Five Hip Hop Artists to Watch This Year

The days of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac have long since passed, but the hip hop game is hotter than ever. There’s a new crop of rappers and hip hop artists on the rise who are absolutely massacring the music industry. Let’s take a look at the top five hip hop artists to watch in 2013.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

macklemoreryanlewisMacklemore & Ryan Lewis have brought their unique swagger to the music industry in a big way. They’ve revolutionized the musical genre of hip hop that typically boasts of fame and life in excess with their chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop”. The duo instead beams about bargain-buying at their local Goodwill–priceless.

Staying true to their brand the duo tackles social issues gracefully, without ever forgetting to entertain the shit out of a crowd. Their progressive single called “Same Love” promotes same-sex marriage and was written during the Washington Referendum 74 campaign.

Be sure to check out Macklemore’s latest hit “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. The song has a John Legend-esque soulful sound to it that pairs perfectly with the fire that Macklemore spits.

A$AP Rocky

asap-rockyWe got a f*%&$*# problem–we love A$AP Rocky. Reppin the East Coast, A$AP was born in Harlem and is relatively new to the rap scene. He launched into critical acclaim with his debut album Long. Live. ASAP. His influences include other famous rap and hip hop groups like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Run DMC and Wu-Tang Clan. In his fast rise to fame he’s already collaborated with chart-toppers like Rihanna, 2Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

Check out “Goldie,” “I’m Different” and “Fucking Problems” for a taste of A$AP’s lyrical mastery and flair.

Kendrick Lamar

kendrick lamarKendrick Lamar hails from Compton, California. Currently under Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and Interscope Records, he is a well-deserved nominee for our Hip Hop Artists to Watch category. Even before receiving major attention for his mixtape Overly Dedicated, Lamar was a massive internet star.

We love everything about Kedrick, his story, his struggle, his poignant lyrical fire, his raw talent. He lays everything on the table with every lyric. He doesn’t glorify urban warfare, but instead tries to help people understand the complexities of street life. He is in a subgenre of his own, even within the rap community. Check out his hit single’s Swimming Pools to better understand what all the hype is about.

Joey Bada$$

joey-bada$$The East Coast is serving up some serious talent this year, in the form of another hip-hop sensation Joey Bada$$. He’s an independent hip hop artist from New York and part of Pro Era. He has recently stepped into the light with his mixtape 1999 and his “Survival Tactics” video that spread across the internet like wildfire.

His ability to freestyle is of particular note, and has gained him widespread acclaim on YouTube. His flow, style and wordplay are proof that he is in fact a badass. Check out his single “Unorthodox” and get familiar with this soon-to-be massive talent.

Future

futuredungeontat_0Future aka Nayvadius Wilburn is a Haitian American from Atlanta, Georgia. Signed to Epic Records, this rapper lives up to his prophetic moniker. In a genre all his own, Future combines auto-tune, rap, singing, and futuristic beats.

He is the penman behind YC’s hit single “Racks” and has collaborated with Gucci Mane on his Free Bricks album. He brings a refreshing, progressive sound and flavor to the rap game and we look forward to his bright future. His newest mixtape Future Hendrix will feature Kanye West, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Andre 3000 and many more. Check out his song “Karate Chop” featuring Casino.

 

 

Aleks Syntek Celebrates New Album and New Home

Aleks Syntek Syntek AlbumAleks Syntek has jumped ship from his old label and has a new home, Sony Latin Music- who rolled out the red carpet and had Syntek visit Los Angeles for some much needed radio schmoozing, album promoting and celebrating.

While in town, the Mexican musician-singer-songwriter offered a special showcase at the label’s Beverly Hills offices to present his new album “Syntek,” a throwback to the 80s with a synth-heavy sound throughout the 12 songs that the artist declared as “Mexican electronic music.” We had the opportunity to attend the showcase where the multi-talented pop singer gave us a sampling of some of the new tracks on the album, including the single “La Tormenta,” as well as some classics like “Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas.”

Aleks Syntek Album PartyThe special gathering brought together a who’s who of L.A.’s Spanish-language media and radio stations, including sponsoring outlet KSSE (Súper Estrella) and of course some of us at Slacker.  Syntek’s friends, including Mexican actor Diego Boneta (that cutie from Rock of Ages), celebrity Michelle Salas (famous for being the daughter of superstar Luis Miguel and rumored to be dating Boneta), Edward James Olmos and a few other celebs.

It was a lively and fun night, which was refreshing to see in a day and age when labels don’t tend to throw these kinds of shindigs any more, at least not Latin labels. Times are tight in this “sequester” reality we live in so it was nice to experience a party reminiscent of music label glory days.

Legend Willie Nelson is Slacker’s Artist of the Week

WILLIE NELSONSlacker’s new artist of the week is country music legend Willie Nelson. The master singer-songwriter- who is also an actor, poet, author and activist- will turn 80 years old this month, but that hasn’t slowed him down. He released a new album, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, this week, which is a collection of American standards and country classics interpreted by Willie.

Nelson’s work has spanned seven decades, starting out as a Nashville artist in the 60s where he penned tunes that have undoubtedly become American classics, such as “Crazy,” and “Night Life.” But the iconoclastic artist, who pushed the envelop as the “outlaw of country music,” and redefined the genre after moving to Austin, Texas, can do just about anything-with just about anyone.

As he puts it, “The more songs you know, the more musicians you listen to, the more writers you hear, the better equipped you are to decide where you want to go next. That’s why I want to listen to everyone and everything and then decide which way I want to go. Then, of course, I might change my mind and go in an entirely different direction. But at least I have all these options.” 

Willie Nelson Statue - Austin TexasWillie Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and has sold more than 40 million copies of his more than 150 albums in the US alone. Last year, the 10-time Grammy winner was even honored with a permanent statue of himself in Austin- where the city credits the influencer for helping to make Austin the live music capital of the US.

On this weeks Artist of the Week station, you will hear music from his seven decades of work,  his collaborations with the Highwaymen, Merle Haggard, and even Snoop Dogg. You’ll also hear his classic country influences and the many Nashville acts he influenced. Willie Nelson is one of our greatest living artists, and he is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.


[box type=”note”]Listen to Willie Nelson’s Artist of the Week Station Here[/box]

Insiders Guide to Coachella 2013

Coachella 2013We are officially a week away from Coachella and the air is electric with excited anticipation and spastic preparations. This two-weekend festival (April 12-14 and April 19-21) is nestled in the heart of Palm Desert, California. And yes, temperatures typically net from sweaty to Ian Somerhalder smoldering. (Nothing a little deodorant, hand-sanitizer and breathable fabric can’t champion!)

Despite the unforgiving heat, this is one for the books. Coachella brings together a multitude of characters from strung-out celebrities to aristocratic hippies to desert vagabonds. There’s much to be heard and seen; like newly minted bands and the entire Urban Outfitters clothing line.

Insider tips for a good festival experience:

Shuttle it. The shuttle lines run across the scant desert streets and only cost $50-$80 for the weekend. Driving drunk is a rookie mistake. The shuttle wait times are minimal, and even if you decide to cuddle a cactus past pick-up time, you can always taxi back or enjoy the campground twilight festivities.

carpoolchellaCarpoolchella. In an effort to promote sustainability and such, GoldenVoice has a Carpoolchella giveaway with prizes like VIP tickets to Coachella for life. So, amass a group of festival goers, paint your Nissan with DayGlow pride, and be sure to write “CARPOOLCHELLA” for all to see.

10for1. This program lets thirsty but impoverished festival goers turn 10 empty water bottles into a free bottle of H20. Awesome.

Coachella The Do Lab The Do LaB. This attraction is a festival in and of itself. The Do LaB is an immersive music and art experience with a collection of underground artists streaming sick beats all day long. Water misters and hoses will cool you off while you rock your face off. This year’s lineup includes fan favorites like Gaslamp Killer, Lucent Dossier Experience, Goldrush and Kastle.

Plan it out. Coachella is a massive festival. Brush up on all the artists performing with the Coachella 2013 station and create a plan for who you want to see (but keep it flexible!). Pre-pick your meeting times and use landmarks like the Ferris Wheel for your meetup location. There’s nothing worse than missing an entire concert because you were searching for your friends the entire time. Also, reception is spotty, so timestamp your texts.

Who to see:

Headliners

Coachella 2013 lineup Coachella wouldn’t be Coachella without some monumental headline-age. This year mainstage monopolizers include Blur, The Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prepare your thirsty ears for some epic tunes and major surprises thanks to these well-respected artists. (It’s even been rumored that Daft Punk will make a long overdue appearance during Phoenix’s set). As these bands need no introduction, let’s delve into some of the lesser known performers.

New Music

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newbie whose proverbial musical balls have yet to drop, you should leave room on your agenda to see some bands you’ve never heard of. Aside from experiencing fourth degree sunburns, Coachella is about celebrating music–new and not-so.

C2C – Not so new but relatively unknown, this french turntable group is legit. The style is a mix of funk, disco and electro. The group are 4-time winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship. If you like Glitch Mob and Pretty Lights, you might fall in love with these frenchmen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzO3yxSfOU

Jamie XXJamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, is an English music producer , remix artist and also ⅓ of the band The XX. His melodic tracks will leave you completely spellbound. His handiwork includes remixes for artists like Glasser, Florence + the Machine and Nosaj Thing. If you like the XX and Jamie Woon, be sure to check out Jamie XX.

Janelle Monáe – If you’re lucky enough you might just fall under the seductive entrapment of Miss Janelle Monáe. An American R&B and soul sensation, Monáe gained critical acclaim at the 53rd Grammy Awards for her The ArchAndroid (Suite II and III) album. She also lent her vocal acuity to Fun.’s smash hit “We are Young.” If you like Erykah Badu or Prince, be sure to check her out.

 

The NeighbourhoodWe can’t wait to see the Neighbourhood grace the dusty desert stage at this year’s Coachella. Part indie, part urban, part pop, this native Californian band shows a lot of promise. Lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s voice is as smooth as velvet. Check out their single “Sweater Weather,” we dare you to not listen to it on repeat.

 

Aesop RockAn underground hip hop legend, Ian Matthias Bavitz aka Aesop Rock, is a lyrical beast on the mic. Do yourself a solid and further your musical education with the thoughtful articulation of Aesop Rock. Never one to be predictable, he even paired up with folk goddess Kimya Dawson for the charming and evocative single “Delicate Cycle.”

Portugal. The ManThis Alaskan-grown band has been around for a fortnight, but hasn’t really hit the mainstream as hard as they should. Best described as psychedelic-rock, this innovative band definitely deserves a listening to. Check out their hauntingly delicious single “All Your Light” from their most recent album In the Mountain In the Cloud. If you like MGMT or Minus the Bear you’ll probably dig this ensemble.

Make Slacker’s new Coachella 2013 station your soundtrack over the next week to get in the Coachella frame of mind. Featuring all the headliners and artists performing at the festival all in one place- consider it homework.

Artist of the Week – The Postal Service

POSTAL SERVICESlacker’s new Artist of the Week is The Postal Service.

A decade ago, a one song collaboration between Jimmy Tamborello–AKA DNTEL–and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard turned into a full album, which tuned into one of the most beloved indie records of the 2000s. Now, on the 10 year anniversary of the album’s release, The Postal Service is reissuing “Give Up” this week, complete with two new songs and 13 additional remixes and B-sides.

Their 10th anniversary tour kicks off this week and sees them playing Coachella and wrapping up at Lollapalooza. On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear all of their music–new and old–collaborations, and tracks from their influences and contemporaries.

Click here and listen to Slacker’s Artist of the Week station.

March Madness Time!

Slacker March Madness It’s March Madness time!

Slacker’s Hip Hop March Madness that is. All month long, Slacker is pitting Hip Hop’s greatest MC’s against each other in four regional brackets: East Coast, West Coast, North and South, and the winner in each match-up will be determined by your votes on our March Madness page.

Every day head over to our March Madness page to vote for your favorite artists for a chance to win a $500 StubHub gift certificate + year of Slacker Premium.

Will the top seeds in each region make it to the final four, or will they be upset along the way by one the tournament’s cagey upstarts? It will all boil down to one final battle, to be waged on the same day as the NCAA Basketball Championship.

March Madness ends April 8th so keep  voting!  Don’t let your favorite hip hop artists get bumped from the next round. Make sure to also check out our March Hip Hop Madness station on Slacker to hear music from all our contenders

 

 

Artist of the Week Robin Thicke

ROBIN THICKE Slacker Radio Robin Thicke announced his return to music last week- by premiering a video for his new single “Blurred Lines” that features he, T.I., and Pharrell Willams dancing with nude models. The video has been banned from YouTube, but only after racking up over 1 million views in less than a week.

If Blurred Lines is any indication, we are in for the smoothest, sexiest Robin Thicke album yet. Cyrano of the The Cataracs produced some of the sessions, and he claims that for this project, they set out to make a “Black Disco” album.

On the Artist of the Week station this week,  you’ll hear Robin Thicke’s biggest hits, new music, collaborations, and tracks from his influences and contemporaries. Robin Thicke is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week

Slacker’s New Artist of the Week – The Strokes

Strokes Artist of the WeekWelcome back to Slacker’s Artist Of The Week. The Strokes are back in the game with their 5th album- called “Comedown Machine”, and while this record will still appeal to long-time Strokes fans, they are a long way from This Is It- and the band seems fully comfortable with that.

Led by the single All The Time, this album finds the band experimenting with synths, falsettos, and even songs that could only be categorized as easy listening.

The Strokes, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums, percussion) are one of the many indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century that helped solidify the garage rock revival movement. Their debut album, Is This It, was ranked number 199 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

On this weeks Artist of the Week station you’ll hear The Strokes- old and new- along with tracks from their side projects, collaborations, influences, and contemporaries. The Strokes are Slacker’s Artist Of The Week.

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