What’s poppin’ in Hip Hop right now? If you really want to know, don’t ask me. I’ll be the first to tell you, I don’t know. I follow who I follow, like Mos Def or Nas for instance -who just dropped a great album, Life Is Good, one of his best in a long time. Otherwise, I know what’s hot on the radio. Drake, Rick Ross, Kanye. Of course, there is more out there than that, but you know how they say the cream rises to the top? Well, if Top 40 radio is the top, than the Hip Hop I grew up listening to truly is dead (didn’t Nas say that too).
I know, I just have to go looking for it, go underground I can imagine the “real” fans saying. Well, sad fact is that radio’s influence has been so big that if you’re really gonna go digging, you’re gonna be at it for a long time. And frankly, that’s not practical, who has the time? Doesn’t make me less of a fan that I don’t want to go through all that trouble; I mean after 30 plus years of Hip Hop, it shouldn’t be that hard.
Still, despite all that, I still go looking and every now and then I come across some good ish, like the following mix by Sticky Knucklz, from New Zealand.
Knucklz manages to put together a really tight mix -even if it does start off with Black and Yellow, which is not a bad song actually- of both recent and old(er) Hip Hop tunes from the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Memphis Bleek, Chamillionaire, The Game, and of course my man Nas. And he does it in a straightforward yet flashy enough way without making us listeners have to skip over a loud DJ boasting needlessly over the music. Knucklz keeps it real, expertly mixing good Hip Hop tunes as smoothly and cleanly as can be.
If you’re like me and love Hip hop and like some of the new energy on the scene but can’t stand listening to the radio for more than 15 minutes at a time, press play on the following mix, you just might enjoy it.