Gucci Mane feat Usher - Spotlight
With the Cold War still upon us, Gucci drops the 2nd single off of The State Vs. Radric Davis. Produced by Polow Da Don, the track updates the classic Atlanta bass sound and is reminiscent of older bass joints like "My Boo" and "Swing My Way". Not a big fan of "Da Don" (who's basically a Timbaland biter, but who isn't?) but when he sticks to a more regional sound he wins. So less pop and more country shit (where is that Rich Boy album?). Usher is strong on the hook. Takes you back to before Justin Timberlake took his spot and his music was relevant. Gucci snatches Soulja Boy's bounce from "Kiss Me Through The Phone" and does what he does, but honestly, he doesn't need to do much. Usher & Polow made this one a hit regardless on who was spittin' on it. Kinda makes me wonder what it would've sounded like if Usher kept it for himself.
Timbaland feat Drake - Say Something
Yet another unfinished leak from Timbaland's Shock Value 2, this one featuring Degrassi High's finest, Drake. One thing I can say about what I've heard from this album thus far, the production isn't mindblowing, genre changing stuff but this track is trademark Timbo, all escalating synths and industrial drums, definitely a step above his tracks on BP3. Drake is a chameleon of sorts, limited in his subject matter but the songs where I think he's at his best are the ones where he details his life as an up & coming rapper, measuring his quick rise to fame against the loss of the life he knew before it. Drake's penchant for emo honesty is a big part of his appeal but a touch of ego keeps it from becoming totally sappy...
"How I go from being the man that you argue wit
To me and Dwayne Carter putting out the hardest shit
I should wanna go back to the one I started with
But I'm addicted to this life, it's gon' be hard to quit"
I'll pick this guy over "Young Money, ballin outta control, standing in milk with Birdman (Ayo)" Drake any day. "Say Something" isn't quite on the level of the songs on the So Far Gone EP, but then again, this is still an unfinished track. After Timbaland adds his signature fuckery, who knows what the song will ultimately sound like.
The Clipse - Popular Demand (Popeyes) feat. Cam'ron
The much anticipated collabo track from The Clipse featuring Killa Cam over a Pharrell beat? Sounds crazy right? Well, apparently it reads better on paper then in practice. Skateboard P does his part, delivering a track that sounds decidedly more street then the two Neptunes produced songs that have already leaked from Till The Casket Drops. It doesn't really have any of the typical Neptunes sounds and if it wasn't for the drums, you'd have no clue this was a Neptunes track if you weren't told as much. Pharrell does his best Cam'ron impression on the hook and it works better then you would expect. Too bad Cam couldn't muster the enthusiasm to say anything noteworthy. You'd think surrounding Cam with Pusha, Mal & Pharrell would inspire a decent verse. Think again. This one is a clear case of
Juelz Santana feat. Yelawolf - Mixin' Up The Medicine
It's been 4 years since What The Game's Been Missing was released and made Juelz Santana a breakout star. But alot can change in 4 years and label drama along with turmoil within the DipSet derailed a career that was just finding mainstream success. "Mixin' Up The Medicine" is Santana's latest attempt to get some attention from his label, the fans and anyone else willing to listen and I think he's got something here. The song (which borrows it's hook from Alabama rapper YelaWolf's "I Wish") incorporates elements of folk and country, fusing them together into something that has huge crossover potential while still remaining hard enough for the Hip-Hop heads. And Elz sounds as good as he ever has, simple but deceptively clever and catchy. Even though his Skull Gang project didn't pop like he might've hoped, it sppears the failure of that project has put the focus squarely back on Juelz, where it should have been in the first place.