” remix, and last week’s G.O.O.D. Friday track “Monster“), the Bink production grows on you after multiple listenings so give it a preview (and then download it) below. In a tweet Kanye described the track like this: “classic… instantly gave me a feel I’ve missed in music for so long.” At only 2 minutes and 52 seconds in length (plus there’s that abrupt ending) I have a feeling this is not the final version of the song.
Predictions for next week: Kanye still has “All of the Lights” up his sleeve (but I’m hearing that he’s waiting to perform it at the VMAs on September 12) and then there’s the Jay-Z collab EP waiting in the wings. Will the EP drop soon, or will we be handed individual tracks before it releases? Time will tell.
Download: Kanye West – “Devil in a New Dress”
Update: Kanye hinted at what’s to come next week. My predictions were a bit off this time. “We might drop 2 new Good joints next week!!!” he tweeted. “I got new joint with Pusha T and Big Sean… The Summer has to have this one …. I might drop it Tuesday if I finish my verse.”
Update 2: After releasing “Devil in a New Dress” Kanye West jumped onto Twitter to express all these thoughts that have clearly been bottled upside him for some time. Nearly one year after the Taylor Swift incident at the 2009 MTV VMAs, Kanye addresses a second apology to the country singer. Here are some choice quotes (erm, tweets) from his “stream of consciousness”:
“How deep is the scar… I bled hard.. cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world [Lady Gaga] … closed the doors of my clothing office.” “Remember in Anchor Man when Ron Burgandy cursed on air and the entire city turned on him? But this wasn’t a joke. This was & is my real life.” “I wrote a song for Taylor Swift that’s so beautiful and I want her to have it. If she won’t take it then I’ll perform it for her.” (Possibly at the VMAs?) “She had nothing to do with my issues with award shows. She had no idea what hit her. She’s justa lil girl with dreams like the rest of us.” “She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you Biz Stone [Twitter creator] and Evan Williams [Twitter CEO] for creating a platform where we can communicate directly.” “I’m ready to get out of my own way. The ego is overdone… it’s like hoodies.” “With new found humility … who am I to run on stage? I would never ever again in a million years do that. Sorry to let you down.” “It is distasteful to cut people off as a general rule. What’s the point of dressing tastefully if I’m going to act the complete opposite?” “Yes I was that guy. A 32 year old child.” “When I woke up from the crazy nightmare I looked in the mirror and said GROW UP KANYE … I take the responsibility for my actions.” “Why was it made into such a race issue. Taylor loves rap music… I love country music.”
After all this Kanye speaks directly to his haters: “I’ve hurt, I’ve bled, I’ve learned. I only want to do good. I am passionate I am human I am real. I wish I could meet every hater. I wish I could talk to every hater face to face and change there a opinion of me one conversation at a time. I wish they all knew how much I really cared about music and pop culture and art and peoples feelings. I wish they could accept that I’ve grown and only want to do good for the world. I want to help as many people as I can. I want to help starting with the music and ending with the smile. I want to win there hearts back so I can continue to bring my take on culture to the masses with a clean opinion. It starts with this… [Drumroll, please] I’m sorry Taylor.”
Take what you will from this apology of sorts, but it looks to me that ‘Ye is finally turning the corner here. He’s not holding back the music and he’s publically expressing himself like never before. I welcome the “new” Kanye with open arms. And I am really looking forward to this year’s VMAs.
Look what we’ve got here. Two new tracks from UK phenom Mr Hudson. If you haven’t listened to his debut solo album go ahead and download Straight No Chaser right now. Got it? Good. Moving on… Not too long ago Hudson was approached by Caspa, a well known Dubstep producer from London, who asked Hudson to invent lyrics for his electronic dance track “Back For The First Time”. After listening to the instrumental beat Hudson immediately agreed to make a hook for the track and, well, take a listen to it in the video above. After listening to both versions, Hudson’s easily takes the cake; his words perfectly match up with Caspa’s building tempo and make for a great song that can now receive ample radio time. And apparently “the track has been lighting up dancefloors & airwaves globally”. The music video was directed by Mo Ali; make sure to peek after the break to watch a making-of video that accompanies the music video. You can download the track at iTunes; it’s available on a 5-track EP.
Next up is a brand spankin’ new track from Mr Hudson. “Angel Eyes” carries a unique, dark, gritty sound that we are not used to hearing from Hudson’s repitoire. The slow vocals and flow are very laid back and Hudson manages to maintain his edge quite effortlessly. It really sounds like a song fellow G.O.O.D. Music artist Kid Cudi would come up with (it’s not as dark as “Solo Dolo” but that strange, eerie vibe remains). There’s no word on whether or not this track comes from his next yet-to-be-titled album. Preview and download it below.
Download: Mr Hudson – “Angel Eyes”