Two Free ALBUMS
Run The Jewels 2 - "Blockbuster Night Part 1," "All Due Respect" and "All My Life"
Most weeks, we give you songs. This week, we give you ALBUMS (and songs too, of course). You've almost certainly heard of this one, from buzzy rap duo Run The Jewels. The hype for this sequel from co-conspirators Killer Mike and El-P has been strong and overwhelming, and at first I wasn't buying it, underwhelmed by the duo's much-heralded debut last year. Turns out, I've been listening to RTJ all wrong. If you want to get what they're all about, make sure to listen on good headphones, very loudly, while walking. The walking (or jogging, or running, or dancing) is imperative. Just bump "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1" to feel like you're on top of the world on an otherwise mundane daily route. Download for free on their site.
Jon Bellion - "Munny Right," "Human" and "Preoccupied"
But if aggressive, booming, in-your-face rap isn't your thing, perhaps this (way more accessible) free album will satisfy your needs. Jon Bellion is a prodigious young producer who has worked on some big pop hits in recent years (he wrote the chorus for Rihanna on Eminem's "The Monster"). Turns out he also has some serious singing skills. The Definition, his fourth mixtape, is a fascinating fusion of musical styles—electro-pop in the vein of The Postal Service, booming orchestral beats inspired by old-school Kanye, and massive hooks that could easily play to a Coldplay arena crowd. Could be a little too poppy for some, but it's certainly musically exciting enough to warrant a listen.
And A Few Tracks
"Backseat Shake Off" - The Hood Internet
Mashups—once a shining beacon of the music blog world—have kind of faded away in recent years, as it's becoming increasingly rare for really great ones to get made. But The Hood Internet is still producing high-quality stuff, and this Kendrick/T-Swift remix is a pretty flawless, topically relevant reinterpretation of two extremely memorable songs.
"We Come From The Same Place" - Allo Darlin'
From the album of the same name, some beautiful indie-pop from the remarkably consistent British band.
"Without A Face" - Luluc
Really, really pretty music. Luluc is one of (NPR All Songs Considered host) Bob Boilen's favorite new bands of the year, and as usual, his taste is spot-on.
"6 God" - Drake
New Drake, what more needs to be said?