The “Beat Goes On” is a column where we feature the hottest rap tracks from around the world. So without further ado . . .
New Orleans rapper Jay Electronica goes bi-coastal and teams up with Diddy for his street-certified banger “The Ghost of Christopher Wallace.” Jay Elect says the track is a tribute to his idol, the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. and for his contributions to hip-hop. While the “Exhibit C” rapper’s verses are clearly braggadocios, Diddy is on some outlandish bully talk at the end of the song. Jay says the track (produced by newcomer Quincey Tones) is still unfinished with more to come. Oh boy!
After spending seven years in prison on sexual battery charges, former No Limit soldier Mystikal is back and is still lyrically sharp as ever. The New Orleans native has the Internet going nuts over his boastful single, “I’ont Like You.” Mystikal’s rapid-fire delivery and southern growl are still intact. The song is a little profane, but it’s not far from his “unpredictable” songs with No Limit Records from back in the days. Whatever serving time in prison did to Mystikal, it certainly didn’t affect his lyrical bravado — not one bit.
Next, we head to Detroit and find that Eminem is a new man. The inspirational song “Not Afraid” is from his forthcoming LP Recovery (due June 22). Eminem doesn’t sound like a pill-popping maniac on this track. Instead we get the introspective Marshall Mathers (his real name) who is ready to step out of the darkness and embrace a promising life for him and his daughter, Hailey. Time will only tell if fans are ready to embrace a sober and mature Eminem. Peep the track:
Over in Jamaica, we see that reggae crooner Gyptian is making power moves on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart with his piano-driven ballad, “Hold Yuh.” The romantic track jumped 9 spots from 51-42 last week. And I can attest that this song will probably be one of the hottest jams of the summer. I was at a barbecue recently and when this song came on the radio, all the fly girls were winding and grinding to it. Check out this remix featuring rap-chick Nicki Minaj.
Another track that will definitely appeal to the ladies is the new one by Toronto rapper-singer Drake. The Kanye West-produced track is the second single from his debut LP Thank Me Later, which hits stores June 15.
Hold up! Drake is not the only Canuck rapper making noise up north.
Check out Toronto emcee Keysha’s track “Hollywood Floss” with the cool sample of Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick’s “La-Di-Da-Di.” It’s fresh like a million bucks.
Fellow T.O. rapper Eternia is back with the “It’s Funny” (Remix), featuring California lyricist Rass Kass.
Finally, check out the “Revenge” video by rap duo Scorsese & Ceaza Leon, two Canadians emcees who call themselves “The Write Brothers” because they pen their own rhymes and spit “fly”-ass lyrics. Get It?
(props to Ian from a Different Kitchen for the Canadian hook-ups)
Now let’s see what’s popping with the mixtapes. . .
The champ is here! The champ here! Jadakiss just dropped his highly-anticipated mixtape, The Champ Is Here 3, which is hosted by DJ Green Lantern and DJ Drama. The tape features J-to-the-mauh spitting braggadocio rhymes with guest stars Mystikal, Nicki Minaj, Yo Gotti and D-Block (Sheek Louch and Styles P). Check out Jada rapping over Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” instrumental. It’s a knockout!
Leading up to his fourth effort The R.E.D. Album (due June 15), Los Angeles rhyme-spitter the Game dropped the Red Room mixtape, which was mixed by DJ Skee. The 21-song mixtape boasts a bountiful of guest appearances from Busta Rhymes (“Lowrider”), Diddy (“Heartbreak Hotel”), Pharrell Williams (“It Must Be Me”) and Jadakiss and Jim Jones (“Gangs of New York”). To download the mixtape, click HERE. Below, check out Game’s new video for “Shake.”
After years of making noise in the underground rap scene, Pac Div are ready for their close-ups in the mainstream world. To prove it, they dropped a banging mixtape titled Don’t Mention It. The collection boast several hot tracks including “Shine, “It’s On” and “Bird.” To listen to these songs and download the mixtape, click THIS.
When you think of Pittsburg, P.A., you think of steel factories and the Super Bowl team the Steelers. Rapper and Pittsburg native Wiz Khalifa has been winning as of late. He scored a cover spot on XXL magazine’s “Freshman 2010″ magazine, and he just finished his successful “Deal or No Deal” tour. His new Kush & Orange Juice mixtape is a must-have and a great introduction to tattooed-up emcee.
What do you get when you combine the production genius of the late J Dilla, the musical accompaniment of drummer QuestLove and the ferocious rhymes of Philadelphia rapper Dice Raw? The stellar mixtape Dice, Dilla Pregunta. Download immediately!.
Other noteworthy mixtapes:
The I Want You mixtape by up-and-coming crooner Theophilus London. Theo’s reworking of Marvin Gaye’s classic “I Want You and Tweet’s “Oops” makes this one a must-hear.
Ice Cube is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore! The West Coast rap legend recently dropped his new single, “I Rep That West,” in response to naysayers who feel that Cube is too old to still put it down for the west side. News of Cube and Dr. Dre reuniting on tracks for his upcoming ninth effort, I Am the West (due in July), has generated a huge buzz for the LP. “It feels good,” Cube said of the fan’s anticipation. “That’s what it’s all about. I’m excited that people are excited about it. It’s a good record. I got production from Dre, even Sir Jinx got down. To me, it’s a record that should be anticipated. The lyrics are fire, the beats are right, and it’s West Coast hip-hop without any apologies.”
We are going end this column with a smoothed-out joint from Oakland, California songbird Goapele. This is a previously-unreleased song called “Different,” which features the mighty Mos Def.