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Lions Playlist: When Top 40 becomes too much

By Jhemarr Anderson

So you’re tired of “radio rap” want to learn some new faces? Theres a playlist for that!

The radio can get a little repetitive, can’t it? We hear the same singles from the same artists year after year! Doesn’t that just make you wanna hit something kinda hard? From Kanye, to Jay Z, to Drake, to Nicki Minaj, it’s the same old stuff every station you turn to. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the originality?! Luckily, there’s a playlist for that.

Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples and Casey Veggies – Hive

I think you could make an argument that Earl is the most popular member of Odd Future not named Tyler or Frank Ocean. He’s a young prodigy who can go bar for bar with just about anyone you can think of. Hive is somewhat dark (part of the reason you won’t find this in many DJ rotations), but Earl’s lyrical ability is undeniable. Listen to the first 50 seconds and you’ll understand what I mean. Trust.

Chance The Rapper ft. Childish Gambino – Favorite Song

This song is a stark contrast from the previous one, which makes for a balanced playlist. You’re welcome. Favorite Song is just a fun tune you can hit a dougie to. The melody is infectious and Chance and Gambino’s high-energy verses have you bouncing along the whole way through. Whether or not it is your favorite song is subjective.

Vic Mensa – Hollywood LA

Since we’ve just covered Chance the Rapper, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce another member of his Save Money collective, Vic Mensa. I first heard Vic on Cocoa Butter Kisses, and to be honest I think his verse made that song. The ex-frontman of the defunct Kids These Days is off to a blazing start since his departure from the band. Hollywood LA will give is a great exhibition of Vic’s overall skillset. His flow is great and his singing is actually decent compared to most other rappers. The composition of this song is also incredible and shouldn’t be ignored. A 20-year-old with this type of songwriting ability deserves to be acknowledged. I got your back, Vic.

Danny Brown – Dip

Danny Brown is a Detroit native with a talent for making songs you WILL end up speeding to. So listen while driving at your own risk, bro. Whenever it’s time to “turn up,” listen to Dip. Use this at a pregame okay? That’s basically what this song is for. There. Review done.

Isaiah Rashad – Soliloquy

Isaiah Rashad is the most recent rapper to sign to TDE’s incredibly strong roster. While he’s not a member of the Black Hippy collective on the label (Kendrick, Ab Soul, SchoolBoy Q, Jay Rock), his spot on the label is well deserved. I’m not entirely sure where I’d rank him, but I definitely like what I’m hearing. Soliloquy is 1:47 minutes of straight lines. He sounds incredibly comfortable in his flow and provides you with plenty of lines to hold on to. He recently put out a demo on iTunes called Cilvia Demo so if you like this song, check It out.

Action Bronson – Rolling Thunder

Action Bronson. Bronsolino. The rap Dennis the Menace. I call him The Pale Ghostface. He’s seriously got that type of flow. Action Bronson is an awesome MC from Queens, N.Y. with a really bad weight problem … BUT THAT AIN’T SLOWING HIM DOWN. Bronson has a wheezy, husky sound to his voice and when you give him the right beat he destroys it. He rarely ever leaves his pocket, but he’s got the type of flow that keeps you drawn in, as you’ll certainly notice on Rolling Thunder. The beat is soulful and the vocal sample used in this one of laced with emotion. It makes for a great canvas that Action can utilize.



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