The Basement: Nov 27th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

The Basement/The Basement

The Basement: Nov 27th Recap – Topics, Playlist, Featured Artists

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

Rest in peace to 15-year old James Means

This show’s discussion segment started of on a sensitive and emotional note as we talked about the recent murder of 15 year old James Means in Charleston, West Virginia. James Means was a young black male killed at the hands of 62 year old William Pulliam, a bigot with a penchant for violence. WCHS News reports that Pulliam was illegally carrying the firearm he used to murder Means, due to a previous conviction related to domestic battery charges (full article here from WCHS). According to NBC News, the confrontation occurred when Means and Pulliam bumped into each other outside a Dollar General store which was the incident that ignited this tragedy. While the police still speculate on whether or not the crime was hate related, various sources have cited Pulliam as saying, “the way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street”.
In addition to discussing the death of James Means, we also explored a recent air raid on a children’s hospital in Aleppo, Syria. A video on Al Jazeera shows a young boy breathing into a mask, gasping for oxygen due to toxic materials that were released into the air by the barrel bombs dropped on the city. Generally speaking, in times of armed conflict, the lives of women and children are considered ‘off-limits’, but considering this is far from the first attack targeting children in Aleppo, it demonstrates just how terrible the conflict in Syria has become.
Both of these conversations led us to explore the perceived value of a life, whether that of a black life threatened by hatred in the States or a child’s life under siege in Syria. We also discussed how these unjust deaths incite feelings of anger which leads to the desire for revenge as well as the difference between justice and vengeance/the danger of succumbing to vengeful desires.

In our pop culture segment, we started by discussing the various ways people choose to acquire music, whether purchasing legally, choosing to stream through one of the many services available or downloading off the internet. The majority of artists lose a large portion of their revenue from album sales to labels, management, promoters etc. We talked about whether or not buying music is truly the best way to support your favourite artists, considering artists are now claiming they make the majority of their money off touring and merchandise.
In the same lane of music as a topic, we also debated what constitutes “real hip hop”. With the advent and success of ‘new age’ rappers such as Lil’ Yachty, Young Thug, Desiigner and so on, we felt in necessary to examine the dynamic and ever-changing scene of contemporary urban music, which ended up expanding past the scope of hip hop/rap to R&B. The main two positions were as such
Stance A: real hip hop requires lyricism and content with substance which new age hip hop fails to provide
Stance B: the current hip hop scene differs in the delivery and content of lyrics, but if it still maintains its connection to youth culture, provides a voice for that generation and serves some sort of function, it can be classified as hip hop.
During our people/relationship segment talked about what to do when dating someone that your family/friends dislike or do not get along with.

The Weeknd – Die For You
Nebu Kiniza – Gassed Up
Childish Gambino – Redbone
Jai Paul – Jasmine
Denzel Curry – UTL

TOBi – Deeper (prod. by Nate Smith)
TOBi – Understand You Ft. K Forest (prod. by dF)

To describe TOBi as simply another Toronto rapper would fail to do justice to his music. A combination of witty bars, smooth vocals and refreshing and unique production (courtesy of producers Nate Smith and df) all contribute to TOBi’s dynamic sound. In addition, one of his greatest assets may be his choice of content, as he explores themes of lust and love from new perspectives on his songs, “Deeper” and “Understand You”. A Laurier alumni & former member of ABS Laurier, TOBi has been making significant moves in his career, especially after dropping his 7-track EP FYi earlier this year. He’s also recently dropped a video to accompany “Deeper”. The colourful yet subdued use of lighting in the video parallel his smooth vocals on the song as he sings, “she always wanna hear me go deeper”. True to the song’s catchy melodies and up tempo beat, TOBi displays some of his dance moves in the video, and after hearing the song and watching the video, you’ll want to do the same.

Check out the video for “Deeper premiered on Noisey here, or on his official YouTube page.

You can hear both Deeper, Understand You and the full FYi EP on his Soundcloud page

Grand Analog “Roll Dub Soul Rap” Album Review
Album Reviews

Grand Analog “Roll Dub Soul Rap” Album Review

Grand Analog released their newest album, Roll Dub Soul Rap (A Collection) back in October 2015. The album is a compilation of all their best tracks from previous albums, including Calligraffiti (2007), Metropolis is Burning (2009) and Modern Thunder (2013). They originated from Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the likes of The Weakerthans, and moved to Toronto which is where they are currently based.

Their music is mostly categorized within the Hip Hop genre but includes influences from reggae, R&B, rock, and jazz. Some tracks have a more retro vibe and others are more modern. The track order makes it flow perfectly, and it makes sense together, even though they were all initially from separate albums. The Album artwork keeps to the theme of their previous albums and is my personal favourite out of all of them. As someone who really values the artwork artists put on their work, I can really appreciate this one because I feel that it really represents the music they make.

Howl (Like Wolves) is the first track on the album and was originally a single released in 2013. It has a cool vibe to it and sounds really familiar in lot’s of different ways. It’s definitely the most “feel good” track on the album and I haven’t been able to turn it off lately because of how catchy it is.

Wild Animal Print is track eleven on the collection and has a really dope beat. The sound is great and overall really upbeat and makes a really great dance track. The song combines funk and afrobeat vibes and is definitly one of my favourite tracks overall.

The Great Rhyme Dropper appears on the album as track fourteen. This track shows off the skill and pure talent from Odario and Olfield and has some great rhymes. It’s got a similar vibe to their song Cassettes from the album Modern Thunder. Which is also an amazing song that you should check out if you can find it.

I was very concerned when I didn’t see People People  from Modern Thunder on the collection, as it is one of my personal favourites, however I believe they did a great job in curating the tracks on the newest album. It shows the diversity in their music and you get an idea of all the different places they gather influence from.


The Rap Up: Post-Reading Week
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The Rap Up: Post-Reading Week

We Know When That Hotline Bling

Seems like the music video for Drake’s ever popular summer jam “Hotline Bling”, took longer than it should have to drop but the reward far outweighs the negative. Sure, the music video is kind of cool, colourful and so on, but the one thing everyone is fixed on is the 6God’s dance moves. Twitter’s meme game is at an all-time high, and this was a free-throw. Who seems to love it most of all? Drizzy of course. He’s even uploaded some of his favourites to his Instagram encouraging the strange love, which we think is a very smart move. Drake hopes “Hotline Bling” will be his first single to reach #1 on the Billboard Top 100 despite a wave of placements already (more than the beetles, that’s right). The number #1 spot is currently being occupied by none-other than The Weeknd. Oprah’s looking at like Toronto like “And you get a W, and you get a W, and you get a W!”.


Shhh… It’s a Documentary

The Game has been let’s say, active in recent months? I mean, recording near 700 songs for your double disc album, interviews and promotion all over the country, and taking shots at Young Thug whenever he gets a breather seems to be a full schedule. The Documentary 2 and The Documentary 2.5 are now available for purchase and stream although Game is probably hoping you choose to purchase the two disc set. Despite being very solid projects with an all-star roster of features, both discs brought in “meh” first week sales combining for less than 150k. Perhaps this might be a lesson in quality over quantity.


2015 BET Hip-Hop Award Winners

Take a look at some of the winners from this year’s BET Hip-Hop awards. Your host of The Rap Up TJ Mroz also made his expert picks and try’s to defend the ones he missed (Winners in bold text).

Best Hip Hop Video

Big Sean featuring Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $Ign – “Play No Games”

Big Sean featuring Drake & Kanye West – “Blessings”

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

Nicki Minaj featuring Beyoncé – “Feeling Myself” – TJ (It’s hard to bet against Queen B on anything)


Best Collabo, Duo or Group

Big Sean featuring Drake & Kanye West – “Blessings” – TJ (Sean, Drake and Kanye? Shut up already and take my money)

Big Sean featuring E-40 – “Idfwu”

Fetty Wap featuring Monty – “My Way”

Nicki Minaj featuring Beyoncé – “Feeling Myself”

Nicki Minaj featuring Drake & Lil Wayne – “Truffle Butter”


Best Live Performer



Kanye West – T (But Kanye’s shows are almost a full on Broadway performance?! Love Cole though!)

Kendrick Lamar

Nicki Minaj


Lyricist of the Year

Big Sean



Kendrick Lamar – TJ (Duh)

Nicki Minaj



DJ of the Year

DJ Drama

DJ Envy

DJ Esco – TJ (Thought they’d give it to Esco for the all Future mixtapes this year, oh well)

DJ Khaled

DJ Mustard


Producer of the Year

DJ Mustard


Kanye West – TJ (Okay seriously, why they ridin’ Mustard?)

Mike Will Made-It

Pharrell Williams



MVP of the Year

Big Sean

Drake – TJ (Of course)



Kendrick Lamar

Nicki Minaj


Track Of The Year

“Alright” – Produced By Pharrell Williams & Sounwave (Kendrick Lamar)

“Blessings” – Produced By Boi-1da & Vinylz (Big Sean FEATURING Drake & Kanye West)

“Commas” – Produced By Dj Spinz & Southside (Future)

“Idfwu” – Produced By Dj Dahi, Dj Mustard, Kanye West & Key Wane (Big Sean FEATURING E-40)

“Trap Queen” – Produced By Tony Fadd (Fetty Wap) – TJ (You know you love this song too)


Album Of The Year

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly – TJ (Thought they’d ride Kendrick on this one, Cole truly deserves it!)

Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint

Wale – The Album About Nothing


Who Blew Up Award

Bobby Shmurda

Dej Loaf

Fetty Wap – TJ (Yaaaaa Baby – Fetty voice)

Rae Sremmurd



Hustler Of The Year

Dr. Dre – TJ (Let’s face it, Dre had a monster year… Get it, monster? Headphones? Anyone?)



Jay Z

Nicki Minaj


Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip Hop Style)

A$Ap Rocky

Dej Loaf


Kanye West – TJ (But the Yeezy Boost…?)

Nicki Minaj


Best Club Banger

Big Sean featuring E-40 – “Idfwu” (Produced By Dj Dahi, Dj Mustard, Kanye West & Key Wane) – TJ (Everyone report to the dancer floor please)

Dej Loaf – “Try Me” (Produced By Dds)

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen” (Produced By Tony Fadd)

Future – “Commas” (Produced By Dj Spinz & Southside)

Rich Homie Quan – “Flex” (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh) (Produced By Dj Spinz & Nitti Beatz)


Best Mixtape

Future – 56 Nights

Future – Beast Mode – T (Either way Future was winning this one)

Future – Monster

Lil Wayne – Sorry 4 The Wait 2

Travis Scott – Days Before Rodeo


Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse

Drake – “Blessings” (Big Sean Featuring Drake & Kanye West) – TJ (no excuse for this one)

Drake – “My Way Remix” (Fetty Wap Featuring Drake)

E-40 – “Idfwu” (Big Sean Featuring E-40)

Kendrick Lamar – “Classic Man Remix” (Jidenna featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Lil Wayne – “Truffle Butter” (Nicki Minaj featuring Drake & Lil Wayne)



Impact Track

Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend – “One Man Can Change The World”

Common & John Legend – “Glory” (From The Motion Picture “Selma”) – TJ (But the movie was so good)

Cole – “Apparently”

Cole – “Be Free”

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”


People’s Champ Award

Big Sean featuring Drake & Kanye West – “Blessings” – TJ (Im waaaaay up, I feel blessed)

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”

Future – “Commas”

Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Rae Sremmurd – “No Type”

Rich Homie Quan – “Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)”



Songs Played Tonight:

Pour Up – Lil Wayne

Clarity – Ace Hood

Fuck It – Tyler The Creator

Streetz – Jeezy

When I See It – Kanye West

Woodcrest Manor II – Raury

Like Woah – Logic

Me Myself & I – G Eazy Ft. Bebe Rexha

The Ghetto – Game Ft. Nas,

Up on the Wall – Game Ft. Problem, Ty Dolla $ign

From Adam – Game Ft. Lil Wayne

Magnus Carlsen – Game Ft. Anderson Paak

I Don’t Play About My Paper – DJ Khaled Ft. Future & Rick Ross

You Mine – DJ Khaled Ft. Jeremih, Trey Songz & Future

Gold Slugs – DJ Khaled Ft. Chris Brown, August Alsina & Fetty Wap

Saved – Ty Dola $ign Ft. E40

Don’t – Bryson Tiller

Rambo – Bryson Tiller

Overtime – Bryson Tiller

Exchange – Bryson Tiller


The Rap Up: Definitely The Time To Be Alive
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The Rap Up: Definitely The Time To Be Alive

What A Time To Be Alive… Indeed.

Through a sea of speculation, trolling and hints, What A Time To Be Alive arrives as what many people are calling a victory lap for two of the biggest artists this year. Whether you’re a mixtape junky, a Drizzy-remix addict or someone who has walked into any club anywhere in North America, you’ve probably noticed 2015 has been an enormously successful year for both Drake & Future. While first-week sales are not yet in for WATTBA, the album is projected to move around 500K in its first week. To put things into perspective, if this is achieved, it will rival the largest Hip-Hop album sales in 2015, which is held by who? Drake of course, and despite where you may stand on FBGOVO, possibly going platinum twice in one year is an incredible feat in itself.


The Game is bringing his A-game

While it was already exciting enough that The Game would be releasing a follow up album to his infamous and highly regarded debut album, The Documentary, we’re now getting word that not only are we getting a follow up, but it’s a “double” follow up if you will. After revealing an already feature-stacked 19-song tracklist, tapping talent from all corners of the industry, The Game stated in an interview with Peter Rosenberg recently that fans would also be getting a part 2 packed with another 19 tracks. The first installment of The Documentary 2 will drop October 9th and the second installment will arrive on October 17th. Seems like Game has been putting in some serious work in the studio recently, let’s hope it lives up to the hype.


Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when Forbes tells us who really took home the ‘W’ this year. While it isn’t much of a surprise as to who holds the crown once again, what’s interesting is who filled the other spots. In 2015, P. Diddy comes in at #1 largely in part to Ciroc, with Jay Z holding down #2. Drake surprisingly arrives at #3, I guess OVO Fest did well this year, not to mention he’s on the brink of going double platinum in 12 months. At #4 is Dr. Dre who is no doubt seeing some big bucks thanks to this summer’s hit movie Straight Outta Compton and to his new radio show on Beats1 appropriately titled “The Pharmacy”. Coming in at #5 is master-producer Pharrell, who can attribute most of this year’s earnings to his role in the TV Series “The Voice” and royalties from producing.


Songs Played:

B.L.O.W – Tory Lanez

Church in These Streets – Jeezy

No Dayz Off – 2 Chainz         

Work – Rick Ross

Dedicated – Game Ft. Future & Sonyae

El Chapo – Game ft. Skrillex

Stunna – Young thug

Came From nothing – Migos

Scholarships – Drake  x Future

Live From the gutter – Drake x Future

Jumpman – Drake x Future

30 for 30 freestyle – Drake


The Rap Up: Your Weekly Hip-Hop Fix

Pusha T performs during the 2013 Coachella Valley Music

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The Rap Up: Your Weekly Hip-Hop Fix

Pusha T is on it!

It’s been almost two years since Pusha T’s last album and he knows fans are getting tired of waiting. Don’t worry though, Pusha says he’s been feverishly trying to finish his highly anticipated KING PUSH by the end of the month. That’s right! Pusha T wants you strolling to lecture with possibly Hip-Hop album of year in your back pocket.


Straight Outta Compton… To The Bank

First weekend sales are in for Straight Outta Compton, and it looks like $60.2 million worth of people are throwing up the West Side all over North America. With a historic box office opening weekend, Dr. Dre’s newest album Compton has done quite well itself boasting an impressive 280,000 copies falling short to only Kendrick Lamar and Drake.


Eenie Meenie Miney Mo, Catch a Tyga By The Toe

I know, I know, that was corny, but then again so is Tyga. With a new mixtape on the way set to release August 24th, Tyga looks to prove he’s worth more than his infamous relationship with Kylie Jenner. With rumors of Kylie learning to make music, this might be the perfect opportunity for a really interesting feature.



Show Set:

Keep On Hustlin – Warren G ft. jeezy, bun b & Nate Dogg

9 Shots – 50 Cent

A Milli Billi Trilli – 2 Chainz Ft. Wiz Khalifa

Say So – Wiz Khalifa

Intro – dr. dre

Talk about it – dr. dre ft. Justus & King Mez

Its all on me – Dr. Dre Ft. Justus & BJ The Chicago Kid

Darkside/Gone – Dre ft. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar

Medicine Man – Dre. Ft. Eminem, Candice pillay & Anderson Paak

Kehlanis (Freestyle) – PARTYNEXTDOOR

Sweeterman (Remix) – Drake

Here – Alessia Cara

Acting Like 1 – Tory Lanez & WEDIDIT

I Know how it Feel – Ace Hood Ft. Ty Dolla Sign

Room Full Of G’s – League of Starz Ft. Snoop Dogg, Game, Joey Fatts & Dee

Again – Fetty Wap

The Fix – Nelly Ft. Jeremih

Driving Ms. Daisy – Logic Ft. Childish Gambino

Westside Rooftops – Skeme Ft. G Austin

Toyota Music – Big Sean


The Rap Up: WE’RE BACK!
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The Rap Up: WE’RE BACK!

What’s up Radio Laurier! Coming at you with The Rap Ups first blog post this summer. It’s almost the end of July and summers unfortunately winding down but The Rap Up is keeping things at heat-wave levels with the hottest songs you need to be listening too, on a weekly basis. Here’s a run down of everything discussed on the show this week.


50 Cent… or 25 Cent?

A few weeks back 50 Cent shocked the Hip-Hop community by filing for (chapter 11) bankruptcy and things just seem to be getting worse for Fif. While we thought 50 might be just up to his usual tricks, finding a policy loop hole that was most likely going to benefit him in the long run, it looks like 50 Cent is nothing more than a window shopper. That’s right, according to the Queen’s rapper himself in a recent testimony regarding his situation with Rick Ross’s baby mama, most of his jewelry and cars are rented and must be returned at some point. WEAK. Now while there is still a good chance 50 Cent is worth more than his lawyer is claiming (only 4 million), it looks like Mr. Curtis Jackson may be stuck holding the biggest L this year in Hip-Hop as he scrambles to sweep this whole mess under the rug. Who knew someone could have a worse year than Birdman?!


Meek Mill a.k.a Mr. No Chill….

Well there’s no question people love Drake. A lot. But it looks like Drizzy may not be doing any shows in Philadelphia anytime soon. In an almost Gucci Mane fashion, Meek filled up everyone’s timeline earlier today with another classic rant. Who was the red dot on this time? Canada’s golden boy, Drizzy Drake, that’s who. Looks like Meek is a tiny bit sad Drake never supported his album through social media despite being on it, and according to Meek, Drake did not write his verse on R.I.C.O. himself. Nicki and Drake’s relationship was also briefly mentioned and while this is interesting considering the two have been on good terms since this incident, the rest of the hip-hop community looks to be eating it up with an even bigger side of “who cares”. Meek better find that chill button soon before Nicki catches him acting like a jealous high school hubby among other things.


The Nicki who cried “not fair”!

I’m not sure what hip-hop would feel like without Nicki Minaj complaining about how she’s treated in the industry, so of course when Nicki caught word that the VMA’s had snubbed both “Anaconda” and “Feeling Myself” Nicki wasn’t impressed and like her current boo, jumped on twitter to air the situation out. Of course, black culture, women’s body types and more was brought up and it took T-Swift of all people to come back with a tweet basically saying “CHILL”. We know Nicki won’t and that’s fine, but for the most part Nicki’s outburst was unprovoked and maybe, just maybe the VMA’s just didn’t mess with her music as much as she hoped, instead of another gender and/or race agenda. If she keeps it up, she’ll soon be right beside Kanye calling racism on the Grammys for not putting his seat in the front row.



Show Set:

Everybody on the floor – The Game ft. migos

Let me at em – DJ Holiday ft. Wale, Problem, French montana

Antidote – Travis Scott

Kings Never Die – Eminem ft. Gwen stafani

No Chill – Vic Mensa Ft. Skrillex

Twist My Fingaz – YG

Dats All Me (D.A.M) – Fetty Wap

Wing Stop (remix) – Philthy Rich ft. Rick Ross & Yowda

R.I.C.O – Meek Mill ft. Drake

Where Ya At – Future ft. Drake

Sweeterman (Remix) – Drake

My Love – Majid Jordan ft. Drake